In an interesting article Purun Cheong of the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, compares the history of East Timor and Goa in order to discover the reasons behind the discrepancies of today. Whereas East Timor, after nearly 30 years of Indonesian military occupation, finally gained independence in 2002 and is now one of the poorest countries in the world, Goa is since 1961 part of India and one of the richest states in India. Currently the relative decrease in the native Goan population has also led to the worries of a loss of Goan identity, writes Cheong.
Goa and East Timor:
A comparison of the history of two former Portuguese colonies
This paper was written for the purpose of comparing and contrasting the respective histories of East Timor and Goa in order to discover the reasons behind the discrepancies of today. As both regions were subjects of the Portuguese colonial empire, it was assumed that the histories of both regions would have similarities and differences that would shed light on the factors leading to the current situations in the respective regions.
After the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, East Timor declared independence and was subsequently invaded and occupied by Indonesia in 1975. After nearly 30 years of Indonesian military occupation, East Timor finally gained independence in 2002, becoming the world’s youngest democracy. Currently, it is the poorest country in the world and politically unstable, the 2006 riots caused by disgruntled factions of the army reflecting these problems. In the case of Goa, it was invaded and occupied by India in 1961 and has been a part of India ever since. Goa gained statehood in 1987 and has quickly grown to become one of the richest states in India. This paper will examine the respective backgrounds of both regions to find out the factors that lead to such a stark difference today.
II. Pre-colonial History
A. East Timor
Prior to the 14th century, there is little knowledge on the subject of East Timor. What information we do have is based on the archaeological findings of scholars such as Antonio de Almeida and Antonio Alberto Banha de Andrade.
East Timor’s history began with the three waves of migration which have shaped theAustralasia region in general. The first wave described by anthropologists consisted of people of the Vedo-Australoid type, who arrived from the north and west around 40,000 to 20,000 BC. The second wave, largely made up of Melanesians, came around 3000 BC. At this time it is assumed that the original Vedo-Australoid people withdrew to the mountainous interior of the island. The last wave, proto-Malays, arrived from south China and northern Indochina around 2500 BC.
Due to the significance of sandalwood as a trade good in the history of Timor, Timor Island is mentioned by 14th century Chinese and Javanese documents. Also traded were slaves, honey, and wax. Early European explorers reported a number of small chief doms ruled by liurai (kings or chiefs) on the island. The most significant of such kingdoms was the Wehale kingdom, to which many clans of the Tetum, Bunaq, and Kemak ethnic groups were aligned.
Goa is mentioned in early Indian texts such as the epic Mahabharata, in which Goa is known as Goparashtra, ‘a nation of cowherds or of nomadic tribes’. This suggests the idea that Goa was a prosperous state in ancient times, as cattle was the criterion for wealth. The name Goman also appears in the said text and sacred Hindu texts such as Harivansa and Skanda.Goa is also referred to as Gomanchala in Skanda, and Govapuri in Indian classics such as Suta Sanhita.
Goa’s long history stretches back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of the Mauryan Empire. Around 0 AD the Satavahanas of Kolhapur took control of the region and ruled it for around six centuries, eventually giving way to the Chalukyans of Badami, who controlled Goa from 580 to 750. During next few centuries the claim for Goa was passed on successively to the Silharas, the Kadambas, and the Chalukyans of Kalyani.
Goa was conquered by the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi in 1312, but Harihara I of the Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1370. The Vijayanagars ruled Goa for nearly a century, when its harbors became an important landing place for imported Arabian horses to strengthen the Vijayanagar cavalry. However, Goa was reconquered by the Bahmani sultanate of Gulbargain 1469. When this dynasty split, the area was passed on to Adil Shahis of Bijapur.
III. Colonial History
A. East Timor
Portuguese traders arrived on Timor around 1515 in order to take advantage of the island’s lucrative sandalwood trade. Timorese leaders on the coast would exchange sandalwood brought in from the mountainous interior for Portuguese goods such as guns, cloth, and iron tools.
In 1556, Dominican friars established the village of Lifau Notlong after, the Topasses, or Black Portuguese-the offspring of Portuguese sailors, soldiers, and traders and women from neighboring islands-settled on Timor. The Portuguese consolidated their control on the island through the Topasses, who spread Portuguese culture and influence, eventually controlling the local trade networks. With the help of newly Christianized chieftains of the coastal regions, the Portuguese conquered the Wehale kingdom in 1642, allowing a continuous and increased flow of Topasses. The territory was officially proclaimed a Portuguese colony in 1702 under the name Portuguese Timor.
However, the Dutch soon became interested in the sandalwood trade of Timor, and had already taken over the Kupang (West Timor) region in 1656. The next two centuries can be seen as a power struggle between the indigenous Timorese and the Topasses, and the colonial powers. The official division of the island into West (Dutch) Timor and East (Portuguese) Timor, a discussion that had been held since the Treaty of Lisbon in 1559, was not finalized until 1913.
Portugal’s control over the colony was minimal, with the exception of a few missions stationed near the coast. Portuguese Timor served as a place to exile political prisoners and missionaries unfit to serve in Goa. In the 1860s, Alfred R. Wallace, a British explorer, described the situation like this:
The Portuguese government in Timor is a most miserable one. Nobody seems to care the least about the improvement of the country. And at this time, after three hundred years of occupation, there has not been a mile of road made beyond the town [Dili], and there is not a solitary European residence in the interior. (Wallace 307)
The Portuguese influence was felt greatest in mission efforts. The Catholic Church served to provide education to the native population, building a total of 20 schools by 1900. Through education, the Church would cultivate a town-based elite of native Timorese to serve in the colonial administration. Unlike the Portuguese officials, the Church would often support the natives’ resistance at direct rule, even going so far as to support some attempted uprisings in 1719, 1895, and 1910.
However, East Timor was largely neglected, despite some half-hearted efforts by the Portuguese government to improve its colonies during the age of high imperialism. This quote from a historian shows the situation in East Timor before World War II erupted.
On the eve of World War II the capital, Dili, had no electricity and no town water supply; there were no paved roads, no telephone services (other than to the houses and offices of senior officials), and not even a wharf for cargo handling. (Dunn 18)
2) Japanese Occupation 1942~1945
Despite the fact that Portugal was neutral, the Western Allies decided to use Timor as a line of defense against Japanese advances into the south. By mid-December 1941, around 400 Dutch Indies and Australian troops landed on the island. Two months later, Japanese forces invaded Timor, quickly driving out the Dutch forces and taking over control of West Timor. Resistance in the east was stronger, as a few hundred Australian troops helped by Timorese managed to keep 20,000 Japanese troops at bay until 1943, when the Japanese finally took over the entire island.
The Japanese occupation was a dark time for the Timorese as the Japanese military imposed forced labor and numerous brutalities, as can be seen in this quote by Iwamura Shouachi, who commanded a platoon in East Timor for over two years.
It is painful to speak today of the sacrifices and burdens we forced upon the East Timorese…We ordered chiefs to mobilize people en masse for road construction…to work without receiving food or compensation. Because of food shortage people died of starvation every day. Food for Japanese soldiers and horses to transport ammunition were confiscated from the people, and some of the troops under my command raped Timorese women. (qtd. in Turner 52)
Had the Allied forces left the island alone, it is quite possible that the Japanese would ignore the island, which was neutral territory, or at least send a token force. Instead, over 60,000 Timorese lost their lives during World War II as a result of the brutal Japanese occupation and the subsequent Allied bombings that aimed to dislodge it. The war badly damaged Dili and partially destroyed many villages, yet no war reparations were made to Portuguese by the Japanese or the Allies.
3) Post World War II
After the war, East Timor was quickly returned to Portuguese control. However, the colony was still largely neglected, with no significant improvements made from its pre-war status. International criticism against the backward status of Portuguese colonies forced Portugal to make some improvements such in education, where schooling was made compulsory and the number of schools was increased, and in health services. With the exception of an uprising in 1959, relations between East Timor and Portugal remained stable.
