|Subject: Transcript: E. Timor Doubts
Legitimacy of Indonesian Claims [2 reports]
Received from Joyo Indonesian News
also: Transcript: Indonesia seeks compensation for "investments" in East Timor
Australian Broadcasting Corporation May 22, 2002 -transcript-
TIMOR: Gvt questions legitimacy of Indonesian claims
The new East Timor government says it has no intention of discussing compensation with Indonesia. Foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta says East Timor is a debt-free nation and will not accept debt incurred by a previous regime.
RAMOS-HORTA: "Our position is clear, very clear for a long time, and that is we prefer not to discuss claims and assets because if we start starting about claims and assets, we cannot deal only with material things. We have to talk about lives. How can we accept discussing about a house that was destroyed and don't talk about war compensation for the many thousands of lives that disappeared.
"Who is going to pay for that. That's why we told the Indonesian side that it's best we put this completely behind, each side deal with its own problems."
HIDAYAT DJAJAMIHARDJA: Are you saying your government would not be prepared to negotiate on this issue?
RAMOS-HORTA: "On assets and claims our position remains the same as it has been with the UN and that is we propose a 'zero sum' approach, and that is each side deal with its own people's claims. Because if we start talking about certain claims, the Portuguese will come in. The Portuguese will say what happened to our assets for 25 years. Who is going to pay for the rent of the [Portuguese] building that was occupied by the Indonesians for 25 years. Who is going to pay for the coffee that the Portuguese owned for 25 years. And then you have individual Timorese, by the thousands, stepping forward, claiming who is going to pay for my house that was destroyed.
HIDAYAT DJAJAMIHARDJA: Their argument is that the money spent here was spent was borrowed from international organisations. which have to be paid, because it is the people's money.
RAMOS-HORTA: ""Well, I have to say that the East Timorese side was not involved in teh borrowing of this money. Our policy is that the East Timorese are a debt-free nation. The international community is helping us not to incur debt. We are not going to accept incurred by another government. So the Indonesian side has to deal with its creditors.
"It's going to be extremely, extremely, difficult for the other side to prove, that the money was spent in East Timor. Who made the request? Who authorised it? Was it a democratic body elected parliament in East Timor, was it a legitimate body, was it done through the UN? Did the UN recognise Indonesian Administration in East Timor. So it could be very, very difficult. It's best that the Indonesian side drop these from the agenda."
TIMOR: Indonesia seeks compensation for "investments" in East Timor
It's been revealed the United Nations' Administration in East Timor has rejected Indonesian efforts to begin compensation talks, over what Jakarta claims was its "investment" of funds and infrastructure during its 24-year occuption of East Timor. Indonesia's de facto Ambassador in Dili, Kristio Wahyono in an interview with Radio Australia's Indonesian service said Jakarta hopes to raise the issue with the new government in East Timor.
HIDAYAT DJAJAMIHARDJA: "Several rounds of talks have been held and what he told me was that residual issues, as a result of the change of authority from the Republic of Indonesia to UNTAET of the UN, and these have covered issues such as assets, cultural legacies, borderlines, and he also mentioned Aucusi, the enclave of East Timor in West Timor.
"Now on asset issues, so far according to Mr Wahyono, the UNTAET had shown a high bargaining power. What he meant was that UNTAET was putting what he said was a zero option. There is nothing to be claimed by Indonesia. But he said Indonesia did not accept that. In 24 years, Indonesia had developed East Timor with huge funds borrowed from world bodies, including the UN.
"And it is only logical, he said, if Indonesia demand the money that had been spent. We have left so many things covering assets of government, assets of state companies, assets of private companies, and assets of individual people.
LAM: So what exactly is Jakarta proposing - that the new government of East Timor pays Indonesia back for the infrastructure that's in place?
HIDAYAT DJAJAMIHARDJA: "Not in so many words, but because of the deadlock of this meeting with UNTAET, he said it was only logical that following the formation of the new government in East Timor then the bargaining of both countries would change. And the most important thing he said was the willingness on both sides, Indonesia and Timor to resolve the issue.
"My understanding is that Jakarta is hopeful the new government will reopen talks on this asset issue."
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