Democracy Now! May 13, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 13, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Democracy Now special series: EAST TIMOR ; Natalina Ramos Horta, mother of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta at her home in Sydney ; Sydney Morning Herald, top secret documents reveal the Australian government eavesdropped on the Indonesian military as a part of a plan to destroy East Timor in 1999 ; Timorese travelers, returning home to independence.

9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:15 DEMOCRACY NOW! TRAVELS TO EAST TIMOR: A LOOK AT THE ISLAND NATIONS LONG JOURNEY FROM INVASION, TO ANNIHILATION, TO INDEPENDENCE Seven days from now, on May 20, 2002, the tiny half-island of East Timor will achieve its independence and become a new nation. Its a rare moment in history made all the more extraordinary by the incredible suffering of the East Timorese over the last 27 years. When I first traveled to East Timor 12 years ago in 1990, East Timor was one of the most repressive places on earth, occupied at that time for fifteen years by the brutal Indonesian military and supported by the silence of the media, and US guns, money and political clout.When I returned in 1991, journalist Allan Nairn and I witnessed Indonesian troops using their US M16s to slaughter hundreds of Timorese in a commemoration procession to the Santa Cruz cemetery. The Santa Cruz massacre galvanized an international movement to support independence for East Timor and hardened the determination of a new generation of Timorese activists to challenge the Indonesian occupation. In the fateful days of August and September 1999, the East Timorese turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote for their independence in a UN-sponsored referendum, only to have the Indonesian military and its militia allies burn East Timor to the ground, displace the population and kill thousands of people, while the US and other powerful nations looked on in silence. East Timor is a tiny nation about 400 miles north of Darwin, Australia, in the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 after 400 years of Portuguese colonialism, killing a third of the population, aided by US weapons, training and political support. For a quarter of a century the East Timorese never stopped resisting the Indonesian military, despite mass killings, torture and destruction, on a truly horrific scale. For more than a decade Pacifica radio and Democracy Now! have almost literally been the voice of East Timor in the US, breaking through the silence of the corporate press and offering a space for the voices of the Timorese and of grassroots activists around the world fighting the complicity of the US government in Indonesias crimes. East Timors people are no longer united in the face of a vicious enemy, and the Indonesian and US officials responsible for their suffering may never be brought to justice. As one of the poorest countries in the world, East Timor now faces incredible challenges, challenges many poor countries face in a world dominated by powerful governments like the US and by institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. East Timor faces a long journey from invasion, to annihilation, to independence, and what lies ahead. For the next ten days Democracy Now! will share East Timors journey with you. Today we will begin on the plane from New York to Australia. Im still banned from Indonesia for reporting the massacre of 1991. I was arrested in 1994 by the Indonesian military, deported twice in 1999 when I tried to report on the vote for independence. This time, Democracy Now! flew to East Timor through Australia. 9:15-9:25 IN AUSTRALIA, DEMOCRACY NOW! TALKS TO THE MOTHER OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER JOSE RAMOS HORTA, AND VISITS THE OFFICES OF THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, WHERE THEY HAVE UNCOVERED TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS THAT REVEAL AUSTRALIAS COMPLICITY IN THE INDONESIAN MILITARY PLAN TO DESTROY EAST TIMOR After getting off the plane in Sydney Australia, Democracy Now! headed to the home of Natalina Ramos Horta. Shes the mother of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jose Ramos Horta, who traveled the world for a quarter of a century, pleading East Timors cause. Jose Ramos Horta is the first Foreign Minister of an independent East Timor. Well speak with him tomorrow in here in Dili. But right now, back to Australia, with his mother, Natalina. GUEST: NATALINA RAMOS HORTA, Mother of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jose Ramos Horta This week, the Indonesian government continued with the trials of a handful of officials accused of involvement in the campaign of terror used against the East Timorese in 1999, when they were casting their vote for independence. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is pushing to restore aid to the Indonesian military in the name of the so-called war on terror. Among those the Bush Administration is working with is General Hendro Priyono, who is Indonesias Intelligence Chief. Sydney Morning Herald International Editor, Hamish McDonald, explains who he is. GUEST: HAMISH MCDONALD, International Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 DEMOCRACY NOW! TALKS TO TIMORESE TRAVELING HOME TO INDEPENDENCE Twenty-eight passengers sit in a propeller plane on the tarmac in Darwin, Australia, waiting to begin the one-hour flight to East Timor. Each person on the plane has a special story to tell on these days leading up to Independence: a painful tale of exile, a joyful story of return. It has been years since many have set foot in their home country. With their return, they bring hope, anticipation, loss, resilience, and joy. 9:30-9:45 THE POLITICS OF OIL IN EAST TIMOR: AN INTERVIEW WITH LONG-TIME EAST TIMORESE ACTIVIST ROBERT WESLEY SMITH On the eve of independence for East Timor, the Australian government and the Timorese government are negotiating a landmark deal that will determine the future of East Timor. Tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue are at stake in the Timor Gap, the small sea between Timor and Australia. Negotiations over the Timor Gap oil fields have a long and complex history,stretching back well before the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. They are an integral factor in the hot-and-cold relationship between Australia and Indonesia. They also played a key role in Australias decision to support the invasion, becoming the only western nation to recognize the occupation. GUEST: ROBERT WESLEY SMITH, COORDINATOR OF AUSTRALIANS FOR A FREE EAST TIMOR (AFFET) 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 AN INTERVIEW WITH LONGTIME EAST TIMOR ACTIVIST ROBERT WESLEY SMITH - COORDINATOR OF AUSTRALIANS FOR A FREE EAST TIMOR, contd 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 13, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 13, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 13, 2002
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