Commission for Truth and Friendship Indonesia-Timor Leste (CTF)

The Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) was an official joint Indonesian and Timor-Leste body sponsored by President SBY of Indonesia and President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste. It comprised 15 Commissioners: seven from Indonesia, eight from Timor-Leste and functioned from a joint secretariat in Bali. Funding was provided by both governments.

The CTF commenced in August 2005 and submitted its final report in March 2008. Its mandate included establishing the truth about human rights violations before and after the 30 August 1999 Popular Consultation in Timor-Leste and making recommendations to heal the wounds of the past and strengthen friendship based on a shared historical record.

The Commission reviewed four bodies of relevant documents produced by (a) Indonesia’s human rights commission (KKP-HAM); (b) CAVR; (c) the Jakarta Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal; and (d) the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in Timor-Leste. It also heard from some witnesses.

Its mandate also included making findings on institutional responsibility, recommending amnesty for those who gave full cooperation and clearing the names of those ‘wrongfully accused’. The Commission chose not to exercise either of these last two controversial options. The amnesty provision in particular had attracted strong criticism from the UN and civil society in both countries.

The CTF report – Per Memoriam Ad Spem

The Latin title of the report Per Memoriam Ad Spem (Through Memory to Hope) conveys the Commission’s concern to take lessons from the past for a future of hope.

The report is 380 pages in length and available in both Indonesian and English. It is divided into three parts:
Part I: purpose, mandate and process
Part II: findings and analysis
Part III: conclusions, recommendations and further steps.

The report also has 13 attachments that include lists of submissions, interviewees, and issues examined.

Download CTF Report (English Version)

Findings and recommendations common to the CAVR and CTF reports

The CTF’s terms of reference were narrower and more limited than those of CAVR.

The CTF focussed only on two brief periods in 1999 and institutional responsibility for violations and did not facilitate reconciliation between victims and perpetrators. Though it acknowledged that Indonesia was responsible for most of the crimes committed in 1999 it did not recommend justice. Consequently its direct relevance and impact on victims was minimal but its recommendations, if implemented, will go some way towards addressing the needs and rights of victims.

CAVR addressed the 25-year period 1974-1999, took a victim-centric approach, named individuals and institutions, facilitated community reconciliation and included recommendations for follow-up justice.

The reports of both bodies, however, concurred that crimes against humanity and war crimes were committed in 1999 and that the Indonesian military and its auxiliaries were principally responsible for these violations.

Both reports also made similar recommendations in relation to the following matters: training in human rights for the military and police in both countries; the establishment of a follow-up institution; healing for victims; and programs for the missing and separated Timorese children.

In Decree No 72, 6 October 2011, President SBY stated that the Governments of both Indonesia and Timor-Leste accepted the contents of the CTF report and committed to implement their recommendations through a plan of action to be completed in 5 years, i.e. by October 2016. The President tasked the Coordinating Ministry of Politics, Law and Security (Polkam) with the implementation of the action plan in Indonesia.