Timor Sea Justice campaign 2016 Protests 24 March

The Timor Sea Justice Campaign in 2016 continues actions to highlight politically Turnbull’s hypocrisy on Timor Leste.
http://www.timorseajustice.com/TSJC/introduction
Earlier background http://chriswhiteonline.org/2015/11/ongoing-timor-leste-oil-gas-battle-with-australia/

Update:
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/east-timor-to-malcolm-turnbull-lets-start-talks-on-maritime-boundary-20160215-gmugd1.html

East Timor’s ambassador to Australia Abel Guterres, who announced the correspondence from Dr Araujo on Monday at a symposium at Monash University, said his country signed the treaties under duress.
The first treaty was signed when East Timor, freshly liberated from Indonesian rule, was still under UN administration and ravaged by war. Australia, Mr Guterres said, “left East Timor with no option but to agree to it”.
“The pressure from Australia was such that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer felt appropriate to remind the then Special Representative of the United Nations and Transitional Administrator of East Timor, the late Sergio Vieira de Mello, that ‘Australia could bring meltdown to East Timor if it so chose’,” he said.
“As you can draw from this mood, it was a situation where the United Nations and the Timorese leaders could not sustain their position under Australian pressure. Lawyers might call this out as unconscionable conduct.”
A second treaty negotiated between 2004 and 2007 was unfair because Australia eavesdropped on the Timorese negotiating team after a team of Australian Secret Intelligence Service officers posing as aid workers inserted listening devices into the government offices in Dili.
The latter treaty gave East Timor 50 per cent of revenue from the undeveloped but massive Greater Sunrise oil and gas deposit.
Mr Turnbull used his first major foreign policy address in Washington to laud a “rules-based” global order, urge the United States and other nations to ratify UNCLOS and state “differences should be resolved by international law”.

But Mr Guterres said Australia’s credibility was undermined by a contradictory position when it came to East TImor.
“[Australia] does not conform to the behaviour of a country that wants to also exert its international rules based leadership in our region and beyond,” he said, noting Australia was seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/east-timor-to-malcolm-turnbull-lets-start-talks-on-maritime-boundary-20160215-gmugd1.html#ixzz40GeDFGeT

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/east-timor-may-drop-spying-case-against-australia-if-new-maritime-border-struck-20160215-gmulvf.html

2016 Election year campaigning

Please adopt or adapt in your network resolution for lobbying MPs. Please publicize these issues in your publications and website.

An initial day of protests in Australia and internationally is on March 24th 12.30pm Melbourne – 55 Collins Street (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
TSJCProtest flyer A5 (1) (1)
and Dili – Australian Embassy, Rua Mártires da Patria
Timor Leste
https://www.facebook.com/events/459068937622907/
See media http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/malcolm-turnbulls-breathtaking-foreign-policy-hypocrisy-on-east-timor-20160124-gmcz7k.html

https://redflag.org.au/article/how-australian-imperialism-rips-timor-leste

We announce protests in other cities. Please send to us any international solidarity messages. Can you assist? Please contact Timor Sea Justice Campaign spokesperson, Tom Clarke, on 0422 545 763, Chris White 0418830297.
Timor Leste

Preamble:

The Turnbull Australian government is taking revenue from parts of the Timor Sea that, under international law, belong to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Timor Leste). Two months before Timor Leste’s independence in 2004, then Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer announced Australia’s withdrawal from the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

During the following negotiations with the newly independent government over the two countries’ maritime boundary and the exploitation of oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) secretly installed electronic listening devices in the Palace of Government in Dili to eavesdrop on the Timorese negotiators. Australian negotiators also threatened the withdrawal of foreign aid in order to bully the Timorese into accepting Australian claims on the Timorese side of the halfway (median) line.
TimorSeaJustice_banner_1
The conduct of the Australian government and secret services is evidently creating hostility towards Australia inside East Timor. That can be seen from the Dec 2013 protest in Dili targeting the Australian embassy, by the recent statements on ABC’s Lateline by current and former prime ministers and former Timorese President and resistance leader Xanana Gusmao describing Australian spying as “a crime”, “a criminal act” etc, and by the upcoming further protest on Australia’s Embassy planned for March 24 this year. The Protest dates is the anniversary of Australian withdrawal from the International Court of Justice maritime jurisdiction.