Though the nearby Dutch East Indies gained independence in 1949, post-war nationalism did not come to East Timor until the late 1950s. At this time, public radio began broadcasting in Portuguese, Tetum (the lingua franca used by people who used different native languages), and Chinese (business was largely conducted by Chinese immigrants and Timorese of Chinese descent). A government newspaper was first published in 1960, but these publications were often subject to censorship. Nationalist ideas mainly came from the Church, even though the majority of the clergy were Portuguese. This was because the Jesuits were often critical of colonialism. Jesuit teachers would often foster a Timorese identity in students, and a Church-published newspaper, the Seara, taught Tetum to its readers and sometimes served as a forum for progressive ideas. Though the Seara was forced to close down in 1973, by that time Timorese nationalists were already meeting in secret. By the end of Portuguese rule, a small educated elite had emerged to lead the area into the next stage of its history.
1) Golden Goa
The first Portuguese encounter with India was in 1498, when Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut. The Portuguese were desperate to control the spice trade in India, which at the time was under the control of the Arabs. Thus they sought an appropriate port, which happened to be Goa. In 1510, the Bijapurs who were ruling Goa were defeated by the Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque, who proceeded to make a permanent settlement in the area. As Portugal’s first territorial possession in Asia, Goa became the base for further conquests in Malacca (1511) and Hormuz (1515). It later became the capital of the Portuguese Vice-Kingdom in Asia, and granted the same civic privileges as Lisbon. Portuguese men were encouraged to marry local women and settle down, resulting in a large Eurasian population.
Goa reached its golden age around 1575, though St. Francis Xavier mentioned its architectural splendors as early as 1542. Travelers marveled at Goa Dourado, or Golden Goa, and there was a Portuguese proverb, “He who has seen Goa need not see Lisbon.” Merchandise from all parts of the Portuguese empire gathered in Goa, and separate streets were set aside for the sale of different classes of goods–Bahrain pearls and coral, Chinese porcelain and silk, Portuguese velvet and piece-goods, drugs and spices from the Malay Archipelago.
However, Portuguese control was not without its flaws. When Albuquerque conquered the Bijapurs in 1510, he massacred the Muslim inhabitants, partly in retribution for a former loss of Goa a few months earlier. Although Albuquerque initially adopted a policy of religious toleration, in 1540 the Inquisition reached Goa, and Hindu temples were destroyed and churches were rebuilt on top of them and Hindus and Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity, adopting the names of the priests who baptized them. This legacy can be seen even today, as there are a large number of Goans with typical Portuguese names. The Inquisition was finally stopped in 1812 when the British occupied the city of Goa.
2) Decline of Goa
Goa’s golden age ended with the advent of the Dutch in Indian waters. Goa was subject to Dutch blockades in 1603 and from 1636 to 1639, and the city was ravaged by an epidemic in 1635. Goa’s economic declined mirrored the decline in strength of the Portuguese empire in the East due to several military losses to the Dutch and the British. By the mid 17th century, the Dutch had taken over the spice trade, the initial reason for the Portuguese empire in Asia, and Brazil had supplanted Goa as the commercial center of Portugal’s colonial empire. Jean de Thévenot in 1666, Baldaeus in 1672, and Fryer in 1675 described its ever-increasing poverty and decay.
In 1683, Goa was almost overrun by the Marathas but was saved by a strong Mughal force. Goa was threatened again by the Marathas, but a new viceroy, the Marquis of Lourical, arrived with substantial reinforcements and defeated the Marathas. Peace with the Marathas was concluded in 1759. A second phase of Portuguese expansion occurred in this period, though these “New Conquests” were allowed a Hindu majority, which is why the area does not share some characteristics with Goa today. The capture of Satari during this period provided a source of constant trouble for the Portuguese, as the natives continuously fought against the Portuguese for the next 150 years. The Marquis of Lourical moved his residence from the city of Goa to Nova Goa, today’s Panaji, which became the seat of government in 1843.
Although the Portuguese faced few outward threats from the late 17th century onward (except for a short period of occupation by the British from 1797 to 1813), they had to deal with dissatisfaction from within, as in the Pinto Rebellion of 1787.
One consequence of the British presence in Goa was the beginning of Goan emigration to Bombay, Poona, Karachi, Calcutta and various other parts of British India. Later, considerable numbers would migrate as far as British East Africain search of better economic opportunities. The opening in 1878 of the port of Marmagoa as well as the establishment of rail links in 1881 with India served to lessen Goa’s isolation, but at the same time facilitated the Goan diaspora to British India and Africa.
3) Goa in the 1900s
The turn of the century brought increased dissatisfaction with Portuguese colonialism. In 1900, Luis Menezes Braganza founded the “O Heraldo,” the first Goan Portuguese-language newspaper, in which he criticized Portuguese rule in Goa. In 1926, the Salazar regime rose to power in Portugal, causing the suppression of Portuguese (and subsequently Goan) civil liberties. In 1928, Dr. Cunha founded the Goa National Congress, which was linked to the Indian National Congress. However, it must be said that many Portuguese-speaking Goans, though dissatisfied with the Salazar dictatorship, were politically inactive. During World War II,Goa, like most other Portuguese colonies, stayed neutral. Goa even benefited from the post-war economic boom by providing a cheap source of iron ore for the growing Japanese economy. This in turn brought a change in the Goan economy, providing an opportunity for the mechanization of agriculture and an improved mining industry.
Although Goa and Portuguese Timor were both subject to Portuguese rule, it is clear that there were major differences in how the Portuguese ruled these two areas. The first point that can be made is the significance that the regions had in the Portuguese colonial empire. Goa was essentially the capital of the eastern Portuguese Empire, both economically and administratively. Products from all over Asia flowed into the port of Goa, and the city of Goa was in fact equal to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in terms of civic privileges. However, Portuguese Timor was never considered anything more than a trading outpost among several others in the region. In fact, Timor was under the rule of Goa, and often served as a place to exile political prisoners as in the case of Dadaji Rauji Rane Sardesai, who led an unsuccessful uprising in Goa in 1895. It can also be seen in the quotes that Portugal effectively neglected the colony of Timor, not even investing in basic infrastructure such as roads. This difference in the perception of the importance of the two colonies led to a subsequent difference in interest and investing in the colonies, which resulted in the difference in the prosperity of the regions.
The second point is the fact that although Goa’s rise and fall reflected the change in the degree of Portuguese influence over Asia,Timor showed no such fluctuations. Although in most cases the economies of colonies are closely related to the economies of their respective colonial powers (as in the case of Goa), Portuguese Timor was never significantly connected to the Portuguese colonial economy enough to show such correlation. Though it may seem like a sign of relative freedom from Portuguese control, in fact it is only a reflection of the lack of Portuguese interest in the region.
The third point that can be made is the visible difference in the consequences of the Second World War. It is a common fact that Portugal was a neutral state in World War II, and in most cases colonies followed the example of their respective imperial powers. Goa was located in a region that was not near the Atlantic or Pacific Theater, so it could follow Portugal’s policy of neutrality with relative ease, even benefiting from the post-war situation by exporting much-needed iron ore. However, Portuguese Timor lay in a strategic defensive position between Australia and the Japanese advances to the south. Due to the Allied forces positioned on the island, Japanese occupation was much more brutal than what it could have been, and combined with Allied bombings of the region, resulted in the death of more than 60,000 Timorese out of a total population of approximately 500,000.
A. East Timor
1) Rise of Suharto
After independence in 1949, the Communist Party of Indonesia(PKI) became one of the most popular parties in the country. Sukarno, the president of Indonesia, worked closely with the PKI in his policies. However, these polices would alienate Western powers and their allies in the Indonesian military. The policy of Konfrontasi (confrontation) against newly-formed Malaysia only helped exacerbate the problem. By late 1965, the Indonesian Army had clearly divided into the PKI-supported left-wing camp and the US-supported right-wing camp.
