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East Timor

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September 11, 2020

ABC News - September 11, 2020

Bill Brown – When Timor-Leste (formerly known as East Timor) finally gained independence and peace in 2002 it had paid a heavy price of huge casualties and destruction, and they needed help.

Then, a small farming community in south-east Australia mobilised to help the East Timorese rebuild their country and build a new nation.

September 9, 2020

Energy Voice - September 9, 2020

Damon Evans – East Timor is reassessing its ambitious petroleum development plans, which include the Woodside Petroleum-operated Greater Sunrise project, after discovering the economic analysis behind its proposed schemes is inaccurate.

September 2, 2020

The Guardian - September 2, 2020

Christopher Knaus – The former Timor-Leste president Jose Ramos-Horta has urged Australia to show wisdom, honesty and compassion by stopping the unfair prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, a case he described as "political" and one that had "profoundly shocked" the Timorese people.

August 30, 2020

Global Voices - August 30, 2020

Mong Palatino – On August 25, a petition was submitted to Timor-Leste's Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers asking for the rejection of the proposal to restore criminal defamation in the country's penal laws.

August 26, 2020

The Guardian - August 26, 2020

Christopher Knaus – Attorney general Christian Porter has been accused of abusing the National Security Information Act after interfering in court proceedings to screen documents held by Woodside Petroleum in a case against barrister Bernard Collaery.

Collaery is before court for his role in exposing Australia's bugging of Timor-Leste during oil and gas negotiations.

August 18, 2020

Tempo - August 18, 2020

Dili, Timor Leste – Timor-Leste Red Cross (CVTL) is urgently ramping up COVID-19 prevention in remote areas bordering Indonesia as the country's containment success is threatened after its first new case has been reported in more than three months.

August 16, 2020

The Guardian - August 16, 2020

Ian Cunliffe – Timor-Leste only achieved independence in 2002. It was Asia's poorest country and desperately needed revenue. Revenue from massive gas resources in the Timor Sea was its big hope. But it needed to negotiate a treaty with Australia on their carve-up.

August 10, 2020

The Diplomat - August 10, 2020

Jonas Guterres – After nearly a decade of uncertainty, Timor-Leste's National Parliament on July 20 unanimously approved an anti-corruption law, entitled Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption. This move to reinforce the existing anti-corruption legal framework, in compliance with international standards and a national commitment to curb corruption, was widely welcomed.

August 3, 2020

Channel News Asia - August 3, 2020

Jack Board, Dili – An alien structure is humming over the distant lapping of some of the world's clearest and biodiverse waters.

The locals from Akrema village on the remote island of Atauro have never seen anything like it before – 40 hydropanels in rows, tilted towards the sky, performing a mysterious process to give them a commodity they so badly need: Clean water.

July 31, 2020

The Portugal News - July 31, 2020

The Timorese government is evaluating options to allow Portuguese teachers who left the country in April, due to the Covid-19, to return to Timor-Leste, the deputy prime minister told Lusa.

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Interior are coordinating so that they can prepare for the return of teachers to Timor-Leste," said Jose Reis to Lusa.

July 25, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - July 25, 2020

Pacific Media Centre – When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country had managed to stamp out the coronavirus, it was met with much fanfare – with many experts lauding Aotearoa for its effective response.

But another small Pacific nation has had even greater success in eradicating the coronavirus – Timor-Leste.

Radio New Zealand - July 25, 2020

Jonathan Mitchell – Two new training centres have opened in Timor-Leste to help locals gain trade skills, as the country remembers a fallen New Zealand soldier.

July 24, 2020

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Statement - July 24, 2020

In response to widening criticism, Timor-Leste's Ministry of Justice has revised its proposed criminal defamation law to exempt criticisms of political parties and public servants, but has retained sections which criminalise defamation.

July 23, 2020

Sydney Morning Herald - July 23, 2020

Ian Cunliffe – Anyone who is interested knows in their heart that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, on behalf of the government, bugged the cabinet room and other offices of the Timor Leste government in 2004 to give Australia a major edge over our impoverished neighbour in negotiations for the ownership of massive underwater oil and helium reserves.

