Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has bestowed the Bintang Jasa Utama (1st Class Star of Service) award for civil bravery and courage in times of adversity on former pro-integration East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres. The award ceremony was held at the State Palace in Thursday August 12.
The decoration was given to Guterres as a sign of respect based on Presidential Decrees Numbers 76, 77 and 78 TK/TH of 2021 on the awarding of the Bintang Mahaputera (Star of Mahaputera), the Bintang Budaya Parama Dharma (Cultural Merit Star) and the Bintang Jasa honorary medals.
"With praise from the God Almighty, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, taking into account and with due consideration, has decided to bestow the Star of Service decoration on Eurico Guterres, S.E., M.M., the General Chairperson of the Timor Aswa'in Union Congress (UNTAS) and the East Timor Fighters Communication Forum (FKPTT)", said Military Secretary Rear Marshal Tonny Harjono as broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel.
Aside from Guterres, three other people received the 1st Class Star of Service: the late Drs. H. Rusdi Sufl, an academic and custodian of Achenese hereditary history and culture; Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. mult. Goldammer, Johann Georg, Andreas, director of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Freiburg University and Professor for Fire Ecology and Fire Management at Freiburg University, Germany and; Transmedia Commissioner Dr. lshadi Sutopo Kartosaputro, M.Sc.
"This is a sign of respect for their services in accordance with the stipulations of the special requirements in the context of acquiring the decorations of the Bintang Mahaputera, Bintang Budaya Paramadharma and Bintang Jasa as regulated under law. Decreed in Jakarta on August 4, 2021, by the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo", said Harjono.
Eurico Guterres is an East Timorese pro-integration figure and former deputy commander of the pro-Indonesian militia in East Timor.
Prior to this, on December 15, 2020 Guterres received a National Defence Patriot medal and certificate from Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto (see https://www.indoleft.org/news/2020-12-16/prabowo-gives-awards-to-eurico-guterres-thousands-of-ex-east-timor-militia.html).
Eurico Guterres is a former pro-integration militia leader recruited by the Indonesian military during East Timor's bid for independence between 1999 and 2000. He was involved in several massacres in East Timor and was a chief militia leader during the post-independence killings and destruction of the capital Dili. Guterres was tried by the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court for East Timor for crimes against humanity on charges of murder and persecution along with 17 other defendants and subsequently sentenced to ten years imprisonment in November 2002, for which he was imprisoned in 2006 until 2008.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Jokowi Beri Bintang Jasa Utama ke Eurico Guterres, Eks Pejuang Timor-Timur".]