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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Sources of Income for Reconstruction of East Timor
Orijen ba Fundus ba Rekonstrusaun Timor Loro Sa’e
Bantu uang: Rékonstruksi :

A collection of recent reports and articles concerning sources of funding for reconstruction of East Timor. 


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Up-Dated: Jan 16, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout


Main Contents: BD: Financing Reconstruction in East Timor

Jan 12 STGET: Alkatiri on occasion of Offering of 2 Patrol Boats  Speech added Jan 16
"The East Timorese have become accustomed to looking towards the sea as a potential source of income only from petroleum and gas. However, the wealth of our country and its potential to diversify its income stream is far wider. We need to further develop the fishery sector and build our enforcement capacity through the patrolling of our coastal waters. At the same time we will also be able to avoid the illegal exploration of our resources without the benefit to our People." Mr. Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister, Second Transitional Government of East Timor

December UNTAET: UNTAET Basic Facts (Fact Sheet 2)  Info added Dec 31
"Budget: • The Donors have provided a total of approximately US$ 60 million since October 1999 to support the national budget through the Consolidated Fund for East Timor (CFET). ... • The Trust Fund for East Timor (TFET), administered by the World Bank, has also disbursed roughly US$ 67 million by the end of November 2001. Spending has been in key reconstruction and development activities in the areas of health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and water and sanitation. Funds have also been allocated at a grassroots level through the Community Empowerment Programme, while the Small Enterprise and Microfinance Programmes are designed to kick-start the private sector. • Since 1999, the donors have contributed over US$ 600 million to East Timor for development assistance (including CFET, TFET and Bilateral assistance). ... " UNTAET Press Office

Sep 7 RDP: New ETimorese gov't sets anti-poverty fight as main objective  Interview added Sep 10
"I usually say that we were lucky because we have oil, but we are also lucky not to be receiving the profits of its exploration yet, because if we were, if we were presently in possession of these profits, our economy would still not be sufficiently prepared to absorb these profits appropriately, nor would be appropriately enabled to manage these profits. Therefore, we would risk seeing these profits being placed in private accounts abroad." Mari Alkatiri, secretary general of the winning party Fretilin Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor

Aug 2 ABC: East Timor pipeline on hold  Interview added Aug 4
"The fact is that the treaty was only initialled on July 5th. It left many questions to be resolved by East Timor and by Australia separately. One of the provisions of the treaty provides that East Timor will impose taxes on 90 per cent of the production of oil and gas. ... there are issues that have to be worked out, incidentally not just issues with East Timor but the companies also have issues with Australia. Apparently the Australian tax office is changing the depreciation schedule on pipelines in a way that could make them much less profitable, and that too is a factor in this whole process." Peter Galbraith, UN’s chief negotiator for the Timor Gap project

Jul 16 Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to the Defense Agency  Letter added Aug 4
"The enormous budget that would be spent on this proposed dispatch should be used for the rebuilding of East Timor. It would be of far greater benefit to the people of East Timor if the money were spent on things like safe water, medical care, food security, setting up of a legal system, and development of human resources instead of on an army that will only get there when "things have settled down." Free East Timor Japan Coalition

Jun 30 JCCJP: Japanese church leaders oppose Japanese troops in East Timor  Position statement added July 10
"Most Japanese people want Japan to contribute to world peace first and foremost by strictly adhering to its war-renouncing “peace constitution.” They believe that Japan can best contribute to the rebuilding of East Timor by providing humanitarian and economic aid in keeping with the principles of our Constitution and by an active diplomacy with Indonesia to punish crimes against humanity, facilitate the return of the refugees and ensure a secure environment for the new nation of Timor Lorosae." Japanese Catholic Council for Justice and Peace

May 20 FRETILIN: Electoral Commitment 2001  Position statement added July 7
"Oil and natural gas are non-renewable sources of energy and revenue. The Administration will set a policy on the Timor Sea oil and gas exploration as well as on-shore exploration and will adopt a modern Code to ensure State control over that wealth and resources in order to maximise revenue and income. The Administration will define a strict framework to regulate the allocation of such revenues to be re-invested in the development of sectors such as fisheries, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, communications, education, health, transport systems, development of alternative energy sources, etc." FRETILIN: Frente Revolucionária Do Timor-Leste Independente

Apr 9-11 APPEA: Galbraith: Timor Sea Petroleum  keynote conference address added May 5
"No industry is more important to East Timor than petroleum. Let me give the scale of its significance. East Timor’s annual recurring budget is $45 million. ... The Bayu-Undan liquids project currently underway will generate $100 million a year for East Timor by the middle of the decade. A gas pipeline could increase the government take to $150 million. Laminaria and Buffalo operating under Australian license, but in an area to which East Timor has a compelling claim to the continental shelf, could generate up to $1 million a day--$365 million a year for East Timor as current oil revenues. Imagine what this means to a country where every building was burned to the ground, where there are 70 students for every teacher, where teachers have no opportunity to develop further their skills."
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, East Timor Transitional Government

