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Faltering Steps

Independence Movements in East Timor -


1940s to the early 1970s

May 1964

URT-D HQ
Batugade ? Rebellion ?

Viqueque Rebellion
1959

Silvester
Nai Buti
Codes Timde
Bobonaro ?

Ernest Chamberlain – Point Lonsdale, 2010


2

Preface

With the opening in Dili on 7 December 2005 of the Resistensia Timorense –


Arkivu ho Muzeu (The Archive and Museum of the Timorese Resistance), a large
range of previously unpublished documents can be expected to become available on
the recent history of Timor-Leste. Similarly, Chega !, the Final Report of the
Comissão de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliação - CAVR (Commission for
Reception, Truth and Reconciliation) has provided comprehensive and important
information on the struggle and suffering of the Timorese people. However, both the
Archive and Museum and CAVR records principally cover the period from 1974 to
1999 (inclusive).
This brief work of about 165,000 words is offered as a contribution towards
the understanding of the history of an earlier period - ie covering Timorese
independence movements and Indonesian involvement in Portuguese Timor from the
pre-World War II period to the early-mid 1970s. The independence movements in
those times were not successful. Indeed, some could be considered to be but nominal
attempts. Indonesian efforts at infiltration and subversion were also desultory and
generally ineffective before 1975. Nevertheless, in particular, the period between
World War II and the Indonesian occupation in late 1975 merits closer attention for a
fuller understanding of the totality of Timor-Leste’s modern history. Regrettably,
many of the participants in these events have passed on – and the remainder are now
elderly. Hopefully, this book – despite its many acknowledged shortcomings, will
encourage others to examine the period and offer their interpretations.
This work was first published as a monograph in December 2007 and again in
October 2008 – but with limited distribution. This edition includes a more
comprehensive coverage of the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion and also incorporates
material more recently sourced in the archives in Lisbon and London. It also includes
extensive footnotes to provide additional insights, context and texture – and, to
facilitate further research, a number of original documents have been annexed. This
edition also includes an index.
I would particularly like to thank my Timorese friends and work colleagues in
Dili, Iliomar, Viqueque and Oecusse for their encouragement and support during my
service in Timor-Leste (1999-2006).

Ernie Chamberlain
Point Lonsdale
14 October 2010

Note: This monograph has been presented in A4-size paging – principally to retain
the original format of photocopied reference documents that are annexed.
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Published in Australia in 2010 by Ernest Chamberlain, Point Lonsdale VIC 3225.

Copyright  Ernest Chamberlain 2010 email -chamber@pipeline.com.au

This monograph is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private
study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may
be reproduced by any process, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of the author. Inquiries should be made to the publisher.

The author has also published:

The Struggle in Iliomar: Resistance in rural East Timor; Editions - 2003, 2004 and
2008 (ISBN 9780980562309).

Perjuangan di Iliomar: Perlawanan di Pedesaan di Timor-Leste, 2004 (ISBN 0-


9750350-1-0).

Faltering Steps – Independence Movements in East Timor in the 1950s and 1960s;
2005 (ISBN 0 97500350 2 9).

Faltering Steps: Independence Movements in East Timor – 1940s to the early 1970s;
Editions - 2007 and 2008 (ISBN 978 0 9750350 4 7).

Rebellion, Defeat and Exile: The 1959 Uprising in East Timor; Editions - 2007 and
2009 (ISBN 9780980562316).

Forgotten Men: Timorese in Special Operations during World War II, 2010

(ISBN 978-0-9805623-2-3)

National Library of Australia : Cataloguing-in-Publication Entry

Chamberlain, Ernest, 1944 –

Faltering Steps: Independence Movements in East Timor – 1940s to the early 1970s

Bibliography; Index.

ISBN 9780980562330

Political parties – East Timor

East Timor – History – Autonomy and independence movements

Dewey number: 320.95987

Every effort has been made by the publisher/author to contact holders of copyright to
obtain permission to reproduce copyright material. However, if any permissions have
been inadvertently overlooked, apologies are offered, and should the rightful party
contact the publisher, all due credit and necessary and reasonable arrangements will
be made at the earliest opportunity.
FALTERING STEPS: INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS IN
EAST TIMOR - 1940s to the early 1970s

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Preface

Introduction

Independence - Contending Proclaimers 1

Some Notes on Sources 3-6

Pre-War and Wartime

The Deportados – pre-War Unrest 7


The Japanese Occupation 9
Native Uprisings and Wars 10
The Maubisse “Uprising” 13
Massacre at Aileu 13
“Filhos do Timor” (Sons of Timor) 14

Early Post-War Period

Returning Communists – and a Revolution ? 16


Early Indonesian Views on Portuguese Timor – “Incorporation” 17
A Rebellion and “Massacre” in Los Palos ? 18
A “border rebellion” ? – and Japanese Collaborators 18
Increased Native Head Tax – and Discontent 20
The Proposed “Nova Dili” 20
Concern at “Indonesian Nationalism” 21
Incursion Fears on the South Coast – “Incidente Vicarda” 22
A “Secret War” in Portuguese Timor ? 24
Relations with Indonesia – Major Meneses Recalled 25
Chinese Communists ? 25
Portuguese Timor - Malay, Mestiço and Workers’ Grievances 26
An Appeal to President Sukarno 28
Criticisms from Jakarta 28
The Bandung Conference – 1955 30
1955 – “Forced” Labour and Punishment 31
The Moluccas, Kisar, Wetar, Liran and Ataúro 32
The Anti-Colonial Movement of Indonesia (GPKI) 33

The “Viqueque Rebellion” – 1959

Beginnings 35
The “Ex-Permesta 14” 36
Security Concerns on the Lautem Coast 49
Conditions in the Baucau and Viqueque Circunscrições 50
The Rebel Leadership – and its Direction 53
2

The Plan 55
Arrests in Dili 58
The “Movimento de Aileu: Paulo de Castro” 60
The Uprising in Viqueque and Baucau 61
Ethno-linguistic Divisions and Violence 76
Casualties and Aftermath 78
Into Exile 84
Imprisoned and Exiled in Lisbon, Angola and Mozambique 90
After-Effects 92
In Exile 94
Some Exiles Return 97
Reports of Unrest in Portuguese Timor 99
An End to African Exile 100
1974-1975 – and Apodeti 101
Rebel Exiles in Africa and Portugal 105
More Exiles Return 106
Recognition, Reunions, Memorials
– and claims against Portugal 107
The Popular Consultation of 1999 – and Militia Group “59/75” 112
Compensation Claims - “Caso de Grupo 59” 113
Counting the Exiles 114
Recent Indonesian Interpretations of the Rebellion 115
The Memorial at the Bebui River 115
Continuing Ethnic Violence in Viqueque 115

Threats: The URT-D, Coup Plotters and Indonesia

The Founding Declarations of the Union of the Republic of


Timor Dilly (URT-D) 118
Army Disquiet in Portuguese Timor – and a planned Coup 121
Security Concerns Increase – PIDE Established;
an Australian Treaty Mooted 122
Fears of Indonesian Interest 124
Australia Expresses Concerns to Portugal 129
Quadripartite Meeting on Indonesia – February 1963 131
Fears of Indonesian Subversion 132
The URT-D’s Islamic and Pan-Malay Elements 133
Activity in “Indonesian Timor” - Silvester Martins Nai Buti 135
The Question of Indonesian Involvement 136
Indonesian Acts ? 139
Encouragement by the USSR 145
Appeals to the United Nations 145
The “Declaration of Independence” 146
The URT-D Constitution 148
1965 - Sukarno Declares Support; New Order Disinterest 149
More URT-D Letters and Proclamations 153
Mohammad Saleh Akbar (M.S.A.) Balikh - as “Mao Klao” 154
URT-D Activities from 1968 158
Divisions in the URT-D – Alamsyah Hasibuan as “Mao Klao” 160
3

The “Dawning of Political Consciousness” in Dili

The Movimentos 166


Democratisation in Portuguese Timor – and Apodeti 170
Portuguese Military Ineffectiveness 175
Apodeti – and ABRI Preparations 176

Jakarta-Based Independence Movements React

URT-D’s Reaction in 1974 to “Decolonisation” in Timor 179


Collective Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde) 182
Balikh Takes Control – and a URT-D “East Timor Constitution” 185
Responding to Events in Portuguese Timor 186
Timor Students Association of Central Java and Jogyakarta 188

The Indonesian Invasion and Occupation

From Infiltration and Raids – to Amphibious/Airborne Attack 190


The URT-D Seeks a Role – and Foreign Support 197
Arrest, Trial and Detention of URT-D Cadre 199
The URT-D’s “Inactive” Decades 200

Towards Independence – and Beyond

M.S.A. Balikh Returns to Timor – October 1999 202


The 2004 Timor Post “Proklamasi” Declaration – and
The 1,000 Pataca Note 202
Proklamasi – a 2006 Version 204
M.S.A. Balich’s “Declaration 1” –
and TIME Timor, October 2007 204
TIME Timor, November 2007 – Interview with “Mau-Klao” 207
M.S.A. Balikh – and the URT-D Flag 208
A “new” URT-D –
and the “Greater Timor” (Negara Timor Raya) ? 209
Republica Timor Tasi Mane (RTTM) – Short-lived Separatism 211

Summary and Discussion

Los Palos Uprising and Massacre 212


The 1959 Viqueque Rebellion 212
The Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly (URT-D) 218
Silvester Martins Nai Buti (Seço) 224
Collective Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde) 245
Indonesian Involvement 225
Apodeti Preferred 227
Resurrection ? 229
A Future History 229
--------------------------------------------------------
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Annexes: Not included with electronic Scribd version

A. Map - Circunscrição de Viqueque.

B. Sejarah Perjuangan Timor-Timur Untuk Sekolah Menengah Atas


(History of the East Timor Struggle for Senior High School), Anhar
Gonggong & Susanto Zuhdi, Direktorat Pendidikan Menengah Umum,
Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Jakarta, 1992 - translated
extract in English by author.

C. Declaration/Request for Political Asylum by the “Permesta 14” –


27 March 1958; 20 June 1958.

D. Araújo, A. (Armando) L.J. de, O Célebre Massacré de Uato-Lari e


Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous
Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-Carabau in 1959), Jakarta/Kupang,
1974 – including: Araújo, A. (Armando) L.J. de (et al), Memorandum
– Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento ocorrido em 7 de Junhe [sic] de
1959, na Cirrcunscriçõe [sic] de Viqueque – Timor (Memorandum –
Report: On the event that occurred on 7 June 1959 in the
Circumscription of Viqueque - Timor), six pages, Cólonia Penal do Bié
(Angola), 21 April 1960.

E. Deportees – 1959 Rebellion.

F. Costa, F.A.S. da, Os Nomes dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola do


Ano de 1959 (The Names of the Timorese Detainees in Angola in
1959), Silva Porto (Bié, Angola), 6 June 1960 – in Portuguese
(initialled/authenticated by Evaristo da Costa, Salem Musalam Sagran,
Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa and Juman bin Basirun).

G. TERJEMAHAN: Pejuang Perintis Integrasi Timor Timur Ke Dalam


Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (TRANSLATION: Pioneer
Fighters for the Integration of East Timor into the Unitary Republic of
Indonesia), Dili, 8 December 1995 - in Bahasa Indonesia with an
English translation.

H. Pinto, L. dos Santos, Certidão - Estado-Maior General das Forças


Armadas Serviço de Coordenação de Extinção da PIDE/DGS e LP
(Armed Forces Chief of Staff’s Office for the Coordination of the
Disbandment of the PIDE/DGS & LP) Lisbon, 22 March 1983 – in
Portuguese.

I. Second Announcement: Freedom Throughout Timor-Dilly ! – Drive


the Portuguese into the Sea !, Liberation Bureau – Union of the
Republic of Timor-Dilly, 10 December 1960 – in English.

J. The Declaration of Independence, Batugade, 9 April 1961 – in English,


with the stamp of the URT-D Foreign Ministry in Bahasa.
5

K. Constitution, Batugade, 4 May 1965 - in English.

L. Menyambut hangat atas akan Merdeka Nya Papua dan New Guinea
1967 ini, (Warmly welcoming the forthcoming Independence of Papua
and New Guinea in 1967), URT-D, Nr. III/Prespu-URT/IV/67,
Batugade, 2 April 1967 – in Bahasa Melayu.

M. Pernyataan Sambutan – Menyambut Missi Adam Malic [sic] kembali


dengan succes dari Pacific (Congratulatory Statement – Welcoming
Adam Malik on his Return from a Successful Mission in the Pacific),
Number 019/PP-URT/VI/68, URT-D, Djakarta, 26 April 1968 – in
Bahasa Melayu.

N. Hubungan Diplomatic dan kerjasama menuju Melanesia Raya yang


jaya (Diplomatic relations and cooperation towards a glorious Greater
Melanesia), Number 0545/ZULK/Prespu-URT/1392 H/1972 M.,
Batugade, 8 December 1972 (Letter to H.E. Mr Somare, Chief
Minister, Papua New Guinea) in Bahasa Melayu.

O. Pernyataan Kemerdekaan (Declaration of Independence), 9 April 1961


– in Bahasa Melayu. Clearer copy retyped by author is overpage.

P. Timor Merdeka (Independent Timor), 18 August 1963, (“Anthem” of


the URT-D) – in Bahasa Melayu, with English translation.

Q. Timor Union Republic (Union of the Republic of Timor), (A-4 copy of


the original A-3 size map of Timor Island with inserted photograph of
“A. Mao Klao”).

R. Note – Collective Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde)


to the United Nations Secretary General, 14/VII/V/FC/74, 10 July
1974 (less Memorandum attachment) – in English.

S. Pernyataan Dukungan (Statement of Support), Codes Timde


01/ICT/XII/74, Tanjung Priok – Jakarta, 23 December 1974 – in
Bahasa Indonesia, with English translation.

T. Pernyataan situasi di Timport (Statement on the Situation in


Portuguese Timor), No: 0128/PP-URTD/VIII/75, Jakarta, 30 August
1975 – in Bahasa Indonesia, with English translation.

U. Surat - Keputusan Tentang Perobahan Status Pembebasan Para


Tahanan/Tawanan Peristiwa U.R.T. (Unie Republik Timor) Dari
Bebas – Dikenakan Wajib Lapor Menjadi Bebas Penuh (Directive on
the Change of Release Status for Detainees of the U.R.T. Affair
(United Republic of Timor) from Released with Reporting Status to
Full Release), Kopkamtib, Jakarta, 11 August 1976 – in Bahasa
Indonesia, with English translation.
6

V. Memproklamasikan: Kemerdekaan Timor Timur (Proclamation of the


Independence of East Timor), Batugade, 9 April 1961 – in Bahasa
Indonesia, with English translation.

W. Surat Pernyataan I (Letter of Declaration I), Mau Klao M.S.A. Balich


(sic), Gugleur – Maubara, Timor Leste,19 April 2007 – in Bahasa
Indonesia, with an English translation.

X. Kemerdekaan Timor Timor Diproklamasikan (East Timor


Independence is Proclaimed) – as included in the Timor Post (25
November 2004); and in TIME Timor, No.11, Tahun II, November
2007, Dili, pp.19-24 in the article: “Mau-Klao Siap Mempertanggung-
jawabkan Kebenaran Proklamasi Uni Republik Timor (URT)” (“Mau-
Klao is Ready to Accept Responsibility for the Truth about the
Proclamation by Union of the Republic of Timor (URT)”). Typed
Bahasa version and an English translation – with notes.

Bibliography

Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly (URT-D) –


Documents Reviewed.

Indonesian Official Documents Reviewed.

Collective Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde) -


Documents Reviewed.

Books.

Selected Internet Websites/“Blogs”.

Selected Theses, Reports and Articles.

Index - not included with electronic Scribd version


FALTERING STEPS: INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS IN EAST TIMOR
- 1940s TO THE EARLY 1970s

INTRODUCTION

Independence - Contending Proclaimers

In any nation’s history, the “fathers” of its independence struggle hold a


special and venerated status. In Indonesian history, the proclaimers of independence
from Dutch colonial rule - Sukarno and Hatta, are given special prominence and
venerated. In East Timor (Timor-Leste), the appellation of “proclaimer/proklamator/
proklamador” has likewise held a similarly honoured status.
Timor-Leste’s modern-day declaration of independence, as the Democratic
Republic of Timor-Leste (RDTL), was made in Dili on 28 November 1975 by
Fretilin’s President, Francisco Xavier do Amaral – just nine days before the
Indonesian military attack and seizure of Dili. With Amaral estranged for several
decades from the Fretilin party, attempts were made by Fretilin in 2005 to challenge
Amaral’s title and credit as the “Proklamator”1 – which were not resolved until mid-
July 2007.

28 November 1975: The Unilateral Declaration of Independence 2

1
Lem, “Xavier Amaral: ‘Dunia akui saya proklamator’ ” (“Xavier Amaral: ‘The world acknowledges
me as the proclaimer’ ”), A Voz de Suara Timor Lorosae (STL), Dili, 20 May 2005. This was followed
in November 2005 by a series of articles in STL - eg on 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24 November 2005
including “Xavier laos proklamador” (15 November), “Proklamador RDTL: Xavier eh Lu-Olo ?” (21
November 2005). However, on 28 November 2006, Francisco Xavier do Amaral was publicly affirmed
by President Xanana Gusmão as the nation’s proklamador – STL, Dili, 29 November 2006. Following
the 2007 elections, Fretilin also agreed to a Parliamentary resolution (No. 91/1/5a) declaring Amaral as
proklamador – “Fretilin Rekonese Xavier Hanesan Proklamador …”, STL, Dili, 18 July 2007. In May
2008, Amaral headed a listing by the Government of Timor-Leste of “the 15 leading figures of the
liberation” as the “Proclamator of the Republic and First President of the Republic” – Lusa, 13 May
2008.
2
Francisco Xavier do Amaral (President) at the microphone; Nicolau Lobato (Prime Minister) looks
on.
2

However, this was not the first dispute in claiming status as the modern-day
initiator of the struggle for Timor-Leste’s independence - or for recognition and
standing as its “Proclaimer”.3 A brief, and unsuccessful, uprising against Portuguese
rule broke out in June 1959 – the “Viqueque Rebellion”. The aims of that Rebellion
included integration with the then still infant Republic of Indonesia – although this
has been disputed at times by Portugal and several Timor-Leste political parties
(principally Fretilin). Indeed, the CAVR Final Report states that the background to the
1959 uprising “remains largely unexplained”.4 The 1959 Rebellion exacerbated
ethno-linguistic tensions in Viqueque that linked to violence in the period 1975-1978,
1999-2002, in mid-2007 and in early 2009.
1961 has also been publicly claimed as the year of East Timor’s declaration of
independence. A few days before the 28 November 2004 anniversary of Fretilin’s
1975 Declaration of Independence, Dili’s Timor Post daily newspaper carried a front-
page item on the 1961 “Declaration of Independence” by the Union of the Republic of
Timor-Dilly (URT-D)5. A then 66 year-old Timorese, Mohammad Saleh Akbar
(M.S.A.) Balikh claimed that, as “Mao Klao” - the President of the URT-D, he had
proclaimed the independence of “Timor-Dilly” at Batugadé, near the West Timor
border, on 9 April 1961. More recently, in October and November 2007,
M.S.A.Balikh again claimed in a Dili magazine that he was “first proclaimer”.6 The
magazine, TIME Timor, noted that “Polemics on who was Timor-Leste’s
Proklamator have been a quite crucial discussion since this country gained its
independence from the grip of Indonesia.” However, Balikh’s credentials as an
independence pioneer are challenged – including by Fretilin, and several of his
statements on his role in the URT-D, and its activities, are clearly false. Further, at
least two seminal documents presented publicly by M.S.A. Balikh are seemingly
fabrications.
The 1959 Viqueque Rebellion and the Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly
are only lightly covered, if at all, in most English-language writings on Timor-Leste’s
history.7 While not claiming to be a comprehensive, all-revealing and authoritative

3
The several earlier uprisings against Portuguese occupation - in the 19th century and the major revolt
by Dom Boaventura ending in 1912, are well covered in Pélissier, R., Timor en guerre: le Crocodile et
les Portugais (1847-1913), Orgeval, France, 1996; and Gunn, G.C., Timor Loro Sae 500 Years, Livros
do Oriente, Macau, 1999. For the little-known “alleged revolt” in Suro in 1935 that resulted in the
dismissal of the régulo of Alas, Dom Carlos Borromeu Duarte – see Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª
Guerra Mundial – O Diário do Tenente Pires, CEHCP ISCTE, Lisboa, 2007, pp.29-30. Madjiah, L.E.,
“What could be worse than East Timor refugee camps ?”, Jakarta Post Online, Jakarta, 23 November
2000 – claims “Throughout Portuguese rule, there were 550 large and small-scale rebellions recorded
in East Timor.”
4
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (Comissão de Alcolhimento, Verdade e
Reconciliação – CAVR), Chega ! - The Final Report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and
Reconciliation, Dili, 2005, Part 3.2, para 28 – see also para 64 on “disputed” Indonesian involvement.
5
Ximenes, J.M., “1961, Proklamasaun Independesia URT – Ramos Horta tama estrutura” (“1961, The
Independence Proclamation by the URT – Ramos Horta offered a position”), Timor Post, Dili, 25
November 2004, p.1 and 15 – in Tetum.
6
“Proklamasi Timor Leste Sebenarnya Sudah Terjadi Pada Tahun 1961 ?” (“Did Timor-Leste’s
Proclamation Really Occur in 1961 ?”), TIME Timor, No.10, Tahun II, October 2007, p.49 and “Mau-
Klao Siap Mempertanggungjawabkan Kebenaran Proklamasi Uni Republik Timor (URT)” (“Mau Klao
is Ready to Accept Responsibility for the Truth about the Proclamation by the Union of the Republic of
Timor (URT)”), No.11, Tahun II, November 2007, pp.19-24 – in Bahasa Indonesia.
7
Chamberlain, E.P., The Struggle in Iliomar – Resistance in rural East Timor, Point Lonsdale,
2004/2008 – provided brief coverage of both the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion and the URT-D at pp.17-
19/pp. 41-42. Expanded coverage was included in Chamberlain, E.P., Faltering Steps: Independence
Movements in East Timor in the 1950s and 1960s, Point Lonsdale, December 2005. Subsequently the
3

history of the period, this work attempts to shed some further light on the
independence movements that emerged in the late 1950s to the mid-1970s in Timor-
Leste – with some related coverage of the years preceding and following those two-
and-a-half decades. Coverage of Indonesian attempts at involvement in Portuguese
Timor before their invasion and occupation in late 1975 is also included.
Many records and statements related to these independence movements, and
also to Indonesian involvement, are patently tendentious and “self-serving” – and
sometimes quite inaccurate. Accordingly, this work concludes with a discussion
section that offers the author’s opinions on a range of interesting inconsistencies and
anomalies in the currently available records.

SOME NOTES ON SOURCES

Pre-War and Wartime

Editions of the weekly government journal Boletim Oficial de Timor (BOdT) -


which include pronouncements from both Lisbon and Dili, are only a quite limited
source of information on “Política Indígena”. However, António Cardoso’s 2007
book on Lieutenant Manuel Pires does provide some very useful information on the
pre-War exile of several hundred Portuguese deportados to Portuguese Timor and
their activities on the Colony.8 Reports by visiting British consuls – E.T. Lambert in
November-December 19379 and C.H. Archer in March-April 194110, are the most
comprehensive English-language reports available on the immediate pre-War period –
albeit focusing on economic aspects and “Japanese influence”. From April 1941 until
the Japanese landing, the regular reports by the Australian Consul David Ross provide
a view of developments. For the wartime period – including the “native wars”, reports
from the Australian forces in the Colony and post-War memoirs by Portuguese
officers – particularly Governor Carvalho, are quite valuable.

1959 Rebellion

In relating the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion, the sources used in this book are
principally memoranda to Canberra from Australian Consuls in Dili during the period
1956-1963 (held in the National Archives of Australia - NAA); documents in the
Archives in Lisbon ie the Torre do Tombo (TdT) and the Arquivo Histórico

1959 Rebellion was discretely treated in Chamberlain, E.P., Rebellion, Defeat and Exile: The 1959
Uprising in East Timor, Point Lonsdale, February 2007/June 2009 – accessible on the Internet at:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/26857195/Rebellion-Defeat-and-Exile-The-1959-Uprising-in-East-Timor ;
and both the Rebellion and the URT-D were addressed in Faltering Steps: Independence Movements in
East Timor – 1940s to the early 1970s, Point Lonsdale, 2008.
8
Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª Guerra Mundial – O Diário do Tenente Pires, CEHCP ISCTE, Lisboa,
2007. For the wartime activities of the deportados – particularly of those evacuated to Australia, see
Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men: Timorese in Special Operations during World War II, Point
Lonsdale, 2010 - http://www.scribd.com/doc/29688334/Forgotten-Men-Timorese-in-Special-
Operations-during-World-War-II
9
Lambert, E.T. (British Consul, Batavia), Report on Portuguese Timor, Batavia, 18 December 1937
(NAA: A1838, 376/1/1; A981, TIM P 4 Part 2).
10
Archer, C.H. (British Consul-General, Taiwan), Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941,
para 29 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2, pp.38-76, and his draft report of 29 April 1941 at A981, TIM P
9).
4

Ultramarino (AHU)11; reports of interviews by the Surabaya/Jakarta-based journalist,


Peter A. Rohi - and the author’s discussions with him; the author’s interviews with
surviving rebels (Evaristo da Costa, Salem Sagran, Frederico Almeida Santos da
Costa – see below); and a book published in 1998 by General Filipe Themudo Barata
– the Governor of Portuguese Timor in the period mid-1959 to 1963.12 The book
“Pulau Timor” by the Timorese author António Vicente Marques Soares is also a
useful source.13

Former 1959 rebels: Evaristo da Costa, Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa and
Salem Sagran ; Kuluhan – Dili, 4 April 2007

Some official Portuguese Government correspondence of the time – provided


on an Internet website “blog”, by Janet Gunter has been helpful.14 Her March 2007
article15, based on field research in Viqueque was also an important contribution to an
understanding of events – and her yet-to-be-published master’s degree thesis is
expected to provide further insights. Additionally, an article by Professor Geoffrey
Gunn, first made available on the Internet in February 2006, contains some useful
information on the exile of the “1959 rebels” in Angola – including some information
on their pre-Rebellion backgrounds.16

11
For a useful review of Archives sources in Lisbon for the period 1974-1975, see Fernandes, M.S., “O
Processo de Descolonização do Timor Português nos Arquivos Portugueses, 1974-1975”, IV
Seminário Internacional de Arquivos e Tradição Ibérica, Lisbon, October 2005.
12
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo: Da primeira ameaça da Indonésia ao nascer de uma nação
(Contemporary Timor: From the first threat by Indonesia to the birth of a nation), Equilíbrio Editorial,
Lisboa, 1998.
13
Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor – Sebuah Sumbangan Untuk Sejarahnya, 2003 – see
pp.99-105. Viqueque-born (Lacluta, 1947), Sr. António Soares served as a teacher and administrator.
14
Gunter, J., Haree Ba Uluk: Timor Portuguese Pre-1974 – A Post-Colonial Forum for Learning and
Debate. http://raiketak.blogspot.com/timorhistory/index.html
15
Gunter, J., “Communal Conflict in Viqueque and the ‘Charged’ History of ‘59”, The Asia Pacific
Journal of Anthropology, Vol 8, No 1, March 2007, pp. 27-41.
16
Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East Timor) Rebellion of 1959”, Diversidade Cultural Na
Construção Da Nação E Do Estado Em Timor-Leste, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Porto, 2006, pp.
5

In the mid-1990s, the Indonesian Government sought to resurrect, revise and


“reconstruct” the history of the Rebellion - promoting the uprising as the beginning of
a struggle by the people of Portuguese Timor to integrate into the Republic of
Indonesia. Coverage in the Jakarta, Surabaya and Dili press of the reception of the
returning rebel exiles - and an “official” history17 published by the Indonesian
Government were elements of this campaign. Much of this information however
needs to be examined critically.
On 5 June 2009, Nobel Prize laureate Dom Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
published a six-page article: “A Revolta de 1959 em Viqueque, Watolari e
Watocarbau”18 that included discussion of the “causas remotas” and “causas
proximas” of the 1959 Rebellion. That article has the potential to alter Timorese
attitudes towards that uprising. The 1959 Rebellion has most recently been discretely
related in some detail in the monograph “Rebellion, Defeat and Exile” – 200919.
On the Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly (URT-D), communications from
the Australian Department of External/Foreign Affairs in Canberra, their Embassy in
Jakarta and the Consulate in Dili have been a major source of information on that
movement and Indonesian involvement in Portuguese Timor in the 1960s and early
1970s.
However, not all the records of the Department of External/Foreign Affairs in
the National Archives of Australia are accessible - as many interesting folios have
been removed from files and certified as “exempted”, “in confidence”, and/or
“intelligence information – the release of which would risk damage to the security of
the Commonwealth”. Similarly, a few passages within some reports on the available
files have been “expunged” – and consequently are currently not readable. The
National Archives in Kew (London) have also provided some useful documents on
the URT-D – and also on Indonesia-Portuguese Timor relations in the 1960s.

Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly

In late 2003, when writing a monograph on aspects of the Resistance struggle


against the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste (1975-1999), I had included brief
mention (about 600 words) of the Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly movement
(see footnote 7). This was based principally on references in the National Archives of
Australia. On 26 November 2004, following the item in the Timor Post mentioned
above, I met with its author and subsequently first interviewed Muhammad Saleh
Akbar Balikh (“Mao Klao”) - the former “President” of the URT-D, at his home in
Dili in early December 2004. Balikh also provided me with copies of several

27-53. Professor Gunn cites reports by the Portuguese Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado
(PIDE) on the exiled rebels. – the draft of the article was available earlier on the Internet as Gunn,
G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque Rebellion of 1959” (Draft), Nagasaki, 9 February 2006.
17
Gonggong A. & Zuhdi, S., Sejarah Perjuangan Timor-Timur Untuk Sekolah Menengah Atas
(History of the East Timor Struggle for Senior High School), Direktorat Pendidikan Menengah Umum,
Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Jakarta, 1992 – see translated extract at Annex B.
18
Belo, C.F.X. Dom, “A Revolta de 1959 em Viqueque, Watolari e Watocarbau”, Porto, 5 Junho de
2009 (six pages).
http://forum-haksesuk.blogspot.com/2009/06/revolta-de-1959-em-viqueque-watolari-e.html
19
Chamberlain, E.P., Rebellion, Defeat and Exile: The 1959 Uprising in East Timor, Point Lonsdale,
18 June 2009 - http://www.scribd.com/doc/26857195/Rebellion-Defeat-and-Exile-The-1959-Uprising-
in-East-Timor .
6

documents20 in substantiation of his claim to be “Mao Klao”, the President of the


URT-D. I met again with M.S.A. Balikh in Dili in August 2006 and October 2008.
This brief work also attempts to examine the background and activities of this little-
known movement – the URT-D, and its leader, Mao Klao.

“Political Awakening” - Indonesian Intervention

For Indonesian intervention in Portuguese Timor, sources for the early 1960s
period include Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado (PIDE) documents in the
Lisbon Archives (Torre do Tombo – TdT) and Australian diplomatic reports in the
National Archives of Australia (Canberra).
On political developments in Portuguese Timor in the 1970s, several of the
senior participants have published works – including Abílio de Araújo, Francisco
Lopes da Cruz, José Ramos-Horta, Mário Lemos Pires, and Mário Viegas
Carrascalão. Part 3 of Chega ! - The Final Report of the Commission for Reception,
Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), also provides a description of the events of the
early 1970s.
For the period 1974-1975, cables from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta
provide useful information – together with accounts in books written from the mid-
1990s by Indonesian journalists who accompanied the Indonesian troops in 1975, ie
principally Hendro Subroto and M. Saleh Kamah. As noted above, some passages in
Australian diplomatic correspondence and intelligence-related reports in the National
Archives of Australia have been expunged or redacted. Most of this omitted material
appears to be related to intercepted signals communications or occasional meetings
between Australian and Indonesian intelligence agencies in the early-mid 1970s.21
.

20
URT-D documents are listed discretely in the first section of the Bibliography. Those provided to the
author by M.S.A. Balikh are annotated with an asterisk, ie *.
21
A large number (483) of relevant Australian diplomatic reports – together with some background and
commentary, are contained in the official publication: Way, W. (ed), Australia and the Indonesian
Incorporation of Portuguese Timor 1974-1976 (Documents on Australian Foreign Policy – Department
of Foreign Affairs and Trade), Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2000. However, as noted,
Australian intelligence material considered sensitive – principally related to intercepted Indonesian
communications, has been “expunged” from accessible Australian records. Since mid-2007,
submissions by Dr. C. Fernandes (Canberra) to access 1975 classified material have been unsuccessful
– see Dorling, P., “Govt sets up new obstacle in Balibo case”, Canberra Times, Canberra, 11
September 2010.
7

PRE-WAR AND WAR TIME

The Deportados – pre-War Unrest

Large numbers of Portuguese men were deported to the Portuguese colonies in


the mid-1920s to the early 1930s following anarchist, communist and other left-wing
activities - principally in Portugal, but some were also arrested in several African
colonies. 65 deportados arrived in Dili aboard the Pero de Alenquer on 25 September
1927; 358 on the Pedro Gomes on 16 October 1931 (connected with the “revolt” of
26 August 1931); and 30 arrived on the Gil Eanes on 21 October 1931. The arrival
data of a further 25 deportados is unclear. This brought the total of deportados in
Portuguese Timor to over 50022 – far more than the resident Portuguese administrators
and the very few settlers. Within a short time, the presence of the deportados was a
major contribution to the growth of the mestizo – ie mixed race23, population in the
Colony.
In Timor, several of the deportados were imprisoned for their continued
political activity. Arnaldo Simões Januário – an anarchist from Coimbra, began a
newsletter and founded the Aliança Libertária de Timor.24 This precipitated a
“rigorous inquiry” by the Government in November 1933 into “the activities of
political and social deportados” to address their “profoundly anti-nationalist
endeavours”.25 The inquiry led to several arrests of deportados and their
imprisonment on Ataúro - an island of Portuguese Timor, 22 kilometres off the coast
ie north of Dili. One deportado – Raul dos Santos, had been imprisoned in Batugadé
near the Dutch Timor border for writing about the “conditions of the natives” – and
later also imprisoned on Ataúro as a member of the Aliança. However, following an
amnesty declared by Lisbon in December 1932, all but a handful of those deported to
Timor aboard the Pedro Gomes in October 1931 returned to Portugal in 1933.
In October 1935, the Portuguese authoritities suppressed an “alleged revolt” in
Suro, dismissing the régulo (traditional ruler) of Alas - Dom Carlos Borromeu Duarte
and displacing those involved to other areas.26 In mid-1937, the displaced population
was allowed to return – but régulo Duarte’s restricted residence continued.27
However, following an investigation, Duarte was exonerated in 1939 and his
privileges were reinstated.28
In late 1937, a visiting British diplomat – E.T. Lambert reported that “a few
deportados … still constitute a real problem for the Government. Only recently an
attempt was made by some deportados in an internment camp on the island of Ataúro
to incite the natives against one of their chiefs and organize a general insurrection
against the government. The movement was easily suppressed and the men in

22
These arrivals of ship-loads of deportados to Portuguese Timor – with 528 deportados named, are
found in Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª Guerra Mundial …, op.cit., 2007, pp. 235-259.
23
For the 1950 population figures that include numbers for “Mixed Race” – ie Mestiço/Mestizo (malae
oan in Tetum) see footnote 113.
24
Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª Guerra Mundial …, op.cit., p.43. While the aims of the Aliança are not
wholly clear, it appears to have been associated with the Federación Anaquarista Ibérica (founded in
1927) – a Pan-Iberian organization of anarchists and communists.
25
BOdT (Boletim Oficial de Timor), No.50, Portaria No.84-A, 16 December 1933, p.266.
26
For this little-known revolt, see Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª Guerra Mundial …, 2007; op.cit.,
pp.29-30.
27
BOdT, No.20, Despachos, 15 May 1937, p.181.
28
The alleged revolt appears to have been re-assessed as “disturbance of public order” and a local
“inter-indigenous dispute” – BOdT, No.12, Política Indígena – Despacho, 21 March 1939, pp.252-254.
8

question transferred elsewhere …”.29 On the native Timorese, Lambert also


commented that the “passive attitude of the Government towards education has
inevitably left its mark on the mental and economic status of the people, many of
whom are still in a hopelessly backward and primitive state and, never having tasted
better things, are content to eke out their meagre, under-nourished existence without
any desire to improve their lot.”30
Describing Portuguese Timor’s pre-War “European” population, Governor
Manuel d’Abreu Ferreira de Carvalho (1940-1945) wrote:
"The core of the largest European group was composed of about ninety
deported, social and affiliates, sent to us after the revolt in Guinea in 1927 -
and others in 1931. There were about a dozen European settlers - or former
military employees, pensioners, who had come to Timor and were dedicated
to agriculture and livestock. Besides these there were the employees of the
Sociedade Agrícola Pátria e Trabalho, about five or six, and two traders, and
former convicts, on the brink of bankruptcy."31

While the results of the 1940 census were not available, in 1941 Governor
Carvalho told a visiting British diplomat – C.H. Archer, that the population of
Portuguese Timor comprised: 300 Portuguese – including slightly under 100
deportados, over 2,000 Chinese, 13 Japanese, and “about 450,000 natives”. There
were “less than a dozen other Europeans, Indians & c. Of the total, the majority of the
Portuguese, about 1,100 Chinese and 1,800 natives are in Dili.”32
In April 1941 - eight months before the outbreak of war in the Pacific, the
visiting British consul – C.H. Archer, wrote critically of the administration and
authorities in Portuguese Timor. On the Timorese, he commented that: “The natives
are devoid of the most rudimentary political consciousness, and their condition is so
primitive that I imagine few would be able even of grasping the idea that a world war
is going on.”33
At about this time, wary of Japanese political and economic “infiltration” into
Portuguese Timor, in April 1941 Australia appointed an official – David Ross, as a
representative in Dili. Ross’ tasks included: “to report to the Australian Government
on Intelligence questions and on the commercial opportunities offering in that area.”34
Ross was joined in June 1941 by an “undeclared” Australian intelligence officer –

29
Lambert, E.T. (British Consul, Batavia), Report on Portuguese Timor, Batavia, 18 December 1937,
para 89 (NAA: A1838, 376/1/1; A981, TIM P 4 Part 2). Soon after, further regulations were
promulgated on the fixed residence and control of deportados – BOdT, No.48, Portaria No.580, 24
November 1937, pp.447-448.
30
Lambert, E.T., (British Consul, Batavia), Report …, op.cit., 1937, p.20, para 98 (NAA: A981, TIM P
4 Part 2, p.122). Lambert however also commented positively on recently-arrived Governor Fontoura’s
“constant solicitude for the natives” – p.21, para 101.
31
Carvalho, M. de Abreu Ferreira, Relatório …, 1947, op.cit., p.5. The 1941 report by the visiting
British Consul-General (Taiwan) C.H. Archer stated there were “slightly under 100” deportados in a
total Portuguese population of about 300. The deportados were reportedly living “in liberty” in
Portuguese Timor – of whom “about 60 percent were ‘democrats’, 30 percent communists and 10
percent other criminals” – see Archer, C.H., Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941, para
29 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2, pp.38-76, and his draft report of 29 April 1941 at A981, TIM P 9).
Portugal ceased sending deportados to Timor in 1949.
32
Archer, C.H. (British Consul-General, Taiwan), Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941,
p.9 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2, p.45).
33
Ibid., p.25, para 120 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2, p.61).
34
War Cabinet Minute 782, Sydney, 12 February 1941 (NAA: A2676, 782, p.3).
9

F.J.A. Whittaker.35 Making contact with deportados, and other “anti-fascist”


Portuguese in the administration, Whittaker reported to Australia that “a number of
Portuguese in Timor, the majority of whom are stationed in Dili, have formed a group
whose object, in the event of the Axis powers occupying Portugal, would be to seize
power here and declare the colony independent of Portugal.”36
On 17 December 1941 – in a “pre-emptive” operation, Australian and Dutch
troops occupied Portuguese Timor in violation of Portuguese sovereignty - ie a
“strategical exigency necessitated the Allied action”.37 Governor Carvalho formally
directed Portuguese officials not to cooperate with the Allied forces, and the
Australian Consul David Ross reported in early January 1942:
“It must not be forgotten that there are here in Timor a number of political
deportees who are violently hostile to the Salazar regime in Portugal and who
are just waiting for an opportunity to revolt. An internal revolution can be
started here at almost any time, and our forces could then take full military
control to preserve order. In such event, which could be taken only as a last
resort to guard effectively against Japanese occupation, a guarantee of safety
would have to be given to the deportees who would start internal trouble, and
they would also have to be protected against the Portuguese Government so
long as Salazar is in control.” 38

The Japanese Occupation

Japanese forces landed in both Dutch Timor and at Dili just before midnight
on 19 February/in the very early hours of 20 February 1942.39 While the Allied forces
in Dutch Timor were soon defeated, Australian commandos in Portuguese Timor
(“Sparrow Force” – and later “Lancer Force”) conducted guerrilla-style warfare
against the Japanese until early 1943.

35
For personal detail on Whittaker, see Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., Annex F.
36
Director of Naval Intelligence, N.I.D. 485/IIB – Internal Political Conditions in Portuguese Timor,
Melbourne, 11 July 1941 (NAA: A981, TIM P 11, pp.106-108). Whittaker provided a list of the 20
“leading members of the group”. For detail on Australian pre-War intelligence collection activities in
Timor, see Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., pp.3-8.
37
For background and detail, see Chamberlain, E.P. Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., pp.8-10.
According to the official British statement, a “strategical exigency necessitated the Allied action” that
was reportedly precipitated when “On December 15th Japanese submarines were identified in
immediate vicinity of Timor. One of them was attacked on December 16th. The danger was thus
immediate …” – Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, Cable I.29078 G. No.97, London, 21
December 1941 (NAA: A981, WAR 72, pp.69-70). The British statement was reported widely eg “Why
Allies Acted in Timor”, The Argus, Melbourne, 23 December 1941, p.5. From 7 February 1942, all
Dutch and Australian forces in Timor were placed under General Sir Archibald Wavell’s Bandoeng-
based American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command.
38
Ross, D., Report, Timor Dilli, 6 January 1942 (NAA: A981, TIM P 11, pp.9-11).
39
Two Japanese aircraft first attacked Dili with machinegun fire on 8 February 1942 – no casualties or
damage were reported – Ross, D., Cable 651, Dili, 8 February 1942 (NAA: A981, WAR 72, p.56). For
a brief Japanese account see “Dutch East Indies Operation” – Translation, Doc No.404, May 1948
(AWM54, 556/4/11); for a Dutch account, see “The Action in Timor from December 1941 – December
1942, (AWM 54, 573/4/1); for a detailed Australian account, see Wray, C.C.H., Timor I942,
Hutchinson Australia, Hawthorn, 1987, pp.22-77 and also Ross, D., Report, 29 July 1942 (NAA:
A6779, 21, pp.3-9). Japanese aircraft from four aircraft carriers and land-based aircraft from Kendari
(Sulawesi) and Ambon attacked Darwin earlier on 19 February.
10

Soon after occupying Dili, the Japanese forces sought the collaboration of a
number of “arabs”40 and Chinese merchants.41 Among the Timorese, the Japanese
proselytized their policy of a “Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”, fraternity among
all Asians, and the ejection of Europeans and their influence.42
However, during the Japanese occupation (February 1942 - September 1945),
the Japanese appear not to have promoted independence for Portuguese Timor. This
was probably because - officially, the Japanese Government respected Portuguese
sovereignty – albeit nominally; and a Japanese consulate was maintained in Dili
unlike in other territories under Japanese occupation. However, the Japanese Navy
established a Timor branch of their Otori Kikan intelligence organisation43 which
included local operatives, and the Japanese also recruited and directed the “colunas
negras” (“black columns”) – ie armed Timorese elements that harassed the small
Australian military force in Portuguese Timor and the Portuguese administration.

Native Uprisings and Wars44

In late March 1942, unrest against the Portuguese45 arose in the Posto of
Hatolia southwest of Ermera – and the Portuguese chefe de posto, Sergeant Mortágua,
exiled four local chiefs. Further to the southwest near the border with Dutch Timor,
Faic - the régulo of Fohorém (in the Cova Lima area – about 40km west-southwest of
Bobonaro) regularly crossed the border into Dutch Timor to visit relatives at
Atambua. However, on his return, he was beaten and imprisoned by a Portuguese
official – but escaped to Atambua with some followers. The Administrator of the

40
A number of Malays and “arabs” were reportedly “forced” to work for the Japanese as “soldiers,
interpreters and police” – and several dozen were imprisoned by the Portuguese after the War as
collaborators – see Bazher, A.B., Islam di Timor Timur, Gema Insani Press, Jakarta, 1995, pp.40-41.
41
Chinese welcomed the Japanese in Lautém and Baucau – see ISD, T/14 – Project 24, Melbourne, 21
October 1942 (NAA: A3269, D6/A, p.38). Encarnação, D. de (?), Letter - Natives (probably to F.J.A.
Whittaker), Australia, 25 January 1943 (NAA: A373, 4058A) – provides a listing of Chinese who
collaborated with the Japanese. Encarnação notes that when the Japanese entered Lautém in November
1942, they were welcomed by the Chinese residents. An Australian officer also noted that “Japs were
friendly to the Chinese and use them eg in Lautém.” - McCabe, P.P. Lieutenant, Report on Portuguese
Timor, 8 December 1942 (AWM54, 571/1/3). Post-war, four Chinese were later exiled from
Portuguese Timor for five years – BOdT No.38, Portaria 1:285, 20 September 1947, p.343.
42
“The Japanese knew how to appeal to the natives; they simplified their propaganda and made it ‘anti-
white-man’ which of course included the Portuguese who were theoretically neutral” - Callinan, B.J.,
Independent Company, William Heinemann Ltd, Melbourne, 1953, p.154. “get rid of the white man”,
ISD, T14 – Project 24, Melbourne, 21 October 1942 (NAA: A3269, D6/A, p.37). In Viqueque,
Japanese propaganda “we ((Timorese and Japanese)) both have coloured skins, let us get rid of the
white man and then you can enjoy your own land instead of working for the Portuguese and being
exploited by them.” - ISD, T/14 – Project 24, Melbourne, 21 October 1942 (NAA: A3269, D6/A, p.37).
43
Affiliated to the Japanese Imperial Navy, the Otori Kikan’s civilian operatives were active in - at
least, Aileu, Lautém, Baguia and Ossú. They established rapport with the local liurais (chiefs) to gather
information, and to pacify and mobilize the Timorese to assist the Japanese occupation – see
Takahashi, S., “The Japanese Intelligence Organization in Portuguese Timor”, Understanding Timor-
Leste: Research Conference, Dili, 3 July 2009.
44
A more comprehensive account of the “Native Uprisings and Assistance to Australian Forces” is
included as Annex G to Chamberlain, E.P. Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., – with Appendix 1
illustrating “Native Attitudes” (ie the December 1942 map by Lieutenant P.P. McCabe). See also
Cleary, P., The Men Who Came Out of the Ground, Hachette Australia, Sydney, 2010.
45
In a speech to the National Assembly in Lisbon on 26 November 1943, Portuguese Prime Minister
Salazar claimed: “there were revolts among the native population who had been in perfect tranquility
under our rule.” – NAA: A989, 1943/731/3, p.54.
11

Fronteira Circumscription/Circunscrição46 - António Policarpo de Sousa Santos, who


had been supporting the Australian Sparrow Force elements, accused régulo Faic of
rebellion. Santos arrested numbers of the régulo’s family and followers and exiled
them to eastern areas of the Colony ie to Manatuto, São Domingos and Lautém –

Portuguese Timor – 1942 47


(for name-changes of towns and villages – see footnote below)

46
A Circunscrição was a modern-day District comprising several Postos, ie modern-day Sub-Districts.
47
Based on a map in Fontoura, Á. da, O Trabalho dos Indígenas de Timor, Agência Geral das
Colónias, Lisboa, 1942. The Portuguese enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno is inserted. In 1936, the
Portuguese authorities renamed several towns and villages from their indigenous titles:
Baucau town was renamed Vila Salazar (27 May 1936); Aileu: Vila General Carmona; Atabai: Atalaia;
Atsabe: Nova Ourém; Baaguia: Baguía; Batugadé: Caxias do Extremo; Bazar-Tete: Vila Eduardo
Marques; Bobonaro: Vila Armindo Monteiro; Com: Nova Nazaré; Fuiloro: Vila de Avis; Laivai: Nova
Ancora; Lautém: Vila Nova Malaca; Loré: Silvicolas; Maubesse: Mindelo; Ossú: Belas; Pante-
Makassar: Vila Taveiro; Same: Vila Filomeno de Câmara; Tibar: Nova Algés; Tutuala: Nova Sagres;
Uato-Carabau/Watu Carbau: Nova Bemfica; Uatolari: Leça; Venilale: Vila Viçosa - BOdT, No. 21/25,
Diploma Legislativo 85/90, 27 May/20 June 1936, p.1/pp.142-143. However, the changes were not
“popularized”, and by the early 1950s had reverted to their earlier titles - Felgas, H.A.E. Capitão,
Timor Português, 1956, pp.348-350.
12

“with orders that they were to be liquidated.”48 Several of the Faic clan dissidents
were brought back to Bobonaro and executed.
At the end of the first week of August 1942, the Japanese forces – advancing
from both Dili and from Dutch Timor, began a four-column offensive against the
Australians in the western districts. The “objective for the Japanese military was to
eliminate both native Timorese and Portuguese support for the Australian and
associated troops.”49 For this campaign, the Japanese strengthened their forces with
colunas negras ie “black columns” – Timorese auxiliaries initially recruited mainly
from West Timor.50 To intimidate the Portuguese and natives in the countryside, on 9
August 1942 Japanese aircraft bombed and strafed the postos of Mape and Beaço (in
Fronteira) and Maubisse and Same (in Suro).51
Under Japanese pressure, on 11 August, the headquarters of the Australian
Sparrow Force was forced to move, by a circuitous route, eastward from Mape to
Same – and “in the process of moving, all Sparrow’s long distance radio facilities had
been sabotaged by unfriendly natives.”52 In the southwest, a Japanese-directed
column of heavily-armed natives from Dutch Timor advanced on the Posto of Fatu-
Lulic and killed the chefe Corporal Alfredo Baptista.53 Other columns advanced to
Mape, Beaço, Suai, Maucatar and Bobonaro.54 On 11 August – threatened by the
“revolt of the people of Cova Lima and Balibo”, Administrator Sousa Santos
abandoned his Fronteira Circumscription headquarters at Bobonaro and fled with his
family eastward to the Baucau area.
48
Cardoso, A.M., Timor …, 2007, op.cit., pp.63-64. The cause and nature of the régulo’s resistance to
the Portuguese is unclear. Sousa Santos also reportedly raided the lulic (ie sacred ancestral) house of
the Faic clan and removed “jewels of the kingdom and other sacred objects” to his headquarters in
Bobonaro “which shocked the population.” The “rebellion” of the régulo Faic is also related in Santa,
J.D., Australianos e Japoneses em Timor na II Guerra Mundial 1941-1945, Notícias Editorial, Lisboa,
1997, pp.36-38. Immediately post-War, Faic – the régulo of Fohorem and Cova Lima, presented
himself voluntarily to the Portuguese authorities at Bobonaro – Carvalho, M. de Abreu Ferreira,
Relatório …, 1947, op.cit., p.658. In 1946, Sousa Santos was charged by a Portuguese Disciplinary
Court with several offences including that he “was responsible for the rebellion at Fohorem” and for
“wrongly killing some natives at Bobonaro” - see NAA: A1838, 377/3/3/6 Part 1, p.161, p.194.
49
Horton, W.B., “Ethnic Cleavage in Timorese Society: The Black Columns in Occupied Portuguese
Timor”, Journal of International Development, 6 (2), Takushoku University, Tokyo, March 2007, p.43.
50
The Governor of Portuguese Timor noted the arrival by boat in Dili on 8 or 9 August 1942 of 300
heavily armed “indígenas de Atambua” – ie a “black column” – Carvalho, M. de Abreu Ferreira,
Relatório …, 1947, op.cit., pp.308-309. For views on the origin of the term “black columns/colunas
negras”, see Horton, W.B., “Ethnic Cleavage …”, op.cit., March 2007, p.43. According to Portuguese
Lieutenant António Liberato: “the black columns were initially recruited from native populations of
Dutch Timor and neighbouring islands, their numbers were soon increased by hundreds of natives from
our land, mainly from the regions of Fronteira, Maubisse, Manufai and later from other areas of the
colony. … they became the Australians’ worst enemy, the real adversary who forced them to leave
Timor.” - Liberato, A. de Oliveira, O Caso de Timor, Invasões estrangeiras, revoltas indígenas,
Portugália Editora, Lisboa, 1947.
51
On 10 August, Bobonaro, Mape and Beaço were bombed; and on 11 August, Aileu, Mape and Beaço
were bombed.
52
The Official History of the Operations and Administration of ‘Special Operations Australia’ (SOA)
under the cover-name of ‘Services Reconnaissance Department’, Volume II – Operations, Melbourne,
8 March 1946, p.13 (NAA: A3269, O8/A, p.26). Sparrow Force used the SRD LIZARD I radio set
which was later left with Sparrow Force when the LIZARD I party was evacuated to Australia on 17
August 1942.
53
The estimated strength of the “black columns” that entered Fronteira from West Timor was “around
3,000 … along with some Menadonese with experience as colonial troops.” - Horton, W.B., “Ethnic
Cleavage …”, March 2007, op.cit., p.43.
54
For detail on the Japanese border campaign, see Carvalho, M. de Abreu Ferreira, Relatório …, 1947,
op.cit., pp.310-311.
13

On 21 August 1942, a Portuguese column led by Sergeant António Joachim


Vicente left Dili to suppress the rebellion in the southwest – followed by a column
from Aileu led by Lieutenant António de Oliveira Liberato.55 The Portuguese forces
reportedly “had a kind of liassez-passer ((salvo-conduto)), a document signed by the
Japanese Consul, that identified the reason for their operation. … Lieutenant Liberato
encountered Australian and Dutch troops who did not intervene. While identifying
with the Portuguese, who provided a quiet and working population, the Australians
remained neutral because, as Callinan admitted: ‘One war was enough for us’.”56

The Maubisse “Uprising”

Following the bombing by the Japanese of the Posto at Maubisse on 9 August


1942, Corporal Francisco Martins Coelho - the chefe de posto, while reportedly
enroute to Same, took refuge with a local village head, but was brutally murdered by
him. In retaliation, a Portuguese force – including large numbers of Timorese arraiais
(warriors) and moradores57, was mobilized by the Administrator of Manatuto to
suppress the “revolt of 3,000” at Maubisse and Turiscai. The main Portuguese column
led by Lieutenant António Ramalho left Aileu on 23 August – with the force
including 3,100 arraiais, and the bloody campaign concluded on 3 September.58

Massacre at Aileu

On 1 October 1942, Timorese colunas negras – under Japanese direction59,


attacked the Portuguese barracks at Aileu killing six soldiers. The force then attacked
the residence of the commander of the Portuguese forces in Timor - resulting in the
deaths of the commander, his wife and seven other Portuguese.60 Japanese troops -
55
For detail on the campaign, see Liberato, A. de Oliveira, O Caso …, 1947, op.cit., pp.109-112. A
map of the campaign by the two Portuguese columns can be found in Santos, A. P. de Sousa, Duas
palvaras ao capitão Liberato a propósito de “O Caso de Timor”, Minerva Central, Lourenço Marques,
1973, p.65. The columns - including the later expedition to Maubisse, included deportado volunteers,
some of whom later evacuated to Australia.
56
Cardoso, A.M., Timor …, 2007, op.cit., pp.64-65. Cardoso includes quotes from Callinan, B.J.,
Independent Company …, 1953, op.cit., p.155.
57
Moradores were “native troops enlisted by the kingdoms (“reinos”) and equipped by the chiefs
(“chefes”) - Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.33, footnote 1.
58
Takahashi, S., emails to author, 18 and 24 July 2009. Shigehito Takahashi’s field research includes
detailed Timorese accounts of the campaign. Timorese refer to the Maubisse “revolt” as the “Manetu-
Manelobas War”. The Timorese arraiais were mobilized from a wide area – Manatuto (Fatu Berliu,
Samoro, Fatu Maquerec, Laclubar), Aileu (Aileu, Lequidoi, Dailor), Ermera (Letefoho), and Suro
(Ainaro, Hato Builico). José Duarte Santa - a Portuguese administrator, assessed native casualties “as a
result of tribal warfare, the extermination action of ‘black columns’ and the performance of the
Portuguese troops and the "militia" subject to administrative authorities, in operations to restore order
and policing - the death toll was put at around 2000.” - Santa, J.D., Australianos e Japoneses …,
op.cit., 1997, p.164.
59
Shigehito Takahashi’s in-country research has established that the Japanese civilian intelligence
agency – Otori Kikan, managed the “Aileu case”, see Takahashi, S., “The Japanese Intelligence
Organization in Portuguese Timor”, Understanding Timor-Leste: Research Conference, Dili, 3 July
2009. The Timorese involved - a “black column” (“colunas negras”), were reportedly mostly from
Netherlands Timor. Australia reported the killings at Aileu to London on 22 November 1942 (for
advice to Lisbon) – Department of External Affairs, Cablegram No.375, Canberra, 22 November 1942
(NAA: A981, TIM P 16, p.47).
60
Captain Freire da Costa – the military commander, his wife and three other Portuguese committed
suicide – see Santa, J.D., Australianos e Japoneses …, op.cit., 1997, pp.61-67; Carvalho, Dos Santos
J., Vida e Morte em Timor, Livraria Portugal, Lisbon, 1972, pp.128-130; Liberato, C. dos Santos
14

who were nearby in Aileu giving “full coverage to the massacre”61 by the colunas
negras, escorted the surviving Portuguese to Dili the next day.62 Soon after, in late
October 1942, the Portuguese accepted the Japanese edict for “protective
concentration” and moved to “internment” areas on the northern coast west of Dili at
Liquiçá, Maubara and the nearby hill village of Bazar Tete – ie for protection against
the “rebeliões de indígenas”.63

“Filhos do Timor” (Sons of Timor)

During the War, the Australian military recruited and employed Timorese in
its Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD)/Z Special Unit for re-insertion into
Portuguese Timor and operations against the Japanese.64 In mid-November 1943,
H.B. Manderson – the head of SRD’s Timor Section, suggested promoting the
creation of an “underground movement” in Portuguese Timor among the Timorese –
to be termed: “Filhos do Timor” (“Sons of Timor”).65 The catalyst for the movement
would be the Timorese trainees at the SRD’s training camp in Darwin – and:
“the idea should stem in the first instance from the trainees themselves. As a
so-called ‘secret’ Organization, I am sure these youngsters will cleave to the
general idea like limpets. In a variety of ways it should make a valuable
contribution to the institution of the TIMOR Webb [sic] by producing NOT
emissaries from AUSTRALIA, but “SONS OF TIMOR” hell-bent as the
spearheads of recovery of their land by their own efforts etc. etc. The MISE-
IN-SCENE might include such slogans as ‘WE WILL REPAY’ ”. The scheme
has interesting possibilities.”

Oliveira, Quando Timor foi notícia – Memórias, Editora Pax, Braga, 1972; Brito, F.G. de, Tata-mai-
lau: Timor contra o Japão 1941-45, Iniciativas Editoriais, Lisbon, 1977; and also eye-witness
accounts at NAA: A989, 1944/731/1, pp.123-127.
61
Cardoso, A.M., Timor …, 2007, op.cit., p.66.
62
Callinan, B.J., Independent Company …, 1953, op.cit., pp.172-173. Portuguese Sergeant António
Lourenço Martins had been detained by the Japanese at Aileu after the massacre and taken to Dili, but
escaped. He provided the Australians with a comprehensive report on the situation in Dili covering the
period 3-16 October that precipitated successful RAAF B-24 bombing raids - The Official History … ,
Vol II – Operations, 1946, op.cit., p.20 (NAA: A3269, O8/A, p.33; D6/A, pp.41-42).
63
Carvalho, M. de Abreu Ferreira, Relatório …, 1947, op.cit., pp.406-412. See also Liberato, A. de
Oliveira, Os Japoneses Estiveram Em Timor II – A Zona De Concentração, Empresa Nacional da
Publicade, Lisboa, 1951, pp.153-208. A detailed account of the campos de concentração is included in
Santa, J.D., Australianos e Japoneses …, op.cit., 1997 – the author, José Duarte Santa (secretário de
Concelho de Dili) was the “administering authority” at the camp at Liquiçá until imprisoned by the
Japanese on Alor in July 1944. “Interned in concentration camps at Liquica and Maubara were 521
Portuguese (287 male and 234 female) of all ages and all kinds of jobs, mostly consisting of public
servants both active and retired … 14 died.” – Santa, J.D., op.cit., 1997, p.164.
64
The total number of “Porto/Natives” who were employed by SRD in the period 1942-1945 was
probably 71 – who could be categorized as: Operational personnel (“operatives”): 39; General Duties
(GD) personnel: 32 – see Chamberlain, E.P. Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., p.50.
65
SRD – 450 to Director SRD, 9/J, Brisbane, 19 November 1943, p.2 (NAA: A3269, D/3G, p.29).
15

Timorese at the SRD/Z Special Unit Commando School


– Fraser Island (Queensland), November 194266

In December 1943, Manderson wrote to the Director of SRD in Melbourne on


the need to “build up the spirit of the Timorese” at the Darwin facilities. Manderson
related: “To this end, by subterranean means, I had instituted before I left, through the
students themselves, an underground movement styled “TIEIA TIMOR” or the “Timor
Network” which is hoped to be the operating section of a national resistance
organization to be called “Filhos de Timor” (“Sons of Timor”). A fancy oath and
other secret furbishments likely to appeal to the native mind have been designed.”67
In March 1944, Manderson advised the SRD Darwin base of the proposal for the
“creation of a force to be known as the ‘Timor Territorials’ ” - adding “Appropriate
documentary fanfare in preparation.”68
However, it does not appear that this proposal was developed further.69 There
is no mention of “independence” in the document – and it may well have merely been
Manderson’s intention to appeal to Timorese loyalty to Portugal. Moreover,
Australian Government policy at the time would probably not have supported any
incitement of independence for Portuguese Timor – particularly in the light of the
British and Australian assurances on the sovereignty of Portuguese Timor given to

66
Rear - left to right: Armindo Fernandes, José Carvalho, José Rebelo; Front - left to right: Câncio
Noronha, Bernardino Noronha, João Almeida - ie as identified to author by Câncio dos Reis Noronha –
March 2009, January 2010. The photograph was taken by H.B. Manderson and is in the Australian War
Memorial (AWM) collection – PR91/101 Part, L15.
67
Manderson, H.B., 10 December 1943 (AWM, PR91/101).
68
SRD, T19, Melbourne, 23 March 1944 (NAA: A3269, L7).
69
A Timorese SRD operative (1942-1945) – Câncio dos Reis Noronha, had not heard of the proposed
“Filhos do Timor” movement. While there was sometimes occasional brief mention of “independence”
among Timorese operatives, the matter was apparently not taken seriously - author’s interview with
Câncio dos Reis Noronha, Melbourne, 6 December 2008.
16

Portugal on 14 September 1943 ie the Aide-Memoire No. 16 to Prime Minister


Salazar70 that also included proposals for future discussion of common defence issues.

EARLY POST-WAR PERIOD

Returning Communists – and a Revolution ?

During the War, 28 men who had been evacuated from Portuguese Timor
were interned in Australia by the authorities as they were considered – probably
unjustly, to be a risk to the security of SRD/Z Special Force operations in Timor. 22
of those interned had been deportados 71 – and, prior to their internment, several had
been in contact with trade unions in the city of Newcastle and the local branch of the
Communist Party – and had become politically active.72 A number also declared
themselves to be “communists”, and several of the Portugal-born deportado internees
remained politically active after their release – as evidenced in a January 1945 article
in the Communist Party newspaper “The Tribune” titled: “Portuguese Exiles Need
Better Deal”.73 In late 1945, five Portuguese men formally sought to remain in
Australia – but their applications were rejected.74 The Australian Security Service
reported allegations that two “were remaining in Australia in order to obtain the help
of Communists to further the revolution in Timor” and that “Bezerra dos Santos who
joined the ship, is to be the Communist agent in Timor … They are recognized as
dangerous men politically; that, probably of course, as far as the Portuguese
Authorities are concerned.”75
However, in the early post-War years, communism does not appear to have
emerged as a threat to stability in Portuguese Timor. Concerns were only to arise in
the mid-1950s.

70
British Embassy – Lisbon, Aide-Memoire No.16, 14 September 1943 (NAA: A6779, 19, p.39). The
Australian High Commissioner in London informed Canberra that he had assured the Portuguese
Ambassador “that he could advise his Government that they need have no misapprehensions
whatsoever about Portuguese Timor. The Commonwealth Government had given certain undertakings
and the Portuguese Government could rest assured that we would live up to them.” – Cablegram 189,
London, 21 October 1943 (NAA: A6779, 19, p.37). The “Pacific Affairs” conference in Canberra in
January 1944 subsequently considered Portuguese Timor sovereignty issues – Pacific Affairs
Conference, Notebook No 1, Section 1, paras 45-50 – and included “qualifications” at paras 51-53
(NAA: M2319, 4). Paragraph 26 noted: “any claim for unconditional return of the colony of
Portuguese sovereignty is inadmissible”. The Portuguese account is expressed in “Timor: Semi-Official
Statement”, Dr A. de Oliveira Salazar - President of the Council, Lisbon, 29 September 1945 (NAA:
A981, TIM D 1 Part 2, pp.1-10; A1838, 377/3/1 Part 1, pp.215-223) and promulgated as President of
the Council, Official Note Regarding Timor, 6 October 1945 in Boletim – Secretariado Nacional da
Informação, Lisboa, 31 October 1945 (NAA: A1838, 377/3/1 Part 1, pp.198-205). For a discussion of
plans for an Australian-based Portuguese expeditionary force (4,000-strong) to participate in the re-
occupation of Portuguese Timor, see also Chamberlain, E.P., The Struggle in Iliomar, Point Lonsdale.,
2008, pp.36-37; and Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit., pp.70-72.
71
For profiles of the interned deportados, see Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit.,
Annex A.
72
“Who Blundered ? Allies Rebuffed, Not Allowed to Aid War Effort”, Tribune, No.112, 3 March
1943 (NAA: A373, 3685A).
73
The Tribune, “Portuguese Exiles Need Better Deal”, Sydney, 11 January 1945 (NAA: MP742/1,
115/1/245).
74
Over 600 men, women and children were evacuated from Portuguese Timor to Australia during the
War – of whom 562 were repatriated aboard the SS Angola from Newcastle on 27 November 1945. For
detail on the evacuees – including those interned, see Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010,
op.cit., pp.37-47 and pp.70-79.
75
Attorney-General’s Department, N.37100, Sydney, 30 November 1945 (NAA: A367, C63656, p.29).
17

Early Indonesian Views on Portuguese Timor – “Incorporation”

In the last months of World War II, the Japanese actively encouraged, and
organised, Indonesian nationalists in seeking independence from the Netherlands.
Mohammad Yamin, as a member of the Body for the Preparation of Indonesian
Independence (Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia -
BPUPKI), produced a paper on 31 May 1945 on the “Territory of Indonesia” that
included the proposal to incorporate Portuguese Timor as part of a future independent
Indonesia.76 On 11 July 1945, Sukarno – soon to be Indonesia’s first President,
expressed his view: “I am 100 % in agreement with the view held by Mr Yamin” ie
with Mohammad Yamin’s “Pan-Malay” proposal including the inclusion of
Portuguese Timor.77 Following Indonesia’s independence, Mohammad Yamin
continued his call for the incorporation of Portuguese Timor – including through his
newspaper “Mimbah Indonesia”.78 However, in a speech in Jogjakarta on 20 July
1953, President Sukarno declared that the Republic of Indonesia had made no
demands for, nor was she striving for, the inclusion of Portuguese Timor - but only
West Irian.79 Later as Education Minister, Mohammad Yamin modified his position,
by declaring that Indonesia did “not lay any claim” to Portuguese Timor80.
However, in late 1957, the issue of Portuguese Timor’s possible incorporation
into Indonesia was again raised during Constituent Assembly deliberations in Jakarta
on the definition of “Indonesian territory”. “All parties were of course agreed that
Indonesian territory included West Irian and representatives from certain other
parties, viz: Murba (Trotskyist) and I.P.K.I. (Proclamation of the Upholders of
Indonesian Independence) Parties, suggested that the definition of Indonesian territory
include the British territories in Borneo and Portuguese Timor. … They based their
arguments for these claims on the fact that the divisions in Borneo and in Timor were
made under colonial regimes without references to the people concerned and without
76
A copy of the paper, “The Territory of Indonesia”, can be found at NAA: A1838, 3034/7/1 Part 5.
The paper and Mohammad Yamin’s “incorporationist” views - ie to include Portuguese Timor, were
first publicly reported in Australia in an article titled “All New Guinea in Indonesian Wartime Hopes”
in The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 20 June 1959. Earlier suggestions of Indonesian suzerainty
over Timor during the Sriwijaya and Majapahit empires are related in Nahar, M., “Some Historical
Notes on Timor”, Home News/Feature, Jakarta, 15 October 1975, pp.12-14 and 16 October 1975,
pp.11-13 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 3). For the Apodeti’s political party’s reference to a
Majapahit’s suzerainty over Timor see footnote 860.
77
Record of the Meeting of the Committee held on 11 July 1945, p.5. Sukarno noted however that the
“hands of the Imperial Japanese Government will decide what shall form the future state of Indonesia.”
(NAA: A1838, 3034/7/1 Part 5). A modern “Pan-Malay” or Melayu Raya (Greater Malay) movement
was founded in Kuala Lumpur by Ibrahim Yaacob/Yaakub in 1938 as the Kesatuan Melayu Muda
(KMM – Malay Youth Union). Under Japanese military auspices, Yaacob met with Sukarno and
Mohammad Hatta in Taiping (Perak, Malaya) in mid-August 1945 – but the movements Melayu Raya
and Indonesian Raya did not merge. Yaacob fled to Indonesia in late August 1945, became a supporter
of President Sukarno, died in 1979 and is buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery at Kalibata (Jakarta).
78
Mohammad Yamin - when the former Finance Minister, urged incorporation of Portuguese Timor in
speeches on 22 June 1952 (Summary of World Broadcasts, 1 July 1952) and in Makassar on 26 August
1952 (Digest of Events in Indonesia, No 57).
79
Digest of Events in Indonesia, No 55, 31 July 1952.
80
On Minister Yamin’s statement in Kupang on 29 January 1954 see Antara, Jakarta, 30 January 1954
as reported in Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 121, 30 January 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part
1); and also The Times of Indonesia, 1 February 1954, p.4. In a speech on 28 October 1958, Yamin
declared: “Greater Indonesia has a wider territory and greater authority than the former Dutch East
Indies” – Persbiro Indonesia, 3516A, 29 October 1958 (NAA: A1838, 303/4/1/1 Part 2). However, for
a subsequent repudiation by Foreign Minister Subandrio of an “incorporationist” remark by Yamin in
Bandung in February 1960 see footnote 611.
18

the true interests of both Borneo and Timor being taken into account. Nevertheless the
Constituent Assembly did not accept these arguments … .”81

A Rebellion and “Massacre” in Lospalos ?

A small number of Indonesian sources82 refer to a “Lospalos Rebellion 1945-


1949” (for location, see map on front cover - Lospalos/Los Palos replaced Vila Nova
Malaca/Lautém as the capital of the Lautém Circunscrição in 1946). These sources
also claim that the Portuguese authorities put down the “Rebellion” and perpetrated a
“Lospalos Massacre” – but no detail is offered on these alleged events. Discussions
with elders in Lospalos in 2008 did not corroborate the foregoing Indonesian claims
of a “rebellion” or “massacre” in the area in the period 1945-1949.83 Undoubtedly,
some retribution was taken in the Lospalos area by the Portuguese on their return to
power as - for example, on 15 November 1942, the Portuguese Administrator of the
Lautém Circunscrição, Manuel de Barros, his wife, and three Portuguese civilians had
been killed by Timorese collaborators incited by the Japanese military.84

A “border rebellion” ? – and Japanese Collaborators

According to an Indonesian press item, an uprising against the Portuguese


broke out in the border area in 1945:
“At the same time as the independence revolution of the Indonesian Republic
in 1945, there was also an uprising against the Portuguese authorities led by
Bere Pak and Bele Boa from Lakus and Hoololo. This revolt was quelled by
the Portuguese colonial authorities, and thousands of people – including Bere
Pak and Bele Boa, fled as refugees into Indonesian Timor, and to this day
remain in the Kabupaten ((Regency)) of Belu.”85

Following the end of the war in the Pacific, the Portuguese re-established
administration and control in their colony of Timor in September 1945 – although

81
Australian Embassy - Jakarta, Memo 1733, 29 November 1957 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 4). The
Constituent Assembly unanimously resolved to define Indonesian territory as “all area belonging to the
former Dutch East Indies at the moment of the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941” ie not
including Portuguese Timor. The Constituent Assembly was dissolved on 5 July 1959.
82
Soekanto, Integrasi – Kebulatan Tekad Rakyat Timor Timur (Integration - The Determined Will of
the People of East Timor), Yayasan Parakesit, Jakarta, 1976, p.75 – this publication, which includes an
introduction by Lieutenant General Yoga Soegomo, the Head of the Indonesian State Intelligence
Coordination Agency ie Bakin, claims the “Rebellion” was inspired by Indonesia’s proclamation of
independence and its participants sought integration with Indonesia – p.79. The claims of a “Lospalos
Rebellion 1945-1949” and a “Massacre” are repeated in Rusdie, H., Suratama K. & Soares, A.J.O.,
Perjuangan Kemerdekaan Rakyat Timor Loro Sa’e, 1997 at p.20 and p.27. A “Lospalos rebellion” is
also mentioned briefly at p.37 in Cruz, F.X. Lopes da, Kesaksian – Aku dan Timor Timur (A Testimony
– East Timor and I), Yayasan Tunas Harapan Timor Lorosae, 1999, Jakarta.
83
Author’s discussions with Justino Valentim – former CNRT official and local historian/linguist,
Lospalos, 27-30 October 2008.
84
Duarte, a Timorese collaborator, reportedly replaced Barros. For World War II events in Lautém, see
Chamberlain E.P., 2004, The Struggle …, op.cit., 2008, pp.28-35. A “Portuguese half-caste” who was
“responsible for Timorese collaboration in the Lautém area … received a sentence of 10 years – the
evidence available did not allow for a heavier sentence”: see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo
12/1/1, 8 February 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3038/7/1 Part 1).
85
Soamole, A.D., “Persatuan Timor-Timur – Kembalinya Si Anak Hilang, Antara, Jakarta, 22 July
1976, p.71 in Dokumentasi – Kliping tentang Integrasi Timor Timur 1976 (I), 68/P/XI/1983, CSIS,
Jakarta, November 1983.
19

precluded by the victorious Allies from participating in the ceremony for the
surrender of regional Japanese forces in Kupang.86 On their return to power, the
Portuguese also dealt with Timorese who had collaborated with the Japanese –
particularly those who had been involved in killings of Portuguese officials and
civilians.87 In early April 1946, the Governor reportedly ordered the imprisonment of
1,150 people accused of war crimes.88 This included some members of Portuguese
Timor’s “Arab” community – “who had been forced to assist the Japanese as soldiers,
police and interpreters … and who were imprisoned for several years … ((ie post-
WWII by the Portuguese authorities as Japanese collaborators)) on Ataúro and at
Ainaro.”89
At the end of World War II, a number of Timorese who had collaborated with
the Japanese in Portuguese Timor reportedly fled to Dutch Timor and settled in the
border districts. In May 1946, the Australian Consul, Group Captain C. Eaton,
reported “250 natives who collaborated with the Japanese have recently been deported
to Kambing Island”90 (ie Ataúro). He also noted that the Fronteira Circunscrição “was
the Province where most of the collaboration with the Japanese occurred and,
according to the Portuguese, was caused by the infiltration of natives from Dutch
Timor.”91

86
Japanese Surrender – Arrangements in Respect of Portuguese Timor (NAA: A1838, TS377/3/3/2
Part 1). Portuguese Governor Carvalho took “control” of the remaining 110 Japanese troops in
Portuguese Timor on 5 September 1945, but the surrender of all Japanese military forces in Timor was
taken by an Allied officer (Australian Brigadier L.G.H. Dyke – Commander Timforce) in Kupang on
11 September. On 12 September, Lisbon advised that Portugal was “unable to assent” to the landing of
Australian troops in Dili. However, Brigadier Dyke and his party travelled to Dili on 23 September,
advised Governor Carvalho of the surrender arrangements concluded in Kupang, and assumed control
of the Japanese military in Portuguese Timor. A detailed description of events can be found in Forsyth,
W.D. (political advisor to Brigadier Dyke), “Timor – II: The World of Dr. Evatt”, New Guinea,
Australia, the Pacific and South East Asia, May/June 1975, pp. 31-37 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2,
pp.82-88). A Portuguese Expeditionary Force – commanded by Brigadier Roque de Sequeira Varejão,
arrived in Dili on 27-29 September 1945 (aboard the naval sloops Gonçalves Zarco and Bartolomeu
Dias; and the merchant vessel N/M Angola – with "2,223 troops, including infantry and artillery”) -
Bessa, C., A libertação de Timor na II Guerra Mundial: importãncia dos Açores para os interesses dos
Estados Unidos: subsídios históricos, Academia Portuguesa da Historia, Lisboa, 1992. The N/M Sofala
arrived in Dili on 9 October 1945 with the 10th Companhia de Caçadores Indígena (Mozambique)
which moved to Bobonaro to control the border area.
87
Brigadier Varejão reportedly “conquered the capital Dili and led a second military expedition into
the interior of Portuguese Timor.”
88
Cardoso, A.M., Timor na 2ª Guerra Mundial …, op.cit., 2007, p.118. For collaborators, see also
footnotes 35, 36, 82-83, 156, 157.
89
Bazher, A.B., Islam di Timor Timur, Gema Insani Press, Jakarta, 1995, pp. 40-41 lists 19 men of the
Islamic faith who, “together with others”, were detained and reportedly mistreated.
90
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No 1, 5 May 1946 (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 3). See also his
earlier “Report on Portuguese Timor”, 20 February 1946, p.7 (NAA: A1838, 376/1/1). According to
Relatorio sobre os tribunais judiciais de Timor, only 45 cases were processed against Timorese
collaborators in 1946 – increasing to 243 in 1947 and 372 in 1948, then declining to 78 in 1949, 70 in
1950 and 56 in 1951 (email to author from Takahashi Shigehito, 26 June 2008). By early 1954,
according to the Chief Justice of Portuguese Timor, about 1,000 Timorese who had collaborated with
the Japanese had been tried and sentenced – most of whom had been associated with massacres at
Aileu, Ermera and Lautém. A further 100 were awaiting trial – see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo
12/1/1, 8 February 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3038/7/1 Part 1). For articles on administration and society in
Portuguese Timor immediately post-WWII, see Landman, J.R. & Plant H.T., “Notes on Portuguese
Timor I & II”, Vol 2 No 11 & Vol 3 No 1; South Pacific, Sydney, August & September 1948 (NAA:
A1838, 376/1/1).
91
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No 2, 19 May 1946 (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 3). In late
August 1942, the tribes of Maubisse – reportedly inspired by Japanese propaganda, rebelled against the
20

Increased Native Head Tax – and Discontent

The Australian Consul reported in early December 1946 that “the initial
enthusiasm of the natives to the Portuguese Authorities, which was very evident after
the Japanese occupation, is now on the wane. This is on account of the head tax
imposition of 16 patacas per year ((about ₤1.5.-. per year)). After what had been said
by the Portuguese Authorities when they again took over the Administration of the
Colony, the amount of the tax has come as a shock and grumblings can be distinctly
heard. However, there is no organised opposition to the tax at the present time.”92
Following a visit to the western districts, the Consul reported that:
“Approximately 50% of the natives in the districts visited have paid their taxes, but
considerable difficulty is being experienced by district administrative officers in the
collection of the outstanding taxes. Some natives have gone bush to avoid payment
and others are brought before the Chefes de Postos for explanations regarding non-
payment. In some districts many natives who have not made their payment were
stated to be bad men who cooperated with the Japanese during the war and they
receive corporal punishment for non-payment.”93 The Consul also reported that, west
of Dili: “During 1948 most of the able-bodied males from Maubara crossed the border
to avoid ‘voluntary’ labour on the construction of a new road. The road was
completed by women and children under police guard.”94

The Proposed “Nova Dili”

In January 1947, Acting Governor Óscar Freira de Vasconcelos Ruas95


directed the re-establishment of the town of Dili - ie as “Nova Dili”, at Cutulau on the
hills to the south at a height of 800 metres above-sea-level (ASL). Governor Ruas
cited Dili’s “completamente destruida” during the War - and the need for a more

Portuguese and killed the Chefe de Posto, Francisco Martins Coelho and two deportados: José Faria
Braga and Fernando Augusto Mariz – see Carvalho, Dos Santos J., Vide e Morte …, op.cit., 1972, p.53.
Portuguese-led natives from Ainaro, Same and Manatuto soon crushed the rebellion – Wray, C.C.H.,
Timor 1942, op.cit., 1987, pp.131-132. The Japanese subsequently instigated the massacre at Aileu of
the Portuguese military commander, Captain Freire da Costa, his wife and several officials on 1-2
October 1942 – see preceding footnotes 59-63.
92
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No.16, 4 December 1946 (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 1) and
paraphrased in Intelligence Digest No.13, 25 March 1947 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
“Regulations of Census and Native Head Tax” were included as an attachment from the Consul’s
Despatch No.2 of 26 February 1947 – the Regulations included the four cumulative criteria by which
some natives could be classified as “similar to Europeans” and the ten categories of exemption. The
Consul noted that the head tax was 14 and 16 patacas per annum “according to the district in which the
natives reside.” (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 1; 3038/2/1 Part 1). In mid-1948, in a total native
population of 420,430 - 105,273 were enrolled for the native head tax with a further 22,948 exempt:
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 53, 15 March 1949 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 1). The “pre-war”
head/poll tax was “a basic rate of 6 patacas per annum. Besides this, coolies working for employers
other than the government, pay an additional 5 patacas, thus making a total of 11 patacas per annum.
Besides this again, higher-paid workers such as in-door servants pay another five patacas as
‘Professional Tax’, making a total of 16 patacas per annum. The wages of a coolie are 3 to 4 patacas a
month, plus his food. … in terms of sterling, the pataca is equal to about 1s 2 ½ d officially, and
procurable as low as 11d on the black market.” - Archer, C.H. (British Consul-General, Taiwan),
Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941, para 31-34. (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2. pp.38-
76).
93
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No.17, 18 December 1946 (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 1).
94
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 221, 20 December 1949 – the Consul added that “the men are
now returning.” (NAA: A1838, 378/15/3)
95
Governor Óscar Freire Vasconcelos Ruas was appointed on 23 June 1946.
21

healthy locality (“local salubre”).96 Most of the commercial infrastructure and


activities however, were to remain in the "old" Dili by the bay. However, during the
1950s, the plan faltered - and central Dili remained at its 1769 location.

Concern at “Indonesian Nationalism”

In April 1947, following a discussion with Governor Óscar Ruas, the


Australian Consul reported that: “His Excellency is also very much concerned with
Dutch Timor; he feels keenly the possibility of Indonesian nationalist agitation in the
Dutch colony spreading to Portuguese Timor and he is very anxious to avoid this if
possible, however, up to the present time there is no indication of any special steps
being taken with the exception of strengthening the frontier province guard.” 97 A few
months later, in August 1947, the Australian Embassy in The Hague advised the
Australian Department of External Affairs in Canberra of a “strictly confidential
report” that the Netherlands Government had approached the Portuguese Government
to enlist “their support in the prevention of any possible anti-Dutch propaganda in
Timor ((ie Netherlands “West Timor”)). It would appear that the Dutch fear agent
provocateurs from the Indonesian Republic will launch a campaign of incitement
against the Dutch among the Timorese and that they will possibly conduct their
activities from the Portuguese part of Timor. … The Portuguese, possibly fearing
repercussions in their territory, readily agreed and even advanced a proposal of joint
action by the combined gendarmeries, should trouble occur in any part of Timor,
whether Dutch or Portuguese. This proposal was regarded by the Dutch Government
as too drastic and negotiations are still proceeding. The Dutch hope for an agreement
in line with their original approach.”98 Soon after, the recently-arrived Australian
Consul in Dili discussed the matter with Governor Óscar Ruas who dismissed the
report - noting that he “had no doubt whatsoever of the loyalty of the Timorese to the
Portuguese and, in support of this, quoted that all taxes have been collected where
resistance might be most expected – that is in Oecussi and the Fronteira
circumscription.”99
In August 1947, the Portuguese Administrator in the Oecusse enclave sent an
urgent message to Dili stating that some “Japanese and Javanese had entered his
territory from Dutch Timor and asked for soldiers and machine guns” (ie the Oecusse
Administrator asked Dili for Portuguese reinforcements to be sent to Oecusse).100 In
response, two aircraft (an Anson and a Dragon) - carrying military personnel and
machine guns, were hastily despatched from Dili to Oecusse on the morning of 19
August. No contact was made with the party of “Japanese and Javanese” in Oecusse –

96
BOdT, No.4, Portaria 1:177 (signed 5 April 1946), 25 January 1947, pp.23-24. The Portaria cited
Decreto No.35:048 of 22 October 1945 and included a short history of earlier attempts to relocate Dili
due to problems of sanitation – and the “80 percent incidence of paludismo ((malaria)) among
workers”. “Delli” had been cited in Joseph Conrad’s 1915 novel “Victory: An Island Tale” (Chapter 2)
as: “that highly pestilential place” and “a god-forsaken spot”. “Nova Dili” was to be in the hills about
16km by road from the port. In late December 1941, malaria was “rife” among Australian troops in the
Dili area – until they were moved to the higher altitude of Railaco – Wray, C.C.H., Timor 1942, pp.31-
32; AWM54, 571/3/3 Part 4; MP508/1, 211/776/101.
97
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No. 6, 27 April 1947 (NAA: A1838, 377/1/3 Part 1).
98
Australian Embassy – Den Haag, Ministerial Despatch 26/47, 8 October 1947 (NAA: A1838,
378/15/3).
99
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 151, 26 November 1947 (NAA: A1838, 378/15/3).
100
Australian Consulate – Dili, Ministerial Despatch No. 4/47, 19 August 1947 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 1).
22

however, a Japanese officer from a party of POW escapees from Kupang was later
captured west of Liquiça.101
Post-war, security remained a concern in Portuguese Timor. The first “post-
war” Timorese infantry company, 230-strong, was recruited from 1,000 volunteers in
November 1947, with the flag swearing-in ceremony on 29 March 1948.102 However,
it was reliably reported that “eight companies, fully trained and equipped are held in
readiness in Lourenço Marques ((Mozambique)) to meet any contingency that may
arise in any Portuguese colony.”103
In September 1948, wharf labourers in Kupang (West Timor) went on strike
demanding higher pay – and this delayed the arrival of the routinely-scheduled Dutch
ship to Dili. Portuguese authorities reportedly concealed news of this industrial unrest
in Kupang lest it influence workers in Dili. The Australian Consul reported:
“The Governor has always expressed himself as being convinced of the
complete loyalty of the natives, but statements made at the recent ceremony of
swearing-in the flag of the 2nd Timorese infantry company indicate that he
may now be entertaining some doubts. His argument was that if the natives are
loyal, troops are unnecessary, whereas if they are not, two or three companies
would be quite adequate. Emphasis was given to this later by an incomplete
and perhaps thoughtless remark by the Governor’s aide-de-camp – ‘If we have
trouble with the natives, as we may …’. My own impression is that the natives
are unlikely to resist the Portuguese, even though they may resent individual
administrators or Chefe de Posto, unless they were roused and organized by an
outsider. This view may be held by some of the Portuguese themselves, as I
was told by the Administrator of Dili that Murjani was under constant
supervision because of his suspected connection with the Indonesians.
Illiteracy would probably be a factor also – I have heard of an estimate, which
is probably high, that 10% of the natives are literate to some extent, although it
has been suggested that the Chinese keep the natives informed about
international developments. If this is really so, the meaning of international
political developments should probably be limited to the possibility of war.
”104

Incursion Fears on the South Coast – “Incidente Vicarda”

A few years later, a brief scare in Portuguese Timor saw large numbers of
troops deployed to the south coast to repel a feared foreign military incursion. In early
March 1950, the Portuguese authorities in Dili received reports of landings from a

101
Australian Consulate – Dili, Ministerial Despatch No. 6/47, 16 September 1947 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 1).
102
For information on the “pre-war” Timorese company, see Lambert, E.T. (British Consul, Batavia),
Report on Portuguese Timor, Batavia, 18 December 1937, para 95 (NAA: A981, TIM P 4 Part 2;
A1838, 376/1/1); and for its capability and equipment, see Archer, C.H. (British Consul-General,
Taiwan), Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941, paras 121-124 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1
Part 2. pp.38-76).
103
Australian Consulate – Dili, Ministerial Despatch No.15/48, 25 April 1948 (NAA: A5954, 2269/4).
In mid-1949, two Timorese companies were prepared for movement to Macau following the
Communist Chinese advance to Nanking. However, in July 1949, the “Macau task” was reportedly
undertaken by an “expeditionary force” from Portugal and troops from Angola.
104
Australian Consulate – Dili, Departmental Despatch No. 21/48, 27 October 1948 (NAA: A5954,
2269/4). “Murjani” is not identified – however, it is likely that Murjani was a businessman or trader
with a British India or Goan background.
23

submarine on the south coast of “80-150 Indonesian and Dutch troops”.105 Armed
Portuguese reinforcements were flown to the Viqueque and Barique regions - about
160 km east-southeast of Dili, and Governor Óscar Ruas also flew to the area to
manage the response. Local Timorese chiefs “guaranteed not only the existence of an
armed group – they indicated various numbers from a hundred to many hundreds – of
whom twenty five were Europeans, white and blonde … they were convinced that
these were Dutchmen.”106 The Governor added that “the information came from
natives of different regions and was in agreement in all points and so could not have
been invented, not even by the fertile imagination of the Timorese.” Military
detachments, including Timorese troops and police, were deployed to search for the
reported intruders: from Viqueque – a platoon of regular troops and 150
moradores107; from Barique – a force including companies from Manatuto and Lacló;
and from Alas and Fato-Berliu – native troops from the Circunscrição of Suro with
140 armed moradores and a platoon of regular troops. The Governor also dispatched a
request to Lisbon that the Minister for Overseas Territories arrange “to despatch as
soon as possible a Portuguese warship from those which are stationed at Macau to
keep watch on the coast and, above all, the south coast.”108 However, despite over
two weeks of extensive searches, no trace was found of the alleged “foreign military
force”, and the Portuguese troops and Timorese auxiliaries returned to their home
bases by 6 April 1950.109 The Australian Consul cited a senior Portuguese official
who, after “close questioning of natives from Barique and Viqueque”, opined that “if
foreigners had landed in those districts, they would be hidden by the natives out of
resentment against the administrator ((of Viqueque)) Peão. Peão has long been
notorious for his harsh, if not brutal administration, and has apparently incurred
greater resentment recently by rifling natives’ tombs for gold ornaments. As a result,
the natives are in a frame of mind to welcome any foreigners who promised improved
conditions.”110
However, the Portuguese concerns may not have been unfounded. It appears
that there may have been brief incursions by a small group of Indonesians in
December 1949 and March 1950. A former Portuguese deportado living near the
south coast at Alas later admitted meeting six or seven Indonesians at these times –

105
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable I.4230, 22 March 1950 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1; A5954,
2269/4). In a memorandum (23 May 1950) to the Australian Minister of External Affairs, his
Department noted the “infiltration” and advised that such “underlines the need for interest by Australia
in this island” (NAA: A1838, 377/3/1 Part 1).
106
Ruas, Ó. F., de V. Governor & Ferreira, M. Secretary, Act No.5 – Extra-ordinary Session of the
Government Advisor Board, Dili, 23 March 1950. This four-page document details the Government’s
reaction and authorises an allocation of 50,000 patacas for the operation (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part
1). Governor Ruas’ correspondence of 23 and 29 March 1950 is available at Gunter, J., Haree Ba Uluk
(blogsite), 23 March 2004 – which describes the event as the “Incidente Vicarda.”
107
Moradores were “native troops enlisted by the kingdoms (“reinos”) and equipped by the chiefs
(“chefes”) - Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.33, footnote 1.
108
Ruas, Ó. F., de V. Governor & Ferreira, M., Secretary, op.cit., p.3.
109
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo, 12 April 1950 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).The Incidente
Vicarda event has also been cited as the “pro-Indonesian revolt at Vicarda in 1950” – at footnote 1 in
Fernandes, M.S., “A União da República de Timor: o atrófico movimento nacionalista islâmico-malaio
Timorense, 1960-1975” at pp.355-431 in Guedes, A.M. & Mendes N.C. (eds), Ensaios sobre
nacionalismos em Timor-Leste, Collecção Biblioteca Diplomática do MNE – Série A, Ministério dos
Negócios Estrangeiros Portugal, Lisbon, 2005.
110
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 70, 8 May 1950 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). “Peão” was
Adminstrator Manuel Dias Peão (b. 23 October 1920) appointed as the Secretário in Viqueque in
November 1946 – and who subsequently served in Dili from May 1956 and was appointed the
Administrator of the Suro Circunscrição in late April 1958.
24

and a “native chief, who was completely loyal to the Portuguese during the last war,
corroborated the story under torture.”111
Governor Óscar Ruas returned to Portugal on 6 June 1950, and an Acting
Governor officiated until the arrival of his replacement, Captain César Maria de Serpa
Rosa, on 31 December 1950. The Australian Consul in Dili provided a nine–page
critique to Canberra on “The Administration of Governor Óscar Ruas” noting:
“… there is no denying the Governor’s zeal and very real interest in the
Colony, … Without question he has been the hardest working official in the
Colony. … For dealing with the native population as a whole, the system of
divide and rule has been adopted. Rather than attempt to settle tribal or district
rivalries, these are actively encouraged. Exploitation of the natives by
administrators and lower officials is widespread, and in most cases provides
the means for the transference of money … The wretched physical condition
of many natives is clear evidence of a very low standard of living. … It is not
surprising therefore, that the administrator with the longest experience in the
Colony once gave the opinion that, in an emergency, the Portuguese could
count on the loyalty of only 10% of the natives. To my mind the lack of
organization and initiative amongst the natives would suggest a much higher
figure, although there is no lack of reason for discontent.”112

In 1950, the population of Portuguese Timor was officially reported as 442,


378 – of whom 7,471 were classified as “civilized” (1.7 percent) and 434,907 as
“non-civilized” (98.3 percent).113
During an interview in Canberra on 1951, the visiting Governor of
Portuguese Timor - Captain César Maria de Serpa Rosa, explained to the Secretary of
the Department of External Affairs that: “he was confident that, up to the present,
there had been no Indonesian infiltration into Portuguese Timor. … The Governor
stressed his assurances in this regard by referring to the small size of the colony which
made it possible for the Governor to be informed of day-to-day activities throughout
the country, and to the fact that his predecessor in office had concentrated particularly
on native affairs.”114

A “Secret War” in Portuguese Timor ?

In mid-1951, an Australian weekly magazine published an article alleging


that a “Secret War” was being waged in Portuguese Timor against Indonesian-
supported guerrillas:

111
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 74, 10 May 1950 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
112
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 3/50, 14 June 1950 (NAA: A1838, 378/3/1).
113
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 34/52, 23 July 1952 citing Government figures for the 1950
“general census” presented to the visiting Portuguese “Minister for Overseas” in May 1952 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 1). Of the total population of 442,378, the “civilized” population (1.7 percent)
comprised: “568 Whites; 1,541 Timorese; 2,022 Mixed; 3,128 Asiatics; 110 Arabs, 48 Indians; and 54
Negroes” – while the “non-civilized population” (98.3 percent) numbered 434,907. A later Consulate
report indicated the “Indonesian population of Portuguese Timor” as “possibly about 100 of the Islamic
faith referred to as Arabs … mostly engaged in the piecegoods trade. … There are a few real Malay
types originally from Kupang but there would not be more than 30 of these …” – Australian Consulate
– Dili, Memo 68/54, 23 February 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
114
Department of External Affairs - Canberra, Interview (Extract) – Indonesian Infiltration, 27 April
1951 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
25

“A strict news censorship has kept quiet the guerilla battles that have flared
up continuously there since the end of the war and only Portugal’s top
officials know the full facts. … The sporadic flareups have devastated the
land. … Two-thirds of the reinforcements sent last summer from
Mozambique to Macao were diverted to Dilli to strengthen the battle-tried
garrison on the island. Another 4000 have just been despatched. There are
no signs that the fighting will fizzle out or decrease in ferocity. The guerillas
are well supplied with instructors and arms. Reinforcements are regularly
sluiced [sic] across the Indonesian side of the border.”115

No other reporting – including from the Australian Consulate in Dili,


indicates any such conflict in Portuguese Timor in the immediate post-War years. As
noted in the preceding paragraphs, there had been “incursion fears on the south coast”
in early 1950 - and forces were mobilised by the Dili authorities in response.
However, no trace was ever found of the alleged foreign military incursion. It is
possible that the aberrant and inaccurate “Secret War” article may have been
catalysed by the claims of 1950 – and extensively “embroidered” by its author.

Relations with Indonesia – Major Meneses Recalled

In mid and late 1953, there were several clashes in the border area - with
Indonesian military elements reportedly firing on Portuguese Angolan troops who
returned fire. The Portuguese Army commander, Major Arnaldo Dionisio Carneiro de
Sousa e Meneses, replaced the Angolan troops with Timorese soldiers in the “25 mile
strip” adjacent to the border to reduce tension and, in his reports to the Minister of
Defence in Lisbon, requested that the Army’s strength in Portuguese Timor be
increased from about 900 to 2,000 - and that Portuguese African troops be equipped
with sub-machine guns.116 However on 3 January 1954, at the request of Governor
Serpa Rosa, Major Meneses was recalled from Timor. According to the Chief Justice
of the Colony, Major Meneses was “too militaristic for the political situation on the
border and went out of his way to antagonise the Indonesians with whom at present
the country is enjoying reasonably cordial relations. Major Meneses also mixed
politics with soldiering and His Excellency the Governor had no option but to request
his recall.” 117

Chinese Communists ?

Communist-inspired unrest does not appear to have been a significant


concern for the authorities in Portuguese Timor.118 The few Portuguese political
deportados in the Province119 were controlled and mostly lived in the rural areas.

115
Feldman, F., “Portugal’s Secret War”, The World’s News, Sydney, 7 July 1951, p.3. The World’s
News was published in the period from 1901 to 1955.
116
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo, 27 December 1953 (NAA: A1838, TS656/1/2/3).
117
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 4/54, 5 January 1954 (NAA: A1838, TS656/1/2/3).
118
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 93/55, 6 April 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/11/2) commenting
on a fanciful press item by Hogg, L., “Portuguese make sure TIMOR too happy for Reds”, Courier
Mail, Brisbane, 6 March 1955 (also published in newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne).
119
The status of Portuguese Timor changed from a colony to an overseas province/territory on 11 June
1951. In 1949, two years earlier, Portugal had ceased exiling political deportados to Portuguese Timor.
In December 1960, the United Nations General Assembly declared Portugal’s overseas provinces,
26

However, in 1954, the Consul for Nationalist China (Taiwan) in Dili complained to
the Governor that the leading Chinese merchants in Portuguese Timor were
communists – although the Consul was unable to provide any evidence for his
accusations.120 In mid-July 1956, the Nationalist Chinese Government in Taipeh
despatched a “Special Envoy” to Dili to investigate these charges. After a month-long
investigation, the Envoy found no evidence of communist leanings – and the Chinese
Consul - described as “an eccentric scholar”, was recalled to Taiwan. The Australian
Consul reported that the Chinese were “strongly in favour of Nationalist China” –
while there was “only a hint” that “there are perhaps a few Chinese Communists, they
do not reside in Dili, but in the interior, where they are in business.”121
Australian Government officials however, were wary of the potential for
communist infiltration into Timor. An intelligence assessment of November 1954
reviewed the situation in both Indonesian and Portuguese Timor and concluded:
“there is no internal security problem in either part. However, two Area Commanders
in the Eastern Indonesian Territorial Command are known to have pro-Communist
leanings and the possibility should not be excluded of these Commanders conniving at
a revolt against Central Government control.”122

Portuguese Timor - Malay, Mestiço123 and Workers’ Grievances

In mid-1954, the Australian Consul in Dili prepared a memorandum –


“Portuguese Timor – Political”, that described an emerging discontent among some
groups in Dili. The Consul related that:
“the Malay and Malay-speaking population of Portuguese Timor – a relatively
small percentage of course – can be said to have some knowledge of the
political scene in South and South East Asia, and are in general a fairly
intelligent class of people. Some members of this section of the community
have made frequent contact with the Consul for Indonesia. … ((They)) usually
work as mechanics and truck drivers for the Government and commercial
circles. However there is not always full employment for these people, except
during the coffee season, and at times their living is very precarious indeed.
There have been reports over the past two weeks, passed to me in strict
confidence, that some of these subjects harbour animosity towards the local
Government, and have on occasion expressed their grievances to the Consul
for Indonesia. Further, that this section of the community is joined by the
many poorer class of half caste ((mestiço/mestizo)), born in Timor, who in
many cases obtain only temporary employment with the Government as
occasion offers, and when no such Government employment is offering take
odd jobs as may be available. The general complaint from this section of the
half caste community is that without permanent Government employment,

including Timor, to be “non-self-governing territories” – 15th Session, Agenda Item 38, Resolution
A/HES/1542 (W) of 21 December 1960 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19).
120
A Chinese Consulate was established in Dili in late October 1947 – but closed briefly in mid-May
1950 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/5/1). For the Chinese Consul’s complaint, see also Australian Consulate –
Dili, Memo 9, 23 June 1954 (NAA: A11604, 605/15). The Chinese population in the mid-1950s was
about 3,800. Most Chinese were of Kek (Hakka) ethnicity from Canton and Macau.
121
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 182/56, 28 August 1956 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2/2).
122
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), “Strategic Importance of Timor – Appreciation”, Canberra, 11
November 1954, paragraph 7 (NAA: A1838, 383/7/1 - and papers in A7942, P62).
123
As detailed at footnote 113, official Portuguese Timor population statistics for 1950 showed a
“Civilised Population” of 7,471 – including “2,022 Mixed” - ie Mestiço/Mestizo (malae oan in Tetum).
27

they can have no fixed livelihood, that the Government continues to bring out
Portuguese from Portugal for work which could and should be done by many
of these half castes. Actually, the complaint from these people extends
somewhat deeper within the country’s political scene, in the sense of the
following: -
‘… the indigenous native still continues to pay head tax and is still
conscripted for cheap labour …should there at anytime be a plebiscite as to the
continuance under Portuguese rule, or otherwise, the indigenous native would
vote to come within the framework of Indonesia …’.”

However, in reference to the above quote from an unidentified source, the


Australian Consul added that he “would most certainly discount the opinion regarding
a plebiscite, which I believe exists only in the disgruntled and unhappy minds of this
section of people, who are at times living under conditions which, according to their
own standards, are not compatible with their rights and dues … However, whilst
appreciating that the behaviour and loyalties of some native elements … is perhaps at
best an uncertain quantity in regard to some of them in times of emergency and stress,
the present circumstances of those who inhabit Portuguese Timor is satisfactory if one
thinks only in terms of physical well being, food and other requirements to their
particular standard. It would not be so regarded by other Asian peoples who have
gained independence of course.”124
A year later in 1955, the Australian Consul in Dili reported on a similar
theme that:
“It has recently been confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that the local
Authority has introduced certain repressive measures designed to stifle free
expression of thought, in open discussion, if relating to local political, social
or economic conditions in Portuguese Timor … particularly in regard to social
conditions and benefits for lower category employees. … The poorer class of
Portuguese, chiefly half-castes, are employed in what is regarded by them as
insufficiently paid positions and their living conditions are certainly not very
good. It is understood that the repressive measures take the form of a stern
warning to a person or persons concerned whose expressed opinions have
come under notice, and in future to avoid discussions of a political nature if
connected with Portuguese affairs. … There has been no suggestion, so far,
that communism is involved in anti-government statements which may have
been expressed by certain people – merely a criticism of their lot and the belief
that their conditions of pay and advancement and living could and should be
better. … The number of disgruntled persons are few indeed, there are no
secondary industries in Portuguese Timor which, if they did exist would
employ numbers of workers, amongst which it could be expected that some
political activity would eventually emerge … Furthermore, the indigenous
native is very primitive, and it is usually considered that his intelligence is far
below that which would be required to absorb communist doctrines or any
other form of political thought. … he is generally regarded as a very loyal
person and obedient to the Native Chiefs who in turn are responsible to the
Administration. The loyalty of these Native Chiefs is unquestioned. …
However, it is known that the local government is apprehensive in regard to

124
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No 9, 23 June 1954 (NAA: A11604, 605/15; TS656/1/2/3).
28

communist activity and anti-colonial feelings in Indonesia and elsewhere in


South East Asia.”125

The Portuguese Government’s concern was evidenced in the 1955 budget for
the Province that included funding for the establishment in Portuguese Timor of the
PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) –
the regime’s secret security and intelligence agency.
A PIDE staff - comprising five personnel at a salary
cost of 45,600 patacas, was planned for 1956 to
strengthen the existing “public security police” force
in Dili of 54.126

An Appeal to President Sukarno

In May 1954, President Sukarno travelled to Indonesian West Timor. During


his visit to the towns of Atapupu and Atambua near the border with Portuguese
Timor, “Timorese from the Portuguese half of the island” came to see the President
and, after executing war dances and offering gifts, they requested Sukarno “not to
forget those who were still sighing under the colonial yoke of Portugal.”127
According to a report from the Australian Consul in Dili, Sukarno “also toured the
villages adjacent to the Portuguese frontier, and that during this tour he was
approached by some of the native peoples from the Portuguese territory who
submitted a petition inviting Indonesia to absorb the peoples of Portuguese Timor.”128
The Consul continued: “should there be any truth in the report, then the local
Government would undoubtedly be aware of the fact, but there would certainly be a
close blanket of secrecy imposed on those officials who had knowledge of the alleged
incident, and it is the policy of the Government to endeavour to prevent all
information on political matters within the province reaching outside peoples and
foreign governments.”

Criticisms from Jakarta

In late 1954, an item in the Jakarta press warned of the strategic danger to the
Republic of Indonesia presented by Portuguese Timor: “It has become clearer every
day how dangerous Portuguese Timor is for the security of Indonesia, the more so
after it has turned out that certain foreign powers have included Portuguese Timor in
their scheme to strengthen their strategic defence systems in South East Asia. This
situation has drawn the attention of the Indonesian government which is planning to
take speedy steps to meet this threat.”129

125
Australian Consulate – Dili, Despatch No 3, 14 April 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
126
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 312/55, 16 November 1955 (NAA: 3038/1/1 Part 1). The PIDE
proposal was based on Decree Law 39749, Lisbon, 9 August (BOdT, No.38, 18 September 1954,
pp.494-500) on the “reorganization” of the PIDE service. Funding for 1956 detailed in BOdT, No.53
Suplemento, 31 December 1955, p.1044. However, a PIDE “delegation” was not established in
Portuguese Timor until March 1961 – ie after the 1959 “Viqueque Rebellion”.
127
Australian Embassy – The Hague, Memo 411/54, 20 May 1954 reporting on an item in the
Netherlands newspaper Het Parool (Independent Labour) of 18 May 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3
Part 1).
128
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 9, 23 June 1954 (NAA: A11604, 605/15).
129
The Times of Indonesia, Jakarta, 17 December 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
29

One source of Indonesian complaint was the illicit trafficking of copra from
the islands of Eastern Indonesian to Portuguese Timor - and thence to Singapore, that
avoided Indonesian taxes and duties.130 In February 1954, the Australian Consul was
told by the Portuguese police chief in Dili that “on one occasion there were
approximately 87 Indonesian copra boats in the port and their respective crews
exceeded 900 Indonesians.”131 In January 1955, following representations by the
Indonesian Government, Lisbon directed the authorities in Dili to cease the
clandestine copra trade by debarring further ship visits – and all copra vessels in the
port were ordered to leave on 16 January. The Australian Consul commented that the
cessation of the copra trade would have “a very adverse effect on the finances of the
merchants of Dili … many of whom conducted a very lucrative contraband trade with
the captains of the Indonesian sailing vessels … cigarettes, piece-goods, tinned goods
and miscellaneous items.”132 However, copra smuggling through Portuguese Timor
had reportedly all but ceased by mid-1955 following the Government’s direction.133
Visiting Indonesian copra vessels had also traded in explosives and ammunition
recovered from Japanese wartime caches in north-eastern Portuguese Timor.134

The Bandung Conference – 1955

The inaugural Afro-Asian Conference hosted by Indonesia in Bandung, West


Java (18-24 April 1955), is also cited as an inspiration for the nascent independence
movement in Portuguese Timor – “the uprising did not just have a strong connection
with the Afro-Asian Conference itself, but was a direct result of the development of
the ‘Spirit of Bandung’ in the Portuguese colony.”135 Although the issue of
Portuguese Timor was not formally raised at the Bandung Conference, its final
communiqué declared that “colonialism in all its manifestations is an evil which
should speedily be brought to an end.”
130
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 138/51, 18 September 1951 (NAA: A1838, TS656/1/2/3)
describes the illicit copra trade including the “handsome profit” of Chinese traders in Dili - and noted
that “Timor’s Government finances benefit by import and export tax, and the Colony’s Financial Fund
benefits … There is no doubt that the Local Authorities know what is going on but are loath to enforce
laws that would make so many people unhappy.”
131
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 67/54, 23 February 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3038/4/1). The Chief of
Police added that “for a day or two, he did feel a certain amount of uneasiness, because had they been
in possession of a few sub-machine guns and had they been so inclined, they could have taken Dili
within a few minutes. However, … in actual fact of course, they are here only for selling the copra and
do not give the slightest trouble.”
132
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 12/55, 17 January 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/4/1; TS656/1/2/3).
133
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 356, 20 November 1957 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
134
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 12/6, 23 March 1954 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). On 10
March 1954, the Australian Consul had visited Japanese war-time storage caves south of Venilale
containing small arms ammunition and mortar bombs and reported that the Portuguese authorities were
“indifferent to these stocks of ammunition” that were being traded by “Arabs in Dili” to visiting
Indonesian copra boats – Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable Sav.1 I.3591, 19 March 1954 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 1; TS656/1/2/3). In Lautém on 15 March 1954, an Indonesian – attempting to
remove “explosive charges from heavy bombs” was fatally shot by a “Portuguese constable” during a
confrontation (NAA: A1838, TS656/1/2/3).
135
“Uprising” – is a reference to the subsequent “1959 Rebellion” - Rohi, P. A., “Soekarno, KAA, dan
Timor-Leste”, Kongres, Jakarta, 28 April 2005 & marhaenis.org, 9 May 2005, p.1. See also Rohi, P.A.,
Pemberontakan Rakyat Timor Timur 1959, Mutiara, Edition 775, Jakarta, 29 August – 4 September
1995, p.14 – in which José Manuel Duarte relates that the Africa-Asia Conference’s “Deklarasi
Bandung” inspired the “gerakan bawah tanah” (“underground movement”). Peter Apollonious Rohi
(“Kore Rohi” - born Sabu, 14 November 1942) served in the TNI/ABRI (Marinir) before commencing
a career in journalism in 1970.
30

Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai addressing the Bandung Conference

According to a press report, President Sukarno arranged for three Timorese


youth to travel secretly from Portuguese Timor to Bandung and attend the Conference
as “observers”.136 Their participation was reportedly managed by Indonesia’s Consul
in Dili, Leopoldo Lasut - and the three Timorese were reportedly “smuggled” into
West Timor and then flown to Bandung. Reportedly quoting one of the observers,
Marcelino, the press item related that the group met with Sukarno on the “side-
lines”of the Conference and: “Bung Karno
directed us to struggle for Independence – there
was no order for us to integrate with the Republic
of Indonesia … but we realized that it would be
impossible for us to stand alone.” On their return
to Timor from their reported attendance, while
maintaining the secrecy of their visit, the
observers reportedly joined informal anti-
Marcelino Guterres - Dili 2007
Portuguese underground movements.137

136
Rohi, P. A., “Soekarno …, 2005, marhaenis.org, 9 May 2005, p.2 – citing an interview with
Marcelino – pictured above in 2007 (a purported “youth observer” in Bandung from Portuguese
Timor), in Venilale (East Timor) in 1996; and Rohi, P.A., email to author, 19 January 2007. In the
article, Rohi stated that his interview with Marcelino was “in the context of reconstructing the
Viqueque Rebellion of 3 June 1959.” According to Rohi, Marcelino had brought back a “painting of
President Soekarno by Basoeki Abdoellah from the 1955 Africa-Asia Conference as a souvenir”
measuring about 100cm x 65cm. To date, articles/emails by P.A. Rohi are the only known written
source on Marcelino and the reported visit of three Timorese youth to Bandung as observers in 1955.
Rohi also briefly related Marcelino’s visit to Bandung and advice from President Sukarno in
“Kemenangan Fretilin dan Dampak Politik bagi Indonesia”, Sinar Harapan, Jakarta, 5 September
2001.
137
An official Indonesian publication: Brahmana, R., Buku 20 Tahun Timor Timur Membangun,
Jakarta, 1996 – makes a brief allusion to activity in this period at p.27 as follows: “In 1955 in fact,
there was a planned resistance rebellion by youth in the territory in Dili. This plan was then widely
spread to all the districts of the territory.” This passage is also quoted verbatim in Wila, M.R.C.,
Konsepsi Hukum …, Bandung, 2006. In September 1955, the Portuguese Administration reacted to
31

In 2007, the author met three times with Marcelino – ie Marcelino António
Fausto Guterres138, in Dili on 3 and 10 April - and in Baucau on 28 June. Marcelino
related that in 1955, the Indonesian Consul in Dili, Leopoldo Lasut, had “recruited”
three “top-achieving” Timorese students to attend the 1955 Bandung Conference:
Marcelino, Januario dos Reis139 and “Chiquito”140. They visited the Indonesian
Consulate in Dili, completed forms and were photographed. However, they did not
travel to Bandung as planned - due to “tensions between Indonesia and Portuguese
Timor”. The Consul advised them to return to their homes and await further contact –
but, according to Marcelino, none occurred.141

1955 – “Forced” Labour and Punishment

In mid-1955, the Australian Consul reported that a number of senior


Portuguese officials and “some native chiefs are concerned at … the harsh
administrative system of the Portuguese, with special reference to recent and
progressively heavy calls on conscripted labour for the Dili new works programme
and the alleged harsh measures taken by some Administrative officials against natives
for misdeamenours, in many cases committed in ignorance, and those who might
protest against the heavy demand for labour away from home, with the consequent
affect on domestic life and agricultural processes. These measures frequently take the
form of severe beatings and life, under the Administrator of the Manatuto area
((Antóniode Oliveira Morais)) in particular, is described by natives as ‘worse than
under the Japanese’. Conscripted labourers are paid the equivalent of eighteen
shillings per month plus food.”142 The Consul added that the Administrator of the
Baucau Circunscrição – António Ramos do Amaral, had opined “unless the
Portuguese adopt a more enlightened and realistic policy, consequent on the present
day political thoughts in Asia and the abandonment of their almost medieval methods,

reports of a submarine allegedly landing personnel on the south coast, but no intruders were
discovered: see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 189/56, 5 September 1956 (NAA: A5954, 2269/4).
138
Marcelino was born in Venilale on 25 February 1931 – and was 24 years old at the time of contact
with the Consul. His father, Dom Cristóvão Fausto Guterres (died September 1992, aged 87), was the
traditional head of the Venilale “jurisdição” – a grouping of six villages. “Cristóvão Fausto Guterres”
is identified as the Chefe de Suco of Uato Haco (Venilale) in 1952 – Sherlock, K., East Timor: Liurais
and Chefes de Suco; Indigenous Authorities in 1952, Kevin Sherlock, Darwin 1983, p.19. The
dedication and merit of Cristóvão Fausto Guterres during WWII as a chefe de jurisdição was formally
acknowledged in BOdT, No.1, 1 January 1963, p.7. In 1937, Cristóvão da Silva Guterres – the chefe de
suco of Uato-Huco was appointed a captain in the Segunda Linha – vide BOdT , No.37, Portaria 524,
11 September 1937, pp.357-358. According to Marcelino, a forefather - Dom Cristobal Guterres, had
been the raja of Venilale.
139
Born in Baucau - according to Marcelino, Januario dos Reis subsequently became a member of the
regional parliament (DPRD I) in Dili during the Indonesian period.
140
Marcelino could not recall Francisco’s family name, but knew that he was from Manatuto and had
been killed by Fretilin in Aileu in early 1976. It is highly probable that “Chiquito” was João Pereira da
Silva – who was subsequently a leader of the 1959 Rebellion and, in 1974-75, a founding and senior
member of the Apodeti political party (see footnotes 186, 269, 270, 506, 515, 523, 528, 547 and 867).
141
Marcelino visited Bandung for nine days in December 1996 with an Indonesian-sponsored party of
60, including a tour of the “Gedung Merdeka” – the site of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference (author’s
discussions with Marcelino in Dili on 3 and 10 April 2007 – and 28 June 2007 in Baucau). Marcelino
confirmed that he had possessed a large portrait of Indonesian President Sukarno (see footnote 136) –
but he had purchased it in Dili. In 2007, the author also discussed the purported 1955 visit to Bandung
with Marcelino’s son, Joni (in Dili), and Marcelino’s younger brother, Virgílio Cristóvão Fausto
Guterres - b. 21/5/1941, resident in Melbourne (Australia).
142
Australian Consulate – Dili, SAV.3/I.1103, 15 August 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
32

they will eventually sow the seeds of discontentment, and open the way to a
subversive approach.”
In late September 1955, the Consul reported that he believed the
“disproportionate demand for labour was due to the Governor’s wish to complete
major new works during his [sic] tenure of office.” However, a halt appeared to have
been called “to this abnormal demand for labour. Work on two projects has
temporarily ceased and some labour gangs have been returned to their respective
districts where agricultural and social organization had been seriously affected.”143
In December, the Consul reported on severe punishments in Baucau ordered
by the local Portuguese Circunscrição Secretary when road repairs “did not come up
to expectations” – following which several “responsible” native chiefs were
“thrashed” and “in some cases the ‘Palmatoria’ was also applied. … The above
incident is by no means isolated and one must feel that the overall administration has
so far been most fortunate in that the indigenous Timorese in Portuguese Timor has a
very patient and placid nature, and his mental capacity is of a poor standard.
However, if such administrative methods persist, I fear they could have serious
political results in the event of an emergency in South East Asia.”144

The Moluccas, Kisar, Wetar, Liran and Ataúro

In the mid-1950s, separatist movements in Eastern Indonesia also had some


impact on Portuguese Timor. In October 1955, the Republic of the South Moluccas
reportedly sent an emissary to Lautém – hoping that the authorities would on-forward
a message from their movement to the United Nations.145
Of more immediate and long-running concern for the Portuguese authorities
was the Rabuta movement on Ataúro - an island of Portuguese Timor, 22 kilometres
north of Dili. Rabuta - meaning “close your eyes” in the rahêssuc dialect of Ataúro’s
villages of Biqueli and Beloi, was a local Protestant cult founded by Franz and Juliana
Braz in the late 1940s that sought union with the Republic of Indonesia.146 Indonesian
officials, traditional leaders and police had often visited Ataúro from the small island
of Lisan (about 10 kilometres northeast of Ataúro), the adjacent large island of Wetar,
and also from Kisar – ie further to the east, about 25 kilometres north of the eastern

143
Australian Consulate – Dili, SAV.3 Part 2, 25 September 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
144
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 22, 5 December 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
Consul commented that: “The punitive measures taken by the Secretary at Baucau are in actual fact
against the tenets of the new Constitution and Citizenship Rights for the peoples in Portugal’s Overseas
Dependencies.”
145
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 20, 22 October 1955 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
Republic of the South Moluccas, or Republik Maluku Selatan (RMS), was a self-proclaimed republic
declared on 25 April 1950 comprising Amboina, Buru, Ceram and adjoining islands. Interestingly,
RMS maps included islands immediately north of Portuguese Timor as within RMS territory –
including Wetar and Kisar; as well as the Portuguese Timor island of Ataúro (NAA: A1838,
3038/11/63 Part 1).
146
Duarte, J.B. Padre, “O fenomeno dos movimentos nativistas”, Garcia de Orta, Ser. Antropobiol, 5
(1-2) 1987/88, Lisboa, 1988, p.46. See also Duarte, J.B., Timor – Ritos e Mitos Ataúros, Instituto de
Cultura e Língua Portuguesa, Lisboa, 1984, pp.15-19 – that notes that Protestanism was actively
proselytized in the Netherlands East Indies islands adjacent to Ataúro in the 1930s by a Javanese –
“Martens”, and a number of adherents established themselves in Ataúro’s villages of Beloi and
Biqueli. “But after World War II, the movement took a new increment, with the couple Franz and
Juliana Braz, coming from the island of Alor.” – p.16.
33

end of Portuguese Timor.147 In late 1955, it was reported that the “senior native
chief” of Ataúro was beaten and jailed by the Portuguese authorities for “clandestine
contact over several months with officials of the neighbouring Indonesian island of
Kisar … and that the purpose of this clandestine contact was to encourage a separatist
movement against the Portuguese.”148
In 1959, Dom Martinho da Costa Lopes – a Roman Catholic priest and a
Deputy to the National Assembly in Lisbon (see footnote 326) declared that “the
shadow of Protestanism in the villages of Beloi, Biqueli and Macdada” presaged “a
danger to our national sovereignty” through “deleterious and anti-national
propaganda” and also represented an “evident danger to public morality”.149
Converting local Catholic and animist villagers, by 1961 the Rabuta
movement reportedly had 1,350 followers among the 3,397 inhabitants of Ataúro –
compared with only 396 declared Catholics.150 The movement encouraged the
learning of Malay and used Malay in their liturgy and folkloric songs. The Rabuta
movement also had more direct political elements – with one song exhorting the
“bringing down and sending home of the Portuguese”.151 In late March 1961, when
four Indonesian naval vessels visited Dili, the followers of the Rabuta movement
believed that this “hopefully heralded their ‘proxima libertação’.”152 On 1 January
1964, Rabuta followers held celebratory parades carrying white and also red-and-
white flags (ie red and white being the colours of the Indonesian national flag) –
displayed as “an omen for Portugal’s mourning at the loss of its colony of Timor,
including also Atauro”.153 The movement was reportedly “still very alive, with its
own schools and chapels and “gúrus” (“teachers”) in the late 1980s.154

The Anti-Colonial Movement of Indonesia (GPKI)

In April 1956 - and seemingly in reaction to a visit to Jakarta by a Portuguese


passenger and merchant vessel (the N/M Niassa), a strongly-worded article appeared
in The Times of Indonesia. The article referred to Portugal as “a fifth-rate, ramshackle
dictatorship … swimming against the tide of the times” and cited “half of the
Indonesian island of Timor stolen by the Portuguese from us … and still unreturned to
us … We should stand solidly behind the Spirit of Bandung”.155 However, while in
Canberra for consultations, the Australian Consul was asked for his view on “unrest

147
Duarte, J.B. Padre, “O fenomeno dos movimentos nativistas”, 1988, op.cit., pp.48-49 describes
visits in August 1955, December 1957 and October 1959.
148
The chief’s “son was secretly taken to Kisar by the Indonesians to observe conditions under
Indonesian administration.” - Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable I.11073, 15 August 1955 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
149
Lopes, D. M. da Costa, Breve resenha de alguns factos ocorrido em Viqueque e Uatolari (1959),
Dili, October 1959.
150
This represents a Protestant percentage of 39.7 percent – with animists at about 48.6 percent and
Catholics at 11.6 percent. Protestantism – brought by missionaries from the Moluccas, reached Ataúro
before Catholicism which only spread from mainland Portuguese Timor in the 1950s. In 2004, Ataúro
was 57 percent Protestant – ie compared with the figures in the 2004 Census for the nation of Timor-
Leste of: 96 percent Catholic, 2.24 percent Protestant/Evangelical, .33 percent Islam, and .8 percent
“traditional”.
151
Duarte, J.B. Padre, “O fenomeno…, op.cit., p.49 – “vinde depressa, expulsai-os (aos portugueses)
para a terra deles”.
152
Ibid., p.49. For detail of the visit of Indonesian naval Task Force 123.1, see footnote 633.
153
Ibid., p.48.
154
Ibid., p.41.
155
“Let us have no truck with it”, The Times of Indonesia (English language), Jakarta, 4 April 1956.
34

among the native population” - and replied that the Portuguese dealt “very promptly
and severely with any sign of disaffection. It could be said that there was in fact no
pro-Indonesian movement amongst the natives.”156
On 9 October 1956, a group was established in Jakarta by Indonesian students
to press for a plebiscite in “Portuguese-occupied Timor.”157 The group, the Anti-
Colonial Movement of Indonesia (Gerakan Penentang/Penghapusan Kolonialisme
Indonesia – GPKI)158, was led by two students: Indra Suyakawesi (General Chairman)
and Ida Hachidayat Sukardi. Suyakawesi declared that the group was not particularly
directed against Portuguese colonialism in Timor, but “against any form of
colonialism which can still be found within or bordering the Indonesian archipelago.”
In response to the Movement’s declaration, an Indonesian Foreign Ministry
spokesman, Arnold Mononuto, stated that “Indonesia has no territorial claims but its
claim to West Irian.”159 The Australian Embassy in Jakarta reported however that:
“The existence of the group has excited the Portuguese Legation considerably.”160
Little more was heard of the Movement. However, in December 1956, the Australian
Consul in Dili reported that the Indonesian Consul161 had recently hosted an
“elaborate dinner party” with the aim of assuaging Portuguese concerns regarding the
Movement. The Australian Consul reported that: “In general, the Portuguese officials,
and others here, are not unduly concerned by the press reports relating to the
sentiments expressed by the Anti-Colonial Group.”162
In mid-1957, in commenting on an Australian Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB)
assessment on Portuguese Timor, the Australian Consul in Dili reported: “it is correct
to say there is no real Internal Security problem in the Portuguese half of the
Island.”163 The Consul was dismissive of the JIB’s comments on occasional friction
between “Indonesian and Portuguese patrols in the border area” - noting instead that
“relations between the Indonesian half of the Island and the Portuguese are at present
most friendly.”

156
Shaw, P., Memo/Record of Conversation, Australian Department of External Affairs, Canberra, 4
April 1956 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1).
157
“Movement Calls For Plebiscite in Portuguese Occupied Timor”, Persbiro Indonesia (PIA), Jakarta,
10 October 1956 – see also “Group is formed aimed at liberation of Eastern Timor”, 10 October 1956
covered by Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 424, 11 October 1956 (NAA: A11604, 605/15A). The
Movement also cautioned that Portuguese Timor constituted a danger to Indonesia - as Portuguese
Timor “might be used as a war base by the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, of
which Portugal is a member” … and the Netherlands, also a NATO member, “would be able make use
of such a base … in the dispute … over West Irian”. This fear of the Netherlands exploiting NATO to
access Portuguese Timor was also later raised in the Jakarta communist daily, Bintang Timor, on 8 July
1961 and in Harian Rakyat of 23 September 1965.
158
The Movement’s address was given as “4 Djalan Kawi, Djakarta”.
159
“Indonesia has no territorial claim”, Persbiro Indonesia (PIA), Jakarta, 11 October 1956.
160
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable 424, 11 October 1956 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
161
The Indonesian Consulate opened on 20 May 1954. Leopoldo Lo de Wijk Lasut (born in Menado),
the first Indonesian Consul, served 23 April 1954 – 3 February 1956. He was replaced by Dominggus
Octavianus Lahallo (born in Ambon) who arrived in Dili on 31 December 1955.
162
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 259/56, 3 December 1956 (NAA: A1838, File 3006/4/3 Part 1).
163
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 153/57, 19 July 1956, p.2 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1).
35

THE 1959 “VIQUEQUE REBELLION” 164

Inspiration165

In the late 1930s/early 1940s, Francisco “Ciko”(“Siku/Siko”) Lopes166 – a


“nationalist” and independence activist, was reportedly forced to flee Dutch Timor
and entered Portuguese Timor.167 During the WWII Japanese occupation of
PortugueseTimor, Francisco Lopes – together with Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo168,
collaborated with the Japanese military. Following the Japanese surrender in Timor in
September 1945, Francisco Lopes was prosecuted by the Portuguese Timor
authorities and imprisoned on Ataúro Island (22km north of Dili).169 On his release,
Lopes reportedly returned to Atambua in Dutch Timor and continued to agitate for the
independence of Portuguese Timor.170 Lopes met with young educated men in

164
A discrete study of the rebellion has been published as: Chamberlain, E.P., Rebellion, Defeat and
Exile: The 1959 Uprising in East Timor, Point Lonsdale, June 2009 -
http://www.scribd.com/doc/26857195/Rebellion-Defeat-and-Exile-The-1959-Uprising-in-East-Timor .
165
Much of the information for this “Inspiration” section is sourced from Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan
Rakyat Timor Timur 1959, Mutiara, Edition 775, Jakarta, 29 August – 4 September 1995; and
interviews with the few surviving rebels in Dili.
166
Known as Francisco Lopes, his full name was “Inácio André Francisco Lopes – alias Siku Lopes” –
see footnotes 169, 170, 172, 535 and 1009.
167
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara 775, 1995, op.cit, p.14.
168
Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo - born 1913, had been jailed by the Portuguese for 29 years in February
1946 for collaboration with the Japanese during World War II – and was reportedly only released on 25
April 1974. However, a press report – White, K., “War criminal now leads provisional Timor govt”,
Northern Territory News, Darwin, 5 February 1976 – claims that Arnaldo Araújo, a “catequista”
(religious teacher) who had led “Black Columns” against the Australians in Timor during World War
II, was tried for collaboration with the Japanese in 1946, sentenced to nine years “exile” on Ataúro,
was released in the early 1960s and became a teacher in Dili, and “acquired a large cattle property at
Zumalai on Timor’s south coast” (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 21). White’s source on Araújo’s
background is probably interviews with José Ramos-Horta. In Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, The Unfinished
Saga of East Timor, Red Sea Press, Trenton, 1987, p.32, Ramos-Horta claims that Arnaldo Araújo was
“the only Timorese to be given a prison sentence for war crimes.” – but see also earlier footnotes 90
and 91. Araújo was the founding chairman of the Apodeti political party (27 May 1974) and became
East Timor’s first Governor after the Indonesian occupation ie for the period 1976-1978. See also
footnotes 169, 527, 859, 863, 874, and 875.
169
Francisco Lopes worked as an interpreter – “jurubahasa”, in Baucau for the Japanese during the
War - according to Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa (discussions with author, Audian - Dili, 1 July
2009). A 1975 press article related that “Sitko Lopes”, a Dutch national, collaborated with the
Japanese in Dili – working as an interpreter and translator. After the war, he “returned to Europe” – but
on his return to Dili in 1948, he was arrested, tried as a collaborator and sentenced to 10 years on
Ataúro. When his appeal was heard in Goa in 1958, he was sentenced to an additional six years – but
remained imprisoned for a further 16 years ie totalling 26 years: Seah, C.N., “Island of Death”, The
Straits Times, Singapore, late October 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/3 Part 3, p.279). The article
also briefly mentioned the incarceration of Arnaldo Araújo (footnote 168 above). In September 1959,
the Indonesian Consul in Dili sought clarification of the status of the sentence of Inácio André
Francisco Lopes, querying his sentence of “16 years 4 months imprisonment and an indemnity of $ 3
000 – to the relatives of the victims”: Indonesian Consul – Dili, No. 192/I, 8 September 1959. In
November 1959, the Consul sought to interview Francisco Lopes in prison.
170
Gonggong A. & Zuhdi, S., Sejarah …, 1994, p.42 also makes brief mention of “Ciko Lopes in
Atambua” as providing information on independence to “several community leaders” in Portuguese
Timor in 1953 – see Annex B. However, these reported activities of Francisco Lopes in the early
1950s are difficult to reconcile – particularly any return to Atambua, as he appears to have been
imprisoned on Ataúro throughout the 1950s. However, according to Salem Musalam Sagran (in an
interview with Takahashi Shigehito in Dili on 19 July 2008), Lopes was in Dili in the mid-1950s and
was a regular caller at the Indonesian Consulate. This suggests that Lopes may perhaps have been on
36

Portuguese Timor and “the idea for integration ((of Portuguese Timor into Indonesia))
actually began in 1953/1954.”171 The few independence activists172 in Portuguese
Timor reportedly maintained contact with Lopes through Protestant pastors in the
border area.173 Within Portuguese Timor, lacking “intellectuals with leadership
ability”, these disaffected young men met with the Indonesian Consul in Dili,
“Lasutna Suwarno”, who reportedly “promised to act as the intermediary with the
Indonesian central government if the movement demanding independence was
successful.”174

Beginnings

In the mid-1950s, the small group of independence activists in Portuguese


Timor – mostly junior civil servants in Dili, had a range of aims. All resented the
excesses, exploitation and human rights injustices inflicted by the Portuguese regime
in Timor. In November-December 1956, the Portuguese Under-Secretary of State for
Overseas Affairs, Carlos Krus Abecassis, made an extensive visit to Portuguese
Timor175. Before his departure from Dili, he passed a 17-page instruction to Governor
Captain César Maria Serpa Rosa directing that abuses and social injustices be
corrected - including the “immediate abolition of corporal punishment used to compel
natives to work or to increase their pace of work” by “overseers, Posto chiefs or
anyone else”.176 However, conditions did not improve, and the continuing abuses
were subsequently detailed in a “Memorandum” produced by exiled rebels in Angola
in 1960 177 – see Annex D.

some form of “conditional release” in Dili in the mid-1950s – ie until probably some time in 1958. For
Francisco Lopes’ pro-Apodeti activities in the mid-1970s, see footnote 535.
171
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih Berkibar di TimTim Sejak 1959” (“The Red and White
Flag Really Flew in East Timor in 1959”), Vista, No.57, Jakarta, 20-29 August 1989, p.20 – quoting
one of the Timorese rebel leaders, José Manuel Duarte. Duarte also implies meeting with Francisco
“Ciko” Lopes in Dili in the early 1950s. Salem Musalam Sagran, one of the deported 1959 Rebellion
exiles, also cited the 1945 Indonesian Proclamation of Independence as “driving the outbreak of the
Viqueque Rebellion” - Subroto, H., Saksi Mata Perjuangan Integrasi Timor Timur, Pustaka Sinar
Harapan, Jakarta, 1996, p.172.
172
According to Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, “Francisco Lopes of Atambua – an orang pendek
(ie of short stature), was seen around Dili and at the Indonesian Consulate”, but as he was a far older
man – and the young Timorese plotters were reticent in approaching him (a cultural phenomenon) –
discussions with the author, Audian - Dili, 1 July 2009.
173
“70% of the population of Indonesian Timor is Christian, mainly Protestant. It came as a surprise to
me that there should be a much higher percentage of Christians there than in Portuguese Timor where
the figure is only about 15%” – see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 158/60: Visit to Kupang (by
Consul W.A. Luscombe), 23 November 1960, p.8 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/6 Part 1; A4359,
201/2/8/12). The report also noted that there was a Roman Catholic church and seminary in Atambua
(population about 5,000). Later official figures (1968) showed 74 percent of Indonesian Timor as
Christian: 41 percent Catholic, 33 percent Protestant – with 11 percent Muslim and 14 percent animist.
174
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.20. José Manuel Duarte’s
reference to contact with “Lasutna Suwarno” is probably Indonesian Consul, Leopoldo Lo de Wijk
Lasut (see footnote 161). A “Suwarno” also served in the Indonesian Consulate as the Chancellor in
1959 – see footnote 184.
175
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 267/56, 7 December 1956 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1).
176
Abecassis, C.K., Extractos das Instruções ao Governo de Timor, Dili, 19 December 1956 - Annex
II in Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 199-203 and discussed at pp. 17-22.
Governor Barata noted that “ironically, such reactionary instruments as the palmatória and the
azorragues were referred to ((by local authorities)) as education devices.” – p.20.
177
Araújo, A.L.J. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento ocorrido em 7 de Junhe
[sic] de 1959, na Cirrcunscrição [sic] de Viqueque – Timor (Memorandum – Report: On the event that
37

Sr. Eng. Carlos Abecassis (right) meeting the widow of Régulo Dom. Aleixo
Corte Real at Ainaro. Governor Serpa Rosa is on the left.178

Some of the independence activists sought the installation of a Timorese


“native” regime that would still have strong links to Portugal – while others, the
majority, reportedly favoured integration with Indonesia. The Dili group continued
their contact with the Indonesian Consul in Dili (ie Leopoldo Lasut until December
1955, Dominggus Lahallo to late 1956, and then Nazwar Jacub Sutan Indra) -
including through members of the local staff in the Consulate: David Verdial who had
been born in Atambua (Indonesian Timor), Salem Sagran, and Mu Then Siong/
Celestino Peter Guterres.179 Several of the activists in Portuguese Timor also had

occurred on 7 June 1959 in the Circumscription of Viqueque - Timor), six pages, Cólonia Penal do Bié
(Angola), 21 April 1960 – in Araújo, A.L.J. de, O Célebre Massacré de Uato-Lari e Uato-Carbau
Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-Carabau in
1959), Jakarta/Kupang, 1974 – attached as Annex D to this publication. The Memorandum focuses on
injustices in the countryside – it was written by the “Viqueque group” before the “Dili group” of
leaders, who had departed Dili in early June 1959 for Lisbon, arrived in Angola (together with the four
Indonesians) in early June 1960. The Memorandum was signed, in order, by Amaro Loyola Jordão de
Araújo, Mateus Sarmento Jordão de Araújo, José Manuel Duarte, Joaquim Ferreira, António da Costa
Soares (António Metan), Fernando Pinto, João Lisboa, Armindo Amaral, Paulo Amaral and Domingos
Soares. The content of de Araújo’s 1974 (120mm x 205mm) booklet (at Annex D), including the
Memorandum, was later included in a larger format booklet of the same title ie Costa, E. da (et al), O
Célebre Massacré de Uato-Lari e Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous
Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-Carabau in 1959), Dili, 2005. This larger A-4 2005 publication contains
additional material including discrete declarations (declaração) by several “Dili group” former rebels
citing injustices (see also footnote 587). José Manuel Duarte, a signatory to the Memorandum of 21
April 1960, repeated many of the allegations in his Memorandum - Duarte, J.M., “Memorandum sobre
o acontecimento em Timor em 1959”, Colónia Penal de Bié (Angola), 31 August 1960 (TdT, Lisbon:
AOS/CO/UL-32A2, Part 7).
178
Boletim Geral do Ultramar, No.378, Lisbon, December 1956, p.19. A memorial to Régulo D.
Aleixo Corte Real – killed by Japanese troops in May 1943, was inaugurated at Ainaro during the visit.
179
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, 1995, op.cit., p.14. Subsequently - from the early-mid 1980s, H.
Salem/Salim Musalam Sagran/Syagran was prominent in Islamic affairs in East Timor eg as the
Chairman of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia – Timor Timur (MUI, Indonesian Scholars’ Council – East
38

family contacts in West Timor.180 Acknowledging their inspiration from West Timor,
the group in Portuguese Timor reportedly adopted a Tetum-language slogan:
“Hamutuk ho manu alin sira, ita sadere sa sira, sira sae ita mir sae, sira tun
ita mir tun.”
(“Uniting with our brothers elsewhere, we depend on them – they advance and
we will also, they fall and we will too.”)181.

In July 1956, José Manuel Duarte (1934-2003), who was to become one of the
movement’s Timorese leaders – and later in the 1990s, the principal spokesman of
the surviving rebel veterans, moved with his family from his government position
(assistant observer) in the meteorological office in Dili to a regional post in the
Viqueque Circunscrição.182
The Indonesian Consul, Nazwar Jacub Sutan Indra, invited several of the
Timorese activists to the Consulate – including Luís da Costa Rego, João Pereira da
Silva, José Beny Joaquim, Fernando Woodhomal183 and, together “with ‘elementos
árabes’ , began a pro-Indonesia propaganda campaign among the natives” – assisted
by the Chancellor at the Consulate, Suwarno. 184
One of the leaders of the “Dili group” was reportedly Francisco Maria Xavier
Jesus de Araújo - a Timorese with considerable land holdings, who was a member of
the Conselho de Governo in Dili.185 His ambitions to become the Governor of the

Timor) and an author (see bibliography). His later activities are noted in Chega !, CAVR Final Report,
Chapter 7.8, para 383-384. Bazher, A.B., Islam di Timor Timur, Gema Insani Press, Jakarta, 1995, p.21
notes that David Verdial, a “non-Muslim” was from Bobonaro - and that Muhammad Sidin was also
employed at the Consulate. For Mu Then Siong see footnotes 336, 458 and 518; and Berlie, J.A., East
Timor: A Bibliography, les Indes savantes, Paris, 2001, p.197 refers to Mu Then Siong/Celestino Peter
Guterres as a driver at the Indonesian Consulate (and later deported to Angola).
180
The parents-in-law of José Manuel Duarte - who was later to become prominent in the attacks at
Viqueque and Baguia in June 1959, reportedly came from the island of Roti/Rote, about 25 km
southwest of Kupang.
181
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara 775, 1995, op.cit, p.14.
182
Duarte, J.M., “Memorandum sobre o acontecimento em Timor em 1959”, Colónia Penal de Bié
(Angola), 31 August 1960 (TdT, Lisbon: AOS/CO/UL-32A2, Part 7). Notice of his move to Viqueque
in 1956 was promulgated in BOdT, No.31, 4 August 1956, p.506.
183
Fernando “Woodhomal” was probably “Fernando Wosdimal” – of “Indian background” – advice to
author by former rebels Evaristo da Costa (aged 73 years), Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa (75
years) and Salem Sagran (78 years) in Dili, 2 April 2007. “A.H. Wadhoomal, a Hindu merchant”
arrived in Portuguese Timor from India in 1925 - Archer, C.H. (British Consul-General, Taiwan),
Report on Portuguese Timor, Canberra, 3 May 1941, para 111 (NAA: A981, TIM D 1 Part 2).
184
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.51 and pp.217-218 – Annex V, Report of
the Police Superintendent, Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, 25 July 1959.
185
Francisco Maria Xavier Jesus de Araújo was born in Luca (Viqueque) on 12/1/1893 and, with effect
26 March 1946, was appointed as the Secretary for the Administrative Council for Social and Public
Assistance (BOdT, No.9, 21 December 1946, p.57). He was elected to the Conselho do Governo in
1955 for the period 1955-1958 vide BOdT, No.38, Declaração, 17 September 1955, p.757. Francisco
de Araújo had substantial coffee holdings in Ermera. He was the patron of the popular Sporting
(Group/Club) de Timor – a club for the elite and “integrated/assimilated” Timorese, and provided land
in the suburb of Vila Verde for the Club. When arrested in June 1959, the PIDE claimed that “red and
white” (ie Indonesian) flags had been found in his Dili residence. For his dismissal from the Conselho
de Governo and remarks in 2007 by rebels on his innocence see footnotes 401-403. The extent of his
involvement in the rebel movement has yet to be established with certainty. Former rebel Evaristo da
Costa has however declared that Francisco de Araújo “was involved” – discussions with author, Dili,
29 October 2008. In discussions with the author on 6 December 2008, Câncio dos Reis Noronha was
also adamant that Francisco de Araújo had been involved – see footnote 403.
39

Province had been frustrated, and he reportedly joined the independence activists in
their efforts for greater rights and freedoms for the indigenous Timorese.
The group expanded – reportedly proselytising from “door-to-door”, and by
late 1958/early 1959 had reportedly gained adherents across Portuguese Timor with
the following organization186:
• Dili (“Central Sector”): Luís da Costa Rego (leader)187,
Joaquim Ferreira, Francisco de Araújo (see footnote 185).
• Aileu: Paulo da Conceição Castro (see footnotes 297-303).
• Ermera: Eduardo de Araújo, Alexandria Viana de Jesus,
Cripim [sic] Borges de Araújo.
• Same: Francisco Dias da Costa.
• Manatuto: Germano das Dores Alves da Silva,
João Pereira Sikito [sic] da Silva.
• Baucau: Abel da Costa Belo.
• Manufahi: Matheus Ferreira.
• Viqueque: Amaro Loyola Jordan [sic] de Araújo188.
• Uatolari: Antonius Metan (António da Costa Soares).
• Lospalos: José dos Ramos da Sousa Gama.

The Governor of Portuguese Timor (1959-1963) – Filipe José Freire Themudo


Barata, later noted that in early 1959, the rebels had “links in Remexio, Aileu, Lete
Foho, Ermera, Same and Ainaro” and used festivities such as weddings and other
social gatherings to disguise their activities.189

The “Ex-Permesta 14”

In March 1957, a separatist rebellion against Jakarta arose in Sulawesi - the


Permesta190 Movement. The Movement demanded greater autonomy for eastern
186
As listed in Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara 775, 1995, op.cit., p.14. Some Indonesian
reports have also claimed that the 1959 Rebellion was also supported in the Aileu, Same and Ermera
areas – ie south and south-west of Dili; see Gonggong A. & Zuhdi, S., Sejarah …, 1992, op.cit., p.44.
Sarong, F., “Pejuang Timtim yang Kesepian”, op.cit., Kompas Cybermedia, Jakarta, 21 May 1999
reports that one of the rebel leaders, João Pereira da Silva, was killed in Aileu – but João Pereira da
Silva is noted as being among those arrested on 3 June 1959 (see footnote 292). João Pereira da Silva
was reportedly killed in the Aileu area by Fretilin – but in very early 1976. Barata, F. T., Timor
contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 59 relates the conspirators’ “infiltration of the interior of the
Province” with “links in Remexio, Aileu, Lete Foho, Ermera, Same and Ainaro.”
187
Luís da Costa Rego (also known as Luís Cina/China) was a civil servant (driver) in the Serviços de
Agricultura. His father was Chinese and his mother, Timorese. He and Frederico Almeida Santos da
Costa were related – both living in the same residential compound off Kuluhan Road in Audian/
Bemori (Dili).
188
Amaro de Araújo had been a civil servant in the Treasury Department from 1919 until dismissed for
corruption in August 1948 – see detail at Annex E. Amaro de Araújo, together with his brother Mateus,
is listed as a retired civil servant in Costa, F.A.S. da, Os Nomes dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola
do Ano de 1959 (The Names of the Timorese Detainees in Angola in 1959), Silva Porto (Bié, Angola),
6 June 1960 – see Annex F. Aged 58 years, Amaro was the oldest of the rebel leaders and reportedly a
grandson of the 1912 rebel leader Dom Boaventura. Amaro died in exile in Angola in April 1969 – see
footnotes 467 and 521 for further background.
189
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.59.
190
Permesta (Perjuangan Semesta – Total Struggle). The Movement’s Charter (Piagam) was signed in
Makassar (now Ujung Pandang), Sulawesi/Celebes on 2 March 1957 by the Region VII/Wirabuana
military commander, Lieutenant Colonel Herman Nicolas Ventje Sumual. The Permesta Movement
had been defeated by September 1961. See Harvey, B. S., Permesta: pemberontakan setengah hati,
40

Indonesia and opposed the growing influence of the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI -
Communist Party of Indonesia) on President Sukarno and his government. Soon after,
Permesta representatives arrived in Kupang (the capital of Indonesian “West Timor”)
and were welcomed by several of the local leaders and gained support from youth,
schoolteachers and some military personnel191 – where “support for Permesta was
certainly linked to a fear of Muslim domination” and resentment of rule by officials
from Java.192 On 3 April 1957, pro-Permesta military personnel and youths in
Kupang seized control of the security forces and detained public officials – and, while
“there was no blood spilt”, “for many months the situation was somewhat
uncertain.”193 On 13 April 1957, Lieutenant Colonel Sumual, the Permesta leader,
visited Kupang from Makassar (Sulawesi) and was warmly welcomed.194 The
Indonesian “army estimated that about 100 of its soldiers in Kupang supported the
movement”, and “there was support also from some members of the police and some
schoolteachers and their students.”195
However, in March 1958, Sukarno government forces moved against the
Permesta Movement in the Lesser Sundas196 and, soon after, Yonif (Batalyon
Infanteri) 701 was despatched to restore control in Flores and Indonesian Timor.197
The Indonesian armed forces - ie Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)198, arriving in

1984 for reference to Permesta in the Lesser Sundas at p.83 and p.228 – and, more generally also:
Conboy, K., Kopassus – Inside Indonesia’s Special Forces, 2003, pp.37-59; Conboy, K. & Morrison, J.,
Feet to the fire: CIA covert operations in Indonesia 1957-1958, 1999; and the Permesta Information
Office website at http://permesta.8m.net/. For the “companion” PRRI rebellion in Sumatra see
footnotes 196, 203, 225-226 and 263.
191
“Many of the soldiers involved in Kupang were ex-KNIL Christians from Manado and Timor” –
KNIL ie Koninklijk Nederlandsch Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army) - Farram, S.G.,
From ‘Timor Koepang’ to ‘Timor NTT’: A Political History of West Timor 1901-1967 (unpublished
PhD thesis), Darwin, 2004, p.298. Termed the “4 April Incident”, the Permesta supporters forced the
resignation of the Yonif 712 commander, Major Abdul Latief – see Angkatan Bersenjata Republik
Indonesia (ABRI) – Kodam IX/Udayana, 42 Tahun Pengabdian Kodam IX/Udayana (42 Years of
Service by Military Region IX/Udayana), Kodam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, 1999, p.76.
192
Farram, S.G., From ‘Timor Koepang’ …, op.cit., 2004, p.298.
193
Ibid, p.299.
194
ABRI, 42 Tahun …, op.cit.,1999, p.77. At this time, Lieutenant Colonel Sumual was the “Head of
the Military Government” – and became Chairman of the Permesta Supreme Council and Chief-of-
Staff of the Permesta Revolutionary Army.
195
Farram, S.G., From ‘Timor Koepang’ …, op.cit., 2004, p.300. An official Indonesian military
history records that “between one and two companies of Yonif 712, together with its headquarters and
the Kompi Pemuda (Youth Company) supported the Permesta movement.” – ABRI, 42 Tahun …,
op.cit., 1999, p.77.
196
The Lesser Sundas (Sunda Ketjil) – or Nusa Tenggara, comprised the island groups from Lombok to
Timor inclusive, but not the Moluccas or Sulawesi to the north and east. In October 1958, the Lesser
Sundas was formally divided into the regions of Bali, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) and Nusa Tenggara
Timor (NTT). The Permesta movement had established a nominal command in Nusa Tenggara (ie the
Lesser Sundas) on 5 May 1957 with a “Regional Military Command” under “Military Governor”
Lieutenant Colonel R. Minggu. For Permesta activity in Eastern Nusa Tenggara – initially on the island
of Flores, see “Permesta di Nusa Tenggara” in Permesta Membangun sourced from Leirissa, R., PRRI
Permesta - http://permesta.8m.net/relates/artikel_permesta_membangun.html .
197
C Company of Yonif 701 under Captain Soegiri was the principal sub-unit deployed to Kupang that
“detained and internally cleansed Yonif 712 personnel … that was achieved smoothly without recourse
to armed violence.” – see ABRI, 42 Tahun …, op.cit., 1999, p.77. Following its “cleansing”, Yonif 712
was used against the rebels ie to “neutralise sympathisers … and disarm civilians” and, in a
reorganisation to limit opportunities for further unrest, several of its companies were swapped with
elements from Bali and Flores – pp.77-78.
198
The TNI was retitled Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (Indonesian Armed Forces – ABRI)
on 21 June 1962 – and formally reverted to TNI in 2000.
41

Kupang met little resistance. Several hundred Permesta supporters led by a police
officer - Kotadia199, initially fled into the countryside but soon surrendered to the
authorities. However, eleven dissident soldiers from the resident Yonif 712 fled in a
seized military truck. “Following a pursuit, nine surrendered with their weapons, but
the other two fled into Portuguese Timor together with twelve civilians.”200
In March 1958, the Jakarta press reported that 14 Indonesians – all military
personnel, had fled from Indonesian West Timor and sought asylum in Portuguese
Timor. One press report related that: “As a result of the ban against the Permesta
Movement, a few days ago, and as a consequence of the local purge carried out by the
26th Regiment, all supporters of the so-called Permesta Movement have fled into
Portuguese Timor”201, and Portuguese Timor has “granted asylum to one officer, two
sergeants and 11 soldiers from Nusa Tenggara.”202
Several contemporary reports – including statements by an Indonesian Consul
in Dili, and several later English-language publications have suggested however that
the “14” came from Sulawesi.203 An “official” Indonesian version of the “14” was

199
Kotadia (-1991), while serving with the Netherlands Indies police at Ende (Flores), had befriended
Sukarno who had been exiled on the island in the period 1934-1938. In 1958, Kotadia reportedly
surrendered his group to avoid bloodshed – and pledged loyalty to the new Republic. Several of the
pro-Permesta officers, including Lieutenant Sine (Army) and Lieutenant Stall (Air Force), were
reportedly imprisoned in Denpasar (Bali). The foregoing information was provided to the author by
Peter A. Rohi (Jakarta) – email 25 October 2006.
200
ABRI, 42 Tahun …, op.cit., 1999, p.77.
201
“Penjokong2 ‘Permesta’ kabur ke Timor Portugis” (“Permesta Supporters Run Away to Portuguese
Timor”), Merdeka, Jakarta, 3 April 1958, p.1.
202
“Pem. Portugis Tim beri asyl politik pada 14 orang ‘Permesta’ dari Nusatenggara” (“Portuguese
Timor Government Grants Political Asylum to 14 Permesta Fugitives from Nusa Tenggara”), Merdeka,
Jakarta, 16 April 1958, p.1. See also Casey, R.G. (Minister for External Affairs, Australian Department
of External Affairs), Record of Conversation with the Australian Consul – Dili (F.J.A. Whittaker),
Canberra, 29 April 1958 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1; A10302, 1958/769) – the Consul reported
“two N.C.Os and 11 O.R. … had come by small boat … they said they had come from the ‘Eastern
Indonesian Movement’ ” … “presumably from the South Moluccan Republic” (see footnote 145 for
background) – ie totalling the figure of “13” first reported in Merdeka on 3 April 1958. Minister
Casey’s discussion with Consul Whittaker is also briefly mentioned in Millar, T.B. (ed), Australian
foreign minister: the diaries of R.G. Casey, Collins, London, 1972, p.295. The erroneous belief that the
14 Permesta fugitives were “RMS” and had come from the Moluccas is also included in the editor’s
preface to Araújo, Abílio de (Jolliffe, J. & Reece, B. eds), Timorese Elites, Canberra, 1975 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2) ie “As recently as 1959, several hundred Timorese were killed in an uprising
led by Moluccan separatists.” Similarly, the Governor of Portuguese Timor 1974-1975 – Mário Lemos
Pires, incorrectly wrote that the Indonesians had entered Portuguese Timor following the “failed revolt
in Ambon and the Southern Moluccas and sought asylum in Timor” - Pires, M.L., Descolonização de
Timor – Missão impossível ?, Círculo de Leitores – Lda, Lisboa, 1991, p.115.
203
Tengku Usman Hussin (Indonesian Consul - Dili, who replaced Nazwar Jacub on 3 June 1959)
initially declared to the Australian Consul that the “Permesta 14” had come from “Manado” (Northern
Sulawesi) as reported in Australian Consulate - Dili, Saving 25, 19 April 1960 and Memo 78/60, 18
June 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1 and 3038/2/9). For English-language publications that
address the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion in general terms see Jolliffe, J., Cover-Up, 2001, pp.45-46;
Jolliffe, J., Balibo, 2009, pp.62-63; Dunn, J., East Timor – a rough passage to independence, 2003,
pp.27-28; Gunn, G., Timor Loro Sae 500 Years, 1999, p.260; Taylor J.G., Indonesia’s Forgotten War,
1991, pp.21-22. Taylor, J.G., East Timor: The Price of Freedom, 1999, p.21 states that the Permesta
group had come “from southeast Sulawesi” as does Nicol B., Timor - A Nation Reborn, Equinox
Publishing, Jakarta, 2002, p.33 ie “fled from Sulawesi”. Dunn, J., East Timor …, 2003, p.27 discusses
the “14” seeking political asylum and implies that “Among the remnants were Lubis, Kawilarang from
Jakarta, Simbolon and Hussin from Sumatra and Warouw, five colonels, and Major Sumual.”
However, this should not be misinterpreted - the detailed bio-datas of these senior PRRI/Permesta
officers do not indicate that any entered Portuguese Timor after the failure of their separatist
movements. For PRRI background, see footnotes 190, 196, 225-226 and 263.
42

published in a high school text-book in 1992.204 This briefly related that in 1958, 14
“youths” from Kupang crossed into Portuguese Timor, made contact with Timorese
youth205 and “proselytised the spirit of independence as enjoyed in the Republic of
Indonesia.”
In 1960, an Australian Methodist Minister in Kupang, the Reverend G.S.
Dicker, related the following to the Australian Consul in Dili on “the escape of the
Army deserters to Portuguese Timor in 1958”: “He ((Dicker)) came across the party
of deserters at a river crossing in the Soe area ((about 110 kilometres east of Kupang,
on the main road to Dili)). They had just crossed the river when their pursuers arrived
on the scene. Dicker expected some sort of fight. However, the pursuing force halted
in full view of the deserters and made no attempt to capture them or molest them in
any way. Dicker’s interpretation of this is that both the parties were heavily under the
influence of the Permesta which, he says, was very strong in Kupang at the time.”206
From Indonesian Timor, the fleeing Permesta 14 crossed into the Portuguese
Timor enclave of Oecusse – but their route is unclear. The 14 may have entered the
Oecussi enclave from the west – ie taking a route from Kupang along the northern
coast through Lelogama district. On their arrival in Oecussi, the group reportedly
robbed a Chinese trader, taking his radio – a “very well-known incident that created
negative attitudes to the escapees.”207 They met with the Acting Administrator of
Oecusse, Fernando Plínio dos Santos Tinoco208 on 23 March 1958 and sought
“assistance (political asylum)”.209 The Permesta 14 – with their ages and declared
“PRRI” military ranks (see Annex C) were:
Lambertus Ladon210, 28 years, Lieutenant; Gerson Pello, 26, Lieutenant; Jobert
Moniaga, 25, First Sergeant; Eddy Welong, 22, First Sergeant; Albert Ndoen, 36,
Second Sergeant; Jeheskial Folla, 29, Second Sergeant; Ambrocius Dimoe Logo,
27, Corporal; Urias Daniel, 23, Corporal; Dominggus Adoe, 29, soldier; Lourenz
Tangsi, 29, soldier; Paulus Adoe, 29, soldier; Anderias Therik, 21, soldier;
Jonathan Nenotek, 21 soldier; and Jermias Pello, 18, civilian.211

204
Gonggong A. & Zuhdi, S., Sejarah Perjuangan Timor-Timur Untuk Sekolah Menengah Atas
(History of the East Timor Struggle for Senior High School), Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan,
Jakarta, 1992 – see translated extract at Annex B.
205
Ibid, “such as José Peirera Da Costa, Abel Bello [sic] as well as with Ricardo, Germano Peirera Da
Costa and others.” p.43.
206
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 158/60: Visit to Kupang (by Consul W.A. Luscombe), 23
November 1960, p.6 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/6 Part 1).
207
Rohi, P.A. (Jakarta), email to author, 27 October 2006.
208
Secretary Fernando Plínio dos Santos Tinoco (b. 31 August 1914) – with long service in Oecusse
and a fluent Bahasa speaker, was promoted to Administrator of the Oecusse Circunscrição on 11
October 1958.
209
A translation of their formal written request for political asylum ie “Declaration” signed in Dili on
27 March 1958 is at Annex C. This was forwarded to Lisbon under cover of a letter from Governor
Serpa Rosa - No 11, Dili, 1 July 1958 (AHU, Lisbon: MU/GM/GNP/084, Part 15).
210
A typing/translation error – should be “Lambertus Ladow”.
211
In interviews in late July 1995, three of the “Permesta 14” related that they had all been resident in
Kupang – and that their group comprised: “Gerson Tom Pello, Jezkial Fola, Jermias Toan Pello, Paul
Adu, Albert Ndoen, Eddy Welong, Am Dimulogo, Dominggus Adu, Yuber [sic] Moniaga, Lambert
Kling Ladaw, Orias Daniel, Andrias Therik, Laurens, and Jonathan Neno Ta Ek”. See Rohi, P.A., “Apa
Kata Pelaku Pemberontakan Rakyat Timor Timur 1959 – Integrasi itu Tekad Historis dan Etnis”,
Mutiara, Edition 776, Jakarta, 5-11 September 1995, pp. 14-15 – interviews of Gerson Pello, Jeremias
Pello, Jezkial Fola and José Manuel Duarte. The article related that the Pello brothers and Am
Dimologo were from Camplong – about 45 km east of Kupang. “Yuber” (ie Jobert) Moniaga was
Manadonese ie from Northern Sulawesi. See also Sarong, F., “Pejuang Timtim yang Kesepian” (“The
Loneliness of an East Timorese Warrior”), Kompas Cybermedia, Jakarta, 21 May 1999 – when
43

All were born in Nusa Tenggara Timor (NTT) – most in Kupang, except for:
Lambertus Ladow - Surabaya (East Java); Jobert Moniaga - Menado (Sulawesi);
and Eddy Welong - Malang (East Java)
A few days later, the 14 were transferred to Dili and initially accommodated in
the harbour aboard the small coastal freighter N/M Dom Aleixo - and their 13
weapons212 were secured in the Depósito de Material de Guerra.
On 28 April 1958, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note
verbale213 to the Portuguese Legation in Jakarta advising that:
“according to reports received by this Ministry, fourteen members of the
Indonesian Armed Forces had, on the 23rd March, 1958, crossed the
Indonesian Territory of Timor and entered the Portuguese Territory of Timor,
Oe-Kussi, from where they have been transferred by the Portuguese
Authorities to Baucau. The fourteen members of the Armed Forces are
believed to consist of: one First Lieutenant, one Second Lieutenant, two
Sergeants and ten soldiers. The Ministry will greatly appreciate any
cooperation from the Government of Portugal in returning the fourteen
Indonesian nationals to the Government of Indonesia, as the Ministry is
convinced that they have been misguided by propagandists of the anti
Government rebellious groups and therefore not conscious of what they were
doing. The Ministry also requests that the weapons carried by the fourteen
Indonesian nationals mentioned above be returned to the Government of
Indonesia.”

Subsequently, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “noted with pleasure


of the best consideration the Government of Portugal have given to the requests made
by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia” – and again sought the return of
“two brenguns, two stenguns and five Lee Enfield rifles”. That note verbale also
advised that “after thorough investigation, it appear that only 2 (two) of the 14
(fourteen) men who entered the Portuguese Territory of Timor are members of the
Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia, e.g.: 1. Ladouw, Lambertus – Corporal;
2. Welong, Udy – Private; while the other 12 men do not belong to the Armed Forces
of the Republic of Indonesia.”.214
A few days after the arrival of the Permesta 14, the Indonesian Consul in Dili,
Nazwar Jacub (sometimes as “Yacub”) Sutan Indra215, called on the Australian

interviewed in the Kupang area in mid-May 1999, “Jeremias” Pello did not admit to service in either
the Indonesian military or the Permesta movement before fleeing with the group to Portuguese Timor.
212
The weapons comprised: a Dutch machine gun, a Bren machine gun, an Australian sub-machine
gun, a Sten sub-machine gun, a Browning automatic pistol, eight Lee Enfield rifles – together with
bayonets and 1,603 rounds of 7.7mm and 9mm ammunition. This listing was compiled by the Chief of
Administrative Services in Dili (Intendente L. Lisboa Santos) and forwarded to Lisbon under cover of a
letter from Governor Serpa Rosa - No 11, Dili, 1 July 1958 (AHU, Lisbon: MU/GM/GNP/084, Part
15).
213
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Note Verbale No. 23118/I, Djakarta, 28 April 1958.
214
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Note Verbale No. 33007 II-a, Djakarta, 14 June 1958. However, note
that according to Rohi, P.A. (journalist, Jakarta), Lambertus Ladow - the leader of the group, and
“Yuber” (ie Jobert) Moniaga, had been junior personnel in Yonif 712 (email to author, 25 October
2006).
215
Nazwar Jacub/Yacub Sutan Indra (born in Padang Panjang, West Sumatra – 2 June 1925) served as
the Indonesian Consul in Dili from 3 November 1956 until 4 June 1959 – having reportedly completed
his designated tour of duty. Nazwar Jacub spoke “excellent English, German and Dutch”. He had a
close association with the Islamic community in Dili, funding the refurbishment of the An-Nur mosque
44

Consulate and sought to travel to Australia – for urgent medical treatment. He arrived
in Darwin on 1 April 1958 and, having “undergone a thorough check in Darwin, …
had been given a clean bill of health on all possible counts” – despite his claims that
he was suffering from malaria.216 Consul Jacub also complained of a sore shoulder –
however while the “physiotherapist at the hospital in Darwin could find nothing
wrong”, Yacub persisted in his assertion and asked for permission to travel to Sydney
for specialist examination.” The escape of the 14 Indonesians to Portuguese Timor –
and Consul Nazwar Jacub’s sudden visit to Darwin and Sydney, apparently
precipitated concerns in the Australian Department of External Affairs on “Political
Asylum for Indonesians”:217
“If the revolt in Sumatra is suppressed, it is just conceivable that we will be
confronted with isolated requests for political asylum by Indonesians
belonging to the dissident movement. Another contingency, although the
likelihood of it is very slight, is that we may receive requests for political
asylum from Indonesian officials serving in or visiting in Australia.”

Within a few days of their arrival in Dili, the 14 Indonesians were soon settled
in Baucau - the Province’s second-largest town about 135 kilometres by road east of
Dili. The Government provided the Indonesian “asilados políticos” (Portuguese -
political exiles) with a “daily subsidy of seven patacas per day (43$.75 escudos).” “At
the time, this was a generous amount considering the very modest lifestyle of the
Timorese – and a worker with the construction service did not receive a weekly wage
of much more than this.”218 “They lived without great problems, in a climate of
idleness, the majority of them in the company of local girls.”219 However, the
Indonesian Consul, Nazwar Jacub Sutan Indra, is also reported to have provided funds
to the Indonesian exiles in Baucau as “subsistence” - as they were “neither paid
enough by the Portuguese nor allowed to earn enough to live on.”220

in 1957. He was a widower with three children – his wife had died of illness in Dili on 7 January 1957,
and his mental stability was questioned by his successor (for Nazwar Jacub, see footnotes 216, 220,
257, 263, 268, 274, 275, 278, 440 and 518).
216
Department of External Affairs – Canberra, 1529/11, 23 April 1958 (NAA: A1838, 1529/11). The
Australian Consul - F.J.A. Whittaker, was absent on recreation leave in Australia, and Consul Nazwar
Jacub reportedly “stood over” the locally-engaged clerk/interpreter at the Australian Consulate (C.J.
Sequeira) on 29 March demanding an authorization to travel to Darwin – Whittaker, F.J.A., Letter to
Secretary, Melbourne, 14 April 1958 (NAA: A1838, 1529/11).
217
Department of External Affairs – Canberra, Memo, 16 April 1958 (NAA: A1838, 1529/11)
218
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.53. At pp. 90-92, Barata provides
comparative salaries in Timor in 1959, in escudos, together with prices for rice, sugar, potatoes and
tobacco. The weekly wage for a civil construction worker is cited as 48 escudos. The pataca was
replaced in early 1959 by the escudo – at a rate of one pataca = 5.6 escudos. In 1958, one pataca was
the equivalent of 21.5 Australian pence. In 1958, at USD 76, Timor had the lowest per capita GDP of
Portugal’s colonies eg: Macau at USD 232; Mozambique: USD 121; Cabo Verde: USD 97. In 1959,
Portugal’s per capita GDP was USD 246 – such economic statistics of the period are related in Barata,
F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 87-93.
219
Ibid, p.53.
220
As advised to the Australian Consul by the “replacement” Indonesian Consul, Tengku Usman
Hussin: Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/9). The
Australian Consul also reported that the Portuguese police alleged “much larger sums were drawn from
the bank than the Consulate would normally need” and that “the rebels, after arrest, had admitted
receiving money from the Consul.” Governor Barata also indicated that the Portuguese stipend was not
always paid on time and the asilados were in debt to local storekeepers in Baucau - Barata, F. T., Timor
contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.79. Consul Nazwar Jacub’s alleged disbursement of funds is also
related in an affidavit submitted to the UN Secretary General by José Martins (b. 29 September 1941-
1996, see footnotes 526 and 960), President of the KOTA political party: Implicação da Republica da
45

A few months after the arrival of the ex-Permesta group, the Australian
Consul in Dili met with three of the “Indonesian political refugees” when visiting
Baucau in early July 1958 and reported221 that the group comprised: “two majors, one
first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, two sergeants, and seven other ranks” (ie a total
of 13); they were all living in a recently-constructed guest house in Baucau owned by
“Mr Ricardo”222; were “all staying in Baucau on the bounty of the Portuguese
Government”; and that their spokesman, the First Lieutenant, “mentioned that they
were extremely grateful to the Portuguese Government for having granted them
asylum, and for the kind way they were being looked after.” The First Lieutenant also

The Estalagem de Santiago – Baucau, 1958

related to the Australian Consul that “at the time they made their break from Kupang,
a much larger group set off for Portuguese Timor by another route but were overtaken
and captured.”223
According to the Australian Consul, “this First Lieutenant went on to say that
if only they could contact Menado [sic] ((ie, the Permesta headquarters in northern

Indonesia na Vida de Timor Português [sic], stamped Provisório and Secreto, 23 March 1976 –
paragraphs 4-15 cover the 1959 Rebellion (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/13/1 Part 2).
221
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 109/58, 4 July 1958 (NAA: A11604, 605/15A). On ranks, see
footnote 214. According to Rohi P.A., the other ranks cited above were “semacam pengakuan di antara
mereka sendiri” (“a type of rank self-granted among their group”) – email to author, 27 October 2006.
Note that a listing of all deportees - prepared in Angola by the exiled rebels in June 1960, shows
Gerson Pello as an alferes (second lieutenant), Albertus Nundun (sic – ie Ndoen/Ndun) as a sarjento da
Aviassão (Air Force sergeant), Jeremias Pello as a soldado (soldier) and Lambertus Ladow as a tenente
(lieutenant) – and refers to all 14 Indonesians as “homens Armados” (military men) - Costa, F.A.S. da,
Os Nomes dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola do Ano de 1959 (The Names of the Timorese
Detainees in Angola in 1959), Silva Porto (Bié, Angola), 6 June 1960 – see Annex F.
222
José dos Santos Ricardo – who reportedly bought the land from Venâncio Boavida and built a guest
house and small soap and cheese factories (author’s discussions with Marcelino Guterres, Baucau, 28
June 2007). The guest house/hotel, “Estalagem de Santiago”, was acquired by the Government in the
mid-late 1960s – correspondence to the author, Sherlock, K., Darwin, 5 October 2007. The “guest
house” is now the Pousada de Baucau – ie renamed from the “Hotel Flamboyant” during the
Indonesian period. The photographs at the Estalagem were provided by the family of José dos Santos
Ricardo to the author in 2007.
223
This may have been a reference to the far larger group led by Kotadia – see footnote 199.
46

Sulawesi)), Menado would most certainly find a means of transporting them to that
Port by ship.” The Consul noted his impression that all members of the ex-Permesta
group in Baucau “were of the Christian faith”, and the three personnel that he had met
impressed him “by their intelligence and courteous bearing.”

Seven of the “Permesta 14” – Estalagem de Santiago, Baucau – 1958


Albert Ndun – second from the left (black trousers)
Lambertus Ladow – third from the left (in white, seated);
with children of the Ricardo family.

As noted earlier, the “replacement” Indonesian Consul, Tengku Usman


Hussin, initially contended that the “14” had come from “Manado” (see footnote 203)
– but subsequently, in late 1960, the Consul changed his earlier claim and asserted
that the 14 had deserted from the Indonesian Army in Kupang and, after committing a
series of robberies, had fled to Portuguese Timor and sought asylum.224
In 1958, a meeting of Australian “Heads of Mission” serving in South East
Asia concluded: “it is not in Australia’s interests for the Revolutionary Government
((in Sumatra)) to be suppressed.”225 It has been implied that the Australian
Government - that was allegedly providing limited clandestine support to the
PRRI/Permesta rebels, made a request to the authorities in Portuguese Timor to accept

224
Australian Consulate - Dili, Memo 144/60, 20 October 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1) – the
Indonesian Consul also related that the “full details of the case were forwarded to the Portuguese with a
request to return the men as fugitive criminals. However no reply was ever received from the
Portuguese; presumably they preferred the political refugee story of the deserters themselves.” Earlier,
the Portuguese Army Chief-of-Staff in Dili, Captain Manuel Herculano Chorão de Carvalho, had told
the Australian Consul that the Indonesians were part of a group of “385 rebels” from “Indonesian
Timor” who had been granted asylum in mid-1958 and relocated to three areas in Portuguese Timor in
1959 – Australian Consulate – Dili, Sav 2, 11 December 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
225
Consensus of Opinion on Main Issues, Meeting of Australian Heads of Mission in South East Asia -
1958, Singapore, March 1958, p.3 (NAA: A1838, TS383/1/2/2). For discussion on continuing “to
sustain the dissidents by clandestine means” by the United Kingdom and the US, see United Kingdom
High Commission – Canberra, Memorandum to Prime Minister R.G. Menzies, 12 March 1958 (NAA:
A6705, 34).
47

the 14 Indonesians who had fled from Kupang.226 However, this claim has yet to be
substantiated by credible evidence.
Immediately after the 14 Indonesians were settled by the Portuguese
administration in Baucau (as noted, the Province’s second-largest town, east of Dili),
Marcelino (from Venilale, 35 kilometres by road south of Baucau - see footnote 138)
reportedly visited the group. Gerson Pello - a leader of the “Indonesian 14”, and
Marcelino - a local bangsawan (Bahasa Indonesia - “noble”), became close friends
and Gerson regularly visited Marcelino’s home where – according to an Indonesian
journalist, they “discussed efforts to struggle to free Timor from Portuguese
colonialism as had been suggested by Sukarno. As an initial step, they set up a soccer
((ie football)) coaching programme under which youth - whose nationalist spirit had
been awakened, were recruited. Marcelino provided a truck for the training and for
travel to matches outside the local area. These soccer matches however were only a
cover. The real objective was to establish an underground movement to drive out the
Portuguese from East Timor. It was agreed to form two groups. The first group would
engage in physical acts using armed force. The smaller second group, as the
‘konseptor’, would prepare a government for when independence was achieved by the
first group. Contact between the two groups was conducted secretly – so that if the
first group failed and were captured, they could not reveal the role of the second
group, enabling the second group to continue the struggle.”227
In the author’s 2007 interviews with Marcelino (Marcelino António Fausto
Guterres), Marcelino related meeting Gerson Pello at a Baucau hospital in late 1959
while seeking medical assistance for his (Marcelino’s) young blind daughter and
developing a friendship with Gerson – and both played football together. However,

226
The PRRI (Pemerintah Revolusionir Republik Indonesia) was declared at Bukittinggi (Sumatra) on
15 February 1958. While there were also regional autonomy issues, the secessionist PRRI led by
dissident Army officers was opposed to the growing influence of communists in the Sukarno
Government in Jakarta. The Permesta movement aligned itself with PRRI on 17 February 1958 – and
the two rebellions subsequently proposed amalgamation into a united front - ie the Federal Republic of
Indonesia. United States covert support to the PRRI/Permesta (Operation HAIK: CIA with US Navy
and Air Force support) is well documented – see Kennedy, D.B., Operation HAIK …, 1996. For
alleged Australian involvement see Slater, S. and Waterford, J., “Finger in the Pie”, The Canberra
Times, Canberra, 17 February 1991, p.1 and pp.17-18. This press item cites Australian Department of
External Affairs cables and contends that the Australian External Affairs Minister - Richard Casey,
directed the Secretary of the Department of External Affairs - Arthur Tange, to “get in touch” with
Portuguese authorities ie with a view to using Portuguese Timor as a “communications base” and
monitoring events in “Ambon and the Moluccas” – p.17. The foregoing is also cited extensively in an
Indonesian publication: Soebadio, H., Keterlibatan Australi dalam Pemberontakan …, 2002, pp.226 -
251 and in a reviewing article by Piliang, I.J., Australia Terlibat dalam Pemberontakan PRRI/
Permesta, Jakarta, 14 August 2002. Moreover, a report by the Australian Senate – citing the press
article “Finger in the Pie” by Slater and Waterford (above), asserts: “The officers had come to
Portuguese Timor as a result of a request by the Menzies Government to Portugal in March 1958 for
co-operation in assisting a rebel movement (Permesta) in Sulawesi and Maluku.”: Australian Senate
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Final Report on the Inquiry into East Timor, Canberra,
7 December 2000, p,116, paragraph 6.16, footnote 21. However, as yet, there appears to be no direct or
credible evidence that Australia specifically requested the Portuguese authorities to accept the 14
“Permesta asylum seekers” – see also the concluding Summary and Discussion section of this
monograph.
227
Rohi, P.A., email to author, 19 January 2007. Peter Rohi - then a Surabaya-based journalist, and
Gerson Pello reportedly visited Marcelino in Venilale in 1996. Rohi’s interview with Marcelino is
related briefly in Rohi, P. A., “Soekarno, KAA, dan Timor-Leste”, Kongres, Jakarta, 28 April 2005 &
marhaenis.org, 9 May 2005. For Marcelino’s alleged attendance at the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in
Bandung, see footnotes 136-141. The veracity of Rohi’s account of Marcelino’s involvement is further
considered in the concluding “Discussion” section of this monograph.
48

Marcelino denied any involvement with the 1959 Rebellion or any “underground
movement” – although he was acquainted with Abel da Costa Belo of Baucau and
several other Timorese who were actively involved. Rather, according to Marcelino,
he remained committed to the concept and ideals of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference
and its “Movement” – and continued to await further contact from the Indonesian
Consul.228
Some months later, on 21 December 1958, following an internal argument
among the Indonesian group, five were relocated by the Portuguese authorities from
Baucau Town further south to the Viqueque Circunscrição 229 ie about 205 kilometres
by road east-southeast of Dili. According to Gerson Pello: “because I quarrelled with
Lambert Kling Ladaw [sic], the 14 of us from Kupang were divided into two groups.
Five were sent to Uatolari and exiled there.”230 This “Uatolari Group” comprised:
Gerson Pello, Jeremias Pello, Albert Ndoen, Jezkial Fola and Jobert Moniaga. In the
1950s, the Uatolari (Leça) Posto administrative centre was located in Afaloicai
village, about 47 kilometres by road from Viqueque Town ie in the hills - (altitude
257 metres) about three kilometres to the north of the south coast road and about three
km east of the Bebui River – see the map of the Viqueque Circunscrição at Annex
A.231
However, despite being termed the “Uatolari” group, the five Indonesians
resided in the centre of Viqueque Town – in houses on the eastern side of the Town’s
main square ie opposite the Posto headquarters and residence of the Portuguese
Administrator (see map at page 64). Soon after their arrival, all five Indonesians
began to openly criticize the excesses of Portuguese rule and proselytize the success
and advances of Indonesian independence – with Gerson Pello the most active. The
Indonesians also attracted the attention and admiration of Timorese youth by teaching
pencak silat – an Indonesian form of martial arts, and by their skilled participation in
local football matches including in Luca, Ossú, Uatolari and Uato-Carabau.232

228
During discussions with the author in Baucau (28 June 2007), Marcelino proudly displayed a copy
of a 1980 handbook on the Bandung Conference and again related his visit to Bandung in December
1996 – see footnote 141. Marcelino also stated that Gerson Pello had visited him in Venilale in 1983
and 1994. Marcelino admitted that he had owned a “painting” of President Sukarno – but that he had
bought it in Dili, not Bandung (ie contrary to Peter Rohi’s press item - see footnote 136). Marcelino
had been employed as a driver by his father – and subsequently by a Chinese merchant. In mid-1974,
he was noted as a “mototoriste mecânico” [sic] employed by the Câmara Municipal de Baucau –
BOdT, No.30, 27 July 1974, p.583 and No.31, 3 August 1974.
229
As noted earlier, a Circunscrição was a modern-day District comprising several Postos - ie modern-
day Sub-Districts. Note that “Viqueque” was a Circunscrição, a Posto and a town.
230
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara 776, 1995, op.cit., p.14. The “Uatolari” Group in the Viqueque
Circunscrição comprised: Gerson Pello, Jeremias Pello, Albert Ndoen/Ndun, Jezkial Fola – whose
parents-in-law were all from Rote/Roti island; and “Yuber” (ie Jobert) Moniaga from Manado in
northern Sulawesi. Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.53 notes the five moved to
Viqueque on 21 December as comprising “Gerson Pello, Albert Ndoen, Jehsekial Follo, Jeremias Pello
and Jobert Moniaga”.
231
In 1978-79, the Posto/Kecamatan offices were relocated by the Indonesian administration to
Matahoi village on the coast road - ie about seven kilometres to the south-west of the original Posto
location.
232
See maps at pages 62 and 70 - author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de
Oliveira Simões, António Pinto and Rogério Pinto in Viqueque Town – 29 June 2007.
49

Security Concerns on the Lautém Coast

On 14 July 1958, the Governor of Portuguese Timor, César Serpa Rosa233,


departed Dili for Lisbon - and the Military Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Manuel
Aguiar234, was appointed as Encarregado de Governo (Acting Governor). Lieutenant
Colonel Aguiar was described as dedicated and conscientious – “but of a reserved
temperament” and “less accustomed to the subtleties of politics.”235 However,
according to the Australian Consul in Dili, Governor Serpa Rosa’s “successor as
Acting Governor would not accept any responsibility with the result that Timorese
affairs stagnated and the various Administrators in the interior were left to their own
devices.”236
The Acting Governor was faced with several security concerns:
- in late 1958, 16 rifles were stolen from the military storehouse in Dili (13
of which were eventually recovered);
- to the east, Indonesian contraband copra traders were continuing to visit
the northern coast of the Lautém Circunscrição;
- and weapons and explosives were being traded to Indonesian vessels from
Japanese wartime caches in the Lautém and Viqueque Circunscrições.237

In May 1959, the Army Chief-of-Staff in Dili reported that Indonesian boats
from the Celebes (Sulawesi) and the nearby island of Kisar, crewed by “Celebes
rebels” (ie Permesta – see footnote 190) were continuing to visit the Lautém north
coast and “intimidate the local administrative authority.”238 Accordingly, in May, a
military detachment - commanded by Portuguese Army Sergeant Carneiro Cirineu,
was stationed at Lospalos as a security measure. In late May, an Indonesian vessel
(“prau” or “corcóra”) landed on the Lautém coast and its crew came ashore. Several
rifles were seized from the Indonesians – and the weapons were flown from Baucau to

233
Captain César Maria de Serpa Rosa served as Governor from 31 December 1950 to July 1958 – he
had previously served as the Governor of Zambesia Province, Mozambique. A replacement Governor,
Major (Engineer - Materiel Services) Filipe José Freire Themudo Barata (1918-2003), arrived in Dili
on 22 June 1959 and assumed his appointment – ie a few days after the end of the military action
against the rebels in the Viqueque Circunscrição. He should not be confused with Brigadier Francisco
António Pires Barata - the commander of military forces in Portuguese Timor from 1961, who became
Acting Governor in April 1963 on the departure of Governor (then) Lieutenant Colonel F.J.F.T. Barata.
234
Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Manuel Albuquerque Gonçalves de Aguiar – arrived in Portuguese
Timor on 7 May 1957 and relinquished his position as Acting Governor to F.J.F.T Barata in late June
1959 and his appointment as Military Commander in October 1959 to Lieutenant Colonel (Cavalry)
Serpa Soares.
235
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 42, p.50 – comment by Governor F.T.
Barata.
236
Australian Department of External Affairs, “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor” (Brief by J.A.
Benson), Canberra, May 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). “Fillipe Ribeiro” [sic], the
Administrator of the Baucau Circunscrição, was described by a visiting United States official as
“reportedly inept, corrupt and slightly unbalanced.” - US Embassy - Djakarta, Despatch 138, 19 August
1960 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). For the career of Administrator 2nd Class José Maria Ribeiro
Filipe (b. 11 June 1910) see BOdT, No.51, 26 December 1959, p.844. Filipe was transfered from
Baucau to Ermera on 12 March 1960.
237
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.51.
238
Carvalho, M.H.C. de, Captain, “Incidents with Indonesian Rebel Boats”, Report 2/59, Dili, 14 May
1959. For earlier landings of Moluccan RMS rebels in the Lautém area in 1955, see footnote 145.
50

Dili.239 The Acting Governor despatched the Chief of Administrative Services,


Intendente Dr Lisboa Santos, to the area to investigate matters – including to the
Laivai area (about 60 km east of Baucau town), but his report was inconclusive.240
Subsequently, the Australian Consul reported that the confiscated rifles “were of the
old Dutch NEI pattern” and confirmed that “the crew members were returned to their
prau, and ordered put to sea. The authorities now believe, as one of the crew members
said, that those who possess rifles carry them on their trading ventures as there is very
little security in their areas and a rifle is a necessary possession. However, the
authorities also believe that these Indonesians intended contacting local Chinese in the
Lautém district with a view to bartering copra for manufactured goods.”241

Conditions in the Viqueque and Baucau Circunscrições

The Viqueque Circunscrição (see map at Annex A) comprised four Postos:


Ossú (1st class Posto); Uatolari (2nd Class Posto); and Lacluta and Uato-Carabau (3rd
Class Postos). Viqueque Town - the location of the Administrador and the offices of
the Circunscrição, also functioned as a Posto Sede (Central Posto) administering the
Town and a surrounding area.242 The Viqueque Circunscrição had an “administrative
management”243 of civil servants – in order of rank: an Administrator
(Administrador); a Secretary (Secretário); a Chefe de Posto (1st class) – at Ossú; an
Aspirante; an Encarregado de Posto (ie Posto Administrator) (2nd class) – at Uatolari;
two Encarregado de Posto (3rd class) – at Lacluta and Uato-Carabau; an Intérprete; a
First Corporal Sipai244; four Second Corporal Sipais; and 13 Sipais.245
Conditions in the Viqueque Circunscrição in the mid-late 1950s246 have been
described at the time as follows:
“Conditions were notoriously bad … even though whipping and the use of the
palmatória247 had been outlawed three years before, these practices continued
239
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 123/59, 7 June 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
Consul reported that there were no casualties in the clash - and also reported seeing eight of the seized
rifles being off-loaded from the Portuguese aircraft in Dili on 30 May 1959.
240
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.51.
241
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959, p.4 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
242
The boundaries of the Viqueque Circunscrição and its Postos (Divisão Administrativa) were
detailed in Diploma Legislativo No 555, BOdT, No.22 – Suplemento, 5 June 1959, pp.391- 393.
243
“Administrative management” refers to personnel of the Civil Administrative Services. A small
number of civil servants from other government agencies and services - eg the meteorological, health,
public works, and agricultural and veterinary services, also served in the Circunscrição.
244
Sipai (plural: Sipais) were indigenous police – appointed as members of the Corpo de Polícia.
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.55, footnote 13 describes “sipaio” (also as
“cipaio” in some documents) as “Timorese guards with a police function and rudimentary training.”
The “Corpo de Cipaios” was established on 28 December 1945 as promulgated in Legislative Diploma
No.247 (BOdT, No.9, 21 December 1946, pp.55-56). This provided for a first corporal and six privates
at each Circunscrição centre - and a second corporal and two privates at each Posto.
245
As provided for in the Provincial Budget for 1959 (BOdT, No.52, Suplemento 2, 31 December 1958,
p.808), the “total annual salaries” for each of these appointments, in escudos, were: Administrador:
14,256; Secretário: 8,496; Aspirante: 5,760; Chefe de Posto - 1st class: 7,200; Encarregado de Posto –
2nd Class: 4,608; Encarregado de Posto - 3rd Class: 3,648; Intérprete: 1,920; First Corporal Sipai: 720;
Second Corporal Sipai: 624; Sipai: 528. Sipais were phased out in the early 1970s when replaced by
guardas auxiliares of the Corpo Polícia de Segurança Pública de Timor (founded in 1963) and the
Polícia Municipal (BOdT, No.52, Suplemento, 31 December 1974).
246
As noted earlier at footnote 177, abuses in the countryside – including in Viqueque, were detailed
by a group of rebels in Araújo, A. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento …, 21
April 1960 – see Annex D. See also Duarte, J.M., “Memorandum sobre o acontecimento em Timor em
1959”, 31 August 1960, op.cit. For Viqueque, see also footnote 110.
51

there. People had to work for paltry wages. The administration had cut the
wages offered to the local labourers by the Australian-owned Timor Oil
Company to less than one third of what the company had offered.”248 Further,
and more specifically – “the rebellion … was triggered by dissatisfaction of
local villagers against the corruption by the Portuguese administrador (district
head). One of his corrupt practices was to reduce the wages provided by Timor
Oil for villagers involved in the company’s oil production activities in
Aliambata. The corrupt district head reduced the A$300 and A$90 wages
provided by the company to A$21, and pocketed the lion [sic] share. Yet the
villagers still had to work for Timor Oil. Those who refused, were locked up.
Eventually, the people could not stand this exploitative behaviour of their
colonial master, and the 1959 Viqueque rebellion started.”249

