Gerry van Klinken
A free East Timor was one of the dreams that inspired the birth of Inside Indonesia in 1983. We published more than sixty articles in support of it. Now that it's here, this edition goes out with our best wishes to the people.
From his Jakarta cell after he was captured in 1992, independence fighter Xanana Gusmao inspired Indonesian activist Titi Irawati by saying Indonesia could not be democratic unless East Timor was free. Not just Titi, but all the Indonesians featured in this edition - seven of them! - continue to believe that, even if now-president Xanana has prudently stopped advising Indonesians about democracy.
After 30 August 1999, with East Timor no longer 'inside' Indonesia, we restricted our coverage to the post-colonial issues for Indonesia. This edition shows those issues remain urgent. So what's still on the agenda?
First of all, the very freedom of East Timor itself. East Timorese fought for a state of their own that would protect them from exploitation and human rights abuse. As the forces of globalisation are stripping protective powers from states everywhere, the question is: can East Timor become a state that protects its weaker citizens? Mansour Fakih asks this question in his lead article, as do several others.
Second, freedom with justice. The audacity with which Indonesian troops destroyed East Timor in front of the eyes of the world in September 1999 must not be forgotten. It was the finale of 24 brutal years that have scarred the nation for a long time to come. A short attention span is causing international support for a war crimes tribunal to wane. John Miller in this edition explains one alternative - civil courts around the world.
The demand for justice over these crimes won't just go away. Richard Tanter, in our strong human rights section, reminds us that similar crimes committed in Indonesia over 35 years ago continue to cast their shadow today - and not only on Indonesians. Right now, similar crimes are being committed in Aceh.
Not as dramatically as Timor Lorosae perhaps, Inside Indonesia is also making a new beginning. We have a new board, new editors and office staff, and new energy. Five long-standing board members have said goodbye after years of devoted effort. They are David Bourchier, Kathy Gollan, Krishna Sen, Pat Walsh and Ron Witton. Most have been with the magazine since 1983. David, Kathy and longest of all Pat edited it at one time or another. We owe them a big terima kasih. We know they'll always be there for us still.
Four new members took their place: Michele Ford, Leon Jones, Anton Lucas and Stanley Adi Prasetya. Three stayed on from before: Ed Aspinall, Vanessa Johanson, and Gerry van Klinken. We now have two Jakarta-based board members. We are also broadening the editorial base. Four editors will each take on one edition a year. They are : Dave McRae, Vanessa Johanson, Jennifer Lindsay and Michele Ford. I will stay on as coordinating editor. The Melbourne office also has new staff: Clare Land and Dilrukshi Gajaweera. Melinda Venticich will say goodbye after nearly ten years. Melinda has been in many ways the backbone of the organisation,. These new people are all exceptionally talented. One of Clare's jobs will be to talk with potential funders. If you are one of them, she'd love to be in touch.
Gerry van Klinken is the Editor of Inside Indonesia