Subject: JP: Xanana asks Truth Commission to be cautious

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

The Jakarta Post Saturday, October 15, 2005

Xanana asks commission to be cautious

Wahyoe Boediwardhana , The Jakarta Post/Malang, East Java

Since its inception two months ago, the Commission of Truth and Friendship has reported no progress in its mission to identify those responsible for past human rights violations in what was then East Timor.

However, Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao has called on people -- both in his country and Indonesia -- to exercise patience in response to the commission's reticent beginnings.

Arriving in the hilly town of Malang for a holiday on Friday, Xanana said the commission had to tread carefully in order to reveal the dark side of the history of the two nations.

"I say don't be in a hurry. They have one year to finish their jobs, with another one year's extension if necessary," Xanana said. "If people of the two countries want a good result, just let the commission work with caution, otherwise it will be unable to find the truth."

The 10-strong commission, which comprises an equal number of people from both countries, is charged with investigating human rights abuses committed during the rampage by pro-Indonesia militiamen in the aftermath of Timor Leste's (then named East Timor) independence referendum in 1999.

Instead of seeking prosecution or punishment, the commission will pursue the confessions of those involved in the mayhem.

Xanana expressed confidence the commission was doing everything right and working in accordance with its designated schedule.

Xanana arrived in Malang after a stopover in Denpasar, where he attended the commemoration of the 2002 Bali bombings, in which 202 people were killed.

On Saturday, Xanana is scheduled to visit Mount Bromo in Malang's neighboring town of Pasuruan.

Xanana is traveling with his wife Kirsty Sword Gusmao and their two children.

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