20 November 2004


The struggle for East Timor to obtain a fair deal in regard to the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea was far from over said Kevin Bailey the Honorary Consul for East Timor at his presentation given at the recent Edmund Rice Schools Justice Seminar.

Kevin, a former member of the SAS Regiment, spoke of how his interest in East Timor was first awakened after learning of the heroism and sacrifice of the East Timorese in supporting Australian soldiers in Timor during WWII. He went on to provide a background to the current dispute and drew attention to Australia’s withdrawal from the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, the world bodies that now arbitrate on border disputes, and the reluctance of the Australian government to negotiate with East Timor whilst at the same time continuing to pocket the revenue currently generated from the oilfields in dispute.

Further information about the issue can be found at the Save East Timor website.

About fifty people, mainly students from Christian Brothers Schools in Victoria, were in attendance and earlier in the day listened to the story of Fivo Freitas a young East Timorese now residing in Australia.

Students were also given the opportunity to meet in their school groups where they pledged to continue to raise awareness of social justice issues in their school communities, and to campaign for justice for East Timor in particular.

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