BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil

"[We] urge the Australian government to: 1. Respect our independent and sovereign state. ... 2. Negotiate a fair maritime boundary ... according to contemporary legal principles as expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ... 3. Rejoin the maritime boundary dispute resolution mechanisms of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice ... 4. Stop issuing new exploration licenses in seabed territory that is closer to Timor-Leste than to Australia ... 5. Deposit all revenues received by the Australian government ... from fields that are closer to Timor-Leste than they are to Australia into an escrow account. ... Australia has already received more than $1 billion U.S. dollars from Laminaria-Corallina and other fields since 1999, which should also be put into escrow." Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea
This page updated: 24 July 2004

Movimento Kontra Okupasun Tasi Timor
Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea



PRESS RELEASE

19 April 2004.  Dili, Timor Leste.



For further information: João Sarmento, +670-723-5043 or Christopher Henry Samson +670-7240795


At two o'clock this afternoon, at the Hotel Timor, the second negotiation between Timor-Leste and Australia is due to begin to determine their maritime boundaries.


The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea, as we did the last week, would like to urge the Australian government to take the following actions:


1.      Respect our independent and sovereign state. Our government’s legitimacy and authority are equal to yours. We may be small and new, but we are just as much a nation as you are.


2.      Negotiate a fair maritime boundary, including seabed and water column economic zones, with Timor-Leste, according to contemporary legal principles as expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, based on a median line. If both sides approach the process in good faith, it should take no more than three years to reach an agreement. We ask Australia to meet monthly or as often as Timor-Leste’s government requests, since your resources are far greater than ours, and our need for a solution is more pressing than yours.


3.      Rejoin the maritime boundary dispute resolution mechanisms of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice, so that Timor-Leste and Australia will have boundaries consistent with the law if negotiations do not result in a just and prompt solution.


4.      Stop issuing new exploration licenses in seabed territory that is closer to Timor-Leste than to Australia. During each of the last three years, including last month, Australia offered such areas to oil companies, and your government signed one contract as recently as 23 February 2004. This is our property, and you have no right to sell it.


5.      Deposit all revenues received by the Australian government -- including taxes and rents -- from Laminaria-Corallina, Buffalo, Greater Sunrise, and other petroleum fields that are closer to Timor-Leste than they are to Australia into an escrow account. When a permanent seabed boundary is established, this account will be divided appropriately between our two nations. Australia has already received more than $1 billion U.S. dollars from Laminaria-Corallina and other fields since 1999, which should also be put into escrow.



The Movement also appeals to the Government of Timor-Leste, including political leaders of our country, to:


1.      Put pressure on Australia to agree on a maritime boundary in no more than three years


2.      Not ratify the Sunrise International Unitization Agreement (IUA)


3.      Use every available resource, including Timor-Leste’s friends around the world, to pressure Australia to respect Timor-Leste’s rights


4.      We appeal to all political leaders to unite for the national interest in standing against the illegal occupation of the Timor sea


5.      Our government should sign, and our National Parliament should then ratify, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)


6.      Train as many Timorese as possible


The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea was formed in Dili, Timor-Leste in April 2004 to help the Australian government and people better understand how people in Timor-Leste feel about Australia’s violations of our rights, occupation of our maritime territory, theft of our resources, and denial of our nationhood.

The Movement organized three days of peaceful demonstrations from April 14 through April 16, 2004 outside the Australian embassy in Fatuhada, Dili, Timor-Leste, with the objective of expressing Timorese civil society’s dissatisfaction and disappointment over the Australian government’s violations of the Timorese rights in the Timor Sea.


The Movement includes NGOs, individuals, university students, senior high school students of all levels and every part of the Timorese civil society without political interest of any kind and without financial support of any kind from any political parties.


Although some people have suggested that such a successful peaceful demonstration must have a political interest, others have different views about who was behind the demonstration. We have also heard some political figures giving their own personal perceptions about our peaceful demonstration. We believe that most of the wrong information they have issued in regard to the issue of oil and gas was because they do not understand the real objectives of this Movement.


We want to make it clear to the general public and the press that this is a national movement that include all levels of Timorese society where children, youth, women, the elderly, the poor and the needy are well represented. All our resources for the three days of peaceful demonstrations came from concerned and committed citizens seeking for national interest in the Timor Sea. 


