Subject: AN: Wiranto Thanks Mega after Xanana Meet

Also: Wiranto complains of smear campaign, Laksamana.Net: Wiranto Demands End to Criticism


May 18, 2004 1:18am Asia Intelligence Wire

Denpasar, May 17 (ANTARA) - The Golkar Party's presidential candidate, Wiranto, said here Monday he was thankful that President Megawati Soekarnoputri and her Timor Leste counterpart, Xanana Gusmao, tried to reach a "common perception" about the settlement of the 1999 post-referendum human rights violations in East Timor at their meeting in Bali (on Saturday).

"We definitely are thankful about the meeting's results. Not only me but all people in the country are grateful because the Indonesian government has met an obligation set forth in the preaable of the 1945 constitution, namely to protect the nation and the land," he said here recently.

Speaking at a function hosted by Golkar's Bali chapter, Wiranto said the issue of his alleged involvement in the East Timor human rights violations was a settled matter.

He noted the UN once gave Indonesia a mandate to settle the East Timor human righst violations through an ad hoc human rights tribunal. This was done and he was one of a number of ranking Indonesian military officers who were arraigned and later even investiagted by the Supreme Court, Wiranto said.

"The ad hoc court as well as the Supreme Court found me not guilty but a few other continued to be prosecuted and were eventually convicted," he said.

"We all, including people in other countries, should respect whatever a court of justice has ruled," he said.

It was only later that a small institution sponsored by the UN at the East Timor court filed a series of demands to Indonesia, Wiranto said explaining the recent fuss about reports that a unit at the East Timor public prosecutor's office, called Serious Crimes Units (SCU), had issued an arrest warrant for Wiranto over the humarn rights violations cases.

He said the issuance of the arrest warrant was a "government-to-government" affair between East Timor and Indonesia.

"So if you ask what my response is, I will just say it is up to the government. Because, it could become a case of intervention whereas our national law is sovereign," he said.

"Therefore, I am really thankful that presidents Megawati and Xanana Gusmao tried to arrive at the common perception that Indonesia has alreeady implemented a judicial process on the basis of international law in relation with the East Timor human rights cases," Wiranto, a former Indonesian armed forces commander, said.

"If the common perception means that the judicial process that has taken place in Indonesia is respected, we will be even more thankful," Wiranto said.


Also: Laksamana.Net: Wiranto Demands End to Criticism

Wiranto complains of smear campaign Jakarta May 19, 2004

Former Indonesian military chief general Wiranto, who has been indicted in East Timor for crimes against humanity, alleged yesterday that officials were behind a smear campaign to sabotage his presidential bid.

Wiranto was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying he had evidence that an official had funded student demonstrations against him.

"All the planning was drawn up in his official house," said Wiranto, the candidate for the Golkar party which won the April 5 legislative elections.

Wiranto also alleged action by UN-funded prosecutors in East Timor was intended to smear his reputation.

"It's true, everything is by design. I know who visited Dili before the issuance of the arrest warrant," he said, without elaborating on which Indonesian officials allegedly made the trip.

While the arrest warrant was issued on May 10, Wiranto has been indicted in East Timor since February 2003, before he became a presidential candidate. Advertisement Advertisement

Indonesia has said it does not recognise the East Timor warrant which says Wiranto bears command responsibility for murder and other crimes carried out by Indonesian forces in East Timor in 1999.

At least 1,400 people were murdered before and after East Timorese voted in August of that year for independence.

Wiranto has insisted he did his best to prevent the violence.

East Timor's president Xanana Gusmao believes good relations with Jakarta should take priority over court action but says he cannot interfere in legal proceedings.

Gusmao has said he could work with Wiranto if he won the July 5 presidential election.

An opinion survey conducted after the general elections showed Wiranto with 2.2 per cent support.

The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), which conducted the survey, said his support was likely to increase significantly.

IFES found that another retired general, the soft-spoken former security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was the top choice favoured by 30.6 per cent of respondents.


Wiranto Demands End to Criticism May 18, 2004 11:38 PM,

Laksamana.Net - Back in the bad old days of former dictator Suharto’s New Order regime, vocal human rights activists and proponents of free speech could simply be rounded up and jailed or tortured, but no longer ­ and former military chief Wiranto is not happy with a barrage of criticism against his presidential bid.

"Anti-military and anti-New Order campaigns, as well as propaganda on human rights violations should be halted," he was quoted as saying Tuesday (18/5/04) by state news agency Antara.

Wiranto will contest the July 5 presidential election as the candidate of Golkar Party, the former political vehicle of Suharto.

The retired four-star general accused his political rivals of orchestrating a recent series of “negative campaigns” against him in an effort tarnish his image and thwart his presidential bid.

He declined to mention any names but warned his rivals to cease such “unfair” actions.

Students staged massive street rallies in Jakarta earlier this month to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the May 12, 1998, slaughter of four student protesters at Trisakti University by members of the armed forces. They also demanded the masterminds of the May 13-15, 1998, deadly mass riots in Jakarta be brought to justice.

Official human rights investigators have concluded that senior elements of the military and police were involved in masterminding the riots, but the notoriously corrupt Attorney General’s Office has been extremely reluctant to follow-up such findings.

At many of last week’s rallies, students urged the public not to vote for Wiranto or other retired generals contesting the upcoming the election. They also demanded a thorough investigation into the military’s slaughter of 24 civilians at separate pro-democracy rallies in Semanggi in Jakarta in November 1998 and September 1999.

Wiranto, who has been indicted by a United Nations-backed court in East Timor for crimes against humanity in the former Indonesian province in 1999, claimed he had evidence that an “official political figure” had funded the student demonstrations against him.

"The meeting to prepare the student rallies of last May 12 was held at his official residence," Wiranto told a national leadership meeting of the Central Organization for All-Indonesian Workers (Soksi).

Soksi is one of three mass organizations that founded Golkar in 1963 to counter the Indonesian Communist Party.

Asked whether he would file a lawsuit against the "political figure" who had allegedly organized the rallies in commemoration of the slain students, Wiranto said he had not yet thought that far.

But the retired general said he had evidence of the planning and preparations for the rallies, including data on the budget for the student protests. He further said he could name those who were involved in the recent demonstrations.

He also asserted that an arrest warrant issued against him by East Timor prosecutors was part of the plot to damage his reputation.

"It's true, everything is by design. I know who visited Dili [the capital of East Timor] before the issuance of the arrest warrant," he said, without mentioning any names.

Although he was unwilling to elaborate on his allegations, a document elaborating his claims was circulated among journalists.

The document states a meeting was held in South Jakarta on May 6 at the Widya Chandra housing complex of state officials to plan the rallies commemorating the Trisakti killings. Participants also allegedly discussed tactics to reject Wiranto’s presidential bid by accusing him of responsibility for human rights violations in the cases of Trisakti, Semanggi and East Timor.

According to the document, 43 students from 26 organizations participated in the meeting. Each organization allegedly received about Rp16 million ($1,780) to mobilize 200 students for the rallies. Some of the funds were allegedly used to charter 156 MetroMini buses to transport the students.

One of the 43 students named in the document, Adian Napitupulu, denied the meeting had been attended by any state officials.

"But could not civilian movements, such as students, non-government organizations or certain other groups hold a gathering?" he was quoted as saying by detikcom online news portal.

“This is not only appropriate, but obligatory. Civilians must oppose militarism,” he said.

"If the military can consolidate groups such as Pepabri [the Retired Military Officers Association] to support a military presidential candidate, why shouldn’t civilians meet to oppose the military’s candidate?" he added.

Asked whether the contents of the document were true, and who had written and disseminated it, Napitupulu simply replied: “Wallahu alam [God knows best].”

Analysts said Wiranto’s condemnation of the opposition to his presidential bid could end up backfiring on him.

Political analyst Bachtiar Effendi of the University of Indonesia said Wiranto was only trying to attract public support and lacked sufficient hard evidence to name any of his rivals allegedly seeking to discredit him.

He pointed out that former president Abdurrahman ‘Gus Dur’ Wahid had a few days ago similarly accused two “government officials” of masterminding a plot to block his presidential bid.

"There are two officials behind the effort and one of them is now travelling abroad. I will not mention their names but you [journalists] must know who they are," Wahid said on Saturday.

Effendi said the claims by Wahid and Wiranto should not be taken seriously if they were unable to name the figures allegedly plotting against them. “This need not to be responded to seriously. Most these issues will be forgotten within a day or two,” he was quoted as saying by detikcom.

“These are only games that Indonesian politicians play within the atmosphere of the campaign. They will make use of methods that could win public sympathy in an effort to increase their support,” he added.

Effendi said Wahid and Wiranto probably fear being charged with slander if they publicly accuse any state officials of plotting against them without strong proof.

He said the unproven allegations made by the two presidential candidates would at least give swing voters a greater insight into their characters.

“There are leaders who like to dismiss things and make abstract statements verging on tendentious slander. Do we really want to be led by politicians like that?” he said.

East Timor Won’t Annul Warrant East Timor President Xanana Gusmao, who met with Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri in Bali on Saturday, said his government could not annul the arrest warrant for Wiranto but would do nothing to “carry it out”.

The warrant, issued by East Timor’s Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) on May 10, accuses Wiranto of individual criminal responsibility - under the doctrine of command responsibility - for the “crimes against humanity of murder, persecution and deportation”.

A brief issued in support of the warrant states that Wiranto had the ability to control the Indonesian military’s murderous militia proxies in East Timor but failed to do so.

Wiranto has denied any wrongdoing and claims he tried to stop the violence.

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