What is Howard's Role in the Timor Leste Coup?

This is a very good review of the situation that warrants reading in full.
By Tim Anderson


The violence in Dili is hardly an industrial dispute, nor spontaneous ethnic violence. Timor Leste's Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, says the armed attacks are part of an attempted coup, and follow a history of destabilisation attempts. It is likely he knows better than the Australian pundits, who have been speaking simply of "east west" rivalry, and an "immature" nation, unready for independence.


Such caricatures of the country and the government are misleading and dangerous. There has been destabilisation of the legitimate Fretilin government, ever since independence, and the Howard government has played a part. An important question now is: how much of a part?


A fairly high level of organisation, and confidence, can be seen both in the mobilisation of weapons and the international appeals from the army defectors. Heavy weapons were taken, and renegade leader Alfredo Reinado (who joined Gastao Salsinha, leader of the sacked soldiers) says he welcomes the arrival Australian troops, and wants to "have a VB" with the aussies.

MORE: Tim Anderson>

Also in the latest Green Left Weekly:
Send Life of Riley an audio comment
Subscribe to the Life of Riley blog feed
Subscribe to the Ratbag Radio podcast feed
Ratbag Radio Odeo Channel
Email Life of Riley

Channels