Subject: Joao Taveres - militia leader dies

see more background on Joao Taveres from the Masters of Terror list here: 

Former E Timor integration fighters` chief dies

Monday, June 8, 2009 22:04 WIB | National | | Viewed 59 time(s) Kupang (ANTARA News) - Former commander of East Timor Integration Fighters , Joao Tavares, died at around 8.20 pm on Monday in Atambua at the age of 78 following a stroke.

"He had been suffering from stroke for a long time before he died," one of his friends, Armindo Mariano Soares, said when contacted about Tavares` demise.

Armindo who was former chairman of the East Timor legislative assembly when the province was part of Indonesia described Tavares as a tough integration fighter.

"The late Tavares loved the Red and While (Indonesia) deeply. The love was rooted deeply in his heart as shown by his struggle to defend East Timor`s integration into Indonesia. Because of that Pak Tawares chose to move to Atambua after the referendum in East Timor in 1999 until he died," he said.

Armindo who is now a member of the Indonesian East Nusa Tenggara`s provincial legislative assembly from Golkar Party said when the civil war broke out in East Timor in 1975 Tavares who was from the Uni Democrat Timorence Party (UDT) once fled to Atambua.

When integration occured in 1976 through the Balibo Declaration Tavares returned to East Timor along with his forces to fight Fretilin which was anti-integration.

At the time, Armindo said, Tavares was directly assigned to be the head of the Bobonaro regency with his office located in Maliana. "He was head of Bobonaro regency for around 13 years," he added.

He said when East Timor was still a Portuguese colony Tavares was once a member of the colonal forces.

After the vote in 1999 that led to East Timor`s independence Tavares and his forces and also the people who supported integration left East Timor for East Nusa Tenggara and lived in Atambua which borders with Bobonaro.

While in a refuge Tavares was one of the advisors for UNTAS, an organization for East Timorese in exile, Armindo said.

Tavares survived by a wife, a number of children, one of them elected as member of the legislative assembly in Belu in the recent elections representing the Democrat Party.

"I do not know all his family members but his is a big family and one of his sons was chosen as a legislative assembly member in Belu for the period of 2009-2010," he said.

Armindo himself is now a member of the Gerindra Party and was also elected as a legislative assembly member for East Nusa Tenggara recently.(*)

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