Letter: Death in Timor
Monday 15 February 1999
East Timor's Portuguese governor did not flee until 27 August 1975. By then, Indonesian troops had been in East Timor for six months. Their job was to stir up the "civil war" that began on 11 August 1975 so that the full-scale invasion - scheduled for 16 October 1975 - could be presented as a move to "restore peace".
All this was known to the Australian government, which was given extensive briefings by the Indonesians. So when, after the real civil war collapsed, Indonesian troops murdered two TV news crews at the border village of Balibo on 16 October 1975, Indonesia's then president halted the invasion. He feared public protests from the newsmen's governments. When none came, East Timor's fate was sealed.
The Australian government's "preliminary evaluation" of the deaths of the newsmen - including the Britons Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters - is due out this week.
Western Region Development Officer
United Nations Association
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
The funniest joke at Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Tim Vine wins for second time
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head