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Celebration Of East Timor's Independence

9 May, 2002.

Premiere Of An Important New Documentary Film And Celebration Of East Timor's Independence

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee is holding a celebration on May 11 for East Timor's independence (which will be formally declared on the 20 May 2002.) It will take place at Ferndale House 830 New North Rd, Mt Albert, this Saturday at 4 pm.

" East Timor' has triumphed because of the 'incredible will' of its people and because ordinary people around the world gave support and solidarity to the East Timorese for two and a half decades. So it is appropriate that we hold a modest 'peoples' celebration in advance of the formal events to take place in Dili on May 19/20, " said Maire Leadbeater for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee.

The celebration will include the pemiere showing of an important new documentary film made by New Plymouth documentary maker Peter Marra with the assistance of writer and voluntary aid worker Dave Owens. Their work, emails from East Timor , is a compelling look at the reconstruction task which faces East Timor . "emails" also offers a challenge to New Zealanders to face their share of responsibility for condoning the 24 year Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

Peter Marra will present his documentary, and offer his perspective about East Timor.

Following the film showing, there will short speeches from East Timorese students, Auckland aid and development activists and representatives of the former solidarity movement - the East Timor Independence Committee.

" The first new nation for the new millenium" - the United Nations administration will hand over control of East Timor to its newly elected president, Xanana Gusmao and to the Legislative Assembly at midnight on 19 May. World leaders will travel to East Timor to welcome the new nation at its birth, but there will also be celebrations held all around the world - such as this Auckland event.

Confirming their international outlook, East Timor's leaders have signalled their intention to sign international treaties such as the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, the treaty to set up a permanent international court for war crimes, and a series of conventions dealing with refugees, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and landmines.


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