Constancio Pinto, the East Timorese Charge d’Affaires to the United States, will visit Gonzaga University to lead a discussion titled, “East Timor Six Years after Independence: The Building of the Statehood” at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 6, in the Washington/California Room of the COG. The speech, hosted by Gonzaga’s International Student Union (ISU), is free and open to the public.
East Timor, or Timor Leste, is a Southeast Asian country colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, which gained independence in 1975 but was invaded by Indonesia shortly thereafter. After nearly three decades of Indonesian occupation, the East Timorese regained independence and sovereignty. In his discussion, Pinto will focus on the state of East Timor today, looking at the young country’s development.
Pinto, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from Columbia University, has dedicated himself to the freedom of East Timor since he was in his teens. He has worked closely with the East Timor Action Network and served as a leader in the East Timorese underground as well as a director of the humanitarian and developmental organization Yasona. He recently co-wrote “The East Timor’s Unfinished Struggle: Inside East Timorese Resistance” with Matthew Jardine, and he has had articles published in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Providence Journal, and other publications.
Pinto was scheduled to speak at the 2007 Annual ISU Dinner but a family emergency caused him to postpone his campus visit.
Gonzaga’s ISU aims to raise cultural awareness on campus and within the Spokane community of important international issues. The club’s members strive to break down the ideological differences that separate people of different cultures and educate the community about international problems, keeping the GU campus updated about events, issues and cultural practices around the world.
For more information, contact ISU representative Gabriela Leite Soares via e-mail.