Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 38 No. 22. September 11, 1975

Unholy alliance

Unholy alliance

However the coalition did not last past April when UDT pulled out. Just before this on a trip to Australia UDT leaders had been told by the Australian Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) to pull out of the coalition and to form an anti-communist alliance with Apodeti. (The third party in East Timor, Apodeti is financed and supported by Indonesia. It has never had any support among the East Timorese for its policy of amalgamation with Indonesia.) Australia's policy had been previously made clear by Cough Whitlam who intimated that Australia would not act against an Indonesian takeover. This was in response to repeated statements by Indonesia that it would not tolerate a left-wing regime on its border.

In June the UDT leaders went on a trip to Jakarta. No one is quite sure what happened there but in the same month UDT leaders had talks with Apodeti. It appears now that UDT got an Indonesian o.k. for their planned coup and the possible guarantee of armed intervention to crush Fretilin opposition to the coup. In return UDT would have promised a nonradical and stable (with Fretilin smashed) government UDT might have also hinted at a possible merger with Indonesia with East Timor occupying the position of an autonomous or semi-autonomous region. However, this is still conjecture although after the current fighting started Indonesia made continual offers to send in a one-nation 'peacekeeping' force to stop the fighting. These offers were wisely refused by the Portuguese.

page 5

UDT's reasons for pulling out of the coalition and planning the coup are not quite clear. It appears that they believed that in a coalition with Fretilin they would always be the minor partner and that eventually Fretilin would enact their far-reaching social programme. Also UDT looked with apprehension at the rapidly changing events in Portugal. They could well have decided that Indonesia would serve as a more stable colonial master. Also much pressure was no doubt brought to bear on the UDT leaders in their visits to Jakarta and Canberra to take the course of action that they did. One of the UDT leaders openly admitted that he had been bribed by the Indonesians.