Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi
Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea
Rua dos Martires da Patria, Bebora,
MKOTT Declaration to the
Dili 23 February 2016
For more than 40
years, Australia has thirsted over oil and marine resources in the Timor
Sea which belong to Timor-Leste according to international law and
principles. From the beginning, Australia has justified their desire
with a variety of arguments. For example, in 1972 Australia made a
treaty with Indonesia to define their seabed border. Australia still
uses the outdated 'continental shelf' argument to rationalize their
occupation, domination and theft from Timor-Leste's people.
|ETAN's Pam Sexton speaks at February 23
rally at the Australian Embassy in Dili., ETAN was founded to
oppose the illegal Indonesian occupation. Now, she wanted to
stand up in support of Timor's sovereignty and rights as a
member of the solidarity movement. There are many from the U.S.,
Australia and elsewhere who would be there if they could to
stand for justice. Photo by Charles Scheiner.
1974, Australian oil companies discovered the Greater Sunrise gas field.
To make it easier to reap resources from Sunrise and elsewhere in
Timor-Leste's territory, Australia supported Indonesia's 1975 invasion
of Timor-Leste which killed nearly 200,000 people.
Timor-Leste won independence from the illegal Indonesian occupation in
1999, Australia still desired the Timorese people's resources, and
coerced Timor-Leste to accept some Australian rights to the
Elang-Kakatua, Bayu-Undan and Greater Sunrise fields. They also
pressured Timor-Leste to surrender its rights to the Laminaria-Corallina
and Buffalo oil fields, which are in an area claimed by both countries.
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.
Timor-Leste continues to endure
injustices from Australia's occupation of the Timor Sea, and therefore
the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) asks the
following of the Australian Government:
1. Australia should
respect the sovereignty and dignity of the nation of Timor-Leste, as it
does for other nations in the world.
2. Australia should return
to the mechanisms for resolving maritime boundary disputes of the
International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the
Law of the Sea.
3. The Government of Australia should negotiate
with the Government of Timor-Leste in good faith.
should not continue to use the 'Continental Shelf' argument which is no
longer valid under international law.
5. Australia, as a large
nation, should not use its economic and political power in the region to
continue to take advantage of the Timorese people's future.
Viva the Maubere People!
Australia's Occupation of the Timor Sea!
|A protest calling for the establishment
of permanent maritime boundaries along the ‘median line’ half
way between Australia and East Timor.took place on February 23
outside the Australian Embassy in Dili. The demonstration was
organized by The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor
Sea (Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor/MKOTT) has been
formed by activists, students and former resistance groups.
Photo by Juvinal Dias
Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea letter to
Australian ambassador (PDF):
Dili, 22 February 2016
Excellency Peter Doyle, Ambassador of Australia to RDTL
Fatuhada, Dili, RDTL
The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor
Sea is a social movement composed of activists, students, individuals,
former resistance and civil society organizations. Since its creation in
2004, this moment has advocated for legal, judicial and diplomatic
processes between the Australian and Timor-Leste governments to find a
maritime boundaries solution which is fair to both countries. MKOTT has
carried out several actions, which always reflect principles of
democracy and peace, and we do everything we can to prevent situations
which could descend into violence.
Therefore, MKOTT is writing
this letter to inform your Excellency that we will hold another peaceful
action tomorrow (Tuesday 23 February) from 8:30 am until 17:00 pm across
the street from the Australian Embassy, following a procession from
This peaceful action will continue our support for
Timor-Leste's sovereignty and urge a process to settle the maritime
boundary which follows international legal principles. We have attached
MKOTT's press release, and we are always ready to discuss these issues
with your Excellency or other representatives of the Australian
To ensure that this demonstration proceeds calmly,
MKOTT has already informed PNTL and the Interior Ministry about this
demonstration, and we continue to work with the relevant authorities to
ensure that the action will not have any violence or threats against
people or property, and will respect the freedom of expression enshrined
in Timor-Leste's Constitution.
If you have questions or concerns,
including during the demonstration, please contact Juvinal Dias (+670
7734-8703), Tomas Freitas (+670 7753-9038) or Manuel Monteiro (+670
We thank you for your attention and collaboration,