Lord Mayor invites refugees

 

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Brendan Lynch, has issued an invitation to the Mansion House to four young political refugees from East Timor who have come to Ireland to study, writes David Shanks.

"The country you come from has been through fierce times," he told them at an East Timor Ireland Campaign reception on Saturday.

Mr Lynch spoke of the Indonesian occupation of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor and the international acquiescence to it saying, "big money talks."

Three of the Timorese were involved in the US embassy occupation in Jakarta in November 1994, during President Clinton's visit to Indonesia. The fourth was given asylum in Portugal after a German embassy occupation earlier this year.

They are members of the National Resistance of the Students of East Timor and all have lost close family members because of the 21 year resistance to Indonesian rule.

Mr Boaventura Moreira (a survivor of the 1991 Santa Cruz cemetery massacre in which an estimated 270 people were killed by Indonesian troops), Mr Jose Dasdores Lopes, Mr Luciano Valentim Da Conceical, and Mr Dino Isolio Xavier Gandara Rai are to stay in Ireland for two years. They are attending the Development Studies Centre of the Holy Ghost College, Kimmage Manor, and are studying English at the Marino VEC.

. Indonesia today marks the 31st anniversary of a failed coup attempt blamed on left wing extremists. An attempt to overthrow the government at dawn on September 30th, 1965, was quashed the next day by a military operation led by Gen Suharto, an army chief who is now president.

The failed coup, in which six generals were killed, was followed by a massive backlash in which hundreds of thousands of alleged communists and their supporters were killed and more than one million jailed.

President Suharto, who banned the powerful Indonesian Communist Party in 1966 after blaming it for the coup, will preside today at a state ceremony to commemorate the victory, at Lubang Buaya, East Jakarta, where the bodies of the generals were found in a disused well.

The government is again cracking down on critics. It blamed the small People's Democratic Party for riots on July 27th that left at least five dead and more than 100 injured.

The riots erupted after a military backed faction of the Indonesian Democracy Party seized the party headquarters from supporters of popular party leader, Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri.