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East Timorese Students’ Protest Welcomed Burmese Military Junta Minister

By Nelia Menezes  •  August 20, 2010

Military Junta Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. U Nyan Win is on a three days official visit in the Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste (RDTL). This is the first high official of the Military Junta visit Timor after the country’s restoration of independence. ‘The objective of the visit is to build alliance with RDTL and to support RDTL to become member of ASEAN in 2012,” RDTL Foreign Affairs Official Milena said in Pantai Kelapa.

Young Timorese student activists surprisingly appeared at the airport with protest banners: “Stop oppression against Burmese peoples,” to indicate their solidarity sentiment towards the Burmese resistance groups against the Junta Government. The Coordinator of the protest, Carolino Marques stated that as a people that had experienced oppression under Indonesian military occupation, they appose the crimes committed by the Junta Government against their own people. Mr. Marques said: “We do not want to see military governments who committed crimes to visit our country for free.” “We know what suffering means under a brutal military regime,” said a student source.

The Timorese foreign affairs’ officials had to fight students over the banners, but the officials did not succeed. According to the Ministry sources that the action has embarrassed the Organizing Committee and that this would have impact on the Myanmar and RDTL relation. Myanmar is expected to back RDTL to become ASEAN member. UN and Timorese Police flooded the President Nicolau Lobato Airport causing panic to the local population. The police forcibly took away the banners from the protestors. But a victory is claimed in the side of the student organizers.

“We got it, the Junta Minister had to cover his face appearing like criminal indeed and was tightly guarded out of President Nicolau Lobato Airport,” said the student source.

Mr.Carolino Marques reassert that the Timorese Constitution article 10 defines clearly that the Timorese people must be in solidarity with people who fight for their rights to be respected as peoples and nations. Mr. Marques said: “We will continue to organize demonstrations and political lobbies internationally against the shameful military junta which consistently commits grave human rights violations; exploited peoples natural resources, committed daily sexual abuse against women, suppressed Burmese students and turn their people into refugees to other neighboring countries.” Mr.Marques also reminded the Timorese public that Timorese independence was not merely a result of Timorese own struggle but many people around the world had fought alongside the Timorese resistance, and it is time now for Timorese people to extend our solidarity to the struggling people of other nations for self-determination such as the peoples of Burma, the West Saharawi Arab people, the West Papuan people, and the Palestinians.

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