Irena Cristalis, who also writes and broadcasts under the byline, Irene Slegt, is a Dutch journalist and photographer, who since 1990 has been based in Asia, including at various times Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok, New Delhi and East Timor. She understands three Asian languages -- Chinese, Indonesian and Tetum, the indigenous language of the East Timorese. She has reported on the wars, conflicts and independence struggles from Kashmir in the north west of Asia to East Timor in the south-eastern corner. Her photos and reports on China, Mongolia, Kashmir, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Tibet, Indonesia and many other Asian countries have been used by newspapers, magazines and radio stations around the world, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Der Spiegel, the New York Times, The Economist, the BBC, Radio Netherlands and Deutsche Welle. Her second book on East Timor: Independent Women, The story of women's activism in East Timor, co-written with Catherine Scott, was published in 2004. Her connection with East Timor goes back to 1994. She lived there from 1998 till 2000 and spent time with Falintil in the mountains; she was also one of the three Western journalists to stay on in the besieged UN compound and keep on reporting during the ransacking of Dili by paramilitary and the Indonesian security forces at the time of their impending departure from the island in September 1999. She has kept going back to East Timor at every important juncture in its recent history as an independent state, including the crisis in 2006 and the first parliamentary elections in 2007. Since 2007 she has been living in London with her husband and small son.
More books by John G. Taylor