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October 17, 2019
Nonpartisan research is a valuable resource for legislators in democracies. But in many young democracies, like Timor-Leste, parliamentary research organizations are nascent and face significant obstacles in being accepted as nonpartisan. The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the U.S.... Read More
November 08, 2018
On November 12, 1991, the Indonesian military shot and killed over 250 Timorese citizens in the Santa Cruz Cemetery in Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. The event is known as the Santa Cruz massacre. The victims were part of a memorial... Read More
October 17, 2018
Disengaged and disaffected youth can have destabilizing effects on democracies and can provoke civil conflicts. As part of its youth approach, IRI helps young people assess barriers to participation and connects democratically minded leaders.... Read More
April 11, 2018
Following the Indonesian occupation, nearly half of the women in Timor-Leste were left widowed, forcing them to be the sole providers for their households. However, their work in food production and unpaid household work does not... Read More
July 25, 2017
I visited Timor-Leste twice during the late years of Indonesian occupation, in both 1995 and 1998, witnessing the omnipresent oppression back then, ultimately making Timor-Leste a part of my life. In 1999, I observed the referendum, still recalling the helplessness of September 6, 1999, being... Read More
July 20, 2017
Democratic elections are the foundation of a representative government. To ensure elections meet international standards for credibility and fairness, IRI conducts pre-election assessment missions, deploys election observation missions, analyzes outcomes and publishes comprehensive election reports... Read More
August 30, 2015
On August 30, 1999, Timor-Leste (then called East Timor) went to the polls to answer this question: “Do you accept the proposed special autonomy for East Timor within the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia?”  The overwhelming rejection of this option – 78.5 percent of voters said no... Read More
Posted by

Johanna Kao

Senior Regional Advisor, Asia Division
June 07, 2015
IRI lost a good friend in Timor-Leste this past week, Fernando Lasama de Araujo.  I met Lasama in Dili in 2001.  IRI was supporting the development of political parties in Timor in advance of Constituent Assembly elections, and we had heard about a group of student activists who wanted... Read More
Posted by

Johanna Kao

Senior Regional Advisor, Asia Division
March 26, 2015
Of all the workshops and training sessions I have led during my time with IRI, my favorites by far have been the ones related to leadership development.  These tend to be smaller, more intimate workshops in which facilitator and participant alike have to build a trusting relationship that... Read More
Posted by

Johanna Kao

Senior Regional Advisor, Asia Division