One on One
One on One: Jose Ramos-Horta
Riz Khan meets the Nobel Peace laureate and president of East Timor.
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2009 12:52 GMT

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This week on One on One, meet the Nobel Peace laureate and East Timorese president.

The battle to free his small country from Indonesian rule has taken the lives of his family and friends and sent him into exile, but for nearly four decades Jose Ramos-Horta persisted and he finally became a leading light in guiding his people.

Life in Dili, the East Timorese capital, was challenging for his Portuguese father and East Timorese mother.

Ramos-Horta remembers a very large, close Catholic family with a strong sense of justice, that mourned the loss of four children at the hands of Indonesian forces - including his close brothers, Guilerme and Nuno.

From the mid-1970s - just as Indonesia invaded East Timor - Ramos-Horta was the permanent representative of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETLIN) to the United Nations. He spent many of the following years in exile, learning the workings of the UN intimately and building high-level relationships.

In 1996, along with his fellow countryman Bishop Carlos Belo, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, boosting awareness of the small country's tense situation.

An assassination attempt on Ramos-Horta at his home in February 2008 - a year after he was elected president - surprised many, as he is known to be an extremely popular and charismatic leader. But it reminded him that the challenging political story of East Timor is not over yet.

This episode of One on One aired from Saturday, April 4, 2009.

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