Subject: Indon plans to discontinue scholarships for E. Timorese students

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Indonesia plans to discontinue scholarship for East Timorese students

JAKARTA, Feb 27 (AFP) - Jakarta is planning to discontinue scholarships to some 1,100 East Timorese students in Indonesia, a report said Wednesday.

A director of the Indonesian education and culture's higher education directorate general, Darmaji (eds: one name) said that there were many Indonesians in need of such scholarship, the state Antara news agency reported.

"This may cause social jealousy because if we cannot even assist students from our own country, why should we help thoses from other (countries)," Darmaji said.

The scholarships were given to East Timorese who have been studying in Indonesia since before the eastern half of Timor island separated from Indonesia in October 1999, following a UN-held ballot of self-determination there in August 1999.

The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) has urged Indonesia to continue the subsidy -- around six million rupiah (589 dollars) per year per student -- which had been promised by former president Abdurrahman Wahid in 1999 for three years.

Darmaji said that the government has not yet formally decided to cut the scholarships but was likely to do so in March.

But he added that the government may continue to provide scholarships for 309 of the 1,100 East Timor students who were in their last year of study.


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