“I could see it in his face”

The Consultative Group on the Past has received backing from the President of East Timor Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former prime minister. He insisted that own country’s truth and reconciliation process excluded prosecutions and their absence has been criticised by the United Nations who remain in the country. He is also reportedly reluctant to pursue prosecutions in more recent cases. Here’s a lengthy report on the current situation. And as Kevin Cullen reports in the Irish Times he has also added some relevant truth from the past here.

He said he was living in exile in New York when he met a colleague who was deeply involved “on the military side” of the Timorese resistance movement. He declined to identify his colleague, but said he told him he had met members of the IRA and Eta while travelling in Europe and Africa. “The Basques and the IRA had offered us weapons and planning to strike at Indonesian interests abroad,” Ramos Horta said. “I was angry at my colleague. I abhor any deliberate attempt to harm civilians. I told him it would destroy everything I was talking about, the dignity of the person, and it engages us in terrorism. Secondly, it would be political suicide.”

Ramos Horta said he offered a variation of that same theme when he met Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams secretly in Belfast a decade ago. He said he encouraged Adams to seek a political settlement in the North, but found him less receptive when he told him the IRA was wrong to “abduct or hurt civilians”. “I could see it in his face,” he said of his meeting with Adams. “He was taken aback by what I said.”

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  • Dec

    Ramos Horta said he offered a variation of that same theme when he met Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams secretly in Belfast a decade ago…“I could see it in his face,” he said of his meeting with Adams. “He was taken aback by what I said.”

    Perhaps Adamas was taken aback by Ramos Horta urging SF to seek a political path in the North, a full year after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

  • picador

    Gerry has two faces (and a beard).

  • dunreavynomore

    I think gerry’s beard is false and he keeps the real one in his pocket along with the party.

  • joeCanuck

    Could he also tell his religion just by looking at him?

  • 6 County Prod

    PLO, Libya, Eta, FARC… and now the East Timorese resistance movement. Another feather in the cap of the SF/IRA circle of international terrorists? Not really, the Timorese seem to have had a little more wisdom than all the rest.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    “The Basques and the IRA had offered us weapons and planning to strike at Indonesian interests abroad,”

    Why? I assume It’s not as if ETA and the RA were tripping over that mach gear that they were prepared to give it away in order for some group on the other side of the world to “strike at Indonesian interests abroad,” (where are the Indonesian interests in Europe BTW?).

    What possible benefit could it be to The Provies or ETA?

  • fin

    mmmmh 2 blokes had a conversation, I’d have demanded photos’ meself

  • Earnan

    what a bunch of bullsh*t

  • Harry Flashman

    Let me see an imperial power partitions the north east corner of an island, fosters religious division and when the native peoples try to unite their independent nation with their fellow countrymen in the rest of the island the IRA sides with, er, the partitionists.

    Shome mishtake shurely.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’ve always wondered why the provos opposed the reunification of Indonesia in favour of the artificial colonial statelet of East (of?) Timor. Can anyone explain the thinking behind this apparently contradictory position?

  • Harry Flashman

    The East Timorese were the only ones to come close to the almost sanctified status accorded to the Palestinians in Ireland.

    The reasons were obvious, first of all they were a small Catholic nation apparently being bullied by their non-Catholic neighbour in the other part of the archipelago (due to the fact that Muslims are now accorded automatic victim status among the Irish Left today that bit gets conveniently forgotten but I recall the religious factor being bandied about a lot in the ’80s and ’90s).

    This in and of itself wouldn’t have been enough but for the ogre status that Indonesia has always occupied in the pantheon of hate figures for the Left. You see Indonesia successfully dealt with the Communists in 1965 (wiped them out in effect) thus Indonesia never got to become the fawned over heroes of SE Asia in the way that Vietnam did. So any human rights abuses carried out by Indonesia were always highlighted to a much greater degree than those carried out by nations like Vietnam, China, Nicaragua etc (or indeed those carried out by “nice” nations like Thailand).

    It also helped to airbrush out a lot of inconvenient facts about the real situation in East Timor.

  • Dec

    I’ve always wondered why the provos opposed the reunification of Indonesia in favour of the artificial colonial statelet of East (of?) Timor. Can anyone explain the thinking behind this apparently contradictory position?

    Jimmy

    It’s only contradictory if you think Ireland shouldn’t be a country and we’re all British anyway.

    Harry

    Good to see you defend the Indonesian military and their 100,000 civilian kills in East Timor. You’ll be telling next that the Argentinian Junta were a great bunch altogether.

  • Harry Flashman

    Dec, Indonesia was as entitled to occupy East Timor as India was to Goa or the Chinese were to Macau.

    Just for the record there was a civil war in East Timor before the Indonesians occupied it, it continued while the Indonesians were in East Timor and now ten years after the Indonesians have left there is still a civil war in East Timor.

    Ever think that East Timor’s problems might be due to the East Timorese rather than the Indonesians?

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh and I’m sure there was plenty of agitation on behalf of the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua, the Hmong in Vietnam and the Matabele in Zimbabwe in Ireland in the 1980’s.

    It’s just that I must have missed the meetings.