On September 30, 1965, six senior generals within the military and several other officers were murdered by palace guards alleged to be loyal to the PKI. Panic about a potential communist coup attempt spread throughout Indonesia, at which time Major General Suharto, the commander of the Army Strategic Reserve (Kostrad), organized an offensive against the alleged rebellion. By 1966, the army had killed over 500,000 alleged communists in rural areas. This conflict between the pro-PKI forces and the anti-communist forces led by Major General Sukarno
Although President Sukarno attempted to restore his political position and return the status quo in Indonesia, in March 1966, Sukarno was forced to transfer key political and military powers to General Suharto, who had become the head of the armed forces by that time. In March 1967, the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS) named General Suharto acting president. In 1968, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) formally elected Suharto to a full 5-year term as president.
2) Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia)
President Suharto proclaimed a “New Order” in Indonesian politics and drastically changed the direction of policies from Sukarno’s period. Under the New Order, surviving members of the PKI were branded tapol (political detainees) and sentenced to harsh prison sentences without trial. Another policy would be anti-Chinese laws, as anti-Chinese sentiment had been widespread as far back as the time of the Dutch East Indies era. The purge of the secularist Communists had the effect of expanding Islamism in Indonesia and improved ties with the West. However, the most notable of the New Order policies would be military rule and Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia), a continuation of Sukarno’s policy of expansion.
Through the purges of loyalists from parliament and the civil war, civilian government became ineffective inIndonesia. In the place of civilian rule, a new system of military rule was created, based on set-aside seats in the Parliament as well as the dwi fungsi (dual function) doctrine of the military in taking the role of both soldiers and administrators.
Suharto zealously followed a policy of the territorial gain of Indonesia Raya to stake and enforce its territorial claims over the region through both diplomacy and military action. Indonesia would settle the question of West Irian, the former Dutch New Guinea in their favor by passing an “Act of Free Choice” in 1969. 1,025 representatives of local councils were picked by Indonesia and warned to vote in favor of Indonesian integration, resulting in a unanimous vote. A subsequent UN General Assembly resolution would confirm this transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia.
3) Portuguese Carnation Revolution
By February 1974, divisions among the powerful elite that ruled Portugal became visible, at which point the Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA, “Movement of Armed Forces”), a group of army officers headed by Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho and joined by Salgueiro Maia, chose to lead a revolution. On April 25, 1974, the MFA took over strategic points of power in the country and announced that the revolution had started and nothing would stop it except the possibility of the regime’s repression.
A few hours later, the Salazar regime caved in and political prisoners were released and in the following weeks exiled political leaders such as Álvaro Cunhal and Mário Soares returned toPortugal. During the following year Portugal entered a turbulent period of political change, commonly known as the PREC (Processo Revolucionário em Curso, or Ongoing Revolutionary Process). The first free elections were held on April 25, 1975, in order to write a constitution to replace the Constitution of 1933, and a new Constitutional government led by Mário Soares entered office in 1976. During the PREC, the colonial war for Portugal ended, paving the way for the independence of several Portuguese colonies such as Angola and Mozambique and leading to more liberal policies in other colonies, such as East Timor.
1) Indian Independence and Political Integration
On August 15, 1947, India gained its independence from Britain, effectively ending the British Raj inIndia.India became an independent Dominion within the British Commonwealth, with Jawaharlal Nehru becoming the first Prime Minister and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the Minister for Home and State Affairs. Patel was in charge of the political unification of India, a process that had begun with the attempt to annex the 565 princely states in 1947. In order to ensure the primacy of the central government, Patel employed political negotiations backed with the option and use of military force. Thus by the August 15, 1947, all of the Indian princely states with the exception of Junagadh, Kashmir, and Hyderabad became part of the Indian Union. These three states would later join India at later dates.
However, this part of Indian integration involved independent states that had been under the influence of British India. In the 1950s, the regions of Pondicherry, Karikal, Yanaon, Mahe, and Chandernagore were still colonies of France, and Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Goa were still Portuguese colonies. An agreement between France and India led to an election in France’s colonies regarding their political future. As a result, Chandernagore was ceded toIndia on May 2, 1950, and was merged with West Bengal on October 2, 1955. On November 1, 1954, the four enclaves of Pondicherry, Yanaon, Mahe, and Karikal were transferred to the Indian Union as the Union territory of Pondicherry. Dadra and Nagar Haveli were integrated into India after bands of Indian irregulars occupied the lands in 1953, but Goa, Daman and Diu remained under Portuguese influence until 1961 as Portugal refused to turn them over to India.
Largely, it can be seen that the annexations of Goa and East Timor into India and Indonesia respectively were all parts of greater policies of expansion. However, closer examination shows that the fundamental difference in backgrounds of the two policies may serve to explain the drastic difference in treatment the two regions dealt in this paper.
Indonesia’s Indonesia Raya was part of Suharto’s New Order, in which the Indonesian military played a central role in determining the policies of the government. Suharto had gained power through a military coup, so the large part of his support was from the Indonesian military. In Suharto’s New Order, military rule replaced civilian rule. Therefore, it is only natural that Indonesia’s territorial expansion would use methods that included coercion and force, as seen in the West Irian case. Thus Indonesia Raya can be said to be more of a claim of military power over the region than a political policy to organize different states.
However, India strove for a more peaceful integration process, successfully negotiating with most of the 565 different princely states and France to integrate several regions into the Indian Union. This may be attributed to the fact that India’s government was a democracy, more sensitive to the needs of its people than Suharto’s military regime was. Thus,India avoided needless conflict whenever possible, choosing to negotiate until negotiations where not an option. Also, India’s policy of state integration was supported with the intent of unifying India politically, not annexing unnecessary territory. Therefore, India would avoid incensing or brutally suppressing the voice of the population of an area, as such an act would have an negative impact on Indian political stability.
Though the greatest difference between the backgrounds of the annexation of East Timor and the annexation of Goa is the fact that Indonesia’s government was based on the military and India’s based on the masses, some other discrepancies are visible. While Goa’s separation from Portugal was solely based on the state integration policy of the nearby Indian Union, East Timor’s was connected to a number of factors, starting from the fall of Sukarno and the rise of Suharto in Indonesia to the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. This convolution of factors spanning nearly two decades will serve to show why East Timor’s more recent history is much more complex than Goa’s history.
V. Events Leading to Integration/Occupation
A. East Timor
1) Rise of Political Parties in East Timor
After the Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese government took steps to encourage the independence of Portuguese Timor. In June 1974,Portugal laid out three possible options for Portuguese Timor: continued association with Portugal, independence, or integration with Indonesia. However, the government took no immediate action on any of these options. However, the response to the Carnation Revolution was not as sluggish in Timor. In a matter of months, 3 major political parties emerged in Portuguese Timor.
The first party founded was UDT (União Democrática Timorense or Timorese Democratic Union). Supported by the traditional elites, the UDT initially supported continued association with Lisbon, but as opposition to colonialism mounted, it adopted the idea of eventual total independence. Generally conservative and pro-Portuguese, many of East Timor’s richest citizens supported the UDT. Although the UDT started as the largest and most popular party, it would soon lose ground to the second party founded, the ASDT (Associação Social Democrática Timorense or Timorese Social Democratic Association), which was better organized and more innovative. Fully committed to total independence from the beginning, the ASDT envisioned an 8-10 year period of decolonization in which the East Timorese would be able to develop the political and economical structures needed for independence. As its members-and the East Timorese population in general-became more radical, the ASDT changed its name in September 1974 to FRETILIN (Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente or Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor). FRETILIN volunteers would go into rural areas to teach Tetum, establish agricultural cooperatives, help organize labor unions, and promote local culture. As a result, FRETILIN became the most popular party by early 1975. The third party, Apodeti (Associação Popular Democrática Timorense or Timorese Popular Democratic Association) favored autonomous integration with Indonesia. However, it had very little support, never having more than a few hundred members. Other minor parties included KOTA (Klibur Oan Timur Asuwain) and the Labor Party, but neither had much influence and would later collaborate with Indonesia.
The new Portuguese government appointed a new governor for the colony on November 18, 1974. Mário Lemos Pires, who would become the last governor of Portuguese Timor, legalized political parties and invited the three main parties to Lisbon to advise the MFA on the Timorese decolonialization process. Although FRETILIN and the UDT would join and form a coalition, Apodeti refused to participate, claiming it only recognized the Indonesian government.
2) Operasi Komodo
The activities in East Timor alarmed the Suharto regime in Indonesia, which was not pleased by the prospect of a small independent state in the sprawling archipelago. Such a state might serve to inspire provinces such as Aceh, West Irian, and the Moluccas to push for independence. The fact that the increasingly popular Fretilin was becoming more radical and left-leaning was also a discomforting fact to Suharto, who had brutally suppressed the Indonesian Communist Party less than a decade earlier. Thus it was concluded that an independent Timor would become a potential threat to the stability of the region and Indonesian military intelligence, known as BAKIN (Badan Koordinasi Intelijen Negara) devised a plan aimed to strengthen Apodeti and weaken Fretilin. This was known as Operasi Komodo, or Operation Komodo, named after the Komodo dragon native to Indonesia.
Operasi Komodo started with a number of diplomatic successes in 1974. During a meeting in September 1974 with Indonesian president Suharto, Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam voiced his support for East Timor integration with Indonesia.Indonesia was also able to gain the support of the United States, which had expressed concerns over East Timor in the wake of the Vietnam War. Having gained Indonesia as an ally, the United States did not want to see the country destabilized by a left-wing regime in its midst.
When Fretilin and UDT formed a coalition, Operasi Komodo was stepped up. In February 1975, the Indonesian military, commonly referred to as ABRI (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia) staged exercises in Sumatra that simulated an air and sea attack on East Timor. Soon after,Indonesia began disseminating false reports of a planned coup by the MFA and Fretilin and the supposed persecution of Apodeti members. Operasi Komodo, along with the increasing popularity of Fretilin, served to weaken the Fretilin-UDT coalition, which was further weakened when Indonesia convinced the more conservative members of UDT that international isolation would result if leftists were allowed to remain in the coalition. In May 1975, UDT formally withdrew from the coalition.
3) UDT Coup and Fretilin Independence
UDT leaders met with Indonesian officials in Jakarta and became convinced that Indonesia would not allow Timorese independence under Fretilin or even UDT. Thus they came to the conclusion that purging East Timor of communist influence was the only way to prevent an Indonesian invasion.
In the mid-August 1975, Indonesia gave UDT false intelligence reports of an imminent power grab by Fretilin, complete with clandestine Chinese arms shipments and “Vietnamese terrorists” entering East Timor to aid Fretilin. In a bid to halt Fretilin, the UDT mounted a coup on August 11, 1975, quickly capturing the communications station and airport in Dili.
However, Fretilin was able to convince most of the East Timorese units of the Portuguese army to join their cause. Soon Fretilin controlled most of Dili and by late September had driven the remaining UDT supporters across the border into Indonesian Timor, where they were permitted to enter only if they signed a petition calling for East Timor’s integration intoIndonesia. The short civil war was over after a month.
Fretilin immediately set up a de facto government to fill in for the Portuguese, who had fled during the brief civil war. The former Australian consul in Dili, James Dunn, described the people’s response:
This administrative structure had obvious shortcomings, but it clearly enjoyed widespread support or cooperation from the population, including many former UDT supporters….
Indeed, the leaders of the victorious party were welcomed warmly and spontaneously in all main centers by crowds of Timorese. In my long association with the territory, I had never before witnessed such demonstrators of spontaneous warmth and support from the ordinary people. (Dunn 186-187)
Meanwhile, ABRI was making incursions over the border to give the appearance of an ongoing civil war. ABRI soon captured some towns near the border between East Timor and West Timor, their campaign culminating in a two-week land, air, and sea assault on a town called Atabae, just 35 miles from Dili. ABRI finally took Atabae on November 28. 1975. Faced with an imminent Indonesian invasion, Fretilin declared the independence of the Democratic Republic of East Timor that same day. Although Fretilin hoped this declaration would give East Timor some international protection, only four former colonies in Africa recognized the new country immediately.
4) Operasi Seroja
On December 7, 1975,Indonesia launched Operasi Seroja (Operation Lotus), a full-scale invasion of East Timor. At 2 am, Indonesian ships began bombarding the outskirts of Dili and by 5 am, planes were dropping paratroopers into the waterfront area. ABRI soldiers began rampaging through the streets of Dili. According to the former Catholic bishop of Dili, “The soldiers who landed started killing everyone they could find. There were many dead bodies in the streets-all we could see were the soldiers killing, killing, killing.” Several other witnesses confirm these atrocities.
After the initial mass killings, the soldiers began looting from churches and homes, loading whatever they had taken onto ships destined for Java, where ABRI was centered. Refugees reported ABRI soldiers raping women in front of their husbands or fathers, severely beating, imprisoning, or sometimes even killing those men who refused to surrender their wives or daughters.
In the first two days of the invasion, 2,000 people in Dili were slaughtered. A few days after the assault on Dili, Indonesian soldiers attacked other major towns and eventually pushed inland. By Christmas, the initial 10,000 ABRI troops were supplemented by 15,000-20,000 more. By mid-February 1976, 60,000 East Timorese out of a total population of 600,000 were dead.
After the invasion,Indonesia set up a puppet legislative assembly, whose 28 members consisted of Apodeti and UDT leaders. On May 31, 1976, this assembly unanimously endorsed an act of integration into Indonesia and on July 17, East Timor officially became the 27th province of the Republic of Indonesia.
1) Portuguese Refusal to Negotiate with India
The Government of India strictly followed its policy of peaceful negotiations with Portugal and made attempts to solve the problem of Goa without the use of force. However, the Salazar regime in Portugal resisted any form of diplomatic solution and refused to transfer power over the region of Goa. In 1953, the Portuguese would cut diplomatic ties with India. Arbitration by the World Courtand the United Nations General Assembly favored self-determination, but Portugal resisted all such attempts by India. The Indian government would place an economic blockade in 1955 in an attempt to force the Portuguese out of the area, but to no avail. The Portuguese would even go so far as to fire upon demonstrators and brutally suppress a peaceful Satyagraha launched to liberate the region in 1955.
After 1955, the pressure on the Indian government to take action on the issue of Goa increased. However, Prime Minister Nehru and the Congress Party did little from 1955 to 1961 to relieve the situation in Goa. However, a seminar held in New Delhi in October 1961 on Portuguese colonialism helped change in the thinking of Prime Minister Nehru. On November 24, the Indian merchant ship Sabarmati was fired upon near Portuguese-controlled Anjidive Island. Although the claim was denied by Portugal, this act of aggression was enough for Nehru to decide on military intervention.
2) Operation Vijay
On December 17, 1961, Jawaharlal Nehru ordered the military invasion and liberation of Goa, a military operation called Operation Vijay. An Indian force of 30,000 troops supported by the Indian air force and navy entered Goa on December 18. Goa was guarded by an ill-equipped Portuguese force of 3,000 men under the command of Vassalo da Silva, the Portuguese Governor General. After a nearly bloodless conflict, da Silva and the Portuguese forces surrendered on the 19th and Goa, Daman and Diu were integrated into India, forming the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.
Though the integrations of East Timor and Goa into Indonesia and India respectively may seem similar in the fact that both acts of integration were in fact military takeovers, it is clear that there is a difference in the nature of the invasions.
