Dáil Éireann - Volume 434 - 07 October, 1993

Written Answers. - Human Rights Violations in East Timor.

12. Mr. Crawford asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

24. Mr. Nealon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

44. Mrs. Owen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

65. Mr. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

67. Miss Flaherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will [531] express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

74. Miss Harney asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs whether, in the context of the recent visit by the Australian Prime Minister, he raised the issue with the Australian Government of the policies being pursued by Australia in relation to East Timor; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

77. Mr. Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will express to the Indonesian Government this country's horror at the lack of human and civil rights in East Timor; and if he will raise the issue at the United Nations.

78. Mr. Clohessy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps, if any, Ireland proposes to take in the forthcoming sessions of the United Nations to raise the issue of the unlawful occupation by Indonesia of East Timor; the possibility of imposing sanctions to end such occupation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): I will take Questions Nos. 12, 24, 44, 65, 67, 74, 77 and 78 together.

The Indonesian authorities are fully aware of the deep concern of the Irish Government and people at human rights abuses in East Timor. I myself have written to the Indonesian Foreign Minister on the matter, and my Department avails of every opportunity to convey our concern to the Indonesian authorities. This was done most recently on 13 September when officials from my Department met with representatives from the Indonesian Embassy. Together with our partners in the European Community, Ireland continues to raise the matter of East Timor at the United Nations General Assembly [532] and at the UN Commission on Human Rights.

On 28 September the issue of East Timor was taken up by the Presidency when addressing the UN General Assembly on behalf of the European Community and its member states. The Twelve expressed their concern at continuing reports of human rights violations in East Timor. They supported the efforts of the UN Secretary General to achieve a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable settlement of the question of East Timor. And they also expressed support for the ongoing dialogue between Portugal and Indonesia under the auspices of the Secretary General. The question of international sanctions does not arise while these efforts are continuing.

The Taoiseach discussed the question of East Timor with the Prime Minister of Australia during his recent visit and replied to a question on this matter in the House yesterday.