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Australians fight for Timor's rights

Green Left Weekly - May 19, 2004

James Bowden, Darwin & Iggy Kim, Sydney – A public meeting of 40 people on May 6 had spirited discussion and debate on the Australian government's theft of East Timor's oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea. The meeting, which was co-sponsored by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) and Australians For a Free East Timor (AFFET) marked the consolidation of the Timor Sea Justice Campaign in Darwin.

East Timorese guest speaker, Cecilio Freitas (from the Centre for Independent Information on the Timor Sea and East Timor People's Action), explained: "The Australian government is intentionally and systematically making a problem for East Timor." Speaking on behalf of ASIET, Jon Lamb, who had just returned from East Timor, explained that the recently formed Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea was keen to develop stronger ties with the Australian solidarity movement.

In Sydney, the Timor Sea Justice Campaign Sydney was formed at a meeting on May 10. TSJCS aims to assist East Timor regain control of its oil and gas fields.

Organisations represented at the meeting, which decided to organise a May 20 protest, included the Australia-East Timor Association, Mary MacKillop Institute for East Timorese Studies, Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific, the Greens, Union Aid Abroad/APHEDA and Pax Christi.

TSJCS will next meet on May 31, 6.30pm, at the Labor Council, 377 Sussex Street. All interested are welcome. For further information phone Jeff Lee on (02) 9519 4788, Peter Jennings on (02) 9264 9343, Susan Connelly on (02) 9623 2847 or Iggy Kim on 0421 322 175.