By Selwyn Manning
The Indonesian army has instituted martial law in East Timor tonight and now has retaken control of Dili. That’s the
message given to Scoop only minutes ago by Indonesia’s economy media officer to the APEC leader’s summit in Auckland,
Mr Supriyadi insisted that there were no deaths in East Timor last night and that the army’s task of disarming the
pro-Jakarta militia is well underway.
“Our army is in the process of achieving full disarmament of not only the militia but also all others armed and fighting
in East Timor,” Mr Supriyadi said.
He said the fighting has yet to be totally stopped, but that it is now clear the civilian Government remains fully in
control of its military.
Reports from Jakarta also show control is passing back to B.J. Habibie’s control.
The Jakarta Post is also trashing rumours of a coup in Indonesia, reporting Indonesia’s Minister of Defense and
Security, General Wiranto, as insisting the civilian government is in control.
Wiranto also disputes President Habibie is about to resign.
Speculation has been rife for the past 24 hours that a military takeover in Indonesia is imminent. Reports circulating
about the Auckland APEC media contingent unofficially suggest the Indonesian President B.J. Habibie has lost control of
the Indonesian army.
Those suggestions are being rubbished tonight by Wiranto. A tense Indonesian Government delegation at APEC’s Auckland
ministerial meetings sat stoney faced and silent at this evening’s press conference, called to discuss events on the
past 24 hours.