OTTAWA, Jan. 25 -- The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday was awaiting a response from Indonesia about claims that an East Timor resident was harassed by the Indonesian ambassador to Canada. On Tuesday, Timor native Isabel Galhos, who now lives in Ottawa, held a news conference and alleged her mother had been harassed by Ambassador Benjamin Parwoto.
She said Parwoto visited her mother in East Timor Jan. 21 with a warning to keep her daughter quiet. Galhos is an East Timor activist who has refugee status in Canada. Contrary to earlier reports, Foreign Affairs spokesman Colin Stewart said the mother, Teresa Galhos, had been visited since by 'a credible non-governmental organization,' to confirm the woman was 'not in imminent danger.' 'We immediately contacted the Indonesian embassy in Ottawa and the Canadian embassy in Jakarta for an explanation,' Stewart said. He said any attempt by a foreign government to pressure a resident of Canada was unacceptable, and that if the charges were corroborated, Canada's range of options included suspending the ambassador. In Ottawa, activist Galhos renewed her charges of atrocities by the Indonesian military. She contended one-third of the population of East Timor, a small island north of Australia, has been killed since the Indonesian military landed in 1975.