Glossary

[Note: I’ve tried to update in early 2008, and apologize for any oversights.]

ASDT – Associação Socialista Democrática de Timor, the original name for FRETILIN, when it was founded in 1974. When Xavier do Amaral (the original declarer of independence in 1975) returned from obscurity in Indonesia in 2000, he decided to call his own, new political party ASDT. This party won five seats in the Constituent Assembly election of 2001, and Xavier was nominated the Vice President of the Assembly. ASDT enjoys support now nation-wide, but its stronghold is in Central mountain Timor

Australia New Zealand Bank – Besides Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the big international bank in Timor. Recently Bank Mandiri (Indonesia) has entered the running

Babulo – A small kingdom in the Uatolari subdistrict of Viqueque district which rebelled against Portugal in 1959 and the majority of which sided with APODETI in 1975-76. It is considered a “cousin” kingdom of neighbor Vessoro

Baguia – Village on the eastern side of Mount Matebian. Where the rebellion of 1959 came to its fateful end

Baucau – The “second city” of Timor, once comically renamed “Vila Salazar” by the Estado Novo regime. It barely existed as a place before the late 19C, when the Portuguese decided it would be a nice place to base their operations in the east, because of its plentiful fresh water springs. In the 1970s, flights from Australia to Timor went to Baucau, and it briefly enjoyed a time as the tourist Capital of Timor. Currently Baucau airport is the only airfield with runway space for a 747 to land – Bill Clinton landed there for the independence ceremonies of 2002! The city is split into two areas, the Kota Lama, the old Portuguese town below set among palm glades and volcanic rocks, and the New Town above, built up by the Indonesians. The majority of “refugees” are living in and around the market in the New Town

Commission of Inquiry – The UN Commission of Inquiry set up by invitation of the Timorese leadership in June to discern the origins of the current crisis. Comprised of Timor “experts” who supposed accessed “over 3,000 documents.” Report was released in October 2006, and has seemed to have been ignored since

Deportados – Portuguese political prisoners exiled to Timor in 1931 and 1933 by the incoming authoritarian regime. Initially they were kept in a “camp” (prison) but then they were distributed across the territory. Some were notable lawyers, writers and came to play a heroic role in WWII helping the Australians. Two in particular “fathered” part of the Timorese political elite. Others were not so nice

Ema boot The “big” people, who the “little people” blame for just about anything

Farol – The lighthouse, or the neighborhood adjacent. In the late colonial period, the most fashionable and luxurious address in Dili. In the 1990s, it was the cradle of a growing NGO movement in Timor and most of the “big” Timorese NGOs are still based there, as well as quite a few well-guarded diplomatic residences

Fataluku – Language spoken in Lautem district, the eastern most in East Timor, classified as “Papuan”. Has many “ch” sounds that other Timorese languages do not. Also, a very expressive language to tell somebody off in

F-FDTL – This is Timor Leste’s official Army, made up of two Battalions, one stationed in Metinaro and one in Baucau. Accused by the Petitioners of discrimination based on birth place. Implicated in the handing out of weapons during the political and security crisis of this year

Firaku – A name Portuguese observers believed to be widely used to describe those living west of Manatuto in Timor. Commonly held that it comes from the Portuguese “vira cu”, literally ass-turners, indicating that the people of the East are rude and rebellious. But more likely coming from a Makassai phrase meaning “like us”

Fuiloro – Where the Portuguese administration of the district of Lautem was located before WWII. Now significant for the installation of the Dom Bosco school, and location between Lautem village and Lospalos town

GNR – Guarda Nacional da República. Portuguese paramilitary police, sent here to help stabilize the country in June 2006. Not afraid to shoot rubber bullets and tear gas. Not popular, but not hugely unpopular either

IDP – Internally displaced peoples. According to government statistics from late 2006, more than 90% of the population of the district of Dili is “displaced”, living in camps around Dili, Hera and Metinaro. This number was greatly exaggerated, but shows that people were double and triple registering to gain extra supplies and food rations. As of mid 2008, most are leaving the camps with compensation from government

ISF – International Stabilization Force. The Australian military force in Timor is not under UN command, but has a (belated) MOU with the Timorese government

