TELL JULIE BISHOP: ITS TIME FOR A FAIR GO FOR TIMOR

It’s a surprising breakthrough, and one we’ve long called for together. Now you need to make your voice heard and sign the petition for a fair go for Timor.

julie_bishop_petition_graphic_small.jpg

This week, Julie Bishop announced that Timor and Australia would terminate a dodgy Timor Sea Treaty and begin negotiations for a permanent maritime border. This major shift presents new hope for the people of Timor – to get back what is rightfully theirs.

But if history is our guide, we need to keep the pressure up right now.

Please add your signature to our urgent petition demanding a fair approach to the negotiations

Sign the petition

It’s been a sorry story. For more than a decade, particularly under the Howard and Abbott Governments, Australia treated Timor with disdain. We withdrew recognition of international laws, used our disproportionate power as a wealthy nation, and even spied on previous  negotiations using bugs planted during an AusAid project. We bullied a  fledgling nation – and a dear friend – out of resources that are rightfully theirs. We cannot let our Government do it again.

The commitment this week from Minister Bishop is the first step in a long process, but it’s more promising than anything we’ve seen in the past.

While the new negotiations take place behind closed doors, Australians like you are determined to keep this issue in the spotlight. More than 200 supporters have funded this campaign, and thousands have pledged support. Together we can pressure Julie Bishop to adopt a foreign policy that we can be proud of. But it will only happen with your help – and your voice!

Sign the petition: Tell the Foreign Minister to negotiate a fair boundary halfway between Australia and Timor.

Ella & Tom
For the Timor Sea Justice Campaign

P.S Spread the word by forwarding this email to a friend

Timor Sea Justice Campaign · Australia

AETFA SA is an affiliate of TSJC

You can also keep up with Timor Sea Justice Campaign on Twitter or Facebook.

Christmas Pop-up Shop for Timor-Leste on Sunday

AUSTRALIA EAST TIMOR FRIENDSHIP ASSOC. SA (AETFA SA) supports the following:

Finished your Christmas Shopping yet?
Finish your Christmas Shopping at our

Christmas Pop Up Shop
handicrafts from Alola Foundation, Casa Vida & Kor Timor
Sunday 18 December 10amish – 4pm
in the One Small Room Alley
6 – 10 Elizabeth Street, Croydon
100% of Sales to be Donated to Casa Vida

Casa Vida provides access to vocational training & sustainable & meaningful employment which is essential in assisting to restore the hope & dignity of victims of sexual violence: which in-turn assists with their positive reintegration into society. We will continue to raise money for Casa Vida until the end of the year:

Can’t make it? You can make a donation via PayPal by going to our website: www.manythreadsproject.com

Or via direct bank deposit:
Many Threads Project
Peoples Choice Credit Union
BSB 805 050
Account Number 100008578

Please advise us via manythreadsproject@gmail.com so we can acknowledge your donation.

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We support a range of social enterprises & women’s cooperatives in Timor-Leste by assisting them to expand their market in Australia. 

We have also provided support to the East Timor Students Association – SA & are looking forward to supporting the establishment of their Alumni Group in Timor-Leste & projects recommended by them such as their appeal for assistance for the children of Bobonaro in 2013.

For more information visit our website:
www.manythreadsproject.com

AWPA Adelaide ’s upcoming Melanesian Feast

Australia West Papua Association (SA) inc   

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invites you to attend a Melanesian  Feast

    from 1pm on Sunday 4th December

 at 99 Day Terrace, West Croydon

$20/$10

To celebrate the 1st December declaration of WP Independence  

Funds raised on the day will assist our human rights campaigns

Please  RSVP for catering purposes by Thursday 1/12

   to info@awpaadelaide.com    or ph  either 83454480 or 83401847

The AWPA Annual general meeting will be held following the lunch

You can also go into Facebook and share this event with your friends at the link below

https://www.facebook.com/events/922914487839252/

FILM BENEFIT FOR WORKING WOMEN´S CENTRE in TIMOR-LESTE

SA Unions, the SA Working Women’s Centre, the APHEDA Union Aid Abroad Activist Group SA & Australia East Timor Friendship Association

invite you to:

