Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: CONG: House Committee leaders letter on Timorese refugees

July 11, 2001

President Abdurrahman Wahid Office of the President Istana Merdeka Jakarta 10110 Indonesia

Maj. Gen. Willem da Costa c/o Departemen Pertahanan RI Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat Jakarta 10110 Indonesia

Dear Mr. President and General da Costa:

We are writing to express our concern for the safety of the approximately 1,250 East Timorese refugees in West Timor who -- according to your government's estimates -- requested repatriation during the refugee registration conducted on June 6, 2001. We are not aware that any significant number of those refugees have returned to East Timor since then, and we are gravely concerned by reports that they may be suffering increased violence and intimidation at the hands of militia forces in West Timor.

We urge the Government of Indonesia to ensure the safety of those refugees and their families, and to assist in their prompt, voluntary return to East Timor. Thank you for your attention to this serious humanitarian matter.


Henry J. Hyde Chairman, International Relations Committee

Tom Lantos Ranking Member, International Relations Committee

James A. Leach Chairman, Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific

Cynthia A. McKinney Ranking Member, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights

Christopher H. Smith Vice Chairman, Committee on International Relations

cc: Ruud Lubbers, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Robert S. Gelbard, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia

Karen Orenstein Washington Coordinator East Timor Action Network 1101 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003 Tel: 202-544-6911 Fax: 202-544-6118

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