28th November 1975 - First Declaration of Timorese Independence

Today marks the 41st anniversary of Timor's independence proclamation. On this day in 1975 what was known as Portuguese Timor was declared to be the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. 

 
 

After 500 years of colonisation the hopes of the Timorese ran high. Sovereignty, liberty, dignity, self determination - at last.

Nine days later, with an Australian 'green light' Indonesia invaded and a brutal 24 year occupation began. 

Each respective Australian Government over those 24 years knew exactly what was going on, the atrocities taking place on our doorstep, a single hour's flight north of Darwin. 

Fear and greed and expediency rendered nearly all of our so called leaders silent. 

There was oil in the Timor-Sea.

It belonged to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste:

The new nation proclaimed on this day 41 years ago by the diminutive figure of First President Francisco Xavier Amaral - and Australia wanted it. 

Our leaders thought it would be easier to get it dealing with Indonesia regardless of the cost to the Timorese people.

So on this day - of all days - after our shameful role in this history of neglect and deals, lets call on our Government to do the right thing. 

Do the border, do it fair, do it now.