300 Letter from Da Cruz to Johnson

Batugade, 27 October 1975

Further to my previous letter and in response to your last letter dated also October 23, 1975 I do have the honour to add some more considerations to those already stated as far [as] the searching for Australian citizens is concerned.

  1. On the wall of one house in Balibo has been painted by hand the following inscription:
    • First, the word AUSTRALIA
    • Below, a rough drawing of the Australian flag
    • Very close to these, was written in Portuguese: '[Faleng tango tili]1 Falentil esta sempre ao lado do povo maubere'
  2. I do question myself whether the people of that house were journalists or not. This is a point to clarify having the inscriptions in mind.
  3. According to the words written in Portuguese '[Faleng tango till] Falentil esta sempre ao lado do povo maubere' Fretilin must be responsible for any Australian citizen present at Balibo at the time.
  4. Also it must be questioned the real meaning of those inscriptions as they may mean a form of publicity to be demanded to Fretilin, as this is traditionally a political tactic of the leftist groups.
  5. Meanwhile, I inform you that UDT and APODETI have been requested by the Government of Jakarta to find out any possible documents of the Australians. If there are any the same will be sent directly to the same government.
  6. For all the regrettable situation that our territory is facing this moment we are now expecting that the Australian Government take the necessary steps to stop Australian citizens to come and fight side by side with Fretilin and fight and press the Timorese people.

For the opportunity this is all I can supply you as information to your searching.2

[NAA:A10463, 801/13/11/5, i]