Diigo Links

Monday, May 20, 2002

East Timor


It's top news in Australia, but seems to be getting totally missed in US news. That's kind of sad because it's one of the only good-news stories I've seen in a long while.

East Timor has become the world's newest nation - and it's done so relatively peacefully. Up until very recently Indonesia ruled East Timor having invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975 (In the following 24 years some 200,000 people -- about 1/4 of the population -- were killed or died from famine).

Australia and more recent Indonesian leaders have been pivotal in helping Timor get on its feet, so it's a big deal down here. Illustrating how much things between East Timor and Indonesia have changed, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was in attendance at the ceremony - and actually received a warm reception from the crowd. (I believe Indonesia is the most populous Moslem nation in the world and has a million-man standing army - so it tends to be the focus of a lot of political attention in AsiaPac)

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