|Uma Lulik painting.|
Subject: Suara Timor Lorosae's background on eviction from the building
Here I attach the background of the eviction of the house of newspaper Suara Timor Lorosae, the leading and biggest newspaper in the country.
Salvador J. Ximenes Soares Publisher and Editor in Chief Suara Timor Lorosae Mobile : + 670-724777 ; 62-816822775
Background of the eviction of the newspaper Suara Timor Timur from the building
The newspaper Suara Timor Lorosae received an eviction notice from the Land and Property Office on April 18, 2005. This stated that the government has decided to not extend any more time to the newspaper to use the building, and ordered an immediate eviction. This letter was a response to our letter to the Minister of Justice requesting a 6 month extension to enable the newspaper to find a new location and to construct a printing house in new site. The reason specified for the eviction notice was that Government is intending to use the building soon. However we believe the government's decision reflects their desire to make the newspaper unviable, such that it is forced to close down.
Taking this into consideration we have made the decision to nevertheless keep the newspaper running.
I. Immediate action taken
1. In view of the eviction, our top priority was to rent a house as a newsroom. Newsroom activities moved to this rented house on April 19, the day after receipt of the eviction notice.
2. The house has no land line. Internet access will be at internet cafes. This is also affected STL on line version that stop for while.
3. STL has started building a provisional building; the smaller Kumori printing machine, that will print the newspaper with small format, has already been dismantled and moved to the new location for reinstallation in the very near future. In the interim we are contracting the printing of the newspaper to a printing company.
4. We are proud that to inform you that Suara Timor Lorosae was able to continue publishing, without even a single day's break.
5. The web printing machine is being dismantled and put into a container, waiting for construction of a building to house it. This will take 4 months.
6. All equipment has been moved to the two new locations - a rented house and the new building that is under construction as a printing house in STL's own land in Surikmas - Fatumeta, Dili. STL bought this land (3,000m2) in 2003, after it first started receiving threats of eviction in 2003.
7. We have submitted applications to connect a land line phone and electricity to the new site.
8. Circulation will function at new site under emergency roof.
9. Finance, Advertising and other departments will operate along with the news department in the rented house.
II. Short term plans
1. Build a small provisional building for the Kumori printing machine at the newspaper's own land in Surikmas, and install the machine there. This will take 10 days. Hopefully after that the newspaper will print using its own printing machine, though still in tabloid format.
2. Speed up the construction of a permanent printing house at this Surikmas site. This building, with a size of 24 x 12 meters, is supported by the Finish Government.
3. Look for additional funds to enable the addition of a second storey to this building. For this, an additional $15,805 is required (see the breakdown of budget). The second storey would allow only the news room.
4. Place for Management including circulation, advertising and administration departments building will construct a provisional house.
5. We hope that by the first week of August 2005 the building will be ready for use and all department of newspaper will accommodate in the new compound of newspaper.
III. Medium Term Plans
Look for funds for the construction of a management building. This requires around $35,000. Our plan is for a building of 24 x 6 metres, situated beside the printing house and newsroom. For a breakdown of the budget see the attachment.
Dear Friends and colleagues
Regarding the decision of the Government, a lot of friends are questioning why Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and his government are apparently very angry with the Suara Timor Lorosae newspaper.
Firstly let me explain a few measures taken by Mari Alkatiri and his government, as follows:
1. Suara Timor Lorosae was given 60 days to vacate the current building used by STL to publish the newspaper. This order has no basis as the building has been used by STL since the Indonesian period, beginning in 1993. In 1999, Indonesian military backed militia totally destroyed the building, along with all equipment, including a Heidelberg printing machine which had been given by The Asia Foundation and USAID. In 2000 STL rehabilitated the building, and on 30 July 2000 STL was able to print the first edition again.
2. All government departments and other government officials are banned from receiving or giving interviews to STL journalists. This edict was displayed on the walls of government offices. STL journalists are also banned from carrying out journalistic work in the national hospital, which is the only public hospital in Dili.
3. All government institutions (offices), whether national or in the districts, are forbidden from subscribing to STL.
4. All government institutions (offices) are banned from advertising in STL.
5. Direct pressure from Mari, and expulsion of journalists in public, are things experienced by STL at this stage.
6. Besides these pressures, there are efforts from the government to destroy STL from inside by approaching certain STL journalists to persuade them to leave the newspaper and join another group of businessmen and government officers to establish a new newspaper Diario, which is linked to the weekly Portuguese-language paper Seminario. These approaches to STL journalists were carried out directly by Mari Alkatiri over the telephone. In addition, some ministers and businessmen approached the journalists by setting up meetings face-to-face to persuade the journalists to join. These efforts until now are still not successful and hopefully will not succeed in the future.
The background of the Mari Alkatiri government's anger towards STL can be explained as follows:
1. Perhaps Mari's aversion can be dated back to before East Timor's independence, but this is uncertain. In the Indonesian period, Pemuda Pancasila (a youth group close to Soeharto), has an East Timor branch led by Mari's young brother Ahmad Akatiri. He, with the support of military, entered the STL office, destroying computers, television, and other equipment in the editorial office in December 1994. This event was widely published, and Ahmad had to repay all equipment destroyed and to advertise his apologies in the newspaper Kompas.
2. After independence, the Prime Minister and his ruling party found that the only media in East Timor which they could not control for their purposes is STL. Protests and threats have been conveyed to STL by Mari many times before he became PM. These included threatening to close STL, and accusing STL of being a spokesperson for the opposition.
3. In September 2003, after STL published news about people questioning Mari Alkatiri's citizenship, and about the eviction of Mario Carrascalao from his house, etc., Mari again threatened STL by ordering the Land and Property Unit to evict STL from the current building within 30 days. We sent a letter in response to this very repugnant policy, but there has never been any answer from the government, until the second eviction letter arrived in February 2005.
4. This political pressure intensified after the local authority elections last year in 2004, in which Fretilin lost in some districts. Due to STL's publication of this fact, the PM called the Deputy Chief Editor to express his anger and threaten to close down the newspaper. On 25 October 2004 he call to the newspaper complaining that his statement specifically address to opposition parliament member not all members. He request to make correction and threat the newspaper. His office letter of correction.
5. In 6 December 2004, STL publish statement of Inpector General saying that many corruption cases was interfere by PM Alkatiri and it is difficult to combat against corruption and collusion. PM Alkatiri was angry and call to Deputy Chief Editor to complaining on that.
6. In 6 January 2005, STL published news about Mari Alkatiri's criticism towards the opposition, and in the same edition STL also published the opposition's response to Mari and put their photo in the front page. Mari was very angry and he called the Deputy Chief Editor Domingos Saldanha to appear before him. On that occasion, he threw the newspaper to Domingos and threatened STL by saying STL had been excessive in its news and that one day he would close the STL as he has authority to do so. Two times he calls to Domingos and made tree time correction by his office.
7. In 7 February 2005, STL reported about 53 peoples died in the sub-district of Hatubuiliko. Pm was angry call to Deputy that he is not happy with the report and threaten again to close the newspaper.
8. In 10 February 2005, when STL reported about the hunger in almost all districts in East Timor, Mari was very irritated with the reports and he called Domingos saying he would take necessary measures against STL. He also accusing STL is made autonomy campaign.
9. Three days later STL received a letter from the Land and Property Unit, which gave an ultimatum to STL to vacate the building within 60 days.
12. There are systematic efforts to close STL but it seems that they have not found the way to do so.
10. The other reason why Mari and his government are using systematic methods to close STL is that STL in their view is the only media which does not serve their interests. Furthermore the national election is approaching (in 2007); they (the ruling party) feel that STL will be a threat to their interests.
11. We had sent a letter to Land and Property Unit on February 2005, to request a much longer time (6 months) in the current building, so that we could find funds for construction of new buildings. The response was only received on 19 April 2005, which was the deadline given for departure from the building. In this letter, the government stated that they would not extend any more time to STL.
It seems the government expected STL to close, but it miscalculated, because even in this emergency situation we are still printing the newspaper.
Under Indonesian administration military destroyed the office, bur rent down car, beaten journalist and pressure to withdraw Publisher and Editor in Chief from Indonesian parliament (DPR) but never order newspaper to live the house.
That is the price of free and independent newspaper.
