Clinton Fernandes. The Independence of East Timor: Multi-dimensional Perspectives--Occupation, Resistance, and International Political Activism. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2011. 261 pp. Gerry van Klinken A nice side effect of East Timor's successful bid for independence in 1999 was the surge of energy within East Timor solidarity groups around the world. As when multiracial elections were finally held in South Africa in 1994, or when El Salvadorans signed their peace agreement at Chapultepec Castle in 1992, the feel-good factor after years of campaigning was palpable. This book is inspired by the afterglow of East Timor's independence. It celebrates the lives of many of the American, Australian, and other activists who supported the twenty-four-year campaign for an independent East Timor. The book also contains a good historical account of the armed struggle, and of the international diplomatic effort, but the dozens, perhaps hundreds of individuals and their organizations who supported the Timorese in the West are its rhetorical heart. Without the "structure of legitimacy" they created, Fernandes argues (p. 50), "East Timor might well have gone the way of the West Papuans or the South Moluccans." On the cover is a portrait of the late Australian medical doctor Andrew McNaughtan,
Indonesia – Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]
Published: Oct 24, 2012
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