June 26, 2006

Quitting politics Timor-style — via SMS

DILI (Reuters) - When East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Jose Ramos-Horta resigned his government posts, he did
so via a mobile phone text message.

Ramos-Horta told a news briefing that he had sent an SMS to
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri announcing his intention to quit
on Sunday, and received a reply in the same format from the

"I explained myself in a subsequent text message," he said.

The country has been embroiled for months in a political
crisis and text messaging has emerged as the fastest and most
reliable means of communication.

Thousands of protesters clamoring for Alkatiri's
resignation have been mobilizing themselves via SMS, and news
of him stepping down on Monday spread rapidly through text