Thursday, February 02, 2006

Downer and East Timor

An ABC news report citing the East Timorese Truth and Reconciliation Commission takes as news that Alexander Downer wanted Indonesia to delay a plebiscite on East Timorese independence. Is anyone surprised? The government sponsored Facing North says that Downer always supported 'a lengthy period of autonomy followed by an act of self-determination' (12 January 1999) (p.227) and Howard's letter to President Habibie of 19 December 1998 declared that Australia believed East Timor's interests were best served by remaining part of Indonesia(p. 228). Only ignorance and myth-making such as that of David Flint who seeks to exempt the Liberal party from the blame it shares with Labor on this, can denyHoward's Suhartoian enthusiams (Gerard Henderson is good on this here).


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