Subject: AP: E Timorese Mark Anniversary Of 1975 Invasion

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

E Timorese Mark Anniversary Of 1975 Invasion By Indonesia

DILI, Dec. 7 (AP) -- Hundreds commemorated Friday the anniversary of Indonesia's 1975 East Timor invasion and speakers demanded justice, as newly released documents in Washington showed for the first time that the U.S. administration had approved the attack.

"War crimes have been committed here since 1975. There is international justice for Bosnia and Rwanda - why not in East Timor," said Aniceto Guterres, head of a human rights body that sponsored the rally.

The gathering in a park in the East Timorese capital, also included a photo exhibit depicting torture and killings allegedly committed by Indonesian troops during the occupation that ended in 1999 after a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum.

Up to 200,000 people - a quarter of East Timor's population - died in the guerrilla war that followed the invasion on Dec. 7, 1975.

There was a minute of silence for the dead and many of those present wept as prayers were read. Later, flowers were laid in the city's port, where hundreds of civilians were executed on the day of the invasion.

The commemoration came just a few hours after a U.S. research group published previously classified documents showing that former U.S. President Gerald Ford and then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger approved the planned invasion when they discussed the issue with President Suharto.

At the time, East Timor was in the process of gaining independence after three centuries of Portuguese rule. Suharto's right-wing military dictatorship feared that a left-leaning regime on the half-island territory - located near the center of the Indonesian archipelago - would undermine its authority and embolden Indonesia's democratic opposition.

Suharto raised the Timor issue during his meeting with the visiting Americans in Jakarta on Dec. 6, 1975. The invasion began less than 24 hours later.

Declassified documents obtained by the Washington-based National Security Archive record Ford telling Suharto he would not press him on the issue. Kissinger said it would be best if the Indonesians waited until he and Ford returned to Washington before launching the attack.

Kissinger is recorded cautioning Suharto on the use of American weapons to subdue the Timorese. The arms had been supplied with a congressional proviso that they could only be used for the defense of Indonesia.

"It depends on how you construe it; whether it is in self-defense or is a foreign operation, it is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly," he told Suharto.

Kissinger wasn't immediately available for comment. A U.S. embassy spokeswoman in Jakarta said she had no information on the report.

In Oslo, East Timor's foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta said the East Timorese had long been aware that the Ford administration gave Suharto the green light for the assault.

"This has been said many times, we already knew this," the Nobel peace laureate said in a telephone interview.

Despite its support for Suharto, the U.S. government never formally recognized Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.

After Suharto was ousted amid massive pro-democracy protests in 1988, his successor B.J. Habibie agreed to resolve the festering issue by asking the United Nations to organize a plebiscite in the province.

The referendum resulted in an overwhelming vote for independence. Since then, Washington has become one of the biggest aid donors to the fledging nation, which is due to achieve full independence next May.

The U.S. government has given $100 million to the U.N. administration currently governing the territory, and an additional $25 million has been approved by Congress.

see also ETAN Kissinger Page

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