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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Jose Ramos-Horta

Interviewed January 8, 2010

I was born here in Timor-Leste– spend– the following 24 years more or less here, with only two years abroad in Mozambique as an exile because of my untied Portuguese colonial– rhetoric. But I came back in 1971 and– became even more– politically critical of the Portuguese colonial rule. I was going to be deported again or exiled– in 1974. But before I actually was going to leave East Timor– Portuguese East Timor at that time– the Carnation Revolution took place in Portugal, April 25th, 1974, which toppled the Portuguese colonial regime, paved the way for democracy in Portugal, independence for the colonies and for Timor-Leste.

So, I didn´t have to leave. I then– joined with– my compatriots like Nikolai Olivatu (PH), Shaveat Rumadal (PH), Mari Alkatiri, Abede Wadaouzu (PH), Obuzat Olivatu (PH), Justine Nomata (PH), many others, in establishing the Social Democratic Party, later FRETILIN.

My motivation was always– as a child, as a teenager– my sense of what is fair, what is not fair, my se– sense of what is just, what is unjust. So– the– what motivate me most in anything that I do, my sense of fairness, of justice– of– of freedom of people´s– individual freedom, people´s dignity. So, that´s why I got involved in the struggle for self-determination and independence for Timor-Leste.