The first difference that must be addressed is the difference in the Portuguese government of 1961 and of 1975. In 1961,Portugal was ruled by the fascist Salazar regime, while in 1975, the MFA had toppled the dictatorship and set up a democratic government. While the Salazar regime refused to take any actions that might compromise Portuguese sovereignty over its colonies, the MFA was more willing to grant its oversea territories independence. Therefore the use of force was probably the only choice that the Indian government had of resolving the problem of Goa. However, force was not the most desirable or necessary step in the issue of East Timor. At the time of the Indonesian invasion, Portugal was willing to grant East Timor the freedom to choose its future.
Unfortunately, Indonesia viewed the immensely popular Fretilin party as a possible advocate of communism. The possibility of a communist state in the midst of the Indonesian archipelago was a discomforting revelation. An independent state would also threaten the stability of the “federation” of islands that made up Indonesia. Therefore,Indonesia found it necessary to prevent the independence of East Timor by any means possible.
The complexity of the situation in East Timor compared to the situation in Goa is also noticeable. The existence of several different political parties and Indonesian attempts to alienate these parties in the form of Operasi Komodo led to a much more intricate pre-invasion situation than in Goa. While Goa was subject to Portuguese suppression and the Salazar regime’s refusal to discuss integration into India, East Timor saw the rise of the UDT and Fretilin and the UDT coup and subsequent civil war. Goa was invaded by India while under the rule of Portugal, while East Timor was invaded after it had declared independence.
The most visible difference, however, is the sheer difference in damage done during the Indian and Indonesian invasions respectively. While Operation Vijay left Goa relatively intact with a nearly bloodless conflict, Operation Seroja involved mass killings and looting and raping, leaving 2,000 Timorese dead in the first 2 days and 60,000 dead in the two months. This would be a precursor to the different paths the two regions would go down after integration into India and Indonesia respectively.
VI. After Integration/Occupation
A. East Timor
On July 17, 1976, East Timor was integrated into Indonesia as the 27th province of Timor Timur (alternatively Timor Loro Sae). The province is the highest tier of local government subnational entity in Indonesia. Each province has its own local government, headed by the governor; and has its own legislative body. The governor and member of representatives are elected by popular vote for 5 years term. In the case of East Timor however, the army had joint power with civil authorities, who exercised little real power. The army was the law in East Timor. Furthermore, the region was closed to outsiders for 13 years until January 1989, during which all mail was censored and the movement of Timorese was strictly controlled.
Internationally, the United Nations did not recognize the annexation of East Timor, so Portugal was left the nominal official administrative power of the East Timor region. However, this fact had little or no effect on the Indonesian administration of East Timor.
2) Resistance against Indonesian rule
Fretilin had prepared for a possible Indonesian invasion months before December 1975, establishing bases and relocating its forces to the country’s interior. Falintil (Forças Armadas da Libertação Nacional de Timor-Leste), the military wing of Fretilin, consisted of 2,500 former full-time Portuguese troops, 7,000 part-time militia, and 10,000 reservists. In addition, it had a comprehensive knowledge of East Timor’s geography and large supplies of weapons left by the Portuguese.
ABRI suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Falintil. During the first few weeks, it is estimated that there were more than 450 Indonesian casualties, and during the first four months of 1976, as many as 2,000 Indonesian troops were killed. Such fierce resistance enabled Fretilin to maintain control over the majority of East Timor for some months after the invasion. When Indonesian forces became too overwhelming, Fretilin reorganized as a guerilla group under the leadership of Xanana Gusmão.
However, the Timorese resistance was not just an armed struggle. Fretilin also sought to make the struggle for independence known in the international community. As a result of their efforts, Fretilin’s chief diplomat José Ramos-Horta and Catholic bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. The Catholic Church was the only organization in East Timor with infrastructure and links to the outside world and used this advantage to document the situation and reveal it to the world under the leadership of Monsignor Lopes and later Bishop Belo. The Church would also use its relative immunity to publicly oppose the Indonesian military regime in East Timor and protect fugitives, and many young men would become priests to actively participate in the resistance movement.
3) Indonesian Brutality
The atrocities committed during the invasion of 1975 would continue during the entire span of Indonesian occupation. Although the Indonesian government put the official estimate at around 120,000 deaths during the first six years of occupation while other estimates are as high as 308,000, which is approximately 40% of the population. However, the general estimation is 200,000 dead. Women were subject to sexual brutality and practitioners of local animist religions were beaten and their worship places desecrated. Sons were forced to bury or kill their own fathers and friends, people were arrested and tortured without notice, and many Timorese were drafted into local militia involuntarily. Though ABRI was directly responsible for a large portion of this number, it was also the indirect cause of thousands of other deaths.
In September 1977, ABRI devised a new plan in which it would force the resistance into the center of the country where they could easily be killed or captured and push the rural population into the coastal lowlands where they could be controlled more effectively. Sources call this strategy “encirclement and annihilation.” When the campaign ended in 1979, most Fretilin fighters were killed or captured and several thousand civilians had died. However, Fretilin soon regrouped under the leadership and started a guerilla war against ABRI. In response to Fretilin’s resurgence, ABRI launched a new operation in mid-1981 called the “fence of legs.” About 80,000 Timorese ranging in age from 8 to 50 were forced to walk in a line across the countryside in front of ABRI troops as human shields. ABRI’s objective was to flush out or encircle the guerillas. Many of the walkers died of starvation, having been given barely any food at all. The campaign also greatly disrupted agricultural production, causing massive food shortages across the region.
During the 24 years of Indonesian occupation, the Timorese were victim to a number of massacres, the United Nations having documented over 120 massacres during the period. The most well known ones being the Kraras Massacre of 1983, the Santa Cruz Massacre (alternatively Dili Massacre) of 1991, and the Liquiçá Church Massacre of 1999. In August 1983, Indonesian troops attacked the peaceful village of Krarasin reprisal for the mass desertion of Timorese soldiers only a few days earlier. It is estimated that over 200 people died; the survivors of the initial massacre were captured and executed later. This massacre violated and effectively ended a ceasefire that had been signed only a few months earlier. On November 12, 1991, Indonesian troops fired upon a peaceful memorial procession to the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili that had turned into a pro-independence demonstration. Of the people demonstrating in the cemetery, 271 were killed, 382 wounded, and 250 remain unaccounted for. This massacre, unlike many others which occurred during the course of Indonesia’s occupation, was filmed and photographed by international journalists, sparking international interest and concern for the occupied region. In April 1999, pro-Indonesian militia attacked a church in the pro-independence Liquiçá district, killing up to 200 people. The total number of victims has never been fully determined, ranging from a low of 61 claimed by Indonesia, to more than 200 by local sources.
Indonesia also initiated a birth control program in East Timor in order to lower the birthrate. It was widely suspected that Timorese women were sterilized without their knowing of it, and personal accounts strongly suggest that newborn infants were killed in hospitals. Indonesian soldiers also took children from their parents, supposedly to take them in like pets. As East Timor had already lost a sizable proportion of its population, it seems unlikely that overpopulation was the reason for such drastic measures of birth control.
In an attempt to control the population, ABRI ordered the resettlement of the population. According to a July 1979 report by the Australian Council for Overseas Aid, there were fifteen camps with a total population of 318,921displaced persons. In many cases, the inhabitants of the camps were forced to work for the Indonesian military. Relocation and forced labor wreaked havoc on local farming, causing widespread famine. In one of the camps, it was estimated that 80% of the 8,000 inhabitants were suffering from malnutrition. Many of the inhabitants of the camps were relocated to resettlement villages, which existed for the remainder of Indonesian occupation. A large number of the inhabitants of these camps died from starvation and diseases.
