A personal introduction

This is the much unknown history of a People and their Culture voted to banishment from their motherland, the eastern half of an island, former Portuguese colony. It 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'état, 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.

Sérgio Bruno G. Tavares