East Timor Independence

East Timor Independence?
 . Introduction .. 3
 . Ethnological origin, demography and policy . 3
 . Before and after the arrival of the Europeans .. 6
 . Japanese occupation during World War II 7
 . The Portuguese colonial empire .. 8
 . Indonesian invasion .. 10
 . Introduction to Indonesia . 12
 . Independence of Indonesia and Sukarno  13
 . Formation of East-Timorese political associations   17
 . The parties .  18
 . Australian support .  21
 . USA admits Timorese right to self-determination ..  23
 . Indonesia admits independence . 23
 . Agreement Between the Republic of Indonesia and the Portugese
   Republic on the Question of East Timor ..  24
 . Conclusion  26

      It is not easy to write with feigned calm  and  dispassion  about  the
events that have  been  unfolding  in  East  Timor.  Horror  and  shame  are
compounded by the fact that the crimes are so familiar and could  so  easily
have been halted by the international community a long time ago.
      Timor, the Malay  word  for  "Orient",  is  an  island  of  the  Malay
Archipelago, the  largest  and  easternmost  of  the  Lesser  Sundas,  lying
between parallels 8  deg.  17'  and  10  deg.  22'  of  south  latitude  and
meridians 123 deg. 25' and 127 deg. 19' of latitude east from Greenwich.  It
is bathed by the Indian Ocean  (Timor  Sea)  at  South,  and  Pacific  Ocean
(Banda Sea) at North and has an oblong configuration  in  the  direction  of
southwest -- northeast. The island is  surrounded  by  the  Roti  and  Saval
islands through the Roti Strait, by the Lomblem, Pantar  and  Ombai  islands
across the Ombai Strait and by Kissar isle  to  the  northeast.  Southwards,
Australia dists about 500 km, and 1000 km separates the southwest  point  of
Timor from Java.
      The total area of Timor is of 32 350 sq km, measuring the maximums  of
470 km in length and 110 km in width. About 480 km wide, and  a  surface  of
450 000 sq km, the Timor Sea which is divided between the  two  territories,
opening west into the Indian Ocean and east into the Arafura  Sea,  part  of
the Pacific Ocean.
      The territory of the island -- East  Timor--  of  which  Portugal  was
recognized administrative power by United  Nations,  occupies  an  estimated
area of almost 19 000 km, and comprises the  eastern  half  of  the  island,
with 265 km in length and 92 km of maximum width and an area of  16  384  km
and the enclave of Ocussi-Ambeno that dists 70 km from Batugadi, with 2  461
sq km and a coastline 48 km long. Still part of East Timor is the island  of
Ataero (or Pulo-Cambing) with 144 sq  km,  just  23  km  northwards  of  the
capital Dili and the tiny isle of Jaco with 8  sq  km,  being  the  oriental
extreme of East Timor just ahead of Tutuala.

                 Ethnological origin, demography and policy.

      There are 12 ethnic groups in East Timor each of  which  has  its  own
language: 9 Austronesian language groups - Tetum, Mambai,  Tokodede,  Kemak,
Galoli, Idate, Waima'a, Naueti;  and  3  Papuan  language  groups  -  Bunak,
Makasae, Fatuluku. The Tetum live in two separate  geographic  areas  within
East Timor. A simplified version of the Tetum language was utilised in  Dili
by the Portuguese as a lingua franca. This language  has  spread  throughout
East Timor so that Tetum, in its original or simplified  form,  came  to  be
spoken by about  60%  of  the  population.  Though  widespread,  it  is  not
understood by all.
      One of the first references to the natives of East Timor is  expressed
in the description that in 1514 the Portuguese Rui de Brito sent to king  D.
Manuel. In our free transcription, he wrote in these  terms:  Timor  is  an
island beyond Java, has plenty sandalwood, plenty honey, plenty wax,  hasn't
junks for navigating, is a big island of kaffirs.
      The `kaffir' is meant to refer to the black and  of  troubled  hair.
Timorese what, not being untrue, was an imprecise observation  as  the  type
was to be found only in some regions, specially in Ocussi,  and  generically
in West Timor.
      From the antrophological point of view, the island arouses the  upmost
scientific interest such is the heterogeneity of it's people.
      For centuries the East Timorese had been farmers, living in  scattered
hamlets and eating what they grew. Only a few  coastal  East  Timorese  were
fishermen. Trading and shop keeping had for generations been  in  the  hands
of the Chinese. East Timor is extremely  mountainous,  so  the  majority  of
East Timorese had always lived in isolation,  far  from  towns  and  foreign
influences, tied to their  fields  and  animistic  practices.  In  spite  of
centuries of Catholic missionary work by the Portuguese,  in  1975  animists
still numbered as much as 72 % of the population. The local  Timorese  kings
still played an important  part  in  their  lives  and  allegiances,  whilst
interference from Portuguese administrators and  military  was  almost  non-
      In the period between World War 2 and the 1975 Indonesian invasion,  a
number of East Timorese managed to gain an education  in  the  colony's  few
schools. Some were mestizos, of Timorese and  Portuguese  parentage,  others
were Timorese from  traditional  ruling  families,  but  the  majority  were
native Timorese who  gained  their  education  through  the  Catholic  minor
seminary. The emergence of this small educated elite in the 1960s and  1970s
ensured that, when the Portuguese left East  Timor  in  1975,  these  people
with  schooling,  and  nationalist  aspirations,  became   the   territory's
      Politically,  socially  and  ethnologically  Timorese  differ  amongst
themselves  in  groups.  There  is  the  division   in   independent   sucos
(kingdoms),  the  distinction  between  the  Atoni  tribes  of  the  Servian
kingdom, in West Timor, and the Belos of the  Portuguese  territory,  groups
such as the Firacos, ethnic designation adopted by the Timorese  in  between
Baucau and Luca, or the Caladi which are  the  inhabitants  of  the  central
crest , Malays  and  non-Malays,  so  many  "sucos"  and  more  than  twenty
languages  and  dialects,  the  contribution  of  the  exogamy,  of  parties
irreconcilable. In conclusion, that is the expression of a relative  absence
of bio-ethnic unity of the populations.
      The history of a People and their Culture  voted  to  banishment  from
their motherland, the eastern half of an island,  former  Portuguese  colony
is the much unknown. Timor lies in  South  East  Asia  enclosed  in  world's
largest archipelago.  That  is  Indonesia,  which  gave  it's  name  to  the
Republic  constituted  after  the  dutch  withdrawl.  Since  the  beginning,
Indonesian governments have experienced resistance coming  from  independist
movements of various islands which claim  ethnical  and  cultural  diveristy
from the predominant  Javanese  type.  Nonetheless  they  were  continuously
silenced thus unable to internationalize  the  situation  to  a  stage  that
would force foreign intervention. When it became inevitable, in that  single
exception of the western half of New Guinea, the  autodetermination  of  the
papuans in favour  of  an  integration  in  Indonesia  was  observed  as  an
Indonesian orchestrated act, and  remembered  until  today  as  the  darkest
episode in the history of UN.
      Indonesia couldn't either afford the  regional  instability  that  the
prospect of a small nation rising in between the empire would  arouse  .This
solitary piece of territory and it's inhabitants had to be sacrificed for  a
hugger cause.
      Portugal which's vast colonial possessions had once made  the  country
great, with times had become responsible for it's retardment.  The  drawling
of the situation was put to an end with a successful coup d'etat,  in  April
'74, which engaged a national revolution ceasing dictatorship  and  commited
to decolonization. Meanwhile, if East Timor, due to  distance  and  expense,
was already the most forgotten colony, less attention it was  given  towards
the definition of it's future  as  the  longed  changes  in  the  metropolis
didn't avoid internal deviations and contradictions. It brought  instability
to the government of the country  and  the  urgence  to  lay  the  basis  of
      For Indonesia however, the solution was announced: annexation  by  any
terms. As it couldn't be done without  cover-up,  the  Indonesian  accounted
the "ignorance" of Timor's closest neighbor, Australia, offering  access  to
the Timor Gap  for  oil.  The  maintenance  of  economic  and  institutional
relations  was  (is)  too   important.   Necessary   non-interference   from
superpower USA was also naturally reached.  Having  the  Americans  weakened
their position in South East Asia after Vietnam, Indonesia was  regarded  as
the last great bastion of  anti-communism  in  the  region,  essentially  in
those years for reasons of  military  strategy  as  we'll  see  ahead.  Thus
friendly relations were very important to preserve.
      So, in name of political, economical  and  military  goals,  with  two
major countries making it possible for the  pretender  of  East  Timor,  and
before the impotence of Administrative Power Portugal, Indonesia invaded  in
December '75, interrupting  a  process  of  decolonization  in  course.  The
action was promptly condemned by the United Nations.  Although  in  face  of
International Law, and of the most elementary  human  rights,  Indonesia  is
regularly criticized by the  International  Community,  East  Timor  remains
still insignificant to put at stake superior governmental interests.
      As the case of East Timor becomes more of a serious  arrow  nailed  in
the flank of Indonesia's  diplomacy,  Jakarta  multiplies  efforts  to  gain
votes amongst countries who normally vote against in  the  sessions  of  UN,
the mediator of the discussions  between  Portugal  and  Indonesia  (without
Timorese representation) to avoid further embarrassments that have  resulted
uncomfortable  for  its  economic  relations,  and  desirable  leading  role
amongst the Non-Aligned Movement, the same that combated colonialism.
      Nevertheless the same policy  persists  for  Timor.  As  if  once  the
annexation has been  carried  out  it  urges  by  all  means  to  prove  the
righteousness of such action.
      For the last 19 years, an excess of 200 000 Timorese have been  killed
by the Indonesians. The Resistance arms itself  with  the  weapons  captured
from the enemy. Women, the aged and the children are concentrated  in  camps
where they  do  forced  labour  and  many  starve  to  death.  Suspects  are
tortured, spanking and sexual abuse  are  constant,  many  women  have  been
sterilized.  Family  members  are   deliberately   aparted.   Transmigration
programs project the definite dissolution of the Maubere People.

                Before and after the arrival of the Europeans

      Previous to the European interference  in  the  indigenous  scheme  of
life, the island of Timor was inhabited by barbarian  people  that  couldn't
write but used iron and was already agricultural. Industry  was  limited  to
the fabrication of cotton cloths with which they covered themselves and  the
commerce reduced to the trade of wax and  sandalwood  for  certain  products
that brought to Timor makasare, malays and javanese.
      Much before the arrival of Portuguese and Dutch, Timor was part of the
commercial nets politically centered east of Java,  after  in  the  Celebes,
and linked by trade to China and India. In documents  published  during  the
Ming dynasty, in 1436, the commercial value of Timor is put  in  relief  and
described  as  a  place  where  the  mountains  are  covered  by  trees  of
sandalwood producing the country nothing else. One of the first  Portuguese
to visit the island, Duarte Barbosa, wrote in 1518:  there's  an  abundance
of sandalwood, white, to which the Muslims in India and  Persia  give  great
value and where much of it is used.
      Other products were exported such as honey, wax and slaves, but  trade
relied mainly on sandalwood.

                   Japanese occupation during World War II

      During the Second World War, Portugal declared a policy of neutrality.
Dutch and  Australian  troops  nonetheless  disembarked  at  East  Timor  in
disrespect of Portuguese sovereignty. But the  real  menace  came  with  the
Japanese invasion, three months later,  in  February  of  1942.  The  island
became a stage of war between Japanese and the allieds. Timorese  were  seen
as secondary actors when in truth, after  crossing  a  period  of  rebellion
against  Portuguese  rule,  were  they  the  more  sacrificed   during   the
resistance until 1945.
      In spite of Portugal's policy of neutrality, the Australian and  Dutch
troops entered in  Timor.  It  was  the  first  of  two  foreigner  military
invasions. In Lisbon, Oliveira de Salazar denounced the allied disembark  as
an invasion of a neutral territory.  Shortly  after  arrived  the  Japanese.
It's not to admire that J. Santos Carvalho saw in these actions an  attitude
of depreciation towards the sovereignty of Portugal. When the allied  forces
arrived at Dili in  December  the  17th  of  1941,  he  says  that  governor
Ferreira de Carvalho,  without  means  to  retaliate  by  arms  ordered  the
national flag to be hoisted in all public partitions and  buildings  of  the
colony. To further mark his position of neutrality he  confined  himself  to
his residence and, by free determination, wished to be considered prisoner.
      The population of the capital went to live in the interior, mainly  in
Aileu, Liquie and Maubara. Some of the few Portuguese that remained in  Dili
pursued nevertheless with their usual lives,  socializing  with  the  forces
stationed in Timor. They were given instructions by the local government  to
maintain  a  correct  attitude  but  to  show  no  familiarity  neither   to
collaborate. An atmosphere of normality gain form, and  some  families  were
prepared to go back. It  is  even  reported  that  an  agreement  signed  by
English and Portuguese governments defined  that  the  allied  troops  would
retire as soon as arrived a contingent  of  Portuguese  forces  from  Maputo
      What happened instead was the Japanese invasion of Dili,  in  February
of 1942.  During  January  they  had  managed  to  occupy  Malaysia  (except
Singapore), the Philippines  (but  not  Bataan),  Borneo  and  the  Celebes,
Birmania, New Guinea  and  the  Salmon  islands.  Following  general  L.  M.
Chassin - at the end of the second month of an hyperbolic  invasion  ,  the
Japanese tide extended itself irresistibly  beyond  paralyzed  and  impotent
adversaries. In the middle  of  February  they  invaded  Sumatra  occupying
Palembang, soon after Singapore is attacked and  many  Englishmen  are  made
prisoners. Java was surrounded and on the 20th, Bali and Timor  were  taken.
After a weak resistance  ,  the  Dutch  troops  abandoned  by  the  Javanese
soldiers -- which were in majority  --,  escaped  to  the  interior  leaving
behind armament. Dili was then violently sacked by the Japanese,  who  found
the city almost uninhabited.

