An Activist remembers - 'Wes' on Timor Leste

28 Mb. 128kbps mono 30 mins.

Rob Wesley-Smith has just come back from one of his many visits to Timor Leste. He is familiar with the area (Same) and the people where Australian troops tried to capture the rebel mutineer, Alfredo Reynado. Wes knows Reynado personally, being one of the few people to meet him when Reynado first came to Australia as a refugee. While not impressed with Reynado's role in recent events, Wes is very critical of the 'modus operandi' of the Australian Defense Forces in Timor Leste.

Wes has been active in defense of the independence of the East Timorese people since the first days of the Indonesian intervention. His involvement goes back to dodging police and ASIO agents to set up and maintain the clandestine radio transmitter, which was the only means the Fretilin/Falintil guerillas had of communicating with the outside world, after Indonesia sealed East Timor off. Wes was also involved in several attempts to smuggle medical supplies to the Fretilin guerillas in 1976. In this interview he recalls half a lifetime of activism for Timor Leste.

(Photo: Former member for Frazer and Timor activist, Ken Fry with Brian Manning and Wes, sending messages of support to Fretilin guerillas just outside Darwin.)


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