Presidents of East Timor

Growing pains

Jose Ramos Horta, the president of East Timor, is finalising plans for the country's first professional bicycle race with advisers over an afternoon drink at the Hotel Esplanada's pleasant upstairs bar, which boasts expansive views over the capital, Dili.

Sunday, 21 March, 2010, 12:00am

Rebel leaves world puzzled about his cause

He was a self-styled folk hero with a Rambo complex and a common touch. Major Alfredo Alves Reinado, who was shot dead this week during a dramatic attempt on the lives of East Timor's president and prime minister, was a quixotic and contradictory figure.

16 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

East Timorese struggle to bury differences

The shooting of East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta is another sorry chapter in the country's short existence. Since independence in May 2002, the nation has stumbled from crisis to crisis, each new calamity further denting hopes of rising above the poverty, disorder and instability that centuries of foreign misrule created.

12 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

The turning point

On November 12, 1991, a young British-Swedish reporter, Max Stahl, stood near a crypt in the middle of Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery as the then occupying Indonesian army massacred 271 of the thousands of civilians who were chanting for freedom while praying for a student activist killed two weeks earlier.

Until then, East Timor was a forgotten war.

8 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Timor needs politicians to put aside differences

East Timor's fragile peace rests in the hands of the leader of the Fretilin political party, Mari Alkatiri. He may disagree with President Jose Ramos Horta's appointment yesterday of rival Xanana Gusmao as prime minister, but it is essential Mr Alkatiri abides by the decision if Asia's newest nation is to move beyond the violence that has marred its development.

7 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Fretilin threatens legal battle

The fate of East Timor's next government could be decided by a judge, with Fretilin arguing it has the constitutional right to appoint the prime minister.

The party refuses to rule out a legal battle should President Jose Ramos Horta challenge its authority.

10 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Minnow could be key to Gusmao's future

With about half the vote counted in East Timor's parliamentary elections, the crucial role of the minor parties has become more clear - and the head of the small Democrat Party is emerging as the potential key to Xanana Gusmao's future.

4 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Challenger blames old leaders for violence

Fernanda Borges, 38, is not the conventional East Timorese politician. In a country impregnated with machismo and where the wounds from the 24-year war for independence from Indonesia still have not healed, the Australia-educated economist is striving to offer an alternative.

30 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Hopes dim for political peace in E Timor

East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta has urged that whichever party wins tomorrow's parliamentary elections should form a unity government to heal divisions in the country, which recently verged on the brink of civil war.

29 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

East Timor divided over how to spend badly needed oil revenue

As Saturday's first post-independence parliamentary vote approaches, East Timor's main parties are at loggerheads over what to do with the money put aside in the Petroleum Fund, a US Federal Reserve account in which the country has saved more than US$1.4 billion since September 2005.

28 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Faith, hope and charity

Flaky-skinned Jenny is two weeks old. She was born in an East Timor refugee camp, adjacent to Dili's airport, that 6,000 people have been crammed into since the unrest of April and May last year. The violence prompted the return of inter-national troops and the UN, only a few years after they had left the fledgling Southeast Asian nation.

26 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Politics and poverty

Fiery campaigner Ceu Lopes, 50, was active during her fledgling nation's 24-year struggle against the occupation by Indonesia.

7 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Supreme diplomat faces his biggest challenge

For a hint of the diplomatic skills of East Timor's new prime minister, Jose Ramos Horta, consider his actions during the recent soccer World Cup.

His tiny, fragile country imploding around him, Mr Ramos Horta found time not only to watch Australia's unlucky 1-0 defeat to eventual winners Italy two weeks ago, but to extend quickly his sympathies to his southern neighbour.

15 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

Asia can help East Timor stand on its own two feet

Jose Ramos Horta's first task as the new prime minister of troubled and isolated East Timor is to guide Asia's newest nation towards a fresh start. Political and ethnic turmoil and gang violence have threatened to turn it into a failed state just four years after it won a struggle for independence from Indonesia.

9 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

East Timor's shaky foundations need long-term support

Australian armoured vehicles patrol the streets of East Timor's capital, Dili, amid the burned-out shells of houses and food warehouses looted by marauding gangs, who for weeks have laid waste to neighbourhoods and forced tens of thousands of terrified civilians into refugee camps. What was lauded as the United Nations success story in nation-building has become a lawless territory.

10 Jun 2006 - 12:00am