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Second Blow: Solidamor activist injured in accident

Letter from Xanana
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The following is based on several alerts issued 
by TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign


A group of about fifty pro-integration East Timorese carried out a vicious attack on the office of Solidamor in Jakarta on May 24. The gang , which according to an eyewitness, was accompanied by a group of Indonesian soldiers who watched the attack from a distance, entered the office at around 4 pm and immediately set about destroying all the office equipment and smashing the windows. Four men who were in the office at the time were physically attacked and sustained injuries.

Solidamor has for years played a critical role in disseminating information about East Timor in Indonesia and has been in the forefront of efforts to build solidarity in Indonesia for the people of East Timor. It played an active role in monitoring the situation in East Timor before and during the UN ballot in August last year and was recently appointed as the liaison office in Indonesia of the CNRT, the National Council of Timorese Resistance. It has also become a center for solidarity with people’s movements in other countries of South East Asia.

The four injured activists were Bonar Tigor (Coki) Naipospos, Chairperson of Solidamor, Sudarman of the Division of Publications and Documentation, Sapolo and Iden, both on the staff of the organization. Bonar Tigor Naipospos recently returned from a visit to Europe where he attended a conference on democratization in South East Asia in Helsinki and an international meeting of East Timor solidarity groups in the Netherlands. The attack has left Solidamor penniless and bereft of all its property.

The attack on the Solidamor office was carried out in the same pattern as the acts of violence carried out by the militia/TNI in East Timor following the ballot last year. It was an attack by pro-integration people against pro- independence people, a physical attack aimed at destroying all the contents or carrying off whatever they could take. The only difference was that when attacking the Solidamor office, they took care to carry off all the printout files and disks they could lay their hands on.

It's a very straightforward case, Some of the attackers are now in the hands of the police, evidence is easily available, the men have made no secret of their involvement, and have been identified by Coki as a witness. If the police fail to investigate this case thoroughly, we will have to question the seriousness of the police to investigate the far more serious cases involving Indonesian generals and militia leaders.

Solidamor urges human rights activists around the world to press the Indonesian police to investigate the cases of the four men arrested and to investigate the attack. If these clearly identifiable men are allowed to go free, what can we expect will happen to top generals like General Wiranto.

The Attack
In what eyewitnesses described as a very professional operation, the attackers who wore red-and-white headbands (the colors of the Indonesian flag), drove up to the office in trucks and within minutes had destroyed every piece of office equipment, including two computers, a scanner, a fax-machine, a television set and a video machine. They then fled from the scene, taking a cash-box containing Rp18 million (US$2,200), two telephones, a number of documents and the personal belongings of several activists and members of staff.

An estimated 40 to 50 people were involved in the attack on the Solidamor office. The attack was reported by all the main newspapers as well as on TV. People in the neighborhood were taken by surprise by the suddenness of the act and were rather slow to react. But when the attackers started trying to burn down the building, they stepped in and were able to prevent further damage.

The material damage is estimated at around 100 million rupiahs (well over $10,000), not including Rp18 million in the cash-box and the Rp1.9 million stolen from Sapollo, the East Timorese who works in the Solidamor office. The attackers also broke into a large box containing documents. Solidamor still has to work out which documents are missing.

As a result of his injuries, Coki Naipospos went to St Carolus Hospital for a medical report on his condition. Along with colleagues from PBHI, he took this report to the police but they refused to accept it because it was from a private hospital and told him to get a report from Cipto Mangungkusumo Hospital (RSCM).

Coki then went to the RSCM and while there, he recognized one of the attackers who was getting treatment. He immediately phoned Solidamor's Yenirosa Damayanti at the Central Jakarta police station to tell her to urge the police to go immediately to the RSCM. They were slow to respond, but finally agreed to go to the hospital. When the group of eight policemen arrived at the hospital, they didn't seem to be interested in making any arrests although Coki said that, as a witness, he could testify that they had participated in the attack. After an hour during which the police still failed to make any arrests, Coki had to leave in order to make a report to the Central Jakarta police. The police explained their reluctance to act, saying that they didn't wanted to make a wrongful arrest. Yeni who had remained behind at the hospital to urge the police to attack, reminded them that they had the powers to take people into custody for 24 hours.

Moreover, as she pointed out, the suspects at the hospital made no secret of their role, shouting to people that they were 'pro-integration East Timorese 'who love the Republic of Indonesia'. They poured abuse on Solidamor calling them 'puppets of the CNRT and traitors to the nation'. In the end, after persistent pressure from Yeni, the police took away four men. Solidamor are not sure whether the men were held for investigation or set free.

The next day, 25 May, Coki, Yeni, Tri Agus, and Andryanto with a team from the PBHI visited the national chief of police, General Rusdihardjo to deliver a very strong protest about the attack on the Solidamor office and express their concern at the lack of seriousness on the part of the Central Jakarta police in pursuing the investigation. Solidamor regards this as a very important test case for the Indonesian government to give proof of their willingness to pursue investigations of those involved in the events in East Timor following the ballot last year.

The attack, conducted in broad daylight in a busy part in the center of the Indonesian capital, is a sign that forces who feel humiliated and bitter at having been driven from East Timor, are intent on hampering the growth of civil society in Indonesia, preventing the development of ties of friendship between Indonesia and East Timor, and trying to sabotage efforts to investigate the crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and punish those responsible.

The attack was launched as a number of Indonesian generals and senior officers have been undergoing investigation for their role in the orgy of atrocities and destruction which swept across East Timor during and after the UN ballot when nearly eighty per cent of the people of East Timor voted in favor of independence from Indonesia. A number of East Timorese collaborators and leaders of the militia gangs have failed to turn up for investigation.

