by Selwyn Manning
Auckland’s Queen Street has been brought to a halt this afternoon after a group opposing the atrocities in East Timor took to the streets in protest.
The group marched up Queen Street to the Heritage Hotel where the Indonesian delegation is in residence. Protest leaders intend on issuing a letter expressing their dissatisfaction with the lack of progress in halting the killings in Dili and East Timor by marauding pro-Jakarta militia.
The protest action is certain to be a signal of more to come as passions flare over the brutal killings which have gathered momentum in East Timor over the past week.
Meanwhile, key APEC ministerial meetings are underway at Auckland’s Town Hall with the agenda being set for the leader’s summit meetings scheduled for this Sunday and Monday.
New Zealand foreign affairs minister Don McKinnon will meet with his Canadian counterpart this afternoon to discuss a meeting of APEC leader representatives set for tomorrow. Mr McKinnon will also will meet the Indonesian foreign minister who also is due to arrive in Auckland today.
The United States’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright is already in Auckland and will also meet with Mr McKinnon today.
Ms Albright has already met with a group of APEC Asian government representatives to discuss East Timor.
British foreign minister Robin Cooke
is also due to arrive today to add weight to the East Timor
crisis special meeting which is being organised by the