Subject: KMP on Peace commission/transmigration
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 08:50:35 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Kompas [excerpts] Friday, 12 February 1999

President BJ Habibie: January 1, 2000, East Timor no burden anymore

* National Commission for Human Rights forms a Peace Commission Jakarta, Kompas Online

President BJ Habibie prefers that East Timor (Timtim) is given independence and detached from Indonesia. Besides that, Habibie hopes that as of January 1, 2000 the Indonesian government has only to concentrate on 26 provinces and is no more disturbed with the Timtim problem.

Peace commission

Habibie's statement about Timtim was also conveyed when receiving members of the National Committee for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) at the same place in the afternoon. The Komnas HAM conveyed to Habibie its concept to form a Peace Commission for Timtim which will be assigned to prevent clashes and violations of human rights as long as the settlement process of Timtim is still going on. Habibie hoped that the commission should immediately be formed.

According to the first chairman of Komnas HAM HR Djoko Soegianto, the commission which will be formed by Komnas HAM will not interfere in politics about the settlement of the Timtim problem. He said that this commission will attempt to avoid dissension or conflicts in that region as long as the settlement process of the Timtim problem is still going on.

Another Komnas HAM member, Major General (Ret.) Samsudin stated, that this commission will not interfere in the settlement, but will only prevent clashes and violations of HAM in Timtim. He said that the possibility of clashes and violations of human rights during the settlement process are quite big.

Whatever will happen, whether it will be settled with extended autonomy or independence, the Komnas HAM will not involve themselves there," he said.

While the secretary general of Komnas HAM Clementino Dos Reis Amaral said that the mission is to unite the people of Timtim without interfering in politics. The commission will consist of the groups which are pro or against the integration. "Members of the commission are elements from the government, the Armed Forces, the church, the youth... at any rate all existing groups in Timtim," he said.

Amaral also said, for forming the commission which will immediately be carried out, his side will approach various sides. "Before proposing the forming of this commission, we have also met with Xanana. He agrees and ask that all groups are entered," he replied.

Clementino also stated, to try to meet Ramos Horta to ask his opinion. "I'm convinced that he will agree, because I once met him and he stated his wish that all prominent persons of E Timor would sit together to discuss the Timtim problem," he said.

Samsudin stated, for the forming of this commission Komnas HAM which acted as facilitator and mediator would send a team consisting of himself and BN Marbun next week to Timtim.

See clearly

Meanwhile the minister of Transmigration and Forest Squatter Resettlement AM Hendropriyono at the agenda of a "Cordial meeting with prominent persons of Timtim's society" Wednesday (II/10) in Jakarta stated that the choice given by the government in the Timtim problem should be seen clearly by the Timtim people.

According to him the Timtim referendum will only produce a tremendous intimidation towards the people. "The referendum will bring misfortune to the Timtim people," he said. At that occasion the secretary general of the Ministry of Transmigration and Forest Squatter Resettlement Tamlicha Ali, the governor Abvilio J Soares, the chairman of the Regional House Armindo M Soares. the former president of the Fretilin Xavier do Amaral, IInd Level Regional heads in Timtim and around 60 prominent persons pro integration were present.

A reconfirmation was given by Hendropriyono when he visited the Unit of Transmigration Settlement 5 Bangkinang X/G, the Regency of Kampar (Riau), the next day on Thursday.

At the tour of duty visiting Riau, Hendropriyono stated, that his side remained responsible for transmigrants from Timtim who want to go back to Indonesia if Timtim has become independent.

According to him, the Transmigration Ministry is at this moment still guiding 9,020 family heads of transmigrant families spread over 13 local second level autonomous administrative regions. Has placed besides that already 20,000 transmigrant family heads. "If among them there are who want to stay there, or join the new independent state, please go ahead. Evenso the contrary, if they want to return to the Fatherland. We prepare new settlements. The fatherland Indonesia is still wide enough..." Hendropriyono clarified.

Eventhough it is very probable that Timtim will detach in January 2000, the Transmigration Ministry has still drawn up a budget for transfer of people to Timtim for the 1999/2000 fiscal year. "We just see. The certain thing is that the budget for Timtim still exists" he said. (*)

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