Appropriation of Timor Sea resource revenues is depriving one of the world’s poorest nations of resources urgently needed for development.

As a sovereign nation East Timor has consistently argued for permanent maritime boundaries and is legally entitled to have them. Unfortunately, the Australian Government has persistently refused to establish permanent maritime boundaries with East Timor in accordance with current international law. The uneven negotiating positions have resulted in a series of temporary resource sharing agreements that short-change East Timor of billions of dollars worth of government royalties, at minimum $5billion.

timor.jpg_article_main_image

Motions for discussion and lobbying MPs

We demand the Australian government
1. Rejoin the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

2. Recognise the principal of the median line, halfway between Timor and Australia.

3. Immediately respond to the calls by the government of Timor Leste to restart negotiations for permanent maritime boundaries between the two countries.
4. Transfer all past and ongoing revenue obtained from oil and gas fields on the Timorese side of the median line to the government of Timor Leste. An initial $5 billion of TL money can be returned.

We also

5. Strongly condemn the Australian government’s use of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) to carryout commercial espionage against the Government of Timor Leste (East Timor) in 2004 by placing electronic listening devices in the office of the Timorese Prime Minister and Cabinet Room support the call by Canberra Lawyer Bernard Collaery, Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdry and Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon for a judicial enquiry into the intelligence scandal. That would include investigation of the former Minister Alexander Downer and the former director of ASIS David Irvine.

6. Support the international day of protest on March 24 (please assist protests elsewhere) organised by the Timor Sea Justice Campaign and Timorese Activists marking the anniversary of Australian withdrawal from the maritime jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in 2002.

East Timorese protest against Australian government
See FaceBook Hands off Timor’s Oil Balibo

Crocodiles in the Timor Sea: development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute
A Public seminar State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Tuesday 16 February, 12 – 2pm

This forum will explore the development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute in the
Timor Sea. The negotiations that have occurred between Australia, Timor-Leste and Indonesia over the petroleum
reserves in the Timor Sea have ongoing impacts on relations between these three close neighbours, particularly
the development of the new nation of Timor-Leste.
Independent East Timorese NGO watchdog La’o Hamutuk, estimates that the total amount of oil revenue received by the Australian government between 1999 and 2014 which they believe should belong to Timor-Leste is just under five billion U.S. dollars.

Update:http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/143053/TimorLeste_Prepares_for_Sunrise_Project_Even_as_Development_Stays_Elusive/?all=HG2

Chris and Zito clarify a point

Chris and Zito clarify a point

images

Articles: Mark Aarons Oil and Water https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/december/1448888400/mark-aarons/oil-and-water

earlier blog http://chriswhiteonline.org/2014/01/timor-leste-battles-australian-corporate-elite/

Senator Nick Xenophon urges enquiry into bugging-of-timor-leste-oil-and-gas-treaty-talks

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/27/nick-xenophon-urges-inquiry-into-bugging-of-timor-leste-oil-and-gas-treaty-talks
Xenophon appeared with the former NSW director of public prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery – who said he believed the operation may have breached Australian law – and said further inquiries into the Asis operation were needed.

“If in fact Asis was used solely for the purpose of getting a commercial advantage for Australian companies over East Timor and its oil resources that is undoubtedly scandalous,” Xenophon said. “The only way we can get to the truth of this is through a royal commission.”

Intelligence officers who had behaved appropriately “should not have their home raided”, Xenophon said, in reference to raids carried out in December 2013 to seize documents about the international dispute. The raids on witness K’s residence and the offices of East Timor’s lawyer, Bernard Collaery, were authorised by the Australian attorney general, George Brandis.

ABC LateLine most important East Timorese leaders accuse Australia of committing a crime by sending spies to bug Dili Cabinet office

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4359816.htm

Witness ‘K” must be free to speak http://www.crikey.com.au/2016/02/03/witness-k-must-be-freed/
One of the most startling cases of a government using the fig leaf of “national security” to protect its own interests is happening right before our eyes — and it should have Australians up in arms.

