Journal of Romance studies

Third-world colonialism, the geração foun and the birth of a new nation: Indonesia through East Timorese eyes, 1975–99

Journal of Romance studies (2005), 5, (1), 37–51.

Abstract

The Indonesian occupation (1975–99) of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor was one of the most brutal in postwar history. Yet, despite the heavy Indonesian military presence, the East Timorese population was able to wage a highly effective resistance struggle. The emergence of an Indonesian-educated or ‘new’ generation was crucial here, enabling the development of an urban-based clandestine front which worked closely with the armed guerrillas in the mountains, and with the international solidarity movement and East Timorese diplomatic campaign overseas. Their knowledge of Indonesia and fluency in the Indonesian language, however, set them apart from the older – pre-1975 – Portuguese-educated generation, sparking political tensions which are still being worked out in post-independence East Timor.

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Author details

Carey, Peter