                       The Portuguese colonial empire

      Up to the final years of dictatorship in Portugal,  in  spite  of  the
condemnation of UN and the start of the guerrilla  warfare  in  the  African
colonies of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique, the  Portuguese  Colonial  Empire
was defended by the government as an  heritage  of  the  glorious  past  and
motive  of  national  pride.  However,  the  crescent   expenses   of   it's
maintenance begun to reflect increasingly on the economy and  social  tissue
of the metropolis, what provoked crescent discontentment of the  population,
finally leading to the Revolution of '74 that installed democracy  and  gave
independence to the colonies. East Timor was invaded by Indonesia  precisely
in the course of decolonization.
      During  dictatorship,  the  colonies   continued   to   be   dedicated
considerable interest. For the nationalist ideology that  characterized  the
regime, the vast regions of the World under Portuguese sovereignty  were  to
be seen as the justification of a  necessary  conscience  of  greatness  and
pride to be Portuguese.
      The expression "Portuguese Colonial Empire" would be  generalized  and
even met official formalization. Colonial patrimony was  considered  as  the
remaining spoils of the Portuguese  conquests  of  the  glorious  period  of
      These notions were mystified but also expressed  in  Law  as  in  1930
Oliveira de Salazar (at the time minister of Finances and, for some time  of
the Colonies)  published  the  Colonial  Act.  It  stated  some  fundamental
principles for the overseas territorial administration and  proclaimed  that
it was of the organic essence of  the  Portuguese  nation  to  possess  and
colonize overseas territories and to civilize indigenous  populations  there
comprised. The overseas dimension of  Portugal  was  however  soon  put  at
stake after World War II. The converging  interest  of  the  two  victorious
superpowers on the  re-distribution  of  World  regions  productors  of  raw
materials contributed for an international agreement on the legal right  for
all peoples to their own government. Stated as a  fundamental  principle  of
the UN Charter, anti-colonialism gave thrust to  the  independist  movements
of the colonies, and in matter of time unavoidably  accepted  by  the  great
colonial nations: England, France, Netherlands, Belgium. Yet such  countries
relied on mechanisms of economical  domination  that  would  last,  assuring
that political independence wouldn't substantially affect the  structure  of
trade relations.
      Loss of the Indian territories and the reactions.  The  first  problem
that the Portuguese had to deal  with  was  the  conflict  with  the  Indian
Union, independent state in 1947. The Indian nationalism had triumphed  over
the English occupation, and in 1956  forced  the  French  to  abandon  their
establishments in 1956. The same was demanded to the Portuguese  over  their
territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, but in face  of  refusal.  India  severed
the diplomatic relations. The passage through Indian territory in  order  to
reach the two enclaves  dependent  of  Daman  was  denied  since  1954,  and
despite the recognition of such right  by  International  Court  of  Justice
recognized t (1960), Dadr and Nagar Haveli were effectively lost. This  was
followed by mass invasions of passive resisters which Portuguese were  still
able to hinder until December  19  of  1961,  when  the  Indian  Union  made
prevail it's superior  military  force,  to  obtain  final  retreat  of  the
      Goa had  been  capital  of  the  Portuguese  expansion  to  the  East.
Conquered in 1510 by Afonso de Albuquerque, it was also an active center  of
religious diffusion to the point of being called the Rome of the Orient.  In
spite of  it's  the  historical  and  spiritual  importance,  the  reactions
against the military attack of the Indian Union parted mainly from  official
sectors,  and  only  moderately  shared  by  the  public  opinion.  For  the
historian J. Hermano de Saraiva whom we  have  followed,  it  reflected  the
dominant  politic  ideologies:  at  the  end  of  the  XIXth  century,   the
colonizing activity was considered a service rendered  to  civilization  but
since World War II viewed as an attempt to the liberty of the peoples.  This
doctrinal involucre of interest to which  the  Portuguese  were  completely
strange was rapidly adopted  by  the  intellectual  groups,  in  great  part
responsible for the formation of the public  opinion.  That's  how  Saraiva
justifies that the protests for the loss of Goa to  the  Indian  Union  were
directed less to the foreign power than to the Portuguese authorities,  for
not having known to negotiate a modus viviendi acceptable for  both  parts.
More than that, he detects in this curious reaction a  tendency  that  would
accentuate along the two following decades: the  crisis  of  patriotism.  To
defend or to exalt the national values appeared to the bourgeois  elites  of
the  60's  as  a  provincial  attitude,  expression   of   cultural   under-

                             Indonesian invasion

      Indonesia invaded the  territory  in  December  1975,  relying  on  US
diplomatic support and arms, used illegally but  with  secret  authorisation
from Washington; new  arms  shipments  were  sent  under  the  cover  of  an
official "embargo".
      There was no need to threaten bombing or even sanctions. It would have
sufficed for the US and its allies  to  withdraw  active  participation  and
inform  their  associates  in  the  Indonesian  military  command  that  the
atrocities must be terminated and the territory granted the right  of  self-
determination, as upheld by the United Nations and the  international  court
of justice. We cannot undo the past, but should  at  least  be  willing  to
recognise what we have done, and face the  moral  responsibility  of  saving
the remnants and providing reparations - a small  gesture  of  compensation
for terrible crimes.
      Many were immediately killed, while their villages were burned down to
the ground. Others run to the mountains in the  heart  of  their  land,  and
organized a resistance movement. These brave peasants -  and  their  sons  -
have opposed the barbarian indonesian soldiers for 23  years  now.  Torture,
rape, all kinds of physical, sexual and  psychological  violations,  violent
repression and brutal murder have been the daily life of the Maubere  people
(the original people of East Timor) since.
      Even before president Habibie's surprise call for  a  referendum  this
year, the army anticipated threats to its rule, including its  control  over
East Timor's resources, and undertook careful planning with "the aim,  quite
simply... to destroy a nation".
      The plans were known  to  western  intelligence.  The  army  recruited
thousands of West Timorese and brought in forces from Java. More  ominously,
the military command sent units of its dreaded US-trained  Kopassus  special
forces and, as  senior  military  adviser,  General  Makarim,  a  US-trained
intelligence specialist with "a reputation for callous violence".
      Terror and destruction began  early  in  the  year.  The  army  forces
responsible have been described as "rogue elements" in the  west.  There  is
good  reason,  however,  to  accept  Bishop  Belo's  assignment  of   direct
responsibility to General Wiranto. It appears that the  militias  have  been
managed by elite units of Kopassus, the "crack  special  forces  unit"  that
had "been training regularly with  US  and  Australian  forces  until  their
behaviour became too much of an embarrassment for their foreign friends".
      These forces adopted the tactics of the US Phoenix  programme  in  the
Vietnam war, which killed tens of thousands of  peasants  and  much  of  the
indigenous South Vietnamese leadership, as well as "the tactics employed  by
the Contras" in Nicaragua. The  state  terrorists  were  "not  simply  going
after the most radical pro-independence people, but...  the  moderates,  the
people who have influence in their community."
      Well before the referendum, the commander of the  Indonesian  military
in Dili, Colonel Tono Suratman, warned of what was to  come:  "If  the  pro-
independents do win... all will be destroyed.  It  will  be  worse  than  23
years ago". An army document of early May, when international  agreement  on
the referendum was reached, ordered "massacres should be  carried  out  from
village to village  after  the  announcement  of  the  ballot  if  the  pro-
independence  supporters  win".  The  independence   movement   "should   be
eliminated from its leadership down to its roots".
      Citing diplomatic, church and militia sources,  the  Australian  press
reported that "hundreds of modern assault rifles, grenades and  mortars  are
being stockpiled, ready for use if the autonomy option is  rejected  at  the
ballot box".
      All of this was understood by Indonesia's "foreign friends", who  also
knew how to bring the terror to an end, but preferred evasive and  ambiguous
reactions that the Indonesian generals could easily interpret  as  a  "green
light" to carry out their work.
      The sordid history must  be  viewed  against  the  background  of  US-
Indonesia  relations  in  the  postwar  era.  The  rich  resources  of   the
archipelago, and its critical strategic location, guaranteed  it  a  central
role in US global planning. These factors lie behind  US  efforts  40  years
ago to dismantle Indonesia, perceived as too independent and too  democratic
- even permitting participation of the poor peasants. These factors  account
for western support for the regime of  killers  and  torturers  who  emerged
from the 1965 coup.
      Their achievements were seen as a vindication of Washington's wars  in
Indochina,  motivated  in  large  part  by  concerns  that  the  "virus"  of
independent nationalism might  "infect"  Indonesia,  to  use  Kissinger-like
      The recent convulsions inside Indonesia  -  with  its  people  finally
crying for freedom and democracy - and the  Nobel  Peace  Prize  of  1996  -
shared between Bishop Belo, a dominican supporting  the  Maubere  people  in
Dili, and Jose Ramos Horta, a politician and  activist  who  represents  the
Resistance historic leader, Xanana Gusmao, imprisioned in  Indonesia  for  a
20-year sentence - have brought a new hope  to  the  fight  of  this  martyr
people. Also,  economic  crisis  hitting  south-east  Asia  has  shaken  the
dictatorship in  Jakarta  more  than  ever.  The  winds  of  change  blowing
throughout Indonesia  started to hit East Timor...

