quinta-feira, maio 31, 2007

Big man who still calls the shots

Photo: AP
Hamish McDonald Asia-Pacific Editor
June 1, 2007

THE Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso's affront at having policemen knock on his hotel door in Sydney reflects a lifetime spent mostly on the dark side of the Indonesian military - in effective legal impunity.

Mr Sutiyoso, 62, retired from the Indonesian Army as a lieutenant-general after a career that included 23 years in the notorious special forces regiment, now known as Kopassus.

This encompassed the numerous black operations mounted under the Soeharto presidency such as the covert invasion of Portuguese Timor in which the Balibo Five died, the fight against separatists in Aceh, or the summary execution of thousands of alleged gangsters in Jakarta.

In late career, he won Soeharto's favour as Bogor district commander securing the first APEC summit.

Then as Jakarta military commander in July 1996 he supervised the replacement of Megawati Soekarnoputri as head of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) with a pro-regime stooge.

Handily, Mr Sutiyoso had been running a program to "educate" former street hoodlums, known as preman, who were sent to storm pro-Megawati elements holding out in the PDI's headquarters.

The ensuing riots were an excuse for a wider crackdown on opposition to Soeharto. Openness was a good thing, Mr Sutiyoso told a forum soon after, but it could "open the door to liberalism and anarchy".

None of this held back his career, or his favourable reception by foreign military forces eager to improve ties with their Indonesian counterparts.

Training with the British Army's airborne brigade at Aldershot was followed by a long stint at the Australian Army Command and Staff College in Melbourne and Canberra, and then a spell with the US Rangers at Fort Bragg.

As an aggrieved Mr Sutiyoso told the Jakarta Post on his sudden return home this week, it was odd that Australia now chose to question him over the 1975 incident when in 1990 he studied as a colonel for a month in Melbourne and then six months in Canberra at the Joint Staff Services College and was not questioned once over the Balibo deaths.

David Bourchier, a political scientist at the University of Western Australia who closely tracks Indonesia's armed forces, said Mr Sutiyoso's shock during his Sydney visit "underlines how much people can get away with in the Indonesian military".

"This is a reality check for the Indonesian military, that impunity doesn't stretch across international boundaries in the way they probably think it ought to," Dr Bourchier said.

Another expert on Indonesia's military, Clinton Fernandes, of the Australian Defence Forces Academy, said Kopassus was not exceptional in its lack of accountability. "As an institution, the TNI [Indonesian National Army], the military, is simply refusing to put itself under civilian control," Dr Fernandes said. "Kopassus is simply the most pure expression of the TNI."

A joint Truth and Friendship Commission, set up in 2005 by Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and East Timor's former president, Xanana Gusmao, has recently heard senior Indonesian leaders and officials say the mayhem surrounding the independence vote in 1999 was everyone else's fault.

The then Indonesian defence minister, Wiranto, a military academy classmate of Mr Sutiyoso who has been indicted by United Nations prosecutors and is barred from the United States, claimed "there was no policy to attack civilians, there were no systematic plans, no genocide or crimes against humanity".

Mr Sutiyoso was installed as governor of Jakarta in the last months of Soeharto's rule. To the shock of her own party, Ms Megawati supported him for a second term in 2002.

Now, despite the flooding this February that brought misery to Jakarta's 14 million people - caused in part by illegal clearing of mountain forests to let military and other well-connected individuals build villas - Mr Sutiyoso thinks he has a chance at the presidency in 2009.

Like General Wiranto, who was humiliated in the 2004 presidential election, he may find that power doesn't equal support in a democracy.

Conferência sobre a Construção do Estado em Timor-Leste



No âmbito da celebração do 5º Aniversário da Restauração da Independência de Timor-Leste no dia 20 de Maio, o Fórum Juventude e Estudante Timorense - FORUMJET (http://forumjet.blogspot.com) em coordenação com o Núcleo dos Estudantes Timorenses da Universidade Nova de Lisboa - NETIM-UNL, vai realizar no dia 2 de Junho de 2007 no auditório da Faculdade Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova Lisboa, na Av. Berna, pelas 15h00, uma Conferência subordinada ao tema "CONSTRUÇÃO DO ESTADO TIMORENSE".

