While preparing a contribution for the bi-annual Frans Seda Lecture (coming 9 June in Tilburg University), I read a book about Don Thomas, edited by Oscar Pareira Mandalangi (with a preface by Frans Seda): Don Thomas Peletak Dasar Sikka Membangun (Sikka, Yayasan Pendidikan Thomas, YAPENTHOM, 2003). Don Josephus Thomas Ximenes da Silva (1895-1954) was the last feudal ruler of Sikka, until 1951. There is a large number of contributions, but they all agree in one vision: he was a powerful ruler, who could deal with the Dutch government, but he was also very autocratic. In all positions he put his own family, and the word nepotism is mentioned by several authors. He definitely was not democratic and put aside the wishes of KANILIMA, the regions of Kangae, Nita, Lio, Maumere. The Catholic mission did not open a secondary school besides the minor seminary of Todabelu and his YAPENTHOM was a secondary school, opened in 1947.
I found a nice picture of this 'strong man', complete with the magical attribute of Flores culture, an elepghant tusk.
In my book on Catholics in Indonesia, I did not mention him among prominent people of Flores. I do still not yet have a good idea about him. Still missing for me is also more information about V.B. da Costa, who also made a career in the Catholics Party. There was at some time even a slogan of Ganyang Tiga-S or 'destroy the power of Seda-Sentis-Say' where Sentis stand in some way for V.B. da Costa.