The East Timorese people have long held a special place in Australian hearts. Now, they need a hand to secure what is rightfully theirs, and their future prosperity.
Great riches - oil, gas and more - are buried in the sea between Timor and Darwin, and the Australian Government is claiming far more than its fair share.
As a result, our Government is robbing fledgling Timor Leste of billions of dollars - future revenue to fund schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure.
This week, Australia and East Timor are sitting down to “conciliate” at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. It didn’t start well: Australia’s opening remarks rejected the jurisdiction of the international tribunal!
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is counting on Australians not paying attention. We need to prove her wrong. It’s time to set up a clever and sustained campaign to raise awareness and fight for a fair go for Timor.
With your involvement or a small donation, we can:
- Re-connect and mobilise hundreds of East Timor solidarity groups and networks across the country to run local events and lobby local MPs
- Mobilise Australians of diverse faiths
- Engage directly with journalists to tell the story in the media, as well as build an overwhelming presence on social media
- Provide support to East Timorese Australians who wish to speak up.
- Build a coalition of mainstream organisations, well-known Australians, and political leaders of all stripes.
Australians expect our government to be better than this. We successfully urged John Howard to send Aussie troops to support East Timor's independence in 1999. For decades, tens of thousands of us campaigned in solidarity with the East Timorese people, raising awareness of their plight under Indonesian occupation. Since independence thousands more have helped to build a safe and prosperous East Timor. It's time for us to step again.
Last time our Government “negotiated” with Timor, it kindly offered to renovate the Government Building while ASIS secretly installed listening devices in the Timor Cabinet room. The Australian Government needs to know: this time we’re watching them!
Now is the moment. Even though it is non-binding, the UN conciliation is a chance to shine a global spotlight on Australia’s unfair behaviour. We need to apply equal pressure here at home.
Let's make the Government finally do the right thing by East Timor and establish permanent maritime boundaries in accordance with international law.
For the Timorese people - who have been rallying outside our Embassy in Dili - negotiating a permanent boundary between our two countries is about much more than money. It's also about fairness, justice and their destiny as a proud independent nation. It should be the same for us.
Here's to a prosperous Timor, and an Australia of which we can be proud.
For more information, visit the campaign at http://www.timorseajustice.com/