Peace

Jose Ramos-Horta - A Voice of Reason Momentarily Silenced

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Jose Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, was shot twice in the back by rebel soldiers in an attack on his home in Dili in the early hours of Monday, 11February 2008.  This article gives details and reviews his life-long service to humanity in the cause of human rights.

The attack was led by the fugitive rebel commander Alfredo Reinado who was killed in the attack.  One of Ramos-Horta’s security guards was also killed.  Alfredo Reinado had been jailed in 2006 for murder and for inciting bloody clashes based in part on ethnic rivalries among military and police forces.  Some 30 people had been killed in the violence at the time, and many fled their homes before an Australian-led international force supported by the UN restored order. In August 2006, Reinado was helped to escape jail and had been hiding in forests while regrouping his supporters. Ramos-Horta has been flown to Darwin, Australia for treatment. The Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who had been President before Ramos-Horta, will lead the government while Ramos-Horta is away.

Mahatma Gandhi : Freedom is our goal ; Our lives the price we pay.

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of dialogue and compromise. A British-trained lawyer, he always knew the limits of the law and knew when not to push too far even when his aim was to be arrested. However, when your opponents refuse dialogue, when events move so fast that no compromise is possible, what is one to do? On the anniversary of his assassination, 30 January, these questions confront us as we try to find peaceful ways to resolve conflicts.

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