Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi
Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea
Rua dos Martires da Patria, Bebora,
Appeal from MKOTT (Movement
against the occupation of the Timor Sea)
to the people of Timor-Leste
Dili. March 18, 2016
1. "Today we are not holding a press conference, but putting forward
our public appeal. MKOTT, made up of students, women’s group, civil
society, youth and veterans, will hold a peaceful demonstration against
the Australian Government in front of the Australian Embassy on the 22nd
and 23rd of March, 2016.
|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.
demonstration will start at 8am on the 22nd with people gathering in the
garden in front of Tiger Fuel, then peacefully marching to the
Australian Embassy at 9.30. MKOTT invites everyone to join in this
peaceful action, especially those who live in Dili.
The action will be non-violent and
peaceful. We want to show the Australian Government that despite
this issue, we still respect them, but want to remind them that the
rights of the Timorese people, and Timor-Leste as a nation are
paramount. That’s why we are inviting all people to join this action
that is organised by the Movement – not any political party of the
Government of Timor-Leste.
It is the people’s right to demand the Australian Government respect
the maritime boundary, and MKOTT continues to put forward the option
of the median line as the best, and only true solution for the
people of Timor-Leste, the Australian Government and the Government
MKOTT asserts that there is only one
true option: the median line.
On the 22nd – 23rd of March, we call on the Timorese people to join
us in this action. We ask that people driving in the area of the
Australian Embassy, in public or private transport, beep your horns
two or three times to show your support and demonstrate to the
Australian Government that the Timorese people demand respect and
they demand their rights. Gaudencio de Sousa
2. MKOTT as the
organising body would like to extend an open invitation for all
people to take part, including individuals in political parties and
organisations because this is a national issue of interest to us
For those who live in the area near the
Australian Embassy: this is an issue that affects us all and its all
of our struggle. It would be great if you can show your support for
the movement by joining in, providing water and/or food for the
demonstration. This will demonstrate that we ALL demand the
recognition of the median line. Efrem
3. To all the people of Timor-Leste,
east to west, north to south: This is our movement, it’s a people’s
movement by the people, for the people. But it’s not just
Timor-Leste. In Australia there are also demonstrations, by
Australian people, demanding that the Australian Government respect
Timor-Leste’s sovereignty. We are not alone in this movement, it’s a
people’s movement, with actions taking place around the world. There
are actions taking place in England and Indonesia, as well as those
in Australia and here in Timor-Leste.
4. All of these actions are taking place
to highlight the injustice of one nation state against another; in
breach of existing international law. Manuel Monteiro
5. There is
international solidarity with the movement, with actions taking
place from Australia to New York. Timorese students are organising
demonstrations in Malang, Jogja and many other places, using various
ways to publicly campaign including fliers, photos and stickers to
and out to the public.
We also want to share that the Australia Embassy has given warnings
to their staff not to take part in the action, and told Australians
to avoid the area because of the protest.
MKOTT would like to take the opportunity
to appeal to our Australian friends, colleagues and activists,
Australians living in Timor-Leste; we appeal to Australians, with
one heart, to support Timor-Leste’s sovereignty. Join us in the
protest and be assured that this is a peaceful, non-violent
demonstration without discrimination. It’s an action to raise our
voices together – not our fists. We are demanding that the rights of
the Timorese people, and national sovereignty and we know that the
people of Australia, and the Government of Australia, are two
The warning issued by the Australian
Embassy aims to disrupt and weaken our protest, our movement and our
right to free-speech. Because of this, we want to extend an open
invitation to ALL friends and supporters, activist groups and
individuals in Timor-Leste and abroad to join us and this action.
Join us to show that the Timorese people are not alone in their
struggle, but that there is international solidarity.
We’re estimating that the protest will
draw around 10,000 peaceful protesters, especially with the
participation of the universities in Dili. We’ve also been lobbying
political groups to join in, not in the name of the party but to
show support as people and citizens of Timor-Leste.
MKOTT has coordinated with several Xefe
de Suco who are aiming to bring a minimum of 100 people from each
The struggle for justice is a long one
that won’t be resolved with this action alone. This is part of the
ongoing struggle for national sovereignty that the Timorese people
started in 1975. We continue to fight because we our liberty has not
yet been fully achieved because of the Australian occupation of the
Timor Sea. This struggle will continue as long as Australia fails to
recognise Timor-Leste’s national sovereignty, and MKOTT will
continue with our demand for the Australian Government to respect
our fundamental right to national sovereignty.
We call on the Australian government to
return to the dispute resolution mechanisms on maritime boundaries
based on International Law: The International Court for Justice and
the International Court on Maritime Boundaries.
We call on the Australian government to
cease abusing its political and economic power in this region – that
continues to oppress Timor-Leste – and steal Timor-Leste’s future.
We ask the Australian Government to come with true will and an
honest heart to negotiate with Timor-Leste on the maritime boundary.
MKOTT continues to send the message to
the negotiators from Timor-Leste that MKOTT supports the fight for
national sovereignty. We call on them to not sell our national
sovereignty for money: sovereignty over the pipeline or anything
else. To date, too many negotiators have shown that they prefer to
sacrifice Timor-Leste’s sovereignty for financial gain. MKOTT stays
strong in its position that the process must follow the median line
and the principle of sovereignty. Juvinal Dias
6. This movement
has the potential for change much quicker than the fight for
independence. The independence movement started with just a few
people, with more people joining in later. The fight for the fair
determination of the maritime boundary already has mass support as
we could see from last month’s protest. On the 22nd and 23rd March,
we continue to put pressure on the Australian Government to re-join
the negotiating table.
This movement is not just in
Timor-Leste. In Australia our colleagues, who supported our fight
for independence, continue to show their commitment to standing in
solidarity with us as our independence is yet to be fully achieved.
7. Coordination with security started two days
ago. Yesterday we met with government ministers to discuss security
for the action. MKOTT also shared their plans for the ongoing
campaign and advocacy over the maritime boundary.
We continue to
mobilise, not just with the demonstration but other actions
including public information and education to build a sense of
patriotism and nationalism for our country.
Gaudencio de Sousa
18- 03- 2016; Rua Karaketu,
Mota-ain, no.08, Dili Timor-Leste,
Prepared by Comrade Emily