Book About East Timor Jabs Indonesia’s Conscience
The ending, a bloody rampage by Indonesian-backed militias after a vote for independence in 1999, further curdled the nation’s reputation and left a bitter mood at home, where the loss of East Timor was treated as a subject best left untouched.
The seemingly closed chapter was reopened this month with a new book by Ali Alatas, the former longtime foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations. It is the first account by an Indonesian insider who tried to steer some of the events — which at critical moments involved the United States, the United Nations and, at all times, the heavy hand of the Indonesian Army.
Mr. Alatas, always amicable, always accessible, was respected in New York as a quintessential diplomat handed the tricky task of representing his country during the rule of a secretive and authoritarian leader, President Suharto.
In “The Pebble in the Shoe: The Diplomatic Struggle for East Timor,” Mr. Alatas traces events from the Indonesian invasion in 1975 to the army’s exit in September 1999, and the transfer of control to a United Nations peacekeeping force.
comments powered by Disqus
- Number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group
- Say goodbye to the weirdest border dispute in the world
- Harvard acquires Thoreau's notes on the death of Margaret Fuller
- It’s a national historic site, but hardly anybody visits the Idaho internment camp where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in WW II
- Big-time Hollywood director makes a movie about Stonewall
- Richard Rothstein says government policy created ghettos
- The Islamic historian who can explain why some states fail and others succeed
- High school senior credited with debunking book by Professor Richard Jensen
- Historians at loggerheads over the AP standards
- Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems