On September 30, 1999, Sander was cremated in his home town of Enschede, The Netherlands. Several friends and colleagues gave speeches. Here, you can find Eveline's speech and Richard Lambert's speech.

Eveline's speech

I'd like to start with a big welcome for everybody and thank you for being here.

That's one of the strange things for us, as family; to realise now how many friends Sander had and how many people he knew.

I'm just his little sister. He was always my big brother, who was traveling around the world and living in faraway countries. He would come back to Holland once or twice a year, and he would take me to the beach, or some other place, to walk and ask me how I was, and what I had been doing. I have had so many good conversations with my big brother and he really helped me out with some good advice more than once.

And he would tell funny things that happened in his life; in Russia, in Kazakhstan and in Indonesia.

But in Holland he never talked so much about his work. He never boasted about anything. I remember one e-mail of him saying that he didn't really have any news to tell me, and at the bottom he wrote "oh yeah, and I shook hands with Habibie." That was Sander.

He actually taught me how to windsurf, and how to dance the 'cha-cha-cha': me standing on his feet and holding on to him tight, and he would dance with me. I was maybe six and he was fifteen.

As a child he used to read a lot. He had literally hundreds of childrens' books, and later he wanted me to read them, too. He would actually blackmail me, and say: no, you can't have that cookie until you've read the entire book of 'Pinkeltje'. I hated him for that.

But I learned so many things from him. He was my big example, and that's what he will always be, not only for me. Only now I realise, that Sander was not just my big brother; he was many people's friend and colleague, and a very special one. Also for me: he was not just special for being my own brother. Hundreds of people have all these good memories of Sander, and those memories are there to stay forever.

We have actually laughed our heads off some times in the past few days, talking about Sander and remembering the way he was and the things he would do.

When our father, for example, would make tea for us, Sander would always take a good look at it first, and often concluded, when it was too strong, "this is not tea, it looks like coffee". He used to call this kind of tea 'heart attack tea' ('hartverlammingsthee') and I always had to laugh about this.

He lived on tea; since he didn't drink any coffee, he always drank tea. And when I drink tea, I usually put sugar in it. "Yak! How can you put sugar in your tea!" he'd say. "That is disgusting."

Those few days that he would spend with us were always fantastic and I'd look forward to them for weeks. And exactly because of the reason that we spent so little time together, our contact was always very intense. We would have good conversations and do fun things every single time we would be together. That was the great part about my far-away-brother.

Actually I think there was no better place for him to die than where he did: at work. Because his work was his life and that is what he died for.

He went to East Timor to show the world the truth,... and that is what he did.

Eveline C Thoenes

Richard Lambert's speech

I am here on behalf of Sander's friends and colleagues on the Financial Times, and of many readers around the world, to tell you about our pride and respect for him as a journalist, and our sense of shock and sorrow about what has happened. And I want to convey our deepest sympathy to his family, and to Ian.

In the past week, our office has been flooded with e-mails and letters.

Some came from his colleagues and friends. They spoke of his enthusiasm and charm, of his boundless curiosity, of his generosity and courage.

That's my enduring memory of him too. Our first meeting was in Moscow, when he was still working for the Moscow Times. He cornered me at a cocktail party, and with energy, determination and charm told me how - one day - he was going to work for the Financial Times, more or less whatever I might feel about the idea.

Some letters came from the great and good, the people he wrote about, or whom he came across in his professional career.

They spoke of his integrity and persistence, and of the respect they felt for him. They said he had made a difference.

And some came from people who only knew him through his work, and who admired and respected him for that.

I quote from one letter:

"I never met him, but I feel as though I have lost a personal friend who kept me in touch with a distant and difficult part of the world."

Over the past few days, I have been re-reading what Sander wrote for the Financial Times in recent months.

Several things have struck me.

One is the sheer breadth of his reporting.

In the last two weeks of his life, he wrote not just about the horrors of East Timor or the political manoeuvrings in Jakarta. He also published pieces on the country's banking scandal, and - as you might expect from the Financial Times - on the performance of its stock market.

Another was the quality and sophistication of his analysis. In particular, I'm thinking of a feature he wrote just a few weeks ago about the shifting balance of power in the Indonesian military.

A third striking quality I noticed: his reporting is always illustrated by the voices of real people. He wasn't satisfied just to go to the press briefings or to work through the approved press intermediaries. He wanted to know what people who were actually on the front line were thinking.

I'll give you just one example.

At the end of August, he noted that red and white Indonesian flags were fluttering across a town in the mountains of East Timor. But, wrote Sander, these flags should not give the president hope. "I don't have the option not to fly the flag", he quotes one farmer as saying. "I'm forced to do it." The final thing I noticed, subtle but unmistakable, was a growing sense of frustration and then anger about what was happening in East Timor. There's the cool analysis, yes. But there's also something else.

At the end of a long and powerful feature we published just three weeks ago, he quoted a rather pompous remark from the New Zealand foreign minister, a Mr McKinnon.

Then came the final paragraph.

"Mr McKinnon forgets what is on the line first of all: the lives of some 800,000 Timorese, who trusted the United Nations to bring them not just a ballot, but a future."

Like everyone here, I suppose, I have spent the last days trying - and failing - to make sense of what has happened.

Casting around, I've found three sources of comfort, which I will share with you.

One is that Sander loved what he was doing, and he was very good at it. He had wanted for a long time to work for the Financial Times, in Indonesia, and he had the satisfaction of knowing that his work was widely admired.

The second is that he was not a reckless man. He thought carefully before he exposed himself to danger.

In the words of someone who was with him in Dili last week:

"What he did that day was within the limits of what a reporter has to do to find out what is really happening."

Third, and perhaps most important of all, what he was doing mattered. A lot of what gets published in newspapers is routine information. But there is more to it than that. Reporters, especially those who work in difficult and remote parts of the world, give us the tools which help us to understand complex issues, and to make judgements on which policymakers must, eventually, take action.

Finding out what is really happening is important.

The conflict in East Timor threatens to change the map of Asia.

There is growing uncertainty in the region - an uncertainty which emanates from the towns of Timor and which echoes in Washington, Tokyo and other Western capitals.

Policies that affect the lives of millions of people are being influenced by reports from the streets of Dili.

Sander reported what he saw. He brought the honourable qualities of intelligence and objectivity to a place of horror and of chaos. No journalist, no citizen, could have done more.

   
 
 
 
 
Darwin
Enschede
Jakarta
London
Hampshire College
Almaty
Washington, DC