|Subject: AP: U.N. Chief To Broadcast Msg To E Timor
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 10:21:23 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
June 8, 1999
U.N. Chief To Broadcast Msg To E Timor On Referendum
DILI, Indonesia (AP)--U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will soon broadcast a radio and television address to the East Timorese people, explaining August's vote on possible independence.
"We want to start broadcasting later this week," David Wimhurst, spokesman for the U.N. referendum oversight mission, said Tuesday. Wimhurst said the U.N. chief would record the address in New York. It will be relayed by Indonesian radio and television stations across the troubled territory.
East Timor is expected to approve independence in an Aug. 8 referendum about its future, shaking off a quarter-century of Indonesian rule over the former Portuguese colony.
After Monday's national elections, partial results showed East Timorese voters strongly backing the establishment Golkar party over the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle.
The Golkar party, under President B.J. Habibie, agreed to the August referendum as the best way to end the East Timorese conflict. Megawati Sukarnoputri, leader of the front-running challenger, has criticized his decision and called it a "risky" policy.
The United Nations, accused by the Indonesian government of favoring pro-independence militants in East Timor, has been trying to convince all parties of its neutrality in the conflict that has cost up to a quarter-million lives.
Wimhurst, the U.N. spokesman in the capital of Dili, said Annan would explain "the U.N.'s presence here. The secretary-general will be passing to the Timorese people the purpose of our mission."
Annan's broadcast message will be in English, and will translated into Indonesian, Portuguese and the local Tetum language. TV viewers will be able to watch Annan delivering the address.
"We'll have to broadcast it on several subsequent days," Wimhurst added. He emphasized it would reach all corners of the rugged, mountainous territory on three radio stations and the regional network of the main TV channel.
Annan has repeatedly demanded an end to the violence in East Timor as a precondition for the August referendum, which will decide between independence and autonomous status within Indonesia.
Indonesia's national parliament will have to approve the results before they become final.