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.
Tyneside East Timor Solidarity
Begin forwarded message:
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 07:43:53 -0400
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
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
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.