Subject: Indonesia-Timor truth commission ready to report findings

also PRESS RELEASE COMMISSION OF TRUTH AND FRIENDSHIP INDONESIA-TIMOR LESTE

Indonesia-Timor truth commission ready to report findings

3/29/08

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) ­ A commission investigating an outbreak of deadly violence during East Timor's 1999 independence vote from Indonesia announced Saturday it is ready to submit its findings.

The Indonesia-East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF), set up in 2005, was tasked by both governments to uncover the truth behind the violence surrounding East Timor's overwhelming vote to break from Indonesia.

Indonesian co-chairman of the CTF, Benjamin Mangkudilaga, said the commission was ready to submit its report to the heads of state of each country for submission to their respective parliaments.

East Timorese CTF member Jacinto Alves said the report would "include conclusive facts on the cause and nature of human rights violations in Timor Leste around the referendum in 1999".

The commission will complete its mandate by March 31. The CTF had twice requested an extension saying more time was needed to "align perceptions" among the 10 members.

The body was set up in August 2005 and originally had an extendable work period of one year.

Alves said recommendations included "rehabilitation aspects for victims and the people including system reforms so similar incidents will not happen in the future".

He added that findings were not directed to individuals but to institutions involved during the unrest. He gave no other details.

An estimated 1,400 people were killed when militias backed by the Indonesian military rampaged as East Timor's population voted overwhelmingly in favour of breaking away from Indonesia, which invaded in 1975.

The CTF has no prosecution powers. It has been boycotted by the UN which says those guilty of human rights violations should face justice.

The commission has heard testimony from scores of witnesses, including East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, Indonesian officials, military, police and East Timorese who both backed Indonesia's rule or were pro-independence

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COMMISSION OF TRUTH AND FRIENDSHIP INDONESIA ­ TIMOR-LESTE

Jalan Ir. H. Juanda 2, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia - Telp. 0361-263535 Fax. 0361-228532

www.ctf-ri-tl.org

PRESS RELEASE COMMISSION OF TRUTH AND FRIENDSHIP INDONESIA-TIMOR LESTE

The Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship has entered the final stage of implementation of its mandate and the writing of the Final Report. This Final Report will be submitted to the mandating authorities ­ the Head of State of the Republic of Indonesia and and Head of State and Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste. In discharging the mandate, the working term of the Commission, with the approval of the mandating authorities, has been extended twice from the original term of the initial mandate that envisaged an August 2006 completion.

The substantive review in fulfillment of the CTF mandate, pursuant to the Terms of Reference, shall be completed on 31st March 2008. In April all technical activities related to the Final Report, such as its printing and publishing and the Commission liquidation process, shall be finalized. Submission of the Final Report to the mandating authorities shall be in accordance with the time availability agreed and the venue determined by the mandating authorities.

According to the Terms of Reference of the Commission mandate, the Final Report shall contain the Commission conclusions on:

* The conclusive truth on the nature, causes, essence and coverage of human rights violations reported as having been perpetrated in East Timor before and immediately after the 1999 popular consultation;

* The making of a joint historical record on human rights violations reported as having been perpetrated in East Timor before and immediately after the 1999 popular consultation; and

* The formulation and recommendations of measures to heal old wounds and to restore human dignity through efforts aimed at advancing reconciliation and friendship.

The Commission takes this opportunity to extends its thanks to all parties, namely, experts, regional administrators and community leaders and to all NGOs in Indonesia and Timor Leste who have shown their interest and substantive input to the Commission in fulfilling its mandate.

We trust that this press conference and press release may provide the public with a more comprehensive understanding on the fulfilment of the CTF mandate.

Denpasar, 29th March 2008


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