While most East Timorese who were studying or working in Indonesia have now returned to East Timor, a small number of pro-integration East Timorese have remained behind in various parts of Java and have started harassing some East Timorese who have returned to Indonesia in order to complete their studies.

There are reasons to believe that the attackers are from the same group which recently launched an action at the MPR (People's Congress) and was responsible for the three-day occupation of the Komnas Ham (National Commission of Human Rights) office. They include some of the Timorese whose names are listed in the KPP Ham report as perpetrators of last year's violence in East Timor.

Recently, Eurico Gutteres, the notorious Aitarak militia leader who is now based in Kupang, was interviewed by El Shinta Radio. He vehemently denied that this group in Jakarta is under his command. He said that they were formerly members of Aitarak but had defected and were now under the control of Yohannes Yacob, one of the lawyers acting for 'Big Daddy' Suharto. They are currently based in a transmigration transition camp in Kali Malang, in the center of Jakarta.

A Second Blow
The Solidamor collective suffered a second blow when two of its activists were involved in a road accident on Saturday, May 27 while on a motorbike. Yeni Rosa Damayanti was seriously injured. She has a number of cuts in the face, her right arm was fractured in three places, one of her ribs has become detached and one of her legs was also badly hurt. Sapolo who was driving suffered from concussion and has an injury in the chest. They are both being treated at MMC Hospital, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Jakarta Selatan.

On Sunday evening, Sapolo's condition had improved but Yeni has her arm in a sling and a heavy weight keeping down her leg. She is under strict orders not to move.

They were on their way to the printers to check the design of a poster on Gender Justice that is being prepared for the women's conference in New York. The bike was hit by a vehicle traveling at high speed from the opposite direction. Yeni was due to leave Indonesia this Tuesday to attend the women's conference and was planning to go to Washington afterwards to meet Dr Sein Win, Burma's Prime Minister in exile and to make contacts in Washington to look into training facilities for your East Timorese related to promoting investment in their country. Having sustained very serious injuries, she has had to abandon her plans to go to the U.S.

Please take the following actions

1. Call on your governments to press the Indonesian authorities for a thorough investigation of the attack and for firm action to be taken against the perpetrators and instigators of the attack.

2. Send an appeal to the Indonesian Chief of Police, calling for the attack to be thoroughly investigated and for firm action to be taken against the perpetrators and instigators of the attack. Address the appeal to: 
General (Pol) Rusdihardjo
Markas Besar Kepolisian RI, Jalan Trunojoyo 13
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Phone: 62-21 721-8000, Fax: 62-21 726-0306/720-7277 

You can also contact: 

  1. Major-General Nurfaizi, Jakarta chief of police, Polda Metro Jaya, Jl Gatoy Subroto, Jakarta Selatan, INDONESIA 62-21 23 4237 
  2. Colonel Timur Pradoko, Central Jakarta chief of police, Jl Kramat Raya, Jakarta Pusat, INDONESIA 62-21 390-9922 or 390-9623. 
  3. Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab and President Abdurrahman Wahid, Jl Taman Pejambon 6, Jakarta Pusat, INDONESIA 62-21 344-1508/345-2858

3. Send a message of solidarity to SOLIDAMOR, or SOLIDAMOR, Jalan Pramuka Jayasari No 9, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia

4. Make a contribution. CAFIET (Canadian Action for Indonesia and East Timor) has agreed to collect US and Canadian dollar donations for Solidamor and pass them on. This will save substantial banking costs. Make checks payable to:
PO Box 562, Station P 
Toronto, Ontario CANADA M5S 2T1

(Postage for an airmail (first class) letter from the US to Canada is 48c for 1/2 ounce, 55c for one ounce.)

- or -

Contribution can be wired to Solidamor's bank accounts:

For IDR (Rupiah): SOLIDAMOR A/C 8901703304 Clearing Code : 950-0307 Bank BII Commonwealth Jakarta - 10350 - Indonesia

For US Dollars: SOLIDAMOR A/C 8902703304 Bank BII Commonwealth Jakarta - 10350 - Indonesia Swift : BICNDJA Nostro Bank: BONY - New York 890-0330-988 CHIPSUID 379000

Letter from Xanana Gusmão

To the Friends of East Timor 
Jl. Pramuka Jaya Sari No. 9 
Jakarta 10570 Indonesia

25 May, 2000

Dear Friends,

It was with great sadness and distress that I came to know of the brutal and cowardly attack launched against your office yesterday afternoon. To those of your colleagues who sustained injuries in the assault and for the physical destruction wrought on your office, I express the sympathy and outrage of the East Timorese people.

In a democratic society which Indonesia is struggling still to become, the principles of dialogue as a means of resolving differences of opinion must be defended, and I condemn in the strongest possible terms this act of cowardice and brutality by the perpetrators of this crime. They and all those who back them act in a spirit of vengefulness and rejection of the truth which stands in stark contrast with the bonds of friendship and cooperation which the government of President Abdurrahman Wahid and the work of SOLIDAMOR are endeavouring to foster between our two nations. I urge you, other representatives of Indonesian civil society, foreign governments and international organizations to pressure your government to thoroughly and seriously investigate the circumstances of yesterday´s attack and to hold those responsible fully accountable for this appalling incident. In addition I urge governments and organizations of good will to assist you in the work of replacing those items of office equipment and other property which were lost in yesterday´s attack.

The truth is on our side! As you have learnt from standing and working alongside the East Timorese people for many years, physical abuse of this kind serves only to strengthen our resolve to combat the lies and cowardice which feed it.

Long live solidarity between the Indonesian and East Timorese people!

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
President of the CNRT


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