Comment : Yudhoyono’s visit to Timor Leste
May 19, Online
The Timor Leste government invited President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Dili on May 20 to attend the 10th anniversary of the country’s independence. Yudhoyono was also scheduled to attend the inauguration of president-elect José Maria Vasconcelos, known as Taur Matan Ruak, who will replace Ramos Horta. The question is, how strategic is this visit and should Yudhoyono take time out of his tight schedule to fulfill the invitation?
It is unlikely that people in West Timor will demand secession from Indonesia.
Even though it is one of the poorest regions of Indonesia, it still has advantages being part of a larger state, which Timor Leste no longer has.
Timor Leste is not as oil-rich as Brunei, and even if it were, that would not be an incentive to secede.
Brunei consists of two separate enclaves in Malaysian territory, just as Timor Leste consists of two separate enclaves in Indonesian territory, but there is no talk of Sarawak or Sabah seceding, much less joining with Brunei in a North Borneo Federation, an idea that died about the time of Konfrontasi.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.