Subject: RT: No plans for July 17 demos
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 08:43:33 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Indonesia says no protest on Timor integration day
04:39 a.m. Jul 13, 1998 Eastern
JAKARTA, July 13 (Reuters) - Rival groups in East Timor have agreed not to hold protests during this week's anniversary of the annexation of the territory by Indonesia, police said on Monday.
``Local leaders have agreed not to mass during the integration day...this is aimed at avoiding disturbances,'' East Timor police chief Colonel Timbul Silaen told Reuters from Dili, the territory's capital.
July 17 is commemorated as the integration day. Indonesia invaded East Timor, a territory of 800,000 people, in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognised by the United Nations.
East Timor was rocked last month by demonstrations opposing Indonesia's rule in the territory just north of Australia. Rival groups, involving those against or in favour of Indonesia's rule, had also clashed in Dili.
At least two people were killed during attempts by Indonesian security forces to control the protests.
Silaen denied some reports circulating in the territory that police and military would shoot demonstrators staging protests on integration day.
Student sources said on Monday they had no plans yet to organise protests on that day, but added they had prepared a demonstration during a visit by the United Nations special envoy on East Timor Jamsheed Marker later this month.
Silaen also confirmed reports that migrants were leaving East Timor.
``It is true that people are leaving East Timor. They may be worried about their safety,'' he said.
Local government officials estimate up to 15,000 people, including small traders, civil servants and their families have travelled to the enclave of Atambua on their way to the West Timor capital of Kupang carrying their household and personal belongings.
Those fleeing East Timor, including many ethnic Javanese and Bugis from South Sulawesi, were thought to be heading to West Timor to take sea transport back to their provinces of origin, officials said.
Ethnic Bugis have long been the focus for attacks in East Timor because they are seen as dominating the commercial life of the territory.
In Jakarta, Foreign Minister Ali Alatas also confirmed the exodus but added that it would have no effect on negotiations on the future of the territory which are being held with the United Nations and Portugal.
He told reporters that the exodus occurred because the anti-integration groups have been intimidating the migrants and described the exodus as ``an extreme development.''