The Deputy President of CNRT Mario Viegas Carrascalao stressed yesterday that Indonesia did not have any intentions of nurturing a group of terrorists at the West Timor-Timor Lorosae border in order to destablize the country.
Mario Carrascalao said rumors of a Veterans Brigade, comprising ex-Indonesia armed forces officers, operating at the border and waiting for an opportune moment to seize back Timor Lorosae were unfounded.
“I think these rumours have been spread to terrorize the Timorese people in the run-up to the 30 August election,” said Mario Carrascalao in an interview with the Timor Post.
“A group of terrorists will not be able to defeat the Timorese people. Even the TNI, for 25 years, could not subdue the Timorese people,” said Mario Carrascalao.
Friday April 20, 2001
The head of TNI’s Information Center, Air Marshall Graito Usodo said yesterday there was an elite group that was trying to revive nationalistic sentiments in order to “seize back” Timor Lorosae and “annex” it as part of Indonesia.
Air Marshall Graito said this elite group was trying to seek popularity for their cause.
But he warned they would not succeed.
“Let me assure you this thing to seize back Timor Lorosae and bring it into Indonesia will not happen,” Air Marshall Graito told journalists at the El Tari Airport in Kupang, West Timor.
Air Marshall Graito said TNI will not tolerate any group that is against the Indonesian people in recognizing independence for Timor Lorosae.
“We must accept Timor Lorosae’s independence sincerely, because it [independence] has been accepted by the international community,” he added.
Air Marsahll Gaito told journalists the elite group, comprising veterans, were trying to regroup in West Timor’s border with Timor Lorosae.
“They call themselves the Veterans’ Brigade,” he added.
“The group concerned wants to capitalize on the opportunity to seek their popularity only. But, I again stress here that such an intention will never turn to a reality,” he told the press at the El Tari airport of Kupang on Thursday.
He further explained that the Indonesian
Defence Forces (TNI) would never tolerate the actions or attitude of a
certain group that contradicted the outlook and stance of the Indonesian
people who have recognized and accepted the independence of East Timor.
“We should accept the independence of our neighbor (East Timor) kindheartedly, for the international community has recognized it. Therefore, all people or nation should respect East Timor‘s sovereignty,” he said.
The existence of the “brigade” was a topic of heated debate wihtin the army‘s elite, between the TNI headquarters and the Udayana regional military commander.
Then, the issue subsided after Udayana regional military commander Willem T da Costa stated his resolve to take firm action against the brigade whose members mostly live near the border with East Timor