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Bishop heads community leaders' delegation on Timor boundary

A delegation of community leaders, led by Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Hilton Deakin, presented a letter to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade representative in Canberra yesterday urging Australia respect East Timor's legal entitlements under international law.

East Timor has argued it is being cut out of billions of dollars through an incorrect understanding of the sea boundaries. At stake are oil and gas deposits worth an estimated $41 billion and negotiations between the two countries are continuing.

The "people's" delegation also includes Greens Senator Bob Brown and businessman Ian Melrose, who is funding a TV ad campaign from his own pocket. Melrose said that ads he has scheduled for Anzac Day ads feature Australian World War II veterans who fought the Japanese on Timor.

Bishop Deakin said he wants to speak for all Australians of good will and people who believe in a fair go.

"The majority of Australians want our government to offer a fair deal that reflects East Timor's rightful entitlement under current international law," he said.

"The way in which our governments have behaved in the past in ignoring jurisdictions by withdrawing from them, redefining boundaries and redefining principles about boundaries, is nothing short of a very sophisticated way of depriving the people of what nature gave them."

WWII vets join E Timor gas campaign (The Age/Australian Associated Press 7/3/05)
Australia and East Timor mull gas field rights (Mail & Guardian, South Africa, 7/3/05)

Save East Timor (Edmund Rice Centre for Justice & Community Education)
Mary MacKillop Institute of East TImorese Studies
Timor Sea Justice Campaign
Sr Susan Connelly, Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies: Long Term Consequences of Government Policy on Resources of the Timor Sea (Politics in the Pub, Gaelic Club, 17/9/04)

Council urges Govt to 'come to table' on Timor Sea (CathNews 21/12/04)
Jesuit says 100% of revenue to East Timor would be fair (CathNews 3/9/04)
Nun challenges media mischief on Timor oil (CathNews 6/8/04)
Christian Brothers leader writes to PM on Timor Sea oil (CathNews 20/5/04)
Josephite support for Timor Sea boundary rethink (CathNews 13/5/04)

Australia offers Timor cash-for-sovereignty deal (ABC Radio PM 7/3/05)
Veterans to protest Timor gas deal (Courier Mail/Australian Associated Press 7/3/05)
Australia and East Timor Resume Talks (Associated Press/Forbes 7/3/05)
Give East Timor Its Fair Share of Oil, Groups Urge Australia (Inter Press Service News Agency 7/3/05)

8 Mar 2005