When I was in Jakarta last week I talked to Pat Walsh. Chega! is now in English and he wants supporters of Timor Leste, governments, organisations and individuals to read and distribute and campaign for the recommendations.
Agio Pereira Minister of State and President of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers publicly launched this English edition Friday 25th July at the Working Together with Timor-Leste Conference Melbourne – http://timorlesteconference2014.com.au
THE ENGLISH CHEGA!
Chega! The Final Report of the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR). Five volumes, 3216 pages, including index
Chega! A Plain Guide. 104 pages. Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu KPG/Gramedia, Jakarta 2013.
‘Chega! is an extraordinary report about an extraordinary chapter in the history of the world’s freedom struggles. It deserves to be more widely known and to take its rightful place in the international canon of human rights and conflict resolution literature’.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate, former Chair South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Foreword to the 2013 English edition
‘The extensive CAVR Report is an encyclopedia of our history, rich in both teachings and suffering. We must utilise its great teachings to better understand today’s crisis and to prevent future crises’.
Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Laureate, former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste (July 2006)
‘After looking at forty truth commissions world-round, I concluded that the truth commission of East Timor was among the five strongest’.
Priscilla Hayner, author Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions. (2nd ed 2011)
The Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation/CAVR (2001-2005) was mandated in law to undertake four principal tasks: establish the truth impartially about human rights violations committed on all sides during the period 1974-1999; facilitate community reconciliation for less serious crimes during that period; support victims of human rights violations; and report on its work, findings and recommendations.
The report that resulted from this process is entitled Chega! – Portuguese for enough, no more, stop. This single word represents the principal message conveyed to CAVR by the thousands of victims and witnesses who testified to the commission. As Jose Ramos-Horta has said their accounts of torture, detention, sexual violence, famine, displacement, and destruction of property and the deaths or disappearance of upwards of 100,000 civilians, most of whom died of famine, cannot but move one ‘to tears and anger’.
CAVR’s principal findings are that Timor-Leste was denied its right to self-determination until 1999 and suffered systematic and widespread crimes against humanity and war crimes. CAVR concluded that both sides were responsible for these crimes but that principal responsibility lay with the Indonesian military. It also concluded that states, corporations and agencies that supported the occupation and Indonesian military, including Australia, bore responsibility and should provide reparations to victims.
WHY THIS ENGLISH EDITION
The Chega! report was published in Indonesian in 2010 and distributed in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. A Tetum comic book version and mobile exhibition have also been produced in Timor-Leste.
This English version is an up-graded version of the original on-line version produced in 2005. It has been finely copy-edited, formatted, indexed and published in hard copy and digital mode. Funding was provided by the Timor-Leste Government. The report can now be disseminated to institutions in the countries that were donors to CAVR and to countries dealing with conflict or post-conflict situations like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Palestine. As the Indonesian MP who launched the Indonesian version in 2010 said: ‘Chega is Timor-Leste’s gift to humanity and to Indonesia’. The aim is to ensure that the English digital version in particular is widely downloaded and used by peace research institutions, policy bodies, law schools and educators around the world.
WARNING: DON’T BE OVERWHELMED
The report is long because it contains detailed human stories and evidence of violations. But it does not need to be read beginning to end. Many of the sections stand alone. E.g. the sections on East Timor’s history, the Indonesian military, violations of women and children… can be read on their own.
The index or word search make it very accessible by, for example, journalists wanting to check on Prabowo Subianto’s record in Timor-Leste.
A dedicated website is under construction.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THE REPORT
2015 is the tenth anniversary of the report. You can help mark this event by:
1. Downloading the report on your lap-top or usb and circulating it widely to your networks – teachers, tourists, journalists, scholars. It is essential reading for anyone involved with Timor-Leste.
2. Supporting plans to hold 10th anniversary conferences on the report next year.
Contact me for the plain guide copy and the whole report firstname.lastname@example.org
As you know Indonesia voted for a new President Jokowi. Pressure now needs to build on Chega!