In cooperation with Bishop Gunnar Johan Stålsett and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOEF) held the European launch of the English version of the Chega! Report of the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. Please click
for a summary record of the Oslao launch meeting. here
The conference was opened by H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Tore Hattrem, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Timor-Leste following welcome remarks made by Mariano Aguirre, Director of NOREF and Bishop Gunnar Johan Stålsett.
From left to right: Pat Walsh, Former Advisor to CAVR and to the Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat and current Advisor at Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), Galuh Wandita, Director of AJAR, former CAVR Secretariat, Bishop Gunnar Stålsett, Former President José Ramos-Horta
Bishop Stålsett chaired the session on “Truth, justice and reconciliation – towards a national consensus?” and explained that ‘reception’ is a term that is based on mutual assistance, and underpinned by national consensus for transitional justice and reconciliation through dialogue. He stressed the importance to address the issue of impunity, pursue formal justice, and seek reparation for victims in a timely manner. Mr. Pat Walsh, Advisor at Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), former Advisor to CAVR and to Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat, shared the CAVR’s standpoint that truth and reconciliation cannot be reached without justice, which was accepted by leaders in Timor-Leste and Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF). CAVR report is a human rights report and bargained narrative of civilian victims, which needs to be used for positive nation building. Indonesian people need to know the conclusive truth contained in the report, and justice in two forms need to be served: judicial due process for crimes against humanity and war crimes, and justice for victims’ reparation.
Ms. Galuh Wandita, Director of AJAR, former CAVR secretariat, demonstrated how perpetrators of massive crimes have enjoyed impunity for over 17 years in Indonesia. She presented that the impact of Chega! report has been mainly in the civil society sector. According to an AJAR research, human rights violations continue to give negative impact on women, including trauma, cycle of discrimination and suffering, and limited access to services. Access to justice for past human rights violations in Timor-Leste was found to be better than in Indonesia or in Myanmar. She then presented the issue of ‘Stolen Children’ – those children who were forcibly taken from East Timor to Indonesia during the latter’s occupation-, who continue to face problems reconciling their identity. Mr. José Ramos-Horta challenged the notion that countries that do not pursue accountability fail to achieve democracy and stability. He advocated for not allowing the past to overshadow future, and to let Indonesia take care of justice in its own time. Chega! report is a fantastic pedagogy against future wars.
(By Kihara-Hunt Ai)
(*Unfortuntely, your browser does not support the PDF viewer. Instead, please download
the PDF file of Swing’s speech.)