Wiranto & East Timor

May 8th, 2007, in News, by

There was no genocide or serious human rights abuse in East Timor.

(Retired) General Wiranto, former commander of the Indonesian military and the founder of the Hanura Party, said in Jakarta on 5th May to the East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship, that there were no serious, systemic human rights violations in East Timor immediately before and after the 1999 independence referendum in the former Portugese colony.

Wiranto, when in uniform.

The East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship is a joint initiative of the East Timorese and Indonesian governments which offers amnesty to those willing to tell the truth about the events of 1999. Wiranto appeared before it voluntarily and took an oath on the Koran before giving his one and a half hour account. iht

For 23 years there was a “horizontal” conflict (a civil war) between pro-independence and pro-integration forces, he said, and the Indonesian armed forces were put in a difficult position between them. This position was especially tricky in the months preceding the referendum on independence in 1999, he said, because the Army was given three months to bring the two opposing groups to peace. However the Army succeeded and the 4th September 1999 plebiscite went ahead peacefully.

If we had had an evil agenda to scuttle the referendum, there wouldn’t have been a referendum and there wouldn’t have been an independent East Timor.

Things turned sour later:

The violence after the referendum wasn’t planned, it was just a continuation of the pre-existing pro-independence vs pro-integration war.

The proof of this could be seen today in the continued fighting in East Timor, even though now it was independent and free. The rioting and fighting that rocked Dili in 2006 and 2007 was similar to that which occured in 1999, he said. Things couldn’t be understood purely in terms of what was happening at a given time, the whole history of East Timor going back to the Portugese period should be considered.

So there were no serious human rights crimes, just violent acts, criminal acts by two groups who had a long history of fighting.

If it were true that elements of the Indonesian armed forces were involved in criminal acts then it was the fault of individuals, not institutions, he said. Crimes by rogue officials could not be classed as “heavy” crimes, because there was not an organised, institutional basis to them. antara

33 Comments on “Wiranto & East Timor”

  1. John Doe says:

    Well, I for a fact that this guy is smokin’ crack. The whole incident at the cemetary (forgot what year) was captured on video and was published around the world.

  2. Johno says:


    I was there and saw the burnt houses, bullet holes in the walls and the little kid and mom who lived in the house with us. Father and brother dead, hacked to pieces and this eight year old kid with machete scars up and down his legs and back.

    Gangs…what crap!.. Evil exists and is there for us all to see.

    I am agnostic but sometime I hope the religious types are right because if there is a judgement day, then it will be cool to watch some bastards burn in hell

  3. El Gran Combo Puertorico says:

    Johno, you don’t need to be religious to get the sweet taste of revenge.
    They will reincarnate to some lowly animals 🙂 I’m sure, pretty sure about it.

    I’m an agnostic too.
    Reincarnation is not a religious thing, it’s the law of nature.

    Ha ha ha.


  4. Dimp says:

    He has zero credibility to begin with, so anything he said can be treated as BS.

    I think he is releasing his autobiography, it filled with 400 sheet of toilet paper, so you can actually add your own ‘s**t’ in it.

  5. M.Mad says:

    You can’t have Truth and Reconciliation in this country. This nation is allergic to the truth. The whole commission is utterly pointless and just an excuse for Wiranto et al to indulge in more offensive grandstanding.

  6. Purba Negoro says:

    The truth hurts liars like the Fretilin and ETAN- and all the other loser armchair revolutionaries looking to change the world.

    East Timor was an Australian grab at North-West Shelf gas for Woodside petroleum.
    Never any Human Rights or Freedom- all propaganda to hide the Corporate hydrocarbon war- exactly as in Iraq.

    Kirsty Sword codename Ruby Blade- we knew about you for a very long time. We are not as stupid as a Timorese.
    Next time Australia tries again such military aggression- we will show them Galipoli was a Sunday picnic in comparison.

  7. Andy says:

    Purba, the people of Timor chose the direction they wanted to go and your people didn’t like it (wonder why). Thie completely outrageous statement by you I guess will be ignored quietly by the Indonesian hordes here who attacked me last night without really knowing me at all.

