An International East Timor Solidarity movement arose in response to the 1975 invasion of Indonesia and the occupation that followed. The movement was supported by Churches, human rights groups, and peace campaigners, but developed its own organisations and infrastructure in many countries.Many demonstrators and vigils backed legislative actions to cut off military supplies to Indonesia. The mevement was most extensive in neighbouring Australia, in Portugal, and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa, but had significant force in United States, Canada, and Europe.
Jose ramos-Horta, current President of East Timor, stated in a 2007 inter view that the solidarity movement "was instrumental. They were like our peaceful foot soldiers, and fought many battles for us."
Indonesian invasion of East Timor began on 7 Dec, 1975. Indonesian forces launched a
massive air and sea invasion, known as Operasi Seroja or "Operation Komodo", almost entirely using US-supplied equipment. Reported death tolls from the 24th year occupation from 60,000 to 200,000. A detailed statistical report prepared for the commision for reception, Truth, and reconciliation in East Timor cited a lower range of 102,800 conflict related deaths in the period 1974-1999, namely, approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 'excess' deaths from hunger and illness.
A puppet "Provisional government of East Tremor" was installed in mid-Dec. consisting of Apodeti and UDT leaders. Attempts by the United nation's Secretary General's special Representative, VittorioWinspeare Gulcciardi to visit Fretilin-held areas from Darwin, Australia were obstructed by the Indonesian Military, which blockeded East Timor. On May31, 1976, A People's Assembly in Dili, selected by Indonesian intelligence, unanimously endorsed an act of Integration and on July 17, East Timor officially became the 27th province of the republic of Indonesia. Although the United nations had not responded to the Indonesian annexation of West irian some years previously, the occupation of East Timor remained a public issue in many nations, Portugal in particular, and the UN never recognised either the regime installed by the indonesians or the subsequent annexation.