10 February 2014


The Australia East Timor Friendship Association AETFA has reacted with scorn to the recent comments by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in which she accused Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower who leaked information about Australia spying on Timor-Leste during the Timor Sea oil and gas negotiations, of “unprecedented treachery”.

Rather AETFA claims it is successive Australian governments who have who have displayed incredible levels of treachery towards the people of East Timor, a people who suffered the deaths of an estimated 40,000 people at the hands of the Japanese invaders for the support given to Australian soldiers during World War II.

The AETFA response recounts the collusion of Australia with Indonesia in the lead-up to the 1975 invasion of East Timor by Indonesia, Australia’s arming and training of Indonesian military personnel during the 24 years of illegal occupation by Indonesia where East Timor lost an estimated one third of its population, its silence in the face of the massacres, rape, torture and intimidation of the population that occurred during the occupation.

Following the gaining of independence by East Timor, Australia vigorously pursued its dubious claims in an attempt to grab the lions share of the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea. This despite the desperate need of East Timor, the poorest country in the region and one of the poorest in the world, for funds to rebuild the country.

Most recently when Timor-Leste appealed to the International Court of Justice, Australia responded by Attorney General, George Brandis, ordering the Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) to raid the offices of one of Timor’s lawyers, confiscate relevant documents and arrest a key witness.

Visit the AEFTA website to view the full statement.

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