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DATE=12/7/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR ANNIVERSARY (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-256926 BYLINE=PATRICIA NUNAN DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The people of East Timor held a somber remembrance today/Tuesday of the Indonesian invasion of their territory 24 years ago. As Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta, it is the first time the East Timorese have been able to commemorate those who died in the civil war free of Indonesian occupation forces. TEXT: In a ceremony on the main thoroughfare in the East Timorese capital, Dili, one of the territory's best-known independence leaders, Jose Ramos-Horta, performed a symbolic gesture to mark the territory's break from Indonesian rule. He cut the ribbon to formally rename the street the "Avenue of the Martyrs of the Fatherland." The boulevard had been named after Ibu Tien, the wife of Indonesia's former President Suharto -- who ordered Indonesia's invasion of the territory in 1975. Mr. Ramos-Horta said the street was renamed to honor those who died during 24 years of fighting against the Indonesian Armed Forces. The independence leader - who, with Bishop Carlos Belo, was awarded the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for their work to end repression by the Indonesian military -- said he still finds it "unreal" that a small nation like East Timor managed to get rid of a "powerful invader" and is on its way to becoming a fully independent nation. East Timor was granted independence from Indonesia in October, after the United Nations supervised a special referendum to determine whether the people wanted the territory to remain with Indonesia or to have full independence. Indonesia's decision to let East Timor go marks the end of 24 years of civil war sparked by Indonesia's 1975 invasion. Human rights groups say 200 thousand people died as a result of the invasion and subsequent military occupation of East Timor. Indonesia's 1976 annexation of East Timor was never recognized by the U-N. In church services around the capital, clergy spoke of the need for reconciliation between those who supported East Timor's independence and those who favored integration with Indonesia. A U-N transitional authority is administering East Timor until it has a constitution and government institutions that will enable the new country to stand on its own as an independent nation. (Signed) NEB/PN/KL 07-Dec-1999 11:44 AM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1644 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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