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East Timor Independence

East Timor Independence?

Contents.

. 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

Introduction.

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-

existent.

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

leaders.

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

democracy.

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

(Mozambique).

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

expansion.

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

Страницы: 1, 2, 3


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