Ussulau de Jesus Cepeda cast the first vote of his turbulent young life from a stretcher—his chest swaddled in bandages, a drip dangling from his arm. The East Timorese student arrived at the polling station in an ambulance driven by a Catholic nun. A huge crowd, which had begun to form well before sunrise outside the polling station—actually a dilapidated schoolhouse in a suburb of the East Timorese capital of Dili—parted respectfully to let his stretcher through. It was 30 August 1999 and Ussulau was about to vote in the referendum on East Timor’s future which would plunge the territory into violence and chaos.
KeywordsBank Central Security Force Secret Society Youth Organisation Revolutionary Period
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