Subject: Wahid, Megawati, Mandela, Howard invited to E. Timor independence day

Kyodo News Service August 13, 2000

Wahid, Megawati, Mandela invited to E. Timor independence day


East Timor leader Xanana Gusmao said Sunday he has invited Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri and former South African President Nelson Mandela to attend what he called the first anniversary of East Timor's independence on Aug. 30.

Through his liaison office in Jakarta, Gusmao said he has also invited Australian Prime Minister John Howard and the former commander of the multinational force in East Timor (Interfet), Maj. Gen. Peter Cosgrove of Australia.

Officials at the offices of Wahid and Megawati were unable to confirm the invitations.

East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia in a U.N.-run ballot last Aug. 30. The results of the poll led to a spate of bloody violence by pro-Jakarta militias that devastated the territory, which remains under the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor.

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