A meeting with Gus Dur
Campbelltown McCarthur Advertiser
A meeting with Gus Dur A war crime tribunal should be set up to
investigate the 1999 violence in East Timor, a former Indonesian
president has said.
Abdurrahman Wahid, who will run for the position again in 2009 for the
National Awakening Party told journalists he believed the Commission
for Truth and Friendship between the two countries needed more
The report found the Indonesian Government, military and police
committed human rights violations including murder, rape, torture,
illegal detention and forced deportation.
Perpetrators of the violence after East Timor’s vote for independence
in September 1999 should be tried before a war crimes tribunal, Mr
“Yes, precisely. Of course going further means further research and
[to] open the facts,” he said.
“We have to be clear on this that there were violations of human rights
in both countries and that’s what the commission discovered.”
Mr Wahid, who is affectionately known to most Indonesians as ‘Gus Dur’
became president of Indonesia in October 1999 – just after the
He sacked General Wiranto who was the military commander responsible
for East Timor at the time of the independence referendum a few months
In Jakarta this week Mr Wahid said he dismissed him because of his
involvement in the violence, which left more than a thousand dead, and
tens of thousands displaced.
“I believe that [it was] not only him,” he said.
“Last night I heard Prabowo talk about reconciliation, but I don’t
The report mentioned Chief Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto, former
head of special forces unit Kopassus among other ex-military heads as
being part of the violence.
It was released on Tuesday in Bali, with Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono flanked by East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta
and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.
All three said the report closed the door and marked a time to move on.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed a “very deep regret” at
the events of the past.
“We, leaders of today, must do all we can to acknowledge the lessons of
the past in order to strengthen even further the relations between our
two countries for the betterment of our people,” Mr Ramos-Horta said.
Both presidents accepted the report and signed a commitment to
implement recommendations including not prosecuting former military
Retired General Wiranto defended the military’s actions.
“We will leave it to the government and we also assume that there was a
mistake at that time, as everything was conducted in accordance with
the standing procedures, he said.
Mr Wahid reaffirmed his commitment to run as president again in next
He believes his chances are good.
Jessica Mahar is on a fellowship with the Asia Pacific Journalism
Posted By: by Jessica Mahar on 19/07/2008 1:29:11 PM