keywords: East Timor

  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timorese heroes of Australian wars

    • Susan Connelly
    • 24 April 2017
    20 Comments

    Fearful of the southward thrust of the Japanese, the Australian government entered East Timor against the wishes of its Portuguese colonisers. The move was not to protect the Timorese, but to thwart possible attacks on Australia. A band of intrepid Australian soldiers, never numbering more than 700, successfully held off thousands of Japanese in Timor, but only because they had the support of the local people. Between 40,000 and 60,000 Timorese died as a result of Japanese reprisals.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reconciliation in Australia and East Timor

    • Mark Green
    • 14 February 2013
    4 Comments

    I was in Dili on Apology Day 2008, and wept as I listened on the radio to the Apology offered by Kevin Rudd. The previous year, I had arrived in Dili to take up a post with an aid and development program, and was accosted by a very angry young man. 'What are you doing here? Have you come to make us like your Aboriginal people?'

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timor's lessons for our abuse Royal Commission

    • Pat Walsh
    • 29 November 2012
    7 Comments

    Two principal conclusions can be drawn from the East Timor experience. First, a victim-friendly process is desirable, achievable and productive. If East Timor after decades of war and devastation could do it, Australia certainly can. But victims should not take for granted that the high level of public and political support the Royal Commission currently enjoys will translate into action.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    History curriculum perpetuates East Timor myths

    • Susan Connelly
    • 10 July 2012
    7 Comments

    The draft senior secondary history curriculum glosses over Australia's relationship with East Timor. It needs to go beyond the false media and political view that Australia's involvement in East Timor has been unremittingly courageous, generous and exemplary. There is a danger that students will believe Australian soldiers went into Portuguese Timor in 1941 'to protect the Timorese' and that Australia 'saved' East Timor in 1999.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    East Timor's independence is from Australia

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 May 2012
    12 Comments

    With East Timor marking ten years of independence on Sunday, it is relevant to ask which nation in particular it is celebrating independence from. In one sense East Timorese value independence because it is a reminder that they do not hold ties and obligations to Australia, which might have become their neo-colonial master.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Australia doesn't want East Timor to know

    • Pat Walsh
    • 05 April 2012
    10 Comments

    The famine of 1977–79 cut a swathe through East Timor's civilian population. Having failed to subdue the Timorese, the Indonesian military opted to starve them out. Details from that little-understood period are contained in cables that Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has blocked from public access.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Guerilla diggers' East Timor debt

    • Paul Cleary
    • 25 August 2010
    3 Comments

    Hundreds of Timorese men and boys served alongide Australian fighters in an amazing guerilla campaign throughout 1942 that tied up several thousand Japanese troops while the battle for New Guinea was underway. Australia has made at best half-hearted efforts to acknowledge this debt.

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  • RELIGION

    Moving forward from East Timor Solution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 July 2010
    11 Comments

    The idea of a regional processing centre for asylum seekers requires a lot of detailed diplomatic work. If Gillard is elected Prime Minister, it could be Kevin Rudd's first test as Foreign Minister. Whoever is elected, and wherever such a centre is located, it will not be East Timor.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timor a not-so-simple solution

    • Jack de Groot
    • 09 July 2010
    21 Comments

    Julia Gillard said 'people like my own parents who have worked hard all their lives can't abide the idea that others might get an inside track to special privileges'. Managing similar perceptions in East Timor, where there is a tide of resentment against Australia among parts of the population, will be a challenge.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    East Timor needs justice before reconciliation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 August 2009
    6 Comments

    There's good reason for East Timor to opt for a tribunal to deliver justice for past crimes. But Australia cannot expect to receive a special hearing. Our attempts to push for justice for the sake of stability would be perceived as a promotion of our own self-interest.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Witnessing East Timor's independence

    • Meredyth Tamsyn
    • 28 August 2009
    1 Comment

    Ten years ago, the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly via UN referendum for independence from Indonesia. The euphoria would not last. By nightfall there were over a hundred refugees seeking shelter in the backyard of the UN house where we were staying.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    East Timor advances despite Australian aid failures

    • Richard Curtain
    • 17 July 2009
    3 Comments

    Life in Dili has improved greatly over the past 18 months. The government has directed large amounts of money into the economy, much of it into the hands of the poor. By contrast, Australia's substantial contribution often appears passive and reactive.

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