Gusmao lashes Australia for duplicity

also Timor PM takes aim at Australia

Sydney Morning Herald

Gusmao lashes Australia for duplicity


April 9, 2010

DARWIN: In a fiercely anti-Western speech, East
Timor’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, has
accused Australia of sacrificing the lives of
60,000 Timorese in World War II and secretly
plotting for Indonesia to take over what was then Portuguese Timor in

Mr Gusmao said that ”adding insult to injury”
Australia signed an agreement with Indonesia to
share wealth from the Timor Sea while ”around
200,000 Timorese died trying to protect their rights during 24 years of

Mr Gusmao, a former freedom fighter, said the
Japanese occupation of East Timor from 1941 to
1945 covered the entire country and caused great
suffering to the Timorese, including the deaths
of about 60,000 people. ”According to reliable
opinions, this suffering could have been
prevented if the Australian forces had not come
to [East Timor] in order to wage war here, so as
to prevent the Japanese from invading
Australia,” he told an international donor’s
conference in Dili on Wednesday. Mr Gusmao said
that according to historians and researchers, the
United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand
secretly agreed to East Timor’s integration into
Indonesia in 1963 ”as the best solution for world peace”.

”We got to see the result of this agreement in
1975,” Mr Gusmao said, referring to Indonesia’s bloody invasion of
East Timor.

He made the comments before an imminent
announcement on the multibillion-dollar Greater
Sunrise gas project in the Timor Sea. A
consortium lead by Woodside has repeatedly
rejected East Timor’s demand that gas from the
project be piped to a processing plant in East
Timor, saying its only options are a floating
plant above the field or piping the gas to an
existing plant in Australia. Revenues from the
project are to be split evenly with Australia.

Mr Gusmao also criticised the US over its
decision to impose an embargo on Dili’s port
because it is not regarded as secure enough to
protect ships from terrorist attack. ”What do
they want from us? … Do they want us to declare
open war on terrorism, so as to become even more
vulnerable to this world phenomenon?”

Analysts said Mr Gusmao remarks indicated he was
moving East Timor away from the influence of the
United Nations and Western nations, including
Australia. Mr Gusmao referred to a ”certain
disconnection between us and our partners”.

Despite billions of dollars in aid to East Timor
”we feel sad for the results … in building our
state”, which remained fragile and the poorest
in the region, he said. In an apparent reference
to UN and foreign aid agency workers, Mr Gusmao
said there are people who want East Timor to
continue to be ranked as an unstable country ”as
they surely prefer working in [East Timor] than in Afghanistan or in

”Other people are infiltrating
[non-government-organisations] who in the name of
democracy and human rights only seek to misguide
our people and to generate mistrust among the Timorese.”

Mr Gusmao denounced the former Fretilin
government’s policy of saving billions of dollars
from oil and gas reserves, which was recommended
by the World Bank and other international
agencies. He said $5.39 billion in savings held
in the US needs to be spent in East Timor to
promote fast sustainable growth and to build basic infrastructure.

”The people do not need cash in American banks
to help pay American deficits.”

ABC News

Timor PM takes aim at Australia

By Sara Everingham

East Timor’s prime minister has taken aim at his
country’s Western donors, including Australia and
the United States, at an international donors meeting in Dili.

Xanana Gusmao says East Timor will determine its
own development strategies and that too often
foreign development partners including NGOs and
consultants are acting out of self-interest and
not helping his country develop.

He has criticised the US for recently putting an
embargo on East Timor because Dili’s port lacks anti-terrorism security.

Australia also came under fire.

Mr Gusmao said reliable opinions suggest the
lives of about 60,000 Timorese could have been
saved if Australia had not gone to East Timor
during World War II to wage war against Japan.

He pledged to withdraw more of Timor’s oil and gas revenue from US bonds


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s