East Timor independence rally


East Timor independence rally

By Adrian Gibbs

CANBERRA — About 300 East Timorese and their supporters marched under the unity flag from Parliament House to the Indonesian embassy on July 19. The event marked the anniversary of East Timor's illegal annexation by Indonesia.

The vocal crowd called for Indonesian troops to get out of East Timor, a referendum on self-determination and the release of all political prisoners, including Xanana Gusmao.

Outside the embassy, East Timorese representative Agio Pereira, Bishop Pat Powers and Bernard Collaery, a human rights lawyer spoke. Collaery said the Australian government should reject Indonesia's continued denial of self-determination for East Timor and actively support the independence aspirations of the overwhelming majority of East Timorese.