The dollarisation of East Timor
In yet another indication that the major imperialist powers are determined to impose their control over an independent East Timor is the decision of the UN administration to enforce the use of the American dollar as the currency of East Timor. The UN Transitional Administrator, Sergio de Mello made the announcement at the end of April. The order imposes heavy fines on unlicensed currency traders. East Timor's coffee growers are also to be paid in American dollars for the first time. Up to now, the main currencies in circulation have been the Indonesian rupiah and the Australian dollar. The UN decision shows that some sections of the UN administration are pursuing the interests of American imperialism and are determined to break the logical commercial links between East Timor and Indonesia by putting up a currency wall. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on May 11 claims that the American dollar has "stability, strength, universal acceptability and is politically neutral". The latter claim is obvious nonsense. The imposition of the US dollar makes East Timor and effective part of the US dollar empire. It remains to be seen whether the UN order will find acceptance among the people of East Timor who are not likely to accept another colonial master having waged many years of struggle to throw off Indonesian domination and exploitation.