The situation remains tense in East Timors capital, Dili, in the wake of the Australian Defence Force-led operation on March 4 to capture renegade East Timorese army officer Major Alfredo Reinado.
Australian soldiers fired on three youths in Dili on February 23. One youth died at the scene a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) near Dili Airport. The others were injured; one later died in hospital.
The United Nations Independent Special Commission of Inquiry released its report on October 17 into the violent conflict in April and May in East Timor. The 79-page report found that the frailty of state institutions and the weakness of the rule of law were to blame for the conflict that erupted following the sacking of almost 600 soldiers from the Timorese Defence Force.
East Timorese foreign minister Jose Ramos Horta's defence of Washington's "aggressive strategy" towards Iraq is not a surprise. Horta's approach to diplomacy throughout the struggle for East Timor's independence was always based on offering assurances to the US government that an independent East Timor would be friendly towards US interests. This approach was bound to lead to major defects of memory (and analysis) once independence was achieved. These defects are most evident in his article "War for peace? It worked in my country", published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age on February 25.