|Issue No 20||02 July 1999|
Direct Links to Timor Militia Revealed
A delegation of trade union officials has returned from East Timor with documentary proof the Indonesian Government is funding the militia groups who are threatening the vote on independence.
The revelations are contained in an Autonomy Socialisation proposal for the Manufahi Regency prepared by the Governor of East Timor, obtained by and translated for by the delegation.
Outlining a plan to spend US$400,000 in the province promoting the pro-autonomy case (the alternative to outright independence), the Governor specifically targets militia groups as being "community organisations" which should play a role in "educating the public about the details of the autonomy plays".
Militia groups the BRTT, FPDK, Kilbur and ABLAI are all earmarked for funding in the document.
The money would be spent on "socialisation activities" including: traditional activities, trucks and vehicles, and the employment of 150 full-time workers for the campaign".
Labor Council senior industrial officer Chris Christodoulou, a member of the delegation, said the documents confirmed what all the group suspected.
"When we were flying from Dili to Jakarta we were adjacent to Enrico Gutteres, the leader of the FPDK," Christodoulou recalls.
"He was surrounded by what could only be described as Indonesian military intelligensia who were armed with mobile phones, lap-top computers and cameras.
"There was clearly an organised and well-funded infrastructure being developed around the militia leaders."
For a full account of the Dili delegation see Chris's report in "From Trades Hall"
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005