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

The Fires and Other Problems in Indonesia

Every year about 110,000 people die and others suffer from acute respiratory illnesses because of the fires started by the palm oil and timber corporations in Indonesia. In addition, much of its wildlife is affected and CO2 levels increase drastically. Contributing to the problem is the traditional slash/burn cultivation of Indonesian peasant farmers which is supposed to be illegal under Indonesian law..

Not all the victims are Indonesians because some people in neighbouring countries also suffer health effects from the fires

Since 2008, palm oil companies such as Wilmar International, a multimillion dollar agribusiness based in Singapore which owns the largest oil palm refinery operating in Indonesia, have been pressuring villagers to sell off their land. As a result, many villages – especially the indigenous people in Kalimantan (Borneo) and West Papua who have been self-sufficient until now because of their reliance on the forest are under threat. For centuries, these people have used the rain forests to collect food, medicine, rattan for weaving and other forest products.

The situation is made worse in West Papua because of the behaviour of the Indonesian military (TNI) which has brutally occupied this Melanesian nation since 1962.

Senior officers in the TNI along with the extremely wealthy civilians make fortunes out of this annual environmental catastrophe. The senior elite of the Indonesian military are not only mass murderers, but they are extremely corrupt as well. If Indonesia is a democracy as many in the pro Indonesian lobby tell us, why is this still continuing to happen?

The Guardian on 31.10.2015, carried an article by George Monbiot with the heading, Indonesia is burning, so why is the world looking away?

The think the answer to this question is not difficult to answer. The world has been looking away from many tragic events that have been occurring in the region which involve Indonesia for many decades .

The current situation in Indonesia is largely the creation of the US Military Industrial Complex (MIC) as it has many corporations operating there and in the Indonesian occupied nation of West Papua. In 1965, the CIA assisted the Indonesian Military (TNI) to oust the democratically elected government of President Suharto and install the mass-murdering dictator, Mahomed Suharto. His reign of terror continued for 33 years until 1998 because of the Asian economic crisis of that year. This period of brutality did not only affect Indonesians. The TNI also committed genocide and gross human rights violations in West Papua, Acheh, East Timor as well as many other parts of Indonesia besides Java, Sumatera and Bali which were mostly affected by the mass slaughter following the CIA/TNI coup.

Earlier in the 1960s, John Kennedy intervened in the decolonisation process being conducted by Holland in West Papua to give independence to its former colony. He wanted to curry favour with Indonesia whose military occupied West Papua in 1962. In addition, US geologists had discovered vast amounts of copper and gold there and the US MIC wanted these resources. As a result of the US intervention, West Papua was handed over to Indonesia. The fate of the West Papuans was sealed by the so called Act of Free Choice in 1969. The Suharto dictatorship carried out a very undemocratic independence vote to determine whether the West Papuans wanted to remain with Indonesia. This process was supposedly monitored by the UN, but, despite the fact that the TNI used a great deal of brutality and a large number of West Papuans were killed, threatened or disappeared, the UN monitoring team accepted the result.

The US mining giant Kennecott – McRohRan still makes huge profits out of West Papuan copper and gold.

Monbiot claims that in the year following the CIA/TNI coup that about a million people were slaughtered. I have met a number of politically progressive Indonesians who tell me that the number of victims was nearer 3 million. This was a crime every serious as those committed by the Nazis, but it occurred with the sanction of the US and its allies who frequently and hypocritically lecture other nations about democracy.

The TNI is still a very powerful influence in Indonesian politics today and this is the reason why Joko Widodo, elected as president in 2014, is having huge problems trying to make the republic democratic and to reduce pollution from the fires, corruption and human rights abuses. Before the election, he made promises to work to stop the brutality occurring against the West Papuans and to give them more autonomy. Earlier this year following a number of TNI killings of West Papuan civilians, Benny Wenda, the founder of the Free West Papua Campaign and a senior member of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, in an interview with the BBC said that he did not trust Joko Widodo and did not believe that he he will bring any positive change for his people.

The pro Indonesian lobby tells us that Indonesia is now a democratic nation. It is true that the Indonesian media has more freedom these days, but a true Indonesian democracy is a long way off. In last year’s presidential elections, Joko Widodo stood against two TNI generals – Wiranto and Prabowo Subianto. Both men are accused of human rights abuses – Wiranto in East Timor and Prabowo in East Timor, West Papua and Jakarta in 1998 when he directed Indonesian soldiers to conduct a brutal crackdown on protestors who wanted Suharto to be removed. Prabowo is a particularly odious character who is said to have been the architect of both the 1983 Kraras and the 1991 Santa Cruz Massacres in East Timor.

