22.7.04

AD HOC DELEGATION TO INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR (Abril 2000)

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

AD HOC DELEGATION TO INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

Jakarta, Kupang, Dili

15-21 April 2000


Report by Mr José Pacheco Pereira, Chairman of the Delegation

1. Introduction

The European Parliament on 18 November 1999 adopted a Resolution on East Timor[1] instructing its President to set up a EP Delegation, in cooperation with the relevant EP Committees and Delegations, to visit the territory of East Timor to “assess how the situation there is developing”. On 16 December 1999, the Conference of Presidents decided to send an ad hoc Delegation of the EP to Indonesia and East Timor with the following composition:

- Messrs Luis Marinho and José Pacheco Pereira, Vice Presidents;

- a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, CSDP;

- the Chairman of the Delegation for relations with the Member States of Asean, South-east Asia and the Republic of Korea;

- a member of the Committee on Development and Cooperation;

- a member of the Committee on Budgets.

The ad hoc Delegation held its constitutive meeting on 19 January 2000, elected Mr José Pacheco Pereira as its Chairman and defined its mandate as follows:

In Indonesia, the delegation will have to meet with the political leadership to assess internal developments and also discuss future relations with E. Timor.

In E. Timor, it will have to assess the overall situation, including refugee camps in W. Timor, and report back to European Parliament Committees, making suggestions for the consolidation of a democratic society and the return to normality in the country.

The ad hoc Delegation visited Indonesia and East Timor from 16 to 21 April 2000 with the following composition: Mr José PACHECO PEREIRA, Chairman, Mr Luis MARINHO, Vice President, Mr Carlos COSTA NEVES, Vice Chairman of the Asean Delegation, Mr Joaquim MIRANDA, Chairman of the Development Committee, Mr Joan COLOM I NAVAL, Vice President, member of the Committee on Budgets, Mr Toine MANDERS replacing Mr Bertel Haarder member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

2. Briefing by the Presidency and the Commission

(Sunday, 16 April 2000)

The briefing by EU ambassador Schmallenbach and Anna Gomez, Portuguese chargé d’affaires for the Presidency, focused on developments in Indonesia and the reconstruction effort in East Timor.

On Indonesia

They pointed at the successful handling of internal tensions by President Wahid but underlined also the strong reaction by those whose vested interests are threatened. Indonesians enjoy freedom of press and of expression which is the most stunning achievement, considering the Soeharto legacy a few months ago. Vice-President Megawati has a very good working relationship with the president and her party emerged as the strongest political force with 36% of the votes cast in the June 1999 elections.

A main challenge for the government is the reform of the judicial system, which is crucial for the political and economic modernisation of the country. Islamic militantism in the country is not to be compared with that of the Middle East, as the people are a lot more tolerant. Public opinion has criticised the performance of ministers responsible for the economy and the lack of coordination among themselves. The letter of intent, signed with the IMF at the end on January 2000 contains a lot of unpopular measures, like the pledge to increase prices for fuel, which the government would need to implement in order to secure the disbursement of the first $ 400 million promised in January.

The EU is the second trade partner and the biggest investor in Indonesia by far. The EU is also the main contributor to Indonesia’s programme of forest sustainable development, devoting around 140 mio Euros over the last five years. Nevertheless, illegal logging is thriving in the country and at the current rate the tropical forests will be wiped out in 14-15 years.

Other priority areas for development policies, agreed with the EU, focus on the needs of vulnerable groups, poverty alleviation at both urban and rural settings, sustainable water resources management. New areas of co-operation have been proposed targeting institutions building (government sector, private sector and NGOs), good governance and the rule of law, human resources development. The importance of the latter was particularly stressed as the most appropriate area for a long-term impact by the EU.

On East Timor

The president of Indonesia apologised publicly during his visit to E.T. (February 2000), a courageous gesture in a patriarchal society. In addition, the Attorney General leading the Investigative Commission on human rights violations in E. T. suggested inviting foreign judges for the trials of those responsible, as there are no experienced and trained judges in this field. Among the first cases to go on trial will be the killing of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes. Another main development has been the signature between Indonesia and UNTAET of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on judicial cooperation for the extradition of criminals and the protection of witnesses.

The speakers pointed out that the economic development of East Timor is linked to that of Indonesia’s due to geographic proximity and size of the territory. Both E. T. and W. T. were the poorest regions in Indonesia. The financial crisis of 1997-98 undercut Indonesia’s per capita income from $ 1.200 US before the crisis to around $ 500 US in 1999.

ECHO is present in E.T. through various NGOs that are active mainly in the public health area where demands are enormous. They helped built an interim heath authority, formed under the umbrella of the UNTAET, which is staffed by 16 Timorese. The EU is also instrumental in developing appropriate standards for the health system in E.T. which are supported by ECHO. The emphasis of assistance is now shifting towards the provision of basic packages of services.

Regarding the refugee camps in West Timor, the separation of other refugees from ex-TNI (Indonesian military in E.T.) and ex-police officers were considered essential. To facilitate the return of remaining refugees, estimated between 90-100.000, the Indonesian government would have to guarantee pension entitlements earned by those E. Timorese who worked for the government and wish to return to E.T.

The restitution of public archives and of property titles taken by Indonesia, is essential for the reconstruction of civil administration in E.T. The question of the E.T. Gap would be settled through negotiations between the two sides. For the moment there is an agreement with the UNTAET to observe old arrangements and block part of Indonesia’s proceeds into an account for the profit of reconstruction in ET. The speakers commended the Australian contingent of INTERFET for his excellent work in securing the border area and instilling a sense of security in the territory.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Joan Colom i Naval, Joaquim Miranda Toine Manders, Carlos Costa Neves and Luis Marinho.

3. Meetings in Jakarta

(Monday, Tuesday, 17 - 18 April 2000)

3.1. Megawati Soekarnoputri, Vice-President

The Vice-President stressed that the main problem regarding Timor is that of refugees. They will have to choose whether to stay in Indonesia, or return to East Timor. She referred in particular to people from other islands that lived in Timor and pointed out that the government’s intention is to stop aid to refugees as of May, in order to force them make up their minds. For those who worked as civil servants in E. Timor, the Vice-President said that the government would have to find adequate posts in the public sector and this would include the TNI (Indonesian military) and police officers. The government intends to address these issues by legislative means. She expressed the view that economic development in the border areas would help speed up the return of the refugees.

Referring to internal events in Indonesia, she underlined the social implications of the difficult economic situation. She pointed at the positive developments in both the Maluku islands and in Aceh and announced that she would be visiting the Maluku islands in the course of this month, to promote the government’s reconciliation efforts between the two groups and to supervise the distribution of food and medicine.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Luis Marinho, and Joan Colom i Naval.

Members stressed that the EP would be examining the possibility of further financial assistance to both parts of Timor and also ways to develop cooperation between the EU and Indonesia on an equal footing. In addition, they suggested that the EP could also assist the Indonesian government in matters of legislation drafting and parliamentary procedures.

3.2 Akbar Tanjung, Speaker of the House of Representatives

The Speaker gave a presentation on efforts to strengthen democracy in Indonesia and the role of the House of Representatives. He insisted on the fact that recent elections for the Presidency where the first to adhere to a truly democratic spirit, as there were more than one candidate and a secret ballot. In addition, he explained that the Parliament can hold the President[2] accountable for the government’s record and even decide to dismiss the government. He stressed the fact that the government enjoys large support, as it draws its forces from all major parties. He underlined the challenges posed by restructuring the economy and attracting more foreign direct investment, which is crucial to Indonesia’s development.

On the issue of E.T., he stressed the fact that the House of Representatives recognised the result of the popular consultation and pledged to support efforts to repatriate those who want to return to E.T. He insisted, nevertheless, that an equal chance should be offered to those who want to resettle elsewhere in Indonesia to do so. He asked for the EU’s financial assistance in the relocation of refugees and he assured the delegation that “there is no institutional effort by Indonesia to make the situation more difficult in the camps”, although he acknowledged the presence of members of the militias in some camps. He expressed the belief that both Portugal and Australia will play a bigger role in E.T., after UNTAET has completed its mandate.

Referring to the problem of entitlements by former public servants in E.T. he stressed that, according to Indonesian law, those who leave the country lose their entitlements and pension rights. Regarding the number of scholarships, that Indonesia offered to East Timorese students, he pointed out that these would diminish due to budgetary restrictions. He expressed also dissatisfaction with the financial burden his country has to bear in continuing its support of the camps.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Luis Marinho, Joaquim Miranda, Joan Colom i Naval and Carlos Costa Neves.

