East Timor Independence

Страница: 4/16

In spite of Portugal's policy of neutrality, the Australian and Dutch troops entered in Timor. It was the first of two foreigner military invasions. In Lisbon, Oliveira de Salazar denounced the allied disembark as an invasion of a neutral territory. Shortly after arrived the Japanese. It's not to admire that J. Santos Carvalho saw in these actions an attitude of depreciation towards the sovereignty of Portugal. When the allied forces arrived at Dili in December the 17th of 1941, he says that governor Ferreira de Carvalho, without means to retaliate by arms ordered the national flag to be hoisted in all public partitions and buildings of the colony. To further mark his position of neutrality he confined himself to his residence and, by free determination, wished to be considered prisoner.

The population of the capital went to live in the interior, mainly in Aileu, Liquie and Maubara. Some of the few Portuguese that remained in Dili pursued nevertheless with their usual lives, socializing with the forces stationed in Timor. They were given instructions by the local government to maintain a correct attitude but to show no familiarity neither to collaborate. An atmosphere of normality gain form, and some families were prepared to go back. It is even reported that an agreement signed by English and Portuguese governments defined that the allied troops would retire as soon as arrived a contingent of Portuguese forces from Maputo (Mozambique).

What happened instead was the Japanese invasion of Dili, in February of 1942. During January they had managed to occupy Malaysia (except Singapore), the Philippines (but not Bataan), Borneo and the Celebes, Birmania, New Guinea and the Salmon islands. Following general L. M. Chassin - “at the end of the second month of an hyperbolic invasion , the Japanese tide extended itself irresistibly beyond paralyzed and impotent adversaries.” In the middle of February they invaded Sumatra occupying Palembang, soon after Singapore is attacked and many Englishmen are made prisoners. Java was surrounded and on the 20th, Bali and Timor were taken. After a weak resistance , the Dutch troops abandoned by the Javanese soldiers -- which were in majority --, escaped to the interior leaving behind armament. Dili was then violently sacked by the Japanese, who found the city almost uninhabited.

The Portuguese colonial empire

Up to the final years of dictatorship in Portugal, in spite of the condemnation of UN and the start of the guerrilla warfare in the African colonies of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique, the Portuguese Colonial Empire was defended by the government as an heritage of the glorious past and motive of national pride. However, the crescent expenses of it's maintenance begun to reflect increasingly on the economy and social tissue of the metropolis, what provoked crescent discontentment of the population, finally leading to the Revolution of '74 that installed democracy and gave independence to the colonies. East Timor was invaded by Indonesia precisely in the course of decolonization.

During dictatorship, the colonies continued to be dedicated considerable interest. For the nationalist ideology that characterized the regime, the vast regions of the World under Portuguese sovereignty were to be seen as the justification of a necessary conscience of greatness and pride to be Portuguese.

The expression "Portuguese Colonial Empire" would be generalized and even met official formalization. Colonial patrimony was considered as the remaining spoils of the Portuguese conquests of the glorious period of expansion.

These notions were mystified but also expressed in Law as in 1930 Oliveira de Salazar (at the time minister of Finances and, for some time of the Colonies) published the Colonial Act. It stated some fundamental principles for the overseas territorial administration and proclaimed that it was “of the organic essence of the Portuguese nation to possess and colonize overseas territories and to civilize indigenous populations there comprised”. The overseas dimension of Portugal was however soon put at stake after World War II. The converging interest of the two victorious superpowers on the re-distribution of World regions productors of raw materials contributed for an international agreement on the legal right for all peoples to their own government. Stated as a fundamental principle of the UN Charter, anti-colonialism gave thrust to the independist movements of the colonies, and in matter of time unavoidably accepted by the great colonial nations: England, France, Netherlands, Belgium. Yet such countries relied on mechanisms of economical domination that would last, assuring that political independence wouldn't substantially affect the structure of trade relations.

Реферат опубликован: 4/09/2009