|The report of the Politics and Security Team in Dili
Secret Indonesian government document
Number: M.53/Tim P4-OKTT/7/1999
To: Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security
From: Assistant Coordinating Minister I/Home Affairs
Subject: General Assessment if Option I loses
Date: July 3, 1999
The report of the Politics and Security Team in Dili, hereby respectfully submitted, is
For the past more or less 23 years that East Timor has been integrated with Indonesia,
East Timor has noticeably and quickly progressed especially in the physical/material
aspects. The infrastructure truly developed in a surprisingly short time but this was not
accompanied by the mental/spiritual development of the society.
The armed resistance of the Security Disturbing Movement continued throughout and there
was a tendency for it to expand further. Its regeneration has taken place in a good way,
so that there has been a growth of resistance groups that are better educated and more
militant, that are able to carry out clandestine activities so that their terrorizing is
fairly effective and can attract, create, and politicize public opinion, to establish an
anti-integration society. Openly, the anti-integration society could create a tense life,
to the point that there was a large exodus especially of those not native to East Timor.
The pro-integration group, spread fairly widely in all the districts, was meanwhile
asleep and became the target of the anti-integration group. The TNI was cornered, even
terrorized by the anti-integration group. The situation became chaotic, to the point that
the government thought that there was no use in keeping East Timor, since it was
constantly creating problems, and out of this emerged Option 2.
The birth of Option 2 startled and woke up the pro-integration group that felt as if it
would be wiped up if East Timor was released from Indonesia. Since the awakening of the
pro-integration group was able to reverse the situation to become dominant very quickly.
Although the security situation is already under control, the outsiders have not, perhaps
can not, yet come back, except later if Special Autonomy wins in the Consultation.
World opinion was already so influenced that the UN took the initiative to come to East
Timor after the Tripartite agreement in New York agreed to hold a Consultation with the
East Timorese people whether they accept or reject the Special Autonomy that was
conceptualized by the UN. If they accept, the people of East Timor will remain integrated
with the Indonesian nation, and if they dont accept they will be released from
The United Nations Assessment [sic] Mission on East Timor (UNAMET) came to East Timor
before the Central and the Provincial administrations were ready to receive them. UNAMET
was welcomed with great fanfare by the anti-integration group because they consider UNAMET
like a god coming to save them, while the provincial government was spellbound and
didnt make any sound, though the Central Government, with Presidential Decree no.
43, had already taken many steps to coordinate between Departments.
With the coming of UNAMET, the situation again became worrisome because the
anti-integration group got a second wind, while the Indonesian government which was given
responsibility to guarantee security for the Consultation instructed all sides (in this
case, the instruction can only reach the TNI and the pro-integration groups) to do nothing
that could be seen as intimidation. The fresh wind pushed the anti-integration group that
committed acts of intimidation and then took shelter behind UNAMET.
[4.?] At the start when the Political and Security Team (as part of the Satgas P3TT)
arrived, many sides
were optimistic that the Special Autonomy would become the peoples choice. But
after the arrival of UNAMET, there were many contributing factors which encouraged the
anti-integration to be inspired. Its too skeptical if we say that UNAMET takes
sides, but the fact that we are always left behind in responding to the maneuvers from the
unfriendly sides, our initial optimism which seemed to be convincing has became less firm.
This is because first our space for movement is so restricted and then our helplessness in
counterbalancing the maneuvers of UNAMET, inside of which is supported by local personnel
from the anti-integration group. The UNAMET is dominated by anti-integration groups and
there is a tendency that its task is not merely to hold the popular consultation, but is
more than that.
The task to win Special Autonomy for the people of East Timor is actually not too
difficult because what is being fought for is a floating mass whose demand is very simple,
that is, for the availability of food and medicine. Whoever can provide food and medical
treatment, the people will follow them. Even the anti-integration group is waiting for
this type of help but unfortunately we are always late while the anti-integration side can
make use of the chance of UNAMETs presence with its additional task, as if it is a
In Dili at this point, there are 32 NGOs waiting ready to help "refugees".
The limit between refugees and hungry people is not clear, even those hungry people can
quickly be led to become refugees under the pressure of the anti-integration group. Many
more funds will immediately flow from outside the country, all of this can change the
constellation of forces. In such a constellation, the initial optimism which was so great
will become doubtful especially if the promises from the central government are not yet
fulfilled. The local government and the TNI can only watch other people give food to our
people while the pro-integration people are not touched.
To respond to this kind of situation, it is true that there is still time, but time
continues moving without any sign beneficial for winning the first option. Therefore, it
will not be wrong if we predict the worst possibility, that Option 1 will not be accepted.
