Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor

Out of the AshesEdited by: James J. Fox orcid, Dionisio Babo Soares

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Out of the Ashes is a collection of essays that examine the historical background to developments in East Timor and provide political analysis on the initial reconstruction stage in the country’s transition to independence. The volume is divided into three thematic sections – background, assessment and reconstruction – bringing together the experiences and knowledge of academic researchers and key participants in the extraordinary events of 1999 and 2000.

After years of Indonesian rule, the people of East Timor voted to reject an offer of autonomy choosing instead independence from Indonesia. This decision enraged pro-integrationist militia who, backed by the Indonesian military, launched a program of violence and destruction against the inhabitants of East Timor. President Habibie eventually agreed to the presence of a United Nations peace-keeping force, but by this stage East Timor had been ravaged by destruction.

The new East Timorese government faced the challenges of the future with an understanding that the successful struggle for independence was both a culmination and a starting point for the new nation. As the events of 1999 recede, many of the issues and challenges highlighted in Out of the Ashes remain of central significance to the future of East Timor. These essays provide essential reading for students and interested observers of the first new nation of the 21st century.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Nov 2003
ANU Press
Citation URL:
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Development Studies, Politics & International Studies
Southeast Asia

PDF Chapters

Out of the Ashes »

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  1. Tracing the path, recounting the past: historical perspectives on Timor (PDF, 1.1MB) James J. Fox
  2. From province to nation: the demographic revolution of a people (PDF, 945KB) Terence H. Hull
  3. East Timor: education and human resource development (PDF, 935KB) Gavin W. Jones
  4. Political developments leading to the referendum (PDF, 2.1MB) Dionisio Babo Soares
  5. The diplomacy on East Timor: Indonesia, the United Nations and the international community (PDF, 992KB) Grayson J. Lloyd
  6. The CNRT campaign for independence (PDF, 950KB) Fernando de Araujo
  7. Experiences of a district electoral officer in Suai (PDF, 911KB) Catharina Williams


  1. The popular consultation and the United Nations mission in East Timor — first reflections (PDF, 2.0MB) Ian Martin
  2. The TNI and East Timor policy (PDF, 977KB) Harold Crouch
  3. East Timor: The misuse of military power and misplaced military pride (PDF, 916KB) John B. Haseman
  4. The strategic implications of an independent East Timor (PDF, 923KB) Alan Dupont
  5. East Timorese refugees in West Timor (PDF, 948KB) Januar Achmad


  1. Reconciling worlds: the cultural repositioning of East Timorese youth in the diaspora (PDF, 2.0MB) Fiona Crockford
  2. An international strategy for the new East Timor: some preliminary thoughts (PDF, 521KB)Andrew MacIntyre
  3. Questions for the United Nations team managing East Timor (PDF, 901KB) C. Peter Timmer
  4. The joint assessment mission and reconstruction in East Timor (PDF, 928KB) Sarah Cliffe
  5. Fiscal issues for a small war-torn Timor (PDF, 967KB) Loro Sa’e João Mariana Saldanha
  6. Challenges for the future (PDF, 954KB) Dionisio Babo Soares


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