“Jardim” – a very central IDP camp, set up across from the gates of the port area, a staging area for Australian troops. The camp appeared spontaneously in a park called “Jardim de Democracia” which features a large melodramatic Indonesian-era statue of Dom Boaventura the heroic Timorese king who led a huge rebellion against the Portuguese in 1912. The camp was in fact a mix of lorosa’e and loromonu, although majority lorosa’e. Also, its proximity to Hotel Timor, the only five star hotel was quite ironic, and convenient for lazy journalists

Kaladi – A word seen in Portuguese documents as early as 1726 referring to mountain peoples from the West. Now invoked in the East-West divide, pitting the kaladi against the firaku. Commonly thought to derive from “calado” (Portuguese for silent), but more probably it comes from “keladi,” the Malayu word for “yam.” So literally the kaladi would be the “yam eaters.”

Kolmera – a neighborhood immediately west of the Government Palace, long been site of Chinese-Timorese commerce. Apparently there have been disturbances there between youth gangs, probably because of its proximity to “Jardim” IDP camp, although it seemed bustling to me

Lautem – The eastern-most district in Timor-Leste. Also the name of the coastal town where the road to the district’s Capital Lospalos turns inland. The Portuguese only “pacified” most of Lautem at the end of the 19C. The Japanese controlled Lautem ably during most of WWII

Longuinhos Monteiro – The Prosecutor General of the Republic. Recently dropped investigations into criminal wrongdoing by Alkatiri. In March 2007, attempted to negotiate a surrender with Major Alfredo Reinado in Same

Loromonu – Sunset, corresponding to the cardinal direction West. Considered to include Dili, Aileu, Manufahi, Ainaro, Ermera, Bobanaro and Suai.

Lorosa’e – Land of the Sunrise, corresponding to cardinal direction East, typically referring to Baucau, Viqueque and Lospalos districts in Timor

Mari Alkatiri – Ex Prime Minister, still de facto in charge of Fretilin. A law professor in Mozambique during the Indonesian occupation, he worked behind the scenes to lobby for Timor, winning party leadership in 1998. In 2001, with Fretilin winning the Constituent Assembly election, he was positioned to become the country’s Prime Minister. Controversial in his personality, Alkatiri had some positive points, defending the country from the World Bank and other lenders, taking an extremely hard line on the Timor Gap negotiations. Accusations of corruption and dictatorial behavior dogged him for at least three years. He dismissed one-third of the armed forces (the “Petitioners”) in April 2006, the apparent cause of the recent crisis. But his demise was in fact a very poor Australian exposé in July that made strong allegations against him, claiming that he had armed civilians to go after his opponents. (This report has since won the “Walkley Award” for excellence in Austrlian journalism.) President Xanana Gusmão allegedly sent a letter to Alkatiri shortly after with a video copy of the exposé, demanding Alkatiri’s resignation. In early 2007, the Prosecutor’s office informed Alkatiri that there was not evidence to make criminal charges against him

Quintal Ki’ik/Boot – Neighborhood in central Dili that has recently become a flashpoint after a young man was killed there. A large number of Lorosa’e live(d) there

Mambai – One of the largest language groups in Timor, residing in the densely populated central and western mountain regions. The language is considered to be Austronesian, and has great similarities to Tetum. The Mambai group is often viewed within Timor as an “old” group, the keepers of tradition. It was from Mambai stories and contact with Dili that the word maubere came to importance in the 1970s

Major Alfredo Reinado – Major in the Timorese Military Police, gone AWOL after the violence between the Petitioners and the F-FDTL. Arrested in July for illegal arms possession, escaped from prison in late August. Currently fugitive and cause celebre for disgruntled, anti-government Westerners. Escaped a seige by the ISF in early March 2007, he hid in the forests and mountains of Manufahi, until he was unexpectedly killed after  entering President Ramos-Horta’s residence on February 11, 2008

Makassai – A Papuan language spoken near Matebian, in Baucau and up to Lautem district

Motael church – The oldest standing church in Dili, along the waterfront just past the port area. This church was vigorously involved in the resistance to Indonesian occupation

Naueti – One of the two languages spoken in Uatolari-Uatocarbau-Baguia region. Considered to be related to Cairui and Waima’a, and of the Austronesian strand

