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Protestors Tell Aussies To Go To Hell

Hundreds of angry Indonesian students marched through the streets of Jakarta
yesterday warning Australia so stay out of East Timor. John Howard reports.

Shouting "Go to hell Aussie" the protesters were cheered on by ordinary
Indonesian workers, confirming Australia's status as Public Enemy No.1.

With protests becoming increasingly violent, President B.J. Habibbie is
under huge pressure to freeze diplomatic ties with Australia.

Indonesian military leaders also continued to push for Australia to be
excluded from the international peacekeeping force.

And leading politicians have vented anger in the Indonesian parliament,
accusing Australia of meddling in Indonesian affairs.

"What Australia has done in connection to the East Timor issue recently is
far from favourable for a healthy and beneficial relationship," said Mr Nur
Ahmad Affandi of the National Awakening Party.

The deputy chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Mr
Dimyato Hartono said Australia needed to show that "it needs a good
neighbour like us."

Australian officials have had to beef up security after repeated attacks on
Australian buildings - some of them apparently orchestrated by Indonesian
officials anxious to demonise Australia.

The Western Australian Trade Office was vandalised late on Monday, while the
Australian Embassy has also been attacked. Australian flags and effigies of
the Prime Minister, John Howard, are being burnt in the streets.

Yesterday's protest, which began at the United Nations office, brought the
heart of Jakarta to a standstill. Holding banners which said "F...ing Aussie
and USA", the protesters were flanked by hundreds of riot police. But the
rally remained peaceful otherwise.

Some posters showed President Habibie dressed as Uncle Sam, indicating anger
at the leader's decision to allow peacekeepers into East Timor.

"East Timor is Indonesia's problem, not Australia's or America's," said a
16-year-old female student "Let us worry, not you. Just stay out."

ENDS


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