Objectivos da conferência:

Analisar, em todos os aspectos, o processo de construção do Estado Timorense ao longo dos cinco anos da restauração tendo em conta a recente crise político-militar que levou "quase" desmembramento de alguns sectores do Estado.

Analisar a nova fase que se inicia com a eleição do Dr. Ramos Horta como novo presidente da república e disputa eleitoral nas legislativas marcada para o dia 30 de Junho.

Os oradores convidados serão:

D. Ximenes Belo, SDB - "Papel da Igreja na Construção Estado"

Dr. Abílio Araújo (deputado timorense). "Timor - Opções Inadiáveis"

Prof. Barbedo de Magalhães - "Os desafios da Construção do Estado"

Prof. Doutor Almeida Serra (Docente do Instituo Superior de Economia e Gestão/ISEG - "Aspectos da construção económica do Estado Timorense".

Prof. Doutor. José Esteves Pereira - Moderador (Docente e Coordenador do departamento dos Estudos Políticos da Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Grato pela disponibilidade e colaboração, despeço-nos com os melhores cumprimentos.


Nuno Trindade

Endereço: Av. Berna, 26 - C - 1069-061 Lisboa

Contactos: 963242491, * 217908308

E-mail: forumjet@gmail.com, netim@fcsh.unl.pt.

UNMIT - Security Situation - Thursday, 31 May 2007

This is a broadcast of the UN Police in Timor-Leste to provide you with information about the security situation around the country.

The security situation throughout the country has been relatively stable. There have been isolated incidents of violence, including a fight in Dili involving a grenade attack in which one man was killed.

Yesterday at approximately 1607 hrs, a fight involving a grenade attack took place in Fatuhada, Dili, and resulted in the death of one person and injuries to three others. UNPOL units, including two Formed Police Units, were dispatched to the scene, as were the International Stabilisation Force. Four people were initially reported injured and were taken away for treatment before the units arrived at the location. One of the injured received serious head injuries from the grenade explosion and later died. UNPol arrested four suspects and recovered the clip from the grenade; however the type of grenade is yet to be determined. Investigations are continuing.

Today in Dili, UNPol conducted a total of 38 patrols and were required to attend five incidents. These include a traffic accident in Bairo Pite and reports of a break-in at the house of an UNPol officer.

Yesterday, three domestic incidents of assault were reported Baucau, Liquica, and Oecussi. There were no serious injuries and suspects have been identified in all three cases.

Further to yesterday’s reports of 12 people seeking refuge at Maubisse substation following threats from other villagers, it has been established that the dispute arose over land boundaries and is not political in nature. UNPol and PNTL are working together to resolve the situation.

The Police advise to avoid traveling during the night to the most affected areas. Report any suspicious activities and avoid traveling the areas affected by disturbances. Call 112 or 7230365 to contact the police 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This has been a daily broadcast of the UN Police in Timor-Leste, for the people of Timor-Leste

Indonesia furious over Timor 'humiliation'

Mark Forbes and Hamish McDonald
May 31, 2007

INDONESIA last night threatened retaliation against Australia as an angry diplomatic row erupted over the Sydney inquiry into the 1975 deaths of five Australian newsmen in East Timor.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirayuda, summoned Australian ambassador Bill Farmer to lodge a formal protest over an incident involving the influential Governor of Jakarta.

Governor Sutiyoso, a possible presidential candidate in 2009, angrily cut short an official tour of NSW on Tuesday night after NSW Police asked him to testify at the Sydney inquiry.

Claiming that police had entered his hotel room in a "rude and offensive" way using a hotel master key, Governor Sutiyoso said he had felt "very harassed" and was owed an apology.

He later met the Foreign Minister to discuss his treatment in Australia.

Mr Wirayuda's spokesman, Kristiarto Legowo, last night indicated Jakarta was considering retaliation over what he described as an "unpleasant" incident. "We will consider appropriate measures we will take against Australia," he said.

As the row over the Jakarta Governor erupted yesterday, the inquiry was also threatening to inflame diplomatic tensions on another front, after it heard that two former Indonesian army officers should be prosecuted for war crimes over the deaths of the Australians.

