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Dec 3 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Why is the East Timor genocide so divisive?

Historians remain divided on whether the massacres carried out by the Indonesian National Armed Forces against the Revolutionary Front for an Independence East Timor and East Timor citizens between 1975 and 1999 was in fact an act of genocide or not. Despite numerous accounts of huge massacres, widespread infanticide, forced disappearances, massacres of whole villages, burning people alive, systemic rape, forced sterilisation and birth control programs, as well as arbitrary arrests and physical and psychological torture debate continues over whether or not this was a genocide. What is the history of the massacres in East Timor, how does it compare to similar acts in Cambodia, Rwanda, or Yugoslavia, and why there was so little coverage and such conflicting opinions surrounding this issue?
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So little coverage and a media cover up
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So little coverage and a media cover up

Throughout the occupation of East Timor by Indonesia the Suharto government kept a tight grip on media coverage in the region, and international journalists were even among those that lost their lives in the massacres. This severely limited the amount of coverage of the catastrophic events in this region. But maybe more shaping of the narrative around the East Timor genocide was the media cover up that saw most of the corporate media concentrating on the Cambodia genocide over East Timor, as East Timor did not fit the simplistic communist bad guy narrative of the Cold War. Likewise Suharto was an ally of the US and was possibly even put in place by the CIA, such scant media attention left historians trying to piece together very little evidence generating a wide variety of opinions on the matter.

fair.org/extra/east-timor-media-turned-their-backs-on-genocide tech.mit.edu/V119/N53/col53boruc.53c.html tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14672710220146197 johnpilger.com/articles/the-rape-of-east-timor-sounds-like-fun-

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Dec 4
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DH edited this paragraph
Throughout the occupation of East Timor by Indonesia the Suharto government kept a tight grip on media coverage in the region, and international journalists were even among those that lost their lives in the massacres. This severely limited the amount of coverage of the catastrophic events in this region. But maybe more shaping of the narrative around the East Timor genocide was the media cover up that saw most of the corporate media concentrating on the Cambodia genocide over East Timor, as East Timor did not fit the simplistic communist bad guy narrative of the Cold War. Likewise Suharto was an ally of the US and was possibly even put in place by the CIA, such scant media attention left historians trying to piece together very little evidence generating a wide variety of opinions on the matter.
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