Three significant changes in the demography of East Timor can be noted during this period. The first is the change in population.East Timor suffered a major setback in population during World War II, but this paled in comparison to what happened during the Indonesian occupation. Although the population has increased in general, it must be said that the current population is an estimated 200,000 less than what it could have been had there been no Indonesian invasion. This is significant, considering that 200,000 is nearly 20% of East Timor’s current population. However, it is likely that the difference is greater, considering the birthrate is considerably higher than what is was in 1975. Although Indonesian sources report a total death count slightly higher than 100,000, the Catholic Church and other sources estimate around 200,000 deaths in the first few years of occupation. Indonesian atrocities and birth control programs are largely to blame. That plus the forced Diaspora of Timorese across Indonesia and the large number of displaced people and refugees caused a major setback in East Timor’s natural population increase. The drastic decrease in population during the first years of occupation made population a statistic difficult to measure, which is why the Indonesian yearbook Statistik Indonesia does not have any records on East Timor during the late 1970s.
The second point that can be made is the impressive number of conversions made to Catholicism during the Indonesian occupation. Contrary to common belief, East Timor’s population was largely animist before the Indonesian invasion, and Catholicism gained widespread popularity only after the invasion. In the years leading to 1975, there were only around 30 priests and 30 nuns residing in East Timor. However, a number of factors led to the mass conversion to the Catholic Church. Indonesian policy required its people to have a religion or face persecution, and the Indonesian government did not recognize local animism, the most popular religion in East Timor before the occupation, as a religion. Furthermore, the Catholic Church was one of the very few if not the only organization residing in East Timor with international ties. This made it difficult for ABRI to persecute the Church, even if it was actively participating in the resistance. A large number of the youth became priests and nuns, as their status would give them the protection they needed to resist the Indonesians relatively safely. As a result, now approximately 98% of the population is Catholic.
The third point is the change in ethnicity. Though the majority of the population has constantly been of Malayo-Polynesian or Papuan descent, changes in the minority groups have been drastic. Before 1975, there was a sizable Chinese population and pure-blooded Portuguese population in East Timor, but most of the Portuguese fled during the civil war and subsequent occupation. Indonesia had a long history of anti-Chinese sentiment, and the Chinese were subject to persecution during the occupation period, leading to the departure of most of the Chinese population. Though some groups decreased during the occupation period, there was a significant increase in the number of Indonesians living in East Timor, mostly as a result of Suharto’s transmigration policy.
Soon after the invasion, Indonesian interests took over the former Portuguese colonial enterprises. Indonesian authorities also confiscated the land traditionally held by groups of hamlets and gave them to local pro-Indonesian rulers. In 1991, the Indonesian government required that all property certificates be converted from the Portuguese system to the Indonesian system. This system enabled land to be even more concentrated in the hands of Indonesian interests, as many private owners were resettled or in exile.
The Indonesian policy of resettlement dislocated a large proportion of the population for several years. Nearly all of the Timorese population was involved in farming, and this caused massive problems in agricultural production. Other industries were not any more luckier, however, as most of East Timor’s industry soon came under the influence of the P. T. Batara Indra Group, a military-affiliated monopoly of East Timor’s economy. One of the main subsidiaries of the group was P. T. Denok, a coffee monopoly set up by General Benny Murdani immediately after the invasion. The monopoly resulted in increased production but a decrease in the incomes of small East Timorese farmers. Other subsidiaries have resulted in increased production of sandalwood and marble and the importation of consumer products. Areas in the economy not controlled by the military were largely dominated by Indonesian businesses, who took advantage of the vacuum caused by the departure of Portuguese and Chinese businesses.
During the occupation, East Timor’s economy was heavily dependent on the Indonesian economy and Indonesian aid. East Timor exported most of its products to other regions in Indonesia, and imported most of its goods from Indonesia. As a result, East Timor’s economy suffered greatly during the Indonesian economic crisis in the late 1990s.
Indonesian interest in investing in East Timor’s infrastructure was minimal at best. During the 24 years of Indonesian occupation, East Timor was one of the least developed provinces of Indonesia. What infrastructure that was built was constructed to make control over the population easier. There were little if no international telephone connections, and asphalt roads were built to facilitate the movement of ABRI forces. Rural areas were underdeveloped, as Indonesian officials were more concerned with urban and coastal areas.
7) Indonesian Attempts at Integration
Although Indonesia’s efforts to gain military control over East Timor have been the most violent and visible part of the occupation, Indonesia has used other methods in order to achieve its long-term goal of “Indonesianizing” East Timor. Some of the methods have already been addressed, such as the resettlement of Timorese and the encouragement of Indonesians to settle in the area. It was estimated that in the 1990s there were approximately 150,000 Indonesian settlers out of a total population of 900,000.
Another step to Indonesianization is the control of the educational system. Any information on East Timor that did not correspond to Jakarta’s official viewpoint was neglected, and Bahasa Indonesian (the official language of Indonesia) was the only language allowed in schools. Military culture and physical education was emphasized, and students were required to memorize the Pancasila, the ideological basis of Indonesian society. Despite the dramatic increase in number of schools after the invasion, illiteracy remained high, as Indonesian educational priorities were misplaced and Timorese resistance to Indonesianization was strong.
During his rule, Suharto visited East Timor a number of times, even holding the National Boy Scout Jamboree inEast Timorin 1986. Suharto would also give the Timorese people two gifts in the form of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and a giant marble statue of Jesus. Suharto participated in the inauguration of the cathedral, purportedly the largest one in Southeast Asia, in 1986. The 27-meter-tall statue of Jesus, built in 1996, was erected as a symbol of Indonesia’s openness to all religions, a gesture of goodwill to the dominantly Catholic East Timorese. However, these measures did little to quell the pro-independence sentiment in East Timor, as would be demonstrated in 1999.
When Goa, Daman and Diu were incorporated into the Republic of India on December 19, 1961, they were administered as a single union territory. Most nations recognized the annexation, and Portugal would recognize it after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. After annexation, the area was under military rule for five months, but civil service was soon returned and the area became a federally administrated territory. As a union territory, Goa’s first popular government was elected in 1963. Goa separated from Daman and Diu and was granted statehood in 1987. In the 1966, the inhabitants of Goa voted against a merger with the neighboring state Maharashtra.
As a state of India,Goa’s capital is Panaji, or what used to be New Goa. Goa has a unicameral legislature consisting of a forty member legislative assembly, headed by a Chief Minister who wields the executive power. The governor, who plays a largely ceremonial role, is appointed by the Indian president. After having a relatively stable government for nearly thirty years up to 1990, Goa has had fourteen governments from 1990 to 2005. Unlike other states which follow the British Indian model of civil laws framed for individual religions, the Goa government has retained the Portuguese Uniform Civil Code, which was based on the Napoleonic Codes.
2) Difference From Rest of India
Goa’s isolation from the rest of India for more than four centuries under the Portuguese rule and its geographical borders in the form of the Sahyadri ranges and the tidal rivers have managed to give the people of Goa a unique and separate identity. In fact, Goa was the only region in India to retain its self-identity through a plebiscite when it voted against a merger with Maharashtra. In general, Goan’s put their Goan identity first over religion. In contrast to other parts of India, Goans have developed a remarkable degree of tolerance towards each other’s religious beliefs; hence religious fundamentalism is completely unknown in the state.
Goa’s uniqueness can also be seen in the form of the language Konkani. Konkani is a language native to the Konkan region, which consists of Goa, south coastal Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka, and Kerala. Though suppressed during the Portuguese era and supplanted by Marathi in Maharashtra, Konkani saw a revival in popularity after Goa’s incorporation into India. Konkani became the official language of Goa in 1987 and later, it would become India’s 18th national language in 1992.
Goa, which was given statehood mainly because of its unique identity, is currently the fourth smallest state in terms of population. As a result of the rapid economic development following integration into India,Goa has increasingly urbanized and now nearly half of the population lives in urban areas. Goa’s literacy rate is 82.2% (males 88.88% and females 75.51%), which is considerably higher than the national average, especially in terms of the literacy rate of females.
