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Subject: Media Language
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 18:27:04 +0000
From: Kieran Dwyer <>

from East Timor Relief Association (ETRA)

Some pretty dodgy language in mainstream reporting lately!

Below is an exceprt from Dow Jones Newswires I just read off reg.easttimor:

"SEPARATIST guerrillas have been fighting the Indonesian military ever since it INVADED East Timor in 1975, but Indonesian officials said there have been no confrontations in the past four months."

- emphasis added; does that make sense?!?

Even Louise Williams, with SMH and the renowned Asia Editor David Jenkins, recently wrote an article from Los Palos referring repeatedly to the "Fretilin" guerillas!!

FALINTIL please - such language is important when you have govts such as Australia's working actively to promote the idea that the East Timorese people are divided, and have not moved on from '75 politics; to say Fretilin guerillas paints a picture of people clinging to old politics and ignores the extraordinary achievement of the CNRM and now the CNRT. Whether individual freedom fighters have particular political affiliations does not change the structure that means FALINTIL is the armed wing of the CNRT (not the political party Fretilin)

If you have contact with local media editors, maybe brief them again!

best wishes

Kieran Dwyer ETRA Website Editor East Timor Relief Association PO Box 1102 - Parramatta NSW 2124, Australia email :

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