East Timor calls for help

East Timor, the world’s newest nation, has asked the international community not to forget its promises to help the state establish itself in a war-torn island recovering from 25 years of murderous rule by the US-backed Suharto dictatorship of Indonesia, under which up to a third of the East Timorese population was massacred.

East Timorese Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Ramos-Horta declared at an open conference in new York on Thursday that “Peace is a reality but it is fragile. If the donors abandon the country now, the situation could be reversed”. He declared that 45% of the country’s 850,000 population are desperately poor. Over 50% are under 20 years of age and they need schooling and jobs.

If the international community forgets its commitments, as the hype and hysteria around Iraq grow daily, the 21st century’s first nation could become its first victim.


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