One major factor has been crucial in changing the demography of Goa, and that is the influx of immigrants from other regions of India. Goa’s economic development has attracted many immigrants after incorporation into India, and is currently the main source of Goa’s population increase, as there is zero net growth in Goa’s native population. Goa’s birth rate has continued to decline, and is currently the lowest in India, being less than half of the Indian average. Net immigration has stabilized to about 14%, though this is still of considerable significance.
One thing that must be noted about the religious composition prior to Indian integration is the difference in regions where Hindus and Catholics lived respectively. The Old Conquests, consisting of the territories of Ilhas, Salcette, Mormugao and Bardez, were the areas originally conquered by the Portuguese in the 1500s and subject to the Goa Inquisition and subsequently dominantly Catholic. Meanwhile, the New Conquests of the late 1700s, consisting of Ponda, Sanguem, Quepem, Canacona, Pernem, Bicholim and Satari, were granted religious freedom, allowing them to retain their Hindu identity. As a result, there was a clear division between the Old Conquests and New Conquests in terms of religion. However, heavy immigration has caused radical changes in the demographic pattern. The Christians who were in a majority of 64% in 1951 are now in a minority of 26.7%, and the Hindus are in a majority of 65.8%. However, the most significant change is the presence of a Muslim population, evident for the first time.
The fact that the Uniform Civil Code, which provides for rights of property and inheritance irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex, was retained proved important in Goa’s development. An important feature is the equal right given to women along with men in the communion of assets. Its impact on the development of human resource is perceptible, making Goa a model for the rest of the country.
When Goa’s government joined the Union framework in 1963, India was already in the middle of its Third Five Year Plan (1962-1966). However, the situation was more than made up by liberal funding and decisiveness of the Planning Commission and the Central government. Roads and bridges destroyed by the retreating Portuguese army were rebuilt and trade networks disrupted by the economic blockade of 1955 were reopened, reviving Goa’s traditional pattern of imports and exports. One significant difference would be the fact that licensing provisions were relaxed to allow foreign collaborations, collaborations that were otherwise banned in the rest of the country.
The main developments took place during the term of Goa’s first Chief Minister, Dayanand Bandodkar. Bandodkar would revive agriculture and animal husbandry, establish a network of roads and public buildings that kept with the culture of Goa, and bring a large portion of the population belonging to the backward classes into the framework of economic and cultural life, opening up schools, dispensaries and community halls in areas of relative poverty. Another milestone was reached in 1983 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi held the Retreat of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Goa. Significant and productive investments were made for roads, telecommunications, water supply, electricity transmission and distribution, the international airport terminal, and by the private sector for hotels and tourist attractions.
Goa’s enjoyed unprecedented economic growth through the period when it was a union territory. Though political instability during the 1990s has slowed growth, the average yearly growth rate was 8.23%, one of the fastest in the country.Goa’s Gross State Domestic Product has increasing rapidly, more than doubling every five years. Goa’s Gross State Domestic Product for 2004 was approximately 3 billion dollars, and its GDP per capita is more than two and a half times that of India as a whole, making it the richest state in India. Poverty reduction was also drastic. Even in 1973-74 Goa’s poverty ratio was estimated at about 45% as against about 53% in Maharashtra or 59% in Kerala. But by 1999-2000,Goa’s poverty level had dropped to a little over 4% with rural poverty as low as 1.35%.
Goa’s primary industry is tourism, as Goa handles 12% of all foreign tourist arrivals in India. Because of Goa’s unique history, it has been considered an “India for beginners”, and as a result, an increasing number of tourists visit Goa. In 2004, more than 2 million tourists were reported to have visited Goa, 400,000 of which were from abroad. Other industries include mining, which is the second largest industry, and agriculture, fishing, shipping, and manufacturing. Though agriculture is of shrinking importance to the economy, it still employs a large portion of the population. Fishing has been on the decline, as traditional fishing has given way to large-scale mechanized trawling.
As a result of active government investment and economic prosperity,Goa has one of the best infrastructures among the Indian states. In fact, Goa was the second state in India to achieve 100% automatic telephone system status, and has a well built system of telephone exchanges. In terms of roads, Goa is well connected by two national highways along the West coast, namely NH4A and NH17, and has a dense network of metallic roads connecting the state to other parts of the country. Goa has 195 km per 100 km2, which is nearly four times the national average of 50 km per 100 km2.
Goa also has abundant power and water resources.Goa’s per capita power consumption, which is 690 Kwh compared to the national average of 355 Kwh, is a good indicator to the current power supply situation. Water is available in adequate quantity and is piped through the Asnora, Selaulim, and Opa reservoirs. To expand the water supply, the state government has initiated the Selaulim Water Supply project.
Goaalso has a well developed internal water transport system formed by a grid of navigable rivers. This offers industries an economical mode of transport for their goods and raw material throughout the State.Goa also has a good network of railroad systems, which is planned to be further expanded. Goa’s Mormugao port is one of the best all-weather ports in India. As a result, Goa’s shipping industry has greatly developed.
The first point of comparison that can be made is the different ways in which the two areas were administrated. While East Timor’s annexation was not recognized by the international community,Indonesia administrated it as one of their own provinces albeit under military rule. East Timorese were not given the freedom to elect their own government, as the central government in Jakarta and ABRI controlled regional politics in East Timor. On the other side, most nations recognized India’s annexation of Goa immediately, and India gave Goa relative autonomy as a union territory, then state.India’s federal government enabled Goa to pursue local politics with greater freedom, freedom that was nonexistent in East Timor.
The next point that can be made is the different responses towards the incorporation of East Timor and Goa into Indonesia and India respectively.Indonesia’s 24-year occupation of East Timor can be characterized by Fretilin’s struggle against Indonesian brutality, as an estimated 200,000 Timorese died during the occupation. Resistance against Indonesian rule was characterized by an armed conflict and an attempt to bring international attention to East Timor’s cause. Indonesian attempts to force an Indonesian identity caused more resistance and worsened the situation. Indonesian brutality may have also had religious undertones, as East Timor was a dominantly animist and later Catholic region in a dominantly Muslim country. However, Goa’s incorporation into India, though initiated by a military invasion, was relatively peaceful. Goa was able to maintain a unique Goan identity, and the Indian government did not attempt to force an Indian identity over the region. Goa was also unique in its peaceful coexistence of various religions, unlike most of India and the situation in East Timor.
The final point is the drastic difference in the development of the economy and the local infrastructure. In East Timor, a military-affiliated monopoly basically controlled all aspects of society, including the economy. As a result, the lives of many Timorese became worse, and starvation was widespread. Indonesia neglected to improve the situation in East Timor, resulting in it becoming one of the most backward regions in the country. On the other hand, the relative freedom of the state government of Goa from the Indian government allowed Goa to pursue policies specific to Goa. As a result of liberal funding and careful planning, Goa has become one of the most developed and richest states in India.Goa’s unique identity has also allowed it to maintain a lucrative tourism industry and well developed human resources. Thus Goa became one of the most valuable states of India, while East Timor became more of a liability to Indonesia.
VII. Current Events
A. East Timor
1) 1999 Referendum
A series of events in the late 1990s and the Asian economic crisis served to increase dissatisfaction against Suharto’s authoritarian and corrupt regime. When Suharto won the presidency again in 1998, students occupied the Parliament in protest, and Suharto was pressured to step down by his former allies in the military. Suharto was forced to resign and was replaced by his vice-president, Jusuf Habibie. President Habibie was unwilling to maintain the ‘burden’ of such an expensive province and in January 1999 offered Timor-Leste ‘wide-ranging autonomy’. Should the Timorese reject this then Indonesia would be prepared to ‘let Timor-Leste go’.
An agreement to hold a referendum supervised by the United Nations was reached in May 1999. The UN started to prepare for the referendum by setting up the United Nations Assistance Mission for Timor-Leste, UNAMET. UN observers arrived in East Timor on June 3, and the UN referendum on autonomy or independence was held August 30. Despite threats from pro-Indonesian militia groups, an overwhelming 98.6% of East Timor’s registered voters chose to show up, 78.5% voting in favor of full independence and an immediate end to Indonesian rule.
