Why should Sri Lanka be compared to East Timor?
Posted on October 17th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

If Sri Lanka is to be compared to any nation it must have similar historical civilizational traits. No amount of distortion, attempts to re-write history by religions out to convert Vedic religions can take away the Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka and changing the constitution is one attempt to replace the foremost place given to Buddhism by applying a multicultural multi-religious pseudo eye-wash which over time invariably will result in either the Church or Islam determining and dominating how affairs of the State will run according to the religious tenants of their faiths which gives no equal status to Buddhism or Hinduism. When Cardinal Parolin signed the agreement on the Italian model” in the Asian nation, a Catholic stronghold celebrating 500 years of evangelization the proof was sealed. The arrival of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka is nothing for us to feel proud about though the present PM wanted to celebrate the arrival. The architect of the 19th amendment Jayampathy Wickremaratne however thinks otherwise and wishes Sri Lanka to follow the example of East Timor http://www.dailymirror.lk/91161/forming-the-new-constitution

History of East Timor

 The Portuguese arrived in 1505 to both Ceylon and Timor. Dominican Friars created a Catholic conclave in 1556 and territory became a Portuguese colony in 1702. The Dutch took over West Timor in 1613. Timor natives were converted to Catholicism. Portuguese were taught and citizenship granted only if natives knew the language and were Catholic as the Church took over education raising natives to think and live as per Christian dogma only. More than 90% Timorese are Catholic. During World War 2 Timor was occupied by a small British, Australian and Dutch force, to preempt a Japanese invasion. Japanese did invade in 1942.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1997. Portuguese Timor became independent in 2002. In anticipation of this independence the US set up a post in capital Dili in 2001 claiming that Timor needed US presence alongside the UN Transitional Administration (something along similar lines now being pushed for Sri Lanka)

  • East Timor’s Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) took 3 years (January 2002 to 2005) was 2500 pages and covered human rights violations in East Timor between 1974 & 1999 (25 years)

US Role

  • More than 1000 declassified US & British documents was also included calling for reparations from US/UK Governments and Western arms manufacturers for supporting Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 until UN sponsored vote in 1999.
  • East Timor was originally occupied by the Portuguese and Lisbon held legal sovereignty over Timor in 1975.
  • Indonesia invaded it in 1975 after the green light was given by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Gerard Ford. That 24 year occupation lost 100,000 Timorese lives.
  • Questions arise as to the extent of ties US had with Suharto between 1975 and 1998 for the US to provide military support for the Indonesian armed forces to invade East Timor and US were well aware of Indonesia’s killing spree. Did the US request the Indonesians to invade East Timor and was this why the US followed a ‘policy of silence’?
  • President Ford and Secretary Kissinger arrived in Indonesia, Jakarta on 5 December 1975 and US Ambassador David Newsom conveyed to Indonesia that it should ‘take no military action until well after the President’s departure from Jakarta” (this shows that the US knew or the military action and questions whether US requested the action to take place as the Indonesians used US arms/weapons) Did the US want Indonesia to integrate East Timor to Indonesia and was it because this plan failed the US went on to another plan and was this why it took till September 1999 for US to describe Indonesia’s military violence as a form of ‘terrorism’.
  • The other reason to suspect US hand in the invasion is the manner Carter Administration & National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski blocked attempts by US Congressman, Donald Fraser to obtain a copy of the cable transcribing the meeting President Ford and Kissinger had with President Suharto on 6 Dec 1975. The text of that cable was released in December 2001
  • US officials as proven by the declassified cables show that US ignored reports of Indonesia’s massacres of Timorese civilians. This is seen in the US envoy Jean Stapleton Roy that the Clinton administration did not desire to let East Timor further damage ties between the two nations” therefore even when Indonesian army killed 1500 Timorese in September 1999 the US took Indonesia’s side!
  • The ‘policy of silence’ stems from the National Security Council memo from W R Smyser to Kissinger on 4 March 1975 giving US policy responses based on the fact that US has ‘interests’ in Indonesia and none in Timor. In other words actions of powerful nations have no moral or righteous basis except based on what has geopolitical/trade interests for these nations!
  • Another clue that declassified documents provided was that the plan for Indonesia to invade East Timor had been planned for a year before the invasion and probably it was the US that spurred the East Timorese to seek Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 28 Nov 1975 to justify Suharto’s military invasion. A similar nudge took place when Iraq’s Saddam was discretely told to invade Kuwait and that turned out to be Saddam’s downfall planned by the US. The lesson in all this is any third world leader that trusts the US is a bloody idiot! The US always plays a double game and works with both parties often at the same time. This was clear in the manner that the entire weaponry used for the takeover were American and trained by Americans.
  • The scale of hypocrisy can be seen in the manner that the Australian consul to Portuguese Timor James Dunn in March 1977 published a report alleging that the Indonesian forces had killed between 50,000 to 100,000 East Timorese the US Embassy in Jakarta rejected the charges as ‘exaggerated’

