Yesterday, Jose Ramos-Horta spoke at the Dili International Dialogue. The morning had got off to a good start, but I felt the president's very long speech outlining his views on an international tribunal for past crimes against humanity was a little inappropriate. Here he talks about Martenus Bere.
In our hands there was a case of an individual, then already an Indonesian citizen, but who had been indicted previously for war crimes. He happened to walk back into our territory. People in the market spotted him, bash him up. The police intervened and rescued him. Without the police didn't know who he was, the police did what they have to do — rescue someone who has been bashed up by a group of people.
He was taken to police headquarters. Well, the police seemed to be quite efficient. They have all the data in their computers and as it turned out, it was one of the former elements indicted by war crimes.
A diplomatic exercise began. The gentleman was handed over to the Indonesian embassy, he was there for a few weeks and then returned to Indonesia.
Were there hundreds, thousands of people in peaceful, polite, civilized candlelight vigil? Not a single one happen. The issue was completely ignored by the vast majority of the people of this nation.
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network wrote to Ramos-Horta on March 23.
You informed the Human Rights Council that "there was not a single soul lighting a candle in protest at the gates of the said embassy where the alleged mass murderer had been sheltered while awaiting medical evacuation." This is clearly not true. Several of our members witnessed more than a hundred Timorese, many women dressed in black for mourning, participate in a candle-light vigil in front of the Indonesian embassy which was hosting Bere was at the time and for nearly two months afterwards.