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ETAN demonstrates at Australian Embassy in Washington, DC on June 7, 2004.

Timor Sea,
Boundaries and Oil

"Today, with the ending of occupation by Indonesia, we come up against the wrongful seizure of our natural resources by Australia." -- President Xanana Gusmão, April 2004


Crossing the Line: Australia's Secret History in the Timor Sea Order from ETAN

Crossing the Line: Australia’s Secret History in the Timor Sea
by Kim McGrath

"Unless we can agree on this boundary, we do not know where the limits of our new country are -- nor can we exploit all the resources that are rightfully ours. The future economic independence of Timor Leste [East Timor] relies on using these natural resources -- in an ecologically responsible and sustainable way."
                          --Tomas Freitas, La'o Hamutuk, February 2004, World Social Forum, Mumbai, India

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2010
2008 2007 2006 2005  2004  2003  2002

Take Action: Australia Hands Off Timor's Oil

Protest boat in Dili harbor across from Government Palace. Photo from Tempo Timor. 2019

MKOTT:  Public Statement on the Prosecution Against Witness K and Bernard Collaery by the Australian Government (August 28)


MKOTT: Public Statement on the Prosecution Against Witness K and Bernard Collaery by the Australian Government  (July 20)


ETAN: U.S. Congress supports Timor-Leste's right to a fair maritime boundary with Australia (August 1)

Demonstration in support of Timor-Leste's rights in the Timor Sea.


ETAN Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties of the Australian Parliament inquiry on Consequences of termination of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (March 7)


Graduate Students of the University of Peace Write to Australia  (April 2)

Timor Sea demo at Aistralian Embassy, Dili.MKOTT's Declarations to the Governments of Australia and Timor-Leste (March 22)

MKOTT: Appeal to the people of Timor-Leste (March 18, 2016)

MKOTT: The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea Calls For an End to Australian Occupation

Videos of TLSA public seminars on the Maritime Boundary dispute: 'Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea: Perspectives in International Law' (Monday 15 February) & 'Crocodiles in the Timor Sea: development and socio-economic implications of the maritime resources dispute' (Tuesday 16 February). Topics and speakers include  Perspectives in International Law,  Australia and Timor-Leste government Perspectives; Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmao:
Professor Brett Inder: Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University; Dr Sara Niner, School of Social Sciences, Monash University; Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Australia, Abel Guterres;


TLGov: Timor-Leste welcomes the commitment of the Australian Labor Party to engage on the issue of Maritime Borders if elected to Government  (July), Resolution text

TLGov: The Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries (PDF, July)

TIMFO: Time for FAIR BORDERS in the Timor Sea  (PDF, July)


International Court of Justice: Questions relating to the Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data (Timor-­Leste v. Australia) (January)
video archive of January 20-22 hearing before World Court in The Hague

TSJC: Grassroots campaign urges Australian PM to intervene to settle Timor oil dispute (January 22)

RFI: East Timor sues Australia over an oil and gas treaty (interview with ETAN's John M. Miller (January 22)

A23 INV INTL Timor Oz - John Miller, national coordinator East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, NY, NY, USA

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Statement by Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (December 5)
ASIO Raids Designed to Show Timor Who's Boss by Frank Brennan (December 5)
The 40-year Battle Over Timor's Oil (by Paul Cleary) (December 5)

Time for the Australian Government to finish the job and establish permanent maritime boundaries with East Timor
(November 27)

LH Analysis of how much money Australia has stolen (English/Tetum) from Timor-Leste for the Laminaria-Corallina oil field (January)


La’o Hamutuk: Oilwatch Southeast Asia Regional Meeting presentations and statement (also Tetum) (July)


La’o Hamutuk: Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges (February)


ETAN: Submission to Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry into Maritime Arrangements Treaty with East Timor (March 15)

La'o Hamutuk writes to RDTL Parliament on CMATS Treaty (February)


LH: Petroleum in Timor-Leste, Presentation by Santina Soares (October 21)
Timor-Leste and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: An Overview from Civil Society submission by La'o Hamutuk and Luta Hamutuk to the EITI meeting, Norway (October 16)
a'o Hamutuk Bulletin: - Issue focus: CMATS Treaty with Australia (April)

La'o Hamutuk asks Timor-Leste Parliament to scrutinize the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) (April 4)

ETAN Statement on Timor-Leste/Australia Maritime Arrangement (January 15)

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TSJC: Critics blast Australian Gov's band-aid approach to Timor Sea dispute (January 12)
Maritime Union of Australia: LNG shipments raise union alarm (January 9); Maritime and Transport Workers Union of East Timor: Timorese workers call on Australian comrades to protest LNG giant


Timor Sea Justice Campaign Skeptical of 'Grinch' Downer

LH Bulletin Vol. 6 No. 4: Petroleum Dependency, Petroleum Regime (November 2005)
LH press release on AusAID revocation of a grant to a Timorese NGO in response to their calling for a fair maritime boundary (10/6/05)

Oilwatch: Oil in Timor-Leste: A discussion of economic, ecological and moral debt. (Chapter written by La'o Hamutuk in September 2005)

ETAN demonstrates against Australia's PM Howard, July 18, 2005, Wash., DC  
ETAN demonstrates against Australia's PM Howard,
 July 18, 2005, Washington., DC.

