Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000

The East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSSC) is establishing a Resource Centre to provide facilities for study until the Univerity of East Timor (UNTIM) and the Polytechnic is reopened. At present, no plans have been put into operation for the resumption of Tertiary study by Untaet or CNRT. The Resource centre is a student initiative to meet the educational needs and aspirations of the students who at present number 6000-8000.

The few resources and the premises of the ETSSC were totally destroyed. The new premises in Dili of 20 rooms are completely empty. The only resources are 2 mobile phones, 2 laptops and a video camera donated by USET University Students for East Timor (melbourne). ETSSC has centres in each of the 13 rural regions. These centres have no resouces at all.

ETSCC The East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSSC) is the central organisation of students from the University of East Timor (UNTIM), which was destroyed in September 1999. Since it emerged as an open body in June 1998, the Student Solidarity Council's has focused on empowering ordinary East Timorese in political and community development. The Council has organised public meetings, demonstrations and dialogues and conducted voter education, often in the most remote areas of East Timor. These activities were carried out despite a lack of resources and frequently being targeted by the Indonesian military and paramilitary groups.In the period between January 1998 and the announcement of the Consultation results in September 1999, more than 100 students have been killed or disappeared.

In 1999, ETSSC General Secretary Antero Benedito da Silva was awarded the inaugural International Student Peace Prize in recognition of the Council's achievements. ETSSC is continuing its work in community and political development, but is currently being constrained by a lack of resources.

History and Achievements The East Timor Student Solidarity Council emerged as an open political organisation in June 1998, following the resignation of Indonesian President Suharto. East Timorese students had previously played a vital role in the clandestine resistance. The Solidarity Council aimed to challenge the Indonesian military rule in East Timor by openly organising political activities and facilitating debate. In June 1998, the students organised a series of demonstrations in Dili, calling for an end to human rights violations and for greater freedoms. In one demonstration, 10,000 students marched through Dili peacefully and unhindered by the Indonesian military, while in another; students staged a sit-in at the regional parliament. For the first time since 1975, Indonesian authorities did nothing to stop the political expression in East Timor. In September 1998, ETSSC facilitated dialogues throughout East Timor, particularly in regional areas, where for the first time East Timorese people could express their hopes for their future. The dialogues, which were sometimes attended by thousands of people, were unanimous in their call for a UN supervised referendum, and the rejection of Indonesian rule. As well as continuing their dialogues outside Dili, the students also continued to organise around the university campus. To supplement the restricted education provided at their University, the students ran 'weekend classes', at which students could discuss political and social development.

VOTER EDUCATION:DOOR TO DOOR CAMPAIGN When the UN mission arrived in East Timor in mid 1999, the Solidarity Council set up regional offices in all of East Timor's thirteen regions. In many areas, they were the first East Timorese organisation to open offices. The students disseminated information about human rights and conducted voter education, often in areas too remote to be reached by the United Nations. This work saw them frequently targeted by the Indonesian military and paramilitary groups.

CURRENT SITUATION AND THREE PRIMARY NEEDS The ETSSC is based in Dili, but has a strong network throughout East Timor. Communication between branches of the ETSSC (eg between Baucau and Dili) is currently impossible, as branches outside Dili have no access to mobile phones, and land-lines have yet to be re-established. General office facilities (see list below) are desperately needed.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES The Dili ETSSC have put together a project proposal entitled 'Framework 2000' which provides for capacity building workshops and Community Study Groups. In Baucau and Viqueque the students are involved in rebuilding secondary schools. Members are currently involved in various community activities including teaching in primary schools.

EAST TIMORESE STUDENT SOLIDARITY COUNCIL CONTACT Address: Dalam Mandarin Kolmera, Dili, Timor Lorosae Mobile: 0419 871 883 Email: <> (NO POSTAL SERVICES ARE AS YET FUNCTIONING)

ITEMS NEEDED TO OUTFIT THE CENTRE (S) Computers Laptops Printers Facsimile Machine Photocopier Fax paper Photocopy Paper Fans TV and video/ video tapes Radio Telephones Mobile phones Answering machine Camera Video camera/ film for recording human rights testimonies Tape recorder/ tapes Torches / batteries Scissors Files and Folders Envelopes Pens Pencils (Plain and Coloured) Whiteboard and Markers Filing Cabinets Book cases Lamps Tables Chairs Motor Bike/ bicycles for transport The student council provides accomodation for students from rural areas. Beds mattresses Cooking utensils Plates and Cutley Students run education programs in rural areas small generator and cables Loudspeaker Microphone Lamps

EDUCATIONAL LIST:TEXTS NEEDED Women's Issues Women and Community Development Community Development Communication Conflict Resolution Academic Writing Teaching English (as a second language) English Grammar English Dictionary English Writing Education Economic Development History Philosophy Politics International Law Human Rights Psychology Trauma Counselling Conservation/ Environment Agriculture Religion Science Mathematics Anthropology Society and Culture Biology Health Mechanics - Electrical and Motor Business Tourism Architecture

Sydney Warehouse: 8/11 Gordon St Marrickville

please send packaged goods ADDRESSED CLEARLY to EAST TIMORESE STUDENT SOLIDARITY COUNCIL Address: Dalam Mandarin Kolmera, Dili, Timor Lorosae Mobile: 0419 871 883 0407 523 048

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