Rallies and community gatherings were a major part of life for the East Timorese
community in Sydney.
Starting from scratch, Timorese
environmentalist Zizi Vieira is transplanting the skills he is learning from ACF in an effort to restore his country's land and pride.
Then in December, following two days of rioting in Dili the Australian media exposed some of its worst ignorance about the political system and society in East Timor in articles which, sadly, also became a major source of information for many Timorese
about what was going on in their own country and how it was seen by outsiders.
A 24-year guerrilla war followed, in which 200,000 East Timorese
died-from bombings, killings, and forced starvation.
The long-time Australian/East Timorese
dispute over how to divide petroleum revenue was finally settled after Australia's Federal Government and the East Timorese/United National representatives reached an agreement in July.
Ill equipped and abandoned by all, including their Portuguese colonial masters, the Timorese
nevertheless held their ground, creating large losses on both sides.
* Your recent joyous picture of East Timorese
celebrating independence demands an accompanying picture from Palestine.
The East Timorese
President Xanana Gusmao (a former guerrilla leader) personally escorted to the ceremony Megawati Sukarnoputri, president of the former occupying power, Indonesia.
After 25 years of abuse and mass killing at the hands of the Indonesian military, the East Timorese
voted for independence in August 1999, setting off an Indonesian-scorched earth policy that destroyed the land.
Japan decided Tuesday to offer a combined $5.9 million in emergency grants to help East Timorese
refugees in West Timor and to support the reconciliatory process in the territory which is about to complete its road to independence, the Foreign Ministry said.
The leader of a Japanese parliamentary delegation visiting East Timor expressed confidence Thursday East Timorese
will welcome the proposed participation of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in U.N.
The Australian peace keepers are part of an 8,000-strong force including the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor (UNTAET), maintaining a safe environment for the East Timorese
who are rebuilding their country after winning independence from Indonesia last year.