Thursday, October 15, 2009

East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta

Jose Ramo-Horta was born on 26 Dec 1949 in Dili, capital of East Timor whose mother was a Timorese and father was a Portugal who had been exiled to Portuguese Timor
by Salazar dictatorship. He was educated in a Cathlic mission in the small village of Soibada, later chosen by Fretilin as headquarters after the Indonesian invasion. Of his eleven brothers and sisters, four killed by the Indonesian Military.
He was working as a Journallist but was exiled in Mozambique, a Portuguese colony, in 1970 for his efforts to secure Independence against colonial administration.The announcement by a new Govt. in Portugal, East Timorese people were divided in several political groups. The Marxist Revolutionary Front for East Timor's Independence (FRETILIN),founded on 20 May, 1974, calls for full Independence. Ramos-Horta, by this time returned to East Timor joined the group. The Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) initially was along with them but the Popular Democratic Association of Timor (Apodeti), an Indonesian Govt. backed organisation wanted to integrate with Indonesia. This division among the people of East Timor make the situation difficult for gaining independence.
In Oct. 1975, Ramos-Horta drives a group of five foreign television reporters to the town of Balibo to film Indonesian border incursions. Ramos-Horta leaves the town just hours before, the two Australian ,two British, and one New Zealander, the so called 'Balibo Five', are captured and executed by the Indonesian military on the morning of 16 Oct.
On 28 Nov. Fretlin proclaims the Democratic republic of East Timor. Ramos-Horta is appointed for communications and external affairs. Meanwhile the the members of UDT and Apodeti call on jakarta to intervene. Indonesia invades on 7 Dec. with the blessings of the President Gerald Ford of United States and US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. It is estimated that 60,000 East Timorese or 10 % of the population, are killed in th4 first two months of the invasion. Upto 2,50,000 people of the population of 6,50,000 died either for the invasion or for the famine that followed.
Ramos-Horta left East Timor to represent the case to overseas and arrived in New York to address the UN Security Council. He was the most junior amongst the speakers but successfully was able to pass a resolution demanding Indonesia to withdraw and give its people the right of self defence. By April, 1976, there are an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 Indonesian troops in the East Timor. On 31 May, 1976 Indonesia installed a puppet Govt. as the Indonesian province, Timor Timur but most of the world including Portugal , never recognises the annexation and the move is condemned by the UN,which continues to recognize Portuguese sovereignity over the territory.
The people of East Timor determined for obtaining Independence.

He studied Public International Law at the Hague academy of International law (1983)
and at antiochUniversity where he completeda Mater of Arts degree in Peace Studies (1984). He was trained in Human rights in Strasbourg (1983). He attended Post graduate courses in American foreign Policy at columbia university in New York (1983), He is senior associate member of the University of Oxford's St. Anthony's College (1987).