A FILM BENEFIT NIGHT

for TIMOR-LESTE’S WORKING WOMEN’S CENTRE

featuring The Queen of Ireland

WEDNESDAY 2nd N0VEMBER 2016

5.30 PM:   Drinks & Nibbles Speaker: Sandra Dann (Director, WWC SA) – Update on the WWC-TL

6.45 PM:    Film: The Queen of Ireland

VENUE: The CAPRI THEATRE 141 Goodwood Road, Goodwood SA 5034

ADMISSION: Full Wage:  $20      Concession:  $15

TICKETS are available from:

SA Unions:     Gus Story          PH: 8279 2222     E: astory@saunions.org.au

WWC SA: Sandra Dann PH: 8410 6499 M: 0409 693286 E: sandra@wwc.org.au

ASU (SA+NT): Jessie O´Neill PH: 8363 1322 E: joneill@asu-sant.asn.au

AETFA:     Donald Barnes      PH: 8359 3109 M: 0429 997169     E: dbarnes@adam.com.au

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About the Film

The Queen of Ireland is a 2015 Irish documentary film directed by Conor Horgan. It focuses on Rory O’Neill, better known as Panti, in the lead up to the historic referendum on marriage equality for same-sex couples in Ireland. (Wikipedia)

Director: Conor Horgan. Music composed by: Michael Fleming. Cast: Rory O´Neill. Screenplay: Conor Horgan, Phillip McMahon. Producers: Katie Holly, Ailish Bracken

 

Sign Petition to stop Widodo appointing Wiranto to Cabinet/Comment from AETFA SA

Sign ETAN’s petition: Tell President Jokowi indicted war criminal Wiranto is not fit to be Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs.

https://www.change.org/p/joko-widodo-wiranto-is-not-fit-to-be-indonesia-coordinating-minister

For more information and to check out the East Timor (and Indonesia) Action Network (from the U.S) see:

http://www.etan.org/

  WHY WIRANTO’S APPOINTMENT AS MINISTER IS CONTROVERSIAL
JAKARTA POST 5.8.2016
AETFA SA COMMENT:
It is very appropriate that Nicholas Koumjian, the Chief prosecutor for the UN Serious Crimes Unit in Timor Leste from 2003-2005, has written this article in the Jakarta Post (5.8.2016) about President Joko ( Jokowi) Widodo’s decision to appoint retired general Wiranto as the minister for security, political and legal affairs to replace another retired general, Luhut Panjaitan.
Many people will say “So what!” however, this action is equivalent to a post World War 2 German government appointing a Nazi war criminal to a senior posting. World leaders who claim they value democracy, human rights, social justice and the rule of law should be shouting loud condemnation at such an ill-advised decision.
Wiranto’s leadership of the fascist Indonesian army (TNI) in East Timor during 1999 led to the deaths of nearly 2000 more East Timorese and the destruction of 80% of the nation’s infrastructure. The TNI had already wiped out about a 1/3 of East Timor’s population in its brutal and barbaric 24 year illegal occupation of the tiny nation.
If a criminal like Wiranto had faced the Nuremberg Tribunal he might have served imprisonment for life sentence or been executed for his crimes. Instead, he is being rewarded by President Joko Widodo.  This decision is very controversial indeed because the President had promised a genuine inquiry into the crimes committed in 1965 during the CIA/TNI  brutal coup that smashed Indonesian democracy and ushered in the 33 year of brutal fascist rule of the Suharto dictatorship.
He also promised looking into human rights abuses in West Papua and appointed Luhut Panjaitan, another former senior TNI officer, to be responsible.This man has a cloud hanging over him because of human rights abuses that occurred in East Timor under his watch. 
President Joko must be advised that if he continues to make decisions like this, he will not be seen as being either genuine or serious about resolving the crimes of the TNI, attaining justice for its victims  or about improving the human rights of the West Papuan people and others who are forced to live under its jackboots.
Amnesty International is correct when it describes this move as an insult to international human rights. After all, Wiranto and many of his fellow generals have committed genocide and gross human rights abuses and the question has to be asked why world leaders who frequently promote the concepts of the rule of law and human rights are strangely silent about these war criminals?
It is to be hoped that when the new Indonesian minister for security, political and legal affairs  goes overseas to meet leaders of other nations that he will face extradition to the International Court of Justice. Of course, this is most unlikely as Indonesia is a client state of the US and most US allies would do nothing to criticise human rights crimes committed by the TNI as we have already seen.
Australians who care about human rights, the rule of law and fairness between nations should be questioning their federal politicians about why they are not speaking out against the Indonesian criminals. They might also demand that the Australian Government cease its continuing policy to steal oil and gas from Timor-Leste’s half of the Timor Sea in contravention of the UN Congress of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). After all, this is a violation of international law and Timor-Leste is the poorest nation in our region of the world.
Andrew (Andy) Alcock, Information Officer AETFA SA
x
Aug 7

Two Public Meetings: Timor-Leste on 15 May and West Papua on 19 May

Australia East Timor Friendship Association S. A. Inc.
invites you to two public meetings in May. Details below -
1.) PUBLIC MEETING on Sunday 15 May 2016 at 3pm

Speakers:

* AETFA Committee tribute to committee member Bill Fisher
(died 22 February 2016)

David Willis, Flinders University
- “Three Choices for Timor: Contending with small state geopolitics”

* Spokesperson from the East Timor Students Association of SA (t.b.c.)
- Latest developments in Timor-Leste

Followed by questions and discussion

TIME:    3 PM

DAY:      Sunday

DATE:    15 May 2016

VENUE:   FILEF Centre, 15 Lowe St Adelaide (Entrance at rear)
Drinks and nibbles provided

This public meeting will follow the AETFA SA AGM at 2pm

For more information contact:
Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer
Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA Inc
Email:       andyalcock@internode.on
Phone:   +61 8 83710480; 0457 827 014

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2.)  Special Invitation

Come to the Public Forum

‘Breaking the Silence’

Hear West Papuan Leader:

Benny Wenda

 Benny Wenda

6.00 pm for 6.30 pm

Thursday 19 May 2016

Lecture Theatre Napier 102, (First Floor Napier Building)

University of Adelaide

North Terrace Campus

(download map at www.adelaide.edu.au/campuses)

Benny Wenda, who is currently exiled in Oxford, England:

�        is a West Papuan independence leader and an international lobbyist for the independence of West Papua

�        has acted as special representative of the Papuan people in the British Parliament, United Nations and European Parliament

�        was appointed in 2014 as the spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), a new organisation uniting the three main political organisations struggling for the independence of West Papua

�        has been nominated for the second year in a row for the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize, awarded annually by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for  those who have �done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses�.

https://www.bennywenda.org/biography/

Entry gold coin donation        For further info please contact:

Dave Arkins 8345-4480   dave-arkins@bigpond.com.au

Rosemary McKay 0433 101568 scotiaforever@hotmail.com

The forum is presented by Australia West Papua Association (SA) Inc. ; United Nations Association of Australia SA Division Inc.; Australian Institute of International Affairs, SA Branch;   Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Adelaide;   Australia East Timor Friendship Association, SA Inc.;  The Women�s International League for Peace and Freedom SA Branch;    Sister Janet Mead and The Romero Community

 

PROTEST RALLY: HANDS OFF EAST TIMOR’S OIL 21 March 12.30pm Parliament House steps

AUSTRALIA EAST TIMOR FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION SA and the national TIMOR SEA JUSTICE Campaign are sponsoring a protest rally to stop the Australian Government from ripping off $billions of East Timor’s oil and gas revenue by refusing to establish permanent maritime boundaries.

Demonstration Outside Australian embassy in Dili 23 February 2016

A large and angry demonstration was held outside the Australian Embassy in Dili on 23 February, against the Australian government’s refusal to negotiate a permanent international border with East Timor. (Sam King, Red Flag, 26/2/16)

By refusing to establish permanent maritime boundaries the Australian Government is short-changing East Timor out of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue. This deprives one of the world’s poorest nations of resources urgently needed for its development. As a sovereign nation, East Timor has consistently argued for permanent maritime boundaries and is legally entitled to have them.

According to international law the maritime boundaries between Australia and East Timor should be along the halfway line. Australia refuses to acknowledge this. Two months before East Timor’s official Independence, Australia withdrew from the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – leaving East Timor with limited avenues to challenge Australia’s unilateral depletion of contested oilfields.

During subsequent negotiations over oil and gas revenues the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) fitted surveillance devices inside the Timorese cabinet room so it could spy on government negotiators. The resulting temporary treaty is highly unfair to East Timor.

Australia is ripping-off one of the poorest nations in Asia. It’s time we stand in solidarity with East Timor and demand that our own Government resubmits to the ICJ.

