Making “East Timor” Legible: Multi-National Construction of “East Timor” and Timorese Landscapes 1970-2008

759 Words4 Pages
Since 1960’s, the historians of Southeast Asia who followed John Smail’s call for writing “autonomous history” of Southeast Asia have attempted to uncover regional socio-political relations of different groups of the Asian elites. This was, in Smail’s view, a departure from the limitations of both colonial and nationalist historiographies which fell into histories of international relations between the European and the indigenous population. Later on, Harry Benda and James Scott extended the scope of this project toward the peasant populations. In the same field, Benedict Anderson, Peter Carey, Reynaldo Ileto, and Hue Tum Ho Tai elaborated methods to interpret the political behaviors and rhetoric of local actors in their own terms. These studies have provided more nuanced understandings of the resistances of Southeast Asian people as well as their worldviews and categories of experiences. Recently, some limitations and misleading aspects of their efforts have been pointed out by scholars who are more critical of such methods such as Glenn Anthony May and Maitrii Aung-Thwin. So far, (East) Timor Studies have not developed such an industry. As far as East Timor is concerned, the period between 1974 to 2002, which the East Timorese experienced Indonesian Occupation and the United Nations Interim Administration, has become the period which has attracted the attention of many scholars. Generally speaking, two antagonistic schools which developed through cross-referencing each other have appeared in the politically tense environment. On one hand, the Indonesian government and the scholars sympathetic to the Indonesian assimilation of Portuguese Timor created a literature that incorporate East Timor in the Cold War international... ... middle of paper ... ...r was led by “Indonesian” exiles from West Timor. In 1975, about 1000 East Timorese moved to West Timor trying to fled from FRETILIN’s persecution. UN’s reports indicate that in 1999 and 2006 – times of conflicts – thousands of East Timorese fled to West side. an interview with Masamichi Kijima「陸軍主計中尉としてみた東ティモール(East Timor: Observed by an Accountant Lieutenant of the Army)」, interviewed by Kanichi Gotou, recorded in 「証言集 - 日本軍占領下のインドネシア(Testimonies: Indonesia under Japanese Army’s Occupation)」, インドネシア日本占領期史料フォーラム 1991. From Interview with Maria Patty-Noach, Kupang, 30 June 2000. Cited in Steven Farram, “The PKI in West Timor and Nusa Tenggara Timur 1965 and beyond” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Vol. 166, No. 4 (2010), pp. 381-403. The author added “This is by no means a solitary opinion and has been heard by the author many times in West Timor.”

More about Making “East Timor” Legible: Multi-National Construction of “East Timor” and Timorese Landscapes 1970-2008

Open Document