Subject: JP: Reveal Timor Leste history: Indonesian Expert

Also: CAVR`s Report on Conflict Victims in E Timor Very Weak

Reveal Timor Leste history: Expert


A historian is urging the government to examine the reasons behind Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975 and any excesses in its 24- year occupation, so that the country can rid itself of "ignorance and hatred" Taufik Abdullah told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that any admissions of past wrongdoings by the government "would not tarnish our image." Instead it would "release us from a dark episode in our history that could certainly pave the way for a real reconciliation with the people of Timor Leste." Taufik was responding to a report by Timor Leste's independent Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation released to the United Nations Saturday by President Xanana Gusmao

Failure to deal with the past had led to Indonesia having many problems, Taufik said

Historical accounts from previously classified documents in the United States and Australia showed that both governments had known in advance of Indonesia's plan to invade East Timor in 1975, he said. They had not objected to the invasion because they feared a communist presence near their large Asian ally

"Indeed, we were also trapped in the Cold War; and even the U.S. administration 'endorsed' the invasion," Taufik said

In history, acts of violence often occurred because of many reasons, such as feelings of insecurity or ignorance, he said

"A nation is considered a great one if it never forgets its heroes ... and a nation is also a great one if it insists on releasing itself from its historical ignorance and feelings of hatred," he said

Tiarma Siboro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Copyright 2006 The Jakarta Post

Feb 18 01:10

CAVR`s Report on Conflict Victims in E Timor Very Weak

Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The report made by Commisao de Acqhimento Verdade de Reconciliacao (CAVR) on the victims of conflicts in East Timor in the 1974-1999 period is very weak.

An East Timorese refugee, Pedro de Sousa, said here Friday that the CAVR`s report delivered by East Timor President Xanana Gusmao to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on January 10, 2006 shows many weaknesses and cannot be accounted for.

He made the remark when asked to comment upon the CAVR`s report on dead victims of the East Timor conflict from 1974 to 1999, which has also been discussed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Xanana Gusmao in Bali.

The CAVR`s report on the East Timor conflict victims was one of the topics discussed by the two leaders in Denpasar, Bali, on Friday. The report says that 102,800 people died in East Timor in the 1974-1999 period, mostly died of illness and starvation, 18,000 were killed, 70 percent of whom were killed by the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI, now TNI).

According the CAVR, a body formed by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), ABRI is responsible for the death of those suffering from illness and starvation and then evacuated to the forest in East Timor during that period.

The truth is that leaders of Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente (Fretilin) or the East Timor Freedom Revolutionary Front forced people in East Timor to flee into the forest, according to the former chairman of the Rwgional Legislative Assembly (DPRD) of Liquica regency.

Fretilin forced people in East Timor to flee into the forest, causing most of them to die of illness and starvation, but the CAVR has reported that ABRI is responsible for the death of those people, Pedro de Sousa disclosed.

Why did they flee into the forest on Fretilin`s suggestion during the civil war in East Timar from 1974 to 1975?, he said, adding that they must know the risk of their decision to stay in the forest and mountainous areas.

Pedro de Sousa pointed out that the CAVR`s report delivered by Xanana Gusmao to the US Secretary General contains the number of people in East Timor who died during that period and accuses ABRI responsible for the deaths without listing the names of the death victims.

The name of the death victims among members of ABRI and the civilian defense unit are written in long lists on the wall of military cemeteries in Dili and various regencies in East Timor during the period of East Timor`s integration into Indonesia.

In its report, the CAVR did not include the names East Timorese people in Aileu killed by Fretilin, whereas almost all people know that Fretilin used arms and its war personnel to slaughter thousands of supporters of East Timor integration into Indonesia.

In view of those weaknesses, Pedro de Sousa asked the CAVR to re-examine the murder of thousands of people by Fretilin in Ai-Serimou and Aileu on October 4, 1975, and to list the names of the dead victims in its report. (*)

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