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East Timor: Will some Indonesians ever learn?



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A ยท THE SENATE

SENATOR VICKI BOURNE Australian Democrat Senator for N ew South Wales

November 4, 1992 92/589

NEWS RELEASE

EAST TIMOR:

WILL SOME INDONESIANS EVER LEARN?

In the Senate today the Australian Democrats urged the Minister for Foreign Affairs to make strong representations to Indonesia about the reported statements of the Governor and the military commander of East Timor.

"Indonesia should do itself a favour and back off and out of Blast Timor", Senator Vicki Bourne, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Democrats said today.

Senator Bourne was reacting to reports of comments made by the Governor of East Timor that as far as he is concerned more people should have died in the Dili massacre and that the massacre was quite understandable.

These statements coincide with reports of comments made by the military commander that the requested visit to Dili by Australian parliamentarians was probably deliberately chosen to cause trouble by "stirring up something*.

Senator Bourne said "Statements such as these, while inappropriate at any time, are grossly offensive and insensitive on the eve of the first anniversary of the brutal Dili massacre. As to the timing of the proposed visit to Dili, the Indonesian Government and, presumably, the military commander know these

comments to be patently untrue.

"During my recent visit to Indonesia authorities repeatedly stated most East Timorese supported Indonesia's presence in East timor. In that case, Indonesia has nothing to lose and everything to gain by the allowing the East Timorese to * vote on union with Indonesia.

"The first anniversary of the Dili massacre is the ideal opportunity for announcing such an election. At this sensitive time Blast Timor is in desperate need of reconciliation and goodwill.

"Indonesia must learn its international reputation will continue to suffer until there is a just resolution of basic human rights in East Timor."

(Senator Bourne returned to Australia on last Saturday at the conclusion of the Australian Parliamentary Study Tour of Indonesia.)

For further information phone Senator Bourne: 06 277 3820 W: 06 297 3830 H

Commonwealth Parliament Offices, 56 -7 0 Phillip Street, Sydney, N.S.W. Postal Address: G.P.O. Box 36, Sydney, N.S.W. 2001 Telephone (02) 247 3377 Facsimile 247 9681

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