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"I would have preferred to keep the references to John Howard as he needs to start taking responsibility for his Government's theft of East Timor's gas and oil. However, I altered the ads to ensure they go to air because it's very important that the Australian public knows that the Howard Government has taken $1 million every single day since 1999 from gas and oil fields that under International Law belong to East Timor. This is while East Timorese children are dying from preventable diseases," businessman Ian Melrose, author of Timor Sea TV ads


News Release ­ TIMOR SEA JUSTICE CAMPAIGN ­ News Release

For immediate release: Sunday, 9 May 2005.

Home: http://www.TimorSeaJustice.org


TIMOR ADS RETURN FOR PIVOTAL MARITIME TALKS


Amended versions of Australian businessman Ian Melrose's previously refused Timor Sea TV ads have been resubmitted to the Commercial Advisory Division (CAD) of Free TV Australia and are scheduled to air nationally on Monday evening on networks Seven, Nine and SBS.

Direct references to the Prime Minister, John Howard, have been removed to alleviate CAD's fear that the ads were potentially defamatory.

Ian Melrose who has funded the series of TV ads to raise awareness of the Australian Government's bullying behaviour towards East Timor during the ongoing dispute about gas and oil, said that while he was disappointed the ads had to be modified, it was important the Australian public new the truth about Timor Sea dispute.

"I would have preferred to keep the references to John Howard as he needs to start taking responsibility for his Government's theft of East Timor's gas and oil. However, I altered the ads to ensure they go to air because it's very important that the Australian public knows that the Howard Government has taken $1 million every single day since 1999 from gas and oil fields that under International Law belong to East Timor. This is while East Timorese children are dying from preventable diseases," Mr Melrose said.

The Timor Sea Justice Campaign is pleased that the ads will go air in the lead up to the next round of talks between the Australian and East Timorese Governments in Sydney on Wednesday and hope they will encourage Australians to lobby the Government to give East Timor a fair go.

Alexander Downer last week claimed that the two countries were on the brink of a deal, but comments from the East Timorese Government signal that there is still a large amount of crucial details to agree on.

Timor Sea Justice Campaign co-ordinator, Tom Clarke, believes that for the negotiations to progress, the percentage spilt of the Greater Sunrise field worth and estimated $50 billion in Government royalties will need to reflect East Timor's entitlement under International Law.

"Given current International Law supports East Timor's claim for most, if not all, of the Greater Sunrise field, it's simply insulting that the Australian Government continues to bully the poorest nation in Asia into yet another shabby deal," Mr Clarke said.

East Timor has no legal avenue to the challenge the Australian Government's actions, because the Australian Government pre-emptively withdrew recognition from the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

The ads that were refused by CAD can be viewed online at: http://www.timorseajustice.org/tvcs.htm


For further information, please contact:

Tom Clarke, Co-ordinator, Timor Sea Justice Campaign, Melbourne.
Mobile: 0422 545 763 email: tom@timorseajustice.org





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