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"The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) staged an attention-grabbing demonstration outside the Chamber of Commerce as executives, diplomats, and Mr. Howard entered the building for the invitation-only event. The guests were treated to loud cries of “End Australia's Occupation of the Timor Sea!”, “Unfair, Unjust and Unlawful!” and, as Mr. Howard attempted to slip in unnoticed, “STOP! THIEF!” Protesters withstood Washington’s hundred-degree summer heat, some wearing suits and ties and John Howard masks. These costumed activists raised their own toast - champaign flutes filled with East Timor’s oil (which tasted much like prune juice) - mocking the Australian government’s theft since 1999 of more than $1.2 billion in revenue from extracted oil and gas under the Timor Sea. One protester offered “a toast to calling thievery generosity!” "


ETAN protests John Howard

ETAN's Karen Orenstein talks on Australian radio from the scene of the protest.

http://www9.sbs.com.au/radio/index.php?page=wv&newsID=116192

EAST TIMOR OIL PROTEST
19.7.2005 13:07:49

US Protestors wearing John Howard masks and pretending to sip champagne glasses of oil have picketed an invitation-only dinner for the Australian Prime Minister in Washington DC.

The event staged by the East Timor & Indonesia Action Network, is aimed at highlighting dissatisfaction over negotiations on the Oil and Gas boundary in the Timor Sea.

Event organiser Karen Orenstien describes the scene.

http://203.15.102.140/elg/f110025283.mp3

SOURCE: World View



ETAN protests Australia Prime Minister John Howard’s DC Visit

22 July 2005

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was met by more than just praise and accolades during his recent visit to Washington, DC. While media tycoon Rupert Murdoch toasted Howard at an exclusive business leaders’ dinner held in his honor on July 18 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, protesters outside decried his bullying of East Timor over maritime petroleum resources.


The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) staged an attention-grabbing demonstration outside the Chamber of Commerce as executives, diplomats, and Mr. Howard entered the building for the invitation-only event. The guests were treated to loud cries of “End Australia's Occupation of the Timor Sea!”, “Unfair, Unjust and Unlawful!” and, as Mr. Howard attempted to slip in unnoticed, “STOP! THIEF!” Protesters withstood Washington’s hundred-degree summer heat, some wearing suits and ties and John Howard masks. These costumed activists raised their own toast - champaign flutes filled with East Timor’s oil (which tasted much like prune juice) - mocking the Australian government’s theft since 1999 of more than $1.2 billion in revenue from extracted oil and gas under the Timor Sea. One protester offered “a toast to calling thievery generosity!”


Other slogans, shouted toward dinner invitees through a megaphone, included “Respect East Timor’s Independence” and “What's Generous about Returning Stolen Property?” Chants highlighted the Australian government’s coercion of the world's newest nation to forgo its rights to their resources and maritime territory. A large East Timorese flag and colorful banners and posters emphasized these points.


News reports indicate that the two countries will soon sign an agreement that would put off a maritime boundary agreement for as long as 50 years and would split 50/50 royalties from the lucrative Greater Sunrise field (most or all of which would belong to Timor if the boundary were drawn according to current international legal principles). This unfair “compromise” would deny Timor billions of dollars and impinge upon its sovereignty. After withdrawing from international mediation and arbitrations mechanisms, Australia has been able to utilize its far greater political and economic power to browbeat Timor into this agreement.


Journalists present for the event included the demonstration in their coverage of Howard’s Washington visit. ETAN did two Australian radio interviews at the scene and distributed leaflets to passers-by to educate them about the maritime boundary issue. Several protesters chased down the number two man at the State Department, Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick, eventually enticing him to take a flyer. Hundreds of rush-hour drivers witnessed the protesters’ vibrant signs and loud chants. Impossible to ignore was ETAN’s message for Prime Minister Howard, “Don't Steal Timor's Future.”


For more information see  http://www.etan.org/issues/tsea.htm

Media Contact: Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911
or John M Miller fbp@igc.org





ETAN (East Timor and Indonesia Action Network U.S.) - 12 Years for Self-Determination & Justice:

* Home: http://www.etan.org
* Fax Australia, tell it to stop stealing East Timor's resources and future: http://www.etan.org/action/fax/faxaus.htm
* Timor Sea, Boundaries and Oil: http://www.etan.org/issues/tsea.htm
* The ETAN site contains a huge quantity of info on Timor's oil. Simply use the ETAN site's search engine to find it.


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