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Subject: AFP: E.Timorese students demonstrate against violence
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 11:32:51 +1200
From: sonny inbaraj <> Organization: The AustralAsian

East Timorese students demonstrate against violence, oppression

DILI, East Timor, Dec 14 (AFP) - Hundreds of students from three universities and academies here Monday staged a demonstration at the local parliament to protest against violence and oppression by the Indonesian armed forces.

"Stop Violence," and "Halt the oppression of the East Timorese people," some of the posters carried by the students read.

The students, who came from the University of East Timor, the Polytechnic and the Higher School of Economic Sciences, demanded the Indonesian military be held accountable for a recent wave of violence against civilians in the troubled territory.

They cited cases of manhandling and alleged torture of civilians in the Alas region following an attack on a military post there last month.

The students also cited the military's refusal to allow a fact finding team whose formation had been approved by the local government, to visit the Alas region to verify the reports of violence against the local population.

No officials came out to discuss the issue with the students, who said they would remain in front of the building and spend the night there until they are received by officials.

The students also said they planned to hold a street rally on Tuesday.

The past months have seen renewed attacks on soldiers as well as their civilian collaborators that have left at least five dead.

The resurgence of pro-independence activities followed the fall of former president Suharto who had ordered the invasion of the former Portuguese colony in 1975.

Indonesian annexed East Timor the following year in a move never recognized by the United Nations and most states, and after Suharto's fall, his successor B.J. Habibie offered the territory broad autonomy.

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