What is the assessment if Option 1 fails?
a. The anti-integration group will have a big party, like what happened when
non-organic troops were withdrawn from Aceh last August 1998. While the Acehnese already
felt victorious, people threw stones and cursed the TNI which was still undergoing a
ceremony to return to its home base. This kind of thing can happen in East Timor on a more
sadistic scale. Even though several agreement meetings have been held between the armed
groups with the militant pro-integration groups, both at the Center and at the province,
there is no guarantee that both sides will accept each other if Option 1 fails. Maybe the
Indonesian government will be relieved of the heavy burden of bearing the set of problems
of East Timor which has never been finished except losing face in the world. The
pro-integration group is prepared to take a position similar to the anti-integration now.
The Indonesian government in this case can not wash its hands if the pro-integration
followers are massacred in the future. From the monitoring that has been going until now,
it can be predicted that if Option 2 becomes the peoples choice, the pro-integration
group will continue its resistance, but first they will secure their families in NTT. From
this aspect itself, it can be assured that the Indonesian government will not be able to
wash its hands of this matter.
b. How will the attitude of the anti-integration group be toward outsiders, especially
TNI, POLRI, and all Indonesian civil servants and other outsiders. If Option 1 wins,
TNI/POLRI non-organic, and non-native civil servants will have to leave East Timor in an
honorable manner. If Option 2 becomes implemented, a horrifying thing will happen to the
Indonesian civil servants. The most intense moment will be at the announcement of the
result of the popular consultation. The pro-integration groups who are the most tense,
without ignoring the Indonesian civil servants. Is it possible for the Indonesian civil
servants to continue carrying out their tasks until the announcement of the results of the
consultation? They will ask for a guarantee from the Indonesian government and the TNI for
their safety, not merely promises but can also forsee an evacuation plan for those who are
spread all over East Timor territory.
c. The attitude of the East Timor soldiers who were recruited from the supporters of
integration can not be ignored. They are the heroes of integration. Will they join the
main body of troops or maybe they dont want to leave East Timor which will mean that
they will choose to raise arms. They are sons of the soil who have children, wives, and
relatives in East Timor. At least, they can send their children, wives and relatives to
NTT [Nusa Tenggar province, meaning West Timor in particular].
d. It is certain that the societys life will be disturbed. The economy will be
paralyzed because the businessmen are generally outsiders even though at this time they
are still active. But until when this will go on? Possibly they will flee to NTT several
days before D-Day. There are some signs that the anti-integration groups have already
drawn up a list of new ownership for the assets which will be left by the government and
the outsiders. They of course unable or not yet able to operate the management of the
society, they will not be able to run the hospital. Even though the anti-integration civil
servants are many, they are generally incompetent. At the most, they will be controlled by
the church meanwhile the others will be controlled by UNAMET or Australia and its
Responding to the above matters we only have six weeks more to win Special Autonomy,
but if it fails the period of six weeks is very short to draft a contingency plan for the
pro-integration personnel and other assets. Therefore, the drafting of the contingency
plan in response to Option Two has to be developed as early as possible. The government
has to spare some funds to support this alternative plan. If at this point the government
already faces difficulties in supporting the victory it can be said that if the government
faces the unexpected possibility without this alternative plan, the integrity of the
government in the eyes of the world will be degraded further, especially in the eyes of
the Indonesian people in general.
Alternative possibilities which can be carried out are:
a. Maintain a commitment to win Special Autonomy. We have been left behind in the
attempt to win the hearts of the people. Aid from foreign NGOs is waiting and it can be
assured that political elements will be attached and it will be used by the
anti-integration groups. Therefore, the commitment of the government has to be manifested
by empowering the pro-integration group further. They really hope that there will be a new
capacity to carry out the Operation Sympathy.
To create an alternative plan (contingency plan) in order to face the situation if
Option 1 is not accepted.
Plan to expedite evacuation for Indonesian civil servants and outsiders (before the
announcement of the result of the ballot) to NTT.
To prepare elements of the TNI (Army, Navy, Air Force) both the personnel and the
equipment near the areas for evacuation.
Prepare the NTT territory to receive massive refugees including their security
Planning and securing the withdrawal route, if possible destroying vital facilities or
According to the information, the anti-integration armed forces received a significant
dropping of weapons and it is certain that they will not be surrendered even though there
is a peace agreement. This indicates that if Option 1 is successfully fought for, the
anti-integration groups will remain with another plan to fight for their interests.
Hereby, this report is presented to become a material for consideration to decide the
Assistant Coordinating Minister I/Home Affairs
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