|Subject: AFP: East Timor reconciliation talks set to
start in Jakarta
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 09:03:09 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
E. Timor reconciliation talks open three hours late
JAKARTA, June 26 (AFP) - Reconciliation talks between pro and anti-independence East Timor camps opened here three hours late Friday after the delayed arrival of jailed resistance leader Xanana Gusmao.
Gusmao, accompanied by two lawyers, arrived at 12:30 p.m. (0530 GMT), after participants in the meeting agreed to wait for him to be released from his house jail in Central Jakarta before opening the talks.
Lawyer Johnson Panjaitian said the resistance leader had been unable to get away earlier as official approval from the justice ministry failed to arrive on time.
The talks, closed to the media, were to be opened by the two Roman Catholic bishops of the former Portuguese colony.
The Dare II dialogue and reconciliation conference, will involve 60 participants from East Timor and abroad.
It will be held in two stages, with the first two days only involving 20 participants from East Timor. The four-day second stage to begin Sunday will include 40 participants from abroad.
East Timor reconciliation talks set to start in Jakarta
JAKARTA, June 25 (AFP) - The opening of reconciliation talks between the pro and anti-independence East Timor camps was delayed here friday after jailed resistance leader Xanana Gusmao failed to arrive.
His lawyer, Johnson Panjaitian, said the Gusmao was unable to leave his house jail in Central Jakarta as official approval from the justice ministry failed to arrive on time.
"We have just been informed that an official will come carrying the permit, and we will leave as soon as we have it," Panjaitan told AFP 45 minutes after the meeting was to have started.
The talks, to be opened by the two Roman Catholic bishops of the former Portuguese colony, were scheduled to open at 10:00 a.m. (0300 GMT).
When Gusmao failed to appear the participants agreed to wait for him, sources at the talks said. The meeting is closed to the media.
A spokesman for the organisers, Father Domingos Sequeira, said 60 participants from East Timor and abroad will attend the dialogue, the second organized by the Catholic Church.
"In the presence of Bishop Carlos Belo and Bishop Basilio do Nascimento, delegates will discuss the resolution of East Timor's political and security problems," Sequeira said in a statement.
The "Dare II dialogue and reconciliation conference," as the meeting is officially called after the first session in Dare, East Timor last September, is "the only major dialogue process initiated and managed wholly by East Timorese."
It will be held in two stages, with the first two days only involving participants from East Timor. The four-day second stage to begin Sunday will include participants from abroad.
The first stage will be attended by 10 representatives from each camp. They include Gusmao, the president of the National Resistance Council of East Timor, the umbrella organisation of the east Timorese pro-independence movement, and two of its leaders, David Ximenes and Leandro Isaac.
The pro-independence faction will also involve former MP Mauel Carrascalao, whose house in Dili was attacked by armed pro-Indonesia militia in April. His teenaged son and 12 other people were killed.
The pro-Indonesia faction is represented by Domingo Soares who heads the Front for Peace, Freedom and Democracy (FPDK), FPDK spokesman Basilio Araujo, Fransisco Xavier Lopez da Cruz who chairs the Front of the People of East Timor (BRTT) and parliamentarian Armindo Soares Mariano.
Starting Sunday, another 20 exiled leaders of each camp will join the talks.
The pro-Indonesia side for the expanded talks includes Jakarta-appointed governor Jose Osorio Abilio Soares, militia commander Joao da Silva Tavares, and Florentino Sarmento who heads the East Timor chapter of the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights.
The independence camp will include former East Timor governor Mario Viegas Carrascalao, Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, Mari Alkatiri and Olandina Caiero Alves.
The talks were first planned for East Timor, but were called off by Belo in response to a militia massacre of refugees in the town of Liquisa. A second effort was made to hold them on neutral ground in Australia, but Jakarta ruled out allowing Gusmao to leave the country.
Gusmao is serving a 20-year sentence for plotting against the state and possession of illegal weapons.
Violence between the various factions has spiralled since Jakarta said in January it would let go of the territory it invaded in 1975 if its people rejected an offer of autonomy under Indonesian rule.
In May the Indonesia and Portugal agreed with the United Nations to hold a vote in August to determine what the people wanted.
The UN team charged with conducting the ballot (UNAMET) has begun opening voter registration centers, and its spokesman David Wimhurst said Friday that all eight centers would be open by Saturday.