484 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 17 July 1976


East Timor

Tjan (CSIS) and the State Secretariat have just told us that President Soeharto signed the bill integrating East Timor with Indonesia during a ceremony held this morning 17th July. In the Indonesian view the formal and legal integration of East Timor is thus complete.

  1. During the ceremony President Suharto presented to the East Timor delegation a duplicate of the Indonesian flag first raised by Soekamo and Hatta on 17 August 1945. This flag will be raised in Dili on 17 August in commemoration of Indonesian independence.
  2. In Indonesian and PGET eyes East Timor is now a province of Indonesia under acting Governor Araujo until he is formally installed which is expected shortly.
  3. Continuing support for FRETILIN will in future be regarded as an attempt to undermine Indonesian unity (Roque Rodrigues['] activities in Australia which are being given wide coverage on Radio Australia will be seen in this light).
  4. Indonesia will want humanitarian aid for East Timor to be channelled through the Indonesian Red Cross in future rather than through the ICRC.
  5. There are of course other implications for Australia/Indonesian relations and we shall report further on this on Monday.

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