Subject: Tempo: East Timor transmigrants in Bali reluctant to relocate

East Timor transmigrants in Bali reluctant to relocate

July 21, 2004 3:44am Asia Intelligence Wire

Tempo web site on 21 July

Koran Tempo, Denpasar: Still feeling traumatized by their fate in the wake of the East Timor referendum, former East Timor transmigrants in Bali are reluctant to accept offers of relocation. Offers to take part in relocation programmes were made in a closed meeting between a joint team for dealing with former East Timor transmigrants involving the Department of Labour and Transmigration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Social Affairs, and the Department of Home Affairs, and 10 representatives of East Timor refugees in Bali on Tuesday (20 September [as received, should read July]) at the office of the governor of Bali.

"How could be we not be traumatized? All of our endeavours, from clearing the jungle to our fertile rice fields, all of it gone, just like that," said Wayan Nurjana, 54, one of the representatives of the former transmigrants.

Transmigrants from Bali began to go to East Timor in 1982, and their total number at the time of the referendum was 688 families. All of their property was left behind after the 1999 referendum.

The government offered the former East Timor transmigrants relocation to Sulawesi or to Kalimantan, providing them with 1.5-2 ha of land, two years of food money and rice seedlings or plantation plants.

Source: Koran Tempo web site, Jakarta, in Indonesian 21 Jul 04

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