Joshua Oppenheimer, an American film-maker based in Copenhagen, has produced two documentaries about the mass murders that followed the 1965 coup. They are The Act of Killing, and The Look of Silence. In these documentaries he features older Indonesians who were involved in the 1965 massacres . These very sick and violent people even re-enacted how they brutally murdered their victims. They were obviously proud of their crimes and had no fear that they would face justice.

Since the fall of Suharto, the TNI has been involved in the 2001 poisoning of the West Papuan community leader, Theys Eluay and the 2007 poisoning of the Indonesian human rights activist, Munir Said Thalib.

When criminals who commit crimes like this can roam free at home and abroad, how can anyone claim that Indonesia is a full democracy?

This is all very interesting, you might say, but what does this have to do with the fires in Indonesia? Apart from their brutality, the TNI generals were exceedingly corrupt and have been responsible for Indonesia being one of the most corrupt nations on earth. The members of the Suharto family became multi billionaires out of resources purloined from the Indonesian people.

Generals were involved in many enterprises – regional airlines, mining, agriculture and much industrial and commercial activity.

They have been involved in the palm oil and timber (deforestation?) industries in a big way for a long time and these industries have made a great contribution to the Indonesian fires. After the trees have been uprooted, the land is cleared by mass burning.

It could also be mentioned that the generals were strongly involved in promoting the Green Revolution which promoted the use of new varieties of seeds for food plants that also required vast amounts of pesticides and fertilisers to survive. Poor Indonesian peasant farmers who were unable to afford the new seed varieties and the added costs of fertilisers and pesticides and who continued to use the old varieties were murdered by the military that was profiting from the new agriculture.

George Monbiot believes that people should boycott companies that make huge profits out of Indonesia’s palm oil industry. I agree but I think that we need to go further to stop the ongoing fires occurring in Indonesia. The world needs to deal with the corrupt and brutal military elite in Indonesia as well. Through the UN, member nations should be:

* banning all imports of palm oil and other agricultural products that involve mass burning

* sending an international team to Indonesia and other nations affected by the fires to assess their impact on human health and the environment and to assist the victims to
access compensation from those palm oil and timber corporations (eg Pepsi) that are profiting from the burning

* establishing an international tribunal to try all Indonesian officers responsible for mass corruption, genocide and human rights violations (this was done for Rwanda and the
former Yugoslavia)

* ceasing all forms of military cooperation with the TNI – aid, trade, joint exercises and training

* put bans on Indonesia until it withdraws the TNI from West Papua and pays full compensation to all its victims and those who have had
their houses and their lands confiscated by it

* supporting the UN to conduct an open and honest referendum of West Papuans so that they can determine their own future

The US and its supine allies, like Australia, are in a good position to take the strongest action, but are not inclined to do so. President Barack Obama spent some of his formative years in Indonesia and would know something of its very dark past, but has done nothing to stop US support for the TNI just as he has done nothing about the crimes committed by the Israeli “Defence” Force. Australian leaders just go along with the policies of the US MIC without question and this is the same for so many of the other US allies.

The long suffering peoples of Indonesia, West Papua, East Timor and Acheh are only going to get some justice and the Indonesian fires are not going to be stopped until effective measures are taken to bring the brutal and corrupt generals in the TNI to justice.

The world needs to be taking the above actions to force President Joko Widodo to take effective steps to stop the fires and to tackle those in the TNI who have been involved in the corruption that has led to this situation. He also needs to take action against those officers who have indulged in massive war crimes and human rights violations in the region,

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer
Australia East Timor Friendship Association (South Australia) Inc

Member
Australia West Papua Association (South Australia)

AETFA Media Statement: 40th Anniversary of the Murder of Balibo Five

The Information Officer of the Australia East Timor Association SA, Andrew Alcock, issued the following statement today (16.10.2015)

Friday, 16 October 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of a dreadful crime against humanity – the deaths of the “Balibo 5”, five Australian-based news workers.

They were:

* Greg Shackleton

* Tony Stewart

* Gary Cunningham

* Malcolm Rennie

* Brian Peters

These men were murdered by the Indonesian military (TNI) as they bravely reported on the illegal  incursion it was making into East Timor just weeks before before Indonesia began its full scale invasion of 7 December 1975.

