(speech at the Dili massacre commemoration rally in Perth on Nov. 12, 1995, by George J. Aditjondro, Indonesian academic-in-exile)
Dear brothers and sisters of East Timor and Australia. Also, welcome to the Indonesian intelligence personnel present here: please get your cameras and tape-recorders ready to document this event, which may help your promotion back home -- or at least earn you some pocket money. Let me begin my speech with a political joke, which appeared on the internet four days ago. The joke runs as follows:
Question: How many Indonesians does it take to control one East Timorese?
One to hold a gun to his head,
one to convince him that he is a fellow Indonesian, and
one to convince the Americans -- or Australians, for that matter -- that he is really a fellow Indonesian.
I believe that his joke is really appropriate for this occasion, especially after the Suharto regime has expelled 14 foreigners from Dili, peace pilgrims who came to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Dili massacre, just as we are doing today, here. The reason given to deport all those foreign guests from East Timor, namely that "the local people can be easily provoked to stage protests in front of foreigners," as stated by Indonesian immigration officer Yohannes Triswoyo to the West Australian, yesterday, contradicts all earlier statements by the Indonesian security officers that only a handful of East Timorese still fight for their independence.
This most recent act of the Suharto regime also contradicts the statements of Suharto himself and his loyal servant, Alex Alatas, that East Timor enjoys the same status as all other Indonesian provinces. Because, in which Indonesian province can one find dozens of security personnel following foreigners wherever they go in the provincial capital? In which following foreigners wherever they go in the provincial capital? In which Indonesian province can one find guests being dragged out from their hotels in the provincial capital, and ordered to leave by police in full riot gear?
Now, not from the viewpoint of a foreigner, but from the viewpoint of an ordinary Indonesian citizen, in which Indonesian province can one find ten to twelve battalions patrolling the streets of the towns and villages, in an area as small as Belgium?
These ten to twelve battalions which are currently on "civic mission" in East Timor, do not consist of locals, but come from all major islands in the Indonesian territory. Such as, the 141 and 142 battalions from Sumatra, the 320, 411 and 521 battalions from Java, the 612 battalion from Kalimantan, and the 712 battalion from Sulawesi. We have to ask ourselves again, in which Indonesian province can one find so many military troops, who do not consist of locals? Are the presence of these non-local troops a trade mark of an Indonesian province, or the trade mark of a colony?
Apart from the presence of those "official" troops, an unknown number of plain-clothes military personnel operate in East Timor, who mainly consist of members of the Army's elite corps, Kopassus, also known as the Red Berets, whose commanding unit in East Timor is known by the abbreviation SGI. This brings back the spectre of the Portuguese secret police, PIDE.
In addition to those plain-clothes military men, the Indonesian police in East Timor also operate under the command of the SGI. Although the police often officially detain East Timorese activists in their regional HQ, Mapolwil, as was the case of the more than 200 detainees during the recent uprising, SGI actually coordinate all the interrogations. These mainly consist of mental and physical tortures, not to gather information, but to break the moral -- and the bodies -- of the freedom fighters. Only those suspected to be hard-core members or leaders of the resistance are often immediately detained in the main SGI interrogation centre in Colmera, located ironically in front of the Dili court house.
Apart from Colmera, there are numerous other interrogation centres in Dili, code-named Senopati I until n, named after the formers Army Intelligence HQ in Jalan Senopati, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. Once an East Timorese freedom fighter disappears in this "Gulag Archipelago," he or she may not reappear again. This has happened to Pedro Nunes alias Sabalae, the former leader of the clandestine front, who was arrested together with a young man, Remegio, on June 29, 1995. Nobody has seen the two ever since.
Not satisfied with their own terror squads, the Indonesian occupation forces -- like all other occupation forces in the world -- have tried to recruit more and more East Timorese to terrorize their fellow country people. They probably learned this "indigenizing the occupation" tactic from their American mentors, who developed it in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Apart from two battalions of East Timorese military with Indonesian commanders, last month a new group of 300 young people was installed in Aileu, called the Youth League to Uphold the Integration (GADAPAKSI = Garda Muda Penegak Integrasi). This is the occupation forces's latest tactic of this kind, after forming ninja squads in 1991 (who killed Sebastiao Gomes on 28 October) and in early 1995 to terrorize the pro-independence youth. Or, by using the local branch of a Golkar subsidiary, Pemuda Pancasila. Recently, several of these pro-occupation youth were recruited to stage so-called "inter-gang fights" in Dili, which was allegedly financed with Rp 2 billion (A$ 2 million) by the occupation forces.
In all these colonial acts, the occupation forces have been aided by East Timor collaborators, some of whom were recruited from families of well-known East Timor freedom fighters. For instance, the East Timorese Pemuda Pancasila branch is led by Achmad Alkatiri, an older brother of the Fretilin representative in Mozambique, Mar'i Alkatiri. Mar'i was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first cabinet of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (DRET). Last year, the bodyguards of Achmad Alkatiri, a "successful" businessman in Dili, physically harasses an Indonesian journalist of SUARA TIMOR TIMUR. Meanwhile, the money paid to the pro-integration gangs which harassed the pro-independence youth last month in Dili was allegedly channeled through Thomas Goncalves, the former Indonesian-appointed bupati (district-head) of Ermera and son of the liurai of Atsabe, Guilherme Gonsalves.
