|Subject: AN: Horta accuses Inodonesia of
inflating refugee number
RAMOS HORTA ACCUSES RI OF MARKING-UP NUMBER OF E TIMOR REFUGEES Antara Interactive - NATIONAL NEWS (4/22/01)
Canberra, April 22 (ANTARA) - A senior East Timor leader Ramos Horta has accused Indonesia of marking-up the number of East Timorese refugees sheltered in Indonesian East Nusa Tenggara province --known as West Timor.
He made the accusation when receiving a doctoral degree from a university in Sunshine Coast as quoted by the "ABS-Online" here Sunday.
He said the number of East Timorese refugees, who are still remaining in East Nusa Tenggara, was 60,000 to 70,000 people.
He expressed his belief that the number is less than the ones reported by Indonesia.
Regarding this, he said the remaining refugees should be registered first by independent bodies before being sent back to East Timor as a way to avoid possible infiltrators.
Hundreds thousands of East Timorese people fled from East Timor as mayhem occured in the former Indonesian province in September 1999, after the UN-organized August 30 ballot resulted in most people choosing to separate from Indonesia.
Concerning the results, the Indonesian People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR) in October 1999 ratified a decree releasing East Timor from Indonesia.
East Timor integrated to the Indonesian republic in 1976 after being colonized by the Portugal for more than 400 years but the United Nations never recognized the integration.
East Timor is now under the UN administration until it become a sovereigned country and will hold its parliamentary election in June this year.
Ramos Horta also urged the international community, especially Australia, to maintain their help to Indonesia in solving its political and economic crises.
Assistance from Australia, the United Stataes, Japan, and Europe, he said, will be a great help to Indonesia, adding that Indonesia needs the assistance in various aspects, including banking. (T.PUS03/NN07/b/ri2)
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