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Osiris Nigmata # Posted on August 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Xanana Gusmao: the current Prime Minister of East Timor, previous president of the same country, and revolutionary leader who opposed Indonesian occupation and genocidal acts in East Timor.

This man is truly amazing, and to me he is an example of the ideal balance between thought and action. In his younger days, he took action with FRETILIN, a socialist organization that helped educate and feed illiterate Timorese children. Gusmao, and the organization took up arms against the long-lasting repressive Indonesian occupation, in which thousands were killed or disappeared. He was so troublesome to the Indonesian occupation that they put out an arrest warrant on him, captured him, and imprisoned him.

He was imprisoned for 7 years but still held his leadership position in the resistance movement. Nelson Mandela visited Gusmao while he was in prison and Mandela. When the occupation and ensuing genocide finally stopped, Gusmao was released from prison and began leading the reconstruction of his destroyed nation. He eventually became the first president of the new country and is now the PM.

He hasn’t had the same media attention as other social movers, maybe because his country is so small, but the way he always conducted himself with right thought and right action gives me a lot of hope.