Change or no change in Timor-Leste?

When incumbent Jose Ramos-Horta lost the March first round of Timor-Leste's largely peaceful presidential election, some saw it as the end of an era for Timorese politics that began with the country’s independence from Indonesia in 2002. Ramos-Horta, along with Fretilin leader Mari Alkatiri and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, have dominated the politics of the…

East Timor’s President Unloads on his Rivals

East Timor’s parliament is “corrupt and ineffective,” Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has an alcohol problem, while former Premier Mari Alkatiri is “arrogant and abusive,” according to East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta. President Horta’s caustic private observations on East Timorese politics have been revealed in leaked United States Embassy cables that have been published by…

East Timor’s Unready Police

  Philippine UN-soldiers in East Timor Photo by J. Patrick Fischer The United Nations, called in two years ago in the wake of a breakdown of East Timor’s security forces that led to dozens of deaths, appears set to end its training of local police, many of whom are still unfit to be in uniform,…

Corruption charges threaten East Timor’s development

The United States government is promising East Timor hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money — if it can organize a plan to clean up its corruption within a year, a tall order for a country that was nearly crushed at independence by Indonesia and whose institutions are in early stages of development. Only…

East Timor in turmoil

  Photo by by Jeffrey Kingston The attempted assassination of East Timor (Timor Leste) President Jose Ramos-Horta may well signal further turmoil in the fledgling, fragile country, becoming merely the latest grim event in two years of continuing chaos that shows little sign of ending soon. It is driven by dissatisfaction with the country’s largely…