INDONESIAN PROVINCES: EAST TIMOR AND THE MOLUCCAS

Created: 1/1/1979

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

MEMORANPUM

SUBJECT: Indonesian Provinces: East Timor and the Moluccas

East Timor

1. roast Timor, the former Portuguese colony covering half the Indonosian island of Timor, was incorporated into Indonesia in6 following an Indonesian Invasion in The remnants of Fretilin, tho Timorese independence movement, continue to resist military pacification efforts, but they are important mainly for enbarassing Indonesia by drawing international attention to its forced absorption of the territory."

2. Jakarta's interest in East Timor was sparked by I'ortugal'3 decision4 to dispose of the remains of its colonial emnire. Timor was an impoverished colony, somewhat larger than Connecticut andinancial drain on Lisbon despite its limited production of coffee, sandalwood, and copra. Most ofnhabitants were illiterate peasants living in isolated rural areas under tribal chieftains. The jungled mountains of Timor's interior are now the haunts of rebels fighting Indonesian rule.

3. Indonesian leaders felt that an indenandent Timor would be an inherently unstable state andhreat to Indonesia's security. They alco held an emotional belief that Timor rightfully belonged to Indonesia by virtue of geography and history."

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APPROVED FOR RESE DATE: 7

4. Indonesia first tried to arrange the peaceful incorporation of Timor into Indonesia by engineering the victory of pro-Indonesian forceslebiscite on tho colony's future status planned by the Portuguese, Indonesian hopes on this score were dashed whenfcx*ces proved to be the strongest. Fighting broke out among rival Timorese groups, and pro-independen Fretilin's unilateral declaration of independence in5 pushed Indonesia into an outright military

5. Although foreign opinion might have acquiesceduick military takeover, the drawn-out military campaign focused attention on what came to be widely seen as an Indonesian land grab. In an annual ritual embarrassing to Indonesia as one of the founders of tho nonaligned movement, Fretilin supporters haveearly UN resolution questioning Indonesia's actions. p

6. Indonesia is now concentrating onwin over tho Timorese,ire ethnically anddifferent from Indonesians, Althoughcontinues in the hills, food shortagesof the public by an increasinglyleadership have reduced the rebels1 Indonesian prospects for finallyopposition were heightened by the ambush andthe Fretilin president this week.

The Moluccas

7, The Molucca Islands numberew of any sizeand stretchiles across the equator near the eastern end ofile-long Indonesian archipelago, Tho comprise Indonesia's Moluccas Province (Maluku in Indonesian), Known as the legendary Spice Islands dXiring the Europeanperiod, they now produce more timber than spices. Their one million inhabitants live in deprivation, even by low Indonesian standards.

8. Moluccans are outside tho noinstroom of Indonesia life and aro looked down upon by the dominant Javanene. This onsequence of ftoluccan recoptivity to Dutch colonial rulo. Thereonsiderable Infusion of Dutch blood, and Moluccans provided tho most loyal for the Dutch colonial aray and administration. During an upsurge in Indonesian nations list agitation early in this century, the Moluccans were tho soonts of the Dutch in maintaining colonial control.

9. hortly after the Netherlandsrulo over Indonesia, tho Moluccans robollod against tho now government in Jakarta and setRepublic of tho South The Indonesian military put down tho revolt,oluccan govornmant-in-oxlle continues to this day in tho Netherlands, where, thereoluccan community ofouth wing of second-generation Moluccans in tho Netherlands has been responsible tor several acta of terrorise intended to gain publicity for tho cause of Moluccsn secession from Indonesia and to persuade the Netherlands to bring pressure on the Indonesian government. Jakarta is alert to the poislbility of exilo rebel attempts to bring wawpi.

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