Democracy Now! May 20, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 20, 2002
Series Title:
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9:00-9:01 Billboard: From the democratic republic of East Timor, this is Democracy Now! Its independence day in East Timor. After a quarter of a century of Indonesian occupation, the survivors of East Timor celebrate the founding of a new nation. All that and more coming up. 09:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 EAST TIMOR DECLARES INDEPENDENCE; UN SECRETARY GENERAL HANDS OVER POWER TO XANANA GUSMAO Today is East Timors independence day. The ceremonies were held last night on the dusty plain of Taci Tolu, just outside of the capitol of Dili. The Indonesian military invaded East Timor in 1975 and occupied it for a quarter of a century, with 200,000 people killed, a third of the population. On August 30, 1999 East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for their independence in a UN-sponsored referendum. Days later Indonesia burned East Timor to the ground. An estimated 200,000 Timorese walked to Taci Tolu yesterday for the Independence celebration: including thousands of school children in their uniforms and men and women in traditional woven outfits. The ceremony began with a solemn mass presided over by Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Belo. The celebration also honored East Timor's vibrant culture with music and dancing and paid special tribute to the Falintil guerrilla fighters who spearheaded the resistance to Indonesian occupation. Ninety-two countries were represented at the ceremony, including former President Bill Clinton and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who insisted on first visiting a cemetery where Indonesian soldiers are buried. Witnessing the moment of independence with the Timorese, who resisted for 25 years in the face of horrific suffering and U.S. backing for Indonesia's military, was an overwhelming and humbling experience. Shortly before midnight UN Secretary General Kofi Annan ascended the stage to formally hand over authority to the government of a free East Timor. Kofi Annans speech was also translated into Tetun, the language spoken by most of East Timors people. TAPE: Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:39 GUERRILLA LEADER TURNED FOUNDING PRESIDENT OF EAST TIMOR XANANA GUSMAO DELIVERS INAUGURAL ADDRESS When Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 Xanana Gusmao went into the mountains, where he remained for the next 17 years fighting the Indonesian military becoming leader of the Falantil. He was captured by the army in November 1992 and spent seven years in an Indonesian prison. In 1999 as East Timor held its historic referendum on independence, Indonesia released Xanana from prison under intense international pressure. Last night as the UN flag was lowered, the Timorese red, black, yellow, and white flag was raised. Xanana Gusmao was elected East Timors first president in April of this year. This is an excerpt from his inaugural address. Tape: Xanana Gusmao, Founding President of East Timor Guest: Alan Nairn, journalist and activist in Dili, East Timor 9:39-9:40 One Minute Music Break 9:40-9:48 JOURNALIST ALLAN NAIRN CONFRONTS PRESIDENT CLINTON OVER US POLICY TOWARD EAST TIMOR; AMY GOODMAN AND ALLAN NAIRN QUESTION BRIGADEER GENERAL OVER US MILITARY SUPPORT FOR INDONESIA Former President Bill Clinton led the U.S. delegation to East Timors independence ceremony and inaugurated the U.S. embassy in Dili, East Timor. In his remarks Clinton celebrated the U.S. role in bringing about East Timors independence, ignoring his administrations seven year record of support for the Indonesian military in spite of systematic human rights abuses. Journalist Allan Nairn had an opportunity to question President Clinton about U.S. policy toward East Timor during his administration. Tape: William Clinton, former President of the United States 9:48-9:58 TAPE: ALLAN NAIRN CONFRONTS PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AT US EMBASSY IN DILI EAST TIMOR Also present at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Dili, East Timor was Brigadeer General John Castlellaw, a U.S. Navy Commander who helped to organize the international force (INTERFET) which entered East Timor in September 1999 after Indonesia had burned the country to the ground. Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman also had a chance to question Brig. General Castlellaw about the U.S. militarys role in supporting the Indonesian armed forces. Tape: Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn question Brigadier General John Castlellaw 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 20, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 20, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 20, 2002
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