The movement of Timorese between areas was restricted as “every Timorese


was legally required to obtain a transit pass (guia de transito) if he wished to leave his
posto, either temporarily or permanently. Therefore, the Timorese did not travel
between postos as much as they might otherwise have done.”250
An exiled Timorese rebel leader, José Manuel Duarte – writing from the Bié
penal colony in Angola in 1960, claimed “all this ill-treatment and abuse practised in
Timor … put the idea in our heads to plan a revolt and demand our rights as free
citizens.”251 Duarte stated that he “had been complaining since 1953 against the

247
The palmatória was a stick (a “ferule”) – about 2cm thick and about 40cm long, with a disc at the
end (with holes so as not to cushion the blow). The palmatória was used to strike the palm of the hand
repeatedly – “It’s really painful. Sometimes they would beat someone’s hand until the hand became
swollen and was bleeding. If they hit you a lot, you couldn’t use your hand for weeks. … Sometimes
people got it simply because they could not afford to pay the imposto ((head tax)).” - Pinto, C. and
Jardine, M., East Timor’s Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance – A Testimony, South
End Press, Boston, 1997, pp.33-34. See also Belo, C.F.X. Dom, “A Revolta de 1959”, op.cit., 2009, p.1.
For the Australian military’s revulsion at such punishment during World War II see Ayris, C., All The
Bull’s Men, PK Print Pty Ltd, Hamilton Hill, 2006, p.84; and Callinan, B.J., Independent Company …,
1953, op.cit., pp.127-128.
248
Lennox, R., Fighting Spirit of East Timor – the life of Martinho da Costa Lopes, Pluto Press,
Annandale, 2000, p.63.
249
Aditjondro, G.J., Is oil thicker than blood ?, 1999, footnote 10 - cites interviews to support the
above. His references indicate that his indirect source on this misappropriation of wages however is
Araújo, A.L.J. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento, op.cit, p.3 – included in
Annex D, that details this corrupt activity by the “Administrador da Circunscrição”. Accordingly, the
“A$” figure cited by Aditjondro should be $ as “escudos” – ie at a rate of escudos per month (compare
with figures at footnote 218). Timor Oil Limited had held concessions on the south coast since 1908
(see, Timor Development Syndicate, A Few Impressions of Portuguese Timor, Sydney, 1912 - NAA:
A1336, 2526; and references in Chamberlain E.P., The Struggle …, 2004/2008, op.cit.). Post-WWII,
the company was re-established in early 1957, and a company work camp was established in Uatolari
near the Posto offices. Drilling recommenced at Aliambata in mid-October 1957 but was moved
westward to Beaco several months later. In September 1960, Timor Oil’s operations ceased in
Viqueque, and drilling operations recommenced at a site in Suai. When drilling commenced at
Aliambata in 1957, the Administrator of Viqueque was Francisco de Salles d’Andrade e Castro Botelho
Torrezão (since at least 1955 until mid-July 1958) – and replaced by Artur Marques Ramos (b. 9
October 1928) on 10 October 1958 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/12/2 Part 2; 756/2/4/1).
250
Hicks, D., “Unachieved Syncretism: the local level political system in Portuguese Timor”,
Anthropos Institut, 78, Edition St-Augustin, Switzerland, 1983, p.24, footnote 8 – focusing specifically
on Viqueque.
251
“Todos estes maus tratos e abusos praticados pelos mandantes de Timor, à sombre da sua
autoridade, levaram-nos à cabeça a ideia de planear a revolta para reclamar os nossos direitos de
cidadãos livres.” - Duarte, J.M., “Memorandum sobre o acontecimento em Timor em 1959”, 31 August
1960, op.cit,, p.7. Jolliffe, J., Cover-Up, 2001, pp.45-46 and 325-326 quotes from Duarte’s
52

Portuguese use of forced labour, whipping and other forms of corporal punishment,
and wage discrimination against Timorese.”252 Duarte also wrote of Timorese being
“beaten with whips (called chouriços - or ‘sausages’, in Timorese slang)” and noted
that the “many abuses in Timor are the reason for the planning of a revolt to ask for
our rights as free citizens.”253 He also related a clash in 1958 between him and the
then recently-arrived Secretary/Acting Administrator of the Viqueque Circunscrição,
Artur Marques Ramos.254
Indignant at Portuguese oppression and injustices, it appears that some of the
Indonesian exiles - with the encouragement and some funds from the Indonesian
Consul, collaborated with local dissident Timorese and planned an uprising in the
Viqueque Circunscrição (and possibly the Baucau Circunscrição to the north) in
support of the main effort to be undertaken in Dili. Jeremias Pello - the youngest of
the 14 Indonesians, related that “after we mixed with the local people, we joined in
their struggle against the Portuguese … they all felt oppressed and therefore had to
fight to free themselves from their colonial shackles.”255
At about this time, the Australian Consul in Dili summarised the seemingly
benign security situation in Portuguese Timor, noting:

Memorandum that “described whippings, torture, arbitrary injustices and racial discrimination” – see
also Jolliffe, J., Balibo, 2009, p.62. Duarte’s Memorandum was forwarded by the PIDE Delegation in
Angola to Lisbon – then sent by the Director of the PIDE to the President of the Council of Ministers
(PIDE, No. 7.434-S.R., Lisbon, 2 November 1960). Duarte’s statement is also related in Jolliffe, J.,
“Indonesia now wants all the gory details”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 19 August 1995, p.17.
252
Australian Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Final Report on the Inquiry into
East Timor, p.116, paragraph 6.16. See also Australian Consulate – Dili, SAV.3, 15 August 1955
(NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1, Part 1) – as noted earlier (at footnote 142) in mid-1955, the Australian Consul
- citing a senior Portuguese administrator, had reported: “recent calls on conscripted labour …, life
under the Administrator of Manatuto ((to the northwest of Viqueque)) was worse than under the
Japanese.” For later descriptions, see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 158/60 “Visit to Kupang”, 23
November 1960 (NAA: A4359, 201/2/8/12); Memo 73/61 “Conditions in Portuguese Timor”, 10 May
1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 1 & 3038/2/1 Part 3) – including on race and class relations; and
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 172, 20 September 1963 – later disseminated as Dunn, J.S., “The
Timorese under Portuguese Administration” – five pages, Digest of Despatches, Serial No. 19,
Department of External Affairs, Canberra, 13 December 1963 (NAA: A1838, 756/2 Part 1). José
Alexandré (Xanana) Gusmão also recounted whippings and other abuses by functionaries of the
Portuguese administration – although use of the whip and cane had, in theory, been banned by the
Government in 1956: Gusmão, X. (Niner, S. ed), To Resist is to Win !, 2000, p.6. and Chega !, CAVR
Final Report, Part 3, para 27. Such practices contrasted with the concept of a benign “civilizational
plurality” and harmonious racial interaction espoused in the concept of Lusotropicalismo (Gilberto
Freyre, 1900-1987 and António de Almeida, 1900-1984) – see Sousa, I.C. de, “The Portuguese
Colonization and the Problem of East Timorese Nationalism”, pp.183-194 in Lusotopie 2001, Paris,
2001 and also related articles analysing this concept and its practice in Lusotropicalisme - Lusotopie
1997, Paris, 1997.
253
Duarte, J.M., “Memorandum sobre o acontecimento em Timor em 1959”, 31 August 1960, op.cit.,
p. 5 and Berlie, J., email to author, 13 December 2006. See also footnote 413, for Francisco Xavier do
Amaral’s similar criticisms of corporal punishment by Portuguese using the “chicote” (a two-tailed
hand whip) and also Pinto, C. and Jardine, M., East Timor’s Unfinished Struggle, op.cit., 1997, p.33.
254
Ibid (Duarte, J.M.), p.9 – Acting Administrator Ramos tore up Duarte’s submission – “to show who
was the boss”. Artur Marques Ramos (b. 9 October 1928) was appointed a trainee (estagiario) Chefe
de Posto in May 1955 vide BOdT, No.19, 7 May 1955, p.415, and his first appointment was as the
Chefe de Posto at Laga in July 1955 vide BOdT, No.31, 30 July 1955, p.672, and transferred to
Laclubar in May 1956. A “diplomado” of the “Overseas Administration Course”, he does not appear
to have served as an aspirante or sat the Chefe de Posto examinations. Secretary Artur Marques Ramos
– who had been transferred to Viqueque on promotion from Ermera, was appointed Acting
Administrator of the Viqueque Circunscrição on 10 October 1958 (BOdT, No.43, 25 October 1958,
p.653).
255
Sarong, F., “Pejuang …”, 1999, op.cit., p.2.
53

“There are no political factors in Portuguese Timor and therefore no political


leaders … no Secondary Industry – therefore there are no labour troubles.”256

The Rebel Leadership – and its Direction

The principal Timorese rebels were Luís da Costa Rego (Luís Cina/China) in
Dili and Amaro de Araújo in Viqueque – assisted by José Ramos de Sousa Gama
(Zeca), Domingos da Conceição Pereira, João Pereira da Silva (Chiquito), José
Manuel Duarte, David Verdial (known as “Garuda”), and Germano das Dores Alves
da Silva – while the leaders of the Indonesian exiles involved in the Rebellion were
Gerson Pello and, possibly, Lambertus Ladow.
According to the analysis of the Australian diplomatic service: “apparently,
the revolt was fomented by the Indonesian Consul in Dili, Nazwar Jacub257, who
organised and presided at secret meetings in Dili of certain discontented elements of
the population. The half-castes and the assimilated Timorese who were employed in
the lower grades of the Civil Service were undoubtedly dissatisfied by pitifully
inadequate wages … It seems certain that the Consul was not acting under
instructions from Jakarta: this much was admitted by the Portuguese Government.”258
Soon after the uprising, the Australian Consul had reported to Canberra that “the ADC
to the Governor has informed me that they do not intend to make any issue with
Djakarta concerning the activities of the Indonesian ‘Political Refugees’ and their
former Consul Nazwar Jacub. They will merely ask Djakarta to take the Indonesians
now held in custody as being unwanted here.”259 Two weeks later, the recently-
arrived Governor, Major Filipe José Freire Themudo Barata, wrote to the Ministry of
the Interior in Lisbon reporting that: “The former Indonesian Consul (Nazwar Jacub)
and Consulate personnel had taken a preponderant and active part in the preparations;
and the Indonesian political refugees (at least the senior ones) had links with
Indonesian authorities (Government rebels ?) … and expected armed support via the
north coast … ((and)) were, without doubt, the heads of the insurgency, and at least
for some of the time acted in accordance with Consul Jacub.” Importantly, however,
Governor Barata noted: “Nothing was found that allowed us to confirm or deny that
the Indonesian Government had instigated or was aware of the event.”260 Governor

256
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 45/59: “Biographical Notes on Personalities in Portuguese
Timor”, 2 March 1959 (The National Archives – Kew: FO 371 143954).
257
Nazwar Jacub/Yacub Sutan Indra (born Padang Panjang, West Sumatra – 2 June 1925) served as the
Indonesian Consul in Dili from 3 November 1956 until recalled on 4 June 1959 (see footnotes 215,
263, 275 and 440) – having reportedly completed his designated tour of duty. His replacement -
Tengku Usman Hussin, claimed that Nazwar Jacub had been “mentally deranged” and that Jacub was
later reprimanded by the Indonesian authorities for his involvement with the uprising : see Australian
Consulate – Dili, Saving 25, 19 April 1960 and Sav 37, 10 June 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
258
Australian Department of External Affairs, “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor” (Brief by J.A.
Benson), Canberra, May 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
259
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 143/59, 14 July 1959, p.2 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). The
Governor of Portuguese Timor, Major Filipe José Freire Themudo Barata (footnote 233) took up his
post on 22 June 1959 – about two weeks after the uprising in Viqueque. Several years later - in October
1969, as a Colonel, Barata was elected to the National Assembly in Lisbon as the representative of
Portuguese Timor.
260
Barata, F. J. F. T. Governor, Letter No.15 to the Minister of the Interior, Dili, 27 July 1959,
paragraph 2. However, Portuguese authorities reportedly informed United States officials that the
Rebellion “had been caused by Indonesians given asylum from the revolts in Sumatra and Celebes”:
Australian Embassy - Washington, Cable, 25 July 1959 (NAA: A11604, 605/15A). Connect with later
personal views by Barata on official Indonesian involvement described at footnotes 1019-1022.
54

Barata also noted that the majority of the natives that supported the rebels were naïve
and had been influenced by reports of a “secret revelation” by “Lucia, the clairvoyant
of Fátima” that “1960 would be the era of liberation for Timor.”261
However, the Army Chief-of-Staff in Dili, Captain Carvalho, in discussion
with the Australian Consul, “speculated that they were either under orders from
Jakarta to test Timorese reaction to the prospect of the country becoming Indonesian,
or from the Indonesian rebel movement who might have been trying to embarrass the
Central Government by making it appear that they were interfering in Portuguese
affairs.”262 The Chief of Police in Dili “did not believe the Indonesian Consul was
acting under instruction from the Djakarta Government, but was working for the
Indonesian rebels combined with a hatred for the Portuguese” – he also noted that the
Indonesian Consul, Nazwar Jacub, was a Sumatran from “Kotta Tingghi”, the early
centre of the PRRI rebellion.263 Several years later, then ex-Governor Barata wrote
that “the investigators thought that Consul Nazwar Jacub took the full initiative for
events in solidarity with the rebels in Sumatra – seeing success in an uprising in
Timor as a consolidation for its party. Perhaps this has a great deal of truth … .”264
However, the Australian Consul noted that there was “nothing to support Carvalho’s
suggestion that the Indonesian rebel movement might have been behind the trouble
except that Jacub was a Sumatran who professed little love for the Javanese. The
selection of Usman, another Sumatran, to take Jacub’s place may be an indication that
Jakarta did not subscribe to this theory.”265
In August 1960, Governor Barata discussed events with the Australian Consul
who summarised the Governor’s remarks as follows: “There has been no acceptable
evidence produced that Indonesia had anything to do with last year’s unrest although
the Portuguese feel that Djakarta’s rather overdone concern for the welfare of the
Indonesians who had been arrested showed where their sympathies lay (the Governor
was referring to the efforts of the present Indonesian Consul, Tengku Usman Hussin,
to obtain details of the charges against these people and his protests at the way they
were being held without trial). In the Governor’s view, Djakarta was probably not the
instigator but was, nevertheless, willing to exploit the situation to the full once it had
developed, presumably with the object of discrediting the Portuguese system. … Nor
was there any evidence to suggest that these refugees were other than genuine rebels
as they had claimed. The fact that the Consul had been distributing money to the
refugees proved nothing, he said, because the sums involved were not so large as to
suggest that special funds, outside normal consular requirements, had been made
available to him. The stories of arms being brought in, he dismissed as baseless
rumours which had doubtless been started by the refugees to gain adherents to their
261
Ibid, Barata, F.J.F.T., Letter No. 15, paragraph 3. This is a reference to the prophecies of Lucia dos
Santos - one of the children who reportedly spoke with an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fátima,
Portugal, in 1917.
262
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
263
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
PRRI was proclaimed at “Bukit Tinggi”, Sumatra – see preceding footnote 226; and for data on
Indonesian Consul Nazwar Jacub Indra - see footnotes 215, 216, 257, 263, 268, 274, 275, 278, 440 and
518.
264
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.73.
265
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960, p.4 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). In
mid-1960, Tengku Usman Hussin commented that “Djakarta … used Sumatrans for posts such as Dili,
while all the popular ones went to Javanese officers … Sumatrans had to either go where they were
posted or resign.” : Australian Consulate – Dili, Sav 38, 10 June 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
The first “Javanese” Consul to serve in Dili, Raden Emas Jonopranoto, replaced Tengku Usman Hussin
in August 1961.
55

cause.”266 At about this time, a United States diplomat visiting from Jakarta noted
that the Indonesian Chancellor in Dili, Sastrawidjaja, “spoke quite frankly about the
role of the previous Consul General, Mr. JACUB in fomenting and exploiting [sic] the
insurrection of 1959.”267
Jacub’s replacement as the Indonesian Consul in Dili, Tengku Usman Hussin,
later told the Australian Consul that Jacub “simply hated the Portuguese ((he blamed
them for the death of his wife, Asma Yunus – died 7 January 1957, buried at
Taibessi)) and may have encouraged the Indonesians privately. He was certain to help
them financially, but this could be explained by the fact that the Portuguese neither
gave them enough, nor allowed them to earn enough money to live on.”268 The
Tengku also related that “Jacub apparently had the Indonesians using the ‘Merdeka’
((‘Freedom’)) cry”, and “he ((the Tengku)) said that Jacob had behaved oddly in a
number of ways before his departure and implied he had become perhaps a little
unbalanced at the shock of his wife’s death.” The Australian Consul also reported:
“As for the suggestion that the Indonesian Government was behind the affair, the
Tengku dismissed this as a convenient invention by the Portuguese to hide the fact
that there is genuine discontent in the country.” Much later, in a 1999 interview – as
related earlier, Jeremias Pello, one of the “Indonesian 14” exiled to Lisbon and
Angola, indicated that the Indonesian role in the uprising in the countryside was not
pre-eminent eg “Under the coordination of a number of local identities such as João
Pereira da Silva (killed in Aileu), Luís da Costa Rego, David Verdial, Salem Sagran,
and Domingos da Conceição Pereira – we ((ie the Indonesians)) were given tasks.”269

The Plan

In November and December 1958, the Indonesian Consul Nazwar Jacub


reportedly sent João Pereira da Silva - a Timorese medical assistant employed by the
Health Services, to Baucau in order to brief the Indonesian asilados on the plan for
the uprising. In December, the Indonesian Consul himself visited Baucau. In early
February 1959, Luís da Costa Rego - a driver employed by the Agricultural and
Vetinerary Service, travelled to Viqueque to explain the plans for the attack to Gerson
Pello and Albert Ndoen – two of the five Indonesians who had been relocated to the

266
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 114/60, 25 August 1960, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
Connect also with Governor Barata’s later views on official Indonesian involvement at footnotes 1019-
1022.
267
United States Embassy – Jakarta, Despatch 138, 19 August 1960, p.2 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part
1).
268
Australian Consulate – Dili, Saving 25, 19 April 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). Jacub’s wife
had died of illness in Dili, and Jacub apparently blamed the poor medical treatment at the Dili Hospital
as causing his wife’s death. The Australian Consul added that “Whatever the truth of the Tengku’s
version, in my opinion he believes it. For my part, I am prepared to accept it, pending my receiving
something official on the outcome of the Lisbon enquiry.”
269
Sarong, F. “Pejuang …”, 1999, op.cit., p.2. However, contrary to Jeremias’ statement above, João
Pereira da Silva (from Manatuto) was not killed in Aileu in 1959 – but transported to Lisbon on 8 June
1959, later exiled to Angola, returned to East Timor and was a founder of the Apodeti political party
and Ketua Cabang (Branch Chairman) in 1974 (see footnotes 526 and 527). However, João Pereira da
Silva was detained by Fretilin in Dili in August 1975, taken from prison in December – see Australian
Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 389, 15 March 1976 (NAA: A10463, 801/13//11/1 Part 21), and killed by
Fretilin in the Aileu area in early 1976. For other references to João Pereira da Silva, see also footnotes
140, 186, 270, 506, 515, 523, 528, 547 and 867.
56

Viqueque Circunscrição in late December 1958.270 Following these visits by the


Indonesian Consul and his “emissaries”, two of the Indonesian group, “Lieutenant”
Lambertus Ladow and “Lieutenant” Gerson Pello reportedly travelled “frequently and
clandestinely” throughout the Circunscrições of Baucau and Viqueque – with
Lambertus visiting villages in Baucau, Laga (35 kilometres by road east of Baucau),
and Ossú (21 kilometres by road north of Viqueque town); and Gerson visiting
villages in the Postos of Uatolari and Uato-Carabau (northeast of Viqueque town).271
In Dili, two of the conspirators, accompanied by a “corporal” (probably Francisco
Orlando de Fátima Soares), reportedly made a reconnaissance of the Portuguese
military headquarters at Taibessi – noting the locations of military stores, guard posts,
sentries, and the duty officer.272 By early March 1959, the plan for the uprising had
reportedly been completed.273
The Timorese conspirators originally planned the uprising for 28 May 1959 –
when the two major recreational clubs in Dili, the Sporting Club de Timor and
Sporting Club e Benfica, would be holding functions to celebrate the anniversary of
their founding. However, in the first days of May 1959, Indonesian Consul Nazwar
Jacub reportedly convened a planning meeting at Areia Branca - a beach area on
Dili’s eastern outskirts, attended by “tens” of the conspirators274, and convinced them
to delay the date of the revolt until the night of 31 December when the uprising could
exploit Portuguese unpreparedness during the New Year celebrations.275 He noted that
any noise of the revolt would then be covered by the sound of “panchoes” - ie
fireworks and rockets. However, the meeting was reportedly tense – several of the
Timorese disagreed with the deferment of the revolt and left the meeting. Before

270
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 218 – Annex V, Report of the Police
Superintendent, Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, 25 July 1959. The visit to Viqueque in February 1959 by
Luís da Costa Rego is also referred to in Araújo, A.L.J. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o
acontecimento ocorrido em 7 de Junhe [sic] de 1959, na Cirrcunscrição [sic] de Viqueque – Timor, six
pages, Cólonia Penal do Bié (Angola), 21 April 1960 in Araújo, A.L.J. de, O Célebre Massacré de
Uato-Lari e Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous Massacre at Uatolari
and Uato-Carabau in 1959), Dili, 2005. A copy of the Memorandum is included in Annex D.
271
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.54. Governor Barata refers to both as
“Lieutenants”.
272
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.56. According to one Timorese source, there
were reportedly “factions” within the rebel movement in Dili in early 1959 – as related in Lisbon in
2002 by the deported rebel Matias Guterres de Sousa (of Uatolari) to his cousin Carlos da Silva (email
to author – 12 June 2009) – ie contending that assistance would only be sought from Indonesia if
Portugal rejected the rebels’ demands for the dismissal of “corruptors” and improved social and
economic conditions.
273
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 218 – Annex V, Report of the Police
Superintendent, Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, 25 July 1959.
274
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.59 – also notes the attendance of Jacub’s
children. However, in discussions in Dili with the author on 2 April 2007, former rebels Evaristo da
Costa, Frederico de Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem Sagran insisted that the only meeting at Areia
Branca attended by the subsequent rebels was hosted by Crispim Borges de Araújo to thank Vicente
Vidal and Mário Martins for their assistance in facilitating “trade certificates”. Evaristo joined the
“movement” in April 1959, Frederico in May 1959 – while Salem stated that he was never involved
with the movement - but rather was an “innocent”.
275
For the deferment of the uprising, see also “Kepulangan Pejuang Integrasi Timtim”, (“Return of
East Timor Integration Fighters”), Republika Online, Jakarta, 11 November 1995; “Pejuang Timtim:
Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …” (East Timor Fighter: I Never Imagined …”), Kompas/Kompas
Online, Jakarta, 7 January 1996, p.1 & p.8; and Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit. quoting
Marcelino (footnote 138) on the change of dates. It is perhaps relevant to note that Consul Nazwar
Jacub was scheduled to conclude his appointment as Consul and depart Portuguese Timor in June
1959.
57

closing the meeting, the Consul reportedly stated: “We are all Indonesians, we all
have the same flag.”276
The deferral of the uprising until December 1959 is also noted in a
“Memorandum” by one of the rebels - Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa277, a
seaman, as follows:
“On the night of March of the last year … I met with Mr Luís da Costa Rego
… at his house … I began to tell about the treatment I received in my job. I
told him that I had had enough of working and never having enough money
and never having the possibility to live well. … he told me that in December,
there will be a surprise and they ((our governors)) will all be taken and all be
sent off to Lisbon. Some days passed, and on one morning … he gave me
some papers to look after, together with some letters. … Out of curiosity, I
glanced over them and observed a plan drawn with all of the points marked
with various numbers and relating the names involved, and mine also – and
the letters, I was not able to read.”278

According to Governor Barata, the revised plan envisaged the following


phases:
“On the night of 31 December, Indonesian lieutenants Lambertus and Gerson,
a sergeant and six other exiles would march to Dili and seize the military
installations, including the paiol ((weapons and ammunition storehouse)):
- One of the plotters, a driver, would take control of the vehicle compound.
- Another one of the main cabecilhas ((ringleaders)) would take account of
the police and distribute the catanas ((machetes)) in the Agriculture
Department warehouse to the prisoners – and with the support of other
rebels, they would fall upon people in their clubs, slaughtering them.
- Other previously assigned personnel would seize road intersections,
buildings etc.
- Other phases were envisaged in the countryside: in Aileu, for example, a
party was to be planned in one of the plotters’ homes to which all the
garrison’s officers, sergeants and civilian employees would be invited.
They would soon be without their heads.
- All would be completed in an hour, and Indonesian flags then flown at all
the seized locations.”279

However, the plan had already been compromised. The Government had
apparently first received information about the rebel movement “at the end of March
and the beginning of April 1959 from a Timorese closely associated with the rebels –
but who disagreed with their plans.”280 According to the Australian Consul in Dili, the

276
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.59.
277
Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa was related to Luís da Costa Rego – both living in the same
residential compound off Kuluhan Road (about 200metres to the south) in Audian/Bemori (Dili).
278
Costa, F.A.S. da. (Prisoner No 52), Memorandum, Bié (Angola), 6 May 1960 – and as discussed by
Frederico with the author in Dili on 2 and 6 April 2007. Frederico’s Memorandum implies that the
deferral of the uprising to December was known in March – while Governor Barata (footnote 274)
relates that Nazwar Jacub convinced the conspirators “in the first days of May” to delay the revolt until
31 December.
279
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.59.
280
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.52. Governor Barata related that the
informant “cautiously” reported the rebels’ plan to a “well-respected intermediary” in the informant’s
region and “sought advice”. However, the intermediary did not take the information seriously, and “it
58

Acting Governor had reportedly received anonymous letters in March and April
warning of the planned uprising, but had decided not to react in order to “give enough
rope” to the plotters.281 The Australian Consul’s report also related that the Indonesian
Consul, Nazwar Jacub, had also presided over “secret meetings” in Dili in the first
half of 1959, and that his locally-employed staff had been noted photographing public
buildings.282 So, the plan for the uprising was known to the Portuguese authorities in
Dili – with some sources reporting that it had been disclosed by a vengeful female
Timorese informant to the Chief of Police (ie “cherchez la femme” – ie betrayed by a
woman).283 In 2007, a group of former rebels related to the author that the plot was
disclosed by Inácio Fernandes - the son of the liurai of Betano (João Batista) in the
Alas/Same area. Inácio Fernandes had originally been one of the conspirators but
“became afraid” and revealed the plans to Pantaleão (a mestizo of African descent),
who informed the Portuguese authorities.284
However, Father Jorge Barros Duarte contends that “the son of the régulo of
Lacló (D. Luís dos Reis Noronha) – Câncio dos Reis Noronha, heard of the plans
through family connections and denounced the rebel movement to the Government
through Bishop D. Jaime G. Goulart in May 1959”.285 In 2008, Câncio Noronha286
related to the author that he had been informed of the plot in November 1958 by
Inácio Fernandes287 – a disaffected member of the rebel group who was employed as a
driver for the Agricultural Service. Câncio Noronha passed the information to the
Bishop of Dili, Dom Jaime Goulart.

Arrests in Dili

While aware that the date of planned revolt had been delayed until December,
the Acting Governor - Lieutenant Colonel Aguiar, was worried that some of the more

was a delay of some months” before the Government was told of the plan and the Indonesian Consul’s
meetings.
281
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). Also
related by Governor Barata in Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 52-53.
282
In May 1958, the Indonesian Consul had received six “commercial” cameras that, after an initial
impounding by the Portuguese authorities, were released to the Consul in July 1958: see Australian
Consulate – Dili, Memo 109/58, 4 July 1958 (NAA: A11604, 605/15A). Governor Barata also noted
the clandestine photography and the discreet, but active, anti-Portuguese campaign by the Indonesian
Consul - Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.51.
283
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 130/59, 29 June 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1; A1828,
383/7/1) and as also related by José Manuel Duarte - ie who contended that one of the rebel group in
Dili, a low-level civil servant, revealed the plan to his mistress who informed the Portuguese authorities
- Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.20. Gunter, J., “Communal
Conflict in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit., p.31 relates that an “angry wife … denounced her husband’s
subversive activities to officials in Baucau.” A later Australian Consulate – Dili Memo (12 February
1963 – NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 2) suggested the plotters’ failed attempt to acquire arms from the
Army Ordnance Depot in Dili compromised their plans.
284
Email from Evaristo da Costa to author - 28 March 2007 and 3 March 2009; and author’s
discussions with former rebels Evaristo da Costa, Francisco Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem
Sagran in Dili on 2 April 2007 and Evaristo da Costa on 29 October 2008. Evaristo stated that Inácio –
a “Tropas” (soldier), was the driver for a Portuguese major. Evaristo and Inácio had been long-term
friends.
285
Duarte, J.B., Em Terras de Timor, Tiposet, Lisboa, 1987, p.137.
286
Discussion with Câncio dos Reis Noronha, Melbourne, 6 December 2008. Câncio knew of
Pantaleão, but stated that Pantaleão was not involved in the disclosure of the rebels’ plans.
287
Inácio Fernandes was recorded as a driver “second class” in the Agriculture and Forestry Service in
1974 – BOdT, No.4, 26 January 1974, p.54; and as “lugar da guarda florestal” – BOdT , No.28, 13
July 1974, p.549.
59

radical conspirators might still launch attacks at the end of May. On the morning of 27
May, he informed the Army Chief-of-Staff, Captain Carvalho, of his concerns – who
then ordered heightened security measures: military patrols and picquets, a stand-by
army detachment, and increased police patrols.288 Captain Carvalho also briefed the
two Army company commanders in the Dili barracks on security contingency plans.
However, the festivities planned for the night of 27 May at the two clubs in Dili were
amended but not cancelled – with a ball scheduled at the Club Benfica. Military
personnel attending the ball were advised to go in civilian clothing, but to remain
“armed”. News of the possibility of unrest became known to the public “with the
topic being argued openly in a restaurant.”289 The Australian Consul in Dili attended
the Club Benfica ball on the evening of 27 May and reported that beforehand “stories
were circulating to the effect that subversive elements would attempt to throw bombs
into the Benfica Club … Nothing eventuated at the Club, or elsewhere in Dili, and the
festivities ended at 3 a.m. without any bangs … .”290 However, many people cancelled
their attendance at the Club Benfica ball – including Francisco de Araújo, a suspected
conspirator and member of the Conselho de Governo (see footnote 185).
Having precipitated “panic among the population”, the Acting Governor now
felt forced to initiate a “repressive phase” against the conspirators. The first to be
arrested was reportedly the rebel who had been tasked with action against the police
and who had been planning to leave Dili – the authorities were fearful that an early
attempt might be made to seize arms from the military depot.291 On the afternoon of 3
June, the Portuguese police reportedly arrested 15 of the cabecilhas da revolta
(leaders of the revolt) in Dili:

João Pereira da Silva, Valentim da Costa Pereira, João de Sousa Gama,


Evaristo da Costa, David Verdial, Luís da Costa Rego, José Beny Joaquim,
Francisco Orlando de Fátima Soares, Carlos Salvador de Sousa Gama,
Gervásio Soriano, Abel da Costa Belo, José Ramos de Sousa Gama, Tomaz da
Costa Belo, Saleh bin Hamad [sic – ie Ahmad] Bassarewan (see footnotes 446
and 562 for alternative spellings) and Crispim Borges de Araújo.292

During his interrogation by Abílio da Paixão Monteiro293 - Director of Civil


Administration in Dili, Luís da Costa Rego readily admitted the rebels’ plans and
described their geographic extent. He explained that their intention was only to detain

288
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.60. The Acting Governor/Military
Commander had apparently earlier consulted with the Chefe de Gabinete (Head of the Cabinet
Department) - Lieutenant Daniel Rudolfo Sottomayor Carvalho Braga, on the developing plot – but not
the Army Chief-of-Staff, Captain Carvalho. Lieutenant Braga also functioned as the aide-de-camp to
the Acting Governor/Military Commander. The rivalry and jealousy between Lieutenant Braga and the
Army Chief-of-Staff, Captain Carvalho, is noted by Governor Barata at pp.42-43 and p.60. Daniel
Braga retired from the military in the mid-1960s (BOdT, No.32, 6 August 1960, p.428; BOdT, No.43,
22 October 1960, p.595) with a “louvado” (commendation) - and served as a senior civil servant in
Dili, receiving a medal for his service in late 1974 (BOdT, No.46, 16 November 1974, p.840).
289
Ibid, pp. 60-61.
290
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 123/59, 7 June 1959, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
291
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959 claimed arrests began on 27 May and all
the Dili conspirators had been arrested by 30 May (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
292
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 218-219 – Annex V, Report of the Police
Superintendent Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, 25 July 1959.
293
Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, an Administrator 3rd Class, was apparently also appointed Superindente
da Polícia.
60

Portuguese officials – not kill them, and that violence would only have been necessary
if the rebels had been resisted.294
On 4 June, Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa - a 25 year-old sailor, was
arrested in Dili. Further arrests followed including the arrest of three men in Letefoho
(about 80 km southwest of Dili in Ermera Circunscrição): Alexandré Viana de
Jesus/Maia, José Maria Maia and Eduardo de Araújo.295
When questioned, Frederico Almeida da Costa initially denied any
involvement – but was told by the rebel leader Luís da Costa Rego to give the
Portuguese the papers that Luís had passed to him a few days earlier (see footnote
278). Frederico was escorted back to his house in Audian/Bemori by four Portuguese
– including the Chief of Police (Manuel Vieira Câmara Júnior), and retrieved the
documents from where he had placed them in a gap in the banana-leaf wall of his
house.296

The “Movimento de Aileu: Paulo de Castro”297

In early 1959, the Portuguese authorities reportedly became concerned about a


“bizarre organisation”298 led by a local chieftain in Aileu (in the mountains, about 42
km by road south of Dili). This group reportedly “extorted money from the more
credulous local population” by selling “safe conduct” amulets with “supernatural
powers” that would protect wearers against harm during the “approaching war”. The
police saw such “profit-making as great highway robbery.” Suspecting a connection
with the plans for the uprising, Lieutenant Braga - the Chefe de Gabinete of the
Government in Dili (see footnote 288), followed developments in Aileu closely but
did not move against the “organisation”.
However, once the arrests of rebels began in Dili, the organisation in Aileu
was broken up and several people detained. These included António da Costa Araújo
– a local notable and coffee plantation owner (the father of Abílio de Araújo – see
footnote 299); “the brother in law of Dom João, the liurai of the Kingdom of Aileu,
Inesman; António Soriano; Pablo Castro; representatives of the noble houses of Aileu;
and Master Francisco Dias of Alas” - both Francisco Dias da Costa and António da
Costa Araújo were also Catholic catechists.299 According to Abílio de Araújo, “the

294
Author’s discussions with Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, Audian - Dili, 1 and 7 July 2009.
Frederico was related to Luís da Costa Rego – and both lived in the same residential compound off
Kuluhan Road in Audian/Bemori (Dili).
295
Evaristo da Costa – email to author, 24 January 2007. Evaristo da Costa declared that he was
arrested on 2 June. Arrests in Dili continued into June – eg Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa was
arrested on 4 June: see his Memorandum, Penal Colony of Bié (Angola), 6 May 1960; Juman bin
Bachirum was arrested on 11 June; and Salem Musalam Sagran was arrested on 11 August 1959.
296
Author’s discussions with Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, Audian - Dili, 1 and 7 July 2009.
297
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.213 – Annex IV, Report by Lieutenant R.C.
Braga. Lieutenant Braga used “Movimento …” as the title for Section 4.5 of his Report - but this
Section was omitted from F.T. Barata’s 1998 book (Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit.).
298
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp.55-56.
299
The arrest of these Aileu notables is related in Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, As Duas Margens da Ribeira
de Aileu, Lisbon, 2007. As noted above, Abílio de Araújo’s father - António da Costa Araújo, was
briefly detained in Dili before returning to his plantation in Aileu. António was killed during the
Indonesian occupation in December 1978 in the Aileu area, and his remains are yet to be recovered. Dr
Abílio da Conceição Abrantes de Araújo was the Fretilin Minister of State for Economic and Social
Affairs in late 1975 and subsequently a senior leader of the external Resistance (Head of the External
Delegation) until expelled from Fretilin in August 1993/May 1994. In July 1999, he founded the
Partido Nacionalista Timorense – which contested parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste in 2007.
61

police repression in Dili was terrible and nobody dared to speak the names of those
detained … a true terror” directed by “Sergeant Camara” (ie the Chief of Police,
Manuel Vieira da Camâra Júnior) - and “although not formally imprisoned, the heads
of all the detainees were shaved like criminals.”300
According to one report, Paulo de Castro and António Soriano - “who had
planned a revolt against Portuguese sovereignty” in 1959, were associated with a
Catholic cult, the Hoho Ulu movement, and had held “several meetings with the
people of Aileu”.301 Of the Aileu detainees, only “Pablo Castro” (ie Paulo da
Conceição Castro), António Soriano and Francisco Dias da Costa302 were later exiled
– departing Dili for Angola aboard the N/M India in early October 1959 and,
subsequently, transferred to Mozambique.303

The Uprising in Viqueque and Baucau304

The first indications of unrest in the Viqueque area apparently arose at the end
of May 1959 when the Administrator of the Baguia Posto (about 50 kilometres
directly southeast of Baucau Town - see the following map) reported to the Baucau
Circunscrição that two of the exiled Indonesians in the Viqueque Circunscrição had
held clandestine night-time meetings with village chiefs in the Uatolari and Uato-
Carabau Postos to plan a revolt.305
On 1 June, while enroute to a meeting in Dili, the Administrator of the Baucau
Circunscrição, José Maria Ribeiro Filipe, was contacted at Manatuto by the Secretary
of the Baucau Circunscrição, Francisco Menezes306, and advised that, in Dili, “a

300
Ibid. For the dismissal of Chief of Police, Manuel Vieira da Camâra, see footnote 477.
301
The Hoho Ulu movement, named after a sub-village between Aileu and Maubisse, was founded in
the last quarter of the 19th century - see Duarte, J.B., “O fenomeno dos movimentos nativistas”, op.cit.,
pp.43-46. The movement had reportedly evidenced anti-Portuguese activities during World War II -
including the “Maubisse uprising” in late August 1942 (see footnotes 57-58). In 1967, the movement
conducted an activity on the outskirts of Dili at Fatu Metan that “expressed abhorrence for the
sovereignty of Portugal and sympathy for Indonesia”. One of their cult symbols, the Menino Jesus
(Baby Jesus) was reportedly “affiliated” with the Apodeti political party in 1975.
302
According to Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, Francisco Dias da Costa was not connected with
the Rebellion, but was confused with one of the plotters who was not arrested ie – Francisco Dias
Ximenes of Laleia, a nurse with the veterinary service.
303
In April 2007, three of the returned rebels declared to the author that Paulo de Castro and the
“Movimento de Aileu” had no connection with the plot or the uprising. Rather, they opined that his
“troublesome group” was falsely implicated by the Portuguese in the “1959 Rebellion” as a convenient
means of ridding themselves of the group. In Angola, Paulo was among those classified as “Não
considerado culpado” (“not considered guilty”) – see the listing at Annex F. According to several
returned rebels, two Timorese were killed in Aileu during Portuguese suppression operations – author’s
discussions with Evaristo da Costa, Frederico de Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem Sagran, Dili, 2
April 2007. According to Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, none of the “Aileu group” were
connected with the Rebellion movement. Rather, “Lieutenant Braga wanted to eliminate the group” –
discussions with author, Audian - Dili, 1 and 7 July 2009.
304
The following description of the Rebellion draws principally from the following sources: Barata, F.
T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit; a report written in 1959 by Monsignor Martinho da Costa
Lopes; a report to Lisbon by Governor F.T. Barata dated 6 October 1959; interviews by Indonesian
journalists (Rohi, Diatmika, Sarong, Herman) of Indonesian and Timorese participants in the
Rebellion; and memoranda from the Australian Consulate – Dili.
305
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 228 – Annex VIII, Report of the
Administrator of the Circunscrição of Baucau (José Maria Ribeiro Filipe), 3 February 1961.
306
Secretary Francisco Xavier Aleixo Santana de Menezes (b. 14 August 1929) had earlier served an
attachment in Viqueque as Acting Administrator after Viqueque Administrator’s Torrezão’s departure
62

revolt had been spoiled, and the ringleaders imprisoned.” 307 The next day in Dili,
Administrator José Filipe was ordered by the Acting Governor to fly back to Baucau,
arrest Abel de Costa Belo (in charge of the Baucau Postal Office) and “Zeca Gama”
(José Ramos de Sousa Gama) - a resident of Laga, and return with them to Dili.

In Viqueque, at the beginning of June, the Acting Administrator of the


Viqueque Circunscrição, Artur Marques Ramos, received a message from Secretary
Francisco Menezes in Baucau that a “revolutionary movement had been discovered in
Dili, intended to stage an uprising on 28 May – and, in concert, the Indonesian
political exiles in Viqueque had been holding meetings in Luca.”308 However,
Administrator Ramos later noted that he found the report “not believable”- as he
regularly saw the Indonesian exiles, and neither the moradores (local militia) nor
sipaios (local police) – who had been instructed to watch the Indonesians, had
reported any suspicious activity to him. Further, although “believing these reports to
be untrue”, he had interviewed four of the Indonesians who had “signed a stamped
declaration appealing to be returned to Indonesia.”309 Soon after, the Administrator
of the Baucau Circunscrição - on instructions from Dili, sent a message to advise the
Indonesians that a vehicle would be sent for them and matters would be investigated
in Dili – ie the nine Indonesians in Baucau and the five in Viqueque would be
officially escorted to Dili.
On 5 or 6 June, Viqueque Administrator Artur Ramos met with the Secretary
of the Baucau Circunscrição, Francisco Menezes, at Ossú and was told that António

to Portugal in July 1958. On the appointment of Secretary Artur Marques Ramos to Viqueque on 10
October 1958, Menezes returned to his post in Baucau.
307
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.227. For comment on Baucau Administrator
José Maria Ribeiro Filipe, see footnote 236.
308
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.223 – Annex VII, Report of the
Administrator of the Circunscrição of Viqueque, 23 January 1961. Luca is located southwest of
Viqueque Town - note however that Zeferino dos Reis Amaral, the village chief of Luca, was
reportedly involved – see footnote 312. “Leça”, a name used for the Posto site in Uatolari, is also a
location known to have been visited by Gerson Pello.
309
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.63 and pp.223-224.
63

Metan (António da Costa Soares)310, a chefe de povoação (sub-village head) in


Uatolari, had been given a pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition by Abel da Costa
Belo – and that Joaquim Ferreira was also involved in the plot. Ramos immediately
telephoned the Uatolari Posto – the Encarregado de Posto (Posto Administrator)
Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues311 was absent in Dili, and directed that António Metan - as
well as Joaquim Ferreira (the son of the raja of Uma Kiik village) and Zeferino dos
Reis Amaral (the régulo and village chief of Luca), report to the authorities (ie the
Administração) in Viqueque Town as soon as possible.312
On the morning of Sunday, 7 June, António Metan – together with Joaquim
Ferreira and Zeferino dos Reis Amaral, were interviewed in Viqueque Town, with all
denying any knowledge of a plot. António Metan was ordered to stay in the
moradores quarters in Viqueque Town until the investigation concluded – but was
permitted to return beforehand to the house of Amaro de Araújo (a former civil
servant) in the Town to collect some clothing. There, he met Gerson Pello – the leader
of the Indonesian exiles in the Viqueque Circunscrição, who directed António Metan
to return immediately to Uatolari - about 47 kilometres by road northeast of Viqueque
Town, and begin the uprising.313 António Metan - a sub-village head (chefe de
povoação) and a descendant of the liurais of Afaloicai, reportedly “had grievances”
against the acting Encarregado de Posto of Uatolari, Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues.314
On arrival at Uatolari, António Metan called the six village chiefs together – including

310
The background of António Metan (António da Costa Soares) is unclear. “António Metan” is
mentioned in Hicks, D., “Unachieved Syncretism …”, op.cit., pp.28-29 - as heading the principally
Tetum-speaking “princedom” of the seven-village suku of Caraubalo in the Viqueque Posto (ie on the
eastern edge of Viqueque Town) and domiciled in the village of Lamaclaran. Hicks notes that by 1966-
67, because of António Metan’s “previous disastrous dealings with the Administration, the political
authority and influence of his descent group had vanished” and was “scarcely royal at all”. Metan was
replaced by João da Sá Viana – see Hicks, D., Roh Orang Timor (Tetum Ghosts and Kinship),
Pustakaan Sinar Harapan, Jakarta, 1983. However, João da Sá Viana is listed in Sherlock, K., 1983,
op.cit., p.41 as the Chefe de Suco of Caraubalo in 1952, suggesting that the António Metan mentioned
by Hicks may not be the António Metan involved in the 1959 Rebellion. For the Rebellion’s António
Metan’s connection with Afaloicai (Uatolari) see footnotes 315, 316 and 548.
311
Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues (b. 20 February 1927) - Encarregado 3rd class, was first appointed to
Uatolari in May 1956 vide BOdT, No.19, 12 May 1956, p.227. He returned to Uatolari on 1 July 1957
(vide BOdT, No.27, 6 July 1957, p.477) following the suspension and subsequent dismissal of the
Encarregardo de Posto of Uatolari, Policarpo Soares on 6 May 1957. Policarpo Soares (b. 26 January
1916 – of the Mascarenhas Ingles clan), was appointed amanuese [sic] in the Health and Hygiene
Department on 18 July 1946, and became an Encarregado do Posto 3rd Class vide BOdT, No.40, 4
October 1952, p.574. The suspension of Policarpo Soares under a Penal Code provision was
promulgated in February 1957 - BOdT, No.8, 23 February 1957, p.112; BOdT, No.16, 20 April 1957,
p.249; BOdT, No.19, 11 May 1957. Policarpo Soares was dismissed vide BOdT, No.24, 15 June 1957,
p.437 for an offence apparently related to his previous service at Lacló (Manatuto). For Eduardo Caeiro
Rodrigues, see also footnotes 315 and 434.
312
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.224 – Annex VII, Report of the
Administrator of the Circunscrição of Viqueque (Administrator 3rd Class Artur Marques Ramos), 23
January 1961. Zeferino dos Reis Amaral - as the liurai of Luca was commended for his wartime loyalty
by the Portuguese administration ie Louvando - BOdT, No.15, Portaria 1:197, 12 April 1947 (signed 5
September 1946), p.127. Zeferino dos Reis Amaral is also identified as the Chefe de Suco of Luca
village in 1952 in Sherlock, K., 1983, op.cit., p.40. Beginning in late 1959, he was imprisoned on
Ataúro Island for two-three years for his involvement in the 1959 Rebellion.
313
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.224. It appears that a group of moradores
had been assembled to guard a quantity of money awaiting disbursement to local vendors for copra that
had recently been purchased by the Government.
314
Gunter, J., “Communal Conflict in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit., p.30. Gunter notes that Eduardo
Caeiro Rodrigues was a “mestizo” ie of mixed race.
64

Abílio Meneses of Afaloicai315, and convinced them and the local Timorese police
(sipaios) to support the uprising.

316
Footnote

According to José Manuel Duarte (see footnotes 174, 177, 180, 182, 251),
“when the arrests occurred in Dili, those of us in Viqueque became worried. Sooner or
later, we would surely be caught also. But we didn’t want to just surrender. Finally,
we decide to take action. If we remained quiet – we would still surely be arrested. So
to demonstrate our resolve, we took direct action … we were aware that we wouldn’t
be successful, but through our Movement we wanted to tell the international
community that we did not want to be under Portuguese colonial rule.”317
Accordingly, the uprising in the Viqueque and Baucau Circunscrições began
on the late afternoon of Sunday 7 June 1959318 with a raid by a small rebel group led
by António Metan and Abílio Meneses - aided by several local sipaios and villagers,
on the Posto administration offices at Uatolari – during which they cut the telephone
line to Viqueque Town. As noted earlier, the Encarregado de Posto of Uatolari -,
Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues, was absent in Dili. There were no casualties in the seizure
of the Uatolari Posto, and 12 rifles were reportedly seized by the rebels. That
afternoon, according to Governor Barata, several of the Indonesians in the Viqueque
Circunscrição who were not involved in Uatolari attack “peacefully played football –
when the national ((ie, Portuguese)) flag had already been pulled down in

315
See however footnote 310 on António Metan’s reported connection with the suku of Caraubalo.
Abílio Meneses is noted as the Chefe de Suco of Afaloicai in 1952 in Sherlock, K., 1983, op.cit., p.41.
316
This sketch map of Viqueque Town is based on Map 27 “Viqueque” in Terrain Study No 50: Area
Study of Portuguese Timor, Allied Geographic Section and Directorate of Intelligence - AAF SWPA,
27 February 1943 (NAA: A6779, 20). Amendments include the location of the “Secretária/Office”
building.
317
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.21.
318
Abílio de Araújo incorrectly cites the date of the revolta in Uatolari and Uato-Carabau as 11 May
1959 - and does not mention the arrests in Dili nor any involvement by the Indonesian Consul –
Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos Voltaram a Cantar: Das Guerras Independentistas à
Revolução do Povo Maubere, Trama, Lisbon, June 1977, p.165 and p.182.
65

Uatolari.”319 From Uatolari, the rebels sent a messenger eastward to two villages in
the neighbouring Posto of Uato-Carabau (sometimes as “Uato-Carbau”)320 with
instructions to seize the Uato-Carabau Posto headquarters.321
However, as noted above, not all the Indonesians in the Viqueque
Circunscrição participated in the seizure of the Uatolari Posto – or the subsequent late
evening attack on the offices in Viqueque Town. One of the Indonesians, Jezkial Fola,
later explained that, although a member of the “Uatolari group”, he was playing
football with the son of the Portuguese Posto chief on the afternoon of the Uatolari
raid – which subsequently provided him with “an alibi”; and Albert Ndoen also did
not participate because “he was at the house of his girlfriend.”322 Accordingly, it
appears that the late afternoon attack at Uatolari was led by Abílio Meneses, the
village chief of Afaloicai (Uatolari Posto) and António Metan (António da Costa
Soares), a sub-village head – who were later joined by Jobert Moniaga, the Indonesian
“Permesta 14”exile from Manado.
On the evening of Sunday 7 June, the rebel group in Viqueque Town led by
Amaro de Araújo and Gerson Pello sent messages to several surrounding villages to
raise further support. According to Gerson Pello, the leadership of this rebel group
comprised: Amaro de Araújo, José Manuel Duarte, Jeremias Pello and himself323 –
and their aim was to seize weapons and ammunition from the administrative offices
(Secretária da Administração) of the Viqueque Circunscrição in Viqueque Town.324
José Manuel Duarte subsequently stated that, while he was subordinate to Amaro de
Araújo in the rebel movement, he operated as Araújo’s “right hand” in Viqueque.
According to Governor Barata, an Indonesian - Jobert Moniaga, was also a key figure
as Moniaga advised the nine Indonesian asilados políticos in Baucau Town, by
telephone, of the plans for the uprising.325
This date for the start of the uprising in Viqueque, ie Sunday 7 June, was also
cited in a report written by the Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor Martinho da Costa

319
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.64. The local police at Uatolari apparently
did not resist the rebels – and two were later dismissed and imprisoned on Ataúro – see footnotes 423
and 424.
320
In 1959, the Uato-Carabau Posto administrative centre was located in the village of Afaloikai/
Afaloicai in the hills (altitude 426 metres) about eight kilometres north from the south coast road – the
Posto centre was moved to Uaniuma village on the south coast road in 1979. The position of
Encarregado de Posto at Uato-Carabau in 1959 had been vacant for about one year ie since the posting
of Francisco da Sousa back to Lacluta on 13 May 58 – Da Sousa had moved from Lacluta to Uato-
Carabau in August 1956. Note: there are three villages called “Afaloikai/Afaloicai” – ie one each in the
Postos of Baguia, Uato-Carabau and Uatolari (see map at Annex A) - These were formerly “united”
and ruled by Dom Feliciano.
321
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.64.
322
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15. Jezkial also added: “However, like
Lambert Kling Ladaw who led the Viqueque group, Albert ((Ndoen/Ndun)) was also regarded as
responsible for the Uatolari group – so both of them were sent to Angola.” For the activities of Jezkial
Fola and Albert Ndoen/Ndun on 7 June, see also footnotes 331 and 346.
323
Governor Barata cites Gerson Pello as the leader – referring to him as “Tenente” (Lieutenant)
Gerson. In his 1998 book, Governor Barata also implied that Jobert Moniaga was involved in the attack
in Viqueque Town – although in later interviews with Indonesian journalists, Moniaga’s participation
in the Viqueque Town raid is not mentioned by Gerson Pello, Jeremias Pello, Jezkial Fola or José
Manuel Duarte. The Governor does not name the Timorese participants – rather, referring only to
“three or four Timorese of a certain cultural level” - Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998,
op.cit., pp. 64-65.
324
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara 776, 1995, op.cit., p.13.
325
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.64.
66

Lopes326, who visited the Viqueque area a few months – and most of his account was
repeated in Governor Barata’s initial report to Lisbon on the Rebellion.327 However,
in interviews many years later, some rebel participants in the attacks in Viqueque
have also cited (mistakenly) the date as “3 June 1959”.328
In Viqueque Town on Sunday 7 June, Administrator Ramos was unaware of
events in Uatolari that afternoon and, “in a spirit of extreme confidence beyond the
limits of prudence”, excused from duty two of the armed Timorese police (sipaios)
who, with a few irregular militia (moradores), were responsible for guarding the
Secretária da Administração ie the Viqueque Circunscrição headquarters complex in
Viqueque Town.329 Administrator Ramos assessed that “the area was calm” and “the
movement had already been uncovered in Dili, arrests made, and the Indonesians
were to be sent to Dili the next morning.”330
During the evening of 7 June, two of the Indonesians, Jezkial Fola and Albert
Ndoen were reportedly drinking tuak (palm wine) at the house of Manuel Pinto in
Viqueque Town – and did not participate in the any of the attacks. Separately, Gerson
Pello, Jeremias Pello and several others were drinking tuak at the home of Mau Rubik
– and the attack on the Viqueque Circunscrição headquarters was “launched” from
that house.331 Very late in evening of 7 June, Jeremias Pello and José Manuel Duarte
cut the telephone lines from Viqueque Town to the Ossú Posto - about 21 kilometres
to the north, and established a small blocking position at a bridge north of Viqueque
Town to disrupt any movement of government forces from Ossú or Baucau.332 At
about midnight, the rebels’ main group surprised the sipaios and moradores in the

326
Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes (a Timorese priest, 1918-1991) had been appointed a Deputy
to the National Assembly in Lisbon representing Portuguese Timor from November 1957 - in May
1977, he was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Dili. His report in October 1959 - “Breve
resenha de alguns factos ocorrido em Viqueque e Uatolari (1959)” provides a brief chronology and
recounting of the Rebellion – together with “Breve comentario” and “Sugestões”. The report was
released in July 1995 in Lisbon as part of the “Arquivo Salazar” (see the report at TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS/AOS/CO/ UL-36, Part 5) – but the Monsignor’s authorship was deleted from the report as
required by the release conditions. Monsignor Martinho Lopes’ report is also referred to in Jolliffe, J.,
“Indonesia now wants all the gory details”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 19 August 1995, p.17. –
which also notes the release of the Arquivo Salazar papers; and Jolliffe, J., Balibo, 2009, p.62.
327
The report by Governor Barata acknowledged Monsignor Martinho’s report as the principal source
of information for his (Barata’s) report and repeated the same chronology and events - Barata, F. J. F.
T. Governor, letter to the Ministry of Overseas Territories, Dili, 6 October 1959 – but does not include
Monsignor Martinho Lopes’ “Comments” and “Suggestions”. A copy of Governor Barata’s report No.
34 of 6 October 1959 – in Portuguese, and related material, can be found at Gunter, J., Haree Ba Uluk:
Timor Portuguese Pre-1974 – A Post-Colonial Forum for Learning and Debate: http://raiketak.
blogspot.com/timorhistory/index.html. Governor Barata’s report concluded with a comment that - “due
to his background and tendencies of his spirit”, the Monsignor had “concerned himself more with
possible excesses of repression than with the criminal acts of the sublevados ((rebels))”. Governor
Barata’s report was forwarded by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Director of the
PIDE in Lisbon – Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Lisbon, No.181 36-A, 14 January 1960 (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS N.T. 8971).
328
Gerson Pello apparently mistakenly cited “3 June 1959” when interviewed in 1995 - Rohi, P.A.,
“Apa Kata …”, Mutiara 776, 1995. op.cit., p.13; and others have stated 1 June and 3 June. These
references however are probably meant to relate to the first arrests of the conspirators in Dili.
329
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 64-65.
330
Ibid, p.55.
331
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto in Viqueque – 29 June 2007. This account of the activities of Jezkial Fola and Albert
Ndoen/Ndun differs somewhat from that related at footnote 322.
332
Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor – Sebuah Sumbangan Untuk Sejarahnya, 2003, p.102 –
names the bridge as the “Luca-To’in bridge”.
67

Viqueque Circunscrição offices ie the Secretária da Administração (see map and


photographs below), “knocking them over one-by-one” and “rolling them out the
windows.”

Gerson Pello commented: “luckily, the building was high, so they were
rendered unconscious or died – we didn’t know. We seized 67 weapons of four
different types333 – but the ammunition was different. So, although the raid wasn’t
very successful, we did surprise them.” Those participating in the attack included
Gerson Pello, João Lisboa and Leki “Bure” Rubic (also as “Leque Rubic”).334 During
the attack, Leki Rubic stabbed and wounded a sipaio, Jacinto Pinto.335 The group
reportedly carried a “merah putih” (Bahasa: “red and white” – ie Indonesian) flag –
Gerson Pello related that “I had a Chinese woman, a bread seller in Viqueque, make
the flag.”336 The handful of rebels also wore red and white-coloured “atribut”
(Bahasa: “insignia”).337 The Indonesians also reportedly wore red bandanas –

333
José Manuel Duarte cites seizing “50 rifles, pistols and ammunition” and also “46 weapons” -
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih …”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit. Other reports indicate 24
weapons were seized in Viqueque Town and 12 each at the Uatolari and Uato-Carabau Postos ie
totalling 48. The weapons were mostly 1886-model Kropatschek 8mm-calibre bolt-action rifles – but
also included bolt-action Lee Enfield and Garand rifles. The Australian Consul – Dili’s initial cable to
Canberra reported a “sub-administrative post near Baucau raided by four men June 7th who stole 48
rifles. Later two men apprehended, 22 rifles recovered.” – Cable 17, 9 June 1959 (NAA: A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 1).
334
According to José Manuel Duarte, “the leadership of the group comprised about 50 people.
However, it could be said that the whole of people in Viqueque participated in the revolt. At the time,
the population of Viqueque was about 20,000. They were all followers.” - Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata)
Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.21. It is unclear whether the Indonesian Jobert Moniaga
participated in the attack in Viqueque Town - or had departed earlier for Uatolari with António Metan
and participated in the attack on the Uatolari Posto earlier on Sunday afternoon.
335
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto in Viqueque – 29 June 2007.
336
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15. Gerson Pello added that “the Chinese
also wanted integration ((with Indonesia)) – and consequently there was a Chinese, Mu Teng Siong,
who was also exiled to Angola” – see also earlier footnote 106, and also footnotes 336, 458, and 518.
An interview in early November 1992 with the newly appointed Governor of East Timor, Abílio
Osório Soares – a nephew of the rebel José Manuel Duarte who as a 13-year old in 1959 had known
three of the Indonesian participants, refers to the rebels as “attacking and carrying the Red and White
flag” – Forum Keadilan, No. 327, Jakarta, 6 November 1992. Following a visit to the Viqueque area in
early July 1959, the Australian Consul reported on the background to the uprising and included: “it is
known to me, however, that there were many natives in that area who were in possession of small
Indonesian flags”: Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 143/59, 14 July 1959, pp.1-2 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 1) – see footnote 404.
337
“Pejuang Integrasi Timtim di LN Presiden Minta Menlu Urus Kepulangan Mereka” (“East Timor
Integration Fighters Overseas – President Asks Foreign Minister to Arrange their Return”), Republika
Online, Jakarta, 11 November 1995, p.2. José Manuel Duarte also related rebels and supporters
68

embroidered on the front with a buffalo, in white, a “symbol of strength”.338 In 1995,


Gerson Pello also stated that “the underground” movement had prepared “red and
white” flags and “uniforms” – but the claim of uniforms is discounted.339
A little after midnight (ie early on 8 June), the rebels moved to attack the
adjacent residence of the Administrator of the Viqueque Circunscrição, Artur
Ramos.340 However, the Administrator – together with his family, a junior civil
servant (aspirante administrativo) – João Hermenegildo da Costa341, and an injured
sipaio escaped in a jeep. At the bridge north of the Town, the Administrator’s vehicle
was initially blocked by several tree trunks felled by the Jeremias Pello/José Duarte
group and fired upon by Jeremias Pello. However, driving off the road into a gully,
the vehicle reached Ossú without further injuries to its occupants.342 At 0300hrs on 8
June, Administrator Ramos spoke with the Chefe de Gabinete, (Lieutenant Daniel
Rudolfo Sottomayor Carvalho Braga – see footnote 288) in Dili and, having described
the events, was directed to drive north to Baucau (about 43 kilometres by road) and
await further orders. At about 0400hrs, João Hermenegildo da Costa - the Viqueque
aspirante administrativo, telephoned the Administrator of the Baucau Circunscrição,
related the situation in Viqueque, and passed Administrator Ramos’ request for 50
moradores to accompany him (Ramos) back to Viqueque Town. The Baucau
Administrator, José Maria Ribeiro Filipe, immediately ordered the arrest of the nine
Indonesian exiles resident in Baucau – and “this was achieved without any difficulty
as they were still asleep at that hour.”343 Administrator José Filipe also ordered local
village chiefs in Baucau to assemble all able-bodied men and, armed with “zagaias”
(spears), to watch the coastline and to conduct patrols in their areas.
In Viqueque Town, early on the morning of Monday 8 June, Gerson Pello’s
group seized a light truck and travelled to the Uatolari Posto (about 47 kilometres by

wearing red and white “badges” - Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit.,
p.21. The claim of wearing Indonesian flags as the “panji perjuangan” (banners of the struggle) is also
made in Lopes da Cruz, F., Kesaksian …, 1999, op.cit., p.61; and in the Indonesian school text-book ie
Gonggong, A. & Zuhdi, S., Sejarah …, 1992, op.cit. – see translated extract at Annex B. See also
Governor Barata’s reference to rebels wearing “the colours of the Indonesian flag” in Uatolari –
footnote 344.
338
As described to the author by Constantino de Oliveira Simões, Viqueque Town, 29 June 2007.
Constantino related meeting Gerson Pello on 8 June - and being berated by him for not having
participated in the attack on the Viqueque Circunscrição office.
339
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan Rakyat Timor Timur 1959, Mutiara, Edition 775, Jakarta, 29 August – 4
September 1995, p.14 – which includes a mid-1990s photograph of José Manuel Duarte displaying a
“uniform worn by the 1959 rebel unit” – ie a military-style shirt. These are the only known references
to a rebel “uniform”- and it is considered highly improbable that the rebels in Viqueque had prepared,
or worn, uniforms.
340
According to one version, Acting Administrator Artur Ramos “was reading a newspaper in his
residence when he was fired upon by Domingos Amaral – from a noble clan of Luca, but was not hit
and fled from Viqueque to Baucau.” – see Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor …, 2003,
op.cit., p.102.
341
Aspirante João Hermenegildo da Costa Hornai (b. 23 August 1925) was the son of the eminent
luirai of Oecusse and had been posted to Viqueque on 22 July 1958. He was promoted on 18 January
1960 to become the Encarregado de Posto at Baguia.
342
However, José Manuel Duarte contended that the Administrator leapt from the vehicle and escaped
into a ravine – and was later assisted by a local Chinese to return to his (Administrator’s) house. Jezkial
Fola states that he later saw bullet holes in Administrator Ramos’ vehicle - Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”,
Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15. Joaquim Fereira was also reportedly a member of the
blocking group at the bridge - author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de
Oliveira Simões, António Pinto and Rogério Pinto, Viqueque Town, 29 June 2007.
343
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p. 228 – Annex VIII, Report of the
Administrator of the Circunscrição of Baucau (José Maria Ribeiro Filipe), 3 February 1961.
69

road) where they were met enthusiastically by local “amontinados” (“rebels”)


“wearing cloth ribbons on their chests with the colours of the Indonesian flag.”344
The leaders then moved on to Uato-Carabau northeast of Uatolari (about 46
kilometres by road) where the Posto headquarters had also been seized – the position
of Encarregado de Posto of Uato-Carabau had been vacant for about one year.345
According to Jezkial Fola – an Indonesian asilado who appears not to have
participated in the attacks, the streets of Viqueque Town were empty when he awoke
on Monday morning, 8 June – and he was alone. Many of the residents of the town
had fled their homes and, according to Jezkial, he encouraged a local Chinese
merchant to transport several of the injured guards to a medical post in his (the
Chinese merchant’s) vehicle.346
Soon after midday on 8 June, Administrator Artur Ramos returned to
Viqueque Town with a small lightly-armed force of an officer (Lieutenant Ferreira), a
sergeant (Sergeant Pires) and nine soldiers. The Chinese driver of the light truck taken
to Uatolari by the rebels had returned to Viqueque Town, and Administrator Ramos
was told of the situation in Uatolari and Uato-Carabau where local leaders had rallied
their tribal warrior militias (arraiais) in support of the Rebellion. Ramos responded
by mobilizing loyal arraiais in the three Postos of Viqueque, Ossú and Lacluta347.
According to Governor Barata, on Monday 8 June, two of the Indonesians who had
remained in the Viqueque Town area were captured in Ossú – probably Jezkial Fola
and Albert Ndoen.
The Portuguese administration in Dili planned to fly 50 troops - commanded
by Captain Manuel João Fajardo, from Dili to Baucau as reinforcements on the
morning of Tuesday 9 June using a recently acquired Heron aircraft.348 However, at
the last moment, the group was transported by Unimog truck to Baucau – about 135
kilometres by road. The initial operational plan preferred by the Acting Governor and
the Army Chief-of-Staff, Captain Carvalho, was for the Portuguese forces to move in
344
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.65: “recebidos pelos amotinados que tinham
ao peito tiras de pano com as cores da bandeira indonésia”.
345
The position of Encarregado de Posto at Uato-Carabau in 1959 had been vacant since the posting of
Francisco da Sousa back to Lacluta on 13 May 58. In early 1959, four Chefe/Encarregado de Posto
positions were unfilled ie “vago” – BOdT, No.3, 17 January 1959, pp. 44-46. A replacement
Encarregado de Posto, Joaquim Pereira da Silva (born 3 January 1928), was not posted from Mape
(Bobonaro) to Uato-Carabau until 16 Jun 1959 – BOdT, No.26, 27 June 1959, p.447. A description of
the seizure of the Uato-Carabau Posto can be found in Gunter, J., “Majesty yet no mercy”, 7 December
2002 - http://raiketak.wordpress.com/category/power/page/4/ .
346
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15. Jezkial noted that his actions
“gained the sympathy of the Portuguese.” He implied that Gerson excluded him from involvement in
the attack, because he (Jezkial) was married and “someone had to carry the news back to Kupang ” –
connect with reports at footnotes 322 and 331. Subsequently, Jezkial was not exiled to Lisbon or
Angola – but repatriated from Portuguese Timor to Indonesian Timor in October 1960 with eight other
Indonesians.
347
Laurentino António Pires had been appointed the Encarregado de Posto in December 1958. He
mobilized a small band of selected Segunda Linha from Lacluta and joined the Government forces at
Viqueque, Uatolari and Uato-Carabau for about two weeks. In his absence, the liurais of Lacluta
gathered at the Posto with batukis – dancing and chanting traditional songs for the entire period while
awaiting the apprehension of the rebels (Maria Francisca Pires – widow of Laurentino António Pires,
email to author, 21 June 2009).
348
Military forces in Portuguese Timor in 1959 reportedly comprised 650 Timorese regular troops with
30 Portuguese officers and 50 Portuguese NCOs – plus a Timorese reserve (Segunda Linha) force:
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable 18, 1 July 1959 (NAA: A1209, 1959/612). The official regular
establishment, as promulgated in the 1959 Provincial Budget, was: 1009 personnel including 43
Portuguese officers and 55 Portuguese sergeants – about 85 percent of the other ranks were Timorese. –
BOdT, No.3, 17 January 1959, p.84.
70

strength from Baucau southward into the Viqueque Circunscrição – to restore order
and consolidate control in Viqueque Town before moving against the rebels in
Uatolari and Uato-Carabau.

However, the Chefe de Gabinete, Lieutenant Daniel Braga, feared that the
rebels might move north from the Uatolari/Uato-Carabau area and attack the Laga
Posto on the north coast (35 kilometres east of Baucau by road) where he believed the
rebels might find further supporters – and, perhaps, assistance from the Indonesian
island of Wetar about 60 kilometres to the north across the Wetar Strait. Lieutenant
Braga convinced the Acting Governor of his preferred plan. Accordingly, in order to
block any rebel advance to Laga, it was decided to reinforce the Posto at Baguia349 (in
Baucau Circunscrição about 50 kilometres southeast of Baucau Town) with a military
detachment that had been guarding the Baucau radio station. Captain Manuel João
Farjado was placed in charge of local military operations in the two Circunscrições.

349
The area of the Baguia Posto was 207 sq km. The population of about 5,000 were predominantly
Makassae-speakers (about 85 percent), but the villagers of Afaloicai and Ossú Huna in the south-west
of the Posto were Naueti-speakers – ie representing about 15 percent of the Posto’s population.
71

As noted earlier, the local raja in Uato-Carabau, Fernando Pinto, and his
followers had joined the Rebellion and seized the Posto.350 However, realising that a
victory over the Portuguese forces was not possible, the rebel leaders planned to
attack the Posto at Baguia (about 18 kilometres by road north of Uato-Carabau)
before attempting to withdraw westwards and cross the border into Indonesian
Timor.351 Their advance to Baguia from the Uato-Carabau area however was
interrupted by heavy monsoon-season rains that had flooded the rivers across their
route, and the rebel force was delayed in Uato-Carabau “for four nights” - giving time
for the Portuguese to reinforce and defend the Baguia Posto.352 The defenders in the
small fort (tranqueira) at Baguia were equipped with machine guns and easily
repulsed the rebels’ first attack at about 1100hrs on 11 June.353 During the attack, a
small force of Portuguese reinforcements (a corporal and two Timorese privates)
arrived from Baucau equipped with a “lança-granadas Bazuka” (grenade-launching
bazooka)354 and immediately joined the engagement while a rebel attack was
underway. The rebels’ bolt-actioned rifles were no match for the defenders’
firepower. Much of the rebels’ ammunition was also faulty - or of an incorrect calibre,
resulting in many misfires and explosions in the breeches of their rifles. José Manuel
Duarte subsequently related that “when pulling the triggers, we were forced to face
away from our targets.”355 Governor Barata also commented on this, later writing:
“Happily for us, the weapons and ammunition that they had stolen were of weak
quality (many cartridges did not go off).”356 After several attempted assaults lasting
about two hours, the rebels withdrew towards Uato-Carabau – with the retreating
rebels “becoming afraid as the support of the people began to wane.”357 Governor
Barata later noted that “in the Baucau Circunscrição only two village chiefs had
supported the rebels, and they had not suborned the local people.”358
Meanwhile, the force led by Captain Manuel Fajardo had advanced from
Baucau to Viqueque and moved northeast towards Uatolari. A linesman had repaired
the break in the telephone line near Ossú and, having contacted a colleague in Uato-

350
The Chefe de Posto of Uato-Carabau - Joaquim Pereira da Silva, was reportedly absent in Dili. In an
interview in 1995, Gerson Pello stated that Thomas Cabo Sipai [sic] raised the Indonesian flag in Uato-
Carabau on 18 June - Rohi, P.A., “Pemberontakan …”, Mutiara, Edition 775, 1995, op.cit, p.15, but it
is likely that the flag-raising occurred several days earlier. The family name of Thomas Cabo Sipaio
(ie Cabo Sipaio – local police corporal) was reportedly “Pinto”.
351
As related by José Manuel Duarte in Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989,
op.cit., p.22.
352
Ibid, p.22.
353
The rebels’ attack at Baguia is also described in Gunter, J., “Majesty but no mercy”, 7 December
2002 - http://raiketak.wordpress.com/category/power/page/4/ .
354
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.68. Probably either a 2.36 inch (60.07mm)
or 3.5 inch (89mm) recoilless rocket launcher.
355
As related by José Manuel Duarte in Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989,
op.cit., p.22. Duarte also notes that while Portuguese forces were equipped with machine guns, “we
only had Lee Enfield and Garand rifles.”
356
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.68.
357
As related by José Manuel Duarte in Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989,
op.cit., p.22. A description of the attack Posto can also be found in Gunter, J., “Majesty yet no mercy”,
7 December 2002 - http://raiketak.wordpress.com/category/power/page/4/ .
358
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.68 and Annex VIII, p.228. The rebel
villages in the Baucau Circunscrição were the Naueti-speaking villages of Afaloicai and Osso Huna –
see footnote 349.
72

Carabau, reported that the rebels had returned from Baguia and dispersed into the
surrounding countryside.359
On 11 June, the Portuguese force - together with loyal arraiais and mortar
support, recaptured the Uatolari Posto and began a series of arrests.360 On the
following day, 12 June, the Portuguese authorities arrested three village chiefs in the
Uatolari area: Paulo da Silva of Makadiki village; Celestino da Silva - Matahoi
village361; and Tomé Leal of Uaitame-Vessouro village - (see village locations at
Annex A). Further arrests were made on 13 June: Alberto Ribeiro - the fuc-mean
(red-haired) of Afaloicai village; the village chief of Afaloicai - Abílio de Meneses;
António Metan362 - a sub-village head of Uatolari; the brothers Amaro de Araújo and
Mateus de Araújo; and – according to the reports of Monsignor Martinho da Costa
Lopes and Governor Barata, an Indonesian named “Joubert” (ie Jobert Moniaga).
Jobert was apparently killed by Portuguese troops soon after his capture. According to
Marcelino, Jobert was “shot and killed on the spot”.363 However, Gerson Pello
related: that “Yubert [sic], who was acting on my orders, was captured. Tragically,
Portuguese soldiers immediately crushed his skull with a rock.”364 According to
several elders in Viqueque Town, Moniaga was struck on the head with a bamboo
pole by arraiais and subsequently died of his wounds in the hospital in Baucau.365
Meanwhile, the rebels in the Uato-Carabau area - who had assembled to the
east in the area of the estuary of the Irabere River, were attacked by a 400-500 strong
force of loyal arraiais from the Lautém Circunscrição to the east led by the Lautém
Administrador, José Esteval Calado de Serra Frazão366. The mobilisation of this force
from Lautém was assisted by the small Portuguese Army detachment at Lospalos
under Sergeant Carneiro Cirineu. While Captain Manuel Fajardo remained in
command at Uatolari, Capt Barreiros – with a civil servant familiar with the area, was

359
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.22 – Duarte related that
“unarmed” rebels surrendered, but those with weapons stayed in the jungle, initially building shelters
about two kilometres from the Posto town – probably Uatolari. The defeated rebels may have hoped for
extraction by boat – “through the Indonesian refugees, Sukarno had promised (?) support for the revolt
– but when it occurred, no boat came from Sukarno to support it.” - Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor
Leste: Os Loricos…, 1977, op.cit., p.182/footnote 203.
360
In an interview in 1995, Gerson Pello stated that “Yuber” (ie Jobert) Moniaga had raised the
Indonesian flag in Uatolari on 11 June - Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …,, Mutiara 775, 1995, op.cit,
p.15, but it is likely that the flag-raising occurred a few days earlier.
361
Sherlock, K., 1983, op.cit., p.41 lists Paulo da Silva and Celestino da Silva as Chefes de Suco
respectively of “Macadique” and “Mata Hoi” villages in 1953. Jolliffe, J., “Indonesia now wants all the
gory details”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 19 August 1995, p.17 – reports her conversation with an
eye-witness who stated that he had given first aid to Celestino da Silva and other Timorese involved:
“He said the skin on Da Silva’s back was in shreds from a whipping and he had also seen the death
certificate of a fourth Indonesian, called George, who he said had died under torture.”
362
António Metan is also referred to by his formal baptismal name ie António da Costa Soares.
363
Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit., p.2 – as recounted by Marcelino (of Venilale – see
footnotes 136 and 138) in 1996 (Gerson Pello was also reportedly present during the interview of
Marcelino).
364
Herman, J., “Pejuang Timtim Akan Tuntut Portugal – Atas Pembantaian 2,000 Orang di Viqueque”,
Jawa Pos, 16 November 1995, p.13. Gerson Pello was attending a reunion in Dili on 15 November
1995 in the home of José Manuel Duarte (see footnote 566). Note also footnote 361 above – “George”
is very probably a reference to Jobert Moniaga.
365
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto, Viqueque, 29 June 2007. Moniaga was reportedly easily recognizable as he had a
gold front tooth.
366
José Esteval Calado de Serra Frazão – Administrator 3rd Class (b. 19 November 1923) was later commended
for his action – see BOdT, No.41, 10 October 1959, p.640. His career profile is outlined in BOdT, No.40, 4
October 1958, p.622.
73

despatched with a force to Uato-Carabau to engage the rebels. On the evening of 13


June, the arraiais force from Lautém retook the Uato-Carabau Posto, and the rebels
dispersed – “every man for himself.”367
On 16 June, the Government forces failed in an attack on the “revoltosos”
position at “Afalebe”368, but were successful the following day and captured Armindo
- the village chief of Osso-Huna (Baguia), and two Indonesians: the brothers Gerson
Pello and Jeremias Pello.369 According to Gerson Pello, following the rebels’ defeat,
he and his younger brother Jeremias Pello had hidden in the WWII “Japanese caves”
in the hills north of Ossú. The Portuguese reportedly used a staff member from the
Indonesian Consulate to convince them to surrender – after which they were shackled,
transported to Baucau and then flown to Dili.370 According to Viqueque elders, when
captured, Gerson declared himself to be a “Lieutenant” – but when challenged by
Portuguese officers to prove such by reading a map, Gerson was unable to do so.371
The reports of both Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes and Governor Barata
noted that the campaign against the rebels finished on 18 June.372
According to José Manuel Duarte, following the defeat at Baguia, he was still
determined to seek sanctuary in Atambua, Indonesian Timor – but all routes were
blocked by locals collaborating with the Portuguese authorities.373 With an injured
leg that limited his movement, he hid in the forest with a fellow rebel - Fernando
Pinto, the raja of Uato-Carabau. According to José Duarte, “a reward of 500 patacas
– the monthly wage of a senior Portuguese official … was offered for who-ever
brought in my head. The reward for the heads of those who had only just participated
in the Rebellion was 20 patacas … many killings occurred for the money … children
were beheaded just for the reward from the colonial government – the killers were the
poor and very ignorant villagers.”374 José Duarte also related that the Administrator
of Viqueque, Artur Ramos, had reported that he (Duarte) had been killed – but
Governor Barata “had questioned this, saying that if I had been killed why was there
still rebellion in Same and Betano ?”. The Governor then ordered that “I must be
captured alive – as all the rebels captured in Viqueque said that I was the leader of the
movement. The Governor needed me for questioning – that’s the reason that I was
saved, otherwise I would surely have been killed by the soldiers.”375 To stop the
bloodshed, José Manuel Duarte and Fernando Pinto decided to surrender and, through
an elder (Paul Waragea) who had connections with the Portuguese military,
negotiated to surrender in Ossú – but only to a Portuguese official. On 1 July, they
surrendered at Ossú – and were badly beaten, including by the Viqueque
Administrator, Artur Ramos. Soon after, they were transported to Baucau and then
flown to Dili.
367
“Salve-se quem puder” - Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.69.
368
“Afalebe” means “flat rock” in the Makassae language, but this site has not been identified -
possibly Aba Dere sub-village of Babulo; or Afaloicai.
369
Barata, F. J. F. T. Governor, Letter to the Minister of Overseas Territories, Dili, 6 October 1959,
p.1.
370
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.14. The capture of Gerson and
Jeremias Pello probably occurred on 20 June 1959 – not 17 June as indicated in the reports by
Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes and Governor Barata.
371
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto, Viqueque, 29 June 2007.
372
Barata, F. J. F. T. Governor, Letter to the Minister of Overseas Territories, Dili, 6 October 1959, p.2
: “Terminou a campanha … regressam os arraias as suas terras.”
373
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.23.
374
Ibid, p.24.
375
Ibid, p.24.
74

The Portuguese Government had also despatched regular troops from Portugal
to reinforce their armed presence in the areas of the disturbances. On 17 June, 80
military police arrived in Baucau – having flown to Portuguese Timor in two
Skymaster aircraft via Goa, Ceylon and the Cocos Islands.376 On 26 July 1959, the
Portuguese navy Velho-class sloop, F 476 NRP Gonçalves Zarco, arrived in Dili from
Macau to reinforce a sense of security. This may have been precipitated by the claims
of the Chief of Police in Dili that an unidentified submarine had been sighted on 1, 2
and 3 July off Aliambata – on the south coast about 53 kilometres by road east of
Viqueque Town and about 10 kilometres from the Uatolari Posto.377
In concluding their reports, Monsignor da Costa Lopes and Governor Barata
also described summary executions of rebels in the Posto of Uatolari.378 While their
reports did not specify the date of the incident, these events probably occurred on 17
June. The reports related that the Acting Administrator of the Viqueque Circunscrição
(Artur Marques Ramos) and Senior Captain Barreiros were transporting three
prisoners – mentioned above ie: Alberto Ribeiro, Abílio de Meneses and Armindo, in
the vicinity of the Bebui River a few kilometres west of the Uatolari Posto
headquarters - when the prisoners reportedly escaped. Following a pursuit by local
loyal Timorese militia, Armindo was killed - and Alberto and Abílio were captured.
Soon after, according to the reports, Abílio and Alberto were joined at the banks of
the Bebui by a group of prisoners brought by jeep from the Uatolari Posto: João
Soares of Uatolari; Feliciano, a former soldier; Naha-Leque (of Uma Ain de Baixo,
Viqueque Posto); and three unnamed civilians.379 The seven were reportedly killed by
automatic weapons fired by Administrator Artur Ramos and Captain Barreiros - and
their bodies mutilated with spears and machetes and then thrown into the flooded
river. Both reports listed three eyewitnesses to the killings: Miguel da Costa Soares,
the régulo (traditional ruler) of Viqueque; António da Costa Rangel, the village chief
of Uai-Mori; and Miguel Amaral, the village chief of Uma Ki’ic.380 These killings
376
Australian Consulate – Dili, Savin 22, 22 June 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). A further 80
military police and about 16 artillery pieces later arrived in Dili port on 30 September – Australian
Consulate – Dili, Memo 203/59, 11 October 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
377
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable 28, 7 July 1959 (NAA: A1209, 1959/612).
378
There is no reference at all to these summary executions in the main body of Governor’s Barata’s
subsequent book ie Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit.. As annexes, the book
includes reports by several officials including Lieutenant Braga, Administrator José Filipe Ribeiro
(Baucau) and Administrator Artur Ramos (Viqueque) – but these reports are incomplete, and the details
of the killings at the Bebui River are not included. In mid-1960, the Baucau Administrator José Filipe
was transferred to the position of Administrator of the Bobonaro Circunscrição. United States Embassy
– Jakarta, Despatch 138, 19 August 1960 , described Administrator Filipe as “reportedly inept, corrupt
and slightly unbalanced” (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
379
The killings at the Bebui River are also related in Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor …,
2003, op.cit, pp.102-104 – that lists the following as having been killed: Alberto Ribeiro (Uatolari),
Anselmo (Uato-Carabau), Abilio Menezes (village head, Afaloicai), Feliciano da Silva (Uatolari),
Naha-Lequik (Viqueque), Lequi-Rubik (Viqueque), João Henrique (Luca), Paulo da Silva (Uatolari).
“Feliciano Soares”, and “Paulo” are also suggested as two of the un-named civilians - Gunter, J.,
“Communal Conflict in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit., p.39. Thomas Cabo Sipaio/Cipaio of Uato-
Carabau was also reportedly executed (footnote 380) – and may have been one of these un-named
prisoners. Thomas is also cited as having raised the Indonesian flag in Uato-Carabau on 18 June -
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara, Edition 775, 1995, op.cit, p.15 – see footnote 350. Elders in
Iliomar – who had participated as in the campaign in Uato-Carabau as arraiais from the Lautém
Circunscrição, also related the killing of Thomas Cabo Sipaio.
380
Both the reports by Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes and Governor Barata gave no date for the
killings, and the number killed is unclear – ie reporting “seven”, but implying these comprised Alberto,
Abílio Meneses, João Soares, Feliciano, Naha-Leque, and three un-named civilians ie eight. Note also
that, according to the Memorandum (footnote 382), Abílio Meneses was reported as being killed in the
75

were also later described by surviving rebels: “Moreover, seven of the people’s
leaders were hailed as heroes – including Thomas Cabo Sipai [sic] (ie, Cabo Sipaio –
local police corporal), Antonius Metan and a local noble, Abilir [sic] (ie, Abílio)
Afaloicai. Together with another four, they were shot with pistols while prisoners.”381
A “Memorandum” (copy at Annex D)382 written in Angola by rebel leaders in
1960 states that Abílio de Meneses, the village chief of Afaloicai (Uatolari) was shot
and killed by Administrator Artur Ramos in the grounds of the Uatolari Posto on 19
June 1959 (ie not on the bank of the Bebui River as related above). Abílio’s daughter,
Elda Sousa Meneses, also described her father’s death: “after he was shot and killed
in the Posto Administrador, the family only found the body without the head. After
some time however, the head was found and buried with the rest of the body.”383 The
rebels’ 1960 “Angola” Memorandum also related that João Mariano, a sipaio, was
shot and killed in the Secretária of the Uato-Carabau Posto by the Lautém
Administrador, José Esteval C. de Serra Frazão. João Mariano had surrendered –
draped in a Portuguese flag, but was summarily executed.384 According to the
Memorandum, the following were killed in the headquarters of the Viqueque
Circunscrição: Domingos da Costa Amaral (known as Domingos Jeremias – see also
footnote 342) and António Ferreira – both of Luca, and Leque-Rubic (married) of
Caraubalo. Elders in Viqueque related that Leque-Rubic – who had participated in the
7 June attack on the Circunscrição office, was shot by Administrator Artur Ramos
and then decapitated by a Timorese, Arlindo.385
According to the Memorandum written in Angola, the Administrator of the
Baucau Circunscrição, José Maria Ribeiro Filipe, ordered the killings of João
Henrique of Uatolari, and Lourenço and Castilho of Baguia. The liurai of Afaloicai
(Baguia), Aparicio Pedro Ximenes was also reportedly beheaded.386 This

grounds of the Uatolari Posto on 19 June. Summarising a report from Administrator Ramos, Barata
cites “seven killed from the Posto of Uatolari” – see following footnote 389. These killings are also
related in Jolliffe, J., Cover-Up, 2001, pp.45-46, 325-326 citing a report to Portuguese Prime Minister
Dr António de Oliveira Salazar based on complaints from the Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes in
which Monsignor Martinho purportedly “suggested criminal charges” against Ramos and Barreiros. As
noted in footnote 378 above, Governor Barata’s 1998 book, Timor contemporâneo…, op.cit. provides
no details on these killings at the Bebui River. On the witnesses, Sherlock, K., 1983, op.cit., pp.41-42
lists the following as Chefes de Suco in 1953: “Miguel da Costa Soares – of Umuain de Baixo, António
da Costa Rangel – of Uai Mori, and Miguel da Costa Amaral – of Uma Quic”.
381
Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara, Edition 775, 1995, op.cit, p.15.
382
Araújo, A.L.J. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento ocorrido em 7 de Junhe
[sic] de 1959, na Cirrcunscrição [sic] de Viqueque – Timor, six pages, Cólonia Penal do Bié (Angola),
21 April 1960 in Araújo, A.L.J. de, O Célebre Massacré …, 1974, op.cit.
383
Gonçalves, J.L.R., Gente de Timor-Leste – Primeiro ano da Independência, Tipografia União Folha
do Domingos Lda, Faro, 2004, p.66.
384
The circumstances of the killing of João Mariano are also related in Gunter, J., “Communal Conflict
in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit., p.33. The killing of João Mariano was witnessed by Francisco Ruas
Hornay (of Iliomar) – and related to his son, Constantino Hornay – interviewed by the author in Dili on
26 June 2007. João Mariano’s son - Armindo Soares Mariano (sometimes as “Armindo Mariano
Soares”), was an early member of Apodeti (its Information Secretary) and appointed Administrator of
Dili in the late 1970s and later Chairman/ Speaker of the DPRD I (Parliament) in Dili in July 1997. A
prominent pro-integration leader, Armindo moved to Kupang in September 1999. On 1 August 1959,
João Baptista was appointed as segundo-cabo de sipais at Uato-Carabau to replace João Mariano, and
Agostinho da Costa Pinto and Feliciano Soares were recruited as sipai at Uato-Carabau – BOdT,
No.31, 1 August 1959, p.511.
385
Note that according to Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor …, 2003, “Lequi-Rubik” of
Viqueque) was among those killed at the Bebui River –see earlier footnote 379.
386
“Pedro Soares (Liurai of Baguia)”, “Lourenco” and “Castilho” are also listed as being killed in
Baucau – and “João Henriques of Naha-Reca, Ossú” as disappearing at “Bui-Bela” in Soares (Mali-
76

Memorandum, written by deported rebel leaders, summarised those killed as “more


than 500.”
A suspected rebel, Carlos de Carvalho of Nunumalau village (Uatolari), was
also shot and killed on the outskirts of Baguia by a Timorese local policeman (sipaio)
– reportedly while attempting to escape from police custody.387
In Viqueque, a Portuguese cabo (corporal) – Cabo Lisboa, was responsible for
the detention of the surrendered and captured rebels – ie as the carcereiro (jailer).
Lisboa was “reknown for his particular lack of humanity towards the rebels.”388
A subsequent report by Viqueque Administrator Artur Ramos on the Viqueque
uprising was included as an annex in Governor Barata’s 1998 book – but reference to
the detail of incidents or casualties at Uatolari, Uato-Carabau and Baguia was omitted.
Rather, in lieu, Governor Barata inserted the following passage, as comment, into
Administrator Artur Ramos’ “bowdlerised” report:
“(A list of 21 names follows – the first seven from the Posto of Uatolari who
died as witnessed by the signatory ((ie Administrator Artur Ramos)); and 14
others - including one from Uatolari who died in hospital, and the majority of
the others were from Uato-Carabau).”

Administrator Artur Ramos concluded his report as follows:


“In conclusion, the signatory ((ie I, Administrator Artur Ramos,)) still wish to
say that, in my modest opinion, the repression of this movement was much too
benevolent and can encourage the repetition of such an event. The actions
were as directed by the superior authority - by telephone from Lieutenant
Braga. I believe that Captains Fajardo and Barreiros received the same
instructions.”389

Ethno-linguistic Divisions and Violence

In mid-1960, the Portuguese Army Chief-of-Staff - Captain Carvalho, told the


Australian Consul that “only a hundred or two of the total Timorese population” had

Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor …, 2003. Sherlock, K., 1983, op.cit., p.20 lists Pedro Ximenes as Chefe
de Suco of Afaloicai village (Baguia) in 1952. Berlie, J., email to author, 13 December 2006 – also
notes the beheading of Lorenço. The revered tombs of Aparicio and Lorenço are in the aldeia (sub-
village) of Bui Bela, one of the highest villages in the Matebian Mountains.
387
Related in the reports by Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes and Governor Barata – Carlos de
Carvalho had been detained and treated for injuries in the Baucau hospital, returned to Baguia, and
immediately before his death had been interrogated by the Encarregado de Posto of Baguia (ie
Amadeu Coelho – b. 14/4/1922, Encarregado since May 1957) and the Encarregado de Posto of Uato-
Carabau (the newly-appointed Joaquim Pereira da Silva). The dates of the interrogation and the death
of Carlos de Carvalho are not recorded. Carvalho’s younger brother - Napoleão de Carvalho,
participated in the attack at Uatolari and the seizure of weapons. Carvalho’s son - Gregorio Basilio
(Lobo Dara) joined Fretilin in 1974 on his return from studies in Lisbon and military service in Africa,
and was a member of the Central Committee – also a Falintil commander, he was later killed in combat
with the Indonesian armed forces.
388
António Pires - email to author, 5 July 2009 (relating recollections of his mother - Maria Francisca
Pires, the widow of the Lacluta Encarregado de Posto Laurentino António Pires).
389
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.225 – Annex VII, Report of the
Administrator of the Circunscrição of Viqueque (Administrator 3rd Class Artur Marques Ramos) , 23
January 1961. Artur Ramos had earlier been appointed/promoted to “Administrator 3rd Class” of the
Viqueque Circunscrição – ie from Acting Administrator, on 25 August 1959 vide BOdT, No.35, 29
August 1959, p.558.
77

been involved – and that the conflict “had been more a question of one tribe working
off old scores against another than anti-Portuguese feeling.”390
As noted earlier, the Portuguese had been “aided by native auxiliaries”
(arraiais) against the rebels – principally “(loyal natives from Ossu), they converged
on the area from two points – Lautem and Viqueque, using mortars, bazookas and
machine guns.”391 On 5 August, the Portuguese Army Chief-of-Staff in Dili, Captain
Carvalho, commenting on casualties, told the Australian Consul that there had been
“quite a few … but this was unavoidable, and we had great difficulty in restraining the
native auxiliaries from Ossu … the natives of Ossu were greatly angered at the
disloyalty of Uatolari and Baguia peoples – very few were involved, really, and
wished only to punish them … and once military action was taken, other peoples in
the Uatolari and Baguia area were glad to assist in capturing remaining leaders in their
area.”392
As described earlier, the Portuguese also mobilised arraiais from the
neighbouring Circunscrição of Lautém under the Lautém Administrador, José Esteval
C. de Serra Frazão. This force, numbering 400-500, marched into the Uato-Carabau
and Uatolari Postos where they laid waste to villages.393 The Lautém force also seized
property and livestock before withdrawing eastward. The Government force from
Lautém was predominantly from the Fataluku ethno-linguist group - with lesser
numbers from the Makalero-speaking Posto of Iliomar394 bordering Uato-Carabau.
The Fataluku and the Makalero were traditional enemies of the Naueti speakers who
inhabited the Uato-Carabau Posto, the eastern half of the Uatolari Posto, and two
villages in the southwest of the Baguia Posto that had supported the uprising.395
Following a visit to the Viqueque Circunscrição in 1960, the Australian Consul
reported on “killings by the Army or officially-encouraged Lautem tribesmen” noting
that the Government gave “a free hand to Lautem people to move into the Uato-
Carabau area under Army protection and kill as many of their enemies as they could
find; some dozens of Uato-Carabau people are reported to have died.”396
Apart from the depredations of the Fataluku and Makalero auxiliaries from
Lautém into Viqueque’s Uato-Carabau Posto397, there were also other significant
ethno-linguistic – or tribal, elements to the conflict within the Baucau and Viqueque
Circunscrições.398 Of the five villages in the Uatolari Posto (291 sq km), the three
390
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/9).
391
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 143/59, 14 July 1959, p.1 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
392
Australian Consulate – Dili, Record of Conversation, 5 August 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part
1).
393
For detail see Chamberlain, E.P., The Struggle in Iliomar, op.cit., 2008, pp. 41-42.
394
It is unclear whether the force from Iliomar was accompanied by the Encarregado do Posto of
Iliomar - Filomeno da Cruz Miranda Branco (b. 17 December 1910). Filomeno Branco was the long-
serving Encarregado at Iliomar ie from 1954 to to 23 July 1959.
395
See Chamberlain, E.P., The Struggle in Iliomar, op.cit., 2008, pp.34-36 for Fataluku forays as
Japanese auxiliaries during World War II westward into both Makalero (Iliomar Posto) and Naueti
territories (Uato-Carabau and Uatolari Postos).
396
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 143/60 - “Tour of Viqueque Area”, 20 October 1960 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/2/9) – the Australian and Chinese (ie Taiwan) Consuls accompanied the Governor on a
visit to the area. The Governor’s visit to Lacluta,Viqueque, Iliomar and Lospalos was briefly reported
in the Portuguese Government’s foreign affairs monthly bulletin ie Boletim Geral do Ultramar, No.
426, Lisbon, December 1960, p.642.
397
Gunn, G.C., A Critical View …, 1994, pp.86-87; and Gunn, G., Timor Loro Sae 500 Years, 1999 -
p.145 note that the raising of militia in the Lospalos area by the Portuguese for action in Viqueque
exacerbated ethnic tensions among the Timorese.
398
Within the Viqueque Circunscrição (estimated population in 1959 of 37,150 - area: 1,850 km), the
largest number spoke Makassae (about 46 percent), about 25 percent spoke Tetum (Viqueque Town
78

villages in the eastern half of the Posto were Naueti-speaking: ie Afaloicai, Uaitame/
Vessoro, and Babulo; while the two western villages were mainly Makassae/Makasai-
speaking: ie Matahoi and Makadiki. In the period 1952-1958 - with the permission of
the traditional ruler of Uatolari, Don Humberto (of Uaitame), the villagers of
Afaloicai had expanded their rice fields into the Uaitame and Naedala areas, drawing
water from the Bebui River. The villagers from the three Naueti-speaking villages
appear to have been the basis of the 1959 Rebellion in Uatolari – and, although the
village chiefs of Makadiki and Matahoi were detained by the Portuguese on 12 June
(as related earlier), the Makassae-speaking people of those two villages appear to
have joined the Portuguese in attacking the rebels with “the Makassae-speaking
community joining volunteers raised by the Portuguese and conducting violence
against other communities … seizing land and domestic animals from the Afaloikai
community.”399

Casualties and Aftermath

On 25 June 1959, with the operations against the rebels in the Baucau and
Viqueque Circunscrições concluded, the Director of Civil Administration in Dili -
Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, recommenced the investigation in Dili of the 45 detained
Timorese implicated in the revolt. For “ethical and political considerations”, Governor
Barata directed that the number of “detentions be scaled down” so as not to
“aggravate the wounds in the social fabric.”400 Governor Barata noted that his views
were opposed by several sectors - particularly by the military who advocated
“exemplary punishment” and “implacable toughness” in suppressing the uprising.
According to Governor Barata, “trustworthy information” had indicated that a
Timorese member of the Conselho de Governo, Francisco de Araújo, had been
involved in the uprising – including in its preparatory phase. Due to the “political and
social considerations” - and following direction from Lisbon, Francisco de Araújo
appeared before an investigating session of the Conselho. Francisco defended himself

and to the south and southwest), and about 20 percent spoke Naueti (including about 40 percent of the
Uatolari Posto and all villagers in the Uato-Carabau Posto). The foregoing figures are estimated by the
author on calculations using the 1960 census figures and the 2001 Suco Survey. Metzner, J.K., Man
and Environment in Eastern Timor, op.cit., 1977 notes a 1954 census survey that showed 34 percent of
the Uatolari Posto were Naueti speakers and 66 percent spoke Makassae. Metzner’s 1969 work is an
important reference, but his study only covers a transect from the northern coast to the southern coast
between the longitudes of 126° 15′ and 126° 35′ ie only as far east as Aliambata on the southern coast.
399
Tilman, M. & Pereira, D., “Tanah Dan Perumahan Di Timor Lorosae Antara Harapan Dan
Kenyataan” (“Land and Housing in Timor Lorosae – Between Hope and Fact”), East Timor Law
Journal, Article 14, 2004. This study, done in 2002, also relates the disempowerment of the Naueti –
who had supported UDT (União Democrática Timorense – Timorese Democratic Union) and Apodeti
in 1974-75 (see footnotes 538, 539, 549) and who subsequently retook their lands in Uatolari from the
Makassae during the Indonesian occupation period (beginning in early 1979 after the fall of the Falintil
Matebian Mountain resistance base). However, land and property conflicts in Uatolari have still to be
satisfactorily resolved. On the causes for the Rebellion, see also Babo Soares, D., “Building a
foundation for an effective civil service in Timor Leste”, Pacific Economic Bulletin, May 2003, p.13
who contends that “the essence of the protest was merely to insist that the colonial government pay
more attention to the social welfare of the locals, who until that time, had lacked access to education
and other government services.”
400
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 69-70. In assessing Barata’s tenure as
Governor, the Australian Consul reported that Governor Barata “was widely regarded as the most
popular and most energetic governor in the recent history of the province” – and although he could
“hardly be described as a liberal, he was more tolerant of ‘oppositionist’ opinions than were his
predecessors”: Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 67, 6 Apr 1963 (NAA: A3092, 221/11/18, Part 1).
79

- but following a secret vote by the Council members, he was dismissed from the
Council and detained.401 However, according to a group of rebels, Francisco de
Araújo was not involved in the movement. Rather, he was falsely implicated in the
plot by Câncio dos Reis Noronha402, a long-time rival. Câncio Noronha reportedly
pressured the police to force false confessions of Francisco de Araújo’s involvement
from two of Francisco’s employees: Crispim Borges de Araújo and Belarmindo de
Araújo.403
In early July 1959, a few weeks after the violence, the Australian Consul
visited the Baucau and Viqueque Circunscrições and reported:
“I met very few natives on the road ((from Baucau)) to Venilale - the route to
Viqueque, but they were to be seen in the fields, carrying out the various
agricultural processes. However, at Ossu there were many on the roads, all
very bright and cheerful. Viqueque presented a different picture – hardly a
native to be seen – I felt it to be depressing. The Uato Lari area had been
‘swept clean’ – not a village left standing, completely burnt out and all
livestock driven off. Time did not permit continuing to Baguia, but I
understand that a similar situation obtains in that area. The actual disturbances
where the troops took military action was confined to the Uato Lari – Baguia
area. Aided by native auxiliaries (loyal natives from Ossu) they converged on
the area from two points – Lautem and Viqueque, using mortars, bazookas and
machine guns. … talking to the military Chief of Staff ((on 13 July in Dili)) …
he volunteered the information relating to the military action and the measures
taken. The Chief of Staff said that the actual shooting, and the use of mortars
etc, was more for the moral effect than anything else, but of course the native
auxiliaries were difficult to restrain. I have no doubt, however, that brief as the
action was, it was equally ruthless and complete. The Chief of Staff went on to
say that the natives implicated in the disturbances had no heart for any further
opposition to Portuguese authority once their leaders had been taken. … It is
known to me, however, that there were many natives in that area in possession
of small Indonesian flags … On the face of it, everything now appears to be

401
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 70-71 – for Francisco de Araújo’s
background, see footnote 185. His PIDE/DGS case file is PIDE/DGS Lisboa PC 636/59 NT 5292 (TdT,
Lisbon). A vacancy on the Conselho de Governo was declared on 21 September 1959, and voting by
the “electoral college” to fill the vacancy was conducted on 15 November. Câncio Noronha – an
empregado bancário, was appointed as a member of the Conselho – BOdT, No.3, 16 January 1960, p.2.
402
Câncio dos Reis Noronha was a son of the luirai/régulo of Lacló (Dom Luís dos Reis Noronha) –
see footnotes 185, 286 and 401. Câncio Noronha - and his brother, Bernardino, had been evacuated to
Australia in August 1942 and served, in Australia, in the Australian military’s “Z Special Unit” until
early 1945 (see footnotes 66 and 69). Returning to Portuguese Timor in late 1945, Câncio Noronha
joined the Health and Hygiene Service as a civil servant – but soon after joined the Banco Nacional
Ultramarino (BNU). As noted above, he was a member of the Conselho de Governo from 1960 and
also served in the Conselho Legislitavo from its founding in April 1965 - – including as a member of
the revised 13-member Government Council in December 1974 (as the BNU representative).
403
Author’s discussions in Dili with Evaristo da Costa, Frederico de Almeida Santos da Costa and
Salem Sagran, 2 April 2007 – who also noted that Francisco’s wife was Indonesian. However,
according to Câncio Noronha, Francisco de Araújo was involved – and had written a letter to his friend,
António Senanes (the accountant at the Sociedade Agrícola Pátria e Trabalho - SAPT), in which he
accused the following of involvement in the plot: Câncio dos Reis Noronha, Bernardino dos Reis
Noronha, Alarico Fernandes (b. 31 December 1904, father of 1975 Fretilin Minister Alarico
Fernandes), Domingos Soares (of SAPT) and six others (author’s discussion with Câncio dos Reis
Noronha, Melbourne, 6 December 2008).
80

normal – but I can sense that the authorities are not entirely happy – arrests
continue as interrogations progress … .”404

Estimates of casualties among the rebels and villagers vary widely and are
difficult to assess accurately. Some English-language publications have suggested that
the number of deaths was as high as 1,000.405 While official Indonesian publications
relate that “hundreds of people were killed”, some Indonesia writers have claimed
10,000 or 40,000 were killed.406 As noted earlier, in April 1960, rebel leaders
deported to Angola summarised: “the number of those deceased was calculated as
more than 500.”407 Other published estimates were “about 1,500 killed”408 and “more
than 2,000”.409 In her March 2007 article (see the preceding footnote 15), Ms Janet
Gunter has estimated “between 50 and 500” deaths.
One of the Timorese leaders of the Rebellion in Viqueque, José Manuel
Duarte, claimed that 545 Timorese were killed during the uprising – noting: “I myself
witnessed the brutality, and have sufficient evidence with which to win the case” and
that there were “at least nine others who can testify on what happened.”410 The
National Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM) however, cited a far lower figure in
1995: “the badly planned rebellion failed, causing the expulsion of the Indonesians,
some 150 casualties and 60 Timorese deported to Angola and Mozambique by the
Portuguese colonial authorities.”411
Timor-Leste’s first President, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, stated: “in 1959, in
the aftermath of the uprising, a good number of women, children and old people were
gunned down by the Portuguese soldiers on the beaches of Watulari and Waturkabau.
Some were killed in Dili, Baucau, Weikeke ((Viqueque)). Others were deported to
Angola.”412 Amaral was training as a Jesuit priest in Macau at the time of the

404
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 143/59, 14 July 1959, pp.1-2 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
405
Taylor, J.G., Indonesia’s Forgotten War, 1991, p.21 – “between 160 and 1,000”; Gunn, G., Timor
Loro Sae 500 Years, 1999, p.260 – “between 500 and 1,000 killed”.
406
Brahmana, R., Buku 20 Tahun Timor Timur Membangun, Jakarta, 1996, pp.28-30 cites “hundreds”.
Soekanto, Integrasi – Kebulatan Tekad Rakyat Timor Timur (Integration - The Determined Will of the
People of East Timor), Yayasan Parakesit, Jakarta, 1976, p.75 states: “According to records, more than
10,000 people were slaughtered by the Portuguese colonialists”. See also Kamah, M.S., “Seroja”:
pengalaman seorang wartawan di medan tempur Timor Timur, Eko’s, Palu (Sulawesi), 1997, p.25 that
claims “makan korban 40,000 jiwa” (“the loss of 40,000 lives”) in the 1959 uprising.
407
“… o número de mortos calcula-se acima de quinhentos !” - Araújo, A. de (et al), Memorandum –
Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento …, 21 April 1960, op.cit., p.5 – included in Annex D.
408
Rohi, P.A., “Timor-Portugis dari Masa-kemasa”, Kompas, Jakarta, 4 October 1974, p.V; and Rohi,
P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara, Edition 775, 1995, op.cit, p.15.
409
Herman, J., “Pejuang Timtim Akan Tuntut Portugal – Atas Pembantaian 2,000 Orang di Viqueque”,
Jawa Pos, 16 November 1995, p.13. José Manuel Duarte claimed: “Portugal killed more than 2,000
citizens of Viqueque at the Bebui river”. Note however, Duarte’s previous claims of “about 500” and
“545” – see the following footnote 329.
410
Sampaio, A., “Portugal Accused of Human Rights Violations”, Publico, Lisbon, 4 January 1996 –
Duarte was speaking at a press conference in Dili in November 1992 when a member of the Indonesian
East Timor (Timor Timur) provincial parliament (DPRD I) in Dili. Earlier, Duarte had cited “about
500” - Mali Mau, M., “José: Saya merasakan kejamnya Portugal”, Surya, Jakarta, 14 November 1992,
p.13.
411
Conselho Nacional de Resistência Maubere (National Council of Maubere Resistance - CNRM),
“Indonesia’s desperate attempt to revise East Timor history”, Media Release, 3 July 1995, p.1.
412
Amaral, F. X. do, “My Response to the Film ‘Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy’ ”, London,
2 July 1994 – his public statement after attending a debate in London on 30 June 1994.
81

Rebellion and contends that, due to his pro-rebel sympathies, he was not appointed a
Catholic priest by the Portuguese authorities on his return to Timor in 1963.413
A large number of Timorese were arrested, together with 13 of the 14
Indonesian asilados reportedly involved – Jobert Moniaga had apparently been killed
in Uatolari on 11 June as noted earlier. Most of the Timorese formally detained
appear to have been minor civil servants and workers in Dili – as well as three
Timorese staff of the Indonesian Consulate, including the Consul’s “right-hand man”
and also his driver.414 The Australian Consul reported on “wholesale arrests on little
or no evidence and great emphasis on the extortion of ‘confessions’ by torture.”415
Many of the prisoners were initially held in the Portuguese armoury in Dili and,
following interrogation, were imprisoned aboard the unseaworthy coastal freighter,
Dom Aleixo, in Dili harbour.

Conditions aboard the vessel were very poor – with the prisoners sleeping on
the floor without blankets.416 Governor Barata noted that “despite the cool season”,
the heat aboard the Dom Aleixo was “unbearable.” He “considered it urgent to remove
these men from the Province - despite the human cost of separating them from their
families, as to keep them in those conditions was intolerable.”417
According to José Manuel Duarte, a number of the captured Timorese rebels
were also imprisoned on the island of Ataúro for three years – and some in Baucau for

413
Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.107. See also Hill, H. M., Gerakan
Pembebasan Nasional Timor Lorosae, Sahe Institute/Yayasan HAK, Dili, 2000, pp.63-64; and
Subroto, H., Saksi Mata …, 1996, op.cit., p.190 that relates Amaral telling the Bishop of Dili that he
(Amaral) was not “anti-Portuguese” – but “anti the system” that the Portuguese implemented. In a 2009
interview, Amaral related his refusal to be ordained – citing the abuses of the Portuguese colonial
regime, in particularly the use of the chicote (a two-tailed hand whip) to punish the Timorese
(Anderson, C., “East Timor’s First President Recalls His 9-Day Term”, Jakarta Globe, Jakarta, 18
March 2009). Francisco Xavier do Amaral (b. 3 December 1937) joined the public service in Dili on 13
August 1965 and served as a “tesoureiro” (“treasurer”) second-class in the Customs Service until early
1975.
414
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 173/59, 30 August 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1). The
“right-hand man”- an “Arab”, was deported but released in 1961 and returned to Portuguese Timor -
see also Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 98/65, 12 July 1965, p.2 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
415
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960, paragraph 10 (NAA; A1838, 3038/2/1 Part
1; 3038/2/9).
416
Costa, F.A.S. da. (Prisoner No 52), Memorandum, Bié (Angola), 6 May 1960.
417
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., pp. 69-70. Conditions aboard the Dom Aleixo were
also described by José Manuel Duarte in Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989,
op.cit., p.24.
82

two years.418 An “Islamic account” lists members of Portuguese Timor’s Islamic


community imprisoned for four-six months in Dili, Liquiça, Batugadé and Ataúro.419
In the Viqueque Circunscrição, 18 males – almost all from villages in Luca
and Carau-Balo, were arrested and imprisoned in Baucau420:

Carau-Balo Village, Viqueque Posto: Vicente Soares, Estevão de Araújo, Leki


Loic, Lela Vomuc, João Soares, Inácio Soares, Rubi Nahac, João Soares, Lacu
Caic, Mau Loic.
Luca Village, Viqueque Posto: António Soares, Nanu Alves, Duarte Soares,
Adalino Soares, Mateus Soares, Luís Soares, José Soares.
Viqueque Town: Manuel Pinto.

Additionally, several of the key rebels in Viqueque were also imprisoned


elsewhere in Portuguese Timor, including421:
Zeferino dos Reis Amaral (aged in his 50s – see footnote 308) - the régulo of
Luca who had attended pre-uprising meetings with Gerson Pello – imprisoned
on Ataúro Island for two-three years.
Celestino da Silva - the Chefe de Suco422 of Matahoi village – imprisoned on
Ataúro;
Celestino Amaral - imprisoned on Ataúro;
Tomé Amaral (village chief of Uai Tame);
Armando da Silva, of Uatolari – imprisoned on Ataúro;
Fernando Soares Amaral (cabo-sipaio ie local police corporal) of Uatolari –
imprisoned on Ataúro423;
Julio da Silva424 (sipaio ie local policeman) of Uatolari – imprisoned on
Ataúro;

418
Duarte, J.M., Memorandum, Dili, 4 February 1994. Duarte stated that 16 rebels from the Viqueque
Circunscrição (“one from Uato-Carabau, one from Uatolari and 14 from Viqueque”) were “captured
and taken to Dili, and together with 52 from Dili, sent to Angola.”
419
Bazher, A.B., Islam di Timor Timur, Gema Insani Press, Jakarta, 1995, p.34 lists Ahmad bin
Abdullah Balafif, Muhammad bin Mahfud Bazher, Ambarak bin Mahfud Bazher, Salim bin Said al-
Katiri (Liquiça), Awad bin Bade al-Katiri, Saleh Duru, Abdul Pirus Husen Bima, Umar bin Mussallam
Syagran, Muhamad bin Mussallam Syagran - and refers to “others”.
420
From a list – “Naran Ema Nebe Castigo iha Baucau Tempo 1959 Viqueque”, drafted by Vicente
Soares (of Viqueque) and provided to the author by Virginia Pinto (younger sister of exiled rebel
Domingos Hornay Soares), Dili, 3 April 2007. Dom Ximenes Belo related - as a school child in
Baucau, “hearing the piercing screams and despair” (os gritos lancinantes e desesperados) of the
tortured prisoners - Belo, C.F.X. Dom, A Revolta …, op.cit., 2009, p.5.
421
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto, Viqueque, 29 June 2007 – with additional names from lists in Soares (Mali-Lequic),
A.V.M., Pulau Timor …, 2003, op.cit, pp.102-104. At p.103, Soares (Mali-Lequic) also records that
Domingos Jeremias and António Pereira of Viqueque “disappeared” at Mali-Aba-Ulun, Viqueque; and
José Pinto and Luís “disappeared” at Uato-Carabau.
422
From 1912 until about 1966, the term “suco/suku” referred to a “princedom” or grouping of villages
– see Metzner, J.K., Man and Environment in Eastern Timor, Development Studies Centre –
Monograph No. 8, The Australian National University, Canberra, 1977 - that focuses on central
Viqueque.
423
Fernando Soares Amaral (“segundo-cabo”) and Julio da Costa Amaral – “sipais da guaranição” at
Uatolari were formally dismissed from the administrative service with effect 1 June 1959 - vide BOdT,
No.31, 1 August 1959, p.511. Both were reportedly imprisoned on Ataúro – and subsequently at
Ermera (author’s discussion with Gaspar Mascarenhas, Matahoi, 24 October 2008). The following
were recruited on 1 August as replacement sipais for Uatolari: Guilherme da Cruz (segundo-cabo de
sipais) to replace Fernando Amaral, and Armando da Cruz as sipai to replace Julio Amaral – BOdT,
No.31, 1 August 1959, p.511.
83

João Ennes Pascoal of Uatolari – imprisoned on Ataúro.


Duarte Ximenes of Laga – imprisoned on Ataúro.
José Henriques of Uatolari – imprisoned in Baucau, escaped but killed (stoned
to death) in the street (near the Baucau church) by pro-Portuguese Timorese.
Joaquim Trinidade of Aliambata - imprisoned in Uatolari.425

Several rebels and supporters were also reportedly “punished locally” eg


Francisco (Chico-Berek-Debu-Inan) and Mabe’oc – both of Crarec-Maruc were
punished at Uma Tolu, Lacluta; and “Pedro of Railaco” was similary punished.426
Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes, serving as a delegate to the National
Assembly in Lisbon, returned to Dili in October 1959 and “was able to plead for
clemency” for the rebels.427 As noted earlier (footnote 326), his account of the
violence in the Viqueque and Baucau Circunscrições was reported in Governor
Barata’s letter to the Ministry of Overseas Territories (footnote 327) – in particular,
the killings on the banks of the Bebui River in Uatolari. The report written by
Monsignor da Costa Lopes also included comments and suggestions not repeated in
Governor Barata’s letter to Lisbon. While Monsignor Lopes cited the executions on
the banks of the Bebui River in Uatolari, he was reluctant to unequivocally describe
the killings as “criminal”.428 His report also queried the circumstances of the death of
Carlos de Carvalho at Baguia. Monsignor Lopes offered some explanations for the
discontent that led to the Rebellion, including: a lack of schooling in the
countryside429, shortages of government administrative staff430, and unfair practices
such as the obligatory sale of livestock by villagers at low prices. Apart from a
reference to the capture of “o indonésio Joubert” and “os indonésios Gerson and
Jeremias”, Monsignor Lopes does not mention in his report any involvement in the

424
Although recorded as “Julio da Silva, Cipaio, Uatolari” in Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau
Timor …, 2003, op.cit, p.103, this is likely to be Julio da Costa Amaral – see preceding footnote.
425
Author’s discussions with Joaquim Trinidade (b. 1935), Aliambata, 24 October 2008.
426
Soares (Mali-Lequic), A.V.M., Pulau Timor …, 2003, op.cit, pp.102-104.
427
Lennox, R., Fighting Spirit … , 2000, p.64. Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes had returned to
Portuguese Timor from Lisbon during the National Assembly’s “regular northern summer recess”.
Lennox also notes that Monsignor Martinho Lopes “saw himself as a Portuguese patriot” … “defended
Portugal against insidious slander at the UN” … “and for him the Portuguese colonies were the
crowning glory of the Portuguese nation” - p.66.
428
“dificilmente deixará do ser qualificado de criminoso” - Lopes, da Costa, M., “Breve resenha …,
op.cit., Lisbon, 1959, p.3.
429
On education and social welfare failings, see also Babo Soares, D., “Building a foundation for an
effective civil service in Timor Leste”, Pacific Economic Bulletin, May 2003, p.13 who contends that
“the essence of the protest was merely to insist that the colonial government pay more attention to the
social welfare of the locals, who until that time, had lacked access to education and other government
services.”
430
Monsignor Martinho Lopes’ report was not specific on these “shortages”. However, Artur Marques
Ramos – a Secretário, was the Acting Administrator of the Viqueque Circunscrição and the Secretário
position was not filled. There were also vacancies in the Postos. As noted at footnote 266, at the time
of the uprising, the position of Encarregado de Posto at Uato-Carabau had been vacant for about one
year since the posting of Francisco da Sousa to Lacluta on 13 May 58 – with a replacement
Encarregado de Posto, Joaquim Pereira da Silva not posted from Mape (Bobonaro) to Uato-Carabau
until 16 Jun 59. At Lacluta, Encarregado Francisco da Sousa had been in bad health and was
hospitalised in Dili in November 1958 - and replaced in December 1958 by Laurentino António Pires.
A PIDE report discussing the “Motives for Discontent” noted that the “Mascarenhas Ingles
(Mousinho)” family – a notable and well-established Timorese family, was in dispute with the
authorities due to appropriation of property and the dismissal of family members from senior
government administrative posts - including four Chefe/Encarregado de Posto positions (PIDE –
Timor, Report, Dili, 23 October 1959 – TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS NT 8971 Part 1).
84

revolt of Indonesians, the Indonesian Consul or Indonesia. Subsequently, on his return


to Lisbon, Monsignor Lopes wrote to Governor Barata in November 1959 to thank the
Governor for his “humane and Christian role in the events in Timor.”431
In 2007, several former rebels stated their belief that the Bishop of Dili in
1959 - Dom Jaime Garcia Goulart, and Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes had
pressed for the exile of the arrested rebels – believing that a just trial for the rebels
was more likely outside Portuguese Timor.432 Both Dom Jaime Goulart and
Monsignor Martinho Lopes later visited the rebels imprisoned in Lisbon and sought
improved conditions for them.
Governor Barata made several changes to the administration in Viqueque.
Acting Administrator Artur Marques Ramos was appointed Administrator - ie
“Administrator 3rd Class” of the Viqueque Circunscrição, on 25 August 1959.433
Earlier in mid-late June, the Encarregado de Posto of Uatolari, Eduardo Caeiro
Rodrigues – who had been absent from Posto at the time of the rebels’ attack on 7
June, was posted to Mape (Bobonaro). His replacement from Laclubar (Manatuto),
Aspirante Saul Nunes Catarino, was older (born 2/7/1904) and two grades more
senior. As noted earlier, Joaquim Pereira da Silva (born 3/1/1928), was posted from
Mape (Bobonaro) to Uato-Carabau to fill the long-vacant Encarregado de Posto
position in mid-late June 1959.434

Into Exile

Reporting on the fate of the 13 detained Indonesians, the Australian Consul


commented that in early June 1959 the then Acting Governor (the Military
Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Aguiar) “initiated the question of their being handed
back to Djakarta. However, soon after the new Governor ((Barata)) had taken office,
he ((Barata)) vetoed this, and said that the Indonesians, by their actions, had forfeited
all rights under which they were granted political asylum in Portuguese Timor, and
now became subject to the Portuguese criminal law and as such must be tried and
dealt with under Portuguese law. Negotiations are now proceeding between Lisbon
and Djakarta to resolve this question.”435
According to one of the exiled Timorese rebels, Evaristo da Costa, 11 of the
Timorese - including the “pemikir” (Bahasa Indonesia = “brains”) of the Rebellion
and Evaristo, left Dili by ship on 5 June 1959 for prison in Portugal via the Suez

431
Lennox, R., Fighting Spirit …, 2000, p.66: Letter – Flight Timor to Portugal, 12 November 1959.
Jolliffe, J., Cover-Up, 2001, p.45; p.325 also notes that Monsignor Martinho Lopes wrote to Portuguese
Prime Minister Dr A. de Oliveira Salazar. See footnote 248 for detail on Monsignor Martinho da Costa
Lopes and his 1959 report on the Rebellion.
432
Statements to the author by Evaristo da Costa, Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem
Sagran, Dili, 2 April 2007. Dom Jaime Garcia Goulart (1908-1997) was evacuated to Australia in 1942
and returned to serve as Bishop of Dili from October 1945 to January 1967.
433
BOdT, No.35, 29 August 1959, p.558.
434
The postings of Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues to Mape, Saul Nunes Catarino to Uatolari, and Joachim
da Silva to Uato-Carabau were promulgated in BOdT, No.26 of 27 June 1959, p.447 – to have taken
effect on 16 June 1959. Governor Barata – who arrived in Dili from Lisbon on 20 June, was unlikely to
have been involved in these movements as they were approved by the Administrative Tribunal in Dili
on 19 June 1959. Subsequently on 18 June 1960, Eduardo Caeiro Rodrigues was suspended for
“disciplinary infractions committed during his tenure as Chefe do Posto at Uatolari … contrary to the
interests, prestige and dignity of the State” – belatedly promulgated in BOdT, No.10, 11 March 1961,
p.114. He was “dismissed at his request” on 16 April 1962 - vide BOdT, No.21, 26 May 1962, p.429.
435
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
85

Canal.436 The report of the Portuguese police superintendent in Dili listed the 11
departing on the Portuguese passenger vessel N/M India437 as: João Pereira da Silva,
Valentim da Costa Pereira, Evaristo da Costa, David Verdial, Luís da Costa Rego,
José Beny Joaquim, Francisco Orlando de Fátima Soares, Carlos Salvador de Sousa
Gama, Gervásio Soriano, Abel da Costa Belo and José Ramos de Sousa Gama.438

N/M India

The Australian Consul noted “nine of the principal ringleaders … with some
others, were taken away in the Portuguese ship ‘India’ to Lisbon.”439 According to
Governor Barata, to avoid “panic” among the population, the 11 prisoners were taken
aboard the N/M India “with great secrecy at dawn on 7 June” – with the “normal
passengers” (including the departing Indonesian Consul, Nazwar Jacub) embarking in
the evening, and the vessel departed Dili at dawn on 8 June.440 This departure of the
initial group of exiles is also related in statements by José Manuel Duarte: “those who
had been arrested on 3 June 1959 had already been taken to Portugal, while the
remainder who had been captured outside Dili were incarcerated with me in the hold
of the Don Alezu [sic] … those sent first to Lisbon, were also sent to Angola.”441 The
11 Timorese deportees were disembarked in Lisbon from the N/M India on 20 July

436
Statement by Evaristo da Costa on his return to Jakarta on 5 January 1996 – reported in “Pejuang
Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …” (“I Never Imagined …”), Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta,
7 January 1996, p.1 & p.8. The N/M India was scheduled to depart Dili on 5 June, but its departure
was delayed until 8 June to embark the rebel prisoners. Evaristo was transported from Lisbon to
Angola in May 1960, and later exiled in Mozambique – before returning to Portugal and working in
menial jobs in the period 1983-1995.
437
The N/M India, of 7,631 tons, was built in 1951 and had a capacity for 387 passengers. Operated by
the Companhia Nacional de Navegação, it transported passengers (principally public servants and
troops) and cargo to/from Portugal’s colonial territories. Photographs of N/M India, Niassa and
Moçambique can be found at http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Portugal_Nacional.html
438
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., pp. 218-219 – Annex V, Report of the Police
Superintendent Abílio da Paixão Monteiro, 25 July 1959.
439
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable 20, 16 June 1959 (NAA: A1209, 1959/612).
440
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., p.61. Governor Barata also notes that Nazwar
Jacub’s replacement, Tengku Hussin, had arrived on the N/M India a few days earlier.
441
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.24.
86

1959 and, as “Traição A Pátria”, imprisoned in De Forte do Reduto Norte in


Caxias.442
On 4 October 1959, the majority of the rebel prisoners443 to be exiled were
embarked on the N/M India bound from Dili to Lisbon via Macau, Singapore,
Mormugão (Goa), Aden, Port Said and the Suez Canal.444 These prisoners comprised:
- 52 Timorese – including four of “Arab descent” (“de origem arabes”)445:
Salem bin Mussallam Syagran (Salem Sagran), Usman bin Manduli
Loly, Saleh bin Ahmad Basyarewan [sic], Jum’an bin Basyirun 446;
- the four Indonesian “ringleaders”: Gerson Tom Pello, Lambertus Ladow,
Jeremias Toan Pello, and Albert Ndoen (also as “Albertus Ndung”,
“Alberto L. Ndoen”, “Albert Ndun”).447

The N/M India also carried one “special status” Timorese prisoner, Francisco
M. X. J. de Araújo, who had been a member of the Conselho de Governo in Dili.
A consolidated listing of all deportees – ie those who departed Dili in both
June and October 1959, is at Annex E (alphabetical) and Annex F (Os Nomes dos
Detidos Timorenses para Angola do Ano de 1959 - prepared by deportees in Angola
in June 1960, that also notes their pre-arrest vocations and employment detail)448.

442
Costa, E. da, Declaração, Dili, 17 June 2001 – in Costa, E. da (et al), O Célebre Massacré …,
2005, op.cit.
443
Their completed pro-forma “Boletim Registo Polícial” – with fingerprints on the reverse, can be
found on file PIDE/DGS, PC 634/59 Caixa 5291 (TdT, Lisbon).
444
N/M India arrived in Dili on 30 September 1959 and, as noted above, disembarked an additional 80
military police and 16 artillery pieces : Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 203/59, 11 October 1959
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). José Manuel Duarte related that “Bupati … Monteiro” (Bahasa –
“Bupati” = “Circunscrição Administrator”) - a friend from soccer/football activities, visited him
aboard the N/M India and offered to help his family in Viqueque – which he later did: Diatmika, A.G.,
“(Ternyata) Merah Putih…”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.24. It is highly likely that “Monteiro” was
Administrator (2nd Class) Abílio Maria da Paixão e Morte de Jesus Ferreira Monteiro. According to
Abel da Costa Belo, the rebels believed that they would be tried in Goa - Subroto, H., Saksi Mata …,
1996, op.cit., p.172. A comprehensive account of that part of the voyage from Macau to Lisbon is
provided in Gata, A. C. L.G., Captain, Relatorio da Viagem do Navio India de Macau para Lisboa –
1959, 11 December 1959. The ship’s voyage was subsequently diverted from Aden via Lourenço
Marques (Mozambique) and Lobito (Angola) – to Lisbon. The voyage to Lisbon is also partly related
in Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 229-234 – Annex IX, Extract of the Letter
by Chief of Police (Manuel Vieira Câmara Júnior) “Aboard the Vessel India …”, 15 November 1959.
445
In Portuguese Timor, there were “only about 100 of the Islamic faith … mostly engaged in the
piecework trade”: Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 68/54, 23 February 1954 (NAA: A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 1); and “Islam … has a handful of adherents among a small community of Arab
descent”: Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 73 “Conditions in Timor”, 10 May 1961 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 3).
446
Bazher, A.B., Islam di Timor Timur, Gema Insani Press, Jakarta, 1995, p.34 – this publication uses
Islamic-style spellings of names that differ slightly from those in other reports.
447
The 52 Timorese and four Indonesians are listed – together with personal details, in the “Guia”
(“Pass”) by Lieutentant D.R.C. Braga (Chefe de Gabinete), Dili, 3 October 1959 (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS Lisboa, PC 604/59, Caixa 5288) ie “special status” Francisco de Araújo is not listed. José
Manuel Duarte stated that 68 rebels were deported to Angola - Duarte, J.M., Memorandum, Dili, 4
February 1994 – this comprised 64 Timorese and 4 Indonesians. However, Duarte is also quoted as
citing “47” departing Dili on 4 October 1959 in Mali Mau, M., “José …”, 14 November 1992, op.cit.,
p.13. For a “primary source” listing prepared by the exiled rebels see the following footnote 365 (and
attached as Annex F) - and also the list of deportees at Annex E. Note however an “error” in Annex F
ie “22. Mateus Pereira” should be “Matias Guterres de Sousa”.
448
Costa, F.A.S. da, Os Nomes dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola do Ano de 1959 (The Names of
the Timorese Detainees Sent to Angola in 1959), Silva Porto (Bié, Angola), 6 June 1960 – Annex F.
Those arrested and deported were predominantly from the Timorese “educated” class: more than 30
87

When the N/M India reached Macau, “one of the prisoners – Senhor Araújo –
reportedly managed to send a message to a relative, Dr Pedro José Lobo, President of
the Macao Senate and the island’s most powerful citizen.”449 The senior Portuguese
police officer on the N/M India reported that the son of Francisco de Araújo - ie
Constâncio de Araújo, came aboard the vessel to visit his father – accompanied by
Constâncio’s wife and child. Subsequently, the son-in-law of Dr Pedro Lobo also
visited Francisco and “passed his father-in-law’s compliments.”450 Francisco de
Araújo protested his innocence – claiming that he was the victim of an intrigue
initiated by one of the rebels, Crispim Borges de Araújo, his godson.451
Early on 20 October 1959, as the N/M India was entering Singapore to off-
load a cargo of coffee, the four Indonesians escaped from their cell, leapt overboard
and were picked up by a German freighter, the MS Bayernstein, at about 0500hrs.452
During the Indonesians’ subsequent detention by the Singapore immigration
authorities, their circumstances were reported in the local press.453 On 22 October, the
Indonesians spoke briefly with two Straits Times reporters and declared: “We are
Indonesian army officers – please inform the Indonesian Consulate here that we need
their help … we are all Sukarno’s men.”454 The Singapore maritime police called
upon the Indonesian Consul in Singapore to verify the status of the four Indonesian
escapees – but the Consul “declined to recognise them as his citizens.”455
Consequently, the Indonesians were returned to the N/M India by the Singapore
Immigration Police at 0635hrs on 23 October, and the vessel departed Singapore soon
after.

percent appear to have been “funcionario” (civil servants), several were in commercial employment, at
least three were village chiefs - others were mechanics, drivers, sailors etc and only three were noted as
“desenpregado” (“unemployed”). However, almost all of the Timorese participants in the Rebellion in
the Viqueque and Baucau Circunscrições would be classified as “villagers”. Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting
the Viqueque (East Timor) Rebellion of 1959, 2006, op.cit., provides an analysis of the employments
and vocations of some of the exiles. Annex E – Deportees 1959 Rebellion, summarises “all-source”
data on each of the rebels.
449
“Trouble in Timor”, Foreign Report, The Economist, London, 25 April 1963 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 2; 3006/4/3 Part 3). The main topic of the Report was the announcement in mid-April
1963 by the Ministry of the “United Republic of Timor – Dilly” – to which the Economist article
appended reference to the “abortive uprising in Timor at the end of 1961” (ie incorrect date) and the
relationship between Dr Pedro José Lobo (Presidente do Leal Senado de Macau) and the transiting
Francisco de Araújo. This relationship is also mentioned at p.406 in Fernandes, M.S., “A União da
República de Timor: o atrófico movimento nacionalista islâmico-malaio Timorense, 1960-1975” at
pp.355-431 in Guedes, A.M. & Mendes N.C. (eds), Ensaios sobre nacionalismos em Timor-Leste,
Collecção Biblioteca Diplomática do MNE – Série A, Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros Portugal,
Lisbon, 2005. Dr Lobo (born Manatuto, 12 January 1892; died 1 October 1965) was President of the
Maucau Senate (4 November 1959 – 9 May 1964). Apparently an orphan of probably Chinese or
Chinese/Timorese parents, he was adopted by a Portuguese official and was sent to study at the
Seminário de S. José in Macau (1901-1908) – letter to the author from Sherlock, K., Darwin, 5 October
2007. See also footnote 602.
450
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 229-234 – Annex IX, Extract of the Letter
by Chief of Police (Manuel Vieira Câmara Júnior) “Aboard the Vessel India …”, 15 November 1959,
pp. 230-231.
451
Ibid, p.71 & p.231 - It was apparently alleged that Francisco de Araújo had abused a woman
connected to Crispim Borges de Araújo. See also footnote 399 for allegations that Crispim was forced
to implicate Francisco de Araújo in the plot. For background on Francisco de Araújo see footnote 185.
452
Gerson Pello describes exiting a porthole and using bed sheets as a makeshift escape rope - Rohi,
P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15.
453
“Riddle of 4 Men Saved from the Sea”, The Straits Times, Singapore, 21 October 1959; “All
Portuguese on way to Lisbon: Mystery Deepens”, The Straits Times, Singapore, 22 October 1959.
454
“4 Rescued Men: New Riddle Now”, The Straits Times, Singapore, 23 October 1959.
455
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.72.
88

The four Indonesians were placed under greater security for the rest of the
voyage, and the four Timorese “arabes” were also isolated from the main body of
Timorese prisoners. Conditions during the voyage were described by one of the
prisoners - Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, as follows: “During the trip from
Timor to Angola, I received only 52 cigarettes, a fresh water bath only once and was
able to take in the sun only twice.”456
After a voyage of eight days from Singapore, the N/M India arrived at the port
of Mormugão in Portuguese Goa457 on 30 October. The local police came aboard the
vessel to strengthen security, military personnel patrolled the wharf and erected
barbed wire, and a police patrol launch guarded the harbour waters. While checking
the passenger manifest, an immigration official queried the presence of a Chinese-
Timorese, Mu Theng Siong [sic]. The India’s captain explained that Mu Then Siong
(Indonesian Consul Nazwar Jacub’s driver who had been arrested in June) was a
Portuguese government contracted worker returning to Portugal – and no further
action was taken.458 The India then sailed to Aden where if off-loaded a 257-ton cargo
of timber taken aboard in Singapore. Immediately after its departure from Aden on 6
November, the India’s captain, Comandante Contreiras, announced that the vessel
was required to sail to the port of Lourenço Marques (Mozambique) to take cargo on
board for Lisbon - ie rather than transiting the Suez Canal direct to Lisbon. This
diversion caused “great consternation” among the India’s passengers.459 Once at sea
and “out of the arab world”, the four Timorese “arabes” were moved to less harsh
accommodation, and a Catholic mass was celebrated for the prisoners on 12
November at the request of Rev. Ramiro Dias Branco. On 17 November while in
Lourenço Marques, one of the prisoners (Eduardo Francisco da Costa) passed a 100
pataca note to a crew member to purchase sugar and tea for him. Discovered,
Eduardo was taken ashore for interrogation, but was later returned to the ship.
While in the Atlantic Ocean on 25 November, Captain Contreiras received a
ciphered message from Lisbon requiring him to call at the Angolan port of Lobito
(about 400km south of the capital, Luanda) and to contact the local security
authorities for further instructions.
On the N/M India’s arrival in Lobito on 26 November, 52 Timorese prisoners
were disembarked into the custody of the local Portuguese military commander.
Initially, the prisoners were transported and detained at the military base in Nova
Lisboa (now Huambo, about 250 kilometres east of Lobito), but after two days were
divided into two groups - with 30 remaining in the Companhia Militar in Nova Lisboa
and 22 sent to the Bié penal colony at Capolo (about 70 kilometres south of Silva
Porto on Angola’s central highlands plateau).460 At the beginning of 1960, those at
Nova Lisboa were moved to join their comrades in the Bié penal colony.

456
Costa, F.A.S. da (Prisoner No 52), Memorandum, Bié (Angola), 6 May 1960. Frederico also
described his arrest in Dili on 4 June 1959 and his predeparture incarceration aboard the Dom Aleixo.
457
Goa – together with Damão and Diu, were incorporated into the Republic of India on 19 December
1961.
458
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 229-234 – Annex IX, Extract of the Letter
by Chief of Police (Manuel Vieira Câmara Júnior) “Aboard the Vessel India …”, 15 November 1959,
p.233.
459
Ibid, p.234.
460
Gata, A.C.L.G., op cit. includes a listing at Annex 16 of the 52 prisoners disembarked at Lobito
(Angola) – not sighted by the author of this monograph. Costa, F.A.S. da, Declaração, Dili, November
2005, op.cit. describes detention with the Companhia Militar at Nova Lisboa.
89

Central Angola: showing Lobito, Nova Lisboa, Silva Porto, Vila Luzo461

From Angola, the N/M India continued its voyage to Lisbon, disembarking the
four Indonesian prisoners and Francisco de Araújo into the custody of the security
police (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado – PIDE) on 11 December
1959.462 Initially, this group was imprisoned separately from the 11 Timorese who
had arrived in Lisbon in July 1959 – but subsequently joined them in the prison in
Caxias. In early December 1959, the Portuguese authorities decided that the 11
Timorese would be sent to Angola – but they were to remain in Lisbon for a further
five months.463
In late December 1959 – about two weeks after their arrival, the four
Indonesians were questioned to confirm their earlier statements made in Dili.
Lambertus Ladow explained that “he had not met Major Mustafine at his house, but
rather had only met him casually in the Port of Baucau and their interaction had
nothing to do with the revolutionary movement.”464 Lambertus denied strongly that he
had told Joaquim Ferreira that “Indonesian forces would soon take part in the
occupation of Timor.” Lambertus also stated that - while he had requested in Dili not
to be repatriated to Indonesia, he now wished to return to Indonesia for the sake of his
wife and children – and now that President Sukarno had granted a general amnesty to

461
Boletim Geral das Colónias, No.97, July 1933, p.112.
462
Gata, A.C.L.G., op cit., Annex 18 details the handover of the four Indonesian prisoners and a single
“special status” prisoner from Dili, Francisco M. X. J. Araújo - ie separate from the “52 Timorese”.
Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit., p.2 notes that the four Indonesians were subsequently
imprisoned for some time in Angola before their release and return to Indonesia in 1962.
463
PIDE – Lisbon, 383/59-D.Inv., Lisbon, 17 December 1959 – to PIDE Luanda (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS, PC 634/59, Caixa 5291).
464
Ladow, L., Auto de Perguntas, Caxias (Lisbon), 26 December 1959 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS
Lisbon, PC 604/59, Caixa 5288). The identity of “Major Mustafine” is not clear.
90

all political prisoners and refugees. In July 1960, commenting on the fate of the
deportees, the Army Chief-of-Staff in Dili – Captain Carvalho, commented to the
Australian Consul that he was “quite certain that nothing has come out of the Lisbon
inquiry into the 1959 disturbances to indicate that Djakarta was involved in any
way.”465

Imprisoned and Exiled in Lisbon, Angola and Mozambique

In late April 1960, Lambertus Ladow – the senior of the four Indonesians
imprisoned in Caxias (Lisbon), wrote to the Indonesian Consul in Dili on behalf of the
Indonesian group and requested financial assistance.466 At about the same time, ten of
the senior exiles in Angola from Viqueque, led by Amaro de Araújo, produced a
Memorandum detailing the causes and events of the Rebellion467 - see Annex D. This
Memorandum noted the leadership of the “500”-strong rebel group in Dili – but made
no mention of Indonesia, nor the 14 Indonesian Permesta exiles.
Soon after, on 31 May 1960, the 11 Timorese imprisoned in Portugal who had
arrived in Lisbon in July 1959 – together with the four Indonesians (Lambertus
Ladow, Gerson Pello, Jeremias Pello and Albert Ndoen) and Francisco de Araújo,
were transported from Lisbon to Vila Luso, Angola.468 Evaristo da Costa recalled “on
31 May 1960, the 11 Timorese in Lisbon were re-transported to Angola, together with
the four Indonesian officers” – and arrived in Vila Luso (Lwena) on 4 June 1960.469
Later in 1960, to facilitate continuing surveillance, the PIDE in Angola drew
up a list of the eight ringleaders of Rebellion: Joaquim Ferreira, João Pereira da Silva,
António Metan (António da Costa Soares), Fernando Pinto, Amaro de Araújo, Mateus
de Araújo and Luís da Costa Rego.470 PIDE records also indicated that Fernando
Pinto, “a former régulo of Uato-Carabau, was deemed influential and not to have
changed his ideas”, and the report noted that he “displayed a photograph of the
Indonesian Consul and chief organiser of the revolt in his house.”

465
Australian Consul – Dili, Memo 99/60, 30 July 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
466
Ladow, L., Caixas [sic, ie Caxias] Lisbon, 24 April 1960 – original in Tetum (AHD, PAA-809-948-
46). Ladow comments that the group had arrived in Lisbon “in the winter.”
467
Araújo, A.L.J. de (et al), Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento ocorrido em 7 de Junhe
[sic] de 1959, na Cirrcunscrição [sic] de Viqueque – Timor (Memorandum – Report: On the event that
occurred on 7 June 1959 in the Circumscription of Viqueque - Timor), six pages, Cólonia Penal do Bié
(Angola), 21 April 1960 – in Araújo, A.L.J. de, O Célebre Massacré …, Dili, 1974 (at Annex D). The
Memorandum was signed, in order, by Amaro Loyola Jordão de Araújo, Mateus Sarmento Jordão de
Araújo, José Manuel Duarte, Joaquim Ferreira, António da Costa Soares (António Metan), Fernando
Pinto, João Lisboa, Armindo Amaral, Paulo Amaral and Domingos Soares.
468
Following vaccinations, the Guia de Marcha (Travel Pass) for their journey was signed on 31 May
1960 by the PIDE Director in Lisbon (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS, PC 634/59, Caixa 5291).
469
Statement by Evaristo da Costa on his return to Jakarta on 5 January 1996 – reported in “Pejuang
Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …” (“I Never Imagined …”), Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta,
7 January 1996; and information emailed to the author from Evaristo da Costa on 11 January 2007.
Evaristo was one of the “11 Timorese” transported to Lisbon in early June 1959. As noted above,
Francisco de Araújo was also in the group moved from Lisbon to Angola - ie totalling 12. Evaristo
subsequently confirmed Francisco’s inclusion - email to author by Evaristo da Costa, 26 January 2007
and confirmed in discussions on 2 April 2007. Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East Timor)
Rebellion of 1959”, 2006, op.cit., p.44 - cites a PIDE report which can be interpreted to indicate that
“four Indonesians and 12 Timorese arrived at the port of Vila Luso in Angola on 3 June 1960” - ie
including Francisco de Araújo .
470
Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East Timor) Rebellion of 1959”, 2006, op.cit., pp.45-46 cites
the PIDE report and lists these seven – plus, by implication, Francisco de Araújo.
91

According to Gerson Pello, the four Indonesians had not been put on trial in
Lisbon – but were sent to Angola where they were allowed to “live freely and choose
their own work.”471 Jeremias Pello chose to tend cattle so that he could act as a
courier each morning for messages from Angolan nationalists without the knowledge
of the police. “We used a code created by Lambert who was clever at such things as
he had previously been a radio operator. In 1961, with the assistance of the
International Red Cross, we returned to Indonesia – but travelling to Switzerland
first.”472 President Sukarno had reportedly requested the release of the four
Indonesians during talks in Lisbon with Portugal’s Prime Minister Dr António de
Oliveira Salazar.473
There appears to have been no mention in the Portuguese media of the
Rebellion or its aftermath. However, with increasing international criticism of
Portugal’s colonial policies – including at the XV General Assembly of the United
Nations, Prime Minister Salazar stated in December 1960 that:
“Any person of good faith can see for himself that peace and complete calm
reign in our overseas territories, without the use of force and merely by the
habit of peaceful living in common.”474

Following an investigation in Lisbon, Francisco M. X. J. Araújo was released


and moved from Angola to live in Macau.475

471
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata … “, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995. op.cit., p.15
472
Ibid, p.15 – quoting Gerson Tom Pello. Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit., p.2 notes
that while in Angola they were considered by fellow prisoners to be “heróis da Asia” and relates the
activities of Jeremias Pello - then reportedly 17 years of age, as a clandestine prison “courier”.
473
Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit., p.2. states that Sukarno negotiated with Portugal’s
Prime Minister Salazar for the release of the four Indonesians during Sukarno’s visit to Lisbon – this
probably occurred in early May 1960 (Sukarno arrived in Lisbon on 7 May 1960).
474
“Portugal e a Campanha Anticolonialista” (“Portugal and the Anti-Colonial Campaign”) – speech
delivered by Prime Minister Oliveira Salazar to the National Assembly, Lisbon, 30 November 1960,
Boletim Geral do Ultramar, No.426, Lisbon, December 1960, p.21 (Portuguese), p.713 (English). India
was cited as “eagerly assuming in the U.N.O. the leading role in the Afro-Asiatic opposition to
Portugal … for its claims on Goa. It also wishes to hand over Macao to China and Portuguese Timor to
the Indonesian Republic, which has more than once stated that it has not claims to it.” – p.24, p.716.
92

After-Effects

Immediately after the uprising, the Portuguese administration in Dili


established a “coast-watching organisation” of “200 natives” supervised by police to
cover the northern coast - principally from Dili westward to Liquiça, with a less
intensive coverage from Baucau eastward to Com.476 Small military detachments
were also established at Laga and Lautém – ie additional to Lospalos, by August
1959.
In early August 1959, at the request of Governor Barata and in response to the
Rebellion, a PIDE inspector from Lisbon (Mário Ferreira da Costa) visited the
Province to advise on security issues. As a consequence, the Chief of Police, Manuel
Vieira da Camâra Júnior, was dismissed – “an earlier confidential report had already
related his improper behaviour”, and replaced by an administrative official, Agapito
dos Anjos.477 The Governor and Inspector da Costa also developed a proposal to
establish a local PIDE “subdelagação” in the Province.478. A few weeks later in mid-
November 1959, the Governor commented to the Australian Consul: “I shall be
happier when the five Metropolitan security police officers arrive – one cannot make
intelligence officers out of Administrators.”479
Some weeks after the arrests in Dili, the premises of a “Timorese-only” club in
Balide, the Associação Desportiva e Recreativa União, were burnt down. “It’s said
that the headquarters of the Club had been set on fire by the Portuguese colonial
authorities as it was considered a centre of anti-colonial subversion.”480
The Indonesian Government “had reportedly protested about the
‘disappearance’ of 12 of its nationals captured during the fighting.”481 On 26
September 1959, the Indonesian Consul in Dili wrote to Governor Barata seeking
“particulars regarding the death of one of the Indonesian detainees”.482 In response,
Governor Barata cited a Corpo de Polícia de Dili report that:
“an Indonesian, Jobert Moniaga, 26 years of age, single, the son of Frederik
Moniaga and Marga Berlaar, of Saelewere, Ntara ([sic] – ie, Sulawesi Utara =
North Sulawesi), Menado, a first sergeant in the Revolutionary Party of the
Republic of Indonesia, died in the hospital at Baucau on 17 June of this year as
a consequence of injuries received after having taken up arms against
Portuguese sovereignty.”483

475
In April 1963, Francisco de Araújo greeted Governor Barata in Hong Kong when Barata was
returning to Lisbon at the end of his gubernatorial tenure in Timor. Francisco later corresponded with
ex-Governor Barata in Lisbon - Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., p.71.
476
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 155/59, 3 August 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
477
Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., p.30, p.44. On 4 October, Manuel Vieira da Camâra
Júnior departed Dili for Lisbon on N/M India escorting the rebel deportees.
478
Ibid, p.30, p.44 and pp.125-127. The PIDE staff was not operational in the Province until 2 March
1961 – see footnote 631.
479
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 224/59, 18 November 1959 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1;
49/2/1/1 Part 1). The Governor noted that one of the PIDE officers would be fluent in Chinese – and of
considerable help in combating any infiltration from Indonesian territory. A PIDE presence in
Portuguese Timor had been earlier proposed in its 1955 budget, but not implemented – see footnote
126.
480
Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, As Duas Margens da Ribeira de Aileu, Lisbon, 2007. See also footnote 511.
481
Percival, J., “The Portuguese outpost the world forgot for 250 years”, The Sun Herald, Sydney, 13
August 1961.
482
Indonesian Consul – Dili, Note Verbale 203/I-b/59, Dili, 26 September 1959.
483
Governor of the Province of Timor, No. 285, Dili, 7 November 1959. For other accounts of the
circumstances of Jobert Moniaga’s death, see footnotes 361 and 363-365.
93

In January 1960, the Indonesian Embassy in Lisbon wrote to the Portuguese


Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodging a “strong protest against the actions taken by the
local authorities of Portuguese Timor” and calling the attention of the Ministry to:
- the arrests in 1959 of local staff of the Indonesian Consulate in Dili ie
David Verdial (“an Indonesian national”), Salem bin Musallam Sagran and
Mu Theng Siong – which “took place without previous notice … departing
from the common international practice between souvereign [sic] nations.”
- The spreading by the local authorities of Portuguese Timor of “accusations
against Mr. Nazwar Jacub Sutan Indra, the former Indonesian Consul in
Timor-Dilly, that he was involved in subversive activities collaborating
with some of the Indonesians, who have taken refuge in Portuguese Timor.
Such accusations are without any grounds.”484

In October 1960, the Indonesian Consul in Dili, Tengku Usman Hussin,


advised the Australian Consul that the nine remaining Indonesians who had been
imprisoned in Dili had recently been taken by sea to Oecusse by the Portuguese
authorities – and “simply pushed across the border from the enclave.”485 The
Indonesian Consul added that “the nine men are in custody in Kupang and are to be
charged with armed robbery and probably other offences against the criminal law –
apart from any action the Army might be taking against them for desertion.”486 He
added that “the method of handing the men over was irregular and is bound to be
resented in Djakarta. It appears that the Indonesian Government was not notified in
advance … and caused considerable adverse comment there ((Kupang)) regarding the
Portuguese methods … regarding the four men still in Portuguese hands … Djakarta
will continue its efforts to have them brought to trial or returned to Indonesia.”487
Australian officials in the Department of External Affairs in Canberra
discussed whether Consul Nazwar Jacub had operated unilaterally – or had been
operating under instructions from the Indonesian Government.488 The Australian
Embassy in Jakarta was subsequently tasked to obtain “discreetly” any information on
the “present whereabouts and activities of Naswar [sic] Jacub Sutan Indra … Our

484
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, No. B4/1/1/60, Lisbon, 4 January 1960. The letter also
complained of intimidation of local people from accepting employment at the Indonesian Consulate
and the “shadowing” of Consul Tengku Usman Hussin by local police that “prevented him from the
proper performance of his duties”.
485
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 144/60, 20 October 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1) ie as
reported to the Australian Consul by the Indonesian Consul.
486
Australian Consulate – Dili, ibid – the Australian Consul also reported that the return of the
Indonesians had been “independently confirmed by a member of the staff of the civil prison in Dili who
has also verified the Tengku’s account of how it was done. It is assumed that this informal method was
adopted to avoid embarrassment of having to acknowledge Djakarta’s 1958 representations on the
subject” – connect with footnote 224 on “full details” of the 14 Indonesians having been forwarded to
the Portuguese authorities by Indonesian officials in 1958.
487
Australian Consulate – Dili, ibid - the Indonesian Consul, Tengku Usman Hussin, was in Kupang at
the time of the transfer of the nine Indonesians. Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 255, 26 December
1966 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4) noted that the Dili-Kupang telephone link was closed by the
Portuguese administration in 1959 – but might “possibly re-open” in 1967.
488
Australian Department of External Affairs - Canberra, Manuscript Note, 1 July 1960 – in response
to Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 78/60, 18 June 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/9).
94

particular interest is in whether, as has been speculated in some quarters, he no longer


enjoys the confidence of his superiors.”489
To further strengthen security – primarily in response to the 1959 Viqueque
Rebellion, in 1961 Governor Barata formally re-established (ie “renascer”) a regional
Timorese militia under Portuguese command – the Segunda Linha (Second Line).490
In October 1961, the Australian Consul reported:
“The target of 20,000 irregulars has been reached and, after completing a few
weeks of training, the bulk of the force is to be stood down and sent back to
their tribes. … Firearms will not be retained by the individuals.”491

Sara Niner – José Alexandré (Xanana) Gusmão’s biographer, has related that:
“For the Portuguese authorities, the feelings of discontent it ((the Rebellion))
highlighted became the impetus for an upgrade of schools, health and other
government services. Xanana says they understood the increase in the military,
compulsory national service, and the creation of army reserves, as ‘tactics
necessary to contain the eventual rebellion of the Timorese’.”
Niner added: “Xanana and other East Timorese nationalists later came to see
the 1959 rebellion around Ossu, along with the Great Rebellion of 1912, as
defining moments in their unique identity as East Timorese people and their
growing sense of nationalism.”492

In Exile

Those exiled in Angola do not appear to have been mistreated. Several reports
note that they were referred to as “Os Heróis da/de Asia”.493 According to José
Manuel Duarte:
“we remained prisoners, but the judicial process did not start immediately as
the charges prepared in Dili did not meet their prerequisites. So, we were
again interrogated in Angola … I took the opportunity to relate the actions of
the Portuguese colonial government, explaining all their errors. Because the
conduct of the Portuguese colonialists was beyond our tolerance, we felt that it
would be better to unite with Indonesia which had been independent since
489
Australian Department of External Affairs - Canberra, Memo 800, 7 July 1960 – acknowledged by
Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 820, 21 July 1960 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
490
Barata, F. J. F. T., Timor - esse desconhecido, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais & Política
Ultramarina, Lisboa, 1963, pp.25-26. Barata planned a force of 20,000 – essentially to replace the
moradores, beginning on the western frontier and in Manatuto (to reward the “people’s loyalty”). The
Segunda Linha was planned to be led by “traditional chiefs” – with régulos given the rank of major,
chefe de sucos (village chiefs) as captains and lieutenants, and chefe de povoação (sub-villages) as
“sargento-ajudante” - Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp. 136-141. Local
auxiliaries had also previously been termed “Segunda Linha” in the 19th century – see Oliveira, L. de,
Timor na história de Portugal, Vol I-III, Agência Geral do Ultramar, Lisboa, 1949-1952. See also
footnote 348. A useful history of Segunda Linha, including its re-organisation in the 1960s, can be
found in Sales Grade, E.A., “Timor: O Corpo Militar de Segunda Linha”, Revista Militar, 26 (4-5),
February 1974, Lisboa, pp.198-215.
491
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 188/61, 23 October 1961 (NAA, A1838, 696/5 Part 2).
492
Niner, S., Xanana – Leader of the Struggle for an Independent Timor-Leste, Australian Scholarly
Publishing, North Melbourne, 2009, p.10, p.251 (Endnote 19). Gusmão’s remarks on the Rebellion –
and subsequent Portuguese reforms and security strengthening measures, are mirrored by Abílio de
Araújo – see footnote 550, and Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares at footnotes 399 and 429.
493
Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit. – see footnote 472; Araújo, A.L.J. de, O Célebre
Massacré …, 1974, op.cit. – “Heróis” in the title of a photograph; Herman, J., “Pejuang Timtim Akan
Tuntut Portugal – Atas Pembantaian 2,000 Orang di Viqueque”, Jawa Pos, 16 November 1995, p.13.
95

1945 … I related the reality of the situation – for example, there were no
schools, hospitals, the people had to hand over their food crops, there were no
roads, forced labour everywhere etc – all as background to the Rebellion …
The conduct of our interrogators in Angola was far different from that in Dili.
In Angola, there was no torture. They just asked us to explain what we had
done, and the background to events. After we had revealed all, they weren’t
game enough to prosecute us. … Our dossiers were sent to the Portuguese
Minister for the Interior and, after a while, a decision was made that we had to
be released. To guard against further demands for integration and to
disempower us, we were divided into two groups. One was allowed to remain
in Angola, and the other was relocated to Mozambique. … Although we were
declared to be free men, we weren’t able to enjoy the same freedom as
Portuguese – and we continued to be watched closely.”494

1959 Rebels’ Football Team – Bié, Angola, 1961


Standing: Valentim da Costa Pereira, Manuel Alim, Gerson Pello,
José Manuel Duarte, David Verdial, Albertus Ndun.
Front: Germano das Dores da Silva, Lambertus Ladow,
Carlos da Sousa Gama, Evaristo da Costa, Luís da Costa Nunes

494
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih …”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.24. Jolliffe, J., Cover-Up,
2001, op.cit., pp.45-46, pp.325-326 (endnote 19) quotes extracts from José Manuel Duarte’s written
submission on human rights abuses by the Portuguese administration in Timor - see earlier footnotes
251-253. Pinto, dos Santos, L., Certidão - …, 22 March 1983, (see Annex H) indicates that Duarte
appeared before the Tribunal Militar Territorial de Luanda on 25 June 1960. Some of the rebels were
processed earlier by the Tribunal in mid-May 1960 - Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East
Timor) Rebellion of 1959”, 2006, op.cit., p.44.
96

In Bié, Usman bin Manduli was reportedly placed in charge of the Timorese
prisoners’ rations and feeding arrangements – and the director of the prison arranged
that the Muslim deportees had access to halal food.495
José Manuel Duarte declared that in Angola and Mozambique there were 64
Timorese political prisoners and “four from NTT” (ie Nusa Tenggara Timor – ie the
Indonesians from Kupang, West Timor).496 This is confirmed by a listing (Os Nomes
dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola do Ano de 1959) produced in Silva Porto (Bié)
by Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa (“Detido Numero 52”) in June 1960 – Annex
F.497 That document noted the previous employment of each exile (with the exception
of a few from Viqueque) and grouped them as:
• I. De Dili Não Considerado culpado (From Dili, considered not
guilty) – 32 (including Francisco de Araújo).
• II. De Dili considerado como culpado (From Dili, considered guilty)
– 16.
• III. Os que assaltaram Secretária de Viqueque, Uatu-Lari e Uatu-
Carbau, Causaram mortes na ribeira mota Webui (Those who
attacked the Secretariat in Viqueque, Uatolari and Uato-Carabau –
Resulting in the deaths at the Bebui River) – 16.
• IV. … quarto Indonesios (four Indonesians) – 4, all with military
ranks (but see footnotes 211, 213, 214 and 221).

After 15 months of imprisonment in Angola, 32 of the deportees – essentially


those “not considered guilty” – see above, were released in February 1961 – with
“liberdade condicional”, but were required to reside and seek employment in the Bié
province capital, Silva Porto (now Kuito)498. Interestingly, those “considered not
guilty” and released conditionally included those from Aileu, Baucau, Letefoho – and
most of those from Dili. On 27 May 1961, a further group of 31 – “the most
responsible for the incident” including Evaristo da Costa were similarly released499 -
and all reportedly received a monthly subsídio of 120 escudos. A few months later, on
29 August 1961, a group of the previously released deportees, including Evaristo da
Costa and Salem Musalam Sagran, were embarked on the vessel N/M Moçambique
and transported to the Colonato do Limpopo (Limpopo resettlement zone) in southern

495
Email to author from Dr. J. Berlie, 22 July 2009.
496
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.14.
497
Costa, F.A.S. da, Os Nomes dos Detidos Timorenses para Angola do Ano de 1959 (The Names of
the Timorese Detainees Sent to Angola in 1959), Silva Porto (Bié, Angola), 6 June 1960 – Annex F.
The title of the document is not quite correct as the list also includes those Timorese sent initially to
Lisbon (departing Dili in early June 1959) and arriving in Angola in early June 1960 – as well as
Francisco de Araújo and the four Indonesians who were disembarked in Lisbon on 11 December 1959.
498
The 32 are listed in PIDE-Angola, No.43/61-S.INV., Luanda, 9 March 1961 (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS PC 604/59 Caixa 5288). Their release was proposed in September 1960 by PIDE Luanda
and agreed by the Governor-General of Angola - Dr Silva Tavares, following an assessment that “the
investigation in Dili was undertaken in conditions that were unclear - and the nature of the facts
investigated with the resulting prejudice to the determination of the degree of responsibility of each of
the defendants.” – PIDE Angola, No. 398/61-S.INV., Luanda, 9 August 1961 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS
PC 604/59 Caixa 5288). 31 of the 32 who were released are listed as “De Dili Não Considerado
Culpado” (see footnote 497 above) – and José Soares (“attacked the Secretariat in Viqueque …”) was
also among those released.
499
The 31 are listed in PIDE Angola, No. 398/61-S.INV., Luanda, 9 August 1961 (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS PC 604/59 Caixa 5288).
97

Mozambique.500 According to Evaristo, 31 of the deportees were sent to Mozambique,


with 32 remaining in Bié – including the four Indonesians and Francisco de Araújo.501
Those selected for transfer to Mozambique were the “inocente” – but, following the
intervention of Francisco da Costa Dias (the brother of Evaristo), two of the
“culpados” (Evaristo da Costa and Vicente Vidigal) were included in the group sent
to Mozambique.502 At Limpopo in Mozambique, the deportees became rural
“transmigrants”. In October 1961, several of the transmigrants – including Evaristo
da Costa, received a despacho from the Portuguese Minister for Overseas Affairs
directing that they remain in Limpopo for five years pending a review of their
situation.
According to a PIDE report of mid-October 1963, most of the former
Timorese rebels in Africa “took up with ‘mulheres de raça negra’ or local women
deemed mancebada (concubines or mistresses) and started families.”503 In 1967, José
Manuel Duarte applied for his wife and children in Portuguese Timor to join him in
Angola – and, “with the assistance of a member of the Portuguese Parliament
representing Timor and the intervention of a pastor”, his family arrived in Angola in
1969.504

Some Exiles Return

At the outbreak of the war in Angola in early 1961, due to an influx of


Angolan detainees, most of the Timorese prisoners in Angola’s Bié penal colony had
been released - but remained confined to the Bié provincial capital, Silva Porto.
However, a number of the “tidak terlalu bersalah” (Bahasa – “not so guilty ones”)
were returned to Portuguese Timor.505 This group probably included Crispim Borges
de Araújo, Joaquim dos Santos and “Francisco Periero Ou Chiquito.”506
The four Indonesians: Gerson Pello, Lambertus Ladow, Albert Ndoen and
Jeremias Pello were transferred from Angola to Lisbon on 12 July 1961. They
remained in Lisbon until April 1962 and were then flown to Zurich before arriving in
Jakarta by air on 7 April 1962. Three of the four accepted offers to serve in the
Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI – “Indonesian Armed Forces”) – Jeremias Pello

500
Costa, E. da, Declaração, Dili, 17 June 2001 – in Costa, E. da (et al), O Célebre Massacré …,
2005, op.cit.
501
Emails to author, 24 and 26 January 2007. Those sent to Mozambique appear to have comprised the
group of 31 “not so culpable” released in February 1961 – plus Evaristo da Costa.
502
Evaristo da Costa – discussions with the author in Dili, 2 April 2007. The listing of deportees at
Annex E indicates those deportees transferred from Angola to Mozambique – based on the
recollections of Evaristo da Costa, Salem Sagran and Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa on 2 April
2007.
503
As cited in Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East Timor) Rebellion of 1959”, 2006, op.cit.,
p.46.
504
Diatmika, A.G., “(Ternyata) Merah Putih …”, Vista 57, 1989, op.cit., p.24.
505
Statement by Germano das Dores da Silva in Jakarta on 6 January 1996 when greeting returning
exiles (Evaristo, Armindo and Domingos) – reported in “Pejuang Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah
Menduga …” (“I Never Imagined …”), op.cit. , Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta, 7 January 1996.
Germano had returned to East Timor in April 1970, was a founding member of the Apodeti party, and
served as a member of the regional parliament (DPRD II) in Same (Manufahi, East Timor).
506
Rohi, P.A., “Timor-Portugis dari Masa-kemasa”, Kompas, Jakarta, 4 October 1974, p.V. “Francisco
Periero Ou Chiquito” is not listed as one of the deported rebels – however, note that “João Pereira da
Silva – alias Chiquito” was still in Angola in 1964 (footnotes 513, 514) and returned to Timor in April
1970, see footnotes 522 and 523. Frederico de Almeida da Costa returned in 1963 – and may have been
accompanied by Agostinho dos Santos and Vital Ximenes.
98

however declined and returned to Kupang in 1963 to care for his aged parents.507
Gerson Pello was reportedly “parachuted into Irian Barat ((Dutch New Guinea)) - but
when Irian Barat finished, Gerson just left the military and wandered around …
Lambert and Albert remained in Jakarta.”508
In November 1961, a sub-group of the deportees in Mozambique – including
Salem Sagran, were transferred to Lisbon, before returning to Timor a few years
later.509
A group of seven Timorese – reportedly “cleared” of involvement in the
Rebellion, arrived back in Dili aboard the vessel Arbiru on 23 April 1963.510 On 10
August 1963, another group of eight - including Juman bin Bachirun and Salem
Musalam Sagran, arrived in Dili aboard the vessel Timor. For many Timorese, “the
returnees from Angola were ‘heroes’.”511
Fernando Pinto, a former régulo of Uato-Carabau reportedly desired to “save
face” with the people of his district before returning from Angola to Timor.
Accordingly, he requested compensation from the Portuguese authorities for cattle
and other goods seized by the colonial administration from his father who had been
killed in Uato-Carabau during the uprising in 1959. Pinto’s claim comprised “23
buffaloes, ten horses, 20 goats, two gold horns (lua), three ropes of 300gm each
(essential to restrain cattle), 50 swords (essential items of bride wealth to negotiate
marriages and for funerals) - and among other items: four table knives, four shirts, six
items of men’s clothing and five items of women’s clothing … . Pinto also asked that
22 buffaloes, 20 goats - as well as many other items, be given back to his sister-in-law
whose property was seized by the troops after her husband, João Gaspar from Uato-
Carbau, was killed.”512
In the mid-1960s, although no longer imprisoned, the deportees in Angola
were still watched closely by the PIDE and their agents. An official report in October
1964 indicated that: “Joaquim Ferreira, João Pereira da Silva, António da Costa
507
Sarong, F., Pejuang …, 1999, op.cit., p.2. The three who joined the TNI were “Klein Lado, Albert
Ndoen and his ((Jeremias’)) older brother, Gerson Pello.” Jeremias however was classified as a
purnawirawan (Bahasa – retired Indonesian military officer) and received a pension as a veteran and
an “independence pioneer”.
508
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.15.
509
Sagran, M.S., Declaração, Dili, November 2005 – in Costa, E. da (et al), O Célebre Massacré …,
2005, op.cit.
510
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 85, 26 April 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
511
Gusmão, X. (Niner, S. ed), To Resist Is To Win !, 2000, p.16. Gusmão continued: “I had always
enjoyed stories – told in whispers by the older residents of Dili – the old elite made up of nurses,
employees of the printing industry and a few old retirees – about the 1959 case in Dili when the
clubhouse of the União was burnt down and why that club had become a symbol of anti-colonial and
sometimes racist sentiments against the Portuguese and Chinese.” Niner adds in an explanatory
footnote (f.18) on the 1959 uprising that “Around 160 lives were lost and 60 Timorese were exiled for
their part in the rebellion. Both UDT (União Democrática Timorense – Timorese Democratic Union)
and Fretilin claim this event as a formative influence.” The Fretilin President’s Discurso on 22 January
1975 for the “Coligação UDT-Fretilin” (see footnote 885) lauded the sacrifices of the “Guerras como
os de Manu Fahi, Cotubaba e Uato Lari” – p.57 in Carrascalão, M.V., Timor – Antes do Futuro, Mau
Huran Printing, Timor-Leste, 2006. As noted earlier, reportedly Gusmão “and other East Timor
nationalists later came to see the 1959 Rebellion around Ossu, along with the Great Rebellion of 1912,
as defining moments in the development of their unique identity as East Timorese people and their
growing sense of nationalism.” - Niner, S., Xanana – Leader of the Struggle …, op.cit., 2009, p.251
(Endnote 19). José Alexandré (later “Xanana”) Gusmão served as a junior civil servant in the
Administrative Service in Dili in the period January 1966-July 1974 – completing his obligatory
military service from mid-1969 to mid-1971.
512
Berlie, J., email to author, 13 December 2006, citing “A Written Report in the National Archives in
Lisbon”. Fernando Pinto’s claim was not resolved, and he reportedly died in exile in Angola.
99

Soares, Fernando Pinto, Amaro Jordão Loyola de Araújo, Manuel Rodrigues Alin,
Luís da Costa Rego, and Gama keep the same attitude as they had in Timor and which
had led to their deportation to the Province.”513 “Chiquito” (João Pereira da Silva)
was noted as listening to radio broadcasts from Moscow and Peking and passing
information to other deportees. Both Chiquito and Joaquim Ferreira were
“encouraging the natives against the Portuguese”. A few months later, a similar report
accused these two “of listening to broadcasts from Moscow, Peking, Brazzaville and
Tangiers” – disseminating the information to other Timorese, and noted that they
“were optimistic that Timor would be annexed by Indonesia.”514 Comments were also
made on the activities of eight of the deportees – adding that “besides the eight
referenced, the rest are practically harmless - and there was no ‘political organisation’
… In general, almost all live with blacks (“pretas”) and have children. There are a
few who have cooperated with the authorities – and, as such, are viewed poorly by the
others resulting in divisions into groups.”515

Reports of Unrest in Portuguese Timor

In late February 1965, there were rumours in Dili of “unrest among the
Uatolari tribes” including “blood-letting ceremonies and other gatherings normally
not permitted by the authorities.”516 The Governor, the military commander and the
head of the civil administration made a hastily organised visit to the region - despite
the hazardous road conditions in the wet season, and the reported unrest abated.
In early July 1965, eight men suspected of plotting to “assassinate the
Governor and perhaps other senior officials with hand grenades” were arrested – two
in Dili and “six in the border area attempting to escape into Indonesia”.517 Each of the
three principal conspirators reportedly had close relatives connected with the 1959
Rebellion – arrested or deported.518 No details of this event were apparently made
513
Governo do Distrito do Bié, No 64, Silva Porto, 6 October 1964 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1507a,
NT 2080). “Gama” was José dos Ramos de Sousa Gama (“Zeca”).
514
PIDE – Silva Porto, No 33/65-S.R., Silva Porto, 8 February 1965 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1507a,
NT 2080).
515
Ibid. – the eight deportees reviewed were, in order: Joaquim Ferreira, João Pereira da Silva (O
Chiquito), Fernando Pinto, António da Costa Soares, Amaro Loyola Jordão de Araújo, Manuel
Rodrigues Alim, Luís da Costa Rego, and José dos Santos de Sousa Gama (married to a white
European woman). All the “28 deportees” were living in Silva Porto – except for Luís da Costa Rego
(living on a farm about 40km outside the town); and Gervásio Soriano Aleixo and Venancio da Costa
Soares (living in the Colonata da Chicava about 40km from the town). Luís da Costa Rego’s contact
with an American evangelical missionary in the area - Charles Donald Cole, was viewed suspiciously
by PIDE.
516
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 50/65, 8 March 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3).
517
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable 51, 8 July 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3).
518
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 98/65, 12 July 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4; 3038/2/1
Part 3). The Consul speculated that this plot might be connected with the activities of the United
Republic of Timor-Dilly (URT-D), but senior officials in the Australian Department of External Affairs
in Canberra noted that there was no evidence to suggest that the URT-D operated outside Jakarta – see
marginal notes on the copy of Dili’s Memo 98/65 on NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3. The Australian
Consul’s Memo 98/65 – noted above, provided information on three of the eight arrested. One was an
“Arab/Timorese whose father, Abdullah, was the driver of the local judge, when he was arrested for his
part in the 1959 uprising … now dead” – but this description does not fit any of the four exiled
“arabes” – see footnotes 445 and 446. However, “Abdullah” may have been imprisoned in Portuguese
Timor – see footnote 419. Another of those arrested was “Kim Lim Yeong/Acoet” – the “younger
brother of the Indonesian Consul’s driver”, ie probably the younger brother of 1959 rebel Mu Then
Siong. The third was Castello – whose father had been “arrested in 1960 for his part in the previous
uprising and deported … from where he has not returned.” The Australian Consul’s Memo also relates
100

public. At the end of 1965, a Timorese second sergeant – Manuel Vladimiro Osório
Soares, was transferred to Portugal “as a security measure”. Sergeant Osório Soares
had “been in contact with the Indonesian Consul and not advised his superior officers
of his conversations”.519

An End to African Exile

In mid-1966 – apparently following a request from Dili, the PIDE Delegation


in Angola, completed an investigation into the status of the remaining 35 deportees -
ie 27 in Angola and eight in Mozambique.520 Of the 27 in Angola - 14 were in
employment, 11 were unemployed and living on government subsidies, and two were
self-employed. Seven of those in Angola, “showed no desire to return to Timor” :
Luís da Costa Rego, Valentim da Costa Pereira, Jorge Anselmo de Lima Machado
([sic] – ie, Maher), Luís Soares da Costa Nunes, José Manuel Duarte – all five were
employed; Venancio da Costa Soares (unemployed) and Fernando Pinto (self-
employed). All 11 of those who were receiving a government subsidy “have in mind
to one day return to Timor”.
José Manuel Duarte noted that on 3 April 1969, in Angola, the rebel exiles
went into mourning at the death of one of the Timorese leaders of the Rebellion,
Amaro de Araújo.521 On 21 March 1970, 12 of the exiles – most with family
members, returned to Portuguese Timor from Angola aboard the N/M India : António
da Costa Soares, Gervásio Soliano Aleixo, Domingos dos Reis Amaral, João Lisboa,
João Pereira da Silva, Joaquim Ferreira, José Sarmento, Miguel Pinto, Nicodemus dos

that, in mid-July 1965, a returned 1959 exile - an “Arab” who had been Indonesian “Consul Jacub’s
right hand man”, had sought employment at the Australian Consulate. The applicant had reportedly
learnt English in Lisbon – this was probably either Salem Sagran, an “Arab” (see footnote 446) who
had been exiled in Africa but spent several months in Lisbon before returning to Portuguese Timor
(footnotes 179, 509 and 511); or perhaps – but less likely, David Verdial, a non-Muslim, who had been
imprisoned in Lisbon (footnotes 179, 209, 292, 438 and 484).
519
PIDE – Timor, Documento No.2 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS CI(2), NT 4874). Sergeant Osório Soares
departed Dili on the N/M Timor on 22 October or 22 November 1965. Five years earlier, he had joined
the public service as an aspirante administravo acting as a chefe de posto - vide BOdT, No.6, 11
February 1961, p.62. He was released from the public service on 3 April 1961 in order to undertake his
military service obligations – vide BOdT, No.16, 22 April 1961, p.248. Manuel Vladimiro Osório
Soares was a younger brother of José Fernando Osório Soares – who became the Secretary General of
the Apodeti party (see footnote 529). Manuel Soares was reportedly transferred to the Azores “as a
result of his opposition (ie “pembangkannya”) – namely his friendship with the younger brother of the
Indonesian Consul” in Dili. - Rusdie, H. et al, op.cit., Perjuangan …, March 1997, op.cit., p.9.
520
PIDE – Angola, “Assunto: Timorenses Fixados em Angola”, No. 237/66-SR-2a, Luanda, 5 August
1966 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1507a, NT 2080).
521
Mali Mau, M., “José …”, 14 November 1992, op.cit., p.13. Amaro de Araújo was the leader of the
Timorese rebels in Viqueque and had participated in the raid on the Viqueque Circunscrição buildings
on 7 June 1959. Amaro and fellow rebel Eduardo de Araújo – who died in Mozambique, were
reportedly grandsons of the leader of the 1912 Rebellion, Dom Boaventura. According to some
Indonesian sources - including Rohi, P.A., Pemberontakan …, Mutiara, Edition 775, 1995, op.cit, Dom
Boaventura fled to Kefamenanu in West Timor and died in 1969. However, Portuguese sources and
Chega !, CAVR Final Report (Part 3, para 21) contend that he was captured near Betano in October
1912 and died in prison on Ataúro. Indonesian sources may be confused with Dom João da Cruz
Hornay, the raja of Ambeno (Oecusse), who rebelled in 1910-1913 and later resided in Kefamenanu
until his death – see Hagerdal, H., Historical Notes on the Topass Leaders in Oecusse, Vaxjo (Sweden),
pp.31.32 who cites the “major revolt” by Dom João as “an offshoot of the great revolt of Dom
Boaventura of Manufai in 1911-12.” The rebellion by João de Hornay/Hornai in Oecusse is also related
in Oliveira, L. de, Timor na história de Portugal, Vol II, Agência Geral do Ultramar, Lisboa, 1952, pp.
115-121.
101

Reis Amaral, Manuel Rodrigues Alin, Germano das Dores Alves Santana da Silva,
and Duarte Soares.”522 On their return, João Pereira da Silva and Germano das Dores
da Silva reportedly then “fled to Indonesia”.523
An Indonesian publication claims that, following increased security by the
authorities in Portuguese Timor in response to the 1959 Rebellion:
“East Timorese resistance leaders concentrated their movement overseas …
The leaders of the East Timor movement began preparations for their activities
by organising their forces in the East Timor-Indonesian Timor border area.
They even began to organise cells in Australia.”524

1974-1975 – and Apodeti

Following the April 1974 “Carnation Revolution” in Portugal525, a period of


“political development” began in Timor as Portugal sought to disengage from the
Province. Several of the former rebels who had returned from exile to Timor were
among the 36 “Os fundadores” (founders) of the Apodeti political party (Associação
Popular Democrática Timorense – Timorese Popular Democratic Association)526 ,
that pressed for integration into Indonesia. These former 1959 rebels527 were: Abel da

522
“Relação dos Timorenses e Famílias a Repatriar”, 21 March 1970 – an annex lists former rebels
and the dependants returning with them (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1507-A, NP 2080). Germano das
Dores is mentioned incorrectly in “Pejuang Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …” (“I Never
Imagined …”), Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta, 7 January 1996, as returning to Timor in 1986. See
Annex E for a consolidated listing, spelling of names, and returning family members.
523
Tomodok, E.M. ((Indonesian Consul – Dili: 1972-1976)), Hari-Hari Akhir Timor Portugis, Pustaka
Jaya, Jakarta, 1994, p.96.
524
Soekanto, Integrasi … ,1976, op.cit., p.76. While these claims may be an oblique reference to the
activities of Silvester Martins Nai Buti (footnotes 681-690) in the border areas in the early 1960s – no
further information has been noted on the claimed “cells” in Australia.
525
For the transitional constitutional structure, see Junta de Salvação Nacional, Lei 3/74, 14 May 1974
– BOdT, No.26, 29 June 1974, pp.488-497. The Australian Embassy in Jakarta advised Canberra:
“Portuguese Timor has never, so far as we can ascertain, surfaced in either foreign affairs or
((expunged – a probable reference to Bakin/Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) talks that began in the
early 1970s)). … We have not had any indication of an interest in discussing the question with us.” –
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, O.JA2391, 17 May 1974 (NAA: A1838, 935/17/3 Part 2). It appears that
Portuguese Timor was subsequently a topic initiated by Australian officials at the Bakin/JIO talks in
Jakarta in late June 1974 – Australian Embassy-Jakarta, “Indonesia: Clandestine Operation …”, 3 July
1974 – see footnote 731.
526
Apodeti was founded in Dili on 27 May 1974 (see also footnotes 859-867 for detail – and footnotes
856, 874, 877, 878, 883, 891 and 1047). The 36 Apodeti “fundadores” are listed in the Apodeti
Manifesto promulgated by the Committee for the Self-Determination of Timor on 19 June 1974 – see
attachment to Department of Foreign Affairs – Canberra, File 3038/3/1, 8 August 1974 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/2 Part 2). Note that the English translation, in error, only lists the first seven of the Apodeti
fundadores. Also, only 35 “pendiri” (Bahasa - founders) are listed at p.33 in Rusdie, H., Suratama K.
& Soares, A.J.O., Perjuangan Kemerdekaan Rakyat Timor Loro Sa’e, 1997 – ie omitting Domingos
Pinto Soares. The 36 are also listed in Soekanto, Integrasi …, 1976, op.cit., pp.81-82 , and Tomodok,
E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir ..., op.cit., 1994, pp.96-97. Several works incorrectly include “José Martins” (of
KOTA) - ie instead of “João Martins Corbafo” (see footnotes 960 and 961), among the 36 founders –
including those of Tomodok; Soekanto; Gunn, G., Timor Leste – 500 Years; Chrystello, C.J., 2000;
Fernandes, M.S., “A Preponderância dos Factores Exógenos”, 2007, op.cit., p.158; Jolliffe, J., Balibo,
2009, op.cit., p.67; and Chega, CAVR Final Report, Part 3, History of the Conflict, p. 16, para 49
which states, incorrectly: “José Martins defected from Apodeti, of which he had been one of the
founders.” A concise history of Apodeti is at Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.79-
82.
527
These former rebels are listed among the 36 “fundadores” in the Apodeti Manifesto cited in the
footnote above and in Pires, M.L. Governador, Relatório do Governo de Timor, Lisboa, 1981, p.31.
102

Costa Belo (a member of the Apodeti Party Presidium), Germano das Dores Alves da
Silva (see footnotes 505, 522, 548), Vital Ximenes528, João Pereira da Silva
(“Chiquito”), Frederico Almeida da Costa, Gervásio Soriano Aleixo and Francisco
Orlando de Fátima. José Duarte also asserted that in 1974 or 1975, he was contacted
in Angola by José Fernando Osório Soares529, the Secretary General of the Apodeti
Party in Dili, and appointed as “Apodeti Representative for Angola and
Mozambique.”530 In explaining the origins of Apodeti to an Australian journalist, José
Osório Soares related that the party’s real leaders were the former members of the
“movimento de ‘59’ ” – or more bitterly, “the massacre of ‘59’ ”- ie the Viqueque
Rebellion of 1959.531 An Apodeti newsletter in September 1974 printed a letter from
nine “leaders of the 1959 Rebellion” supporting Apodeti’s policy of integration into
Indonesia.532 An Indonesian source also contends that “many of the personalities
behind the founding of Apodeti were veterans of the people’s rebellion of 1945-1949
in Lospalos and also veterans of the 1959 independence struggle in Viqueque.”533 In a
public address on 12 November 2008, the former Bishop of Dili - Dom. C.F.X. Belo,
stated that Apodeti’s “members came from those dissatisfied with the Portuguese
Government who had been involved in the revolt of 1959 in Viqueque, Uato-Carabau
and Uatolari – and some members of the Arab community in Dili who had asked the
Consul of Indonesia for integration … the mentor of the ideals of Apodeti was the
Portuguese major Arno Metelo ([sic] – see footnote 856), the Armed Forces
Movement’s delegate in Timor”.534

Araújo, A. (Arnaldo) de (Governo Provisorio Timor Loro Sae), Matanza em timor oriental, March
1976, Dili – cites the deaths in 1976 of Apodeti, UDT and Trabalhista members later killed by Fretilin
including: Osório Soares on 28 February 1976 - and “Chiquito, Gervásio Aleixo, António Soares
(Metan), and Vital Ximenes”.
528
Vital Ximenes - an Apodeti “founder”, was arrested by Fretilin in August 1975, imprisoned, and
later removed into the countryside by Fretilin in December – see Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo
389, 15 March 1976 (NAA: A10463, 801/13//11/1 Part 21), and presumably killed.
529
José Fernando Osório Soares was born in Same on 3 November 1938 – his wife was reportedly a
daughter of a former Governor of Portuguese Timor (1946-1950), Óscar Ruas. Two of his uncles
(Joaquim Osório and José Manuel Duarte) were reportedly Timorese principals in the 1959 Rebellion.
José Soares trained as a priest in Macau but, on his return to Timor, served as a civilian official in the
Portuguese administration – including as a Sub-District (Posto) Administrator in several locations.
Background detail can be found in Rusdie, H. et al, op.cit., Perjuangan …, March 1997, op.cit., pp.7-
11 and in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, op.cit., 1987, p.32. Ramos-Horta claims José Fernando Osório
Soares, a “colonial official”, was dismissed from his Sub-District appointment over a rape charge,
posted to Dili, and three years later fired for fraud. However, Ramos-Horta also notes that he suspected
“there was some truth” in Soares’ claims that he (Soares) had been “framed by the Portuguese
authorities for his pro-Indonesian sympathies”. For José Osório Soares - see footnotes 519, 527, 543,
545, 859, 862, 875, 876).
530
Rohi, P.A., “Apa Kata …”, Mutiara, Edition 776, 1995, op.cit., p.14.
531
Juddery, B., “East Timor: which way to turn ?”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 18 April 1975.
According to an Australian intelligence report: “Its followers include relatives and friends of the
Timorese who were involved in the insurrection of 1959, and Timorese priests.” – Joint Intelligence
Organisation (JIO), “A Descriptive Survey of Portuguese Timor”, JIO Study No. 3/75, Canberra, 1975
(NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2). Following a visit to Timor in June 1974, Australian officials had
reported: “Apodeti is seen as the political heir of the 1959 rising against the Portuguese in Viqueque
which was instigated by refugees from the Permesta/PRRI revolt.”- Australian Department of External
Affairs, Cable O.CH79457, Canberra, 3 July 1974 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/11/2 Part 2). For Fretilin
and UDT positive attitudes towards the 1959 Rebellion as a “formative influence” – see footnote 511.
532
Hill, H.M., Gerakan Pembebasan Nasional Timor Lorosae, 2000, p.62 – footnote 22 cites the
Apodeti publication ie O Arauto de Sunda, No.3, 18 September 1974.
533
Soekanto, Integrasi … ,1976, op.cit., p.79.
534
“12 de Novembro de 1991 – por D. Carlos Ximenes Belo” – text on Forum Hakesuk blogspot, Dili,
13 November 2008/Uma Lulik blogspot, Dili, 14 November 2008.
103

In 1974, a group of the ex-rebel members of Apodeti arranged


for the production of a booklet : O Célebre Massacré de Uato-
Lari e Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of
the Infamous Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-Carabau in 1959) –
Annex D, that included the six-page “Memorandum” (cited
earlier) written by Amaro Araújo in Angola in 1960 titled
“Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento ocorrido em
7 de Junhe [sic] de 1959, na Cirrcunscrição [sic] de Viqueque –
Timor” (Memorandum – Report: On the event that occurred on
7 June 1959 in the Circumscription of Viqueque - Timor).535
The thin 12cm x 21cm booklet also included a frontispiece
photograph of “Chiquito, Membro de Apodeti, Um Dos
Desterrados de 59” – ie João Pereira da Silva ; and a group
photograph of about 50 of the rebels at the prison in Bié (Angola) in 1960 as “Os
Heróis de ‘59’ De Sterrados [sic] em Angola” (see page 91). The booklet was
intended to promote Apodeti’s links to the earlier 1959 rebellion – but made no
mention of the involvement of the Indonesian Consul - Nazwar Jacub, nor of any of
the 14 Indonesian “Permesta” exiles.
In early 1975, several of the exiles who had left Angola and Mozambique to
live in Portugal sought to return to Portuguese Timor. According to Armindo Amaral,
they sought the assistance of the Indonesian Embassy in Lisbon – including through
the Indonesian Ambassador, Ben Mang Reng Say, but the Indonesian Embassy was
closed in December 1975 before all the arrangements for their return had been
finalized.536
In 1975, support for the Apodeti party was strong in northeastern Viqueque. A
visiting Australian journalist, Bill Nicol, noted:
“In Uatolari, for instance, the scene of the 1959 ‘massacre’, there was growing
animosity between the Fretilin and Apodeti supporters. Both parties had equal
support in the area. The Portuguese intelligence officer, Captain António
Ramos537, explained the Uatolari problem at the end of our meeting on 8 April
1975. ‘The people do not easily forget the trouble there in 1959’, he said.
‘People revolted against the government and were sent to Angola. They
returned to Timor in 1968 … The main problem now is the land and the cattle.
They want everything that was theirs returned to them. But it has since been
taken over by the other people there, who are now Fretilin (and) who want to
keep it.’ What had begun as basically a local domestic issue had become a
clash between the two political parties, with some violence resulting.”538

Mário Viegas Carrascalão - a leader of the UDT political party (União


Democrática Timorense - Timorese Democratic Union) and later Governor of East
Timor 1982-1992, commented on party political loyalties in 1974-1975 as follows:

535
The “Memorandum – Assunto: Sobre o acontecimento…” is included as Annex D to this monograph
– less the multi-coloured front cover which is shown above (ie a booted bayonet-thrust into Viqueque
and spurting blood). According to Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, in 1974, Francisco Lopes (see
footnotes 166 and 169-172) met regularly with the Apodeti pendiri (founders) in Dili and managed the
production of the booklet, probably in Kupang – discussions with the author in Dili, 1 July 2009.
536
“Pejuang Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …”, Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta, 7 January
1996, p.1 & p.8.
537
Captain António Luciano Fontes Ramos – see BOdT, No.13, 28 March 1975, p.211.
538
Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.292.
104

“if you looked at Uatolari, everyone was Fretilin, and in Uato-Carabau,


everyone was Apodeti.”539

The tensions in Uatolari were acknowledged in June 1975 when the authorities
in Dili appointed Second Sergeant Albino dos Santos Brandão as the “Military
Commander of the Uatolari Zone” and administrator of the Uatolari Posto.540
On 11 August 1975, the União Democrática Timorense (UDT) - as the MAC
(Movimento Anti-Comunista), mounted a successful coup in Dili541 – but was defeated
by Fretilin’s “counter-coup” in the following week.542 Late on the evening of 26
August, the Portuguese Governor, his staff, and about 95 military personnel evacuated
from Dili to Ataúro (see later footnote 926). The Apodeti leadership and its few
supporters in Dili joined with Fretilin against the UDT543 – and by the end of August,
the UDT forces had been driven westward from the city.544 However, following
increased ABRI (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia – Indonesian Armed
Forces) attacks in the border area, on 4 October Mari Alkatiri ordered the arrest of the
Apodeti leaders.545 The Apodeti President Arnaldo do Reis de Araújo and ex-1959
rebel Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa were held in the Comarca (prison) at Balide
539
Chega !, Final Report of the CAVR, op.cit., Part 3, para 81. Mário Carrascalão’s remarks were
made during an interview on 15 December 2003.
540
BOdT, No.26, 28 June 1975, p.450.
541
The objectives of the UDT’s “Operação Sakonar” are detailed in Pires, M.L., Descolonização …,
1991, op.cit., pp.193-195 eg: “Objectivo Final – Erradicação total de comunismo e libertação nacional
unidade de todos os timorenses a [sic] independência total.” Events are related in Fisher, D.J.,
“Assessment of Political Development in Portuguese Timor from 11-18 August”, 28 August 1975, by
visiting Australian diplomats (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 13, pp.220-228). A separate report on
that file – Fisher, D.J., “Evacuation from Portuguese Timor 16-19 August 1975”, 29 August 1975,
describes the evacuation of 303 civilians from Portuguese Timor who arrived in Darwin in the period
14 August (Macdili) to 19 August 1975 inclusive.
542
A former UDT leader, Mário Carrascalão, wrote in 2006: “Everything would have been easily
avoided if Governor Lemos Pires had the courage to make use of ‘their’ paratroopers to seize the MAC
((Movimento Anti-Comunista)) Operational Commander and his subordinates, as well as Second-
Lieutenant Rogério Lobato and some of the more radical leaders of Fretilin” - Carrascalão, M.V.,
Timor – Antes …, 2006, op.cit., p.92.
543
Apodeti had reportedly earlier provoked the UDT by holding a flag-raising ceremony in the grounds
of the Indonesian Consulate at Farol on Indonesian National Day (17 August) and conducting
reconnaissance on UDT/MAC locations in Dili – Carrascalão, M.V., Timor – Antes …, 2006, op.cit.,
p.89. Apodeti’s activities of 17 August were observed and described by Fisher, D. in his 28 August
1975 report – see footnote 541 above. The Apodeti leadership in Dili was isolated from its “partisan”
force being prepared by ABRI in West Timor - and reportedly sided with Fretilin reluctantly. See the
discussions between Apodeti Secretary General José Osório Soares and ABRI Lieutenant Colonel
Soebijakto (Commander of the Indonesian Prihatin relief mission to Dili that brokered a brief ceasefire
in late August and evacuated refugees by sea) – “Versi Sejarah Soebijakto #2” and #3, Kompas Online,
Jakarta, 9 March 1996. An Apodeti telegram to the President of Portugal – signed by Guilherme M.
Gonçalves (the luirai of Atsabe) as “President of Apodeti” at Atsabe on 17 September 1975, declared
that Apodeti was fighting against Fretilin and complained of intimidation and violence against Apodeti
leaders and members in Fretilin-held areas - including “six thousand people” isolated in Dili.
544
Fretilin and UDT reportedly fought a week-long battle at “Rai Cortu” - 20km west of Dili, and
evacuated dependants by sea from Maubara – described at pp.34-35 in Subroto, H., Saksi Mata …,
1996, op.cit. Fretilin forces seized Baucau (4 September) and Liquiça (7 September) by “negotiation” -
with the surrender of numbers of UDT troops. According to Jolliffe, “full scale fighting erupted
throughout the territory, leaving 1500-2000 people dead in five weeks.” – Jolliffe, J., Balibo, 2009,
op.cit., pp.76-77.
545
Chega !, Final Report of the CAVR, op.cit., Chapter 7.4, para 125 and paras 183-184. Mari Alkatiri
was the Fretilin Minister of State for Political Affairs. The ABRI Prihatin mission – see footnote 543
above, and the arrest of José Osório Soares are described in Subroto, H., Saksi Mata …, 1996, op.cit.,
pp.47-50.
105

(Dili) – but escaped to the Indonesian Consulate on 7 December 1975 during the
ABRI airborne and amphibious assault on Dili.546 Many others who had been held in,
or taken into, the countryside were subsequently killed by Fretilin - including
Apodeti’s Secretary General José Fernando Osório Soares who was killed at Hat
Nipah near Hola Rua (Same) on 27 January 1976547; and former 1959 rebels –
including António Metan and João Pereira da Silva (Chiquito), reportedly killed by
Fretilin in Aileu.
During the Indonesian occupation many of the ex-rebels and supporters of the
1959 Rebellion collaborated with the Indonesian administration of the Province of
Timor Timur. Several held senior positions including that of Bupati – ie District/
Kabupaten Administrator, and Camat – ie Sub-District/Kecamatan Administrator.
Some became members of the Timor Timur Legislative Assembly – ie DPRD I, and
the District Legislative Assemblies – ie DPRD II. Others became civil servants and
successful businessmen.548
Areas of land in northeastern Viqueque District seized following the 1959
Rebellion (footnote 399) were returned to Naueti.549
In 1977, Abílio de Araújo, the Head of Fretilin’s External Delegation,
declared:
“The revolt of 1959 was a landmark of great importance in the history of anti-
colonial resistance by the Timorese people.”550

Abílio de Araújo contended that the uprising in 1959 forced “significant


transformations” in the administration of the Province by the Portuguese authorities
including improvements in education and an increase in public works activity.
However, he noted that “while the 1959 revolt compelled the colonialists to make
concessions, on the other hand, it forced them to refine their methods of repression” –
citing an increase in military forces in the Province and the establishment of a PIDE
delegation.