                          Introduction to Indonesia

      Indonesia is the country with the more of Muslims in the  world  which
means 87 per cent of 180 million habitants. Nevertheless, the major part  of
the declared Muslims mix their faith  in  Allah  with  animistic  or  Hindu-
Buddhist beliefs. These are reminiscences of the  Indian  colonization  that
would be interrupted with the penetration of  Islam  in  the  16th  century,
generally superficial and incomplete.
      Due to the insular configuration, composed by 13 677  islands,  3  000
inhabited, and with an approximate extension of 1/8 the perimeter of  Earth,
Indonesia faces problems of national unity. Being the  fifth  most  populous
nation, 2/3 are concentrated in only the fifth larger  island,  Java,  where
the density is one of the highest. The solution passes inevitably  by  birth
control  and  transmigration  to  territories  such  as  Papua  New  Guinea,
recently East Timor  but  also  in  between  with  the  evident  purpose  of
dissolving local cultures in the predominant  Javanese  which  is  only  one
amongst 360 tribal and ethno-linguistic groups and more than  250  different
languages and dialects.
      The Dutch colonial domain had been massively based in Java,  with  the
rest of the  archipelago  had  developed  very  unequally.  From  the  rigid
Islamic areas of North Sumatra to the tribes  of  Borneo  or  the  Christian
islands of the east, a variety of economic and  social  systems  experienced
very distinct problems for their progress.

                    Independence of Indonesia and Sukarno

      At the time of  Indonesia's  proclamation  of  independence  in  1945,
President Sukarno defined an ideological base for the state  --  the  "Panca
sila" (meaning "five virtues") -- to be followed by all citizens  and  sworn
by the social organizations. Main principles imposed were  the  adoption  of
Indonesian "Bahasa" language and the acceptance of one among five  religions
-- Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism and  Buddhism  --  forbidding
the animist cults and other traditional practices.  Thus  "Panca  sila"  was
assumed as an instrument of governmental control and a mean to javanize  the
diverse cultures.
      But not without much internal opposition. Illuded with the possibility
of the creation of an  official  Islamic  state,  when  Suharto  reached  to
power,  Communist  administrators  and  Islamic  movements   supported   the
Revolution, but what they didn't expect was the minor  concessions  offered,
and once annihilated the Communist Party,  an  important  preoccupation  of
the government  has  been  to  control,  domesticate  or  destroy  the  most
orthodox and active Muslim factions (Prof. A. Barbedo de Magalhes,  Oporto
University). Since then they oftenly erupt in  riots  against  the  military
aristocracy, basically syncretic in matter of religion.
      Besides reaffirming the "Panca sila", in 1982 Suharto  introduced  the
Law of  the  Associations  which  would  fasten  the  strain  on  political,
religious and  social  associations  as  it  increased  the  powers  of  the
administration to dismiss  or  impute  directors  to  the  aggregations,  to
destroy or agglutinate them in  others  more  vast  and  controlled  by  the
      Social and Political instability is patent in public insurrections  in
favor of democracy, which in September of 1984 culminated with  the  killing
of 60 Muslims and imprisonment of important personalities such as of  former
governors that defied an inquiry to the incident.
      Neo-colonialism in Indonesia? Many authors mention that Sukarno had  a
dream: the formation of a great Indonesia comprising  the  totality  of  the
ancient Dutch East Indies,  inclusive  the  non-Indonesian  population.  For
this reason had he renounced to the federate structures initially  conceived
for the creation of the United States of Indonesia  --  thus  betraying  the
agreement with the Dutch for the transfer of sovereignty --, in favor of  an
unitary constitution, although still  provisional.  The  new  direction  was
taken in August of 1950, three months after  an  unilateral  declaration  of
independence by the South Moluccas.
      The first elections, free and democratic in fact,  would  be  held  in
1955, but disputed by more or less 170 parties! Their differences  naturally
brought difficulties to the functioning of the parliamentary  democracy.  On
one hand, between the exponents of pre-Islamic syncretism of  the  "Nahdatul
Ulama" (NU) and  the  orthodox  Moslems  of  the  "Masyumi",  which's  vital
strength came from the outside -- West Sumatra  and  North  Celebes  besides
Occidental Java (Sundanese ethnic origin). On the other  hand,  between  the
Nationalist Party (PNI) and the Communist Party (PKI), based  in  Java,  and
these with the Moslems.
      The inefficiency of the administration,  which  passed  through  seven
governments since 1949 to '57,  and  the  rivalry  engaged  by  the  parties
alone, in contrast with the heroism of the Revolution of August 17th,  after
all, the concentration of decision and power in Java as  restrictor  of  the
economic, social and cultural development aroused at the end tension in  the
exterior islands.
      In February of 1957, Sukarno criticized the Western liberal  democracy
because unadapted to Indonesian particularity. He  interfered  more  in  the
constitutional processes and appeals to his concept of  "Guided  Democracy",
founded on indigenous procedures: the important questions should be  decided
through prolonged deliberations ("musyawarah") in order to obtain  consensus
("mukafat"). This was the practice in the village and the same  model  ought
to be adopted for the nation. Sukarno proposed a government  formed  by  the
four main  parties  and  a  national  council  represented  by  parties  and
functional groups in which, under the guidance of the  president  (himself),
consensus would express itself.
      In spite of the charisma gained by Sukarno as father  of  the  country
and mentor of the principle "unity in diversity", he  was  unable  to  avoid
the proclamations of the martial law in March of 1957 as a response  to  the
regional dissidences which reached their peak.
      At the end of the year a further set-back was brought by the defeat of
a motion for the renewal of negotiations concerning the destiny of West  New
Guinea. In a series of direct actions across  the  country,  Dutch  property
was seized with the Indonesian government taking over. In the  beginning  of
1958 West Sumatra claimed for the constitution of a new  central  government
under the leadership of  Hatta,  a  moderate  and  historic  figure  of  the
Revolution, from the start vice-president of Sukarno up until two years  ago
when he resigned because disagreeing with his policy. Ignored the appeal  of
the Sumatrese a  new  revolutionary  government  was  formed,  supported  by
leaders of the  Masyumi  Party,  including  the  ex-Prime  Ministers  Natsir
(September 1950 -- March '51) and Harahap (August '55  --  March  '56).  The
military commandant of the North Celebes joined  the  initiative,  yet  most
striking was CIA's assistance with armament including aircrafts.
      Suppression of the revolt was nevertheless soon accomplished, and with
the regions undermined, the parties discredited  and  the  prestige  of  the
victorious army elevated, Sukarno resumed the idea of  Guided  Democracy  in
partnership with the  military.  Meanwhile,  the  army  chief  of  staff  A.
Nasution had committed himself  to  the  thought  that  the  return  to  the
revolutionary constitution of 1945 (presidential-type) would offer the  best
means  for  implementing  the  principles  of  deliberation,  consensus  and
functional representation. Sukarno urged this course  in  a  speech  to  the
Constituent Assembly, elected in 1955 to  draft  a  permanent  constitution.
Despite failing the approval of the necessary two-thirds  for  majority,  he
introduced it through a presidential decree of dubious legality.
      Indonesia's domestic as well as  foreign  diplomacy  is  difficult  to
conceive  in  terms  other  than  in  the  context  of  neo-colonialism.  It
certainly is incompatible with the spirit of the  Afro-Asian  Conference  of
Bandung held in Java, in 1955. Among twenty  nine  countries  consensus  was
reached  in  order  to  condemn  colonialism   in   all   it's   forms   of
manifestation. As it seems,  imperialism  isn't  condemnable  so  long  the
territories comes from  an  ancient  colony.  Like  the  annexation  of  the
Moluccan islands (1950-52) and in  1969  the  also  former  Dutch  West  New
Guinea, long pretended. The last was integrated after an Act of Free  Choice
sanctioned by UN. In truth, many journalists and  observers  would  consider
the process orchestrated but  it  had  already  been  sealed.  Today  it  is
remembered as perhaps the most unfortunate episode UN's history.
      In both  regions,  as  well  as  in  other  islands  of  the  Pacific,
population claim Melanesian ancestrality, not  identifying  themselves  with
Indonesia, predominantly Malaysian.
      The country has always been tormented by regional rebellions. From the
perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalist movements, even in Java (where in  the
district of Acheh, a Moslem state practically  subsisted  between  1948  and
1962), Sumatra and Celebes as we've  seen  but  also  Kalimantan,  to  those
involving Christian groups as in the  South  Moluccas.  Still  in  1984  the
Movement for the Liberation of Papua erupted in  attacks  against  the  main
cities of the territory, hoisting their flag in the capital opposite to  the
Regional Parliament.
      The power of Sukarno depended along the years of the  preservation  of
the equilibrium between the army and the Communist Party (PKI).  The  period
assisted to the crescent popularity of the communists due to the  consistent
protection moved  by  the  President  in  face  of  the  incursions  of  the
militaries. he opposed to the prohibitions  of  congresses  and  editorials,
banished political organizations patronized by the military to  blacken  the
PKI, placing some of their  militants  in  political  posts.  Many  analysts
think that Sukarno was preparing the path for the rise of the communists  to
the power. Others say that his action intended to assure a  the  permanently
threatened equilibrium
      The coup of Suharto and the military. On the night  of  September  30,
1965, a group of subaltern officials based at Halim  Air  Base  attempted  a
coup d'tat to anticipate what they alleged to be the take-over  of  a  pro-
Western council of generals. But by following morning the Strategic  Reserve
of the  Army  Forces  (KOSTRAD),  commanded  by  Suharto,  had  concluded  a
successful counter-attack. For  specialist  Benedict  Anderson,  of  Cornell
University, it seems odd that Suharto, who would gather the reins  of  power
into his hands, hadn't been aimed at by the  "30th  of  September  Movement"
which  assassinated  six  army  generals  (while  a  seventh,  A.  Nasution,
      With propaganda that implicated important  nationalist  and  communist
politicians in the first stroke and the estimulation of  the  widely  spread
resentment of the  pro-Chinese  PKI  was  object  of  among  the  Indonesian
Islamic groups, the militaries gradually assumed  power.  Suharto  begun  to
maintain the already wasted and sickened Sukarno in a fictional  presidency,
as a symbol of national unity until by decree emptying his legal  authority,
in March 11, 1966. The next semester would be fatal for  more  than  half  a
million Chinese and Indonesian besides an excess of 200  thousand  political
prisoners which altogether formed one of the greatest Communist  parties  of
the World. The wave of hysteria was such that  they  were  pointed  out  and
oftenly even executed by their proper neighbor civilians in the villages.

              Formation of East-Timorese political associations

      During Portuguese dictatorship, civilians were  prohibited  to  gather
for political discussions.  But  since  the  60's  an  educated  elite  with
nationalist aspirations  begun  to  reune  clandistinely  and  vehicle  some
principles in catholic press. Three weeks after the  democratic  Revolution,
formation of political associations was  incentivated,  in  the  process  of
decolonization. Immediatly UDT was founded, wanting  to  prolong  Portugal's
presence in view of a progressive autonomy. ASDT,  future  Fretilin,  called
for radical independence, while Apodeti, supported  by  Indonesia,  for  the
integration of East Timor in the neighbour power.
      Although the changes acrossing the metropolis were of little immediate
effect in the rural society, they had profound impact among  the  elites  of
East Timor, particularly in  the  administrator  sectors,  centered  in  the
cities and specially in  Dili  They  polarized  the  opposition  to  certain
aspects of the Portuguese rule.
      Since the 60s, an educated elite with nationalist aspirations began to
emerge, often product of the catholic  schools  and  particularly  from  the
seminaries of Dare (outside Dili) and  S.  Jose  in  the  colony  of  Macao.
Discussions involved  small  groups  of  students  and  administrators  that
gathered clandestinely in the capital. The main escapes of their ideas  were
catholic publications of reduced circulation like Seara,  which  was  closed
down by the political police PIDE.
      The conclusions reached are considered general and  vagrant.  Subjects
like traditional marriage and the educational system were  debated  but  not
much was proposed as a global critic and alternatives.
      Anyhow, this collective of  student-administrators  and  higher  level
bureaucrats, as well as important rural  proprietors  would  constitute  the
basis of the two main political parties: UDT and ASDT/Fretilin.
      Three weeks after the Revolution 25th of April, the Governor  of  East
Timor created the Commission for the  Autodetermination  which's  intentions
were to bring out to legality all the incipient political associations.

