Monthly Archives: August 2008

East Timor debates use of oil riches

The National (Abu Dhabi)

East Timor debates use of oil richesMarianne Kearney, Foreign
Correspondent Last Updated: August 26. 2008 10:31PM UAE / August 26.
2008 6:31PM GMT
DILI // Plans to build a massive new power station in East Timor have
stirred debate over the use of the tiny and impoverished country’s oil
profits amid fears the government is squandering its hard-won oil and
gas wealth.

The US$390 million (Dh1.43 billion) power station would be the largest
project built in the country, where power blackouts are frequent and
many areas lack access to the electricity grid.

But critics have objected to the plant, both because of its use of
imported heavy oil, a technology mostly considered outdated in the West
due to its polluting by-products, such as sulphur, and because it is to
be partially funded by dipping into the country’s protected oil and gas
funds. This month, the opposition Fretilin Party refused to sign off on
the budget because it included funding for the plant.

We put forward a vote in parliament to eliminate funding for a heavy
oil power station in favour of the government exploring renewable
energy initiatives, said Jose Teixeira, an opposition spokesman and
former state secretary for natural resources.

With few other resources apart from oil and gas, East Timor established
one of the world’s most progressive oil-fund laws, modelled on
Norway’s: just three per cent of its profits can be used for public
spending; the rest is saved in a sovereign US-based fund that will be
used for future East Timor generations.

The country enacted the law to avoid the resource curse: oil- and
gas-rich countries squandering their money on expensive projects, with
much of the oil profits ending up in the pockets of the elite and
little of the wealth trickling down to ordinary citizens.

Jose Ramos-Horta, the president, opposition figures and donors fear the
government under Xanana Gusmao, a former guerrilla fighter, plans to
recklessly spend a huge portion of the oil money.

The almost $800m midyear budget is more than twice what was budgeted
for the first six months of 2008. It also proposes to withdraw an
additional $290m of oil funds above the level considered sustainable.

If this continues, we fear there will be no money left for East
Timor’s future, said Viriato Seac, from La’o Hamutuk, a local group
that monitors the government and the oil and gas industry.

Mr Ramos-Horta said he would refuse to pass the budget into law, as
there was widespread objection, both at home and among such donors as
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to the use of additional
oil funds.

However, one day after publicly criticising the budget, he said his
office accidentally signed off on it after he had left on a trip to
China. He issued an apology.

The Fretilin Party has also argued that the budget, which would spend
$600m in just five months, could lead to corruption.

[There are] big increases for overseas travel for ministers, luxury
four-wheel drive cars for MPs and cars for civil servants. The money
will just disappear and risk the rise of both corruption and
inflation, Mr Teixeira said.

The state secretary for electricity and water has vowed to push on with
the electricity station, arguing East Timor desperately needs power if
its economy is to grow.

We need to deliver electricity quickly to the people, Januario da
Costa said.

He argued that more environmentally friendly types of stations, such
the hydro-powered plant currently supplying power to eastern Timor,
take too long to build. We’ve been building the Iralalaro
hydroelectric power station from 2003 until now, and it’s still not
complete, he said.

The government has argued that public spending is necessary to combat
the high unemployment and social unrest plaguing much of the remote,
mountainous country, since the outbreak of violence and instability in

Tens of thousands of people were displaced during the crisis, most of
whom have only recently returned to their homes. East Timor also has
been severely hit by rising global oil and food prices, and part of the
budget will be used to subsidise the cost of basic foods.

Sources within the finance ministry are particularly concerned with the
large amount of money allocated for the power station, and the $240m to
subsidise food and other basic necessities.

No previous government ever spent more than $180m a year, how will
they spend over $770m this year? asked one foreign adviser in the
finance ministry.

Critics also said the government may have already chosen a company to
build the power station and grid, because it allowed just three weeks
for international companies to put in an expression of interest.

Mr Costa denied there was any favoured tenderer and said despite the
short time period, 14 multinational companies, including those from
Australia and Singapore, had submitted proposals.

Mr Teixeira, the opposition spokesman, said the country needed projects
that created employment and upgraded infrastructure, but said he feared
the electricity station would be a white elephant that squandered
the country’s future.

East Timor is one of Asia’s poorest countries and has struggled for
years to obtain the billions of dollars in revenue from its oil and gas

Australia, which originally signed an agreement with former conquering
power Indonesia, initially claimed it should have the right to 50 per
cent of the oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea, based on an earlier
deal with Jakarta. But since 2002, East Timor has argued that under
current maritime laws 90 per cent of the fields would be considered
within its sea boundaries.

Indicted Officer Removed from West Papua, ETAN Urges His Prosecution

Indicted Officer Removed from West Papua

ETAN Urges His ProsecutionFor Immediate Release

John M Miller, ETAN, +1 718-596-7668;

August 21 – The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the
West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) today welcomed the removal of Col.
Burhanuddin Siagian from his command in West Papua. Siagian faces two
indictments in East Timor for crimes against humanity committed in 1999.

“Col. Siagian’s removal from Papua is a welcome move,” said John M.
Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN. “Indonesia should take the next
steps and suspend him from any command and then hand him over for trial
for the crimes he committed in East Timor.”

Siagian was the target of international campaign urging his removal
from Papua and calling for his trial.

As commander in West Papua, he made extremely incendiary remarks about
Papuans engaged in peaceful protest. In May 2007, he reportedly
threatened to destroy anyone who betrays Indonesia. This and other
statements were similar to those he made while stationed in East Timor
in 1999 during the referendum period.

“Unfortunately, the transfer of Col. Siagian has not ended the
repression in West Papua. A little over a week ago Opius Tabuni was
shot and killed by Indonesian security forces during a celebration
World Indigenous People’s Day in Wamena,” said Ed McWilliams of
WPAT. Prisoners of conscience, like Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage,
continue to serve outrageously long prison terms for engaging in
peaceful protest.

“The failure of the Indonesian government to extradite Siagian and his
continued service in the Indonesian armed forces are signs of the
Indonesian government’s lack of commitment to justice and
accountability,” said Miller.


Siagian was replaced in late July as commander of the Jayapura
sub-regional military command (Korem 172) in Papua. However, he remains
on active duty, stationed in East Java.

Col. Burhanuddin Siagian has been indicted twice in East Timor for
crimes against humanity. According to the indictments issued by a
UN-backed court in 2003, Col Siagian publicly threatened to kill
supporters of Timor-Leste’s independence and was directly responsible
for the death of seven men. He is also thought to have been responsible
for the creation of the Bobonaro militia, one of the most brutal in
East Timor. Col. Siagian is named as a suspect in the report of
Indonesia’s own Commission of Investigation into Human Rights
Violations in East Timor, which investigated human rights abuses in
East Timor in 1999. (Copies of the indictments involving Col. Siagian
can be found here: and .)

In May 2008, members of the UN Committee Against Torture asked whether
“Indonesia, as a member of Interpol” was planning to hand over people,
including Siagian, for whom Interpol has issued red notices –
notifications of international warrants. Interpol issued a Red Notice
for Siagian in 2003.

Committee Expert Felice Gaer asked about Indonesia’s response to
Interpol red notices for people currently residing in Indonesia
indicted in East Timor for alleged crimes committed in 1999. The next
day, she noted that Indonesia had failed to respond to her questions
“about the legal proceedings concerning the individuals that were
wanted by Interpol for their implication in the East Timor conflict.
One of them was a colonel currently serving with the Indonesian
military command. Was the Government planning to arrest this individual
and respect its obligations under Interpol? Also, the question of
sending such commanders from one hot spot to the other had not been

In June 2007, a coalition of Indonesian and international human rights
organizations wrote to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urging him to
withdraw Col. Siagian from West Papua, suspend him from active duty,
and extradite to East Timor those indicted by Dili’s Special Panel for
Serious Crimes.

For more information see Siagian’s profile in the Masters of
and the ETAN website:


Radio New Zealand International

The Voice of New Zealand, Broadcasting to the Pacific

Te Reo Irirangi O Aotearoa, O Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa

NGO welcomes Indonesian military commander’s removal from Papua

Posted at 08:00 on 21 August, 2008 UTC

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, or ETAN, has welcomed the
removal of Colonel Burhanuddin Siagian from his command in Papua.

A leading Indonesian military officer, Siagian faces two indictments in
East Timor for crimes against humanity committed in 1999.

The Colonel has been the target of an international campaign urging his
removal from Papua and calling for his trial.

Last year, as regional military commander in Papua, he issued death
threats against anyone daring to demonstrate their support for Papuan

It is yet be confirmed whether Siagian will be transferred to another
Indonesian province.

However ETAN’s John Miller says that while his removal from Papua is a
welcome move, Jakarta should take the next steps and suspend him from
any command and then hand him over for trial for the crimes he
committed in East Timor.

The first trial of Munir : Muchdi was threatened sentence for life

Dear Friends,

Today, the hearing of Muchdi Purwoprandjono, the former Deputy V BIN,
started at 10 am with the agenda of reading indictment of the Munir’s
murder at the South Jakarta District Court. Muchdi was threatened
against the article 55 point 1: 2e jo article 340 of Criminal Code
sentenced for life.

In the indictment mentioned that Munir is the one of prominent human
rights activist who really vocal to critic policy damaged to
Indonesian society. One of his activities was to resolve the case of
enforced disappearance of activists in 1997 when he covered up the
one of perpetrators, Muchdi Purwoprandjono as General Command of
Special Armed Forces until he got suspension. When Muchdi got
position as Deputy V BIN, he abused his authority to kill the late of
Munir because of his revenge. Then he pointed Pollycarpus as agent of

Furthermore, Pollycarpus gave the letter released by BIN (Muchdi) to
Garuda to be placed as Aviation Security giving legally for him to be
inside of the aircraft. When Munir planned to go to study,
Pollycarpus tried to monitor his activity along his departure on 6
September 2004 calling to his cell phone answered by his wife
Suciwati stated that he would go on 6 September 2004.

Meanwhile, the surrounding of inside the Court was full by group of
White and Red Brigade from Muchdi’s group. Outside the court, the
group held demonstration with poster written “The judges do not obey
with the pressure from outside”, the government and apparatus do not
obey to NGOs and judge’s intervention”.

The hearing will be continued on 2 September 2008 with exception
coming from Muchdi via his lawyers.


The Commission for Dissapeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
Jl. Borobudur No. 14 Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10320 Indonesia
phone : 62-21-3926983
fax : 62-21-3926821
email :
website :
mailinglist :

Hawaii’s Lingle should break her ties with murderous Indonesian military

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Lingle should break her ties with murderous Indonesian military

by Larry Geller

The Indonesian military is recognized for its brutality around the
world and held responsible for massacres and genocide in East Timor and
Aceh Provence. A reminder of this was part of today’s Democracy Now (10
p.m. Channel 56 if you are on Oahu):

Judge Rules Aceh Villagers Can Sue Exxon for Human Rights Abuses

A federal judge has ruled that a suit alleging human rights violations
against Exxon committed in Aceh can be heard in a US court. Eleven
villagers from Aceh say Exxon should be held liable for alleged violent
crimes by military units of the Indonesian national army hired by Exxon
to protect its facilities. According to some estimates, ExxonMobil has
extracted some $40 billion from its operations in Aceh.

This news item reminded me that although the Indonesian military should
be shunned and condemned by good people everywhere, Hawaii’s governor,
Linda Lingle, has traveled to Indonesia and cozied up to their military

In fact, she’s agreed to help them repair helicopters, which could
directly support future human rights atrocities. Earlier, I asked:

Why is Hawaii, a state, involved in high-level talks with the
Indonesian military in the first place? Shouldn’t Washington attend to
intergovernmental affairs? Has Lingle been given some sort of special
assignment unknown to the people of Hawaii? [ Is Hawaii’s governor
Lingle setting up a secret military alliance with Indonesia for Bush?,
Disappeared News, 6/11/2007]

We shouldn’t forget, in this election year, that Lingle is playing a
role in Bush’s foreign policy. We might ask why, and demand that Hawaii
not be involved in an individual’s ambitions.

Our cooperation with a hated regime may also make our islands a target
of extremists.

“We should build up cooperation between the TNI (Indonesian Armed
Forces) and the Hawaiian National Guard to beef up professionalism at
the level of soldiers and low-ranking officers on maintenance of
military equipment, such as helicopters and other equipment made by the
United States,” [Indonesian Defense Minister] Juwono [Sudarsono] said.

“In the coming months, scores of our soldiers will be sent to Hawaii to
get trainings of the maintenance which could boost the capacity of
troops,” he added. [ Indonesia, Hawaii set up military cooperation, (China)]

The rest of this article is from the archive, a re-run, so to speak,
but if you have not seen it before, read and understand why I think we
should break this cooperation even as it is underway. Perhaps the
Legislature might do something next session. It won’t, though, unless
we, the people, ask it to.


