The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Book Review: 'Last Flight out of Dili' > Comments

Book Review: 'Last Flight out of Dili' : Comments

By John Tomlinson, published 8/2/2006

John Tomlinson reviews David Scott's book 'Last flight out of Dili: Memoirs of an accidental activist in the triumph of East Timor'.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
Yes the East Timorese and their Australian representatives in Australia are becoming more adept at playing the GUILT CARD with each passing day.

But guilt as East Timor's principle international policy has its limits. It hasn't done Haiti nor Cuba any good vis a vis the US.

The East Timorese need to realise how far they can push their main friend and liberator.

Having struck a favourable oil deal with Australia East Timor is now even a greater prize for any future Indonesian invasion. Only Australia, with support from the US, would be inclined to hold the Indonesians back.

It will be interesting to see how oil money will corrupt East Timor's leaders.

In the eyes of the Melbourne Left East Timors leaders must appear handsome, Latin and revolutionary. The reality is that most of Latin America is a sad basket case - and in many imaginations (including mine):

we have a remote patch of Latin American on our doorstep.

We need to be careful not to accept BLAME for every spasm of East Timor's growing pains.

Posted by plantagenet, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 1:47:31 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
A useful review John. There is a need for further examination of the internal politics of the new nation to further the understanding of what prompts the E.T. Government to act as it does .
Powerful members of the Church hierarchy seem to have set themselves on a collision course with the new government. Unable to win substantial political influence through the opposition parties in the elections, some Church leaders turned to direct action to block the FRETILIN program, which included ending the Indonesian practice of having religion as a compulsory subject in public schools, in keeping with the secular Constitution; reform of laws relating to abortion; and land reform, which threatens the basic economic interests of the Church, one of the country’s largest landowners, and of some of its most powerful supporters. In 2005, the Church campaigned to stop the public school reform, and, with assistance from a range of internationals, mobilised several thousand people onto the streets in Dili in a blockade of the parliament. Many of the protestors had been trucked into Dili from outlying districts, told by their local priests that Alkatiri planned to burn down their churches. The Church hierarchy, according to some sources, used violence against young activists who did not support their three week action to undermine public order and bring down the government. Whilst not successful, this interference into state matters forced the Government to concede some ground to the Church on the issue of women’s reproductive rights. Despite these relentless and vicious attacks, FRETILIN won the recent village (suco) elections with a greater majority overall then it had achieved in the national elections in August 2001.
Ill informed observations such as the previous post ignore the realities of this emerging Nation, particularly the suggestion that Australia is in their debt when history reveals that we sold them out in the first place and then sought to steal their resources.
Posted by maracas, Friday, 10 February 2006 1:41:59 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard

Thanks, I think, for being the second poster.

You obviously know about the struggle but I am so pessimistic about this new nation's prospects. Presumably a left wing government is a (as yet) peaceful struggle against the Catholic Church.

Latin America, the Philippines and the Spanish Civil War colour my preconceptions.

Is liberation theology strengthening in ET particularly away from Dili?

Outside of my misgivings over ET's foreign policy stance I'm genuinely interested in what is happening there.

Any good sites on the net?


Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 10 February 2006 2:20:17 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy