Jakarta – Associacao Dos Combatentes Da Brigada Negra (ACBN), a humanitarian aid organization from Timor-Leste, has denied the allegations presented on a Path message about missing human rights and democracy activist Wiji Thukul. In the message, Wiji is described as a bomb-maker for East Timorese rebels fighting against the Indonesian military.
"We hope that the media both in Timor-Leste and Indonesia will not to spread baseless reports about Wiji Thukul. We hope the media will show empathy to the relatives of Wiji Thukul, who are the victims of a past human rights violation," read a statement sent out by the organizer of an ACBN event in Dili on March 16.
During an event named "Seminar on Maritime Borders," ACBN presented 500 awards to activists from both Timor-Leste and foreign countries for their contribution to Timor Leste's independence struggle. Fitri Nganthi Wani, Wiji's daughter, was among those who received an award presented by ACBN chairman and Timor Leste's former first president Xanana Gusmao.
The Path message posted by Wicaksono, the editorial leader of online news portal beritagar.id, claimed that Wiji was an Indonesian who supplied and assembled bombs used by East Timorese soldiers to fight against the Indonesian Military.
Gusmao denied Wicaksono's claims. "What we know from the Indonesian Association of Families of Missing Persons was that he was an activist who was the victim of forced disappearance prior to the [Indonesian] reform in March 1998," the statement added.
Other Indonesian awardees included Budiman Sudjatmiko, Dita Indah Sari, Danial Indrakusuma, Wilson, Bima Petrus Anugrah, Jacobus Eko Kurniawan, Petrus Hari Hariyanto, Andi Arief and Fransisca Ria Susanti. "Those given awards contributed to the fight for democracy. They showed solidarity with Timor-Leste," the statement said.
In 1999, following a United Nations sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia left Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002. (bbn)