And on the 8 December, Roger East, another Australian journalist, who initially went to Timor to investigate what had happened to the Balibo 5 and who decided to stay and report on the invasion, was also murdered by invading Indonesian soldiers.

Indonesian leaders have always maintained that the Balibo 5 were killed in crossfire. And during many years of the occupation. 

In 2007, a  NSW Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Brian Peters found that the journalists were murdered by Indonesian forces in what the court considered constituted a war crime.

On 9 September 2009, it was announced that the Australian Federal Police were launching a war crimes probe into the deaths of the Balibo 5.

Even though, the  2007 Inquiry was able to name Special Forces Captain Yunus Yosfiah as the TNI officer who ordered the murders of the men, the AFP concluded in 2014, that there was insufficient evidence to prove an offence had been committed. Many believe that there was political pressure put on the AFP to halt its investigation.

Yunus Yosfiah later became an Indonesian government minister.

Australians who believe in justice consider that a great wrong was done to the Balibo 5 and Roger East and that Australian Governments, instead of showing outrage at the crimes committed by the TNI, connived with the Indonesian dictatorship of General Suharto and the Indonesian administrations that have followed since to cover up what happened.

While what happened to the Australians was a blatant crime, AETFA SA believes that what happened to the people of East Timor was a far greater one. The 24 year illegal occupation of their country by Indonesia led to the wiping out of almost a third of the civilian population.

Shamefully for Australians, the record shows that Australia continued to aid and train the TNI throughout this time.

Australia partly absolved itself when the Australian military played a very important part in the UN INTERFET force that entered East Timor after the mass violence committed by the TNI and its militias following the 1999 independence referendum. However, Australian leaders could have played a much more decisive role to prevent the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor. After all, the East Timorese proved to be very loyal allies to Australia during World War 2 and suffered greatly for being so.

This 40th anniversary occurs at a time when TNI coup which was aided by the CIA and which saw at least a million Indonesians butchered. Since then, apart from the invasion of East Timor, the TNI has also been involved in genocide and crimes against humanity in West Papua, Acheh and parts of Indonesia itself.

None of the TNI officers involved in these crimes have ever been brought to justice even though they are considered to be as serious as those committed by the Nazis.

To many, the TNI has become the largest force for terrorism in our region.

As we commemorate, the deaths of the Balibo 5, Roger East, numerous West Papuans, East Timorese, Achehnese and Indonesians at the hands of the Indonesian military, many Australians are wondering why our governments still aid the Indonesian military and why western governments have not taken action to the alleged war criminals in its  ranks before an international tribunal to face justice. If Indonesia was truly democratic and supportive of human rights, it would have already taken action against these criminals.”      

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)

We Can’t Forget The Lessons Of Balibo/ Balibo 5 Honoured 40 Years On

We Can’t Forget The Lessons of Balibo

by Nick Xenophon and Clinton Fernandes               October 15, 2015
Six journalists were killed and it shouldn’t have been swept under the carpet.

5 Balibo

Forty years ago on Friday, five young men met their deaths in a small corner of a foreign field. Gary Cunningham, Brian Peters, Malcolm Rennie, Greg Shackleton, and Anthony Stewart were journalists employed by Channels 7 and 9. They were murdered in cold blood by the Indonesian military on the morning of October 16, 1975, at Balibo, in what was then Portuguese Timor and is today East Timor.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/comment-nick-xenophon-and-clinton-fernandes-on-balibo-20151013-gk8jb3.html#ixzz3oz8CNKF4

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CHECK OUT THE BRANDNEW WEBSITE ABOUT THE WALK AGAINST IMPUNITY!
www.walk-against-impunity.webnode.nl

on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/walkagainstimpunity

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Balibo five honoured 40 years on

Oct 16, 2015
The New Daily and AAP

Family and journalists gather at dawn service in Canberra to mark anniversary of killings.

Six Australian journalists killed while reporting on the Indonesian invasion of East Timor have been honoured in Canberra.

The dawn service at the War Correspondents Memorial on Friday marked 40 years since their deaths.

No one has been brought to justice for their deaths.

The Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance used the 40th anniversary of the killings to launch the Balibo Five-Roger East Scholarship, which MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy says will fund travel, study and living expenses in Australia for East Timorese journalists.