Timor Sea Justice Campaign: Greater Sunrise briefing sheet (pdf) (07/28/05)
Protest Urges Fair Deal for East Timor: Colorful Demonstration Planned at Invite-Only Dinner for Australia's Prime Minister Howard (07/19/05)

Australian Unions Call For E Timor To Get Fair Share Of Timor Gap Oil (06/15/05)

Reported Australia/Timor-Leste Oil Deal "Cheats" East Timorese, Says ETAN (05/17/05)
TSJC: East Timor Short Changed in Oil Deal (05/14/05)
Australian Bishops call for generosity in Timor Sea talks (05/13/05)
ET NGOs:Timor-Leste Civil Society “Demands the Expeditious Determination of a Fair Median Line”  (4/2705)

Plain facts about Australia & East Timor’s Maritime Boundary (also PDF version)

Congress Urges Expeditious Talks on Permanent Maritime Boundary for East Timor; Calls on Australia to Create Trust Fund for Disputed Revenue (03/04/05)
TSJC: Surprise Australian "People's Delegation" to Maritime Talks (03/07/05)
TSJC: An open letter to the Australian Government's maritime boundary negotiating team (03/07/05)

TSJC: 'Hong Kong' Proposal Avoids The Basic Issue (02/25/05)
TSJC: Fresh Calls For A Trust Fund As Timor Sea Talks Resume (02/22/05)

Tasi Timor  Online video, Tasi Timor documents the popular protests in Dili in 2004 against Australia's ongoing occupation of the Timor Sea and exploitation of the vast oil reserves contained therein. (Tetum, English). Download or watch online.

Estafeta: East Timor’s Oil: Blessing or Curse? (Winter)
News about Timor Sea Talks and Public Consultations: November, December

Timor-Leste Civil Society Demands a Fair Maritime Boundary (10/27/04)
News about October Timor Sea negotiations (October)
Timor-Leste government launches public consultation on Petroleum Fund (10/18/04)
Most Australians support international court determining Timor boundary: poll (10/7/04)

ET NGO statement on ET-Australia boundary talks (09/29/04)
LH: The Case for Saving Sunrise (07/28/04)

Members of Congress Stress Concern Over East Timor-Australia Boundary Dispute During Australia Free Trade Debate (7/22/04)
ETAN Urges Visiting Australian Prime Minister to Follow Rule of Law in Talks with East Timor (6/03/04)

ETAN Urges International Support for Justice and Control of Resources on Newest Nation’s Birthday (5/20/04)
MKOTT: Statement in Solidarity with Australians for Timor Sea Justice (5/20/04)
May Timor Sea and Boundary News
Australia Fails Fairness Test for East Timor: Complex Trade Agreement with U.S. Undermines Australia's Claim on Timor Boundary Talks (5/17/04)

Estafeta: Australia Continues to Steal East Timor’s Sea Resources (Spring 2004)
News reports on April negotiations
TSO Media Release: DFAT expert supports East Timor's maritime rights, (04/23/04)
MKOTT: Timor Sea Movement Press Release on Talks (04/19/04)
East Timor Environmentalist Wins Top Global Award (04/19/04)
MKOTT: Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea Launched (04/14/04)

Nicholson of "The Australian" newspaper  

Congress Tells Australia to Treat East Timor Fairly; Urges Expeditious Talks on Permanent Maritime Boundary (03/09/04)
Global Wake-Up Call for Australia: Stop Stealing East Timor's Resources & Trampling on Its New Independence (01/26/04)
E Timor Coalition (CIITT): Statement for Australia Day (01/26/04)


NGOs Urge Howard to Play Fair in Boundary Talks with East Timor; Text of NGO letter to Australia's Prime Minister Howard with response (11/07/03)

ETAN: Talking Points - East Timor’s Boundary Dispute with Australia

East Timor Action Network Urges Gifts of Justice and Fairness on Country’s First Birthday (05/17/03)
ETAN: U.S. Rights Group Demands that Australian Government Stop Bullying East Timor  (01/26/03)

ETAN: Submission to Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry into the Timor Sea Treaty and the Exchange of Notes between East Timor and Australia (Timor Sea)  (7/29/02)
Estafeta: A Dangerous Oil Slick: Australia Tries to Hijack East Timor's Future (Spring 2002)
Estafeta: Phillips Petroleum and Canberra Play an Old Game (Winter 2001-2)

To: Phillips Shareholders, Directors, and Management, re: Phillips' operations in the Timor Sea (05/13/96)

Additional Background

Key Links

La'o Hamutuk OilWeb
CD-ROM on East Timor’s Oil and Gas

Oil and gas under the Timor Sea between East Timor and Australia are essential to East Timor’s economic future. Although these resources will bring much-needed money to East Timor, they also bring danger. Around the world, oil and gas development often comes with war, corruption, dictatorship, repression and environmental destruction.

To help explain these issues, La’o Hamutuk has compiled information and documents in a “website” which does not require connection to the internet. Most of OilWeb is English, although it includes much in Bahasa Indonesia and some Tetum and Portuguese. OilWeb, version 2.0 updated to January 2005, is now available.  includes:
  • Overviews, information and analysis
  • Complete text of all treaties and agreements relating to Timor Sea oil development and boundaries since 1971, as well as the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Movie “Don’t Rob Their Future” (English, 17 min.) which explains the boundary issue in non-technical terms.
  • Audio drama (Tetum, 15 min.)
  • Profiles of oil companies and oil fields
  • Fact Sheets from the governments, UNTAET and the oil companies involved in the Timor Sea.
  • Australian Parliament hearings and debate on the Timor Sea Treaty
  • OilWatch Network information about consequences and popular resistance, including descriptions of situations, problems, and resistance from many countries in Asia and around the world.

La’o Hamutuk distributes OilWeb at cost to East Timorese NGOs and their supporters and for USD $50 to others. It is available from La’o Hamutuk in Dili or by mail. Contact La'o Hamutuk.

In North America order from ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873, elsewhere from La'o Hamutuk.


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