Subject: INDGOV: Megawati on human rights prosecutions

[Excerpt - http://www.thejakartapost.com/mega_speech_2004.asp]

STATE ADDRESS, BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AND THE GOVERNMENT STATEMENT ON THE BILL ON THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE 2005 FISCAL YEAR AND ITS FINANCIAL NOTE

BEFORE THE ASSEMBLY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OFINDONESIA IN THE YEAR 2004

Jakarta, 16 August 2004

With regard to the settlement of cases of grave violations of human rights, I can state that, in the case of the 1999 East Timor, several cases have been investigated and decided by the court, some of those cases have acquired legal permanency. Excepting for the case of Trisakti and Semanggi that up to this moment is still awaiting for the supplementaries from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the settlement of the Tanjung Priok and Abepura cases have also now been sent to the Court.

I am following closely and listening attentively to the discourses or opinions on these human rights trial processes. I am aware that, here and there, statements or even unsatisfied sentiments have been expressed with respect to the process and decision of those legal entities. Through this occasion, I would like to state that up to a certain point, we indeed must respect whatever decisions are taken by the legal agencies investigating and deciding those human rights cases. In line with the spirit of reform, the government takes a consistent stance and does not intervene in the functions and authorities of legal entities. Hence, one of the essences of reform, when we all have to keep the three supporting pillars of the state power in the executive, legislative, and judicative branches standing and functioning in equality.

As a nation, we realize how strenuous the settlement of such human rights cases can be. Different from the impact of criminal acts in general, cases left behind by human rights violations tend to leave a deep scar. For this reason, in order to settle our historical burden in handling issues of human rights violations, specifically prior to the enactment of Law Number 26 of 2000, the Government has submitted a Bill on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for deliberations and approval by the House of Representatives in the near future.


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