ETAN welcomes your support. For more info:

John M. Miller Internet:
National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Skype: john.m.miller
Web site:

Send a blank e-mail message to to find out
how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

Signature of International Coffee Agreement

International Coffee Organsation

Signature of International Coffee Agreement 2007 – Timor-Leste:
The Vice Prime-Minister for Timor-Leste, H.E. Dr José Luís Guterres,
signed the 2007 Agreement at the ICO headquarters in London on 19
August 2008. Timor-Leste is a coffee producing country with average
annual production estimated at around 200,000 60-kg bags. Photo I
Depositary notification

Reference: ICC-Resolution No. 425
Language: English

Reinada new to much

Maybe the reason Timor-Leste cannot achieve stability is more to do
with outside interference i.e. Western countries interested in oil and
the strategic position of Timor-Leste. What happened in 2006 was more a
manipulation of a slight east / west divide by people paid to cause

I lived in Timor-Leste during the conflict, worked with Timorese
activists hailing from what Xanana labelled Loro-Sae / Loro-Mono. All
worked together well to try to solve the crisis.

Witnessed people from the east and west living side by side in the
camps, very little genuine trouble – the trouble came from the hills
from the men who deserted with Reinado and of course the marshal arts
groups originating from allegiance to the Indonesian occupiers, (no,
I’m not inferring that Indonesia had anything to do with the trouble in
2006, mearly stating that the groups were formed during the occupation)
okay some trouble makers saw a chance to add to the problems and make
money, computers and other office equipment was stolen from many NGO’s
and sold on street corners near the main shops – asking price 10
dollars a computer other goods went for less, International forces
looked on and did nothing to stop the looting or the selling of goods.

Think the army splitting on an east / west divide is a very simplistic
analysis of what really happened in 2006, perhaps commentators need to
look deeper. My own analysis, based on what I saw and what I was told
by Timorese friends, is that it was a deliberate attempt to unseat
Alkatiri and the elected FRETILIN government, who had been doing a
pretty good job of holding out against the Australian grab at Timorese
oil. Many from the west of Timor supported the socialist government,
not just people from the east – indeed many people from the east were
against the government.

Many Timorese friends told me that Reinado would never be brought to
justice but would be executed, they reasoned Reinado, who clearly had
been used, knew too much.

On the day the deserters rampaged throughout Dili, Alkatiri ordered
Taur Matan Ruak and loyal F-FDTL to follow Reinado and the other
deserters to the hills to arrest them and bring them back to Dili to
justice. F-FDTL were ordered back to their camp in Tasi-Toli by the
supreme commander Xanana, one can only speculate as to why, but it is
clear that if Reinado had been arrested with his men that day, ADF would
never have been needed, nor any other International troops, Reinado
would not have been killed, there would have been no assassination
attempt on Ramos-Horta or a so called attempt on Xanana’s life.
Angelita Pires would not be a scapegoat for whoever was responsible for
Reinado’s trip to Ramos-Horta’s house, nor would she be victimised by
the head of state and languishing under house arrest, and so we are
informed denied many of her human rights.

Perhaps the investigation should be looking more closely into who
Reinado was working with in 2006, or maybe that, like justice for the
Timorese during the occupation and 1999, is too sensitive an issue.

Lidia Tindle
Tyneside East Timor Solidarity

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 07:43:53 -0400
From: ETAN
Subject: Autopsy finds Reinado may have been executed

Autopsy finds Reinado may have been executed

Posted 7 hours 6 minutes ago
Updated 6 hours 31 minutes ago

An autopsy of East Timor rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and a top
lieutenant pointed to their execution, rather than being shot by
security forces during a presidential assassination attempt, a report

The autopsy showed rebel soldier Leopoldino Exposto was shot once in
the back of the head at “close range” following the February 11
assassination attempt on President Jose Ramos-Horta, the Australian
newspaper said.

Reinado, the 42-year-old army major who led a year-long mutiny
against the government, was also shot and killed at Mr Ramos Horta’s
presidential compound and four bullet entry wounds showed he was also
shot at extreme close range.

“There were multiple complex gunshot wound [sic] on the left face
surrounding the left eye, base of nose, upper cheek and forehead with
laceration and blackening of the skin,” Reinado’s autopsy said.

Reports of executions by security forces could stoke fresh divisions
in the fledgling country, where ethnic tensions are still raw.

East Timor has been unable to achieve stability since its hard-won
independence, with the army splitting along regional lines in 2006,
triggering violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their

The autopsy said burning and blackening around Reinado’s wounds in
the eye, neck, chest and hand suggested he had been shot at a
distance of less than 30 centimeters, rather than by guards standing
10 meters away, which is the official version of events.

