Crawford House Publishing
Out of the Ashes Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor

In August 1999, after almost twenty-five years of oppressive Indonesian rule, the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly to reject an offer of autonomy and opted instead for independence from the Indonesian Republic. In the following days, pro-integrationist militia, backed by the Indonesian military, made good their threats of retribution against a vote for independence, embarking on a systematic program of killing, abduction, looting and burning. Forced by circumstances, a reluctant President Habibie eventually agreed to the presence of a UN-sponsored peacekeeping force. Even as peace was being restored, however, the scale of destruction, continuing threats from militias now based across the border in West Timor, and the existence of thousands of refugees forcibly removed to West Timor and now being targeted for resettlement further afield, cast shadows over the future of an independent East Timor.

This book provides an account and analysis of the events preceding and following the popular vote, from a wide range of informed commentators. It looks at the culture and society of East Timor, and describes the political, diplomatic and military background to events and efforts at reconciliation prior to August 1999; it provides a diary of events based on first-hand accounts, mainly by East Timorese, and some commentary on those events; and it looks ahead to plans for the reconstruction of East Timor.


(edited by) James J. Fox & Dionisio Babo Soares


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16 black-and-white photographs,4 maps


Portrait; softcover; xiv + 270 pages


204 x 135 mm



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