                                 The parties

      UDT (Timor Democratic Union). This became the first  party,  was  also
the most popular for some months. The  initial  declaration,  of  May  11th,
made apology of democratic principles, distribution  of  revenues  and,  the
fulcral aspect, a  progressive  autonomy  materialized  with  an  increasing
participation of the Timorese but always in  the  light  of  the  Portuguese
flag, to culminate with the  integration  of  East  Timor  in  a  Portuguese
language community. The political platform as conceived by  first  president
Mrio Carrascalo was  to  hold  Portugal's  presence  as  far  as  possible
without putting aside the  option  for  independence.  But  although  having
presented a cohesive front at start, the course  of  events  in  the  months
followed would evidence different susceptibilities towards a same problem.
      Firmly based on two groups, the higher positioned administrator  elite
and the larger proprietors of coffee plantations. UDT  accounted  still  the
favours of many suco liurais, although the majority  of  these  belonged  to
the circle of the imposed chiefs, in an ancient  practice  of  the  colonial
government to substitute the legitimate when  less  malleable...  They  used
their influence to gain support for the party in  the  countryside  managing
strong  implantation  in  areas  like  Liquie,  Maubara,  Maubisse,  Ainaro,
Manatuto, Laclubar.
      While a group of conservatives were  granted  support  by  traditional
chiefs  and  administrators  --  whose  positions   and   privileges   under
Portuguese rule made them emphasize a continuation with the  metropolis  --,
those with commercial preoccupations of  economical  diversification  beyond
the Portuguese orbit focused on the advantages of independence.
      Not until 27  of  July  did  the  MFA  in  Lisbon  determine  the  new
orientation in relation with the colonial territories. By it,  the  Timorese
were officially and for the first time confronted with  the  possibility  of
      In a message to the Portuguese President, UDT still inquired about the
viability of federation, but no further elucidation was obtained.  Few  days
later,   UDT   published   the   provisional   statutes   where   preconized
autodetermination  oriented   to   federation   with   Portugal,   with   an
intermediate phase for obtention of independence, and rejecting  integration
in any potential foreign country. It is probable that the discouragement  of
a definite bind with Portugal had also to do with the winds of  independence
that blew from the ancient  metropolis.  Spreading  throughout  the  African
colonies,  in  East  Timor  it  influenced  a  crescent  opposing  party  of
independist militancy that defied UDT's hesitations: ASDT.
      Amongst UDT founders pontificated  the  mentioned  Mario  Carrascalo,
proprietor of coffee plantations, director of the Agriculture Services,  and
also former leader of caetanist party ANP  (Popular  National  Association),
the only one allowed. Ex-seminarist Lopes da Cruz was too a ANP  member  and
director of Timor's journal, A Voz de Timor, patronized by  the  government.
He and intellectual  Domingos  de  Oliveira  were  custom  officials.  Cesar
Mouzinho was Mayor of Dili.
      ASDT/Fretilin (Revolutionary Front of  Independent  East  Timor).  The
plan of ASDT was acknowledged in the proper day of it's foundation, 20th  of
May. Adopting the doctrines of socialism and  democracy  it  called  upfront
for a gradual independence preceded  of  administrator,  economical,  social
and political reforms. Three to eight years was  the  period  of  transition
considered necessary. And from the beginning with the participation  of  the
Timorese in the administration.
      In the majority, ASDT was constituted with recent recruited members of
the urbane elites, mainly those living in Dli, which  maintained  the  link
to the rural areas of where they came from. Some were  even  descendants  of
liurai families.
      With an average age under 30, the  elder  Xavier  do  Amaral,  of  37,
became ASDT's  chairman.  The  leaders  were  commited  to  nationalism  and
reaffirmation  of  the  Timorese  culture,  agreed  on   the   priority   of
agricultural  development,   on   alphabetization   and   extensive   health
programmes.  But  furthermore,  the  political  perspectives  deferred.  The
dominating tendency  between  the  founders  of  ASDT  was  clearly  social-
democratic, represented by men like  journalist  Ramos-Horta,  administrator
Alarico Fernandes, Justino Mota  and  former  professor  Xavier  do  Amaral.
Ramos-Horta says that  for  him  and  the  majority  of  his  colleagues  it
represented  social  justice,  equitative  distribution  of  the   country's
wealth, a mixed economy and a parliamentary system with extended  democratic
liberties. As to what extent did they have  a  model,  sociologist  John  G.
Taylor mentions the social-democracy of the  60  and  70's  in  Austria  and
Scandinavia. Anyway it wasn't experimented, as the urgency to gain  internal
and foreign support seems to have kept on depriving the opportunity.
      Still during the ASDT period, a secondary current  leaded  by  ancient
sergeant and administrator, also ex-seminarist, Nicolau Lobato, combined  a
fervent anticolonial nationalism with notions of  economical  and  political
development  self-reliance  based  upon  the  experiences  of   Angola   and
Mozambique. His ideas would begin to prevail after  the  transformation  of
      Apodeti (Timorese Popular Democratic Association).  In  25  of  May  a
third  party  appeared  under  the  designation  of  Association   for   the
Integration of Timor in Indonesia. Renamed Apodeti,  the  manifesto  of  the
party defended an integration with autonomy in the Republic of Indonesia  in
accordance to the International Law and principles such  as  the  obligatory
teaching of the Indonesian language (Indonesian Bahasa), free education  and
medical assistance, and the right to go on strike.
      The visionaries of Apodeti parted from the  assumption  that  Portugal
would abandon East Timor and that the idea of independence couldn't stand  a
chance because of Indonesia. In reality, the revindication of autonomy in  a
process of integration appeared more as a popular  measure  and  than  as  a
political stand.
      It has been written that in the beginning of the 60's, BAKIN (military
co-ordinator agency of the secret intelligence  INTEL),  mounted  a  net  in
East Timor which  dealed  with  merchants,  custom-house  functionaries  and
agents from  the  Indonesian  consulate  of  Dili,  in  change  of  favours,
payments and refuge in case of conflict. Among them, those who would  become
the  prominent  leaders  of  Apodeti:  professor  and  administrator  Osrio
Soares, liurai of Atsabe (near the boarder of  Indonesian  Timor)  Guilherme
Gonzalves, and cattle breeder Arnaldo dos Reis Arajo.
      Still before  the  Portuguese  Revolution,  BAKIN  had  trained  East-
timoreses in radio transmissions and as interpreters.
      Nevertheless, while UDT  and  ASDT/Fretilin  rapidly  reached  to  the
thousands of adepts, Apodeti wouldn't reach more than a couple  of  hundreds
during the whole year of '74.
      The support came mainly from the sucos of Guilherme Atsabe and a small
Muslim community of Dili. Besides this it had  no  expression.  The  dubious
personalities of it's leaders, all with criminal record and their  political
purposes made Apodeti in the words of East Timor's last governor,  J.  Lemos
Pires an enclosed organization, with  difficulties  to  dialogue  with  the
people and government  even  worse  with  the  opponent  parties.  Fretilin
considered Apodeti illegal.
      Three minor parties appeared, all more or less insignificant. The KOTA
(Klibur Oan Timur Aswain), meaning "sons  of  the  mountain  warriors",  was
filiated in the Popular Monarchical  Party  of  the  metropolis.  Remounting
it's  origins  to  the  Topasses  (see  Ethnology  of  the  Timorese),  KOTA
postulated the restoration of powers to the liurais who  could  trace  their
ancestrality back to the Topasse period in order to constitute a  democratic
monarchy, with the king to be elected amongst the liurais.  Like  KOTA,  the
Timorese Democratic Labour Movement hadn't a  programme  and  agrouped  only
eight members, all from  the  same  family.  They  wished  to  mobilize  the
working class. The Democratic Association for the integration of East  Timor
in Australia received money for promises of integration in  Australia.  It's
existence was ephemerous because the  Australian  government  departed  from
the idea even before the end of 1974.
      Of these parties, KOTA and the Labour party were further mentioned and
precisely by the Indonesian authorities with the sole purpose to evoke  that
four of the five parties, which they alleged that was the  majority  of  the
East-timorese, had petitioned for integration during the Civil War
      On 15  September  the  United  Nations  Security  Council  unanimously
authorised the establishment  of  a  multinational  force  in  Timor  (UNSCR
1264). The resolution gives the force three tasks for  its  mandate:  first,
to restore peace and security to East Timor; second to protect  and  support
the United Nations Mission in East Timor and; third,  to  facilitate  within
force capabilities humanitarian assistance operations  in  East  Timor.  The
multinational  force  is  commanded  by  Australias  Major  General   Peter

