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The UN Peacekeeping force may find its hands are tied when it arrives in East Timor. East Timorese refugees in Darwin say the militia is now moving into West Timor where more than 100,000 displaced people have fled. New Zealand’s chief of defence says there is not a lot the peacekeeping force can do about that. The peacekeeping force’s mandate ins East Timor, to move into West Timor, a part of Indonesia, would be an act of war. The first act of the peacekeeping force will be to secure the airport and shipping port and then to get relief to the East Timorese.

A New Zealander just back from East Timor says he is concerned the peacekeepers will arrive too late. Jim Howard was in East Timor as an international observer with the UN. He says their mission will be risky and that the troops are arriving extremely late. Mr Howard says there is no doubt that police and militia have been working together to bring havoc. Entire towns have already been obliterated. There are thousands of East Timorese hiding in the hills.

TVNZ will be seeking legal advice following TV3’s announcement it has a done deal with Sky TV for free to air coverage of rugby and cricket. TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis says the deal lies in face of assurances given to TVNZ when it sold Sky shares to the existing Sky shareholders. He says only last Friday, TVNZ received and relied on assurances from Sky’s shareholder of their continuing desire to work together.

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