Subject: AN: Timor wrong to assume refugees a threat

E TIMOR IS WRONG TO ASSUME THAT EX REFUGEES POSE A THREAT

July 23, 2003 9:42pm Antara

Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, July 22 (ANTARA) - The handling of former E Timorese refugees in East Nusa Tenggara would not be totally completed if a number of East Timorese circles still considered the former East Timorese living in West Timor as a threat, a military officer said.

"As long as some elements in East Timor consider the former East Timorese refugees as a threat, the problem will remain," Lt Col Ganip Warsito, Belu military chief, said here on Tuesday.

According to him, the government and various circles in East Timor must be thinking positively and considered the matter in the right proportion.

The East Timorese government must convince its people that former East Timorese refugees in East Nusa Tenggara were not a threat to the future of the country, said Warsito who is also coordinator of the Belu district operation unit for the handling and treatment of the refugees.

He said the two neighboring countries must solve the problem by involving relevant parties.

An Indonesian delegate raised the subject at a workshop held in Bali on July 15 to 16.

Warsito pointed out that the delegates from the UN humanitarian agencies welcome the Indonesian proposal and promised a follow up.

"We of course hope the UN envoys would recommend a final solution for the former refugees and also abolish the wrong assumption on their presence," he added.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)


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