Tag Archives: East Timor

East Timor’s domestic and foreign policy after the resignation of Gusmao

The resignation of East Timor’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, and the appointment of a new cabinet marks a fundamental change in the young country’s political landscape. Gusmao’s resignation was expected, having been initially flagged during the passing of the budget almost a year ago, but has raised questions about the country’s future direction. Gusmao’s successor […]

Xanana Gusmao resigns

The resignation from office by East Timor’s prime minister, Xanana Gusmao, was not unexpected. He had flagged his intentions over the past year. But it has sent shock waves throughout East Timor, where many believe his departure will create an unfillable political void. Yet East Timor is likely to remain stable in an immediate post-Gusmao […]

In Timor-Leste, it's spies like us … or like them, anyway

Australia and Timor-Leste are in a diplomatic lull following the revelations that Australia spied on Timor-Leste’s cabinet via agents working through its aid program. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is in South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela, who had visited him in prison in Jakarta and thus helped elevate his international status. But one […]

Indonesian lessons for choppy East Timor waters

The Coalition government’s first months in office have been a crash course in regional politics, with somewhat more emphasis on the “crash”. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has now put in place the first of what is expected to be six steps to repair Australia’s damaged relationship with Indonesia, while relations with East Timor are being […]

East Timor's fragile stability under threat with PM retiring

East Timor’s Prime Minister and former resistance leader, Xanana Gusmao, has announced his intention to retire from politics. Two East Timor media sources say Gusmao will retire in 2015, two years before the conclusion of the current Parliament, with another source saying he will leave in 2017. Gusmao, 67, will make way for a new […]

Leaked cables: US predicts Timor invasion, 'keep us out of it'

The leak of the so-called “Kissinger Cables” has shown that while the US expected Indonesia would invade what was then Portuguese Timor in 1975, it did not wish to be implicated in the affair. A cable dated August 16, 1975 said that the US’ “only secret” regarding Portuguese Timor was its desire not to become […]

Australia's strategic reorientation

Australia enters 2013 reconsidering its place in a strategically shifting world. Issues close to home have stabilised and, increasingly, considerations further from Australia are being written off as a lost cause. Australia’s peace-keeping commitment to East Timor has ended, with that country now charting an independent and, for the medium future at least, stable course. […]

East Timor left to fend for itself with challenges ahead

Australia’s draw-down of its remaining military force in East Timor, and the conclusion of the United Nations mission on December 31, has signalled that this sometimes troubled tiny country is now responsible for its own future. The stark realisation that the security blanket provided by the international community is being taken away has left some […]

On any Sunday

Last weekend my old friend, Timorese ‘boss’ in the days of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the current Secretary of State for Energy Policy (SEPE), Avelino Maria Coelho da Silva, invited me to his traditional land outside of Ossu on the southern slopes of the great mountain range that runs […]

Timor-Leste’s presidential run-off

Following Timor-Leste’s presidential election last Saturday, the two leading candidates, Fretilin’s Francisco ‘Lu-Olo’ Guterres and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao-backed Taur Matan Ruak, will now progress to a second round of voting in mid-April. Their success to date reflects perhaps more the relatively high level of party loyalty within Timor-Leste than support for the two as […]