It’s not everyday a new book comes along which highlights the atrocities of a war which was so close to home. Tammy Pemper happens to be an AFPFMA member and an Australian writer. Tammy has released a book called Scorched Earth, and it’s well worth a read. She has worked with the United Nations, Australian Federal Police, and the US Peace Corps. This book was completed through five years of interviews and experiences in Timor-Leste.

An exceptional book that fills the gap in our 24 years of horrific terror.
Bi-Hali Gusmao, Vice-President of Veterans Institution, Dili, East Timor

Scorched Earth is a unique, narrative-style biography told from the perspective of an Australian police peacekeeper. The book will appeal to readers of history, Australian events, peacekeeping, policing, and stories about the triumph of ordinary people. Interesting to note that 30 August 2019 is the historical 20th anniversary of the referendum that resulted in the bloodied independence of Timor-Leste.

About the Book

The main  Character is former police Senior Sergeant Watt who was a serving officer for 28 years. He worked with police capacity building programs internationally, and with UNFICYP, UNAMET, and UNTAET. He was a UN assessor in Africa and the Middle East, and continues to support projects globally.

“As a UN peacekeeper, I joined the East Timorese fight for life. By then, the earth had drunk the blood of one third of their population. But worse was still to come.

I would see it for myself. I saw bodies carried to their deaths, machetes carve flesh from bone, and bullets spray into crowds of Timorese and at us peacekeepers. I learned the true meaning of fear, hopelessness, and courage. Shades of truth were twisted for evil gain. Every day I prepared to die. Decisions I made, which seemed so right, jeopardized the lives of others.

Police held automatic weapons to my head, militia wrote my name on death lists, and people drew their last breath, all of them brave, braver than me.

For this is the true story of my experience. In the midst of the East Timorese fight for independence, militia were determined to enact their scorched earth policy and raze Timor to the ground.

Timorese voted, Timor burned. It is their story, our story: a story that must be told.”

Where to Buy

Paperback versions of the book can be purchased from several online stores including:

EBook version is available from:

Win a Copy

Thanks to Big Sky Publishing, WIN a copy of the book! Share & comment on our Facebook post tag a friend and like the post then share the link. Winner announced on 30 August 2019.