Read more: http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/10/16/balibo-five-honoured-40-years/

AETFA SA 40th ANNIVERSARY DINNER & FILM BENEFIT NIGHT

Dear friend of Timor-Leste

This email is to notify you of THREE coming events on the Timor-Leste solidarity calendar.

1.)       AETFA SA 40TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER

During 1975, before the invasion of East Timor by the Indonesian military, the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA was founded. It changed its name to the Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA in 2002 after East Timor became Independent.

2015 is also the 40th anniversary of the TNI murder of six Australian-based journalists (the Balibo 5 and Roger East), the Declaration of Independence of East Timor by FRETILIN and the Invasion. See ABC memorial for Roger East who was freelancing for the ABC when he was killed.
Link:   http://www.abc.net.au/corp/memorial/rogereast.htm

We especially welcome patrons, life members of the Association and those who have been involved in this proud history of solidarity with the struggle for East Timorese Independence and justice for many years.

Do come and celebrate and commemorate these anniversaries with us which are very significant  for Timor-Leste and AETFA SA.

AETFA SA 40TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER
26 SEPTEMBER  2015 (6.30 pm for 7pm)
STUMPS BISTRO (formerly Paradiso)
150 King William Rd, Hyde Park

An evening of Tapas delights and Live music

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER:    SHIRLEY SHACKLETON  (long time East Timor activist, author of the Walkley Award winning book, Circle of Silence)

Cost: full wage – $40, concession – $35
You can make payment through a bank. Our banking details are as follows:
BSB 105-900 Account: 952850740 (Bank SA)

Please send an email to: andyalcock@internode.on.net or phone (below) indicating that you have paid, and if you would like tickets posted to you or collected at the door.
RSVP 21 September 2015      
                                          
    For tickets, more info, please contact:
    Andy Alcock, Information Officer Phone:  08 83710480;  0457 827014          
    Email:    <andyalcock@internode.on.net>
    or
    Bob Hanney, Secretary   Phone:    08 8344 3511    Email:      <bohan@bluebottle.com >

 AETFA SA /CIET SA – 40 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY WITH TIMOR-LESTE FOR INDEPENDENCE & JUSTICE
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2.) Please also support the following fundraiser:

Australia East Timor Friendship Association, SA Unions, the SA Working Women’s Centre & the APHEDA Union Aid Abroad Activist Group SA
                                          invite you to:
A FILM BENEFIT NIGHT FOR TIMOR-LESTE’S WORKING WOMEN’S CENTRE

 See the film:
THE DRESSMAKER  [Rated M]

Wednesday 28 OCTOBER 2015       5.30pm: Drinks & Nibbles      6.30pm:  Film
   VENUE: CAPRI THEATRE 141 Goodwood Road, Goodwood SA 5034
   ADMISSION: Full Wage:  $20    Concession:  $15

   Tickets are available from:
    AETFA:      Andy Alcock: Phone: 83710480     Email: andyalcock@internode.on.net
    APHEDA:       Jan Schultz:     Phone: 8231 5532    Email: jschultz@sa.cfmeu.asn.au
    SA UNIONS:       Phone:  8279 2222    Email: saunions@saunions.org.au
    SA WORKING WOMENS CENTRE:      Sandra Dann:  Phone:  8410 6499   Email: wwc@wwc.org.au
     Please pass this invite along your networks. Hope to see you there!
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THE DRESSMAKER          ABOUT THE FILM

Set in the 1950s, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet comedy about a glamorous young woman who returns, after many years in Europe, to her small home town in rural Australia in order to right some wrongs from the past. When Tilly (played by Kate Winslet) comes home, she not only reconciles with her ailing mother Molly (played by Judy Davis) but, with her sewing machine, and haute couture style, she transforms the women of the town in such a way that she gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. She also falls unexpectedly in love, which leads to her greatest loss and her most destructive deed.

Written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker brings together a highly acclaimed cast and film-making team.
Stars: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis

See the trailer:   http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=film%3a+The+Dressmaker+trailer&FORM=VIRE5#view=detail&mid=90DA39EB75B51FAC5B3390DA39EB75B51FAC5B33
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BACKGROUND ON THE T-L WORKING WOMEN’S CENTRE
In September 2011, APHEDA Union Aid Abroad was proud to help launch the Working Women’s Centre Timor-Leste – the first dedicated service for women to better access their employment rights and combat gender violence in the workplace in Timor-Leste.
The South Australian Working Women’s Centre has played an important role in helping to establish this Centre and to give it ongoing support along with SA Unions and AETFA SA.
The Timor Leste Working Women’s Centre educates and advocates on behalf of Timorese working women, including vulnerable domestic workers,  free of charge.
Women of Timor-Leste have long held traditional roles in the home and many women are now seeking employment to help lift themselves and their families from chronic poverty. Timor-Leste is the poorest
country in our region due to the illegal occupation by the Indonesian military, which was responsible for wiping out almost 1/3rd of the population, committing gross human rights abuses and destroying 80% of the country’s infrastructure.
About two-thirds of adult women have never attended school and employment opportunities for those without a formal education are limited.
Most of the work available to women in Timor-Leste is characterised by ‘informal’ workplace arrangements. Jobs are paid cash in hand, without negotiation on fair wages or conditions, such as working hours and basic leave entitlements.
Income can vary from $US 35 – $US 130 per month. The basic wage is set at $US 115 per month.
In addition, women in informal work are unable to access existing or proposed Timorese social security schemes, and with an absence of occupational health and safety standards, some women are experiencing
bullying, violence, sexual harassment and other forms of coercion.
The  Centre needs our support so that it can continue to provide its excellent services to the working women of Timor Leste.

More details can be found on the APHEDA website: http://www.apheda.org.au/news/1339482027_5810.html
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3.) QUIZ NIGHT
Friday, 18 September 2015
Fundraiser for education projects in Timor-Leste and Philippines. Sponsored by the Cypriot Community.

QUIZ NIGHT

                       Compared by the incomparable, amazing Quiz Master Edgar
A fund raiser for two vital projects:

  • Rise up San Vincente – Education, building and feeding programs for the CHILDREN of Leyte – Philippines.

  • Towards A Brighter Future – Children of Timor Leste – Education projects for CHILDREN of Timor-Leste.

When:           Friday, 18 September 2015
What time:   
6:30 pm
Where:         
Cypriot Community Centre  (view map)
6 Barrpowell St
WELLAND  SA  5007

BYO or Delicious Greek BBQ and drinks available at reasonable prices

Tickets $15 per person – support 2 worthy projects
(Cash ONLY – no Card Facilities)
100% of money raised goes direct to the projects – no overheads


For further information contact -
Julie 0403 110 308 or Sara 0400 267 116



Kindly sponsored by the Cypriot Community

 

Yours in solidarity and justice
Bob Hanney
Secretary AETFA SA


West Papua: the Struggle for Self-determination (Public Talk)

Special Invitation

The University of Adelaide (Faculty of Arts), Abraham lnstitute and
The Australian lnstitute of lnternational Affairs (SA)

present

West Papua: The Struggle for Self Determination

Dr Peter King
Research Associate in Government and International Relations
Co-convenor: The West Papua Project, University of Sydney

6.00 pm: Thursday 13 August, 2015

Room 4, Ground Floor, Napier Building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide

Note: This is the sixth talk in the series of a programme of talks:
Peace Building Colloquium: Can Enemies Become Friends – From Conflict to Peace Building

Demonstration For Open Access to Papua

Demonstrations to Call for
Open Access to Papua
Please join us on the 29th of April for a Global Day of Action for Media Access in West Papua
where the Indonesian government still systematically bans foreign journalists from entering.

WHAT IS INDONESIA HIDING IN PAPUA?

END 50 YEARS OF ISOLATION

#OPENPAPUA

WEAR BLACK TO PROTEST THE MEDIA BLACKOUT

JOIN US TO DEMAND FREE AND OPEN ACCESS TO PAPUA

Adelaide Event
Wednesday 29th April 2015  12 noon
Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide

Demonstrators are urged to wear all-black clothing to protest the media blackout in Papua.
They will be carrying placards, some of which will be ‘censored,’ and have their mouths taped
shut.
Free West Papua Campaign
Well Known West Papuan Activist Benny Wenda has asked all West Papuan support groups around the world to hold local rallies on this issue.

On April 29, Demonstrations will be held in London, New York and many other parts of the world
calling for an end to 50 years of isolation and free and open access to Papua. The London protest will take place at noon, outside the Indonesian embassy, 38 Grosvenor Square; the New York protest will begin at 6 pm at the Indonesian consulate, 5 E. 68th St. (near 5th Ave.) in Manhattan. Additional protests may take place elsewhere. Tapol, which initiated the protests, is organizing the London demonstration. ETAN is organizing the one in New York.

