Timor-Leste

Featured Books

* Security, Development and Nation-Bulding in Timor-Leste
* Making them Indonesians: Child Transfers out of East Timor
* The Independence of East Timor: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives – Occupation, Resistance and International Political Activism
* Forgiveness and Reconciliation in an Inter-Group Context: East Timor’s Perspectives
* East Timor: A Nation’s Bitter Dawn

Security, Development and Nation-Bulding in Timor-Leste


Edited by Vandra Harris and Andrew Goldsmith
Routledge, 2012

espite Timor-Leste’s high expectations when it became independent from Indonesia in 2002, the country is ranked among the least developed countries in the world. It has found itself at the centre of international attention in the last decade, with one of the biggest interventions in UN history, as well as receiving amongst the highest per capita rates of bilateral assistance in the Asia-Pacific region.

This book draws together the perspectives of practitioners, policy-makers and academics on the international efforts to rebuild one of the world’s newest nations. The contributors consider issues of peace-building, security and justice sector reform as well as human security in Timor-Leste, locating these in the broader context of building nation, stability and development. The book includes two demographic studies that can be used to critically examine the nation’s possible future. Engaging in deliberate consideration of both practical and theoretical complexities of international interventions, this book will be of interest to academics and students in the fields of Development, Security and Southeast Asian Studies.

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Making them Indonesians: Child Transfers out of East Timor


by Helene van Klinken
Monash University Publishing, 2012

“One Indonesian soldier was particularly nice to me. He gave me pretty clothes and sweets and used to take me for walks and to his office. Then one Sunday, it was just after my first communion, I was coming out of church with other children when soldiers took me and put me into a vehicle. My uncle tried to stop them. I remember screaming and being very frightened. They took me to the nearby airfield and then in a helicopter. As we took off I threw the handkerchief my uncle had given me out of the helicopter.” – Biliki, in Jakarta 2003, recalling her last recollections of her life in East Timor as a seven-year-old child in 1978 *** Biliki was one of approximately 4,000 dependent East Timorese children who were transferred to Indonesia during the occupation of East Timor by Indonesia between 1975 and 1999. Many, like Biliki, were taken by soldiers to be adopted, while others were sent to institutions in Indonesia by government and religious organizations. This book is the first detailed account of the history of the transfer of these children to Indonesia. It is not a simple story, nor can it be depicted in black and white terms. Some children were taken against their wishes, while others were rescued from certain death. Some parents were coerced and deceived into giving their children away, while others agreed to the transfer of their children because of the critical situation due to the war. Some children were treated like family members by those who took them, while other children had to work for their adoptive families, sometimes in slave-like conditions. The motivation of those who transferred the children ranged from genuine compassion and good intentions to the less benevolent manipulation and use of vulnerable children for economic, political, and ideological ends. These child transfers are a window on the relationship between Indonesia and East Timor during this period. It had many of the marks of a colonial relationship, and, like all such relationships, was full of ambiguities and contradictions. The underlying aim of the Indonesians was to integrate the East Timorese children and make them Indonesians. (Series: Monash Asia)

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The Independence of East Timor: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives – Occupation, Resistance and International Political Activism


by Clinton Fernandes
Sussex Academic Press, 2011

This book presents a history of the struggle for independence by East Timor, after it was invaded by Indonesia in 1975. The occupation, which lasted 24 years, was immediately resisted through guerrilla warfare and clandestine resistance. A continuum of effort – between the armed freedom fighters in the mountains, the resilience of urban supporters, and international activism and support – eventually brought about liberation in September 1999. Given that the Timor rebels did not have a land border with a friendly state, nor an external supplier of weapons, nor a liberated area in which to recover between guerrilla operations, their successful resistance is unique in the history of guerrilla warfare and independence struggles. Equally uncommon was an unexpected weapon in the struggle: a remarkable display of strategic non-violent action. This is the first study to integrate all the major factors in East Timor’s independence struggle. The multi-dimensional perspectives addressed include: Indonesian, US, and Australian diplomacy * Indonesian military operations and activities against the populace * East Timorese resistance at all social levels * human rights abuses * the issue of oil * international diplomacy resulting from global solidarity activism. (Series: Sussex Library of Asian Studies)

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Forgiveness and Reconciliation in an Inter-Group Context: East Timor’s Perspectives


by Felix Net, Maria Da Conceicao Pinto, and Etienne Mullet
Nova Science Publishers, 2011

This book describes the Timorese people’s extraordinary capacity to forgive as the most surprising thing author Felix Neto encountered there, something he had never seen elsewhere, despite having witnessed a wide variety of conflicts. Whether some special capacity to forgive is peculiar to the Timorese, their willingness to extend it to their former enemies is not only magnanimous but wise. The willingness to forgive is a precondition for reconciliation. Reconciliation, in turn, is a precondition for achieving peace. If the current and successive generations are to live in full freedom, respectful of others’ rights, it has to begin with forgiveness.

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East Timor: A Nation’s Bitter Dawn


by Irena Cristalis
Zed Books, 2009

This book tells the story of the traumatic creation of Asia’s youngest country, East Timor, which has been struggling to rebuild itself ever since the mayhem of Indonesia’s reluctant withdrawal in 1999. The author, one of a mere handful of journalists who refused to be evacuated in the final days of the Indonesian occupation, gives a vivid first-hand account of the lives of individual Timorese during the occupation, their struggle for freedom and their endeavors to rebuild their homeland. Based on years of research, and lengthy interviews with East Timor ‘s leaders, priests, nuns, students and guerrilla fighters, this moving and extremely readable book is at the same time also an exploration of the complexities of the country’s internal politics.

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