According to words of Bishop Dili Mgr. Alberto Ricardo Mari's Government it seems introduce dictatorship to this newly country. Try to shutdown newspaper, no license for demonstrations, sensitive to critics and band not publish about hunger.
We would really appreciate if friends could help us in this difficult time. We particularly need the support of media partners now that democracy and freedom of the press are under threat in this new nation of East Timor.
Thank you very much,
Dili, April 20, 2005
Salvador J. Ximenes Soares Publisher and Editor in Chief
Pertamina to continue operations in East Timor
JAKARTA, June 3 (AFX-ASIA) - Pertamina will maintain its assets and operations in East Timor to meet the country's energy needs, the Antara news agency reported, citing Pertamina president director Baihaki Hakim.
"Pertamina will continue to operate in East Timor and its storage facilities in Dili will function as usual," Hakim said, adding that Pertamina's assets in East Timor were valued at 3.2 mln usd.
Pertamina distributes 60,000 kilolitres of oil in East Timor per month.
"Pertamina's presence in East Timor is profitable and therefore, the government does not want us to pull out from there," he said.
Hakim said most Pertamina employees in East Timor were Indonesian citizens and only 20 were East Timorese. He did not give a number for the total number of Pertamina employees in East Timor.
MP Guterres: Indonesians have lost their rights over assets
MP Eusebio Guterres claims that Indonesians no longer have any right to reclaim their assets in Timor-Leste. Guterres says that according to Timor-Leste’s constitution, private and company assets belonging to Indonesians and Portuguese individuals are now under the ownership of the state. MP Guterres is urging Timor-Leste’s government to enforce the existing law. He said the deadline for Indonesians to reclaim any assets or property ended on 10 March 2004. However, he concluded by saying that private assets could legally be reclaimed through a court process and based on paragraph 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Meanwhile, MP Leandro Izaac expressed similar sentiments, arguing that if the Indonesian government wants to reclaim their assets then Timor-Leste should do the same. (Timor Post, STL)
University of San Francisco School of Law Community Legal Education Program in East Timor
The University of San Francisco School of Law's program in East Timor includes a community legal education component that is intended to inform community leaders (chefes de suco), private lawyers and relevant non-government organisations about the law.
The first workshop on land and property law was implemented on 25 May 2004 at in Dili at which Law No 1/2003 on the Juridical Regime on Immovable Goods was elucidated to participants along with an outline of the Government's legislative agenda in relation to land and property issues and land dispute resolution mechanisms.
The following matters are presently the subject of consderation by the Minsitry of Justice (through the National Directorate of Land and Property):
1.A Decree-Law on the Leasing of the State’s Immovable Property. This will be an implementation of Article 4.2 of Law No 01/2003;
2.A Law on the Leasing of Private Immovable Property;
3.A Decree-Law on the Mediation of Land Disputes;
4.A Decree-Law on the Surveying and Registration of Land;
5.A Law on the Granting of Rights on Land;
6.A Law implementing the provisions of the Constitution relating to foreigners and land.
The following statistics were provided by the National Directorate of Land and Property in relation to land titles issued during the Portuguese and Indonesian administrations in East Timor:
DistrictPortuguese titlesIndonesian titles
Aileu 112 899
Ermera 308 2613
Liquica 258 2134
Bobonaro 71 5653
Covalima 12 6570
Ainaro 68 2656
Manufahi 50 3189
Manatuto 50 2027
Baucau 120 4236
Viqueque 51 858
Lautem 74 469
Oecussi 124 2002
TOTAL 2709 44091
Claims to immovable properties registered at the National Directorate of Land and Property:
DistrictClaims by CitizensClaims by ForeignersClaims by the State
Aileu106 49 155
Ermera 116 107 223
Liquica 159 145 304
Bobonaro 227 300 527
Covalima 13 357 370
Ainaro 23 39 62
Manufahi 9 94 103
Manatuto 12 61 73
Baucau 38 97 135
Viqueque 40 39 79
Lospalos 25 58 83
Oecussi 6 154 160
TOTAL 1347 4096 5443
These figures do not include all claims lodged as all have not been processed.
Extract from "East Timor: Forced Resettlement" by John G Taylor
A new element was added to the Indonesian strategy in 1982 when non-Timorese began to be moved to fertile areas such as Ermera, Bobonaro and Maliana. They were given land formerly used by East Timorese farmers who, without compensation, were moved to infertile lowlands on the northern coastal plain. In the aftermath of the well-publicised Santa Cruz cemetery massacre in November 1991 (in which an estimated 160 people were killed or injured) the military intensified migration of families - and particularly traders - into the towns and villages. Migrants, from Sulawesi, Maluku, and neighbouring islands such as Roti, were given privileged access to trade and markets and have displaced indigenous traders. Current estimates put the number of Indonesian migrants in East Timor at between 150, 000 and 200,000, approximately a quarter of the present population of 850,000. In recent years, protests have been directed increasingly at these traders, most notably those who control the country's main market in Dili which now has no East Timorese traders.
Forced Migration Review 5 August 1999 see complete text at: http://www.fmreview.org/text/FMR/05/11.htm
EAST TIMOR EMBASSY IN JAKARTA RECEIVES 6000 ASSETS CLAIMS FROM INDONESIAN CITIZENS
Suara Timor Lorosa’e 08 July 2004 page 4 Jakarta – East Timor continues to its efforts to resolve the issue of assets owned by Indonesian citizens and corporations in the country. At least 6000 individual claims have been received at the East Timor embassy in Jakarta.
This was reported by the Foreign Affairs Minister of East Timor, Ramos Horta, to reporters gathered at the bilateral meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister, Hassan Wirajuda at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Pejambon Street, Jakarta on Wednesday (30 June 2004).
Horta explained that this issue was already discussed between the Republic of Indonesia and East Timor over the last 2 years. A number of steps have been taken including discussions on legislation in relation to this problem by the National Parliament of East Timor. “We are also now identifying these claims to check their veracity. We are working together with Indonesia to find a solution that is just to this problem. We want this problem to be resolved with good outcomes for both sides” said Horta.
Acknowledging that a final solution has not yet been found, Horta said that East Timor will continue to increase discussion of this problem; including the possibility of asking for the involvement of the international community.
“We view this matter in a constructive manner and from the humanitarian perspective. We have lost a lot of money and other assets. I believe that the involvement of the international community can help those who have lost money and assets” added Horta. Translation by wlwright dili 25 august 2004
Subject: Indonesian team in E. Timor in bid to reclaim assets
Also: Officials meet over complex property issue
Kyodo June 26, 2000
Indonesian team in E. Timor in bid to reclaim assets By: Tim Johnson
DILI, East Timor, Indonesian team arrived in East Timor on Monday to look into the prospect of reclaiming privately held assets that were not destroyed after the Aug. 30 vote for independence, a U.N. spokeswoman said Monday.
Barbara Reis, spokeswoman for the U.N. Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET), told reporters the team will 'look into facilities and equipment the Indonesian team believes belong to their companies.'She said the 10-member team, which includes representatives of private corporations, will review the condition of buildings their companies owned and compile a list for future negotiations.
After the results of the U.N.-organized referendum were announced, vengeful anti-independence militias, many organized and backed by the Indonesian military, systematically looted and burned most of the territory's buildings. Public buildings were specifically targeted, apparently with a view to leaving nothing of potential benefit behind that Indonesia built for East Timor during its 24-year occupation.
The field review was agreed to by UNTAET and the Indonesian side at a May 25 round of negotiations in Yogyakarta, Central Java. Reis said the Indonesian side wanted to see for themselves the actual condition of the buildings in question, rather than simply relying on UNTAET descriptions.
'We are talking mainly about private buildings,' she said, adding UNTAET's claim to public property inherited from Indonesia is not much in dispute.
Indonesia says the assets in question include those of telecommunications firm Telkom, state electricity supplier PLN, government and private banks and the state oil monopoly Pertamina. It says there is also the issue of privately owned land left behind by Indonesians after the poll.
As part of the process of normalizing relations between East Timor and Indonesia, the sides are also negotiating the transfer of public archives and records pertaining to East Timor, the payment of former Indonesian civil servants' pensions and the status of East Timorese refugees in Indonesia's West Timor.
Other issues include formation of a joint border commission, land border demarcation, establishing a transit corridor between the Oecussi enclave in West Timor and the rest of East Timor, and maritime delimitation. ---
Officials meet over complex property issue EAST TIMOR Vaudine England in Jakarta 06/30/2000 South China Morning Post Page 10
Bargaining over property and compensation claims between Indonesia and East Timor has begun in what is already proving to be a complex and sensitive process.
A team of 10 Indonesian businessmen and bureaucrats has just returned from an inspection of properties in East Timor , ranging from half-wrecked power and telecommunications buildings to largely destroyed private homes. The United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor , Untaet, provided assistance to the team and said a new round of talks would take place next week in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. But sorting through the detritus of a bloody occupation and Indonesian departure "quickly gets so murky", a diplomat said yesterday.
"It starts just with ownership issues, who really owns what, and how. And then you try to find the records. Maybe they were destroyed in Dili, but there should be copies here in Jakarta. It could go on for years," she said.
Beyond practicalities are the political sensitivities, including Indonesia's wounded pride, surrounding East Timor 's violent route to independence.
"From the beginning, both [Indonesian President Abdurrahman] Wahid and [Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi] Shihab recognised that it was a bit cheeky, shall we say, for Indonesia to insist on compensation for properties," said another diplomat in a reference to the destruction of East Timor by Indonesian troops. "But also from the beginning, the bureaucracy was demanding a proper accounting for buildings, items, whatever, that they have to sign off in their books."
At first, the Indonesian side wanted compensation even for stretches of tarmac, bridges and roads which Jakarta had built in East Timor from 1976 onwards. And regardless of international condemnation of Indonesia's scorched earth departure from East Timor , a strong body of Indonesian opinion maintains Jakarta has nothing to be ashamed of in its actions toward East Timor and thus deserves a generous accounting.
"Many things in East Timor were built with foreign aid, aid which we are still paying the debt service on. So how can we calculate such things?" said Sulaiman Abdulmanan, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry spokesman."We know it is impossible to bring back bridges and all those things, so we are finding ways to discuss compensation for them. But at the same time, we know we cannot really do that so easily because East Timor also needs assistance," Mr Sulaiman said.
International diplomats agree that Indonesia, under the Wahid Government, now has a realistic approach to the problem, but many constituencies need to be assuaged. United Nations sources also insist that the issue of compensation must be inextricably intertwined with the issue of East Timorese demands for redress.
"There is a pre-established precedent from when a state devolves, whereby the public property built by the old state becomes owned by the new state," a diplomat said. "What we're talking about is so-called private properties, such as those of semi-commercial state enterprises like the telecoms. For these, yes, Indonesia should be compensated, but we are saying this compensation has to be tied to the valid claims of the East Timorese."
Asked if this principle was accepted by the Indonesian side, Mr Sulaiman replied: "This is a remnant of a past problem, and we are all trying to find a win-win solution."
In the end, which may be as far off as the elections in East Timor now set for late next year, these asset talks will probably result in no movement of money in either direction.
Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade East Timor - Country brief - March 2005 Legal and Judicial Overview Extract
East Timor's first land and property law came into force in early 2003. Under this law, all real estate owned by Portugal on 7 December 1975 automatically became the property of the Government of East Timor. The Land and Property Department also plans to establish a land disputes office or tribunal in order to resolve thousands of outstanding land claims.
The Land and Property Department also expects to complete drafting legislation for foreign land ownership by late 2004. Although several foreigners have previously purchased land in East Timor, the East Timor Constitution does not recognise foreign land ownership. There are also plans to develop legislation that will recognise traditional land ownership and protect women's rights to traditional land claims.
Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor Persepsi Orang Timor Lorosa'e Tentang Kebudayaan dan Lingkungan Hidup Dionisio Babo Soares Mahasiswa Ilmu Sosial dan Antropologi, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National Univeristy, Canberra, Australia.
New Computer Database Helps Sort Land Claims (December 14, 2004)
Messy Land Disputes Hampering East Timor's Development By Daniel Cooney Associated Press July 16, 2000
Subject: Former East Timor transmigrants back to square one
The Jakarta Post March 1, 2001
Subject: Tempo: East Timor transmigrants in Bali reluctant to relocate July 21, 2004 3:44am Asia Intelligence Wire
Tempo web site on 21 July
Koran Tempo, Denpasar: Still feeling traumatized by their fate in the wake of the East Timor referendum, former East Timor transmigrants in Bali are reluctant to accept offers of relocation. Offers to take part in relocation programmes were made in a closed meeting between a joint team for dealing with former East Timor transmigrants involving the Department of Labour and Transmigration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Social Affairs, and the Department of Home Affairs, and 10 representatives of East Timor refugees in Bali on Tuesday (20 September [as received, should read July]) at the office of the governor of Bali.
"How could be we not be traumatized? All of our endeavours, from clearing the jungle to our fertile rice fields, all of it gone, just like that," said Wayan Nurjana, 54, one of the representatives of the former transmigrants.
Transmigrants from Bali began to go to East Timor in 1982, and their total number at the time of the referendum was 688 families. All of their property was left behind after the 1999 referendum.
The government offered the former East Timor transmigrants relocation to Sulawesi or to Kalimantan, providing them with 1.5-2 ha of land, two years of food money and rice seedlings or plantation plants.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 1991 INDONESIA/EAST TIMOR
DETERIORATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN EAST TIMOR III. MARGINALIZATION
The heavy military presence is one element that may be leading to increased support for the opposition to Indonesian rule and the intifada-like activities in East Timor's urban areas. But social, economic and political marginalization may be another, as land acquisition by Indonesians and in-migration are changing the social fabric of the territory. It is indicative of the social changes taking place in heavily Catholic East Timor that not only was the end of Ramadan publicly celebrated in 1997 for the first time in Ambeno district, but in July, more than 2,000people took part in the Hindu celebration of Saraswati at the Giri Natha temple in Dili, presumably all of them civil servants or transmigrants from Bali.9
In 1995 and 1996, major clashes broke out between East Timorese and migrants of the Bugis and Makassarese ethnic groups who came to East Timor from South Sulawesi and who are renowned both for their commercial skills as well as for their Muslim piety. These clashes, which usually started with a fight in a marketplace between East Timorese and migrant traders, deflected attention from the more formal government-sponsored transmigration program that has brought thousands of Indonesians to East Timor as "model farmers" (petani teladan). These farmers are supposed to set an example for the East Timorese on how to grow crops, although they are often utterly unfamiliar with the climate and soil conditions of East Timor. The presence of both "spontaneous" migrants who come on their own as well as those who come through government programs also serves the political purpose of "integration" by increasing the proportion of non-Timorese in the population.