The Members highlighted the mandate of the EP’s Ad Hoc Delegation, stressing the importance of the assessment they would make on the democratic evolution in Indonesia. They also pointed out their wish to examine ways in which the EP would be able to assist the Indonesian Parliament in improving its working methods. Reference was made to the possibility of hosting an interparliamentary meeting in Brussels, in the framework of the EP delegation for relations with the member states of ASEAN.

On E.T., the Members stressed the problem of refugees and put particular emphasis to the thorny issue of pension entitlements who have to be guaranteed, if the return of refugees to ET is to be accelerated. They pledged to consider the possibility of financial assistance for the repatriation and resettlement of refugees in both East Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia.

3.3. Witoelar, Minister of Settlement and Territorial Development

The Minister explained the involvement of NGOs in the field of social policy in Indonesia and the strong working relation they have established with the government. She gave credit to former President Habibie for opening this relation, which differentiates between advocating NGOs and those who are active in community development. The government has established a new approach with the latter in the Maluku islands and in West Timor. She also pointed at the good job of the TNI in restoring calm in the Maluku islands, by confiscating weapons and observed that people are now ready to return to their homes. However, the main preoccupation of the government lays with the promotion of economic recovery in the troubled regions of Aceh and Maluku. The government’s efforts focus on the decentralisation of economic decisions so that the special territories (Maluku, Sulawesi etc) are able to decide for themselves.

Referring to the refugees in West Timor, she stressed that they pose a new problem to her Department, which shares with the Department of Transmigration the task of their relocation and resettlement. Many refugees come from diverse backgrounds and are not peasants or farmers as it happened in the past hence the new policy of relocation taking into account 3 aspects: their professional background, the availability of relevant infrastructure and the population balance within a quota of 80% indigenous to 20% refugees. The government intends to subsidise the cost of construction materials and will invite the NGOs to play a role in the economic recovery of these areas. She offered the estimate that Indonesia would have to absorb about 10-14.000 families, equivalent to more than half of the 100.000 remaining refugees. However she pointed that many hesitate to return because they lack the assurance of jobs and food. She assured the Members of the Delegation that there will be no forced repatriation and that key figures of the militia will resettle outside W. Timor.

The Minister closed the meeting observing that the problems of W. and E. Timor are much smaller than the issue of fighting poverty in the whole of Indonesia. A problem, which the government has to tackle through an integrated approach, involving public works, regional development and not merely social measures. The worst off, are the poor in urban areas because there are no alternative solutions for subsistence, hence the problems of criminality, prostitution and drugs.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Joan Colom i Naval, Luis Marinho, Toine Manders and Joaquim Miranda.

The Members stressed the importance the EP attaches to the peaceful transition to democracy in Indonesia and the reconstruction of Timor. The problem of the militia and former TNI in the camps of West Timor was raised in connection to the disinformation campaign they engage on. Regarding this last aspect, Members inquired about the refugees ability to decide freely on whether to stay in W.T. or to return to E.T. without pressure from outside. Dependent on whether this condition is met, the Delegation could propose to the EP to offer financial assistance. It would also consider the continuation of the poverty alleviation programme and further EU involvement in development programmes.

3.4. Amin Rais, Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly

Referring to the role of the Assembly, the Speaker stressed its three main tasks, namely, to adopt the policy guidelines, the right to amend the Constitution and to elect the President and the Vice-President. The Assembly has an annual session and every 3 years it evaluates the performance of the government. On developments in Indonesia, the Speaker observed that May 1998 was the watershed between Soeharto’s era and the transition period.

He acknowledged that political leaders underestimated the complexity of the problems facing the country and he paid tribute to the role of former President Habibie, whom he qualified as “the father of our democracy”. Mr Habibie freed all political prisoners and established the freedom of the press. The transition to democracy has been very difficult because of the economic situation in a country with 38 million persons unemployed. The problems of Corruption, Cronyism and Nepotism (known as KKN) are still present and the executive is creating many unnecessary problems due to its inexperience. To overcome the problems accumulated over the past 30 years Indonesia will need more time.

The Speaker expressed doubts on whether the government would survive for the full term of five years, as the people are disillusioned with it. He criticised President Wahid, considering his behaviour to be “whimsical and to make unwise statements”, mentioning as an example his proposal to lift the ban on the Communist party. He opposed this proposal for the time being, alleging that giving legitimacy to this party will open old wounds and lead to a fight with the Muslim groups, thus undermining the fragile stability and prospects of economic development. Referring to the proposal for the direct election of the President, he observed that the three main parties are in favour and that Mrs Megawati’s party is reconsidering its initial rejection of the proposal.

Referring to the role of the military, he expressed relief at the smooth “domestication” of the military who have accepted their new role, limited to security and defence issues and the abolition of their involvement in politics, which was enshrined in the Constitution. On the investigation of human rights violations in E. T., he referred to a letter by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, expressing the hope that an International Tribunal will not be necessary, provided that Indonesia brought to justice those responsible. He expressed support for the Attorney General’s efforts to solve the jurisdiction problem, concerning the military accused in E.T., with the setting up of a special court.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Carlos Costa Neves, Joaquim Miranda, Luis Marinho, Toine Manders and Joan Colom i Naval.

The Members inquired about the role of the military in the country and the investigation of crimes committed in E. Timor. They also received specific assurance that those responsible for the murder of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes (working for the Financial Times in E. Timor) will be prosecuted. Perspectives for closer relations between the EP and the Indonesian Parliament were also discussed and Members inquired also about the current trend of discussions for an amendment of the Constitution providing for the direct election of the President.

3.5. Basri Hasanuddin, Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Eradication

The Minister is responsible for the implementation and coordination of poverty alleviation programmes and displaced persons. He referred to the overall problem of refugees in the country who total 600.000. About a sixth of them is located in the Nusa Tengara Timur (NTT) province, which includes W. Timor. The Minister stressed the distribution of humanitarian assistance from early September 1999 to the end of March 2000, when the government decided to stop the supply of food which has been taken over by the UNHCR and the WFP. The government has now launched a census of refugees in the camps in W.Timor, to be completed in April, on their number, family status, profession and wishes regarding repatriation or resettlement. The government agreed to a transitional period until the end of June for the repatriation and resettlement of refugees. The repatriation of refugees will take place in cooperation with the UNHCR and the government will provide economic assistance and land to those who decide to remain in Indonesia. He expressed the hope that the EU would consider contributing to the programme of resettlement of refugees who wish to remain in Indonesia. Refugees from the Maluku islands and Aceh are located in Sulawesi (about 250.000), Sumatra, Java and West Kalimantan.

Referring to poverty situation he observed that the economic crisis drastically cut disposable income and at present 33 million people live under the poverty line. In 1998 GDP decreased by 18% but in 1999 it increased by 0.3% and in 2000 it is expected to reach about 3%, provided there is political stability. Poverty alleviation measures follow three main strategies, focused on assisting the poor from an income perspective, providing micro-credits and supporting environmental development. Programs address the existence of three main poverty pockets, in the coastal, urban and less developed rural areas. The UNDP is helping with the coordination of poverty alleviation programs, but the Indonesian Red Cross coordinates humanitarian relief.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Joan Colom i Naval, Joaquim Miranda, Carlos Costa Neves and Toine Manders.

Members insisted on the importance of efforts to consolidate the process of democratisation, and inquired about measures taken by the government to facilitate repatriation and resettlement of refugees in W. Timor. They acknowledged the financial burden involved in this, stressed the important role the EP plays in the provision of economic assistance to democratic countries and accepted to consider the possibility of financial help for the resettlement of refugees.

3.6. Judowono Sudarsono, Minister of Defence

The meeting with the first-ever civilian minister of defence in Indonesia, focused on the consolidation of control over the military. He stated his objective to be the establishment of a professional army and police. To achieve this he will have to address the structural weaknesses of the TNI by developing their professional profile. He expressed the view that this will be achieved gradually over a period of 5-10 years. He appealed for time and observed that “there is no such thing as instant democracy and instant civilian control”. He announced that the Police would become a separate force from the ministry of defence as of 1st January 2001, depending from the ministry of the Interior.

On the consolidation of democracy, he observed that Indonesia lacks the presence of a strong middle class which secured the socio-economic underpinnings of this process in W. Europe. A stronger economic growth and political stability will support the consolidation of democracy. He placed the onus of securing these conditions on the political parties but expressed his concern as Indonesian parties are very weak and have not forged strong links between the centre and the regions. He supported the objective of President Wahid to establish Indonesia as a tolerant state, not an Islamic state, stressing that “submission and peace is the message of Islam, not confrontation with other countries or religions". He observed that some hard line islamic leaders are trying to put pressure on the President pretending that he does not care for the fate of their brothers in the Maluku islands.