West Papua is one of the world’s most isolated conflict spots. For decades, indigenous activists
campaigning for their rights have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed. Local journalists who uncover the truth face lethal risks. Foreign journalists trying to report on Papua have been arrested, deported and even imprisoned. One by one, international humanitarian organisations have closed their Papua offices. Access for UN human rights observers has been closed for eight years. Until Indonesia lifts the repressive restrictions on access to Papua, Indonesian security forces and paramilitaries are free to act with total impunity, and indigenous Papuans will continue to be killed.

Demonstrators will be wearing all-black clothing to protest the media blackout in Papua. They will be carrying placards, some of which will be ‘censored,’ and have their mouths taped shut. This visual protest will highlight the absence of free and open access to Papua for international journalists and human rights observers.

We invite advocacy groups around the world to join our call to the Indonesian government to open
access to West Papua. Let the authorities know that the world is watching and standing in solidarity with Papuans. Protest against this veil of secrecy and ask President Jokowi to make good his Presidential campaign promise of opening access to Papua!

Please help to spread the word about the demonstration via social media and by printing and
distributing this flyer.
Please join us on the 29th of April for a Global Day of Action for Media Access in West Papua where the Indonesian government still systematically bans foreign journalists from entering.

Canberra, 12 noon outside the Indonesian Embassy                                                                 Perth, Australia protest details here: http://tinyurl.com/ohfcqnp
Darwin, Australia protest details here: http://tinyurl.com/l3yqseh
New York, USA protest details here: http://tinyurl.com/khcw8nu
London, UK protest details here: http://tinyurl.com/nvkwqqg
Edinburgh, UK details protest here: http://tinyurl.com/nshfyrv

RECEPTION FOR FALINTIL VETERANS DELEGATION TO SA

STOP PRESS: TIMOR-LESTE FALINTIL VETERANS TO VISIT ADELAIDE 20–26 April 2015

Dear supporter of Timor Leste

The Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA cordially invites you to attend a Reception for 5 veterans of FALINTIL (the East Timorese defence force that resisted the illegal occupation of the nation for 24 years), who will be in Adelaide next week as guests of the RSL during ANZAC Day events.

This invitation is also extended by the East Timor Students’ Association SA (ETSA SA) and the Honorary Consul for Timor Leste in SA, Dr Ian Leitch

Our apologies for the very late notice of this event as final details only became known today.

Details are as follows

RECEPTION FOR FALINTIL VETERANS DELEGATION TO SA

Wednesday 22 April 2015 6pm

Venue:  RAAF Mess, 1st Floor, Torrens Parade Ground, Victoria Drive, Adelaide (Entrance on south side of building) (Free parking is available in the grounds)  

Speeches from:  

Ian Leitch (T-L Hon Consul to SA), 

AETFA SA (tbc),  

ETSA-SA (tbc), 

Spokesperson for Veterans,  

MC: Rosemary McKay, Chair AETFA SA                                   

Songs by Fernando Carceres (from ETSA)                                   

Supper provided. Drinks on sale at the bar.  

Donation appreciated to help pay for catering. Timorese students exempt. Please RSVP by Tuesday midday (for catering) to: Andy Alcock ph 8371 0380; mob 0457 827014; email: andyalcock@internode.on  

 

MEDIA STATEMENT: TIMOR RESISTANCE (FALINTIL) MEMBERS GUESTS OF THE RSL FOR ANZAC DAY

The Information Officer of the Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA, Andrew Alcock, announced today that 5 veterans of FALINTIL, the East Timorese defence force that resisted the illegal occupation of the nation for 24 years will come to Adelaide next week to be guests of the RSL during ANZAC Day events.  

The initiative to bring the  veterans to South Australia was a plan of the government of Timor-Leste to explore ways that they can better help all their FALINTIL veterans. Like most soldiers, they can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other problems fitting back into main stream society after their military experience. In addition, the Timor-Leste Government wants to explore ways that can bring their society to realise the great sacrifice that the veterans made while defending their nation for nearly a quarter of a century.  

