REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - The formal launching of 'Strategic Review: The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs' in Jakarta yesterday invited three former prominent leaders in Asia to discuss on peace and reconciliation in Southeast Asia. They are the former Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the former President of Timor Leste Jose Ramos Horta, and the opposition leader of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim.
"If you learn how to forgive, that's the only key; it's the key to reconciliation. I'd like to urge all parties in Thailand to forgive," Thaksin said on the reconciliation before the hundreds audience in Shangri la Hotel, Jakarta.
He explained that reconciliation must include amnesty. He admitted that it had been long overdue for Thailand to bring reconciliation. The government has promised reconciliation to the country since a long time ago.
Yet, he denied that his desire to return to Thailand was related to court ruling. "I want to go back, but not to create problem. Right now I'm just the encyclopedia of the government," he said.
Thaksin also said that he was impressed on how Indonesia moving forward politically. He said that it was because of democracy.
The former President of Timor Leste Ramos Horta also said that the relationship with Indonesia was outrageous. "The border with Indonesia is absolutelly peaceful. Thanks to Indonesia," he said.
The Nobel laureate emphasized that Indonesia had been a great friend of Timor Leste. Indonesia did not leave Timor Leste alone after the country was separated. Timor Leste, he continued, was very dependent to Indonesia. He explained that the reconciliation was there even though both countries involved in some conflicts.
Meanwhile, Anwar Ibrahim on the discussion underlined the importance of freedom and democracy in the country. He praised Indonesia for being able to move forward from such problems.
He said that Malaysia trapped in the past conflicts. “It would take a lot of courage and effort to move forward,” he said.