On Timor, he attributed the incursions to some disgruntled groups of ex militia or military and assured the Delegation that there is no support for these incursions. He has proposed the establishment of joint patrols and command posts on the border and the PKF of the UN is considering this proposal. There is also agreement between the two sides to institutionalise the MoU for the border zone and crossings. Referring to the status of the ex-TNI in the camps, he stated that their units have been disbanded and their command has been absorbed within the W.T. command of the TNI. He acknowledged that they have not been able to control some rogue elements, which he put to 50-60 and expressed support for the resettlement of ex-TNI in other provinces of Indonesia. He stressed that reconciliation will facilitate the return of refugees in E.T. and in this context he judged necessary “to limit the blame game”. He supported the involvement of the Bishops working together with the UNTAET and the TNI on an agreement securing the social and cultural conditions for the return of refugees.

Questioned on the position of former general Wiranto, he stated that the general is willing to be investigated by the National Commission on human rights violations in E. T. He observed that Indonesia has provided transportation for witnesses from Kupang to Jakarta, to take part in the proceedings which will have to be credible. He acknowledged that some of the proceedings may take place in E.T., as both the evidence and the witnesses are there and he stated that Indonesia would cover the cost of the proceedings.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira and Joan Colom i Naval.

Members inquired about the difficulties of converting the army into a democratically accountable force. They expressed concern for the presence of ex-TNI in the camps and stressed that for the EP to support resettlement efforts it will have to make sure that refugees are really free to decide on their future.

3.7. Abdurrahman Wahid, President

The President referred to his recent official visit, early February, to the European Commission in Brussels where he met with Mr Prodi and some Members of the EP. He welcomed the EP’s interest in the region and stressed the twofold nature of the problem of Timor. On one hand, the need to cope with the humanitarian situation and on the other, the need to address the political challenges. He expressed his steadfast support for the normalisation of relations with E. Timor, as demonstrated by his visit there. He acknowledged the existence of “integrationists” who are “stirring trouble” and he informed the delegation that he has instructed the military commander in W. Timor to remove from the camps the tribal chiefs who remain hostile to E.T.

He informed Members that at the cabinet meeting, scheduled for the following day, the issue of E.T. would be discussed, with particular emphasis on measures aimed at solving the refugee problem in the camps of W.T. He announced that at his recent trip in South Africa he agreed with President Mbeki to grant jointly sponsored scholarships for E. Timorese students and he has had a similar agreement with Mozambique and Brazil. He also announced that he would be sending a letter to Xanana Gusmao proposing a coordination of the five countries on the wider issue of human resources development and asked the delegation to inform Mr Gusmao of his initiative.

The discussion on the situation in Indonesia focused on Aceh, where the President considered that considerable progress had been achieved and the latest incident, the burning of a school, was limited to the southern tip of the province. He informed Members that he has asked the Chief of national police to transfer a police colonel that was previously in E.T. and is currently under investigation. He referred to a channel of direct communications that he has opened with Hasan de Tiro, leader of the GAM separatist movement in Aceh and qualified as “good” the outlook of negotiations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will be holding talks with Kuwait for a grant of $ 30 mio US for humanitarian assistance to this province. With regard to the situation in the Maluku islands, he stated that reconciliation is taking place and calm prevails.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira and Joan Colom i Naval.

Members expressed their appreciation for the President's role in strengthening the process of democratisation and ensuring civilian control over the military establishment. They also expressed the willingness to develop good relations with a “strong and peaceful Indonesia”, reiterating EU’s support for the territorial integrity of Indonesia. In relation to refugees in W. Timor, they stressed the importance they attach to the ability of refugees to decide freely of their future. In this context, they criticised the presence of former TNI who put pressure on other refugees. They also mentioned the possibility of some EU assistance on the issue of refugee’s resettlement and repatriation from W.T. The investigation of the murder of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes, killed in ET, was pressed with the President who pledged his support but referred to difficulties in finding witnesses willing to testify.

4. Meetings in Kupang

(Tuesday, 18 April 2000)

4.1. Piet Tallo, Governor of West Timor

The Delegation met with the Indonesian Governor of West Timor, Mr Piet TALLO as well as with UN representatives and aid organisations in Kupang. During its meetings in W. Timor, the Delegation was headed by Mr Luis MARINHO, as Mr Pacheco Pereira and Mr Colom I Naval stayed in Jakarta to meet with President Wahid and the Minister of Defence.

The Governor received the Delegation in the presence of senior officials and commanding officers of TNI and police force in W.T. and expressed his appreciation for the EP Delegation’s visit. The meeting focused on the problem of the remaining refugees in W. Timor, the number of which, according to Governor TALLO, is about 104.000. He assured the Delegation of Indonesia’s wish to solving this problem as quickly as possible, in order to avoid a similar situation with that of remaining refugees from Palestine. He stressed two important preconditions for the quick return of refugees, namely reconciliation and safe stay in East Timor. These conditions, according to the Governor, are not met yet. In this context, the Governor considered that Delegation’s visit could play a constructive role and warned of the danger that the refugees could become “an employment programme for NGO organisations”.

4.2. Visit to the camps

The visit to two refugee camps near Kupang (Noelbaki and Tuapukan) demonstrated the harsh living conditions, in particular the lack of hygiene and the despondency of the people living there, in spite of the formidable effort by several NGOs working in adverse conditions. The Members of the Delegation spoke with some refugees, who were able to converse in Portuguese, about their situation and their ability to decide freely for their future. The Delegation was later informed that the bulk of refugees in these two camps was ex-TNI and police officers, who did not appreciate the supervision of their camps by the UNHCR. As a matter of fact, UNHCR’s presence was only possible under Indonesian military protection. The atmosphere of pro-Indonesian partisans was evident as many dressed in military fatigues.

The UN representatives informed the Delegation that the repatriation of refugees takes place in either family or village groups and on a voluntary basis only. Given that many have lost their houses together with their belongings, it is not easy for them to decide of their return to E. Timor without some assurances about their future. In this context, the closure of the camps, as originally announced by the Indonesian government for 31st March, would have exacerbated the humanitarian dimension of the refugee problem. The three-month moratorium provides a reasonable time frame for the solution of this problem.

The following took the floor: Luis Marinho, Toine Manders, Joaquim Miranda and Carlos Costa Neves.

5. Meetings in Dili

(Wednesday, 19 April 2000)

5.1. Bishop Felipe Ximenez Belo

Bishop Belo thanked, in the name of the Timorese people, the European parliament for supporting their struggle for freedom. He welcomed the setting up of new institutions by UNTAET and the newly acquired rights of free speech and organisation. He, nevertheless, stressed the importance for local people to be involved by UNAET in the administration of structures set in place. The Bishop informed the Delegation that there are still many poor people who suffer from the lack food and medicine and pointed at the absence of public transportation, which exacerbates these problems. During the meeting he hinted at the important role he played in the past, but he felt that it was appropriate for the leadership of CNRT to fully assume its political role and the Church to confine itself to its pastoral role. Referring to the return of refugees, he insisted that the Church has underlined that all people have the right to return to E. Timor, “especially those who did not commit crimes”. He acknowledged, nevertheless, that “some intimidation is taking place”, in particular by young people.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Joan Colom i Naval and Luis Marinho.

Members referred to the harsh conditions in the camps in W.T. and the campaign of disinformation regarding the situation in E.T. They also inquired about efforts of reconciliation with those who where pro-Indonesia.

5.2. Catherine Walker, Head of Donor Coordination Unit

Mrs Walker informed the Delegation that the donor coordination unit was established in February 2000 and has a staff of three. Donors have pledged $129 mio US for the humanitarian relief effort, of which $ 112 mio US had been received by the end of March and $ 20 mio US were offered in kind (helicopters). So far $ 31,3 mio US have been pledged to UNTAET’s Trust Fund (TF), of which $ 23.2 mio US have been paid. The EU and Germany were singled out as donors who made pledges but did not contribute to date. According to Mrs Walker, the EU pledged $ 9.8 mio to UNTAET’s TF and $ 58.9 mio to the World Bank’s TF. UNTAET’s Trust Fund concentrates on establishing civil administration and public services, the rehabilitation of public buildings and the training of civil servants. UNTAET is currently reviewing expenditures incurred so far and would like to hire an external consultant to help it improve the effectiveness of aid from the perspective of the recipients.

