Subject: KY: Former pro-Indonesia E. Timorese discuss reconcilliation

Kyodo News Service March 30, 2001, Friday

Former pro-Indonesia E. Timorese discuss reconcilliation

DILI, East Timor, March 30 Kyodo

Pro-Indonesia East Timorese told journalists upon their departure Friday back to Indonesia's West Timor after a three-day visit to East Timor that every East Timorese in West Timor refugee camps would return home if the atmosphere in East Timor were reconciliatory.

Led by Filomenu de Jesus Ornai, secretary general of the Unity of East Timorese Warriors, the group called on all parties to work for reconciliation that could pave the way for the refugees to return.

'I think all East Timorese outside, those who fled East Timor after the (independence referendum), will decide to come back. But the question is under what conditions...,' Ornai said.

After decades of struggle, the majority of East Timorese voted Aug. 30, 1999, to become an independent country.

During the referendum process and in its aftermath, pro-Indonesian militias terrorized many in the population through a campaign of looting, burning and killing that ended only when international troops arrived in the territory Sept. 20.

More than 225,000 East Timorese fled to West Timor during the violence and many still remain in squalid camps there.

'We are now making efforts at reconciliation,' Ornai said Friday.

'Our visit was successful because we have met with many leaders...and are negotiating a second meeting to be held in East Timor soon,' Ornai said.

A source with the United Nations in East Timor said the current meeting followed initial contact between leaders from the two sides in Surabaya, Indonesia, in December.


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