* More students have been arrested since this report.
Timorese law states that there may be no demonstrations within 100 metres of government buildings. However the students were protesting on their own campus. The location of the campus is indeed less than 100 metres from the National Parliament; however this is the student's campus, an important place for expression of free speech and demonstrations.It is not clear who issued the order to arrest the students but it is widely believed that the order came from Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao himself.BudgetOn May 23, 2008, the Council of Ministers has approved the final draft of Mid Year Budget 2008.
Reuters: E.Timor police arrest student protestersJul 8, 2008: East Timor police have arrested nearly 40 people and fired tear gas to disperse a protest against a parliament decision to buy 65 luxury cars - one for each member of parliament - in one of the world's poorest nations.East Timor's parliament decided last month to buy the Toyota Land Cruisers amid soaring food and oil prices in a country where the average income is about 50 US cents a day and 42 percent are unemployed.Around 1,000 protesters, mostly students, staged a rally at the parliament building, carrying the national black and red Timorese flag and banners saying, "Stand up East Timor, Fight Against Immoral Decisions".They were also protesting against a bill being discussed in parliament which will allow prosecutors and members of the intelligence service to possess weapons."Do they want students to keep silent and let them buy luxury cars and allow civilians to own weapons? We are not yes men and we say no to the decision," Agusto Pinto, the rally's coordinator, said."Petroleum funds must be used for people's interest, not to buy cars and weapons ... we are ready to die if the decision is not revoked."