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A young East Timorese vision for a possible future
3 Nov 1999
Forwarded from a discussion list about East Timor and speaks of a young woman's vision of her people creating a truly free and democratic society free of the shackles of the global model being imposed everywhere.
Manifesto of Freedom for a Possible Future - East Timor
I speak as a young East Timorese woman who has only known life with the cruelty, fear, resistance and secretiveness of military occupation. We have suffered as a people, and now we have a chance to live as humans should. I feel I have been lucky to inherit a good imagination, which has allowed me to make the most of my opportunities in life. But the world makes me sad as the majority of people in the world seem to have lost their imagination. At the moment I see the western world focusing on the new millennium and East Timor. We are a brave people, and I want to see that bravery used to create a truly free and democratic society.
With these words, I don't mean some copy of our neighbours systems imposed upon us by the united nations or world opinion, of what is normal at this time in history. My penfriend in Australia tells me that democracy in his country is ticking a box on a piece of paper every 3 years. Whereas my friends in Indonesia (from university) tell me that freedom means going to the beach on Sundays and eating young coconuts with your sweetheart. This sounds like fun, but it is imagination limited.
I want for East Timor at the beginning of 2000, an example of a utopian society for my people, and for the rest of the world to see and hopefully desire. We are lucky that the old structures of Portuguese and Indonesian colonialism have been mostly wiped out-they were boring and unimaginative, we can do better. We don't need police or lawyers or office workers or politicians or money in a democratic society. Each area in East Timor can use a sort of direct democracy (maybe a combination of our indigenous community traditions, Athenian democracy [without the slaves] and the mutual aid and lack of domination in anarchic politics).
We have a land of plenty-many different foods- fruits are easy to grow-our sweet potato must be the most delicious in the world. We don't need the chemicals and pollution of the world or the multinationals (like Mcdonald's and Coca-Cola) to sell us rubbish. Maybe we can learn more about permaculture and forms of power other than from oil. Its obvious (to me ) we should close down Timor Gap and set an example to this crazy world. We must live in a sustainable way.
I have great respect for Xanana Gusmao, but no more than I have for my ex-neighbour, who was raped by the military, had her husband and one child murdered by the military, but still resisted the occupation. We are all heroes in different ways. But since Xanana has been elevated by Timorese, the media and his Indonesian jailers, he has the influence to help create a society worth living and a dream for the world. Habbibie said he would not run for president-but he is! Xanana said he didn't want to be a president, only a farmer!
Please be a papaya farmer Xanana. We don't need more bosses as the world pretends.
Mr Ramos Horta, shall we follow the rest of the world and freeze our agricultural land for a livestock economy, huddle into abnormal treeless cities, create new deserts, sit in front of television and computers and hide behind armed borders or shall we develop our country into a garden?
We have been shown hate, but I know there is love...
footnote - Thanks to the UN for sending us some military (middle men and woman) at last, but please keep them out of our social and political life, as I see most soldiers are drawn from the stupidest ranks of any country.
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