MARIANO:
"THEY ARE NOT TERRORISTS, IT IS A NEW STIGMA!"

Jakarta, (MateBEAN, 28/10/97). "East Timorese independence struggle has its new metamorphosis in 1997. First, in the 1975th , the Soeharto Regime accused the struggle as a communist movement, obviously an effort to attract sympathy and support from western countries. In the 1980th the regime called it a GPK (Gerakan Pengacau Keamanan, Security Disturber Movement), and now has the honor to receive a new label as Terrorist Movement." The statement was said by Mariano Lopez in a press conference in Jakarta on the 20th of October regarding the All Inclusive Inter-East Timorese Dialogue (AIETD) held later in Austria.

"The Indonesian military will never feel tired to seek new stigmas to justify their intimidation to the Timor-Leste independence struggle," said Mariano speaking as the head of Malang branch IMPETTU, the Association of East Timorese Students.

During the 1975 military campaign, by using the benefit of Cold War, the Indonesian military was always feeding western countries, especially the United States, that the aggression to Timor-Leste was actually a war against commu- nism. And to make an antipathy among Indonesian people towards the Maubere people's independence struggle, a stigma called GPK (Security Disturber Movement) was also labeled to FALINTIL (Forcas Armadas de Libertacao Nacional de Timor Leste) guerillas.

And now, after the western countries' interests seem to head away from Indonesian claim on East Timor, and in parallel with the US-influenced spirit of anti-terrorism, the Indonesian military throws a bait, hoping they will give them sympathy and support. And the bait is a new stigma called Terrorism, an enemy of the world and humanity.

Mariano boldly stated that the Maubere Movement is not a terrorism. "What have been done by our comrades in arms in Semarang is a natural way of struggle and must be seen in a broader context, i.e., the recognition of every nation's rights to retaliate against the oppression of a stronger nation. Such an act must not be considered as terrorism. They are not terrorists, it is merely a new stigma," said the University of Brawijaya's faculty of agricultural engineering graduate.

"When an oppressed small nation try to retaliate against superior military oppression by making 20 home-brew molotov coctails, and they were called terrorists, what we call then, for a big nation buying sophisticated military arms to be used for a genocide, killing people's rights, annihilate the existence of a small nation?"

Marcos, another IMPETTU leader from Yogyakarta agreed Mariano's state- ment. He refused the accusation. "If they were terrorists, maybe they will throw bombs to any kinds of targets to make a chaos when the Indonesian people held the election a few months ago." Marcos said that the bombs were made to support guerilla freedom fighters in the forests, not to demolish Dili, as has been said by the military and blown up by many Indonesian media.

"It doesn't make sense if the FALINTIL guerillas want to kill their own brothers and sisters, their own flesh and blood who has supported them for almost twenty two years," Marcos said.

Meanwhile Demetrio from IMPETTU Yogyakarta reminded the journalists at present, such patriotic deed has been done by Indonesian freedom fighters when they defended their precious independence from Dutch colonialist aggres- sion.. "Ironically, the same "terrorists" stigma had been used by the Dutch colonialists to label the freedom fighters," said Demetrio.

Asked whether Xanana Gusmao as the East Timorese Resistance Commander had issued an order to attack and demolish Dili, all three of them, Mariano, Marcos and Demetrio argued strongly.

"Xanana has given all his precious belongings for the sake of East Timorese people's rights for almost 22 years. He even do not know the where- abouts of his wife and children. It is impossible for him to give such an instruction. We believe that all these accusation was engineered by the military to discredit Xanana's gaining popularity in the world's political arena, especially after he met the President of South Africa," stated Maria- no, who has met recently with UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for East Timor issue, Mr. Jamsheed Marker. "We are afraid such maneuver will discredit also FALINTIL guerillas. As you maybe have heard before, some human rights groups has condemned the guerillas to be responsible for the murder of civil- ians. It is still obscure whether the killing was done by the guerillas or not."

Recently, East Timor military authority has arrested some members of the AST (Associacao Socialista Timor) accused of making and smuggling Molotov Coctails and ammunition to East Timor. The uncovering of this case began on September 13, 1997 in a small town of Demak, Central Java when a bomb ignited unintentionally and blown down a house rented by East Timorese youths. Local authorities arrested four people, Ivo Salvador Miranda (20), Domingos Natali- no Coelho da Silva (18), Joaquim Santana (23) and Fernao Pedro Correia (19). The authority also arrested two people aboard the ship KM Tatamailau bound for Dili. Inside the bags of these two young people, Constancio da Costa Santos (21) and Paulo Jorge R. Pereira (23), the military found 20 molotov coctails, 44 rounds of M-16 bullets, 21 rounds of Colt .38 Special bullets, one FN .45 bullet and some communication equipment.

Meanwhile in Austrian Embassy, Jakarta, the fate of East Timorese seek- ing political asylum is still in jeopardy. Indonesian military officers is now intensively lobbying embassy authorities and try to convince them that at least two of the asylum seekers are terrorists and the actor behind the making of the bombs. The two are Avelino Maria Coelho da Silva (35) alias Dr. Shalar Kossi (he is known as the Secretary General of the AST) and Nuno Marcal (23). The other persons are Sabina (29), the wife of Avelino and her two children and a certain Custodio (22).

East Timorese arrested in Semarang were not permitted to meet their lawyers from LBH (the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation). The police authori- ties said that the lawyers must have a permission from the Armed Forces Intelligence Agency, a reason clearly against the law. Detainees in Dili is luckier, they are accompanied by lawyers from HAK (Legal Aid and Human Rights Institute) lead by lawyer Aniceto, S.H.###

From:
Suara INDEPENDEN
SiaR@mole.gn.apc.org
1 Nov 1997


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