|Photo of Jose Horta|
Kennedy feels that Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta's relentless campaign to raise the profile of his beloved country Indonesia brought the plight of the people of East Timor to the corridors of power throughout the world.
Throughout that lonely, personally costly battle, Horta spoke of bloodshed, torture, starvation and the savagery of an occupying army which brought death to 200,000 people. Perhaps one-third of the population perished, while the best in the world stood idly by at the sidelines.
Kennedy feels that bravery is most commonly associated with a single act of daring at a precise moment in time. But she feels that battlefield bravery pales in comparison to the quality of courage exemplified by Horta who, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 24 years, made it his mission to speak the truth to those in power about the plight of his people in a land from which he was effectively banned from visiting, but with which he never lost contact.
|Jose Horta, winner of Nobel Peace Prize|
Horta's love for the people of East Timor was so affecting, and his political savvy so sophisticated, that he turned the tide of history itself and renewed our faith that good ultimately triumphs over evil.
Kennedy was deeply honored to join Jose when he returned to his sacred soil in December, 2000. Through his work and efforts with world decision makers, he had assisted his people from afar and now returned to see the fruits of his labor. He had assisted in bringing Doctors Without Borders to the country. He told Kennedy that he would never forget the savagery of the Indonesian troops in the local militias.
East Timor is now the newest country to join the United Nations and Kennedy feels that the United Nations has much to gain from the profound example of great wisdom and bravery demonstrated by Horta and his people throughout their darkest hours in East Timor.
Horta was able to speak truth to those in power throughout the world about the plight of his people in a land from which he was effectively banned from visiting, but one which he never lost contact through his incredible efforts. He would not be dismissed and now East Timor will never be dismissed by the world.