Thursday, October 15, 2009

East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta (contd-1)

1977-85, Ramos Horta acts as the permanent representative of Fretilin at the UN Security Council, the fourth committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN special committee on decolonisation, UN commission on Human rights, the Council on Foreign relations and the commission on human rights of the European Parliament. He speaks out against Human rights violations by the Indonsian military and promotes a peace plan to end the violation in his country.
In 1989 he settled in Sydney,Australia, and founded the DTP (diplomacy training Program) in law faculty at the university of New South Wales. The DTP aims to train indigenous peoples, minorities and human rights activists from the Asia-Pacific region in the UN human rights system.
In 1991, at the Sanata Cruz cemetery in Dili, Indonesian troops shoot and kill 271 unarmed Timorese attending the funeral of a young Timorese killed during an earlier demonstration. The so called "Dili massacre" receives world wide coverage. The international community responds to the incident by suspending or threatening to suspend aid to Indonesia , prompting Suharto to appoint a national investigation commission which found the army using excessive force and dismissed three officers. this is the first time that such action is taken from the side of the govt.
The Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao is captured in Dili by the Indonesian military
and put him to Jailfor 20 years.
In Feb, 1996, Ramos-Horta is awarded the first UNPO (Unrepresented National and Peoples Organisation) for "unswerving commitment to the rights of and freedoms of threatened peoples," and in Oct,1996 he is awarded jointly the Nobel peace prize for contribution through the reconciliation talks and for working out a peace plan. By this way the Nobel Committee wants to honour their sustained effort and self-sacrificing contributions for a small but oppressed people.
the Indonesian Govt is astounded and surprised at "the reason given for the award."
In 1998, Suharto isforced to get down as President of Indonesia in May. He is replced by Jusuf Habibie who proposes a fresh autonomy deal for East Timor and in August agrees to negotiate with Portugal and the UN on the future of the territory.Meanwhile the Portuguese Govt. presents Ramos-Horta with the order of freedom, the highest honour the nation can bestow.
On Jan, 1999, Habibie announces that East timorese will be allowed to vote for their self determination and UN supervision and a agreement between Portugal and Indonesia vote is taken inspite of disturbances.
People waiting at the Polling Booth
Polled ballot papers are taken to Dili by helicopter.The referendum takes place in a tense situation and 98.6 % voters polled on the occasion and 78.5 % voters opted for self-dertermination.