Subject: Gusmão rejects 'unrealistic' parts of report on rights abuses

East Timor: Gusmão rejects 'unrealistic' parts of report on rights abuses

Dili, Nov. 28 (Lusa) - Delivering a report Monday to parliament from East Timor's truth and reconciliation commission on human rights abuses from 1974 to 1999, President Xanana Gusmão said he rejected some of the document`s proposals for being politically unrealistic. Gusmão, presenting the 2,000-page report from the Commission for Reception , Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) to MPs in the Dili legislature, said some of t he recommendations, while not being "ridiculously utopian", were nevertheless "v ery ambitious" in terms of "practical politics".

One such recommendation, he added, was for payment of compensation to vict ims of violence by Portugal and Indonesia, as well as permanent member states of the UN Security Council and countries that sold arms to Jakarta.

Another CAVR proposal is for the restitution of Dili's disbanded serious c rimes unit and court and a parallel ramping up of investigations into rights abu ses committed between 1974 and 1999.

Gusmão said the report did not take account of the social chaos and politi cal anarchy in the aftermath of Dili's unilateral declaration of independence fr om Lisbon in 1975.

Since Timor's independence in 2002, leaders in Dili have maintained that e stablishing warmer political ties with Jakarta is more of a priority than unreal istically pressing for justice for all cases of human rights violations. Despite criticizing some of the recommendations of Dili's truth and reconc iliation body, the Timorese leader said other proposals in the document were "ve ry valuable" and merited "deep study by society and particularly political force s".

Set up in 2000, the CAVR has catalogued widespread human rights abuses com mitted during Dili's 25-year independence struggle against Indonesian rule.

As well as identifying both perpetrators and victims of violence, the CA VR has also taken over 1,500 actions of community reconciliation by bringing agg ressors face-to-face with their victims.

In his 90 minute speech to Timor's MPs and Dili-based foreign diplomats, G usmão also said that "the best and true justice was recognition by the internati onal community of the Timorese people's right to self-determination and independ ence". The CAVR report had been due to be made public after its presentation to p arliament, but official Dili sources said no date has yet been scheduled for its publication.

Nov. 28 was chosen for document's presentation to lawmakers as it marked t he 30th anniversary of Timor's short-lived unilateral independence declaration i n 1975. Nine days after Dili's bid for independence from Portugal, Indonesian troo ps invaded to begin Jakarta's annexation of the territory. EL/CJB.



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