|Subject: LUSA: NGOs Criticize Gusmao's
Stance on International Tribunal
see www.etan.org/news/2001a/04ngofor.htm for complete NGO statement.
East Timor: NGOs Criticize Gusmao's Stance on International Tribunal
The East Timorese association of non-governmental organizations NGO Forum said Thursday it was "very worried" about the public stance taken by independence leader Xanana Gusmao minimizing the importance of an eventual international tribunal to try Indonesian atrocities in the territory.
"In our opinion, Xanana Gusmao's position totally misses its target, given that investigations by courts in Dili and Indonesia have not yet managed to satisfy the demands for justice of families of victims", the forum said in a statement.
Describing Gusmao's stance as "political" and "very worrying", the NGOs said that the eventual creation of an international court was "an option which should be seriously studied, seeing that up to the moment Indonesia has not achieved progress in its investigations".
In Jakarta last week, Gusmao held talks with President Abdurrahaman Wahid and later told reporters he was more concerned about "political" and "socio-economic problems" than with the possible need to establish an international court, which he said was "not a priority" for him personally.
Since Gusmao's comment, Wahid signed a decree setting up a special court to try Indonesian atrocities committed in 1999, both before and after the August 30 Timorese independence plebiscite.
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