Subject: Gusmao visits Indonesian prison

Also: Timor Leste Wishes To Have Talks On Indonesia's Assets

The Australian

Gusmao visits Indonesian prison From correspondents in Jakarta, Indonesia 29jan05

EAST Timor's charismatic president Xanana Gusmao today made an emotional visit to the Indonesian prison where he was held for four years as a rebel before his country was granted independence.

Mr Gusmao toured Jakarta's notorious Cipinang jail, meeting inmates of the cell where he was incarcerated in 1992 for his role leading the Timorese rebel resistance to Indonesia's occupying forces.

"This is not just a nostalgic visit for me. I know exactly how the inmates feel and suffer. I'm here today also to give support to my friends who are still here," he said with tears in his eyes.

While behind bars Mr Gusmao gained a reputation as East Timor's version of Nelson Mandela, inspiring a separatist spirit that in 1999 led to a violent split from Indonesia. He reluctantly became the country's first president in 2002.

Prison chief Dedi Sutardi described Mr Gusmao's impromptu visit as amicable.

"It was a friendly visit, we had a great talk about old times. We smoked and had coffee together," he told Jakarta's Elshinta radio.


Timor Leste Wishes To Have Talks On Indonesia's Assets

Jakarta ( Berita ) : The Timor Leste government has expressed commitment to negotiate Indonesia's assets in its former province with the Indonesian government, a source said. "Both governments will have negotiations on the matter.

We wait and hope all things can be settled," Ginandjar Kartasasmita, chairman of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) said after meeting with visiting Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao at the parliament building here on Friday.

According to him, Gusmao and himself did not pay too much attention to the assets in their meeting because the two governments were going to handle it.

Apart from this, President Gusmao also told him about the management of oil reserves in the Timor Gap which Indonesia and Australia had managed in the past.

Ginandjar said Timor Leste is still discussing a profit sharing scheme of the Timor Gap with Australia.

"Timor Leste is trying to get more profits than what Indonesia has ever received.

President Gusmao is on a visit to Indonesia to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to present his country's relief aid for tsunmais victims in Aceh and North Sumatera.(ant)

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