East Timor: Head of Reconciliation, Truth Commission Appointed
4 Fev-20:44

       One of East Timor's most prominent human rights activists, Aniceto Guterres Lopes, has been elected to head the territory's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. This body will deal with atrocities committed during the 25 years of occupation by Indonesian forces.
       Lopes is also director of the Yayasan Hak human rights foundation and his deputy chairman in the truth and reconciliation commission is Father Jovito de Araujo, a Catholic priest. The two men were appointed Monday during the first formal meeting of the seven commissioners of the commission, who took office on Jan. 21.
       "When the selection panel presented my nomination (as a national commissioner), I soon felt committed to this important process. It's with great satisfaction that I now accept this increased responsibility", said Lopes, who is a lawyer by profession.
       Monday's meeting of commissioners was attended by the No. 2 head of the United Nations transition administration in Timor (UNTAET), Dennis McNamara. The seven decided to set up a consultative committee comprising "respected Timorese individuals". This group would serve "as an independent source of knowledge and orientation".
      It could also included representatives of pro-Indonesian groups and one or two foreign members.
       Australian human rights consultant Pat Walsh was nominated as a "special advisor" to the national commissioners.
       Monday's meeting concluded with the official launch of the truth and reconciliation commission's website (www.easttimor-reconciliation.org), which among other information, gives details of the body's work, biographies of the commissioners and news relating to the reconciliation process.

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