Archive for the ‘Timor Leste’ Category

Horta Shot – blowback against capitalism?

February 11, 2008

Reports just in on NZ Herald say East Timorese President and Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta has been shot and [Update: wounded seriously in the stomach, with one of his guards killed in the conflict. Horta is undergoing surgery in the Australian military airbase.

The report claims rebel leader and former Army officer Alfredo Reinado has been killed as part of the attack; given that Reinado and Horta had opposing political views for Timor which led to the conflict in 2006 and since, it seems probable definite that Reinado is being fingered as the person responsible for the shooting.

Caution applies here though – how could Reinado get into the Presidential compound? (supposedly protected by NZ and Oz troops?)  A Radio NZ National report just in (12:45pm, 11 Feb 2008) indicate Horta may have strayed into talks between Reinado and Timorese government officials. The talks were apparently an effort to resolve differences between Reinado and the government that led to his guerilla campaign from the hills.

Update: Latest TVNZ claims are that Reinado drove up with 2 cars of men and attacked the Presidential compound.

Accidental argument or deliberate coup, this is all part of the ‘blowback’ against the capitalist colonisation of Timor Leste, after the Timorese finally won freedom in 1999 from a quarter century of Indonesian occupation and genocide. Sadly, it is Horta and Xanana Gusmao – former rebel leaders – who have led the charge for the economic colonisation of Timor’s resources (and consequently, people), epitomised by the dodgy Timor Gap treaty with Australia that gives undue wealth to Oz companies. They bear the guilt and shame of betraying their people.

While killing them is not the right solution, they do need to be removed from power, so Timor Leste can build a nation that controls its own resources and is not just a neo-colonial lapdog of Australia or Indonesia. This shooting may have been such an effort at governmental change, that has gone tragically wrong.

Update: Australian troops have been called to the Timorese Preidential compound, so its seems only Timorese guards were at the compound at the time of the attack.