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The Jakarta Post
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Govt slammed over CTF report delay
Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Rights activists have accused the governments of Indonesia and Timor
Leste of deliberately delaying the publication of the final report by
the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) for political reasons.
They said there was strong public suspicion the announcement of the
report’s findings was being delayed because the report found the
Indonesian Military (TNI) committed gross human rights violations in
Chairman of the Setara Institute, Hendardi, expressed fear the delay
would allow changes to be made to the report to protect certain
former generals who allegedly committed the rights violations around
the time of the 1999 referendum in then East Timor.
“We are afraid the delay aims to protect the perpetrators,” he said
A coalition of civil society groups, including Imparsial and the
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), has
expressed fear irresponsible parties might exploit the delay to
change, add or delete parts of the report, such as taking out the
name of Gen. Wiranto, who was chief of the TNI at the time.
Wiranto’s name was deleted from the dossier submitted by the Attorney
General’s Office to the ad hoc human rights court for East Timor cases.
Eighteen people were cleared of all charges over the violence,
including former militia leader Eurico Gutteres.
Presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal dismissed the allegations,
saying the delay was due only to difficulties in matching the
schedules of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Timor Leste
President Jose Ramos-Horta.
He said many incidents in Timor Leste, including the rebel attack
against Ramos-Horta earlier this year that almost claimed his life,
were also a factor behind the delay.
“We will announce the findings as soon as possible,” he said.
CTF co-chairman Benyamin Mangkoedilaga said the commission had
submitted the executive summary of the report to the two presidents in
“We are waiting for confirmation from both presidents as to when we
can submit the full report. The presidents will announce the findings
to the public after we submit it,” he said.
Benyamin said the commission members had settled their disagreements
and come up with the final 350-page report, which was written in
Indonesian, English and Tetum (the language of Timor Leste).
He indicated the report recognized that gross human rights violations
occurred in Timor Leste during the period.
“You see, the House of Representatives and the court all previously
acknowledged that gross human rights violations had occurred,” he said.
Rafendi Djamin of the Human Rights Working Group said any such
acknowledgment could be used as the basis for rights groups inside
and outside the country to push for the use of a UN tribunal to seek
justice for the victims.
Kusnanto Anggoro of the Centre for Strategic and International
Studies warned that CTF was a political compromise between the two
countries to solve the problems.
“It is not a legal solution nor a way for seeking justice,” he said.
Indonesia and Timor Leste agreed to establish the commission in 2005
to investigate alleged human rights violations involving the TNI
before and after the UN-administered referendum in the former
Indonesian province in 1999.
TNI-backed militia groups were blamed for the deaths of hundreds of
people and the destruction of infrastructure following East Timor’s
vote for independence.
The Jakarta Post
Joyo Indonesia News Service
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