Subject: Japan gives help to East Timorese in Indonesia

Indonesian Observer December 14, 2000

Japan gives help to East Timorese in Indonesia

JAKARTA (IO) - The Japanese government, through a trust fund administered by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has contributed US$658,000 to provide scholarships for East Timorese studying at universities and other tertiary education institutions throughout Indonesia this academic year.

The scholarships will cover tuition fees, a living cost allowance and other expenses. "The students who will receive the scholarships this academic year have already been identified," the UNDP said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Japanese Ambassador Takao Kawakami and UNDP Resident Representative Ravi Rajan yesterday in Jakarta signed an agreement on the provision of the scholarships.

"A major purpose of the scholarship provision is to increase the likelihood of meeting the present and future human resource needs in East Timor," the statement said.

It is also expected the support will encourage interaction between Indonesian and East Timorese youths, that in turn will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Despite the direct beneficiaries of the project being the East Timorese students, it is expected to have a positive impact on long-term relations between East Timor and Indonesia.

The aid from the Japanese government is one of the major contributions to support the education of East Timorese students in Indonesia.

Director General of Higher Education Satryo Soemantri Brodjonegoro, UNTAET Jakarta Director Lakhan Mehrotra, and representatives from the Directorate for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present at yesterday's signing ceremony.

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