TWENTY years since its invasion by Indonesia, East Timor remains a blight on Jakarta's image abroad and a major irritant in relations with allies such as the United States and Australia. Far from dying down, events such as those on Thursday, when protesters marked the December 7, 1975, invasion of the former Portuguese colony by storming the Russian and Dutch embassies, are giving the issue a higher profile worldwide. Yesterday, 58 protesters left the Dutch Embassy in buses for South Jakarta police station, witnesses and police said. 'The group left the embassy voluntarily with the promise from [Foreign] Minister Ali Alatas that they would be released after interrogation,' a Dutch diplomat said. Police said yesterday they had freed 58 protesters held in custody after being taken from the Russian Embassy. But there are signs the Government may be moving towards a more permanent solution. Proposals being examined by the National Commission on Human Rights, with the approval of President Suharto, offer hope for the people and a possible face-saving solution for the Government. 'Indonesia's rush to say voluntary integration did occur, prompted by a wish to 'get it all over with' as quickly as possible, has been the original mistake felt over the past 20 years,' said commission member Marzuki Darusman. He said this unwillingness to acknowledge there was a serious problem had led to ineffective government. 'The past 20 years [in East Timor] has just been management of events,' he said 'In between, we've had a few crises. That is not how one should approach this problem. 'The commission's view is that there is a primary need for confidence building measures between the population, the local Government and the armed forces.' The commission has proposed establishing a religious forum which could be expanded to include social issues. The move followed riots in September, sparked by a prison official who insulted Catholicism in front of inmates. 'But again this [the forum proposal] was the result of a crisis,' Mr Darusman said. 'There has been no clear direction for bringing this from a military situation to a political solution.' He also ruled out autonomy - not because of the official line that it would lead to similar calls in other parts of the country - but because it was not realistic. 'Calls for autonomy only raise the expectations of the people without getting anywhere,' he said. In Macau yesterday, visiting Portuguese President Dr Mario Soares urged the people of East Timor to 'exercise their right' to independence and called for an international protest movement. 'I protest against the oppression,' he said. 'I will do whatever I can to condemn the oppression in East Timor.' Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas accused Dr Soares of trying to score cheap points by calling Indonesia a dictatorship. A more realistic solution, according to the commission, is a return to the legislation that established East Timor as the 27th province. 'The original Integration Law of 1976 stipulates the development of East Timor should be undertaken in a 'special way', ' Mr Darusman said. Although he stopped short of saying the law could be used to justify greater self-representation for the province, he said: 'This is an escape clause for the Government. How it can be used depends on how far you want to go.' He added that the commission was also pushing for a review of all laws in East Timor, and that Mr Suharto had so far been positive about the idea.