La’o Hamutuk

Bulletin  |  Surat Popular  |  Topic index  |  Reports & Announcements  |  Updates
Reference  |   Presentations  |  Mission Statement  |  LH Blog  |  Search  |  Home



Caicoli Street, Dili,  Timor-Leste.   Tel +670-723-5063.  
Email: or


27 October 2004

Timor-Leste Civil Society
Demands a Fair Maritime Boundary


Civil Society Organizations in Timor-Leste have followed the negotiation process concerning Timor Sea oil, held in Canberra and Darwin, Australia, last month. It has come to our attention that Governments of both Timor-Leste and Australia do not want to further discuss the Maritime Boundary, but have opted instead to discuss only distribution of money from natural resources, which both governments euphemistically call a “creative solution”. The signatories of this statement, civil society of Timor-Leste, would like to present our opinions, which we believe are important to express. While we feel it is important that both governments heed our opinions, they are directed especially towards the government of Timor-Leste.

Based on prior knowledge concerning negotiations, we strongly encourage the governments of Timor-Leste and Australia to:

  1. urge the negotiators who, at this moment, are discussing the future of the people of Timor-Leste, to respect the national sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and quickly set the maritime boundary between the two countries according to current international legal principles.

  2. urge Australia, in connection with point 1, to return to the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea in order to solve international disputes of maritime boundaries.

  3. Greater Sunrise should be East Timor’s territory, development can not be started until a boundary or IUA is in place. We condemn pressure exerted by Woodside Oil Company to quickly begin exploitation in this area. 

  4. stop the exploitation of Laminaria-Corallina and other oil fields in disputed territory. This includes halting the issue of new licenses. It would be sensible and fair to put revenues from such fields in an escrow fund to be divided fairly once a boundary agreement is reached.

We strongly urge the government of Timor-Leste to give priority to the Maritime Boundary discussions rather than negotiating the division of resources with a government that is stealing natural resources that rightfully belong to Timor-Leste.

HAK Association, Haburas Foundation, La’o Hamutuk, Sahe Institute for Liberation (SIL), Kdalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI), Timor-Leste Community Radio Association (ARKTL), Judicial System Monitoring Program, KSTL, LAIFET, FOKUPERS, Forum Tau Matan (FTM), Timor-Leste Students Association. 

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email:    Web:    Blog: