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Jakarta Post

Naldo Rei: Giving voice to the silenced in East Timor

  • Prodita Sabarini

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, October 26 2008   /  10:58 am
NALDO REI: (JP/Prodita Sabarini)(JP/Prodita Sabarini)

NALDO REI: (JP/Prodita Sabarini) Naldo Rei, 32, was a baby when he and his family fled to the jungles as Indonesian troops invaded East Timor in 1975, starting a 24-year period of brutal oppression. His formative years were spent in the jungles, where he used to ask his parents why they were living in the jungle like wild animals. His questions would bring tears to his parents' eyes, causing him to stop asking. He grew up fighting for East Timor's independence from Indonesia, joining the clandestine resistance movement at the age of nine after the Indonesian military killed his father, who was a resistance fighter. Constantly hiding, facing intimidation and torture, he was uncertain of whether he would survive the struggle. But he was sure of two things: One, that East Timor would gain independence; and two, if he did survive, he would write his story. ...