spacer Photographs of East Timor, 1998

I went to East Timor at the end of 1998 for several reasons, but perhaps my biggest accomplishments were simply to act as a foreign  presence there and to report on what I had seen. Many East Timorese  stopped me on the street just to thank me for coming there, because the presence of foreigners acts as a deterrent against human rights violations.  The Indonesian government is acutely aware that foreign  eyewitness accounts of human rights abuses will further undermine its international support.  Moreover, the East Timorese implored me to tell  as many people as I could about their country's plight, since they desperately need the support of foreign governments to achieve the right to self-determination.  I hope the following pictures inspire you to visit and to support East Timor.

Mark Rhomberg

(Note: A more detailed report by Mark (using the pseudonym James Schmid) appears in the Winter '99 Estafeta.)


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Dili, East Timor, 11/98

Outside of Santa Cruz Cemetery 
die-in.jpg  Crowd shouts "Viva" after re-enactment of the 1991 massacre to show their determination for independence. (267KB - large picture) 
moved.jpg  People are visibly moved by re-enactment of massacre.
prayer.jpg  Girl praying.  
song.jpg  Woman sings a traditional song. 
objetil.jpg  OJETIL (Organization of Youth and Students from East Timor), previously an underground group, can now perform on stage!
smiling.jpg  Faces in the crowd.
bannerl.jpg  bannerr.jpg   At commemoration demonstration for massacre, banner illustrates some human rights abuses the East Timorese have suffered. 
carrasca.jpg  Faces in the crowd, including Manuel Carrascalao (graying beard). 
x-t-bner.jpg  Banner showing Xanana Gusmao and Taur Mattan Ruak, and flag. 
 

parliment.jpg  At Parliament building, students protest Alas massacre and denial of it by Indonesians. 
universi.jpg  Students protesting at the University of east Timor. 

childn11.jpg  Girls in Sunday dresses share a laugh in orphanage run by Sister Lourdes.
kitchen.jpg  Kitchen at orphanage run by Sister Lourdes.

vegs.jpg  There is food to buy at the Bekora market but few have the money.
fishboat.jpg  Although not traditionally fishermen, some East Timorese eke out a living by fishing from small outrigger boats. 

Village near Dili, 11/98
childrn7.jpg   Children show symptoms of malnutrition.
father.jpg  Man who fought with Australia against Japan in WWII poses with the oldest and youngest of his 28 children.

Desa Resa (near Los Palos), 11/98
stilt-h.jpg   Two of very few remaining traditional stilt houses. 
w-house.jpg  East Timorese woman smiles from a traditional stilt house. 
brothers.jpg  Brothers - two beautiful boys.

Central East Timor, 12/98 
mountain.jpg  Rugged landscape provides many sanctuaries for resistance members.

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