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Not many people have heard about East Timor, a tiny nation in South East Asia which shares a border with its much larger neighbour, Indonesia.

East Timor was once a Portuguese colony which gained independence in 1975 along with most of Portugal’s former colonial empire. But just days after Portugal’s withdrawal from the country, Timor experienced a brutal military invasion from neighbouring Indonesia which resulted in the occupation of the country and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Timorese people.

The brutal occupation of Timor continued unchallenged for decades and even the tiny nation’s natural resources were being exploited by Indonesia and her powerful economic partners in the region. The tiny Timorese resistance movement (Fretilin) was no match against the massive Indonesian army which continued to receive military equipment from the arms-peddling nations without any hindrance.

Even though the former colonial power did try to pressure the UN to take action against Indonesia, it was not until the expose of the Dili massacre in November 1991 which started in a cemetery in the Timorese funeral for some of the Indonesian army’s latest victims that the UN did finally pressure Indonesia enough to hold a referendum in the country where the vast majority of the Timorese people obviously voted in favour of self-determination.

While all of this was happening in East Timor, the world’s attention was focused on other pressing issues like the fight against apartheid, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were never protests in the world’s major capitals against Indonesian aggression in Timor!

There were no intifadas and calls for boycotts of Indonesia. There were no calls for sanctions against Indonesia for human rights abuses in Timor. While the world has always been paying attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it turned a blind eye to the Timorese cause. And now that Donald Trump has declared that the US suddenly recognises Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, many people around the world (even some from the Christian faith) have been reacting with outrage and have been very critical, particularly towards Israel, even though it is a known fact that Jerusalem was founded by the Jewish people whom the Almighty God himself led them to the Holy Land where Jerusalem is situated, and to where He promised to bring them back, as explained in Jeremiah 16: 14-15 in the Bible. What is being witnessed in Israel is the return of the rightful owners of the land as explained in the Bible and not an invasion and occupation of a country by foreigners from another country as was the case with East Timor, which the world chose to ignore.

Swazi Citizen    

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