Promoting independence for the people of East Timor
The Rafto Prize 1993 was awarded to the Foreign Minister, in exile at that time, José Ramos-Horta (1949), for the people of East Timor.
During the Indonesian Occupation from 1975-1999, Ramos-Horta and the Timorese people experienced brutal oppression including major violations against human rights. Ramos-Horta fought against this oppression by his establishment of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), where he served as an exiled spokesman for the East Timorese resistance.
José Ramos-Horta is co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and a former Prime Minister, having served from 2006 until his inauguration as President after winning the 2007 East Timorese presidential election.
East Timor achieved independence in 2002 and Ramos-Horta was appointed the country’s first Foreign Minister. After resigning amidst political turmoil in 2006, and being elected to a two-week position as Acting Prime Minister by the then President, he was officially sworn in as the second Prime Minister of East Timor.