Subject: LUSA: Dili, Jakarta's presidents discuss report on occupation bloodshed

17-02-2006 20:59:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-7749113 Temas:

East Timor: Dili, Jakarta's presidents discuss report on occupation bloodshed

Jakarta, Feb. 17 (Lusa) - President Xanana Gusmão of East Timor met his Indonesian counterpart Friday to discuss a controversial UN- backed report listing atrocities committed by Indonesia during its 24- year occupation of the new nation.

After his encounter with Gusmão in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the meeting had been productive and that Jakarta and Dili would seek to resolve their recent bitter history between themselves.

The Indonesian leader added that the highly critical report, presented to the UN last month and accusing Jakarta of complicity in up to 180,000 Timorese deaths, would be consigned to history in bilateral relations between the two neighboring states.

The report was not discussed by Gusmão after the meeting.

The 2,500-page document drawn up by international experts for Dili's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) said that thousands of Timorese died from starvation and other causes during Indonesia's occupation of the territory from 1975 to 1999.

The report also highlighted widespread sexual violence, torture and the use of napalm bombs by Indonesian military aircraft.

Dili's leaders have maintained that building good relations with Indonesia is a higher priority than seeking prosecution of military officials responsible for war crimes in Timor.

The two countries have established their own truth and friendship commission to scrutinize events surrounding the bloodshed during the occupation of Timor, but this bilateral body has been criticized for not fulfilling international rights standards.

International rights groups have called for justice for the victims of Indonesia's brutal rule of Timor and also for over 1,000 Timorese who lost their lives around the time of Dili's 1999 independence vote and Jakarta's subsequent scorched-earth withdrawal from the half-island.

John M. Miller of the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) said that Indonesia carries primary responsibility for the illegal invasion and occupation of Timor".

"Instead of trying to bury the past, Jakarta should ensure that those responsible for crimes against humanity are brought to justice", added the ETAN official.



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