Upon their arrival in West Timor, Indonesia, in late 1999, displaced East Timorese were identified as 'refugees' by the UNHCR. When they decided to stay they were considered 'ex-refugees' by the Indonesian government. As they moved on to integrate themselves within the local community, they were called 'new citizens'. This paper examines the way displaced East Timorese were labelled and how they responded. It argues that these externally constructed categories have denied the agency of the displaced East Timorese and brought unintended consequences that have shaped their lives in West Timor. In return, the displaced East Timorese have undertaken proactive responses by engaging in constructive socio-economic and political activities to show that they are not deterred by those labels. They understand that belonging has entailments and that their responses demonstrate that access to potential resources have been stalled by those who have objectified, marginalised and denied them.
|Journal||RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|