BACK DOOR Newsletter on East

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

October 2001 News, Articles & Reports:

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Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Buletin La'o Hamutuk: [PDF format]
Vol. 2, No. 6 & 7 Oktober 2001
Keadilan untuk Timor Lorosa’e?:

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Okt 01 BLH: Sebuah Tinjauan tentang Komisi untuk Penerimaan, Kebenaran, dan Rekonsiliasi
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal 9 Febuari 2002
"Pada tanggal 13 Juli, UNTAET mengeluarkan Regulasi No. 10/2001 membentuk Komisi untuk Penerimaan, Kebenaran, dan Rekonsiliasi (KPKR) di Timor Lorosa’e. Komisi ini mempunyai tiga wilayah kegiatan, yang masing-masing bertujuan memajukan hak asasi manusia di Timor Lorosa’e. Pertama, Komisi menetapkan kebenaran mengenai pelanggaran-pelanggan hak asasi manusia yang terjadi antara 1974 dan 1999, ... Kedua, KPKR akan membantu “memulihkan martabat kemanusiaan para korban,” sebagaian dengan memberi mereka kesempatan untuk menyampaikan kisah-kisah mereka di depan umum. ... Ada keprihatinan bahwa Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa, pemerintah-pemerintah donor, atau pemimpin-pemimpin politik Timor Lorosa’e bisa menggunakan keberadaan KPKR sebagai alasan untuk tidak bergerak ke depan memproses hukum mereka yang melakukan Kejahatan Berat, meskipun kejahatan-kejahatan itu berada di luar cakupan Komisi. Sebuah pemerintah baru, yang menghadapi persoalan anggaran serta tuntutan dan desakan (nasional dan internasional) bisa terbujuk untuk menurunkan prioritas proses hukum, khususnya karena terbatasnya sumberdaya dan pengalaman." La'o Hamutuk: Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Timur

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Oktober 2001 BLH: Keadilan untuk Timor Lorosa’e?
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal 2 Januari 2002
"Pada Tais Timor terbitan bulan September 2000, UNTAET memaparkan secara ringkas “dua puluh keberhasilan besar”-nya, yang tidak menyebutkan sesuatu yang berkaitan dengan pengadilan kejahatan berat. (“Sistem peradilan dan hukum” yang mereka sebutkan, hanya berurusan dengan kejahatan “biasa”.) Diamnya UNTAET mengenai yang telah dicapai dalam hal ini mencerminkan apa yang secara luas dipandang sebagai tidak adanya kemajuan di bidang ini. Tentu saja, ini bukan semata persoalan UNTAET, tetapi lebih merupakan hasil dari kurangnya kemauan politik pada pihak Indonesia dan anggota-anggota Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa yang paling besar kekuatannya untuk menjamin bahwa Timor Lorosa’e memperoleh keadilan. Tetapi, ada kelemahan serius dalam upaya UNTAET untuk menjamin keadilan bagi kejahatan hak asasi manusia yang dilakukan dalam konteks invasi dan pendudukan Indonesia." La'o Hamutuk: Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Timur

October 2001 IAI: SDF Dispatch to the PKF in ETimor: “Aid with a face”?  Article added Nov 19
"East Timor thus becomes the target zone in which the [Japanese] Self-Defense Force aims to advance its own priorities. But toward whom should we [Japan] be turning our face? The people who were made to suffer by the Japanese Army in World War II, the people who suffered from the Indonesian invasion, the people who still live under the threat of violence by the pro-Jakarta militia, and the people who are working to build their land into a new country. To protect its own interests, Japan supported Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor and turned a blind eye to the slaughter carried out by the Indonesian military. The crimes we have committed against the people of East Timor (including the crime of indifference) are not such as can be erased by aid given after independence. But if, even so, we want to help East Timor in some way, we have to start by listening to the East Timorese. The statement of the twelve East Timorese NGOs on the issue of the SDF dispatch is one such voice." Namba Mitsuru

A Summary/Chronology of all major events:
October 2001 LHB: Justice and Accountability for East Timor: Sep 99 - Oct 01  Timeline added Nov 15

