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BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor Loro Sa'e

The TIMOR OIL Collection:

A collection of recent Reports, Position statements, Petitions, Articles and News relating to East Timor's oil and gas resources.

Last Up-Dated: Feb 8 2001

The most recent collection is at:

This Webpage:


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Portuguese: Jan 12 OTL: O petróleo do Mar de Timor e as relações Timor Leste-Austrália
"A História recente da atitude do Governo australiano revela que o petróleo do Mar de Timor foi colocado acima de qualquer outra consideração nas relações com os países vizinhos. A Austrália poderia beneficiar mais dum desenvolvimento harmonioso da região, tentando chamar a si os investimentos pelos quais está melhor preparada que os seus vizinhos." OTL  top

Jan 12 ETO: Timor Sea Oil and East Timor-Australia relations
"The Australian Government's recent record shows that it has been putting Timor Sea resources above any other consideration in its dealings with neighbouring countries. However, Australia stands to benefit far more from harmonious development within the region that will attract investment, for which Australia is better prepared than its neighbours." ETO  top

French: Jan 12 OTO: Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor et les relations Timor Oriental-Australie
"L’histoire récente de l’attitude des gouvernements australiens révèle que le pétrole de la Mer de Timor a été placé au-dessus de toute autre considération dans les relations avec les pays voisins. L’Australie pourrait bénéficier davantage d’un développement plus harmonieux dans la région, et essayer d’attirer des investissements pour lesquels elle est mieux préparée que ses voisins." OTO    top

Dec 10 2000 ACFOA Position Paper: Negotiations of the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation
"... it is critical to ensure that East Timor will have access and make good use of all its resources in order to enable the rehabilitation of its infrastructure and become in the medium term more economically self-sufficient and therefore less dependent on foreign aid. ... The East Timorese should be given a larger share of the oil and gas resources than the one they presently receive under the Timor Gap Treaty." ACFOA   top

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Position Statements:

NEW Feb 3 ASIET's Timor Oil Statement  Added Feb 5
"While Indonesia occupied East Timor, everybody's attention was focussed on the fact that Australia and Indonesia were illegally sharing in another people's resources. There was little discussion of the fact that Canberra had squeezed a concession out of Jakarta which gave Canberra a 50% share in royalties from oil and gas that were not even in Australian territorial waters!" Max Lane, ASIET    top

Dec 10 2000 ACFOA Position Paper: Negotiations of the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation
"... it is critical to ensure that East Timor will have access and make good use of all its resources in order to enable the rehabilitation of its infrastructure and become in the medium term more economically self-sufficient and therefore less dependent on foreign aid. ... The East Timorese should be given a larger share of the oil and gas resources than the one they presently receive under the Timor Gap Treaty." ACFOA   top

Tetum: Nov 17 BLH: Saude, Oekusi, Deskulpas, no Mina: Koneksaun Timor Lorosa’e ho Australia
"Tanba ne’e maka Lao Hamutuk husu ba Governu Australianu atu halo kotu sira nia tuntutan ba direitu ruma kona ba mina no gas natural iha Timor Gap. La haré ba meritus legais nebe Timor Lorosa’e iha (ne’e be makas tebes), justisa basika haruka atu Canberra rekonhece no husu deskulpa tan sira nia passadu nebe halo moe tebes. Manifestasaun konkretu kona ba akto ida ne’e sei fo fatin ba Timor Lorosa’e atu menikmati, tanpa sanksi, beneficius hotu nebe sei hetan husi depositu mina no gas natural iha Timor Gap." BLH  top

Nov 17 LHB: Health, Wealth, Apologies and Oil: The East Timor-Australia Connection
"La’o Hamutuk calls upon the Australian government to cease its demand for any rights to the oil and natural gas in the Timor Gap. ... basic justice requires that Canberra recognize and apologize for its shameful past. A concrete manifestation of such an act would be to allow East Timor to enjoy without sanction the full benefits of the oil and natural gas deposits in the Timor Sea. Such a gesture would be good for Australia’s political health." LHB    top

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NEW Until Feb 28 ASIET's Timor oil petition  Added Feb 5
"Tens of thousands of people in Australia struggled for more than a decade in support of the East Timorese peoples' freedom. ASIET, and all other true friends of East Timor, will not stand by now and allow the Howard government to pressure the East Timorese people for oil and gas royalties from their own territorial waters." Max Lane, ASIET    top

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Jan 24 GLW: Digging in for East Timor's oil
"The federal government has refused to reveal its position [on Timor Gap] publicly, claiming this would counter the "national interest". The reason behind its reluctance seems to be the fear of a public backlash against a policy that would result in East Timor being denied desperately needed revenue while Canberra's coffers filled." Jon Land   top

