East Timor

May 31, 2006

Every week I buy coffee from Ivan and his wife. They both came to Australia from East Timor; getting out when the UN pulled out after the referendum, before the worst of the violence as Indonesia said so-long-and-farewell by burning everything they could to the ground. The coffee is about as fair trade as possible – it pretty much doesn’t leave Timorese hands till they hand it to me.

Ivan managed to get some close family members to Darwin last week; but has many friends and family still in East Timor.

Hopefully the Australian troops will be able to restore order and make the lives of Ivan’s friends and relatives safer. But that will be only the very tip of the iceberg of work that needs to be done to help East Timor build a stable and sustainable nation after centuries of colonialism and oppression by the empire builders of Portugal and the Indonesian military.

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