Saturday, May 27, 2006

Who is stirring things up in oil-rich East Timor?

East Timor has oil.

According to the Australian Financial Review, 29 May 2006:

“It’s worth remembering that in 1920, Australian strategic planners were worried about Japan trying to get its hands on the rumoured oil resources of Portuguese Timor, but in 1975 there were fears that China would manipulate a leftish independent Timor for territorial advantage.”

Indonesia, Australia, China and Japan are among the countries interested in East Timor's oil.


Kopassus is Indonesia's 'Gestapo regiment'. It's generals have close links to the Pentagon.

Dr Damien Kingsbury is head of philosophical, political and international studies at Deakin University. He wrote, 14 August 2003:

Kopassus still trains and organises the militias in West Timor that continue cross-border destabilisation operations into East Timor, according to a range of senior UN officials I spoke to there just weeks ago, and based on the Kopassus and militia members I saw in West Timor days later. It is because of these cross-border raids that the Australian army has extended its stay in East Timor.

East Timor has oil.

West Timor is part of Indonesia.

A few years ago Indonesia was kicked out of East Timor.

Someone seems to be stirring up trouble in East Timor.

The Prime Minister of East Timor claims that the gang violence (May 2006) is part of an attempted coup.

Extracts from the Sydney Morning Herald:

East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri says:

"What is in motion is an attempt to stage a coup d'etat. However, I am confident that the president of the republic, with whom I am keeping permanent contacts, will not cease to respect the constitution of the democratic republic of Timor Leste."

He said the violence was politically not ethnically motivated despite reports of people from east and west of East Timor attacking one another.

The mayhem, he said, "stemmed from the planned and opportunistic action of gangs", but he did not know who was behind it.

A political struggle between President Xanana Gusmao and Alkatiri has helped fuel tensions within the country as well as its bitterly divided security forces and communal groups.

A spokesman for Alkatiri told AAP that the prime minister was working with the president to solve the crisis.

Alkatiri also talked of a coup attempt earlier this week after fighting in military ranks first erupted.

This month Alkatiri put down an attempt to unseat him as head of the governing Fretilin party.
This evening Australian soldiers stopped mobs of machete-wielding men from charging a Dili hotel where the prime minister was about to hold his news conference.


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