Subject: Hero cemetery from East Timor

The Jakarta Post October 2, 2001

Hero cemetery from East Timor

JAKARTA: The Indonesia government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is engaged in talks with the East Timor authorities in an effort to remove the remains of war heroes buried in cemeteries across East Timor, an official said on Monday.

Udayana Military commander Maj. Gen. Willem T. da Costa said in the town of Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara on Monday that since he was assigned to his post, he has been thinking about relocating the remains of the heroes.

"Since the integration of East Timor with Indonesia in 1975 over 5,000 Indonesian soldiers have died (during the struggle against communism) in East Timor," Willem said.

The graves have been neglected following East Timor's breakaway from Indonesia in August 1999.

East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia in 1999, leading to thousands of people fleeing their homes and crowding into refugee camps in the neighboring province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

The official refugee registration in June this year revealed that 98 percent of some 230,000 East Timorese refugees opted to stay within Indonesian territory. -- JP


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