Church role

  • The other interesting factor is that though Indonesia is Muslim, Suharto’s only general army commander Benny Moerdani was Catholic and when Indonesia invaded Timor in 1975 Timorese were 34% Catholic. The Timor resistance movements were steered by the Church (no different to the Church links to LTTE) and this indirectly enabled the Church to increase the flocks which has been the case with the Tamil Hindus converting to Catholicism throughout LTTE rule as the Church not only provided salvation but promised a better life in the West, western education, employment and all things that poverty stricken Timorese and Tamils yearned for. You have to wonder whether a dual objective is taking place with every crisis planted!
  • The role of the Church in Timor raised further eyebrows when it supported former student activist and political prisoner Fernando “La Sama” de Araujo at the Presidential election in 2007. The Church was an ally of colonials and remains a major political player in all former colonies still.
  • In August 2015, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State signed a formal agreement sanctioning complete harmony between the State and the Church (can people now understand why Buddhist Sri Lanka does not wish anyone to tamper or tweak the existing constitution because it would be a subtle way to remove the foremost place rightfully held and should belong to the Buddhists of Sri Lanka who built this nation). By 2015, over 96% of 1.2m Timorese had become Catholic and converts become more Catholic than the Pope! http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/timor-est-42800/ The link refers to drafting the new Constitution and a request was made to officially introduce Catholicism as ‘state religion’. The celebration of 500 years of evangelization is what Sri Lanka’s present PM suggested in 2005 and the former President fell for inviting the Pope to canonize a person who had arrived in disguise to murder and convert natives costing him an election defeat. In Timor the message released was The Catholic Church, for over 500 years has given great spiritual, human and material support to the people of Timor, contributing in a decisive manner to the process of liberation of East Timor”. In Sri Lanka this statement is nowhere near valid for those who are aware of the scale of destruction and murder and mayhem committed by the Portuguese and the Church. http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=13665http://www.asiantribune.com/node/86125
  • Under the veil of secularism an agreement with the Holy See has been in place since 2006 and it was these players that decided on what changes were to take place to the criminal code based on Church beliefs and the place given to the Catholic religion in administration, schools and society was secured. Is this not what the new constitution is aiming to achieve in Sri Lanka by replacing the place historically held by Buddhism with Evangelism and does this not give the Buddhists every right to object?
  • If the Church can argue that preference given to Catholicism in East Timor s valid on account of Portuguese rule except for the period ruled by Indonesia why cant Sinhala Buddhists say the same when they have a history of over 2600 to showcase?

UN role

  • Funnily enough the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor on 1 Nov 1977 and called for self-determination which the US voted against! In 1993 US co-sponsored a successful resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission criticizing Indonesian abuses in East Timor.
  • Coincidentally in 1983 August the Timorese Fretilin guerrillas attacked Indonesian military forces killing 18 soldiers – in 1983 July the LTTE guerrillas attacked Sri Lankan military killing 13 soldiers!
  • Suharto came into power in 1965 after a murder mayhem but UK and US continued to keep him as ally. http://www.peace.ca/usauktrained.htm no accountability for US/UK action has been called from the UN to date!