UNTAET’s Trust Fund is administered according to UN financial regulations, cleared through New York headquarters. UNTAET would like to increase its flexibility by transferring various financial resources to a consolidated Trust Fund for E.T. regulated in E.T. Mrs Walker considered that the financial resources of the Trust Fund are insufficient, as there will be no proceeds from custom duties and excise in the course of the year. E.T. will dispose of its first budget as of 1st July 2000. The budget review process will be scrutinised by the World Bank and the IMF, who are scheduled to visit E.T. in May. UNTAET is examining the wage structure for the civil service and has a target of recruiting 7.000 public employees for this year, rising to 12.200 over the next two years of which, approximately, 60% should be teachers, 25% health related staff and 15% administrators. At present 3.116 are employed by the public service of UNTAET.

The coordination of NGOs takes place under the umbrella of an association for humanitarian relief efforts and NGOs would continue to be the main health providers, while the basis of a national health system is being put in place. She reported that the limited facilities of the Dili port have led to congestion and have delayed progress in the implementation of the shelter programme (distribution of building materials and provision of permanent housing) carried out by the UNHCR.

The following took the floor: Joan Colom i Naval and Joaquim Miranda.

Members inquired about the EU’s contribution and the implementation of the budget. They also discussed the implementation of the humanitarian relief efforts.

5.3. J.C. Cady, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN

In the absence of the Mr Sergio Vieira De Mello, UN Administrator for E.T., the Delegation was briefed by his deputy, Mr Cady on the three components of the mandate received by UNTAET. These refer to responsibility for the security of the territory, the restoration of basic services and the establishment of the new institutions. He stressed the different nature of this mandate from previous ones, as the UN has assumed the responsibility of preparing the territory to achieve independence. He pointed out that the level of destruction reached 80% of the stock of houses and infrastructure and 300.000 persons became refugees out of a population of 800.000. The overall amount of pledges by donors for E.T. stands at $ 523 mio US and this includes, humanitarian assistance, UNTAET’s and World Bank’s Trust Funds.

At the moment UNTAET concentrates on the following priorities:

- achieving food sufficiency (assistance in mechanisation, provision of seeds etc);

- providing health assistance (there are many cases of Malaria, Encephalitis and some of Dengue fever);

- providing education (more than 40% of the population is illiterate);

- restoring infrastructure (especially roads, telecommunications as most of the territory is not covered and improvement of the Dili port);

- securing law and order (recruitment and training of 3.000 locals for police duties, recruitment of judges, building a penitentiary);

- employment creation (supported by the program of public works);

- implementing a monetary policy (the banking system has just begun to operate, but the people use the Indonesian Rupia, although the US dollar is the provisional currency for the territory).

Reference was made to the language problem. In the past, education was provided in Bahasa, and scholarships were offered for study in Indonesia’s universities (at present about 4.000 E.T. students are in Indonesia). This language is now rejected by the CNRT, whose leadership opted for Portuguese as the future official language of E.T. Consequently, UNTAET has to make provisions for education to be provided in Portuguese, a language currently spoken by 1.8% of the population. Under these circumstances a transitional period will be necessary during which both Bahasa and Portuguese will have to co-exist.

UNTAET has set up a National Consultative Council of 15 members to provide advice to the Transitional Administration on “all matters related to the exercise of the Transitional Administrator’s executive and legislative functions”. The Council is the primary mechanism through which the representatives of the people of E.T. participate in the decision making process during the period of the UN administration. In the Council sit seven representatives of the National Council of E.T. Resistance (CNRT), three E.T. from other political groups which existed before 30 August 1999 but are not represented by CNRT and one representative of the Roman Catholic Church of E.T. The Council is chaired by the Transitional Administrator and UNTAET occupies the remaining three seats.

Following a proposal by the Council, UNTAET is in the process of recruiting Timorese deputy directors for all its departments. In spite of these efforts, the deputy Administrator acknowledged the existence of a “communication” problem between UNTAET and the local political leadership. To address this issue, UNTAET is establishing District Advisory Councils, to liaise with the local population and will start recruiting Timorese deputies for all of the 13 geographical districts in E.T.

Referring to efforts undertaken for the return of refugees, Me Cady stressed that the UN helped about 157.000 persons to return and estimated that there would be another17-18.000 refugees, currently in W.T., who would wish to return. He pointed that all people who lived in E.T. have the right to return, however UNTAET has to make sure that the link with militias is permanently cut. For those persons who where pro-Indonesia, additional measures are taken involving consultations with the CNRT, local leaders and the Church, in order to guarantee their safe return. In this framework, a network of safe houses has been established for their temporary shelter and reconciliation meetings are arranged. In case these meetings do not yield positive results and as a last solution, they are relocated to other areas of E.T.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Carlos Costa Neves, Luis Marinho and Toine Manders.

Members inquired about the involvement of existing legitimate Timorese political structures in the administration of the territory, priorities set by UNTAET for the reconstruction and the repatriation of refugees.

5.4. David Haeri, Assistant Director for Political Affairs

Mr Haeri, briefed Members on the task of the Political Affairs Unit which operates as a small Foreign Service and advisor to the Permanent Representative. Referring to developments in the field of external relations, he qualified as “very important” what has been achieved so far for the normalisation of relations with Indonesia. He informed Members that a joint statement was signed with Indonesia, providing for the settlement of pensions, the continuation of university studies by E.T. students in Indonesia, and the demarcation of the border, especially in the Oekussi enclave. Discussion continues on the creation of a land corridor linking E.T. to the enclave.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the tactical arrangements along the border has also been signed with Indonesia, providing for sharing information and extradition. He pointed that militia activity along the border continues, but to a lesser extent. Referring to the refugees he stated that people should be able to make a considered choice without any pressure. A working group has been dealing with this issue and providing coordination among the UNHCR, IOM, District administration, civilian police, the peacekeeping force and the CNRT. He estimated that as many as 50.000 refugees could opt to stay in Indonesia. The CNRT Congress would examine projects for a Constitution and other issues and then disband, giving place to political parties. On the issue of the official language, he stressed that this will have to be the decision of the future government, once the country achieves independence, but pointed that CNRT has been clear as to the choice of Portuguese. He remarked, nevertheless, that young people are not happy with this “decision”, as they do not speak the language.

The following took the floor: Carlos Costa Neves and Toine Manders

5.5. Tony Lapsley, Deputy Director for Civil Service, Irene-Maria Eich, Special Assistant and

Serge Verniau, Head of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment

The briefings focused on the establishment plan of UNTAET (see annex). The long-term structure of the civil administration will be prepared in consultation with the CNRT. The Policy Planning Unit liaises with the CNRT, NGOs and the Church on this issue while the Civil Registry Unit has the huge task of creating a civil registry from scratch, issuing identity cards and vehicle registration. There is a staff of 35 UN and 19 Timorese involved in this task. In the near future, the direction of the department will be taken over by the deputy, who is a Timorese. Overall the public administration, there are 3.995 Timorese employed and125 power workers. The employment process is transparent but as the private sector has been destroyed, employment creation does not cover demand for jobs.

The Department of Agriculture liaises closely with the E.T. leadership and as a consequence of these discussions, it was decided that agriculture should be run by the private sector. Of immediate concern is the restoration and development of the irrigation network. Priority has been given to growing rice and coffee (a traditional product of E.T.) of the arabica variety which commands a higher price in the market, as well as corn. Those farmers who live in the mountains will grow maize, as they do not eat rice. The need to obtain copies of the archives on land ownership and on forestry from the Indonesians is considered of vital importance, assuming that these have not been destroyed. The alternative, partial, solution would be to consult archives of photos taken with remote sensing imagery. It was reported that the entire livestock was killed either by the farmers themselves or the militia. Consequently, the introduction of farm animals is a priority and the World Bank has provided funding for the acquisition of 1.000 water buffaloes, to be distributed among the local communities.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Joaquim Miranda and Carlos Costa Neves.

5.6. Sara Cliffe, Head of the World Bank Office in E.T.

Mrs Cliffe, highlighted the differences between the UNTAET Trust Fund (TF), which is covering the running costs of the administration of the territory and the World Bank TF, which is oriented towards reconstruction and development. The World Bank TF was established following the 17 December 1999 Tokyo Donors’ Meeting and is managed in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB leads on rehabilitation of roads, ports, transportation, water, telecommunications and power, while the WB prepares projects in the areas of health, education, agriculture, irrigation, support to SMEs and economic capacity building. The National Consultative Council agrees the prioritisation of programmes and the agriculture programme is implemented in cooperation between UNTAET and the Timorese. The implementation of projects that require bidding takes two months, between the biding and the award of the bid. It is expected that all of the projects given priority will be running as of July 2000. Mrs Cliffe pointed out that the European Commission had not yet paid its contribution to the TF, which is now foreseen in May 2000.

