Theindonesianpatternofgenocide Essay Research Paper The guidelines for

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Theindonesianpatternofgenocide Essay, Research Paper The guidelines for genocide have been set. All the rules that clarify exactly what constitutes the act the crime of genocide have also been set forth. The U.N has even made the act of genocide a crime, punishable by death or life in prison. But, with that being said, the act of genocide and severe human rights violations still occur in today s complex and violent world. This is no more apparent than in East Timor. Timor is an island nation located at the southeastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. No larger than the state of Connecticut in the U.S.A. it has over 700,000 people. Just North of Australia, the island was colonized by the Portuguese in 1520. Over the next two centuries both the Dutch and the Portuguese

claimed the island as their own. Eventually the island was divided with the Dutch taking the Western half and Portugal taking the Eastern half. East Timor remained a colony of Portugal for over four centuries until 1974. The population of East Timor as of 1975 was just under 700,000 people. Of that, 97% were natives of the island, while the Chinese made up 2% and the Portuguese made up the rest of the population. The island has a mountain range that runs through the middle that dominates the landscape. Most of the native peoples live in isolated villages. The main occupation is farming with some small coastal fishing villages scattered about. The Chinese run most of the trading outposts on the island. Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism, is the major religion on East

Timor, while the rest of Indonesia is strictly Islamic. As I will point out later, the difference in religion will play a significant role in some of the atrocities committed by the pro-Indonesian militias. The natives of Timor have experienced many episodes of conquest that included some form or other of genocide. The first occurred when the Portuguese originally colonized the island. The Portuguese were especially brutal conquerors and attempted to erase the native Timorese s history by converting them to Christianity. Those who resisted were killed. The second came in 1941 when the Japanese took control of the island during World War II. Over 60,000 natives, almost 13% of the population at that point, lost their lives to Japanese atrocities, mostly for aiding the allies. The

third and most recent occurred from 1975 on when the government of Indonesia launched a massive assault and proclaimed East Timor as its 27th province. By 1974 a bloody revolution in Portugal overthrew the ruling dictatorship and the decolonization of East Timor had begun. When the population of East Timor was notified three main political parties emerged. The Timorese Democratic Union, or UDT, was the first. The UDT had the most support from the people right away. The party favored a slow transition to independence but also wanted to remain closely associated with Portugal. Shortly thereafter, the Timorese Social Democratic Association, or ASDT, came along. The ASDT wanted nothing to do with Portugal. It favored a quick transition to independence and had several Communist or

Socialist ideas. The ASDT claimed it wanted to establish Co-ops to return the land back to the people. The party also tried to establish a literacy campaign for the people. These two major acts by the ASDT swayed most of the population to their side. The third party was the Timorese Popular Democratic Association, or APODETI. Apodeti called for full integration into Indonesia. In East Timor this party lacked support, but had a he following just across the border. Backed by the government of Indonesia and its military this party tried to do whatever it could to try and sway the people of East Timor. General Suharto, Indonesia s dictator, watched this scenario closely and quickly became upset at the thought of East Timor becoming independent and led by ASDT, now Fretilin. Suharto