Mr. Speaker, the Indonesian government recently declared that it was prepared to grant independence to East Timor, a former Portuguese colony invaded and annexed over 20 years ago.
As the Indonesian president, BJ Habibie, recently said “Give them freedom. It is just and fair”.
The Bloc Quebecois is delighted that the government of Indonesia intends to act on the desire of the people of East Timor for sovereignty. Reports indicate, however, that the pro Indonesian militia are receiving arms. This is the very militia that are trying to further integrate the Timorese into Indonesian society.
The Bloc Quebecois hopes the government of Indonesia will demonstrate its good faith by working on a peaceful and negotiated solution to the East Timor problem and the right of the Timorese to decide their future freely may not only be recognized but honoured as well.