Subject: SMH: Army plot 'to seize territory ahead of vote'
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 08:51:06 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Sydney Morning Herald 23/06/99


Army plot 'to seize territory ahead of vote' By JILL JOLLIFFE

The Indonesian military is planning to seize power in East Timor before the scheduled August autonomy vote, according to a former militia leader who has defected and fled the province.

The defector, now hiding in an Asian capital, alleged earlier this week that the Indonesian Information Minister, Mr Yunus Yosfiah, had a direct role in the murder of five Australian-based newsmen in East Timor in 1975.

He said Indonesian military leaders planned to use the integrationist militias as a front, to give the impression that the takeover was a genuinely local movement.

"The secret police organisation Tribuana and ABRI [the armed forces] is behind this," he said. "...they will give the impression the Timorese are controlling it, but Timorese don't control anything.

"They are planning to take power before August 8," said the man, 55, who is using the name Carlos Santos to protect his identity.

He has requested political asylum in Australia after approaching Australian diplomats with information about the killing of the journalists.

Troop training, distribution of arms and recruitment of East Timorese militias were continuing in the countryside, he said.

He had no doubt that the movement was planned from Jakarta, not by dissident Indonesian officers based in Timor.

A secret budget administered by the Transmigration Minister, General Hendropryono, had been set aside to ensure that the Indonesian military continues in East Timor, contrary to Jakarta's agreement with the United Nations to hold a free and fair vote allowing the East Timorese to choose between autonomy within Indonesia or independence.

The defector gave an elaborate description of the formation and structure of the militia groups.

He said they had been organised by the Tribuana under its Timor commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Yayat Sudrajat.

The secret police operated in the 13 administrative districts of East Timor down to the smallest village level, just as the Portuguese secret police, PIDE, had operated in the colonial era.

"It's these people who are recruiting the militias - they force them. If they don't [co-operate], they are picked up at night and killed," he said.

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