CSOs demand an end to the Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship
20 April 2008 8:57 am
Civil society organisations have called for the dissolution of the Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship saying it does not reflect the principles of justice and was instead designed to eliminate judicial processes for the perpetrators of crimes from the Indonesian military, which committed crimes against humanity and violations of human rights in Timor Leste from 1975-1999.
Dissolve the CTF, Try the Perpetrators of Crimes and Provide Reparations to the Victims!!!
1. The President of the RDTL National Parliament
2. The President of Commission A of the National Parliament
3. The President of the Republic RDTL
4. The Prime Minister of RDTL
5. The President of the RDTL Supreme Court
Your Excellencies Members of Parliament,
For the first time, we want to remind the Distinguished Members of Parliament that on the 31st of March, 2008, the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) will submit its final report to the two countries' presidents (Indonesia, Timor Leste); as CTF President Dionisio Babo stated through TVTL during the past weeks.
When the CTF was established in March 2005 in Jakarta, Indonesia, we from many groups (civil society, victims and victims' families) have opposed the existence of the CTF because we consider it to be a political cosmetic which is intended to eliminate judicial processes for the perpetrators of crimes from the Indonesian military which committed crimes against humanity and violations of human rights in Timor Leste from 1975-1999.
In fact, it shows that the international community recognises that around 180,000 Timorese people were killed by the Indonesian military in 24 years according to the (Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation) CAVR's report. Therefore we take the position that we have no tolerance for those who intend to abandon justice. We also view the CTF as a political conspiracy of the leaders in order to cause a chain of impunity for the perpetrators of crimes. According to the rules of international law, this is also in one way a new violation because it is against the principles of international humanitarian law.
Based on the RDTL Constitution Article 160, the acts which where committed from 25 April, 1974, to 31 December, 1999, which are considered as crimes against humanity, genocide or war crimes, must be tried by criminal procedure in the national or international courts. We consider that this is “not” through the Commission of Truth and Friendship – CTF.
We also consider that the bilateral contract called the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the establishment of the CTF was signed by Ex-President Xanana Gusmao and Ex-Prime Minister Marie Alkatiri together with the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono does not comply with constitutional rules because treaties or some contracts must receive approval from the National Parliament according to Article 95(3)(f) of the constitution. According to the constitution, the President of the Republic can only, together with the Government, perform all contractual processes to reach international agreements in the areas of defence and security as is written in advance in the Constitution, Article 87, and not reach an agreement which is against the RDTL Constitution Article 160 and Article 9.
The CTF's own process has not been ratified by the Parliament but the National Parliament, starting from the First Government to the Fourth Government approved funding for the CTF and did not request clarification or approval of the CTF's existence, which is not in accordance with the constitution.
Therefore, we utilise our right which has been consecrated in the Constitution Article 48 in order to make demands of all the sovereign organs, especially the National Parliament. We present the following demands:
1. Demand that the National Parliament inform the Presidents Timor Leste/Indonesia to not extend further the CTF's mandate and to stop the CTF.
2. Demand that the National Parliament and the Government not receive recommendations from the CTF or implement recommendations from the CTF about a Post-CTF Technical Secretariat. Because the CTF's presence does not reflect the principles of justice for the Timor Leste people, because this technical work about relations between Indonesian and Timor is the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
3. Demand that the National Parliament and Government request from the CTF a report of finances which have been spent during this time, in total of US $1,100,000.00 million through the General Funds of the State for the work of the CTF, with transparency and accountability, because this is the people's money.
4. Demand that the National Parliament give priority to debating the final report of the CAVR and the “Chega!” recommendations in order to lead to a resolution or law to enable the implementation of the recommendations in order to guarantee justice for the victims according to the Rule of Law and Democracy. From all the resolutions of the “Chega!” recommendations, we demand that the National Parliament quickly put out a resolution about reparations for victims within a short period of time.
This is all, our joint petition. We hope that it can receive good attention from the Distinguished Members of Parliament. Thank you for your attention.
Dili, 18 March, 2008
3. Asosiasi HAK
4. Lao Hamutuk
6. Luta Hamutuk
10. Rede Feto
12. Ba Futuru
17. Peace Center
21. Front Mahasiswa