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April 2007

To contact Max Lane email:

mlane@usyd.edu.au

On March 28 and 29 a series of rightist mobilisations took place in Jakarta. The largest of these was a 500 strong mobilisation aimed at disrupting a march and rally being organised by the United Party for National Liberation (Papernas) protesting foreign domination of the Indonesian minerals sector and demanding nationalisation of companies in the sector. These groups were armed with scythes, knives and canes. This was the fourth time in the last six months that Papernas had been targeted for violent disruption.

Kompas daily newspaper listed the following groups as being involved in the attacks: Forum Betawi Rempug (FBR), Front Pembela Islam (FPI), Pelajar Islam Indonesia, Indonesian National Patriotic Movement and the Front in Defence of the Red and White Flag. Other smaller mobilisations, but mobilising people from the same network of groups, were also mobilised against other targets on the 28th as well as the 29th. These also included the Anti-Communist Movement (GERAK).

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(A version of this article has been published in Green Left Weekly newspaper)

The Presidential election campaign is now officially underway in East Timor. Voting will be held on April 9. Max Lane spoke by phone with Avelino Coelho, Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of Timor (PST) and one of the Presidential candidates.

ML: During the first days of the campaign and your campaign meetings what issues are people raising with you?

AVELINO: Yes, we have visited several towns already where we have organised rallies and other meetings. The language issue is important and people are responding strongly. I am opposing the use of Portugeuse as the national language and arguing that Tetun be both the national and official working language, Indonesian can be a back-up working language, as stated in the constitution but Tetun must be the national language,

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