13 December 2016

Government of East Timor pays respects to Dr. George Junus Aditjondro

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste
 Dili, December 12th, 2016

Government pays respects to Dr. George Junus Aditjondro

It was with deep regret that the Government of Timor-Leste received news of the passing of Dr. George Junus Aditjondro on the 10th of December 2016. The Government conveys its condolences to Dr. Aditjondro’s family and friends.

As an Indonesian academic, activist, researcher and journalist, Dr. Aditjondro courageously exposed conditions in Timor-Leste during the years of struggle and remained a committed advocate for proper development after the restoration of independence in 2002.

Aditjondro visited Timor in May of 1974 as a correspondent of Indonesia’s Tempo magazine and in the following years interviewed various Timorese leaders of all political persuasions both inside and outside of Indonesia. Following the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991 he became a leading figure opposing the Indonesian occupation and was critical in exposing media reporting on Timor and the positions of Indonesian intellectuals, who he believed had allowed themselves to become influenced by censorship and media manipulation. Such criticism put Dr. Aditjondro at considerable risk.

In 1993 Dr. Aditjondro participated in the Fifth Symposium on East Timor held in Portugal at the University of Porto, working closely with Timorese activists, several of who are currently Ministers of the Sixth Constitutional Government. He also spent many years in Australia, in self-imposed exile, where he was a supportive colleague in the activist movement pressing for the self-determination of Timor-Leste.

On the 20th of May 2010, the National Parliament of Timor-Leste recognized the contribution of Dr. Aditjondro with the conferral of the Princess Grace of Monaco medal.

Besides his passion for Timor-Leste, Dr. Aditjondro was an unrelenting critic of corruption in Indonesia, a dedicated advocate for empowering local agricultural communities and a key figure in nurturing environmental awareness.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted that “the voice of Dr. George Aditjondro was crucial in challenging the thinking of many in Indonesia and Australia about the events occurring in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999. Through his commitment to exposing injustice, he undoubtedly played a part in moving us towards the restoration of our independence. His voice of advocacy, warm friendship towards the Timorese people and unremitting support in the struggle will not be forgotten".ENDS

etljb

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