Helwig, Maggie

Helwig, Maggie

Maggie Helwig

1 December 2001Review

Hyperion East, 1999. ISBN 0 7868 6416 8, 375 pp

On the night of 13 October 1965, the Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer was working at home; his family had already moved, for their own safety, to his mother-in-law's house.

Around 10.30 pm, a crowd gathered outside and began to throw stones at the house. Police officers and soldiers arrived, telling Pram that they had come to “take him to safety”. Instead, he was taken to the Army Reserve Strategic Command Post.

He was held in a variety of prisons until 1969, when he…

1 January 2001Feature

Was UNAMETs mission in East Timor an example of an unusually large, unusually well-resourced nonviolent intervention? If so, it presents interesting dilemmas, and perhaps some lessons, for the nonviolent movement, argues Maggie Helwig.

On 5 May 1999, the United Nations and the governments of Indonesia and Portugal signed an agreement to hold a consultation as to public opinion, in East Timor, about Indonesia's offer of special autonomy for the territory.

The rather byzantine agreement, the result of Kofi Annan's seizing upon an impulsive remark of Indonesian President Habibie, who in an unguarded moment had said that if the Timorese didn't want autonomy he would let them just go was in fact a thinly-disguised vote…