Jul 29, 2005

Vale HT Lee – Crikey commentator

The death on Wednesday of Crikey contributor HT Lee robs us of a spirited and independent voice – but his loss will be felt even more keenly in Australia's Timorese community, for w

The death on Wednesday of Crikey contributor HT Lee robs us of a
spirited and independent voice – but his loss will be felt even more
keenly in Australia’s Timorese community, for whom he was a friend and
unyielding defender. HT, who was 56, survived the notorious 1999 TNI
siege of the UN compound in Dili, but succumbed in Melbourne’s
Austin hospital after complications from a heart bypass operation that
was to have given him new life.

A humble and generous man, HT fought energetically
(despite poor health) for the causes he believed in: as a photojournalist; when he worked
for the union movement; and as an activist (from helping the people of Timor and
Aceh, to proper handling of asbestos). He believed in the free and open
exchange of information, and invariably sided against vested interests
and injustice. Most recently, he alerted Crikey subscribers to the
continuing attempts by the federal government to screw down a tough –
and in his firm view unconscionable – deal to exploit East Timor’s
potentialy vast resource riches.

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