East Timor: “Happy Day” of freedom vote

Timorese bloggers have celebrated the 10th anniversary of the popular referendum which led to the territory's formal independence. Alf@ Montenegro wrote [Tet]

Ohin loron , loron ALEGRIA nian ba timor oan hotu. iha loron ida ne'e ita sei hanoin fila fali tinan sanulu liuba (30 de Agosto de 1999) nebe ita hotu decidi atu liberta ita nia nação husi ocupação indonésio. ALEGRIA nebe ita hetan iha tinan 10 liu ba ne ALEGRIA ida BOOT tebes ba ita timor oan hotu(mas iha 21,5%triste). Ita hotu expressa ita nia alegria ida ne liu husi haklalak, hakilar, hananu e tanis. Mesmo too agora ALEGRIA ida ne ita sei sente nafatin maibe, durante tinan 10 nia laran ne susar no terus sedauk sés husi ita (caso boot liu mak iha tinan 2006). Ema barak (balun husi rai leur) hare ba caso 2006 ho 2008 (11 de fevereiro) dehan katak “ESTADO FALHADO” maibe sira nia teoria ida ne sala boot.

Today is a HAPPY day for all Timorese people. This day we remember ten years back (August 30, 1999) when we all decided to liberate our nation from Indonesian occupation. HAPPINESS that all Timorese got ten years ago an ENORMOUS HAPPINESS (but there were 21.5% who were sad). We all expressed our happiness by … , screaming, …, and crying. Even today we can still feel that happiness, but over the past 10 years difficulties and suffering have still not left us (a big example of this in 2006). Many people (some foreigners) look at the cases of 2006 and 2008 (February 11) and say that [we are] a “FAILED STATE” but this theory is very mistaken.
photo by Rusty Stewart

photo by Rusty Stewart

Aquarius Vinte Três wrote that for him things started the moment Indonesian President B. J. Habibie suggested the popular referendum [Tet]

Lia fuan ” MATE ka MORIS DUNI BAPA SAI” mosu ho Espontánia iha tinan 1999 baihira Prezidente Indonésia B.J.Habibie hasai opsaun rua maka hanesan: Simu autonomia no Rejeita Autonomia (dua opsi:Menerima Otonomi dan menolak otonomi) iha loron 27 Janeiru 1999. Durante manifestasaun pro-independénsia ruma iha Dili laran, joven sira uza liafuan ida-ne’e ” MATE ka MORIS DUNI BAPA SAI”, hodi hamánas liutan ita-nia espíritu nasionalizmu to'o didi'ak ‘Konsulta Popular’ iha fulan agostu '99.

The words “ALIVE OR DEAD, KICK OUT THE BAPAK [Indonesians]” came about spontaneously in 1999 when Indonesian President B. J. Habibie came out with these two options: Accept or Reject Autonomy) on January 27, 1999. During some pro-independence celebrations in Dili, young people used these words “ALIVE OR DEAD, KICK OUT THE BAPAK [Indonesians]” in order to heat up the nationalist spirit to better the result of the ‘Popular Consultation’ in August 1999.
photo by Rusty Stewart

photo by Rusty Stewart

Others used the opportunity to lament the lack of unity and vision of Timorese people, like Abel Pires da Silva, who wrote on the RENETIL blog [Tet]

Fulan Agostu iha tinan 10 liu ba, povu Timor maioria fiar metin katak Timor-Leste ukun rasik an sei diak liu fali Timor Leste ne’ebé hamutuk ho Indonezia. Iha tempu rezisténsia, ita iha inimigu KOMUN, ne’ebé halo ita hamutuk kumu liman kontra inimigu ne’e. Iha tempu ukun rasik an, ita lakon inimigu komun ne’ebé halo ita hamutuk nu’udar forsa nasaun. Hanesan konsekuensia husi situasaun ne’e, entidade barak iha nasaun Timor-Leste ida-idak hakarak buka atu hetan sira nia interese rasik. Grupu barak mak komesa reklama sira nia “kontribuisaun” no ezizi estadu atu “tau matan”. Moras ezizi estadu atu “tau matan” ne’e mos kontinua akontese

In August ten years ago, the majority of Timorese people believed strongly that an independent Timor Leste would be better than one together with Indonesia. In the time of the resistance, we had a COMMON enemy, an enemy that made us hold hands together against it. In the time of indepedence, we have lost the common enemy that kept us together as a strong nation. As a consequence of this situation, many entities in Timor Leste have begun to seek out their own self-interests. Many groups begin to pronounce their “contribution” and demand the state “take care” of them.

On a lighter note, the band Outravez, made up of Timorese students based in Indonesia, proudly announced the release of their new album, with a song dedicated to the referendum day [Tet], and shared they would play at today's concert in front of the government palace in Dili.

The best window into the concert and the mood in front of the Palace today was from the tweet of the CJITL – Centru Jornalista Investigativu Timor Leste (Investigative Journalist Center of Timor Leste). The main attraction was clearly Indonesian pop star Krisdayanti. Quoting a selection of Twitter posts from Gil @CJITL:

9:11 AM Aug 30th: populasaun kuaze nain rihun sanulu halibur an ohin kalan iha palacio governu, iha konsertu bo'ot n'e

about ten thousand people are gathered in front of the government palace, at this big concert

9:16 AM Aug 30th: Bonoite dili, ida ne'e mak liafuan primeiru husi krisdayanti nia ibun bainhira kanta muzika Rai dili rai cidade

‘good evening dili,’ those were the first words from krisdayanti's mouth when she sang the song “rai dili rai cidade”

9:54 AM Aug 30th: tuir mai distritu 13 sei hato'o nia mensajen ho dialeitu idak idak nian..kris deskanca oitoann

next up 13 districts will add their messages with each of their languages… kris rests a little

10:06 AM Aug 30th: Ramos Horta hateten”loron ohin ne'e importante tebes, ita tenki halo reflesaun ba sira ne'ebe mate hodi fo liberdade ba ita”

Ramos Horta says “today is very important, we must reflect on those who died to give us our liberation”

This post is the third of a series to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the popular referendum in East Timor, which led to the territory's internationally recognized independence. In the first post we highlighted the support of the international community for the freedom of East Timor. In the second, we interviewed Abe Barreto Soares who is one of the organizers of the celebration events for solidarity taking place in East Timor in August and September 2009.


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