BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news

"Over 250,000 East Timorese refugees fled to or were deported to West Timor in the wake of the post-election violence in East Timor in September 1999. The miserable living conditions of the refugees and their intimidation at the hands of militias who virtually controlled the camps, drew much media attention throughout this year.
JRS projects in West Timor: JRS set up in West Timor in September 1999. A team of 20 Indonesian nationals worked in the camps, collaborating closely with the local church. JRS did not evacuate with other international agencies when the UNHCR personnel were killed, becoming one of the few international organisations to maintain a presence in the camps." Edi Mulyono SJ, Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia director
See also: BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news

JRS: Annual Report 2000 East & West Timor

Jesuit Refugee Service

2000 Report



There are also Reports on:      see below
Australia: http://www.jesref.org/jrs/ar2000/apa/aus2000.htm
Indonesia - Moluccas: http://www.jesref.org/jrs/ar2000/apa/idn2000m.htm

 

EAST TIMOR

Country situation:

The rate of refugee returns in the last months of the year was disappointingly low. Meanwhile, the people of East Timor faced the tough challenge of rebuilding their nation. The UN established a Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) with the task of supporting the East Timorese through the transition period from Indonesian rule to full independence. Priorities this year continued to be shelter, food, education, health, agriculture and income-generation. Reconciliation linked with justice emerged as a key discussion. By the end of the year, several emergency response international NGOs had left or were leaving East Timor.  Over 70 local NGOs were operating in the territory. Despite the slow process of reconstruction, the failings of UNTAET and other international organisations, the difficulties and complex issues to be faced by the East Timorese leadership, East Timor continued its process of reconstruction.
 

JRS projects in East Timor:

JRS established three rural bases at the invitation of the communities and their parish priests to provide services and build up local capacity. Our teams developed a reputation for building bridges among people and working alongside them. The team in Dili co-ordinated work in a number of fields.
 

human rights, returnees:

DILI Human rights work focused on encouraging refugee returns, supporting local hu-man rights groups and facilitating reconciliation and reintegration.

MALIANA, Bobonaro district Achievements:
* investigation of human rights violations and organisation of human rights education sessions together with UNTAET, UNHCR and local NGOs;
* monitoring and assisting returnees in Bobonaro district, providing for basic needs not met by UNHCR;
* collection of letters from the community to be sent to the camps in West Timor.
 

pastoral:

LURO sub-district

Extensive pastoral outreach formed part of the work of the JRS team in Luro, which reached out to some 24 villages with a total population of around 12,000 people.
Coordinator: Salvador Ferrao SJ
Achievements this year included:
* a reconciliation house was completed in October;
* running of workshops on faith and human rights;
* reconstruction of housing for women.

MALIANA Apart from provision of pastoral and sacramental ministry, widows of the 1999 violence were assisted and a youth centre supported by international NGOs was set up.
 

education:

LURO, MALIANA, DILI Education work responded to needs of local teachers.

Beneficiaries/achievements:
* teaching methodology training presented via English language lessons;
* supply of school stationery to schools;
* desks and chairs supplied to refurnish Odofuro secondary school, Luro;
* 13 schools reached in Luro.
 

community self development:

LURO JRS collaborated with another NGO to provide support to women’s groups, setting up six cooperatives.
 

agriculture:

LURO Working with the Church and international NGOs, JRS helped communities meet their most immediate needs.
Achievements:
* insecticide usage training program in four villages;
* clean water supply project in seven villages;
* rice productivity improvement project.

MALIANA JRS concentrated on helping farmers start production activities anew. Do-nated seed was distributed and sprayers and technical support provided. The rehabilitation of an irrigation canal and water supply system was facilitated.
 

health:

LURO
Beneficiaries/achievements:
* a doctor working for two months in inaccessible areas reached 3,000 patients with a group of local health workers;
* a nurse supported health workers and worked with the community to promote education on the prevention of the spread of infection;
* distribution of donated mosquito nets.

MALIANA
Beneficiaries/achievements:
* assisting sick returnees, in coordination with UNHCR;
* involvement in training local health workers and volunteer health promoters;
* workshops with widows and survivors of gender-based violence in coordination with a local women’s NGO.

AINARO district JRS ran a six-month program in collaboration with another NGO to meet some of the outstanding needs of the population of Ainaro. JRS placed a health care worker to train local health care animators.



 

INDONESIA / WEST TIMOR

JRS Indonesia director: Edi Mulyono SJ
 

Country situation:

Over 250,000 East Timorese refugees fled to or were deported to West Timor in the wake of the post-election violence in East Timor in September 1999. The miserable living conditions of the refugees and their intimidation at the hands of militias who virtually controlled the camps, drew much media attention throughout this year. Matters came to a head when three UNHCR expatriate personnel were killed by rampaging militia in Atambua on 6 September. UN and other international agencies withdrew from East Timor, leaving the refugees without protection and assistance. At the end of the year, between 65,000 and 100,000 refugees remained in West Timor. Some have no desire to return to East Timor unless it is once again part of Indonesia, others are militia leaders who committed crimes against humanity; many are not, and they are waiting to see how the situation unfolds in East Timor after the election and the withdrawal of UNTAET.  Others want to return but are denied security or the conditions for a free and informed choice.
 

