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Policy & Papers

Inconvenient Truth: The Fate of the Chega! and Per Memoriam Ad Spem Reports on Timor-Leste

Ten years after the Chega! report and seven years after the Per Memoriam Ad Spem report were published, knowledge of the two reports and the related question of accountability for gross human rights violations committed by the Indonesian state apparatus and their proxies in Timor-Leste remain conveniently buried.

The paper was undertaken to assess the impact of the two reports in shaping the collective memory of contemporary Indonesians and generating action on outstanding human rights challenges. Based on interviews of 23 Indonesian professionals and exchanges with students and academics in nine Indonesian cities, the study confirms that the memory of Timor-Leste has more or less joined the silent history of other state-sponsored Indonesian atrocities that have been misrepresented or suppressed and rendered invisible. Amnesia about Timor-Leste further confirms the continuing denial of the state over historical justice and blocks the implementation of recommendations made by both reports on behalf of victims.

The report provided background to the Chega! and Per Memoriam reports contemporary Indonesian perceptions of the Timor-Leste issue as a context for the study, including the impact of the reports on the international community.