More info at: timorseajustice.com or facebook

The March 21 protest demands the Australian Government:
1. Resubmit to the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
2. Immediately open negotiations for a permanent maritime boundaries based on the median line principle.
3. Return all revenues taken unilaterally from the Timorese side of the halfway line.

Community Lottery – Buy tickets to Support Timor Leste

Visit the website:   Communitylottery.com.au    Click on Buy Tickets. In the large green ‘Organisation’ box just begin to type in Australia East Timor Friendship Assoc. and click Go.
Minimum online purchase is $10 (5 tickets @$2ea)
Paper tickets available from AETFA from April 1. Early bird draw on online sales which closes on Mar 31. Online tickets also remain in draw till end of paper sales period. Double dip!!  $360,000 worth of prizes.

 

Turnbull’s Hypocrisy on Timor Leste Maritime Boundary

Statement from Australia East Timor Friendship Association:

Dear Friends

RE: ARTICLE BY TOM ALLARD – Malcolm Turnbull’s foreign policy hypocrisy on East Timor (Sydney Morning Herald January 25, 2016)

Below is an excellent article by Tom Allard that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 24.1.2016, which exposes the hypocrisy of the Australian Government on the issue of the maritime border between Timor-Leste and Australia.

It is very obvious that the change of the Coalition’s leadership means that there will be no change in Australia’s callous and hard-nosed attitude in refusing to accept the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) between Australia and Timor-Leste.

The article reports on a speech made in Washington DC by Australia’s new PM, Malcom Turnbull (see below). The speech was obviously intended to show support for US concern about China’s position on maritime boundaries in the South China Sea – being as ever compliant with US Military Industrial Complex policies and behaviours in the world.

In doing so, he chastised the US for not being a signatory to UNCLOS. This is rather rich coming from the leader of a nation that has signed the Convention but refuses to comply with it and refuses to recognise it in relation to Timor-Leste, the poorest nation in our region. What it means is that Australia gets the benefit of billions of dollars worth of oil and gas coming from Timor’s half of the Timor Sea and is taking this from a newly independent nation that was occupied for 24 years by the Indonesian military as it committed crimes against the people that were every bit as serious as those committed by the Nazis during World War 2.

Turnbull obviously pulled out all stops to impress his audience as he quoted Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian about the history of how the ambassadors of the Athens city state rebuffed the leaders of the island of Melos, who wished to remain neutral in a conflict that was engulfing the ancient Hellenic world.

All very eloquent and impressive. Or is it?

I think it is interesting how conservative politicians try to avert us from facing the truth and stop us from weighing up the ethics of dubious positions taken by them on current political issues by referring to events in ancient history. We have seen this before when politicians did not want to face the truth.

The hypocrisy is worse when it is recalled that Australia went along with Indonesia’s brutal occupation of Timor-Leste until after the 1999 independence referendum and that it recognises the UNCLOS maritime principle in its relations with NZ and the Solomon Islands.

One wonders if Turnbull and his colleagues believe that Timor-Leste has to be punished for its struggle to be independent. Certainly their position on this issue is a disgrace – especially given the brutality that the East Timorese suffered because they supported Australian soldiers during World War 2.

Sadly, the ALP is little better. It had two terms of government during which the Rudd/Gillard governments could have reversed this decision but didn’t. It was not an oversight as some might think because AETFA SA had lobbied with ALP MPs on this issue for some time.

Anyway, congratulations must go to Tom Allard for his excellent article and its analysis.

Those Australians who really do care about human rights, social justice and fairness between nations must all work together to change Coalition and ALP policy that sees us stealing valuable resources from a friendly people who have done much for Australia.

We helped change Australia’s shameful policy in attempting to stifle Timor-Leste’s just struggle for independence and we can help change yet another shameful and unfair policy towards our valiant World War 2 allies – the East Timorese.

In solidarity

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer (AETFA SA)
Phone: 08 83710480; 0457 827014
Email: andyalcock@internode.on

VIVA TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE

 

Malcolm Turnbull’s foreign policy hypocrisy on East Timor

Tom Allard
Sydney Morning Herald January 25, 2016
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/malcolm-turnbulls-breathtaking-foreign-policy-hypocrisy-on-east-timor-20160124-gmcz7k.html

Malcolm Turnbull’s keynote speech in Washington DC last week, the first serious articulation of his foreign affairs stance since becoming prime minister, gained plenty of plaudits on both sides of the Pacific.

Turnbull was insightful and eloquent, quoting the ancient Greek historian Thucydides as he traversed the great geopolitical challenges of our times.

He was also breathtakingly hypocritical.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was insightful and eloquent in Washington, as well as being breathtakingly hypocritical.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was insightful and eloquent in Washington, as well as being breathtakingly hypocritical.  Photo: Alex Ellinghauseh

Musing on the rise of China, its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea and the resulting tensions with the United States and its allies, Turnbull made an impassioned plea for nation states to embrace the rules-based international order.

This order – based on the United Nations, multilateralism and respect for international law – was “possibly the biggest story of modern times”. It had, he intoned, “delivered the greatest run of peace and prosperity this planet has ever known”. “Differences should be resolved by international law,” he said, citing the deliberations in the Hague under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to settle a dispute between the Philippines and China over a 200 nautical mile portion of the South China Sea rich in oil and gas.

“We look forward, in the coming months, to learning the outcome of the tribunal’s deliberations.”

So far, so – apparently – uncontroversial.

Except that Australia itself does not adhere to international law when it comes to maritime boundary disputes.

In 2002, after negotiating a temporary boundary with the transitional administration in East Timor that hugely favoured Australia and placed the bulk of oil and gas reserves within its territory, Australia quietly withdrew from the jurisdiction of UNCLOS.

The reason was obvious. It had negotiated a deal with an impoverished, war-ravaged and fledgling state that was so unfair it would not stand up to challenge under international law.

If the boundary was drawn midway between East Timor and Australia – as is standard under international law – most of the oil and gas reserves would lie within Timor’s territory.

During later negotiations over sharing the oil and gas reserves – worth between $40 billion and $100 billion – Australia infamously bugged East Timor’s negotiating team. East Timor got a better deal but not anything approaching its rightful share.

East Timor is still fighting for a permanent, equidistant boundary and a better share of the oil and gas reserves. The Coalition government – despite being rebuked by the International Court of Justice for its espionage – is refusing to enter talks and won’t allow the independent arbiter in the UNCLOS Tribunal make a determination.

In his speech, Turnbull chipped the US for not ratifying UNCLOS. “Non-ratification diminishes American leadership where it is most needed.”

Australia may have ratified UNCLOS but it has cynically recused itself from being subject to its jurisdiction. Turnbull’s reproach of the US about “diminished leadership” applies equally to Australia.

Why would China, the US or any country heed Turnbull’s urgings for the potential explosive disputes in the South China Sea to be settled by international law when Australia won’t do likewise?

In his Washington speech, Turnbull quoted Book 5 of Thucydides history describing how the ambassadors of the powerful city state of Athens rebuffed the leaders of the island of Melos, who wished to remain neutral in the conflict engulfing the ancient Hellenic world.

The ambassadors told the Melians that “justice is to be found only as between equals in power. As for the rest, the strong do as they will and the weak suffer as they must”.

“Now, the international order, the rule of law,” observed Turnbull, “seeks to ensure that that is not so, that might is not right.”

Yet the ignoble treatment of East Timor since its independence means Australia is acting just like the Athenians.

For East Timor’s former president and prime minister Xanana Gusmao, Australia’s conduct recalls the British statesman Lord Palmerston’s famous maxim “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests”.

“This is the mindset of powerful nations when they deal with small countries like ours,” Gusmao said last year.

To be fair, it seems Turnbull has not focused on East Timor or the maritime boundary dispute since becoming prime minister. He has had plenty on his plate. He most likely unknowingly betrayed Australia’s foreign policy hypocrisy in Washington.

This year, he should switch his gaze to the near north. Turnbull has an opportunity to end Australia’s diplomatic double standard and begin a meaningful negotiation with East Timor’s government over the boundary.

This is in our national interest.

Australia’s credibility as an advocate of a rules-based global order is at stake. So, too, is East TImor’s future: its one productive oil and gas field will be all but exhausted in three years. Its sovereign wealth fund could run out in a decade

Without action, Australia may soon have a failed – and hostile – state as a neighbour

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/malcolm-turnbulls-breathtaking-foreign-policy-hypocrisy-on-east-timor-20160124-gmcz7k.html#ixzz3yDLszffv

FORTY YEARS SINCE INVASION, 16 YEARS FREE, BUT STILL NO MARITIME BOUNDARY FOR TIMOR-LESTE

MEDIA STATEMENT: 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDONESIAN ILLEGAL INVASION OF EAST TIMOR

The Information Officer of the Australia East Timor Association SA, Andrew Alcock, issued the following statement today:

“Forty years ago on 7 December 1975, the Indonesian military (TNI) carried out its illegal full scale invasion of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor.