“Burning and blackening is a feature of very close-range shots,
probably from less than a foot away,” David Ranson, of the Victorian
Institute of Forensic Medicine, told the newspaper.

“If you see burning and soot-type burning, it indicates that the
barrel of the gun was very close to the skin’s surface.”

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr Ramos-Horta was critically wounded in the
assassination attempt and he spent two months recovering in
Australia, where he was flown for life-saving surgery.

The attack also targeted Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who escaped

The autopsies were conducted by forensic pathologist Dr Muhammad
Nurul Islam, who wrote that Exposto and Reinado were killed with a
high-velocity rifle.

Dr Nurul said Reinado’s wounds featured “blackening/burning”
especially so in his left eye, where the marks covered a large 10 cm
x 9 cm area, possibly indicating a point-blank shot.

Chest wounds also featured burning and blackening, despite the fact
Reinado was wearing a heavy black ammunition vest.

Exposto had a “satellite shaped gunshot wound on the back of the head
centrally located”, the report said.

A United Nations report into the assassination attempt has not yet
been released, while a criminal investigation by East Timor’s
prosecutor-general is running late.

Dr Nurul said the question whether Reinado had launched his attack
because of a drinking or drug binge would never be answered, as the
Dili morgue had no toxicological testing equipment, the newspaper said.

More than 2,500 foreign troops and police remain in the country to
help local security forces maintain stability.

The Australian: The Reinado tapes

Paul Toohey | August 22, 2008

A SECRET recording of the last meeting between East Timor’s President Jose Ramos Horta and rebel leader Alfredo Reinado reveals that the two men had run out of ways to end a stalemate that had held the country moribund for almost two years.

The recording, obtained by The Australian, was made by Reinado on January 13 on a small digital recorder hidden in his top pocket at a meeting in the western hilltop town of Maubisse. Just before Reinado died, he handed it to a friend for safekeeping.

Reinado was gunned down at almost point-blank range inside Ramos Horta’s villa on February 11, while the President survived after being shot twice, apparently by Reinado’s rebels. The rebels say Reinado told them he had a 6am appointment with Ramos Horta and point out they dawdled on the way to Dili, stopping in places to kill time to arrive at the appointed hour.

Although no one suggests Ramos Horta made the appointment, the January meeting reveals how frustrated he and senior government figures had become with Reinado. It is possible that Reinado, who was relying on Ramos Horta to solve his problems, lost patience and stormed Ramos Horta’s villa.

An alternative theory is that Reinado had been falsely informed the President wanted to see him and was set up for his death by powerbrokers who sought his elimination.

Ramos Horta had warned Reinado that if an agreement was not reached on that day, then “there are no more other opportunities. If the President of the republic has come and a solution is not found, then what other solution is there? These are my words.”

Four men attended the meeting: Ramos Horta, Economy and Development Minister Joao Goncalves, Reinado and Reinado’s second-in-command Gastao Salsinha, who is now in jail.

Waiting outside was Major Mike Stone of the Australian Defence Force, now assigned to Ramos Horta’s staff; and Reinado’s lawyer, Benevides Correia Barros.

The meeting was a failed final attempt to end a two-year impasse that plunged the country into civil strife after about 600 soldiers from western Timor deserted and fled to the hills, claiming the army leadership was favouring soldiers from the east for promotion. Reinado eventually joined the petitioners, but his case was different: the courts had issued an arrest warrant for him on murder charges, after he had engaged in a deadly firefight with the army in 2006.

Ramos Horta went to the meeting believing that the group acting as mediators between him and Reinado, the Movement for National Unity and Justice (MUNJ), had secured a commitment from the rebel to surrender weapons he had unlawfully seized from border police in early 2007.

Ramos Horta discovered that Reinado had made no such promise. The rebel argued he had shown good faith in 2006 by surrendering his weapons to then president Xanana Gusmao. He said Gusmao had promised that the surrender was just a formality intended to restore public faith and that he would get his weapons back. Reinado told Ramos Horta that Gusmao had betrayed him by not returning the weapons, and this led him to raid the border posts to obtain guns.

Ramos Horta regarded the surrender of weapons as essential for him to offer Reinado a guarantee of amnesty in the context of the murder charges.

“You told MUNJ you accepted the solution of compromise that I have presented,” the President said.

Reinado said: “I have the right, as military, to protect myself.”

Ramos Horta, angrily: “We have spoken of this many times, major.”

