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Subject: LUSA: Students and locals gather in University of East Timor to call for referendum
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 07:40:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <>

15 JUN 98 - 09:21 East Timor: Students and locals gather in University of East Timor to call for referendum

Dili, 15 Jun (Lusa) - Hundreds of students and locals gathered inside the East Timor University on Saturday to call for a referendum to decide the future of East Timor and freedom for jailed rebel leader Xanana Gusmao who is serving a 20-year sentence in the Cipinang prison in Jakarta. In the second day of protests in the university, protesters shouted "Viva Timor Leste", "Viva Xanana" and "We Love Self-Determination", while Indonesian anti-riot police stood guard a few meters from the university campus. No incidents were reported and the protesters dispersed peacefully in late afternoon. The protest followed a demonstration by mostly East Timorese students on Friday off the grounds of the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta in which four students were reported to have been injured after Indonesian troops wielded batons against the 1,200-1,500 protesters. A student source told Lusa that four people had been hurt, and that, "almost all the demonstrators were taken by force by the military in fourteen civilian buses to an unknown place, but it is suspected that they were transported to the installations of Kopassus (the country's special forces)". The spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Gafar Fadhyl, told Lusa that two of the protesters involved in the demonstration were taken to the hospital after "fainting" during the intervention of the security forces. Fadhyl said that the students wanted to be received by Foreign Minister Ali Alatas to hand him a petition, as well as request for a meeting with President Jusuf Habibie and Defense Minister, General Wiranto. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it one year later but the UN still regards Portugal as the territory's administering power. Portugal has supported the East Timorese resistance's claim for a referendum to decide over the future of the territory.-Lusa nnnn

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