Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is what it looks like staring down the barrel of a gun.

(Pictured: a young pro-Indonesia militiaman weilding a homemade gun, Dili 1999.)

As a Commission of Truth and Friendship convenes in Bali it is once again time to remember what really happened about the time of East Timor's vote for independence in 1999.

The Commission hearings are taking place in a luxury hotel on the holiday isle - surely this must be a surreal setting for witnesses recounting horrific memories of cold-blooded killings at the hands of militia squads organised and armed by the Indonesian military.

And what about the Commission's intent? Does it puzzle those long-suffering East Timorese citizens taking part that the whole idea of the commission is not to seek judicial prosecution, but to set the record straight.

Australia's major daily newspapers are covering the Commission hearings including The Sydney Morning Herald.

The horrific events surrounding East Timor's independece vote are also dealt with in my book Running Amok. In April 1999 I reported on the Liquisa churchyard massacre, and I was in Dili the day that militia squads attached the home of the independence leader, Manuel Carrascalao.

1 comment:

Kim said...

yep I agree. Sure is a graphic pic.