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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Jose Ramos-Horta

Interviewed January 8, 2010

So, the struggle for self-determination from very beginning had an overwhelming– support from the common people. As the Indonesian occupation– went on with the atrocities, barbaric, more and more people became more militant. And that include the Catholic Church. So– by ´99 the United Nations held a referendum of self-determination following the fall of the Suharto regime.

The Suharto regime fell as a result of economic financial crisis (?) in Indonesia. By then, international awareness about Timor-Leste had increased significantly. But equally, following– the Nobel Peace Prize– award to myself and to Bishop Belo, which– brought Timor-Leste to the front page of the media around the world– front page of the government´s agenda, and Indonesia– realize that– on the ground, it had– rejection of the people. Internationally, it was becoming too costly. So– they decide to accept a referendum– held by– arranged by the United Nations. The referendum turn out to be, as we always expected– overwhelming majority of the people voted for self-determination for independence.