Jakarta, 30 September 1975
O.JA2161 SECRET AUSTEO PRIORITY
Tjan told us today, 30 September, that on 26 and 29 September the President had agreed to increased Indonesian assistance to the anti-Fretilin forces in Portuguese Timor.
- He said that up to 3800 Indonesian soldiers from Java would be put into Portuguese Timor gradually. Atsabe would be their base. The King of Atsabe would be the figure-head for the anti-Fretilin side. Jao Carascalao would probably be its military commander.
- Tjan indicated that this plan of operation would probably start later this week.
- Tjan said that the President still refused to approve outright Indonesian intervention. The President described Indonesian actions mentioned in paragraph 2 above as ‘helping’ the anti-Fretilin forces.
- Indonesia would also provide the King of Atsabe with a radio transmitter to enable the anti-Fretilin forces to communicate with the outside world independently rather than through Indonesia.
- The plan of operations mentioned by Tjan represents a significant escalation of Indonesian involvement in Portuguese Timor and of the approach they have adopted in the last three weeks (JA16771 refers).
- Tjan acknowledged that the scale of support for the anti-Fretilin forces now planned could not go undiscovered.
- The plan also represents a return to the initial idea (which Tjan had referred to before 10 August) of using the King of Atsabe as the Indonesian stalking-horse rather than the UDT remnants in Batugade as has been the case in recent weeks. These remnants will still play an important part in the plan, however.
- It seems that the aim of the plan is to capture Fretilin-held territory. Tjan did not say how long Indonesia expected this to take. But recently he has said that a solution to the Timor problem would be found by March 1976.
[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, xiv]
- 1 Document 217.