East Timor: Birth of a Nation

On April 17, 1999, before his house was destroyed, before his eyes were permanently shaded by sorrow, Manuel Carrascalao stood in his driveway and said goodbye to his son. He was on his way to the airport in East Timor's capital, Dili, where his wife's flight would soon arrive. Originally, Manuelito, his son, was going to meet her. But shortly before the 17-year-old was set to leave, a group of his friends dropped by. "Stay," Carrascalao told him, "I'll go instead."

Perhaps Carrascalao, at that time a leading advocate of independence, should have known better. That morning,...

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