Friday, May 9, 2008


I was in restaurant eavesdropping on a conversation earlier today among some foreigners. They were discussing the "cynicism" of some recent events. The ASDT - FRETILIN deal caused an alomost rabid anti-FRETILIN reaction. The recent announcement of by President Ramos-Horta that he intended to pardon perhaps Timor-Leste most criminalised politician, Rogerio Tiago Lobato was described as being "huge mistake". The line of argument was, "cannot they understand it is against the law?", or "do they understand it is bribery at worst and destablising at best?".
It occurred me that there seemed to be major point being overlooked. The people in question have known eachother for 35 years. View this file photo from 1975 shortly after Fransisco Xavier Amaral proclaimed independence on behalf of Timor-Leste. In it we see on the far right of the front row, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, to his right Mari Alkatiri, and to Alkatiri's right we see the Proklamador himself. Interestingly, we can also see Ramos-Horta fourth from the right in the second row. Sporting a fantastic afro. It was. after all, the 70's.
In any event these relationships run long and they run deep. It really should not surprise people to see events occur which they view to be contrary to the interests of the country if they were to consider history.