Subject: Tempo: Timbul Silaen Disputes Plan to Destroy East Timor

Timbul Silaen Disputes Plan to Destroy East Timor Monday, 07 May, 2007 | 15:24 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The former East Timor Regional Police Chief during the referendum implementation, Insp. Gen. (retired) G.M. Timbul Silaen, has acknowledged that the responsibility for East Timor security at that time was in the hands of the police.

However, he has denied that the police were involved in planning to destroy East Timor.

"Could someone like Timbul Silaen plan such a thing?" he said on Saturday (5/5) when giving testimony at Indonesia-Timor Leste Truth and Friendship Commission in Jakarta.

Timbul stated that the responsibility for security in East Timor during the referendum period was in the hands of the police.

However, he said he considered that several clashes occurred due to two factors.

"The disarmament was not done properly. Weapons were supposed to be laid down and then collected. But in fact, this didn't happen," said Timbul.

As a result, he Silaen, assaults continued occurring. The acceleration of the referendum implementation, according to Timbul, was the other factor.

In addition, "Several things were not right as regards implementing the agreement (special autonomy for East Timor)," he said.

Timbul was considered as being responsible for a series of attacks carried out by pro-integration troop against the refugees in three regencies, Liquica, Kovalima and Dili, in April and September, 1999.

He was also accused for coordinating with the assaulting groups.

When asked about this matter, Silaen avoided giving a direct answer.

"There wasn't any coordination with the groups. I didn't even know about such groups. What I did was to carry out my duty, to secure Timor region in line with the orders from my superiors," he said.

According to him, after the tripartite announcement (Indonesia, United Nations and Australia), the level of violence instead dropped.

"But the UN never cared about it. They let the rioting happened," he said.

kartika Candra

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