    Attention all Indonesians. Timorese wanted freedom from 1975 when they were brutally taken over by Indonesia. The military then set about wiping out any evidence of their human rights violations by killing civilians and reporters. The Balibo five for example. Sutiyoso and his goon squads were behind this. They then killed any number of Timorese from 200,000+ literally wiping out 1/3 of their population. Then when the people voted in a UN referendum the Indonesian military spat the dummy and continued killing innocents.

    Wake up people-killing is wrong of any colours or creeds. Iraq is very different. Ask the people there if they were happy under Saddam Hussein. Bet you’d get a different answer than the Timorese would about your sorry mob.

  8. Purba Negoro says:

    this is not true at all.
    There is no evidence the military killed anyone aside from a few legal combatants.
    The killings were done by Timorese militias very marginally linked to tyhe military- these links are alleged bu not substantiated by any verifiable facts submitted to UN courts
    Furthermore- the first act of business decreed for Timor Leste government to enact, by their patron Australia was new maritime boundaries- which would grant greater % of development to Woodside Petroleum subsidiary for gas development of Timor Block

    from ETAN:

    Under the Timor Sea Treaty between East Timor and Australia, the former gets 90% of petroleum taxation revenues from oil and gas production in the joint petroleum development area.

    By the time of Indonesia’s violent withdrawal in 1999, production had started at the Elang-Kakatua fields, while the Bayu-Undan field had been found, as had Jahal, Chudditch and the two Sunset fields within the Greater Sunrise complex.

    The Timor Sea Treaty replaced the illegal Timor Gap Treaty between Indonesia and Australia, and the joint petroleum development area replaced the former Zone A offshore block.

    The joint petroleum development area, like the Timor Sea Treaty, remains a temporary arrangement that will terminate when East Timor and Australia agree on a permanent maritime border.

    The Suharto-era Timor Gap Treaty gave 50% of all revenue to Australia

    and from ABC Australia:

    “A deal signed last week between East Timor and Australia to share billions of dollars in revenue from Timor Sea oil and gas deposits has short-changed Asia’s poorest country, a rights group says.

    The agreement divides revenues from the Greater Sunrise field between the two countries equally.

    It delays finalising their maritime border for 50 years, by which time reserves may be exhausted.

    The US-based East Timor and Indonesian Action Network (ETAN) says international law experts believe as the field and others covered by the deal are closer to East Timor’s coast than Australia’s, they should belong to the tiny nation.

    ETAN says East Timor should receive all revenue.

    It says the agreement “prolongs Australia’s refusal to recognise the sovereign rights of the people of Timor-Leste (East Timor)”.

    “Although the Government of Timor-Leste is temporarily acceding to this occupation, ETAN joins with many in Timor-Leste in the belief that the struggle for independence remains incomplete without definitive boundaries accepted by their neighbours,” the group said.

    East Timor has been locked in a struggle with Australia over the resource revenues since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.

    The dispute blew up when Australia insisted that a 1970s Timor Sea boundary agreed with Jakarta should remain in place after independence.

    Australia refused to negotiate the dispute at the International Court of Justice.

    The 1970s boundary would have given Australia two-thirds of the maritime territory and 80 per cent of the Sunrise field.

    East Timor wanted the maritime boundary to be the midpoint between the two countries.

    ETAN says East Timor has boosted its share of the field to half under the deal “but it has given up other potentially lucrative areas being explored now or in the near future”.

    East Timor’s Prime Minister, Mari Alkatari, welcomed the deal last week, saying it paved the way for East Timor to develop its own petroleum processing industry.