The following took the floor: Joan Colom i Naval Joaquim Miranda Toine Manders

5.7. Major Gen. Mike SMITH, Deputy Commander of Peace Keeping Force

The General pointed out that the transition from INTERFET to UNTAET Peace Keeping occurred on 23 February 2000. The territory has been divided into three sectors and the Oekussi enclave. The western sector is under Australian command, while the central sector is under Portuguese command. In the Oekussi enclave is stationed the Jordanian battalion. Throughout the three sectors are spread UN observers who liaise with Falantil[3]. The bulk of the armoured presence is near the border and the PKF has established liaisons in Denpasar (Bali) and Kupang (W.T.).

There are two aspects to the PKF mission. The first concerns border security and is oriented towards averting militia attacks. For this purpose, an agreement was signed with Indonesia and there are frequent meetings between the PKF and the TNI (Indonesian Military). Reporting on the overall situation, the General stressed that there were three separate shooting incidents and also infiltrations from W.T. in early March. Although infiltration by the militia may continue, he expressed confidence that it would be without success, as militia do not enjoy the support of the population. He pointed out that there has to be a political agreement on the border, which at the moment is a tactical border.

The second aspect of its mission is oriented towards law enforcement. To this respect, he observed that the absence of a judicial system and a strong civilian police presents a problem. He pointed out that the PKF expects to start a progressive hand-over of its responsibilities to local authorities starting in July 2000 form the eastern sector.

Referring to the Falantil, the General observed that there is no formal relation between Falantil and the PKF. The former is contained in the Aileu area (central sector) and is not allowed to carry arms outside its compound. The UN Administrator has not yet determined the future of Falantil. UNTAET and Falantil have engaged in discussions and a study group has been established. Xanana Gusmao wishes to integrate the Falantil in the defence forces of E.T., which they expect to be a professional, apolitical force, without any involvement in internal security tasks. The CNRT has agreed to an independent study on the strategic rational of the future force.

The General observed that cooperation with TNI is improving and he feels “very positive” due to the support of the President Wahid, the Minister of Defence and of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. A formal mechanism of consultations has been established every two weeks at commander’s level. On daily basis, contacts occur even at platoon commander’s level. Referring to militia he observed that the degree of support by the TNI is unknown. Nevertheless, it is certain that they receive support from someone and their leaders are free to circulate in W.T. He mentioned, however, that there have been instances where the TNI has arrested militiamen and confiscated their arms.

The following took the floor: Luis Marinho and José Pacheco Pereira.

5.8. Sidney Jones, Director for Human Rights

Mrs Jones reported that there are over 300 open cases for 677 murder victims in the course of 1999. Only two cases involve rape but it is suspected that there were many more cases that have not been reported. Civilian police has a database with names of the suspects and all of the people named are the direct perpetrators of the crimes. UNTAET continues the investigations together with Civilian Police and human rights organisations. The Indonesian law is the applicable law in the territory with the exception of human rights violations. There is no penal code under which to bring to trial these cases and UNTAET had to train sixteen Timorese judges and ten prosecutors, most of who have no practical experience. The idea of a special panel of international judges has been floated, but it is not clear if these cases have to be considered as simple murder cases or human rights crimes. It is expected that the first trials will start by June. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Indonesia provides for cooperation in the proceedings and witness protection.

Mrs Jones observed that there is strong support from the Indonesian President on these issues. UNTAET has to avoid popular justice with people taking the law into their hands. There have been attacks, initially against Muslims and Protestants, but recently also against ethnic Chinese. The local communities do not take well the return of ethnic Chinese, althought CNRT is keen on securing their return. At the same time, there are 265 Muslims living in the Dili Mosque and in December 1999, another 64 people came back and joined their relatives. The E. Timorese suspect that they were cooperating with Indonesians and the CNRT has asked that each one of them be screened, to determine whether they were living there and if they were responsible of crimes. These Muslims are virtually under siege and they have been subject to harassment and threats.

Mr José Pacheco Pereira took the floor. He observed that Timorese of Chinese ethnic origin have been present in E.T. for a long time. He also proposed for some Members of the Delegation to visit the Dili Mosque and meet with the Imam.

5.9. Akira Takahashi, Director UNTAET Humanitarian Assistance

Members where briefed on the humanitarian situation. Out of a population of 800.000 in E.T. over 250.000 persons fled to W.T. As per 31 March 2000, the total number of 158.667 refugees has repatriated to E.T. and there are still about 90.000 persons in W.T. According to the UNHCR, up to 50.000 may want to return in E.T. but the rest would prefer to remain in Indonesia. Those who have worked for the Indonesia government, the TNI or the Police are afraid to return. The repatriation process has ebbed and the remaining refugees will only return gradually. The General Food Distribution Programme put in place by UNTAET is now targeted to the most vulnerable. The Programme also distributes seeds of rice, maize and corn, as it seems that local production would only cover 30% of needs. As E.T. was not self-sufficient in food even before the crisis, it is foreseen that the food aid programme would have to continue over the next two-three years. Regarding the shelter situation, UNTAET set a target of providing 35.000 units during this year. However, there is a delay of almost six months, as during the first three months only 5.000 units where provided. 18 NGOs carry out most of other humanitarian activities and the EU is wholly funding the health unit in Suai. The various UNTAET departments will have also to carry out the training of human resources in order to move from the emergency to the development phase.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira and Toine Manders.

6. Meetings in Suai and Los Palos

(Thursday, 20 April 2000)

6.1. Suai

The Delegation witnessed the total destruction of all houses and public buildings in the town of Suai. Very few houses had a restored roof, although a lot of refugees from that area have returned. The Delegation met jointly the local UNTAET administration and CNRT representatives. It was informed that about 12.000 persons from the wider area, who were mostly pro-Indonesia, remain in W.T. Reconciliation meetings have been organised between civilians and UNTAET is also trying to organise visits to the camps by groups of locals and NGOs, to provide information and assurances to refugees wishing to return. Civilian Police reported no trouble in the area.

The CNRT representatives reported the scarce assistance for the reconstruction of houses and the lack of income due to problems with the crops and the lack of adequate transportation. NGOs are offering now help providing construction materials (zinc, timber and sacs of cement) to the locals who carry out the repair work themselves. Referring to education, they observed that there are neither schools nor books and classes are held under trees but have to stop at 10.00 am because of the heat. Concerning public health, the situation was qualified as “good” and tribute was paid to the work of Medecins du Monde (MdM) who are now planning to set up a mobile clinic. The local community lamented the absence of a health facility and of related medical equipment.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Carlos Costa Neves, Joan Colom i Naval, Toine Manders and Luis Marinho.

6.2. Los Palos

In Los Palos the Delegation was not able to meet with local CNRT representatives. The UNTAET administrator reported that the hospital is the main EU funded project in the region. The most pressing problems concern the absence of drinkable water, the number of malaria cases and the bad condition of the road network. Out of a population of 86.000 more than 30.000 fled, but now 18.000 have returned and those remaining in W.T. are mostly former TNI of Timorese origin. Until now, those who return are checked in Dili, civilian police is informed about of their arrival and escorts them to their village, which has also been informed in advance.

The stock of houses in Los Palos was destroyed at 60-70% but assistance is given for the repair of 4.000 homes. Some problems with the supply of cement were reported. In spite of the existence of a port in the district of Los Palos, which could facilitate transport of goods from Surabaya (Indonesia), this facility is not in use. The problem of the drinkable water could be easily solved with the help of some technicians and about $ 3.000 US for buying relevant material.

UNTAET representatives stated that CNRT wishes to be the only liaison between Dili and the districts. They expressed concern that the CNRT Congress, scheduled for later this year, could bring about political conflicts while the territory would still be confronted with a host of serious problems (housing, food, education, health etc).

7. Meetings in Baukau and Dili

(Thursday, 20 April 2000)

7.1. Bishop Basilio do Nascimento

The town of Bakau witnessed far less destruction than any other town in E.T. Bishop Nascimento stressed that the Timorese have the responsibility to decide how to benefit from the UN administration. He underlined that human resources development is the most crucial aspect of the reconstruction effort and observed that the structures to train people have yet to be set up. Another relevant issue is economic development itself, which can be fostered with the creation of big infrastructure namely, airports, harbours, roads etc. To highlight this point he observed that in one of the most prosperous areas in E.T., stretching from Los Palos to Bakau, bananas are thrown to the pigs because they cannot be transported to Dili. The development of infrastructure would also help legitimise UNTAET in the eyes of the people. The local population criticises the slow pace of reconstruction, but UNTAET attributes this delay to the lack of money.