Rebel Exiles in Africa and Portugal

Following the Indonesian occupation of East Timor that began in early


December 1975, Fretilin established embassies and delegations in Portugal,
Mozambique and Angola. However, according to several former rebels, there was no

546
Ibid (Chega !), para 138 and p.53. For Frederico’s subsequent service in Apodeti from 1974 and his
unsuccessful nomination in late 1982 for the position of Governor of East Timor, see Annex E.
547
Ibid (Chega !), para 212.
548
Abel da Costa Belo was the Bupati of Baucau – ie appointed provisional chairman of the Baucau
region on 7 January 1976: Antara, Jakarta, 8 January 1976. António Metan’s son, Eugenio Metan, was
the first Camat (Sub-District Administrator) of Uatolari during the Indonesian period. Eugenio was
reportedly killed by Falintil in the 1990s. DPRD members included: José Manuel Duarte, Nicodemus
dos Reis Amaral and Germano das Dores da Silva. See the listing of vocations at footnote 562 and
further detail at Annex E.
549
Tilman, M. & Pereira, D., “Tanah Dan Perumahan …”, East Timor Law Journal, Article 14, 2004;
Yayasan HAK, Konflitu Rai No Natar Iha Uatolari – Akuza, Direito 27, Edition 27 June 2004.
550
Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos…, 1977, op.cit., pp.182-183. Abílio de Araújo had
been a member of the Fretilin Central Committee, the Fretilin Minister for Economic and Social
Affairs in late 1975 and subsequently the Head of the External Delegation. His father had been
detained briefly in 1959 in connection with the Rebellion – see footnote 299. De Araújo’s remarks –
including on the significance of the Rebellion to nationalists – and the subsequent reforms and security
strengthening by the Portuguese administration, are similar to those of José Alexandré (Xanana)
Gusmão, see footnote 492.
106

contact in either Angola or Mozambique between the exiled rebels and Fretilin’s
overseas officials.551 Similarly, in Portugal, the former rebels were viewed with
suspicion by Fretilin, and there was little if any contact. Most of the former rebels and
their families lived in Lisbon’s Quinta do Balteiro area, a shanty town.552 In
November 1978 in Lisbon, Australian journalist Jill Jolliffe interviewed José Manuel
Duarte who, on the objectives of the 1959 Rebellion, reportedly stated: “We are [sic]
not interested in the government of Indonesia, but in the integration of East and West
Timor. We have [sic] ancient links – we never had a border before Portugal colonized
Timor.”553
In December 1983, a number of the deportees still in Angola and Mozambique
- including Evaristo da Costa, were permitted to travel to, and reside in, Portugal
where they were able to engage in menial employment and received a small
government allowance.554 During their time in Portugal, the former rebels had no
contact with Fretilin or other pro-independence groups as the former rebels were
regarded as “supporters of Indonesia” – and they feared reprisals by Fretilin and
others.555

More Exiles Return

In 1986, José Manuel Duarte, one of the deported Timorese principals


involved in the June 1959 attacks in Viqueque and Baguia, returned to Timor. José
Duarte – who was the uncle of a later East Timor Governor (Abílio Osório Soares -
East Timor Governor 1992-1999), became a member of the East Timor Provincial
Parliament in Dili (ie DPRD I – “Fraksi Karya Pembangunan”) and established a
trading and construction business in Dili ie C.V. Neusa. He also acted as spokesman
for the veterans of the Viqueque Rebellion in East Timor in his appointment as Ketua
Legiun Veteran RI Daerah Timtim (Chairman of the Veterans’ Legion – East Timor
Region). In November 1992, José Duarte announced at a press conference in Dili that
he was preparing a case against Portugal on “human rights abuses in East Timor” –
and that this initiative was supported by his nephew, the Governor.556 This action

551
Author’s discussions with Evaristo da Costa, Francisco Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem Sagran
in Dili on 2 April 2007.
552
Most of the Timorese who left in 1975 also lived in this area - until the shanty town was closed in
the early 1990s. Some of the former rebels moved to a housing estate at Carnaxide where living
conditions were much better – email to author from Estavão Cabral, 23 June 2009.
553
Ms Jill Jolliffe’s interview of 11 November 1978 is cited in Taylor, J.G., East Timor: The Price of
Freedom, Zed Books, London, 1999, p.21 & p.24.
554
“Pejuang Timtim: Saya Tidak Pernah Menduga …”, Kompas/Kompas Online, Jakarta, 7 January
1996, p.1 & p.8: Evaristo da Costa was accompanied by his children – but not his wife, Maumisse
Amido, who remained in Mozambique. In Portugal, Evaristo was employed for a time as a truck driver.
He and Armindo Amaral related other employment as security guards, goods carriers, guards at tennis
courts - with monthly incomes equivalent to 700,000-1.3m Indonesian rupiah – insufficient to maintain
a family in Portugal (high costs of accommodation, food, and transport were cited). A monthly
allowance (“uang saku” – pocket money) paid by the Portuguese Government, equivalent to 165,000
Indonesian rupiah, was also inadequate – “Jati Diri: Pejuang Timtim; Jangan Beri Mimpi”, Jawa Pos,
10 January 1996, p.4.
555
Statements by Evaristo da Costa to the author, Dili, 2 April 2007.
556
Sampaio, A., op.cit., pp.1-2 and “Warga Timtim akan tuntut Portugal”, Surya, Jakarta, 14
November 1992. The issue was again raised in August 1995 by the chairman of the East Timor
Provincial Parliament (DPRD I), António Freitas Parada; and in mid-November 1995 by José Manuel
Duarte (see footnote 566). Subsequently, in April 1996, Parada indicated that a claim had been made to
the International Court of Justice (Den Haag) on 28 June 1995 citing Portuguese colonial oppression –
107

appears to have been precipitated by a statement made by the Portuguese President,


Mário Soares, over Radio Nederland on 30 October 1992 to the effect that no human
rights violations had occurred in Timor during Portuguese rule. In early 1994, José
Manuel Duarte drafted a two-page “Memorandum” that related the history of the
Rebellion, cited the statement by Mário Soares and sought pensions and emoluments
from the Indonesian Government for the 1959 veterans and their dependants.557
Following a letter to President Soeharto by several Timorese exiles in 1994,
arrangements were made for further returns to Indonesia – eight were reportedly still
in Portugal, two in Mozambique, and two in Australia.
In July 1995, the National Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM) reported
that the Indonesian Government was in the process of “now trying to rewrite history,
attempting to force the surviving 1959 deported to state that their rebellion had been
aimed at integration with Indonesia, so as to be able to claim that pro-Indonesian
integration feelings have been present for a long time among many East Timorese.”558
The CNRM media release reported that - at a meeting organised by Governor Abílio
Soares in Dili on 8 June 1995, returned exiles were told that they must assist in the
writing of a history of the Rebellion that would state that the people of East Timor
already wished integration as far back as 1959 559 – and any documentation held by
the returned exiles was to be made available to the Indonesian authorities. Attendees
were also reportedly told of the Indonesian Government’s intention to build a
memorial to those killed in the Rebellion on the banks of the “Watu Lari” river (ie the
Bebui River) – with plans to inaugurate the monument by 10 November 1995.560

Recognition, Reunions – and claims against Portugal

In mid-late 1995, the Indonesian media included several lengthy articles on the
Rebellion and the former rebels – with articles by journalists Peter Rohi in the
magazine Mutiara, and by J. Herman in the Jawa Pos in which former rebels were
interviewed.561
On 10 November 1995 - on Indonesia’s “Hari Pahlawan” (Heroes’ Day), 13
former Timorese exiles of the Viqueque Rebellion were awarded veterans’
decorations (Tanda Penghargaan Veteran RI Pejuang Perintis Integrasi Timor-
Timur) in Jakarta by the Indonesian Defence Minister, General Edi Sudrajat – “in
recognition of their service in the struggle to integrate Timor Timur into
Indonesia.”562 In discussion with the Defence Minister, José Manuel Duarte stated

“Rakyat Timor Timur Gugat Pemerintah Portugal” (“The People of East Timor Accuse the Portuguese
Government”), Jayakarta, 11 April 1996.
557
Duarte, J.M., Memorandum, Dili, 4 February 1994 – in Bahasa Indonesia.
558
Conselho Nacional de Resistência Maubere (National Council of Maubere Resistance - CNRM),
“Indonesia’s desperate attempt to revise East Timor history”, Media Release, 3 July 1995, p.1.
559
This claim has been made in several books published in Indonesia, including by the Indonesian
Consul in Dili in 1975 – Tomodok, E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir…, 1994, op.cit., p.95.
560
CNRM Media Release op.cit. – see footnote 558 above. The media release was based on a signed
report dated 15 June provided by an un-named attendee. José Manuel Duarte spoke at the meeting and
offered documents. P.A. Rohi’s (“Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit.) subsequent meetings with
Marcelino in 1996 – see footnotes 136, 227, 275 and 363 - conducted “within the framework of
reconstructing the 1959 Rebellion”, may have been an element of this Indonesian Government project.
561
Information extracted from these articles has been cited earlier. See the Bibliography – Selected
Reports and Articles, for detail on articles by P.A. Rohi and J. Herman.
562
“13 Pejuang Integrasi Timtim Terima Penghargaan Veteran” (13 Timorese Integration Fighters
Receive Veterans’ Awards), Kompas, Jakarta, 11 November 1995, p.15; and “Kepulangan Pejuang
108

that his “one remaining wish was to see


Portugal prosecuted in the International Court
– as he regarded them as war criminals for
detaining him without trial.”563

A meeting was chaired in Dili by the Sekwilda (Regional Area Secretary) in


early November 1995 to plan a monument to the Rebellion in Viqueque Town. A
statue of a man standing “tegak” (“upright/boldy”) was proposed – with a similar
statue in Uatolari.564

In Viqueque Town on 10 November 1995, East Timor Governor - Abílio José


Osório Soares, laid the foundation stone for the “Viqueque Struggle” monument in

Integrasi Timtim” (“Return of East Timor Integration Fighters”), Republika Online, Jakarta, 11
November 1995. The recipients of the “Integration Pioneer” medal were listed as: José Manuel Duarte
(aged 61, retired civil servant – ex Civil Servant “Korpri” Secretariat), Salem Musalam Sagran (67,
businessman and manager of the East Timor Majelis Ulama Indonesia), Germano das Doras Alves da
Silva (57, member DPRD II Manufahi), Dominggos da Conceição Pereira (68, retired civil servant),
Nicodemus dos Reis Amaral (70, retired member of DPRD), Joaquim Ferreira (62, village chief, Uma
Uain Leter), Lourenço Rodrigues Pereira (64, retired civil servant), Dominggos dos Reis Amaral (62,
farmer), Alexandré de Jesus (67, unemployed), Usman bin Manduli Sangaji (60, former village chief,
Alor – West Dili), Saleh bin Ahmad Bassawan (60, businessman), José Sarmento (53, farmer), and
Vernando [sic] Pinto (who had died in exile) – this appears to be a reference to Fernando Pinto of Uato-
Carabau. Other 1959 veterans had also reportedly been proposed, but a timely decision had not been
reached on their inclusion.
563
“Anak Saya di Cijantung, Jadi Kopassus” (“My Son is at Cijantung to become a Kopassus
member”), Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 11 November 1995, p.13. José Duarte also related that two of the
former rebels were then resident in Australia, and eight in Portugal – of whom three planned to return
to Indonesia.
564
“1959, Rakayat Timtim Sudah Merah Putih”, (“In 1959, East Timor was already Red and White”),
Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 7 November 1995, p.13.
109

the Town’s Freedom Square (Lapangan Merdeka).565 The ceremony was attended by
“traditional units” from each of Viqueque’s five districts. Governor Abílio Soares
asserted that “even while in exile, the deported rebels had declared their support for
Apodeti in written statements.” The monument - a tall column topped by a large
metal Garuda (a mythical Hindu bird, Indonesia’s national symbol), was completed in
early 1999 – see photograph, but panels and engraving were not finished before the
withdrawal of the Indonesian administration later that year. Soon after the withdrawal
of the Indonesian forces, the base of the monument was covered with grafitti.
However, as at mid-2010, the Garuda remained atop the monument
In Dili in mid-November 1995, José Manuel Duarte hosted a “bernostalgia”
reunion for former rebels at his home in Motael – those attending included three of
the Indonesians: “Gerson Tom Pello, Jezkial Folla and Jeremias To’an Pello” from
Kupang; and Dili-resident Timorese: “Nicodemos Amaral, Dominggus Geronimoa
Amaral, Joaquim Perreira and José Sarmento.”566 During an interview, José Duarte
claimed that “more than 2,000 citizens of Viqueque had been killed by the Portuguese
at the Bebui River during the 1959 Resistance.” He also declared that the 1959
Rebellion was “the earlier uprising that wished to unite the people of East Timor with
Indonesia.” Duarte also again spoke of prosecuting Portugal before the International
Court - noting that he had raised the issue earlier in 1992 (see footnote 556). “While
previously there had not been a response on assistance from the Indonesian
Government”, Duarte believed that recent support from the Chairman of the East
Timor Regional Parliament (DPRD I) - António Freitas Parada, improved prospects
for progress.
On 5 December 1995, a “former exiles’ organisation” in Dili (Pejuang
Integrasi Timor Timur Ke Dalam Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia – The
Fighters for the Integration of East Timor into the Unitary Republic of Indonesia) sent
a Pernyataan Sikap (Position Statement) to the visiting UN Human Rights
Commissioner that expressed their disappointment that the UN had never paid
attention to human rights violations by the Portuguese in quelling the 1959 Rebellion
– and appealed to the UN Secretary General not to take notice of “opportunist
traitors” outside East Timor who “pretend to speak for the people of East Timor.”567
The following day, the former exiles’ group held a meeting in Dili’s Mahkota Hotel
(now Hotel Timor) and sent a letter (Annex G) to the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights in Geneva declaring that the objective of the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion
had been to integrate Portuguese Timor with Indonesia – and that “the aspiration of
the East Timorese People to unite with Indonesia had been in the soul of the East
Timorese People from 1950 and was later brought into sharper focus by the outcomes
of the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung in 1955.”568 As evidence of Portugal’s

565
Herman, J., “Integrasi 1976, Realisasi Perjuangan Viqueque 1959” (“The Integration of 1976, the
Realisation of the 1959 Viqueque Struggle”), Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 11 November 1995, p.13.
566
Herman, J., “Pejuang Timtim Akan Tuntut Portugal – Atas Pembantaian 2,000 Orang di Viqueque”,
Jawa Pos, 16 November 1995, p.13. The reunion in Dili was the initiative of the then Surabaya-based
journalist, Peter A. Rohi. For earlier consideration of taking Portugal to the International Court, see
footnote 556.
567
Pernyataan Sikap - Pejuang Integrasi Timor Timur Ke Dalam Negara Kesatuan Republik
Indonesia, Dili, 5 December 1995 – the letter was signed by: José Manuel Duarte, Joaquim Ferreira,
José Sarmento, Germano das Dores Alves da Silva, Salem M. Sagran, Saleh Bassarewan, Lourenço
Rodrigues Pereira, and Domingos da Conceição Pereira.
568
Pejuang Perintis Integrasi Timor Timur Ke Dalam Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, Dili, 8
December 1995 (in Bahasa Indonesia and Portuguese). Copies were also sent to the UN Secretary
110

official acknowledgement of the Rebellion’s intent, the letter included a photocopy of


a “Certidão” (“Certificate” – in Portuguese, see Annex H) from the Portuguese
“Armed Forces Chief of Staff’s Office for the Coordination of the Disbandment of the
PIDE/DGS & LP” that attested: “José Manuel Duarte participated in the seizure and
occupation of the Viqueque Circunscrição headquarters on 7 June 1959 with the
objective of delivering up the Province to the Republic of Indonesia.”569
On 5 January 1996, accompanied by several of their children, three exiles
returned to Jakarta from Portugal: Armindo Amaral (57 years), Evaristo da Costa
(61), and Domingos Hornay Soares (57) – and the three similarly received veterans’
titles from the Indonesian Defence Minister at a ceremony on 10 January. In Portugal,
the group had been assisted in preparations for their return by the Portuguese-
Indonesia Friendship Association (PIFA) chaired by Manuel Macedo.570 Venancio da
Costa Soares had been intended to return with the group - but was “ill” and remained
in Portugal.571 On the group’s subsequent arrival in Dili on 14 January 1996, Evaristo
da Costa declared: “For me, integration ((with Indonesia)) began from 1959.”572 Soon
after in a media interview, José Manuel Duarte and Salem Sagran spoke of the 1959
Rebellion as the “embrio” of the process leading to East Timor’s incorporation into
Indonesia – and of plans for reunions, the writing of a book, and the establishment of
a “1959 Viqueque Movement Yayasan” (in Bahasa, Yayasan = Foundation).573
Evaristo, Domingos and Armindo were provided with adjacent houses by the
provincial authorities in the western Dili suburb of Aimutin. Also – during an
interview in 1996, Marcelino António Fausto Guterres (who had been reported -
apparently incorrectly, as attending the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung in 1955)
stated in reference to 1959: “We saw West Timor as a historical reason for integrating

General in New York. Signatories were: José Manuel Duarte, Salem M. Sagran, and Germano das
Dores Alves da Silva. See Annex G for a copy in Bahasa Indonesia and an English translation.
569
Pinto, L. dos Santos, Certidão - Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas Serviço de
Coordenação de Extinção da PIDE/DGS e LP, Lisbon, 22 March 1983 – see Annex H. The indictment
before the Territorial Military Tribunal in Angola in May 1960 also cited the rebels’ aim to “annex
Timor to the Republic of Indonesia” – see Gunn, G.C., “Revisiting the Viqueque (East Timor)
Rebellion of 1959”, 2006, op.cit., p.44.
570
Related to the author by Evaristo da Costa, Dili, 2 April 2007. PIFA was founded on 20 October
1993. Its counterpart organisation in Jakarta, the Indonesia-Portugal Friendship Association (founded
17 January 1994), was chaired by President Soeharto’s daughter, Siti Hardiyanti Rakmana – “Tutut”.
571
“Jati Diri: Pejuang Timtim; Jangan Beri Mimpi”, Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 10 January 1996, p.4.
Evaristo was accompanied by his children: Evaristo Gomes Costa (36), Romeu da Conceição Costa
(16) and Eva Amido da Costa (13) – Ramos Quintão Costa (17) remained in Portugal to continue his
education. Venancio da Costa Soares declined to return to Timor - reportedly fearful that he would be
killed on arrival in Dili – email information to the author from Evaristo da Costa, 8 February 2007.
Evaristo had suggested returning to Timor – and this was proposed in a letter drafted by Evaristo and
signed by Armindo Amaral to Armindo’s friend Germano das Dores da Silva in Same who was
serving as a member of the local Parliament (ie DPRD II Manufahi).
572
“Tangis Sambut Tiga Pejuang TimTim” (“Tears Greet Three East Timor Fighters”), Kompas,
Jakarta, 15 January 1996, p.15. The three returnees were escorted by José Manuel Duarte and
Germano das Dores da Silva – and met by Salem Sagran and local officials.
573
“Pejuang 1959 TimTim Akan Reuni dan Menulis Buku Sejarah” (“1959 East Timor Fighters Will
Re-Unite and Write a History Book”), Antara, Jakarta, 15 January 1996. As noted above, the “Garuda-
topped” monument to the 1959 Rebellion stands in the main square (actually a “triangle”) of “old”
Viqueque Town. A far smaller monument (height about two metres) is located at the northern apex of
the “triangle” – erected by ABRI Yonif (infantry battalion) 408 on 10 December 1990, dedicated to that
battalion’s operations during a tour-of-duty in Viqueque.
111

into Indonesia. Above all, it would have been impossible for us ((East Timor)) to
stand alone.”574
In Dili on 30 March 1996, the Indonesian Defence Minister awarded
Veteranus Perintis Integrasi (Integration Pioneer Veteran) medals to 27 of the
participants in the 1959 Rebellion. Of the 23 Timorese recipients, 20 were deceased,
and their posthumous awards were accepted by their close relatives. 575 Three
Timorese veterans accepted their awards: “Juman bin Bachirum, Manuel Rodrigues
Alin, and Manuel Alves”. Four Indonesians were also awarded the medal: Gerson
Tom Pello, “known as Tinenti” (ie Lieutenant); Jeremias To’an Pello; Albert Ndun;
and the late Lambert Klin Landauw [sic] – “Lambert, who had passed away in
Bangkok (Thailand) in 1983 was represented by his fourth daughter, Luciana Ladow.”
In an interview, Jeremias explained that, at 19, he was the youngest of those deported
in 1959 – and, as such, was given the nickname of “the little one” by his comrades.
In a further ceremony in Jakarta on 11 November 1996, the Indonesian Social Affairs
Minister, Inten Soeweno, awarded the Satyalancana Perintis Pergerakan
Kemerdekaan (Independence Pioneer Medal) to 16
“patriots” of the Viqueque Rebellion – including three of
the four Indonesians (names underlined below): José
Manuel Duarte, Domingos Soares, Evaristo da Costa,
Armindo Amaral, Joaquim Pereira [sic], Germano Alves da
Silva, Nicodemos dos Reis Amaral, José Sarmento, Usman
bin Mandully Lolly Sangaji, Gerson Tom Pello, Jeremias
Toan Pello, Alberto L. Ndun, Mateus Sarmento Jordão de
Araújo (deceased), António da Costa Soares (deceased),
Miguel Pinto (deceased) and Vital Ximenes (deceased).576
Subsequently, the Independence Pioneer Medal was also awarded to:
Alexandré de Jesus, Alexandrinou Boromeu, Domingos da Conceição Pereira,

574
Rohi, P.A., “Soekarno …”, 9 May 2005, op.cit., p.2 – for information on Marcelino, connect with
footnotes 136, 138, 141, 227, 228 and 363.
575
“27 Pejuang Viqueque Peroleh Gelar Veteran”, Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 1 April 1996, p.5. The
deceased former Timorese rebels were: “António da Costa Soares, António Soriano, Alberto Rodrigues
Perreira, Duarte Soares, Francisco Maria Xavier de Araújo, Crispin Borges de Araújo, Gervasao [sic]
Soriano Alexio, Joaquim Agustodos Santos, João Perreira da Silva, José Soares, João Lisboa, José
Gama, José Maria Esposito Maia, Mario José Hendriques Martins, Manuel da Silva, Miguel Pinto,
Mateus Jordão de Araújo, Paulo da Silva, Paulo da Conceição Castro, Vital Ximenes”.
576
“13 Perintis Integrasi Terima Penghargaan”, Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 6 November 1996, p.5 –
published before the ceremony ; “Satyalancana untuk 16 Tokoh Timtim” (“Independence Pioneer
Medals for 16 Prominent East Timorese”), Kompas Online, Jakarta, 12 November 1996 – “69 of the
rebels were captured, one sentenced to death, and the remaining 68 were exiled … at present, 34 are
still living (24 in Indonesia and 10 in other countries) while 35 have died (27 in Indonesia and eight
overseas).”; Setyalencan [sic] dan Rp 1,5 Juta untuk Pejuang Timtim, Jawa Pos, Surabaya, 12
November 1996, p.5 – under Presidental Decree 111/TK/1996 – the “omitted” Indonesian was
Lambertus Ladow (deceased, Bangkok, 1983). Minister Soeweno noted that surviving Perintis
Kemerdekaan (Independence Pioneers) numbered 338 – together with about 2,000 widows. The awards
were also later reported by the United Nations in “Sixteen East Timorese patriots received medal of
independence movement”, UNSG Report on the Situation in Timor, E/CN. 4/1997/51, UN Economic
and Security Council, 21 February 1997. In reference to the 1959 exiles, the UN report also cited an
Indonesian statement: “Following the fall of the dictatorship in Portugal, they had repeatedly appealed
to the Portuguese Government to be returned to Indonesia, but to no avail. Their eventual return was
facilitated by the ICRC. No news coverage or announcements about their return to Indonesia and their
current well-being were ever made by Portugal … 34 are still alive, living both inside and outside
Indonesia.”
112

Domingos Jeronimo Amaral, Fernando Pinto (deceased), Juman bin Bachirun,


Lourenço Rodrigues Pereira, Saleh bin Ahmad Bassarewan, and Salem Sagran.577
Minister Soeweno noted that 69 rebels had been captured in 1959 – of whom one had
been killed; and 24 survivors were then currently resident in Indonesia and a further
ten lived overseas. The Social Welfare Department in Dili announced in early
November that each veteran would receive a monthly living allowance from the
Indonesian Government of 300,000 rupiah - while widows would receive 150,000
rupiah. Each of the veterans was also to receive a sum of 1.5m rupiah each year for
home renovations. In May 1999, when interviewed at his home near Kupang,
Jeremias Pello related that he was receiving his monthly pension of 360,000 rupiah
“as an Independence Pioneer” – but he had not been paid his “veteran’s pension”
since 1977. Further, he had yet to receive any housing allowance as promised by the
Minister for Social Affairs in November 1996.578

The Popular Consultation of 1999 – and Militia Group “59/75”

In late January 1999, the Indonesian Government offered the people of East
Timor the choice of “wider autonomy” (“otonomi yang diperluas”) within the
Republic – ie continued integration; or “separation from Indonesia” (“berpisah
dengan Negara Kesatuan RI”) – ie independence, through a “Popular Consulation” to
be conducted on 30 August 1999.579
In May 1999, a pro-integration militia group: “59 Senior/75 Junior”
(sometimes referred to also as Naga Merah – Red Dragon) was formed in Viqueque
Town by the Viqueque District Bupati, Martinho Fernandes.580 Chega !, the Final
Report of the CAVR, notes that the “59/75 Junior/Naga … led by Alvaro de Jesus”
had its “roots in the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion”.581 “The militia group 59/75 Junior –

577
Sekretariat Militer Presiden, Daftar warga negara Republik Indonesia Yang Menerima Anugerah
Tanda Kehormatan Satyalancana Perintis Pergerakan Kemerdekaan Satyalancana Kebudayaan Dan
Satyalancana Pendidikan, Biro Tanda-Tanda Jasa/Kehormatan, Jakarta, 2005 – lists a total of 25 East
Timorese recipients of the Independence Pioneer Medal in a total of 988 recipients (ie 2.5 percent). All
except “Alexandrinou Boromeu” (a member of the Apodeti Party Presidium in 1974, an Apodeti
signatory to the 30 November 1975 “Balibo Declaration”, and the Bupati in Manufahi 1976-1984) were
involved in the 1959 Rebellion. An “Alexandrino Borromeu” served in the civil service in Dili in the
early-mid 1970s as a laboratory assistant 2nd-class – vide BOdT, No.32, 7 August 1971, p.717; and
BOdT, No.13, 28 March 1975, p.214
578
Sarong, F., “Pejuang Timtim yang Kesepian”, op.cit. – Jeremias lived in Pariti village, about 63km
from Kupang. In 1997, he had been offered a very small house in Kupang – but had declined. Officials
had visited him in Pariti to plan improvements to his home, but no work had commenced by May 1999.
579
For a contemporary article on Indonesian President Habibie’s decision, see Anwar, D.F., “Habibie
dan Timor Timur”, Tempo, Jakarta, 8 February 1999, pp.30-31.
580
Martinho Fernandes had been appointed Bupati in March 1999 and had previously served as the
Camat of Ossú Sub-District. Martinho also reportedly founded the large militia group in Viqueque -
Makikit (Eagle), led by Lafaek Saburai (Afonso Henriques Pinto). Raimundo Soares and Francelino
Soares are also listed as “59/75” leaders in McDonald, H. (et al), Masters of Terror – Indonesia’s
Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999, Canberra Papers on Strategy & Defence No. 145,
Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 2002.
581
Chega !, Final Report of the CAVR, op.cit., Part 4, p.29. An article by Gunter, J., “Communal
Conflict in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit., p.37 states that Eurico Guterres “created the Viqueque militia”
in April 1999 and “unambiguously linked the pro-Indonesia side to the rebellion forty years before by
naming the group ‘59/75’.”
113

… took its name from the year of an abortive anti-Portuguese uprising in the district
(1959), and the year of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor (1975).”582
The militia groups in Viqueque - ie Makikit (based in Lacluta) and 59/75
(based in Beobe/Rai Um sub-village of Uma Kiik, three kilometres west of old
Viqueque Town) were - when “compared to militia groups in the western Districts,
neither was especially strong. In three of the five sub-districts (ie kecamatan) – Ossú,
Uatolari and Uato-Carabau, they were virtually absent. By one estimate, there were
fewer than 100 militiamen in the entire District in mid-1999.”583
According to local elders, the nominal leader of 59/75 was Joaquim Ferreira
(aged 66 years) who had been a participant in the 1959 rebellion and later exiled to
Angola – while the active leaders of the 59/75 militia included “Comandante” Antero,
who had been earlier wounded by Falintil, and Filomeno Amaral.584 Killings and
other violence committed by the 59/75 militia group included attacks on 10 and 11
August 1999 on the offices of a student organization and on the Conselho Nacional
Resistência da Timorense (CNRT) in Viqueque Town.585
Eurico Guterres was one of the most prominent pro-integration militia leaders
in 1999 and the commander of the Dili-based Aitarak militia group. He has contended
that his grandfather was killed by the Portuguese in Viqueque during the 1959
Rebellion.586
Following the violence after the 30 August 1999 Popular Consultation, several
of the former 1959 rebels left Timor-Leste – many initially to West Timor. These
included José Manuel Duarte and Joaquim Ferreira. Domingos Hornay Soares
reportedly returned to Portugal in 2000.

Compensation Claims – “Caso Grupo 59”

As noted earlier, in 1992 returned exiles and Indonesian officials in Dili had
proposed legal action against Portugal (see footnote 556). In Lisbon, beginning in
mid-1992, the 1959 exiles resident in Portugal had begun seeking compensation from
the Portuguese Government for lack of due process and other “injustices” associated
with the 1959 Rebellion and their exile - initially corresponding with the Portuguese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently with the Provedoria de Justiça. In
December 2000, the group sought the assistance of the National Council for Timorese
Resistance (Conselho Nacional Resistência da Timorense – CNRT).
Beginning in January 2004, they – the “Grupo 59”, requested support for their
claims from the Timor-Leste authorities through the President of the National
Parliament and met with the President of the Timor-Leste Parliament’s Committee A
582
Robinson, G., East Timor 1999: Crimes Against Humanity, University of South Los Angeles, July
2003. Part IV, District Summary 9.13, Viqueque (Kodim 1630).
583
Ibid.
584
Author’s discussions with Hermenegildo da Cruz, Constantino de Oliveira Simões, António Pinto
and Rogério Pinto in Viqueque Town – 29 June 2007.
585
Robinson, G., East Timor 1999: Crimes …, 2003, op.cit., and Judicial System Monitoring Program,
SPSC Case Information, Case 3/2004. The Council for Timorese Resistance (Conselho Nacional
Resistência da Timorense – CNRT) was formed on 23 April 1998.
586
“Anak Muda Bangkit Dari Wacana Berbahaya”, Gamma, No. 34.2, 17 October 2000 – “kakeku
dibunuh Portugues pada 1959” and similar claims on 28 March 2007. Guterres was reportedly born in
Uatolari on 17 July 1974 (or 1971). Gunter, J., “Communal Conflict in Viqueque …”, 2007, op.cit.,
p.37 relates that Guterres is “António Metan’s nephew” and named “59/75” – but both these claims
have been disputed by local sources. Remarkably, in early 2009, Eurico Guterres claimed that family
members were entitled to RDTL Resistance-era medals ie Ordem Nicolau Lobato and Ordem Dom
Boaventura – TIME Timor, No 23, Tahun IV, January 2009.
114

(Committee for Constitutional Affairs, Human Rights and Civil Freedom) on 28


September 2005.587 Their last formal correspondence to the President of the National
Parliament – with copies to the Timor-Leste President and Prime Minister, (ie
Assunto: Pedido de indemnização por danos sofridos em 1959 – Subject: Order for
the Indemnification of Damages Suffered in 1959) was signed by “Os Representantes
das Vítimas de 1959” (Evaristo da Costa, Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, Salem
Musalam Sagran, Juman Bin Basirun and Lourenço Rodrigues Pereira).
On 12 June 2008, three of the former rebels (Evaristo da Costa, Frederico
Almeida Santos da Costa and Salem Sagran) met in Dili with the Timor-Leste
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Zacarias Albano da Costa), the Portuguese Ambassador
(João Ramos Pinto), the Vice Prime Minister (José Luís Guterres) and two
departmental officials to discuss the former rebels’ case for “indemnification” ie the
Caso Grupo 59. The Portuguese Ambassador stated that their case could not be
considered as the “National Committee of Inquiry” - established in August 1974 to
inquire into events in the period 28 March 1926 to 25 April 1974, had concluded its
deliberations in 1977.588 The Group however asserted its determination to continue to
pursue the case until it was resolved.589

Counting the Exiles

Indonesian reporting during the 1990s - and statements by José Manuel


Duarte, have declared that 68 (or sometimes 66) persons involved in the Rebellion
had been exiled from Timor.590 With variations in some listings and the spelling of
names, it is sometimes difficult to reconcile these with complete accuracy. However
those exiled appear to have comprised the 68 listed at Annexes E and F – in summary:

• 11 Timorese, including the “ringleaders” – principally those arrested


in Dili and Baucau in early June, who departed Dili on the N/M India
on 8 June 1959 for Portugal and were later exiled to Angola in late
May 1960 (several were subsequently transferred to Mozambique).
• 52 Timorese who were embarked on the N/M India on 4 October 1959
- together with the four Indonesians and the “special status” prisoner,
Francisco M. X. J. Araújo. The 52 were disembarked in Angola on 24
November 1959 – while the four Indonesians and Francisco de Araújo
were imprisoned in Lisbon (arriving 11 November 1959) before being
transferred to Angola in late May 1960.

587
The correspondence has been collated in Costa, E. da (et al), O Célebre Massacré de Uato-Lari e
Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-
Carabau in 1959), Dili, 2005. That portfolio-type document also contains discrete declarations
(Declaração) by Luís da Costa Rego (22 June 1993), Evaristo da Costa (17 June 2001), Juman bin
Bachirum (20 October 2005), Salem Musalam Sagran (November 2005) and Frederico Almeida Santos
da Costa (November 2005).
588
The Group had received a similar written response to their claims from the Portuguese Provedoria
de Justica (R-0002/93 (A6) – 017838, 3 October 2000). Correspondence up to November 2005 was
included in Costa, E. da (et al), O Célebre Massacré de Uato-Lari e Uato-Carbau Verificado no Ano
de 1959 (The Truth of the Infamous Massacre at Uatolari and Uato-Carabau in 1959), Dili, 2005.
589
Email advice to the author - 3 November 2008. The Grupo 59 termed their campaign: “Revolução e
Reclamação de Direitos Humanos de 1959” – advice from Evaristo da Costa and Frederico Almeida
Santos da Costa (email 3 March 2009).
590
For example: “Kepulangan Pejuang Integrasi Timtim” (“Return of East Timor Integration
Fighters”), op.cit., Republika Online, Jakarta, 11 November 1995.
115

Recent Indonesian Interpretations of the Rebellion

In the early 1990s, official Indonesian history texts for primary and secondary
schools included sections on the “Viqueque Rebellion of 1959” – see Annex B.591
On 10 November 2002 (Indonesian National Heroes’ Day), President
Megawati Sukarnoputri inaugurated a monument in the grounds of the TNI
headquarters at Cilangkap (Jakarta) to memorialise Indonesian losses during the
occupation of East Timor. The Monumen Seroja lists the names of 3,804 ABRI/TNI
personnel who died in combat in East Timor in the period 1975-1999592 and includes
a series of ten relief panels - principally illustrating aspects of ABRI/TNI service in
East Timor. One panel however depicts the “Suffering of the People of East Timor
During the Portuguese Colonization” (“Penderitaan Rakyat Timor Timur Pada Masa
Penjajahan Portugis”) – see below:

In an oblique reference to the 1959 Rebellion, text on the TNI’s Monumen Seroja
webpages593 associated with that panel relates that “people resisting were exiled to
Mozambique and Angola”.

The Memorial at the Bebui River

In the Independence period, a very simple sepultura (sepulchre/grave site) was


established on the left bank of the Bebui River as a memorial to the rebels killed at
that site. The memorial is a square of smooth river stones about about two metres by
two metres – with no formal “marker” or lettering .594

Continuing Ethnic Violence in Viqueque

Following the Popular Consultation in 1999 and the withdrawal of the


Indonesian administration, inter-ethnic disputes became more tense in northeastern
591
According to a 2004 study, although 1996 editions of Indonesian school history texts referred to the
1959 Rebellion, from 2000 only the 1910 rebellion by Dom Boaventura was mentioned – Gratton, A.,
Perkembangan dalam Pendidikan Sejarah di Malang sejak Zaman Reformasi, Universitas
Muhammadiyah, Malang (Indonesia), 2004.
592
Comprising 2,277 soldiers and police – and 1,527 East Timor irregulars/auxiliaries.
593
The TNI Center for Military History website is: http://www.sejarahtni.mil.id/index.php?cid=1756
594
A photograph of the memorial is at Gonçalves, J.L.R., Gente de Timor-Leste – Primeiro ano da
Independência, Tipografia União Folha do Domingos Lda, Faro, 2004, p.158.
116

Viqueque as pro-independence villagers, principally Makassae from the villages of


Makadiki and Matahoi, sought to recover land and property from Naueti who had
been advantaged during the Indonesian occupation period (see footnote 399)595.
UNTAET established a “Mediation Council” in June 2000, but little progress was
made on the over 130 registered disputes.596
On 28 October 2002, inter-group violence and theft of livestock broke out in
Uatolari. Prime Minister Alkatiri stated that “these cases are, in truth, a continuation
of such incidents that have occurred over tens of years in the past.” Clementino dos
Reis Amaral, a KOTA party parliamentarian from Viqueque stated:
“The events in Uatolari are an inheritance from our forefathers that is difficult
to eradicate. The culture of violence in the area where the majority are
Makasae and Nau-Oti [sic] speakers, has occurred over three periods
(Portuguese, Indonesian and Independence). … Studies by Portuguese
academics evidence that in the past hundreds of years that Portugal occupied
the region, they identified the characteristics of the people in three categories:
hot-blooded, normal and minus. The hot-blooded were the Makasae and the
Bunaq – while the minus were the people of Oecusse and Manatuto, and the
other districts were regarded as normal. The culture of violence in Viqueque
occurs in the areas of Ossú, Uatolari and Viqueque – while the Sub-Districts
of Uato-Kerbau and Lacluta are invariably secure and peaceful. … The
incidents at Uatolari are an expression of the hatred, enmity and revenge
related to the events of 1959-1974 (the Portuguese period) and 1975-1999 (the
Indonesian occupation).”597

In following years, attempts were made by the Timor-Leste Government,


UNTAET (and subsequent UN missions) and parliamentarians to resolve these long-
standing disputes – but with limited success, and there were occasional outbreaks of
violence.598
In late March 2007, in the lead-up to the first round of the 9 April 2007
Presidential Election, tensions between pro-Fretilin elements (principally Makassae
speakers) and Ramos-Horta/Xanana Gusmão supporters resulted in clashes in
Viqueque. Violence escalated in mid-April, and several hundred villagers fled into the
hills from the Naueti villages of “Besoro, Babulo, Afaloikai and Kadilale” in Uatolari
Sub-District. Several Fretilin militants were subsequently arrested for “spreading
ethnic conflict between the Makassae and Naueti”.599 In the second week of August,
110 homes in Uatolari were set on fire – and former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, in a
television interview, explained that “the violence was a result of ethnic conflict
between Uatolari Naueti and Makassae”.600 Hundreds of Naueti villagers from eastern

595
Tilman, M. & Pereira, D., “Tanah Dan Perumahan …”, East Timor Law Journal, Article 14, 2004,
op.cit.. This article relates the different versions - ie by the Makassae and Naueti groups, on the
ownership, development and seizure/re-seizure of land in Uatolari Sub-District.
596
Oliveira, J.L. de, “Sengketa Tanah Uatolari” (Land Conflict in Uatolari), Cidadaun, No.26, July
2002, p.6.
597
“Kasus Uatu-Lari warisan nenek moyang” (“The Uatolari case is a legacy from our forefathers”),
Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili, 7 November 2002, p.1.
598
Tilman, M. & Pereira, D., “Tanah …”, 2004 op.cit.; and Yayasan HAK, Konflitu Rai No Natar Iha
Uatolari – Akuza, Direito 27, Edition 27 June 2004.
599
“Sebarkan Isu Perang Antar Suku 10 Warga Uato Lari Ditangkap” (“Spreading Inter-Ethnic War –
10 from Uatolari Arrested”), Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili, 25 April 2007.
600
Timor Post, Dili, 14 August 2007 – citing a TV Timor-Leste interview on 13 August 2007. The
violence was probably precipitated by the swearing-in on 8 August 2006 of the IV Constitutional
117

Uatolari Sub-District reportedly fled eastward into the adjacent Naueti “heartland” of
Uato-Carabau Sub-District. Inquiries into the violence were subsequently undertaken
by the National Parliament’s Committee B and the United Nations Integrated Mission
in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). In late June 2008, an element of the Timor-Leste Police
Reserve Unit (PRU) – ie “field police”, was established at “Webui” in Uatolari.601
Following violence in January 2009, a traditional “nahe biti bo’ot” (“spreading the
large mat”) meeting was held in Viqueque Town on 28 February to reduce tension
and facilitate the re-integration of displaced people. A UN report commented:
“Conflict in Viqueque dates back to 1959 when there was an uprising against
Portuguese colonialists. Rivalries between pro- and anti-independence groups during
periods of Portuguese and Indonesian occupation have never been quelled.”602
On 5 June 2009, Nobel Prize laureate Dom Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
published a six-page article: “A Revolta de 1959 em Viqueque, Watolari e
Watocarbau”603 that included discussion of the “causas remotas” and “causas
proximas” of the Rebellion. Interestingly, Dom Belo closed his article with:
“To all those who lost their lives because of the so-called ‘Revolt of 1959’,
I – as a Timorese who witnessed with my own eyes and ears the physical and
mental violence in my hometown of Baucau, bow my head as a sign of respect
and solidarity. To some extent, I take the liberty to affirm “they also have
contributed to the Independence of our Motherland – to them I offer my
prayers and respect.”

Government led by Xanana Gusmão. In the Baucau District Court on 8 June 2009, three defendants in
the “Uatolari case” were each sentenced to three years imprisonment and two were acquitted –
Summary of Cases Tried in the Baucau District Court 08-11 June 2009, JSMP, Dili, 26 June 2009.
601
“Polisiz Viqueque Latolera Joven Abut”, Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili, 26 June 2008. The PRU post
was established to guard against inter-ethnic violence and clashes between youth martial arts groups.
The author met briefly with PRU officers in Uatolari in late October 2008.
602
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Timor-Leste: Villagers seek peace
through traditional rituals”, Dili, 4 March 2009.
603
Belo, C.F.X. Dom, “A Revolta de 1959 em Viqueque, Watolari e Watocarbau”, Porto, 5 Junho de
2009 (six pages). The author is responsible for the English translation (from Portuguese and Bahasa) of
the passage cited above.
http://forum-haksesuk.blogspot.com/2009/06/revolta-de-1959-em-viqueque-watolari-e.html
118

THREATS: THE URT-D, COUP PLOTTERS AND INDONESIA

Founding Declarations of the Union of the Republic of Timor – Dilly (URT-D)

In 1960, a group appeared in Jakarta calling itself the “Friends of Timor-


Dilly”. Its manifesto stated that “Timor-Dilly is for Timordillians” and not for
“Portuguese robbers”. The Portuguese Legation in Jakarta received one or two
circulars from “The Friends of Timor-Dilly”, and the matter was reportedly raised in
Lisbon with the Indonesian mission.604
In November 1960, under the auspices of the All-Malay Races Union605, a
“Liberation Bureau” of the “Union of the Republic of Timor – Dilly” (URT-D)606 was
reportedly founded in Jakarta “to drive away the Portuguese colonialists” from Timor.
The first public statement by the URT-D - a circular titled “Second Announcement”
dated 10 December 1960 (see Annex I), was distributed in early March 1961 to local
newspapers in Jakarta and also to foreign news representatives.607 This URT-D
Announcement, signed by the General Chairman of the Bureau, “A. Mao Klao”,
urged “revolt” by the people of Portuguese Timor – “consisting of the people from
Kemak, Marae, Uikusi, Kambing Island, Nusa Besi Island, the Moslems in Timor-
dilly, the Halaik, and all members of the Timor-dilly fighters” to “drive away the
Portuguese Colonialists who are greedy and selfish”. The Announcement also urged
“all Angola/Mozambique soldiers who are at present in Timor-dilly to fight on the
side of the Timor-dilly Freedom Movement”. The Australian Embassy in Jakarta
reported: “The Portuguese Legation has, on three occasions, sent someone to the
address given at the top of the circular – (( ie Kramat Sawah XIII E 227, Paseban –

604
Fernandes, M. S., A União da República de Timor (URT): o primeiro movimento nacionalista
timorense 1960-1974, Lisbon, 2003 - a paper delivered at the Second Congress of the Portuguese
Political Science Association, Lisbon, 19-20 January 2003. This paper – currently only available in
Portuguese, relates that the “Friends of Timor Dilly … had the sympathy of certain influential
individuals in Indonesian political life” but was dissolved following President Sukarno’s visit to Lisbon
in early May 1960 – p.1. See also Fernandes, M.S., “A União da República de Timor: o atrófico
movimento nacionalista islâmico-malaio Timorense, 1960-1975”, pp.355-431 in Guedes, A.M. &
Mendes N.C. (eds), Ensaios sobre naciolismos em Timor-Leste, Collecção Biblioteca Diplomática do
MNE – Série A, Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros Portugal, Lisbon, 2005 – pp.361-362.
605
The All-Malay Races Union (AMRU), led from an office in Jakarta by Mulwan Shah, claimed the
support of 250 million ethnic Malays from “Malagasy to Hawaii” but was assessed as “virtually non-
existent”: see Australian Embassy - Jakarta, Memo 1155, 12 July 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part
3). See footnote 77 for earlier supra-national Pan-Malay movements including the KMM – the
AMRU’s connection, if any, with Ibrahim Yaacob, the KMM founder who fled to Indonesia from
Malaya in August 1945, is not clear.
606
Also as the “United Republic of Timor” – in Bahasa Indonesia as “Uni Republic/k Timor”. The
URT-D’s letterhead stated in English “Union of the Republic of Timor”, but English-language texts
often used the title “United Republic of Timor”. In 1974, the UDT also “had referred to the territory as
Timor-Dili’, a name accepted by a wide range of Timorese” – Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn
2002, op.cit., pp. 101-102, but adopted the Fretilin-preferred title of “East Timor/Timor-Leste” on 21
January 1975 when joining in a coaltion with Fretilin. When interviewed in December 2004, M.S.A.
Balikh/“Mao Klao” was not aware of the founding of the “Liberation Bureau” or the “Second
Announcement” circular.
607
Second Announcement: Freedom Throughout Timor-Dilly ! – Drive the Portuguese into the Sea !,
Liberation Bureau – Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly, Kramat Sawah XIII E 227 - Paseban
Jakarta, 10 December 1960. The original was in Bahasa. However, as a Bahasa copy is not available, a
full orthographic analysis of the Announcement is not yet possible ie in Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa
Indonesia (see subsequent explanatory footnote 700). The English translation of this “Second
Announcement” was despatched to Canberra as an attachment to Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo
561, 25 March 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
119

Djakarta)). There was nothing at this address to indicate that it was the ‘The Seat of
Timor-Dilly Fighters’. It was a house situated in a depressed area of Djakarta and no-
one was about when the calls were made. …so far we have not heard of it ((the
Announcement)) being published in any newspaper except the English-language
‘Observer’, a paper of no significance whatsoever … The Portuguese Legation, for
the present at least, attaches no significance to this circular which it suspects could be
the work of one man. Although this is called a ‘second announcement’, the
Portuguese Legation does not recall seeing the first announcement from this
Bureau.”608
This early - perhaps the first, public statement by the URT-D contained only
limited “Pan-Malay/Islamic” rhetoric. Brief Islamic references included: “On behalf
of Allah”, “Allah will give the fruits of freedom” – and the Announcement referred to
the “unbelieving Portuguese”. Islamic references seemed incongruous when related to
the composition of society in Portuguese Timor. In the early 1960s, about 20 percent
of the population in Portuguese Timor were regarded as Roman Catholic - the
majority were considered to be “tribal animists”.609
The URT-D Announcement was covered by an Australian Broadcasting
Commission (ABC) report on 6 March 1961, by Radio Australia on 7 March, by The
Straits Times (Singapore) on 7 March, The Indonesian Observer on 11 March - and in
a critical editorial in Dili’s A Voz de Timor newspaper on 12 March.610 The A Voz de
Timor item cited the Union’s “Liberation Committee” as “madmen” - and indirectly
sought assurances from Indonesia. A response from the Indonesian Consul in Dili,
Tengku Usman Hussin – as a letter to the Governor, was subsequently printed in A
Voz de Timor No. 83 of 19 March noting Indonesia’s earlier “no territorial claim”
position in statements by President Sukarno and Foreign Minister Subandrio - ie
“Indonesia could co-exist peacefully and cooperatively with such foreign-controlled
territories”.611 The Indonesian Consul’s letter argued: “it is silly and rather
groundless to think that Indonesia entertained the idea of annexing Portuguese Timor
… the Indonesian Government and people are only fighting to regain West Irian … if
there is a ‘Committee for the Liberation of the Republic of Timor’, the sponsors and
advocates of the Committee do so at their own risk and full responsibility.”
The daily newspaper in Darwin, the Northern Territory News, printed several
rather sensational articles related to the URT-D Announcement.612 In “Indies in
Threat to Timor” (23 March 1961), it claimed “Indonesia has formed a committee in

608
Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 561, 25 March 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). The
Indonesian Observer, Djakarta, reported the Announcement on 11 March 1961.
609
Singh, B., East Timor, Indonesia and the World, Singapore Institute of International Affairs,
Singapore, 1995, p.23 includes Table 8: “Growth of Church in Timor” indicating 29.4 percent of the
population as Catholic in 1974, 42.3 percent in 1980, and 92.3 percent in 1994. On Islam in Portuguese
Timor, see footnotes 445 and 446.
610
“Ignorância e Demogogia” (“Ignorance and Demagogy”), A Voz de Timor, No.82, Dili, 12 March
1961. This article and the following letter by the Indonesian Consul (footnote 611 below) were
included in the Portuguese Government’s monthly foreign policy publication Boletim Geral do
Ultramar, No. 429-430, March-April 1961, pp.391-394.
611
Tengku Usman Hussin, Consul, Indonesian Consulate – Dili, letter to the Governor, 16 March 1961.
Such “no claim” statements were made by Foreign Minister Subandrio to the Indonesian Parliament in
early February 1959; on 10 March 1960 (to repudiate an “incorporationist” remark in a speech by
Mohammad Yamin to an All-Indonesian Youth Meeting in Bandung in February – see The Indonesian
Observer, 11 & 12 March 1960: NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1); and by President Sukarno during his
visit to Lisbon in early May 1960 (see also Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable AP82 O.11055, “…
Indonesian Relations with Portugal”, 17 July 1961, NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1)
612
Northern Territory News, Darwin - 23 March, 30 March and 8 April 1961.
120

Djakarta to ‘liberate’ Portuguese Timor” – followed by an editorial: “Timor threat too


close for comfort”. In an article in its 8 April 1961 edition titled “Timor Rising”, the
News reported comments by Indonesia’s new Ambassador to Australia then
transitting Darwin: “The group trying to stir up trouble in Portuguese Timor with a
‘join the liberation’ bid could be ‘typical fortune hunters’, Indonesia’s new
Ambassador Brigadier General Saudi said in Darwin on his way to Canberra. ‘Fortune
Hunters’ had created trouble in the Celebes … it would probably be the same sort of
people.”
On 23 April 1961, ABRI General Abdul Haris Nasution – speaking as “Guest
of Honour” on an ABC broadcast, stated that “the Indonesian people have no thought
at all of, nor any desire for, other territories close to Indonesia like North Borneo, the
eastern part of Timor Island or the eastern part of New Guinea which has never been
part of the former Dutch East Indies territory.”613
A few weeks later in June 1961, the Australian Consul in Dili reported that
two copies of the URT-D’s “proclamation” had been recovered by the PIDE in
Portuguese Timor and “the evidence suggests that they came by post from Djakarta to
Atamaboea [sic] and were then brought across the border for distribution. The
language was Indonesian.”614 On 30 June 1961, the Portuguese Prime Minister - Dr
António de Oliveira Salazar, made reference to the URT-D in a speech in the National
Assembly in Lisbon – “that small group, of doubtful genuineness, which in Djakarta
pretends to be working to free Timor can only want that independence so as to hand
Timor to the Indonesian Republic, which would not then feel the scruples it at present
feels in accepting the gift. Yet Port Darwin is no more than one hour’s flight from the
capital, Dili, so that another would be just as disturbed by such an event as we
ourselves.”615 In early August 1961, writing from Kupang, journalist Peter Arnett
reported “the Indonesian military are investigating a ‘freedom movement’ which has
been distributing pamphlets in the Indonesian portion of Timor calling for support to
oust the Portuguese. Military authorities in this tiny white-washed capital city said
they had not been in contact with any rebel groups within Portuguese territory.
Pamphlets have been distributed here by a Timorese group proclaiming itself ‘Uni
Republique Dili Timor’ [sic] (Portuguese Timor).” 616
In September 1961, the leading Australian newsmagazine reported:
“Relations between Portugal and Indonesia, which have been severely strained
by the Angola bloodbath, have taken a turn for the worse with the emergence
of a ‘Freedom Movement’ in the Indonesian half of Timor. The movement has

613
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable AP82 O.11055, “… Indonesian Relations with Portugal”, 17
July 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1). ABRI = (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia –
Indonesian Armed Forces). On the struggle for Irian Barat/West New Guinea, according to General
A.H. Nasution - Indonesian Defence and Security Minister, the Indonesian Armed Forces had “groups
of men totalling about 1500 at various points along the coast of West New Guinea.” – Record of
Conversation with Sir Garfield Barwick, Australian Minister for External Affairs, Jakarta, 4 July 1962
(NAA: A1838, 3034/10/11/7 Part 1). For military detail on the conflict see MacFarling, I., Military
Aspects of the West New Guinea Dispute 1958-1962, Working Paper No 212, The Strategic and
Defence Study Centre, Canberra, 1990.
614
Australian Consulate – Dili, Savingram 17, 17 June 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1).
615
Salazar, A de O. Dr, “The Portuguese Overseas Territories and the United Nations Organization”,
Lisbon, 30 June 1961 – Boletim Geral do Ultramar, Lisbon, No.432-433, June-July 1961, p.368. Dr
Salazar’s speech was made in the context of the UN’s continuing requests for Portugal to provide
information on its overseas territories and insurgent operations into northern Angola. Australian
Consulate – Dili, Memo 123/61, 31 July 1961 – quotes the speech (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2).
616
“Timor As New Potential Trouble Spot” (Associated Press, Koepang), The Canberra Times,
Canberra, 11 August 1961 – appeared earlier in The Washington Post, Washington, 6 August 1961.
121

no official backing from the Djakarta government and has so far confined
itself to printing pamphlets calling for support for the more-or-less non-
existent ‘freedom’ struggle in Portuguese Timor. The Indonesian Army is
investigating the organisation’s activities, and President Soekarno is wary of
any involvement which might weaken his legalistic claim against the Dutch
for possession of West New Guinea, but the danger of a flare-up is real.”617

Army Disquiet in Portuguese Timor – and a planned Coup

In Portuguese Timor, Governor Barata was critical of the Military


Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Serpa Soares618, citing his harsh actions against the
people – ie “arrastar da espada” (“use of the sword”) and exhibitions of force to
create a fear of the military among the populace.619 In December 1960, Governor
Barata was informed by Lisbon that the Military Commander in Dili had sent a report
to the Ministry of the Army warning of an “imminent uprising” by native troops and
the population – and recommending the withdrawal of Portuguese military families.
Governor Barata rejected this assessment as incorrect and alarmist – reporting that the
situation was calm, while noting “dissatisfactions between the native and European
military.”620 Senior military officers however continued to warn of a “native uprising”
and, in the Governor’s view, to challenge his authority. Subsequently, in mid-January
1961, following complaints from Governor Barata to Lisbon, Lieutenant Colonel
Serpa Soares and his Chief-of-Staff, Captain Manuel Chorão de Carvalho (promoted
to major on 1 February), were recalled to Lisbon to answer charges that the Army had
not been cooperating with the Civil Administration.621 However, to the annoyance of
Governor Barata, in November 1961, Major Carvalho, was elected as the Deputy for
Timor to the National Assembly in Lisbon.622
In 1961, several Portuguese Army officers in Portuguese Timor alleged that
the administration in Dili was “losing touch with the Timorese” - citing a “lack of
interest, corruption, and poor leadership amongst Government officials in the field
and, at a higher level, a total disregard for native welfare and a refusal to recognize
the need for even the most elementary reforms.”623 In late 1961, an Australian
national intelligence assessment noted: “There is evidence of considerable
dissatisfaction among the Portuguese Army officers stationed in Timor with the

617
Willey, K., “Portuguese Timor – The Coming Disaster”, The Bulletin, Melbourne, 16 September
1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2).
618
Lieutenant Colonel (Cavalry) Carlos Alberto Serpa Soares arrived in Portuguese Timor in October
1959 - replacing Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Manuel Albuquerque Gonçalves de Aguiar as the
Military Commander.
619
Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp.120-125 – Governor Barata related his
difficulties with Portuguese Army officers - culminating in the recall to Lisbon of Lieutenant Colonel
Serpa Soares in mid-January 1961.
620
Two of Governor Barata’s letters to the Secretary of State for the Army noting Governor Barata’s
difficulties with the Military Commander and staff are included as annexes in Barata, F. T., Timor
contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., pp.235-242.
621
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable SAV.2, 18 January 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
Lieutenant Colonel Serpa Soares was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Luís Mário do Nascimento who
served until 18 June 1961.
622
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 203/61, 15 November 1961. Only 2,640 of Portuguese Timor’s
estimated population of 500,000 voted in the election for the União Nacional candidate (ie of the sole
political party) – NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2.
623
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable SAV.2, 18 January 1961 and Memo 13/61, 23 January 1961
(NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 1).
122

present character and aim of the civil administration … concerned not only at
conditions in the territory but also at the growing international isolation of Portugal
resulting from its adherence to rigid centralised colonial policies. The Army’s
attempts to influence the civil administration to liberalize its policies, however, have
been flatly rejected by the Governor.”624
In early 1962, several Portuguese officials and Army officers in Dili -
disaffected with the Salazar regime in Lisbon, reportedly planned a coup against the
local Government, hoping to establish a Portuguese “Liberal Provisional
Government” in exile in Portuguese Timor.625 Led by the Chief Judge of Portuguese
Timor, Dr Rui Alberto Fernandes, they proposed inviting General Humberto
Delgado626 to head the new Government in Dili - which they thought would
precipitate the downfall of the Government in Lisbon. The policies of this planned
Provisional Government “would include the establishment of democratic institutions
and the granting of self-determination to colonial peoples within a specified time. If
Delgado accepted the invitation, according to the Judge, in Timor he could anticipate
support from 50% of Army officers and NCOs and 50% of the senior administration
officials.”627 Chief Judge Fernandes also commented to the Australian Consul that
“some of his colleagues were showing reluctance because of their fear that a revolt
would precipitate seizure of this territory by Indonesia.”628 However, by late July
1962, the plot had petered out629 - and in early September, the Australian Consul
reported that “open criticism of the Salazar regime appears to have diminished” and
“the morale of the local oppositionists has accordingly declined.”630

Security Concerns Increase – PIDE Established; an Australian Treaty Mooted

The PIDE subdelagação was established in Portuguese Timor on 2 March


1961. Soon after, its commander - Inspector Manuel José de Cunha, called on the
Australian Consul. Inspector de Cunha related that “the Portuguese felt they were
‘living on a volcano which might erupt at any time’ and that the setting up of an
efficient intelligence system was regarded as the highest priority. By ‘volcano’, he
meant Indonesia, and he suggested that as Australia must also have a considerable
interest in that, it might be possible to develop some measure of cooperation. …
Although Cunha referred only to the Indonesian problem, it can be taken for granted

624
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), JIC(AUST)(61)75, “Military Importance of Portuguese
Timor to Australia”, Canberra, September 1961, p.2/paragraph 9 (NAA: A1945, 248/9/2).
625
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memos 45/62 - 20 March 1962 and 101/62 - 26 June 1962 (NAA 1838,
3038/2/1 Part 2).
626
General Humberto Delgado was an unsuccessful candidate for the Portuguese Presidency in 1958.
In 1961, he was involved in planning the hijacking of the tourist steamer “Santa Maria” and a failed
Army revolt at Beja in southern Portugal. In 1962, he was in Brazil – and later moved to Algeria.
General Delgado was assassinated by the PIDE in Spain in 1965.
627
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable No. 37, 21 June 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2).
628
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 101/62, 26 June 1962 (NAA, A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2). The
Australian Consul commented that the Chief Judge’s remark “shows that the proposal was far from
receiving unqualified support.”
629
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 119/62, 24 July 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2). One of
the plotters – Major (Artillery) Augusto Gomes Pastor Fernandes (the Military Commander of Dili and
Inspector of Second Line Troops) was removed from his position which “reduced the likelihood of a
local coup because his was a key position in the plans of the conspirators.”
630
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 133, 1 September 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2).
123

that the ‘Santa Maria’ incident and recent differences between the Army and the civil
administration have also played a part in the decision to tighten up security here.”631
Reflecting Portuguese concern, in mid-March 1961, the Australian Consul was
told informally by a senior Portuguese Army officer in Dili that the Ministry of
Defence in Lisbon “was working on proposals for a Defence Agreement with
Australia. The draft proposals had not been finalised” … “but the Ministry had a
Military Treaty in mind, aimed at setting up a common front against possible
Indonesian encroachment and including provision for the exchange of officers and
training facilities.” The Consul’s informant “did not say whether this was anything
more than a pure Defence Ministry project at this stage and gave no indication that the
political implications of such an agreement had been considered by the
Government.”632
In the period 27-29 March 1961, a four-vessel Indonesian naval task force
made a “goodwill visit” to Dili. The Australian Consul reported that:
“the inhabitants followed the various aspects of the visit with keen interest
and undoubtedly received a favourable impression. … The impact was
greatest on the semi-educated class (clerks, truck drivers, skilled labourers etc)
whose loyalties the Portuguese have long distrusted and who made up the bulk
of the detainees in the 1959 disturbances. These people are comparing what
they saw of the Indonesians with evidence about them showing Portugal’s
naval strength (to the latter’s detriment) and showing a tendency now to
question the accuracy of their superior’s longstanding portrayal of the
Indonesians as second-rate and uncouth. … These naval officers were the first
Indonesians the majority of the local officials had come in contact with on

631
Australian Consulate – Dili, SAV.7., “Reorganisation of security in Portuguese Timor”, 10 March
1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/6). For Governor Barata’s description of the PIDE establishment and
role, see: Barata, F.T., Timor contemporâneo …, op.cit., p.30 and pp.125-127. For the “Santa Maria
Incident”, see footnote 626. The Australian Consul subsequently wrote critically of Inspector da
Cunha’s activities – see Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 186/61, 23 October 1961 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/9), and the Portuguese Charge d’Affaires in Djakarta also had a low opinion of the performance
of the PIDE in Portuguese Timor: see Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 1640, 26 August 1961
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2). It has been contended that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service
(ASIS) established a presence in the Dili Consulate in late 1959 ie that the Consul was an ASIS officer
- see: Toohey, B. & Pinwill, W., Oyster: the story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service,
Heinemann, Melbourne, 1989, p.169; Gunn, G., Timor Loro Sae 500 Years, 1999 - p.261 (p.146 in the
Internet edition); and Barata, F. T., Timor contemporâneo …, 1998, op.cit., p.99. The Australian
Consul, W.A. Luscombe, served in Dili from late November 1959 to late February 1962 – when he was
replaced by J.S. Dunn.
632
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable SAV.8, 23 March 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). Soon
after his arrival in Portuguese Timor in mid-June 1961, the Military Commander, Brigadier Francisco
António Pires Barata confirmed to his staff that closer defence cooperation with Australia “was being
discussed at the highest levels in the Defence Ministry” – Australian Consulate-Dili, Memo 95/61, 20
June 1961. However, Brigadier Barata’s submissions on “closer ties with Australia” were initially
rejected by Governor Themudo Barata – Australian Consulate-Dili, Memo 112/61, 1961. Subsequently,
in September 1961, Governor Barata confirmed to the Australian Consul that “the Military
Commander’s plans for closer links with Australia are going ahead” – and that “he ((the Governor)) is
now working on a series of proposals for Lisbon to put to Canberra for closer trade, defence and other
ties with Australia as a logical development stemming from the position of Portugal and Australia as
European powers with similar outlook adjacent to an increasingly hostile Asia … Timor was in an
isolated and precarious position” – Australian Consulate-Dili, Memo 112/61, 17 September 1961
(NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 1). The Consul’s memoranda precipitated an inter-departmental re-
examination in Canberra of Australia’s policy towards Portuguese Timor. See also footnote 661 for
Portuguese Prime Minister Dr António de Oliveira Salazar’s views on Portugal-Australia security
cooperation in late February 1963.
124

equal terms, and the professional competence and general educational


standards displayed have caused many opinions to be revised. From now on,
the Indonesians will be regarded with much more respect than in the past.
However, there is concern at the impression the Indonesians made on the local
people and resentment at the timing, which brought such an impressive display
of Indonesian strength to Timor, with the Santa Maria incident and the
troubles in Angola still very much in people’s thoughts.”633

Soon after, in April 1961, The Australian Consul reported on the strengthened
security measures in Portuguese Timor:
“The local authorities, in the present climate of doubt and fear created by
events in Angola, the United States’ changed attitude and the general
unfavourable publicity Portugal is receiving in the foreign press and because
of increasing uncertainty regarding the loyalty of the local native people, are
engaged in all-round tightening of security aimed primarily at stifling all
criticism of the regime. … According to the Governor, the new U.S.
Administration’s views on colonialism are indistinguishable from Moscow’s
… There is no indication of serious native unrest but unsettling rumours,
presumably inspired by the ((Indonesian Navy)) Task Force’s visit, of an
Indonesian take-over are increasing and the inference is that there are elements
who would welcome this. The semi-educated class whose loyalties have been
suspect since the 1959 disturbances, in which some of them were involved, are
also causing concern. Again, there has been no indication of serious
disaffection but it is very obvious that numbers of these people do not share
the depression of the upper-class Portuguese at each new embarrassment;
indeed some are manifestly delighted. Although I do not wish to over-
emphasize the point at this stage, it is becoming more and more apparent that
there is little strength based on loyalty to the Portuguese in Timorese society
as a whole and that criticism, leading to agitation, could, if unchecked, wreak
havoc. For this reason the current steps to strengthen security are, from the
Portuguese point of view, well justified.” 634

Fears of Indonesian Interest

The Portuguese authorities appear to have been very concerned in the second
half of 1961 that Indonesia would move against Portuguese Timor – particularly
following Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio’s public warning on 3 July 1961
before the Indonesian Gotong Royong Parliament. An Australian assessment noted:
“Drawing attention to Indonesia’s proximity to Portuguese Timor, Subandrio added
the threat that the Portuguese should not wait until public anger in Indonesia became
acute” - and commented that Subandrio’s “somewhat threatening remark of 3 July
may mark the beginning of a new phase of Indonesian policy towards the Portuguese
regime in Timor.”635 Portuguese diplomats were greatly concerned and sought

633
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable SAV.9, 31 March 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). Task
Force 123.1, from Surabaya, comprised: KRI Siliwangi (Pennant No. 201), Singamangradaja (202) –
both destroyers; Surapati (251) – a frigate; and Sambu (903) – a tanker. Connect with footnote 152 on
the reaction of the Rabuta movement on Ataúro. For the Santa Maria incident, see footnotes 626, 631.
634
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 56/61, 13 April 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/9).
635
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram AP82 0.11055, Canberra, 17 July 1961
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2; A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 1). This assessment was repeated in the
125

expressions of support from several nations – claiming that the invasion of Portuguese
Timor by Indonesia was “imminent”.636
In a related event evidencing tension, in July 1961, the Indonesian Foreign
Ministry refused to allow its Indonesian Consul in Dili to attend a scheduled bridge-
opening ceremony at Batugadé (on the Indonesian West Timor/Portuguese Timor
border, a few kilometres inside Portuguese Timor). The Governor of West Timor
explained to the Indonesian Consul that leaflets from the so-called Committee for the
Liberation of Timor were circulating freely in the border area, and it would therefore
be confusing to the local people to see Portuguese and Indonesian officials mingling
amicably - and such was “not in keeping with the new policy of more active
opposition to the Portuguese colonial system.”637 Soon after, the Governor of
Portuguese Timor remarked to the Australian Consul that there was “increased
evidence of the ‘Liberation Committee’s’ leaflets in Indonesian Timor … but they
could have little or no impact here because they were in Indonesian and full of
references to Allah which would not be understood in Portuguese Timor.”638
In August 1961, the Australian Department of External Affairs sent a cable to
all of its overseas posts summarising Indonesia-Portuguese Timor relations noting:
“The Indonesian Consul in Dili ((Tengku Usman Hussin)) has told the
Australian Consul that early Indonesian action to ‘dis-establish’ the
Portuguese in Timor is likely. The Indonesian Consul expressed the opinion
that a policy of subversion rather than of military invasion will be pursued by
Indonesia, with the aim of creating awareness amongst the Timorese in
Portuguese territory that they had a powerful friend of their own race nearby,
who could be relied on for support in a revolutionary struggle. Such support
might, despite the risk of hostilities, include the provision of funds and
weapons”.639

Soon after, senior Australian officials called for a comprehensive strategic


study of the prospects for Portuguese Timor “because of the recent anti-colonial
pressure against Portugal and signs of a hardening attitude towards Portuguese Timor

Australian Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Weekly Report No 29/1961 of 19 July 1961 as “would
appear to mark the beginning of a new phase”, and also in the Department of External Affairs, Memo
955, 26 July 1961: “contains an element of threat and suggests a new and sharp turn in Indonesian
policy” (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2). The Australian Embassy in Jakarta however questioned the
Canberra assessment: “your interpretation of the immediate situation is too alarmist” - precipitating a
review - Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1459 - “Portuguese Timor”, 29 July 1961 (NAA:
A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2).
636
Australian High Commission – London, Savingram 4651 I.23128, 26 September 1961 (NAA:
A1945, 248/9/2). Portuguese officials’ fears of an imminent Indonesian attack had also been influenced
by a number of reports of an Indonesian military build-up in Indonesian Timor – that were later
discounted (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2).
637
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram AP 82 0.11459, Canberra, 25 July 1961
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2; A1945, 248/9/2).
638
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 161/61, 29 September 1961 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2).
639
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram AP 100 O.12176 - “Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, 9 August 1961 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19; A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 1). The cable concluded
however that “neither the Australian Consulate in Dili nor the Australian Embassy in Djakarta believes
that an Indonesian attack on Portuguese Timor is planned, and this belief appears to be shared by the
Portuguese authorities in Timor. (The Australian Embassy has drawn attention to the Indonesian need
to avoid action which might distract attention from the Indonesian claim to West New Guinea or
confuse the issue in that claim by laying Indonesia open to charges of territorial ambition elsewhere)”.
126

… the possibility of the island falling under Indonesian control.”640 In its political
assessment, the Study concluded: “Notwithstanding security disturbances engineered
by a few Indonesians in 1959 in which the Portuguese suspected – but were unable to
prove at the time – official Indonesian complicity, there is at present no evidence of
significant discontent among the Timorese”.641 However, in January 1962, the
Australian High Commissioner in London commented to the Department of External
Affairs in Canberra: “I was also shown some evidence that Indonesia is already
engaged in subversive activities. This evidence will, I assume, be available to you”.642
In January 1962, the Portuguese Charge d’Affairs in Canberra sought “a
definition of the Australian Government’s position in case of Indonesian aggression
against Portuguese Timor” and “whether the interests of the Australian Government
would be so strong that it would consider the possibility of helping Portugal to resist
such aggression by giving it support political, military or logistic ?”. The following
month, during discussions, the Secretary of the Australian Department of External
affairs passed a Bout de Papier643 to the Portuguese Charge d’Affairs. The Papier
declared that “The Australian Government would naturally take a serious view of any
Indonesian aggression against Portuguese Timor” – but, noted that the event was
“hypothetical” and particular steps would be decided “in the light of all circumstances
at that time”, and only offered that “it could be expected that political action by the
Government would include support of proposals in the United Nations for a cease-fire
and for a withdrawal of Indonesian forces.”644
In March 1962, the Indonesian Government sent an Aide-Memoire to the
Portuguese as a strong protest against alleged border transgressions in 1960, 1961 and
early 1962 – in which the Indonesian Government “reserved the right to undertake
restrictive and preventive actions to protect its subjects and preserve the security of its
territory.”645 However, during a visit to the United States in September 1962,
Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio told the US Assistant Secretary of State W.
Averell Harriman that: “Indonesia had no designs on Portuguese Timor – but if there
should be a national liberation movement, Indonesia would of course support it.”
When asked whether this would be military support, Dr Subandrio replied: “No, no -
but in the UN and elsewhere.”646

640
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), JIC(AUST)(61)75 - “Military Importance of Portuguese
Timor to Australia”, Canberra, September 1961, paragraph 1 (NAA: A1945, 248/9/2; A1838,
TS666/61/75). The Study was endorsed by the Chiefs of Staff Committee on 27 September 1961 and
superseded JIC Appreciation No. 11/1954. At paragraph 25, the Study concluded: “whether controlled
by Portugal or Indonesia, Portuguese Timor has no military importance to Australia; the acquisition of
the territory by Indonesia would not significantly affect any threat to Australia.”
641
Ibid, paragraph 10.
642
Australian High Commission – London, Savingram 54, 5 January 1962 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19).
643
A “Bout de Papier” (literally “a piece of paper”) is, in diplomatic terms, a record of factual material
typed on unheaded paper with no courtesies, date, signature or official stamp – ie it is a less formal
initiative or response than a Note Verbale or an Aide Memoire.
644
Australian Department of External Affairs – Canberra, Record of Conversation – with attached Bout
de Papier, 8 February 1962 (NAA: 3038/10/1 Part 2, 49/2/1/1 Part 1).
645
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 133, 1 September 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2). The
Australian Consul was shown a copy of the document dated 22 March 1962 by the Indonesian Consul.
It “accused the Portuguese military and civil authorities of permitting and ‘in some cases assisting’ acts
of transgression accompanied by killing and ill-treatment of Indonesian citizens.” Claims of border
violations in the period 1961-70 by the Portuguese – including the westward movement of “pal pal”
(Bahasa Indonesia = border markers), are also related in Soekanto, Integrasi … , 1976, op.cit., p.14.
646
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 2532, 30 September 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part
2).
127

In late 1962, an Australian journalist visiting Dili, Patrick Burgess, claimed to


the Australian Consul that he had met briefly with a group of Timorese youth who
professed to represent the “Movement of United Timor Before June” with a
“membership of about 200”.647 They reportedly told Burgess that they were planning
to send a delegation to Indonesian Timor “where they had relatives” to seek help in
overthrowing the Portuguese regime. Burgess commented that the members of the
Movement appeared very young - only 16 or 17 years of age, and that most were
employed as junior clerks or technicians.648 On his return to Australia, Burgess wrote
a series of articles in The Sun newspaper highly critical of the government in
Portuguese Timor. In one item, based on interviews with disaffected young conscript
Portuguese Army officers, he noted that there were “three distinct underground
oppositions in Timor. The first is their own composed of Army officers and
oppositionist members of the Administration. The Second is among the soldiers and
NCOs. The third, with the backing of Indonesia, operates among the Timorese
themselves. None of these rings, not even the officers and the soldiers, has any
connection with the other.”649
Soon after, in December 1962, the Australian Consul in Dili was warned by a
“friendly Army Lieutenant Colonel” that PIDE officers had an interest in the Consul
due to: his suspected “contact with the underground movement referred to in articles
in the Sydney Sun” newspaper (see above); his friendship with “the Indonesian
Consul and with certain Portuguese officials who are known to hold opinions opposed
to Salazar”; and the Consul’s attempts to entice Portuguese soldiers to emigrate to
Australia.650 The Australian Consul advised Canberra that he “had no contact with
any underground” - and his “friendships are not based on politics, let alone
conspiracy.” He also noted that “on the question of immigrants, we have not
attempted to recruit or even attract them. We have even tried to discourage many of
them, but already more than 200 have shown interest in immigrating to Australia.
Most of them are soldiers.”
More substantively, towards the end of 1962, Australian and United States
foreign affairs officials reportedly received credible intelligence that Indonesia was
undertaking subversive activity in Portuguese Timor and concluded that “there was
some evidence that the Indonesians are laying the ground for such action”651 but had
no indication “when the Indonesians intended to put their plans into operation”.652

647
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 175, 3 December 1962 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19; A1838,
3038/2/9 and 49/2/1/1 Part 1). The Consul commented: “It is difficult to know how seriously to take
this movement. I am inclined to think that their membership is greatly exaggerated and that it is
doubtful whether a mission to Indonesia would be taken seriously by the Indonesians. It is also possible
that the scheme was magnified for the benefit of the journalist.”
648
This “Movement” did not appear linked to the URT-D, and it is not known whether the incident had
any links to the later plot to kill the Governor in July 1965 (see footnotes 517 and 518 - ie discussed in
earlier paragraphs in relation to the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion).
649
Burgess, P., “You hear these secret words in the dead of night”, The Sun, Sydney, November 1962
(NAA: A4359, 221/5/19). A rebuttal appeared as “The Cancer of Bad Faith”, A Voz de Timor, Dili, 9
December 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 2). “Timorese wait for invasion”, The Herald,
Melbourne, 19 November 1962, also reported on low morale among Portuguese and Timorese military
personnel and the fear of an Indonesian invasion (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19). Earlier reports of disquiet
among Portuguese Army officers in 1960-1962 are related at footnotes 621-630.
650
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cable 73 I.32119, 19 December 1962 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 2).
651
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 373, 7 February 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1968/9055) –
relating Quadripartite Talks on Indonesia in Washington (involving US, Australian, UK and NZ
officials): “Although the Indonesian Government has proclaimed that the acquisition of West New
Guinea has satisfied its territorial ambitions, its recent activities have given rise to serious concerns that
128

This may have been related to a “secret report” received by the Australian
Department of External Affairs in late 1962/early 1963 indicating that: “Magenda, the
Chief of the Intelligence of the Indonesian Combined Forces Staff had recently visited
Indonesian Timor concerting [sic] Indonesian activities there directed at Portuguese
Timor.”653 The Departmental staff assessed that the report suggested “border tensions
would be increased preparing the way for larger scale incidents which would
ultimately justify annexation of Portuguese Timor. Although a small scale build-up
has occurred in Timor, forces to be used against the Portuguese would be drawn on
from Mandala Command in Makassar. No timetable is known to exist, but there is
reported to be a belief among army officers that activities against Timor would be
launched while attention is still fixed on North Borneo.”
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reviewed the situation
in early January 1963 and concluded that:
“we have a clear treaty obligation ‘to defend and protect all conquests or
colonies belonging to the Crown of Portugal against all his enemies, as well future as
present” – but at the Athens NATO meeting in May 1962, we told the Portuguese “in
general terms our power to fulfil our treaty commitments all over the world was
limited. Meanwhile our intelligence shows that the Indonesians are undoubtedly
plotting some action against Portuguese Timor although we still cannot predict how or
when they might act.”654
Soon after an FCO brief assessed that: “Indonesian action against Timor may
come sooner than expected. Neither the continuation of Portuguese Colonial rule nor
an independent Timor make any political or economic sense. The territory should go
to the Indonesians and it is not worth having a row about it on its own merits.”655 An
associated FCO brief noted: “Recently we have received further Secret reports that the
Indonesian Armed Forces are making efforts to obtain recent maps of the territory and
that they have put in a request for the staff of the Indonesian Consulate Dili to be
increased. There have also been secret reports: a. that the eventual Indonesian take-

its ambitions are, in fact, still unsatisfied especially with respect to Portuguese Timor and the Borneo
territories.”
652
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 184, 18 January 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1968/9055) – this
cable refers to the intelligence report on Indonesian activities, but the detail has been “expunged”.
653
Australian Department of External Affairs, Cablegram O.796 (amended copy), Canberra, 11 January
1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010; A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 2) to the Australian High Commission –
London, repeated to the Australian Embassy – Washington as Cable 103 on 17 January 1963 (NAA:
A3092, 221/11/18, Part 1). A draft Submission “Future of Portuguese Timor” by Australian
Department of External Affairs staff dated 8 November 1962 noted “according to secret reports …
there has been a recent build-up of army units there ((Indonesian Timor)) (an increase to two
companies of crack paratroops has been mentioned).” - (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 2).
654
Warner, F.A., Brief, FCO London, 4 January 1963 (The National Archives – Kew: FO 371 169801
– Indonesian Intentions Against Portuguese Timor). The “treaty” referred to by the British was
probably the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Alliance for “perpetual friendship” signed in 1373 and
reinforced by a secret declaration of 1899. For British analysis of the situation, including consideration
of supporting Portugal - see a summary in Australian High Commission – London, Cable 5503, 15
October 1963 (A1209, 1974/9010); and the British Foreign Office paper “Portuguese Timor”, 1
January 1965 (NAA: A7942, P62; A1945, 248/9/2),
655
FCO, “Brief for Quadripartite Talks on Indonesia - Washington February 1963”, Brief No 1 –
Steering Brief, VIII Timor , Section 13 (The National Archives – Kew: FCO 371/169908 - DH 107/1).
Later in the Brief however, it was noted that the preferred British solution for Portuguese Timor would
be a peacefully-negotiated settlement to allow an Indonesian take-over. For subsequent British analyses
of the situation, including consideration of supporting Portugal - see their Foreign Office paper
“Portuguese Timor”, 1 January 1965 (NAA: A7942, P62; A1945, 248/9/2), and as earlier summarised
in Australian High Commission – London, Cable 5503, 15 October 1963 (A1209, 1974/9010).
129

over would be the responsibility of Mandala command; b. the present airstrip in


Indonesian Timor is to be refurbished and a naval base established; c. the PKI are
penetrating the Colony and setting up an apparatus in anticipation of a possible take-
over.”656
Australian officials in London had discussed their concerns with their British
counterparts. The British officials responded that they would not warn Portugal of
“secret reports of Indonesian plans” as “this would be open invitation to ((the))
Portuguese to invoke ((the)) treaty and, in any case, Portuguese intelligence could be
expected to be well enough aware of Indonesian intentions.”657
Soon after, a national-level Australian intelligence assessment on the “Outlook
for Indonesia” concluded that: “In Timor, there will be increased anti-Portuguese
propaganda, engineered border incidents, and diplomatic and clandestine support for
revolutionary movements.”658

Australia Expresses Concerns to Portugal

Portugal maintained that Portuguese Timor was not a colony but a province of
metropolitan Portugal – and, as such, was not covered by the deliberations of the
United Nations Special Committee on the Implementation of the Declaration on
Decolonization founded on 23 January 1962.
On 18 January 1963, the US Assistant Secretary of State W. Averell Harriman
– speaking on Timor, had privately “denounced Portugal’s Government as the worst
form of colonialism and that the United States could not support it, and urged Britain
and Australia to bring pressure to bear on Salazar to give expression to some
enlightened plans and policies concerning health, education and future self-
determination.”659 In early February 1963, in preparation for Quadripartite Talks in
Washington, the Australian Cabinet:
“accepted the view that in the current state of world opinion, no practicable
alternative to eventual Indonesian sovereignty over Portuguese Timor
presented itself. It would not be acceptable to Australia or the West for
Indonesia to proceed against Portuguese Timor with arms, and this must be
brought home to Indonesia. But otherwise the course which it seemed best to
follow is for Australia to bring such quiet pressure as it can upon Portugal to
cede peacefully and in addition to explore ways by the international
community might bring pressure on Portugal.”660

656
FCO, “Brief for Quadripartite Talks – Washington February 1963 – Portuguese Timor”, Brief No
15 (The National Archives – Kew: FCO 371/169908 - DH 107/1).
657
Australian High Commission – London, Cable 184 (expunged detail released to author – 10 July
2007), 11 January 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010). The Australian position in early 1963 is stated in
Barwick, G. (Minister for External Affairs), Cabinet Submission – Portuguese Timor (see following
footnote 660; and the Department of External Affairs Working Group Report – “The Future of
Portuguese Timor”, Canberra, 4 April 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2) – see also the following
footnotes 666 and 669.
658
Australian Department of External Affairs, Cablegram SAV.29, 0.1827, 29 January 1963 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2) reporting on JIC(AUST)(63)(43) dated 25 January 1963.
659
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cablegram 217, 22 January 1963 – remarks to the British
Ambassador (NAA: A1838, 935/17/3). Harriman had made similar remarks on 17 January to the
Australian Ambassador, see Australian Embassy - Washington, Cablegram 184, 18 January 1963
(NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 1).
660
Cabinet Decision 632, Canberra, 5 February 1963, paragraph 4. (NAA: A4943, 632); and repeated
at paragraph 14 of Cabinet Submission No.575, 21 February 1963 (NAA: A4740, C3725, p.14) which
also notes that the Australian Foreign Minister had “warned the Indonesian Foreign Minister in New
130

Subsequently, in early February 1963, Australian Prime Minister Menzies


wrote to Portugal’s Prime Minister Dr António de Oliveira Salazar forewarning that
“this Special Committee (Committee of Twenty-Four) - of which Australia was a
member, would again be paying attention to Portuguese African territories in 1963
and might also discuss the future of Portuguese Timor.” Menzies pointed out that the
Australian Government was “concerned that in the absence of any intention ((by
Lisbon)) of allowing the Timorese people to express a choice as to the international
relationships and status that they desire, there will arise a serious threat to the peace of
the Territory.” Dr Salazar’s reply to Prime Minister Menzies in late February 1963
included the following:
“However good and intimate Australian relations with Indonesia may be, a
Portuguese Timor seems incomparably safer and more attentive to the interests
of Australia than the same Timor integrated in that Republic. We continue to
see the problem in the light of our relations and of the official statements made
by the Australian Government during the Second World War. … ((In))
September 1943, we were told that His Majesty’s Government in the
Commonwealth of Australia trusted that the Portuguese Government would
share the view that the two Governments should concert between them
measures for the common defence of Timor and Australia. This was the line of
thought of the Australian Government of those days, and it does not appear
that the world situation enables it now to think differently. …
Given the expansionist fever ((from Indonesia)) which we witness in many
quarters, there is always a possibility of national or foreign agents undertaking
the work of preparing manifestations of popular will to that end. Your
Excellency has perhaps been informed that this has been and is being tried
and, since the Consul for Australia in Dili has maintained intimate relations
with his Indonesian colleague, I presume that he could not have failed to
convey to Your Excellency all the details of those attempts. In these
circumstances, I would myself be very grateful if Your Excellency thought it
possible, and useful to the Portuguese Government, to acquaint the latter with
what Your Excellency’s Consul may have found out in that respect.”661 - ((ie
regarding “the work of subversion”)).

