Subject: press release from the Association of Community Victims in
East Timor (ACVTL)
Human Rights in East Timor WorldNews.com, Wed 24 Dec 2003
Letters to the Editor ACVTL.
Below is a press release from the Association of Community Victims in East Timor (ACVTL).
East Timor (a.k.a. Timor Leste) is the worlds newest nation. It gained freedom from Indonesia in September 1999 after a very destructive and bloody exit of the Indonesian military (TNI). East Timor was administered by the United Nations until May 20, 2002, when it oficially an independent Nation.
In addition to murdering probably hundreds of thousands of East Timor citizens during 1999 and before, all former Indonesian civil servants in East Timor have effectively had their retirement pensions stolen by the Indonesian government. This press release addresses that issue.
Thank you for your attention to this issue.
Sincerely, Carlito Candido Vicente, General Secretary, ACVTL
Enclosure: Press Release
To: 1. Dr. Kofi Annan, General Secretary, United Nations, New York 2. President of United Nations General Assembly, New York 3. Members of United Nations Security Council 4. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva 5. All the Ambassadors in East Timor 6. International Non-Government Organizations in East Timor 7. National Non-Government Organizations in East Timor
CC: 1. Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, President, RDTL. 2. Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, Special Representative to East Timor, UNMISET. 3. Mgr. Basilio do Nascimento, Bishop, Dili and Baucau Dioceses. 4. Dom Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, SDB, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. 5. Mr. Mariâ€™i Alkatiri, Prime Minister, RDTL. 6. Mr. Francisco Guterres (alias Lu Olo), President, National Parliament, RDTL. 7. Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation, RDTL. 8. Dr. Vital dos Santos, Coordinator, Advocate Team.
Concerning: Report of Human Rights Abuses Upon Ex- Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor.
Your Excellency, Dr. Kofi Annan:
1. The settlement process on the rights of former Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor, which passed through the Indonesian Government with Government Regulation No.5, 2001, adopted â€śretroactive principal,â€ť was very untransparent, unjust, discriminative, and inflicted extreme financial losses for up to 22,508 ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor.
2. The Indonesian government has not made payments of any kind to East Timorese citizens who once worked as Civil Servants for the Indonesian Government. On the other hand, the Indonesian Government only distributed an empty paper decree in which they considered that the rights of ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor have been removed from the responsibility of the Indonesian Government. Therefore, it is our opinion that the rights of ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor have effectively vanished since August 1999.
3. Assistance funds from donor countries such as Australia, Portugal and the European Union created enticement and campaign for a â€śStoppage and Cancellationâ€ť decree by the Indonesian Government regarding the rights of above-mentioned pensioners. Monies received by ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor only amounted to USD $50 (fifty Dollars) to USD $350 (three-hundred-and-fifty Dollars) per worker, and in September 2003 an additional payment amounting to USD $20 (twenty Dollars) to USD $110 (one-hundred-ten Dollars).
4. Former Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor who did not receive the â€śStoppage and Cancellationâ€ť decree regarding pensioners from the Indonesian Government have not received any money.
5. What Indonesiaâ€™s government has done is very contrary to the statement made by UNTAETâ€™s Administrator (Dr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, UNTAET Television, 28 February 2002), that the Government of Indonesia must recognize ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor and should pay their pensions.
6. As an expression of dissatisfaction with Indonesiaâ€™s government relating to Government Regulation No.5/2001, on 30 November 2001 and also 15 May 2002 we conveyed protest letters to UNTAETâ€™s Administrator (Dr. Sergio Vieira de Mello), to the Representative of Indonesia for East Timor (Mr. Kristyo Wahyono), and to other leaders. We also conducted peace demonstration actions on 9 & 10 July 2002, 25 February 2003, and 21 May 2003. We have conducted activities such as these up to 25 times from 2001 until now, but have not yet received much fruit for our efforts.
7. On behalf of the struggle for their rights, on 13 September 2002 ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor setup a coordinating institution called â€śAssociaĂ§ĂŁo Comunidade Vitimas de Timor Leste (ACVTL)â€ť, or Association of Community Victims in East Timor.
8. Of the 22,508 ex-Indonesian Civil Servants in East Timor (data: UNTAET, February 2002), approximately 11,000 have already made statements and given authority for the Advocates to act on their behalf in order to bring this problem to a court of law.
9. On 26 June 2003, 15 Civil Servants representatives joined together with ACVTL, including 13 persons from 13 Districts in East Timor and 2 members of the ACVTL Central Council, to sign a contract with the 10 person Advocate Team.
10. Though we know it has not yet come to the attention of our government as an important issue in our country, we are now entrusted with the responsibility of continuing to take legal and moral action. .
11. In order to complete this report we have attached a copy of the Claims Letter and the Action of Demonstrations (Peace Action and Moral Movement) dated 21 May 2003, and UNDP Information Campaign for Special Fund dated 23 October 2002.
12. Regarding the Indonesian Governmentâ€™s abovementioned lack of heart, we respectfully request that your excellency Dr. Kofi Annan, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the international communities, demand the Indonesian Government complete actions which are tangible and certain, so that the Indonesian Government will not despotically cause to disappear the rights of thousands of East Timorese citizens who were used as a labor force for many years during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.
Hereby, Your Excellency Dr. Kofi Annan and international communities, we thank you very much for your attention to the completion of this problem.
Afonso Manuel al. Maurecy Amanci Titfeci Carlito Candido Vicente President, ACVTL General Secretary, ACTVL
The Leaders of the Council of ACVTL
1. Mr. Afonso Manuel alias Maurecy Amanci Titfeci, President, ACVTL 2. Mr. Carlito Candido Vicente, General Secretary, ACVTL 3. Mr. Joao dos Santos, District Coordinator, ACVTL Dili 4. Mr. Marcos dos Reis Cunha, District Coordinator, ACVTL Manatuto 5. Mr. Salvador da Cruz Santos, District Coordinator, ACVTL Baucau 6. Mr. Alfredo do Carmo, District Coordinator, ACVTL Lautem 7. Mr. Alfredo de Araujo, District Coordinator ACVTL Bobonaro 8. Mr. Arnaldo Sombico, District Coordinator, ACVTL Oecusse 9. Mr. Carlos Barreto, District Coordinator, ACVTL Covalima 10. Mr. Abril de Fatima Lemos Soares, District Coordinator, ACVTL Aileu 11. Mr. Anastacio Martins, District Coordinator, ACVTL Ermera 12. Mr. Antoninho dos Santos, District Coordinator, ACVTL Liquica 13. Mr. Manuel da Silva, District Coordinator, ACVTL Viqueque 14. Mr. Vasco Doutel Sarmento, District Coordinator, ACVTL Ainaro 15. Mr. Joaquim de Araujo, District Coordinator, ACVTL Manufahi