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Edmundo Conceicao E Silva      

District head (bupati) Lautem (Lospalos)

Like several other district heads in East Timor in 1999, Edmundo Conceicao Silva helped lead militia forces that inflicted terror on his own population. He was the Lautem chairman of BRTT, Barisan Rakyat Timor Timur. And as an honorary Kopassus member he had some influence on the Alfa Team militia, controlled by Kopassus officer Lt Rahman Zulkarnaen and his deputy Sgt Syaful Anwar. According to the indictment against him in Dili, Edmundo Conceicao supplemented Alfa Team’s Kopassus salaries with government funding.

Intimidatory anti-independence rallies were held frequently in Lautem from mid-March 1999 onwards. On 14 April 1999 a rally of Tim Alfa militias led by local government officials and Kopassus soldiers toured the Lospalos area threatening those who opposed Indonesia with the same fate as the victims in Liquica church on 6 April, and that rejecting autonomy meant a return to 1975 (the brutal military invasion). On 19 April 1999 Edmundo Conceicao said at a rally that any civil servant who supported CNRT would be severely dealt with. The local military commander (Dandim Lospalos, LtCol Sudrajat) said at the same rally that anybody who did not support autonomy would be shot in the head. The rally was followed two days later by another tour, in which two pro-independence civil servants were picked up and tortured.[1] Edmundo Conceicao allegedly told one campaign meeting in April: 'You have to support integration and autonomy with Indonesia. If you don't, you won't be safe. We'll cut you down with weapons. What will you eat if you're independent? You can't even make a sewing needle, and you want to be free'.[2]

On 15 May 1999 he became the first district head to follow the governor's instructions to hold rallies to 'socialise' (promote) the autonomy option. Underlining the repressive nature of the campaign, 'socialising the autonomy plan' was everywhere to be done by the district head, local military and police officials acting together.[3]

Edmundo Conceicao was indicted with crimes against humanity before Dili’s Special Panel on 15 November 2002 for his role in the murder of CNRT leader Verissimo Dias Quintao on 27 August 1999.[4] Indicted with him were BRTT members:

  • Tomas da Costa, member of the BRTT Security Board
  • Anton Regu
  • Martinho da Costa
  • Jose Solari

During the raid on Verissimo Dias Quintao’s house (see Lt Rahman Zulkarnaen, who ordered it), these BRTT members took part alongside Alfa Team militia members. Martinho da Costa and Jose Solari committed the actual murder. Afterwards Edmundo Conceicao appeared before the house to tell the militias to stop shooting. He was upset that two of his men had been injured during the attack. He shouted at those inside the house (who had been celebrating the rebirth of CNRT): ‘You want to party but two of my men are dead.’

Edmundo Conceicao left East Timor after the Indonesian pull-out, and was interrogated by the Indonesian Human Rights Commission in December 1999.[5] He did not respond to further calls for interrogation from the Attorney Generals' Department in May 2000.[6] He was earlier down for prosecution by that department but had slipped off the list unannounced by May 2000. In June 2000 he visited Untaet-controlled East Timor looking for a way to return to his homeland.[7]


Edmundo Conceicao was 53 in 1999. He is the son of a local king (Raja Moro Lautem). When Bishop Belo and Jose Ramos Horta were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, he led a delegation to Jakarta to pledge loyalty to Indonesia.[8]

In August 1997 he presided at a 'traditional ceremony' where arrested pro-independence youth were forced to swear an oath to the Indonesian ideology Pancasila, to the regional government, the armed forces and the church.[9]

Extra Information

Current Status:
T - Committed for trial in East Timor, some already sentenced.

A - (Indonesian) Attorney General's Department. Announced as suspects at various times (September 2000 - April 2001), some later dropped, some already sentenced.

K - KPP HAM. Listed in the 31/01/2000 report of the Indonesian commission of inquiry into atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. More junior figures in Appendix 5 of the final report are added here under their superiors.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
Abilio Soares
LtGen Sugiono
Lt Rahman Zulkarnaen

[1] 'Laporan Situasi Ham April 1999 (3)', Yayasan HAK, 25 May 1999.

[2] 'Masyarakat Lautem rayakan Paskah dalam suasana mencekam', MateBEAN, 3 April 1999.

[3] Committee for a Free and Fair Ballot, 'Report on the Monitoring of the Ballot: May-June 1999', Fortilos, 23 June 1999.

[4] Indictment available online at under ‘Team Alpha/ BRTT’.

[5]  'Pemerintah tolak peradilan internasional: Tiga ahli luar negeri bantu KPP HAM', Kompas, 22 December 1999.

[6] 'AGO to force ex-officials to testify on Timor melee', Indonesian Observer,17 May 2000.

[7] Mark Dodd, 'Guerillas wary of visiting militia leader', Sydney Morning Herald,15 June 2000.

[8] 'Pemuda Timtim Protes Horta Terima Nobel', Suara Merdeka, 17 December 1996.

[9] '160 "Clandestines" swear allegiance to Indonesia', Kompas, 15 August 1997.


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