Crisis in the Asia Pacific


BRISBANE — The neo-colonial policies of the Australian government, particularly the theft of East Timor's oil, were the primary cause of the current crisis in East Timor, Green Left Weekly journalist Jon Lamb told a forum here on June 5.

Lamb explained that the East Timorese political elite compounded these problems through an over-reliance on international institutions, rather than mobilising "East Timor's greatest asset — its people". He warned that, through its current military intervention, the Australian government would put further pressure on the Timorese to comply with Australian business interests and consolidate its role as "sheriff" of the Asia Pacific.

Callum Hyslop of the Australia West Papua Association spoke about the long struggle for a free West Papua, which has been thwarted by the pro-Indonesian-regime policies of Australian governments. Queensland University of Technology lecturer John Tomlinson told the forum that Australia's policies are "driven by economic fundamentalism, and overlaid by colonialism, racism and nationalism".

Paul Benedek

From Green Left Weekly, June 14, 2006.
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