Subject: AN: Repatriating refugee families to receive rupiah

ANTARA - THE INDONESIAN NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY

November 12, 2001 EVERY REPATRIATING E TIMORESE REFUGEE FAMILY TO RECEIVE RP750,000

Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, Nov 12 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has agreed to allocate Rp750,000 in funds for the repatriation of each of the East Timorese families sheltered at refugee camps in East Nusa Tenggara province.

"The agreement was reached at a meeting held in Jakarta on Nov 2-4. The meeting was designed to speed up the repatriation of East Timorese refugees sheltered in East Nusa Tenggara," commander of the Belu military district, Lt. Col. Didi Sudiana, said on Monday.

The meeting agreed on the disbursement of Rp500,000 to compensate the travel expenses of each refugee family from East Nusa Tenggara to East Timor, plus Rp250,000 in life allowance, he said.

"According to the plan, the compensation amounts and life allowances will be disbursed on Nov 14," he said.

The funds needed to repatriate the East Timorese refugees originated from the Indonesian government and would be channeled through the National Coordination Board (Bakornas), he said.

Bakornas is a state institute tasked with handling victims of natural disasters. At the national level, the board is chaired by the vice president with the coordinating minister for people's welfare as secretary.

He expressed hope that the compensation fund and life allowance could be disbursed on schedule so that the repatriation program could run smoothly.

Thousands of East Timorese fled to East Nusa Tenggara (western half of Timor island) to escape myhem that erupted shortly after the majority of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia in a UN-administered ballot in August 1999.

The number of East Timorese refugees in East Nusa Tenggara has declined as many of them eventually decided to repatriate with the help of the UN and the Indonesian government.


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