York last September ((1962)), that, quite apart from any other consideration, Australian public opinion
would not accept any violent move by Indonesia in regard to Timor.”
661
Salazar, A. de Oliveira Dr., (President of the Council of Ministers), Lisbon, 27 February 1963 – in
response to Australian Prime Minister Menzie’s letter of 8 February 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010,
pp.145-150 (Portuguese) and pp.109-115 (English – incorrectly dated “1 March 1962”; A1838,
3038/10/1 Parts 2 and 3). For the reaction of senior officials of the Australian Department of External
Affairs to Dr Salazar’s letter, see NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 3 including comment that Dr Salazar’s
letter was “a thoroughly unpleasant one, with its innuendoes of possible Australian desire to take over
Portuguese Timor … the ‘intimate relations’ maintained by the Australian Consul in Dili with his
Indonesian colleague … This seems to mean that the Portuguese already are regarding us as a hostile
influence.” See also footnotes 710 and 711 for the continuation of correspondence between Prime
Minister Salazar and Prime Minister Menzies in late 1963/early 1964. The Menzies-Salazar
correspondence in 1963-1964 is also contained in Way, W. (ed), 2000, op.cit., pp.27-38 and
correspondence between October 1961 and March 1964 is also briefly reviewed in Jolliffe, J., Balibo,
2009, op.cit., pp.77-80 in the context of an incorrect allegation by former Prime Minister Whitlam to a
1999 Senate hearing in Canberra that Dr Salazar had proposed a Portuguese-Australian
“condominium” over Portuguese Timor in March 1963.
131

Quadripartite Meeting on Indonesia – February 1963

Prior to the Quadripartite Meeting on Indonesia in Washington in early-mid


February 1963, the Australian Department of External Affairs advised its attending
officials: “It is difficult to see a practicable alternative to the Timorese people joining
Indonesia. Vague talk of raising standards of living will not achieve a permanent
solution. We must be at pains to impress on Indonesia our disapproval of a military
attack on Timor.”662 In a following cable, the Department added: “we consider the
best course is for Australia to bring such quiet presssure as it can upon Portugal to
cede peacefully and in addition to explore ways by which the international community
might bring pressure on Portugal.”663 In a subsequent message to its delegation,
Canberra cabled: “The meeting could well consider how Indonesia could be dissuaded
from taking military action while we are working to bring Portugal to cede the
territory peacefully.”664 Subsequently from the Meeting, the Secretary of the
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (Sir Arthur Tange) reported that: “The US
regard Australia as required by geography and circumstance to get the Portuguese out
of Timor by a decent international process before the Indonesians move. US have a
‘millstone’ of keeping bases in the Azores and keeping the Indonesians happy with
Western association”: the United States and the United Kingdom noted that as they
were renegotiating their military rights in the Azores, and as “neither the United
States nor Britain was in a position to exert any useful influence on Portugal to amend
its attitude to Timor”, urged an approach by Australia.665 In summarising the
Meeting, Tange reported:
“On Timor, all were agreed that it seemed likely that sooner or later Indonesia
would take over the Portuguese side of the island and everyone around the
table made it clear that their governments were not prepared to commit forces
to prevent this happening. Harriman seemed to think that it was Australia’s
particular duty to exercise what influence it could with Salazar to persuade
him to effect reforms. I mentioned the steps we had already taken and said
there was little more we could do. Ormsby Gore indicated that the British were
powerless to influence Salazar because they were already extremely unpopular
with ‘their oldest ally’, and Harriman said the Unites States could not move
because of current negotiations about the Azores bases which still appeared to
be an essential element in N.A.T.O. defence.”666

662
Department of External Affairs – Canberra, Cablegram 217, 4 February 1963 (NAA: A1209,
1968/9055). The principal concern at the Quadripartite Meeting on Indonesia (11-12 February 1963)
was prospective Indonesian military aggression against the “Borneo Territories” and Malaysia (to be
formed in August 1963) – ie Portuguese Timor was a minor topic for discussion.
663
Department of External Affairs – Canberra, Cablegram 234, 6 February 1963 (NAA: A1209,
1968/9055). This statement reflected the Cabinet Decision 632 – see footnote 660.
664
Department of External Affairs – Canberra, Cablegram 296, 11 February 1963 (NAA: A1209,
1968/9055).
665
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 410, 12 February 1963 (NAA: A3092, 221/11/18, Part 1).
666
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 423/I.4004, 13 February 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1,
Part 2). In mid-November 2007, at a presentation at a seminar at Oxford University, Portuguese
academic Dr Moisés Silva Fernandes stated that Australia – and the other three “Anglophone”
countries had abandoned Portuguese Timor to Indonesia in the early 1960s – “Timor-Leste: Acordo
secreto entregava territorio à Indonésia”, and “Acordo secreto entre anglófonos entregava Timor-
Leste à Indonésia”, Lusa, Lisbon, 16 November 2007. Dr Fernandes cited the 1963 Quadripartite Talks
on Indonesia in Washington and portions of the above-cited Australian diplomatic cable dated 13
February 1963 – see above. A few days later, Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta agreed with Dr
Moisés Fernandes’ assessment and cited the 13 February 1963 cable – “Timor: Ramos Horta compara
132

In subsequent discussions, the US Assistant Secretary of State W. Averell


Harriman and Australian Ambassador Beale agreed on “concerted action well before
the event” (“Indonesian trouble-making” ?), and Harriman “commented that when it
comes ‘we should at least be singing the same song even if it’s a dirge’.”667 In May
1963, the Australian Cabinet rejected a proposal from Foreign Minister Barwick that
Australia should “seek to engage the United Nations” on Portuguese Timor.
Supporting briefing papers to Prime Minister Menzies had counselled that such an
initiative at the UN risked that Australia might be seen as acting in a “pro-Indonesian
way”, publicly legitimizing Indonesia’s interest - or that Australia might be cited for
having “connived at opening the way for her ((Indonesia)) to exert a claim over
Timor.”668

Fears of Indonesian Subversion

While Indonesian ambitions against the North Borneo territories were a


priority interest in early 1963, the Australian Cabinet also reviewed a submission on
Portuguese Timor from the Minister of External Affairs in early March 1963 that
included an assessment that: “So far the Indonesian Government has not to our
knowledge given encouragement to dissident Timorese although there is some secret
evidence to suggest that Indonesian military forces are preparing the groundwork for
eventual ‘incidents’ and the support of a revolutionary movement.”669
Similarly, in May 1963, the Australian Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
Report on “The Future of Portuguese Timor” included a section on “Indonesian
Infiltration and Subversion”. 670 The report noted:
“10. Covert action being taken by the Indonesians in Timor seems to indicate
that preparations are being made to encourage border incidents and the
development of a revolutionary movement. Therefore, if a revolution should
break out, whether Indonesian inspired or not, the Indonesians would give
support to the rebels. There is no evidence, however, that the Indonesian

acordo secreto à Cimeira de Berlim”, Diário Digital – Lusa, Lisbon, 16 November 2007. In 2010,
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão similarly cited Australia as secretly agreeing to “East Timor’s
integration into Indonesia in 1963” – Murdoch, L., “East Timor leader accuses Australia over war”,
The Age, Melbourne, 12 April 2010. As noted at footnote 653, a summary of the Quadripartite
positions is discussed in the Department of External Affairs Working Group Report – “The Future of
Portuguese Timor”, Canberra, 4 April 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2).
667
Australian Embassy – Washington, Cable 459, 19 February 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010).
668
Cabinet Decision No.823 (FAD). Canberra, 23 May 1963 – and supporting briefs (NAA: A4940,
C3797). A brief for the ANZUS Council meeting in Wellington in June 1963 noted “as far as possible
we want to carry Indonesia with us in looking for a solution through international peace processes.”
(NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 3)
669
Barwick, G., Minister for External Affairs, “Portuguese Timor and the North Borneo Territories”,
Cabinet Submission No. 575, Canberra, 21 February 1963 (NAA: A4940, C3725, p.14 – draft on
935/17/3 Part 2) – also included in Whitlam, G., Abiding Interests, University of Queensland Press, St
Lucia, 1997, Appendix 5: “Barwick’s Advice on Portuguese Timor”. The Submission was considered
on 5 March 1963.
670
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), JIC(AUST)(63)75, “The Future of Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, May 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010; 3038/2/1 Part 2) – in most copies, paragraphs 22 and
24 covering “Indonesian Infiltration and Subversion” are expunged. However, see footnote 693 for
material in paragraph 22 related to the Catholic Church. The contemporary assessment of the
Australian Department of External Affairs can be found in “The Future of Portuguese Timor – Report
of Working Group of Departmental Officers”, Department of External Affairs (authors: Jockel, G.;
Doig, W.T.; Brown, A.), Canberra, 4 April 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2) that noted “evidence
that Indonesian military agencies are already active in planning for future interference.”
133

Government has decided on precise measures, including a time-table, to eject


the Portuguese. …
24. The Director of Intelligence of the Indonesian Armed Forces Staff,
Brigadier-General Magenda, visited Kupang in December 1962, presumably
to plan activities directed against Portuguese Timor. He instructed a special
army intelligence unit to intensify counter-intelligence efforts to minimize
advance knowledge by the Portuguese of forthcoming Indonesian moves, and
to provoke small-scale border incidents in order to increase tension and create
an atmosphere for large-scale incidents to justify eventual annexation of
Portuguese Timor. Propaganda and other activities were to be organized so
that they could not be traced back to official Indonesian inspiration. However,
we have no evidence to date that any activity along these lines has taken
place.”671

The URT-D’s Pan-Malay and Islamic Elements

On 14 April 1963, the URT-D disseminated a circular - an “Announcement”


dated 3 April 1963, declaring that a 12-member Cabinet had been formed at the
“Emergency Place of Struggle” at Batugadé.672 The Announcement was signed by
“Abdullah Malao” [sic] as the “General Director of the Presidium”. On behalf of the
Central Presidium, “First Vice President” “A. Mao Klao”673 appointed the members
of the Cabinet on the evening of 2 April 1963 “vide the Letter of Appointment” –
which included Mr T.E. Maly Bere674 as Prime Minister and Madame Immany as
Deputy Prime Minister. Of the twelve listed Cabinet members, three had clearly
identifiable Islamic/Malay names ie Datok Palimo Kayo, Inche Mohammed Quossim
Al-Haj and Mohammed Abbay Ridwan Maly.
The URT-D Announcement was reported in mid-April 1963 by the Jakarta-
based representative of the AFP news agency, included in The Economist (London) in
its “Foreign Report” of 25 April 1963675, and covered by media in Jakarta and

671
The Magenda visit is noted earlier – see footnote 653. Paragraph 24 of the Report was précised in a
cable from Washington as: “propaganda and other activities were to be organised by a special
Indonesian Army intelligence unit so that they could not be traced back to official Indonesian
inspiration - Australian Embassy – Washington, Sav 759, 4 July 1963 (NAA: A1838, 935/17/3).
672
Announcement on the formation of new Cabinet of Central Government … for the period 1963-
1965, General Directorate of the Central Presidium, No. P.T./IV/DG- Prespo – URTD/63, Batugadé, 3
April 1963 – as an attachment to Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 1155, 12 July 1963 (NAA:
A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
673
A. Mao Klao had previously been noted in March 1961 as the “General Chairman of the Bureau” in
the URT-D’s “Second Announcement” document of 10 December 1960 – see footnote 607 and Annex
I. In September 1963, the PIDE chefe in Dili reported that A. Mao Klao was “Gaspar Kalau – a
descendant of a Portuguese couple in Suai ((southwestern Portuguese Timor)), who had been a
secondary school teacher in Toe ((possibly Soe)), NTT”. He “spoke English, Dutch and German” and
was “apparently ‘deeply involved’ ” – Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., p.376 and footnote 66 citing a
PIDE Dili report of 3 September 1963.
674
A PIDE Dili report of September 1963 (Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., p.376) identified T.E. Maly
Bere as Tomás Malibere, the brother-in-law of “Silvestre Martins Nai Buti Seço” (see following
footnote 681). Silvester/Silvestre Martins’ father - Franciscus Xavier de Martins Naileto (1872-1953),
was reportedly a former traditional ruler ie régulo or liurai of Ailelo/Lameia (Hatolia - Ermera) who,
because of his “treason to the ((Portuguese)) Flag” fled to Dutch Timor following the Dom Boaventura
uprising in 1912. See also footnote 978 for “Curasa Effendi” – alias Mali Bere.
675
“Trouble in Timor”, Foreign Report, The Economist, London, 25 April 1963 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 2).
134

overseas.676 This brief April 1963 URT-D circular (one page) contained no “Pan-
Malay” rhetoric – but concluded by describing the Republic of Timor-Dilly as “one of
the Countries in the Pacific”. Islamic phrases in the circular included: “In the name of
Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful”, “May Allah bestow his blessings …”, and
“May Allah Accept It ! Amen”.
The Antara newsagency in Jakarta reported on 21 June 1963 that the All-
Malay Races Union (AMRU – in Bahasa Indonesia: Persatuan Seluruh Bangsa
Melaju) had expressed “full support for the formation of an emergency government of
the Timor-Dili in its capital of Batugadé. Malay peoples give their support to any
action to destroy Portuguese Fascist imperialist rule.”677 The Australian and British
Embassies in Jakarta reported that they regularly received circulars from the AMRU
which had “extravagant claims of support from 250-million ethnic Malays drawn
from Hawaii to Malagassey678 [sic]”, and summarised that the AMRU “is virtually
non-existent, and is the creation of one man with a small circle of associates to assist
him. This self-styled president of the presidium of the All-Malay Race Union is one
Mulwan Shah, an Indonesian of apparent Malay stock, who claims to have lived most
of his life in Portuguese Timor. He has explained his presence in Djakarta as
pertaining to his role as the ‘official representative of the struggling masses in
Portuguese Timor’.”679 The Australian Embassy report also noted that the AMRU
had made a number of statements supporting Indonesia’s Confrontation (Konfrontasi)
680
with Malaysia – but “in recent weeks the tenor of the organisation’s comments
changed from an anti-Malaysia tone, and have concentrated on Portuguese Timor, the
most sensational of which was the statement dated 3rd April 1963 proclaiming the

676
Merdeka, Djakarta, 24 April 1963; and “Struggle for Portuguese Timor Intensifies”, by Marinov in
Sovjetskaya Russia (USSR) on 7 May 1963 and New Times (USSR) of 3 April 1963 – and repeated in
several Indonesian-language newspapers in Jakarta on 9 May including in Merdeka as “Mao Klao
Presiden REP. Persatuan Timor”, p.3 – citing the US and Portugal as being “truly worried”.
677
“All Malay Race Union supports Timor Dilli Union Republic”, Antara News Bulletin, Jakarta, 21
June 1963. The report noted that the AMRU claimed to represent “two-hundred and fifty million
people in an area stretching from Hawaii to Madagascar and from Formosa to the Cocos Islands”.
678
The Malagasy people of the island of Madagascar off the African coast are believed to be
descendent from a wave of immigration from the islands of Indonesia. The roots of the Malagasy
language are Malayo-Polynesian.
679
Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 1155, 12 July 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). The
Memo noted that the official location of the headquarters of the AMRU was given as “Djalan Pos
Utara 4” which was also the address of the Unitary Government of Kalimantan Utara. The Embassy
also noted that recent URT-D circulars had been signed by Abdullah Mao Klao and Alexander Salim
(Deputy President) and had shown the organization’s Jakarta address as Djalan Paseban 25. An earlier
Embassy report in mid-1963 (Savingram 39, I.16741 – NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3) had noted that
the US Embassy believed that the AMRU was “active two years ago in distributing leaflets directed
against Portuguese rule in Timor”. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised its
Jakarta Embassy that the AMRU had sent a letter to the President of the Maldivian Republic on 17
March 1963 supporting Philippines President Macapagal’s “Confederation of Greater Malaysia” – and
noted that, at that time, Mulwan Shah was the AMRU President and its address was Djalan Paseban 25,
Djakarta – and that the AMRU’s “new address is the same as the ‘Central Presidium of the Unitary
Republic of Tibor [sic]’.” The FCO concluded that despite its “extreme Muslim sentiments” … “We
agree however that the organisation ((the AMRU)) need not be taken too seriously.” (FCO, All Malay
Union, London, 16 January 1970 – The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867).
680
Malaysia – an association of Malaya, Singapore and the British Borneo territories, was conceived by
Malayan Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman on 27 May 1961. Indonesian Foreign Minister
Subandrio announced a policy of confrontation on 20 January 1963, and President Sukarno declared
the Ganyang (Crush) Malaysia campaign on 27 July 1963. Malaysia was formed on 16 September
1963 (less Brunei). Konfrontasi wound down in late 1965 – and formally ended at the Bangkok
Conference on 28 May 1966.
135

formation of the Cabinet” of the URT-D – “normally such press statements have been
ignored locally but in this case, its substance was sent out by the local A.F.P.
representative.”

Activity in “Indonesian Timor” - Silvester Martins Nai Buti

According to a PIDE report, in May 1963, there was an “infiltration” from


Indonesian Timor into the Maliana area by the followers of a former resident of
Portuguese Timor, “Silvestre Martins Nai Buti Seço”.681 Nai Buti’s followers,
principally former residents of Portuguese Timor - and their descendants, were based
in the Atambua area of Indonesian Timor.682 A subsequent PIDE document reported
that Silvester Martins Nai Buti, accompanied by several elderly “Lia Na’in”
(“counsellors”) visited Jakarta in June 1963 (via Makassar) to “exhort President
Sukarno to take Portuguese Timor by force”.683 The group was reportedly
accompanied by the Governor of Southern Sulawesi, Andi A. Rivai684 who supported
Nai Buti’s proposal. However, Sukarno reportedly rejected this approach, noting that
such was not a priority in Indonesia’s foreign policy. According to the son of Silvester
Martins Nai Buti – ie Fransiscus Martins Nai Buti, his father met “face-to-face” with
President Sukarno and received a “surat KOTI” (“Supreme Operational Command

681
According to PIDE reports, “Silvestre/Sylvester Martins (‘Nai Buti’) Seço” was the son of a former
traditional ruler (liurai) of Lameia (Hatolia, Ermera) who, because of his “treason to the ((Portuguese))
Flag” fled to Dutch Timor following the Dom Boaventura uprising in 1912. PIDE assessed that “Nai
Buti is an important element as he keeps an informal net of informers in the markets in the border zone
of Portuguese Timor” - Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., pp.376-377 and footnotes 67-71 citing PIDE -
Dili reports of 7 May and 3 September 1963, 11 August 1964, 12 October and 21 December 1965.
Silvester Martins Nai Buti (born 31 December 1914, Tenubot; died 23 May 1991, Tenubot) was the
son of Dom Franciscus Xavier de Martins Naileto (born 1872, Aileo; died 18 November 1953,
Tenubot) – see footnote 674, who led a significant number of people in 1911-1912 from the reino of
Deribate/Diru Hati (Portuguese Timor) to the Atambua area (Tohe, then Tenubot) in Dutch Timor – ie
“fugiram para a territorio hollandez”, BOdT, No.16, 16 November 1912, p.261. The foregoing
information was provided to the author by Takahashi Shigehito and Nug Katjasungkana following their
focused interviews with Nai Buti clan members in Kupang and Atambua in August and September
2008. The exodus of Raja Naileto and the people of “Diru Hati” is also related in Martins Nai Buti,
D.S. (et al), Upacara Adat Pelantikan Raja Suku Kemak Diru Hati …, Atambua, 2006, pp.1-2. Aspects
of the history of Deribate from 1895-1900 can be found in Davidson, K.G., The Portuguese
Colonisation of Timor: The Final Stage, 1850-1912, University of NSW, Sydney, 1994. During WWII,
Silvester Martins Nai Buti provided some assistance to the Japanese forces in the Atambua area in
“native pacification” and the provision of supporting services such as agriculture and warehousing –
email to author from Takahashi Shigehito 28 December 2008 citing a published memoir by Captain
Maeda Toru, Paymaster of the Japanese Army’s 48th Reconnaissance Regiment. During the War, the
Japanese Otori Kikan intelligence service reportedly attempted to return the reino of Deribate/Diru Hati
in Portuguese Timor to the Martins/Nai Buti clan at Tenubot.
682
A report by an Australian Consul noted “2,000 natives” in the vicinity of “Atamboea” who included
“descendants of natives who crossed the border after the abortive uprising of 1911-12.” – Australian
Consulate – Dili, Memo 154/49, 26 August 1949 (NAA: A1838, 378/15/3). Groups from Portuguese
Timor – principally of the Kemac and Bunaq ethnic groups near the border, who had been involved in
the Japanese-sponsored “colunas negras” groups during WWII also fled to Indonesian Timor when
Portuguese authorities re-established their administration in 1945-1946. Silvestre [sic] Nai Buti was
reported as the “head” of the Kemac in Indonesian Timor (see PIDE – Dili, Report 394-SC/CI(2), 14
April 1966 – TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS CI(2) NT 4874). The PIDE had operational staff in Dili, Baucau,
Balibo and Suai – with their appointments promulgated in the Boletim Oficial de Timor.
683
PIDE - Balibo, “Frontier Report No. 20/63”, 17 July 1963 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS, SC-CI(2) DSI-
2, NT 8972) - also cited in Fernandes, M.S., 2005, p.395. The PIDE report does not mention the URT-
D. The PIDE had established an office in Balibo in April 1963.
684
Brigadier General Andi A. Rivai/Rifai was the Governor of Sulawesi Selatan in 1960-1966.
136

directive” – KOTI = Komando Operasi Tertinggi) for operations against Portuguese


Timor – of “about three pages”.685 Soon after, in 1963, the followers of Silvester
Martins Nai Buti commenced training with “Kopassus”686.
Following the URT-D announcements in 1963, several PIDE reports in mid-
1963 confusingly associated - and conflated, the URT-D’s “A. Mao Klao” and “T. E.
Malibere” with Silvester Martins Nai Buti and his group – including citing familial
connections in the border areas.687
Several PIDE reports relate that an Indonesian Army officer, Lieutenant
Prawiro Slamat/Slamet of “KOTI” was involved in providing support to Nai Buti
from December 1962 to, at least, mid-1966.688 Nai Buti was often reported in the
company of Indonesian military and civilian officials – in July 1964, Nai Buti was
reported as having acquired a statue of “Our Lady of Fátima” and to have visited
families in Indonesian Timor “door-to-door” to proselytize his cause.689
Silvester Martins Nai Buti was again reportedly in Jakarta in October 1965 –
“with a passport valid for three months”, where he was engaged in “anti-Portuguese
propaganda”.690

The Question of Indonesian Involvement

In January 1963, the Indonesian Deputy First Minister and Armed Forces
Chief-of-Staff, General A.H. Nasution, stated in an address to military and civilian
officials in Purwokerto (Java) that “around us there are still oppressed peoples; even
worse than oppressed peoples - enslaved people; among them in Timor (Portugal),
North Kalimantan etc … every struggle of an oppressed people to free itself from
oppression will always enjoy our support.”691 In February, the Chairman of the Partai
Katolik Indonesia (Indonesian Catholic Party), Dr Francis Xavier Seda, stated he saw
no alternative to the early removal of the Portuguese from Eastern Timor - but noted
that General Nasution, “who was the principal spokesman for the Government on
Timor”, had cautioned him not to make any statement “critical of Portuguese policy

685
Email to author from Takahashi Shigehito, 18 October 2008 – relating his interview with Fransiscus
[sic] Martins Nai Buti on 30 August 2008.
686
From 1955, the Indonesian Army’s special forces were titled RPKAD (Resimen Para Komando
Angkatan Darat) – changing to Kopassandha on 17 February 1971 and Kopassus on 26 December
1986. Many Indonesians and Timorese refer to all three as “Komando” or “Kopassus”.
687
PIDE – Dili, Report 9/63-GU, 7 May 1963, p.3; Report 11/63-GU, 4 June 1963, p.2; and PIDE -
Dili Report, 3 September 1963, p.8 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS SC-CI(2)/DSI-2 NT 8972). When
queried by the author in Dili on 27 October 2008, M.S.A. Balikh (“Mao Klao”) had no knowledge of
Silvester Martins Nai Buti or Indonesian-supported anti-Portuguese operations in the border area in the
early 1960s.
688
“KOTI” or “Koti” is “Komando Tertinggi” ie the ABRI High Command. Slamat is mentioned in
PIDE – Dili Report 11/63-GU, 4 June 1963, p.2 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS SC-CI(2)/DSI-2 NT 8972);
PIDE – Dili, Report 394-SC/CI(2), 14 April 1966 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS CI(2) NT 4874, pp.59-61);
and PIDE – Dili, “Informação” Report of May (?) 1966 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS CI(2) NT 4874,
p.62). The last PIDE report cited above also referred to the anti-Portuguese activities of Indonesian
“Padre Matutino, a teacher at the Dom Bosco school and assistant chaplain to the Indonesian Army at
Atambua” – who was a “brother of the Commissioner-General of the Public Security Police in
Kupang”. That report also cited the Indonesian Consul in Dili as the “principal fomentor of these
intrigues”.
689
PIDE – Dili, Report, 7 July 1964 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS SC-CI(2)/DSI-2 NT 8973).
690
PIDE – Dili, Report 10/65 (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS SC-CI(2)/DSI-2 NT 8973).
691
“Nasution on Oppression around Indonesia”, Antara, Purwokerto, 22 January 1963 (NAA: A4359,
221/5/19) – reported by Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Memo 337, 20 February 1963.
137

for the time being”.692 In May 1963, a high-level Australian intelligence assessment
noted: “the Indonesian Catholic Party (ICP) has agreed to work secretly with Nasution
for the peaceful removal of the Portuguese from Timor in one to three years. This will
involve working on the Roman Catholic population on both sides of the border. One
condition is that no other political groups should be allowed to work in the campaign
to arouse the Timorese to demand independence. Nasution has cautioned the ICP
against critical statements on Portuguese policy for the time being.”693
In early July 1963, several items appeared in the Western press claiming,
incorrectly, that martial law had been proclaimed in Dili and referred to the threat of
the URT-D eg: “The Indonesian Government-controlled media is publishing
manifestos by a representative of socalled [sic] ‘United Republic of Timor’ … No one
here doubts the ‘liberation’ movement is directed by Indonesia.”694
In mid-1963, the Australian Department of External Affairs assessed: “we do
not have any reason to believe that the Indonesian Government was behind the
alleged establishment of ‘United Timor Republic’. Their silence about this movement
suggests they had no hand in its creation … similarly we do not the regard the ‘All-
Malay Race Union’ as being significantly connected with the Government … at the
same time of course we believe that Indonesia, through Army intelligence or other
bodies, is proceeding with activities directed at the ultimate overthrow of the
Portuguese regime.”695 Soon after, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta reported their
view that the Indonesian “Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers this organization ((the
URT-D)) as an embarrassment to its official ‘no interference’ policy in Timor, and
that it would be more than happy if the Union were to sink into oblivion.”696
According to a Jakarta-based Western security analyst writing in 2003, in mid-
1963, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio authorised the Indonesian Central
Intelligence Agency (Badan Pusat Intelijen – BPI) “to initiate a covert project to
bring all of Timor under Jakarta’s control. As a first step, a 22-person rebel Timorese
cabinet mysteriously appeared in the Indonesian capital during August. A circular,
bearing the stamp of the ‘Directorate General of the Central Presidium of the United
Republic of Timor’ claimed that it would soon be sending an envoy to the United
Nations. In reality, the BPI-inspired rebel cabinet was notional. It contained no actual
members.”697

692
Australian Embassy – Djakarta, Record of Conversation, 1 February 1963; Memo 288, 13 February
1963 (NAA: A1838, 3034/2/2/8 Part 1). The Embassy official commented that “the implication was
that when the time was ripe, Dr Seda would be asked to make public statements critical of Portuguese
policy.”
693
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), JIC(AUST)(63)75, “The Future of Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, May 1963, paragraph 22 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2). The Assessment noted that the
source of the information was “probably reliable”.
694
Hughes R. (Singapore), “Timor on Sukarno’s ‘free’ list”, The Daily Mirror, Sydney, 1 July 1963.
Hughes referred to the URT-D’s “manifesto” with “a woman as Deputy Prime Minister” ie the URT-D
Announcement of 3 April 1963. Hughes’ articles also appeared in The London Sunday Times and The
Washington Post of 2 July 1963.
695
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram 0.13968, Canberra, 6 July 1963 (NAA:
A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
696
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1155, 12 July 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
697
Conboy, K., Intel: Inside Indonesia’s Intelligence Service, Equinox Publishing, Jakarta, 2004, pp.
39-40. Conboy also relates that a BPI officer was deployed to West Timor in late 1963, visited
Portuguese Timor, and made “low-key attempts at indoctrination” - but was withdrawn soon after.
Conboy summarises that “during the BPI era, there had been the brief, inconsequential flirtation with
sowing integration seeds” - p.88.
138

In the second half of 1963, the URT-D issued an Announcement that listed the
composition of its 25-member Military Council (“Dewan Meliter”) - which it claimed
had been formed in Batugadé on 10 June 1963.698 The Military Council was headed
by President A. Mao Klao as its General Chairman - with Junior President II Maly
Tae as Deputy General Chairman. All other members of the Council had military
ranks from Major to Major General – including Brigadier General Mohammed Shaleh
Pakkeh [sic]699 as Chief of the General Staff. The Announcement declared the
formation of the Armed Forces of the URT-D - with 10 June announced as Armed
Forces Day. While the Announcement lacked extensive “Pan-Malay” rhetoric, it
described the URT-D as a “Malay country in the Pacific” – and Islamic phrases
praising Allah were included. Of interest, the spelling in the Announcement is in
Bahasa Melayu (Malay) – not Bahasa Indonesia.700 This suggests a controlling
influence by the All-Malay Race Union over the URT-D and a desire to promote
“Timor-Dilly” as a discrete Malay/Melanesian entity - ie distinct from Indonesia.
This URT-D Announcement was reported by the United Press International
newsagency on 1 August 1963 - referring to a “mimeographed circular dropped in
editorial mailboxes here this week” and noting “similar circulars … have been
circulated regularly in Djakarta for several months.”701 The report continued: “A
young man named Wulwan [sic] Shah, who says he is an exile from Timor, haunts the
newsrooms of newspapers and agencies here issuing statements on behalf of the ‘All
Malay Race Union’. Local officials said privately they are watching his activities but
do not take him seriously. ‘We think he is an adventurer’, one top Indonesian Army
officer said.”
In mid-September 1963, the URT-D’s Minister for Information, Mohd. A.R.
Maly, speaking in Bandung (West Java), requested attention and “moreel” [sic] help
by Indonesian to the URT-D “as for Kalimantan Utara” (North Borneo) – and also
sought recognition for the URT-D.702 Maly claimed the Chief-of-Staff of the URT-
D’s Military Council - Major General Abubakar Ilemandiry, and others had been

698
Announcement on the Formation of the Military Council, P. II/VI/DG-Prespu-URTD/63, Batugadé,
10 June 1963. This document, in Bahasa, “Pembentukan Dewan Meliter [sic] …” was provided to the
author in Dili by Muhammad Saleh Akbar (M.S.A.) Balikh (“Mao Klao”) on 4 December 2004. This
document, in English, is also found in Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., 2005, Annex III, pp. 424-426 and
in TdT , Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1287/63, NT 3292.
699
In an interview with M.S.A. Balikh on 4 December 2004, Balikh stated to the author that he
(Balikh) was the listed “Chief of the General Staff - Brigadier General Mohammed Shaleh Pakkeh” and
was also “General Chairman - A. Mao Klao”. Brigadier General M.S. Pakkeh was subsequently also
listed as the Minister for Education and Universities in the URT “Government” for the period 9 April
1965 – 9 April 1967 and 9 April 1969 – 9 April 1971 – see Fernandes, M.S., op.cit., 2005, Annex II,
pp.421-422. However, “M.S. Pakkeh” was subsequently omitted from the Military Council for the
period 1972-1975 – see footnotes 814 and 820. In interviews with author, Balikh commented about
both being “retired brigadiers”.
700
Prior to August 1972, there were distinct spelling differences between Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa
Indonesia. Following a joint study by Indonesia and Malaysia, spelling was unified under the Ejaan
Yang Disempurnakan (The Updated and Improved Spelling) – see Prentice, D., “Malay (Indonesian
and Malaysian)”, pp. 917-919 in Comrie, B. (ed), The World’s Major Languages, Croom Helm,
London, 1987. In this monograph, where possible, URT-D documents are described as Bahasa Melayu
or Bahasa Indonesia – with the appropriate notation applied in the Bibliography. Subsequently, a URT-
D document in December 1972 declared that Bahasa Melayu was the “national language” of the URT-
D – see footnote 810 and Annex N.
701
United Press International, UPI-209, 1 August 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 2).
702
“Timor Portugis Mulai Bergolak: Pem. Portugis Lebih Kedjam Dari Kolonialis Belanda dan
Inggris” (“Upheaval Begins in Portuguese Timor: The Portuguese Government is More Cruel than the
Dutch or British Colonialists”), Merdeka, Djakarta, 16 September 1963, p.1 and 10.
139

captured and sentenced to death in Portuguese Timor – others had been imprisoned in
underground cells on “Kambing” (ie Ataúro Island).703 Queried by the Merdeka
newspaper, the Indonesian Armed Forces spokesman, Captain Jusuf Sirath, responded
that ABRI had no knowledge of the URT-D – or of Mohammed Maly and his
statements in Bandung.704
In October 1963, in discussion with an Australian Embassy official in Jakarta,
the Portuguese Charge d’Affaires expressed his belief that “the Indonesian authorities
were unhappy about the Timor/Dili Union Republic and All-Malay Race Union. They
did not want a small independent Republic in eastern Indonesia.”705 During 1963,
some Portuguese officials suggested a relationship between Dr Pedro José Lobo, the
President of the Macau Senate – reportedly a “sino-malaio”(Chinese-Malay), and the
URT-D. However in late 1963, the file was closed as “there was no evidence of
support for the URT-D from the Timorese Creole elite.”706

Indonesia Acts ?

Signs of Indonesian hostility towards Portuguese Timor were evidenced


publicly in late 1963. A Surabaya newspaper, the Manifesto, published a front-page
map of Timor in its edition of 21 August 1963 showing Portuguese Timor’s Oecussi
enclave as Indonesian territory. The accompanying article claimed the URT-D had
been established in Batugadé and was engaged in warfare against the Portuguese with
primitive weapons – adding that the URT-D was appealing for help from friendly
governments.707 On 14 September 1963, a moderate Muslim newspaper in Jakarta,
Duta Masyarakat, included an editorial titled “Give Attention to Timor” that called
Portuguese Timor “a malignant tumour … sticking to Timor’s body” – and urged that
“though we are busy with other activities, it is not right for us to neglect this sore
point in the East.”708 In September 1963, the Australian Government reportedly
received “what is believed to be a genuine document concerning Indonesian
preparations for subverting Portuguese Timor … The document stated that subversion
was to continue parallel with the anti-Malaysia campaign in Northern Borneo
provided that the two fronts had not to be faced at the same time. It suggested that
subversion should be conducted through the Catholic Mission in Portuguese Timor, in
which there was some dissatisfaction with the arbitrary actions of the government.
The document went on to warn about the danger inherent in the constitutional changes
in Portuguese Timor. It suggested also that infiltration might be used through the
tribal relationships along the border.” 709

703
Major General Ilemandiry had been included in the URT-D’s announcement of its Military Council
(dated 10 June 1963 – see footnote 698) as “the late” ie “deceased”. Mohd A. R. Maly, as a
“Brigadier”, was listed as the Council’s Deputy Chief-of-Staff.
704
“S A B Tidah Tidak Tahu Menahu” (S A B Has No Knowledge), Merdeka, Jakarta, 17 September
1963.
705
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Record of Conversation, 4 October 1963 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19
Part 2).
706
Fernandes, M. S., 2005, op.cit., pp.405-407. Both “A. Mao Klao” and Dr Lobo were described as
“sino-malaio” (Chinese-Malay). For Dr Pedro José Lobo, see also earlier footnotes 449 and 450.
“Creole” (“mixed race”) has the same meaning as mestiço/mestizo (Portuguese) or malae oan (Tetum).
707
Australian Embassy – Washington, Savingram 1154 I.24650, 12 September 1963 (NAA: A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 3; 3038/2/1 Part 2).
708
Duta Masyarakat, Djakarta, 14 September 1963.
709
Australian Department of External Affairs, draft brief – “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, mid-1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). The quotations cited above are from a final draft
of the brief – not from the final document.
140

In mid-October 1963, the Australian Prime Minister wrote a personal letter to


the Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr António de Oliveira Salazar, that included:
“Your notice will no doubt have been drawn to reports in the Indonesian
official news agency in September of a rebel movement in Timor asking
Indonesia’s recognition and help. These and other statements seem to me to
make clear that if there is what Indonesia regards as an ‘independence’
movement in Portuguese Timor, Indonesia would believe, or at any rate say,
that she had an obligation to support it. It therefore seems to me worthy of
consideration whether Portugal would not be wise to secure the interest of the
United Nations in Portuguese Timor before such an ‘independence’ movement
developed rather than after it is claimed to exist.”710

Prime Minister Salazar’s “powerful” reply declared that:


“there is no independence movement in Portuguese Timor nor is there the
least desire for union with Indonesia, which would only bring disadvantages to
a population whose living standard, though modest, is higher than that of their
neighbours on the other side of the island.”711

Subsequently, in November 1963, Portugal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs –


Alfredo Franco Nogueira, told an Australian diplomat in New York that Portugal
regarded Prime Minister Menzies’ “representations as amounting to pressure on
Portugal to hand over Portuguese Timor to Indonesia … and everyone knew that
Portuguese Timor could never become a viable independent state … there was no
question of Portugal’s leaving Portuguese Timor at any time; and that, although
Portuguese Timor was economically a liability to Portugal, Portugal would fight to
remain in Timor.”712
In March 1964, the Australian Consul in Dili reported that the recently-arrived
Indonesian Consul, Dr Roeslan Soeroso, had stated that he (Soeroso) had “established
contact with some ‘anti-colonial Timorese elements’ but that he is keeping them at a
distance until he has had time to study the situation … he did not want to become
involved ‘in anything subversive’ but that he could not remain unaffected by the
plight of the Timorese whose conditions he described as appalling.”713
In late May 1964, a group of eight armed Indonesians reportedly travelled
from Kisar Island (in Indonesia, about 25 kilometres off the north-east coast of
Portuguese Timor) and landed in the Lautém area on the northeast coast 714 - see map

710
Menzies, R.G. Sir (Prime Minister of Australia), Canberra, 15 October 1963 – see Department of
External Affairs – Canberra, Cable O.22964, 16 October 1963 (NAA: A1209, 1974/9010).
711
Salazar, A. de Oliveira Dr., (President of the Council of Ministers), Lisbon, 5 March 1964 (NAA:
A1209, 1974/9010). Prime Minister Menzies made a manuscript note that Dr Salazar’s letter was
“powerful”.
712
Australian Mission to the United Nations – New York, Memo No.1780/63, 12 November 1963
(NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 3). Subsequently, Foreign Minister Nogueira suggested that “Australia
work for a condominium in Timor between herself and Portugal with the object of ultimately taking
over the island from Portugal. This Portugal would not mind and would fully understand.” - Australian
Mission to the United Nations – New York, Memo No.1932/63, 19 December 1963 (NAA: A1838,
3038/10/1 Part 3).
713
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 5, 7 March 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3). The
Indonesian Consul, Dr Roeslan Soeroso, had taken up his appointment on 8 January 1964.
714
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 111, 5 July 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3) and Australian
Department of External Affairs, internal memo (manuscript) drafted by the former Consul – Dili,
Canberra, late August 1964 (NAA: A1828, 3038/2/1 Part 3; 3006/4/3 Part 3). A few weeks later, the
Indonesian Consul stated that Indonesian “warships including submarines were now patrolling Ombai
141

on cover. The group were reportedly carrying “subversive literature” and, according
to the Portuguese authorities, there was “clear evidence they had been sent to carry
out subversive acts.” Their presence was reported to the authorities by local Timorese
villagers, and the Indonesians were soon “captured”. The Indonesian Consul, Dr
Roeslan Soeroso “had reacted aggressively, charging that the Indonesians had been
ill-treated and demanding that they be given into his custody pending repatriation.”
The Indonesians were “repatriated as quickly as possible” - “quietly shipped back to
Indonesia.” The Australian report of this event also noted: “The new Indonesian
Consul is also causing the Portuguese some anxiety … has actively been seeking
contact with Timorese suspected of disloyalty. The Governor has recently ordered that
he be kept under closer surveillance.”715
In mid-May 1964, the Governor of Portuguese Timor made a request to the
Indonesian authorities, through the Indonesian Consul in Dili, for the “return of a
rebel leader who had fled to Indonesian Timor.”716 The Indonesian Consul
commented to the Australian Consul that there was little likelihood of Jakarta
complying with the request.
In early July 1964, the Australian Consul reported that there had been “reports
of an incident at Batugadé, where a meeting of Timorese from both sides of the border
is said to have taken place two or three weeks ago. I have not been able to get any
information from Portuguese sources on what transpired, but according to the
Indonesian Consul, an independence movement, called Gerakan Timor Merdeka
(Timor Independence Movement), was formed. According to other reports, when
Portuguese police and troops arrived at the scene, the malcontents retreated over the
border into the Indonesian sector.”717 A related intelligence summary by an Australian
agency also noted that the Portuguese authorities “have been trying to keep secret” an
Indonesian landing in Lautém “at the end of May” – as well as “a meeting in June
between Timorese from both sides of the border, at which, according to the
Indonesian Consul in Dili, a Free Timor movement was formed.”718
An Australian national intelligence report in July 1964 had noted:
“12. Over the past two years, there have been indications (including visits to
the area by the Armed Forces Director of Intelligence and other senior army
officers) of covert Indonesian preparation for border infiltration, the
encouragement of border incidents, and the development of a rebel
government organization. It can be expected that the timing of the
proclamation of such a government’s “struggle for independence” would be
controlled by Indonesia. Indonesia would probably consider that the Afro-
Asian bloc would feel obliged to support such an indigenous dissident
movement against the Portuguese, and would applaud any assistance
Indonesia might give to the rebels. …

Straits regularly to prevent escape to Portuguese Timor of rebels in the Celebes.” – Australian
Consulate – Dili, Cable 36, 11 August 1964 (NAA: A1838, TS696/2/3 Part 1). A PIDE report of April
1966 summarising “The Situation in the Province of Timor” refers to infiltration into the “Los Palos”
area in November 1963 by “indonésios” from Kisar – but does not mention the above May 1964
incident (PIDE – Dili, Report 394-SC/CI(2), 14 April 1966 – TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS CI(2) NT 4874).
715
Ibid, ie manuscript memo by the former Australian Consul - Dili, Canberra, late August 1964.
716
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 93, 26 May 1964 (NAA: A4359, 221/5/19 Part 2). It is unclear
whether this un-named “rebel leader” had been associated with the 1959 Viqueque Rebellion. It is
more likely that it may be a reference to Silvester Martins Nai Buti (Seço) – see footnotes 674 and 681.
717
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 111, 5 July 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
718
Current Intelligence Report (CIR) 29, Canberra, 15 July 1964 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). This
Report was based on Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 111, 5 July 1964 (footnote 717 above).
142

15. The Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI - Partai Komunis Indonesia) has
been operating in Indonesian Timor for several years, and in 1960 it was
reported that support for it had increased as a result of local dissatisfaction
with the deteriorating economic situation. In 1962 it was reported that the PKI
was carrying out regular infiltrations into Portuguese Timor in order to create
centres of popular support for an Indonesian take-over of the territory. The
PKI’s position was said to be strongest in the Ocussi [sic] Enclave. There is no
doubt that should the Indonesian Government decide to attempt to acquire
Portuguese Timor, the PKI would offer its support in the form of propaganda
and practical aid from its organization in Indonesian Timor, but it is expected
that any covert operations would initially be controlled by the Armed Forces
Intelligence Staff (DINSAB) and later by the army.” 719

A few months later in November 1964, the Australian Minister of External


Affairs – then visiting Washington, was advised by his senior officials in Canberra
that “there is evidence to suggest that Indonesia may be intending to take some form
of action against Portuguese Timor in the near future … may be intending covert
operations the framework for which has already been established … the political
environment has changed markedly since 1963.”720 Perhaps related to the above non-
specific “evidence”, in December 1964 the Indonesian military’s Frogman Unit
Headquarters (Kopaska - Komando Pasukan Katak) in Surabaya reportedly received a
“secret assignment” from the ABRI High Command to conduct covert operations into
Portuguese Timor. A Kopaska team was established in Atambua and, using the
“cover” of “pedagang kuda” (horse traders), reportedly operated into Portuguese
Timor for five months “to provoke the masses to rise up against the Portuguese.”721
In early 1965, the Australian Consul in Dili received information that two or
three Chinese communists in Indonesian Timor were acting as advisers in villages
near the border – and, at a meeting in Atambua, the people were told that “Indonesia
did not intending attacking Portuguese Timor, but that Indonesia, and they the

719
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), JIC(AUST) (64)75, “The Outlook for Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, July 1964. p.4, paras 12 and 15 – the following para 16 has been “expunged” (NAA: A1209,
1974/9010). Reports by PIDE - Dili in the early-mid 1960s often cited activity in the border area by
PKI agents eg “Attempt by the Indonesian Communist Party to Annex Timor”, 10 January 1963; and
“Immediate Preparations for the Liberation of Portuguese Timor”, 1963 – “by infiltration, acts of
terrorism … almost all will be done by MOBRIG” ie Mobile Brigade (TdT, Lisbon: PIDE/DGS, SC-
CI(2) DSI-2, NT 8972).
720
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram 292, Canberra, 24 November 1964 (NAA:
A1838, 696/5 Part 2 and 3038/10/1 Part 3) – the “evidence” was highly classified - ie its detail could
not be included in a Secret-level briefing to the Acting Minister on 18 November, but added as a
discrete attachment. A few months later in February 1965, Jakarta downgraded its diplomatic relations
with Lisbon. A supporting brief, “Possible Indonesian Action Against Portuguese Timor”, 11
November 1964 – added that “in formal and informal communication to that ((ie Portuguese))
Government over the past few years, we have made it reasonably clear that Portugal cannot rely on us
to defend her position in Timor. The British have also told Portugal that British support would not be
forthcoming, and the Portuguese Government is unlikely to expect assistance from the United States of
America.” (NAA: A1838: 3038/10/1 Part 3).
721
Faisal, M. Lieutenant Colonel (TNI Navy), “Refleksi 45 Tahuh Kopaska”, Tentara Nasional
Indonesia (TNI) website, 3 April 2007; and confidential email to the author, Jakarta, 8 April 2007. The
Kopaska team was reportedly led by Second Sergeant Suwarno and Seaman Sutas – a Kopaska team is
usually about nine men. The activities of this reported Kopaska group are not definitively reflected in
any other reporting sighted by the author ie relating to late 1964 or in 1965 (but see footnote 727).
143

Indonesian Timorese, must give all encouragement and possible support to any
Timorese national uprising in the Portuguese controlled area of Timor.”722
In early February 1965, Indonesia broke off diplomatic relations with Portugal
– withdrawing their ambassador from Lisbon but both sides retaining their respective
consular relations. The Australian Department of External Affairs noted that this was:
“solely as a result of the resolution adopted at the Cairo Conference of the
Non-Aligned Countries last October, which called on all participants to sever
relations with Portugal. … Negotiations seem to have gone on without much
rancour, and the Indonesian attitude suggests that they have no present
intention of using the breach as a pretext for confronting the Portuguese in
Timor. Presumably they want to retain their Consulate in Dili (which is
abnormally large) for intelligence purposes, though it has of course also
genuine consular and trade functions to perform. Latest reports from our
Consulate in Dili say that the Indonesians there are not making contacts which
could have subversive implications. In any case, the Portuguese secret police
(P.I.D.E.) keep a close watch on them.”723

In the preceding few years to the mid-1960s, Indonesia appears to have had
little real or immediate interest in materially supporting the overthrow of the regime
in Portuguese Timor. Successively, Indonesia’s focus had been the transfer of West
Irian to Indonesian sovereignty and Indonesia’s Confrontation with Malaysia.724 In
early 1965, an Australian national intelligence assessment had concluded:
“The Indonesian Government is unlikely to pay serious attention to Portuguese
Timor until a Malaysian settlement is reached or unless another diversion is
needed in the event of confrontation of Malaysia starting to fail. However, the
regime might assess that by acting against the Portuguese, it would stimulate
African enthusiasm for Indonesia’s cause against Malaysia, as well as
bolstering its internal position through an easy and popular victory. It will
attempt to inspire and support any dissident movements in Portuguese Timor,
and will probably prefer covert support for an insurgent movement to overt
attack.”725

In late April 1965, United States officials reportedly warned Portuguese


authorities in Lisbon that “the Indonesians are training special troops for action in
Timor at a base near Djakarta. Sukarno is said to have decided on a cheap military

722
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 30/65, 6 February 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3).
723
Australian Department of External Affairs, Draft Brief for the Minister, 26 January 1965 (A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 3). The Indonesian Consulate staff in Dili comprised: Consul, Vice-Consul, Chancellor,
Secretary (male), Consular Clerk (wife of the Secretary) – “No locally engaged clerical staff are now
employed.” : Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 6/65, 4 January 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
724
Malaysia’s Permanent Secretary for External Affairs, Ghazali Shafie, complained that while
Indonesia had “attacked Portuguese colonialism in Africa” (presumably at the Cairo Conference),
Indonesia had done nothing “to arouse the conscience of the world against the perpetuation of
Portuguese colonialism in the heart of the Indonesian islands” – yet, while opposed to Malaysia,
remained “silent on Timor, the stronghold of medieval colonialism in what is the Angola of SEA.” –
Australian High Commission – Kuala Lumpur, Memo 1738, 27 November 1964 (NAA: A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 3).
725
Joint Intelligence Committee (Australia), “Outlook for Indonesia”, JIC(AUST)(65)43, Canberra,
March 1965, paragraph 42. The last sentence of that paragraph is expunged (NAA: A1838, 3034/2/1
Part 48; A1945, 248/9/2).
144

victory in view of the lack of military success in confrontation.”726 At about the same
time, Australian officials in Canberra appeared aware of a “Bali-trained group” and an
element in eastern Indonesian Timor at Atambua which had been prepared for action
against Portuguese Timor.727 In late 1965, the Australian Consulate in Dili reported
that “the native chief of a large tribe east of Atambua ((ie in Indonesian Timor)) close
to the Portuguese Timor border has twice been called to Djakarta for consultations”
and that the Indonesian Consulate in Dili “collects their safe-hand mail from a courier
at the enclave of Oecusse”.728 The Australian Consul’s report also related Portuguese
concern at “increased movement of Indonesians from Kisar Island to the Lautém area
of eastern Portuguese Timor and from other islands to Ataúro.”
The detail of these events related above may be the subject of several other
Australian reports – the detail of which is still classified and yet to be released, that
cover Indonesian clandestine operations against Portuguese Timor during the period
of Indonesia’s Confrontation with Malaysia (1963-1965).729 A brief for the Australian
Prime Minister in 1974 noted: “During Confrontation, the Indonesians made half-
hearted efforts at subversion in Portuguese Timor but, at that time, and subsequently,
they have made it clear that they make no legal claim to the territory.”730 Also, a
report on “Indonesia: Clandestine Operations in Portuguese Timor”731 prepared by the
Australian Embassy in Jakarta notes that Harry Tjan Silalahi, the Director of the
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta732, “mentioned that

726
Australian High Commission in Malaysia – Singapore Office, Memo 534, Singapore, 1 May 1965
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). Soon after, at the ANZUS Council Meeting in Washington in late
June 1965, Australian Minister of External Affairs Paul Hasluck stated “none of us would go to war
should Sukarno walk into Portuguese Timor.” US Secretary of State Dean Rusk added: “The U.S. is
not looking for business in that direction.” – Summary Record of Discussions – 28 June 1965, p.7
(NAA: A1838, TS270/2/14/1 Part 1). The principal topic of discussion was the Vietnam War.
727
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 66/65, 8 April 1965: manuscript notes by External Affairs -
Canberra staff (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). These “groups” appear to have been Indonesian regular
troops. The Atambua group may have included Kopaska – see footnote 721.
728
Australian Consulate – Dili, Cablegram 85 I.43055, 29 September 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3
Part 4, p.293). This activity may have been connected with earlier reported Indonesian attempts at
clandestine involvement in Portuguese Timor beginning in late 1963 – see footnotes 707-709 inclusive.
For suggestions of Indonesian covert operations against Portuguese Timor in 1962, see footnotes 651-
658 inclusive. It is probable that the “native chief of a large tribe east of Atambua” who had been
“called” to Djakarta might be a reference to Silvester Martins Nai Buti of Tenubot (Atambua, West
Timor) - although his tribe had moved from Deribate in Portuguese Timor to the Atambua area in about
mid-1912 (see footnotes 674 and 681). Silvester Martins reportedly visited Jakarta in June 1963
accompanied by ABRI Brigadier General Andi Rivai (footnotes 683-684 inclusive).
729
As noted earlier, while the Australian Department of External/Foreign Affairs files are a very useful
source of information, many folios have been removed as “exempted”, “in confidence”, and/or
classified as “intelligence information” – the release of which would risk “damage to the security of the
Commonwealth”. Similarly, occasionally passages within some reports on files have been “expunged”.
730
Way, W. (ed), Australia and the Indonesian Incorporation of Portuguese Timor 1974-1976, Carlton
South, 2000 - see “Prime Minister’s Visit to Indonesia”, 2 September 1974, p.91.
731
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, “Indonesia: Clandestine Operation in Portuguese Timor”, 3 July
1974. The file copy includes a manuscript marginal note: “1964/65 files – the confrontation operation
was not a great success” (NAA: A11443, 1).
732
Harry Tjan Silalahi was a member of the “Palace Group” and worked closely with Bakin (Badan
Ko-ordinasi Intelijen Negara - State Intelligence Co-ordination Agency) and Opsus (Special
Operations) on planning for the incorporation of Portuguese Timor. CSIS was founded in 1971 by
Major General Ali Moertopo (footnotes 872, 874 and 912) and Soedjono Hoemardani of President
Soeharto’s personal staff. CSIS is also discussed in Ball, D. and McDonald. H., Death in Balibo …,
op.cit., 2000, pp.65-71. In September 1974, Tjan reportedly submitted a “Grand Design” for
Portuguese Timor to President Soeharto: Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable JA5137, 1 October 1974
(NAA: A1838, 935/17/3 Part 2). Tjan had earlier been a source of information for the Embassy in
145

Indonesia had a clandestine operation of some sort going in Portuguese Timor during
Confrontation.”

Encouragement by the USSR

Cold War politics were also evidenced in propaganda pressure by the Soviet
Union in early 1964 with a series of radio broadcasts encouraging Indonesian action
against Portuguese Timor - citing that: “the nest of colonialism in Timor is becoming
more and more dangerous because the island, being strengthened by the NATO
countries, is located near important points in Indonesia … The Soviet people hope
that their Indonesian friends complete their struggle to eradicate the vestiges of
colonialism as soon as possible.”733 The USSR’s urgings were also reported in the
Australian media eg “Reds Urge Indo - Grab Control of Timor”.734 The People’s
Republic of China was less overtly critical of Indonesia’s failure to oppose Portuguese
colonialism in Timor. Interestingly, it has been suggested that: “East Timor was never
a serious target of Sukarno during the controversies around West Irian and Malaysia.
One theory is that Sukarno was trying to get better relations with China, and a move
against Portuguese Timor in the name of fighting colonialism would have
embarrassed China, which was tolerating the continued presence of Hong Kong and
Macau.”735

Appeals to the United Nations

On 9 December 1964, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the URT-D


forwarded a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the occasion of
the UN General Assembly’s 19th Session. The letter explained that the “Union Timor
Republic had been declared by the leaders of the Timor people on 9 April 1961 in
Batugadé (State Capital) … under the leadership of President A. Malklao [sic]” and
called upon the Secretary General “and all Revolutionary Countries to give concrete

1965-66 and also during the “Malari Affair” of mid-January 1974 – and, according to an Australian
Embassy official, was “our most valued contact” - Arriens, J., 6 February 1974 (NAA: A1838,
3038/10/1 Part 5, pp.52-53.). Harry Tjan visited Australia in August 1974 – for his discussions “as a
private citizen” with the Department of Foreign Affairs, see NAA: A1838, 696/5 Part 3. Tjan was
“warned” of the “repercussions on Australian and international opinion of a crude Indonesian campaign
in Portuguese Timor aimed at incorporation of the province by stealth.” For background on CSIS,
Harry Tjan Silalahi (born Tjan Tjoen Hok, 11 February 1934), and Lim/Liem Bian Kie (Yusuf
Wanandi, born West Sumatra 15 November 1937 – General Ali Moertopo’s private secretary) see
Monk, P.M., “Secret Intelligence and Escape Clauses – Australia and the Indonesian Annexation of
East Timor 1963-76”, Critical Asian Studies, 33, Issue 2, Routledge, Cedar – Michigan, June 2001,
pp.181-208; and also footnote 952. For a contemporary summary of the assessed bona fides, access of
- and implications of the reporting by, Tjan and Bian Kie, see Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Letter, 21
July 1975 and Canberra - Minute, 31 July 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 5, Part 6 – also in Way,
W. (ed), 2000, op.cit., pp.294-295 and 296-297).
733
Radio Moscow, Commentary in Bahasa Indonesia, 25 April 1964 – and an earlier broadcast of 14
September 1962 (“Timor is Thirsty for Independence”). See footnote 157 for earlier Indonesian
suspicions of possible NATO utilisation or exploitation of Portuguese Timor.
734
“Reds Urge Indo - Grab Control of Timor – Radio Hate”, The Sun, Sydney, 24 July 1964. The
following year, Harian Rakyat - a Jakarta daily, in an item “Looking at our Brothers under Portuguese
Oppression” (23 September 1965), warned that “the territory of Timor might be used by NATO and
SEATO for construction of a military base”.
735
The Sukarno years: 1950-1965, Sejarah Indonesia – An Online Timeline of Indonesian History:
1962, http://www.gimonca.com/sejarah/sejarah09.shtml
146

support towards the freedom struggle of the Timor people.”736 Signed by the URT-D
Minister of Foreign Affairs - “Brig. General Inf. Abbay R. Malay”, there were no
Islamic phrases evident in the letter. Upon receipt, at the suggestion of the Australian
Mission to the United Nations, the United Nations Sub-Committee on Petitions (of the
Committee of Twenty-Four) decided to “hold over” consideration of the letter until
the Sub-Committee’s next meeting – pending “more information on the people
involved and on Batugade.”737 On 28 April 1965, the Sub-Committee on Petitions
decided to take no action on the URT-D petition. Its Chairman stated that, despite the
efforts of the Secretariat, it had not been possible “to unearth the Timor Republic.”738
In December 1964, the URT-D disseminated a circular, “Peace on Earth &
Happy New Year, 1965”, to foreign diplomatic missions in Jakarta.739 The document,
in Bahasa Melayu and signed by the President of the Central Presidium, A. Mao Klao,
noted that “the United Republic of Timor is a Melanesian Malay State in the Pacific
that belongs to the Oceanian family” and hoped for cooperation “especially with
Pacific countries because Timor is one of them.” There were no Islamic phrases in the
circular. Although ostensibly signed in Batugadé, the circular’s letterhead showed the
URT-D’s Jakarta address as “C/o J.B. Assa, Djalan Paseban 6 pav.” The Australian
Embassy in Jakarta commented that the circular’s envelope was “postmarked Djakarta
with an Indonesian stamp” and “the Indonesian press occasionally carries articles
referring to the ‘Government’, but we have not noticed any for some time.”740

The “Declaration of Independence”

On 9 April 1965, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta – and several other


embassies in the city, received three URT-D documents741:

• “The Declaration of Independence” dated 9 April 1961 – in English


(See Annex J);742
• “The Formations of the Reshuffle of the first period (9 April 1961 – 9
April 1969) of the Central Presidium” dated 7 August 1964;743 and

736
URT-D, Communication 683 ((?)), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Union of Timor Republic,
Batugade, 9 December 1964.
737
Australian Mission to the United Nations, Memo 452/65, New York, 9 April 1965 (NAA: A1838,
3006/4/3 Part 3).
738
Australian Department of External Affairs, Memo, Canberra, 11 May 1965 (NAA A1838, 3006/4/3
Part 3).
739
Damai Di Bumi – Selamat Natal & Tahun Baru 1 January 1965, Batugadé, 19 December 1964.
The circular - in Bahasa Melayu (with an English translation by the Australian Embassy – Jakarta),
commented: “In 1959/60 there are 500 Timor patriots massacred by the Portuguese imperialists.
Hundreds of Timor patriots are still in gaol and many of them are kept in underground cells”.
740
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 101, 14 January 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
741
Despatched to Canberra under cover of Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 441, 15 April 1965
(NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3).
742
The copy of the Declaration of Independence - in English (see Annex J), received at the Australian
Embassy in Jakarta on 9 April 1965, did not include any URT-D reference or serial numbers, but
included a stamp in the form of a “cogged wheel” (see above) with the wording (in Bahasa)
“Kementerian Luar Negeri – Uni Republic Timor” (Foreign Ministry of the Union of the Republic of
Timor) – and one large star and eight small stars in the centre portion . This Declaration may have been
produced in late 1964 – ie not 1961, and “back-dated” to 1961 – see the subsequent discussion section
of this monograph. Portugal’s security police (PIDE) first acquired a copy of the Declaration “in the
mid-1960s forwarded by the Portuguese Consulate in Jakarta” - Fernandes, M. S.., 2003, op.cit., p.3
footnote 11; Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., p.370 - footnote 49; and Fernandes, M.S. - email to author
dated 14 May 2006.
147

• “Announcement on the Reshuffle of the Cabinet” dated 2 November


1964.744

The Declaration of Independence (see


Annex J), signed at Batugadé by A. Mao Klao as
Acting President of the Central Presidium, included
the stamp of URT-D’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(Kementerian Luar Negeri – Uni Republic Timor).
The Declaration cited “revolts commencing the end
of the Year 1959”,“the struggle/propaganda of
Timor Lovers (Dilly)”, and the “forming of the
Bureau of Liberation on November 2, 1960”.
It announced the formation of the Union of the Republic of Timor-Dilly and
declared Timor’s independence at 9.00 a.m. on 9 April 1961 – “with the capital in
PRASZA (DILLY) and … the revolution capital is in BATUGADE”. The Declaration
stated that the founding ceremony in Batugadé was attended by nine members of the
First Central Presidium. Unlike the URT-D’s documents reviewed previously in this
work, the Declaration had a strong Pan-Malay orientation – with Timor as a
“socialistic structure being guided by Allah’s Holy Book as a continually ricing
[sic]745 the history of Malacca under guidance of Maromak Oan in the Golden Age of
ancient Confederate Timor … We struggle for the Greater Malay Confederation.”
The Declaration also called for armed struggle – “by force at the point of a weapon”
and contained the first noted reference to “Prasza (Dilly)”746 and “Maromak Oan”.747
The geographic range of the URT-D’s interests was evidenced in the passage: “As
Malay’s race and country which is sitting in the Malay’s Melanesian Archipelagoes,
we struggle for the greatly [sic] Malay Confederation.” The Declaration included
three Islamic phrases praising Allah – additional to the above noted reference to
“Allah’s Holy Book”.748

743
The Formations, No 013A/VIII/Prespu - URT/64, Batugade, 7 August 1964 – in English. The
“Reshuffle” aspect of this document is not clear as it declares membership of the Central Presidium for
the “inception” period in 1961 through to 1969 - ie it is unclear who were “new”appointees in August
1964.
744
Announcement, No 016/XI/Prespu – URT/64, Batugade, 2 November 1964 – in English.
745
Subsequently, in December 1972, the Australian Embassy received a copy of the Declaration of
Independence in Bahasa Melayu ie Pernyataan Kemerdekaan (footnote 811 and Annex O), that used
the word “bangkitnya” which translates as “rising” ie not “ricing” as appears in the English language
text.
746
“Prasza (Dilly)” is apparently a reference to Praça (Portuguese: “town square” or “town”), a term
used for the town of Dili eg as in the term: Tetum-Praça (“Dili Tetum”).
747
Regarding “Maromak Oan” – the article, “Regnal Chronologies” relates that before Europeans
arrived in Timor, “there were numerous petty kingdoms - about 15-20 in West Timor, 50 in East
Timor. There was a ritual structure with a high sacral lord in the center of the island (Belu) called
Maromak Oan ("child of God"). Under him were three temporal lords, namely Sonbai in the west,
Wehale in the center, and Likusaen (Liquiça) in the east” – see Regnal Chronologies at
http://elloneloire.net/obsidian/seasiaisl.html#Netherlands%20East%20Indies . “The history of
Malacca” is a reference to the Melaku (Malacca) Sultanate that ruled over the Malay Peninsula and
Sumatra in the period 1409-1511 ie following the decline of the Indonesian Majapahit empire.
748
As noted above, a Bahasa Melayu version of the Declaration (as Pernyataan Kemerdekaan)
appeared subsequently in December 1972 – see footnote 811 and Annex O. A purported photograph of
the Declaration - in Bahasa Indonesia as a “short” “Proklamasi”, appeared in the Timor Post
newspaper of 25 November 2004 (footnote 982) and in TIME Timor magazine in November 2007
(footnote 987 and Annex X). A slightly different “short” Proklamasi text was provided to the author by
M.S.A. Balikh in August 2006 (Annex V). However, both the 2004/2007 and 2006 Proklamasi texts
148

The second document, “The Formations”, announced the membership of the


Central Presidium of the URT-D from the URT-D’s founding in April 1961 through
to April 1969. A. Mao Klao was named as President of the Central Presidium, S.
Seran and T.E. Maly Bere as Acting Vice Presidents – and a further six members of
the Presidium were also named. Almost all the names appeared Timorese – A. (ie
Abdullah) Mao Klao was the only obviously Islamic/Muslim member of the Central
Presidium. “The Formations” document included Islamic phrases praising Allah in its
superscription and subscription - and was signed by A. Mao Klao at “Batugade on 7
August 1964”.
The third document - the “Announcement”, listed 22 members of the URT-D
Cabinet led by Prime Minister Brigadier Boly Mao – with three Vice Prime Ministers:
I - Madame Immany, II – Brigadier General Leto Mao, III – Brigadier General Bara
Mao. The names of the Cabinet members were both Timorese and Islamic (about 30
percent)749 and, as in the Declaration of Independence, the Announcement included
reference to the “struggle to continue the ideal of Maromak Oan with the triumph of
Malacca in Timor under guidance of President A. Mao Klao.” At paragraph V, it
included “The Union of the Republic of Timor is the Malay’s Melanesian countries
which has ethnological, geographical and geopolitical position is included in the
Pacific countries, no South East Asia.” The Announcement was signed by Acting
Vice President II, T.E. Maly Bere at “Batugade on 2 November 1964”.

The URT-D Constitution

In May 1965, the Central Presidium of the URT-D produced a Constitution –


see Annex K.750 The Constitution declared the “craving” of the URT-D and the
Timorese people for “a full independence” and asserted “their resolute standpoint
against imperialism, colonialism, neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism of any kind
and of any race, whether it is of the white, colored or the yellow-skinned people.”
The document also noted that “foreigners have no right to obstruct and slow off the
success of the liberation struggle, namely the full independence of Timor”, and that
“she ((Timor)) is never prone to be annexed by any neighbouring country.” As in
earlier statements, the Constitution declared the URT-D “as a Malay country
belonging to the Malay-Melanesian group of islands … requiring a mutual help with
with all neighbouring countries, especially with the 250 million Malayans living in
the area as far as from Hawaii to Malagasy … the Union of Timor Republic supports
resolutely the idea of All Malay Race Union, and will put herself as its first member.”

are far shorter than the English text cited above ie Annex J - or the Bahasa Melayu text provided in
December 1972 (footnote 811 and Annex O). Consequently, the provenance of the 2004/2007 and
2006 “short” Proklamasi versions is quite suspect (see the concluding discussion section of this
monograph and Annexes V and X).
749
This is probably the 22-member Cabinet referred to by Conboy, K. – see footnote 697. One name on
the lists, Inche Mohamad Qosen Al Haj, the “Deputy Minister of Malay’s Countries Relations”,
includes a Malay-language title ie “Inche” – first noted in the URT-D Cabinet announced in early April
1963.
750
Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., pp. 385-386 and footnote 92 – the text of the Constitution, in English
and dated 4 May 1965, is included at pp. 428-429 (Anexo V) – as provided to Lisbon by the Portuguese
Consulate in Jakarta on 18 September 1965. See footnote 922 for a subsequent URT-D “East Timor”
Constitution (Undang Undang Dasar – Uni Republik Timor Timur) produced by M.S.A. Balikh in July
1975.
149

1965 – Sukarno Declares Support; New Order Disinterest

On 30 April 1965, the United Press International (UPI) agency reported from
Jakarta that “The rebel ‘Union Timor Republic’ is just one of the many rebel groups
in Djakarta. They maintain offices and a public relations staff here support [sic] by the
Indonesian Government … The ‘Union of Timor Republic’ set up offices here in July
of 1963 and occasionally sends mimeographed circulars around to foreign Embassies
and news agencies seeking support.”751 In a memorandum to Canberra, the Australian
Embassy in Jakarta commented: “We have no evidence that it is ‘supported by the
Indonesian Government’ but would not be surprised if it were, as the Indonesians are
following a policy of cultivating and providing financial and material support for a
number of Malayan dissident groups (eg. KEMAM). Support for the ‘Union of the
Republic of Timor’ would be in keeping with this policy of helping expatriate
nationalists.”752
In May 1965, the URT-D disseminated a circular announcing the composition
of its “Council” for the “third period”: 9 April 1965 to 9 April 1967.753 The 25-
member Council was led by Prime Minister Brigadier General A.H. Bere with
Madame Immany as the First Deputy Prime Minister – about one third of the names
were Islamic. The circular continued the broad Pan-Malay theme ie “the ideals of
Maromak Oan to return to the golden age of Malacca in Timor … our revolution is a
revolution carried out by youths and young women of Malay Melanesia, in tune with
the rhythm [sic] of the unique Pacific Ocean, in harmony with the tropical clime of
Oceania, and entirely different from the south-east Asian world.” This document also
expressed an independent stance - eg “we want to receive material assistance from all
countries …”, but “we will continue to struggle, although not helped by any other
country, because we are not puppets. And for this reason, it is not foreign or
neighbouring countries who have the right to say when we must begin to rise up and
fight.” In reporting this circular, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta noted that “the
pronouncements … continue to fail to attract press treatment or any official support
here.”754 In commenting on the circular, a staff officer of the Australian Department
of External Affairs in Canberra (who had formerly served as the Consul in Dili) noted
that the current (1965) Indonesian Consul in Dili had indicated in 1964 that “the
Indonesians had little enthusiasm for the movement because they doubted whether a
Moslem movement could attract support among the Timorese Christians who were
after all the elite of the Portuguese province. The Moslems might also antagonise the
predominantly Christian peoples of Indonesian Timor and neighbouring islands … the
language of the declaration is certainly Islamic.”755
In early July 1965, the Australian Consul in Dili visited Batugadé - “where the
Central Presidium of the United Republic of Timor are supposed to have their
emergency headquarters.”756 The Consul reported that “the village of Batugade has

751
United Press International (UPI), GT626P, Jakarta, 30 April 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3).
752
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 553, 14 May 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 3). For Pan-
Malay movements, including the KMM, see footnotes 77 and 605.
753
Announcement, 051/IV/Central Presidium-URT/65, Batugade, 9 April 1965.
754
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 655, 2 June 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4). This
memorandum also related that the US Embassy in Jakarta had received a letter addressed to their
Ambassador seeking support for the URT-D. The US Embassy reportedly did not propose to
acknowledge or take action on the URT-D letter.
755
Dunn, J., Memo – “Portuguese Timor”, Australian Department of External Affairs, Canberra, 10
June 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
756
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 98/65, 12 July 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
150

virtually been abandoned by the Portuguese who have encouraged the Timorese to
move inland away from the border area. Many small holdings are returning to their
natural state, most of the village huts are empty and falling down, the church is no
longer used, markets are not permitted and the few inhabitants that remain are under
the surveillance of the second line Portuguese troops stationed in the old fort … under
the circumstances I do not think that the Emergency Headquarters of the Republic of
United Timor are actively operating at Batugade, except by name.” In mid-December
1965, an article in The New York Times – “Portuguese in Timor Are Wary of Jakarta
Moves”, noted “occasional manifestos … in the mail of foreign consuls … signed by
Mohammed Abray Rewan Maly” - but “in Batugade, a little seaside fishing village,
none of the simple villagers had the vaguest notion of what the Republic of Timor
was or had any knowledge of its leader.”757
In mid-August 1965, a Ministerial briefing prepared by the Australian
Department of External Affairs noted: “Indonesia has established a framework within
which to engage in covert operations against Portuguese Timor … not consider that
active Indonesian operations, covert or overt, are immediately in prospect unless a
significant uprising in Portuguese Timor should occur.”758
At about this time, during his annual Indonesian Independence Day speech in
Jakarta on 17 August 1965, entitled “Reach to the Stars – A Year of Self-Reliance”,
President Sukarno referred to Portuguese Timor – stating that Indonesia “continues
actively to support the independence struggles of the peoples of …. Portuguese
Timor” (The countries listed together with Portuguese Timor in this passage included
the Portuguese African territories, North Kalimantan, South Arabia, and the Southern
African area). The Australian Department of External Affairs commented: “This is the
first occasion, as far as we know, on which President Sukarno himself has publicly
spoken of Timor in this way. Information currently available does not, however,
indicate any acceleration in the tempo of Indonesian activities against Portuguese
Timor.”759
A few weeks later on 8 September 1965, the URT-D issued a statement
entitled “Resolutions” welcoming President Sukarno’s speech – and claiming that the
speech by President “Bung Karno” – as “active support”, had been applauded by the
URT-D leadership holding meetings in Batugade in the period 1-7 September.760 The
statement was signed by Brigadier General Mohammed Abbay Rewan Maly as Vice
Chief-of-Staff of the Military Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs. The
“Resolutions” document congratulated the upcoming “Second African-Asian

757
Durdin, T., “Portuguese in Timor Are Wary of Jakarta Moves”, The New York Times, New York,
12 December 1965.
758
Australian Department of External Affairs, “Indonesian Intentions – PPQ Portuguese Timor”,
Canberra, 17 August 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
759
Australian Department of External Affairs, Brief for the Minister – “Portuguese Timor”, Canberra,
11 October 1965 (NAA: A1838, 248/9/2; 3006/4/3 Part 3). Reference to Portuguese Timor however
was only a very minor element of President Sukarno’s speech – see Australian Department of External
Affairs, Savingram AP 103 0.26504, Canberra, 26 August 1965 (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 1).
760
Resolutions, 00402/MFA/URT/65, Batugade, 8 September 1965 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
For comment, see also Fernandes, M. S., 2003, op.cit., p.8 and footnote 23. Note however that the
URT-D “Resolutions” paper claims the “Central Presidium, Government, Military Council, and Bureau
of Liberation” held its meetings in Batugade in this period. The Australian Consul again visited
Batugadé in September 1966 (see also footnote 769) and commented that the population did “not
exceed 100, including a platoon of Second Line Timorese Infantry … You will remember that this
place is said to be the centre of the ‘Independence for Timor Movement’ – the organization could not
have chosen a less suitable spot.” – Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 192, 23 September 1966 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 1).
151

Conference” to be held in Algiers in November 1965 and called for support from
participating nations. The “International Conference for the Liquidation of Foreign
Military Bases (KIAPMA)” - scheduled for Jakarta in October 1965, was also praised,
and the Resolution noted the URT-D’s intention to send delegates to both the African-
Asian Conference and KIAPMA. The document also noted that Independence for
Timor had been declared by the URT-D on 9 April 1961 with the capital as “Prazhsa
(Dilly)” – and claimed that, because of Portuguese oppression, “the People of Timor
are forced to flee to the neighbouring territory of Republic of Indonesia, Philippines
and others.”
On 18 November 1965, following the attempted Gestapu “Communist” Coup
of 30 September in Jakarta - and the subsequent political and economic upheaval in
Indonesia, the URT-D issued a “Special Statement of the Central Presidium of the
Union Republic of Timor” - signed by T.E. Maly Bere as the URT-D’s Prime
Minister II.761 The Statement cited the “attempts by certain groups in opposition in
Lisbon who are urging the Government of Salazar to give independence to the
countries still colonised” and announced “four conditions” for the independence of
Portuguese Timor. The URT-D called for the deployment of a United Nations force,
“composed of soldiers from the Arab countries, Mauritania and Tunis [sic] … to
establish order and supervise the departure of the Imperialist Portuguese Army.” The
text allocated commanders and tasks for the URT’D’s “30,000” military personnel
under the command of “Major General Mao Bere and the Chief of Staff (General
Staff) Brigadier General M.S. Pekkeh [sic]” – specifically for the occupation of Dili
(by the “Sinamutin Malacca Brigade”), Batugadé and Oecussi (by the “Maromac Oan
Brigade”). The Statement declared that the URT-D “is certainly not a puppet guided
by a foreign country” and announced the URT-D’s hatred of “all forms of
colonialism” by Portugal, “or by other European races, or even by the Mongols or by
((in capital letters)) OUR NEIGHBOUR COUNTRY WHICH IS ALSO ONE OF US
BEING MALAY” – ie an apparent allusion to Indonesia.
On 7 December 1965, a Jakarta-based Australian journalist - Frank Palmos,
during an interview on Australian-Indonesian relations with the Indonesian Foreign
Minister Subandrio, queried the Minister on a recent URT-D statement on their
political activities. Minister Subandrio responded that as “Timor was a colony, in
principle, Indonesia disagreed with its status. The problem of Malaysia however was
more urgent. Nevertheless it was highly probable that Timor would be raised in the
near future, and we believe that it will resolve itself over time.”762
For the next few years, Portuguese Timor does not appear to have been
a priority for the Orde Baru (New Order) government of President Soeharto. A
Portuguese academic763 has summarized that: “Relations between Indonesia and
Portugal – and Kupang and Dili, improved significantly with the rise to power of
Soeharto. Four main reasons contributed to this new situation:

761
URT-D “Number November 1965 – special STATEMENT”, Batugade, 18 November 1965 (TdT ,
Lisbon: 1287/63-SR, NT 3292). This English-language copy was probably acquired by the Jakarta-
based Australian journalist/correspondent, Frank Palmos (The Sun). The translator of the original
Bahasa document noted “the Malay spelling” and opined that the “writer is clearly Moslem educated in
Malay, but not to a high standard.” The Statement is also cited in Fernandes, M. S., 2003, op.cit, p.8
and footnote 24; Fernandes, M.S., 2005, pp. 399-400 and footnote 138.
762
Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., p.401.
763
Fernandes, M.S., “O Timor Português na Política Externa de Suharto: O Regresso ao Status Quo
Ante, 1965-1974”, Revista Negócios Estrangeiros, No.9.2, Instituto Diplomático, Ministério dos
Negócios Estrangeiros, Lisbon, March 2006, p.334. This article deals with each aspect in some detail.
152

- the complete abandonment of the climate of political tension in the region


by the Soeharto regime;
- the anti-communist orientation of both regimes;
- primacy given by Soeharto to Indonesia’s economic development with the
aim of consolidating his regime; and
- Portugal’s intransigent refusal to grant political military and logistic
support to the liberation movement in western Papua New Guinea.”
.
However, there was a suggestion of material support in 1965 for some
reported URT-D elements in Indonesian Timor. According to a PIDE – Dili report,
the ABRI Supreme Command (Komando Tertinggi – KOTI) in Jakarta ordered that
“Lieutenant Slamet, a liaison officer with the URT-D”, be disciplined for having
abused his authority by demanding that the “military commander in Atambua
distribute weapons to Nai Buti and his men”.764
In mid-1966 however, indicating improved relations, the Portuguese Timor
authorities assisted the Indonesians in the repatriation from Dili of two Indonesian
communists – who were believed to be enroute to Australia, one described as a
“financial backer” of the PKI. The Australian Consul reported that two Indonesian
police travelled to Dili from Oecussi in a Transportes Aéreos de Timor (TAT) charter
aircraft to recover the two communists. The Consul noted that “the whole operation
appears to have been carried out with the full cooperation of the Portuguese
authorities. No extradition agreement exists between the two countries. The
Indonesian Consul tells me that the Portuguese could not have been more helpful –
this is praise indeed, for he generally avoids any opportunity to praise the Portuguese,
his natural tendency being to damn them.”765 This, or a similar incident indicating
Indonesia-Portuguese Timor cooperation, was related in a 1977 publication:
“In contrast to what happened to the anti-Sukarno Indonesians in 1958 ((ie the
granting of asylum to the Permesta 14)), in 1965 Indonesian patriots
persecuted by Suharto who sought political asylum in Timor-Leste were
delivered back to Suharto. A few years later, an Indonesian aircraft transported
Portuguese armed forces personnel from Djakarta to Baucau despite
Djakarta’s anti-colonial stance at the United Nations.”766

More URT-D Letters and Proclamations

In December 1966, the URT-D sent letters to the New Zealand Legation in
Jakarta – for the Prime Minister of New Zealand and for onforwarding to the Prime
Minister of Western Samoa, urging that a “Conference of Oceania” be hosted in

764
Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., pp.401-402 citing a PIDE periodic intelligence report (PERINTREP
No. 12/65) covering December 1965 (TdT , Lisbon: SC-CI(2)/DSI-2, NT 8973, folio 62). While
Lieutenant Slamet had been noted supporting Silvester Martins Nai Buti since 1962 (see footnote 688),
there is no other mention of any association by the Lieutenant with the URT-D. It is more likely that
Silvester Martins’ group – being supported by ABRI, was confused by the PIDE as being a URT-D
element.
765
Australian Consul – Dili, Memo 115, 19 June 1966 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/9). This incident is also
related - citing Portuguese documents, in Fernandes, M.S., “O Timor Português na Política Externa de
Suharto…, 2006, op.cit., pp.313-314.
766
Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos …, 1977, op.cit., p.183/footnote 204.
153

Western Samoa – with the aim of forming an “Ocean Alliance”.767 The letters, with
the signature block of “A. Mao Klao” as President, suggested principal attendees at
the proposed Conference could be “West Samoa, Tonga, Nauru, Papua, New Zealand
and the Timor Union Republic” - while the views of “the Philippines Republic, Japan,
Chinese Republic (Taipeh), Canada, United States of America, Mexico, Argentina
and other countries would be of great use.” The New Zealand Legation in Jakarta
informally sought information on the URT-D from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
They were told by the Director General of its Political Affairs Division, Dr Anwar
Sani, that he had not been aware of the existence of the “Timor Union Republic”, and
he noted with interest that Indonesia did not appear to be one of the countries
proposed as participants in the Conference. He added that the URT-D had no “locus
standi” with the Indonesian authorities, and that he knew no one in the present
Government who might have an interest in it. Judging by the address of the
organization in Jakarta, he thought it was “not of any great size or significance.”768
Comments on the URT-D were subsequently sought by the Australian
Department of External Affairs from their Consulate in Dili. The Consul responded
that he had seen previous documents from the URT-D (one in April 1963, and another
in April 1965) “purporting to come from this ‘government’; the organization is not
evident in Portuguese Timor. Batugade is a tiny, almost deserted area, to the north of
Balibo and about three miles distant from the crossing into the Indonesian end of the
island. It consists of a detachment of second-line native troops (about 30 under a
native officer) and about two dozen subsistence farmers. There are no doubt dissident
elements in Portuguese Timor, all communities have them, particularly where there is
a foreign power in control; however, control here is such that it is very doubtful
whether these elements could ever become organised.”769
A few months later in early April 1967, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta
received another letter in Bahasa from the URT-D addressed to the Prime Minister of
Australia - with an elaborate letterhead as shown below.

