Subject: GLW: Digger rallies for Timor ’s oil / WWII vets soldier on for Timor campaign / Downer cautions [lies] East Timor on boundary

[ The following report from today's Sydney rally as part of the Australia-wide Timor Sea Justice Campaign Day of Action has been written for next week's Green Left Weekly. Find photos of the rally (later today) on the newswire ... Norman Brewer ]

Digger rallies for Timor's oil

By Pip Hinman

SYDNEY - Paddy Keneally, a former wharfie and Australian commander in East Timor condemned the Howard government for stealing Timor's oil at a rally at Martin Place on April 26. The same day the government resumed talks with the Timorese authorities over the oil and gas fields it wants to steal.

Keneally's presence at the rally, his involvement in a recent documentary "Debt of Honour" and a TV ad screened during the ANZAC weekend which condemned the injustice, marks a new phase in the campaign to demand the Howard government respect international maritime law, which it is refusing to do.

The protest, organised by Australia East Timor Association (AETA) and supported by the Timor Sea Justice Campaign, marched to the Department for Immigration and Trade offices to lodge a copy of a letter titled "Your friends will never forget you" which had been dropped over East Timor towards the end of WWII by the Australian airforce but which now carried the words "CANCELLED" scrawled over it.

An emotional Timorese women, Ina Bradbidge from HOPE, told the protest that her people did not need "aid" but "what is ours". Jeff Lee from AETA asked where was the justice for Timor. Max Lane from Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific described the current sea boundaries, which was negotiated with Indonesia's dictator president Suharto as "a border negotiated with blood" and said that the Timorese needed full sovereignty, not blood money. Meredith Burgmann from the ALP, Silvia Hale from the Greens and Claude Mostowick from Pax Christi also addressed the protest, criticising the Howard government for its treachery when so many Timorese were starving, unemployed and without hope.

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