ADF role in violence and propaganda

Dear Maukita Gagita,

I am very sorry to tell you it is true, it was not propaganda launched by anyone. I was living in Timor Leste at the time, the ADF’s behaviour was disgraceful, they went into biaros all over Dili, making statements like this. I was constantly phoned for help because the ADF were causing problems for people who were known to support Fretilin. In fact I did a human rights report on the ADF. I also have accounts of them telling people in the eastern districts to change their alliance in 2006. – I’m not a Fretilin member just interested in the truth.

As to Lu-Olo and Alkatiri taking part in calling for international troops, when they were forced to send F-FDTL back to barracks by Xanana and the police had deserted, they had little choice but to agree to calling on outside help, which in my opinion was a grave mistake as Australia had been waiting on the horizon to get a foot back into Timor Leste.

Fact that the ADF did nothing to quell the violence, stood by and watched houses burning and watched attacks on people until there were many complaints on their behaviour, and the fact that the highest number of IDP’s are from the eastern region, which is perceived to be where Fretilin has the largest support, though of course it has members in many of the western districts speaks volumes. Some Fretilin supports from the western districts had there houses burnt as well.

Lidia Tindle


Would you like a copy of the human rights report on the International troops?

—– Original Message —–
From: Maukita Gagita
To: Fretilin Media ;
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 1:33 AM
Subject: Re: FRETILIN media release: ADF doorknocking campaign Timor-Leste style

I doubt about the below quotes:

“During the first weeks of the crisis in 2006
after their arrival, soldiers were heard to be
making statements like ‘Alkatiri no good. Gusmao
Good’, ‘L-7 no good. Gusmao good’ and ‘Taur Matan Ruak Fucking militia’.”

This is kind of propaganda that the leaders of Fretilin launches in districts in order to discredit ISF. Fretilin leaders even been dishonest to their militants by saying that ISF was ordered by Xanana Gusmao in 2006 to intervene and disarm F-FDTL, in fact Lu-Olo and Alkatiri was also took part when Timor-Leste called ISF for help. Poor people who are suppose to work to be able to eat has been mislead by politicians, such as Mr. Reis, Bano, Texeira, and Fernandes.

If Fretilin carry on doing this false propaganda, Timor-Leste will never live in peace, and that is what Fretilin wants.


Fretilin Media wrote:



Media release
22 August 2007

ADF doorknocking campaign Timor-Leste style

Australian troops in the eastern districts of
Timor Leste are engaged in a doorknocking
campaign apparently aimed at intimidating
Fretilin supporters to switch their allegiance to
the new illegitimate government of Jose Alexandre Gusmao.

Fretilin today called for an independent
investigation into written statements by many
Timorese villagers testifying to political
interference by Australian troops in recent weeks.

FRETILIN Deputy Secretary General Jose Reis said,
“A joint investigation involving UNMIT and
FRETILIN into the conduct of the Australian
Defence Force is the only way to get to the truth
and for the ADF to hope to re-establish the
credibility it once had in Timor-Leste.

“FRETILIN is in the process of collecting written
statements from people complaining about the behaviour of Australian troops.

“Also, a reputable local news paper Tempo Semanal
today reported an incident involving Mr Fernando
Soares, a 35 year old farmer and a well known
Fretilin member in the village of Bucoli, Baucau district.”

Soares said that about 8pm on Thursday 16 August
a group of Australian soldiers accompanied by a
Timorese interpreter arrived at his home and
kicked on his door in order to get his attention.

A soldier who did not identify himself asked
through an interpreter: “Are you with FRETILIN or
with AMP?” (AMP is the informal coalition in
Parliament supporting the unconstitutional government of Jose Alexandre Gusmao)

Soares replied that he had been a long time
FRETILIN member and continued to be so. The
soldier then told him through the interpreter:
“You should support the government and CNRT and
influence these youths in your area to support the government and CNRT”.

Reis said, “Somewhat surprised and scared because
of the lateness of the night and having heard
some reports of action by the soldiers against
FRETILIN supporters, Mr Soares Fernando decided to say nothing further.

“The soldier and his companions left shortly after.”

Reis said that for over a year now FRETILIN has
been complaining about this type of questioning
by ADF in patrols in Timor-Leste.

“During the first weeks of the crisis in 2006
after their arrival, soldiers were heard to be
making statements like ‘Alkatiri no good. Gusmao
Good’, ‘L-7 no good. Gusmao good’ and ‘Taur Matan Ruak Fucking militia’.”

L-7 is the alias for Cornelius Gama, a veteran
resistance fighter from the district of Baucau in
the east of Timor-Leste. Taur Matan Ruak is the
army commander of F-FFTL, the East Timorese
national defence force, who is also from the district of Baucau.

Reis said “The behaviour of Australian troops is
unacceptable conduct for guests in our country
who have been requested to help to re-establish law and order.”

For further information: FRETILIN Media (+670)
733 5060 or,

[This message was distributed via the east-timor news list. For info on how to subscribe send a blank e-mail to To support ETAN see ]


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