Bishop Nascimento observed that there are no security concerns in the area and stated that reconciliation will be a long process. He explained that there are different groups of refugees, those who fled to save their lives, those who worked in the government and the police force and those who acted criminally. Of these categories only the latter presents a problem, insofar as the judicial system is not yet in place to administer justice according to the law. The bulk of refugees from Bakau, less than 20.000, were men of the militias and only 6.000 have yet to return, however this will be done progressively as reconciliation needs time. Referring to the emergency situation, he observed that there has been an improvement but reported also some problems with the delivery of construction material.

The Bishop hinted at divisions within CNRT on issues discussed with UNTAET and observed that the population is distancing itself from the CNRT, he observed however, that there is no alternative to the CNRT. The emergence of political parties is a natural phenomenon but he criticised the idea of reinstating the old parties (pre-1975). Concerning the Timorese of Chinese origin, he observed that their presence is crucial for the economic revival of Dili. Referring to the situation of the Muslims, many of whom are of Indonesian origin, he stated that they where perceived by the rest of the population as being one with TNI and he deemed that the Bishops will have to take additional steps to help find a solution.

Referring to education, he highlighted the main concern i.e. the lack of teachers, but he was hopeful that with international assistance E.T. would overcome this problem. More complicated is the issue of re-establishing a University in E.T. as the one in Dili was destroyed. He pointed also at the role of the media in informing and educating people, giving the example of the crucial part played by the UNAMET TV channel before the popular consultation of 30 August 1999. Asked about the influence of the Church on reconciliation, he stressed that justice cannot be administered by individuals taking the law in their hands as “violence only breeds violence”.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Luis Marinho, Joaquim Miranda, Carlos Costa Neves and Toine Manders.

Members put emphasis on the process of reconstruction and reconciliation. They expressed also concern for the situation of the Muslims who took refuge in the Dili Mosque and the Chinese minority. The setting up of a judicial system, the choice of the penal code and the legal base for rendering justice for the crimes committed in 1999 was also discussed.

7.2. UNTAET and CNRT

A joint meeting with Ms Sarwar Sultana, the UNTAET Administrator for the district of Bakau and CNRT leadership was organized. The Administrator stressed the two priority aims i.e., the humanitarian assistance and the establishment of future administrative structure and services. In the district of Bakau there was less destruction but about 1.000 homes were nevertheless destroyed, now under reconstruction with UN agencies assistance. The main challenges faced by the Administrator concern the re-establishment of public services and employment creation. At the moment of the visit the district had more than 500 public employees, but without the rebirth of the private sector it will be impossible to tackle the problem of massive unemployment. The power supply was restored in the district but the supply of drinkable water had not resumed.

The Administrator lamented the lack of qualified staff in the local population, as there had been little employment in the past. The Administrator works closely with the CNRT, within the District Council, to identify priorities and to organise a major consultation of all inhabitants of the district on development priorities. Law and order has been restored but for its consolidation it is necessary to establish the judicial process and the police force, for which the recruitment of Timorese is under way.

Mr Eis, representative of the CNRT, referred to past efforts aimed at minimising destruction and suffering. To that end, an agreement was reached between BRTT (militia) and CNRT to avoid open confrontation and accept the Indonesian administrative structure. There was also coordination with the local police, which resulted in convincing even members of the TNI and police force to vote for independence. The result of the popular consultation triggered a conflict between members of the TNI and police force of Timorese origin and those of Indonesian origin. However, there were also Indonesians who cooperated with the CNRT and communication among these forces limited destruction in Bacau.

Referring to reconstruction, he pointed at the good coordination with UNTAET which accepted the presence of a CNRT representative in each administrative sector. The same approach was followed with the various NGOs present in the district. With regard to returning refugees, he stressed that they were accepted back and CNRT liaised to that effect with the Church, UNTAET and UNHCR. He observed that the bad condition of the road network does not allow yet communications with remote villages and the transportation of agricultural products and goods. The schools have not been reconstructed because of the lack of construction material. Although he acknowledged that there is no security problem in the district he welcomed the increase of the police force “to give the sentiment of security to the population”.

7.3. Xanana Gusmao, CNRT President

Delays in the implementation of UNTAET’s mandate were criticised by Xanana Gusmao who stressed the crucial importance of including E. Timorese in the administrative structures that are being established. He characterised as insufficient the presence of a deputy director of Timorese origin in UNTAET’s administrative departments, as he considered that the political government is the responsibility of the Timorese and UNTAET should limit itself to the technical implementation of decisions. He expressed dissatisfaction with the length (6-8 weeks) of tendering procedures of the World Bank which, according to him, should be shortened to 2 weeks. He criticised the slow payment of contributions by donors, which delays the implementation of various projects and called for a “flexible approach” from the donors and involved agencies.

Referring to security issues, he stated that the establishment of an army is part of achieving sovereignty. He has asked UNAET and the PKF to recognise the Falantil, as this was “a liberation army for all Timorese” and to transform it in the armed forces of E.T. He referred to the continuation of militia training to justify the establishment of a small armed force, which would help provide a sense of security to the people. However he acknowledged that Indonesia does not constitute a threat to E.T. but only some fringe elements of the military and politicians “who called for a Jihad”.

Regarding the situation of minorities in E.T., he observed that there were persons of Indonesian origin living in E.T. but hinted that the time was not yet ripe for their return as there is a lot of resentment, especially by the younger part of the population. He explained that if CNRT expressed support for the Muslims in Dili, then “the youth and other people would complain”. He pointed at the fact that CNRT allowed UNTAED to bring back some Indonesians, but observed that without better prospects for employment it would be difficult to continue this process. He stated that the restoration of law and order and employment creation are crucial priorities in this context. He assured Members that those who have illegally occupied houses owned by Muslims will be evicted. Referring to reconciliation, he observed that there is a distinction to be made between those who acted directly, the commanders and the political leaders. He asked for the establishment of a special court in Dili, to administer justice for crimes committed by pro-Indonesian forces. He stated that people are thirsty for justice, “first give justice, then we will forgive”.

Particular reference was made to preparations for establishing political parties. He announced the organisation of a Congress from 20-30 of August 2000 that will help define future political platforms. This is seen as a first step in preparing for the transition to self-government and full independence. In June and July 2000, the CNRT is going to hold workshops on the Constitution, the formation of political parties and other political structures. He criticised the absence of a concrete timetable from UNTAET for the transition to self-rule and stated that the CNRT will have to impose its own timetable for the implementation of UNTAET’s mandate. He brushed away the argument of the lack of qualified human resources, expressing the view that there are “capable people” who could run the administration. He criticised the choice of the dollar as the official provisional currency, explaining that there are no small coins to reflect the purchasing power of local people, hence the Timorese continue to use the Indonesian Rupia. He warned the international community not to content itself with the process of independence for East Timor but to continue its assistance, as the needs are enormous.

The following took the floor: José Pacheco Pereira, Luis Marinho, Joaquim Miranda, Toine Manders and Carlos Costa Neves.

The Delegation delivered a message from President Wahid, relating to his efforts for the establishment of a programme of jointly sponsored scholarships for E. Timorese students with the support of South Africa, Mozambique and Brazil. The Delegation shared concerns expressed on the slow pace of reconstruction and delays in World Bank related projects. Emphasis was also placed on the issue of harassment of ethnic minorities in E.T. and the need for an active stance by CNRT in this matter. The Delegation pointed that cooperation with UNTAET is key for a successful transition and considered that more efforts are needed in some districts.

7.4. The situation of the Muslims in the Dili Mosque

Within the context of its visit in East Timor the Delegation visited the Dili mosque. It met with the Imam and the persons that have taken refuge there. These persons are East Timorese Muslim families and a group of Indonesians who prefer to stay in East Timor. The Delegation was informed that these persons have been the object of continuous harassment and cannot leave the compound of the mosque and return to their homes because of the threats to their life. The delegation deplored this situation which is in contradiction with pledges by the East Timorese leadership for building a democratic and tolerant society, where each Timorese will be free to practice his/her religion. The delegation considered that the rights of all persons in East Timor should be guaranteed, irrespective of their ethnic origin or religion.

8. Conclusions

The ad hoc Delegation having accomplished its mandate, considers that the European Parliament should assure a follow-up, through its competent bodies, on both the process of democratisation in Indonesia and the efforts of reconstruction in East Timor. In the context of its mission, the Delegation draws the following conclusions:

On Indonesia

1. The elections of June 1999 marked a watershed in the process of democratisation, civil liberties and human rights in Indonesia. The political leadership is dedicated to this process and has been successful so far in asserting its control over the military. Nevertheless, it is confronted with a serious economic crisis and its ultimate success will be measured by its ability in addressing the problems of unemployment, poverty and in developing its human resources.

