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Subject: UDT statement on Australian election
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 08:03:05 +1000
From: Geoffrey Heard <gheard@surf.net.au>

Statement by Joćo Carrascalćo, President, UDT (Timorese Democratic Union)

Vote ALP, Democrats for best result for East Timor

"I am urging every East Timorese in Australia, and every Australian who supports self-determination and the freedom of subject peoples, to vote for the Australian Labor Party in the House of Representatives, and the Australian Democrats in the Senate, at the Federal election on Saturday. "East Timor desperately needs an Australian Parliament and Government which support self-determination and freedom for the East Timor.

"My judgment is that the policies and strength of the ALP in the lower house and of the Democrats in the Senate would provide the best combination for Australian action on East Timor. It could lead, at last, to the end of the illegal occupation and brutal repression of East Timor by Indonesia. "The Labor Party has significantly changed its stance on Indonesia's illegal invasion of our homeland. Its new policy talks about self-determination; its Shadow Minister, Laurie Brereton, talks of an independent East Timor and recognition of East Timorese ownership of the Timor Gap oil and gas.

"The Australian Democrats are long-time friends of East Timor and active allies in our fight for recognition of the rights and freedom of the East Timorese people. Should they hold the balance of power in the Senate, they can help an ALP Government clarify its East Timor position further. "If the ALP wins power in the House of Representatives and the Democrats hold the balance of power in the Senate, the new Government could apply the strength and influence of Australia towards ensuring a just and equitable outcome in the current UN-sponsored negotiations on East Timor.

"There are other friends of East Timor in both Houses. If you wish to support them with your first preference, please do so. But I urge you to ensure that your second preferences go to the ALP and the Australian Democrats.

"It saddens me that the Liberal/National Party Coalition's policy would leave East Timor at the mercy of Indonesia. Every East Timorese knows that means more rape, torture, murder and theft by a corrupt and desperate regime.

"East Timor needs Australia now. Please vote ALP and Australian Democrats for an Australian Parliament and Government which support East Timor."

FURTHER INFORMATION: Joćo Carrascalćo, President, UDT - Tel: +61 2 9823 5616 Mobile: 0418 767 101 Issued on behalf of UDT by Geoffrey Heard & Associates 37 Flinders St, Mentone 3194 - Tel: +61 3 9583 0788

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