358 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 4 December 1975

O.JA3479 UNCLASSIFIED IMMEDIATE

Portuguese Timor

Following is our translation of the text of the 'Statement of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia regarding the latest developments in Portuguese Timor' issued on 4 December 1975.

Begins

  1. In facing the latest developments in Portuguese Timor the Government of the Republic of Indonesia once again affirms its standpoint which, from the beginning, has supported a policy of decolonisation by the Government of Portugal which must be carried out in a genuine, orderly and peaceful fashion. Besides constituting principles which are generally accepted, such a process of decolonisation is a guarantee of the maintenance of the national stability of Indonesia which closely borders on that territory and the stability of S.E.A. in general.
  2. The genuine, orderly and peaceful process of decolonisation means the guaranteeing of the vote of every class of society in Portuguese Timor, without pressure in any form whatsoever to declare their stand point regarding their own future.
  3. It is necessary also to affirm the resolve of the Government of the Republic oflndonesia to use its legal right in defending its territorial integrity, its national sovereignty and its protection of the safety of its inhabitants and their possessions.
  4. As long as the process of decolonisation in Portuguese Timor is not complete, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia respects the rights and the duty of the Government of Portugal as the only legal power in that territory.
  5. As long as the process of decolonisation in Portuguese Timor is not complete, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia respects the rights and the duty of the Government of Portugal as the only legal power in that territory.
  6. Meanwhile the process of decolonisation in this territory [has] developed toward a critical situation. Terror, torture and cruelty have been carried out by FRETILIN towards other groups of the people of Portuguese Timor who have different views on their future. To defend themselves, the other groups have opposed the violence carried out by FRETILIN. All ofthis has taken place in a situation where the Government of Portugal has not had the capacity to restore security and general order and to guarantee the basic rights of the people of the territory.
  7. It must be recalled also that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has offered its good offices to assist the Government of Portugal in restoring security and general order in the territory of Portuguese Timor in the framework of helping to bring about a genuine, orderly and peaceful process of decolonisation.
  8. It must also be recalled that since the armed violence by FRETILIN against the other groups of the people of Portuguese Timor, refugees from this territory which has begun to be in disorder and full of suffering have flooded into the Indonesian border regions, numbering tens of thousands of people. Humanitarian grounds have caused the Government and people of Indonesia to protect them, to give shelter to them, to give food and clothing to them, and to care for their health.
  9. It must also be noted that the Government and the 130 million people of Indonesia are very well capable of defending themselves against mortar attacks on the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, against raids on the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, against robbery in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia and other provocations which have been carried out by the FRETILIN, causing the loss of the lives and the possessions of the population. This situation, added to existence of thousands of refugees, has constituted an attack on national stability and threatens the security of Indonesia.
  10. The process of decolonisation in the territory, which from the beginning has developed in a fashion which is neither genuine, orderly nor peaceful, has reached its peak with what is called a 'Declaration of Independence' by FRETILIN. FRETILIN's unilateral act has made the 'Rome Memorandum' difficult to implement, whereas Portugal, which is responsible for the territory of and the situation in Portuguese Timor, has stated in the United Nations that its Government is not able to control the situation in Portuguese Timor.
  11. Because of this, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia understand and consider genuine the statement which was then issued on 30 November 1975 by the other political parties in that territory-that is the parties of UDT, APODETI, KOTA and TRABALISTA—which jointly, in the name of the people of Portuguese Timor, frees them from the colonial power and unites them with the State of the Republic of Indonesia.1
  12. In connection with developments in the territory of Portuguese Timor, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia hereby states:
    1. that it greatly regrets the unilateral action of FRETILIN which has declared the independence of Portuguese Timor without heeding the opinion of the other parties in the territory that also represent the voice of the people,
    2. that it respects the right of, sympathises with and fully understands the declaration of the UDT, APODETI, KOTA and TRABALISTA parties who in the name of the people of Portuguese Timor have declared that they have united with the State of the Republic of Indonesia,
    3. that it calls on all sides concerned in Portuguese Timor earnestly to try to attain the implementation of decolonisation of the territory of Portuguese Timor in a genuine, orderly and peaceful fashion,
    4. that it will take the necessary actions to guarantee national territorial security, to guard the sovereignty of the State and to protect the population against interference from outside, and based on the principle of anti-colonialism and on the principle of humanitarianism the Government and the people of Indonesia possess a moral duty to protect the people in the territory of Timor so that the process of decolonisation can be realised in accordance with the aspirations and the desire of the whole people of Portuguese Timor,
    5. That it calls on the whole people of Indonesia in general and on the people bordering the territory of Portuguese Timor especially to increase their vigilance.

Jakarta, 4 December 19752

Ends

[NAA: Al838, 906/30114/3, i]