The 5 veterans coming to Adelaide are:   

MR PAULO ALVES SARMENTO                                                                                                          MR PEDRO DE OLIVEIRA                                                                                                                 MR FRANCISCO SARMENTO                                                                                                            MR LUCAS DA CONCEICAO SALSINHA                                                                                            MR LUCIO DINIS MARQUES  

All the men were involved in active military service during the time that they were with FALINTIL.  

Each state is hosting a delegation of FALINTIL veterans and they will be invited to be on the official dais at ANZAC Day marches and to participate in other ANZAC Day events. In some states, they will participate in the marches.  

AETFA SA considers that the decision by the RSL to host these Timorese veterans is a recognition of the great sacrifice the East Timorese made during World War 2 to assist the Australian commandos who fought there. During the war, Australia lost 40,000 lives out of a population of 7 million people. The East Timorese lost about 70,000 out of a population of half a million. It is believed that the Japanese Imperial Military targeted those villages where the Australians received assistance and about 40,000 who lost their lives were summarily executed for helping the Australians..  

Some believe that if Australia had not occupied East Timor, then a colony of Portugal, the Japanese military may not have invaded.  

The sacrifice of our East Timorese brothers and sisters is a reason why there is a very special bond between Australia and Timor-Leste.  

During their stay in Adelaide, the FALINTIL veterans will attend events organised by the AETFA SA, East Timorese students in Adelaide, members of the East Timorese diaspora and those who have worked in solidarity with Timor-Leste for many years.  

AETFA SA, which began as the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA, will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  

Andrew (Andy) Alcock                                                                                                               Information Officer                                                                                                                           Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA Inc                                                                             (PO Box 240 GoodwoodSA 5034)                                                                                                Phone:    61 8 83710480                                                                                                                  0457 827 014                                                                                                                          Email:       andyalcock@internode.on

West Papuan leader Benny Wenda threatened with deportation from PNG

Press Release – Benny Wenda in Papua New Guinea
MARCH 25, 2015
Free West Papua Campaign Press Release 25th March 2015
Attention All Global Media – Benny Wenda in Papua New Guinea

Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda a West Papua independence leader and Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua arrived in Papua New Guinea yesterday and was unexpectedly detained by PNG immigration authorities.

Today Mr Wenda is still being detained by immigration authorities and is now being threatened with deportation.

This is despite a direct order from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
to allow Mr Wenda to enter PNG.

It appears that Indonesian influence on the PNG immigration authorities is very strong today because the head of the immigration service at the PM airport is refusing to take calls from the PNG Prime Minster and is saying that he is intending to deport Mr. Wenda.

Earlier today Mr Wenda explained to media that he is coming to PNG to thank the Prime Minister for his recent statements of concern for the Melanesian people of West Papua and to brief the PNG Foreign Minister on the latest developments. Mr Wenda said that “the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is seeking to apply for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and I will brief PNG on the progress of the application and on the situation in West Papua generally.”

Mr Wenda said “I have come back to this homeland of our ancestors to thank the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for showing strong support to stop the suffering of our people in West Papua and I have also come to seek support from my fellow Melanesians to help West Papua. Our campaign for freedom for West Papua is a lawful, peaceful and democratic movement that has stood up in the face of Indonesian genocide of Melanesian people in West Papua. One day we will live in peace and freedom as an independent nation and we will be good neighbours with Indonesia”.

Mr Wenda stated, ”as a Melanesian it is perfectly normal for me to travel to other Melanesian countries to discuss the situation with all my Melanesian Brothers and Sisters. We are all one Melanesian people together.” Mr Wenda said “only last week Indonesian soldiers killed Papuan activists in West Papua who were campaigning and collecting money for Cyclone relief in Vanuatu”. “This was a big mistake by Indonesia”.

Mr. Wenda continued, it was quite disgusting, the Indonesian soldiers even stole the money the Papuans had collected for Vanuatu disaster relief along with other funds.

Now Indonesia is exerting undue influence on PNG immigration authorities but I know that PNG is a sovereign country and will not allow this”.

Mr Wenda then said: “I really need the support of my Melanesian brothers and sisters. Please tell everyone about this situation, and support the Prime Minister in his decision to allow me entry into Papua New Guinea and in supporting an end to the suffering of our West Papuan people. I am sure that my fellow Melanesian family will always support our people, our wantoks in West Papua. Thank you very much”

Benny Wenda is available now for media interviews and can be contacted directly on this number: +44 7411 053 953
PNG Immigration: +675 323 1500
Ends