East Timor

Activists from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) are mobilising public support in Timor-Leste for former Australian spy "Witness K" and his lawyer Bernard Collaery, whose trial began in Canberra on September 12.

Solidarity with Witness K

In an extraordinary and moving act, Timorese people have taken to Facebook to express their solidarity with Witness K, the Australian spy who exposed the bugging by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) of the Timorese PM's office during critical negotiations over the maritime boundary between these two countries, and his lawyer Bernard Collaery. On July 25, Timorese protestors will march on the Australian embassy in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste (East Timor).

Activists from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) in Timor-Leste are planning to march on the Australian embassy in the capital Dili on Wednesday July 25. The march will gather at 9am near the Grupo Media Nasional offices on Jardin Cross Road before marching to the embassy.

MOVIMENTU KONTRA OKUPASAUN TASI TIMOR (MKOTT)

Public Statement on the prosecution against Witness K and Bernard Collaery by the Australian government

Díli, 20 July 2018

The Australian Union and Solidarity Choir (AUSC), made up of singers from across Australia, are travelling to Timor Leste (East Timor) in August and September take part in Popular Consultation Day celebrations in Dili to spread the joy and friendship of song to Timorese towns and villages.

Today, it is Timor-Leste that is giving the tutorial in politics. After years of trickery and bullying by Canberra, the people of Timor-Leste have demanded and won the right to negotiate before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) a legal maritime boundary and a proper share of the oil and gas.

Australia owes Timor Leste a huge debt — some would say, billions of dollars in reparations. Australia should hand over, unconditionally, all royalties collected since Evans toasted Suharto’s dictatorship while flying over the graves of its victims.

Time to Draw the Line
Directed by Amanda King & Fabio Cavadini
2016, 58 minutes
Demand.Film

A new documentary examines the largely overlooked story of the dispute between Australia and its near neighbour – the new state of East Timor.

East Timor has taken Australia to the United Nations Conciliation Commission at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

At issue is a permanent maritime boundary and the exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea — with East Timor accusing Australia of stealing badly needed resources that, by international law, belong to Asia’s poorest nation.

Graffiti on wall of Australian embassy in Dili. The Australian government's refusal to negotiate a fair deal according to international law with East Timor over the oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea is not appreciated by the people of one of the world's poorest nations. East Timor is calling for the maritime border to be recognised halfway between the two nations, as dictated by international law.
Secret documents found in the Australian National Archives provide a glimpse of how one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century was executed and covered up. They also help us understand how and for whom the world is run. The documents refer to East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste, and were written by diplomats in the Australian embassy in Jakarta. The date was November 1976, less than a year after the Indonesian dictator General Suharto seized the then-Portuguese colony on the island of Timor.
Massacre is an explosive theatre work about the politics and violence of East Timor. Produced by Stone/Castro (Australia) and Colectivo 84 (Portugal), it features John Romao as “Timor” and Paulo Castro as “East”. They work with “weapons of grotesque, sarcasm and a thrash metal soundtrack to create a scenic, hypnotic and dangerous game. The mutant metamorphosis of Australia, Indonesia and Portugal make for an in-your-face confrontation to the East Timor crisis.”
Many see Australia as a small power dependent on British and then US power for protection, but it is important to note that Australia has its own imperialist agenda it pushes the Pacific region. From the late 19th century to today, Australia's ruling class has been finding ways of extending its influence on nearby countries. It has even succeeded, if only temporarily, in gaining colonial possessions. This began even before federation in 1901, as the new capitalist class, having accumulated capital from the gold rushes in the mid-19th century, was looking for outlets for investment.
Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles & Secrets From Timor-Leste Gordon Peake Scribe, 2013 250 pages, $29.95 (pb) East Timor is a tale of two statistics, says Gordon Peake in Beloved Land, his engaging blend of history, memoir and travelogue about the former Portuguese and Indonesian colony. One of the world's poorest nations, East Timor ranks a lowly 120th of 169 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index, but scores high on corruption at 15th on the World Bank’s business transparency report.
East Timor has taken Australia to an international court in an effort to take control over large oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea. But this isn't the only time the Timorese have come up against Australia ― which has sought to impose its interests on the former Portuguese colony in recent decades. The Portuguese had a presence in Timor from 1509, trading sandalwood, converting Timorese to Catholicism and fighting against the Dutch for control. In 1859, the Treaty of Lisbon finally stopped the colonial conflict, dividing the island into the Dutch western half and Portuguese east.
Australian activists have written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott calling on him to recognise East Timor's rights under international law to oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea. The Melbourne-based Timor Sea Justice Campaign is calling on Australia to “enter discussions about the establishment of permanent maritime boundaries in accordance with current international law. In situations such as this, current international law overwhelmingly favors a ‘median line’ solution – a line halfway between the two coastlines.”
AID/WATCH, an independent monitor of Australia’s aid and trade, released the statement below on December 4, in response to allegations of AusAID involvement in spying on the East Timorese government. *** AID/WATCH has responded to the allegation that Australian government agencies, including AusAID, were involved in spying on the East Timorese cabinet room during sensitive meetings about oil and gas negotiations.

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