Wednesday, October 14, 2009

East Timor, Towards Independence (contd-4)

A retired ambassador, who has observed Ramos-Horta at work at the Un and ealsewhere , has written of " the way in which he carried out the task of imparting information , how he gradually managed to gain acccess to the political power structure, and how everything waas done with such professionalism that it could well serve as an example to career diplomats. He was seemed to be always in trnsit, except when teaching in the faculty of Law of the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where he directs the programme for training of diplomats. His other base was in Portugal, still considered by the UN as legaally the administering power in East Timor. In 1982, the UN General Assemblyvoted for discussions to be held between Portugal and Indonesia for the resolution of East Timor conflictunder the aegis of the secretary-general, but eight meetings had so far produced no results.
On Oct.11,1996, Ramos-Horta was in Sydney, playing on the floor with his two year old niece, when he was called to the phone to hear from a journalist that he had been named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he uttered it was a jokeand refused to believe. He had expected the name of Bisrop Belo, for whose candidacy he had been working several years behind the the scenes
and thoght that the co-winner, if any, he should have been Xanana Gusmao,the leader of the resistancewho hafd been caaptured by Indonesian forces in 1992 and was now serving a twenty-year prison sentence in jakarta.He suspected, however, that the Nobel Committee had decided to offer it to someone who had not been imprisoned and could keep speaking out about East Timor. He said to the press that the prize was really for those who had been fighting for east Timor against Indonesia.

Also on Oct. 11, 1996, Bishop belo was celebrating mass in a school in Dili, the capital of East

Timor, when he heard about the prize . He was humbled -next to nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu,-"who am I?" he saw the prize "as a victory for East Timorese", diplomatically adding , "and all Indonesians". He said there were still hard work to do in the peace and reconciliation process, asserting that "peace can be achieved through non-violint means. The families of the two Laureates experienced the brutal Japanese occupation of
East Timor, during WWII, but both of them born afterwards, Belo in 1948 and Ramos-harto in 1949.