Yesterday, the ABC revealed that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had intervened, on national security grounds, to prevent a former ASIS agent from having his passport returned. “Witness K”, as he is known, is the former intelligence agent who revealed that ASIS had bugged East Timor’s government in 2004. The then-Howard government ordered the bugging to gain advantage over East Timor in negotiations over resources in the Timor Sea.

Whatever the dubious morality of Australia cheating a struggling micro-state, the bugging was plainly illegal under Australian law. In contrast, Witness K’s revelation of the operation was entirely legal.

But while ASIS and its then director have entirely escaped scrutiny for this crime, Witness K has been raided by police and ASIO and had his passport taken, in order to prevent him from travelling overseas to give evidence in East Timor’s case against Australia in The Hague.

The current head of ASIO has said he has not taken any action on national security grounds against Witness K, making it clear that it’s the government — not ASIO — that wants Witness K confined to Australia.

This harassment and vilification of a man who has loyally served his country is plainly designed to try to cover up the crime perpetrated by ASIS and the Howard government’s extraordinary cynicism in seeking advantage over the East Timorese, to the benefit of Australian resources companies.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/11/28/maritime-arrangements-and-timor-lestes-oil-ploy/14486292002682
2. Melbourne events

Local councils can support http://www.timorseajustice.com/timor-sea-justice-campaign-news/thinking-globally-acting-locally-australia-councils-supporting-campaign-for-fair-and-permanent-marit

Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea: Perspectives in International Law
The School of Social Sciences at Monash University, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and Swinburne University of Technology present:

Date: 15 February 2016 10.00am to 5.00pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street Melbourne Attendance is free Speakers include:
Professor Don Rothwell, Professor of International Law, Head of School ANU College of Law
Professor Don K. Anton, Professor of International Law, Griffith University Law School
Dr I Made Andi Arsana, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia.

This one-day public seminar will examine the ongoing dispute over maritime boundaries between Australia and Timor-Leste. Panelists will include invited experts in international law, and representatives of the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste. Topics will include the historical context of the dispute, comparative boundary determinations, perspectives in international law, and updates on the current court cases. Bringing together academic and legal experts and this seminar will provide balanced and objective academic commentary on this significant and long-running issue.
Please visit www.tlstudies.org for further updates.

Crocodiles in the Timor Sea: development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute

A Public seminar

Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

When: Tuesday 16 February, 12 – 2pm

Attendance is free

This forum will explore the development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute in the
Timor Sea. The negotiations that have occurred between Australia, Timor-Leste and Indonesia over the petroleum
reserves in the Timor Sea have ongoing impacts on relations between these three close neighbours, particularly
the development of the new nation of Timor-Leste.

The financial implications of current international negotiations and legal disputes are huge. Independent East Timorese
NGO watchdog La’o Hamutuk, estimates that the total amount of oil revenue received by the Australian government
between 1999 and 2014 which they believe should belong to Timor-Leste is just under five billion U.S. dollars.
Crocodiles in the Timor Sea: development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute

A Public seminar Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

When: Tuesday 16 February, 12 – 2pm Attendance is free

This forum will explore the development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute in the
Timor Sea. The negotiations that have occurred between Australia, Timor-Leste and Indonesia over the petroleum
reserves in the Timor Sea have ongoing impacts on relations between these three close neighbours, particularly
the development of the new nation of Timor-Leste.

The financial implications of current international negotiations and legal disputes are huge. Independent East Timorese
NGO watchdog La’o Hamutuk, estimates that the total amount of oil revenue received by the Australian government
between 1999 and 2014 which they believe should belong to Timor-Leste is just under five billion U.S. dollars. The
national development implications and the socio-economic impact on the East Timorese will be discussed by three
speakers with long-term experience in Timor-Leste.

Speakers include:
Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO
Professor Brett Inder, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University
Dr Sara Niner, School of Social Sciences, Monash University The
national development implications and the socio-economic impact on the East Timorese will be discussed by three
speakers with long-term experience in Timor-Leste.

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