The social and political problems created by the influx of Indonesians were noted as long ago as 1990 by a team from Gajah Mada University in central Java. They warned that the "flood of newcomers" would "sow the seeds of communal conflict" and was already creating the feeling among the East Timorese that the migrants were extorting their money, taking their jobs, preventing their economic advancement, and bringing no tangible benefits.10
When Transmigration Minister Siswono Yudohusodo visited a transmigration site in Suai, Covalima, on May 19 as part of the election campaign, he arrived in a convoy of dozens of cars and was greeted by thousands of people waiting to see him and shouting "Long live GOLKAR!" "Pancasila Forever!" and "Development Must Continue!"11 The reception may have been orchestrated, but it illustrates how the transmigrants provide a buffer for the government against East Timorese nationalist sentiment. The minister said that 2,250 transmigrant centers were scheduled to be built in East Timor in 1997-98, and one hundred families were being brought from outside East Timor to work in poultry/livestock production, particularly in the areas of Ainaro, Covalima and Laore.12 The government office of transmigration noted that from January 1 to June 26, 1997, 521 heads of households, or 1,699 people, moved through an assisted transmigrant program, while 266 heads of household, or 834 people, who are self-sufficient transmigrants (transmigrant swakarsa mandiri or TSM) had moved.13
All of the transmigrants, government-sponsored and spontaneous, are moving on to land that, for the most part, East Timorese people worked but did not have formal title to under the Portuguese colonial government. Much of that land was vacated, through a forcible relocation and resettlement program, in the aftermath of the 1975 invasion and later declared tanah negara or state land, or sold to the highest bidder. In addition to the transmigrant program, a new and highly controversial development project is underway in East Timor that will allow President Soeharto's son Tommy and his company, PT Putra Unggal Sejati, to develop 25,000 of the most fertile hectares along the southern coast of East Timor into a vast sugar cane plantation. The project has generated intense opposition in East Timor, but one man who raised social and economic concerns relating to it told Human Rights Watch that thegovernor of East Timor, Abilio Soares, said there had been "an order from the palace" to go ahead with it. The project will involve an unknown number of transmigrants among the estimated 10,000 people to be employed in sugar cultivation, infrastructure construction, and work in the sugar factory. While it is being billed as a means of providing employment and alleviating poverty in the area, economists in Jakarta told us that it would be far more economical to import sugar, and the social and political costs will be high -- especially as sugar cane is a hated crop, even in Java, because of the low returns to farmers and the backbreaking work involved in harvesting the cane. At a meeting in Viqueque, East Timor, to discuss the project, an unidentified participant noted, "The land in question is owned by the people and must not be seen as empty or infertile. It's simply that the security situation has not permitted the people to cultivate it."14
Likewise, a cement factory, the construction of which was announced with great fanfare in May, has raised eyebrows. The local government is billing the factory as a pioneering development initiative and noting that 49 percent of the shares will be held by East Timorese. But the East Timorese in question are the three most outspoken defenders of integration with Indonesia, men known up until now for their role as political lackeys, not their business acumen. They are former Fretilin leader Abilio Araujo; Indonesia's "ambassador at large for special tasks," F. Lopes da Cruz, and F. Xavier dos Amaral, former president of the short-lived independent state of East Timor who was co-opted by the Indonesian government and now has the title of second chairman of the Indonesia-Portugal Association, an organization set up by President Soeharto's daughter, Tutut.15 The other 51 percent is held by a close Soeharto associate, Budi Prakoso, and his company, PT Tuban Oceanic Research and Recovery (TORR).
See the full report at http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/indtimor/ http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/indtimor/
Indonesia/ East Timor: the next 'hot-spot' [Extract] see full text at libcom.org/library
East Timor always was a poor country. Portugal had shown no particular commitment to its "development." For example, in 1975 there was just 20km asphalted road in East Timor.(2) Agriculture consisted mostly of subsistence farming. During the first phase of the fight against the Indonesian army, this fact quickly became a hunger-trap for the population. Through the destruction of forests, the theft of livestock and the ejection of people from the land on a huge scale, the first wave of proletarianisation was achieved within a particularly short time. Despite many state measures (e.g. on infrastructure), East Timor however remains largely non-industrialised. Infringements by the Indonesian army have occurred again and again, including regular massacres. Most prominently, more than 200 people were shot during a funeral in Dili in 1991.
The majority of the population in East Timor is Catholic. However, this has been the case only since the annexation to Indonesia. Indonesia requires affiliation to one of the five state-recognized religions. Many of those living in East Timor are migrants from different parts of Indonesia. A few of them through the framework of the official transmigration programs, most in the wake of the former or spontaneously. For some there have been distinct benefits, in particular from the fact that land-titles had been changed, to the disadvantage of the old-established and in favour of a by-now inflated state administration. It is unclear exactly how many transmigrants there are. Estimates range up to 200.000(3), hence more than 20% of the population. Whereas migrants from Sulawesi and Java are Moslems, and have their roots in a culture and history distinct from that of East Timor, migrants from West Timor are culturally quite close to the East Timorese, many of them speaking Tetun, the predominant indigenous language. However, they don't know Portuguese and on average speak better Bahasa Indonesia. Between the older-established population and some migrants, there were often bloody confrontations. In September 1995, 1,000 people fled out of East Timor after markets and mosques were burnt.
Land and Property Rights in the Peace Process By Jon D. Unruh January 2004
Land Dispute in Uato Lari Settled
The long-drawn land dispute in Uato Lari sub-district in Viqueque involving prime paddy land was solved peacefully yesterday. The dispute involved Henrique de Carvalho, the Chefi Suco of Afaloikai and Mateus Amaral also from Afaloikai.
Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding at the Uato Lari Church. Arbitration in the land dispute was carried out by the Uato Lari Mediation Team and CNRT. On the other hand, the Land and Property section of UNTAET, together with CivPol and Yayasan Hak were observers. Suara Timor Lorosae 26/02/2001 page 1
DEADLOCK BROKEN IN VIQUEQUE LAND DISPUTE
An historic agreement will be signed tomorrow, 24 February, between two groups involved in a long and complex land dispute in Uato Lari sub-district, Viqueque district. The signing marks the starting point of a reconciliation process aiming at ending the dispute, which dates back to the 1940s. The disputed land is an area approximately the size of Dili, ideal for rice cultivation. The two conflicting groups are occupying two separate parts of the land and are both laying claims to the entire area. The conflict stems from political and cultural rivalries between two ethnic groups, the Makassae and Naweti. While the agreement is a community based initiative, UNTAET’ Land and Property Department plays an important part as observers and advisers. The reconciliation process was initiated by representatives from East Timorese human rights NGO Yayasan HAK and the Justice and Peace Commission. 23/02/01 http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/DB/Db230201.htm
UARTO LARI LAND DISPUTE
The newspaper reports that the Office of President, Xanana Gusmco, said that a letter was recieved from the head of the village of Tebabui, sub-district of Bobonaro, about complaints over five PNTL members in that area.
According to the newspaper report in the four-page letter, the leader of the community, Vicente da Cruz, said that four members of PNTL and their commander stationed in that area beat nine members of that village. Mr da Cruz described the incident in detail in the letter, and a copy was also sent to the National Parliament, to the National Police Commissioner, Paulo Martin, and the Minister of Interior, Rogirio Lobato.
Meanwhile the Police Commissioner Paulo de Fatima Martins said, " If it is proven that those police officers have acted wrongly and violently against members of the community, strict measures will be taken against them." The incident was caused by a land dispute when members of Lora community occupied a piece of land that belongs to Tebabui on August 13. September 7/09/2004 Timor Post
EXECUTIVE EVICTION OF PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY MARIO VIEGAS CARRASCALCO
The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the government will not withdraw its decision on the house that used to be occupied by Eng Mario Viegas Carrascalco, the Timor-Leste former governor during the Indonesian times, and that it cannot be interfered with by anybody. The Prime Minister said that the court can make any decision they wish, but the government's decision cannot be interfered. (Decision taken by the Government to evicted the former governor out of the residence in Farol). The newspaper reports that the house is currently being rehabilitated for government use, even though is it under legal dispute in Dili District Court. Meanwhile the Deputy Director of Legal Assistance Foundation Liberta, Benevides Correia Barros, said that while a house or land is in dispute or seized, it should not be occupied and rehabilitated until a final court's decision. He said that legally, before a court makes a final decision, nobody is allowed to occupy or have the rights over a house. Suara Timor Loro Sa'e 09/09/2004
Minister of Justice: Government Will Confiscate All Identified Assets
The Minister of Justice, Domingos Sarmento said on Monday, that the government has been identifying all its assets and that people who refuse to follow the notifications issued by the government, will be evicted, "regardless of which political affiliation they belong to". Sarmento pointed out to the case of Mario Viegas Carrascalão who was evicted from the house he was living; the property had been identified as belonging to the State. He also pointed out the case of Santina Quentino, coordinator of Fretilin's Central Committee (CCF), who was evicted last week from a house belonging to the State, for having refused to follow instructions issued by the Land and Property Department. He noted that the media had been impartial in their reports on Mario Carrascalão eviction, reported STL. 16/09/2003 Suara Timor Lorosa'e, Timor Post
Government Failed to Evict Mario Carrascalão
The Government failed to evict Mario Viegas Carrascalão from his house in Farol on Friday, reported Timor Post on its front page on Saturday. According to TP the Department of Justice claims that Carrascalão failed to submit requested documents within a period of time as specified by the government to remain in the house identified as belonging to the State. According to the media a temporary agreement was reached by telephone between Minister of Justice Domingos Sarmento and Carrascalão to remain in the house. Meanwhile Carrascalão said that he submitted a letter with four proposals to the government but had not received a reply and instead was faced with the eviction. He said he would take the matter to the court and will obey whatever the court rules. 21/07/2003 Timor Post, TVTL
Former Governor Evicted
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that in Dili, East Timorese police have evicted the President of the Social Democrat Party and former governor under the Indonesian occupation, Mario Carrascalao. Mr Carrascalao had lived in the property as his home for 22 years. Mr Carrascalao described the Government's action as an act of political persecution.
