Gusmao, Xanana


Gusmao, Xanana
▪ 2000

      As East Timor began the process of transition from a province of Indonesia to a self-governing state, Xanana Gusmão, one of the leaders of the struggle for independence, returned from exile on Oct. 22, 1999. He gave a brief but emotional speech to East Timorese gathered in the capital of Dili, thus bringing to a symbolic end the determined fight by his people to gain their freedom from rule by the Indonesian government. On December 15 he was awarded the Sakharov human rights prize by the European Parliament.

      Xanana Gusmão was born José Alexandre Gusmão on June 20, 1946, in Manatulo, in what was then the Portuguese colony of East Timor. He went to high school in Dili and for four years attended the Jesuit seminary in nearby Dare. He served for three years in the colonial armed forces and worked as a surveyor and teacher. After an unsuccessful coup in August 1975, Portuguese administrators left East Timor, and for a short period Gusmão, a member of Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for the Independence of East Timor), helped administer the region. Indonesia invaded East Timor in December 1975 and in the following year annexed it as a province, an act never recognized by the United Nations. Thus began the long period of resistance by the East Timorese to gain independence. Gusmão became the head of Falintil (Revolutionary Armed Forces for the National Liberation of East Timor), which operated from hiding places in the mountains.

      In 1992 Gusmão was captured, and the following year he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting against the Indonesian government and for the illegal possession of arms. The sentence was later shortened to 20 years, and as part of a UN-brokered deal to bring about a settlement, on Feb. 10, 1999, he was released to house arrest. Along with resistance leaders José Ramos Horta and Bishop Carlos Belo, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace, Gusmão took part in talks with the Indonesian government, and a cease-fire was announced on June 18. On August 30 the East Timorese participated in a referendum to choose between autonomy within Indonesia and independence. By a majority of almost 80%, the people voted for independence, and Indonesia began to withdraw its troops. Militias, remnants of the Indonesian army, then began a campaign of bloody and destructive vengeance against the people and infrastructure, which had to be brought under control by international peacekeepers. On October 20 the Indonesian parliament accepted the results of the referendum, and two days later Gusmão returned from exile in Australia, where he had lived after being freed on September 7. Although he was widely expected to become the first head of an independent East Timor, Gusmão claimed that there were others better qualified.

Robert Rauch

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Xanana Gusmao — Xanana Gusmão (Dezember 2006) Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão (* 20. Juni 1946 als José Alexandre Gusmão in Laleia, Manatuto/Portugiesisch Timor) ist ein Politiker aus Osttimor. Er war von Mai 2002 bis zum 20. Mai 2007 der erste Präsident Osttimors nach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Xanana Gusmão — José Alexandre Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão 2.° Presidente de Timor Oriental …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gusmao — Gusmão ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Bartolomeu de Gusmão (1685–1724), portugiesischer Jesuitenpater Kirsty Sword Gusmão (* 1966), Ehefrau des osttimoresischen Politikers Xanana Gusmão Xanana Gusmão (* 1946), Politiker aus Osttimor …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gusmão — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Bartolomeu de Gusmão (1685–1724), portugiesischer Jesuitenpater, Erfinder und Pionier der Luftfahrt Kirsty Sword Gusmão (* 1966), Ehefrau des osttimoresischen Politikers Xanana Gusmão Xanana Gusmão (*… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Xanana Gusmão — (Dezember 2006) Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão (* 20. Juni 1946 als José Alexandre Gusmão in Laleia, Manatuto/Portugiesisch Timor) ist ein Politiker aus Osttimor. Er war von Mai 2002 bis zum 20. Mai 2007 der erste Präsident Osttimors nach der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Xanana Gusmao — Xanana Gusmão Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão 4e Premier ministre est timorais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gusmão — or Gusmao can refer to the following people:*Xanana Gusmão *Rebeca Gusmão *Kirsty Sword Gusmão *Paulo César Gusmão *Bartolomeu de Gusmão *Andre Gusmao …   Wikipedia

  • Gusmāo — Gusmāo, José Alexandre, llamado Xanana …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gusmão —   [guʃ mãu̯], José Alexandre (»Xanana«), osttimorischer Politiker, einer der Führer der Unabhängigkeitsbewegung von Osttimor, * Laleia (Distrikt Manatuto) 20. 6. 1946; übernahm nach der Okkupation Osttimors (Dezember 1975) durch die indonesische… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Xanana Gusmão — Infobox Prime Minister name = Xanana Gusmão honorific suffix = GCL order = Prime Minister of East Timor president = José Ramos Horta Vicente Guterres (Acting) Fernando de Araújo (Acting) José Ramos Horta term start = 08 August 2007 predecessor =… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.