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Thursday, March 30, 2017
East Timor: Church joins protest against Australian sea mining plan
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 The Catholic dioceses of Dili and Baucau and 12 NGO's from Timor have protested over an agreement being signed today, between East Timor and Australia over the exploitation of oil and gas from a disputed area of the Timor Sea. In a communiqué signed by the directors of the Justice and Peace Commissions of the two dioceses and of the coordinator of the Centre for Information on the Sea of Timor, to which the 12 NGO's belong, it is stated that the maritime frontier with Australia should have been established first, and only then, should the exploration of resources have begun. The document says the revenues currently deriving from the exploration are sufficient for the needs of the small territory of Timor. They also note that oil and gas are non-renewable resources, and in the next few years their prices might be subject to variation on international markets. Yesterday, however, prime minister Mari Alkatiri left for Sidney where he will preside, with his Australian counterpart John Howard, over the signing of the document. It is widely believed the agreement will give Canberra a greater share of revenues extracted from oil and gas (perhaps 50%) in exchange for Dili's consent to definitively mark the maritime borders. Source: MISNA
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