The Government had abandoned a previous attempt to evict the 66 year old veteran of East Timorese politics after negotiations with the Department of Justice Land and Property Directorat. He failed, however, to prevent the latest heavy-handed actions of the Government.
Mr Carrascalao's house was surrounded by 50 policemen at dawn on 28 July and a crowd of angry supporters soon gathered. But the property was sealed by police, forcing Mr Carrascalao to leave several hours later.
The eviction order was issued by the Land and Property Directorate of the Department of Justice on the grounds that the Indonesian Government had expropriated the house from its original Portuguese owner after the 1975 invasion. 30/07/2003
JUSTICE MINISTER COMMENTS ON CARRASCALAO EVICTION
The Minister of Justice, Mr Domingos Sarmento, yesterday said that law is paramount and every one should obey it, including Mr Mario Carrascalao. He said Mr Carrascalao should abide by the Law of Land and Property. (This is a continuation of a series of reports on Mr Mario Carrascalao's case whereby Mr Carrascalao is fighting what he says is an unfair eviction). 23/07/2006
CARRASCALAO THREATENS TO LEAVE EAST TIMOR IF GOVERNMENT PROCEEDS WITH EVICTION
Suara Timor Lorosae reported that the President of the Social Democratic Party, Mr Mario Viegas Carrascalao, yesterday said that he would leave Timor-Leste if the Government evicted him from his home. "I will leave Timor-Leste if the Government evict me, I don't have money to build a new house. For me it doesn't a matter to live in Timor-Leste or abroad, but what I am thinking is about the ordinary people if they are evicted where do they go?" said Mr Carrascalao. Mr Carrascalao said that he will abide by the Court's decision regarding the status of the house he is living in ? ie whether it belongs to the State or is a private home. Suara Timor Lorosa'e 22/07/2003
The Case of Carrascalao's House: More Political Than Legal
The Director of East Timor Study Group said on Monday that the attempt to evict Mario Carrascalao from the house where he lives is more of a political than legal case. Joao Saldanha argued that the situation is a test case for the Government, adding that the government is applying the eviction starting with its opposition. Suara Timor Lorosa'e 22/07/2003
Baucau Land Dispute UNOTIL Media Monitoring 10-12 December 2005
TVTL reported on Friday that some 25 students have temporarily stopped going to their schools and moved to the military camp in Baucau, due to a land dispute problem between the villages of Bahu and Buibau, in Baucau. These students originally come from Bahu village and are unable to attend school because they were reportedly being threatened by the people from the village of Buibau. Raimundo Xavier Lakuani, spokesperson for the Internal Displaced People, at the military camp in Baucau reportedly told journalists that PNTL Baucau District Commander was not neutral in this issue because he was alleged to have backed the villagers from Buibau. Lakuani further alleged that Baucau District Coordinator of FRETILIN party, João Capristão (Ajino) also involved. He appealed to the leaders to find the solution to enable their return to their homes.
East Timor cabinet bans controversial hotel construction Deutsche Presse-Agentur March 16, 2001
MAKHOTA HOTEL UNDER RECONSTRUCTION
The reconstruction of Makhota Hotel, the place where the results of the popular consultation were announced on 4 September 2000, will start soon. The property has been leased by UNTAET’s Land and Property Office of the Dili District to Fundação Oriente – Orient Foundation – for temporary use of 12 months.
There is no dispute of ownership; the Dili District did not receive any property claims other than the one who received the authorization of use.
The Foundation has indicated its intention to refurbish the entire building to be a hotel again. Considerable local employment will be generated during the reconstruction phase and the hotel will provide 200 jobs when operational at the end of the year.
Casino Man To Take Over Ruined Hotel
A tycoon who dominates Macau's casino industry will rebuild East Timor's largest hotel that was burned by anti-independence militiamen during last year's mayhem, United Nations officials said yesterday. Chinese billionaire Mr Stanley Ho has been awarded a 12-month lease to repair and run the hotel in Dili's centre.
The Hotel Mahkota had been operated by an Indonesian state-owned tourism company before East Timor broke away from Indonesian rule after a UN independence ballot last August.
The hotel became home to dozens of international and Indonesian journalists covering the political changes in East Timor. But reporters were forced to flee after the building was attacked by gun-toting militia. After the ballot, the hotel, with most other buildings in Dili and other parts of East Timor, was looted and burnt.
Tuntutan Pengembalian Aset RI di Republik Demokrasi Timor Lorosae [Claims for the Return of Rupblic of Indonesia Assets in East Timor Contact. It includes a List of the most prominent Indonesian companies and their claimed assets in East Timor. ETLJ to dicuss English translation of this Article]
Belum lama ini pemerintahan Megawati dengan Menlu Hassan Wirajuda sebagai juru bicara mengangkat kembali permasalahan lama yang ada sangkutpautnya dengan negeri bekas koloni Portugis dan juga Indonesia selama lebih dari 24 tahun. Pemeritah RI bersikeras untuk menuntut pengembalian aset-aset RI di Negara termuda di dunia saat ini, RDTL (Republik Demokrasi Timor Leste) rupanya sudah tidak bisa ditawar-tawar lagi. Seperti yang ditegaskan oleh Menlu Hassan Wirajuda bahwa Indonesia tetap akan memperjuangkan tuntutan akan aset-aset milik Pemerintah Indonesia yang masih tertinggal di RDTL. Hal ini menurutnya sudah ada dalam agenda yang masuk dalam bagian dari seluruh masalah residual yang selama lebih dari dua tahun dibicarakan dengan UNTAET dan nantinya dengan RDTL1. Sedangkan pendapatnya mengenai pernyataan Ramos Horta adalah suatu pernyataan sepihak. Ramos Horta meminta Indonesia untuk membatalkan tuntutannya akan aset-aset yang ditinggalkan dan lebih baik untuk tidak bicara soal aset karena Timor sebenarnya lebih banyak lagi kehilangan (aset-asetnya).
Wirajuda juga mengungkapkan ada beberapa kategori aset yang tertinggal di TL, seperti; aset pemerintah, aset BUMN, aset swasta dan aset perorangan. "Kita sedang mengikuti proses inventarisasinya. Kalau kita mendapat kesempatan lagi dengan Timtim, itu akan kita angkat. Kita akan perjuangkan itu, itu yang kita put on the table," tandasnya2.
Kenapa masalah ini menjadi mencuat setelah hampir tiga tahun sudah TL lepas dari Indonesia? Walau pemerintah mengatakan bahwa masalah ini telah lama ada dalam agenda pemerintah, namun siapa sebenarnya yang menjadi penggagas awal tentang ide tuntutan pengembalian aset ini? Apakah masalah ini cukup penting dan mendesak untuk dibicarakan untuk saat sekarang, selain hal-hal lain yang berkaitan dengan hubungan antar kedua negara. Dan pertanyaan terakhir, apakah dengan dikembalikannya aset-aset yang tertinggal di TL berpengaruh terhadap perekonomian kita ataukah ini hanya kepentingan segolongan orang saja?
Timor Sebagai 'Propinsi Termuda' Pemerintah Indonesia yang selama ini mengatakan bahwa infrastruktur yang ada di Timor sekarang adalah hasil dari pembangunan yang dilakukan oleh RI selama "Mengayomi" Timor sebagai propinsi termuda ke-27. Hal ini memang benar adanya, tapi tidak sepenuhnya benar.
Sebait pepatah "Mulut bawa madu, pantat bawa sengat" yang artinya - Sepertinya memberi tapi sesungguhnya mengambil sebanyak-banyaknya - pepatah ini selama kurang lebih 24 tahun menjadi nyata di Bumi Lorasa'e.
Mengapa demikian? Mari kita kembali melihat ke belakang, goresan-goresan sejarah yang penuh luka dan darah tentang invasi "Militer Indonesia" ke bekas daerah jajahan Portugis itu. Perlu diperjelas di sini rakyat TL tidak pernah secara sukarela maupun memilih untuk masuk dalam Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, begitu juga sebaliknya rakyat Indonesia tidak pernah memaksa - apalagi merestui Pemerintah RI mencaplok daerah itu.
Juni 1974, Jose Ramos Horta mengunjungi Jakarta dan berbicara dengan Mentri Luar Negeri Indonesia Adam Malik. Ia kemudian mendapatkan surat yang menyatakan:
I. Kemerdekaan setiap negeri adalah hak setiap bangsa, tanpa kecuali bagi rakyat di Timor.
II. Pemerintah dan rakyat Indonesia tidak punya keinginan untuk menambah atau memperluas wilayahnya, atau menduduki wilayah lain selain yang disebutkan dalam Konstitusi. Penegasan ini untuk membuat Anda jelas, sehingga tidak ada keraguan di benak rakyat Timor dalam menyatakan keinginannya.
III. Karena alasan itu, siapa pun yang akan memerintah di Timor di masa depan setelah kemerdekaan, bisa dijamin bahwa Pemerintah Indonesia akan selalu berusaha mempertahankan hubungan baik persahabatan, dan kerjasama untuk kebaikan kedua negeri3.
Alasan (yang sebenarnya tidak beralasan) yang dipakai oleh militer untuk menginvasi TL di bawah Opsus komando Ali Moertopo, adalah karena keserakahan dan ketakutan semata akan hadirnya satu negara baru yang dibangun oleh orang-orang beraliran kiri, dalam hal ini Fretilin sebagai partai yang mempunyai perolehan suara terbesar dan hal-hal lain yang berhubungan dengan posisi geografis TL yang strategis dan juga masalah 'ekonomi'. Dengan tambahan dukungan yang kuat namun terselubung dari negara-negara seperti Amerika dan Australia, di mana kedua negara ini mempunyai andil yang besar dalam penyerbuan ke TL dan ironisnya, kedua negara ini juga berperan dalam rentetan peristiwa jajak pendapat sampai angkat kakinya rejim militer Indonesia dari TL.
Sejak tahun 1975, banyak dana ditanam oleh pemerintah Indonesia dalam bidang pendidikan. 500 SD, SMP dan SMA, satu universitas dan satu politeknik telah dibangun sejak invasi4. Namun semua fasilitas ini dibangun semata hanya untuk merebut hati rakyat TL untuk menerima Indonesia. Pembangunan di TL tidak jauh berbeda dengan model pembangunan Orde Baru di propinsi-propinsi Indonesia lainnya. Struktur politik-ekonomi di Indonesia dengan model perencanaannya yang bersifat top-down dan berorientasi proyek sangat membatasi peluang-peluang partisipasi masyarakat setempat dalam proses pembangunan. Watak pembangunan di TL juga dipengaruhi oleh penggunaan pendekatan militer, Pendekatan ini digunakan untuk melegitimasi kehadiran 13 batalyon militer, dengan jumlah total 11.000 tentara (jumlah intel dan polisi belum terhitung), di suatu daerah yang penduduknya hanya 700.000 jiwa5 . Tidak semudah seperti menyodorkan permen kepada anak kecil, kebencian masyarakat TL terhadap pendudukan militer Indonesia dipertajam oleh makin meningkatnya jumlah pendatang Indonesia ke TL. 20 % dari seluruh penduduk Dili, yang seluruhnya 120.0006 jiwa .
Monopoli dan Eksploitasi Sumber Daya Alam TL
Kopi sebagai tanaman utama yang menjadi andalan bagi penduduk yang berada di dataran tinggi, telah dimonopoli oleh suatu perusahaan yang didukung oleh tentara, PT Denok Hernandes Indonesia, sejak awal pendudukan dan secara drastis telah menurunkan pendapatan para petani kopi TL. Perkebunan di Liquica dan Ermera yang semua dimiliki SAPT7 kemudian diambil-alih PT Salazar Coffee Plantation, sebuah perusahaan swasta yang dimiliki oleh sejumlah pengusaha yang menikmati dukungan dari pemerintah baru di Dili, belum lagi perusahaan penyulingan minyak kayu cendana yang juga didukung oleh tentara, PT Scent Indonesia, yang memperoleh konsesi berupa semua hutan cendana di seluruh TL. PT Marmer Timor Timur juga memperoleh monopoli atas seluruh tambang marmer di TL.
PT Salazar Coffee Plantation, PT Scent Indonesia dan PT Marmer Timor Timur, kesemuanya merupakan anak perusahaan dari PT Batara Indra Group. Perusahaan pengelola yang memonopoli hampir keseluruhan emonomi di TL ini tumbuh dari PT Denok Hernandes Indonesia yang didirikan oleh tiga serangkai yang pernah menjabat sebagai komandan Operasi Seroja - Benny Moerdani, Dading Kalbuadi, dan Sahala Rajagukguk. Mereka dibantu oleh dua bersaudara keturunan Cina, Robby dan Hendro Sumampouw untuk membiayai operasi militer di TL dengan memonopoli pembelian dan ekspor kopi dari TL8 . L.B Moerdani yang terlibat dalam kasus pembantaian di Dili dan Tanjung Priok ini juga terlibat dalam permainan politik. Kejadian ini melegitimasi kehadiran ABRI (sekarang TNI) untuk mengontrol semua percaturan bisnis di TL agar tidak dikuasai oleh anak-anak Soeharto. Benny sebagai mentri pertahanan dan keamanan pada waktu itu juga dibantu oleh orang dekatnya Markus Wanandi, seorang pastur di TL yang juga adik dari direktur CSIS - Yusuf Wanandi .
Akibat terpenting ke dua dalam bidang politik dan ekonomi dari pendudukan Indonesia di Timor Lorosa'e adalah pengendalian sebagian besar sumber daya alam oleh elite pemimpin Indonesia9 . Pembangunan ekonomi dan sosial di TL yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah Indonesia adalah merupakan salah satu unsur pokok dalam pendekatan keamanan, yaitu dalam usaha militer untuk membasmi gerakan anti integrasi. Proyek-proyek pembangunan di TL adalah oleh dan untuk tentara dan tidak ditujukan ke perbaikan mutu kehidupan masyarakat TL.
Daftar Anak Perusahaan PT Batara Indra Group (BIG)10
Jalur Usaha dan Keterangan lainnya
1. PT Denok Hernandes Indonesia Perdagangan kopi, anggota BIG pertama sejak perusahaan ini tiba bersama pasukan Indonesia pada tahun 1975.
2. PT Salazar Coffee Plantation Mengambil alih perkebunan kopi SAPT di Ermera
3. PT Pelayaran Neediak Perusahaan jasa angkutan kapal.
4. PT Batara Indra Pada awalnya didirikan untuk mengurus aktivitas tursime dan rekreasi tapi berubah menjadi holding company BIG, yang juga mengimpor berbagai barang konsumsi ke TL, dari minyak goreng, gula, terigu dan semen Indonesia, hingga anggur Portugal. Pengapalan barang dagangannya dari dan ke TL terutama dilakukan oleh PT Neediak.
5. Toko Marina Toko serba ada utama di Dili, berada di Colmera
6. PT Scent Indonesia Menghasilkan minyak kayu cendana, bahan dasar parfum, di pabriknya di Dili.
7. PT Marmer Alam Timor Timur Menghasilkan marmer di Manatuto. Pada 1993 masih secara formal dinyatakan sebagai "proyek" dan bukan perusahaan komersial karena marmer yang dihasilkan belum lagi mendatangkan keuntungan (kualitas yang dihasilkan di bawah kualitas marmer Tulungagung di Jawa Timur dan ongkos transportasi ke Jawa tentunya jauh lebih mahal daripadai di Jawa dan Lampung) Sejauh ini, marmer TL yang dihasilkan oleh perusahaan ini telah dieksporkan oleh dua perusahaan lainnya di BIG di Surabaya dan diangkut oleh Neediak.
8. PT Kerta Timorindo Didirikan pada 1991 sebagai proyek sampingan unit cendana dan marmer yang berkaitan dengan marmer dan kerajinan dan patung-patung kayu cnedana, dihasilkan oleh 30 pengrajin di dalam perusahaan dekat lapangan udara Comoro. Kebanyakan pengrajin berasal dari Jawa.
