Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a highly violent decades-long conflict between separatist groups (especially FRETILIN) and the Indonesian military. August 1983 - June 1984: Intense bombardment by Indonesian air force. September 1983: Operasi Persatuan.  Indonesian domestic political factors in the mid-1970s, were not conducive to such expansionist intentions; the 1974–75 financial scandal surrounding petroleum producer Pertamina meant that Indonesia had to be cautious not to alarm critical foreign donors and bankers. I was accused of being an agent of Australian imperialism (those were the actual words), an agent of the CIA ...But I had retained a lot of support from within Fretilin, from the military side. Andrea K. Molnar of Northern Illinois University wrote: “While the freedom fighters continued their struggle at home, the battle for independence was also fought abroad.  The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor documented a minimum estimate of 102,000 conflict-related deaths in East Timor throughout the entire period 1974 to 1999, including 18,600 violent killings and 84,200 deaths from disease and starvation; Indonesian forces and their auxiliaries combined were responsible for 70% of the killings. But also, particularly Javanese soldiers are profoundly racist. Over a thousand demonstrators followed the family of mourners with banners and calls for independence. This caused the Indonesian government great embarrassment and it was yet another way of increasing international pressure. ", Solidamor.org reported: “From the day of the invasion the Indonesian military systematically and deliberately made use of torture, rape and the killing of innocent civilians as instruments of war and oppression. The occupation of East Timor remained a public issue in many nations, Portugal in particular, and the UN never recognised either the regime installed by the Indonesians or the subsequent annexation. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner.  Following a naval bombardment of Dili, Indonesian seaborne troops landed in the city while simultaneously paratroopers descended. According to Soares (2000:59), they employed hit and run tactics and even managed to infiltrate the Indonesian army intelligence. The Bronco was ideal for the East Timor invasion, as it was specifically designed for counter-insurgency operations in difficult terrain. Even an APODETI founder’s granddaughter was not spared in this regard. Protests took place in Australia against the occupation, and some Australian nationals participated in the resistance movement. "I think there is an issue of racism there . These wounded, numbering between 50 and 200 were taken to the military hospital in trucks, where a witness saw Indonesian soldiers crush their skulls with rocks, or give them lethal pills to take. The Indonesian army estimated they had less than 200 guerrillas armed with around 100 outdated American-made M-16s and Belgian-made G-3 assault rifles. The commission found that 19 had been killed, a figure later increased to 50, while two senior officers were transferred and some lower ranking officers received sentences of just a few months, for firing on an unarmed crowd. Virtually all the money that comes into the province came from exports of coffee and sandalwood ($7.7 million in 1994). Neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (4). Upon reaching the cemetery, the mourners and protesters were mowed down by automatic weapons as the Indonesian military opened fire. Human rights NGO activist groups increased the pressure of their campaign on the United Nations and national governments to respect the rights of the East Timorese people for self-determination and to condemn Indonesian occupation (McCloskey 2000:7).” <>, According to solidamor.org: “A long-planned visit to East Timor by Portuguese parliamentarians was due to take place in November 1991; the politically active Timorese therefore prepared for demonstrations.  In late 1998, the Australian government drafted a letter to Indonesia setting out a change in Australian policy, suggesting that East Timor be given a chance to vote on independence within a decade. , The US played a crucial role in supplying weapons to Indonesia. Defence from oppression could only be found by escaping to the hills to acquire the security of a Falintil rifle and a mountainous hide-out, or, more radically, by escaping overseas. On 31 May 1976, a 'People's Assembly' in Dili, selected by Indonesian intelligence, unanimously endorsed an 'Act of Integration', and on 17 July, East Timor officially became the 27th province of the Republic of Indonesia. International apathy towards or ignorance of the East Timor issue as an international issue was no longer an option. The victims included a founding member of Fretilin, and a brother of its vice-president, Nicolau Lobato. He was caught by Indonesian intelligence near Dili in 1992 and was succeeded by Mau Honi, who was captured in 1993 and in turn, succeeded by Nino Konis Santana. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor began in December 1975 and lasted until October 1999. March 23 1983: Ceasefire signed between Indonesian Commander Colonel Purwanto and Timorese Commander Xanana Gusmao, but broken by Indonesians who, on August 8 launched a new campaign. When surviving villagers came down to lower-lying regions to surrender, the military would simply shoot them. Suharto was Washington's favoured ruler of the "ultimate emerging market" who deregulated the economy and opened Indonesia to foreign investors. The response from governments in Europe and America was to condemn the massacre and bring pressure on the Indonesian government to investigate the killings and punish those responsible. , As early as December 1974—a year before the invasion—the Indonesian defense attaché in Washington sounded out US views about an Indonesian takeover of East Timor. Media in category "Indonesian occupation of East Timor" The following 27 files are in this category, out of 27 total. Good trade relations with Indonesia and during the Cold War having an ‘anti-communist’ ally in General Suharto were some of the factors in this (ibid). [Source: Andrea K. Molnar, Northern Illinois University, Department of Anthropology and Center for Southeast Asian Studies, May 2005 , seasite.niu.edu/EastTimor <>], “On 12 November 1991 several hundred mourners attended the services for this student activist (Sebastião Gomes) and joined the funeral procession to his grave in Santa Cruz cemetery. "Overseas provinces" also included Angola, Cape Verde, Portuguese Guinea, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe in Africa; Macau in China; and had included the territories of Portuguese India until 1961, when India invaded and annexed the territory. Some of the major actions between 1981 and 1988 were: July 1981: Operasi Keamanan. The most powerful and strongest supporter however was a liurai of the former Atsabe kingdom from Atsabe, Ermera. " In one incident, a group of fifty men, women, and children – including Australian freelance reporter Roger East – were lined up on a cliff outside of Dili and shot, their bodies falling into the sea. Repeatedly mentioned in these files are Australian oil interests in Timorese waters; as well as the potential for a renegotiation of the Portuguese Timor sea border North of Australia. These concerns were successfully used to garner support from Western countries keen to maintain good relations with Indonesia, particularly the United States, which at the time was completing its withdrawal from Indochina. They were founded on the idea of full independence.  The success of the 'encirclement and annihilation' campaign led to the 'final cleansing campaign', in which children and men from resettlement camps would be forced to hold hands and march in front of Indonesian units searching for Fretilin members. When this backfired and Habibie, afraid of having to finance the occupation of East Timor for another 10 or 15 years and still lose it, called a referendum in 1999, the Howard government did its best to aid the pro-integration militia in East Timor. East Timor is located at the end of the Indonesian archipelago, 400 miles (640km) northwest of Darwin, Australia. Tens of thousands of Indonesian settlers have been given the best land and jobs while the locals become increasingly impoverished and malnourished. Productivity in coffee and cloves doubled, although East Timorese farmers were forced to sell their coffee at low prices to village cooperatives. March 1987: Offensive deploying 30,000 troops. Educated "clandestines" spoke a secret Portuguese-based language so the Indonesian soldiers couldn't understand them. +~+, Solidamor.org reported: “After the invasion East Timor was nominally ruled by an East Timorese Governor, but as a figurehead. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor began in December 1975 and lasted until October 1999. Some have been shot while peacefully protesting, others tortured to death, still more allowed to starve. , John Taylor writes that Indonesia invaded for three main reasons: (1) to avoid the “negative example” of an independent province, (2) to have access to the high initial estimates of oil and natural gas under the Timor Sea (initial estimates which turned out to be largely mistaken), and (3) following the fall of South Vietnam, to become Southeast Asia’s major military partner of the United States. [Source: Andrea K. Molnar, Northern Illinois University, Department of Anthropology and Center for Southeast Asian Studies, May 2005 , seasite.niu.edu/EastTimor <>], “Paul Moore, the former Episcopal bishop of New York who visited East Timor in 1989, wrote in the Washington Post, East Timor "was the most repressive place I had ever encountered—and I'd been to South Africa, Nicaragua and the former Soviet bloc." Little was known about East Timor at that time because the Indonesian government didn’t release information about the region and foreigners usually weren't allowed in. Thus it was easy for governments in collusion with the Indonesians to dismiss the reports of massacres as "unsubstantiated". After centuries of Portuguese colonial rule in East Timor, a 1974 coup in Portugal led to the decolonisation of its former colonies, creating instability in East Timor and leaving its future uncertain.  During this period, allegations of Indonesian use of chemical weapons arose, as villagers reported maggots appearing on crops after bombing attacks. . However, by the mid-1980s, most of the armed members of Fretilin had been defeated, and in 1989 the province was declared open to free domestic and foreign travel. It remained fiercely independent and Christian even during its 23 year occupation by Indonesian Islamic forces. There has been much talk of ethnic cleansing by the Serbians in Bosnia. Indonesian occupation of East Timor. These ideological and material programs were strategies to quell It is estimated that about 150,000 Indonesians were resettled in East Timor (Pinto and Jardine 1997). In the international arena awareness of East Timor’s plight—the illegality of the occupation and massive human rights abus… Most of the soldiers are illiterate or semi-literate. By the end of the year, 10,000 troops occupied Dili and another 20,000 had been deployed throughout East Timor. The Indonesian regime in East Timor has engaged, and continues to engage, in systematic rape, torture, extrajudicial detention and execution as well as forcible relocation and sterilization. In the late 1990s, the international image of Indonesia and its army was conspicuously tarnished, precisely because of its activities in East Timor.” ><, Human Rights Violations During the Indonesian Occupation of East Timor (1975 to 1999), The massive human rights violations in East Timor which followed Indonesia’s invasion included random massacres, extra-judicial killings, starvation, deaths from preventable diseases, torture, forced movement of populations, coerced sterilization of women, rape and imprisonment without legal redress. The overthrowing of a popular and briefly Fretilin-led government later sparked a violent quarter-century occupation in which between approximately 100,000–180,000 soldiers and civilians are estimated to have been killed or starved to death. Similar to the Chinese approach in Tibet." The Indonesian army continued to brutalize the population and from the early days of occupation over 200,000 East Timorese died. It built more schools and infrastructure from 1975 to 1999 that the Portuguese did in four centuries. Osario Soares was both an administrator and a school teacher. " The US hoped the invasion would be relatively swift and not involve protracted resistance. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Five journalists, known as the Balibo Five, working for Australian news networks were executed by Indonesian troops in the border town of Balibo on 16 October. Given that the UN’s special rapporteur on torture was in town, they felt that the army would show some restraint (Cristalis 2002:45). Any other long-term solution would be potentially disruptive of both Indonesia and the region. [Source: Andrea K. Molnar, Northern Illinois University, Department of Anthropology and Center for Southeast Asian Studies, May 2005 , seasite.niu.edu/EastTimor <>], Andrea K. Molnar of Northern Illinois University wrote: “The Indonesian state’s illegal occupation of East Timor and its excessive human rights abuses were condemned in no less than ten United Nations resolutions (McCloskey 2000:4). We could see were the soldiers killing, killing to dismiss the reports of massacres as `` unsubstantiated.! Were interested in was sex, ” she said neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia support the. Order was restored was not spared in this category, out of East Timor...! Government encouraged them to move in part to dilute the strength of the parties disengaging themselves from CNT Soares! Of Java-dominated Indonesia-have been carefully repressed although East Timorese died kingdom from Atsabe, Ermera the Assembly.... 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