Dec 6 GLW: Australia's oil and gas grab exposed
"As the people of East Timor struggle to rebuild their lives and their nation, it remains the case that a major obstacle to achieving full independence and self-determination is the big-business oriented foreign policy of the Australian government."
Jon Land    top

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NEW Feb 8 HS: Matters that cause Australians shame and loathing  Letter added Feb 8
"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." Shirley Shackleton    top

NEW Feb 3 STL: Bishop Belo Calls For Timor Gap Watch  News from ETimor added Feb 5
"In order to ensure that the royalties [from Timor Gap] are used only for the country [ETimor], Bishop Belo called for the setting up of an independent body [Timor Gap Watch] that will monitor every liter of oil from the Timor Gap and the way royalties are generated from it. Also the manner in which the royalties are spent will be closely monitored." STL   top

NEW Jan 30 STL: 2005, Timor Lorosae to be a rich country  News from ETimor added Feb 5
"With that formula [90:10], Galbraith stressed, East Timors present royalties of USD3 million a year will increase to USD300 million a year within a period of between five to 10 years. If that calculation is accurate, STL estimates, the whole of East Timors reconstruction can be paid for without any outside help from donors." STL     top

NEW Jan 30 STL: Timor Gap Further Negotiations: Dont be Hinged to 90:10  News from ETimor added Feb 5
"In further negotiations between East Timor and Australia, the party representing East Timor must not be hinged to the 90:10 formula. Instead, they should be brave enough to renegotiate the whole Timor Gap deal." Francisco Guterres, Dean UNATILs Faculty of Socio-Politics    top

Jan 26 Financial Times: East Timor demands oil money
"They [Australia] should say to East Timor, here's the oil, it's yours, take it," Jose Ramos Horta, East Timor foreign minister and Nobel peace laureate    top

Jan 17 IPS: Reconstruction an uphill climb
"UNTAET figures say that oilfields around East Timor could bring in $100 to $200 million a year in revenues. There are some "hundreds of millions of barrels equivalent of oil and gas already being exploited" in the Timor Gap, according to ETTA. For a country with a budget of less than $ 80 million a year, that means a whole lot." Johanna Son    top

Jan 15 SMH: Oil is more important to us than to Australia, says Gusmao
"To have a fair treaty, Australia has to consider that we have our perception of the problem, our rights in this issue. ... We will respect the rights and interests of Australia, but Australia has to respect our rights and our interests there. ... It is more important to us than to Australia - the new terms of the treaty. ... It is preferable that we get it [oil revenue] rather than it goes to Canberra and then comes to us as aid." Xanana Gusmao, President, CNRT    top

Jan 5 AU: Talks stall on Timor Gap oil profits
"So far it has offered about 60 per cent of revenue, which could total $US100 million ($180 million) a year. East Timor, represented by the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor, is arguing strongly for a 90 per cent stake in revenue, or alternatively for the boundary between the two countries to be redrawn at the mid-point between their coastlines." Robert Garran    top

Dec 2 Econ: Timor's troubled waters
"Australia is in two minds. The conservative government in Canberra, led by John Howard, argues against a new treaty that would leave Australia with only a fraction of the mineral wealth it had before. But the government is also wary of appearing to bully a helpless new nation. Public opinion in Australia is highly sympathetic towards the East Timorese, whose only other economic resource is fish. Australia already has oil reserves four times the size of those in the Timor Gap." The Economist   top

Nov 29 IPS: Oil & Good Relations Don't Mix
"The view of East Timor, which was shared by UNTAET, was that the Australian-Indonesian treaty was illegal because Indonesia didn't have the authority to make any decisions," Peter Galbraith, head of UNTAET negotiating team  top

Nov 28 CAA - Oxfam in Australia: The Timor Gap Treaty: Latest News
"The real problem for the Australian government lies in the wider consequences of a redrawn boundary in the Timor Gap. ... Indonesia might well seek to renegotiate the entire maritime boundary between Australia and Indonesia, using the renegotiated boundary between East Timor and Australia as a precedent. From the Australian point of view, this would endanger a much wider area of potential oil or gas reserves, of which the Timor Gap is only the centrepiece." CAA Update    top

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BACK DOOR is a FREE Australia based Web & email newsletter which includes a
selection of international news, articles and urgent actions related to East
Timor along with coming events within Brisbane & Canberra.

BACK DOOR supports human rights accountability, return of refugees, strengthening
of indigenous culture, East Timorese rights to Timor Gap oil and gas resources and
revenue, participatory democratic self-determination for the East Timorese people
and people-centred grassroots power-devolving reconstruction of East Timor.

BACK DOOR gives priority to:
* the Perspectives of grassroots East Timorese community organisations and networks;
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    as silencing and marginalising;
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