    Oil companies which had deferred the Greater Sunrise project because of the two governments’ squabbling over the boundary, said they were studying the text of the deal before resuming work on the project. ”


    Andy- the facts clearly support the argument Australia is exactly like the USA viz a viz Iraq

    Illegal invasion of sovereign nations for il
    Time you realise Australia has filthy hands like big brother USA

  9. Andy says:

    Iraq welcomed the USA and their allies as liberators in 2003. Nobody wanted Saddam’s brutal regime to continue. Quite the same as Timor didn’t wish to remain under Indonesia. Nobody has totally clean hands but the west remain great believers in freedom, democracy and liberty. We are not perfect but certainly the best example thus far. So who would you rather lead the free world Purba-China, Iran, Sudan, Indonesia??

  10. Purba Negoro says:


    If that’s Iraq’s welcome- I’d hate to see their hostile reception.

    Timorese are very convenient at changing their history to suit themselves. According to the history we learnt- post Colonial East Timor became iembroield in a destabilising Civil War- which is substantiated by Western histories as well- and split into factions- Socialist Fretilin, pro-Portuguese, pro Independence and pro Integration.
    We were invited by the pro-integrationists into Timor to keep the piece.
    The US and Australia did not want at the time Communist affiliated Fretilin to be in power.
    The Age newspaper, February 31st, 1995.

    “Mr Jose Manuel Servulo Correira (Portuguese) told the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, that from 1974 Australia had deliberately impeded Portuguese attempts to work towards East Timorese self-determination. Instead it had secretly supported Indonesia’s invasion.”

    The 1989 Timor Gap Treaty divides between them the oil and gas resources on the continental shelf between East Timor and Australia. It gave no help to Portuguese attempts in 1974-5 to end the civil war in that territory.
    The Age newspaper, February 31st, 1995.

    “Mr Jose Manuel Servulo Correira told the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, that from 1974 Australia had deliberately impeded Portuguese attempts to work towards East Timorese self-determination. Instead it had secretly supported Indonesia’s invasion.”

    The 1989 Timor Gap Treaty divides between them the oil and gas resources on the continental shelf between East Timor and Australia. It gave no help to Portuguese attempts in 1974-5 to end the civil war in that territory.

    Whitlam’s was the first western government to officially recognise the nice Pol Pot, he also advise military repatriation of Vietamese Boat People:
    “We don’t want these f*cking Balts coming in here with their prejudices against us.”

    East Timor’s huge offshore oil and gas reserves, the world’s seventh largest and valued at more than $40 billion, are up for grabs. Australia, which has seized a chunk of East Timor’s territorial waters and fudged the maritime boundary between the two countries in the Timor Gap, is trying to force Dili to accept a deal that it struck with Indonesia in 1989. An American consortium goes back even further to a concession that Portugal is said to have granted in 1974. The fuel is worth `zillions’ of dollars, to quote Mr Gareth Evans, a former Australian Foreign Minister. East Timor’s tragic drama exposes the self-serving stratagems of the US, Britain and Australia. Now regarded as defenders of human rights and stout champions of Mr Gusmao, these three countries had no compunction in 1975, when Portugal’s colonial administration crumbled in the wake of the anti-Salazar revolution, about selling the 850,000 East Timorese into Indonesian slavery.

    A letter the Australian Ambassador in Jakarta, Mr Richard Woolcott, wrote to Canberra three months before the Indonesian invasion said it all. He advised Canberra’s Department of Minerals and Energy that a treaty to grab East Timor’s undersea wealth “could be much more readily negotiated with Indonesia than with or with independent Portuguese Timor.” In other words, it would suit Australia if Indonesia swallowed up East Timor. Then came the ambassador’s clincher. “I know I am recommending a pragmatic rather than a principled stand, but that is what national interest and foreign policy is all about.” And so, Mr Gough Whitlam, who then headed Australia’s Labour Party government, looked the other way as Indonesian troops marched in and ruthlessly suppressed protests. About 200,000 East Timorese are believed to have been killed.

    The Britain and US had somewhat different reasons for supporting Jakarta’s military takeover. Oil mattered to them too, but security was of even greater concern. Seeing Reds under every bed and deeply engaged in Vietnam, the Americans regarded Mr Gusmao’s resistance movement as Leftist.

    The US had helped Gen Suharto overthrow President Sukarno who was thought to be too pro-China and too non-aligned to suit Western strategic interests. With Britain following in its wake, the US, therefore, gave the Suharto regime every help and encouragement it needed to annex East Timor. American money and weapons poured into Indonesia under a project codenamed Iron Balance and the more staid Joint Combined Education and Training programme. Australia trained the dreaded Indonesian elite corps, Kopassus, commanded by Suharto’s son-in-law, Gen Prabowo Subianto. Britain trained a selection of the Indonesian army’s seniormost officers (some under supposedly independent schemes organised by universities and other institutions) while British Aerospace sold the machine guns used to shoot down East Timorese protesters.


    Even before the Indonesian Government had made the decision to invade East Timor, Whitlam had already said to Suharto in September 1974, in a nice tourist resort in Wonosobo in Central Java, that Timor was economically unviable. So, an independent East Timor would become a liability to regional stability. That was in September 1974, more than a year before the actual invasion of Dili in December 1975.

    So, when they met again for the second time in Townsville, Queensland in April 1975, Whitlam reiterated this point, although at the time Whitlam already had good contacts with the oil lobby in Australia – Burmah Oil, Woodside Oil, BHP, Shell and others.

    To talk about Burmah Oil’s involvement in Timor history is quite interesting, because Burmah Oil was the first British oil company to be set up under British rule in Burmah during the colonial period, and after Burmese independence they ran out of resources because the resources in Burma were nationalised and they only had their shares in BHP until they started finding oil in Timor. So actually Timor was the saving ground for Burmah Oil.

    Although Whitlam already knew about the oil potential of the Timor Gap, and this is a whole “oil province” ranging from the Timor Trench to the Timor Island – offshore and onshore, he still twice told Suharto that East Timor was economically unviable. So for me I see that the invasion of East Timor was practically a war for resources. An oil war, just like the way the Gulf War was carried out to protect American oil interests.


    Personally- I think Russia has the best qualifications to lead the ‘free’ world.

    Sorry Andy- Australia IS EXACTLY like the US
    time to face the unpleasant reality of Greed before Principles.

  11. Andy says:

    purba-According to the history we learnt

    more lies

  12. Rob says:



    Particularly the part about Indonesia being invited in by the pro-integration faction. Sounds kind of like Russia being invited into Georgia recently…

  13. Rob says:


    Gallipoli as a picnic by comparison?

    I want some of whatever your smoking!

    This is the thing with Indonesia, it is always next time, unless they can be the schoolyard bully. I am guessing the Australian military are quaking in their boots.

  14. Purba Negoro says:

    Georgia was the illegal aggressor- well proven by even Georgian new footage.
    Saakashivili is nothing more than a puppet of the US-UK to push through a Turkey-Tblisi oil pipeline that bypass Ossettia and out of Russian Control- the only pipeline in the Baltic the West will not have their greedy claws on.
    Ossetia has voted to be part of Russia of their own accord- integrationists as were in Timor.

    As for Timor- the US ordered us to withdraw. My former CO was one of the Australian-Indonesian Liaison who had stict orders from Jakarta to follow every single Australian movement to co-ordinate ABRI movements so there would be no possibility of military conflict.
    Who was in power at the time- Habibie

    You wonder why Habibie never return to Indonesia? We will make sure he will never return to Germany.

    This is why General Cosgrove could succeed his mission without one single Indonesian or Australian casualty- we were informing each other of our movements by order of the US- open radio traffic both ways.

    Megawati has a supreme dislike for puffed up Ossie- she is very much of the Sukarno and Suharto opinion Timor is not negotiable. She personally has very strong hatred of John Howard. Many times she has publicly stated her very popular intention to nullify your rigged referendum or regain TIMOR by whatever means necessary- gaining her endearing admiration of the ABRI- many who were very loyal to her father.
    Under Megawati- the ABRI further fell in love with her when she crushed 50% of all GAM in 2 years- as she make it war zone.

    Megawati and husband Taufik are also well-annointed by Pak Suharto before he pass and his many living loyal men too- and very, very likely our next President- a lot of ABRI cannot afford the chance her not to be.

    I can imagine in the near future Rob, a mass exodus of West Timorese into Timor necessitating Indonesian security presence as a necessity of defending its’ citizens from violence, and who knows what kind of people could be in that uncontrolled exodus. There are plenty of FPI crazies keen to die in whatever Jihad we invent against the arrogant Aussie infidel.

    Batalyon Besi Merah Putih is still very much alive.
    I have seen the fear in the Aussie eyes myself. They are a mediochre adversary. I am of the opinion your soldier will collapse quite quicker than the Dutch- especially amongst the amok West Timorese.

    Did you really think we would not bear a long grudge having the worlds’ 7th largest hydrocarbon reserves stolen from us by your pitiful puffed up 20,000 infantry many who have never killed a man, let alone with a knife?

    It is merely matter of time before we regain what was stolen.
    Do not delude yourself we ever accepted its’ independence- polite words are very cheap- as your Australian leaders well know.

  15. Adrian Vickers says:

    Hey, I’m really warming to Purba, what a fun guy.

    And he’s absolutely right about the oil grab, the Howard govt was into neo-colonialism in a big way.

    But one question, if the Oz army will quake before the Indonesian army because “many who have never killed a man, let alone with a knife?” this suggests that the Indonesian army has had a lot of practice killing people, in Aceh, Papua, and East Timor in particular. Hamish McDonald and others have documented how the TNI was trained by the US Army in special tactics (developed in the Phoenix campaign in Vietnam), and basically used the East Timorese for killing practice. These Phoenix tactics included special targeting of anyone who might be liberal on the East Timorese side, but also legal experts, human rights workers etc, to make the situation more extreme. Indonesian military officers had special training in how to dispose of corpses, including out to sea.

  16. Rob says:


    The standard reply to any writings that run counter to the PN world view are normally palmed-off as conspiracies aimed at ruining the good name of Indonesia and her institutions.

  17. Purba Negoro says:

    utterly hypothetical in the extreme. Bodies tend to float and so do body parts ripped off by sea animals and some animals die, washed thousands of miles ashore- with stomach contents reasonably preserved due to slow metabolisms.
    So how come no Timorese floaties?

    Utter Australian nonsense is creeping into your academic objectivity.
    How can a nation possibly can loose more than 50% of its’ census population?
    Who would work the farms?

    What next- bayonetted babies, chopping hands off children, eating puppy dogs and snacking on kitty cats?
    Typical childish British Mi6 psy-ops as blundered by ASIO. Surprisingly it still works on the mentally feeble

    Impossible- even Herr Hitler and Himmler would be stumped on that one.

  18. noni says:

    Adrian, Rob, Purba and everyone on this site,

    So much hate and anymosity will never bring the 2 (two) nation closer together, it’s sad to see there is so much hate between people of these two nations.

    Indonesia being the closest landmass to Australia is least known and accepted within the Australian Community in general; we’ve seen over the years how the dark and ugly part have evolved.

    It’s unfortunate the view and perception between the countries have not change over the years.

    Indonesia is no longer part of the Dutch Indies which probably most Australian prefer to see it that way; nor is Indonesia part of the Commonwealth; nor a nation of coolies.

    No nation is invincible and as we have seen thru the passage of history; great nation rise from the ashes and so does nations turn to ashes.

    Both Australia and Indonesia may not be the best of neighbours but at least they should show some respect and learn to coexist.

  19. Andy says:

    Noni, at government level both sides do show respect towards each other don’t you think? Look at the record of my (Australian) government. One of the first countries in the world to recognise Indonesian independence, support for the Suharto regime re communism and regional stability, the first country to recognise East Timor as a part of Indonesia, military treaties between both countries including joint military exercises on our sovereign soil, billions of dollars in aid to help the country rebuild after the tsunami, Jojga earthquake and economic issues…..I could go on but you get the picture…

    Noni what more can my country do for Indonesia? I’ confused….

    As an Australian, I don’t feel this generosity has been returned in any way other than polite gesturing and in fact I feel some politicians have attempted to generate anti Australian sentiment among the general community who are largely uneducated yet very patriotic and. I know this as I lived for several years in Indonesia.

  20. Rob says:

    @ Noni…

    I wonder why you single me out for hate. Maybe you need to go back and read a few more of my comments on this site to garner a better understanding of where I stand on Indonesian / Australian relations.

    But, whatever!

    Have a nice day…

  21. Observato says:

    Nobody has totally clean hands but the west remain great believers in freedom, democracy and liberty. We are not perfect but certainly the best example thus far

    On what? On doing dirty jobs for the Corporates?
    After centuries of colonializing, human slavery, obliteration of the Indian and the Aborigine, and supporting ongoing occupation upon Palestina? How do you define liberty anyway?

    What is the ‘west’ btw? Jews are eastly semitic as far I know.

  22. Odinius says:

    The West has done a fantastic job of incubating those rights at home; less so when looking outward. That’s quite a shame, as I see it, because I strongly believe in those values.

    But Observato…are you implying that the “ongoing occupation upon Palestina” is worse than, say, the Indonesian occupation of East Timor was? Or the Philippine “occupation of Moroland still is?” Or the Chinese “occupation of Tibet?” Or the Sudanese “occupation of Darfur?”

    I’m not trying to get into a normative argument about “this occupation is okay” and “that occupation is not.” Instead, I’m suggesting these are all peas in a pod in a number of respects. The Israel-Palestine spat is irritating to me for the way it makes people forgot all the appreciably worse situations across the globe, of which there are many, and the way it makes people on both sides forget all the uncomfortable parallels to other parts of the globe.

  23. diego says:

    While the topic is Wiranto, which somehow related to the old regime (orde baru), which _somehow_ is associated with dictatorship, torture…, here’s a link that I think might be interesting (at least there’s a mention of indonesia in a CIA doc.):


    Got the link from The Peking Duck blog.

  24. Odinius says:

    Think Sullivan hits the nail on the head in many respects.

    “Do as we say, not as we do.”

    Or, perhaps more accurately:

    “Why don’t you guys just take this criticism of your interrogation methods to heart, while we take notes and see if we can improve on them, mmmkay?”

    But I’d also like to know if those “Indonesian” techniques referred to are New Order-era Indonesia or current?

  25. Andy says:

    Observato, many muslims choose to live in Israel where they have democratic rights which their brethren in most neighbouring countries are denied. Just because they are muslims living in muslim lands doesn’t mean they are treated well. And look further back in history to a time before islam was invented (and yes it is manmade not allah made). Jews lived in that part of the world way before Christianity and Islam existed so don’t ever say they don’t have a right to live there now.

    Odinius, I agree with most of your points except about Moroland (which was never a country to begin with). The Philippines wasn’t even a sovereign country until the Spanish conquered it and in any case Muslims have the same rights as anyone else. As usual though that is not good enough for them and they wish to have full power. Well tough, many minority religions in Indonesia have had to bow to Islamists who are the majority. To say the moros should separate is like saying Manado and Ambon should no longer be part of Indonesia.

  26. Odinius says:

    Well, I put “occupation” in quotes. So I’m not supporting their claims, but pointing out that they have these claims, the insurgent leaders and much of the population believe they are legitimate, and that the dispute has, at times, resulted in the oppression of the southern population, who view the dominant Tagalog and Ilocano speakers as internal colonialsts stealing their land. But as I see it, few people decrying the Palestine situation ever give a second thought to the Moros. Or Papuans, for that matter. Or any other number of groups in the world seeking self-determination.

    But there’s also a flaw in your criticism. What “was a sovereign country?” Indonesia wasn’t a country before the Dutch turned it into an administrative unit. The pre-colonial kingdoms of Mataram, Majapahit and Sriwijaya were not territorially bounded, but centralized tributary entities with spheres of influence overlapping with those of rival political formations.