Oct 31 Colombia: The Situation in East Timor  Statement to Security Council added Nov 13
"Another point that Mr. Vieira de Mello made relates to the need for proper justice for crimes committed, particularly the most serious offences. We have all recently heard many calls for ad hoc courts or mechanisms to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes are held responsible. This campaign and this activism confirm how important it is to do away with impunity. However, in our opinion, we must focus our efforts on the functioning and strengthening of existing institutions and those that are to be created. In our view, justice and reconciliation should be fully compatible. Without proper justice being done, we cannot set out on the road to true coexistence. The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation commissions is very useful." Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, Permanent Representative of Colombia

October 2001 LHB: Commission for Reception, Truth & Reconciliation  Overview added Nov 9
"The Commission has two general areas of activity ... First, it will establish the truth regarding human rights violations that took place between 1974 and 1999, ... the Commission will investigate not only individual cases of rights violations, but also the extent to which the violations were part of a systematic pattern of abuse. ... The CRTR will also examine the role of international actors - such as foreign governments - in its attempt to provide a full picture of why gross human rights abuses occurred. ... Second, the CRTR will assist “in restoring the human dignity of victims,” in part by providing them with the opportunity to tell their stories publicly. It will also help to promote reconciliation amongst East Timorese by “supporting the reception and reintegration of individuals who have caused harm to their communities” by what are deemed as relatively minor acts of violence (such as killing a few livestock or burning one or two houses)." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Ideas for Action in achieving Justice for East Timor:
October 2001 LHB: Solidarity and International Justice  Article added Nov 9
"In the Philippines, the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET) has suggested that a People’s Tribunal (unofficial prosecutors presenting evidence to a panel of experts who are not legal judges) could be a good way to highlight the issues, develop the evidence, and create momentum toward an official legal court. ... The next session of the Commission [UN Commission on Human Rights], in March/April 2002, will also require concerted lobbying to ensure that pressure for justice is maintained. ... The possibility of preparing legal cases against leading generals and using the courts of countries, such as Belgium, which have shown a willingness to exercise universal jurisdiction over Crimes Against Humanity, is an idea which the movement must seriously consider. Solidarity groups are likely to have the chance to discuss this and other possible strategies at a conference on impunity in Amsterdam at the beginning of December." Paul Barber, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

October 2001 LHB: An International Tribunal for East Timor?  Article added Nov 9
"The Indonesian and UNTAET systems are deeply flawed; much of the support for an international tribunal is based on their perceived failure. However, there is an assumption that no more can be done to improve their efficacy. This may be true generally in respect to Indonesia; certainly in the short and medium term it is reasonable to expect that Jakarta will continue to avoid a judicial examination of the role of senior officials, or to transfer them to an alternative jurisdiction. A restructured Serious Crimes Unit, on the other hand, has the potential to achieve many of the goals that supporters of an international tribunal seek." Jon Cina, [until recently] Case Manager and Legal Advisor to UNTAET’s Serious Crimes Unit, [previously] war crimes investigator in Kosovo & working at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

October 2001 LHB: Women and Justice  Article added Nov 9
"The justice system can respond to violence against women in a number of important ways by: * clearly prohibiting violence; * ensuring that the justice system treats domestic violence in the same way as other forms of violence; * providing protection for women from continuing violence; and * providing adequate and just compensation for injuries caused by violence. ... Ensuring that the law itself protects women and complies with international human rights standards is only the first step. In addition, there must be effective community education about women’s rights and sensitive administration of the laws. It is the responsibility of all those involved in the justice system law makers, police, prosecutors, lawyers and judges - to ensure that women achieve full equality before the law." Kate Halliday, Australian-based lawyer & recent volunteer with FOKUPERS (East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) in Dili

October 31st, 2001: U.N. Security Council meeting on East Timor

Oct 31 UN: SC Endorses Proposal to Declare ETimor Independence 20 May  Statement added Nov 6
"The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the political progress achieved to date towards establishing an independent East Timorese State, and endorsed the recommendation by the Constituent Assembly of the Territory that independence be declared on 20 May 2002. ... Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister of the Second Transitional Government of East Timor, stressed the importance of institution-building and the gradual transfer of administrative functions to East Timorese civil servants." U.N. Security Council

