Kalbuadi

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This character in this image from the film is Colonel Dading Kalbuadi, the overall commander of the Indonesian forces in East Timor. His dress in the film is based on his actual clothing from that time. He was not at Balibo during the killing of the journalists; he was in his tactical headquarters approximately ten kilometers away. He flew in by helicopter immediately after Balibo had been captured.

The film shows him participating in the killing in order to highlight an important legal conclusion reached by the Coroner: "There is strong circumstantial evidence that Colonel Dading Kalbuadi gave orders to his field commanders that anyone found in Balibo was to be killed, including the five journalists." (emphasis in the original)

Colonel Dading Kalbuadi was aware that the journalists were at Balibo. At the time (October 1975) the Indonesian military was conducting a terror and destabilisation campaign in the border regions of East Timor. Its aim was to generate atrocities which could be falsely attributed to pro-independence East Timorese forces. It would then be able to disguise its invasion under the pretext of ''restoring order''. If the journalists had obtained film footage of the military campaign and conveyed it to the outside world, the cover story would have been blown. They were killed in a deliberate act to prevent them from revealing the truth.

The Coroner also stated:

I am satisfied on the totality of the evidence that Colonel Dading Kalbuadi was aware that the journalists were in Balibo prior to the attack on 16 October and that he subsequently disclaimed any knowledge of their presence in order to distance himself from his actions based on that knowledge, including orders to kill them, to destroy their bodies and to engage in an orchestrated cover-up of the circumstances of their deaths. (emphasis in the original)

The full-scale invasion of East Timor occurred on 7th December 1975. Colonel Dading Kalbuadi was the chief of intelligence for the invasion.

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