30 August 2009

Timor Leste -- A Decade of Independence


Timor Leste or East Timor has marked ten years of Independence from Indonesia. On an anniversary such as this one it is hard to look only in one direction. One must look forward, but one must also look back. Looking back and taking stock, taking stock of what has and what has not been achieved. It is impossible to move forward without first addressing the past.

I like Jose Ramos Horta. I like his commitment to the cause, I like his honesty, I like the fact that he calls things as he sees them. These are interesting traits for a man who has made his name as a diplomat, then as Prime Minister of his nation, and now as President.

However, I am not sure that I agree with his call that an international tribunal or commission is not needed in Timor Leste to address issues of war crimes and other crimes against humanity that may have been committed over the years of Indonesian occupation and the period during the direct ballot and the period immediately following the announcement of the results of the direct ballot.

Reconciliation is a nice thought, but as a process it does not really address the need for justice for victims or the families of victims. I am sure, no, I know, there are arguments that truth and reconciliation commissions are useful. The most obvious example is South Africa. Nevertheless, my personal belief is that justice is best served through a tribunal process. I am not sure that "slowly, gradually, steadily justice will prevail."

In an interesting side note, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, was 45 minutes late in arriving and the commencement of the ceremony was delayed until he arrived. So, I am guessing that this is indicative of Timor Leste seeing its former colonial master after the Portuguese, Indonesia, as being an important partner going forward. It might also be indicative of a complete lack of respect that Indonesia may have for Timor Leste. Then again, it might just have been a technical problem with an aircraft or something.

Congratulation to Timor Leste on the first ten years of independence!

May the next ten years see some drastic improvements on the poverty reduction, employment, and education fronts.

Viva Timor Leste.

10 comments:

anong said...

Yes viva indeed.

you wrote:

I like Jose Ramos Horta. I like his commitment to the cause, I like his honesty, I like the fact that he calls things as he sees them.

I dont like him. I think he is not committed and I think that though he may be honest he has a selective memory, or a bad memory.

Did he see the process of justice through for the attempt on his own life?

Rob Baiton said...

Anong...

Yes, this is the criticism of the man.

His memory is selective on certain matters albeit when he does make statements such as, 'there probably needs to be a reassessment of some of Fretilin's actions during the period up to and from 1975' this does not get so much news coverage.

On seeing the process of justice through the attempt on his own life, well I guess you will have to ask him :D

Anonymous said...

Nice tempering. My dislike is a tad visceral; which I suspect is your liking. I feel he walks a tighrope with this words and attitude: luckily the audience is rather forgiving and distracted.

As for his shooting; I dont recall the matter being resolved openly with all involved exposed.

saw he and Gusmao dancing with KrisD on TV here.

anong said...

Nice tempering. My dislike is a tad visceral; which I suspect is your liking. I feel he walks a tighrope with this words and attitude: luckily the audience is rather forgiving and distracted.

As for his shooting; I dont recall the matter being resolved openly with all involved exposed.

saw he and Gusmao dancing with KrisD on TV here.

H. Nizam said...

I am not sure about Ramos Horta's past, but I hope that he will do his best to lead his people in developing the country.

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

I am not so sure about SBY's past either. Let's face it he was "the man" at a number of critical junctures in Indonesia's recent past (being from the mid 1990s).

I also hope that SBY does a good job leading his people in developing Indonesia to its full potential (this is especially so seeing the people have given him a pretty solid mandate).

:D

Anggara said...

rob, mungkin ini kebiasaan orang Indonesia yang selalu telat dan terlampau menghargai orang non ASEAN, apalagi orang Timor Leste.
Tapi saya sepakat, bahwa pengadilan harusnya tetap digelar apabila dirasa terusiknya rasa keadilan dari para korban di Timor Leste

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

Gak ada komentar lagi ttg apakah menghargai atau tidak. Telat adalah telat! Biasanya undangan gak sebut "kurang lebih" tapi "tepat waktu" :D

Oh well.

Masalah pengadilan memang menarik.

Anggara said...

@rob
tapi bisa dilihat lah, kalau misalnya yang ngundang itu PM Australia, apa MFA Indonesia mau telat juga? hehehehehehe

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

Mungkin :D