JRS projects in West Timor:

JRS set up in West Timor in September 1999. A team of 20 Indonesian nationals worked in the camps, collaborating closely with the local church. JRS did not evacuate with other international agencies when the UNHCR personnel were killed, becoming one of the few international organisations to maintain a presence in the camps.
 

repatriation:

KUPANG, BETUN, ATAMBUA The JRS team encouraged and helped refugees to return to East Timor, assisting UNHCR with registration. Following the withdrawal of the UN agency, JRS registered refugees who wished to return, collaborating with the task force of the government of Indonesia charged with facilitating refugee returns. In Atambua, JRS provided materials for refugees who decided to return: soap and clothes.
 

education:

KUPANG JRS set up an informal elementary school, first in a stadium and later in Tuapukan camp, with volunteer teachers from a Kupang university. A kindergarten was set up in Noelbaki camp and a catechism program started in three camps.
Beneficiaries:
* 120 children in elementary school;
* 300 children in kindergarten.

BETUN JRS started to run four schools in September.
Beneficiaries: 460 students
 

mailing system:

KUPANG JRS in East and West Timor organised mail exchange between refugees in West Timor and their relatives at home. About 200 letters were sent weekly to East Timor.
 

health:

KUPANG, ATAMBUA, BETUN JRS nurses went regularly to the camps to treat refugees and provide medicine. Milk, clothes, and other materials were provided for children under three. Medicine was supplied to the diocesan medical team in Kupang.
 

self-sufficiency:

ATAMBUA, BETUN JRS distributed seeds and agricultural tools. In Atambua, refugees were assisted to procure land and in Betun, farmers' cooperatives were set up. Women were taught skills like cooking and weaving, and in some cases given capital.
 

pastoral:

BETUN A priest visited the camps daily, providing sacramental ministry.



There are also Reports on:

Australia:
"Country situation:
Immigration reforms limited refugee rights and prohibited the national Human Rights Commission from initiating contact with immigration detainees. Several thousand refugee applicants and ‘boat people’ were detained in centres, which were harshly criticised for miserable living conditions and the treatment of the detainees at the hands of the authorities. One notorious facility, the Woomera centre, was dubbed the “desert gulag” by the national press. The year was marked by riots at Woomera and the Port Hedland centre in western Australia."

http://www.jesref.org/jrs/ar2000/apa/aus2000.htm
 

Indonesia - Moluccas:
"Country situation:
Thousands have been killed since sectarian conflict was ignited in the Moluccas spice islands at the beginning of 1999. Violence intensified this year with the arrival of Laskar Jihad fighters from Java, who launched several attacks on Christian villages, slaughtering hundreds of people. The Indonesian government declared a state of civil emergency in June in an attempt to stem the violence. Although the situation was reportedly calmer at the end of the year, tension remained prevalent and attacks continued. Observers claim elements within Indonesia’s political and military circles have at least tacitly fuelled the conflict. An estimated 700,000 people were displaced, according to the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC). Those who sought refuge in Ambon and elsewhere on the islands were in need of protection and material assistance."

http://www.jesref.org/jrs/ar2000/apa/idn2000m.htm


Spanish / espanhol:
El Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados (JRS): Accompañar, Servir, Defender  Added Mar 24
El Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados es una organización católica internacional que trabaja en más de 40 países, con la misión de acompañar, servir y defender los derechos de los refugiados y desplazados forzosos. La misión confiada a JRS comprende a todos los que han sido apartados de sus hogares por los conflictos, los desastres humanitarios o las violaciones de los derechos humanos, de acuerdo con la enseñanza social católica que define como refugiado “de facto” a múltiples categorías de personas. La razón de ser de JRS está íntimamente liada a la misión de la Sociedad de Jesús (Jesuitas), a saber, el promocionar la justicia del Reino de Dios en diálogo con otras culturas y religiones.
International: CP 6139, 00195 Roma Prati, Italy. Tel: +39-06 689.77.391; Fax: +39-06 687.92.83; Email: international@jesref.org
Asia Pacific: Tel: +66 - 2 279 1817; Tel: +66 - 2 278 4182; Fax: +66 - 2 271 3632 Email: asia.pacific@jesref.org
Para pedir información sobre JRS, diríjase a la persona de contacto del Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados en su país de residencia. La oficina internacional de JRS también tiene un servicio de información. URL: http://www.jesref.org

English:
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS): To accompany, To serve, To advocate  Added Mar 24
The JRS is an international Catholic organisation, at work in over 40 countries, including East Timor and Indonesia, with a mission is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The mission given to JRS embraces all who are driven from their homes by conflict, humanitarian disaster or violation of human rights, following Catholic social teaching which applies the expression ‘de facto refugee’ to many related categories of people. The purpose of JRS is intimately connected with the mission of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), namely to promote the justice of God’s Kingdom, in dialogue with cultures and religions.
International: CP 6139, 00195 Roma Prati, Italy. Tel: +39-06 689.77.391; Fax: +39-06 687.92.83; Email: international@jesref.org
Asia Pacific: Tel: +66 - 2 279 1817; Tel: +66 - 2 278 4182; Fax: +66 - 2 271 3632 Email: asia.pacific@jesref.org
Contact JRS contact person in the country where you live. The JRS International office also provides an information service. Homepage: http://www.jesref.org  Timor alerts: http://www.jesref.org/inf/alert/tplatest.htm


See also:
BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news
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