We are grateful that the movement’s peaceful demonstration was successful and there was no injury or property destruction of any kind, and we thank all those who participated for their maturity, respect and solidarity.  We ask the entire population of Timor-Leste to join us in our continuing campaign against Australia’s illegal occupation of the Timor Sea if the Australian Government refuses to negotiate in good faith to find a comprehensive resolution.


Section Coordinators of the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea:

Tomás Freitas, Program
Nuno Rodrigues, Logistics
Sisto dos Santos, Socialization and Mobilization
Tomé Jerônimo, Outreach
Domingos Ati, Security
Dr. Christopher Henry Samson, Media Relations
João Sarmento, Spokesperson

The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea includes:

La’o Hamutuk
HAK Association
Haburas Foundation
NGO Forum
Mirror for the People (LABEH)
Timor-Leste Agriculture and Development Foundation (ETADEP)
Labor Advocacy Institute for Timor-Leste (LAIFET)
Sah’e Institute for Liberation
KSI
ARI
Proletariat Group
Sustainable Agriculture Network (HASATIL)
Arte Moris
Timor-Leste Socialist Labor (SBST)
Timor-Leste Labor Union Confederation (KSTL)
Independent Center for Timor Sea Information (CIITT)
Association of Men Against Violence (AMKV)
Bibi Bulak
Student organizations

For further information: João Sarmento, +670-723-5043 or Christopher Henry Samson +670-7240795



More info on organisations in
Movimento Kontra Okupasun Tasi Timor
The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea:

This section has been added by Back Door as a service to readers.
(Please notify of any new or updated info or to make corrections:
wildwood@pcug.org.au )
updated: 24 July 2004

La’o Hamutuk (The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis)
* Home: http://www.etan.org/lh
* Timor Oil Bulletins:
--- March 2004 East Timor Government's Budget Deficit: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletins/bulletinv5n2b.html
--- March 2004 Avoiding the Resource Course: http://www.etan.org/lh/misc/04curse.htm
--- August 2003 Timor Sea Oil & Gas update: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletins/bulletinv4n34.html
--- December 2002 Timor Oil Chronology: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletins/bulletinv3n8b.html
--- August 2002 Petroleum Conference in Darwin: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletins/bulletinv3n6a.html#Report
--- July 2002: Timor Oil, Solidarity: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletins/bulletinv3n5.html
* Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org

HAK Association (Association for Law, Rights and Justice) [Perhimpunan HAK]
* About: http://www.yayasanhak.minihub.org/about_us.html

Haburas Foundation (Green environmental organization)
* Info: http://www.etan.org/news/2004/04goldman.htm

East Timor National NGO Forum [Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e (FONGTIL)]
* Home: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html

Mirror for the People (LABEH) [Lalenok ba Ema Hotu]

Timor-Leste Agriculture and Development Foundation (ETADEP)

Labor Advocacy Institute for Timor-Leste (LAIFET)

Sah’e Institute for Liberation

Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute (KSI) "Streams Flowing Together Institute"

ARI

Proletariat Group

Sustainable Agriculture Network (HASATIL) [Hametin Sustainabilidade Agrikultura Timor Lorosae]

Arte Moris "Living Art" (Free & Non-Profit Art School)
* Home: http://www.artemoris.org

Timor-Leste Socialist Labor (SBST) [Serikat Buruh Sosialis Timor]

Timor-Leste Labor Union Confederation (KSTL)

Independent Center for Timor Sea Information (CIITT)
* Statement: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/04jan26ciitt.html

Association of Men Against Violence (AMKV) [Asosiasaun Mane Kontra Violensia]

Bibi Bulak "Crazy Goat" (Dramatic Arts Troupe)
* About: http://www.artemoris.org/bibi_bulak.htm

Student organizations


Return to main contents page:
BD: TIMOR OIL / Mina iha Tasi Timor nia laran / Minyak di Laut Timor / O Petróleo do Mar de Timor / Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil
Website: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood  Email: wildwood@pcug.org.au
Postal address: BACK DOOR PO Box 5 Lyneham ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA