Lisbon has announcad that It is beginningthis wtik with representatives of politicalin Portuguese Timor toward establishing agovernment for the colony. Thataking place In Macao,fol-
lowod by talks next week witho Indonesian government.
According to an official statement oneetings will be held with Timor's pro-Indonesia party and its pro-independence coalition to dlncussi
by Lisbon that th* Timorese peopleight to independence;
in5 of an ad hoc'iSsembly to distribute government portfolios and write an elect oral law;
of elections in5 for aassembly empowered toroclamation on independenceonstitution.
has not commented publicly on this scenario, despite the fact that Indonesian officials earlier were adamant in their opposition to any Portuguese resolution of Timor's status leading to ultimate independence for the colony. The apparent change of heart in Jakarta may ba the result of recent talks the Indonesians have held with both Portuguese and Timorese leadera. Theevidently have decided that everyone now tacitly agrees Timor will definitely join Indonesia, although it is by no means certain that tha other partiesthe recent talks the same way.
Commenting on the Macao talks. General Alihandles the Timorese issue for Presidentthat sometime in the next two years thegovernment willlebiscite on The vote is intended to result in merger Murtopo appears confident that duringbefore the vote, Indonesian propagandain Timor will assureavorable|>
Since March, Jakarta has been fairly upbeat about the prospects for absorbing Timor peacefully. Indonesia believes it has assurances from Lisbon that thewill give Jakarta carte blanche to influence the course of events in Timor. Indonesian optimism has been reinforced by recent meetings in Jakarta between Murtopo's advisers and Timorese pro-independenceileaders, who gave Murtopo the impressionithat they could be brought to terms.
It is possible the pro-independence Timorese have decided that joining Indonesia is inevitable, but it is equally likely that in their talks with Murtopo they engaged in stalling to buy time andilitary invasion of the colony. If the Timorese ware in fact misleadingolution to the Timor problem has only been postponed. If it becomes apparent that there la in fact no "understanding" on Timor, Suharto will be hard pressed to withstand th* militants in his government who have been calling for immediate invasion.Original document.