Domingos Maria das Dores Soares ['Koli'/ 'Coli']
District head (bupati) Dili
Domingos Soares is often described as a young intellectual, and has a postgraduate law degree from Airlangga University, Surabaya. He is married to the daughter of the first Indonesian governor of East Timor, Arnaldo dos Reis Araujo. In 1997 he ran and lost against Abilio Soares as a candidate for East Timor governor.
During the 1990s he frequently represented the Indonesian official view at meetings on East Timor overseas. After finishing university studies he served as mayor of Dili and then as district head of the greater Dili district.
On 27 January 1999, the same day President Habibie announced that a ballot would be held on East Timor's independence, he was appointed head of an umbrella organisation to represent Indonesian interests in the coming struggle. The FPDK (Forum Persatuan, Demokrasi dan Keadilan - Unity, Democracy & Justice Forum) was closely related to the government - its branches in all East Timor's 13 districts were well equipped and usually headed by the district head or district secretary. It was funded from the government budget (see Abilio Soares).
Militias under the FPDK were sometimes known as Milisia Pro-Otonomi (MPO), although in practice militias were maintained by the military at the subdistrict through to the East Timor-wide level. Thus while Domingos Soares is not personally known to have engaged in violence he is responsible for organising (including funding) the militias that did commit acts of violence.
Apparently less interested in militias but enjoying more backing from some key Jakarta figures was another pro-Indonesian East Timorese organisation, BRTT (Barisan Rakyat Timor Timur). Established on 30 April 1999 and led by veteran pro-Indonesian diplomat Lopez da Cruz, it was allegedly backed initially by Wiranto and Foreign Minister Ali Alatas. In June 1999 the two joined together under the name United Front for East Timor (Unif), led by Lopez da Cruz and Domingos Soares together. Joao Tavares commanded the group's militia forces.
On 19 April 1999, in his capacity as Dili district head, Domingos Soares appointed Eurico Guterres to head a civilian civil guard [Pam swakarsa]. This was only two days after Guterres' troops murdered twelve people in Manuel Carrascalao's house, following a large militia show of strength. At that 17 April militia rally, Domingos Soares said the 'civilian guards' were each being paid Rp 100-200,000 a month (US$10-20), taken out of his Dili district budget.
On 11 May 1999 Domingos Soares was present at a secret meeting in Dili of militia leaders, territorial military, military intelligence and police officers, at which plans were discussed to repeat violent operations against pro-independence actors of the sort conducted the previous month, under the slogan 'Autonomy or Death'. The military source for this leak said that East Timor military commander Col Tono Suratman was the main initiator of these plans, while Domingos Soares and Golkar chairman in East Timor Armindo Soares Mariano were the main organisers.
A few days before the ballot on 30 August 1999, according to the Dili special panel indictment against Eurico Guterres (Case 13/ 2003), Domingos Soares gathered all the village chiefs of Dili district for a meeting. Dili mayor Mateus Maia said there that the ‘pro-autonomy vote must win otherwise blood would flow in Dili’.
On 20 September 1999, the day Interfet landed in East Timor, he became chairman (head of the consultative board) of a new organisation, which was in February 2000 relaunched as Untas, dedicated to reclaiming East Timor for Indonesia. Domingos Soares has persistently rejected the ballot result. Although he publicly rejected the use of violence and denied that armed militias remained under Untas control (and denied that they even existed), in reality relations were close, though sometimes strained as militia leaders accused Untas leaders of elitism. Domingos Soares' rhetoric at Untas meetings has been laced with racism, blaming the 'albinos' for East Timor's present 'colonialism'.
In December 1999 he was questioned by KPP HAM, but he refused to show up for interrogation by the Indonesian Attorney General's Department in May 2000. He was earlier down for prosecution by that department but had slipped off the list unannounced by May 2000. Untas engaged in some negotiation with CNRT in December 2000.