17 July 2009

28/03/2005 Indonesia Claims on Land and Property in Timor-Leste

Indonesia's claim on assets frustrates MP's 28/03/2005 Suara Timor Lorosa'e - Political figures claim demands by the Indonesian government for their assets in Timor-Leste are considered to be inconsistent with the friendly relationship that has been pursued by both governments since Timor-Leste's independence in 1999.

Member of Parliament from ASDT Feliciano Alves Fatima speaking to STL said that the two governments should start from a 'zero option' basis meaning that neither government demands anything from the other. He said that the continued hold on this demand for assets has the potential to negatively affect the future relationship between the two countries.

Alexandre Cortereal from UDT party also expressed his frustration, saying that it was the Indonesian military and its militia who destroyed the assets, therefore Timor-Leste has no assets to return. He expressed his opinion that a more worthy matter to pursue is that of the fate of former Indonesian civil servants.

Indonesian team in East Timor in bid to reclaim assets Kyodo June 26, 2000 Tim Johnson - DILI, East Timor, Indonesian team arrived in East Timor on Monday to look into the prospect of reclaiming privately held assets that were not destroyed after the Aug. 30 vote for independence, a U.N. spokeswoman said Monday.

Barbara Reis, spokeswoman for the U.N. Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET), told reporters the team will 'look into facilities and equipment the Indonesian team believes belong to their companies.'She said the 10-member team, which includes representatives of private corporations, will review the condition of buildings their companies owned and compile a list for future negotiations.

After the results of the U.N.-organized referendum were announced, vengeful anti-independence militias, many organized and backed by the Indonesian military, systematically looted and burned most of the territory's buildings. Public buildings were specifically targeted, apparently with a view to leaving nothing of potential benefit behind that Indonesia built for East Timor during its 24-year occupation.

The field review was agreed to by UNTAET and the Indonesian side at a May 25 round of negotiations in Yogyakarta, Central Java. Reis said the Indonesian side wanted to see for themselves the actual condition of the buildings in question, rather than simply relying on UNTAET descriptions.

'We are talking mainly about private buildings,' she said, adding UNTAET's claim to public property inherited from Indonesia is not much in dispute.

Indonesia says the assets in question include those of telecommunications firm Telkom, state electricity supplier PLN, government and private banks and the state oil monopoly Pertamina. It says there is also the issue of privately owned land left behind by Indonesians after the poll.

As part of the process of normalizing relations between East Timor and Indonesia, the sides are also negotiating the transfer of public archives and records pertaining to East Timor, the payment of former Indonesian civil servants' pensions and the status of East Timorese refugees in Indonesia's West Timor.

Other issues include formation of a joint border commission, land border demarcation, establishing a transit corridor between the Oecussi enclave in West Timor and the rest of East Timor, and maritime delimitation.

East Timor Embassy in Jakarta Receives 6000 Land Claims from Indonesian Citizens Suara Timor Lorosa’e 08 July 2004 page 4 Jakarta – East Timor continues to its efforts to resolve the issue of assets owned by Indonesian citizens and corporations in the country. At least 6000 individual claims have been received at the East Timor embassy in Jakarta.

This was reported by the Foreign Affairs Minister of East Timor, Ramos Horta, to reporters gathered at the bilateral meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister, Hassan Wirajuda at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Pejambon Street, Jakarta on Wednesday (30 June 2004).

Horta explained that this issue was already discussed between the Republic of Indonesia and East Timor over the last 2 years. A number of steps have been taken including discussions on legislation in relation to this problem by the National Parliament of East Timor. “We are also now identifying these claims to check their veracity. We are working together with Indonesia to find a solution that is just to this problem. We want this problem to be resolved with good outcomes for both sides” said Horta.

Acknowledging that a final solution has not yet been found, Horta said that East Timor will continue to increase discussion of this problem; including the possibility of asking for the involvement of the international community.

“We view this matter in a constructive manner and from the humanitarian perspective. We have lost a lot of money and other assets. I believe that the involvement of the international community can help those who have lost money and assets” added Horta. Translation by wlwright dili 25 august 2004

Pertamina to continue operations in East Timor JAKARTA, June 3 (AFX-ASIA) - Pertamina will maintain its assets and operations in East Timor to meet the country's energy needs, the Antara news agency reported, citing Pertamina president director Baihaki Hakim.

"Pertamina will continue to operate in East Timor and its storage facilities in Dili will function as usual," Hakim said, adding that Pertamina's assets in East Timor were valued at 3.2 mln usd.

Pertamina distributes 60,000 kilolitres of oil in East Timor per month.

"Pertamina's presence in East Timor is profitable and therefore, the government does not want us to pull out from there," he said.

Hakim said most Pertamina employees in East Timor were Indonesian citizens and only 20 were East Timorese. He did not give a number for the total number of Pertamina employees in East Timor.

MP Guterres: Indonesians have lost their rights over assets (Timor Post, STL) MP Eusebio Guterres claims that Indonesians no longer have any right to reclaim their assets in Timor-Leste. Guterres says that according to Timor-Leste’s constitution, private and company assets belonging to Indonesians and Portuguese individuals are now under the ownership of the state. MP Guterres is urging Timor-Leste’s government to enforce the existing law.

He said the deadline for Indonesians to reclaim any assets or property ended on 10 March 2004. However, he concluded by saying that private assets could legally be reclaimed through a court process and based on paragraph 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Meanwhile, MP Leandro Isaac expressed similar sentiments, arguing that if the Indonesian government wants to reclaim their assets then Timor-Leste should do the same.

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