767
Conference of Oceania, 094/XII/Prespu-URT/66, Batugade, 1 December 1966 (NAA: A1838,
3038/2/1 Part 3). Although “issued” at Batugade, the address of the URT-D “Struggle Representative”
was given as “C/o Utaria, Kramat Pulo Dalam II, Nr G. 46 A, Jakarta”.
768
New Zealand Legation – Jakarta, Letter 84/47/1, 20 December 1966 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part
3).
769
Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 52, 17 March 1967 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3). As noted
earlier, the Australian Consul had visited Batugadé in mid-September 1966 and reported: “Batugade is
a small area, almost on the beach, consisting of an old military post and about two to three dozen native
houses. Population would not exceed 100, including a platoon of Second Line Timorese infantry. …
There are no Europeans stationed in Batugade. … You will remember that this place is said to be the
centre of the ‘Independence for Timor Movement’ – the organizers could not have chosen a less
suitable spot.” – Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 192, 23 September 1966 (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1
Part 1).
154

The letter dated 2 April 1967, in Bahasa Melayu and signed by President “A. Mao
Klao” and ostensibly issued at Batugadé, welcomed “Australia’s policy in making
Papua and New Guinea independent this year, 1967”770 – see Annex L (the document
includes a barely legible signature of “Mao Klao” – signed by Alamsyah Hasibuan,
see also later footnote 816). The letter repeated the URT-D’s aim of establishing “a
nation called Melanesia in the Pacific” and sought Australian protection to “defend
ourselves against threats from Asian Countries.” The URT-D hoped that Australia
would sponsor a “Conference of Melanesian Countries” as “the only country in the
position to pioneer such a Conference is Australia.” Australian Embassy staff in
Jakarta analysed this letter – and the URT-D’s preceding “Conference of Oceania”
letter of 1 December 1966 (both written in Bahasa), and commented: “the language
used in the letters is Malay and not Indonesian. There is a distinct difference in the
use of such consonants as ‘j’ instead of ‘y’, ‘dj’ instead of ‘j’, ‘ch’ instead of ‘tj’, and
‘c’ instead of ‘k’. An Indonesian would not spell the name of the capital city as
‘Jacarta’. Word usage is also distinctly Malay.”771

Muhammad Saleh Akbar (M.S.A.) Balikh - as “Mao Klao” 772

Muhammad Saleh Akbar Balikh claims that his birth-name was “Mao Klao”773
– and that, as “Abdullah Mao Klao”, he was the President of the URT-D.
Balikh was born in Portuguese Timor in August 1938 in the village of Morai,
Maubara – about 65 kilometres west of Dili.774 His “official” birthdate however is 24
August 1942.775 According to Balikh, his grandfather (“arbor/avo”) was Dom Rei
Preto776, the raja of the Maubara area who had been connected with the Dom

770
Menyambut hangat atas akan Merdeka Nya Papua dan New Guinea 1967 ini (Warmly Welcoming
the Independence of Papua and New Guinea in 1967), URT-D, Nr. III/Prespu-URT/IV/67, Batugade, 2
April 1967 – in Bahasa Melayu spelling (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3). The address of the “Struggle
Representative” in Jakarta was given as “C/o Utaria, Kramat Pulo Dalam II, Nr. G 46 A, Jacarta” – as
for footnote 767.
771
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 753, 21 April 1967 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 3). See
explanation of Bahasa Melayu/Malay and Bahasa Indonesia spellings at footnote 700.
772
Almost all the information in this section of the monograph was provided by Muhammad Saleh
Akbar Balikh during interviews with the author in Dili in December 2004, January 2005, August 2006
and late October 2008.
773
The author however has not sighted any written records that confirm that M.S.A. Balikh’s name at
birth was “Mao Klao”.
774
Indonesian intelligence records however, reportedly assert that Balikh was born in Bukit Tinggi,
West Sumatra – email to author of this monograph from Jakarta-based author and analyst, Ken
Conboy, 27 September 2005. However, these Indonesian intelligence records - referring to “Mao
Klao”, appear to be incorrect and have probably confused M.S.A. Balikh with Alamsyah Hasibuan, a
Sumatran, who appears to have used the name “Mao Klao” in the period 1967-1972 (and possibly
earlier) – see footnotes 770, 782, 783, 795, 796, 799, 802, 816, 818, 820, 895, 905, 1027, 1031 and
1037.
775
It is not uncommon for Indonesians or Timorese to have an official birthdate “later” than their actual
birthdate – this is often a device to more easily qualify for schooling or public service entry.
776
In October 2007, in an interview with the magazine TIME Timor, Balikh stated that his father was
“Dom Rebrito Sidoni - the raja of Gugleur Maubara”; and his grandfather was “Dom Kleti Leti
Letikari” – with both active in the Maubara area in 1942 during the “transition” period between Dutch
and Portuguese sovereignty of the area - “Mau-Klao Siap Mempertanggungjawabkan Kebenaran
Proklamasi Uni Republik Timor (URT)” (“Mau-Klao is Ready to Accept Responsibility for the Truth
about the Proclamation by Union of the Republic of Timor (URT)”), TIME Timor, No.11, Tahun II,
November 2007, Dili, p.23. Note however that the Dutch actually ceded Maubara to the Portuguese in
1859.
155

Boaventura “Great Rebellion” in 1912.777 Balikh’s mother and father were detained
in the early 1940s and died soon after. Aged two or three, Balikh was taken to the
islands of Alor (in Japanese-occupied Dutch Timor about 80 kilometres north of
Maubara) to live with his paternal uncle – traditionally there had been a close cultural
association between the Maubara area on Timor and the Alor islands. Balikh was
raised in the village of Baranusa on the island of Pulau Pantar - to the immediate
west of the main island of Alor. He later moved to Alor Island for
education at the Sekolah Guru Bantai Kalabahi – an area 75
percent Christian, 25 percent Muslim. In 1958, Balikh travelled to
Jakarta for further education, staying enroute for one or two
months with Maubara clan relatives on the island of Flores in the
Lesser Sundas.
In Jakarta, beginning in 1958, Balikh attended secondary
school. On 5 July 1959, Balikh – as a member of the “Delegation
of Portuguese-Colonized Timorese”, attended a rally at the
Presidential Palace in Jakarta at which President Sukarno
called for the liberation of oppressed peoples.778 At the time,
Balikh was in Class 2 of senior high school and attended the rally with other students
including “Adi Mara” from “Irian” (ie Papua) and “Antasari” from North Borneo. The
ceremonies included several flag-raising activities. According to Balikh, “all three of
us were given the opportunity to give a speech before the assembled participants …
which was broadcast on the radio. … We met with Indonesia’s first President in the
Presidential Palace to request support, and Indonesian President Engineer Haji
Soekano positively welcomed our struggle.”779 Emanuel Mau Bere780 – a middle-
aged Timorese mentor of Balikh’s born in Letefoho (Ermera, Portuguese Timor) and
connected with the “Rapat Timorese” (Timorese Meeting), did not attend but listened

777
For the “Great Rebellion”, see Gunn, G.C., Timor Loro Sae 500 Years, 1999, pp.94-102; Pélissier,
R., 1996, pp.254-301; Davidson, K.G., The Portuguese Colonisation …, Sydney, 1994, op.cit.,
pp.232-275. The Argus newspaper (Melbourne) of 26 August 1912 reported that rebels “raided the
port of Dilly” and looted Government house on 19 February 1912 - Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, (Jolliffe, J.
& Reece, B. eds), Timorese Elites, Canberra, 1975, Appendix II (NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2).
778
President Sukarno’s decree that began the “Guided Democracy” era was issued on 5 July 1959 at
the Presidential (Merdeka) Palace. Balikh also later gave the date of the rally that he attended in Jakarta
as “9 July 1959”. In a November 2007 magazine article, Balikh again related this rally – including the
attendance of Adimara and Antisari, and stated that all were given the opportunity to make a speech at
this event in “1975” (ie probable magazine error) – see page 206. Somewhat confusingly, in the article
Balikh also referred to making a speech at the “United Nations Youth Anniversary” in Jakarta. The
photograph of Balikh (above) was given to the author by M.S.A. Balikh in December 2004 on a simple
promotional-style “pamphlet”, probably prepared in the period 1999-2004 (ie with “modern Bahasa”
spelling), that declared “1958 – Status as a part of the delegation from Colonial Portuguese Timor to
the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta” and “aged 18 – Mau Klao Muhammad Saleh Akbar Balikh …
since then ready to sincerely volunteer to sacrifice myself for the sake of the struggle for independence
for the beloved motherland and legacy of our East Timor forefathers.”
779
“Mau-Klao Siap …”, TIME Timor, No.11, Tahun II, November 2007, Dili, op.cit., pp.21-22.
780
Emanuel Mau Bere was noted as the URT-D Defence Minister in a URT-D document dated 19
December 1975 (see footnote 965) and was imprisoned in Jakarta for some months in early 1976. In
December 2004, M.S.A. Balikh advised the author that Emanuel Mau Bere died in the mid-1980s - and
his two sons (Yunus, Tomás) lived in Palmerah, Jakarta. Balikh also stated that Emanuel Mau Bere’s
wife was a descendant of the Mataram rajas (Indonesia). Emanuel Mau Bere appears as a signatory on
two “Proklamasi” versions of the URT-D Declaration of Independence – ie the version in the
November 2007 Timor Post/TIME Timor (see footnote 987 and Annex X) and the slightly different
“2006” version provided to the author (see page 204 and Annex V). In the November 2007 article in
TIME Timor magazine, Balikh stated that Emanuel Maubere was the uncle of the Timorese priest,
Domingos Maubere (Domingos Soares) – see footnote 988.
156

to the ceremony on the radio. Balikh’s senior mentor at this time appears to have been
Mulwan Shah – mentioned earlier as the principal of the AMRU, who Balikh himself
described as a “Malaysian” involved in the senior leadership of the Pan-Malay
movement – “Suku Bangsa Persatuan Melayu” (the “Malay Races United Nations” -
or AMRU)781.
According to Balikh, he (ie Balikh as “A. Mao Klao”) was the principal in the
URT-D’s 1961 promulgation of its Declaration of Independence. He related that in
early April 1961, he travelled by boat to Kupang in Indonesian Timor – and thence to
Atambua where he stayed with a relative of his mother. An elder URT-D companion,
Alamsyah Hasibuan – a Sumatran involved in the All Malay Race Union, went ahead
to Batugadé – just across the border in Portuguese Timor. Together with Simon
Serang Pria, they met in Batugadé on 9 April and organised a gathering a few
kilometres outside the small town. Balikh related that he made a speech declaring
“Independence”782 and, together with Simon Serang Pria, raised a flag.783 Soon after
however, Portuguese authorities arrived - the meeting dispersed, and the URT-D
members fled. Balikh, who was wearing the uniform of the Resimen Mahajaya
Mahasiswa of the University of Indonesia (and carried a student identity card) – and
was consequently not questioned or harassed by Indonesian border security elements,
returned immediately to Kupang and thence to Jakarta. According to Balikh, Simon
Serang Pria was captured by the Portuguese – and Balikh believed that Alamsyah
Hasibuan might have been captured also. Balikh stated that the text of the Declaration
of Independence that he pronounced at Batugadé was as provided by him to the Timor
Post newspaper in Dili and published in that newspaper on 25 November 2004 - ie the
short “Proklamasi document” (see footnote 983).
On returning to Jakarta, Balikh continued his university studies. During this
period, Balikh apparently received unofficial assistance
from Indonesian Government officials eg he claimed that,
following an “arrangement made by Mulwan Shah”, he
was transported to/from his studies in a vehicle driven by
Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik’s “adjudan”.784
Balikh claims that his name was included as a member of
the URT-D’s Military Council (Dewan Militer) as
“Brigadier General Mohammed Shaleh Pakkeh, Chief of

781
According to Indonesian intelligence records, Mulwan Shah (sometimes as “Mulwansjah” or
“Marwan Syah”) was from South Kalimantan - email from Ken Conboy (Jakarta-based author), 26
September 2005. See earlier reference to Mulwan Shah as of “apparent Malay stock” at footnote 679.
782
On 20 August 2006, at his home in Fatuhada (Dili), Balikh theatrically “re-enacted” his 1961
“proclamation address” to the author – ie he declaimed, without notes, the content of the document at
Annex V.
783
The URT-D’s purported flag was described in a vexillology Internet website “Flags of the World”
by Ollé, J., 30 August 1999 – http://y2z.biz/flags/tl%7Dbllt.html. see Bibliography, as “red with a
central black disc bordered yellow - and within, a five-pointed star touching the inner edge of the disc”.
However, the source of information for such a design is unclear and could not be substantiated –
author’s email exchange with Ollé. J., 18 January 2006 and Raeside R., 21 December 2008. In
discussions with the author in Dili in December 2004 and August 2006, M.S.A. Balikh was unable to
describe the URT-D flag. On 20 August 2006, Balikh stated that the flag was “organised” by Alamsyah
Hasibuan. In a later interview on 27 October 2008, Balikh described the flag in detail to the author and
sketched the flag – see footnote 995.
784
M. S. A. Balikh – statement to the author, Dili, 5 December 2004. Adam Malik was the Indonesian
ambassador in the Soviet Union and Poland until 1963. In November 1963, Malik was appointed
Minister of Commerce, and in 1966 was appointed Foreign Minister of Indonesia.
157

Staff” – and that he also functioned as “Mao Klao” ie the URT-D “President” at that
time.785
Balikh related that in 1963 or 1964, Alamsyah Hasibuan visited him at the
University and asked him to sign the “master copy” of the URT-D’s 1,000 Pataca
denomination bank note (actual size: 15cm x 8cm) - see below including “reverse”.
Balikh stated that he signed the bank note as “Direktur Bank Revolusi Timor” – but
that he did not know who co-signed the note as the “Menteri Keuangan, Ekonomi &
Pembangunan” (Minister for Finance, Economy and Development).786

785
See footnotes 698 and 699. That document, provided by Balikh to the author on 4 December 2004,
also lists “A. Mao Klao” separately as the General Chairman of the Military Council and as President
of the Presidium of the URT-D.
786
Balikh held one copy of the 1,000 Pataca URT-D bank note in December 2004 – which he allowed
the author to photocopy. He did not mention the existence of URT-D currency of any other
denomination. Balikh provided the 1,000 Pataca bank note for an article in the Timor Post newspaper
in November 2004 (footnote 982 and pages 202-203) and an article in the TIME Timor magazine in
November 2007 (footnote 987). Apart from the One Pataca (footnote 787) and 1,000 Pataca notes, it is
not known whether other denominations of URT-D currency were produced – or the extent of the
dissemination, if at all, of the One and 1,000 Pataca URT-D bank notes. The signature of the Direktur
Bank Revolusi Timor is not similar to that of M.S.A. Balikh – no confirmed “Mao Klao” signature by
Balikh is available (during discussions with the author, Balikh avoided signing a “example signature”
of “Mao Klao”). The signature of the Menteri Keuangan, Ekonomi & Pembangunan is somewhat
similar to that of Emanuel Maubere. In Portuguese Timor, the pataca was replaced as the official
currency by the Timorese escudo in early 1959.
158

A One (1) Pataca note was also produced – as featured in a February 1975
edition of Tempo magazine787 (see below).

Interestingly, the URT-D one and 1,000 Pataca notes (dated 17 July 1964)
were far more sophisticated productions than the URT-D’s earlier rudimentary
pronouncements and circulars. The URT-D’s circulars and pronouncements were
invariably in either English or Bahasa, and only rarely included a Tetum word or
phrase eg except “Moris Timor” (“Timor Lives”) in a subscription. The Bahasa
spelling on the bank note was in Bahasa Melayu. However, while language used on
the bank note was predominantly in Bahasa – it also included a few phrases and a
sentence in Tetum on its reverse: ie “All unite in the struggle for a free Timor” (note -
“for a free Timor” was in Bahasa); “Arise Timor – long live Malaysian Melanesia and
Freedom”; and “Defeat Portuguese Oppression and Imperialism.”

URT-D Activities from 1968

In May 1968, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta received a letter-headed


circular, in Bahasa Melayu, from “The Struggle Delegation of the Union of the
Republic of Timor” congratulating the Indonesian Foreign Minister on his “successful
visit … to the Pacific Regions, during which meetings and agreements were held with
Australia and New Zealand on the future of Papua and New Guinea and West Irian,
which will be the pillar of the glorious future of the Malay Nation spreading from
Polynesia in the east to Malagasy in the west.”788 – see Annex M. The circular
expressed regret that Foreign Minister Malik did not visit “West Samoa, Tonga and
Nauru” - where he might have been able to “strengthen the relations between the

787
“Perbatasan – Teriakan Nona Abaiyah”, Tempo, Th IV, No 51, 22 February 1975, pp. 9-10. The
URT-D was mentioned in a section sub-titled “Mimpi Yang Berani” (A Brave Dream) that related:
“The ‘Uni Republik Timor’ movement was born in 1961 from remnants of the uprising by Timorese
Malays of the Islamic religion.” The “Mimpi” section of the Tempo article was repeated in
Dokumentasi - Kliping tentang Pra-Integrasi Timor Timur 1975, CSIS, 67/P/XI/1983, Jakarta Pusat,
November 1983, p.28.
788
Pernyataan Sambutan – Menyambut Missi Adam Malic kembali dengan succes dari Pacific
(Congratulatory Statement – Welcoming Adam Malic [sic] on his Return from a Successful Mission in
the Pacific), Number 019/PP-URT/VI/68, URT-D, Jacarta, 26 April 1968 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part
3). The Struggle Delegation’s address was given as “Kernolongan Dalam IV, No. 16. Kramat IV,
Jacarta.” The letter was not addressed specifically to the Australian Embassy – and appears to have
been a “circular”.
159

Malay nations in the Pacific and the other Malay nations in South East Asia. The
circular was signed by “MSA Balikh B.A.” as the head of the Struggle Delegation.789
In June 1968, the URT-D’s Struggle Delegation wrote to the Indonesian
Minister for Information congratulating him on his appointment – and received a brief
letter in reply.790 The Struggle Delegation also wrote to the Minister for Trade,
Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, and received a reply signed by the Minister.791
In April 1969, the URT-D issued a “Penetapan” (“Decree”) that announced its
Central Government Council for the “V Period” – 9 April 1969 to 9 April 1971.792
The Prime Minister was Brigadier General Boly Mao – with Deputies: Brigadier
General Madem [sic] Immany and Colonel Sikky Mao. The listing also included
“Brig. General M.S. Pakkeh” as “Minister for Education and Universities”.
In late September 1969, the Jakarta daily newspaper, Merdeka, carried a
somewhat confusing report that according to “URT-D documents examined in
Jakarta, several Portuguese Army officers are striving to establish what is called the
URT-D – they had tried several times but failed. This is the fourth time – intensified
after the failure of the PKI coup on 30 September 1965 … with the intention of
receiving the escaped ringleaders of the PKI and using ((Timor)) as a headquarters for
the ‘come-back’ of the communists in Indonesia.”793 Very soon after, any URT-D
connection with the PKI was strongly denied by the URT-D. A.B. Lao, an official
acting as the Chairman of the General Council of the All Malay Races Union and its
“Timor Faction”, explained to Merdeka that: “the URT was established on 9 Apr 61
under President A. Mao Klao … there are absolutely no members of the Portuguese
Army participating in the URT’s struggle. The URT has never suffered any defeats …
but continues its struggle employing guerrillas, an underground movement and
international activities. The URT comprises Islamic, Catholic and Halaik (the
Timorese traditional religion) groups … and the struggle is guided by Kitab Allah
Jang Suci ((ie the Koran)) ... the URT struggles for the aspirations of Melanesians in
particular and Malays in general. Accordingly, it is not possible that the URT would
be associated with the issue of the PKI in Indonesia or make itself a base for the PKI –
both from the political and military aspects. Its relationships with Malay countries ….
would be destroyed if it aligned itself with the PKI.”794
In June 1970, via the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Jakarta, the URT-D sent a
letter of “Support for Madame Bandaranayke’s Victory” to the newly-elected “Prime

789
In December 2004, Balikh informed the author that he had graduated from university in Jakarta with
a “sarjana ekonomi” (economics degree) in 1968. As noted, the address of the Struggle Delegation on
the circular was shown as Kernolong Dalam IV, No 16, Kramat IV, Jacarta.
790
Minister for Information - Republic of Indonesia, 65/SU/K/68, Djakarta, 24 June 1968.
791
Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, Djakarta, 29 June 1968 – in reply to URT-D letter No. 032/PP-
URT/VI/68 signed by “MSA Balikh B.A.”.
792
URT-D, Penetapan/Pengangkatan Dewan Pemerintah Pusat Uni Republic Timor – Period ke V: 9
April 1969 – 9 April 1971,Penetapan 0395, Number: 0395/Prespu-URT/69, Batugade, 9 April 1969
(The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867; TdT , Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1287/63, NT 3292;
and Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., Annexo II, p.422). Note that the numbering and time frames for the
“Periods” for the Dewan Pemerintah Pusat (Central Government Council) and the “Presidium Pusat”
(Central Presidium) are not “synchronised” – see footnote 812.
793
“Timor Portugis Basis Komunis ?” (“Portuguese Timor as a Communist Base ?”), Merdeka, Jakarta,
29 September 1969, p.1. The Merdeka article was also reported by AAP-Reuter TG (Jakarta - AAP001,
0002, 30 September 1969) - and a similar article had appeared in The Indonesian Observer on 29
September 1969 as “Portuguese Plot to Set Up a Pro-Red Republic in Timor”.
794
“Uni Rep. Timor Bukan Komunis”, Merdeka, Jakarta, 3 October 1969, p.1. Merdeka reported the
AMRU as “Persatuan Seluruh Bangsa Melaju”.
160

Minister of Srilangka in Ceylon”.795 The letter sought “moral and material assistance”
– and “recognition for our State” although the “emergency Government was currently
in the jungle expanse of Timor”. In June, the URT-D also sent a letters to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II and the King of Tonga – King Taufa Ahau Tapu. 796 The letter to
Queen Elizabeth referred to Tonga as a “Malay-Negrito” country in the Pacific, and
expressed the hope that independence would soon be granted to Fiji, the Solomon
Islands, Cocos and Christmas Islands, and Brunei – as well as islands in the Pacific
under United States and French administration. In comments on the letters, the British
Embassy in Jakarta noted earlier suggestions that “the Organisation ((ie the URT-D))
may well have Communist links”.797 In responding, the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office in London noted the “definite Muslim overtones” in the URT-D
“pronouncements” and the “strange confusion in terms” ie: “Malay-Negrito is a
contradiction. Malays and Negroids are of quite separate racial origins and the people
of Tonga and the other islands are neither Malay nor Negroid but Polynesian. One
would expect an independence organisation at least to know the race of the people
that are trying to ‘free’.”798 In October 1970, the URT-D sent very similar letters of
congratulation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to the Prime Minister of Fiji –
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, on the occasion of the granting of independence to Fiji.799
The letters refered to Fiji as a “Malay-Negrito” country and also expressed the hope
that independence would soon be also granted to islands in the Pacific – including
Papua New Guinea, and Brunei.

Divisions in the URT-D – Alamsyah Hasibuan as “Mao Klao”

The URT-D sent a petition to the United Nations in October 1970, and - five
months later, received a letter of acknowledgement from the UN’s Division of Human
Rights informing the URT-D that the matter would be dealt with under the relevant
resolutions of the UN’s Economic and Social Council.800 According to M.S.A. Balikh,

795
Dukungan terhadap kemenangan Madame Bandaranayke (Support for Madame Bandaranayke’s
Victory), Number: 00437/Prespu-URT/VI/1970, via Jakarta, 8 June 1970 – in Bahasa (TdT, Lisbon:
PIDE/DGS 1287/63, NT 3292). Note – Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972. The “Mao Klao”
signature on the letter was that of Alamsyah Hasibuan – see also footnote 818.
796
Ucapan turut terimakasih atas kemurahan hati Kerajaan Inggris yang telah dengan rela
memberikan Kemerdekaan Penoh [sic] kepada Negara Kepulauan Tonga di Pacific (Expression of
thanks to the British Empire its generosity in freely granting full independence to the Tongan Islands in
the Pacific), Number: 00436/Prespu-URT/VI/1970, Jakarta, 8 June 1970 – in Bahasa (The National
Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867). This letter to Queen Elizabeth II was signed by Alamsyah
Hasibuan as “Mao Klao” – see also footnote 818. It appears that the letter to King Taufa Ahau Tapu
was not on-forwarded to Tonga by the British.
797
British Embassy – Djakarta, (1/42), 23 June 1970 (The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO
24/867). Interestingly, this Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) file holding material on the URT-D is
titled “Communist Organisations in Portuguese Timor”.
798
FCO – London, FWP 1/1, 24 July 1970 (The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867).
799
Ucapan terimakasih atas kemurahan hati Kerajaan Inggris yang telah dengan rela memberikan
Kemerdekaan Penoh [sic] kepada Negara Kepulauan Fiji di Pacific (Expression of thanks to the
British Empire for freely granting full independence to the Fiji Islands in the Pacific), Number:
0460/Prespu-URT/X/1970, Jakarta, 12 October 1970 – in Bahasa. This letter to Queen Elizabeth II was
signed by Alamsyah Hasibuan as “Mao Klao” – see also footnote 818. Support for, and recognition of,
the establishment of friendly relations with the free state of Fiji, (to H.E. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara,
Prime Minister of Fiji), Batugade, 12 October 1970 – English translation. Both letters can be found in
The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867.
800
Communications Unit – Division of Human Rights (United Nations), SO 215/1 PORT., New York,
15 March 1971. The letter indicates that the URT-D petition was dated 12 October 1970, signed by
161

Alamsyah Hasibuan – a principal in the URT-D and the All Malay Races Union,
initially intercepted the correspondence from the UN and attempted to “use it for his
own purposes.”801 Balikh regarded Alamsyah Hasibuan as a “benalu” (Bahasa:
“parasite”) who “memperalat” (Bahasa: “manipulated”) him and others in the URT-
D.802
In late December 1970, an Australian journalist writing articles on Portuguese
Timor, visited Jakarta and reported: “the only visible evidence in Djakarta of
Indonesian interest in Portuguese Timor is a tiny slum building purporting to be the
headquarters of the Central Presidium of the Unitary Republic of Timor, president Mr
A. Mao Klao. Mr Mao Klao was not in Djakarta when I sought him; he was in Timor
perhaps, it was hinted darkly, even in Portuguese Timor. But the organization he
heads appears to be Islamic, though the Timorese are not, and appears to come under
the sway of another poverty-stricken body, the All-Malay Race Union, although the
Timorese are not Malays.”803
In early April 1972, a Jakarta newspaper reported that the Soviet Embassy in
Jakarta was financing a “national liberation movement in
Portuguese Timor” to set up a “Dilli Timor state” that
would side with the USSR as part of their strategy in the
Indian Ocean.804 The Soviet Embassy spokesman
described this report as a “slander” and, soon after, the
Indonesian Foreign Minister, Adam Malik dismissed the
report as an April Fool “joke”. Minister Malik however,
was asked by media representatives what Indonesia
would do if the people of PortugueseTimor launched a
liberation movement – and replied: “We shall finance
them and support them if they really wish it”.805 He
added that “Indonesia had once helped a group in Djakarta who called themselves
representatives of the Portuguese Timor freedom movement, but no longer did – if
they are true fighters they will live … in their own country”. Subsequent newspaper
reports on his statement linked his remarks with earlier circulars by the URT-D,
including the announcement of a Cabinet.806 Soon after, the Indonesian Embassy in
Canberra, in discussions with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, claimed
that Foreign Minister Malik had been misquoted and misreported, and contended that
he had said nothing about “finance” – but, rather, had stated: “If the people in
Portuguese Timor really wanted independence, of course we will support them. But

“Mao Klao”, and used Bahasa Melayu spelling. The UN apparently referred the matter to Portugal who
reportedly denied the existence of any liberation movement. M.S.A. Balikh also referred to the UN
reply in an article in the Timor Post of 25 November 2004 - see footnote 982; and a copy of the letter
was included in the TIME Timor magazine of October 2007 – see footnotes 850, 855. For URT-D/UN
correspondence, see footnotes 736-738 for the URT-D’s contact with the UN in 1964-65; footnotes
800-801 and 853 for the 1970-1973 period; and 965-966 for 1975.
801
Discussions with the author in Dili, 20 August 2006.
802
Ibid – Balikh described Alamsyah Hasibuan as a West Sumatran from Padang; a devout Muslim
who only ate “rice and salt” and only drank “air putih” (Bahasa: “water” - ie not tea or coffee).
According to Balikh, Alamsyah Hasibuan had no Timorese friends or associates.
803
Mabbett, H., “Focus on Timor – Timor’s Chinese a dominant power”, The Canberra Times,
Canberra, 31 December 1970.
804
Indonesia Raya, Jakarta, 1 April 1972.
805
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable 1456, 7 April 1972 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
806
“Indonesia ‘would aid rising’ ”, The Age, Melbourne, 5 April 1972; and “Indonesian Support for
Timor Lib”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 5 April 1972.
162

this is something that we cannot force upon them especially if the people themselves
are passive about it.”807
Commenting on Minister Malik’s remarks, in a mid-1973 brief to the
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, his Department noted that “far from fostering
a ‘Liberation’ movement or displaying hostility towards the Portuguese authorities in
Timor, Indonesia cooperates with the Portuguese. Occasional border incidents, arising
out of cross-border cattle rustling or tribal disputes, are settled amicably and without
publicity. … there is no serious nationalist movement in Timor. … the status quo in
Timor suits Indonesia’s interests.808
In December 1972, “Abdullah Mao Klao” attempted to call on the visiting
Papua New Guinea (PNG) Minister for Information, Paulus Arek, at his hotel in
Jakarta. This appears to be the only documented appearance of “Abdullah Mao Klao”
in Jakarta – ie URT-D documents always indicated Mao Klao was at the “Emergency
Headquarters” in Batugadé. “Mao Klao” did not meet with Minister Arek, but left the
following in his hotel room809:
• a letter810 to the PNG Chief Minister, Michael Somare – signed by “A.
Mao Klao” at Batugadé on 8 December 1972 – see Annex N;
• a copy of the URT-D’s Pernyataan Kemerdekaan (Declaration of
Independence) dated 9 April 1961811 - see Annex O;
• a document812 announcing the Central Presidium of the URT-D for the
“II Period” ie 9 April 1969 – 9 April 1977;
• a document813 announcing the Central Government Council of the
URT-D for the “Period VI” ie 9 April 1971 – 9 April 1973;
• a document814 announcing the Military Council of the URT-D for the
“III Period” ie 11 June 1972 – 10 June 1975;
807
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Record of Conversation with Indonesian Embassy
official, Canberra, 5 April 1972 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
808
Woolcott, R. - FAS South East Asia Division, “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor”, 1 June 1973 –
Minister, 2 June 1973 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 5, pp.184-185).
809
These URT-D documents were acquired by the Australian Embassy – Jakarta and forwarded to
Canberra under cover of Memo 2570, 22 December 1972 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 4).
810
Hubungan Diplomatic dan Kerjasama Menuju Melanesia Raya yang jaya (Diplomatic Relations
and Cooperation Towards a Glorious Greater Melanesia), URT-D 0545/ZULK/Prespu-URT/1392
H/1972 M, Batugade, 8 December 1972 – in Bahasa (see Annex N). The covering letter by the
Australian Embassy – Jakarta (footnote 809) stated: “It is interesting to note that the letter is in Malay,
not in Bahasa Indonesia, even though it originates from a Jakarta address.” This comment suggests that
while the Bahasa Indonesia and Malay (Melayu) spelling systems had been unified in August 1972
under the Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan program (see footnote 700), the unified spelling had not been
popularised in Bahasa Indonesia by late December 1972. However, note also that the URT-D
document of 8 December 1972 declared that “Bahasa Melayu dipakai sebagai Bahasa Nasional … di
Uni Republic Timor” (“Malay is used as the National Language … in the Union of the Republic of
Timor.”).
811
Pernyataan Kemerdekaan (Declaration of Independence), 9 April 1961 – in Bahasa Melayu (see
Annex O). The English version of this Bahasa text became available in April 1965 - see Annex J and
background at footnotes 742, 745 and 748. Stamped copies of the Bahasa text versions can be found at
The National Archives – Kew: FWP 1/1 FCO 24/867 (together with an English-language translation);
and TdT , Lisbon: PIDE/DGS 1287/63, NT 3292. Subsequently, M.S.A. Balikh provided two shorter,
and different, Bahasa Indonesia “Proklamasi” versions of the “Declaration of Independence” - ie to the
Timor Post newspaper in November 2004/TIME Timor magazine in November 2007, and to the author
in Dili on 21 August 2006 (Annex V).
812
Formasi Presidium Pusat Uni Republic Timor – Period ke II: 9 April 1969 – 9 April 1977, 9 April
1969 – in Bahasa.
813
Dewan Pemerintah Pusat Uni Republic Timor – Period ke VI: 9 April 1971 – 9 April 1973, 11 June
1972 – in Bahasa.
163

• a copy of the URT-D’s anthem “Timor Merdeka” (“Independent/Free


Timor”)815 – composed on 18 August 1963, see Annex P;
• an A3-sized map of the “Timor Union Republic” – noting the URT-D
“capital” at Batugadé and including a small inserted photograph of
“A. Mao Klao”, see Annex Q;
• the business card of “A. Mao Klao” – see below:

• a photograph of “A. Mao Klao” – endorsed in manuscript on the


reverse: “for H.E. Mr Somare, Chief Minister, Papua New Guinea –
8/12/1972 Batugadé” - and signed “A. Mao Klao” – see below816:

The letter to the PNG Chief Minister, Michael Somare, welcomed PNG’s
forthcoming independence and sought diplomatic relations between the URT-D and
PNG within a future “Glorious Greater Melanesia”. With both the URT-D and PNG
as “Melanesian nations in the Western Pacific Ocean”, the letter urged the formation
of a “Greater Melanesian Union” comprising “the URT-D, PNG, the Republic of
Nauru, Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa and other new Melanesian countries.” The URT-
D also proposed Bahasa Melayu (“Malay”) as PNG’s national language – noting that

814
Formasi Dewan Militer Uni Republic Timor – Period ke III: 11 June 1972 – 10 June 1975, 11 June
1972 – in Bahasa.
815
Timor Merdeka (Independent/Free Timor), Batugade, 18 August 1963 – in Bahasa (see Annex P).
816
The photograph was shown by the author to M.S.A. Balikh and Mrs Fatima Balikh (Balikh’s wife)
in Dili on 12 and 20 August 2006 – who both identified its subject as Alamsyah Hasibuan.
164

Malay was the language of the URT-D, the Malaysian Federation, the Republic of
Singapore, the Republic of Indonesia, Brunei, “the Islamic Republic of Patani 817 –
whose struggle was ongoing.” This letter (Annex N) was signed by “A Mao Klao” –
and the same signature appears on the reverse of the photograph (footnote 816) – a
photograph of Alamsyah Hasibuan.818
The Bahasa-language text of the URT-D Declaration of Independence (Annex
O) was almost identical - when translated, to that of the English version noted earlier
that had first appeared in 1965 (see footnote 742 and Annex J). Although also
unsigned, this “1972” Bahasa-language copy of the Pernayataan Kemerdekaan
included the stamp of the Central Presidium of the URT-D – whereas the earlier
English-language “1965” text had included a stamp with the wording (in Bahasa)
“Kementerian Luar Negeri – Uni Republic Timor” (Foreign Ministry of the United
Republic of Timor) – see Annex J .
The list of the URT-D Central Presidium for Period II (1969-1977) was
headed by “A. Mao Klao” as President - with Sheikh B.M. Mai Laca as “Junior
President I”, T.E. Maly Bere as “Junior President II” and listed a further eight
members of the Central Presidium.
The composition of the Central Government Council for Period VI (1971-
1973) was headed by Brigadier General M.T. Analessy819 as Prime Minister - who
was also listed as the Foreign Minister as well as Minister for Information and
Propaganda. Of the 16 members listed, all but two had military ranks (from captain to
brigadier general) – together with their “branch of service” and “regimental numbers”
- eg “M.T. Analessy, Brig Gen (Politic) Nrc. 1321”.
The listing for the URT-D’s Military Council for Period III (1972-1975) was
headed by President A. Mao Klao as the General Chairman with Junior President II
T.E. Malybere as the Deputy – but did not include “M.S. Pakkeh”.820 The other
sixteen listed members had military ranks, branch of service and regimental numbers
– including Brigadier General M.T. Analessy as First Deputy Chairman.
The photograph of “A. Mao Klao” – also included as an insert on the map,
was of Alamsyah Hasibuan (see footnote 816). As related earlier, M.S.A. Balikh had
stated that Hasibuan – a senior member of the All Malay Races Union, had been
involved in the URT-D “Declaration” activities at Batugadé in April 1961; had - a few
years later, arranged for Balikh to sign the 1,000 Pataca bank note; and had later
attempted to intercept the URT-D’s correspondence with the UN.
Five months later, in April 1973, the URT-D’s Struggle Delegation in Jakarta
sent a letter of greetings to Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX on his appointment as Vice
President of Indonesia. The letter referred to the “good cooperation” between
Indonesia and the URT-D that had been “pioneered some time ago” by Minister

817
Patani is a Muslim majority province in southern Thailand contiguous to Malaysia - with a Muslim
separatist movement.
818
Hasibuan’s signature as “Mao Klao” is identical with that on the 2 April 1967 document – see
footnote 770 and Annex L; this letter to Prime Minister Somare (footnote 810 and Annex N) - and also
on letters to Queen Elizabeth II and newly independent countries in 1970 (Tonga, Fiji) and also to the
Prime Minister of Ceylon - see footnotes 795, 796 and 799. For background on Alamsyah Hasibuan
see footnotes 770, 774, 782, 783, 795, 796, 799, 802, 816, 820, 895, 905, 1027, 1031 and 1037.
819
A Bakin officer advised the Australian Embassy – Jakarta that a “Brig. Gen. Analessy” of the URT-
D travelled to Kuala Lumpur on a forged passport in March 1975: Australian Embassy – Jakarta,
Memo 004, 31 December 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2), footnote 918 refers.
820
“M.S. Pakkeh” was M.S. Balikh – see footnotes 698 and 699. As the document was “sponsored” by
Alamsyah Hasibuan, Balikh’s omission is probably a further indication of an “Alamsyah Hasibuan
versus M.S.A. Balikh” division in the URT-D in the early-mid 1970s.
165

Adam Malik, and hoped for its continuation by the Sultan.821 The URT-D also called
for the Indonesian officials in the areas bordering Timor to “truly follow progressive
revolutionary politics pioneered by the Central Government of the Republic of
Indonesia”.
In mid-1973, the URT-D passed copies of “The Composition of the Central
Government Council” for “Period VII – 9 April 1973 to 9 April 75” to several foreign
legations in Jakarta.822 As for the preceding “Period VI” (see footnotes 813, 819),
Brigadier General M.T. Analessy was listed as the Prime Minister and Brigadier
General P.H. Ulamando was among the four Vice Prime Ministers.

821
Uchapan Selamat, dan kerjasama Timor dan Indonesia, dalam rangka Keluarga Bangsa Malayu
yang Besar (Greetings and Cooperation between Timor and Indonesia within the Framework of the
Greater Malay Family of Nations), No. 004/BAW/PP-URT/1393H/1973M, 16 April 1973 – in Bahasa.
The letter, signed by M.S.A. Balikh, included Islamic greetings and dates using the Islamic calendar eg
the year 1393 Hijrah.
822
The Composition of the Central Government Council of the Union of the Republic of Timor, Period
VII (April 9 1973 A.C. – April 9 1975 A.C.), Number: 588/J-aW/Prespu-URT/1393H/1973M,
Batugade, 28 June 1973 – in English (TdT , Lisbon: PIDE/DGS SC-CI(2)/DSI-2a, NT 7826) and in
Portuguese (Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., Annexo II, p.423 – as “VI Governo”).
166

THE “DAWNING OF POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS” 823 IN DILI

The Movimentos

According to Chega ! - the CAVR Final Report, “a small anti-colonial


political group” had been founded in Dili “around 1967” and was “organised in small
cells which largely operated in ignorance of each other. This group seemed to have
had little real impact.”824
In January 1970, members of the young educated generation825 reportedly
started what was initially an anti-colonial discussion group that became “Movimento
Libertação de Timor”.826 The leadership of the Movimento comprised Justino Mota,
Mari Alkatiri827, César Mau Laka (César Correia Lebre), Borja da Costa – and, with a
lesser involvement, Nicolau Lobato828. José Ramos-Horta also reportedly had links to
the Movimento.829 To avoid the attention of the Portuguese security services, the
group formed a musical band as a “cover” for its meetings – and as a vehicle to
proselytise its message among the Timorese youth. The band had several names:
Academicos, Eclipse and Cinco do Oriente – and was quite popular. Mari Alkatiri was
a guitar player in the band.
In the early 1970s, a less influential and less active group, the Movimento
Revolucionário de Libertação de Timor (MORELTI) had also reportedly been formed
in Dili.830 This apparently was essentially a discussion group founded by João Viegas
Carrascalão831.

823
This is the title of the section in Chega ! covering this period - ie Chega !, CAVR Final Report,
Part 3, paragraphs 73 –77.
824
Chega ! , CAVR Final Report, Part 3, para 74.
825
These were almost all mestizo and serving as junior civil servants in the Portuguese administration.
Mari Alkatiri and Hamis Bassarewan – also civil servants, were “arabes”.
826
Author’s discussions in Dili with (then) former Prime Minister Mari Bim Amude Alkatiri on 22
August 2006 are the basis for much of the information on the Movimento and its activities. Mari
Alkatiri claims to have formed the Movimento on 8 January 1970 – and left Timor for post-secondary
studies in Angola later that year. The Movimento group is also mentioned in Chega !, CAVR Final
Report, Part 3, para 75 – which includes José Ramos-Horta as a member; and in Araújo, A. (Abílio) de,
Timor Leste: Os Loricos Voltaram a Cantar: Das Guerras Independentistas à Revolução do Povo
Maubere, Trama, Lisbon, June 1977, pp. 186-187. The official Fretilin “chronology” (1 August 2007)
states: “January 1970 – A few young Timorese begin discussing plans on how to achieve independence
from Portugal. This group included Mari Alkatiri, Nicolau Lobato, Justino Mota and José Ramos
Horta.”
827
Mari Bin Amude Alkatiri served as a civil servant in Dili as a topógrafo 1st-class in the Public
Works and Transport Service in the early 1970s – BOdT, No.26, 30 June 1973, p.508.
828
Nicolau dos Reis Lobato (b. 24 May 1946) served as an aspirante in the Finance Service in Dili
from 13 November 1969 to 1974 – BOdT, No.7, 16 February 1974, p.123; No.29, 20 July 1974, p.561 -
and was also noted as a secondary school teacher in Dili in 1974. Nicolau Lobato became Timor-
Leste’s first Prime Minister on 28 November 1975 – and its second President in October 1977.
829
José Ramos-Horta was exiled to Mozambique for two years in 1970 for subversive activities,
returning to Timor in late 1972 – see Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., pp.121-131 for
detail on Ramos-Horta’s activities in the early-mid 1970s; and Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, The Unfinished
Saga of East Timor, Red Sea Press, Trenton, 1987.
830
MORELTI reportedly formed the basis for the foundation of the UDT (União Democrática
Timorense – Timorese Democratic Union) in April 1974. Ramos-Horta, J., Amanhã em Díli, 1998, p.75
notes a “Movimento do Liberatação de Timor” led by João Carrascalão had been formed but was
inactive”.
831
João Viegas Carrascalão served in the civil service in Dili – including as as a topógrafo 1st-class,
until mid-1975.
167

Secret approaches were made by the Movimento Libertação de Timor (ie the
“Mota/Alkatiri/Mau Laka” group) to the Indonesian Consul in Dili, E.M. Tomodok,
seeking “scholarships and other expressions of support” – and also separately by José
Ramos-Horta. Despite several invitations, Mari Alkatiri did not have direct contact
with the Indonesian Consulate.832 Ramos-Horta has related:
“In the early 1970s, an incipient nationalist organization began to take shape.
The group, of which I was a member, along with many others in today’s
nationalist movement, began to reach out for help in Indonesia – both because
we were inspired by Indonesia’s earlier independence struggle against the
Dutch, and because of its geographic proximity. I was in liaison with the
Indonesians through the Consul in Dili, E.M. Tomodok. I met him on
numerous occasions, usually in the middle of the night to avoid Portuguese
police detection. With him I discussed our projects for studying and training in
Indonesia. He was an enthusiastic supporter of our movement and encouraged
us to cross the border into West Timor to seek support. I remember him
saying: ‘There the military will be very enthusiastic. Go, cross the border and
you will find support there’.”833

From September 1972, a number of the Movimento activists mentioned above


– as well as Francisco Xavier do Amaral and Abílio Araújo834, began writing articles
on social issues in the publications A Província/Força de Timor (managed by the
Army), A Voz de Timor (Government) and Seara (Catholic Diocese). This was a
contrived dialogue - ie to keep politico-social issues to the fore, principally by Mari
Alkatiri835 and José Ramos-Horta. However, Seara – the magazine published by the
Dili Catholic Diocese, was closed under Government pressure in April 1973
following an article by Francisco Xavier do Amaral that critiqued Portuguese
colonialism.836
However, these developments were not noted - or given little credence, in
Australia. The Australian Consulate in Dili had been closed on 31 August 1971, and
no “on-site” assessments were available on political developments.837 However, in
mid-1973, in a brief to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, his Department

832
As related in discussions with the author on 22 August 2006. Hill., H., Fretilin 1974-1978 –
Stirrings of Nationalism in East Timor, Otford Press, Otford NSW, 2002, pp.52-53 also cites Mari
Alkatiri’s recollections of approaches to the Indonesian Consul in the period January 1970 to 1973 “to
gain support for our aims” – noting: “It was a disappointment to the young Timorese Nationalists to
realize that they could not count on the support of Indonesia”.
833
Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, 1987, op.cit., pp. 26-27. According to Mari Alkatiri, Ramos-Horta’s
involvement in the Movement was less than implied in Funu, noting that Ramos-Horta was “exiled” in
Mozambique in the period 1970-72 – discussions with author, 22 August 2006. In Ramos-Horta, J.,
Amanhã em Díli, 1998. p.75, Ramos-Horta also refers to his (Ramos-Horta’s) contact with the
Indonesian Consul in Dili, E.M. Tomodok.
834
Abílio de Araújo wrote a “polemica”: “Balarque – sigilo ou enigma ?” (“Dowry – secret or enigma
?”) for A Provincia … . Nicolau Lobato also wrote for A Provincia and Borja da Costa wrote articles
for Seara – see Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos …, 1977, op.cit., pp.185-186.
835
Mari Alkatiri’s pen-name was “O Peregrino”.
836
Francisco Xavier do Amaral’s article in the Seara edition of 10 February 1973 was titled “Sera
Verdadae ?” (“Is it True ?”) and “set out a list of the ills of East Timor under the Portuguese” – Hill,
H., FRETILIN 1974-1978 …, pp.53-54. See also Araújo, A. (Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos …,
1977, op.cit., pp.187 – Francisco Xavier do Amaral’s pseudonym was “Ramos Paz”.
837
Post-WWII, an Australian Consul had been appointed in 1946 – but was withdrawn on 23 June 1950
and re-instated in January 1951.
168

noted: “there is no serious nationalist movement in Timor. … the status quo in Timor
suits Indonesia’s interests.”838
In August 1973, an Australian journalist visiting Dili reported that:
“in Dili, I was approached by a young radical who claimed the existence of an
organisation called the Timor Liberation Front. He admitted that the group was
miniscule, disorganised and unarmed, but he said that it would move against the
Portuguese in five to ten years.”839
The Movimento (Mota/Alkatiri/Mau Laka) group and its student supporters
occasionally confronted the Portuguese police and, “in 1973, in Dili, clashes broke
out between young people and the Portuguese military.”840 In late 1973, the
Movimento group reportedly prepared Molotov cocktail “bombs” in anticipation of
raids by the Portuguese security police - the Direcção-Geral de Segurança (DGS)841,
but the anticipated clashes did not eventuate. However, in December 1973, following
this period of tension, Mari Alkatiri travelled to Jakarta and met briefly with
Indonesian Foreign Minister, Adam Malik. Alkatiri sought Indonesian assistance with
the establishment of a “guerrilla training camp” in Indonesian Timor from which his
group might conduct armed activity into Portuguese Timor – but his request was
rejected.842 The DGS were aware of Alkatiri’s visit to Jakarta and, on his return to
Dili, he was interviewed by the DGS on two occasions. Alkatiri was threatened with
exile to Angola - where he had been educated, but the turmoil of the April 1974
“Revolução dos Cravos” (Carnation Revolution) in Lisbon “saved” him from
deportation.843
In a mid-1974 press interview that claimed “Ramos-Horta led the underground
opposition in Portuguese Timor”, Ramos-Horta stated: “We used to meet informally
in a small group in the garden outside the Governor’s Palace to avoid rousing the
suspicions of the DGS (the Portuguese secret police).”844
Meanwhile, in Lisbon, a “Casa de Timor”845 had been established in early
1973 as a hostel and meeting place for Timorese students undertaking tertiary studies
in Portugal. Here, young people developed their radical ideas and, beginning in mid-

838
Woolcott, R. - FAS South East Asia Division, “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor”, 1 June 1973 –
Minister, 2 June 1973 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 5, pp.184-185) – see also footnotes 852-854.
839
Claypole, S., “What about Timor ?”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1973, p.7 (NAA:
A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 2). According to Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.126 :
“Although one cannot be certain, there is every likelihood that the young radical mentioned here is
Horta.”
840
Chega ! , CAVR Final Report, Part 3, para 77. José Alexandré (“Kay Rala Xanana”) Gusmão was
not involved in the Movimentos – only joining Fretilin on 20 May 1975, see Niner, S., Xanana – Leader
of the Struggle …, op.cit., 2009, pp.21-26.
841
The PIDE (see footnote 126) was renamed the Direcção-Geral de Segurança (DGS) in 1968 and -
reformed in 1974, became the Polícia de Informação Militar (PIM).
842
Author’s discussion with (then) former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri on 22 August 2006 in Dili.
Former Defence Minister, Dr Roque Rodrigues, was also present. José Ramos-Horta also claims to
have “expressed a desire ((through the Indonesian Consul Eliza M. Tomodok)) for Indonesia’s help
with a guerrilla war to expel the Portuguese.” - Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit.,
p.140. Nicol also provides comments on Consul Tomodok’s activities at p.62.
843
Author’s discussions in Dili with Mari Alkatiri on 22 August 2006. Subsequently, the Movimento
used the Club União opposite (ie west of) the Dili stadium as a basis for its activities. However in 1974
- disappointingly for ASDT/Fretilin, about 90 percent of its membership supported the UDT party.
844
Freney, D., “Ramos Horta on Timor”, Tribune, Melbourne, 6 August 1974 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1
Part 4).
845
Located in Rua de S. Bento, Lisbon – not to be confused with the “Casa de Timor” established in
Dili in 1939 to display Timorese products (BOdT, No.10, 7 March 1939, pp.222-223).
169

1974, several returned to Timor to support ASDT/Fretilin846 – including: António


Duarte Carvarino (Mau Lear)847, Hélio Pina (Mau Kruma), Rosa Bonaparte Soares
(Muki), Guilhermia Araújo, Francisco Borja da Costa848, Vicente dos Reis (Vicente
Sahe), Hamis Bassarewan (Hata)849, Inácio Fonseca (Solan), Venâncio Gomes da
Costa (Mau Seran), Dulce Cruz, Abílio Araújo and Roque Felix de Jesus
Rodrigues.850
During this period, the Australian Government was quite sanguine regarding
any possible Indonesian threat to Portuguese Timor. In mid-1973, a Department of
Foreign Affairs official in Canberra commented that there were “no signs of a
liberation movement of any significance which might attract Indonesian support.
There is one nut in Jakarta who calls himself a PRG ((Provisional Revolutionary
Government)) or something like that.”851 Soon after – as noted earlier, a brief to the
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs related that: “Far from fostering a ‘Liberation’
movement or displaying hostility towards the Portuguese authorities in Timor,
Indonesia cooperates with the Portuguese. Occasional border incidents, arising out of
cross-border cattle rustling or tribal disputes, are settled amicably and without
publicity.”852 A few days later, the Minister was advised that a United Nations
Secretariat paper issued on 9 May 1973853 “makes no mention of a liberation
movement in Portuguese Timor and makes no reference to any developments there.
This accords with our understanding that there is no significant political agitation in
Portuguese Timor, and that there is no liberation movement active in Timor itself.
There is at present no international pressure on Portugal to grant independence to this
territory in particular. … At present, relations between Indonesia and the Portuguese
administration are good and cooperative. The Indonesian Government is concerned
for general policy reasons not to appear expansionist. … It may be noted in this
context that an Indonesian airline, Merpati Nusantara, is recently understood to have

846
For the foundings of ASDT and Fretilin, see following footnotes 856 and 857.
847
An earlier “Mau Lear” had been a notorious bandit (quadrilheiro) captured in early April 1959.
848
Francisco Borja da Costa had been a member of the civil service in Dili – serving as a typist until
his obligatory military service beginning in September 1968 (BOdT, No.41, 28 September 1968,
p.809) and subsequently as an aspirante (BOdT, No.26, 26 June 1971, p.634).
849
Hamis Bin Umar Bassarewan (b. 29 May 1948) joined the civil service in Dili in early 1966 and
served as a radio-telegraphist (3rd-class).
850
See Australian Embassy – Lisbon, Memo 98, 2 March 1973 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 4). Later
known as “Casa dos Timores” (ie “pluralised”) from 19 May 1974 when - following a major
reorganization, António Duarte Carvarino was appointed Director and Abílio Abrantes (ie Abílio de
Araújo) as President of the Council. Many of the Casa students were members of a militant Beijing-
oriented Maoist group, Movimento Reorganizativo do Partido do Proletariado (MRPP). Chega ! -
CAVR Final Report, Part 3, p.26 also notes their involvement in Lisbon in the Movimento Libertação
de Timor Dili and the Frente Unica de Libertação de Timor Dili. Roque Rodrigues, an alferes (second
lieutenant) undergoing military national service, had been involved in underground activity against the
Caetano regime – see Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., pp.116-118; Rodrigues -
discussions with author 2004.
851
Department of Foreign Affairs – Canberra, Cable O.452224, 7 May 1973 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1
Part 5) – manuscript note dated 8 May 1973.
852
Memorandum for the Minister – “Indonesia and Portuguese Timor”, Department of Foreign Affairs,
Canberra, 1 June 1973 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 5).
853
This is probably a reference to the United Nations General Assembly (Secretariat Working Paper
A/AC.109/L.846), “Territories Under Portuguese Administration - Timor”, 25 May 1973, para 3 that
stated: “Little information is available on the activities of liberation movements in Timor. In 1971,
Portuguese authorities denied rumours that a liberation movement had declared the independence of
Timor.” - (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 2). The United Nations had received a letter from the URT-D in
October 1970, replied in March 1971 (see footnote 800) – and apparently referred the issue to Portugal.
170

carried 150 Portuguese troops from Singapore to Dili (presumably en route from
Portugal).”854
In January 1974, the Indonesian Consul in Dili, Eliza Meskers Tomodok, was
quoted extensively in an article by a visiting French journalist – including: “I am
certain that there is no organised resistance, but there is a passive opposition. In recent
years, there have been spontaneous explosions of social discontent – an important
uprising took place in 1959 not far from our border. The Portuguese Army reacted
quickly and attacked the villages, massacring the population – men, women and
children.”855 Tomodok was also critical of “medieval prison” conditions and the
activities of the DGS.

Democratisation in Portuguese Timor – and Apodeti

Following the 25 April 1974 “Revolução dos Cravos” (Carnation Revolution)


coup in Lisbon, political liberalization began in Portuguese Timor in May 1974 – as
“a process of decolonisation and democratisation.”856 The major Timorese political
parties – or associations, established were:

ASDT (Associação Social Democrata Timorense)857 for the “masses”;

UDT (União Democrática Timorense – Timorese Democratic Union)858 for


the “elite” (village chiefs, civil servants and their families); and

Apodeti (Associação Popular Democrática Timorense – Timorese Popular


Democratic Association) favouring an association with Indonesia – that was

854
Memorandum for the Minister – “Policy Towards Portuguese Timor”, Department of Foreign
Affairs, Canberra, June 1973 (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 2).
855
Schumacher, P., “TIMOR: une enclave portugaise misérable et oubliée”, Le Monde, Paris, 27-28
January 1974, p.10. The article also appeared in several other European newspapers. The Portuguese
authorities in Dili were reportedly quite angry with Indonesian Consul Tomodok – see Tomodok, E.M.,
Hari-Hari Akhir…, op.cit., 1994.
856
The Portuguese Junta’s representative in Dili, Major A.C. M. M. Metello - as the President of the
Comissão Para Autodeterminação de Timor (Committee for the Self-Determination of Timor), issued a
declaration on 19 June 1974 that formally promulgated the communiqués and manifestos of the three
political associations: ASDT, UDT, and Apodeti (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2; 49/2/1/1 Part 3; 695/5
Part 3). For Major Metello’s reported association with Apodeti, see footnote 534.
857
ASDT- founded in Dili on 20 May 1974 (with its founders including Francisco Xavier do Amaral
and Nicolau Lobato) was succeeded by Fretilin (Frente Revolucionária de Timor Leste Independente)
formed on 11 September 1974. A description of the ASDT’s founding is in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu,
1987, op.cit., pp.34-35. In June 1974, the ASDT principals had an “audience” with Dom Boaventura’s
widow – ie ex-rainha de Manufahi (former queen of Manufahi) – see group photo in Araújo, A.
(Abílio) de, Timor Leste: Os Loricos …, 1977, op.cit., p.9. Fretilin also appears to have claimed to
being “first formed as an underground movement in 1970” – see para 11 of the report by the UN
Special Representative for East Timor, Winspeare Guicciardi, 29 February 1976, tabled at the UN on
12 March 1976 – as an annex to United Nations Security Council, S/12011 (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 21; A1838, 3038/9/1 Part 1; A1838, 3038/10/13/1 Annex 1).
858
UDT was formed on 11 May 1974, and its founders included Mário Carrascalão (the head of the
Agriculture and Forestry Service and later an Indonesian-appointed Governor 1982-1992), Augusto
César da Costa Mousinho/Mouzinho, Domingos de Oliveira – and subsequently Francisco Lopes da
Cruz (see footnotes 944, 951) and João Viegas Carrascalão (see footnotes 830, 831). The founding of
the UDT is described in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, op.cit., 1987, pp.29-30.
171

initially titled “Associação para a Integração de Timor na Indonésia”


(AITI).859

The Apodeti Manifesto sought as its first principle: “the viability, in terms of
international law, of integration with autonomy, into the Indonesian Community.”860
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs noted that “Apodeti was seen as the
political heir of the 1959 rising against the Portuguese in Viqueque which was
initiated by refugees from the Permesta/PRRI rebellion in Indonesia.”861 Apodeti’s
Secretary General, 37 year-old José Fernando Osório Soares,862 was the “principal
figure in Apodeti” having “organized the formation of the party (when it broke away
from the ASDT as a splinter group) and drafted the party’s manifesto. He took the
title of Secretary General, making an older man president ((ie Arnaldo dos Reis
Araújo 863)), and arranged the leadership into a dual structure intended to maintain his

859
Apodeti – initially named as AITI, was founded on 27 May 1974, and is discussed earlier at
footnotes 526-534. Apodeti’s chairman was Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo (see footnotes 168, 169, 527,
863, 874, and 875) - who became East Timor’s first Governor after the Indonesian occupation ie for the
period 1976-1978, and José Fernando Osório Soares was appointed as its Secretary General. A concise
history of Apodeti is at Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.79-82. José Osório Soares
had earlier been a founding member of ASDT – but soon left to found AITI/Apodeti. The founding of
Apodeti, and Osório Soares’ early involvement with ASDT, is described Rusdie, H., et al, Perjuangan
…, March 1997, op.cit; and pp.21-25 in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, 1987, op.cit., p.32. The guidance of
Indonesian intelligence is related in Subroto, H., Perjalanan Seorang Wartawan Perang, Pustaka Sinar
Harapan, Jakarta, 1998, p.270 (ie by Kupang-based Bakin agent Luis Taolin) and in “Saya yang
Pertama Masuk Tim-Tim” (I Was the First into East Timor), Tempo, 20, XXVII, Jakarta, 22 February
1999, pp.26-29 (by Colonel Aloysius Sugianto/Soegyanto, the executive officer of Opsus – see
footnotes 873, 962). One source claims that AITI was itself preceded by “União dos Povos Timorenses
(UPT)”, and its principal supporters included the URT-D – Fernandes, M.S., “A Preponderância dos
Factores Exógenos na Rejeição do Plano Português de Decolonização para Timor-Leste 1974-1975”,
Revista Negócios Estrangeiros, No.10, Instituto Diplomático, Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros,
Lisbon, February 2007, p.92, pp.103-104. Similarly, the URT-D’s “integration into Apodeti” is claimed
at Fernandes, M.S., 2005, op.cit., pp.357-358. Suggestions of an URT-D association with Apodeti
appear to have been based, in part, on an “anti-URT-D” remark by José Ramos-Horta when visiting
Jakarta – see footnotes 896, 897; and footnote 898 for the URT-D’s “no integration” statement reported
in Diário de Notícias of 13 June 1974. The author is aware of no evidence for URT-D support for
AITI/Apodeti.
860
Apodeti, Manifesto – in Comissão Para Autodeterminação de Timor, 19 June 1974 (see footnote
856) – “integração, com autonomia na Comunidade Indonésia” (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2). See
also earlier footnotes 860 and 861 on the Manifesto and discussion of the party’s founders. In arguing
for integration into Indonesia, Apodeti propaganda claimed that Timor had been part of “Nusantara”
during the West Java-based Majapahit empire – citing Empu Prapanca in the Negarakertagama Syair
14:5 (written in 1365) – ie that Timor had provided “upeti” (tribute) to the Majapahits - Lopes da Cruz,
F., Kesaksian …, 1999, op.cit., pp.60-61. For claims of Majapahit suzerainty see also footnote 76.
861
Australian Department of External Affairs, Savingram O.CH79457, Canberra, 3 July 1974 (NAA:
A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 2).
862
José Fernando Osório Soares was born in Same on 3 November 1938. Two of his uncles (Joaquim
Osório and José Manuel Duarte) were Timorese principals in the 1959 Rebellion and were exiled to
Angola. José Osório Soares trained as a priest in Macau but, on his return to Timor, served as a civilian
official in the Portuguese administration – including several appointments as a Posto (ie Sub-District)
Administrator. See footnotes – 519, 527, 529, 543, 545, 859, 875, 876. Detail can be found in Rusdie,
H., et al, Perjuangan …, March 1997, op.cit., pp.7-11 and in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, op.cit., 1987,
p.32.
863
Arnaldo Araújo, born 1913, had reportedly been jailed by the Portuguese for 29 years in February
1946 for collaboration with the Japanese during World War II – and was only released on 25 April
1974. See footnotes 168, 169, 527, 859, 874, and 875. However, a press report – White, K., “War
criminal now leads provisional Timor govt”, Northern Territory News, Darwin, 5 February 1976 –
claims that Arnaldo Araújo, a “catequista” (religious teacher) led “Black Columns” against the
172

influence and keep him out of direct public attention.”864 In explaining the origins of
Apodeti to an Australian journalist, José Osório Soares related that the party’s real
leaders were the former members of the “movimento de ‘59’ ” – or more bitterly, “the
massacre of ‘59’ ”- ie the Viqueque Rebellion of 1959.865 An Apodeti newsletter in
September 1974 printed a letter from nine “leaders of the 1959 Rebellion” supporting
Apodeti’s integration policy.866 Seven of the returned “1959 rebels” who had been
exiled to Angola are listed among the founders of Apodeti: Abel da Costa Belo,
Germano das Dores Alves da Silva, Vital Ximenes, João Pereira da Silva, Gervásio
Soriano Aleixo, Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa and Francisco Orlando de Fátima
867
- and José Manuel Duarte asserted that he had been appointed as the Apodeti
representative in Angola and Mozambique.
In April 1974, a Vice President of the Indonesian Parliament (Dewan
Perwakilan Rakyat), John Naro, welcomed the fall of the Caetano Government in
Lisbon and told newsmen: “it is our hope that the ((Indonesian)) government would
take preparatory steps for a special appeal for the eventual return of Portuguese Timor
to Indonesia” … “our brothers are still deprived of freedom, while economically they
are living in destitution.”868 In late May, following discussions with a senior Bakin
(Indonesian intelligence agency) official, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta reported
that “a comprehensive study has been undertaken by Bakin on Portuguese Timor. The
Indonesians do not consider there is any evidence of an indigenous liberation
movement in Portuguese Timor. The people there are too backward and are not
politically motivated.”869
The Australian Embassy’s “most valued contact”870 in Jakarta - Harry Tjan
Silalahi, told a senior Embassy official on 2 July 1974 that he (Tjan) intended:

Australians in Timor during World War II, was tried for collaboration with the Japanese in 1946,
sentenced to nine years “exile” on Ataúro, was released in the early 1960s and became a teacher in
Dili, and “acquired a large cattle property at Zumalai on Timor’s south coast” (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 21).
864
Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., p.74. This book provides a quite comprehensive
history of Apodeti – as well as political events in Portuguese Timor in the period 1974-1975.
865
Juddery, B., “East Timor: which way to turn ?”, The Canberra Times, Canberra, 18 April 1975.
According to an Australian intelligence report: “Its followers include relatives and friends of the
Timorese who were involved in the insurrection of 1959, and Timorese priests.” – Joint Intelligence
Organisation (JIO), “A Descriptive Survey of Portuguese Timor”, JIO Study No. 3/75, Canberra, 1975
(NAA: A1838, 3038/1/1 Part 2). Following a visit to Timor in June 1974, Australian officials had
reported: “Apodeti is seen as the political heir of the 1959 rising against the Portuguese in Viqueque
which was instigated by refugees from the Permesta/PRRI revolt.”- Australian Department of External
Affairs, Cable O.CH79457, Canberra, 3 July 1974 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/11/2 Part 2). For Fretilin
and UDT positive attitudes towards the 1959 Rebellion as a “formative influence” – see footnote 511.
866
Hill, H.M., Gerakan Pembebasan Nasional Timor Lorosae, 2000, p.62 – footnote 21 cites the
Apodeti publication ie O Arauto de Sunda, No. 3, 18 September 1974.
867
Rusdie. H. et al, Perjuangan …, March 1997, op.cit., p.33 lists the 36 “pendiri Partai Apodeti”.
1959 veterans associated with Apodeti are also discussed briefly in Tomodok, E.M., 1994, op.cit.,
pp.95-97. Tomodok, E.M., 1994, op.cit., p.97 claims both Germano da Silva and João Pereira da Silva
were executed by Fretilin in late 1975/early 1976 – but Germano da Silva was a DPRD II
representative in Manufahi in the 1990s (see footnotes 505, 548, 562 and 571). Soekanto, Integrasi …,
1976, op.cit., p.79 also claims that the Apodeti founders included “fighters from the people’s rebellion
in Los Palos in 1945-1949”.
868
Antara newsagency report cited in Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 492, 3 May 1974 (NAA:
A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 2).
869
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA2479, 22 May 1974 – reporting discussions with Colonel
Satari (Bakin) – (NAA: A1838, 935/17/3 Part 2; 49/2/1/1 Part 2; 696/5 Part 2).
870
Arriens, J.W. First Secretary, Memo, 6 February 1974. However, Arriens noted that “what he says
requires careful interpretation.” He also remarked that “Liam Bian Kie was particularly suspect.”
173

“to submit a paper to the President this week recommending that Indonesia
mount a clandestine operation in Portuguese Timor to ensure that the territory
would opt for incorporation into Indonesia. … The paper will include a list of
the specific actions that would be possible or required. These would include
working through Catholic priests (some of whom are trained in Flores) and
other indigenous contacts that exist between Kupang and Dili. Tjan observed
that in view of the rudimentary nature of political development in Portuguese
Timor effective manipulation should not prove difficult. … The recently
established political party favouring incorporation into Indonesia provided a
ready-made starting point.”871

In mid-1974, Indonesia’s President Soeharto decided that Portuguese Timor


should be integrated into the Republic – and “General Ali Murtopo, who has been
instrumental in shaping the President’s thinking on Timor, and his Opsus (Operasi
Khusus - Special Operations) were given the task of achieving the objective through
means other than force.”872 Moertopo’s executive officer in Opsus, Colonel Aloysius
Sugianto, established a forward office in Kupang – travelled to Dili and made contact
with each of the three political parties in Portuguese Timor.873 The operation was
called Operasi Komodo.
Soon after, Apodeti’s President, Arnaldo de Araújo, made a prolonged visit to
Jakarta (June-October 1974) during which he met with Indonesian officials, including
Foreign Minister Adam Malik and senior intelligence officers.874
In August 1974, Tomás Gonçalves (the son of Apodeti principal and liurai of
Atsabe, Guilherme Maria Gonçalves875) spent several weeks in Atambua (Indonesian

(NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 5). This Memo was written soon after the Malari riots in Jakarta in mid-
January 1974 and before the “Carnation Revolution” in Portugal. See footnote 732 for background on
Harry Tjan Silalahi and Liem Bian Kie (Yusuf Wanandi).
871
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, “Indonesia: Clandestine Operation in Portuguese Timor”, 3 July 1974
(NAA: A11443, 1).
872
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA161, 3 September 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part
13). The cable related that President Soeharto’s “main reasons were that it would be contrary to
Indonesia’s national interests to have a very small, economically feeble independent country within the
Indonesian archipelago.” Major General Ali Moertopo was Head of Division III of Bakin (Badan Ko-
ordinasi Intelijen Negara Indonesia - State Intelligence Co-ordination Agency Indonesia) and Head of
Special Operations (Opsus) – and promoted to Lieutenant General in October 1974. Bakin and Opsus
were “charged with formulating Indonesia’s clandestine response to Timor’s decolonisation”. See also
footnote 732 for Harry Tjan Silalahi’s (CSIS) “Grand Design”.
873
Colonel Aloysius Sugianto/Soegianto, the executive officer of Opsus, describes the founding of
Opsus and its activities in Timor in “Saya yang Pertama …, 1999, op.cit., pp.26-29. The Kupang office
in the Hotel Flobamor was managed by Colonel Alex Dinuth, and a “forward post” was established at
Atambua under Major T. Sumardjo. The organisation and activities of Operasi Komodo are described
in Subroto, H., Operasi Udara di Timor Timur (Air Operations in East Timor), Pustaka Sinar Harapan,
Jakarta, 2005, pp.29-36. The Opsus/Bakin operations used commercial “cover” – including a hotel and
trading companies/ businesses (PT Arjuna in Kupang, PT Sarana Gatra in Jakarta). Visits to
Portuguese Timor were also made by several Bakin/Opsus/Komodo operatives including Luis Taolin,
Colonel Muchammad Ibrahim, Lieutenant Colonel Pitut Soeharto, Major T. Sumardjo and Soekanto
(CSIS) – and contact made with the newly-formed political parties in Portuguese Timor. See also
Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., pp.196-197.
874
Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., p.88 notes that the Apodeti leaders met with Major General Ali
Moertopo. The official TNI history asserts that Arnaldo de Araújo requested integration with Indonesia
on 31 August 1974 - Pusat Sejarah dan Tradisi TNI, Sejarah TNI (The History of the TNI), Jilid IV,
Pusat Sejarah dan Tradisi TNI – Markas Besar Tentara Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, 2000, p.145.
875
Guilherme Maria Gonçalves (1919-1999) was noted as the liurai of Atsabe in 1952 in Sherlock, K.,
1983, op.cit., p.29. Gonçalves was a prominent Apodeti leader – a negative view of Guilherme
174

Timor) planning with Bakin-seconded ABRI officers of Komodo for an Apodeti


armed force “in case it became necessary in the future”– before travelling to Jakarta
and meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister, Adam Malik, and senior ABRI
officers.876 José Osório Soares, the Apodeti Secretary General, visited Jakarta in
October-November 1974, and Apodeti became “more and more closely identified
with Indonesian interests” – and “by the end of 1974, Apodeti had fallen entirely into
Indonesia’s clutches.”877 Tomás Gonçalves moved to Indonesian Timor in late
October 1974 and was joined in Atambua by 110 Apodeti members on 3 December
1974.878 According to Tomás Gonçalves, they “commenced military training with a
company of Indonesian soldiers in December in a camp about eight kilometres outside
Atambua.”879
Meanwhile, within Portuguese Timor, Apodeti had the smallest following of
the three major parties - drawing its strongest support from the Atsabe region about 50
kilometres southwest of Dili (see footnote 875) and in the Viqueque region
(particularly northeast of Viqueque Town, the centre of the 1959 Rebellion).

Gonçalves (and his sons Tomás and Lucio) can be found in Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, op.cit., 1987,
pp.33-34. Guilherme’s father – Cipriano Gonçalves, was also the luirai of Atsabe and killed by the
Japanese military (and/or Timorese) in Suro in 1943. Guilherme Gonçalves was reportedly not only the
leader of the Atsabe Kemac group (king ie - koronel bote in Kemac) but “had extensive marriage
alliance ties within the former kingdom of Atsabe and with other groups allied with this former
kingdom. This network extended to the Tetun and Bunaq ethnic groups on both sides of the border (of
Indonesia and Portuguese Timor), as well as with the other Kemak groups in the Ainaro and Bobonaro
Districts.” – Molnar, A.K., Timor Leste – Politics, history, and culture, Routledge, New York, 2010,
p.44. The Gonçalves family reportedly have familial connections with the Nai Buti clan – see footnotes
681, 682. As a member of the Apodeti Presidium, Guilherme Gonçalves signed the Balibo Declaration
(the initial “integration” document) for Apodeti on 30 November 1975 – as Apodeti President Arnaldo
dos Reis Araújo and the Secretary General José Osório Soares had earlier been imprisoned by Fretilin
in Dili. Guilherme Gonçalves later became the second Governor of East Timor during the Indonesian
period (1978-1982). José Osório Soares was subsequently killed in the Hola Rua/Hat Nipa area on 8
January 1976 (Tomodok, E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir …, op.cit., 1994, op.cit.) or, more likely, on 27/28
January 1976 (Sinar Harapan, Jakarta, 22 February 1976) by Fretilin principal César Maulaka (Rusdie,
H., et al, Perjuangan …, 1997, op.cit.).
876
Statements by Tomás Gonçalves, 17 December 2003 - Commission for Reception, Truth and
Reconciliation (Comissão de Alcolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliação – CAVR), “Internal Political
Conflict 1974-1976 – CAVR National Public Hearing 15-18 December 2003” – Appendix 2 in CAVR
Update December 2003-January 2004, Dili. According to Jolliffe, J., Balibo, Scribe Publications,
Carlton North, 2009, p.75 – Tomás Gonçalves had been directed by Osório Soares to “form militia
groups”, was summoned to Jakarta on 23 October 1974, and “consequently led 216 men over the
border into East Timor” (compare with 110 Apodeti members cited at the following footnote 878).
877
Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., pp.75-79 also relates Apodeti’s disappointment
at Indonesia’s insistence that an integrated Timor would not be a special autonomous province of
Indonesia (Apodeti had initially sought autonomous status).
878
An annex to a report by Nusa Tenggara Timor Governor El Tari details the movement of Apodeti
followers into West Timor – ie Daftar Pelarian (List of Refugees/Fugitives), El Tari, Laporan Khusus
Tentang Situasi Perkembangan Terakhir Di Timor Portugis, 277/DKN/III/75-RHS, Kupang, 28
January 1975.
879
Statements by Tomás Gonçalves, 17 December 2003 – CAVR, op.cit., (footnote 876). See also
Chega !, CAVR Final Report, Part 3, paras 116-117 for the training and preparation by ABRI of East
Timorese “Partisans” in Indonesian West Timor. This “fitness” training was managed by ABRI officers
seconded to Opsus/Komodo. An Australian Embassy official made a “guided visit” to a “refugee” camp
“of about 200 men located at Nenuk, eight kilometres from Atambua” in April 1975 and expressed
suspicion at its activities – Australian Embassy-Jakarta, Cablegram O.JA8887, 15 April 1975 (NAA:
A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 9).
175

Portuguese Military Ineffectiveness

Morale among the Portuguese military personnel880 in Portuguese Timor had


declined rapidly following the April 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon – soldiers
demanded to be repatriated, and indiscipline was rife. A military police company was
deployed to Portuguese Timor in October 1974 – but itself engaged in “grave acts of
indiscipline”. Governor Pires later wrote:
“The widespread demands by the privates and NCOs of the metropolitan
military for a rapid return to Portugal resulted in the Military Command
deciding on a plan of "Timorization" of the ground forces on a wider scale -
eliminating immediately those elements that could be locally replaced and
expediting their return to Lisbon, without substitution.” 881

In November 1974, newly-arrived Portuguese troops presented a written


“ultimatum” demanding to be repatriated by April – and “the indiscipline
demonstrated by the metropolitan troops provoked panic among the population –
principally among the Europeans and the Chinese, and had a significantly negative
influence on the Timorese soldiers … This widespread behavior of the European
military resulted in the belief that there is no possibility ((irrecuperabilidade)) of their
responsible participation in the security and progress of Timor.”882
The Timorese sergeants in Portuguese armed forces – numbering about 80 (50
regular servicemen, 30 undertaking national service), were very influential in
Timorese society – but were forbidden by Governor Mário Lemos Pires from joining
political parties. On 11 January 1975, the Portuguese authorities established a
“Sergeants’ Commission” to manage input from the Timorese sergeants – all of whom
had political sympathies, in the decolonization process.883 According to the
Indonesian Consul, the aim of the Commission, chaired by Fretilin’s Alferes (Second
Lieutenant) Rogério Tiago Lobato, was to “destroy Apodeti”.884

880
Portuguese military forces in Timor are described by Governor Lemos Pires at p.148 in Pires, M.L.,
Descolonização …,1991, op.cit. – ie in outline: sector commands in Dili, Bobonaro, Maubisse and
Baucau; three metropolitan (ie non-indigenous) companies (at Ossu, Maubisse, and Dili – Military
Police); six light infantry companies (Lospalos, Baucau, Laclubar, Dili, Ermera, and Oecusse); two
cavalry squadrons (Bobonaro, Atabae); an Instructional Centre at Aileu; and headquarters and support
elements in Dili. There were also 52 Segunda Linha (reservist) companies – “comprising moradores,
and based on a traditional hierarchy, they were a type of militia with a very low efficiency. Three of
these companies were committed to surveillance tasks on the border – two in the Bobonaro area and
one in Oecusse for periods of approximately three months.”
881
Ibid., p.52. The “Timorization” and “restructuring” plans are related at pp.148-149. See also the
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in Timor, Directive No.1, 20 January 1975 at pp.144-145.
From the early 1970s to late 1974, “metropolitan” Portuguese troops numbered about 1,550 in the total
full-time force in Portuguese Timor of about 3,400. By late August 1975, metropolitan ground troops
in Portuguese Timor totalled about 145 – ibid, pp.254-255.
882
Ibid. pp.141-142.
883
Soekanto, Integrasi … ,1976, op.cit., pp.166-167 – lists the six leaders of the Sergeants’
Commission and notes that there were 75 sergeants – 11 of whom were Apodeti supporters (names are
listed). According to Francisco Lopes da Cruz, the formation of Sergeant’s Commission began with a
meeting on 11 December 1974 and was formed following a demonstration on 18 January 1975 - with
Sergeant Inácio dos Santos its General Chairman, Fernando Caeiro as Deputy, and Hermenigildo Alves
as its Secretary General – Lopes da Cruz, F., Kesaksian …, 1999, op.cit., pp.50-51. A letter to the three
political parties from the “Comissão de Sargentos Timorenses” advising of its creation is annexed to El
Tari, Laporan Khusus …, op.cit., 28 January 1975.
884
Tomodok, E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir …, 1994, op.cit. Two Fretilin sergeants and two Apodeti sergeants
were reportedly deputy chairmen of the Sergeants’ Commission. Rogério Tiago de Fátima Lobato had
176

Apodeti - and ABRI Preparations

Apodeti’s prospects also suffered a major setback when, on 22 January 1975,


Fretilin and the UDT announced an alliance (“Coligação UDT-Fretilin”) – partly to
frustrate Apodeti, and signed a Communique that, rejecting any integration with
Indonesia, called for total independence. The Communique recognised that only
Portugal, with UN assistance, as having the right to oversee the decolonisation
process.885
In the first months of 1975, ABRI staff in Jakarta prepared contingency plans
for conventional military operations into Portuguese Timor involving four brigades.
This planning identified readiness, organizational, equipment and financial shortfalls
– and 22 August 1975 was set as a provisional date to begin operations.886 The
Australian Embassy in Jakarta was aware of these developments, noting: “the
Indonesians are getting increasingly into a frame of mind for direct intervention”; and
the Joint Intelligence Organization in Canberra reported that: “Plans and preparation
for military operations have now been detected. They include planning to deploy
Mustang aircraft to Kupang, and the assembly at Surabaya of small, fast surface craft,
and training activities of air drops of troops and marine corps landings.”887
Indonesian covert support for Apodeti increased, including Opsus/Komodo-
managed radio broadcasts from Kupang888 – and by February 1975, Indonesian Army
special forces889 in Indonesian Timor “had a modest cross-border agent network” and
reportedly “were running a physical fitness course for several hundred recruits
despatched by Apodeti leaders …” ((Subsequently,)) “by late April ((1975)), an Army
special forces training team arrived at the border and began a simple paramilitary
regimen for 400 Apodeti recruits … special forces personnel also conducted
reconnaissance along the border, and even crossed incognito into Portuguese
Timor”890

served as a civil servant in Dili from 22 October 1970 - as “third-class official” in the Social Assistance
Service, until early February 1975.
885
The Joint Communique demanded that Portugal “eliminate” Apodeti, and also referred to a
transitional government comprising Fretilin, UDT and Portuguese authorities. The text and
correspondence related to the “Coligação UDT-Fretilin” is at pp.52-67 in Carrascalão, M.V., Timor –
Antes …, 2006, op.cit. The text, in English, of the 21 January 1975 Communique can be found at file
NAA: A1209, 1974/7573 and in Nicol, B., Timor – A Nation Reborn, 2002, op.cit., pp.98-105.
886
Subroto, H. Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit., pp.33-36.
887
Director - Joint Intelligence Organization, “Current Indonesian Attitudes on Intervention in
Portuguese Timor”, Canberra, 11 February 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3, Part 4).
888
Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., p.95/footnote 19. In the period 1973-75, Australia gifted 23 CA-27
Sabre jet aircraft to Indonesia – however the armament on the aircraft was not operational in 1975. In
November 1975, Australia agreed to provide military advisors to train Indonesian personnel on the
aircrafts’ weapon systems. Australia also gifted 10 unarmed Nomad maritime reconnaissance aircraft to
Indonesia beginning in November 1975. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs officials were keen
“not to allow the present circumstances ((ie Portuguese Timor)) to deflect us from maintaining normal
relations with Indonesia.” – Brief for the Minister, Canberra, 31 October 1975 (NAA: A1838,
696/2/2/1 Part 11). On 16 December, the Indonesians gave an undertaking that the Nomad aircraft
would not be used in Portuguese Timor (Ibid, Part 12).
889
Kopassandha (Komando Pasukan Sandi Yudha) - re-titled “Kopassus” on 26 December 1986. See
Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., for a history of Indonesia’s Special Forces to 1993.
890
Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., pp. 90– 91. See also Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., pp.206-
208: Captain Yunus Yosfiah - the leader of the ABRI trainers, and his team wore civilian clothes.
Disguised Kopassandha officers operating into Portuguese Timor included Lieutenant Untung Suroso
and Lieutenant Stevanus Gatot Purwanto – see Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, p.207 (Suroso); and
“Kami Saat Itu Serba Salah”, Tempo Magazine, No.15/X, Jakarta, 8-14 December 2009 (noting
Stevanus Gatot Purwanto operating as a Chinese trader: “Aseng”).
177

On 1 June 1975, Apodeti held a ceremony at the Indonesian Consulate in Dili


to celebrate the Party’s first anniversary during which a “Proclamation – 27th Province
of the Republic of Indonesia”891 was presented that “formally proclaimed the colony
of Timor as the 27th province of the Republic of Indonesia”. The Proclamation was
signed by the Apodeti Party’s Presidium – that included 1959 rebel veteran, Abel da
Costa Belo; and the Party’s Central Committee. Apodeti’s flag was also reportedly
flown publicly for the first time at the ceremony ie coloured red and white – identical
to the Indonesian national flag, with “Apodeti” printed in gold lettering horizontally
across the flag.
The following four political cartoons had appeared in the Jakarta daily
newspaper, Merdeka, in February and March 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part
8).

891
Tomodok, E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir ..., 1994, op.cit., pp.226-229. The Apodeti flag may have been
inaugurated a few days earlier at an Apodeti anniversary function on 27-28 May 1975 at the home of
Hermenigildo Martins, the Apodeti Vice-President. On 10 June, the Indonesian official newsagency,
Antara, reported the Apodeti proclamation of 1 June.
178
179

JAKARTA-BASED INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS REACT

The URT-D’s Reaction in 1974 to “Decolonisation” in Timor

On 29 May 1974, the AFP news agency filed a report from Jakarta quoting a
URT-D spokesman - “First Secretary Mao Siku”, that restated the aims of the
movement and called for “all civilized and peace-loving countries, especially the
Malay and the revolutionary Middle-East countries to extend moral and material help
for the underground government in its fight against the Portuguese authorities.”892 The
statement also criticised an un-named “neighbouring country” for failure to give de
facto and de jure recognition to the URT-D. The URT-D spokesman added that it was
“up to President António de Spinola of Portugal to hold a summit meeting with
President Mao Kalo [sic]” on the future of the island territory. The coverage in a
Jakarta daily newspaper - The Indonesian Observer, noted that “ ‘President’ Mao
Kalo [sic] of the underground government set up a delegation in Jakarta in 1961 with
the blessing of the late President Sukarno. The Soeharto government continued to
tolerate the ‘republic’s’ representation in Jakarta.” The Australian Embassy in Jakarta
queried the URT-D’s background with the Indonesian national intelligence agency,
Bakin (Badan Ko-ordinasi Intelijen Negara - State Intelligence Co-ordination
Agency), and was informed that the movement had been set up in Jakarta in 1961 and
was “both small and confined to Jakarta.” 893 The United States Embassy in Jakarta
also reported on the URT-D article in The Indonesian Observer noting that the URT-
D was “largely a paper organization” with “no known contacts in Portuguese Timor
and limits itself to occasional press releases in Jakarta.”894 The US report further
commented that: “There have been reports that it has been offered funds by the Soviet
Embassy in Jakarta to finance the travel of Timorese students to plead for
independence for Portuguese Timor before the UN. The ‘President’ of this group,
Mao Klao, is a West Sumatran who was formerly associated with the now-defunct,
leftist Murba Party.895 According to an Embassy contact from Timor, Mao Klao was
once arrested by the Government of Indonesian authorities in Indonesian Timor and
sent back to Java during his one and only attempt to visit the Portuguese colony.”
In mid-1974, according to M.S.A. Balikh, José Ramos-Horta – then Secretary
General of the ASDT, when visiting Jakarta, called at the office of the URT-D.
Balikh was absent, and the URT-D members present were surprised – and fearful, as
they initially thought that Ramos-Horta was Portuguese.896 Balikh related that

892
The AFP item appeared in The Indonesian Observer as: “Underground Timor govt, to continue
struggle against Portugal”, The Indonesian Observer, Jakarta, 30 May 1974 (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 1).
893
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, O.JA2678, 30 May 1974 (NAA: A1838, 696/5 Part 2).
894
United States Embassy – Jakarta, 6636 E.O 11652:GDS, 30 May 1974.
895
The “West Sumatran” Mao Klao, was probably Alamsyah Hasibuan. M.S.A. Balikh described him
to the author on 20 August 2006 as a “Sumatran from Padang” (West Sumatra) – see footnotes 802 and
1037 – but also footnote 774. The Murba Party (Musyawarah Rakyat Banyak - ie People’s Party) was
founded in 1948 and, following demands by the PKI, was banned by President Sukarno in 1965.
Minister Adam Malik (see footnote 748) was a founder and executive member of the Murba Party.
896
Discussions with the author, Dili, December 2004. Balikh also recounted Ramos-Horta’s visit to the
URT-D office in Jakarta in newspaper (2004) and magazine articles (2007) – see footnotes 982 and
993. José Ramos-Horta visited Jakarta for the first time in mid-late June 1974 for meetings with
Indonesian Government officials – see Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, 1987, op.cit. Ramos-Horta does not
mention the URT-D in Funu. Ramos-Horta, born 1949, is a mestiço - his father, Francisco Horta, was a
Portuguese naval gunner deported to Portuguese Timor in 1931. Francisco Horta’s activities –
including his internment in Australia, are related in Chamberlain, E.P., Forgotten Men …, 2010, op.cit.
180

Mulwan Shah had discussions with Ramos-Horta and offered Ramos-Horta the
position of URT-D Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – but Ramos-Horta
reportedly demurred. According to a report in mid-June 1974, Ramos-Horta – visiting
Jakarta as the Secretary General of the ASDT, was seeking the support of UDT and
Apodeti “in denouncing the ‘Government for the Union of the Republic of Timor’, a
clandestine movement established in Jakarta, as ‘an adulterated group of Indonesian
conspirators’.”897 Ramos-Horta’s statement was probably in reaction to Mao Siku’s
statement of 29 May (see above and footnote 892), and Ramos-Horta’s reported call
on the URT-D offices in Jakarta in June 1974 (footnote 896).
On 12 June 1974, the “unofficial representative” of the URT-D in Jakarta -
Bere Lau, reportedly stated that “there are very few people in Timor who are in favour
of joining the island with Indonesia.” He indicated that the URT-D had passed a letter
on 7 June to “the Portuguese Consul-General in Jakarta, Sussa Uiraoni ((ie Guilherme
de Sousa Girão)), through emissaries coming from the Portuguese sector of Timor”
requesting the URT-D’s preferred options: “independence or that of federation with
Portugal.”898
In July 1974, the URT-D made an approach to the Netherlands Embassy in
Jakarta seeking “information about the Moluccan community in the Netherlands. The
URT expressed interest in the settlement of Moluccans in Portuguese Timor after
independence. The ((Netherlands)) Embassy did not encourage the URT in its
interest, but neither had it informed the Indonesians of the URT approach.” A senior
Dutch official in The Hague described the URT-D as “small and silly, carrying Marx
in the left hand and the Koran in the right.”899
In mid-October 1974, during the UN General Assembly’s 29th Session, its
Fourth Committee considered the issue of Portuguese territories. Regarding
Portuguese Timor, the UN Report discussed the formation in 1974 of the principal
political parties in the Territory and stated:
“No information is available on the activities of the Timor Liberation Front,
the only liberation movement known to have been formed in the Territory.
According to the Movimento Popular de Liberatação de Angola (MPLA), the
Front was formed in September 1971, and the Portuguese authorities have kept
silent about its formation, denying reports that a liberation movement had
declared the independence of Timor.”900

On 15 October 1974 – five weeks after the Australian Prime Minister’s


meeting with President Soeharto at Wonosobo in Central Java, two copies of an URT-
D “open letter” were delivered to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta – one for the

897
Australian Embassy – Lisbon, Cable O.LB174, 24 June 1974 (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 2) and
Memo 203, 27 June 1974 – covering Diário de Notícias, 20 June 1974, p.2: “Postponement of the
Referendum Requested” (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 3).
898
Australian Embassy – Lisbon, Memo 203, 27 June 1974 – covering Diário de Notícias, 13 June
1974, p.10: “A Clandestine Government Established in Timor Presents the Portuguese Government
with Two Options: Independence or Federation with Portugal” (NAA: A1838, 49/2/1/1 Part 3).
899
Australian Embassy – The Hague, Cable O.TH2679, 5 February 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1
Part 6).
900
United Nation General Assembly – 29th Session, Report A/9623/Add.1 (Part 1), Annex I – Timor,
p.20, para 6 (NAA: A1838, 3038/7/1 Part 1). The “Timor Liberation Front” appears to be a reference to
the URT-D – see preceding footnotes 800 and 853. The foregoing suggests that the UN had
provisionally acknowledged the URT-D’s claims of having been “formed” in the Territory – see
footnotes 736-738 for URT-D contact with the UN in the period 1964-65, and also footnotes 800, 853
and 965-966. The MPLA is probably referring to the early 1970s “Movimentos” – see pages 166-170.
181

Ambassador, and one for the Prime Minister of Australia.901 The letter’s subject was
“A strong protest against the Government of Mr Whitlam, for Australia’s attitude in
approving the Portuguese colony become [sic] a Republic of Indonesia Timor
colony”. The text of the letter included:
“The 4,000 demonstrators of the heroic Timor people against the attitude to
incorporate Timor into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia is a factor
which has been seen with his own eyes by the Indonesian Consul in Dilly. …
Australia, acting as a responsible neighbour, should advise the Republic of
Indonesia not to interfere in Timor affairs, advise the leaders of the Republic
of Indonesia not to incite disturbances and confusion in Timor: with the
Republic of Indonesia’s attitude of helping the Arnaldo Party ((ie Apodeti led
by Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo)), which is anti-independence, it is clear that the
Republic of Indonesia is involved in disturbances in Timor which is preparing
itself to be left by Portugal” … “and if it happens that Timor … absorbed by
the Republic of Indonesia using any subterfuge, it will be noted in the history
of the world that Australia masterminded the absorption.”

On 11 November 1974, a senior official of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta


called at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and discussed the URT-D.902 The
Malaysian Embassy had received telephone calls from the URT-D seeking guidance
and assistance for their “struggle over Portuguese Timor”, and the URT-D had sought
a meeting with Malaysian Embassy officials. Queried on what type of assistance was
sought, the Malaysians were told by the URT-D that, initially, the most useful help
would be diplomatic support by Malaysia for the URT-D cause. The Malaysian
Embassy contacted the Indonesian Foreign Ministry to query whether the URT-D was
recognised by Indonesian authorities and was advised that the URT-D had no official
status. After seeking direction from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Embassy informed
the URT-D that the Malaysian Embassy “was not in a position to have any
discussions.”
A few weeks later, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta was told by an official
of the Republic of Singapore Embassy in Jakarta that the URT-D had also approached
the Singapore Embassy for assistance.903 In its letter to the Singapore Embassy, the
URT-D had reportedly argued that Indonesia “had its eyes on Christmas Island and
Portuguese Timor” - and that “Indonesia’s territorial ambitions would not be satisfied
until even Singapore was devoured.” The Republic of Singapore Embassy declined
any contact with the URT-D – but told the Australian Embassy that they had heard
that the URT-D had developed some close ties with militant Muslim bodies in
Indonesia.
On 19 November 1974, in a discussion with Alex (Ali) Alatas 904 - the
Indonesian Foreign Minister’s private secretary, a senior official of Australia’s

901
0618/Presidential Decision – Union of the Timor Republic/RMD/1394H/1974M, Batugade/Jakarta,
25 September 1974 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 3). The letter was signed by A. Mao Klao as
President of the Central Presidium – at Batugade, and forwarded through the “Struggle Delegation” at
Jalan Kernolong Dalam IV/16, Kramat IV, Jakarta. The letter’s subscription included an Islamic date:
“Arab’a Ramadan 1394, 25 September 1974”.
902
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1288, 15 November 1974 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 4;
A1209, 1974/7573).
903
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1333, 20 November 1974 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part
4).
904
Alex (Ali) Alatas - a career foreign affairs officer, was later the Indonesian Foreign Minister ie
1987-1999.
182

Embassy in Jakarta queried the status of the URT-D. Mr Alatas responded that the
group “was becoming a nuisance”; the Foreign Ministry was aware of its approaches
to embassies in Jakarta; and that the Foreign Ministry “knew perfectly well that
Indonesia was now the major target for its ((URT-D’s)) propaganda.” For some time,
the URT-D had sought an appointment with Foreign Minister Malik, but Alatas and
other advisers had recommended against this. Alatas confided to the senior Australian
official that he had now come to the conclusion that Minister Malik should see the
group and tell them that “Indonesia had no territorial ambitions; that Indonesia would
respect the principle of self-determination for the people of Portuguese Timor; and
that Portuguese Timor would join Indonesia only if that were the wish of the people
themselves.” Alatas added that he was not very confident that this would help to keep
the URT-D quiet, and he hinted that “if they became too much of a nuisance other
groups within the Indonesian Government might wish to do something about it.”
On 20 November 1974, Harry Tjan Silalahi (of the Centre for Strategic
Studies – CSIS, footnote 732) told the senior Australian Embassy official that the
URT-D had been “used” by Minister Adam Malik in the early years, but that it was
now becoming an embarrassment for him. Tjan also said that the URT-D had been
“plaguing” the Arab Embassies in Jakarta with requests for assistance. Tjan opined
that the leader of the group was a little “mad” and – as an aside, commented to the
senior Australian official that “anyone in Indonesia who had the courage to say the
sorts of things about Indonesia that this group was now saying must indeed be
mad.”905 Tjan concluded by saying that he thought the URT-D were quite
insignificant and even ridiculous.

The Collective Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde)

On 19 November 1974, the chairman of a group titled the “Collective


Democratic Students of Timor Delly (Codes Timde)” reportedly called on the
Indonesian Foreign Minister, Adam Malik.906 Its chairman, Jacob Mabitivol van
Belly P. BA, declared that “we want Portuguese Timor to become Indonesian
Territory, and we reject the holding of a referendum in Portuguese Timor, and less
that the territory remain under Portuguese colonial rule.” Van Belly claimed that his
student organization had been established in 1971 with members in Indonesia, Lisbon,
Australia and other countries; accepted the Indonesian Panca Sila philosophy; and
planned to hold a congress in 1975. According to the Antara press report, Van Belly
also had talks with members of the Indonesian Parliament and “other high-ranking
government leaders” in Jakarta.
A few weeks earlier, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta received
copies of two documents from the Presidium of Codes Timde:

905
It is unclear to whom Tjan referred as the “mad” URT-D leader – Mulwan Shah, Alamsyah
Hasibuan – or, less likely, M.S.A. Balikh. However, in July 1963, a senior Western press agency
manager in Jakarta - who had met Mulwan Shah on several occasions, described Mulwan Shah as an
“eccentric crackpot”: Australian Embassy - Jakarta, Memo 1155, 12 July 1963 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3
Part 3).
906
“Codes Timde Wants Merger With Indonesia”, Antara, Jakarta, 20 November 1974. The content of
the Antara article was also later included in Indonesian Newsletter 35/74, 1 December 1974 as
“Students Oppose Referendum In Portuguese Timor” (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1 Part 14).
183

• A Memorandum addressed to the “President of


the
Republic of Portuguense” [sic] dated 13 May
1974907;
• A Note (see Annex R) addressed to the “General
Secretary of the United National Organisation in
New York” [sic] dated 10 July 1974 - with the
above Memorandum as an attachment.908

The Memorandum claimed that Codes Timde had been established on 10


January 1971 following a “closed meeting” at “Atambua Timor Delly”909 and implied
that an “envoy” from “General António de Spanola” [sic] had attended the meeting.
Codes Timde sought “freedom or united with Indonesia Republic” and noted that “the
students of the high schools had given their support to the formation of “AITI
(Associacou Intergraciacao de Timor Indonesia)”910 and “ASDT (Associacou Sosialis
Demokrata Timorence)”. The Memorandum was signed at “Bobonaroe (Delly)”911 by:
the Meeting Chairman, J.B. Mayeke Horta BC; the Secretary, Fransisco Bery; and the
Presidium Manager, J.M. van Belly P. BA. Information addressees on the
Memorandum included the UN Secretary General; the “Consulates” of Indonesia,
Australia, Portugal, and India; the Chairman of the Portuguese Parliament; and the
Chairmen of AITI and ASDT.
The subsequent Note requested that the UN Secretary General submit the
attached Memorandum to the next General Session of the UN – and declared Codes
Timde’s support of “Apodeti/A.I.T.I.”. While the Note was signed by J.M. Van Belly
P. BA as “Presidium Management as Free Command Regional Timor Delly” at
“Bobonaru”, the Codes Timde postal address was given as “P.P. Box 184, Ujung
Pandang” – ie the major town in southern Sulawesi, formerly “Makassar”. The Note’s
information addressees included the Chairman of Apodeti, the Prime Minister of
Australia, the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, the Portuguese Prime Minister, the
Portuguese Foreign Minister, and the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Codes Timde had also sent statements to Indonesian government agencies. On
13 December 1974, the Counsellor of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta was shown a
letter from Van Belly by Harry Tjan Silalahi - which included a manuscript notation
by Indonesian General Ali Moertopo912 to the effect that Codes Timde, and the URT-

907
Memorandum, 13/III/C.T./FC/74, Presidium Management Collective Democracy Students of Timor
Delly (Codes-Timde), Bobonaroe [sic] (Delly) [sic], 13 May 1974 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 4).
908
Note, 14/VII/V/FC/74, Presidium Management Collective Democracy Students of Timor Delly
(Codes Timde), Bobonaru [sic], 10 July 1974 – see Annex R.
909
Probably meant to be “Atambua”, the major border town in Indonesian Timor – about 60 kilometres
west of the Portuguese Timor border.
910
Apodeti was initially named “AITI” – see also footnote 859.
911
Probably meant to be “Bobonaro”, a major border town in Portuguese Timor in the central border
area (see the map at cover).
912
As noted earlier, Major General Ali Moertopo was Head of Division III Bakin (Badan Ko-ordinasi
Intelijen Negara Indonesia - State Intelligence Co-ordination Agency Indonesia) and Head of Special
Operations (Opsus). Bakin and Opsus were “charged with formulating Indonesia’s clandestine
response to Timor’s decolonisation” - Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., p.88.
184

D, “were causing confusion and could be communist.”913 As a result of Ali


Moertopo’s notes, Tjan stated that the activities of these groups would be stopped.
On 23 December 1974, the Codes Timde “First Branch of Indonesia”
issued a Pernyataan Dukungan (Statement of
Support) for the Codes Timde “Central
Committee of Management” in Dili (see Annex
S) – with copies to a wide range of addressees
including embassies in Jakarta and the United
Nations. The statement referred to an agreement
of 10 January 1971 between the Codes Timde
chairman, J.M. Van Belly P. BA, and “the
representative of the Portuguese Government,
Francisco da Costa Gomes.”914 Rejecting a referendum to determine the territory’s
future, the statement called for “Timor-Dilly’s” independence to be managed by an
“International Committee to be appointed by the UN Secretary General” – and
strongly opposed communist influence and intimidation in Portuguese Timor.
On 7 January 1975, Van Belly called at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta
seeking to visit Australia in order to call on the Prime Minister and Minister for
Foreign Affairs – and requesting that Australia cover the travel costs. While in
Canberra, Van Belly intended to explain that Codes Timde rejected the concept of a
referendum in Portuguese Timor, but instead demanded an “extraordinary congress of
representatives of all political parties and other prominent people in the territory to
determine what form the future Government should take.”915 Questioned on his
organization’s support, Van Belly stated that there were 3,000 Codes Timde members
in Portuguese Timor – mostly students and other young people. In other countries, he
claimed, there were about three million sympathisers – and that there were branches
in Indonesia, Australia (Sydney), Portugal and India. He noted that he had been
received by the Indonesian Foreign Minister in November 1974 as a “State Guest”,
and Codes Timde had the support of both Fretilin and Apodeti. Van Belly said that
Codes Timde supported independence for the territory.916 The Australian Embassy
memorandum (footnote 915) added that “there has been some speculation that Mr
Van Belly might work for Ali Murtopo”, and that Van Belly had also called on the
United States Embassy in Jakarta.
Van Belly visited the Australian Embassy again on 5 February 1975 to query
the status of his application to travel to Australia – and informed a junior Embassy
official that the future status of Portuguese Timor “must be ‘merdeka berdiri sendiri’,
free and independent.” When Van Belly subsequently called at the Australian
Embassy on 24 February, he was told that “there was no possibility of financial
support being given to his trip”, and he would not be able to meet with Australian
Government ministers – but that he would be able to meet with Department of
Foreign Affairs officials in Canberra if he wished. Van Belly responded that if there
was no financial support for the proposed Codes Timde visit, then perhaps only two

913
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1445, 17 December 1974 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part
5).
914
In 1971, General Francisco da Costa Gomes was the Portuguese military commander in Angola. He
later served as the President of Portugal in the period from late September 1974 to late June 1976.
915
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 41, 14 January 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 5).
916
This was contrary to Van Belly’s statement, ie “the desire to join with Indonesia”, reported in the
Antara article, “Codes Timde Wants Merger With Indonesia”, of 20 November 1974 – see footnote
906.
185

members – not five, might make a two or three-day visit. Before departing, Van Belly
“expressed some anxiety that the Indonesian Government might know of his visit to
Australia.”917 This apparently was the Australian Embassy’s last contact with the
Codes Timde organization.

Balikh Takes Control – and a URT-D “East Timor Constitution”

According to Bakin, in March 1975, “Brig. Gen. Analessy” of the URT-D


travelled on a false passport to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “While in Kuala Lumpur, he
had described URT’s aim as that of independence for Portuguese Timor without any
connection with Indonesia. However, he did not rule out the possibility that at a later
dated an independent East Timor might join Indonesia.”918
After a seeming six months of inaction, M.S.A Balikh issued a URT-D
Struggle Delegation directive on “Government Administration” on 10 May 1975
advising that he, ie “M.S.A. Balikh”, had “taken over all activities of the Union of the
Republic of Timor after comprehensive investigation and consideration.”919 Balikh
announced that he would now hold the position of Prime Minister of the URT-D as
well as that of Head of the Struggle Delegation – following the “agreement of all
comrades.” The directive concluded with assurances that Balikh had never received
“contributions” from anyone – nor sought personal advantage. Rather, he “had
sacrificed his career to advance the struggle for his beloved Timor.”
According to Indonesian intelligence sources, there had been tension within
the URT-D movement between members with Malaysian origins and those with
Timorese and/or Christian backgrounds eg Emanuel Mau Bere.920 Balikh’s directive
appeared to evidence that schism in the URT-D movement.
Balikh related that in early-mid 1975 he was invited to a “political meeting” in
Jakarta – in Room 60 of the “Hotel Menteng”, with the invitation specifying “pakaian
lengkap” ie the wearing of a suit or equivalent. On arrival, he was met by the “Wali
Kota” (Mayor) of Dili921 – but, soon after, an argument broke out among the
attendees, and Indonesian security officials entered and broke up the meeting.

917
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Minute, 24 February 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 7). Van
Belly had earlier asked that his proposed visit to see Ministers in Australia not be mentioned to “others
in Jakarta” by Australian Embassy staff – see footnote 915 ( Memo 41, para 5).
918
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 004, 31 December 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2). A
“Brigadier General Analessy” was noted as the URT-D Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister
for Information and Propaganda in the URT-D Central Government Council listing of 11 June 1972
(see footnotes 813, 819). Analessy was also listed as the First Deputy Chairman of the URT-D Military
Council on 11 June 1972 (see footnotes 814, 820).
919
Administrasi Pemerintahan – Mengambil oper semua kegiatan (Government Administration -
Assuming control of all activities), Struggle Delegation of the URT-D, 10 May 1975. In December
2004, Balikh related to the author that he termed his new Cabinet – the “Kabinet Restafel” (ie from the
Dutch “rijsttafel” – “rice-table”: a lavish meal served in Java with many side-dishes).
920
Email from Ken Conboy - Jakarta-based author and analyst, 26 September 1965. A Bakin officer
also told an Australian Embassy official that a split occurred in 1972: see Australian Embassy –
Jakarta, Memo 004, 31 December 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 18; 3038/2/2 Part 2).
921
Augusto César da Costa Mousinho/Mouzinho (b. 28 August 1936) - the Chairman/Vice President of
the UDT, and at that time concurrently “Mayor of Dili” - ie Presidente de Concelho/Câmara de Dili,
visited Jakarta in late September 1974 and in mid-late April 1975. Augusto César Mousinho was one of
three Timorese who held “High” Chefe de Serviços-level positions in the civil service in 1974 -
Guterres, F. da Costa, Elites and Prospects of Democracy in East Timor (PhD dissertation), Griffith
University, Brisbane, January 2006. Balikh also referred to the planned meeting in Menteng in a
November 2007 magazine article – see footnote 993.
186

According to Balikh, he returned the next day – but all of the attendees had dispersed,
and the Hotel Menteng staff were very apprehensive.
A few months later in late July 1975, Balikh issued a one-page URT-D “very
simple” Constitution (Undang Undang Dasar – Uni Republic Timor Timur).922 The
preamble to the Constitution declared that “the Uni Republic Timor Timur was based
on God; responsibility to the homeland and the people of Timor Timur ; and freedom
as the right of all the people of Timor Timur, based on humanitarianism and justice.”
The preamble continued that “the Government would be strengthened: internally by
enriching comradeship for the whole movement and uniting the Timorese; and
externally by discussions and agreements with friendly nearby countries, especially
the Malay countries from Polynesia to Melanesia and from Madagascar to Formosa.”
The Constitution comprised five chapters, totalling 11 paragraphs. The Republic was
to have a “Sosialis” structure, and “sovereignty was completely in the hands of the
people – effected through the traditional leaders (liuray2), MPR dan DPR” ((MPR =
People’s Consultative Assembly; DPR = People’s Representative Council – ie the
same nomenclatures as Indonesia’s two parliamentary houses)).923 The President was
to be assisted by a Vice President, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister.
This “United Republic of East Timor Constitution” made no reference to the
earlier URT-D Constitution of 4 May 1965 (footnote 750 and Annex K). In describing
a government structure and process, this “Balikh/East Timor” Constitution was far
more specific than the more general and ideological May 1965 Constitution. Further,
the Balikh/East Timor version contained no “pan-Malay” rhetoric ie no reference to a
“Malay country”, “Malay-Melanesian group of islands”, nor “Malayans … from
Hawaii to Malagasy.”

Responding to Events in Portuguese Timor

The URT-D was ignored by all political parties in Portuguese Timor924 and
had been unable to involve itself meaningfully in the swift-moving events in
Portuguese Timor in 1975. In late May, the UDT withdrew from the Fretilin-UDT
coalition, and Fretilin did not attend the Portuguese-sponsored “decolonisation” talks
held in Macau in late June. On 11 July 1975, the Portuguese Government
promulgated Law 7/75 for the “self-determination” of Portuguese Timor. This
provided for a transitional government to prepare for the election of a Popular
Assembly on 17 October 1976 – and the termination of Portuguese sovereignty on 22
October 1978.925
On 11 August 1975, the UDT – as the MAC (Movimento Anti-Comunista),
mounted a “coup”, seizing control of Dili – and this was followed a few days later by

922
Undang Undang Dasar –Uni Republik Timor Timur, Jakarta, 22 July 1975. The preamble section
was printed on the letterhead of the Central Presidium of the Uni Republic Timor. Balikh passed a copy
to the author in December 2004. The status of this document is however unclear - ie the extent to which
it was formally promulgated and distributed is not known.
923
The Constitution is confusing in several parts. The “DPR” is described as a component of the MPR.
However, the DPR is not treated in a separate paragraph – but paragraph 10 covers a “Dewan Liuray”
(Council of Traditional Leaders).
924
José Ramos-Horta’s statements in Jakarta in mid-1974 have been noted previously – see footnotes
896 and 897.
925
Lei Constitucional No. 7/75, de 17 Julho 1975 – is discussed at pp.174-177 in Pires, M.L.,
Descolonização …, 1991, op.cit – and included at pp.439-453. The Law is also included at pp.34-36 in
Krieger, H. & Rauschning, D., East Timor and the International Community – Basic Documents,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997.
187

a successful “counter-coup” by the Fretilin party (beginning on 15 August and


completed on 20 August). On 26/27 August, the Portuguese authorities in Dili
evacuated to Ataúro Island926 and, by the end of August, Fretilin controlled Dili.
Large numbers of UDT and some Apodeti cadre and supporters fled westward to the
border areas927 and subsequently crossed into Indonesian Timor – joining the large
number of refugees – and Apodeti “partisans”, already there.928
On 22 August 1975, Balikh – in his capacity as Head of the URT-D Struggle
Delegation, issued a URT-D circular “on behalf of all overseas Timorese in close
neighbouring countries” urging unity between the three major political parties in
Portuguese Timor.929 A week later on 30 August, Balikh issued a “Statement on the
Situation in Portuguese Timor” addressed to the President of Portugal – see Annex
T.930 This demanded that “Portugal resolve the turbulence in Portuguese Timor

926
Governor (Lieutenant Colonel) Mário Lemos Pires, his staff and a group of about 85 Portuguese
military personnel “withdrew to Atauro without any explanation … to prevent bloodshed between
Timorese and Portuguese. … the only group I could rely on” was two parachute units comprising less
than 70 men – Major General (Retd) Lemos Pires statement: CAVR - “Internal Political Conflict 1974-
1976 – CAVR National Public Hearing 15-18 December 2003” – Appendix 2 in CAVR Update
December 2003-January 2004, Dili, pp.20-23. “A tranferência para a ilha de Ataúro” is related in
Pires, M.L., Descolonização …, 1991, op.cit., pp.245-269. At 0330hrs on 27 August 1975, the freighter
MacDili departed the UDT-controlled Dili port and towed “a flotilla” of vessels to Ataúro before
continuing to Darwin with several hundred refugees – see Marine Operations – Canberra, Marsar
75/0874, 27 August 1975 and Department of Foreign Affairs – Canberra, Cable O.Ch259550, 27
August 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 8). Enroute to Ataúro, the MacDili met briefly with the
incoming ABRI Operasi Prihatin vessels (see footnote 543).
927
As noted earlier, Fretilin and UDT reportedly fought a week-long battle at “Rai Cortu” - 20km west
of Dili, and evacuated dependants by sea from Maubara – described at pp.34-35 in Subroto, H., Saksi
Mata …, 1996, op.cit. Fretilin forces seized both Baucau (4 September) and Liquiça (7 September) by
“negotiation” - with the surrender of numbers of UDT troops. According to Jolliffe, “full scale fighting
erupted throughout the territory, leaving 1500-2000 people dead in five weeks.” – Jolliffe, J., Balibo,
2009, op.cit., pp.76-77.
928
See the Merdeka cartoons earlier at pp.177-178. Registered refugees in “West Timor” numbered
31,397 as at 17 September 1975 - according to a Foreign Broadcast Information Service (Bangkok)
bulletin of 18 September 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2). See also Keesing’s Contemporary
Archives p.27534 reporting that “40,000 refugees fled to West Timor” and were located in “14 camps”.
929
Pimpinan Ketiga Partai Politik Di Timor Dilly (To the Leaders of the Three Political Parties in
Timor Dilly), No. 0127/PP-URTD/VIII/15, Jakarta, 22 August 1975. The signature block of the
circular was overprinted with the stamp of the “Perwakilan Timor – Jakarta” (Timor Delegation –
Jakarta).
930
Pernyataan situasi di Timport (Statement on the Situation in Portuguese Timor), No. 0128/PP-
URTD/VIII/75, Jakarta, 30 August 1975 – see Annex T, including an English translation. The
Statement was certified/signed by Moh Saleh Akbar Balikh – and included the signatures of Emanuel
Mau Bere, Simon Serang Prya, and G. Tom Pelo. Information copies were addressed to the Governor
of Portuguese Timor, the Portuguese Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, and the All
Malay Race Union in Jakarta – covered by Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 1283, 4 September
1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 1; A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 13). Interestingly, “G. Tom Pelo” may
have been “Gerson Tom Pello” – one of the “Permesta 14” Indonesians given asylum in Portuguese
Timor in 1958; and one of the four later imprisoned in Lisbon and Angola following the failed 1959
Viqueque Rebellion – see footnotes 209, 211, 221, 227, 228, 230, 308, 323, 328, 336, 338, 346, 350,
360, 363, 364, 370, 452, 472 and 507. Gerson Pello was in Jakarta in 1974 – see Rohi, P.A., Timor-
Portugis dari Masa-kemasa, Kompas, Jakarta, 4 October 1974, p.V. However, P. A. Rohi, a Jakarta-
based journalist and godson of Gerson Pello, advised the author that it was unlikely that Gerson had
been involved with the URT-D as: “Gerson never referred to himself in writing as ‘G. Tom Pelo’ and
did not use his middle name ‘Tom’ ” (although P.A. Rohi had inserted “Tom” in a 1995 press interview
– see footnote 211) - email from P.A. Rohi, 10 December 2006. Peter Apolonius Rohi (“Kore Rohi”),
journalist, was born on the island of Sabu (southwest of Kupang) on 14 November 1942 and served in
the Indonesian Marine Corps (Korps Komando Marinir - KKO) in the period 1964-1970.
188

caused by the three political parties that the Portuguese Government had created.”
The Statement declared that “no other country could resolve the upheaval – but if
Portugal itself could not put an end to the situation, then it would be best if full
independence were granted to the people of Timor Dilly”. In concluding, the
Statement advised that “the freedom fighters of the Union of the Republic of Timor-
Dilly were ready - and awaiting their Homeland’s independence from the Portuguese
Government”. A few weeks later in late October, Balikh addressed an open letter to
the President of Portugal and the media that was highly critical of the “three
Portuguese-created parties” and “certain people” intentionally causing turbulence in
Portuguese Timor and “making victims of the Timorese people.”931 This letter
explained the URT-D’s “priority” credentials as a movement promoting Portuguese
Timor’s independence - and complained of Portugal’s failure to recognize the URT-D
- ie just the “three Portugal-created parties.” This, the URT-D claimed, “meant that
the Portuguese Government desired a period of protracted warfare in Portuguese
Timor.” The letter noted that since 1960 the URT-D had established contact with a
range of organizations - ie “the Malay Races Union, Asia-Africa Organisation, the
People’s Alliance, the Asia-Africa Journalists’ Association, the Islamic World
Organisation, the International Islamic Struggle Fund Council; and countries
including: New Zealand, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of
Singapore, Australia, the Republic of Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of Algeria,
Saudi Arabia, the People’s Republic of Yemen, the Kingdom of Jordan, and many
more.” However, the letter noted that although the URT-D was “well-known
worldwide” and “many countries had promised assistance” - such assistance “had not
eventuated.”

Timor Students Association of Central Java and Jogyakarta

In mid-September 1975, the “Timor Students Association of Central Java and


D.I. Jogyakarta” (D.I. = Daerah Istimewa – ie Special Region) sent a “Protest Note”
to the “Portuguese Ambassador” in Jakarta. The Note - that declared the Republic of
Indonesia 1945 Constitution as a “basic consideration”, “refused fully the policy of
Mr. Sr. Almeida Santo [sic], about the Government in Portuguese Timor that will be
given to the Fretellin [sic] himself” - and declared that “we support and approve fully
all ways of acting of the Indonesian Government in restoring the peace and order in
Portuguese Timor.”932 The Note was signed by “seven students from the border of
Timor, representing one thousand” of the Association’s students following a meeting
in Semarang (Central Java) on 1 September 1975. However, unlike Codes Timde, the
Association did not claim to have family members or supporters in Portuguese Timor.
However, from the names of the Note’s signatories – see opposite page, it can be
inferred that the Association’s members were from Eastern Indonesia (including Nusa
Tenggara Timor, the Moluccas and Papua).

931
Untitled – to President of Portugal, ..53/PP-URTD/X, Jakarta, 27 October 1975. The letter’s typed
subscription comprised: MSA Balihk [sic] as Head of the URT-D Struggle Delegation – and Simon
Soerang Prya and Emneul [sic] Mau bere. Additional copies were addressed to: Adam Malik,
Indonesian Foreign Minister; the Governor of Portuguese Timor; the Portuguese Legation in Jakarta;
“30 Traditional Leaders in Portuguese Timor”; the World; and File.
932
A copy of the Protest Note, in English, with a covering letter signed by the Association’s President
(Gaspar Bas) and General Secretary (Yulius Bria) was received at the Australian Embassy – Jakarta on
14 September 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 14).
189

1. Gaspar Bas 2. Yulius Bria Sr.

3. Michael Kabosu 4. Domi Yos Atok

5. Amos Corputty Mo. 6. Cypri Taolin 7. Herman Fouk


190

THE INDONESIAN INVASION AND OCCUPATION

From Infiltration and Raids - to Amphibious/Airborne Attack

As related earlier, Indonesia’s destabilization operation against Portuguese


Timor, Operasi Komodo, had established it headquarters in Atambua (West Timor) in
August 1974 and began training Apodeti recruits there in late 1974 (see footnotes
873-879).933
Beginning in late 1974, Lisbon had begun returning Portuguese troops to “the
Metropole” – and the ranks of the regular troops were rapidly filled with Timorese
recruits.934 “During the first quarter of 1975, this paltry force was pared down further.
All three of the companies comprised of Europeans – the artillerymen and military
police – were withdrawn to Portugal with their equipment. Two of the hunter
companies ((caçadores – ie light infantry)) – at Dili and Ossú – were disbanded,
leaving one apiece at Baucau, Lospalos, Maubisse, and the Oecusse enclave; and the
two cavalry squadrons were consolidated into one “agrupamento de cavalaria” at
Bobonaro.935 The Portuguese military strength and effectiveness in Portuguese Timor
declined markedly over several months, and José Ramos-Horta later remarked that the
“troop reduction took place at a time when the country was undergoing a delicate and
unpredictable phase of decolonization. Next door, Indonesia saw with relief the
diminishing Portuguese military presence in East Timor.”936
Meanwhile, Indonesian preparations accelerated. In February 1975, an
assessment by the Australian Joint Intelligence Organisation related:
“In November last, President Suharto gave to political and intelligence action
groups the main carriage of Indonesian policy for the absorption of Portuguese
Timor. But the option of direct military intervention by the Armed Forces
appeared to be retained. The political and intelligence action groups have
undertaken operations vigorously on a number of fronts. … New radio
stations in Indonesian Timor beamed at Portuguese Timor were established.
Intelligence agents have gone to Dili and have given material aid and
encouragement to the pro-Indonesian political party. Some infiltrations have
occurred in the border regions for familiarisation, contact, bribery etc. … Our
Embassy in Jakarta reports that the Indonesians are getting increasingly into a

933
According to Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, op.cit., 2005, p.39 - Captain Yunus Yosfiah’s “Tim
Susi/Nanggala 2” arrived in Kupang on 19 April 1975 and were also tasked with infiltration into
Portuguese Timor and the establishment of guerrilla bases. For detail, see Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003,
op.cit, pp.206-208; Conboy, K., Elite: The Special Forces of Indonesia 1950-2008, Equinox Publishing
(Asia), Jakarta, 2008. For activity by Indonesia’s State Intelligence Coordination Agency (Bakin) in
Operations Komodo and Flamboyan - see also Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., pp.89-95; and Bakin’s
almost exclusion from operations in East Timor in the 1980s and 1990s in favour of ABRI/TNI’s
intelligence agency BAIS/BIA (Strategic Intelligence Agency/Armed Forces Intelligence Agency) –
p.155, p.199. José Ramos-Horta has related that, in April 1975, he was informed by an Indonesian
journalist that in December 1974 “100 Indonesian commandos were sent to West Timor as part of the
first phase of a campaign to destabilize East Timor.” - Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, 1987, op.cit., p.65.
934
In a mid-December 1974 address, Governor Lieutenant Colonel Mário Lemos Pires announced a
“restructuring” and the “redeployment of metropolitan Army personnel” from Portuguese Timor. The
ill-discipline and ineffectiveness of the Portuguese forces was related earlier at page 175.
935
Conboy, K., Kopassus, op.cit., 2003, pp.209-210. In early April 1975, acknowledging internal
security difficulties, Portugal dispatched a paratroop detachment – augmented in July and eventually
about 70-strong, to Portuguese Timor ie Destacamento de Caçadores Pára-quedistas Nº 1 (armed with
Armalite AR-15 rifles).
936
Ramos-Horta, J., Funu, 1987, op.cit., p.48.
191

frame of mind for direct intervention. … Plans and preparations for military
operations have now been detected. They include planning to deploy Mustang
ground-attack aircraft to Kupang, the assembly at Surabaya of small, fast
surface craft, and training activities of air drops of troops and marine corps
landings.”937

In February 1975 - as noted earlier, a planning meeting at the Indonesian


Defence Department Headquarters in Jakarta examined the requirements for a
conventional military seizure of Portuguese Timor – and determined that there were
significant shortfalls in ABRI’s operational readiness.938
In March 1975, Australian officials in Kuala Lumpur were informed by
Malaysian Foreign Affairs officers that “500 paratroopers from Murtopo’s
organisation had been positioned in Portuguese Timor [sic] even before Santos’ visit
to the territory, with the task of spreading pro-Indonesia propaganda, harrassing
Fretilin, and supporting Apodeti.” The Malaysian officers contended that these
Indonesian military personnel “were not undertaking any other than their present
psychological warfare operations which involved the 500 paratroopers already
mentioned.”939
Soon after, in April 1975, the Komodo training operations conducted at
Atambua were taken over by a group of Kopassandha officers led by Colonel Dading
Kalbuadi – this accelerated phase was called Operasi Flamboyan/Poinciana.940
A high-level Australian intelligence assessment later summarised as follows:
“In early 1975, Indonesia introduced several hundred Special Forces troops
into the border areas of Timor for intelligence collection and cross-border
familiarization. Training courses began in Java for politico/intelligence cadres
who would identify and support pro-Indonesian elements within East Timor.
Included among the options was military intervention for which contingency
planning was developed. After August 1975, Fretilin gained military
ascendancy and took control of the main towns. Remnants of other parties and
upwards of 40,000 people took refuge in Indonesian Timor. Indonesia set out
to indoctrinate and train the refugees and win over the political elements to
pro-Indonesian commitments. Attempts, not successful, were made to

937
Director - Joint Intelligence Organisation, “Current Indonesian Attitudes on Intervention in
Portuguese Timor”, Canberra, 11 February 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 4).
938
The shortfalls (ie in Bahasa: “kebutuhan”) are detailed in Subroto, H., Operasi Udara … 2005,
op.cit., p.33 – see also earlier footnote 886.
939
Australian High Commission – Kuala Lumpur, Memo 302/24, 3 April 1975 (NAA: A1838,
3038/7/1 Part 1). The Malaysian officer quoted may have intended to state that the 500 Indonesian
paratroopers had been positioned in Indonesian Timor ie not Portuguese Timor , or against Portuguese
Timor -which would accord with earlier reports. As noted earlier, Major General Ali Moertopo was
Head of Bakin’s Division III and Head of Special Operations (Opsus). Dr António de Almeida Santos -
the Portuguese Minister for Inter-Territorial Coordination, visited Australia, Portuguese Timor and
Indonesia in October 1974 – and later visited Ataúro in the period 28 August-22 September 1975.
940
Flamboyan, initiated by DEPHANKAM’s Brigadier General Benny Moerdani, was initially an
operation to gather combat intelligence to support any future military requirements against Portuguese
Timor. As such, it ran in parallel with the Opsus Komodo operation whose focus was influencing
political developments in Portuguese Timor and strategic intelligence gathering. For a detail on
Operasi Flamboyan see Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit., pp.36-41 and Conboy, K.,
Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., pp.199-235 - and also the subsequent Operasi Seroja at pp.237-253.
192

infiltrate armed groups of refugees back into Portuguese Timor to kindle


resistance to Fretilin.”941

In mid-1975, the Indonesian Regional Military Command (Kodam-XVI/


Udayana – Denpasar, Bali) established a new military district headquarters (Koramil)
at Atapupu – a port in Indonesian Timor about 12 kilometres west of the Portuguese
Timor border and about 25 kilometres north of Atambua, “to prepare facilities in the
border area to support subsequent operations”.942 The Koramil commander, Second
Lieutenant Kiki Syahnakri, was allocated 13 Kopassandha personnel for cross-border
information-gathering missions.
At about mid-year, intelligence operations increased and a “handful” of
Kopassandha personnel entered Portuguese Timor disguised as traders to collect
information.943
With the withdrawal to the border area of UDT forces in late August 1975 –
and soon after into Indonesian Timor, UDT declared its support for integration with
Indonesia, and its forces came under Indonesian command ie together with Apodeti
elements.944 In late August, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta received an “assurance
from Sudharmono and Moerdani if Indonesia does decide to ‘move’ then Australia
would be informed in advance. Moerdani said at least two hours’ notice.”945
At the end of August 1975, “volunteer” Kopassandha troops – with Apodeti
porters and guides, conducted covert operations into East Timor from Indonesian
West Timor (ie Operasi Flamboyan/Poinciana) - including minor harassment attacks
against Atsabe, Atabae and the outskirts of Fatu Besi (see the 1970s-era map on front
cover – Atabae946, a major Fretilin base near Fatularan, was 45km northeast of
Batugadé; Fatu Besi is northeast of Atabae and southeast of Liquiça).947

941
Jockel, G.A., Chairman, Assessment of the Timorese Situation, National Intelligence Committee
(NIC), Canberra, 27 January 1976, p.2 – submitted as a paper to the Australian Cabinet on 6 February
1976 (NAA: A12934, FAD2).
942
Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit., p.31.
943
These included Lieutenant Untung Suroso and Lieutenant Stevanus Gatot Purwanto – see Conboy,
K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., p.207 (Suroso); and “Kami Saat Itu Serba Salah”, Tempo Magazine,
No.15/X, Jakarta, 8-14 December 2009 (Stevanus Gatot Purwanto as “Aseng”). See footnote 873 for
earlier intelligence-collecting visits to Dili by Colonel Sugianto and other ABRI officers.
944
The UDT’s “Lopes da Cruz faction” reportedly passed a written commitment to Indonesia on 1
September – Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA1615, 3 September 1975 (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 13). “As we are heading the Anti-Communist Movement of 11 August , we are sure
that we chose the right way when we gave up our goal of independence and decided to aim for
integration into Indonesia.”- Telegram from the President of the UDT to the President of Portugal,
Batugadé, 20 September 1975 (and forwarded to the United Nations).
945
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA1401, 24 August 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/13/2/1 Part
1). The Australian Ambassador informed his British and United States counterparts - British Embassy -
Jakarta, Telegram 313, 25 August 1975. In August 1975, Brigadier L.B. Moerdani (1932-2004) was the
senior intelligence officer at the Defence and Security Headquarters; General Sudharmono (1927-2006)
was the State Secretary. See also footnotes 950 and 955 for Bakin/CSIS advice to the Australian
Embassy on ABRI operations.
946
In 1975, there was no major road along the north coast from Batugadé eastward to Maubara – that
road was constructed by Indonesia in the 1980s. Rather, in 1975, the main road from Batugadé ran
inland towards Maliana and Bobonaro – with a road about halfway to Maliana leading northward to
Atabae. Atabae was relocated to the coastal road in the 1980s.
947
Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit. pp. 212-216 describes the operations in detail. By September
1975, the Kopassandha force (Combat Detachment 2/Group 1) in the border area numbered about 250
– for detail see Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit., pp.38-39. For the organisation and
activities of ABRI “volunteers” and partisans – see also: Pinch, D. Magistrate (Coroner), Inquest into
193

Fretilin’s armed forces – ie “Falintil” (Forças Armadas de Libertação


Nacional de Timor Leste – founded on 20 August 1975), reportedly comprised a “hard
professional core of some 2,500 regular troops”; 7,000 second-line reservists; 10,000
with previous military training, and villagers who had received rudimentary
training.948 While their regular troops were equipped with modern NATO G-3 semi-
automatic rifles, Falintil’s former second-line reservists had antiquated rifles.949
In early September 1975, the Australian Ambassador in Jakarta reported that
Indonesian military activities in Portuguese Timor were still Opsus-directed “covert”
operations - and that President Soeharto “had steadfastly adhered to his decision not
to use force despite pressure from many of his senior advisors”, refused “to agree to
Indonesian armed intervention in Portuguese Timor”, and was “refusing to be drawn
into intervening militarily in Portuguese Timor and risking international approbrium
[sic]”.950 A senior Australian Embassy official was also told by the Embassy’s
Indonesian interlocutors that “there would be no outright military intervention.
Indonesia was now looking to the UDT to bring about integration. On 1 September,
they had received from the UDT President, Lopes da Cruz, a statement supporting
integration with Indonesia and asking for Indonesian assistance. This statement would
not be published now, but would be kept until an appropriate occasion arose. Such an
occasion would be a declaration of independence by FRETILIN.”951
Further Indonesian covert operations were followed on 18 September with
small raids attempted against Suai, Tilomar, Bobonaro and Maliana.952 At about this
time, an Indonesian soldier, Corporal Weli, from a regular ABRI infantry battalion -

the Death of Brian Ray Peters, Sydney, 16 November 2007; and Ball, D. and McDonald. H., Death in
Balibo – Lies in Canberra, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 2000, pp.50-64.
948
Dunn J., 2003, op.cit., p.251. For Segunda Linha reservists, see also footnotes 880 and 881.
949
In an interview in Darwin, Portuguese Major F. Dentinho (formerly the military materiel/ordnance
officer in Dili) assessed Falintil/UDT weaponry as: “Falintil G-3 rifles: 3,700 (UDT had seized 1,000),
Mauser rifles: 15,000 (UDT 8,000), MG 250: (few), 81mm mortars : 20 ( 6-7), 60mm mortars: 40
(unknown), bazookas: 20 (0), 75mm Atk Gun: 6 (0)” - HQ Darwin Cable O.JA2461, 3 September 1975
(NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1 Part 9). The six "75mm Atk Guns" were either the German-made
Rheinmetal-Borsig 75mm P.40 howitzers, or the Italian Obice 75mm L18 Mod 34 - a mountain
howitzer. The "bazookas" were the US 3.5" RL. In Lisbon, Portuguese Major Francisco Mota assessed
that the weaponry left behind by the Portuguese forces comprised: “15,000 G-3 rifles, 81mm and 60
mm mortars - 12 to 15 each, small number of bazookas, some older artillery - but no Timorese capable
of using these (however lots of artillery ammunition with which to create explosives)” – Australian
Embassy Lisbon, Cable LB281, 4 September 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/1, Part 9).
950
Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA1615, 3 September 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1
Part 13, pp.281-288). The Ambassador also noted that: “We now have from Lim Bian Kie (Murtopo’s
Private Secretary) and Tjan (CSIS) a detailed account of Indonesia’s planning in this respect” – ie of
“a continuation and extension of Indonesia’s covert activities” ie reporting 2 September discussions
with Lim and Tjan (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 13, pp. 324-326 – see below). Subsequently, an
Australian Embassy official remarked in a manuscript note to a 10 September 1975 cable from
Canberra that “Indonesian having confided her most secret plans and aims to Australia would
justifiably feel double-crossed by us.” – ie relative to “regional endorsement” (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 13, pp.55-61.
951
Australian Embassy – Djakarta (A.R. Taylor), Record of Conversation (Harry Tjan & Lim Bian
Kie) 2 September 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 13, pp. 324-326).
952
In early September 1975, Harry Tjan Silalahi (of CSIS) noted to an Australian Embassy official in
Jakarta that “the OPSUS ((Special Operations)) plan was being implemented, some of the refugees
would be replaced with armed ‘volunteers’ who will provide backbone for the UDT and other anti-
Fretilin groups”: Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable CH263843, 6 September 1975 (NAA: A10463,
801/13/11/1 Part 13). These Flamboyan operations are described in Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …,
2005, op.cit., pp.36-41– including Kopassandha Captain Sutiyoso’s recall from a planned landing on
the coast south of Viqueque in south-central Portuguese Timor (see also Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003,
op.cit., p.226).
194

Yonif 317, was captured by Fretilin forces in the Bobonaro area and subsequently
imprisoned in Dili.953
“Indonesia also sought to gain Portugal’s agreement for it to intervene either
unilaterally or under joint arrangements to restore order. Failure to get agreement, the
spread of Fretilin control and concern that Fretilin would proclaim victory as a
national independence movement led to direct Indonesian military involvement in
October. President Soeharto ordered that it be covert.”954 However, as the Flamboyan
Kopassandha troops and the partisans would be unable to dislodge Fretilin positions
in the border area and establish enclaves within Portuguese Timor, regular ABRI
troops who had deployed to Indonesian Timor in late September joined the
operation.955
In early October 1975, an ABRI Combined Task Force with armour, naval and
air support, launched Flamboyan Phase II - with anti-Fretilin East Timorese troops
under ABRI command, and advanced into Portuguese Timor through Batugadé (7
October), Balibo (16 October)956, Maliana (16 October), Atabae (28 November)957,

953
The capture of an Indonesian corporal at Bobonaro in September 1975 (assumed to be Weli) is
described by Alexandrino at pp.87-99 in Turner, M., Telling – East Timor: Personal Testimonies 1942-
1992, New South Wales University Press, Kensington, 1992. J.S. Dunn interviewed Corporal Weli in
the prison at Taibessi (Dili) - Dunn, J.S., The Timor Affair – From Civil War to Invasion by Indonesia,
Legislative Research Service, Parliament of Australia, 27 February 1976, p.11 (NAA: A1838,
3038/10/13/1 Annex 1). Corporal Weli (as “Sergeant Welly”) was summarily executed in Dili by a
Fretilin cadre, Raúl Isaac, on 8 December 1975 – author’s research at CAVR, Balide (Dili), 2 July
2007. Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., also notes two Kopassandha sergeants missing-in-action in
September – Said, p.216; and Suparman, p.220.
954
Jockel, G.A., Chairman, Assessment of the Timorese Situation, National Intelligence Committee
(NIC), Canberra, 27 January 1976, p.2.
955
The ABRI force - Komando Tugas Gabungan (Kogasgab - Combined Task Force) had been
approved on 31 August – for detail see Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit., pp.41-50;
Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., pp.223-226; and Pusat Sejarah dan Tradisi TNI, Sejarah TNI …
Jilid IV, 2000, op.cit., p.145. The Australian Embassy – Jakarta was informed by Harry Tjan Silalahi
that “up to 3800 Indonesian soldiers from Java would be put into Portuguese Timor gradually. Atsabe
would be their base. The king of Atsabe ((Guilherme Gonçalves)) would be the figure-head of the anti-
Fretilin side.” This was a “significant escalation of Indonesian involvement”: Australian Embassy –
Jakarta, Cable O.JA2161, 30 September 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 14). Detail of the
Indonesian advance – ie “the stepped up operation” to begin on 15 October, was subsequently advised
by Tjan to his Australian Embassy interlocutors: Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA2432, 15
October 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 15, p.415). This information described ABRI’s
planned advances to begin on 15 October from Batugadé to Balibo-Maliana-Atsabe (with a force of
3,800 to be deployed against Atsabe), then towards Dili through Ermera; and through Suai to Same-
Maubisse-Aileu and Dili; with an amphibious landing at Maubara, then moving through Liquiça to
Dili. Subsequently, in Tjan’s absence, Sujarti of CSIS advised the Australian Embassy on 5 December
that Dili would be attacked after President Ford left Jakarta – “as early as the night of 6 Dec 75, but
there were also logistic problems” – Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Cable O.JA3508, 5 December 1975
(NAA: A10463, 801/13//11/1 Part 17). In a submission to the Minister, a senior Australian Department
of Foreign Affairs official discussed whether it was in “Australia’s interests” for their Embassy in
Jakarta to continue to receive “very sensitive information” - “in particular from Mr Harry Tjan and
General Moerdani about Indonesian military plans for involvement”, lest “the Indonesians put the
((Australian)) Government in a position of conniving with them in their military intervention in the
territory.” – Submission – Canberra, 27 October 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1/2 Part 2 – Way, W.
(ed), 2000, pp.516-517. For charges of “the connivance ((conivência)) of the Australian government …
contributing decisively to the invasion of the former Portuguese colony” – see Fernandes, M.S., “A
Preponderância dos Factores Exógenos”, 2007, op.cit., pp.90-91, pp.162-164.
956
For detail, see Pinch, D. Magistrate (Coroner), Inquest into the Death of Brian Ray Peters, Sydney,
16 November 2007.
957
See Subroto, H., Saksi Mata …, 1996, op.cit.,; Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …, 2005, op.cit.; and
Kamah, M.S., Seroja: pengalaman …, 1997, op.cit. – Indonesian journalists who accompanied ABRI
195

and Cailaco (4 December). These Indonesian military operations were supported by


armed anti-Fretilin Timorese “partisans”958 – principally from Apodeti and UDT, with
nominal elements from two minor parties Trabalhista (ie Labour)959 and KOTA
(Klibur Oan Timor Aswain – Fighters for Timorese Unity).960
On 28 November 1975, Fretilin unilaterally declared independence in Dili – as
the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, with Francisco Xavier do Amaral as its first
President. On 29 November, the enclave of Oecusse was occupied by an Indonesian
military force without resistance, and its administration taken over by a Timorese

Flamboyan/Seroja forces and “partisan” elements. The ABRI attack on Atabae was preceded by four
weeks of consolidation - due to heavy Fretilin resistance, difficult terrain, wet season rains, logistic
shortfalls and the need for ABRI infantry reinforcements and additional combat support – see also
Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, op.cit., pp.231-233.
958
Indonesia attempted to maintain a pretence of no involvement by ABRI elements – for example:
“Maliana and Bobonaro Fall to Apodeti and MAC”, Berita Yudha (an Army daily newspaper), Jakarta,
17 October 1975, p.1. MAC (Movimento Anti-Comunista – see footnotes 542, 543) was a coalition of
UDT (footnote 858), KOTA (see footnote 960) and Trabalhista (see the following footnote). For a
description of ABRI volunteers – “Sukarelawan”, and “Os Partisans”, see Carrascalão, M.V., Timor –
Antes …, 2006, op.cit., pp.112-117.
959
The Trabalhista party was formed on 17 September 1974 by Paulo Freitas da Silva and Alpidio
Abrão Martins.
960
KOTA (Klibur Oan Timor Aswain – Fighters for Timorese Unity), was founded by José Martins (ie
José Celestino da Silva Martins ie “José Martins III”, born 29 September 1941) and Leão Pedro dos
Reis Amaral in November 1974. It emerged from the earlier Associação Popular Monarquica
Timorese (APMT) reportedly founded by Tomás Dias Ximenes on 8 November 1974 – see also “He
Wants to be King of Timor – Tomás Maria Ferreira Dias Ximenes”, Indonesia Times, 17 January 1975
(A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 5). Notes on the founding of APMT/KOTA can be found in Chrystello,
C.J., East Timor: The Secret File 1973-1975, eBooksBrasil, 2000, including its founding “premises”
with signatories at pp.119-120 and its later manifesto at pp.127-128. Chrystello suggests the visit to
Timor by the one-time claimant to the Portuguese throne, Dom Duarte Nuno de Bragança, may have
contributed to the formation of the APMT in late 1974. See also Soekanto, Integrasi … , 1976, pp.445-
447 (including the activities of Ximenes and Martins in Lisbon in April 1975); and the KOTA
manifesto at Australian Embassy – Lisbon, Memo 260, 6 June 1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/2/2). José
Martins declared that his father, “the former Liurai of Ermera” was “forced to abandon Timor because
of his non-acceptance of the colonial regime …” – UN Security Council, S/N 1865, 16 December
1975 (NAA: A1838, 3038/10/13/1 Annex 2; 3038/2/2 Part 2). José Celestino da Silva Martins, after
several decades of residence in Portugal, reportedly returned to reside in Portuguese Timor in the
period 1959-61 – returned to Portugal and claimed to have been “arrested by the PIDE in 1964 in
relation to a liberation movement for the independence of Timor” (UN Security Council, S/N 1865 –
see above). In a later statement in mid-1994, José Ma.rtins claimed that in 1962 he was a “political
prisoner of the Portuguese colonial power” (Statement by José Martins III, United Nations
Decolonization Committee, New York, 13 July 1994). He first came to Australian notice when he
called at the Australian Embassy in Lisbon on 11 November 1974 - Australian Embassy – Lisbon,
Record of Conversation, 11 November 1974 (NAA: A1838, 935/17/3 Part 3; 3038/10/13/1 Part 1;
3038/2/2 Part 2) when he proposed a “Fourth Solution” whereby Timor would become an Australian
“protectorate” or be granted “federated status” with Australia. The movements and activities of José
Martins are difficult to confirm. A very critical Indonesian analysis of José Martins can be found at
Soekanto, Integrasi … , 1976, op.cit., pp.444-452. This alleges that José Martins did not arrive in
Portuguese Timor until after 4 July 1975 – although the Indonesian Consul, E.M. Tomodok, relates
meeting José Martins in Dili on 31 May 1975 - Tomodok, E.M., Hari-Hari Akhir ..., op.cit., 1994,
p.226. Jolliffe has written: “Martins returned to Timor in June 1975 to form the monarchist party Kota”
– Jolliffe, J., Balibo, 2009, op.cit., p.148. José Martins returned to Timor in mid-1975 – and has been
incorrectly reported as a member of the Apodeti party in 1974, ie being confused with João Martins
Corbafo (see footnotes 526 and 961). Martins was a signatory to the “Balibo Declaration” – but, in
early 1976, publicly denounced the Indonesian occupation at a United Nations meeting in New York.
In the early 1990s, estranged from the Timorese resistance movement, José Martins founded the Timor
Liberation Organisation. He died on 21 August 1996 during a visit to Jakarta to participate in
Indonesian National Day activities.
196

“fifth column”.961 On 30 November, the four opposing political parties – UDT,


Apodeti, Trabalhista and KOTA, signed the “Balibo Declaration”962 announcing East
Timor’s integration with Indonesia.
ABRI’s advance eastward into Portuguese Timor had been slowed by Fretilin
resistance and heavy wet season rains – and the flooded Loes River north of Atabae
was a major obstacle. The Fretilin declaration of 28 November now precipitated a
more immediate Indonesian military drive on Dili.
On Sunday 7 December 1975, ABRI conducted Operasi Seroja/Lotus with
Indonesian airborne and amphibious troops attacking and seizing Dili – followed by
the seizure of Baucau on 10/11 December.963 Fretilin’s armed forces – ie Falintil,
resisted the Indonesian attacks, but within days had withdrawn south into the
mountains of the interior.964 On 17 December, a Provisional Government of East
Timor (PGET) was established in Dili comprising elements from UDT, Apodeti,
Trabalhista and KOTA – and led by Apodeti’s Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo.

961
João Martins Corbafo (noted as an aspirante in the Police and Crime Archives in September 1973 –
BOdT, No.18, 11 March 1974, p.363) was a member of the Apodeti Presidium, and reportedly first
raised the Indonesian flag in Pante Makassar (Oecusse): ie “pengibar bendera Merah Putih pertama” –
“Pejuang Integrasi Sosialasikan Otonomi Timtim Kepada Masyarakat”, Antara, Dili, 19 November
1998. However, for detail on events – including the flag-raising on 7 December involving the
Administrator – Jaime dos Remedios de Oliviera, and José Valente (Tropaz Commander) see Subroto
H., Saksi Mata …, 1996, pp.173-180.
962
The “Balibo Declaration” was drafted and signed in Bali (Penida View Hotel) and Atambua – not in
Balibo - see Chega !, CAVR Final Report, Part 3, para 278 and Santoso, A., Jejak Jejak Darah –
Tragedi dan Pengkhianatan di Timor Timur, Stichting Inham, Amsterdam/Yogyakarta, 1996. Analyses
of the Declaration document and its background can be found in several articles by Akihisa Matsuno.
Opsus/Komodo Colonel Aloysius Sugianto (see footnotes 859 and 873) admitted to managing the
drafting and signing of the Declaration in Bali – Detak, No.38, Th 1, Jakarta, 13-19 April 1999. Signed
copies of the Declaration can be found on NAA: A10463, 80113/11/1 Part 16.
963
Operasi Seroja was initiated on 4 December 1975 - for detail see: Subroto, H., Operasi Udara …,
op.cit., 2005, pp.46- 52 and 107-167; Conboy, K., Kopassus, 2003, pp.236-253; Conboy, K., Elite: The
Special Forces …, 2008, pp.24-34. Madjiah, L.E., “Indonesia’s Military Involvement”, 1999, pp. 6-7,
9-12; and Adrian, B., “Sky Assault on Dili”, Angkasa, No 5, February 1999. See also Subroto, H.,
1996; and Ball, D. and McDonald. H., Death in Balibo …, 2000, op.cit., pp.172-177 for detail. The
leading elements of ABRI’s amphibious force departed from Tailaco – immediately south of the Loes
River, on 6 December – see Kamah, M.S., “Seroja”: pengalaman …, 1997, op.cit. (Kamah
accompanied the force). Jolliffe, J. has reported ABRI strength as - “the landing of about 30,000 troops
in Dili on 7 December” - Jolliffe, J., Balibo, Scribe, Carlton North, 2009, p.7.
964
The Fretilin leadership withdrew southwards to Aileu, Maubisse, and Same – Xanana Gusmão then
moved northeast to the Manatuto area – Gusmão, 2000, pp.39-41. According to Dunn, J., 1996, p.258
and Dunn J., 2003, p.251- Falintil’s strength comprised a “hard professional core of some 2,500 regular
troops”; 7,000 second-line reservists; 10,000 with previous military training, and villagers who had
received rudimentary training since October 1975 – “It was a people’s army”. For detail on the seizure
of Baucau (amphibious landing at Laga to the east and airborne attack at Baucau airfield) - and early
ABRI Seroja operations in the Baucau-Viqueque areas see Ahmadi, A (ed), Terbaik …, 1999, pp.345-
370. ABRI’s Operasi Seroja continued until November 1979. As noted earlier at footnote 926, the
Portuguese administration and forces – about 100 strong, had withdrawn to the island of Ataúro on
27/28 August. Two modern Portuguese corvettes were off Dili on 6-8 December supporting the
Portuguese administration on Ataúro – F487 NRP João Roby and F488 NRP Afonso Cerqueira (the
first corvette had arrived on 1 October; and the corvette NRP F489 Oliveira e Carmo had also earlier
been operating in Portuguese Timor waters). The two corvettes noted the approaching ABRI aircraft
and naval vessels before dawn on 7 December 1975 but did not engage the Indonesian forces - Pires,
M.L., Descolonização …, 1991, op.cit., p.345. Mário Viegas Carrascalão (UDT leader and later East
Timor Governor 1982-1992) has speculated that had the two Portuguese vessels moved into the
harbour at Dili, the Indonesian airborne and amphibious operation against Dili would have been
aborted - and “pages of Portuguese history would have been written in gold” and many thousands of
lives saved - Carrascalão, M.V., Timor – Antes …, 2006, op.cit., p.132.
197

The URT-D Seeks a Role – and Foreign Support

On 23 December 1975, M.S.A. Balikh called at the Australian Embassy in


Jakarta and passed a letter, in Bahasa, to the Embassy’s First Secretary - titled
“Standpoint of United Republic of Timor-Dilly.”965 The letter was addressed to the
UN Security Council – with copies for “the All Malay Nations Union in Jakarta, other
International Organisations, and all Interested States.” The signatories to the letter
were: Emanuel Mau Bere - the Minister of Defence; L. Albukhra B. - Foreign
Minister; Simon Serang Prya, - Prime Minister; and M. S. A. Balikh as Cabinet
Secretary, Minister of State/Head of the Struggle Delegation of the URT-D. The text
claimed that the URT-D had held “juridical and historic power” over East Timor since
“its proclamation of independence at its emergency headquarters in the Batugade area
on 9 April 1961” – while the “three political parties UDT, Apodeti and Fretilin have
only recently appeared … and run wild to the point of making the closest
neighbouring states become victims because of their actions.” The letter also claimed
that “the URT-D is now acting as the Government” and cited a written reply to the
URT-D from the United Nations - ie “SO 215/1 PORT” dated 15 March 1971.966
In discussions with the Australian Embassy official967, Balikh explained that
the “URT was in fact the progenitor of Fretilin” and “the URT was currently trying to
contact Horta with whom URT had not communicated since August.” He stated that
copies of the letter had also been delivered to the United States and USSR Embassies
in Jakarta. Balikh also reportedly made two requests for assistance while at the
Australian Embassy – which were “flatly rejected” by the Australian official ie: to
provide Balikh with a “gratis” airline ticket for a member of the URT-D so that their
representative “might go to Australia for propaganda activities”; and Balikh also
asked if “Australia would be able to assist the organisation’s ‘guerillas’.”
Following Balikh’s call, the Australian official sought further information on
the URT-D from the Indonesian national intelligence agency, Bakin. The response
from Bakin included information that:
• the URT-D was “founded in 1961 in Makassar by persons
predominantly of Timorese origin”, and that there had been some
subsequent “affiliation with PARTINDO (a leftist splinter group of the
old PNI).”968
• “During the West Irian ‘Campaign’ prior to the Act of Free Choice
((1969)), members of the URT were used by Indonesian intelligence to
gather information on the situation on the ground in West Irian, and as

965
Pendirian Uni Republik Timor (Dilly) (Standpoint of the Union of the Republic of Timor (Dilly)),
Batugade – through “Jl Kernolong Dalam IV/16, Kramat IV, Jakarta”, 19 December 1975.
966
This was the “non-commital” United Nations’ letter sent in response to the URT-D’s letter to the
United Nations dated 12 October 1970 – see footnote 800. This document “resurfaced” in claims by
M.S.A. Balikh in a Dili newspaper in November 2004 (Timor Post - footnote 982) and in a Dili
magazine in October 2007 (TIME Timor - footnote 986).
967
The discussion – together with comments and the response from Bakin, was reported to the
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra in Australian Embassy – Jakarta, Memo 004, 31
December 1975 (NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 18; A1838, 3038/2/2 Part 2) that included an
attached translation of the URT-D letter of 19 December 1975.
968
The same Bakin officer (Colonel) had also claimed in late 1965 that the URT-D had been formed in
Makassar in 1961 – while another Bakin officer (Colonel) attached to the Foreign Ministry had stated
to an Australian Embassy official in May 1974 that the URT-D had been formed in Jakarta in 1961
(NAA: A1838, 696/5 Part 2).
198

informants. Being Timorese, members of the URT could pass easily as


West Irianese.”969
• “In 1972, a small group of Malays within the URT split off from the
original organization. They denounced the Timorese leadership as
being too passive in the pursuit of its ideals of independence. It is this
Malay splinter group which is responsible for this letter. They operate
within a broader organization called the ‘Central Praesidium for the All
Malay Race Union’ … an extremist Islamic group.”
• “The URT was ineffectual and had no followers … there was a
possibility that the organization might be of some interest to the Soviet
Union if it wanted to counter-balance Chinese influence with Fretilin.
The Soviet Union might also regard the URT with some interest
because of its Malayan characteristics and the fact that the Soviet
Union was interested in getting a foothold in Malaysia – again to
counter the Chinese.”
• Copies of the URT-D letter of 19 December 1975 had not been
delivered to other embassies in Jakarta.

According to information gleaned from Indonesian intelligence agency


records, “in mid-December 1975, a senior URT-D official named Mau Bere ((ie
probably Emanuel Mau Bere)) along with the head of the All-Malay Races Union,
Mulwan Shah, mapped out an aggressive plan to meet foreign embassies and court
diplomatic support … During the final two days of December, representatives from
the URT-D made unannounced calls on the Netherlands, US and Soviet embassies.
During the multiple trips to the Soviet Embassy, they met with two known members
of the KGB. Significantly, Mulwan Shah gave the URT-D representative a ‘challenge
question and a parole’ to be used while identifying themselves to the members of the
Soviet embassy. (This seems to suggest that the All-Malay Races Union already had
some discrete contact with that embassy). As of the first half of January 1976, the
Soviet embassy had provided the URT-D with some funds for administrative
purposes. In return, the Soviets had made them promise not to seek assistance from
the Chinese.”970 Indonesian intelligence records also indicated that L.E. Duarte, who
had only joined the URT-D organization a few weeks earlier, was chosen to make
several of the above-mentioned visits to embassies in Jakarta.971

969
The National Front for the Liberation of West Irian (Front Nasional Pembebasan Irian Barat) had
been founded in Jakarta on 18 November 1957 (or, according to some sources, January/February
1958). However, Indonesia’s overt campaign against Netherlands New Guinea (ie West Irian/Irian
Barat) began in July 1960 (although the Trikora Command under Major General Soeharto was not
established until December 1961). The campaign concluded with the signing of an agreement on 15
August 1962. Australian Consulate – Dili, Memo 04/Cable I.30077, 16 December 1960 related that
men from Indonesian Timor, who had been forcibly recruited for the “liberation” of Netherlands New
Guinea, fled into Portuguese Timor - but were repatriated to Indonesia by the Portuguese authorities
(NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1). For information on Indonesian recruitment of Irianese and personnel
from Eastern Indonesia for the West Irian campaign – see also Conboy, K., Intel, 2004, op.cit., pp.31-
35.
970
Email from Mr Ken Conboy (Jakarta-based author and analyst), 26 September 2005.
971
Email from Mr Ken Conboy, 27 September 2005.
199

Arrest, Trial and Detention of URT-D Cadre

On 23 December 1975, the United Nations Security Council requested that the
Secretary General nominate a Special Representative for East Timor. Soon after, on
29 December, Vittorio Winspeare Guicciardi, a senior UN official (Director General,
UN Office – Geneva), was appointed with a mandate to make an “on-the-spot”
assessment of the situation in East Timor and to report to the Secretary General.
Enroute to East Timor, Winspeare Guicciardi visited Jakarta in the period 15-19
January 1976 to meet with Indonesian Government officials.972
According to Balikh, at about 2200hrs on 14 January 1976, ABRI officers
called at his home and ordered him to be present at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in
south-eastern Jakarta early the next morning to meet Winspeare Guicciardi. Emanuel
Mau Bere was also directed to attend. Balikh arrived at the airfield at 0400hrs on 15
January – equipped with a satchel and a small portable typewriter. When the plane
landed some hours later, Balikh was at the rear of the Indonesian reception party –
and briefly shook hands with Guicciardi, but “did not have time to tell Guicciardi of
my ((Balikh’s)) love of Timor”.973 Balikh also remarked that the other URT-D leader
present, Emanuel Mau Bere had “remained in the car” throughout this event.
Several days later, during Balikh’s absence at work, Mrs Fatima Balikh974
received an “official letter” addressed to “Saleh Balikh” requiring him to report to
security authorities in Jakarta for an “interview.” She informed Balikh on his return –
who then “hid around Jakarta” for several weeks avoiding arrest. He fled initially to
the home of Abu Bakar Lam Dua, a Muslim Timorese, in the naval residential area of
Tanjung Priok port. Subsequently however, he was apprehended in the Setia Budi
area in south-central Jakarta on 31 January 1976. Balikh related that he was arrested
by two “generals” – including “Sinamora”, a Protestant Batak from Sumatra. Balikh
was detained and interrogated at the Penjara Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian
Armed Forces Prison) in the Tanah Abang camp in central Jakarta.975 He was
charged for his involvement with the “Unie Republik Timor” and “other undertakings
suspected of disturbing security and public order.”976 At least 12 persons associated
with the URT-D were also detained – see the following account of court proceedings.
However, those arrested did not apparently include Alamsyah Hasibuan – who,
according to M.S.A. Balikh, “had already fled.”
According to Balikh, his interrogators offered that he could become a minister
in the new government in East Timor if he joined their cause – but Balikh states that
he rejected this offer. Balikh was required to complete a “formulir” (form) - in which
he declared his nationality as “Timorese.” However, this angered his interrogators

972
Winspeare Guicciardi visited East Timor in the period 20-22 January (Dili, Ataúro, Manatuto,
Baucau) – but was unable to visit Fretilin-controlled areas. He returned to Jakarta on 23 January 1976
before travelling to Darwin on 1 February. His initial report, dated 29 February 1976, was tabled at the
United Nations on 12 March 1976 – as an annex to United Nations Security Council, S/12011 (NAA:
A10463, 801/13/11/1 Part 21; A1838, 3038/9/1 Part 1; A1838, 3038/10/13/1 Annex 1). A second
report based on subsequent discussions in Europe was tabled on 22 June 1976.
973
As related to the author in Dili on 12 August 2006 – somewhat confusingly, Balikh implied that he
may have been invited to travel to Dili with the Guicciardi party, but declined.
974
Balikh’s wife, Fatima, was born in Alor (Baranusa village, Pulau Pantar - Alor). They married on 24
January 1972.
975
According to Balikh, “300” people associated with the URT-D were arrested in Jakarta at this time –
interview with the author in Dili on 12 December 2004.
976
As related in the preamble to his Provisional Prisoner Release document: Surat Pembebasan
Tahanan Sementara, No. SPTS. 10/SIN/IV/1976 dated 10 April 1976.
200

and, after some resistance, Balikh eventually signed a second statement that omitted
this apparently contentious element.
Balikh was subsequently put on trial in a “closed court” in Jakarta – together
with several other URT-D principals, including Mulwan Shah, Muhamad Tarief
Analesy [sic], Emanuel Mau Bere, Simon Serang Prya and Curasa Effendi “alias”
Mali Bere - on charges concerning the “Peristiwa U.R.T.” (“U.R.T. Affair”). The
court proceedings were apparently conducted under the provisions of the “Special
Executive Authority” of the “Command for the Restoration of Security and Public
Order of the Greater Jakarta and Surrounding Area.”977 Balikh related his disquiet
with the conduct of his URT-D colleague, Analessy – who, Balikh claimed, had
corruptly used URT-D funds for his (Analessy’s) private expenditure including for
overseas travel. Subsequently, following several months in prison, the 12 URT-D
detainees were provisionally released with “Bebas Wajib Lapor” (“Reporting
Status”)978 - in four phases, as follows:

“22 March 1976: Lajamudin Balikh, Emanuel Mau Bere, Mochamad Saleh
Mansur, R.W. Kaseger, Pagaran Raja Simbolon, Loudy Emanuel Duarte.

10 April 1976: Curasa Effendi alias Mali Bere ((see also footnote 674)),
Maskhuri, Simon Serang Prya, Mohamad Saleh Akbar Balikh.

30 April 1976: Muhamad Tasrief Analesy ((see footnotes 819, 918)).

11 May 1976: Mulwansjah [sic].”

Balikh was required to report on each Monday and Thursday to the Kodam Jaya
Intelligence Task Unit in Jakarta and not permitted to leave the Greater Jakarta area
without prior authorisation.
On 11 August 1976, the above-mentioned URT-D members were granted
“Bebas Penuh” (“Full Freedom”) by the Kopkamtib Special Authority - with the
qualification that “if any took action that violated public order and security or
undertook other negative acts, then further action would be taken against them” – the
Kopkamtib document (ie footnote 978) and an English translation are at Annex U.
An individual release certification for M.S.A. Balikh was annexed to the document
that showed Balikh’s age as 34 years; his employment as “former teacher at the XXIV
State Senior High School in Jakarta”; and resident at “Cipinang Lontar 0011/06,
Jakarta.”

The URT-D’s “Inactive” Decades

For the next twenty years, the URT-D appears to have been inactive.
Balikh however declared that he remained involved with East Timor issues, produced
documents - and that East Timorese students would call at this house in Jakarta.
Balikh commented that he did not vote in any Indonesian elections during this period.
He claims to have maintained regular contact with the East Timor independence
organisations and to have corresponded with José Ramos-Horta in Australia.

977
In Bahasa Indonesia: Pelaksana Khusus, Pemulihan Keamanan dan Ketertiban (Laksus,
Kopkamtib) – Daerah Jakarta Raya dan Sekitarnya.
978
Laksus Kopkamtib - Daerah Jakarta Raya dan Sekitarnya, Surat Keputusan … - Nomor Skep-
24/PK/VII/1976, Jakarta, 11 August 1976 – see Annex U, including an English translation by author.
201

Balikh also states that, in early 1999, he wrote to


Xanana Gusmão - then detained in Salemba (Jakarta)979,
but received no reply.

979
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão was captured by ABRI in Dili on 20 November 1992. Sentenced to life
imprisonment in May 1993 (later commuted to 20 years), he was imprisoned in Semarang (Central
Java) and Cipinang (Jakarta) – but was moved to a house in Salemba (Jakarta) in early February 1999.
Balikh stated that he held an official receipt for his correspondence to Xanana Gusmão, and implied
that he had enclosed earlier URT-D documents – presumably to prove his “independence struggle
credentials”, in his correspondence to Xanana Gusmão.
202

TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE – AND BEYOND

M.S.A. Balikh Returns to Timor – October 1999

According to Balikh, he returned to East Timor in October 1999 – a few


weeks after the UN-supervised popular consultation conducted on 30 August 1999.
He was accompanied by two of his sons: Bahudin Balikh and Syofiyan Balikh. On 13
December, Balikh visited the UNTAET980 Political Office in Dili and sought
“registration” as a returning citizen of East Timor. He was provided with an UNTAET
letter addressed “To whom it may concern” that included a passage: “Please also note
that Mr Balikh asserts that he has worked for East Timorese independence for many
years, and documents purported to support this claim have been submitted to the
UNTAET Political Office.”981
In the following months, Balikh unsuccessfully sought involvement in the
emerging East Timorese government and administration structures established under
UNTAET. According to Balikh, he also met with José Ramos-Horta at the “Turismo
Beach” in eastern Dili during this period - but further association was apparently
rebuffed by Ramos-Horta. Balikh also related that he travelled to Same (a district
town about 110 kilometres south of Dili) where he was welcomed enthusiastically by
the inhabitants as a “resistance figure.”
On returning to Timor-Leste in 1999, Balikh re-established contact with his
clan and extended family relatives in the Maubara area. He visited Maubara regularly
to participate in cultural and other activities.

The 2004 Timor Post “Proklamasi” Declaration – and the 1,000 Pataca Note

On 23 November 2004, Balikh was interviewed by the editor of the Timor


Post, a principal Dili daily newspaper - following which an article appeared in the
paper’s 25 November edition entitled: “1961, Proklamasaun Independensia URT –
Ramos Horta tama estrutura” (“1961, The Independence Proclamation by the URT –
Ramos Horta offered a position”).982 In the article, Balikh declared that he was “Mao
Klao” – the “autor” (author) of the URT-D independence proclamation at Batugadé
on 9 April 1961. He explained that the URT-D “received considerable support from
President Sukarno and Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik.” However, he noted
that “support from Indonesia to the URT was short-lived, because Soeharto and the
‘New Order’ did not agree with their ((URT-D’s)) proclamation.” The article
mentioned the URT-D’s offer to Ramos-Horta of a senior position in their
organization and Balikh’s later attempts to correspond with Ramos-Horta in Australia.
Balikh also related in the article that he, colleagues and 300 URT-D supporters had
been imprisoned in Jakarta by the Indonesian authorities as a result of the URT-D’s
support for Timorese independence. The article in the Timor Post included
photographs of a Bahasa “Proklamasi” version of the URT-D’s 1961 Independence

980
UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor) replaced UNAMET (United
Nations Mission in East Timor) on 25 October 1999.
981
Hermes, S.G., UNTAET Political Officer, official letter, Dili, 14 December 1999.
982
Ximenes, J. M., “1961, Proklamasaun Independensia URT: Ramos Horta tama estrutura”, Timor
Post, Dili, 25 November 2004, p.1 and p.15. The interview with Balikh was conducted in Bahasa
Indonesia – with Balikh apologising to Sr. Ximenes for his lack of fluency in Tetum. In the article,
Balikh also referred to the UN reply of 15 March 1971 to a URT-D petition – see footnote 800.
203

Declaration – see below; and the Uni Republik Timor 1,000 Pataca bank note - see
below and at previous page 157.

The Bahasa Indonesia-language “Proklamasi” document983 is on URT-headed


paper:
PRESIDIUM PUSAT
UNI REPUBLIC TIMOR
DITEMPAT DARURAT – BATUGADE
TIMOR (DILLY)

Kemerdekaan Timor Timur Diproklamasikan.

Kami bangsa Timor Timur dengan ini menyatakan kemerdekaan Timor Timur dan
sekitarnya dalam tempo yang sesingkat singkatnya.

983
The text of the Proklamasi document in the Timor Post is not fully legible. Interestingly, the style is
very similar – and some phrases are identical, to the Indonesian Declaration of Independence of 17
August 1945 (I am indebted to Nug Katjasungkana for this insight – email to author, 17 December
2008). The 1945 Indonesian Declaration reads: “Kami bangsa Indonesia dengan ini menjatakan
Kemerdekaan Indonesia. Hal hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l. diselenggarakan
dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatja.” The Indonesian Declaration (draft)
can be found at NAA: A1838, 3006/4/3 Part 1, p.160. The URT-D “Timor Post” Proklamasi document
was also later provided to the TIME Timor magazine and appeared in its November 2007 issue – see
footnote 987 and Annex X. This Proklamasi document above is far shorter (ie with only about 70
words) than the earlier Bahasa version of the URT-D Pernyataan Kemerdekaan (Declaration of
Independence) disseminated in April 1965 (215 words) – see Annex O. The style and content of the
two versions are also markedly different.
204

Hal-hal yang mengenai pemindahan dan lain lain akan diatur di kemudian hari.
Tanda tangan kemerdekaan Timor Timur dan sekitarnya.

Tempat Darurat
Atase Militer Batu Gade, 9 April 1961
((manuscript signature)) Panglima Tertinggi
Emanuel Mau Bere ((manuscript signature))
Mao Klao M.S.A. Balikh

In English:
CENTRAL PRESIDIUM
UNITED REPUBLIC of TIMOR
AT THE EMERGENCY LOCATION – BATUGADE
TIMOR (DILLY)

The Independence of East Timor is Proclaimed


We, the nation of East Timor, hereby declare the independence of East Timor and its
environs in the shortest possible time. Matters concerning the transfer ((of power)) etc
will be arranged at a later date.
Signed for an independent East Timor and its environs.

Emergency Location
Military Attache Batu Gade, 9 April 1961
((manuscript signature)) Supreme Commander
Emanuel Mau Bere ((manuscript signature))
Mao Klao M.S.A. Balikh

Although purportedly signed by Balikh on 19 April 1961, the Bahasa Indonesia


orthography of the text is post-August 1972 (see footnote 700).

Proklamasi – a 2006 Version

On 21 August 2006, M.S.A. Balikh provided the author with a purported copy
of the Timor Post Proklamasi document – see Annex V: “Memproklamasikan:
Kemerdekaan Timor Timur” (Proclaiming the Independence of East Timor”).
However, this “2006 Proklamasi”(at Annex V with English translation) – while
similar in length, it is marginally different in “layout” and text from the copy of the
Proklamasi shown in the Timor Post newspaper of 25 November 2004 and the TIME
Timor edition of November 2007.

M.S.A. Balich’s “Declaration 1” – and TIME Timor, October 2007

On 19 April 2007, Balikh as “Mau Klao MSA Balich”984 issued a “Surat


Pernyataan I ” (Letter of Declaration I) – see Annex W, that declared:

984
These “new” spellings of Balikh as “Balich” and Mao Klao as “Mau Klao” both appear twice in the
document – ie did not appear to be typing errors. The aim, purpose and distribution of the Surat
Pernyataan I is not clear - ie before its appearance six months later in TIME Timor (footnote 986).
205

“1. The Proclamation of the Union of the Republic of Timor (East


Timor/Timor Leste) on 9 April 1961 at the emergency location of
Batugade, East Timor (Timor-Leste).

2. The participants in the Proclamation comprised:


a. A citizen of East Timor/Timor Leste who had travelled and
lived successively in Alor – Flores – Atambua/Kupang –
Greater Jakarta and surrounding area ((ie M.S.A. Balikh)); and
b. Student colleagues from Jakarta and the surrounding area who
were volunteers ((male and female)) from the Mahajaya
Regiment985 of Greater Jakarta and Surrounding Area who
participated for the success of the Independence Proclamation
of their colleague’s country which has always been longed for.”

In October 2007, the Dili magazine “TIME Timor” included an article titled
“Proklamasi Timor Leste Sebenarnya Sudah Terjadi Pada Tahun 1961 ?” (“Did
Timor-Leste’s Proclamation Occur in 1961 ?”), 986 The article related that “Polemics
on who was Timor-Leste’s Proklamator have been a quite crucial discussion since
this country gained its independence from the grip of Indonesia” – and cited the
contending arguments between Fretilin and Xavier dos Reis Amaral in the period
2005-2007. TIME Timor continued: “Last week, we discovered someone ((M.S.A.
Balikh)) who declares himself as the First Proklamator on 9 April 1961. To prove this
statement, we have attached one of many important documents that can become
historic evidence - that we have received directly from the First Proklamator of the
Uni Republik Timor”. Included at the end of the article were photocopies of Balikh’s
April 2007 “Letter of Declaration I” mentioned above, and the United Nations’ letter
to “A. Mao Klao” of 15 March 1971 (see footnotes 800, 966 and 982). The TIME
Timor article indicated that the magazine also planned to publish further documents
from M.S.A. Balikh.

TIME Timor, November 2007 – Interview with “Mau-Klao”

Following sceptical responses by readers to the article on M.S.A. Balikh and


the URT-D in the October edition, TIME Timor journalists interviewed Balikh on 27
October and included the interview in the November edition of the magazine987 as
“Mau-Klao Siap Mempertanggungjawabkan Kebenaran Proklamasi Uni Republik
Timor (URT)” (“Mau-Klao is Ready to Accept Responsibility for the Truth about the
Proclamation by Union of the Republic of Timor (URT)”). Several of Balikh’s
responses to the interviewer’s questions were notable, as follows:

985
In December 2004, Balikh had related to the author his membership of the Resimen Mahasiswa
Mahajaya of the University of Indonesia – and his wearing of the Regiment’s uniform in West Timor
in 1961 (see page 156). Note however, that the Resimen Mahajaya did not exist in 1961 – the Regiment
was founded following the issue of Directive 062 by the Supreme Military Commander of Greater
Jakarta and Surrounding Area on 15 May 1962, with a unit being established at the University of
Indonesia soon after.
986
“Proklamasi Timor Leste Sebenarnya Sudah Terjadi Pada Tahun 1961 ?” (“Did Timor-Leste’s
Proclamation Occur in 1961 ?”), TIME Timor, No.10, Tahun II, October 2007, Dili, p.49.
987
“Mau-Klao Siap Mempertanggungjawabkan Kebenaran Proklamasi Uni Republik Timor (URT)”
(“Mau-Klao is Ready to Accept Responsibility for the Truth about the Proclamation by Union of the
Republic of Timor (URT)”), TIME Timor, No.11, Tahun II, November 2007, Dili, pp.19-24.
206

- “The sponsors of the funds for the 9 April 1961 proclamation at Batugade
were my student friends in Jakarta.”
- “Portuguese colonialists attacked the proclamation site immediately –
many of the members of the proclamation team and local people were
captured and killed by the Portuguese colonialists.”
- “Many people were involved in the proclamation – but I have forgotten
their names except for Manuel [sic] Maubere of Ermera, the uncle of the
priest, Domingos Maubere.”988
- “I made the speech – as well as the speech at the the United Nations Youth
Anniversary in Jakarta.”989
- “Soekarno … was very supportive of our struggle. I visited the Presidential
Palace with all our documents to request support including a site in Jakarta
for an office. Finally, we got Jalan Karnolong Dalam IV, No.16, Jakarta
Pusat.”
- “The permission certificate ((for the office)) was held by friends in Jakarta.
… I only have the original proclamation document. … All other
documents were burnt in 1975 when Indonesia controlled East Timor.
Important documents concerning URT processes were burnt by the
Indonesian forces.”990
- “I fled to Indonesia on 9 April 1961. … We had no weapons. We were
unable to proclaim in Dili as the Portuguese security was too tight.”
- “Those present ((on 9 April 1961)) came from Flores, Alor, Kupang and
Jakarta. … I don’t have personal notes or a list of those who attended.
However, I still remember some - such as Imanuel Maubere [sic] and
Simon Seran Brian [sic].”
- “Imanuel [sic] Maubere’s role was as a signatory to the proclamation – as
a military person and as vice-president and manager of the proclamation
procedures.”
- “Many people were involved in the management of the URT proclamation
at that time. Many have died – having been captured by the Portuguese or
by the Indonesian military in the 1975 period. … I can’t remember all their
names as I don’t have complete notes – apart from Imanuel Maubere and
Simon Seran Brian.”
- “The idea of the proclamation arose when I was still sitting on a school
bench, and became closer to fruition when I left Timor for Indonesian in
1942. … The idea didn’t just arise when I was in Indonesia – but the
thought came before I left Timor for Indonesia. I already had a plan at that
time.”991
- “I personally disseminated the proclamation ((1961)) letters to the whole
world asking for support as well as patronage for the proclamation – so
that Geneva also understood and eventually I personally received a letter

988
Father Domingos Maubere Soares – a politically prominent Catholic priest (former head of the
Secretariat of the Conselho Nacional Resistência da Timorense - CNRT) born in Ermera, has denied
any knowledge of Emanuel Maubere (email to the author, 10 July 2009).
989
There was no “United Nations Youth Anniversary” in the 1950s or 1960s. Balikh may be referring
to the “All-Indonesia Youth Pledge (Sumpah Pemuda) Day” – events are held annually on 28 October.
The 1959 national “Pledge Day” rally was held in Surabaya.
990
This is confusing as Balikh had never previously claimed that any URT-D documents were held in
Portuguese Timor – ie that documents could have been burnt by ABRI troops in 1975 in Timor.
991
Balikh earlier declared to the author that he was taken from the Maubara area of Portuguese Timor
to the island of Alor when he was aged about “two or three” – see page 155.
207

of support from the United Nations ((in 1971)). … I burnt that letter at the
time of the events of 1975.”992
- “I first met Ramos-Horta in 1975, not 1961. … I received a letter from the
mayor of Dili, Antonio, to participate in the inauguration of the three
parties ((UDT, Fretilin, Apodeti)). I went to meet with the mayor at the
Hotel Minang Gondal in central Jakarta. Ramos-Horta called at the office
in Jalan Karnolong Dalam, No.16 (Office of the Timor Freedom Struggle)
to meet with me. His aim was to establish my name as the manager of the
URT.”993
- “In 1975 [sic], President Soekarno invited all the Indonesian people to the
Presidential Palace to hear his speech. … I was there from East Timor,
Adimara was there from Irian ((Papua)), and Antasari was there from
Kalimantan Utara ((North Borneo)). We were all given the opportunity to
make a speech to the assembled crowd. … President Soekarno spread the
news about our declaration. So it wasn’t just the people of Jakarta that
heard about the URT declaration, but that broadcast was heard by the
whole world. It must be understood that the whole world supported us. We
met with the first President of Indonesia in the Palace to request support,
and President Soekarno welcomed our struggle positively.”994
- “We sought out Timorese in Indonesia and in other countries. … Later, we
sent several people to East Timor – both men and women, by boat. … We
undertook a number of activities, but those that we sent to East Timor were
captured and killed by the Portuguese colonialists.”
- “At that time, the Portuguese did not have a prison system. They captured
Timorese, killed them – and then threw them away.”
- “I struggled for Timor-Leste’s independence while in Indonesia, as it was
very difficult to enter Timor-Leste. … While struggling for Timor-Leste’s
freedom, I also was arrested and placed in prison.”
- “Many of my friends infiltrated Timor-Leste but were captured then killed.
Not just one or two were mobilized, but thousands. However, the vicious
Portugese military captured and killed some of them.”
- In reply to questions on the proclamation in November 1975 by Fretilin’s
Francisco Xavier do Amaral, Balikh stated that such was not difficult for
Amaral as Timor was no longer under colonial oppression at that time.
“When I returned to Timor-Leste in 1999, I heard that Francisco Xavier do
Amaral was Timor-Leste’s Proclaimer, and I was shocked.”
- “There has not been attention to the struggle that I led. … However, it
doesn’t matter if the Government pays no attention. … The Government
did acknowledge me when Ramos-Horta met with me and later introduced
me to Xanana, saying: ‘This is the real Mau Klao’. There has been no
other acknowledgement since 1999. Moreover, since I have been living

992
In December 2004, Balikh provided the author with a copy of a United Nations letter dated 1971 ie
Communications Unit – Division of Human Rights (United Nations), SO 215/1 PORT., New York, 15
March 1971 – see footnote 800. This letter was also included in the TIME Timor article of October
2008 – see footnote 986.
993
Balikh’s earlier account of Ramos-Horta calling at the URT-D office in Jakarta is at pages 179-180.
The meeting at the hotel in Menteng - ie with “Antonio” (ie most likely Augusto César da Costa
Mousinho), is also related earlier at page 185 and footnote 921.
994
Balikh’s earlier account of this rally is at pages 155-156.
208

here, there are people who chase me and say that I am a newcomer
((“orang pendatang” – ie “newcomer” or “interloper” in Bahasa))”.

The TIME Timor article also included a photocopy of a “Proklamasi”


document provided by Balikh (see Annex X) and a photocopy of the 1,000 Pataca
URT-D bank note – ie both as provided for the article in the Timor Post of 25
November 2004 (footnotes 982, 983).

M.S.A. Balikh – and the URT-D Flag

M.S.A. Balikh’s recounting of the URT-D flag-raising at Batugadé has been


related earlier at page 156. In interviews in December 2004 and August 2006,
although asked, Balikh was unable to describe the URT-D flag. Further, no depiction
of a URT-D flag has been noted in any URT-D documents or other URT-D material –
eg banknotes. However, when queried during an interview in Dili on 27 October
2008, Balikh described the URT-D flag to the author and illustrated his explanation
by making a sketch of the flag – as shown below.995

URT-D Flag – as sketched by M.S.A. Balikh, Dili, 27 October 2008

Balikh described the “Timorese Independence” flag – using Bahasa Indonesia terms,
as having ten alternate white and red stripes, with a green “square” in the high hoist
corner (ie in the canton quadrant). He explained that the green square was to represent
“subur” (Bahasa - “fertility”). The alternate stripes, beginning at the top with white,
represented:

White: Adat (Custom)


Red: Berani (Courage)
White: Tradisional (Tradition)
Red: Bertanggungjawab (Responsibility)
White: Bahasa (Language)

995
For the “Flags of the World” late-1990s depiction of the purported URT-D flag, see footnote 783.
The “October 2008” version of the flag, shown above (as sketched by M.S.A. Balikh), replaced the
late-1990s version on the “Flags of the World” website following email correspondence between the
author and António Martins of “Flags of the World” in mid-January 2009.
209

Red: Tanah air (Fatherland)


White: Sopan santun (Respect)
Red: Bangsa (Nation, people)
White: Turun menurun (Heredity)
Red: Negara (State)

During the discussion with the author, Balikh occasionally referred to a small
manuscript note in his shirt pocket to confirm the meanings of the stripes.

A “new” URT-D - and the “Greater Timor” (Negara Timor Raya) ?

In December 2000, an email (in Bahasa) appeared on a Timorese Internet


“blog” webpage from “Mau Brani”, claiming to be the “spokesperson” for the “Uni
Republik Timor.”996 Addressed to “all Timorese brothers”, the email was titled - “A
New Year’s Message from the Union of the Republic of Timor”. It noted that while
East Timor was now free, the western half of the island remained in the “grip” of
Indonesia. The email claimed that the Uni Republik Timor continued the struggle of
the “1959 Rebellion whose aim had been to unite and free the island of Timor,
including Rote, Jako and Ataúro” – and criticised strongly “the small number of
Timorese who have attempted to sully the 1959 Struggle with a pretext that the 1959
Struggle sought integration with Indonesia.” Rather, the email continued, “the
principal aim of the 1959 Rebellion was to liberate the island of Timor from both
Portuguese and Indonesian colonialism. On 9 April 1961, President A. Mauklao [sic]
had proclaimed the Uni Republik Timor – but a Portuguese and Indonesian conspiracy
had weakened the movement.” The email concluded with a call for unification of the
Island as the Uni Republik Timor - with its capital in Dili.
In early 1997, the concept of a “Greater Timor” (Negara Timor Raya) had
emerged from a seminar at the Political and Social Science Faculty of the Widya
Mandira Catholic University in Kupang, West Timor.997 This concept promoted a
political entity comprising the Eastern Lesser Sundas (Nusa Tenggara Timur -
NTT)998, the islands of the Western South East Moluccas (Maluku Tenggara Barat –
MTB)999, and East Timor. Highlighting the common ethnicity, culture, religion1000
and socio-economic problems of the Negara Timor Raya area, the movement sought
to accelerate the development of the region. The movement had “a significant
following among West Timor elites who are attracted to its agenda of secession from

996
Mau Brani (Juru Bicara – ie Spokesperson), Pesan Natal dari Uni Republik Timor (Christmas
Message from the Union of the Republic of Timor), 26 December 2000 – in Bahasa Indonesia.
997
A Dewan Rakyat Timor (DRT -Timor People’s Council) was subsequently formed in Kupang in
mid-August 2001 – to campaign against the “enforcement” of Javanese culture. The declaration of the
Negara Timor Raya emerged from the DRT in late 2001. For background see“Gerakan Separatis
Negara Timor Raya Muncul di NTT” (“Negara Timor Raya Separatist Movement Arising in NTT”),
Republika, Kupang, 21 December 2001.
998
NTT includes the major islands of Sumba, Flores, Alor, Lomblen, Sawu, Rote, Semau, and
Indonesian (“West”) Timor.
999
MTB comprises 133 islands - the largest being Seram, Buru, Ambon, Wetar, Kesar, Yamdena, Kai,
and Aru.
1000
NTT is the most Christian of the Indonesian provinces – with the population 53.9 percent Catholic
and 33.8 percent Protestant ie 87.7 percent Christian (2004). Kupang is predominantly Protestant
(86.56 percent) – with 7.13 percent Catholic and 2.24 percent Moslem/Islam (Kupang Dalam Angka,
Badan Pusat Statistik, Kupang, 2003).
210

Indonesia and unification with East Timor.” 1001 Understandably, the Indonesian
authorities strongly opposed this separatist movement and briefly detained the
movement’s seven “proclaimers” on 8 January 2002.1002
In an email on an Internet blogsite in January 20021003, the Negara Timor
Raya honoured the heroes of struggles in both Indonesian Timor and East Timor that
pre-dated the Negara Timor Raya movement – including: Dom Boaventura (1910-
1912); “Governor Maukalo who proclaimed the Republik Timor in 1960 in the Maen
Tu Maen Lobo region1004 (between Maubisse-Turiskai-Same)”; the late Governor El
Tari in Timor Loro Monu (Indonesian Timor); and Fretilin’s Nicolau Lobato and
Vicente Sahe. The email extolled the Dewan Rakyat Timor (see footnote 997)/Negara
Timor Raya as a continuation of these earlier struggles. On 13 January 2002, the
author of that email forwarded the Uni Republik Timor’s “Mau Brani email” of 26
December 2000 to Negara Timor Raya addressees requesting that they “tolong sebar
luaskan tulisan ini !” (Bahasa Indonesia = “help by broadly disseminating this
email”).1005 To date however, no further “Uni Republik Timor” email messages have
been noted.
In mid-2006, TNI concern about the Negara Timor Raya movement again
surfaced briefly with the Kupang-based military district commander (Danrem 161),
Colonel Noch Bola, “regarding it as serious” and warning that “they would be digging
their own graves”.1006 The report also related that “Negara Timor Raya activists, some
from East Timor, often met in settlements with former East Timorese in the Betun
area of South Belu to encourage participation in the movement.”

Republica Timor Tasi Mane (RTTM) – Short-lived Separatism

On 9 April 2005, in Wetatarare (Welaluhu/Fatuberliu Sub-District, Manufahi),


a small gathering declared the establishment of the Republica Timor Tasi Mane
(RTTM – Timor Republic of the Southern Sea). Founded by the leader of the Parentil
political party - Flaviano Pereira Lopes, the RTTM’s declaration cited the
Government for inadequate support of people in the remote areas of the south-western
coast.1007 Four of the RTTM office-holders were soon arrested and, following a series

1001
Nixon, R., “Indonesian West Timor: The Political-Economy of Emerging Ethno-Nationalism”
Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol 34, Iss 2, Manila, 2004, p.180.
1002
“Polda NTT Periksa Penggagas Negara Timor Raya” (“NTT Police Investigate Negara Timor
Raya Founders”), Tempo Interaktif, Kupang, 8 January 2002. The movement appears to have been
quiescent in the period 2003-2007 – but see “Cegah Wacana Pembentukan Negara Timor Raya”
(“Block the Idea of the Formation of a Negara Timor Raya”), Antara News, Kupang, 19 February
2005.
1003
Bere Nahak, (Permahati Gerakan Timor Raya – Observer, Timor Raya Movement), email, 11
January 2002.
1004
Author’s note - this is the area of the August 1942 “Maubisse” uprising against the Portuguese –
see footnote 58.
1005
Bere Nahak, Pesan Natal dari Uni Republik Timor, email, 13 January 2002.
1006
“TNI Antisipasi Berdirinya Negara Timor Raya” (“TNI Anticipates the Establishment of Negara
Timor Raya”), Tempo Interaktif, Jakarta, 16 May 2006.
1007
The Parentil party (Partido Republika Nacional Timor Leste) was a youth-based party founded in
February 2001 that stood unsuccessfully for the 2001 Constituent Assembly election – winning only
0.54 percent of the vote. The brief RTTM declaration ceremony included a RTTM flag, a red-and-
white flag, and a Parentil flag – “Kasus RTTM resmi disidangkan, KH tolak pasal makar” (“RTTM
case officially convened, Judge rejects attack against government”), Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili, 16
May 2005, p.3.
211

of court appearances, on 5 September 2005 were sentenced to periods of


imprisonment of from two to four years.1008
Although a small incident, it was of interest that the founding date of the
RTTM – ie 9 April, was the same as for the Uni Republik Timor-Dilly (ie 9 April
1961). However, to date, no connections have been noted between the two
movements.

1008
The four sentenced were: Flaviano Pereira Lopes/Lopez, Agapito Pereira, Viriato da Costa
Fernandes and Saturnino Pereira – “Pendiri negara RTTM masuk bui” (“RTTM founders jailed”),
Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili, 9 September 2005.
212

SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION

This concluding section summarises aspects of the independence movements


and activities related earlier – and highlights a number of the inconsistencies,
anomalies, fabrications and apparent hyperbole in several of the records and reports.
Some comments are also offered.

Lospalos Uprising and Massacre

By current standards, human rights abuses by the Portuguese authorities in


Portuguese Timor continued to be common-place in the period following World War
II. However, as yet, there appears to be no substantive evidence of an “uprising” – or
any subsequent “massacre”, in the Lospalos area (Lautém Circunscrição) in the
period 1945-1949 as alleged in a number of Indonesian publications cited at the
beginning of the this work.

The 1959 Viqueque Rebellion

The major outbreak of indigenous unrest in the post-World War II period in


Portuguese Timor - up to the events of 1974-1975, was the failed 1959 “Viqueque
Rebellion”. Its origins appear to have been in the discontent felt by many Timorese
with the Portuguese administration – lack of development, exploitation, social
injustice and human rights abuses. Timorese lower-grade civil servants in Dili –
encouraged by the Indonesian Consul, sought to force change through a rebellion. The
independence of the neighbouring Republic of Indonesia was an important inspiration
and - for educated Timorese, the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung in 1955
also provided encouragement. In Viqueque, several of the Indonesian Permesta exiles
actively proselytized against the Portuguese administration.
An Indonesian source (a school text-book - see Annex B) has cited the
activities of Inácio André Francisco “Sitko/Ciko” Lopes as catalysing independence
aspirations among Timorese youth in Dili in the mid-1950s (see footnotes 166-172).
Although imprisoned by the Portuguese from 1948 until at least the mid-1960s,
Francisco Lopes may have been on some form of “conditional release” in Dili in the
mid-1950s to some time in 1958 – during which, according to Salem Sagran,
Francisco Lopes had regular contact with the Indonesian Consulate.1009 However,
Lopes has not been noted in any Portuguese writings on the 1959 Rebellion – eg not
mentioned by Governor Barata or Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes, or by exiled
rebels in Africa. This suggests that Lopes was probably in prison during the 1958-
1959 period - and may not have been directly or actively involved in the 1959
Rebellion itself.
The Rebellion did not succeed for a range of reasons – principally because the
plan was revealed to the Portuguese authorities who pre-empted any uprising in Dili.
The arrests in Dili soon precipitated premature and ill-conceived attacks by the group
of inadequately-prepared rebels in Viqueque. However, it is also highly unlikely that
any later armed rebellion – ie in December 1959, would have been successful against
the forces that the Portuguese administration would have been able to mobilise against
the rebels. Moreover, with Consul Nazwar Jacub scheduled to complete his tour of
1009
Both Salem Musallam Sagran (footnote 170) and Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa (footnote
172) have mentioned Francisco Lopes in Dili in the mid-late 1950s and in contact with the Indonesian
Consulate.
213

duty in early June 1959, it is very doubtful that his replacement - Tengku Usman
Hussin, would have encouraged an uprising at the end of that year. This however does
not preclude the possibility that the rebel leaders in Dili might have acted in
December – as apparently planned. Regardless, their prospects for success at that later
date would also have been poor.
In the countryside, the uprising in the Viqueque Circunscrição was launched
precipitously, and was poorly planned and ineffectively executed - without any real
hope of success. The areas of the Rebellion in the Circunscrições of Baucau and
Viqueque were relatively remote and were not ethno-linguistically homogenous. The
attacks by the rebels against the Portuguese administration offices in Viqueque Town
and in the Postos of Uatolari, Uato-Carabau and Baguia appear to have had only
limited popular support – ie from a core group in the Viqueque Town vicinity and in a
few villages to the northeast, principally villagers of the Naueti ethno-linguistic
group. Importantly, there were traditional antipathies and enmities between tribes,
clans and groups in the Viqueque Circunscrição – including residual enmities from
the tribal fighting in the areas during World War II.1010 Further, in 1959, some tribes
remained loyal to the Portuguese - eg in the Ossú and Lacluta areas, and were
successfully employed by the Portuguese authorities against the Rebellion.
Consequently, the rebels were unable to mobilise either the necessary large forces or
widespread popular support throughout the two Circunscrições. In 1975, Fretilin’s
Vice President, Nicolau Lobato remarked that the “Uatelari” [sic] revolt was
“ineffective in 1959 due … divisiveness prevailing among our ancestors.”1011
Regardless, the Rebellion had little real chance of success against the forces that the
Portuguese would have been able to assemble to quell the unrest.
No Portuguese are known to have been killed in the Rebellion. Timorese
casualties suffered in the Viqueque and Baucau Circunscrições are difficult to
determine accurately (see estimates and claims at pages 80-81) - but up to several
hundreds of deaths is probably a reasonably accurate estimate. Portuguese authorities
appear to have never published information on casualties. The total number of
Timorese imprisoned in Timor following the uprising is unknown, and also merits
further research. While ex-Governor Barata’s 1998 book is an important contribution
and provides considerable useful information on the 1959 Rebellion, his avoidance of
recounting the detail of the killings and summary executions at the Bebui River –
overseen by the Viqueque Administrator Artur Marques Ramos and Captain
Barreiros, is a significant and disappointing omission (see footnotes 378-380).
Several other aspects of the 1959 uprising are also worthy of further
examination – including the objectives of the Rebellion, and the aims of the
1010
During World War II, both the Australian and the Japanese military forces mobilised tribesmen as
paramilitaries in Portuguese Timor - see Chamberlain, E.P., The Struggle …, op.cit., 2008, pp.30-36;
and Chamberlain, E.P., Timorese in Special Operations during World War II, op.cit., 2010. For detail
on Australian forces in Portuguese