Subject: July 4 demonstration in Dili calls upon United States government to support justice

July 4 demonstration in Dili calls upon United States government to support justice

On 4 July 2001, approximately 200 activists gathered in front of UNTAET headquarters for a rally demanding that UNTAET support an international tribunal for East Timor. The occasion for the gathering was the independence day of the United States of America. As such, a number of the banners and speakers focused on the role of the U.S. government in providing significant support to Indonesia's 1975 invasion and almost 24-year occupation. Calling itself the Youth Front for a War Crimes Tribunal, the group peacefully dispersed after a couple of hours and later regathered across from the U.S. Mission in Dili. There, about 100 people held a candlelight vigil while a reception celebrating the 225th anniversary of American independence was taking place on the mission grounds. Among its demands, the group called upon the United States government to fully and publicly disclose its role in supporting Indonesia's crimes against the East Timorese people and to actively support the creation of an international tribunal for East Timor. The Timor Post featured the story of the demonstration and vigil on its front page on the following day. In an accompanying article, the Timor Post quoted Jose Ramos Horta as saying that "Presently, the United States is giving strong support to East Timor. We shouldn't just look to the past. We need to look at the good relations we have with the U.S. in 2001, not our relationship in 1975." Regarding presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Ramos Horta stated that "I'm very happy with their positions. We should have a demonstration to thank them for their contribution to East Timor."

La'o Hamutuk The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis Instituto Timor Lorosa'e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun PO Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia) Mobile 61-408-811373 ; Land phone 670-390-325-013 Email: 
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