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"In short, there is no possibility of
last week's negotiation achieving a fair deal or a good deal for East
Timor, so I and many colleagues fervently hope they fail, and the East
Timor people and government shows more of its legendary patience." Rob
Wesley-Smith, activist, Australians For
a Free East Timor (AFFET) & member, Timor Sea Justice Coalition
(TSJC) - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)
page last updated 25 Apr 2005
Downer Timor Sea propaganda, abetted by
naive? oz media
[ BD comment: "oz" is
Australian English which means: Australia or Australian]
Sat 14th May 2005 re Timor Sea negotiations and actual
I woke to the not uncommon sound on ABC news of Alexander Downer
claiming it was a signed and sealed done deal by the negotiators,
just required agreement by the governments. Dan Nicholson of the tsjc sounded a note of
caution and reinforced that any deal agreed on this week would be
unjust to East Timor.
As usual there was no comment available from ETG [East Timor
Government]. That has since perhaps been explained via Lusa seen today dated 13th May
that "East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri denied a
report Friday that Dili and Canberra had reached a tentative agreement
on the sharing of Timor Sea oil and natural gas revenues, labeling the
Australian media report an "absolute lie".
"It's an absolute lie", Alkatiri told Lusa. "There is no accord and, if
there is one, in the terms announced by the ABC, it would be totally
against my orientations. And, thus, void".
The public silence normal from the ETG [East Timor Government] may be
explained by: "Let us negotiate at the table and not under the
pressure of the media", he told Lusa.
I am heartened by Alkatiri's response to the issues, I previously
called on him to stay strong despite indications his negotiating team
might support signing a deal of almost any sort.
On 5th May I calculated that East Timor will get enough money from Bayu
Undan [Timor Sea oil and gas fields] to last 30-40 years, so why rush a
decision on Sunrise [Timor Sea oil and gas fields] which is off the
boil now and not going to be delivering returns for another 10-15 years
at best. [See: “Saving Sunrise until
later” [http://www.etan.org/lh/misc/04sunrise.html ]
On 3rd May in an open letter to Jose Ramos
Horta I complained that the East Timor government has asked
Australian activists to change the attitude to these matters of the
Australian people and Government.
With a Howard-compliant media this has been hard, but change is
occurring helped a lot by the formation of the Timor Sea Justice
Campaigns [See: http://www.TimorSeaJustice.org ] initially in Melbourne, and by the
applied expertise and financial resources of Ian Melrose. I also
acknowledged that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri may yet be 'holding the
fort' on these negotiations.
On 1st May posted etan 3rd May I wrote in 'Timor Sea Skullduggery'
that information tends to come only from one side. As usual
we have to contend with information leaked from Lord Downer only.
Despite many pleas to get on the front foot, to keep supporters
informed etc, the ET [East Timor] government chooses to say nothing
most of the time. Is this strategy or incompetence? The
problem is it leaves supporters in a quandry, and allows Lord Downer to
create expectations in the Australian population which maybe can become
self-fulfilling ... and the media just accept Downer's spin.
The strong man for East Timor fortunately is Prime Minister Mari
Alkatiri, not a noted communicator however. Does he know
the 'government take' from Sunrise is
$40billion or maybe much more? We just don't
know. Thought ranged against him is the camp understood to
want any agreement in the short term, even if it severely disadvantages
East Timor in the long term. This camp is thought to include
negotiators Jose Texeira, Peter Galbraith, and from the outside the
'Bob Hawke' of East Timor politics Jose Ramos Horta. Horta seems
to want to enhance his credentials as a peacemaker by getting an
. . .
In short, there is no possibility of last week's negotiation achieving
a fair deal or a good deal for East Timor, so I and many colleagues
fervently hope they fail, and the East Timor people and government
shows more of its legendary patience.
see Lusa attached:
East Timor: Alkatiri labels report of Timor
Sea accord an 'absolute lie'
Activist, Australians For a Free
East Timor - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)
Member, Timor Sea Justice
Coalition - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)
Phone: 61 8 89832113
Mobile: 0419 807175
2005 McKee: How
much is Sunrise really
The True Value of a Timor Sea Gas Resource
Timor Sea Talks between
Timor-Leste & Australia:
Dili, East Timor 26th 27th & 28th of April, 2005
Email Australia's Prime Minister
Howard - Tell
the Australian Government to Stop Stealing East
Timor's Resources and East Timor's Future -
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