In Portugal, East Timorese demonstrators marched on the Presidential Palace on Wednesday (10 September) to protest against what they called the Lisbon government's inaction in the protracted dispute between Portugal and Indonesia over the island of East Timor.
GV EXTERIOR Presidential palace, Lisbon
GV ZOOM OUT Demonstrators with banners (3 shots)
SCU Group with gongs ZOOM OUT TO GV
GV Man with sword dancing while others beat on drums
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Background: In Portugal, East Timorese demonstrators marched on the Presidential Palace on Wednesday (10 September) to protest against what they called the Lisbon government's inaction in the protracted dispute between Portugal and Indonesia over the island of East Timor. The demonstrators are angry because the problem of independence for the former Portuguese colony was a top priority election pledge of the Lisbon government. But the matter remains unresolved only weeks before the October parliamentary elections.
SYNOPSIS: The Belem Presidential Palace in western Lisbon was the symbolic target of the demonstrators. They tried to demonstrate the plight of the East Timorese, caught in an independence struggle since the Portuguese colonial authorities left at the end of 1974. Four months later Indonesia took over. Since then its army has been fighting Fretelin, a poorly-armed but determined resistance movement. The Indonesian army has tried to move all the people into 150 villages and there are reports that outside these villages all human life is destroyed, along with crops, livestock and houses.
The marchers took some of their culture to the demonstration to emphasize the situation in East Timor. They say time is running out for the Lisbon Government to deal with the matter. Portugal did little to develop East Timor. When the Portuguese left, only a dozen miles of metalled roads had been built and illiteracy was widespread. With general elections scheduled in Portugal for October the 5th it appears this demonstration will have little effect.