                             Australian support

      The multinational force has been  authorised  by  the  United  Nations
Security Council, under chapter VII of the United Nations  Charter,  to  use
all necessary measures to  achieve  its  mandate.  The  multinational  force
would prepare the ground for the United Nations  to  complete  its  task  of
managing East Timor's transition to  independence.  This  will  involve  the
arrival as soon as possible of a fully-fledged blue helmet  UN  peacekeeping
operation and the establishment of a UN transitional administration.
      Australian support for peacekeeping operations is not something new  
Bougainville is but one ongoing example. But  the  East  Timor  operation  
multilateral in  scope,  strongly  representing  South  East  Asia,  led  by
Australia and  conducted  under  a  United  Nations  Chapter  VII  or  peace
enforcement mandate  is of a very different nature. This is the first  time
that Australia has been asked by the United Nations  to  build  and  lead  a
multinational force and  to  provide  the  largest  single  component.  When
Australias deployment was at full strength, it had committed 4,500 troops.
      Australian involvement in the East Timor crisis is  not  motivated  by
any  desire  to  cause  difficulties  in  relations  between  Australia  and
Indonesia. It is important that Australia is in East Timor  at  the  request
of the United Nations and with the agreement of the  Indonesian  Government.
It was in Australias vital interests that Indonesia be a  peaceful,  stable
and democratic state, economically prosperous  and  playing  a  leading  and
respected role in the region. It was also in Indonesias  own  interests  to
ensure East Timors transition is a peaceful and  orderly  one.  Australias
efforts in building the relations  with  Indonesia  were  directed  to  that
      With respect to  defence  relations,  it  is  in  australian  security
interests to have links such as defence attache  representation,  high-level
strategic talks, staff college courses, maritime surveillance  and  disaster
relief exercises. Such contacts are necessary to achieve the  objectives  in
East Timor, and are desirable because defence links  will  be  part  of  any
effective long-term relationship with Indonesia.  That  decision  shows  the
challenges Jakarta and  Canberra  face  in  maintaining  a  working  defence
relationship that supports the long-term national  and  strategic  interests
of both countries.
      Prime Minister Howard has said  that  the  deployment  of  Australian
troops to East Timor meets the test of national interest  in  two  respects.
First, in the spirit of Australia's military tradition, troops are going  to
defend what Australian society believes to be  right.  The  troops  are  not
going to occupy territory, to impose the will of Australia on others  or  to
act against the legitimate interests of another country. Rather, they go  to
East Timor at the request of the United Nations and with  the  agreement  of
the Indonesian  government.  INTERFET  troops  are  defending  East  Timors
desire for independence, as delivered in a free vote granted to them by  the
Indonesian Government and with the blessing of the international  community.
In addition, INTERFET troops will facilitate the  humanitarian  relief  that
is so desperately needed for the hundreds of thousands of  displaced  people
in East Timor.
      Second, Australian troops in East Timor will work to put an end to the
terrible violence that prevailed immediately after the result of the  ballot
was announced.  Apart  from  the  human  cost,  the  scale  of  violence  we
witnessed undermines Australia's  own  interest  in  a  stable  region.  The
troops will prepare the way for the United Nations to  undertake  the  vital
task of developing a transitional  political  and  administrative  framework
for East Timor. For East Timorese, this offers the  hope  of  reconciliation
among groups that have fought each other for decades and the opportunity  to
create their own future. They have a responsibility to come  to  grips  with
these issues. For Indonesia, it will more readily be able to concentrate  on
its nation building  task,  with  the  full  support  of  the  international

               USA admits Timorese right to self-determination

      On a letter to Senator Russel Feingold,  dated  December  27th,  1996,
U.S. President Bill Clinton recognized, for the first time, that  he  "noted
with interest your [a group of 15 U.S. Senators] support of  a  UN-sponsored
self-determination referendum in East Timor".

                        Indonesia admits independence

      For the first time in 23 years, Indonesia has admitted  the  right  of
the Timorese people to indepence. Last January, on the eve of another  high-
level bilateral summit on East Timor between the Portuguese  and  Indonesian
Foreign Ministers, at the United Nations' headquarters  in  New  Yourk,  the
Indonesian authorities  stated  that  if  the  East  Timorese  rejected  the
current authonomy plan offered  by  Indonesia,  the  central  government  in
Jakarta would be ready to let them separate from their invadors.
      Only a couple of weeks later, president B.J. Habibie announced,  at  a
meeting with indonesian businessmen at the  Chamber  of  Commerce,  that  by
January 1st, 2000 the problem of East Timor would  be  'fixed':  either  the
Timorese accepted the "large-scale authonomy"  proposed  by  the  Indonesian
government in New York (August 5th, 1998), or  Indonesia  "would  wave  them
goodbye". It was the first time the Indonesian authorities openly talked  of
independence for East Timor.
      Meanwhile, the situation on the territory has  worsened  in  the  last
months,  followin  the  alleged  massacre  at  Alas  (south  of  Dili)  last
December, when as much as 52 people would have  been  killed.  The  military
(18,000 soldiers currently serve in the  occupied  territory,  according  to
intelligence data smuggled out of East Timor by a dicident  officer  -  that
is, 1 for each 40 East Timorese, or proportionally 7 times more than in  the
rest of Indonesia) have been arming civilian militia, in what  international
observers consider to be a move aimed at starting a civil war on  the  verge
of Indonesia's leave.

  Agreement Between the Republic of Indonesia and the Portugese Republic on
                         the Question of East Timor
      The Governments of Indonesia and Portugal, recalling General  Assembly
resolutions and the  relevant  resolutions  and  decisions  adopted  by  the
Security Council and the General Assembly on the  question  of  East  Timor;
bearing in mind the sustained efforts of the Governments  of  Indonesia  and
Portugal since July  1983,  through  the  good  offices  of  the  Secretary-
General, to  find  a  just,  comprehensive  and  internationally  acceptable
solution to the question of East Timor; recalling the agreement of 5  August
1998  to  undertake,  under   the   auspices   of   the   Secretary-General,
negotiations on a special status based on a wide-ranging autonomy  for  East
Timor without prejudice to the positions  of  principle  of  the  respective
Governments  on  the  final  status  of  East  Timor;  having  discussed   a
constitutional framework for an autonomy for East Timor on the  basis  of  a
draft presented  by  the  United  Nations,  as  amended  by  the  Indonesian
Government; noting the position of the  Government  of  Indonesia  that  the
proposed special autonomy should be implemented only as an end  solution  to
the question of East Timor with full recognition of  Indonesian  sovereignty
over East Timor; noting the position of the Government of Portugal  that  an
autonomy  regime  should  be  transitional,  not  requiring  recognition  of
Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor or the removal  of  East  Timor  from
the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories of the General Assembly,  pending
a final decision on the status of East Timor by  the  East  Timorese  people
through an act of self-determination under United Notions  auspices;  taking
into account that although the Governments of Indonesia  and  Portugal  each
have their positions of principle  on  the  prepared  proposal  for  special
autonomy, both agree  that  it  is  essential  to  move  the  peace  process
forward, and that therefore,  the  Governments  of  Indonesia  and  Portugal
agree that the Secretary-General should consult the East Timorese people  on
the constitutional framework for  autonomy  attached  hereto  as  an  annex;
bearing in mind that the Governments of  Indonesia  and  Portugal  requested
the Secretary-General to devise the method and procedures  for  the  popular
consultation through a direct, secret and universal ballot signed up in  New
York on this 5th day of May, 1999 the  Agreement  Between  the  Republic  of
Indonesia and the Portugese Republic on the Question of East Timor

Article 1 Request  the  Secretary-General  to  put  the  attached  proposed
constitutional framework providing for a special  autonomy  for  East  Timor
within the unitary Republic of Indonesia to the East Timorese  people,  both
inside and outside East Timor, for their  consideration  and  acceptance  or
rejection through a popular consultation on the basis of  a  direct,  secret
and universal ballot.

Article 2 Request the Secretary-General to establish, immediately after  the
signing of this Agreement, an appropriate United  Nations  mission  in  East
Timor to enable him to effectively carry out the popular consultation.