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"East Timorese women call for a concerted effort by the UN to help reunite displaced families, and in particular to bring together unaccompanied children who were separated as a result of the organized violence. We also call for a return of East Timorese refugees in West Timor, where women and children under the control of the militia are often sexually attacked and suffer from malnutrition and poor health. ... East Timorese women call upon the UN to provide resources for cost effective and community managed health promotion projects that cover reproductive health, communicable disease control and environmental health. ... East Timorese women join the rest of society, including Bishop Belo, all political parties and NGOs in appealing for justice for serious crimes including gender-based crimes through an International Tribunal." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations
Oct 30 IOM: East Timor - Returns on the Increase  News added Oct 31
"In October, IOM has assisted 3,233 East Timorese refugees to return home, the highest number of returns in a single month since March 2000 when 9,485 East Timorese were assisted to return home. This significant increase can be attributed to the ongoing reconciliation process that has boosted the confidence of refugees as to the situation in East Timor, especially since the successful 30 August elections." Jean Philippe Chauzy, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Spokesperson

Oct 30 Aus: Gusmao blasts Ruddock on Refugees  News added Oct 31
"Commenting on Canberra’s current handling of refugees boatloads, which have been diverted to far-flung Pacific territories, Gusmao said he personally had experience of Australian reluctance to take in refugees. He recalled that when violence engulfed East Timor after it voted for independence in August 1999, he met Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to appeal for a few East Timorese students being harassed in Indonesia to be allowed entry to Darwin “as a bridge to East Timor”. ... “But Mr Ruddock said no,” " AFP

Oct 29 APCET letter to UN Security Council on International Tribunal  Letter added Oct 31
"We are writing to urge you to establish an international tribunal to try the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in East Timor from 1975 onward. ... [We are] hopeful that your Excellencies will mark this month’s commemoration of the UN’s birthing by being true to the principles of which you were founded. In this era when peoples of the world have almost lost faith and trust in entities such as the UN, establishing an international tribunal for East Timor will be an apt celebration of the ideals that engendered the UN." Mr. Augusto N. Miclat, Jr., Coordinator, APCET, the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor [The coalition includes 17 affiliates from Asia-Pacific countries]

Oct 27 RDP: Timorese leader rejects fresh general elections after independence  Interview added Oct 31
"I can assure you that we will not have general elections. I am saying this on behalf of the party which holds the majority in the constituent assembly. [FRETILIN] ... I am a member of the constituent assembly, an elected and sovereign body, and it will be the assembly that shall decide this. ... when we laid down the electoral law, and when we discussed these elections, discussions that also took place at the CNRT [the National Council of the Timorese Resistance, now defunct], it was decided that the constituent assembly would become a legislative and parliamentary assembly." Mari Alkatiri, chief minister of the provisional government

Out 25 OTL: A Indonésia deixa o regresso dos refugiados nas mãos dos dirigentes pró-autonomia
Reportagem de Dec 18
"[refugiados] Os regressos aumentaram bruscamente quando alguns dirigentes que haviam defendido a autonomia na Indonésia decidiram aceitar a independência e voltar para Timor Leste levando consigo um grande número de refugiados. Representam mais de 75% dos repatriamentos desde 14 de Setembro o que evidencia o peso que os chefes de milícias/UNTAS continuam a ter sobre os refugiados em Timor Ocidental. Quanto ao poder indonésio, as suas hesitações e contradições mostram não só a sua falta de vontade de resolver um problema que causou, mas também falta de interesse em esclarecer o passado e evitar os mesmos erros no futuro." Observatório Timor Leste

Oct 25 ETO: Refugees’ repatriation to ETimor in the hands of pro-autonomy leaders  Article added Nov 8
"Returns [of 'refugees'] to East Timor suddenly increased when some leaders, who had hitherto been staunch supporters of autonomy in Indonesia, decided to recognise independence and advocate repatriation to East Timor, taking with them a large number of refugees. Repatriation in these circumstances account for over 75% of the returns since 14 September - clear evidence of the influence that militia/UNTAS leaders still wield over refugees in West Timor. The delays and contradictions on the part of Indonesia illustrate not only lack of will to resolve a problem that it caused itself, but also a lack of interest in clarifying the past and avoiding the same mistakes in the future." East Timor Observatory

October 2001 LHB: Justice for East Timor?  Article added Oct 30
"In the September 2001 issue of Tais Timor, UNTAET outlines its “twenty major achievements,” which do not include anything related to Serious Crimes prosecution. (Their claimed “functioning judicial and legal system” deals only with “ordinary” crimes.) UNTAET’s silence about its achievements reflects what is widely seen as insufficient progress in this area. Of course, this is a problem not only of UNTAET’s making, but more importantly a result of the lack of political will on the part of Indonesia and the United Nations’ most powerful members to ensure that East Timor sees justice. Nevertheless, there are serious shortcomings with UNTAET’s efforts to ensure justice for human rights crimes committed in the context of Indonesia’s invasion and occupation." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

October 2001 LHB: UNTAET and “Serious Crimes”  Article added Oct 30
"Since the arrival of UNTAET, one of its most critical responsibilities has been to initiate and achieve accountability for some of those who perpetrated crimes against the people of East Timor during 1999. ... many East Timorese and internationals here feel that investigations and prosecution of Serious Crimes are moving much too slowly, and that the goals set by the SCU fail to include the systematic and coordinated nature of the atrocities, or to explore crimes committed before 1999. Many believe that the problems stem from several principal factors: mismanagement, incompetence, lack of vision, inadequate resources, and insufficient political will within the international community." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

October 2001 LHB: East Timor’s New Judicial System  Article added Oct 30
"It is vital that the international community continues to support and provide material assistance to the fledgling justice system well beyond the expiration of the UNTAET mandate. If the new justice system does not receive the necessary support, the legacy of impunity and corruption left by Indonesia will continue to undermine the development of the rule of law in an independent East Timor." The Judicial System Monitoring Programme

Bahasa Indonesia:
Okt 25 FAETTA: Kubur2 Indonesia selamat di Timor Lorosa’e
Keterangan Media ditambahkan tanggal 30 Oktober
"Surat kabar Jakarta Post menyampaikan, "Penduduk Timor-Timur meminta dengan paksa supaya penguasa-penguasa Indonesia mengali dan memindahkan tulang-tulang yang tersisa ke tanah Indonesia." Departemen Luar Negeri, dan Pemerintah Timor-Timur berturut-turut menyangkal kalau mereka belum pernah dengan paksa meminta hal semacam itu. Penguasa-penguasa Indonesia secara langsung maupun tidak langsung belum pernah menanyakan masalah ini kepada Departemen Luar Negeri. Hal ini adalah pandangan dari pengamat-pengamat politik di Timor-Timur kalau kuburan-kuburan pejuang Indonesia, dan warga penduduk Indonesia lainnya yang dimakamkan di Timor-Timur haruslah dihormati selayaknya dengan makam yang lainnya, diluar dari sejarah dan alasan politik." Departemen Luar Negeri dan Kerjasama, Pemerintahan Transisi Kedua Timor-Timur

Oct 25 FAETTA: Indonesian graves safe in East Timor  Release added Oct 30
"The Jakarta Post story stated, “The East Timorese demanded that the Indonesian authorities exhume all the graves and remove the remains to Indonesian territory.” The Foreign Ministry, and the Government of East Timor categorically deny that there has been such a demand. ... It is the view of the East Timorese political leaders that the graves of Indonesian soldiers, and other Indonesian citizens buried in East Timor are sites that must be respected like any other burial site, regardless of the historical and political roots." Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

Oct 24 UNTAET: Two New Institutions to Fight Poverty Approved  News added Oct 30
"The East Timorese Council of Ministers today approved the creation of two new institutions, a Foundation for the Reduction of Poverty in East Timor and a Society for Micro-finance in East Timor, following agreements between UNTAET and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed in December 2000." United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

Oct 24 ET NGOs: Urgent Steps Needed to Establish Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"We urge the United Nations not to leave East Timor alone with the consequences of the crimes so terrible that they are characterized as against all humanity. It is time to take immediate steps to establish an International Tribunal for East Timor. This is the only mechanism that could address the current need for justice, the missing element so far, in the process of nation building for East Timor and worldwide respect for human dignity." Yayasan HAK; Lao Hamutuk; FOKUPERS; Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace and Development Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI); Working Group for Electoral Education (KKPP); Judicial System Monitoring Project (JSMP); East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSC); Student Solidarity Council of Oe-Cusse; Yayasan Timor Nabilan; Nove-Nove Survivers Group (Maliana); NGO Forum

