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East Timor

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July 30, 2021

UCA News - July 30, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste is witnessing a significant increase in new cases of Covid-19 as the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted south from capital Dili to Ermera municipality.

July 29, 2021

The Diplomat - July 29, 2021

Luke Hunt – Timor-Leste is emerging as an unlikely regional diplomatic player amid a renewed push to gain membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) when Cambodia takes over the bloc's rotating chair next year.

July 28, 2021

Energy Voice - July 28, 2021

Damon Evans – Santos, which operates the Bayu-Undan field offshore East Timor, said today that production from its Phase 3C infill drilling program has started with the first well producing a better than expected outcome.

July 27, 2021

UCA News - July 27, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Dili Archdiocese in Timor-Leste is to work closely with international Christian humanitarian and development organization World Vision in assisting families in rural areas to prevent violence against children.

July 26, 2021

UCA News - July 26, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Pope Francis hopes to visit Timor-Leste next year, according to a senior official at the Catholic-majority country's apostolic nunciature.

The visit will take place if the Covid-19 situation improves, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, the nunciature's charge d'affaires, told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak on July 23.

July 24, 2021

UCA News - July 24, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste's top churchman has called on priests and religious to respect the Vatican's decision to dismiss a priest for sexual abuse and asked them to support his alleged victims in a case currently on trial.

July 20, 2021

Dev Policy Blog - July 20, 2021

Akito Ximenes, Michael Rose – The hamlet (aldeia) of Poros is a settlement of some 800 people on the edge of Nino Konis Santana National Park and Lake Ira Laloro in Timor-Leste. Historically an isolated community of subsistence gardners and foragers, today many of its young people work abroad – at present around 30 are in the UK, Korea and Australia.

July 19, 2021

UCA News - July 19, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Dili Archdiocese in Timor-Leste has asked the government for permission to establish the country's first Catholic university by upgrading the status of a pastoral school.

The application was submitted to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture by the country's top churchman, Archbishop Dom Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, on July 16.

July 16, 2021

UCA News - July 16, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Many primary and secondary schools forced to close for months in Catholic-majority Timor-Leste's worst-hit Covid-19 areas will be allowed to reopen next week, the government says.

July 14, 2021

UCA News - July 14, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A defrocked priest in Timor-Leste on trial for sexual abuse has been accused of threatening to kill the lawyer of his alleged victims.

Sydney Morning Herald - July 14, 2021

Chris Barrett, Singapore – A defrocked Catholic priest accused of systematic child abuse in East Timor has been reported to police for allegedly threatening to kill the human rights lawyer representing the victims.

The claim against American-born Richard Daschbach was made in a statement released on Tuesday night by law firm JUS Juridico Social Consultoria.

July 12, 2021

Macau News - July 12, 2021

Strong performance in the oil sector has boosted Timor-Leste's 2021 GDP growth forecast from 2.5 to 4 per cent, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

"Strong oil production volumes in early 2021 have prompted us to raise our forecast for GDP growth in 2021," the EIU's most recent report on the Timorese economy stated.

July 8, 2021

UCA News - July 8, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste has stepped up efforts to seal its border with neighboring Indonesia to prevent the entry of the Covid-19 Delta strain, a variant the country's top churchman described as "one of the greatest threats to the world."

July 4, 2021

ABC News - July 4, 2021

Elizabeth Byrne – I can't tell you who Witness K is. Even if I knew I couldn't say without risking jail time, because as a former spy for Australia's overseas intelligence service, his identity is protected under strict security laws.

July 1, 2021

Energy Voice - July 1, 2021

Damon Evans – East Timor could pocket just over $600 million if the Buffalo-10 exploration well, due to be drilled late October, is successful. The operator, Australia's Carnarvon Petroleum, as well as UK partner Advance Energy, said yesterday that they have secured a jack-up drilling rig for the probe at the historic Buffalo field offshore East Timor.

June 27, 2021

The Guardian - June 27, 2021

Eve Webster – Thousands of East Timorese people who fled the country in the 1990s could lose their rights to work, rent a home or access the NHS in three days' time because of Brexit.

