Subject: East Timorese Register In Yogya

Detikworld, October 16, 2000

East Timorese Register In Yogya

Reporter: Bagus Kurniawan / Hendra & GB

Yogyakarta - Starting today, Monday (16/10/2000), East Timorese refugees and officials living in Yogyakarta began registering in order to ascertain whether or not they wish to return to East Timor or remain in Indonesia.

The registration is being carried out at the Yogyakarta Governor's Office in the Kepatihan Complex on Jl Malioboro, Yogyakarta, Central Java. The registration is open to both East Timorese and state officials who once served the Indonesian administration in the former province.

However, from 09.00- 11.00 only 10 East Timorese appeared from among an estimated 500 eligible residents of Yogyakarta.

Those eligible to register must be aged 17 years and above or be married. Children's forms must be filled in by the their parents or the head of the family. The prepared forms require the people to list their citizenship status. That is, whether they will remain citizens of Indonesia or becomes citizens of the world's newest country, East Timor.

According a Timorese elder, Fransisco Lopez De Carvalho, the East Timorese are very enthusiastic about the registration because it will prove very important to their legal status. However, he said that news of the registration process has yet to filter down to some elements of the East Timorese population. The government given a time limit of December this year to register.

He added that, in carrying out the registration, the East Timorese living in Yogya felt that the government was paying attention to their concerns and that they were not simply 'used and then thrown away'. This is certainly the first attempt of its kind and it is hoped the Yogya registration will be a successful pilot project in the national campaign to register East Timorese currently in Indonesia.


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