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Home » , , , , » Timor solution a 'terrible idea'

Timor solution a 'terrible idea'

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on March 10, 2011 | 5:46 PM

Australia's plans to set up a regional refugee processing centre in East Timor have suffered another blow after a senior Indonesian political adviser described the policy as a "terrible idea".
Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a top aide accompanying Indonesian Vice-President Boediono in Perth this week, said the plan would create a lot of security and socio-economic problems for Indonesia.
"The East Timor border with Indonesia is porous and a centre will only invite refugees stuck in East Timor to cross over," Dr Dewi Fortuna said.
"East Nusa Tenggara (Indonesian West Timor) has refugees from East Timor still staying in camps.

"It is one of the poorest regions in the country. We have yet to settle our security problem in West Papua. A refugee processing centre in East Timor will only attract more problems, like a rise in crime, and pose a new security challenge for Indonesia."
Though the Indonesian Government has been cool on Prime Minister Julia Gillard's proposal since it was announced last year without consulting Indonesia, Dr Dewi Fortuna, deputy for political affairs in the Vice-President's office, appears to be the first senior Jakarta government representative to dismiss the proposal outright.
East Timor's main opposition party reaffirmed its objection to the plan last week and vowed to make it a key election issue.
Asked in an interview about Indonesia's support for the proposal, Dr Boediono said it was a matter for the East Timor Government to decide.
"We have to look at the origin of the problem," Dr Boediono said.
"We have to look at the root cause, the poverty, the insecurity in the countries where these people are coming from.
"Indonesia is just a transit point. There is still room for co-operation between our countries."
East Timor Foreign Minister Zacaria da Costa and his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa, last week also refused to directly answer the question.
Instead, Dr Natalegawa said it would be up to Australia to make a case for the East Timor solution at the regional meeting of foreign ministers in Bali at the end of the month.
Dr Dewi Fortuna was part of a 50-strong delegation accompanying Dr Boediono on a five-day visit to Perth, Canberra and Sydney.
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