JAKARTA, May 28 - Nearly 900 East Timorese students have written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan rejecting Thursday's Indonesian general election, sources said Wednesday.
In the letter dated Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, the students said: "In the same manner as their country (East Timor) has been taken by force, the participation of the people of East Timor in the general elections has been done under the pressure of the Indonesian military."
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and declared the former Portuguese colony its 27th province the following year. The United Nations and most countries still view Lisbon as the administrator of East Timor.
A list of 894 signatories, East Timorese students studying on the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali, was attached to the letter which East Timor sources said had been transmitted through a UN office here.
The students said the participation of the East Timor people "is very susceptible to be manipulated" into an affirmation of Indonesia's sovereignty over East Timor.
On Thursday, Indonesians will elect 425 MPs. Another 75 seats are alloted by presidential appointment to active members of the military, who under the law do not vote in elections.
The UN secretary general has been sponsoring dialogue between Indonesia and Portugal since 1982 in an effort help seek a settlement to the East Timor question.
Annan has said he was seeking ways to revitalise the dialogue.