John first visited East Timor in 1974 in the run up to Fretlin’s declaration of independence from Portugal. After the Indonesian invasion of East Timor he was charged with “Counselling and being concerned with the illegal export of goods to East Timor.” He was active within Australia time of the in the struggle for the independence of the people of Timor Leste from the time of the invasion until the withdrawal of the Indonesian army and militias in 1999.
He was a member of the delegation of the East Timor Peace Mission on the Lusitania Espresso which was prevented from entering East Timorese waters by Indonesian warships, helicopters and air craft.
Many of the poems about Timor were read at demonstrations others were published in Green Left and other progressive publications.
President Wahid is impaired. Next he’s going to be impeached, But that’s apples. Written in 2001.
Performed at Politics in the Pub Shorncliffe 20th April 1998 and at Green Left functions in that year. Indon Indon Indonesia a million died in ’65 their leaders crucified. Indon Indon Indonesia Collective guilt? No! Mass amnesia. Suharto’s rise military prize no surprise Timor invaded in ’75 300,00 dies. Indon Indon Indonesia Transmigration easing population […]
Aboard the Timor peace ship. Green Left Weekly Wednesday, April 1, 1992 By John Tomlinson In the wake of the November 12 massacre in Dili, Portuguese students organised the “Missao paz em Timor”. And so, on March 9, 120 people from 21 countries boarded the Lusitania Expresso in Darwin with the intention of laying a wreath at […]
Performed at Politics in the Pub Shorncliffe 20th April 1998 and at Green Left functions in that year. There is a company called BHP drilling for oil in the Timor Sea , that’s why we can’t set Timor free we’ve all got shares in BHP. Don’t talk to me about democracy human rights or humanity, […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Wednesday, 8 February 2006 On January 12, 2005, East Timor and Australia signed a treaty to share equally the revenues of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea. This brought prolonged negotiations to an end but left in abeyance […]
How many have to die before you’ll try to save those left? The vote’s been taken a people forsaken as we play around with diplomatic niceties; please pass the cucumber sandwiches. The United Nations’ compound under siege the Red Cross is at a loss, it can’t explain what happened to its refugees. The militia have […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Tuesday, 4 October 2005 – edited 2016 Frenetic writing during the previous month, last minute cleaning up in the first light of morning and remembering to turn off the hot water system dissipated as I emersed myself in unnecessary anxiety as to when […]
What are the underlying drivers of policies in the Solomons, West Papua and East Timor? GLOBALISM driven by economic fundamentalism West Papua – Freeport and forestry East Timor – Oil Solomons – Tourism and forestry. All this is overlaid with COLONIALISM Driven by nationalism and racism. Indonesian Colonialism is partly driven by Javanese nationalism Military […]
Written in 1999 just before the East Timorese vote for Independence. Marie was killed covering another war in the Middle East. You were a voice from inside Timor when many had been silenced. You stayed, when others skulked away driven by fear of the militia. You spoke for a people muted, broadcast to Australia neutered. […]
Written in 1999 in the run up to the East Timorese vote for Independence. To ensure a fair vote put a knife at their throat and if they’re not dead a gun at their head.
There are many forms of democracy not all protect against tyranny, just across the Timor Sea people are hoping to be free. 25 years of militarisation has not crushed this tiny nation. Indonesia offers integration, it’s just code for annihilation. Already 300,000 dead, Timorese demand instead an act of self-determination. After 25 years of sorrow […]
When the Japanese invaded why did we tell a lie? Why did 40,000 Timorese have to die? On a hillside outside Dili we built a monument, carved with an inscription which said “we won’t forget”. When Indonesia invaded why did we hide our eye? Did we know 300,000 Timorese had to die? Though the inscription […]
First performed just prior to being thrown out of the Garuda Airlines Booking Office in Brisbane in 1999. Visit Militia City, admire their home-made guns, count the dead from your hotel bed; daughters, mothers, sons. Tour the burnt out suburbs, fondle a hand grenade, bury a battered body – democracy, militia-made. You can bathe in […]
East Timor now is finally free of Indonesian style diplomacy, militias idea of democracy, and other acts of generosity. Twenty-five years of blood, sweat and tears two and a half decades of struggle. Some idiot put a microphone in my face and asked “Was it worth the trouble?”
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson