386 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 18 December 1975

O.JA3783 CONFIDENTIAL PRIORITY

Portuguese Timor

Tjan told us today, 18 December, that APODETI/UDT issued a proclamation on 17 December announcing the formation of a temporary adrninist[er]ing body (the Indonesian word is pemerintah which also means government) to restore law and order, maintain security and normalise the daily life of the people. The proclamation explained the reason for establishing the temporary administration as APODETI/UDT's control of the main towns, particularly Dili and Baucau, the destructive results of FRETILIN's terrorism and the vacuum created by the absence of Portuguese authority in the territory. Tjan said the proclamation would become public this evening.

  1. He also said that on 18 December the temporary administration would send a letter to President Soeharto requesting Indonesia's help in restoring order in the Territory and for assistance in the economic, social and other areas.
  2. In answer to questions Tjan said that it was not the intention to seek recognition of the temporary administration as a Government. There would be an act of self-determination (which he referred to as a referendum, although he said the details of how it would be conducted and so on had not been fully worked out yet).

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, xviii]