Wed, 05 Jan 2000

Zacky: TNI had 'contingency plan' for East Timor

JAKARTA (JP): The former military intelligence chief said on Tuesday the Indonesian Military (TNI) prepared contingency and operational plans in anticipation of the outcome of the Aug. 30 self-determination ballot in East Timor.

Speaking after two hours of questioning by the government- sanctioned Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in East Timor (KPP HAM), Maj. Gen. Zacky Anwar Makarim said TNI had even predicted that violence would erupt after the ballot.

"We knew long beforehand that whatever happened, there would be feelings of discontent. Should the proautonomy side win, proindependence supporters wouldn't be satisfied.

"TNI headquarters therefore prepared a contingency plan, while the Udayana military commander (Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri) made an operational plan," Zacky, who was a security adviser to the Indonesian Task Force for the Implementation of the Popular Consultation in East Timor, said.

Zacky said anticipating violence was necessary because proindependence supporters had "more than adequate weaponry and their communications system was more modern than TNI's".

"They got supplies and logistics that were flown in by unidentified helicopters," Zacky said, adding that "some (of the supplies) were from Australia".

Zacky said TNI had expected the results of the ballot to be closer than the 78.5 percent landslide victory for independence.

However, he refused to discuss the military's contingency plan. "I am not in a position to answer that question because that comes under the authority of TNI Headquarters."

TNI has been accused of involvement in the campaign of terror and violence in East Timor by prointegration militias.

Zacky however denied TNI and prointegration militias were solely responsible for the violence in the territory, saying proindependence supporters were also involved in the mayhem.

He also denied there was a systematic campaign of terror and destruction in East Timor following the ballot. "Burning did occur there, but I don't think that was systematic. What happened there was part of the culture of the people who ran amok, so that was an emotional outburst."

Zacky was the eighth general questioned by KPP HAM in the past two weeks over the military's alleged involvement in the post- ballot violence in East Timor.

KPP HAM is expected to question the former head of the Restoration Operation Command in East Timor, Maj. Gen. Kiki Syahnakri, the former East Timor military commander, Col. M. Noer Muis, and former foreign minister Ali Alatas on Wednesday.

The inquiry was established in September by then president B.J. Habibie after the government rejected calls for an international inquiry to explore the possibility of establishing a war crimes tribunal for Indonesian Military top brass.(byg)