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Subject: CNN/Reuters - East Timorese demand referendum on Indonesian rule
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 09:47:06 +0100
From: "Paula Carvalho Pinto" <>

East Timorese demand referendum on Indonesian rule

12 October 1998 Web posted at: 17:20 JST, Tokyo time (08:20 GMT)

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Fresh protests broke out in East Timor on Monday as around 6,000 people took to the streets demanding a referendum on Indonesia's rule over the troubled territory, witnesses said.

All shops in the capital Dili were closed and public transport was paralyzed but there were no reports of violence.

Protesters started gathering early in the morning in the capital and moved around the city in buses, trucks and motorcycles, said the witnesses, who were contacted by telephone.

"The protesters carried banners calling for a referendum and shouted 'Freedom'," said one witness.

On October 6, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said the government would not allow a referendum on independence for East Timor.

He said Indonesia's proposal of granting wider autonomy for the territory was the best hope for resolving the dispute over the former Portuguese territory.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year, in a move not recognised by the United Nations.


Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. © 1998 Cable News Network, Inc.

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