2) 1999~2002 East Timor Crisis
Indonesian response to the results was quick and devastating. Directly after the referendum, Indonesian-backed paramilitaries carried out a campaign of violence and terrorism in retaliation. An estimated 75% of the population was driven from their homes and over 2,000 people were killed. 300,000 East Timorese were forcibly pushed into West Timor and detained in camps. The militia systematically destroyed the country’s infrastructure, approximately 70% of the infrastructure being decimated during the attacks. On September 14, 1999, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to authorize the creation of a multinational military force known as INTERFET (International Force for East Timor). INTERFET arrived on the island on September 20; its mission was to restore peace and security, protect and support UN operations, and provide humanitarian relief to refugees. INTERFET was able to restore order and in the following months, enabling some 200,000 refugees to return to East Timor. However, it would take until 2005 for nearly all of the refugees to return.
The administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), established on October 25, 1999. The INTERFET deployment ended on February 14, 2000 with the transfer of military command to the UN. For the next two years, the UNTAET would work to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure and train East Timorese in establishing self-government.
On August 30, 2001,East Timor held its first parliamentary elections for a constituent assembly to draft a constitution, electing Marí Alkatiri as the first Prime Minister. The process of drafting the constitution ended in February 2002. In April 2002, former resistance leader Xanana Gusmão, who had spent nearly a decade in an Indonesian prison, was elected the first president. At the stroke of midnight on May 20, 2002, over 100,000 East Timorese gathered in Dili to celebrate the moment the country officially became independent as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. After centuries as a Portuguese colony, and more than two decades of harsh Indonesian rule, East Timor became the world’s newest nation, a title that has since been passed to Montenegro. On September 27, 2002,East Timor joined the UN as the 191st nation.
4) Troubles after Independence
Due to the 1999 crisis, much of East Timor’s economic basis was decimated, and East Timor is currently the poorest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. East Timor struggles with widespread poverty, as the unemployment rate is estimated to be 50%. Though East Timor has a potentially lucrative coffee industry and oil industry, it has been unable to exploit these properly. The government’s apparent inability to solve the economic problem has caused unrest in the population, shown in the Dili riots of 2002 and the 2006 crisis.
On December 4, 2002, one day after a student had been arrested, rioting students set fire to the house of Prime Minister Alkatiri and advanced on the police station in Dili. Police opened fire on the protestors, killing one student, whose body was carried to the Parliament building. The police and the students fought near the Parliament building. The police opened fire a second time and four more students were killed. The conflict grew as the number of rioters increased to 2,000. UN peacekeeping forces had to be sent to restore order.
On February 8, 2006, four hundred and four soldiers, out of the regular strength of about 1500, deserted their barracks, later joined by 177 more on the 25th. Soldiers from the western part of the country had been claiming that they had been discriminated. The soldiers were ordered to return in March, but refused, and were subsequently relieved of duty. On April 24, the former soldiers and their civilian supporters, mostly unemployed youths, marched through the streets of the capital Dili in protest. The initially peaceful march turned violent when the soldiers attacked a market run by people from the east of the country. In the resultant violence, five people were killed, more than 100 buildings were destroyed and an estimated 21,000 Dili residents fled the city. Fierce fighting between the different factions of the military broke out, and as of May 25,Australia, Portugal,New Zealand, and Malaysia have sent troops toTimor in an attempt to stop the violence. On June 26, Prime Minister Alkatiri resigned due to overwhelming pressure by President Gusmao and the general public. His successor is former Foreign Minister and Nobel laureate José Ramos-Horta. At least 23 deaths have occurred since March 21, and the violence has nearly subsided as international peacekeepers have secured the region. On August 18, the UN Security Council passed a resolution to extend the mission in East Timor.
Currently Goa is the richest state in India, and one of the most developed. It is often referred to as the Jewel of India, a title that Goa will not lose in the near future. However, though its economy continues to grow at a high rate, Goa is not without its problems. The political unrest characteristic of the 1990s has settled down, but it is uncertain if such problems have been solved for good. Though the influx of workers from the rest of India may have provided Goan industries with a substantial workforce, the increasing number of immigrants have proven negative for Goan society. Slums have been appearing in the cities of Goa for the first time, and the streets of Goa, famous for being well maintained compared to those of other cities, are increasingly becoming like the streets of other major Indian cities. The relative decrease in the native Goan population has also led to the worries of a loss of Goan identity, as an increasing proportion of the Goan population is Indian and not, in fact, Goan.
East Timor and Goa share quite a few things in common. Both are tropical regions with potential resources, and both were colonies of Portugal. They were similarly invaded and incorporated into Indonesia and India respectively. However, today Goa is the one of the most prosperous regions of India, and East Timor’s young democracy is in danger of collapse. This paper has shown that despite the many similarities between the two regions, some critical differences have caused the respective histories of the regions to turn out as they have.
From the beginning of their common history, East Timor and Goa were treated differently. Goa was the crown jewel of the Portuguese Empire, yet East Timor was simply another outpost under the administration of Goa. Goa’s economy rose and fell with the rise and fall of the Portuguese while East Timor’s remained the same as an underdeveloped colony.
Though the integration into India and Indonesia respectively seem to be similar in that both were started by military invasions, we have seen that the contexts of these invasions were drastically different. India pursued a policy of political integration through diplomatic means yet the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal refused to negotiate with India, leaving India no other choice but to invade Goa in 1961. However, by the time East Timor was invaded in 1975, the Carnation Revolution had taken place in Portugal, creating a new democratic government more willing to release its colonies.Indonesia, which was ruled by a military regime, was pursuing a policy of expansion to consolidate its power over the region. Though East Timor wanted its independence,Indonesia saw the prospect of an independent state as a possible threat to the stability of the archipelago. Therefore,Indonesia invaded and occupied East Timor, not because Portugal refused to negotiate, but to ensure its own stability.
The nature of the occupations is also of great disparity. After a 26 hour conflict with relatively little bloodshed, Goa was incorporated into India as a union territory, then state. India granted the Goan government a large amount of freedom in pursuing its own policies. As a result,Goa was able to invest wisely, stimulating a very high rate of growth that has continued until today. On the other hand, within months of Indonesia’s military invasion, the Indonesian army had killed over 60,000 East Timorese. ABRI would attempt to control various aspects of East Timorese society including the economy and education, and many Timorese rose up and resisted against the Indonesian regime. Over 200,000 Timorese died during the 24 years of occupation, and when the Indonesians left in 1999, the country was worse off than it had been before 1975.
Though the differences created during Portuguese colonialism may have affected the current situation in Goa and East Timor, the critical point of difference lies in the way the two areas were treated after integration into India and Indonesia respectively. The Indian government did not try to force Goa into a fixed role in the federal union, but rather, let the state government do what it felt best. This allowed Goa to take advantage of its unique background and grow to become a crucial part of the Republic of India. Indonesia on the other hand, attempted to rule East Timor with an iron fist, attempting to cow the population into submission and forcing an Indonesian identity upon them. No opportunity was given to the East Timorese to develop their own industries, and what opportunities the Timorese might have had were lost when the Timorese resisted Indonesian threat and voted for independence, inciting a scorched-earth campaign by the Indonesian military. As a result,East Timor gained independence without the economic foundations it would need to support its democracy.
A major part of the history that we learn is about colonialism. However, little emphasis is gone into the subject of what happens to former colonies. This paper shows that while there are success stories as in the case of Goa, former colonies can be occupied by other countries and brutalized as in the case of East Timor. 200,000 people dead is no small number, yet it is hardly dealt with in textbooks. Colonial history does not end with decolonization; decolonization is merely the opening to a new stage which is sadly neglected. Though some former colonies may be able to succeed on their own like Goa, we must never ignore the former colonies that have suffered and still suffer because the textbook simply did not mention them.
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