Nicolau Lobato – First President of Timor-Leste. Wildly popular, considered Timor’s “Che” figure. Killed in 1978 in an Indonesian ambush

Obrigado Barracks – The home of the UN mission in Caicoli neighborhood ever since it handed over power to the Timorese in 2002. It’s a play on words: in Tetun, “Obrigado Barak” means “Thanks a lot”. There is currently a large IDP camp on the opposite side of the street that is illuminated at night with incredibly bright flood lights. It’s a wonder anybody can sleep there

PD (Partido Democrático) – An opposition party founded in 2001 by a bunch of former student activists, many of whom spent time in prison, or “defected” to Europe and America in 1994 during the APEC summit in Jakarta. On a personal level, probably the most “friendly” party, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. These guys suffer a major maturity deficit, even though many are pushing into their forties and have big paunches

PNTL – Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste, controlled by the Ministry of the Interior, with a paramilitary Rapid Intervention Force. The ex-Minister of the Interior has been accused of founding extra forces, including a Border Security force, to compete with the F-FDTL. After the crisis, and widespread use of police-registered firearms in conflicts during May-June, the PNTL’s Chief and Vice were suspended. Dili police were also suspended. The PNTL continues to function in the districts at full force, and in Dili its functions, except at the Training College, are suspended. There is a vetting process by which Police are being reviewed by individual, to clear them to return to training and duty. The “reaccepted” police will be accompanied by up to three international police per person on their duties

Pengunsi The Indonesian term for “refugee.” Commonly used instead of IDP or refugiadu

Petitioners The group of nearly 600 members of the Timorese military who deserted their barracks in February over what they perceived to be discrimination against them in the ranks. They were later dismissed. This group was later joined by Major Alfredo Reinado and his men from the Military Police. The group clearly contains a number of factions, some of which were implicated in the conflicts which erupted in and around Dili in late April and May 2006.

RDTL República Democrática de Timor-Leste. The official name of East Timor. Any other reference to the country will be taken as a systematic attack on the nation’s sovereignty

Rogerio Lobato Ex- Seminarian, diamond thief and Minister of the Interior, on trial for illegally distributing assault rifles in May 2006. His brother was Nicolau Lobato. He is still the Secretary of Fretilin

RTP Radio Televisão Portuguesa – The state broadcaster in Portugal. (It carries advertisements, and tax payers subsidize it!!) Broadcasting every day from 8pm til the morning in East Timor. We can catch the thrilling morning show “Praça de Alegria” before bed

Ruy Cinatti – Portuguese agronomist, poet, humanist and lover of Timor who has written some timeless poetry and made ethnographic contributions. He swore two blood oaths with Timorese rulers while there

Suara Timor Lorosa’e – The oldest daily paper in Dili, formerly called Suara Timor Timur. Used to be online. Government has accused this paper of extreme bias and inflammatory activity, and attempted to shut it down by evicting it. Recently printing really stupid articles with no sources – stopped buying it

Taci Tolu – “Three Beaches”, a site of three salt lakes just west of Dili, where independence was commemorated in 2002, and where violence broke out in the recent crisis

Taci Feto – The “women’s coast” – the north coast of the island of Timor, virtually waveless due to coral reefs

Tais – Timorese weavings, made on a large loom

Tibar – The town immediately west of Dili, lives off of fishing, salt production, and now home to training center

Timor Post – The other popular daily newspaper. Criticized for the same problems as STL, some argue it’s slightly more reliable

Uatocarbau – The most remote subdistrict of Viqueque district. The “new” Uatocarbau is on the coast, about 2 hours from Viqueque. The “old posto” is 1 ½ hours above that, also known as “Afaloicai Uatocarbau”

UNMIT – The UN peacekeeping mission in Timor. (This is the descedent of many other UN missions, in this order: UNAMET, UNTAET, UNMISET, UNOTIL)

Xavier do Amaral – The first Prime Minister of East Timor, member of Central Committee of Fretilin in 1975. Two years later, in the jungle, he was stripped of this position, tried for various crimes including “feudalism”, imprisoned and ended up in Indonesian hands. Spent years in Indonesia and Australia, returned to Timor in 2000 to form ASDT, a political party adopting Fretilin’s original name, which now represents mostly Mambai people in central mountain Timor

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