Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-12-12-Speech-2-262"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to begin by congratulating Mrs Maij-Weggen on the excellent job she has done. The democratisation process in Indonesia deserves due recognition and therefore support. One of the clearest expressions of this process, but also of the contradictions that make it so fragile, was what happened in East Timor. When the right to self-determination had been accepted, in the time between the popular vote and the recognition of the result, armed militias supported by Indonesian troops executed a detailed plan to destroy public infrastructure and thousands of homes, ruin crops and farming implements, and persecute the population, which, in terror, took refuge in the mountains and in West Timor. As part of a delegation from this Parliament, I was one of the international observers of the ballot and witnessed the Timorese people’s amazing thirst for freedom, but I also had the impression that as soon as we had gone nothing would be left standing. There are still contradictions like this in Indonesia, whether in the Moluccas, Aceh or Irian Jaya, and they are still manifest in East Timor too. The prosecution of those who committed crimes in East Timor and are now in Indonesian territory has yet to take place. It is unacceptable that they should escape justice because of a recently enacted law. More than one hundred thousand refugees remain in West Timor, virtual human shields for the originators and perpetrators of crimes in East Timor. I was in these refugee camps earlier this year. In them are those who committed crimes and those who witnessed them. The justice which is not being done and the refugee camps which are becoming permanent are areas for confrontation between the old and the new powers in Indonesia and reveal the fragility of the democratisation process. Only this week, top UNTAET officials were at serious risk when they left the Indonesian parliament building in Jakarta after meeting the country’s president. We can support the democratisation process, as we have been doing; what we cannot do is take the place of the protagonists in this process."@en1

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