Cover-up and denial of Genocide

On Anzac Day 2021, as the Australian government refuses to recognise the Armenian genocide, so too, there is no mention of the genocide of aboriginal people in Australia. Nor is there recognition of the invasion of the East Timorese by the Indonesian government with the tacit approval of Whitlam. It was that invasion in 1975 that led to the genocide.

US President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger had given Indonesian President Suharto the green light to invade East Timor and subsequent governments led by Fraser and Hawke/Keating went along with it, preferring to entertain stronger ties with Indonesia. It was not until the late 20th century that the Australian government was forced to support the Timorese; but then, to turn against them once again by stealing their oil and gas from the Arafura Sea.

Despite facts on the ground Whitlam was an apologist for Indonesia as late as 1985 [He starts at 22:41] … preferring to blame European colonialism rather than the international arms dealers and Indonesian generals for what happened in East Timor and what has continued to happen in West Papua to this day.

Whitlam’s suggestion that Indonesia had a legitimate claim to East Timor is absurd.

East Timor Burning by LeftPress 1992

We post this article COVER-UP AND DENIAL OF GENOCIDE-Australia, the USA, East Timor, and the Aborigines by by Ben Kiernan to illustrate the full extent of that denial. Please note that recent studies suggest the numbers of aboriginal people killed in the frontier wars to have been far higher than the estimates quoted in the paper below.

Ian Curr
Editor WBT,
25 April 2021.


Of an estimated population in 1788 of over half a million, fewer than 50,000 Australian Aborigines survived by 1900. Most perished from introduced dis- eases, but possibly 20,000 Aborigines were killed by British troops, police, and set- tlers in warfare and massacres accompanying their dispossession. In a neighboring island a century later, Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 to 1999 took more than 120,000 lives, out of a population of 650,000. Australia’s public and press were largely sympathetic to East Timor’s right to self-determination. But a small circle of publicists and commentators, favoring the Suharto regime’s anticommunism, denounced reports of the ongoing Timor tragedy and encouraged Canberra’s diplomatic support for Jakarta. Some of these same Australians also opposed the gathering movement for Aboriginal land rights and reconciliation. Legal victories won by Aborigines in the 1990s, including High Court judgments and a 1997 Human Rights Commission finding that they had been subjected to genocide, exerted pressure on conservative prime minister John Howard, provoking a campaign by his supporters to deny that genocide had occurred. A common feature of these two cases of Australian genocide denial was “right-wing” refusal to concede legitimacy to causes enlisting “left-wing” support.

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