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AN: Foreign Ministry not involved

Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 10:42:00 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <etan@etan.org>

ANTARA June 7, 1998

INDONESIA WORKSHOP ON EAST TIMOR NOT FUNDED BY FOREIGN MINISTRY

Dili, E Timor, June 7 (ANTARA) - A workshop on East Timor ending here Saturday was not funded by Indonesian foreign ministry in Jakarta, the workshop coordinator, Mario Viegas Carrascalao, said.

"Reports on internet saying that the Indonesian foreign ministry have funded the workshop were not true," he told hundreds of participants here.

The former East Timorese governor and Indonesian ambassador to Rumania also denied that the ministry had also paid the Jakarta- Dili plane tickets for some attendants from the capital city.

"I myself bought my own plane ticket although the local administration here was ready to provide those in need of them," he said.

Carrascalao also said the East Timorese living in the Indonesian capital city had told him they had never asked any governmental bodies to fund the workshop.

Thus, he said, the participants came here upon their own will.

"This dialogue forum is held in accordance with the Indonesians' call for total reform, so the holding of this workshop should be seen as a common thing," he said.

East Timor was the former colony of Portugal. The East Timorese people had declared (sic) to integrate into Indonesia and it has become the country's 27th province since 1976.

Carrascalao told the participants before arriving here from Jakarta he was interviewed by some Portuguese journalists on a possibility of holding an open dialogue among East Timorese people. Responding to the question he said the holding of the workshop should be viewed from the perspectives of reformation spirit.

Meanwhile, Domingos de Sousa, an East Timorese key public figure, said the workshop was a good opportunity for the old and young people here to share ideas.

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