Subject: SCMP: Men to fear presided over E. Timor's descent into chaos

South China Morning Post Saturday, September 2, 2000


Men to fear presided over descent into chaos


They were among the men to fear in Dili in the bloody weeks before and after last year's independence vote.

The name of former governor Abilio Soares appears on Jakarta's list, alongside that of Brigadier-General Tono Suratman, the former East Timor military commander who was promoted after being pulled out of East Timor weeks before the August 30 vote.

Colonel Nur Muis, the man who replaced him and held military command through the worst of the violence in early September, is on the list.

Also named was Major-General Adam Daimiri, the former head of the Bali-based Udayana military command, which held control over East Timor until Indonesia relinquished its claim to the territory in October. Others are intelligence chief General Yayat Sudrajat, former police chief Brigadier-General Timbul Silaen, and police and military chiefs from Dili, Liquica and Suai - cited for specific incidents.

Two weeks after last year's independence vote, the former leader of one of the anti-independence militias, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, implicated many of these men in the murderous campaign before and after the referendum.

Tomas Goncalves said the political cleansing of East Timor was planned at a meeting in Dili in February last year, organised by General Sudrajat, then a lieutenant-colonel, who was the head of the SGI, the secret intelligence organisation of the military's Kopassus special forces.

The colonel, Mr Goncalves said, called at that meeting for the killing of pro-independence movement leaders, their children and even their grandchildren. Mr Goncalves said: "The agenda for the meeting included funding and arming of the militias, food and other supplies."

He said the colonel had received orders before the meeting from Brigadier Tono, who was answerable to General Daimiri. He in turn answered to General Zacky Anwar - the former head of BIA, Indonesia's national intelligence body - whose name is prominent among those missing from the list announced yesterday. General Anwar topped the list of suspects drawn up by UN human rights experts who conducted their own investigation to support possible trials for war crimes in East Timor.

At another meeting Mr Goncalves attended on March 26, the militia leader said governor Soares gave orders that priests and nuns should be killed.

In December Brigadier Tono denied the military had armed the militias. "There was no weapons supply. They made their weapons themselves," he said.

Asked if he had ordered his soldiers to raze the former Portuguese colony after it voted to reject Indonesian rule, Brigadier Tono said there was "no such order, nor instruction" and added "there were no relations" between the armed forces and the militias.

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