Indonesia Chides Critics Of East Timor Massacre
JAKARTA — PRESIDENT Suharto yesterday said continued international criticism of an Army massacre in East Timor three months ago amounts to a violation of Indonesia's rights.
"No country should impose its values [on another country].... It is not in accordance with the values they themselves glorify," he said in a speech while accepting the credentials of the new Dutch ambassador to Indonesia.
The Netherlands, which colonized what was then known as the East Indies for about 350 years until 1945, has been among the most vocal critics of the military shooting of civilians in East Timor last November.
The Dutch government threatened to cut aid to Indonesia following the shooting, which Jakarta says left 50 people dead. Witnesses say the soldiers killed more than 100.
President Suharto made his comments as a United Nations special envoy ended a mission to East Timor after visiting a cemetery in the capital, Dili, where the shootings took place Nov. 12.
The UN does not recognize Indonesia's 1976 annexation of neighboring East Timor. Indonesian troops invaded the territory in 1975 after the departure of its Portuguese colonial rulers and have stayed on since then to fight separatists.
Indonesia gets about $5 billion a year in aid from industrial countries, most of whom have condemned the shootings.