This blatant attack followed 2 months of incursions and skirmishes that the TNI conducted in East Timor. During one such attack on the East Timorese town of Balibo on 16 October 1975, Indonesian soldiers murdered 5 Australian-based media workers, now known as the Balibo 5, who witnessed their entry into the town.

When the East Timorese could see that there would be no international assistance for them against Indonesia’s belligerent actions, they declared independence on on 28 November. Nine days later, the TNI moved in and from the first day its personnel carried out massacres of the civilian population. Roger East, another Australian journalist, was one of the victims of the early massacres.

The history of this period is one of great shame for Australians who believe in international justice because Australian leaders could have taken action to prevent the invasion. Instead, every Australian government during the 24 years of the brutal occupation of East Timor, aided and abetted the Suharto dictatorship and the TNI. Not only did Australia provide arms and military equipment, as did the US, France, Britain and Holland, it also acted as an apologist for the dictatorship when news of of the many massacres and human rights was revealed.

Recent revelations by Dr Clinton Fernandes of the University of NSW indicate just how far Australian leaders were prepared to go to help the Indonesian dictatorship cover up the real truth of what happened.

After the Santa Cruz Massacre in Dili on 12 November 1991, then Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans, stated that this crime was an “aberration”! The 24 year illegal occupation of East Timor was, in fact, a series of many massacres and gross human rights abuses (aberrations?) which resulted in almost a third of the population being wiped out.

Australia’s betrayal of the East Timorese is particularly shameful because during World War 2, they gave great support to Australian commandos who were fighting the Japanese army there. After the Australians left, the Japanese military exacted a heavy revenge against the local people for supporting the Australians and carried out a series of mass murders. These resulted in the deaths of about 40,000 people. In addition, 30,000 people lost their lives because their villages were attacked or they were caught in between combatants.

During WW2, East Timor lost about 70,000 people out of a total population of half a million. In contrast, Australia lost 40,000 lives out of a population of 7 million.

After the final period of heightened TNI and militia violence in 1999 following the UN administered independence referendum, Australian leaders became “reluctant saviours” as Clinton Fernandes described it, and Australian soldiers played a very important role in the UN peace-keeping force, INTERFET, that entered East Timor and pushed the TNI out. The role of the Australian military was very much appreciated by the East Timorese people.

However, they are not so happy with our political leaders.

After Timor-Leste’s independence, our leaders decided to exert pressure on the newly independent nation to take oil and gas out of its half of the Timor Sea. The unfair agreement means that Australia, the wealthiest nation in our region, is taking billions of dollars worth of oil and gas from the poorest because it refuses to recognise the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Under this Convention, the mid way line between two countries represents the maritime boundary and each nation has the right to the resources in its half of the sea.

Australia recognises the UNCLOS principal for New Zealand and the Solomon Islands – so why not Timor-Leste?

After all that the people of Timor-Leste have suffered over many years and given their WW2 sacrifice, it is time for our leaders to behave fairly and recognise the UNCLOS principle so that our former allies can rebuild their shattered lives and their destroyed infrastructure.

We do not want Timor-Leste to be an economic failure.

If the Australian Government wants to contribute to stopping terrorism in our region, it should also stop all military aid and cooperation with the TNI until it pulls out of West Papua, which is still suffering brutal TNI rule after 53 years, and call for an international tribunal to deal with the TNI officers who have been responsible for the genocide and other war crimes in East Timor, West Papua, Indonesia and Acheh.

Our leaders can decide to be a positive force for peace, social justice, human rights and fairness in international relations or they can continue to be hard-nosed, unreasonable and unfair as they currently are.

We are currently not presenting a good image to the world – especially for a nation that prides itself on being fair-minded and on the side of the under dog. ”

Andrew (Andy) Alcock

Information Office

Phone: 61 8 83710480

0457 827 014

Email: andyalcock@internode.on.net

AETFA SA – 40 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY WITH TIMOR-LESTE FOR INDEPENDENCE & JUSTICE

( AETFA SA was originally the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA until Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002