Peace-Building Challenges in East Timor Essay
Essay Topic: Country
Paper type: Essay
Words: 474, Paragraphs: 6, Pages: 2
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For a country that was under the tyranny of a more powerful country for so long, independence, more often than not, is a word that entails and carries a better and promising future. Most countries enjoyed the benefits of having independence like gaining total control over their lands and most of all the whole population. Timor-Leste (East Timor’s official name), on the other hand, is a country that has a different scenario. Although the actual date of independence was around November of 1975, East Timor was touted to be the first independent country of the 21st century.
But this fact didn’t give them enough time to prepare for an independent way of life. The reason behind this was the three hundred and more years of influence and oppression of the Portuguese empire. No wonder that even the culture and the way of thinking of most of the Timorese were a lot different compared to the time when the Portuguese did not rule them.
Then after exactly nine days of independence from the Portuguese, East Timor was taken off guard by the invasion of their neighboring country, Indonesia1.
Obviously, this was one of the immediate problems that confronted the newly independent country. In fact the invasion became their greatest problem that East Timor sought the help of their former invader. Portugal then turned to the UN and the Security Council to do something about the situation. In response to Portugal’s appeal, the UN gave the Indonesian army a resolution condemning their actions but they were hesitant to do anything else. It was only after twenty-four years did the Timorese people gained back their complete independence.
The 24-year military occupation of the Indonesian troop was a brutal experience for the East Timor people. In September 1999, the world witnessed the war between the Indonesian Army and the East Timorese militant after voting for the Independency of the country2. Even though more than a decade had passed since their independence and more than five years since they were self-governing, it will take more than just mere decades to remove the trauma, patterns of criminality and violence, injustice and isolation in the people’s system3. This is one of the immediate problems that East Timor is facing.
The nature of the East Timor’s long-term problem falls under the category of standing on it’s own foot. Governing the whole country while enduring the effects of the precedent events is taking its toll on the administration. Scheiner notes that, ‘National visions, shared struggles and promises of prosperity no longer suffice to unify the one million citizens of one of the world’s least developed countries. ’ East Timor endured its past problems with the help of other countries. It is due time to stand up on its own. The problem now lies in the midst of the country and between its people.