Subject: KY: E. Timor police, officials allowed to study in Indonesia

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

E. Timor police, officials allowed to study in Indonesia

KUPANG, Indonesia, June 15 (Kyodo) - Senior Indonesian government officials on Saturday expressed willingness to allow East Timorese policemen and officials to pursue higher education in Indonesia.

The agreement was reached during an official visit Saturday to East Timor by more than 30 senior Indonesian officials, including three ministers.

Home Minister Hari Sabarno, who led the delegation, disclosed the results of the half-day meeting in Kupang in the Indonesian territory of West Timor.

It was the first official visit by Indonesian officials since East Timor gained independence on May 20. The East Timor delegation was chaired by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

''The East Timorese government has made a request to the Indonesian government to accept East Timor policemen to study at the Police High Institution (in Jakarta) and their government officials at the Domestic Administrative High Institution,'' Hari told reporters.

''And we agreed to accept their requests,'' he added.

Former students of the police institution include East Timor Police Commissioner Insp. Paulo Martins, a former secretary to the East Timor police chief during the Indonesian occupation.

According to Hari, the issue of education is one of the three issues to be further discussed in a joint commission that will be set up by both governments. The other two issues are refugee repatriation and border markers.

He said officials from the two countries agreed on a joint reconnaissance survey that will meet again later this month to finalize the demarcation process that has taken place since early May.

In February, East Timor and Indonesia agreed to carry out demarcation of the 172-kilometer land border between East Timor and the Indonesian half of Timor Island based on a 1904 convention between the Netherlands and Portugal on delimitation of their possessions on the island and a subsequent 1914 arbitral award.

In the Saturday meeting, the Indonesian delegation also told their East Timorese counterparts that Jakarta will officially close East Timorese refugee camps in West Timor on Aug. 31.

Last month, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers said his office will stop considering East Timorese living outside East Timor as refugees six months after gaining independence and a ''cessation close'' will be declared.

The U.N. refugee agency, however, will urge East Timorese refugees to return voluntarily to East Timor. To ensure a choice, the UNHCR will offer an alternative for resettlement on some Indonesian islands ''on the way to Bali'' but not in West Timor.

More than 250,000 East Timorese left East Timor and sought refuge in West Timor and some parts of Indonesia after violence erupted in the former Portuguese colony following a 1999 U.N.-sanctioned referendum, in which about 78% of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia.

According to the UNHCR, about 52,000 East Timorese are still sheltering in refugee camps, most of them relatives of former militiamen who support Jakarta and oppose East Timor's independence.

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