New Constitution

  • What is interesting is the manner in which Western Think Tanks were taking interest in helping draft Timor’s constitution no different to Western-funded local NGOs playing a similar role in public opinion gathering (officialising their biased views)
  • Catholic NGOs played in integral role in East Timor no different to the similar role played in Sri Lanka and naturally Western-Christian influenced media have held sway in both nations and thus have used electronic and print media to influence the naïve people of both countries.

Invariably what needs to be accepted is that the West cares little about human rights, democracy, justice or accountability and neither are they bothered about the rights of the minorities or the grievances of the majority. But they do love using the issues that countries suffer from as slogans to advance their own agendas for it becomes all the more easier to use tense internal conflicts to enter as peace makers, conflict resolutionists and mediators but in reality they are only putting their foot in to aggravate the trouble so they can keep the locals busy solving issues while they put teams to advance their goals. If locals by now cannot understand the repetitive nature of how the West functions they deserve the treatment given.

As things stand nothing should be changed if it is being promoted by the very countries that are responsible for the chaos in Sri Lanka indirectly and directly.

 

Shenali D Waduge

 

7 Responses to “Why should Sri Lanka be compared to East Timor?”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    While Buddhism is loosing her due place in Sri Lanka what are the two Mahanayake Kapuralas in Malwatte and Asgiriya doing?

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    Good question Ratanapala
    At last our problem is not Sinhala /Tamil problem :-)

  3. aravinda Says:

    Another scenario is Biafran war in Nigeria. In 1967, Biafran province, where large oil fields were located, unilaterally declared independence. When Sampanthan uttered Sri Lanka need to divide in to three parts, did he have this in his mind? If there is a UDI, and UN and Western nations support it, what will present leadership do? Is there a single man in this leadership to stand up for Sri Lanka.

    We have Kiriella who uttered “We are not fools to fight a war against Tigers” and we have Mano Ganeshan who begged Tamils to “Finance LTTE to fight Sinhalese”. Rest of the gang has varied, nefarious and colorful histories. We are heading for stormy seas.

  4. Independent Says:

    Not a valid comparison, similar poking fingers by US. Australia has benefitted immensely and stealing oil, leaving Timorese poor for ever.

  5. Christie Says:

    Compare Ceylon anD Andaman & nICOBAR iSLands

  6. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Ratnapala, They are fattening their necks. Never have I seen such large number of GOVERNMENT AMBATTAYAS GOING IN DROVES TO MALWATTE AND ASGIRIYA with Ata Pirikara, and Fruit Baskets to pay obeisance. They plead for Blessings for their Personal Glory and Aggrandizement.

    Aravinda ! O G Kiriella said that after the War was won against the Tigers. Probably he meant against the Tamil Diaspora.

    HC ZAHAED should be ask by the International Community, that includes China, Russia, Pakistan, Cuba, etc, to shake his under-wear and drop the Tamils who gave false evidence, against Sri Lanka, and who are kept in hiding there, for the next TWENTY YEARS. He will not be able to change his Under-wear for 20 years, and will cause a stench to the whole world, breaking all ethics and principles of common LAW. He has be-littled and insulted the Sri Lankan Judiciary and committed Contempt of Court. He should apologise before he sets foot on Sri Lankan soil. He he is coming here probably to give our Judiciary a lesson on how to circumvent with impunity,and Hypocrisy, all norms of International and Constitutional Law, the way he has done by hiding the non existent Tamil Complainants, inside his under-wear for 20 long years. This 20 year moratorium is damning, and an International U N FRAUD committed against beautiful democratic Sri Lanka. All UN Member Countries should read between the lines and EITHER get HCZ to withdraw the 20 year hiding of fake complainants, OR the Member Countries should withdraw Membership En-masse, reflecting that they are not in unison and will not concur with such reprehensible conduct of HCZ.

  7. samurai Says:

    I FULLY AGREE WITH RATNAPALA AND SUSANTHA

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