Article 3 The Government of Indonesia will be  responsible  for  maintaining
peace and security in East  Timor  in  order  to  ensure  that  the  popular
consultation is carried out in a fair and  peaceful  way  in  an  atmosphere
free of intimidation, violence or interference from any side.

Article 4 Request the Secretary-General to report the result of the  popular
consultation to the Security Council and the General Assembly,  as  well  as
to inform the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal and  the  East  Timorese

Article 5 If the Secretary-General determines, on the basis  of  the  result
of the popular consultation and in accordance  with  this  Agreement,  that,
the proposed constitutional framework for special autonomy is acceptable  to
the East Timorese people, the Government of  Indonesia  shall  initiate  the
constitutional  measures   necessary   for   the   implementation   of   the
constitutional framework, and the  Government  of  Portugal  shall  initiate
within the United Nations the procedures necessary for the removal  of  East
Timor from  the  list  of  Non-Self-Governing  Territories  of  the  General
Assembly and the deletion of the question of East Timor from the agendas  of
the Security Council and the General Assembly.

Article 6 If the Secretary-General determines, on the basis  of  the  result
of the popular consultation and in accordance with this Agreement, that  the
proposed constitutional framework for special autonomy is not acceptable  to
the East Timorese  people,  the  Government  of  Indonesia  shall  take  the
constitutional steps necessary to terminate its links with East  Timor  thus
restoring under Indonesian law the status East Timor held prior to  17  July
1976, and the Governments of  Indonesia  and  Portugal  and  the  Secretary-
General shall agree on arrangements for a peaceful and orderly  transfer  of
authority in East Timor to the United Nations. The Secretary-General  shall,
subject to the  appropriate  legislative  mandate,  initiate  the  procedure
enabling East Timor to begin a process of transition towards independence.

Article 7 During the interim period between the conclusion  of  the  popular
consultation and the start of  the  implementation  of  either  option,  the
parties  request  the  Secretary-General  to  maintain  an  adequate  United
Nations presence in East Timor. 


      On  August,  30th,  History  was  written  in  East  Timor:  98.6%  of
registered  voters  exercised  their  democratic  right  in  a  UN-organised
referendum, considered by the Indonesian authorities  as  "free  and  fair".
Defying eight months of intimidation by indonesian-armed militiamen,  mostly
transmigrated from West Timor, the population stood in long  queues  at  the
ballot sites,  in  some  cases  waiting  hours  in  the  sun  after  walking
kilometres to the nearest polling station.
      Hardly anybody partied  in  Dili,  though,  or  in  the  rest  of  the
territory; celebrations were held abroad, though,  in  Australia,  Portugal,
the United States, Ireland, England, Mozambique, even Indonesia, wherever  a
Timorese community is to be found. But inside  the  new  Nation,  just  four
hours after the official announcement, the defeated  militia  gangs  started
to set East Timor on fire. BBC, CNN, and  other  international  TV  stations
broadcasted to the world images once seen in other war scenarios -  fire  of
automatic weapons, houses set on fire, innocent  civilians  seeking  shelter
in the schools, the  churches,  the  neighbouring  mountains.  International
media reports mentioned 145 deaths in Dili only, in the 48  hours  following
the announcement. On September, 5th and 6th, most  international  observers,
journalists and the civilian personnel of UNAMET  were  evacuated  from  the
territory, either by chartered planes or the Australian Air  Force.  On  the
afternoon of September, the  5th,  four  indonesian  ministers  -  including
Defence and Foreign Affairs holders, General Wiranto and Mr.  Ali  Alatas  -
and one secretary of State paid a 4-hour visit to Dili - though  they  never
left the airport "for security reasons".
      On the evening of that same day, the UN Security Council, gathered  on
an emergency meeting in New York, once more  abstained  from  sending  in  a
peace-keeping force. The  Indonesian  authorities  claimed  to  be  able  to
restore peace and tranquility, though 20.000 men already  stationed  in  the
territory failed to do  so  until  now,  and  were  even  reported  to  have
participated, in some cases directly, in the new mass  killings  started  on
September, 4th. TV, photographic and oral evidence  from  UNAMET  staff  and
international media wasn't enough, so the Council decided to send  a  "fact-
finding mission" to Jakarta.
      On the morning of September, the 6th, the home of  Nobel  Peace  Prize
winner, Ximenes Belo, was set on fire. The bishop seaked refugee in  Baucau,
though he was impotent to save the hundreds of refugees  in  his  frontyard,
now facing death or deportation to West Timor, like  so  many  before  them.
More than 1,000 refugees were sheltered at the UNAMET compound in Dili,  and
the UN convoys were shot at in the road to the airport.
      Despite several  United  Nations  Resolutions  on  the  right  of  the
Timorese to self-determination (the UN has never recognized  the  indonesian
annexation of the territory), the international community has been blind  to
the fight of its inhabitants. Only since  November  12th,  1991,  when  more
than 250 youngsters were killed during  a  brutal  massacre  occurred  in  a
cematery in Dili (the capital city of  East  Timor),  have  the  "civilized"
nations  condemned  Indonesia  in  a  more  consistent  way.  But  words  of
condemnation sound empty when the same countries sell arms to the regime  (a
dictatorship ruling Indonesia for  decades),  and  strengthen  the  economic
ties binding European and American states to Jakarta.
      The five days which mediated until  official  results  were  announced
were days of tension, with frequent militia attacks in Dili and other  spots
in the territory. But on the  morning  of  September,  4th,  UNAMET  (United
Nations Assistance Mission to East Timor) leader Ian  Martin  announced  the
results, minutes after the United Nations'  Secretary-General,  Kofi  Annan,
had done the same in New York: 21.5% of the voters had chosen to accept  the
Special  Autonomy  offered  to  the  territory  by   Indonesia,   while   an
overwhelming majority  of  78.5%  reffused  it,  thus  laying  the  path  to

                                 The sources

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   Occupation of East Timor, The Netherlands, 1994

 . Aubrey, Jim  Free East Timor  Australias Culpability in East Timors
   Genocide. Vintage  Random House Australia

 . Carey, P & GC Bentley East Timor at the Crossroads, The Forging of a
   Nation, Cassell, NY, 1995

 . CIIR/IPJET International Law and the Question of East Timor, London, 1995

 . Cox, Steve Generations of Resistance: East Timor, Cassell, UK, 1995

 . Dunn, James 1. East Timor - the Balibo Incident in Perspective, Sydney,

 . Timor: A People Betrayed , ABC Books, Sydney, 1996

 . East Timor: No Solutions Without respect for Human Rights: Bi-Annual
   Report of Human Rights Violations, January to June 1998

 . Violence by the State Against Women in East Timor: A Report to the UN
   Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Including its Clauses and

 . East Timorese Political Prisoners

 . Breaking the Cycle of Human Rights Violations in East Timor: Annual
   Report of Human Rights Violations in East Timor 1997

 . Hobart East Timor Committee Hobart East Timor Committee  Papers, 1998
   Jardine, Matthew

 . Ramos Horta, Jose, International Perspectives on Children of War, Family
   and Conciliation Courts Review Vol 36 No 3 July 1998

 . Salla, Michael E, Creating the 'Ripe Moment' in the East Timor Conflict,
   Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 34, No. 4, November 1997

 . ETAN/US - Pamphlets/Reports NY,USA

 . Indonesia and East Timor: On the verge of change? Charles Scheiner,
   Matthew Jardine & Sidhawati ETAN, Global Exchange & Justice for All,
   April 1998