|Subject: Kalla denies Indonesia committed
widespread rights abuses
January 24, 2005
Indonesia denies committing widespread rights abuses
TOKYO (AP): Vice president Jusuf Kalla said Tuesday an internationally funded report that claims at least 183,000 people were killed during the country's occupation of East Timor were "exaggerated."
East Timor President Xanana Gusmao presented the 2,500-page Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission report to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last week.
It has not yet been made public, but portions leaked to the media say Indonesian security forces were largely to blame for some 100,000 deaths and human rights violations - from starvation to torture to sexual abuse.
Kalla, who has not yet seen a copy of the report, said some of the claims made by the independent commission were "exaggerated" or simply "not true."
"That accusation that we committed gross human rights violation in East Timor is absolutely not true," he told reporters in Tokyo.
Previously, AP said that the report also claimed that Indonesian soldiers intentionally killed five foreign journalists who were covering Jakarta's 1975 invasion of East Timor.
The Indonesian government states that the journalists - two Britons, two Australians, and a New Zealander - were caught in a firefight as advancing troops took over the town of Balibo on Oct. 16, 1975.
But members of the commission that compiled the new report said their own witness interviews indicated the journalists were probably intentionally killed by soldiers.
The report, however, says the commission does not claim on the basis of its own limited inquiry into these events that it is in a position to reach definitive conclusions on what happened.
Jan 27 21:08 RI Not Worried Over CAVR Report
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda said here on Friday that Indonesia was not worried about the report of Timor Leste`s Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) which was submitted to the United Nations by President Xanana Gusmao recently because the Timor Leste president himself considered it a mere report from a non-governmental organization.
He told newsmen that President Gusmao had discussed the report in a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Medan on December 25 last year.
"Due to the Timor Leste law, President Xanana Gusmao has to visit New York and submit the report to the UN secretary general," he said.
He said the government of Timor Leste had from the beginning considered the report a mere report from a non-governmental organization.
"Therefore the government of Timor Leste does not immediately and fully agree and support the report," he said.
According to the minister, President Xanana Gusmao said that the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) jointly established by Indonesia and Timor Leste was the right forum to settle past problems.
In other words, he said, Indonesia had known the goodwill of President Gusmao and the Timor Leste government with regard to the settlement of human rights cases in 1999 through reconciliation or more specifically the CTF.
He said there should not be any doubt about it and the two countries would continue to hold close consultations.
Wirajuda said confirmation on the position of the two countries` governments on the issue had already been conveyed by President Xanana Gusmao before the UN Security Council meeting.
Regarding the CAVR report he said there was no need for Indonesia to give any respond to it because it was their right to make it.
He said however the case must be watched so that it would not disrupt the reconciliation process through the CTF.
Regarding the cancellation of the planned meeting between President Yudhoyono and President Xanana in Bali, the minister said that there had been an agreement from the two side to arrange a right schedule.
Moreover he said the two had only recently met for more than two hours in Medan. He said telephone communication by the two leaders would remain.(*)