Thomas' father was the former head of the pro-Indonesian party, Apodeti, and second Indonesian-appointed governor of East Timor. Last month, the old man had twice invited the wrath of the Suharto regime by publicly denouncing the validity of the so-called "Balibo declaration" which asked for integration with Indonesia, as well as the report from the East Timorese leaders stranded in Atambua (West Timor), which stated that the five Australia-based journalists in Balibo were killed in a crossfire between the pro-integration and pro-independence East Timorese troops. By applying this old colonial "divide-and-rule" tactic within the prominent East Timorese families, the occupation forces were desperately and unsuccessfully trying to persuade the East Timorese people to keep their Indonesian citizenship. Exactly like in the joke, where the East Timorese guy had to be forced at gun-point to admit that he was a fellow Indonesian.
The point I want to make by giving this sad background is that while we are safely congregating here in Perth, in East Timor today, especially in Dili, more and more people have been or will be detained, after the bamboo curtain has been pulled down before the eyes of the foreign dignitaries. As of yesterday, ten armored military vehicles were stationed near the Motael church, and two Brawijaya battalions from East Java were standing by in Taibisse, the old military barracks in Dili.
During the ween prior to November 12, 1995, the military and police have been searching for car tires in Dili neighbourhoods, to prevent tire-burning demonstrations as what happened during the peak of the September uprising. Even car repair shops had their tires confiscated. And only four days ago, five farmers in Ermera were detained by the occupation forces, together with a field staff of an indigenous East Timorese community development organization.
This raises then the question: for whose interests of benefits is all these Indonesian taxpayers money wasted in East Timor, while poverty is still rampant in the neighbouring Indonesian provinces of West and East Nusa Tenggara? Ironically, while the East Timorese people are sacrificing their lives and the Nusa Tenggara people forsake their own economic development, the Jakarta elite has filled their Swiss bank accounts from the wealth generated in and from this so-called "economically unviable" territory.
In the past two decades, the Batara Indra Group, a conglomerate closely associated with the 1975-1976 butchers, Generals Benny Murdani, Dading Kalbuadi, and Sahala Rajagukguk, has reaped the benefits of East Timor's coffee, sandalwood, marble, as well as the territory's tourism and infrastructure businesses.
Enter the 1990s, another conglomerate has began to overtake Batara Indra's fortune in East Timor. This Anak Liambau Group is owned by the family of the current Indonesian-appointed governor, Jose Abilio Osorio-Soares, a protege of Suharto's son-in-law, Prabowo Djojohadikusumo, second-in-command of the Red Berets. Two of Suharto's daughters, Tutut and Titi, Prabowo's wife, are involved in East Timor's lucrative yet diminishing coffee and sandalwood trade.
Meanwhile, two of Suharto's sons, Bambang Trihatmojo and Sigit Harjojudanto, monopolize the telecommunciation projects in East Timor. Even Suharto's grandson, Arie Haryo Wibowo, Sigit's son, has obtained a piece of the economic pie in the colony. The 24 year old drug addict has obtained a monopoly to levy a kind of "alcohol tax" for all alcoholic drink sold in East Timor, after obtaining a similar monopoly in Bali, South Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, and Irian Jaya from the Department of Interior (not from the Minister of Trade or Finance, sic!).
On top of all those 'peanuts' -- or, actually, below them -- lies the oil and gas reserves of the Timor Gap plus the on-shore reserves, which led Australian PM Gough Whitlam to give Suharto the green light to annex East Timor way back in September 1975. A diplomatic disaster, which contributed to Gough Whitlam's domestic disaster a year later.
Considering all the sufferings of the Maubere people which have taken place until today, we cannot just meet, pray, sing, and commemorate the sacrifices of more than 300 young man and woman who died four years ago, and carry on with our lives tomorrow as if nothing serious has happened. Australians who enjoy something which is a luxury in East Timor as well as in Indonesia, namely the freedom of expression and assembly, should show their solidarity with the oppressed people of East Timor by sacrificing something concrete.
In that context I appeal to you to boycott Australia's favorite tourist place, Bali, based on the fact that Bali is the base of the Udayana army command that include the occupation forces in East Timor. Bali is thus the natural place where the butchers of East Timor are promoted -- if they have not yet received their reward in East Timor itself through civil service appointments or positions in Batara Indra.
Bali is also the origin of the many so-called "pioneer farmers" as the Balinese transmigrants are called, who have taken over the scarce land of the Maubere people in the frontier districts of Bobonaro and Covalima.
And last but not least, Bali is one of the "gold mines" of the Suharto dynasty, which has benefitted tremendously from the sufferings of the East Timorese and Indonesian peoples, a dynasty which has changed the meaning of "merdeka" into "merda", by violating the basic principle of the 1945 Constitution, which does not only recognize the right of every nation to independence, but also obliges every Indonesian to eradicate colonialism wherever in the world. Certainly, the 1945 Indonesian Constitution does not urge Indonesians to begin colonizing other countries with different cultures and histories, such as East Timor, or countries which are heavily populated by ethnic-Javanese, such as Suriname, where a Suharto-family owned conglomerate, PT MUSA, has attempted to colonize one million hectares of the country's tropical rainforest by bribing ethnic Javanese ministers.
With this appeal to boycott Bali, I am concluding my speech.
Viva Timor Leste!
Libertade para Xanana!
Libertade para Timor Leste!
Let us all join hands to liberate the Maubere people of East Timor and their Marhaen brothers and sisters in Indonesia from the military and capitalist-bureaucratic yokes they are both suffering, so that we all may live in peace and harmony.