Pursuit - July 23, 2020

By Dr Susanna Barnes, Teresa Hall, Dr Balthasar Kehi, Quintiliano Mok and Associate Professor Lisa Palmer, University of Melbourne.

As of early July, there are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste, one of Australia's closest neighbours.

July 16, 2020

WA Today - July 16, 2020

John Hewson – Scott Morrison has stated he wants to govern in the "Howard tradition", but sadly that has also entailed adopting the worst of John Howard's strategies: to admit or explain as little as possible.

International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) Press Release - July 16, 2020

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has submitted a legal advice highlighting the dangers of the proposed re-introduction of criminal defamation law into Timor-Leste to Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak on July 14.

July 11, 2020

The Guardian - July 11, 2020

Kim McGrath – In the first week of January 2019, a private jet landed at Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. The former Victorian premier Steve Bracks emerged into the monsoonal heat and was greeted by staff from the office of Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste's chief maritime boundary negotiator.

July 10, 2020

The Guardian - July 10, 2020

Christopher Knaus – Bernard Collaery has signalled he will appeal against a ruling that shrouds crucial parts of his trial in secrecy.

Collaery is facing trial for allegedly conspiring with his former client, intelligence officer Witness K, to expose an Australian bugging operation against Timor-Leste during negotiations to carve up oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.

July 7, 2020

Foreign Correspondent - July 7, 2020

Anne Barker – In the shadow of the whitewashed Catholic church in Ainaro, Timor-Leste, Kalistru walked down the steps onto the dusty road. He was just a boy, eight years old. He couldn't have known he would never see his mother or father again after that day.

July 5, 2020

Sydney Morning Herald - July 5, 2020

Lia Timson – When a boatload of people arrived unannounced on an idyllic beach at the eastern tip of Timor-Leste, one Australian watched what happened next with a mix of trepidation and pride.

July 3, 2020

The Guardian - July 3, 2020

Helen Davidson and Christopher Knaus – Decades-old documents relating to Australia's involvement in the Indonesian invasion of Timor-Leste will remain secret after a court upheld the Australian government's refusal to release them.

June 27, 2020

Eurasia Review - June 27, 2020

Binoy Kampmark – This week has not been a good one for the Australian legal system. For those who feel that an open justice process requires abuses of power to be exposed and held to account, it was particularly awful.

June 23, 2020

Reporters Without Boarders (RSF) News Release - June 23, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate withdrawal of a bill that would criminalize defamation in Timor-Leste again, six years after a similar law inherited from the Portuguese colonial era was removed from the criminal code as a result of the adoption of a new press code.

June 21, 2020

Forbes - June 21, 2020

Andrew Wight – Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, has seen more than 50 days without new COVID-19 cases and has yet to report a single death, thanks in part to water initiatives designed to increase resilience to outside shocks.

June 20, 2020

Global Voices - June 20, 2020

Media and civil society leaders in Timor-Leste have expressed concern about the possible reintroduction of a criminal defamation law in the country.

June 18, 2020

The Interpreter - June 18, 2020

Jim Nolan – The coronavirus pandemic has provided just the latest cover for a variety of authoritarian moves criminalising journalism across Southeast Asia.

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, visited the Indonesia-Timor Leste cross-country border post (PLBN) in Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday, June 18. Mahfud came with Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian.

June 16, 2020

ABC Pacific Beat - June 16, 2020

Catherine Graue – June in Timor-Leste would usually mean the end of the wet season and a drop in cases of dengue fever.

But changing weather patterns have seen the rains continue across the country and cases of the mosquito-borne disease are double last year's total.

June 15, 2020

World Socialist Website - June 15, 2020

Patrick O'Connor – The East Timorese government has widened the multi-party coalition on which it is based, securing the support of 41 out of the 65 parliamentarians.

June 11, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - June 11, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Timor-Leste's Minister of Justice plans to present to the Council of Ministers a proposal to include criminal defamation in the country's penal code.

International Federation of Journalists Media Release - June 11, 2020

The Minister of Justice in Timor-Leste plans to present to the Council of Ministers a proposal to include criminal defamation in the country's penal code. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Timor-Leste Press Union (TLPU) protest the move that would undermine press freedom and public interest journalism.

