Timor. According to Countryaah.com, East Timor Independence Day is May 20. The UN-backed war crimes court has charged several high-ranking representatives of the Indonesian army and administration in East Timor at the time of the 1999 referendum on independence. However, the prospect of getting some extradited was considered small, and President Xanana Gusmão criticized the charges for unnecessarily jeopardizing the now good neighborly relations with Indonesia.
At the Indonesian Special Court for War Crimes in East Timor, Brigadier General Noer Muis was sentenced in March to five years in prison for not attempting to oust the massacres. In August, Major General Adam Damiri was sentenced to three years in prison. However, when the Indonesian court thus ended its operation, it was found that 12 out of 18 defendants had been acquitted and that all convicted persons were living in freedom pending their appeal.
The threat to East Timor from the pro-Indonesian militias was by no means deemed to be over. After several assaults against UN personnel raised the UN force UNMISET alarm that the militia was planning to move to a “terrorist strategy” with the aim of undermining East Timor’s government ahead of the planned withdrawal of the UN force. Although the Security Council decided that the UN troops would be wound up in accordance with the plans on May 20, 2004, but until then it remained in full force and strengthened the surveillance of the border with Indonesian West Timor.
Formal WTO negotiations begin
East Timor begins formal negotiations on membership in the World Trade Organization. The government hopes that WTO membership will accelerate the country’s economic growth and broaden the economy, as well as facilitate entry into the Southeast Asian cooperation organization ASEAN. Formal negotiations on WTO membership usually last for several years.