Subject: AFP: Indonesian President Megawati to visit East Timor refugees

Indonesian President Megawati to visit East Timor refugees

JAKARTA, Aug 23 (AFP) - President Megawati Sukarnoputri will visit Indonesian West Timor to inspect camps sheltering some 100,000 refugees who fled East Timor almost two years ago, a report said Thursday.

The state Antara news agency said Megawati would go to West Timor shortly after she ends her tour of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on August 28.

The agency, which gave no source, said the president would inspect camps in the Belu, Central and South Timor and Kupang districts.

Antara said Megawati will also visit the Timor border town of Atambua and Ende, a town in nearby Flores island.

Her father, founding president Sukarno, was once exiled by Dutch colonial authorities to Ende.

More than 100,000 East Timorese are still holed up in squalid refugee camps in West Timor following East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia in August 1999.

Some 300,000 East Timorese were forced to flee when pro-Indonesia militiamen launched a campaign of terror and destruction.

East Timor is due to hold its first free election on Thursday, August 30 as it moves towards becoming an independent nation.

bs/sm/jkb AFP


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