June 26, 2021

Sydney Morning Herald - June 26, 2021

Chris Ray – Nona was born in a dirt-floor hut in a East Timor highland village, where hungry children grow up stunted and wise men see omens in the flight of birds. Her parents grew rice and corn in swidden gardens, but struggled to feed six children. At the age of 9, Nona decided on a solution: she would leave home to live at an orphanage called Topu Honis.

June 22, 2021

World Socialist Website - June 22, 2021

Mike Head – A former senior Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer, known publicly only as "Witness K," was sentenced to a suspended jail term last Friday. His "crime" was to blow the whistle on the Howard Liberal-National government's use of ASIS to plant a listening device in East Timor's cabinet room in 2004 during crucial oil and gas negotiations.

June 21, 2021

The Guardian - June 21, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Jose Ramos-Horta will formally request that Timor-Leste award Witness K the nation's highest honour, praising him for exposing "Australian government perfidy, bad faith and dishonesty" in a bugging operation conducted for the sole purpose of "robbing the poorest country in the world".

Sydney Morning Herald Editorial - June 21, 2021

Australia is giving its security agencies ever more powers to fight terrorism, foreign influence and international crime but the case of Witness K, which concluded on Friday, has raised again the need for careful supervision of how these powers are used.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 21, 2021

Susan Connelly – Witness K's three months suspended sentence for conspiring to reveal classified information about an alleged spying operation arose from his guilty plea, which required some form of consequence.

A non-custodial sentence is welcome, indicating the general realisation that he is no criminal, but this outcome raises many questions.

June 20, 2021

Associated Press - June 20, 2021

Canberra, Australia – Australia's suppression of information seen as pivotal to a free and open media is at the center of accusations that the country has become one of the world's most secretive democracies.

June 18, 2021

The Guardian - June 18, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Witness K has been spared jail time for his role in exposing Australia's 2004 bugging of Timor-Leste with a Canberra court finding he appeared to be motivated by justice not personal gain.

Melbourne Age - June 18, 2021

David Estcourt and Anthony Galloway – The former Australian spy known as Witness K has been handed a three-month suspended sentence for conspiring to reveal classified information about an alleged Australian operation to bug East Timor's cabinet rooms during sensitive oil and gas treaty negotiations.

ABC News - June 18, 2021

Elizabeth Byrne – The former Australian spy dubbed Witness K has been given a three-month suspended sentence for conspiring to reveal classified information about an alleged spying operation during oil and gas treaty negotiations between Australia and East Timor.

June 17, 2021

The Guardian - June 17, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Lawyers for the former intelligence officer Witness K have urged a court to spare him a criminal conviction for his role in unearthing Australia's bugging of Timor-Leste, saying it would only serve to increase his "alienation, anxiety and post-traumatic stress".

WA Today - June 17, 2021

Anthony Galloway – The former spy known as Witness K has pleaded guilty to conspiring to reveal classified information about an alleged Australian operation to bug East Timor's cabinet rooms during sensitive oil and gas treaty negotiations.

June 16, 2021

The Guardian - June 16, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Protesters supporting Witness K will gather at federal parliament to decry his treatment as he faces possible sentencing and "a very real prospect" of being jailed for speaking out about Australia's misconduct abroad.

Prensa Latina - June 16, 2021

Dili – Timor Leste's Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on Wednesday acknowledged the prestige of Cuba's biopharmaceutical industry, which has won international awards for products developed in the country's scientific centers.

Ruak conveyed his ideas to Cuban Ambassador Omar L. Marrero Betancourt, whom he received in his residence.

June 15, 2021

UCA News - June 15, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Catholic-majority Timor-Leste has launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive targeting students and lecturers to speed up efforts to reopen universities.

It began on June 14 at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), the country's largest, and will see the giving out of doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.

June 11, 2021

UCA News - June 11, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The sex abuse trial of an ex-priest in Timor-Leste has been put on hold for a fifth time after a bid to hold the hearing by video link was stopped due to "technical issues."

June 8, 2021

UCA News - June 8, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A shooting incident in which an off-duty Timor-Leste policeman killed two innocent people and wounded another has sparked calls for police reform in the Catholic-majority country.

The incident, which also triggered clashes between youths and police, occurred in the early hours of June 5 in the capital Dili.

UCA News - June 8, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A court in Timor-Leste has decided to conduct proceedings against an American ex-priest accused of child abuse by video conference after he failed to appear for the resumption of his trial for a fourth time.