    For that matter, Australia wasn’t a country before the British turned it into an administrative unit. The United States wasn’t a country until the British created 13 colonies. Hell, Britain wasn’t a country until England conquered the Welsh, Scots and Irish…and England wasn’t a country until William the Conquerer…blah blah blah.

    Today’s nation-states are all constructed out of historical process, and even the ones that appear “ancient,” or at least, “suitably old,” didn’t really look like they do now back in ye olde dayes.

    The Moro lands, which were ruled loosely by a collection of Sultans before the Spanish, really don’t look all that different in terms of their historical legacies of statehood from most other places in the world. Considering that the Spanish never fully conquered the south (the American colonialists did that), there might even be more of a claim to continuity of pre-colonial state traditions than many other current postcolonial states.

    Besides, they didn’t even want to decolonialize! There’s a pretty amazing letter written by one of the sultans to the American governor of the Philippines asking politely that the US not leave, because they didn’t want to be included in a nationalist Philippines where ‘Filipino’ was defined in terms of the Catholic majority.

    But again, don’t take that to mean I support their separatist claims. Moroland is recognized as a part of the Philippines and that’s the best precedent I can think of for not supporting secession. Wouldn’t mind seeing the Moros treated better within the Philippines, though 🙂

  27. Observato says:

    Kemerdekaan adalah hak segala bangsa, freedom is right of all nations. Penjajahan di atas dunia harus dihapuskan. Colonialization must be abandoned all upon the universe. Indonesia had implemented mandates of its own constitution as it granted referendum to East Timor.

    Yet that western countries (mainly U.S and Ostraya) once supported Indonesian occupation of East Timor due to a reason to expel communist influence out from Pacific regions but then they supported independence due to a reason to gain economic and political role upon the tiny nation with some amount of resources. What a perfect role?

    Nationalism is a new concept yet hypocrisy is ancient and eternal.

    Concepts may unclear or absurd but we have a sense in our heart as we are used to call it hati nurani to evaluate which is right or not.

  28. Odinius says:

    You’re right about why the Anglophone countries supported the illegal annexation of East Timor, but only Australia had any potential economic gain from Timorese independence, and I’m not clear that the offshore oil is even remotely enough to justify any sort of concerted action.

    But then again, I don’t tend to buy into the materialist view of history. Think it plays a role, but not such a simple one. I wouldn’t underestimate two non-material reasons for Australia, the US, Britain, etc. to change tack on East Timor: 1) changes in the international normative environment; 2) guilt.

    These are related…support for the annexation occurred at a time when Western and Eastern governments routinely compromised their ideals in the name of Cold War ‘victory.’ Support for Timorese independence came at a time of fairly unique Western idealism, especially in the face of the belated action in Bosnia in 1995, and lack of action in Rwanda in 1994. Couple that with a sense that the old, Cold War ways were ‘wrong’ and you not only have a zeal to action, but also to redress past ‘mistakes.’ But done in a way, of course, where the earlier complicity was conveniently left out of the triumphalist narrative.

  29. Observato says:

    Yeah, feeling guilty of global warming and other disasters, westerners busy try to bring salvation to rhinoceros, whales and other flora and fauna with whatever they think it was the right way. While the materialistic industrialization itself, remains going undisturbed. See the psychology, though. But in case of East Timor, it has oil. And oil is gold of the day. And human like gold either consciously or subconsciously. These anglophones was just a bit expressive.

  30. Oigal says:

    The only problem with the Oil Conspiracy theory and East Timor is the facts don’t add up. Australia had a far far better deal with less problems (and much to the left’s discomfort, a morally corrupt deal set up by the the Australian Labor Party)when East Timor was part of Indonesia.

    Habbie in fact was very clever (probably by accident based on past record). Australia wanted the East Timor Independence to be a slow process of ten years. Habbie could see the writing on the wall and said go now and we will save money. Of course, a few murderous generals didn’t take kindly to this.

    Fact is Tim tim continues to cost Australia millions in aid every year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future

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