9. Hotel Mahkota Terbesar, 92 kamar, 3 lantai dan hotel paling modern di TL, berlokasi di pusat kota Dili, berdekatan dengan bangunan tua SAPT
10. New Resende Inn Hotel dengan 22 kamar di Dili.
11. Bioskop Seroja Satu-satunya bioskop di Dili, menempati bekas stadion olahraga, tempat "pertunjukan integrasi" dilakukan pada 31 Mei 1976.
12. PT Watu Besi Raya Terikat kontrak kebanyakan proyek-proyek pembangunan swasta di TL, termasuk jalan, jembatan dan pelabuan Com yang belum terselesaikan di Lautem.
13. PT Gunung Kijang Memiliki kontrak pada proyek-proyek kecil di TL.
14. PT Konindo Timur Konsultan teknik, memperkejakan terutama teknisi muda dari Jawa.
15. PT Delta Komoro Permai Perumahan kelas menengah di dekat lapangan terbang Comoro, melibatkan seorang tuan tanah setempat, Joao Francisco da Costa E. Silva untuk mendapatkan tanah seluas 120 Ha dengan gratis.
16. PT Timor Bumi Asri Perumahan kelas bawah
17. PT Fatuluku Agrotama Industri Merencanakan untuk membuat perkebunan tebu dan pabrik gula di Lautem.
18. PT Puspita Dili Mulia Transportasi
19. PT Puspita Timor Transportasi
20. PT Sai Diak Utama Perdagangan umum termasuk kopi
21. PT Ina Racik Perdagangan umum termasuk kopi
22. Rempah Kencana Perdagangan produk pertanian TL dan Timor Barat, termasuk kopi dan cendana
23. PT Bintang Aditimur Tidak jelas
24. PT Maubara Permai Tidak jelas
Namun ketika peranan PT Batara Indra di TL mulai menurun sekitar tahun 1994 yang juga diikuti dengan menurunnya peranan 'beking'-nya, Benny Moerdani, dalam kancah politik di Indonesia. Orde Baru memanfaatkan saat-saat ini dengan mulai menapakkan kakinya di TL. Usaha-usaha ini memiliki hubungan yang dekat dengan gubenur yang ditunjuk pemerintah Indonesia di TL, Jose Abilio Osorio Soares - yang merupakan kaki tangan bintang baru di AD Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto - menantu Soeharto.
Mei 1997, Titiek Prabowo - istri Prabowo Subianto, putri kedua Soeharto meresmikan dua perusahaan. Perusahaan yang pertama PT Dilitex, sebuah perusahaan penenunan seluas 200 Ha dengan investasi 575 dollar AS. Yang kedua adalah pabrik garam beryodium seluas 12 Ha di Manatuto - daerah asal Osorio Soares, yang akan memproduksi 1.500 ton garam beryodium per tahun. Gil Alves - saudara ipar Gubenur TL menjadi presiden di kedua perusahaan ini, mewakili Yayasan Hati, sebuah yayasan yang didirikan mantan "partisan" pro-Indonesia selama operasi militer 1975 - 1976. PT Dilitex merupakan kerjasama antara Yayasan Hati, Grup Maharani (Titiek Prabowo) dan seorang usahawan kelas atas Indonesia keturunan India, Marimutu Sinivasan - pemilik Kelompok Texmaco. Selain mengepalai kedua pabrik itu, Gil Alves juga membantu beberapa usaha Keluarga Cendana yang lain. Izin ekspor kopinya digunakan oleh perusahaan milik Tutut. Keberhasilan Tutut dalam menggantikkan posisi PT Denok yang memonopoli pasar kopi TL melalui "koperasi" Indonesia selama dekade pendudukan, telah menarik minat pamannya Probosoetedjo, yang menyatakan rencananya pada awal 1996 untuk mengembangkan perkebunan kopi di koloni Indonesia itu. Bagi Keluarga Cendana, jarak merupakan komoditas yang strategis, karena mereka mengendalikan perusahaan penerbangan swasta Indonesia - Sempati Air. Perusahaan penerbangan ini merupakan kerjasama antara Tommy, Bob Hasan dan sebuah yayasan milik TNI - AD. Tommy juga memiliki kepentingan lain untuk mempertahankan kontrol Indonesia terhadap TL, karena sumber daya minyak dan gas di Laut Timor. Perusahaan persewaan pesawatnya, PT Gantari Air Service, yang menyewakan pesawat bersayap tetap dan helikopter pada perusahaan minyak selama 6 tahun telah menunggu kesempatan untuk menikmati Kue Celah Timor11.
Pada 27 Desember 1991, sebuah perjanjian kerjasama ditandatangani oleh Matahari Group dengan penguasa Operasi Teritorial TL. Persetujuan inilah yang memberi lampu hijau kepada Matahari untuk membuka tokonya di Dili. Pada hari yang sama, 10 perusahaan bergabung di bawah satu perusahaan payung - TimTim Development Corps, untuk menandatangani sebuah kontrak kerjasama. 10 perusahaan tersebut adalah: Astra Internasional, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Danamon Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia, Great River Garments, Puncak Matahari, Puskopad Kodam Udayana IX, Bintang Tatamilau Cemerlang dan PT Telkom 12.
Sebuah penanaman investasi dan infrastruktur pendukung yang cukup besar di atas genangan darah, korban pembantaian dan kekerasan militer - telah digulirkan. Proyek demi proyek berjalan dengan bayangan keuntungan yang melimpah tanpa memikirkan penderitaan rakyat si empunya lahan - apalagi untuk bertanya "Apa yang kamu mau dan butuhkan?" Dan fatalnya lagi dengan segala kegelapan informasi yang selama ini telah disebarkan oleh Orde Baru kepada rakyat Indonesia mengenai Timor Timur yang berintegrasi, telah membuat banyak orang di Republik Nusantara ini 'berpikir' bahwa Timor Timur adalah bagian dari NKRI dan juga Indonesia telah banyak berkorban untuk membangun Timor tanpa tahu apa yang sebenarnya terjadi, bahwa Republik yang baru sekitar 30 tahun lepas dari kolonial Belanda dan Jepang - dengan rejim militer Orde Baru nya - telah 'mencontek' banyak dari kedua bekas penjajahnya itu dan sekarang mulai belajar untuk berbuat hal yang sama kepada TL.
Dengan mengatasnamakan seluruh rakyat Indonesia, segelintir elit militer, politisi dan pengusaha-pengusaha yang hanya memikirkan kepentingan pribadi dan kroninya - menghisap kekayaan Bumi Lorosae dan membantai orang-orang yang menentang. Dan sepertinya sekarang dengan corong pemerintahan Megawati digaungkan kembali akan "tertinggalnya aset-aset RI" di TL.
Seakan telah hilang dari ingatan ketika pemerintah Indonesia harus menelan kenyataan pahit dan mengubur mimpi muluknya dengan harus angkat kaki dari TL, saat rakyat TL telah berani sepenuhnya menyuarakan keinginan mereka yang telah terkekang oleh moncong senjata dan sepatu lars selama lebih dari 24 tahun pendudukan militer Indonesia dalam jajak pendapat yang diadakan oleh PBB.
Dan sesaat setelah hasil jajak pendapat diumumkan, militer Indonesia yang kalap segera mengerahkan milisi-milisi pro-integrasi yang selama ini telah mereka latih dan persenjatai untuk membumihanguskan TL. Sudah lupakah kita akan peristiwa itu?
Pemerintah Indonesia dan Militernya berkelit tidak bertanggung jawab akan peristiwa penghancuran dan pembantaian itu dengan mengatakan bahwa telah terjadi konflik horisontal antara massa pro-kemerdekaan dan pro-integrasi yang kecewa. Jenderal Wiranto dalam wawancara dengan Kompas, 13 September 1999 mengemukakan "…ternyata ada hambatan psikologis para prajurit untuk melakukan tindakan represif kepada masyarakat Timtim (pen.: milisi pro-integrasi). Mereka tahu, rakyat itu tidak melakukan tindakan kriminal murni, mereka juga kan bukan penentang pemerintah atau aparat keamanan. Tapi mereka adalah orang-orang yang kecewa lalu meluapkan rasa kekecewaannya…"
Dalam kesepakatan New York, 5 Mei 1999. Tugas keamanan diserahkan kepada TNI/POLRI, dan dalam penjelasan di atas seakan tergambar pengakuan akan ketidakmampuan TNI/POLRI untuk menjalankan tugasnya. Di lapangan amat sangat jelas bahwa aksi-aksi kekerasan, penghancuran, pembunuhan dan pemindahan dengan paksa rakyat TL untuk keluar dari wilayahnya dilakukan oleh milisi yang didukung oleh TNI/POLRI. Mereka seakan melakukan sebuah sandiwara, padahal TNI/POLRI dan Milisi-milisi 'pro-integrasi' sudah seperti Jin dan Jun dalam film sinetron atau kalau menurut pepatah "setali tiga uang." Hubungan milisi dengan TNI/POLRI inilah yang oleh Wiranto dikatakan sebagai "hambatan psikologis."