June 7, 2021

Macao News - June 7, 2021

Tibar Port in Timor-Leste is half-finished, with the grand opening expected in May 2022.

The new port is expected to handle 350,000 containers a year, replacing the existing facilities in Dili and ending an economic bottleneck.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 7, 2021

Chris Barrett, Singapore – The road up to the village of Kutet in East Timor's western enclave of Oecusse is so rough that most highlanders walk the jungle trail when they need to visit the coast.

Often hauling bags of rice on their backs, the steep and rocky journey takes them up to three hours if they're fit.

June 6, 2021

Independent Australia - June 6, 2021

Peter Baker – If you are looking for a good read that will give you, the happy reader, a no-small glow of pride in how Australia, the country of the "fair go", applies itself on the international scene in general, or perhaps more locally – say in that area just north of us, East Timor – then you are in for a crashing disappointment.

June 5, 2021

People's Daily - June 5, 2021

Jakarta (Xinhua) – Timor-Leste on Saturday received a batch of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines and syringes donated by China.

May 27, 2021

Asia Pacific Report - May 27, 2021

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – The Timor-Leste government may apply disciplinary action to public officials doing face-to-face work who refuse to take the vaccine, while maintaining that vaccination against covid-19 is not mandatory.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 27, 2021

Chris Barrett, Singapore – There have been three flights from Dili to Oecusse in the past month as well as one ferry trip.

By air and sea, a judge, two sets of lawyers and a prosecutor have made their way from the East Timorese capital to the coastal enclave that borders Indonesia. They have assembled in Oecusse for a criminal trial that has divided a nation.

UCA News - May 27, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste's government has lifted a ban that has prevented Catholics and members of other religions from going to places of worship in the capital Dili for more than two months following a spike in Covid-19 cases in early March.

May 26, 2021

Macao News - May 26, 2021

Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund (PF) is 'well capitalised' to support economic growth, although it is currently being hampered by the pandemic, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

UCA News - May 26, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Lawyers for alleged victims in a sexual abuse case involving an ex-priest in Timor-Leste are to lodge an official complaint against officials at a district court where the case is being heard after the trial was postponed for a third time.

May 24, 2021

UCA News - May 24, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a district court in Timor-Leste to postpone the resumption of a trial of an ex-priest accused of sexually abusing children for the third time.

DevPolicyBlog - May 24, 2021

Alex Ray – Fifty kilometres east of Dili is the site of one of Timor-Leste's most renowned scuba diving locations. It is reached via the nearby Santo Antonio Grotto rest stop where timber-slat huts sell plastic bottled water and noodles in Styrofoam cups.

May 22, 2021

The Guardian - May 22, 2021

Zevonia Vieira in Dili and Tjitske Lingsma – Lita grew up in a poor family in a hamlet surrounded by the spectacular mountains of Oecusse in Timor-Leste. When she was 11 years old she went to live in Topu Honis shelter home, in the mountainous, forest-encircled village of Kutet.

May 20, 2021

Asia Pacific Report - May 20, 2021

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Timor-Leste today registered 172 more cases of covid-19 infection with the majority in Dili – passing the barrier of 5000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

May 17, 2021

Sydney Morning Herald - May 17, 2021

Anthony Galloway – A two-day court hearing into an appeal brought by Witness K's former lawyer Bernard Collaery challenging a secrecy order is being held behind closed doors after his lawyer didn't challenge holding the appeal in secret.

May 14, 2021

Sydney Morning Herald - May 14, 2021

Anthony Galloway – Lawyers acting for Bernard Collaery will next week challenge a court order requiring large parts of his trial to be held in secret as the long-running case continues into his alleged efforts to expose a secret Australian operation to bug East Timor's government.

May 13, 2021

UCA News - May 13, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Religious leaders in predominantly Catholic Timor-Leste have launched joint efforts to provide aid to victims of recent floods and residents affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu and Confucian leaders said their aim was to bolster government efforts to help people struggling because of the disasters.

May 12, 2021

The Interpreter - May 12, 2021

Peter Job – Since his death on 13 April, tributes to former Australian foreign minister and leader of the federal opposition Andrew Peacock have flowed from across the political divide. He has been remembered as a huge figure who left an "indelible" mark on Australia in the 1970s and 1980s.