June 9, 2020

Tempo Timor - June 9, 2020

Jose Antonio Belo – Timor-Leste just celebrated its 18th year of independence. The celebration was muted partly due to Covid19 but even more so due to the political crisis.

Various parties have blamed each other as being the root of the political crisis. The question to consider is whether there is a deeper root to the crisis that has gone unnoticed?

Asia Pacific Report - June 9, 2020

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Former East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta says it is not opportune for the government to be debating the possible criminalisation of defamation, with the risk of jeopardizing citizens' rights.

Instead, he says, the Timor-Leste government should concentrate on issues like the economy.

June 8, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has sent the Timor Leste Red Cross (CVTL) medical supplies for COVID-19 mitigation measures as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the spirit of collaboration between the two cross-border institutions.

June 4, 2020

Eurasia Review - June 4, 2020

Loro Horta – On March 21, 2020 Timor Leste reported its first case of COVID-19, a Dutch national arriving from Europe. Many expected the small Southeast Asian state to face a severe crisis and necessitate urgent international assistance.

June 3, 2020

Presidential Power - June 3, 2020

Rui Feijo – Francisco Guterres Lu Olo seems to have won the long tug of war that began soon after he was elected in May 2017, involving directly the president and the charismatic nationalist leader Xanana Gusmao, and has asserted a vigorous interpretation of the president's role in the delicate semi-presidential balance of powers in Timor-Leste.

June 2, 2020

ABC Inside Story - June 2, 2020

Michael Leach – As Timor-Leste continues to perform very well in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially compared to neighbouring Indonesia, the political dramas of the past few weeks have formed a striking counterpoint.

May 31, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 31, 2020

Dili – President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo swore in eight new cabinet members on Friday. For the first time a woman has become deputy prime minister in Timor-Leste. After the ceremony the president held a speech focussing on the struggle against the corona-virus.

May 28, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 28, 2020

Dili – Timor-Leste tightens security in its Western border areas to make sure nobody crosses the frontiers, which are closed to stop the corona-virus from spreading. This decision was made because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Indonesia.

Tempo Timor - May 28, 2020

Dili – Six members of the government of Timor-Leste resign from their posts. They follow the decision of the CNRT president to withdraw the party from the eighth constitutional government. Three cabinet members who are not CNRT-members but had been proposed by the party decided to remain part of the government.

May 27, 2020

ABC Pacific Beat - May 27, 2020

Sophie Raynor – During the coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest concerns for health officials has been the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 – especially via social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Xinhua - May 27, 2020

Dili – The medical supplies jointly donated by Jack Ma Foundation & Alibaba Foundation to Timor-Leste arrived at the Dili airport by a cargo plane on Tuesday.

Tempo Timor - May 27, 2020

Dili – The Council of Ministers has approved the request from the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (Sentru Integradu Jestaun Krize – SIJK) for the extension of the state of emergency with 30 more days.

May 26, 2020

Devpolicy Blog - May 26, 2020

Akito Ximenes and Michael Rose – Timor-Leste is an agricultural nation. At least 70% of the population relies on some sort of farming to survive and virtually everyone has relatives that live on some type of farm.

May 24, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 24, 2020

Dili – The president of the CNRT (Congresu Nasional Rekonstrusaun Timor, National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction), Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, said that his party will join the political opposition to the eighth government and awaits to compete again in the elections that will take place in 2023.

May 19, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - May 19, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Following yesterday's parliamentary row in the national chamber of Timor-Leste, chaotic scenes were streamed live on social media today for more than half an hour live as police were called.

Media consultant Bob Howarth reports that the police were called into the Parliament with rival politicians screaming insults and makng threatening gestures.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 19, 2020

Lia Timson – East-Timor's Prime Minister has asked the Timorese people to "maintain calm" and allow the country's leaders to restore order, after Parliament devolved into pushing and shoving for a second consecutive day.

May 16, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - May 16, 2020

Robert Baird, Dili – Timor-Leste has no active cases of covid-19 for the first time since its first confirmed case on March 21, say health authorities.

The Integrated Crisis Management Centre (CIGC) confirmed yesterday a 24th patient had recovered from the virus.

May 5, 2020

Inside Story - May 5, 2020

Michael Leach – Just two months after it was announced by Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste's majority parliamentary coalition has collapsed.