2. Indonesia has also to face up to the Soeharto legacy which prompted ethnic and religious tensions, while building and consolidating democratic institutions and strengthening civil society. The EU has a stake in a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Indonesia, given the importance of the country in the region. It is consequently appropriate that it develops further its relations with Indonesia and examines the contribution it could offer to this end.

3. The political leadership is committed to normalising relations with East Timor, at the same time it wishes a speedy solution to the problem of refugees that creates strains in the political and economic context of West Timor. The EU should examine its participation in the process of repatriation and relocation of refugees in West Timor, as this would also seriously diminish the influence of the militia.

4. Indonesian authorities have the responsibility to conclude a thorough and credible investigation on human rights violations in E. Timor and to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes committed. The EU should monitor closely the work of the Indonesian Investigative Commission and the follow-up on its findings.

On East Timor

5. The magnitude of destruction of houses, public building and infrastructure in the territory is phenomenal. UNTAET in consultation with the CNRT, the Church and NGOs has correctly identified priorities, in order to move the territory from the emergency to the development phase. However, acute shortcomings in the process of reconstruction exist which do not lend themselves to simplistic explanations. Nevertheless, it is obvious that delays in the payment of pledges by donors, nonetheless the EU, have an impact in the pace of reconstruction.

6. The competent bodies of the EP should examine the reasons for delays in the payment of the EU contribution. In addition, the EP should examine the targets of EU assistance and assess its effectiveness. The EP should also explore the possibility of offering additional assistance targeted to human resources development (scholarships, professional training etc).

7. The process of building a democratic, tolerant and prosperous society, guaranteeing respect for human rights, where each Timorese would be free to practice his/her religion is the responsibility of the East Timorese leadership. Reconciliation is a difficult but necessary process and the establishment of a judicial system will act as a catalyst in this context.

PROGRAMME FOR THE VISIT OF

THE AD HOC DELEGATION TO INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

15 - 21 APRIL 2000



KPS = Kp. Schmallenbach (Head of Representation), APC = A. Crasner (Development Counsellor)

JV = J. Vargas (ECHO Representative), CSH = Catrin Schulte-Hillen (ECHO Representative)

MN = M. Neves (Interpreter)



TIME

EVENT

VENUE

PARTICIPANTS

Sunday, 16th April 2000

18.00

Briefing by Presidency and Commission

Le Meridien

Puri Asri II, 1st floor

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / JV

Mrs Gomes (Portuguese Chargé)

French Ambassador / Mrs Vasseur

19.30

Dinner-briefing with Representation of

Humanitarian Organisations involved in

E.T. refugees questions.

Le Meridien

Puri Asri II, 1st floor

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / JV / MN

OCHA / ICRC / WFP / UNICEF UNTAET / Mrs Gomes / French Ambassador / Mrs Vasseur/ Mr Knauth

Monday, 17th April 2000

07.45

Depart Hotel



08.30

Stand-by at Vice-President's residence

Jl. Diponegoro, No. 2

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

09.00

Meeting with Vice-President Megawati

at her residence

Jl. Diponegoro, No. 2

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

10.00

Meeting with Mr Akbar Tanjung

DPR Speaker & Members of

Commission I (8 pax) & Head of BKAP

MPR Building

Jl Gatot Subroto

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

11.30

Meeting with Mrs Witoelar,

Minister of Settlement and

Territorial Development

Office of Minister

Jl Pattimura

(ex P.U.)

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

Lunch

Free



13.00

Meeting with Mr Amien Rais

MPR Speaker

MPR Building

Jl Gatot Subroto

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

15.00

Meeting with Mr Basri Hasanuddin,

Co-ordinating Minister for People's

Welfare and Poverty Eradication

Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat

No. 3 - Jakarta Pusat

EP-Delegation / KPS / APC / MN

19.30

Dinner

KPS Residence


Tuesday, 18th April 2000

04.45

Depart Hotel



06.00

Departure to Kupang (flight MZ8490)


EP-Delegation / JV / MN

11.00

Arrival Kupang

Hotel Kristal

Jl. Tim Tim No 59

Tel. (62-380) 825.100

Fax: (62-380) 825.104

EP-Delegation / JV / MN

12.00

Meeting with Mr Piet Tallo,

Governor of West Timor


EP-Delegation / JV / MN

until 16.30

Visit Refugee Camps (Noelbaki /Tuapukan)


EP-Delegation / JV / MN

17.30

Meeting with UN agencies and ICRC

UNHCR premises

EP-Delegation / JV / MN

20.00

Dinner with UN agencies and ICRC

Tanjung Restaurant

EP-Delegation / JV / MN


Tuesday, 18th April 2000 - ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMME

for Messrs Pacheco Pereira, Colom i Naval, Konstantopoulos and Smallenbach

A.M.

Meeting with Mr Juwono Sudarsono,

Minister of Defense



13.30

Call on the President of the Republic of

Indonesie, H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

17.00

Depart from Hotel to Airport


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

18.30

Depart to Singapore by flight SQ 161


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

21.00

Arrival in Singapore


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

22.35

Depart from Singapore to Darwin (QF62)


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

Wednesday, 19th April 2000 - ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMME

04.35

Arrival in Darwin


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

06.30

Depart Darwin to Dili (flight TL500)


PP / CIN / PK / KPS

06.45

Arrival in Dili


PP / CIN / PK / KPS


Check in Hotel Olympia

Tel.: (67-29) 390.311.225

Fax: (67-29) 390.322.464



Wednesday, 19th April 2000

05.15

Check-out Hotel



06.30

Depart to Dili with WFP flight


EP-Delegation / JV / MN

08.30

Arrival in Dili



09.00

Check in Hotel Olympia

Tel.: (67-29) 390.311.225

Fax: (67-29) 390.322.464


09.20-09.30

Move to Bishop Belo's residence



09.30-10.00

Meet with Bishop Belo



10.00-10.15

Move to Governor's residence



10.15-11.00

Meet with Mrs Catherine Walker,

Donor Coordination Unit



11.00-11.45

Meeting with Mr Jean Christian Cady,

Acting SRSG + Cecilio Adorna


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

11.45-12.30

Meeting with Mr David Haeri,

Assistant Director of Political Affairs


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

12.30-13.30

Lunch at Olympia Hotel



13.45-14.15

Meeting with Mr Tony Lapsley,

Deputy Director for Civil Service,

and Irene-Maria Eich, Special Assistant


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

14.15-15.25

Meeting with Serge Verniau,

Head Departm. of Agriculture, Fisheries

and Environment


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

15.30-16.15

Meeting with Mrs Sarah Cliffe, World Bank


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

16.15-16.30

Move to Headquarters Peace Keeping Force



16.30-17.00

Meeting with Major General Mike Smith,

Deputy Commander Peace Keeping Force


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

17.00-17.15

Move from Peace Keeping Headquarters

to Marcus Compound


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

17.15-17.45

Meeting with Mrs Sidney Jones, Director

for Human Rights


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

18.10-18.15

Move to OCHA compound


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

18.15-18.45

Meet with Mr Akira Takahashi

at UN Humanitarian Pillar Compound


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

18.45-19.00

Move from Marcus Compound to

Olympia Hotel


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

19.45-20.00

Move to Oma Motuk


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

20.00-22.30

Dinner hosted by Mr J.C. Cady, Acting SRSG

Oma Motuk Rest.


Thursday, 20th April 2000

06.15-06.30

Move to Komoro Airport for manifesting

and safety briefing



07.00-07.30

Flight Dili to Suai by WFP helicopter


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

07.30-08.00

Visit Suai


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

08.00-09.15

Meeting with UNTAET, CNRT, Partners


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

09.15-10.25

Move Suai to Los Palos


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

10.25-11.30

Meeting with UNTAET, CNRT, NGOs


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

11.30-12.00

Move from Los Palos to Baucau


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

12.30-14.00

Meeting with Bishop Basilio do Nascimento


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

14.15-15.15

Meeting UNTAET, CNRT, Partners


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

15.30-16.45

Flight Baucau to Dili


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

18.00-19.00

Meeting with Mr Xanana Gusmao


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN / CSH

20.00

Dinner at Restaurant Maubere


Dipl.Missions + ICRC

Friday, 21st April 2000

Morning

Visit to the Dili Mosque



12.40

Departure Dili (flight MZ8490)


EP-Delegation / KPS / JV / MN

14.35

Arrival Denpasar




EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

AD HOC DELEGATION TO INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

Jakarta, Kupang, Dili

16-21 April 2000

List of participants

Members of EP

Mr José PACHECO PEREIRA, Chairman PPE-DE, Portugal

Vice President of EP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Mr Joan COLOM I NAVAL PSE, Spain

Vice President of EP

Member of the Budgets Committee

Mr Carlos COSTA NEVES PPE-DE, Portugal

Member of the Committee on Budgets and

the Committee on Women’s Rights

Vice Chairman of the “ASEAN” Delegation

Mr Toine MANDERS ELDR, The Netherlands

Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs

and Internal Market

Mr Luis MARINHO PSE, Portugal

Vice President of EP

Member of the Legal Affairs Committee

Mr Joaquim MIRANDA GUE/NGL, Portugal

Chairman of the Development Committee

Abbreviations

PPE-DE: Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democratic Group) and European Democrats

PSE: Group of the Party of European Socialists

ELDR : Group of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party

GUE/NGL: Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left

Secretariat Interparliamentary delegations

Mr Panos KONSTANTOPOULOS, Principal Administrator

Mr Raymond HERDIES, Administrative Assistant

Political Groups

Mr Gerd KRAMER, Advisor PSE

European Commission Delegation in Jakarta:

HE Mr Klauspeter SCHMALLENBACH, Head of delegation

Dr Josep VARGAS, ECHO correspondent

Mrs M. Manuel NEVES, interpreter


EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AD HOC DELEGATION

TO INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

April 16th – 21st, 2000

Jakarta-Kupang-Dili-Suai-Los Palos-Baucau

Press Statement

Meetings in Indonesia revealed the progress achieved in strengthening democracy and respect for human rights

A high level European Parliament (EP) delegation visited Jakarta on 17 and 18 April and held talks with the Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri, Ministers Juwono Sudarsono (Defence), Erna Witoelar (Settlement and Territorial Development) and Basri Hasanuddin (People’s Welfare and Poverty Eradication) and the Speakers of the People’s Consultative Assembly and of the House of Representatives, Messrs Amien Rais and Akbar Tanjung, respectively.

The EP delegation headed by Mr Jose Pacheco Pereira, Vice President of the EP and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was composed of: Mr Joan Colom i Naval, Vice President of the EP and Member of the Committee on Budgets, Mr Luis Marinho, Vice President of EP and Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Internal Market, Mr Joaquim Miranda, Chairman of the Development Committee, Mr Carlos Costa Neves, Vice Chairman of the ASEAN Delegation and Member of the Committee on Budgets, and Mr Toine Manders, Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Internal Market.

On Tuesday 18 April, the EP delegation was received by President Wahid and discussed the political challenges facing Indonesia. The delegation paid tribute to the crucial role played by the President in strengthening the democratic process. The delegation expressed its strong appreciation for President Wahid’s efforts to promote normal relations between Indonesia and East Timor. In support of these efforts, the delegation will consider proposing appropriate incentives. The delegation also expressed satisfaction for the President’s efforts aimed at reconciliation in the provinces of Maluku and Aceh.

The delegation expressed its appreciation and support for the improvement of the human rights situation in Indonesia and for the strengthening of the process of democratisation. The delegation recognised the economic hardship still facing a large portion of the population and lent its support to the implementation of sound macroeconomic policies aimed at ensuring economic prosperity for all.

The EP delegation expressed the hope that the House of Representatives will take the opportunity of this visit to further develop its contacts with the EP. To this end, it was proposed that the Indonesian Parliamentarians would continue the dialogue with the EP in the framework of interparliamentary meetings already taking place with the delegation for relations with ASEAN countries.

The EP delegation also expressed the hope that Indonesia will continue its co-operation towards a rapid and mutually satisfactory solution to the problem of refugees in West Timor. The EP delegation stated that it would support constructive measures taken by the Indonesian authorities to address the refugee problem. The delegation stressed also that the EP would monitor closely the follow up of the investigation by the Investigative Commission on Human Rights Violations in East Timor.

The delegation reiterated that the promotion of a democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous Indonesia is of great importance to the international community. In support of this aim, the EP delegation will propose to further European Union development programmes in the areas of human resources development, institution building and good governance, alongside the more traditional areas of EU assistance (sustainable forest management, water resources management and poverty alleviation).

The delegation visited also refugee camps in West Timor (Noelbaki and Tuapukan) and witnessed the difficult living conditions in the camps. However, in view of the unsolved problems linked with the status of ex-military and police as well as former public officials, it urged the Indonesian government to reconsider its decision to press on with the immediate closure of the camps. A 3 months moratorium has been asked by NGOs and the UNHCR.

The visit in East Timor (19-21 April) exposed the drama of the humanitarian situation and delays in the process of reconstruction

In East Timor, the delegation met with the Mr Cady, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and other high officials of the UNTAET, Major General Smith, Deputy Commander of the Peace Keeping Force and Mrs Cliffe, representative of the World Bank. From the Timorese side the delegation met with Mr Xanana Gusmão, President of the CNRT, Bishops Belo (Dili) and Nascimento (Bacau) and visited the cities of Dili, Suai, Los Palos and Bacau.

The complexities of the process of building a nation from scratch were sorely exposed during the meetings and visits of the delegation. The involvement of the international community in September 1999 has averted a major humanitarian crisis and allowed the repatriation of more than 160.000 refugees of the 250.000 people who fled or were deported from the territory, following the results of the popular consultation held on 30 August 1999. The delegation pays special tribute to the role of INTERFET in securing the territory from the terror of militias.

The return to “normality” presents UNTAET and the international community with a huge challenge. In spite of efforts undertaken by UNTAET, only the provision of food supplies seems at present guaranteed. The reconstruction of appropriate shelters, provision of adequate health care and establishment of administrative structures, have been seriously delayed by lack of funds and bureaucratic rigidities.

The international community has a responsibility to assist UNTAET to speed up the building of the judicial system, health care and education facilities, basic infrastructures (water, roads, public transportation, telecommunications etc). The delegation considers that particular attention needs to be paid to the development of human resources, if the country is to achieve independence within a reasonable time frame. From its contacts with representatives of the East Timorese people, it emerged clearly that a prolonged administration under a UN-mandate over several years would be contrary to the will expressed by the population to achieve self-government.

The fate of approximately 90.000 refugees in West Timor is a matter of concern to the delegation. Many East Timorese who would like to return are prevented from doing so, mainly due to misinformation and Indonesia’s legal provisions limiting entitlements (pension rights) to nationals living on its soil. The delegation noted the assurances by Indonesian authorities for the removal from the camps of those militia leaders who pressure other refugees to remain there. It also expects that a solution to the problem of entitlements would be found rapidly with UNTAET in the interest of both parties.

At its meeting with Mr Xanana Gusmão, the delegation stressed the EP support for the reconstruction efforts and rebuilding an administration. It relayed a message by President Wahid who discussed with his counterparts of South Africa and Mozambique a scheme providing assistance to East Timor for the development of its human resources. Mr Gusmão expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of reconstruction and urged for more flexibility in the rules applied by donors. He presented CNRT’s plans for the formation of political parties following a Congress to be held in August. He also called for the inclusion of more Timorese in the administrative structures put in place by UNTAET.

Human rights concerns in East Timor

Within the context of its visit in East Timor the delegation of the EP visited the Dili mosque. It met with the Imam and the persons that have taken refuge there. These persons are East Timorese Muslim families and a group of Indonesians who prefer to stay in East Timor.

These persons have been the object of continuous harassment and cannot leave the compound of the mosque and return to their homes because of the threats to their life. The delegation deplores this situation which is in contradiction with pledges by the East Timorese leadership for building a democratic and tolerant society where each Timorese will be free to practice his/her religion.

The delegation raised this issue at its meeting with Xanana Gusmão and will be reporting to the EP about this situation. It will ensure that there is a follow up of developments regarding these persons and of the pledges for human rights for all persons in East Timor irrespective of their ethnic origin or religion.

The delegation will submit shortly a report to the attention of the European Parliament on its contacts in Indonesia and East Timor, making suggestions on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and the process of reconstruction in East Timor.

For more information please contact:

Mr Panos Konstantopoulos

EP Delegations Secretariat

Tel. (02) 284.45.50

Fax. (02) 284.68.31

E-mail. Pkonstantopoulos@europarl.eu.int



[1] B5-0271, 0273, 0280, 0299 and 0307/1999

[2] The office of the President in Indonesia cumulates the functions of the Prime Minister.

[3] Military arm of the pre-1975 socialist party Fretilin.

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