Peace tourism in Timor- Leste: human security through international citizenship
Timor-Leste provides a sobering case in terms of the challenge of peace and development. In its first decade as an independent nation, an estimated US$5,200 million has been spent in aid in East Timor, one of the highest amounts per capita spent anywhere in the world (La’o Hamutuk 2009). In spite of this, East Timor continues to be one of the least developed nations and security concerns continue to be an issue. While projects run by different organisations and sectors may touch the lives of some East Timorese citizens, the cumulative effect is not dramatically improving the quality of life in East Timor nor contributing to a sense of peaceful state-building. Former East Timorese President, Jose RamosHorta notes:
I never saw this money. The people don’t see it in the villages . . . one estimate suggests that 3,000 studies and reports have been done on East Timor. We have been psychoanalysed from every angle. . . . They say it has been spent on “capacity building” . . . but if that money was really used for capacity building, every Timorese would have a PhD by now.