La’o Hamutuk considers this celebration like the ‘celebration’ in 2005, when Timor-Leste and Australia agreed on the CMATS Treaty ... Sadly, although the celebration had begun, in the end that ‘agreement’ was not considered a victory for Timor-Leste. This is because the CMATS Treaty blocked Timor-Leste from speaking about its sovereign rights while Greater Sunrise was in production, and continued to recognize Australia’s rights to sea areas which properly belong to Timor-Leste under principles of international law.
While no specific details are available, the agreement that has been reached refers to a ‘pathway to the development of the [Greater Sunrise] resource, and the sharing of the resulting revenue’. Australia had previously offered East Timor a 50-50 split of revenue from the Greater Sunrise field, so it is expected that the agreement will increase East Timor’s share of revenues. The agreement also leaves open the question of the ‘pathway to the development’ of the field.
I thank the Commission for its resolve and skill in bringing the Parties together, through a long and at times difficult process, to help us achieve our dream of full sovereignty and to finally settle our maritime boundaries with Australia. This is an historic agreement and marks the beginning of a new era in Timor-Leste’s friendship with Australia: former President of Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmão
Montara has seen thousands of hardworking seaweed farmers rendered into abject poverty without being advised of or understanding the cause. For too long now, the polluter has tried to hide behind the poverty and remoteness of its victims. The people who bore the brunt of Montara's lethal discharge will now, finally, have their voices heard in an Australian court: Darwin lawyer Greg Phelps.
We understand that people who work for the Australian government, the programs it funds, or the United Nations have had to surrender their freedom of speech on these issues, but many others have not: La'o Hamutuk.
Many Australian people believe that your Government has been generous to our people, but this is a misconception. Since 1999, Australia has provided approximately US$1.7 billion in military and civilian assistance for Timor-Leste through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. During the same sixteen years, the Australian government has received nearly $5 billion dollars in revenues from oil and gas fields which rightfully belong to Timor-Leste. The more than three billion dollars Timor-Leste has “given” to Australia makes us your largest aid donor, not the other way around.
The loss of the 'Selamat Dua' is one of the great nautical regrets of my life, because two years later I was living and working in East Timor following the crisis and the 'Selamat Dua' would have been perfect over there - Tony Haritos.
Jose Belo: "The Courts today have upheld our constitution, which we fought so hard for. This is a victory for the East Timorese people. The government is trying to stop freedom of the media and freedom of expression ... It would now seem our politicians need help from the lawmakers to understand what the constitution means."
"This proposed law is reminiscent of policies implemented by dictatorships everywhere to hide the reality in their countries from the world, strangling people’s freedom of expression to preserve their power," La'o Hamutuk, 29 May 2014
Timor-Leste's leaders must adopt realistic policies and make a serious effort to develop a productive local economy to replace non-renewable oil and gas reserves, rather than relying on wishful thinking about possible future discoveries. The alternatives are frightening indeed.