BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil
" ... the Australian government is anxious about discussions regarding the Maritime Boundary and prefers to discuss the distribution of natural resources, of which we are all aware that according to international UNCLOS law, 100% of the natural resources in the Timor Sea belong to Timor-Leste." 11 East Timorese NGOs
This page last updated 27 Apr 2005

Email Australia's Prime Minister Howard - Tell the Australian Government to Stop Stealing East Timor's Resources and East Timor's Future -

The East Timor NGO Forum
Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e
Caicoli Street, Dili, Timor-Leste. Tel +670-723-5063 or 7254912.
Email: or

26 April 2005

Press Release


"demands the expeditious determination of a fair median line"

The results of the most recent negotiations held last March in Canberra-Australia, spoke about the establishment of a Resources Sharing Agreement or an agreement which favours a "legal framework" for a "creative solution". The essence of this "creative solution" is that Timor-Leste will receive 5 billion American dollars from the total reserve of 30 billion American dollars in the Greater Sunrise oil field. The logic for the granting of this 5 billion dollars is that it is a "bonus" from the oil and gas exploration in the field, and that there will be no determination on the maritime border for 100 years. The Australian government is pressing for any solution that will provide a legal agreement to the Woodside company and its partners so that they can begin the exploitation of the Greater Sunrise field.

From the above information we can conclude that the Australian government is anxious about discussions regarding the Maritime Boundary and prefers to discuss the distribution of natural resources, of which we are all aware that according to international UNCLOS law, 100% of the natural resources in the Timor Sea belong to Timor-Leste.

Based on these reasons we, Timor-Leste civil society and students, those of us who are issuing this declaration, wish to convey our concerns regarding something which is of great importance to this nation. We wish to remind the two governments involved, but in particular our own government, the Government of the Republic of Timor-Leste.

Based upon what we know about the negotiations process, we demand that the Timor-Leste and Australian governments do the following:

1.    Request the negotiators, who will tomorrow sit together to discuss the future of the Timorese people, to respect the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and to make an expeditious decision on the Median Line.

2.    We ask the Australian government to return to the international dispute resolution process for maritime boundaries of the International Court for Justice and the International Court for the Law of the Sea, and

3.    To cease exploration of the Laminaria-Corallina and other fields in the disputed territory, including the granting of new licences. The money obtained from the exploration of these fields should be put in a fund which can later be divided between the two countries when agreement is reached.

4.    To our government Timor-Leste: we ask that you do not rush in obtaining an agreement for the exploration of Greater Sunrise; it is more important that you determine a maritine boundary and a lateral boundary based on international law, and

5.    If the Australian government remains stubborn and refuses to come to a decision on the maritime boundary based upon international UNCLOS law, we ask the Timor-Leste government to return the "AusAid grant" money which the Australian government gave to Timor-Leste.

Once again, we ask that the Government of Timor-Leste assign priority to a discussion of the Maritime Boundary, rather than that of resource distribution with the Australian government, who are intent on the continuing exploitation of Timor-Leste's resources.

For futher information please contact:

Tomas Freitas,
Mobile Phone +670 7245063/3325013,

Asosiasaun HAK,
La'o Hamutuk,
Sahe Institute for Liberation,
Asosiasaun Estudante UNTL,
Asosiasaun Estudante UNDIL,
Dai Popular,
Kdalak Sulimutu Institute.

-END-Media Release

Info on members of the East Timor NGO Forum who released this statement:

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: )
last updated: 27 Apr 2005

East Timor National NGO Forum [Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e (FONGTIL)]

* Home:
* BD collection on East Timor NGO Forum:

Asosiasaun HAK / HAK Association (Association for Law, Rights and Justice) [Perkumpulan/Perhimpunan HAK]
* About:
* More about:

La’o Hamutuk "walking together" (The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis)
* Home:
* Timor Oil Bulletins:
--- September 2004 The Case for Saving Sunrise:
--- March 2004 East Timor Government's Budget Deficit:
--- March 2004 Avoiding the Resource Course:
--- August 2003 Timor Sea Oil & Gas update:
--- December 2002 Timor Oil Chronology:
--- August 2002 Petroleum Conference in Darwin:
--- July 2002: Timor Oil, Solidarity:
* Email:
* About:
* Tada uluk kona ba La’o Hamutuk:
* Informasi mengenai La’o Hamutuk:

Sah'e Institute for Liberation (SIL) [Insitutu Sahe ba Libertasaun]
* About:

Asosiasaun Estudante UNTL (Universidade Nacional de Timor-Leste) (Student Association of National University of Timor-Leste)

Asosiasaun Estudante UNDIL (Student Association of University of Dili)

(Timor-Leste Agriculture and Development Foundation)

FOKUPERS Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum)
* About:

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

Dai Popular
(Rede dos Educadores Populares Timor Lorosa’e) (East Timorese Popular Educators' Network)
* About:
* More About:
* Formed by:
-- Grupo Alfabetização Naroman
-- Grupo Nove Nove Fokupers
-- Haburas Foundation
-- Institutu Sekular Maun Alin iha Kristu ISMAIK
-- La'o Hamutuk
-- Prontu Atu Servi
-- Organização Popular da Mulher Timorense - OPMT
-- Sa'he Institute for Liberation
-- Yayasan HAK

Hametin Sustainibelidade Agrikultor Timor-Leste (HASATIL)
"Making secure East Timor's agricultural sustainability" (Hasatil Sustainable Agriculture Network)

Kdalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI) "Streams Flowing Together Institute" (Founded by Bishop Belo)
* About:

East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e

updated 30 Sep 2004

Umbrella agency for East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

VISION: To contribute to the building of a pluralist, democratic, just and sustainable East Timor through the development of a strong, independent and responsible civil society committed to upholding and making real in the daily life of the community, both village and urban, the full range of human rights so that all East Timorese, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, can enjoy the fruits of liberation and development in an East Timor forever free.

MISSION: To realise its vision by promoting a culture of learning, cooperation, partnership with the community and respect for human rights and good practice amongst East Timorese NGOs and between them and other development actors, both domestic and international, and by serving as a collective, independent voice for the rights and needs of the community.

VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: a rights approach to development; inclusiveness, participation; accountability; gender balance; respect for the environment; non-party political; non-sectarian; good governance; volunteerism.

Caicoli Street, Dili,  Timor-Leste.   Tel +670-723-5063.  
Email: or


BD collection on East Timor NGO Forum:

Source of Media Release:

La'o Hamutuk
Institutu Timor Lorosa'e ba Analiza no Monitor Rekonstrusaun
The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
PO Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Mobile +670-723-4330
Land phone +670-3325013
Fax +670-3317294

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil