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East Timor

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Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Scotland

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There was a report on East Timor and the oil in the Timor Gap on newsnight. I have written to George Entwistle

Dear George
It's good to see some coverage on the BBC of the plight of East Timor, for so long a forgotten part of the world. However it is astounding to say the least that the report made no mention of the brutal and illegal Indonesian invasion that killed hundreds of thousands and did so much to reduce the people of East Timor to their current parlous state; the report included merely a few vague references to independence.

Less surprising was the failure to explain the full context of Australian possession of the oilfields, as this seems to be omitted from the official record. Australia became in 1989 the only country in the world to formally recognize the annexation by force of a sovereign state. The prize was an estimated 7 billion barrels of oil, or as Gareth Evans, the Australian Foreign Minister put it, 'zillions of dollars'. When asked about the legality of this, Evans said, 'what I can say is that the world is a pretty unfair place'.

It is disappointing that your report perpetuated the myths surrounding the situation in East Timor, by implying that Australia acquired the rights to the oilfields by legitimate means. I would welcome your comments about these distortions.
Thu May 20, 2004 12:33 pm
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