Subject: Indonesian MPs demand government lodge protest against E Timor (CAVR)

Indonesian MPs demand government lodge protest against East Timor


Text of report by Indonesian newspaper Republika on 25 January

Jakarta: The House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I called for the government to respond to the report on human rights violations that had been recently presented by the president of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao, to the United Nations. The government was asked to lodge a strong protest against East Timor's attitude.

Chairperson of Commission I Theo L Sambuaga, considered the approach made by Xanana in submitting the report to the United States (sic) as an unethical one. "Xanana and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) have reached prior agreement through the Truth and Amity Commission that issues concerning the alleged human rights violations would be settled through the commission. So, why should he present it to the United Nations?" Sambuaga said in Jakarta on Tuesday (24 January).

Apart from that, Sambuaga also wondered why East Timor had only mentioned incidents that had been committed since 1975, and had failed to mention atrocities committed during the Portuguese colonial days as well as violations conducted by Fretilin.

Commission I member, A.S. Hikam, asked the government to take stern action against such issues. He said that Indonesia's attitude was totally different to the attitude of East Timor. "The East Timorese police gunned down our citizens but we reacted by setting up a joint investigation. On the contrary, when Indonesia is seen to be at fault, East Timor will bring the issue to the United Nations," said the National Awakening Party (PKB) politician.

Another Commission I member representing the Reform Star Party Faction (FPBR), Ade Nasution, noticed that Xanana Gusmao had lobbied the international world much quicker than the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "So, we have to fix this problem and inform Foreign Affairs Minister Hasan Wirayudha of his mistake.

Previously, Xanana said that he would not interfere in the substance of the East Timor's Commission for Acceptance, Truth and Reconciliation's (CAVR) report. However, Xanana stated that the report should have been presented to the UN in order to comply with the regulations for the establishment of the commission. The CAVR, established in 2001, has released a report on the atrocities committed in East Timor from 1974-1999.

Political analyst Dewi Fortuna Anwar said that currently the East Timor government is divided into two camps. The first camp is led by Xanana, who was once jailed by the Indonesian government but insisted on maintaining a good relationship with Indonesia. The other camp consists of East Timorese figures who had continued the struggle for independence while they were overseas, like Mari Alkatiri and Ramos Horta, and who still seem to hate Indonesia.

Dewi believed that Indonesia should maintain bilateral relations with East Timor. "Another conflict would achieve nothing and only create further difficulties for the two countries," Dewi said.

Source: Republika, Jakarta, in Indonesian 25 Jan 06

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