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The New Order Government

East Timor's Integration

Ever since taking office in 1967, the New Order Government of President Soeharto was determined to return constitutional life by upholding the 1945 Constitution in a strict and consistent manner and by respecting Pancasila as the state philosophy and ideology. To emerge from the political and economic legacy of Soekarno's Old Order, the new government set out to undertake the following:

  • To complete the restoration of order and security and to establish political stability
  • To carry out economic rehabilitation.
  • To prepare a plan for and execute national development with the emphasis on economic development.
  • To end confrontation and normalize diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
  • To return to the United Nations, which Indonesia had quit in January 1965.
  • To consistently pursue an independent and active foreign policy.
  • To resolve the West Irian question.
  • To regain lndonesia's economic credibility overseas.
  • To hold general elections once every five years.

Much of the implementation of these policies has been described in the foregoing pages. It remains here to mention some of the more notable achievements of the New Order during the first few years of its existence. Results of national development are presented in this book under the heading "Development Achievements" and are updated each year.

With regard to Malaysia, not only were relations normalized but also Indonesia together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand joined to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On achieving independence in 1984, Brunei Darussalam becomes the sixth member of ASEAN. The objective of the association is the establishment of regional cooperation in the economic, social and cultural fields, but ASEAN also operates in the political area.

To prepare for national development, in addition to economic rehabilitation, Indonesia secured an agreement with creditor countries to reschedule an overseas debt of US$ 5 billion. With the recovery of the country's overseas credibility, Indonesia succeeded in the formation of a consortium of creditor countries to assist in her economic development. This consortium is known as the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI) and includes the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Britain and a number of West-European countries. Its annual meetings are held in Amsterdam under the chairmanship of the Netherlands.

East Timor's Integration

History recorded that in 672 AD Timor was part of the Crivijaya Kingdom. Later the island belonged to the Majapahit Kingdom for 200 years, until 1520. In the last quarter of the 16th Century the Portuguese subjugated Sultan Baabullah of Ternate, then the overlord to Timor. In 1651 the Dutch invaded Kupang in Western Timor and on April 20, 1859, concluded a treaty with Portugal whereby the latter was granted the right only to the northern part of Timor, Atauro Island and Oecussi, a tiny Sultanate in the Dutch-controlled part of West Timor.

In a statement on May 28, 1974, the Governor of Portuguese Timor, Colonel Fernando Alves Aldela, granted the people permission to form political parties. The response was the emergence of five political parties - UDT (Uniao Democratica Timorese), FRETILIN (Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste lndependent), APODETI (Associacao Popular Democratica de Timor),KOTA (Klibur Oan Timur Aswain) and TRABALHISTA (Labor Party). Through lack of popular support, FRETILIN resorted to terror tactics, threats and blackmail in an attempt to intimidate members of the other parties. This caused growing tension throughout the colony and sparked an inevitable civil war.

On August 27, 1975, the Governor and other Portuguese officials abandoned the capital of Dili, fled to Atauro Island and left FRETILIN free to continue its reign of terror. FRETILIN was even supplied with arms from the Portuguese army arsenal. On November 28 of the some year, FRETILIN unilaterally "declared the independence" of East Timor and announced the formation of "the Democratic Republic of East Timor".

In the light of these developments, on November 30, 1975, at Balibo, UDT, APODETI, KOTA and TRABALHISTA proclaimed the independence of the territory and its simultaneous integration with Indonesia. On December 17, 1975, the four parties announced the establishment of the Provisional Government of East Timor in Dili. On May 31, 1976, the duly elected People's Assembly of East Timor decided in an open session to formally integrate the territory with the Republic of Indonesia. A bill on this integration was approved by the Indonesian House of Representatives on July 15, 1976 and, with the promulgation by the President, became Law on July 17. East Timor has since been the 27th province of Indonesia with all the rights and duties under the 1945 Constitution of the Republic

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