This has been a matter for great shame amongst enlightened Australians and it should be noted that it was devised and signed in a blaze of triumphant publicity by the self same Gareth Evans who has been honoured with the Order of Australia. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs under the government headed by Paul Keating at the time the illegal and invalid treaty was signed. The other signatory to the now infamous Timor Gap Treaty, Mr Ali Alitas was also awarded the Order of Australia (Honorary) . This has cheapened The Order of Australia.
I take this opportunity to point out another matter that causes we Australians shame and loathing. In 1975 the Fretilin Political Party transferred all of its funds to Australia for safe keeping in the event of an Indonesian invasion. The signatories were all murdered in the wake of the brutal invasion that took place in December 1975 and the money was placed into Australian Internal Revenue where it has remained for a quarter of a century earning healthy interest rates while the East Timorese suffered and starved.
It is time both these matters were resolved in favour of the new nation. It would be a worthy tribute to the Australian military personnel who risked their lives in East Timor if John Howard returned all the Fretilin money plus interest and handed over all the revenues under the Timor Gap oil and gas treaties. This would do more for world peace and the Timorese nation than handing out tarnished awards to irresponsible politicians.
BD TIMOR OIL: A collection of recent Reports, Position statements, Petitions, Articles and News