Oct 24 Internationals in ET write UN Security Council on Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"We are writing as citizens of many countries who currently reside in East Timor (Timor Lorosa’e), working with a variety of organizations. ... After two years, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor is winding down. East Timor will be independent soon. It would compound the crimes already committed here if this tiny, poor nation which has endured so much terror is left on its own to cope with criminals who still hold positions of power in its huge neighbor. The period of U.N. responsibility for East Timor must leave a legacy of justice and accountability if East Timor is to succeed as a member of the world community." J Conway (Asia-Pacific Support Collective); Sr. B Guhit (Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace & Development); J Gunter; C Serreira e Freire (Oikos); M Hachisuka (La’o Hamutuk); T Irawati (FORTILOS); V Joshi (LH); N Katjasungkana (FORTILOS); I Lempp; J Newton (Caritas Australia); S Martin (CA); H McCaughey (Australian Volunteers International); C Ranheim (Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme); S Rosa; C Scheiner (International Federation for East Timor); P Sexton (LH); A de Sousa (LH); J Sternberg

Oct 23 WPI: Indonesia at the Crossroads: U.S. Weapons Sales and Military Training  [75kb] Report added Oct 24
"As he [US President Bush] builds a coalition to fight terrorism, Bush is in danger of arming and training some of the Pacific region’s worst tools of terror—namely the Indonesian military. ... In December 1975, Indonesia invaded the new nation of East Timor, which had just declared itself independent from Portuguese colonizers. Within five years, more than 200,000 people, one-third of the pre-invasion population, had been killed, ... given the current instability [within Indonesia], it seems self evident that new shipments of weapons and military training from the United States [to Indonesia] would only pour gas on the raging fire of this 17,000-island archipelago." Frida Berrigan, author of this special report

Oct 22 SMH: Tampa Affair: How the UN blocked ETimor solution  Article added Oct 25
"Frustrated by the increasingly embarrassing Tampa [asylum seekers] standoff, the Australian Government turned to its aid-supported neighbours for help. ... when East Timor was approached, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, stepped in to block the plan. ... The trouble is, the Tampa operation has used up much of the goodwill Australia once enjoyed on refugee questions. ... But with the erection of a second camp on Nauru and negotiations to build yet more camps on Fiji, Palau and Kiribati, the question remains: where can these people go in the end except where they were always heading, Australia? All we can say for certain is that they won’t be back here [Australia] before the [Federal] election." Marian Wilkinson and David Marr

Oct 20 Free East Timor! Japan Coalition writes to UNSG re international tribunal  Letter added Nov 13
"The recent attacks against the United States, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, have been rightly condemned by the international community as acts of terrorism. The world has been united in its calls for the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to be identified and brought to justice; ... Just as the victims of the U.S. attacks deserve justice, so do the East Timorese. Terrorism, which is generally defined as the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective, is an accurate description of the sufferings inflicted on the East Timorese people by the Indonesian military during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition

Oct 18 United Timorese NGOs calls for an international ad hoc tribunal  Call added Oct 19
"During a seminar on justice for East Timor on 16 October 2001, all participating Timorese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) unanimously called for the establishment of an international ad hoc tribunal with the jurisdiction to try international crimes committed after the Indonesian invasion in 1975. ... All NGOs emphasized the need to bring justice to the victims, to avoid further human rights violations in Indonesia and the responsibility of the international community to try crimes against humanity committed during an Indonesian occupation which was never legally recognized by the United Nations." Judicial System Monitoring Programme

Oct 17 ETimorese NGOs write DSRSG re Justice, Indonesia  Letter added Oct 20
"One of the outcomes of this meeting [16 October 2001] was a resolution that it is an International Tribunal that would be the most viable means of holding those senior government and military officials to account. Being aware of your planned visit to Indonesia, another outcome of the meeting was the resolution to bring to your attention our strong views and lasting commitment to ensure that those known Indonesia figures who have documented involvement the attempted genocide of the East Timorese will face justice." Ubalda Alves FOKUPERS, Joaquím Fonseca Yayasan HAK, Tomás Freitas Lao Hamutuk (Representatives from the 16 October meeting)

Oct 17 STL: Othman replaced as General Prosecutor in East Timor  News from ETimor added Oct 19
“Mari Alkateri [head of government] agreed to my proposal after a long consultation process, and agreed to the choice of Longginhos Monteiro as a General Prosecutor. I do expect that Longginhos will lead his office, and work well with his staff” UNTAET Transitional Administrator Sergio Viera de Mello
“When I was working, I could not speak the language, so by choosing the new general prosecutor, he may more easily coordinate the work of the office in accordance with local culture, in order to achieve justice” Mohamed Othman, previous General Prosecutor

Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu:
Laporan Seminar Sehari di Dili, Timor Lorosa'e: [PDF format]
16 Oktober 2001
Keadilan and Pertanggungjawaban di Timor Lorosa'e
Pengadilan Internasional dan Pilihan Lain
Diselenggarakan oleh: Forum NGO Nasional Timor Lorosa'e, Yayasan HAK, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, Caritas Australia, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu:
Okt 16 NGOs: Keadilan and Pertanggungjawaban di Timor Lorosa'e - Agenda Seminar
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal 2 Januari 2002
"Daftar Isi: Agenda Seminar; NGO Timor Bersatu Menuntut Pengadilan Internasional; Penuntutan Kejahatan Berat di Timor Lorosa'e; Proses Peradilan di Indonesia untuk Kasus Pelanggaran Berat Hak Asasi Manusia di Timor Lorosa'e 1999; Penuntutan Kejahatan di Bawah Proses Peradilan Internasional; Laporan NGO Mengenai Kegiatannya; Presentasi Kelompok Kerja; Daftar Hadir Peserta Seminar; Surat Kepada Deputi Pemerintah Transisi UNTAET; Surat dari NGO untuk Dewan Keamanan PBB; Surat Kepada Dewan Keamanan PBB dari Warga Antarbangsa di Timor Lorosa'e" Forum NGO Nasional Timor Lorosa'e, Yayasan HAK, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, Caritas Australia, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Oct 16 FORTILOS/HAK: Justice Process in Indonesia re ET 1999  Article added Nov 15
"With the completion of the work of KPP-HAM, and entrusted by the international world, the ongoing process lies in the hands of the Indonesian Attorney General (AG). The AG holds the authority to decide on which cases and whom to prosecute in court. [issues:] the AG’s Office doesn’t have enough capability and knowledge to deal with cases previously unknown in Indonesia, such as “serious violations of human rights” and/or “violations of international humanitarian law.” ... so far the AG has not been independent from the government, and especially not in relationship to the Indonesian National Military (ABRI/TNI). ... one can assume from the beginning of August 2000 on, that certain names will be deleted from the list to be investigated by the AG. ... The largest obstacle for the Indonesian National Court of Justice is that the suspects of serious human rights crimes are Indonesian military (TNI) officers ... TNI is a very dominant element in the regime that is currently in power in Indonesia." By Nug Katjasungkana, Solidarity Forum for East Timor in Indonesia (FORTILOS) and Yayasan HAK, Foundation of Law, Human Rights, and Justice

Oct 16 FAETTA: Weapons, Political Instability and Poverty  Release added Oct 19
“Weapons producing countries must refrain from flooding poor countries with conventional weapons, exacerbating local and regional conflicts, thus contributing to political instability and impoverishment of already poor countries.” Dr Ramos-Horta told the Forum 2000 Conference in Prague

October 16th is the 26th anniversary of the murder of 5 Australian based journalists at Balibo 1975
"The lack of response or protest from the Australian ALP government over this event led Indonesia to understand correctly it would have no problems with Australian or US governments with a future full-on invasion of East Timor. This duly happened, so 300,000 lives are on the hands. It took until September 1999 to reverse the trend." Robert Wesley Smith

Oct 16 AETA: Balibo Anniversary: Families Still Await Justice  Release added Oct 17
"Today marks the 26th anniversary of the death of five Australian-based journalists in Balibo, East Timor. ... The widow of one of the slain journalists Ms Shirley Shackleton earlier today told AETA that their is now so much evidence compiled that it is only political factors that are delaying prosecution. She added that the Australia Government should hand over the remaining files in their possession to Dili so that the prosecution case can be made even more water tight." Australia-East Timor Association (AETA) / NSW

Oct 16 Dili Seminar: Justice and Accountability in East Timor  Invitation added Oct 11
"You are invited to attend a one day seminar on: 'Justice and Accountability in East Timor: International Tribunals and other options'. The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the progress so far regarding prosecution of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and where we go from here. ... The seminar will be held at the Canossian Sisters, Becora, Dili, Timor Lorosa’e. Tuesday 16th October ... Most of the presentations will be in Tetun or Bahasa Indonesia. An English interpreter will be available." The NGO Forum; Yayasan HAK; La’o Hamutuk; Fokupers; Caritas Australia; Judicial System Monitoring Programme

