BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home ...... Sep news

" ... we recommend that UNHCR act upon the following:
* Maintain its current presence in East Timor until at least June 2002.
* Extend humanitarian assistance to returnees until at least June 2002, when a further needs assessment can be made.
* Increase co-ordination and co-operation with both governmental and non-governmental organisations that are currently assisting refugees in West Timor. This will further enable UNHCR to fulfil its mandate towards the protection and assistance of these refugees, while it is not physically present in West Timor.
* Engage in a more comprehensive way with non-governmental organisations in East Timor currently advocating and working towards returnees’ reintegration." NGO Forum; Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa TL; Yayasan HAK; FOKUPERS; Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute; RENETIL; Jesuit Refugee Service; Oxfam in East Timor
See also: BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons

Full Text of letter released by a coalition of East Timorese NGOs

NGO WORKING GROUP ON REFUGEES AND RETURNEES
Mr. Ruud Lubbers
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Geneva

8 September 2001

Dear Mr. Lubbers

We write to express our concerns and recommendations regarding the winding down and the closure of the UNHCR operation in East Timor. We understand that UNHCR field offices in Baucau and Maliana are due to be closed by September 31st, and humanitarian assistance for the returnees will cease on the 31stOctober 2001. We believe this reduction is untimely as it is widely expected that returns will increase following the announcement of the result of the elections for a Constituent Assembly in East Timor and continue until at least next year.

Since October 1999 over 183,000 East Timorese refugees have returned from West Timor. By and large these returns have been repatriated safely under the auspices of UNHCR, UNTAET, NGOs, East Timorese groups and communities. There are an estimated 80,000 persons in camps in West Timor and an unknown number in other parts of Indonesia. Most commentators would agree that the majority of these want to return to East Timor at some stage when secure return and repatriation conditions are assured.

Whilst assistance and the protection of these refugees is incumbent on the Government of Indonesia, UNHCR is mandated to support their efforts in the protection, and safe and dignified return of the refugees. Furthermore, UNHCR must continue to ensure the protection and long-term reintegration of returnees.

UNTAET has stated on several occasions that the international community, and in particular the United Nations, will not abandon the refugees in West Timor. In light of the fact that UNHCR is not present in West Timor and is not likely to return, it is essential that UNHCR remain strong on the East Timor side of the border in the months following the declaration of the result of the election and until the declaration of independence of East Timor.

A substantial reduction in UNHCR staff and its departure from East Timor, while there are still significant numbers of refugees in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia, would be an indication to the East Timorese, the Government of Indonesia and the refugees themselves that the situation of the refugees has been resolved or is irresolvable. We disagree with this and believe that the refugee situation is a long-term problem.

In light of this, we recommend that UNHCR act upon the following:
·       Maintain its current presence in East Timor until at least June 2002.
·       Extend humanitarian assistance to returnees until at least June 2002, when a further needs assessment can be made.
·       Increase co-ordination and co-operation with both governmental and non-governmental organisations that are currently assisting refugees in West Timor. This will further enable UNHCR to fulfil its mandate towards the protection and assistance of these refugees, while it is not physically present in West Timor.
·       Engage in a more comprehensive way with non-governmental organisations in East Timor currently advocating and working towards returnees’ reintegration.

We believe that by taking these recommendations into account, UNHCR will be able to effectively respond, with its current capacity, to the needs of refugees and returnees. We look forward to discussing these issues with your Office.

Yours faithfully

NGO Forum
Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa TL
Yayasan HAK
FOKUPERS
Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute
RENETIL
Jesuit Refugee Service
Oxfam in East Timor

Cc: Sergio Vieira de Mello, SRSG UNTAET
 Soren Jessen Pedersen, UNHCR Geneva
 Gonzalo Vargas, UNHCR Geneva
 Erica Feller, UNHCR Geneva
 Raymond Hall, UNHCR Jakarta
 Bernard Kerblat, UNHCR East Timor
 Christopher Gascon, IOM East Timor


Contact Address:
East Timor National NGO Forum
Kaikoli Street, Dili, East Timor. Tel 322 772.
email: etngocentre@hotmail.com

Working Group on Refugees and Returnees
e-mail: wget_refugees@yayasanhak.minihub.org


East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e  Updated Sep 3
Umbrella agency for East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
VISION: To contribute to the building of a pluralist, democratic, just and sustainable East Timor through the development of a strong, independent and responsible civil society committed to upholding and making real in the daily life of the community, both village and urban, the full range of human rights so that all East Timorese, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, can enjoy the fruits of liberation and development in an East Timor forever free.
MISSION: To realise its vision by promoting a culture of learning, cooperation, partnership with the community and respect for human rights and good practice amongst East Timorese NGOs and between them and other development actors, both domestic and international, and by serving as a collective, independent voice for the rights and needs of the community.
VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: a rights approach to development; inclusiveness, participation; accountability; gender balance; respect for the environment; non-party political; non-sectarian; good governance; volunteerism.
Kaikoli Street, Dili-East Timor  Telephone +670(390)322772
E-mail: etngocentre@hotmail.com  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html
See: BD: East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e (FONGTIL) / LSM-LSM Timor Loro Sa’e - A collection of recent media releases, position-statements, speeches, petitions, reports, and news

