In 1975, Indonesian forces overran East Timor, which had just declared independence from Portugal. The occupation lasted twenty-four years. Challenge the Strong Wind recounts the evolution of Canadian government policy toward East Timor during that period. Canada initially followed key allies in endorsing Indonesian rule, but Canadian civil society groups promoted an alternative foreign policy that focused on self-determination and human rights. Ottawa eventually yielded to pressure from these NGOs and pushed like-minded countries to join it in supporting Timorese self-determination. David Webster draws on untapped government and non-government archival sources, demonstrating that a clear-eyed view of international history must include both state and non-state perspectives.
About the author
David Webster teaches international and Asian history topics with a focus on the 20th century at Bishop’s University. He is the author of Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and Indonesia in a Decolonizing World. Previously he was collection editor of East Timor: Testimony (Between the Lines, 2004). His research focuses on trans-Pacific interactions between Canada and Asia, and on the diplomacy of independence movements in Asia.
I read with avid interest David Webster’s Challenge the Strong Wind…this is a wonderful book.
Other titles by David Webster
A Samaritan State Revisited
Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid
Flowers in the Wall
Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Melanesia
From Kinshasa to Kandahar
Canada and Fragile States in Historical Perspective
Fire and the Full Moon
Canada and Indonesia in a Decolonizing World