Reinado: “And I have never changed my position, Mr President.”

Ramos Horta reminded Reinado that he, not Reinado, was supreme commander of the army. “The command does some things wrong but there is in no country or any state which, after such efforts, would accept your attitude,” he said.

“Many opportunities have been given to you. Many opportunities. I have said many times already that during these months that good, positive behaviour will help to stabilise the situation.

“Many people don’t understand; many suspect that I would also support you from behind. I don’t. I only look to do dialogue and dialogue and dialogue. I try to look at the problems from each side.

“However, major Alfredo Reinado, the moment has come that we must go forward, meet each other, to bow to each other, because the reason is not 100 per cent on your side or 100 per cent on the side of the Government or FFDTL (the Timorese defence force). If you want to show the community that we can find solutions for the problem and show that only you are right, then there is no solution.”

The recording adds force to the argument that Reinado’s lover, Angelita Pires, who has been accused of being Reinado’s puppeteer, was not as influential as has been claimed. Pires was not at the meeting and Reinado’s stubbornness is clearly of his own making.

Reinado had earlier written to the President saying he was prepared to be placed under house arrest in Dili, with a New Zealand guard, while awaiting his trial in a military court. (Timor has no such court.) He no longer trusted Australian troops because he felt they were encroaching on his turf.

The President said it would be better if Reinado stayed out of Dili and that he would have to surrender to the authorities for house arrest while awaiting trial. But “that is only a formality”, he added. He said he would use “indirect pressure” to persuade the prosecutor-general to allow Reinado to remain free while awaiting trial.

However, Ramos Horta warned that he had no power over the courts, even though he had infuriated them by ignoring the warrants and issuing freedom-of-movement letters that ordered the security forces not to arrest Reinado. Ramos Horta said an amnesty law would be passed on May 20 that could lead to his freedom. But Reinado was aware the President had no legislative power and could guarantee no such outcome.

Salsinha insisted he and the petitioners were still serving members of the army. However, Salsinha and his men had been sacked in early 2006 and Ramos Horta made it clear that the army’s head, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, did not want them back. “Taur says we will not accept them to come back because we already sacked them,” the President told the rebels. He said he would return to Dili and try to persuade Matan Ruak that the soldiers could reapply to join the army or be paid out to go away.

Reinado retorted that all serving members of the military – not just the rebels – should be put through a triaging process to reapply for the military and to prove their worth. He challenged serving soldiers to a physical test to see who was better.

Ramos Horta was contemptuous of Salsinha and did not address him by his rank.

He took a different view of Reinado, regarding him as a serving officer who needed to face justice.

In a strange aside, the President said to Reinado: “While we are in this process, I ask yourselves to please keep an eye. I heard that from the border the Indonesians are bringing weapons in.”

Reinado agreed this was the case and asked the President to give him the authority to raise a battalion to protect the border. Ramos Horta did not respond.

The meeting ended after one more attempt by Ramos Horta to persuade Reinado to surrender his weapons. “No, Mr President,” Reinado responded. “It’s like this. I also have the right to protect myself.”

Ramos Horta made a half-hearted suggestion that they meet again in a few days, but no date was set. It appears as though Ramos Horta had given up on Reinado. The two men never saw each other again.

Goncalves told a reporter after the shootings that Reinado had agreed to surrender and submit to justice on January 13. “He agreed. A deal was essentially done,” Goncalves was reported as saying. That clearly was not the case.

Three days after the meeting, Leon de Riedmatten from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue wrote to Reinado on behalf of Ramos Horta, informing him that the military was reluctant to reintegrate the petitioners into the army but reassuring him that he would remain free and that no military operation would be conducted against him.

Gusmao, the East Timorese army, the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force and the courts had all tired of Reinado and regarded him as a common criminal.

Ramos Horta, the Nobel peace laureate, was the only one who saw hope. The President was the only one Reinado would listen to. But after two years of Reinado demanding justice but refusing to face the courts, it is clear that Ramos Horta, too, was running out of patience.

De Riedmatten told Reinado the President had to travel overseas in January and would not be able to meet him that month. He promised that Ramos Horta would meet him again “before the middle of February”. However, the President made further plans to travel overseas in mid-February and again cancelled the meeting with Reinado.

On February 6, Australian troops entered Reinado’s hilltop zone, which led to a three-hour stand-off, with the rebels firing shots in the air. It is possible that Reinado thought he was close to being arrested and that his one hope in the world, Ramos Horta, had left him for dead.