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JOSE RAMOS HORTA, AN INSPIRATION TO (r)
- Subject: JOSE RAMOS HORTA, AN INSPIRATION TO (r)
- From: drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 20:06:00
Subject: JOSE RAMOS HORTA, AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL
Amidst uncertainities in the struggle in East Timor, Jose Ramos Horta is
a good inspiration to all of us. This is not simply because of him being
a Nobel laureate, but because he survived as East Timorese exile for 23
years --AND THEN-- being able to return to East Timor to contribute
whatever he could. May the forces of goodness be with him.-- U Ne Oo.
TIMOR-DARE-HORTA ASIA: RAMOS HORTA TO RETURN TO EAST TIMOR
DATE: 02:01 27-Jun-99
ASIA: Ramos Horta to return to East Timor TIMOR DARE HORTA DAYLEAD
JAKARTA, June 26 AFP - East Timorese independence crusader Jose Ramos
Horta returned to Indonesia after 23 years in exile today, saying he
would travel on to his homeland even if he could not campaign there.
The Nobel laureate was allowed back to attend a four-day meeting to
seek peace between the warring factions in East Timor before a
UN-conducted vote on self-determination in August.
He was mobbed by journalists at the hotel where the talks are being
held, and had a brief emotional meeting there with the jailed head of
the East Timorese resistance, Xanana Gusmao.
"I was speechless, not only meeting him as a leader, but as a human
being, one of the greatest human beings I have known in my life" Ramos
"I gave him a big warm embrace."
Ramos Horta, who has devoted two decades in exile to campaigning for
independence for his people, said he would accept a condition laid down
by Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas for his return to East Timor
-- that he not campaign.
"I accept that political condition ... Why? Because the people of East
Timor don't need any campaign.
"They have been there for 23 years, they know (the conditions) better
than I do," he said.
Asked if he thought East Timorese could vote without fear of
retribution in the UN-conducted ballot in August, in which they will
choose between independence and autonomy under Indonesia, he replied:
"Not at the moment.
"But I believe the conditions can be created in a month or two.
"I believe President BJ Habibie and (Indonesian armed forces chief)
General Wiranto ... will put their best efforts together with us to
create a condition of peace. Because this is not only in the interests
of East Timorese, it is the good name of democracy in Indonesia."
He also said he held Jakarta to accepting the outcome of the vote --
saying Habibie had pledged to do so, and "this new and democratic
Indonesia can do nothing else".
Ramos Horta is vice president of the National Council of Timorese
resitance (CNRT), an umbrella organisation for East Timorese
pro-independence movements which Gusmao heads.
On Monday he will join 39 other East Timorese, many like him exiles, in
the second phase of church-sponsored reconciliation talks between the
rival East Timorese factions starting Monday.
A press release late tonight from the organisers -- Dili Bishop Carlos
Ximenes Felipe Belo who shared the 1996 Nobel prize with Ramos Horta,
and Baucau Bishop Basilio do Nascimento -- said there would be no talks
The talks, officially known as the Dare II dialogue and reconciliation
conference, kicked off yesterday between some 20 representatives of the
pro- and anti-independence groups in East Timor, including Gusmao who
is serving a 20-year jail term here for subversion.
In Australia earlier this month Ramos Horta had threatened to find a
rogue pilot who would fly him into East Timor, visa or not, drawing an
angry response from Alatas.
In Dili, Jamsheed Marker, the special envoy on East Timor for UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan, opened the possibility that the United
Nations might push for Horta and other long-exiled leaders to be able
All sides must have equal rights to campaign, he said.
"There cannot be a free and fair ballot, unless all the parties have
the rights to campaign equally," Marker said in a press conference
shortly before ending a three-day visit there.
"This will be our duty to make sure on that," he said.
A spokesman for the organisers of the Jakarta talks, Father Domingos
Sequeira, said 60 participants from East Timor and abroad would attend
the second dialogue. The first was in Dare, East Timor last September.
Violence between the factions has spiralled since Jakarta said in
January it would let go of the former Portuguese colony it invaded in
1975 at the cost of some 200,000 lives if its people rejected an offer
of autonomy under Indonesia.
Citing the violence and logistical problems, Kofi Annan this week
postponed the vote by two weeks, until the end of August. It had
originally been scheduled for August 8.
EMAILS: drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx, uneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
POSTMAIL: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place, Adelaide SA 5000, AUSTRALIA
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