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, National Council of Timorese Resistance / Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense (CNRT)

Portuguese:
Jan 12 OTL: O petróleo do Mar de Timor e as relações Timor Leste-Austrália
"A principal fonte de rendimentos de Timor Leste para os próximos 20 anos encontra-se no ‘Mar de Timor’. Principal fonte de rendimentos para o país não é necessariamente sinónimo de principal factor económico para a sustentação da sua população, que trabalha e depende em 80% da agricultura. Porém, os rendimentos do petróleo e do gás poderão, a partir de 2005, ser duas vezes superiores ao actual orçamento, uma ajuda determinante para a viabilidade económica do novo Estado, que emerge das cinzas de Setembro de 1999." Observatório Timor Leste

Jan 12 ETO: Timor Sea Oil and East Timor-Australia relations
"The Timor Gap is to be East Timor's main source of revenue for the next 20 years. Being the country's main source of revenue does not necessarily mean being the main economic factor for the livelihood of its population, 80% of which works and is directly dependent upon agriculture. However, as from 2005, revenues from oil and gas royalties could be twice the country's current budget - an immense contribution to the economic viability of the new State emerging from the ashes of September 1999." East Timor Observatory

French:
Jan 12 OTO: Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor et les relations Timor Oriental-Australie
"La principale source de revenus du Timor Oriental pour les 20 prochaines années se trouve dans la Mer de Timor. Principale source de revenus pour le pays n’est pas obligatoirement synonyme de principal facteur économique pour sa population, qui travaille et dépend pour 80% de l’agriculture. Mais les revenus du pétrole et du gaz peuvent, à partir de 2005, être deux fois supérieurs au budget actuel, une aide déterminante pour la viabilité économique du nouvel Etat qui émerge des cendres de septembre 1999." Observatoire Timor-Oriental

Tetum:
Nov 17 2000 BLH: Saude, Oekusi, Deskulpas, no Mina: Koneksaun Timor Lorosa’e ho Australia
" ... 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.  Gestu ida ne’e sei diak duni ba Australia nia bem-estar politika. Ne’e mos sei fo rekursu financial ba Timor Lorosa’e nebe precisa tebes, atu nune’e bele garante acessu diak tebes ba Timor Lorosa’e oan sira atu hetan ajuda ba sira nia saude saugate deit ho kualidade diak, no mos atu hari’i infrastrutura social ekonomika nebe necessariu hodi hamenus sira nia kiak, nebe ema moras barak maka eksperiencia (liu tiha ona)." La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao

Nov 17 2000 LHB: Health, Wealth, Apologies and Oil: The East Timor-Australia Connection
" ... 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. It would also provide East Timor with desperately-needed financial resources to ensure that all East Timorese have adequate access to free and high-quality health care, and to build the type of socio-economic infrastructure necessary to reduce the profound poverty that underlies most of the illnesses people experience." La’o Hamutuk Bulletin Editorial

Dec 5-6 2000 INGO: Report on the Brussels Donors' Meeting on East Timor   Added Dec 20
"The Brussels Donors' Meeting on East Timor worked according to the Goebbels principle of propaganda: 'If you repeat anything often enough and long enough, people will believe it.' By repeating often and at length what a marvellous job the WB, UNTAET and ETTA had done, one presumes everyone except the NGOs/INGOs went away believing this."
Sieneke Martin, INGO representative

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." Australian Council for Overseas Aid

Dec 18 2000 CAAT:  Re-build ET coffee economy - Buy Fair Trade Coffee!  Up-dated Aug 2
Upon reading about the recent devastating crash in income from East Timor's coffee harvest BACK DOOR did an extensive web-search for ways that we could respond. And guess what? In several capital cities in Australia there are retail outlets that sell East Timorese coffee at much fairer prices. Buying this fair trade coffee will help to re-build the coffee economy. This coffee can also be purchased on-line!

Jan 6 Manning: "People-centered grassroots power-devolving reconstruction of East Timor" Letter added Jan 22
This objective [of BACK DOOR Newsletter] can be achieved with funding by the World Bank / IMF / The International Community by way of non-repayable loans to the people and Communities whose property has been wantonly destroyed. The funds should be recouped from the perpetrators; nominally the Indonesian Government / Military. ... The Indonesian Government and "Judiciary" might then more earnestly pursue the persons responsible instead of the current farcical charades, and in turn recover the costs from the Indonesian Generals who profited from the 24 years of usurping East Timor's assets." Brian Manning, Fretilin activist / supporter, member of team that maintained early radio communications between Fretilin and their external Mission


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