NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
24th August, 1975 : Indonesia is poised to launch a large-scale military campaign in East Timor where Portugal admits it has lost administrative control and the colony is in a state of civil war. President Suharto’s Government, in a secret message to Lisbon, is believed to have asked Portugal to back Indonesian intervention. Indonesia, which has repeatedly said it has no territorial claims over East Timor, has pointed out that it could not tolerate the territory becoming a centre of unrest on its borders. A message from the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Adam Malik, to the Portuguese Government, said Indonesian forces were ready to move in and stop the killing in the battle between conservative and left-wing independence groups. It is understood that Indonesia is seeking Australian “understanding” of its position and if it decides to intervene, Australia will be advised, if not consulted. Australian military equipment provided under defence aid to Indonesia would not be used. It is understood that the Australian Government has indicated to Indonesia that intervention is not yet warranted.
[ Australian Prime Minister Whitlam was sacked three months later. That could be the explanation for the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, nothing serious had been written about his disgraceful (disgraceful for Australia, but not to the socialists) conduct vis a vis Indonesia and East Timor. One possible excuse is that writing about Whitlam’s despicable actions is a life-long task. ]