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Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor
Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea
Rua dos Martires da Patria, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-7734-8703

Appeal from MKOTT (Movement against the occupation of the Timor Sea)
to the people of Timor-Leste

Dili. March 18, 2016 

ETAN's Pam Sexton speaks at MKOTT rally in Dili, Feb. 23, 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.  
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. 

The 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 of Timor-Leste.

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 all.

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 separate things.

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 Suco.

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. Manuel Monteiro

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 Morrison

Timor Sea demo at Australian Embassy, Feb 22, 2016
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

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