Kekerasan ini sudah jelas-jelas merupakan suatu hal yang telah direncanakan sebelumnya oleh petinggi-petinggi militer yang tidak mau begitu saja kebakaran jenggot. Fasilitas-fasilitas umum, bangunan-bangunan baik yang dibangun oleh pemerintah maupun peninggalan Portugis dirusak dan dibakar hingga rata dengan tanah, rumah-rumah penduduk dan toko juga dibakar dimana sebelum itu barang-barang yang berharga juga dijarah.
Penguasa republik ini tidak pernah belajar dari sejarah. Elit politiknya tidak tahu malu dan demagog. Seharusnya Republik Demokratik Timor yang baru berdiri inilah yang meminta ganti kerugian atas apa yang telah dibuat oleh pemerintah dan militer Indonesia selama jaman pendudukan hingga saat-saat terakhir pembumihangusan, namun mereka tidak melakukannya dan lebih memilih untuk membuka lembaran baru sebagai satu negara baru yang ingin menjalin hubungan baik dengan Indonesia. Namun tidak sama halnya dengan pernyataan pemerintah kita yang bersikeras untuk memperjuangkan tuntutan pengembalian aset-aset RI di RDTL.
Sampai sejauh mana batas nalar kita merambat berkembang untuk mengungkap ide tuntutan ini sebagai satu hal yang orisinil atau hanya suara-suara yang berkepentingan yang merengek dan mendesak pemerintah untuk mengangkatnya ke permukaan.
* Andre adalah peminat kebudayaan dan pengobatan alternatif yang aktif di Jaringan Kerja Budaya pernah menjadi pekerja kemanusiaan di Timor Leste tahun 1999.
1) Kompas Jumat, 31 Mei 2002
2) Kompas Jumat, 31 Mei 2002
3) Helen Mary Hill, Gerakan Pembebasan Nasional Timor Lorosae (Hal. 99) Yayasan HAK & Sahe Institute for Liberation, Dili 2000
4) Gerakan Anti Pembodohan, Timor Timur Sekarang Waktunya Untuk Bicara.
5) Ibid, hal 16
6) Ibid, hal 11
7) Sociedade Agricola Patria e Trabalho (SAPT) - Masyarakat, Tanah Air, Pertanian dan Pekerja. Berdiri tahun 1899 oleh kolonial Portugis.
8) George J. Aditjondro, Menyonsong Matahari Terbit di Puncak Ramelau (Hal. 179) Dampak Pendudukan Timor Lorosa'e dan Munculnya Gerakan Pro-Timor Lorosa'e di Indonesia. Yayasan HAK dan Fortilos, Jakarta 2000. Hal 182 - 183
9) Ibid, hal 179
10) George J. Aditjondro, Menyongsong Matahari Terbit di Puncak Ramelau (Hal. 179) Dampak Pendudukan Timor Lorosa'e dan Munculnya Gerakan Pro-Timor Lorosa'e di Indonesia. Yayasan HAK dan Fortilos, Jakarta 2000. Hal. 184 - 186.
11) Ibid, hal: 189 - 193.
12) Gerakan Anti Pembodohan, Timor Timur Sekarang Waktunya Untuk Bicara. Hal: 19
Indonesia's claim on assets frustrates MP's
Political figures claim demands by the Indonesian government for their assets in Timor-Leste are considered to be inconsistent with the friendly relationship that has been pursued by both governments since Timor-Leste's independence in 1999. Member of Parliament from ASDT Feliciano Alves Fatima speaking to STL said that the two governments should start from a 'zero option' basis meaning that neither government demands anything from the other. He said that the continued hold on this demand for assets has the potential to negatively affect the future relationship between the two countries.
Alexandre Cortereal from UDT party also expressed his frustration, saying that it was the Indonesian military and its militia who destroyed the assets, therefore Timor-Leste has no assets to return. He expressed his opinion that a more worthy matter to pursue is that of the fate of former Indonesian civil servants 28/03/2005 Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Makeshift shelters pulled down
Approximately 100 makeshift shelters erected by vendors along the Coconut Beach Road were pulled down last Friday following orders from the Dili District Administration. The operation was carried out by officers from the Dili District Sanitation Department and involved the national police. Vendors interviewed by STL expressed their disappointment at the government action, as they have not been assigned any other place to sell their goods. Some said that if the government continues to limit their options in making a living, then it is the same as leaving them and their families to starve.
Dili District Administrator Ruben Braz de Carvalho said that the shelters spoiled the attractiveness and cleanliness of the city. According to Carvalho, more of these actions are planned for other makeshift shelters in Dili.
Approximately 20 of the vendors took their case to the National Parliament on Friday, upset and angry by the actions of the Dili District Administration. Speaking of the current economic situation as critical, the vendors said that destroying their shelters by putting holes in their tin and canvas roofs was inconsiderate. Member of Parliament from Commission A, Vicente Faria, said that the Parliament would speak to the Dili District Administration regarding the case. 21/03/2005 Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Houses being sold due to hunger
Residents of Suai Loro village in Suai have been forced to sell 12 of their houses to overcome the hunger that has struck the area. The Suai Loro village chief, Manuel Gomes, said that these people have had to sell their houses in order for their children to eat. Press reports claim the owners are selling their houses for between $100 and $150 and are being forced to live in thatched grass-roofed shelters. However, the Interim Sub-District Administrator, Alarico do Nascimento, has rejected the claims, saying instead that the selling of houses in his area has nothing to do with hunger. 15/02/2005 Suara Timor Lorosa'e
From A Brief Introduction to the Socialist Party of Timor
In "The Cooperative Movement in Coffee Production" in the PST internal bulletin Militancia No 1, June 1999, Kaynaga Lear provides a brief history of the development of East Timorese society from primitive society to a "feudal" or "semi-feudal" society. The process is described as first proceeding through a period of war between tribal groupings in which some tribes established their dominance over others. This period of dominance led to the development of social hierarchies (classes).
Central to this class structure were the emergence of liurai (kings), baino [nobility] and atan (subjects). The liurai and baino monopolised rights over the use of land and also horses, buffalo and other cattle. Atan were obliged to render free labour to the liurai and baino for specific projects.
When atan worked for individual liurai and baino, the harvest was divided, some seedlings being provided for future planting, some seedlings provided to the liurai or baino and some portion of the harvest being paid to the liurai or baino for use of buffalo. Any remainder was divided 50-50 between the liurai/baino and the atan working on the land.
Kaynaga Lear also briefly outlines developments after the arrival of Portuguese colonialists in 1511. After a period of resistance, the liurai/baino eventually negotiated with the Portuguese and a long-term relationship developed between the Portuguese colonialists and the liurai and baino. As an export economy developed, the liurai and baino, together with Portuguese and mestizo capitalists, expanded their holdings in coffee, copra, sandalwood and rice lands. A segment of the economy also came under the domination of Chinese migrants invited in by the Portuguese.
This situation of productive agricultural land being monopolised for profitable export crops by liurai and baino as well as Portuguese, mestizo and Chinese capitalists was the situation that prevailed in 1975 and still prevails today.
Indonesian team in East Timor in bid to Reclaim Assets Tim Johnson Kyodo June 26, 2000 http://www.etan.org/et2000b/june/25-30/26iteam.htm
Officials meet over complex property issue East Timor Vaudine England in Jakarta 06/30/2000 South China Morning Post Page 10 http://www.etan.org/et2000b/june/25-30/26iteam.htm
Please see further East Timor Law Journal Land Law and Policy Research Resources List here on Timor-Leste Land Studies