Former East Timor President to appear at pro-LTTE event

Former East Timor President and Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta is to appear at a pro-LTTE event next week organised by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE).

The TGTE, led by former LTTE peace negotiator Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, said in a statement that Jose Ramos-Horta will deliver the Mullivaikal Memorial Lecture Memorial Lecture on May 18th (Monday).

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the lecture will be delivered virtually. TGTE said that the Memorial Lecture is named after the location called Mullivaikal where according to the UN Internal Review Report around 70,000 Tamils were killed during the final six months of the war that ended in May 2009.

In 1975, when Portugal had devolved its colonial rule, East Timor was occupied by Indonesia. José Ramos-Horta was one of the leaders of the resistance. He did not take up arms himself, but left the country as foreign minister in the government set up by the liberation movement FRETELIN (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor). For the next twenty years he traveled all over the world pleading the cause of the East Timorese, above all in the United Nations. Ramos-Horta shared the Peace Prize with his countryman, Bishop Carlos Belo.

In the mid-1980s, Ramos-Horta began advocating dialogue with Indonesia, and in 1992 he presented a peace plan. It contained concrete proposals for humanitarian cooperation with the occupying power and a growing international presence headed by the UN. This was to lay the foundations for Indonesian withdrawal and self-determination for the East Timorese people.

Both these peace objectives were reached in 2001. According to Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize contributed significantly to this end. (Colombo Gazette)

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