|Subject: E. Timor to Protect Indon Assets:
Xanana [+hero cemetary]
Received from Joyo Indonesian News
also: Megawati wants hero cemetery issues completed before May 20
The Jakarta Post [online] May 3, 2002
East Timor to protect Indonesian assets: Xanana
JAKARTA (JP): Newly-elected East Timorese President and former guerrilla commander Jose Alexander "Xanana" Gusmao reiterated on Friday that his government will continue to maintain and manage Indonesian assets in East Timor after the completion of United Nations Transitional Administration in EastTimor (UNTAET) service in the former Indonesian province.
Xanana affirmed East Timor's goodwill toward the Indonesian government in a media briefing on Friday before leaving for Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi to discuss East Timorese refugees issues.
There has been mounting concern about Indonesian assets in East Timor and the abandoned graveyards for national heroes, known as Seroja Heroes Cemeteries that are located all across East Timor.
Amid controversy surrounding President MegawatiSoekarnoputri's plan to visit East Timor when it attains full independence on May 20, Megawati expressed her intention on Friday to discuss the possibility of relocating graves in theIndonesian heroes cemeteries in East Timor.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda told the media after the induction of several ambassadors at the State Palace on Friday that Megawati wanted the administrative matters concerning the Seroja Heroes Cemetery to be cleared and completed before May20, which is East Timor's first independence day.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians who fought for the who fought for the Indonesian side during the fight against the armed wing of Marxist-Communist Fretilin were buried in East Timor, a territorywhich was then integrated with Indonesia as the country's youngest province.
A 1999 UN-administered ballot led to East Timor's breakaway from Indonesia, followed by orgy of violence and conflict between the pro-independence and the pro-integration camps. (edt)
Megawati wants hero cemetery issues completed before May 20
JAKARTA (JP): President Megawati Soekarnoputri has expressed her wish that the administrative matters concerning the Seroja Heroes Cemetery be settled before May 20, which is East Timor's first independence day, an official said on Thursday.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda said that by May 20 the government expected a definite decision on the status of the national heroes buried in East Timor.
Hassan said that there were alternatives, such as relocating the heroes graves in East Timor to Heroes Cemetery in Jakarta or handing it over to the families of the deceased.
"Either way is fine and is possible," he said.
Hassan further explained that in February East Timor had offered to upgrade the graveyards.
"The East Timorese people highly appreciate the cemeteries, because they are a documentation of history," Hassan said.
Speaking after the induction of several ambassadors at the State Palace on Friday, Hassan also said that Indonesia and East Timor are also in the process of settling several matters concerning Indonesian assets in the former province.
"The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) is listing the assets and discussions between two countries about the matter are in process, " Hassan said.
Meanwhile, chairman of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Alumni Association Lt. Gen. Agum Gumelar said that Megawati had expressed similar support for the efforts.
"This is a humanitarian mission. We owe it to those who died fighting for the nation in East Timor," Agum said. (edt)
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