The nation that refused to die / Features / Home - Morning Star
Milan Kundera’s truism “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” described East Timor. The day before I set out to film clandestinely there in 1993, I went to Stanfords map shop in London’s Covent Garden. “Timor?” said a hesitant sales assistant. We stood staring at shelves marked “south-east Asia.” “Forgive me, where exactly is it?” After a search, he came up with an old aeronautical map with blank areas stamped “Relief Data Incomplete.” He had never been asked for East Timor. Such was the silence that enveloped the Portuguese colony following its invasion by Indonesia in 1975. Yet not even Pol Pot succeeded in killing, proportionally, as many Cambodians as the Indonesian dictator Suharto killed and starved in East Timor.
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