The Sydney inquest is examining the death of Brian Peters, one of the five newsmen killed in the town of Balibo as Indonesian troops invaded East Timor on October 16, 1975.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Mark Tedeschi QC, said there was evidence Mr Peters and the other newsmen - Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham, Tony Stewart and Malcolm Rennie - were deliberately killed by Indonesian soldiers, contradicting previous Australian inquiries that concluded they died in crossfire. "The journalists were not killed by being caught in crossfire . . . but rather were deliberately killed by the Indonesian troops who had arrived at the Balibo town square," he said.

Mr Tedeschi named the officers he believed should face war crimes prosecution in a separate confidential submission.

It is assumed from his public statements that one of them is Mohammed Yunus Yosfiah, who led the covert Balibo attack as a special forces captain and later rose to lieutenant-general before becoming Indonesia's minister of information in 1998-99. He now lives in Bandung, Indonesia.

"At least three of the journalists were shot by Indonesian troops after an order was given by Captain Yunus Yosfiah, who was standing at the front of his troops," Mr Tedeschi said. "He also joined in the shooting of those three."

The other man cited by Mr Tedeschi is believed to be Christoforus da Silva, a non-commissioned officer of the special forces in the Balibo attack, who later became a district official in East Timor during Indonesia's 24-year occupation and is now thought to be retired on the island of Flores.

Mr Tedeschi said da Silva had trapped one of the journalists who had fled into an outhouse of the building where the other four were killed. "When the journalist came out, da Silva stabbed him in the back with a military knife, killing him," he said.

There was no formal response in Indonesia to Mr Tedeschi's final submission. However, the incident involving the Jakarta Governor received widespread media coverage in Indonesia, prompting a rowdy protest by several hundred chanting demonstrators outside the Australian embassy in the capital yesterday.

They attempted to storm the compound, but were forced back by more than 100 police.

Hoping to prevent the row exploding further, Australian officials have told Indonesian journalists that the Government in Canberra was not involved in the attempt to call the Governor.

An embassy spokesman said the countries had a broad relationship and the capacity to "manage any issue that arises".

Although the Indonesian administration was upset by the incident, senior sources suggested it would not evolve into a full-scale diplomatic rift, as they accepted Canberra was not behind the inquest.

After flying out of Australia on Tuesday night, Governor Sutiyoso gave an angry media conference yesterday. "I feel deeply humiliated by the incident in my position as an official of a sovereign country," he said.

The retired lieutenant-general was a deputy commander of an Indonesian unit during the invasion of East Timor, but he denied his troops were involved in the attack on Balibo.

The incident would be over diplomatically if an apology was received, Governor Sutiyoso said.

As head of Indonesia's capital, which has a population of more than 12 million, Governor Sutiyoso has a status closer to an Australian premier than a mayor.

It emerged yesterday that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade headed off a deeper confrontation on Tuesday, when it heard of a move to subpoena Governor Sutiyoso.

The Department admitted that its solicitors "drew to the attention" of Deputy State Coroner Dorelle Pinch provisions of the Foreign States Immunities Act in relation to domestic court orders being applied to foreign leaders.

Nota de Rodapé:

Engraçado como no país deles, as autoridades australianas respeitam os tribunais mesmo quando se pode estar face a um incidente diplomático e como mostram que os tribunais são órgãos de soberania independentes mesmo embaraçando o Governo com questões como esta.

É pena que tenham dois pesos e duas medidas quando fazem de "polícias" nos países dos outros.

Tivessem o mesmo respeito pelos tribunais em Timor-Leste, e não haveria pressão política, de Xanana Gusmão ou Ramos-Horta, que impedisse o cumprimento dos mandados de captura de Reinado e de Railos, com a cumplicidade das Nações Unidas que fazem da "Good Governance" e da Transparência suas bandeiras...

Lamentável e humilhante para qualquer cidadão australiano, o comportamento das suas autoridades fora da Austrália...

Quanto ao Governo da Indonósia, é vergonhoso que se sintam insultados pelos tribunais australianos e pelas autoridades que abordaram o Governador de Jacarta, para que prestasse contas nos crimes de que é suspeito, e pior ainda que exijam ao Governo australiano desculpas pelos seus tribunais.

Tal como Xanana Gusmão e Ramos-Horta, o Presidente da Indonésia não entende um dos princípios básicos da democracia, o respeito pelos órgãos de soberania.

Um pedido de desculpas por terem assassinado os jornalistas em 1975, não é qualquer coisa que entendam, pois não?...


Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!

Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006

"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.