East Timor: ASEAN and Third-World Colonialism
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In December 1975, after a concerted campaign of subversion and terrorisation, Indonesia invaded East Timor. It then brutally annexed the territory, which had declared its independence from Portugal the previous month, all the while backed by its ASEAN partners. Since critical scholarship has tended to emphasise Western complicity in Jakarta’s actions, ASEAN’s role has largely escaped scrutiny, such that the implications of the invasion for ‘non-interference’ have been left unexamined. Thus, for example, Leifer (1983, p. 167) claims shortly after noting the invasion that that ‘[n]on-violation of national sovereignty is regarded by Jakarta as a central precept of any system of regional order’. Constructivists tend to completely ignore East Timor. Yet as one rare critic observes, ASEAN’s norms were ‘systematically ignored’ during the invasion, constituting a ‘critical experiment’ for the ‘security community view’ of regional politics (Cotton, 2004, pp. 84–5).
KeywordsSecurity Council ASEAN State Khmer Rouge Indonesian Archipelago Separatist Movement
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