Subject: east timor headlines/5 September2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Wednesday 5 September 2001

1. Twelve NGOs oppose Japan SDF 

2. Mari Alkatari: Fretilin supports reconciliation and amnesty 

3. The peaceful election 

4. Courts will continue using Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun

1. Twelve NGOs oppose Japan SDF (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

Twelve local NGOs have signed a petition rejecting the presence of Japan’s Special Defence Forces (SDF) in Timor Lorosae. The NGOs were against the participation of the SDF in peacekeeping operations with the UN’s PKF because Japan had yet to apologize for its World War II atrocities in the region. Also, the NGOs said the security situation in Timor Lorosae was improving and did not warrant extra foreign troops in the country.

The NGOs signing the petition were Yayasan Hak, Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute, Pro-Democracy Students Movement, Sahe Institute for Liberation, Grupo Feto Foin Sae Timor Lorosae, East Timor Women Against Violence, East Timor Students Solidarity Council, Fokupers, Legal Aid Foundation, Lao Hamutuk, Community Development Economic Program and Haburas Foundation.

The two-page petition was sent to the Japanese government, UNTAET, Bishop Belo and Bishop Nascimento and all political party leaders including Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Horta.

“Instead of sending troops to Timor Lorosae, the Japanese government should spend the money on initiating community projects that could help heal the wounds of people who had suffered atrocities in World War II,” said the petition.

“Many Timorese have bitter memories of the Japanese army during World War II. Many Timorese women were also made sex slaves by the Japanese army during that period.

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2. Mari Alkatari: Fretilin supports reconciliation and amnesty (Suara Timor Lorosae, back page lead)

The Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatari reiterated yesterday that his party will continue supporting reconciliation and amnesty for Timorese refugees in Indonesia-controlled West Timor.

“Our brothers and sisters in West Timor do not have to be afraid to come back home to develop this new nation because we are committed to the reconciliation process,” said Mari Alkatari in an interview with STL.

But Alkatari also said the reconciliation and amnesty process must also be in tandem with justice and law.

“Without the judicial process, reconciliation and amnesty would be meaningless. We must respect the due process of the law,” he stressed.

On the question of amnesty, Alkatari said in a political structure it was the head of state who could grant it after consulting Parliament.

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3. The peaceful election (Suara Timor Lorosae editorial)

The success of the 30 August election has instilled confidence among the international community. And this success is important for the people of Timor Lorosae to move forward in the next coming months. This success in the country’s first free and fair election is also important in Timor Lorosae’s path to full independence.

All the eyes of the world are upon us now and because of this we have to bury the hatchet and let bygones be bygones. There must be a spirit of give and take among the winners and the losers.

Those who win must commit themselves to work for the good of the country. Those who lose must accept their defeat and support those who have won. This is the process of democracy and one of the cardinal principles in the National Unity Pact: to accept defeat gracefully.

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4. Courts will continue using Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun (Timor Post, page 3 lead)

The Deputy President of the Dili District Court Rui Pereira dos Santoas stressed that the Timor Lorosae Judiciary will continue using Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun in all proceedings for about 10 to 15 years despite Portuguese being made the official language of the Constituent Assembly.

Rui Perieira said that though four languages ­ Bahasa Indonesia, English, Portuguese and Tetun ­ were used in the courts in accordance with UNTAET regulations, in reality however the most used language was Tetun and Bahasa Indonesia.

“This is because most of the documents presented to court are either in Bahasa Indonesia or Tetun,” he said.

“The courts will not risk using a language that is not understood by the majority of the Timorese people,” he added.

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