Bahasa Indonesia:
Yayasan HAK - Yayasan Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan  Updated Sep 4
Maksud Umum: Yayasan Hak didirikan untuk maksud utama dua: 1. Kerja perkara - mewakili korban dan keluarganya di pengadilan. 2. Sokongan anjuran hak asasi manusia - melaporkan dan menerbitkan informasi mengenai HAM, proses pengadilan.
Sejarah Pendek: Yayasan Hak adalah yayasan bantuan hukum yang didirikan pada bulan Maret 1997, dan dibiayai oleh empat kelompok. Hak didirikan untuk menyediakan bermacam-macam pelayanan hukum kepada masyarakat Timor Lorosae.
Alamat: T-091 Gov. Serpa Rosa St., Farol, Dili - Timor Lorosae
Tetum: Jun 21 2000 Y-HAK: Lopes: Rekonciliasaun Housi Lei Nia Roman  Article http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/earlyhakt.htm

English:
Yayasan HAK - Foundation of Law, Human Rights, and Justice  Updated Sep 4
Human Rights, Advocacy and Community Organising
Yayasan HAK is a registered East Timorese non-government organization (ETNGO)
General Mission: Yayasan Hak has two primary functions: 1. Casework - representing victims and their families in court 2. Human rights advocacy work - monitoring, reporting and publicising human rights information, litigation
Short History: Yayasan Hak is a legal aid foundation set up in March 1997, co-funded by four funding agencies. It was established in order to provide a range of legal services for the people of East Timor.
Address: T-091 Gov. Serpa Rosa St., Farol, Dili - Timor Lorosae
Sep 3 YHak: Elections in the Context of Nation-Building: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01sepyhak.htm
Jul 24 YHak: Serious Concerns re Judicial Independence under UNTAET: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01julconcerns.htm
Jun 21 2000 YHak: Reconciliation from a Legal Perspective: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/earlyhak.htm
Tetum: Jun 21 2000 YHak: Rekonciliasaun Housi Lei Nia Roman  Article http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/earlyhakt.htm

Bahasa Indonesia:
Fokupers - Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae  Updated Aug 22
Direktur: Manuela Leong Pereira
Maksud Umum: Fokupers didirikan pada tahun 1997. Organisasi ini membantu korban politik dan juga memberikan nasihat atau ‘counselling’ dan lain lain kepada perempuan yang menderita sebagai bekas tapol, atau yang menjadikan janda karena perang, atau isteri tapol. Selain dari itu, Fokupers mendorong hak asasi manusia, pada khususnya untuk perempuan, dalam masyarakat setempat.
Kegiatan Sekarang: Sudah mengadakan bengkel untuk mendiskusi bagaimana perempuan akan diikuti atau menjadi lebih aktip di masyarakat Timor Loro Sa’e. · Pada saat ini, kami memusatkan perhatian atas latihan ‘trauma counselling’ untuk pekerja Fokupers.

English:
Fokupers - the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum  Updated Aug 22
Women's Development and Advocacy
Director: Manuela Leong Pereira
Fokupers is a registered East Timorese non-government organization (ETNGO)
General Mission: Fokupers was founded in 1997. It focuses on political victims and gives counselling and other forms of assistance to women victims of violations, including ex political prisoners, war widows and wives of political prisoners. Its mandate also includes promoting women’s human rights among the local population, especially the East Timorese women.
Current Activities: Conducting workshops discussing ways to enhance or develop further women’s participation in Timorese society. · Focusing on receiving trauma counselling training for their staff in order to provide counsel to women victims. Supporting women survivors of violence and to end violence against women through advocacy and education.

RENETIL: Resistencia Nacional Dos Estudantes De Timor Leste  Added Sep 3
RENETIL is a youth and student organization that has been involved in the struggle for freedom since 1988. It began as an organization of East Timorese students attending universities in Java and its work organizing the resistance there led to many of its leaders being jailed during the Indonesian period. It is now working to secure a democratic future for East Timor through participation in the election process and other nation building programs.
Headquarters: Rua Gov. Serpa Rosa, Farol - Dili, East Timor; Mob. 0418805446 / 0409612017
Email: renetil88@yahoo.com

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

Community Aid Abroad - Oxfam Australia  Updated Feb 17
CAA is an independent, Australian, secular and voluntary community-based organisation that brings together people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures in order to build a fairer world. Community Aid Abroad merged with the Australian Freedom From Hunger Campaign in 1992, and the combined organisation is the Australian member of Oxfam International.
CAA's work in East Timor includes rehabilitation of urban water supply systems; health promotion; capacity building with Timorese groups involved in environmental health activities, as well as other local community groups undertaking activities ranging from women's collectives, to human rights, and carpentry and other start-up ventures.
Homepage:  http://www.caa.org.au/  ETimor Webpage:  http://www.caa.org.au/world/asia/east_timor/index.html


Letter received via:
Charles Scheiner, U.N. Representative
International Federation for East Timor
c/o La’o Hamutuk
P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)
Telephone:+61-417-923273 or +670-390-325013
ifet@etan.org
PGP Key available on request.
For information on East Timor write info@etan.org
Check out ETAN’s web site: http://www.etan.org
IFET information is at http://www.etan.org/ifet
La’o Hamutuk is at  http://www.etan.org/lh


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


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home ...... Sep news
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