Subject: Gusmao arrives in W. Timor for refugee repatriation

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

The Jakarta Post [online] November 1, 2002

Xanana Gusmao arrives in West Timor for refugee repatriation

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara (Agencies): The president of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, Alexander "Xanana" Gusmao, arrived here on Friday morning, amid tight security, for a four-day official trip that will include visits to East Timorese refugee camps.

Gusmao held meetings here with representatives of the Indonesian government, including East Nusa Tenggara Governor Piet A. Tallo and the secretary to the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Social Affairs Sutedjo Yuwono, provincial administration spokesman Johanis Bastian Kosapilawan said as quoted by Antara.

According to Johanis, President Gusmao said the door to East Timor remained open for all the East Timorese still living in refugee camps.

Gusmao said he hoped the East Timorese refugees would return and join together with their fellow residents to develop East Timor. "So the main goal of the visit is to accelerate the process of repatriation and reconciliation among East Timorese residents," he was quoted as saying.

The visit also is aimed at strengthening the relationship between residents of East Nusa Tenggara and East Timor through the development of culture and trade along the border.

In supporting the repatriation process, the Indonesian government announced it would give Christmas, New Year's and Idul Fitri gifts to East Timorese refugees who wanted to return to East Timor.

Each head of family will receive the gifts, valued at Rp 1.5 million. And former Indonesian civil servants and police or military officers who resign their positions and return to East Timor will be given repatriation aid of between Rp 5 million and Rp 15 million according to the length of their service, Sutedjo Yuwono said.

Governor Piet Tallo noted that there were more than 33,000 East Timorese refugees remaining in the province.

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