Out 15 OTL: Saúde - a retirada das organizações internacionais começou  Report added Nov 1
"O sector da saúde é um dos que mais beneficiou da ajuda internacional de urgência: pessoal técnico qualificado e relativamente abundante e elevado financiamento exterior, em particular no quadro do Trust Fund; mas essa situação chega ao fim. ... As diferenças de formação dos corpos de profissionais, o importado e o timorense, não facilitou um verdadeiro trabalho conjunto. ... Enquanto na fase de Administração das NU as ONG internacionais assumiam a direcção do serviço de saúde num sector, os médicos recrutados para a fase seguinte devem inserir-se no serviço de saúde dirigido por Timorenses e dar maior ênfase às suas funções de colaboradores. Este trabalho exige qualidades que não se limitam as qualidades técnicas da medicina. A comunidade internacional deve cumprir o que prometeu não só na construção dos edifícios e nos cuidados de saúde mas, sobretudo, na ajuda à implementação de serviços adaptados e sustentáveis, essencialmente na ajuda à formação de profissionais timorenses." Observatório Timor Leste

Oct 15 ETO: Health - international agencies withdrawing already  Report added Oct 30
"Many international organisations and Timorese NGOs operating in East Timor since October 1999 were involved in the provision of health services. They came to provide emergency healthcare and/or to support the creation of a health service that would adequate address the needs of the East Timorese after the emergency phase. Two years on, some agencies are leaving and others are preparing to do so. What is the health status of the Timorese now, and how has international intervention helped to consolidate the new country’s health service?" East Timor Observatory

Oct 15 IRC / Sternberg: Work against sexual & gender based violence  Job added Oct 19
"The [job] position holds lots of possibility and much challenge, working against violence against women in a very conservative Catholic country where domestic violence is a big problem. They [the International Rescue Committee] have been trying, unsuccessfully, to hire for the job for some time. ... There are wonderful women here working for women’s rights who would welcome outside support and expertise!" Jill Sternberg

Oct 12 RA: Xanana's Poem: World Peace  Poem added Oct 16
"Xanana Gusmao carries many titles .. freedom fighter .. presidential candidate .. big brother to a nation. In Australia this week he carried all these titles plus one other .. poet." Radio Australia

Oct 12 ABC: Justice no closer for victims of atrocities in East Timor  News added Oct 13
“It turns out I was mistaken in implying a logical outcome to this M.O.U. [Memorandum of Understanding between the U-N and Indonesia] In practise, the government of the Republic of Indonesia has reneged on this M.O.U. meaning that there has not been any transfer of evidence and witnesses let alone suspects to be tried by the special panel.” Convenor of the East Timor Jurists Association, Aderito Soares

Oct 11 Woodcroft-Lee: Friendship Cities: Relationships between Localities in Australia & Timor Lorosa'e  Overview added Oct 11
"The following is a summary of the information I have been able to obtain by discussions with representatives of several Melbourne councils, the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) and two regions in New South Wales, concerning their friendship city programs with various towns and districts in Timor Lorosa'e. ... A key principle underlying the friendship relationship is that it should function both ways. ... I would welcome any suggestions as to how we [Canberrans] could initiate the steps necessary to set up a partnership arrangement, either with a specific region or with grassroots organisations in Timor Lorosa'e." (Mrs) Patricia Woodcroft-Lee, Canberra ratepayer [Australia]

Oct 10 Timorese journalists: UN not up to task  News added Oct 13
"[Carlito] Caminha said the UN was trying to lead a “new colonisation” of East Timor. ... Caminha added that in his native Tetum language, UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor) translates colloquially as “UN Comes To Destroy East Timor”. [Gil] Da Costa said that the UN exploited the local Timorese workers by paying them $US6 a day for jobs for which they themselves earned top international dollars. As a result of these wage disparities, UN workers were the only people that could afford to visit the sole Westernised grocery store on the island, which is run by Australians." East Timor Press reporting team

Oct 10 ABC: Gusmao: Priorities for the New Nation  Interview added Oct 13
"I think the important question is how can we achieve peace? ... Of course we will not deny justice, the need of justice that if we look at justice in very formal way in terms of trial, punishment, prison, maybe we don’t solve the situation, the situation of the feeling of the people and that’s why to reconcile two sides it needs one who can reconsider, can recognise that he did mistakes and from the other side the willingness to forgive - that is reconciliation." East Timor’s poet revolutionary and presidential nominee Xanana Gusmao

Oct 10 CSM: A Long Wait for Justice in East Timor  Article added Oct 11
"Pressure to try human rights cases against the Indonesian military ebbs amid counterterror push. ... with a war on global terrorism bringing potential US allies across Asia in from the cold, Indonesia’s commanders may never be held accountable. One sign of that thaw is the US government’s decision last month to resume low-level military ties with Indonesia, which had been suspended over the East Timor violence. The resumption of ties came as Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri met with President Bush to voice support for the US-led counterterror campaign. ... Given the push to cement links with moderate Islamic nations, opponents in Congress may find it hard to refuse further military cooperation with the world’s most populous Muslim country, despite its tarnished record." Simon Montlake, Jakarta, Indonesia

Oct 10 WSLS: New ASIO Powers Threaten Democratic Rights  Urgent Action added Oct 10
"New Powers: * ASIO to get powers of arrest and detention for up to 48 hours; * the removal of the right to silence when under questioning; * the creation of terrorist offences and related legislation violating the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. ... In the understandable fear generated since the September 11 attacks and with the climate of war, fundamental civil liberties are under threat. The [Australian] Federal Government, backed by Labor, has announced substantial new powers for Australia’s spy agency ASIO and is proposing anti-terrorism laws that could violate basic rights and freedoms. ... In Australia, support for the East Timorese’s independence movement could have been banned." Damien Lawson, Western Suburbs Legal Service, Melbourne, Australia

Oct 9 Age: US air strikes upset Gusmao  News added Oct 10
“World leaders and all the people around the world must fight against all the economic imbalances and social problems rather than using violence to respond to violence, ... That is something that makes the East Timorese very sad because we believe powerful nations could start the 21st century with new policies, a new understanding and new mechanisms in which all people can love each other ...  I would like to see the US and other countries seek another approach using all means but not violence.” East Timor’s independence leader Mr Jose “Xanana” Gusmao, at launch of the Melbourne Festival [Australia]

Oct 7 FAETTA / Niner: Biography of Mr Xanana Gusmao  Info added Oct 14
"Jose Alexandre Gusmão was born on June 20, 1946 in Manatuto, on the north coast of Portuguese Timor. The second of eight children and eldest son, he was raised in various parts of the country. His parents were devout Catholics; his father a schoolteacher and catechist. He completed primary school at the Catholic mission of St Theresa’s in Ossu where his father taught, then went on to the Jesuit seminary “Nossa Senhora de Fatima” in Dare and later to night school at the Liceu in Dili. He began work to help support himself early in life and worked various jobs as a young man: a chartered surveyor, a teacher, a public servant, a wharf-side worker, a fisherman, a soldier and a laborer. He began writing for the local newspaper, “A Voz de Timor” (The Voice of Timor) in 1974. ... " Sarah Niner, Editor of "To Resist is to Win: The Autobiography of Xanana Gusmao"

Oct 7 RA: Xanana on plight of refugees  News added Oct 10
"East Timorese Leader, Xanana Gusmao, says he hopes the acts of terrorism in the United States last month don’t make people insensitive to the plight of refugees. ... He says people have only to watch their television screen to see the suffering of tens-of-thousands of Afghani refugees, and there are many others suffering in other countries around the world. ... Besides the problem of going to the root causes, the people that are suffering need assistance." Radio Australia

Oct 1 FAETTA: Ramos-Horta Calls for an End to Poverty And Terrorism  Release added Oct 14
“I am saddened by, and strongly condemn, the attacks on mosques and Muslim believers, long time residents or citizens of Australia and US. A dastardly arsonist attack took place against a Mosque in Brisbane. ... As a Catholic I am proud to serve under a Muslim brother [Dr Mari Alkatiri, devout Muslim and head of government of ETimor], and I am even more proud that our people have accepted this as absolutely natural.” Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Jose Ramos-Horta

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