Subject: ETPress: Past bites back at America, say visiting Dili journalists

Past bites back at America, say visiting Dili journalists

By the East Timor Press reporting team

"The law of karma (is) that sooner or later every action brings its retribution, in this existence or in one to come." 1971 Nat. Geographic Mar. 321/2 (Source, Oxford Dictionary Online)

The recent terrorist attacks against the US were America's "karma", according to two East Timorese journalists visiting Brisbane.

The journalists and political activitists, Carlito Caminha, 26, and Gil Da Costa, 26, said America "should look to itself" for reasons for the attacks on September 11. America had supported the Suharto regime in Indonesia since 1965 and that had caused more than 2 million deaths.

"America controls the world's media and information," Da Costa said. "But I still feel sorry for innocent people killed."

The two are in Australia for 12 months on scholarships from the Centre for International Journalism at Queensland University to gain formal qualifications.

They both worked in Dili for the local publications, Lalenok newspaper and Talitakum magazine, but had no formal training. They said their roles were as investigators and to document the transition to independence.

"East Timor youth have a responsibility and commitment to their country," Caminha said.

The fight for independence often took priority over attending university lectures. "It is better to lose our degree than to lose our country," he said.

They both predicted that revolutionary leader Xanana Gusmao would be East Timor's first president, despite his statements to the contrary.

"There is no doubt," they said.

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