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Protesters defy Timor arms ban

Melbourne Age - April 25, 2001

Mark Dodd, Dili – About 300 East Timorese supporters of a pro-independence party protested outside the United Nations headquarters in Dili yesterday.

Despite the UN banning weapons in public on Monday, more than 70 supporters dressed in traditional attire and brandished swords. Police did not try to disarm the protesters.

The party, launched in 1999, opposes the UN mission and regards the Democratic Republic of East Timor declared by Fretilin on November 28, 1975, as the legal basis of authority.

Many of the supporters had earlier joined in the launch of a new political party led by former Fretilin president Francisco Xavier do Amaral, the first president of the Republic of East Timor.

UN police in East Timor, backed by officers of the border control service, yesterday announced details of an operation to crack down on traffickers peddling pornographic videos that are flooding across the border from Indonesian West Timor.

A spokesman for the UN in East Timor, Peter Biro, said the crackdown came after hundreds of pornographic videos were seized in a raid on a video rental shop in Dili.