June 1st 2002


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Embryonic Research - Is government money funding private profit?

EDITORIAL: The Budget - time for new directions

BIOETHICS: Medical breakthrough: researchers turn skin cells into T-cells

CANBERRA: The fallacy behind the disability crackdown

Straws in the Wind: Voodoo dolls / Rodney Rude for a Logie?

HEALTH: No answer to party drugs: AMA

BANKS: Kiwibank has 150 branches in New Zealand

Rag Trade (letter)

SBS traduced (letter)

Boat people: another view (letter)

Trade hypocrisy (letter)

East Timor (letter)

Refugees? (letter)

UN Special Session on Children splits on abortion, sex education

DEMOGRAPHY: Budget ignores an ageing Australia

MEDIA: Sport - how media moguls play to win

CHILDREN'S BOOKS: 'What Should My Child Read?' by Susan Moore

BOOKS: 'Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A portrait of Paul Keating' by Don Watson

BOOKS: 'Science, Money and Politics', by Daniel Greenberg

OPINION: Dangers in cross-media monopolies

BOOKS: 'GERMAN BOY: A Child in War', by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel

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East Timor (letter)


by Lee Nightingale

News Weekly, June 1, 2002
Sir,

I am writing as a regular reader of News Weekly and as someone who has a good knowledge of the recent history of East Timor. This knowledge is due to an East Timorese who is a close associate.

This person lived in East Timor from 1975 to 1983; was a member of the Central Committee of UDT; was a member of the East Timorese Resistance; is a personal friend of "Xanana" Jose Gusmao the newly elected President; is a recognised master of East Timorese culture and language; was educated by the Jesuits for six years and speaks numerous languages.

He has recently taught many Australian soldiers and civilians the Timorese language and customs through the Queensland University Language School. I am proud to be a trusted friend.

From what I have been told; Fretilin did not solely wage a guerilla war against the brutal Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

Soon after Indonesia invaded East Timor, UDT and the minor political parties joined with Fretilin to fight Indonesian forces.

And soon after Xanana became leader of Fretilin, as I understand, he set up the East Timorese Resistance which was an umbrella organisation of all East Timorese including members of all the minor parties in East Timor.

The brutality of the occupation had galvanised the East Timorese!

My associate met with Xanana in 1982/83 prior to his departure from East Timor and has told me that an estimated 500 of Xanana's personal bodyguard at that time were UDT soldiers and that each wore a beret captured from a dead Indonesian Kopassus special forces soldier.

So you see, Fretilin did not solely fight against Indonesia. The majority of the East Timorese population were involved except for a relatively small number of collaborators.

Most of these collaborator families/clans were also involved in collaborating with the Imperial Japanese during World War II when the vast majority of East Timorese supported the Australian Independent Companies operating in East Timor after "Sparrow Force" was defeated in West Timor.

I trust this provides some light on this matter.

Lee Nightingale,
Oxley, Qld




























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