East Asia Review
EAST ASIA REVIEW9 CONTENTS
East Timor: The Other Refugees
Indonesia's newest province. East Timor, is inching toward economic recovery after threealf ^ears of warfare and uneasyinto the republic.
Indonesia's newest province, Eaot Timor, istoward economic recovery after threealf years of warfare and uneasy assimilation into the Resistance fron FRETILIN guerrillas is almost broken, Indonesian troop withdrawals continue, and the Indonesian Government has relaxed enough to call quietly for international relief to settle the outstandingof food and resettlement for thousands of Timorese displacLd by the war.
A small emergency loan was quietly negotiated and signed onuno by us disaster aid officials and the Catholic Relief Services for the provision of emergency food and medical supplies to East Timor. Therant, supplemented by someworth ofitle II food, marks the beginning of international assistance for displaced mountain peopie of East Timor. The US Covernaent has also answered an International Red Cross appeal for special funds by granting an immediate SI nil-lion toward an5 million program of medical and paramedical aid.
programs areajor breakthrough in encouraging the Indonesian Government to widenaccesn to East Timor for the supply of emergency relief. The two programs will certainly lead to some
ther assistance is likely.
Portuguese colonyears, Timor has alwayseficit area. The Indonesian invasion andstrong FRETILIN resistance69 so severely dislocated the economy that today there is serious under production of traditional food crops and famine conditions prevail in much of the province. half of East Timor's population ofas been uprooted by tha civil war and subsequent Indonesian invasion.
Indonesian Army sources say thatefugees are now huddled in "receiving centers" spotted around tho island. These people, most of whom are sick, barely clothed, and semistarved, will later be transferred toresettlementccording to the Indonesians. They will not be allowed to return to their mountain homes. The government plans to give them land, agricultural tools, and housebuilding materials, plus lessons for the young in the Indonesian language and state philosophy. Jakarta hasillion for rehabilitation for, but social and adtninistratve services are embryonic.
ndonesian "special military command" began winding down its operations in East Timor afterDeath Blow in Decemberwhich FRETILINNicolao Lobato was captured and executed. By the springacification was successful enough
that East Timor was integratedegular KOREMdivision) command. Reportedlyroops remain inimor conducting small search and destroy missions, which are encountering only minimal resistance.
Additional battalions and local police forcesrehabilitation and the construction ofthe countryside. East Timor hasaved roads and. by all accounts from bothIndonesian official visitors, contains thein Indonesia.
Indonesia has compounded it? problems in East Timor by its reluctance to let foreign observers and assistance enter the province during the past two years. Thepropaganda campaign ccur.ted by exiled Timorese srill fighting for an "independent" Timor has led to Third World criticism of Indonesian tactics and to five resolutions of censure in the United Nations. Various radical Third World countries recognize only the exile government, and most Western nations have only grudgingly accorded do facto recognition to Indonesian incorporation of East Timor, west Timor haa been part of Indonesia sinceOriginal document.