Subject: GLW- East Timor: Solidarity with people of Aceh

Also: JP - RI deplores GAM flag raising in E. Timor

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

Green Left Weekly June 4, 2003

EAST TIMOR: Solidarity with people of Aceh

BY RACHEL WATTS

DILI — As official celebrations took place in Dili on May 20 to markk the
first anniversary of East Timor's independence, more than 120 demonstrators
gathered outside the government palace to express solidarity with the
Acehnese people.

It was the first public action by the Timor Leste Solidarity Network for
Aceh, West Papua and the Moluccas, a new group composed of Dili-based
activists. Carrying placards, with slogans such as "Celebrate May 20, but
don't forget the Aceh struggle" and "Stop the war in Aceh", the protesters
declared their support for Acehnese independence. They also demanded that
the East Timor government take a stronger stance on the issue.

The Fretilin-dominated government in East Timor is pursuing a policy of
"normalisation" of relations with Indonesia and is reluctant to comment on
the conflict in Aceh. This has angered activists, who believe East Timor
has a moral duty to support the Acehnese people.

Alexander Almaart, a Dili-based member of the Aceh Sumatra National
Liberation Front, has been lobbying political parties in East Timor and has
received support from the Socialist Party of Timor, the Democratic Party,
the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party. However,
his negotiations with Fretilin have been less successful.

"Fretilin is waiting to see if the international community will openly
support Aceh before committing itself. It does not want to criticise
Indonesia and this is very disappointing", Almaart said.

Almaart believes a pressing task for the Acehnese movement for
self-determination is to gain the support of the international community:
"The situation in Aceh is not just an internal problem. We need
international solutions. To continue the December 9 peace agreement, we
need an international peacekeeping force in Aceh. We also need the
international community to stop arming and training the Indonesian armed
forces."

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Received from Joyo Indonesia News

Jakarta Post Monday, June 2, 2003

RI deplores GAM flag raising in E. Timor

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The military in West Timor strongly deplored
the East Timor government's inaction over the recent raising of the Aceh
Free Movement (GAM) flag in Dili, saying it could affect the two countries'
bilateral ties.

The GAM flag was raised in Dili, the capital of East Timor, when the East
Timorese people celebrated the small country's first anniversary on May 20.

West Timor military district chief Col. Moeswarno Moesanip said the East
Timor authorities could have prevented the raising of the GAM flag if they
had wanted to, to maintain friendly ties with Indonesia.

"According to intelligence reports, a group of GAM rebels are in East Timor
to seek work. But, they are there to establish an underground movement to
help fight for Aceh's independence," he said.

He said he would also bring the case to the two countries' joint border
meeting here early this June. --JP


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