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June 12, 2004 8:15 PM   Subscribe

The East Timor/Australia rift over the Greater Sunrise natural gas field in the Timor Sea is the latest struggle for the world's newest nation.
posted by kliuless (8 comments total)

 
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the leading Golkar party has nominated General Wiranto as their candidate for presidential elections scheduled July 5. Wiranto has been indicted for crimes against humanity in East Timor and there is a warrant for his arrest. But wait, just recently:
Wiranto met with East Timor President Xanana Gusmao at a luxury hotel in the resort island of Bali. The men shook hands, hugged and laughed when they greeted each other... Gusmao had said he would not support the charges against Wiranto, arguing that improving relations with Indonesia is more important than seeking justice for the victims of the massacres.
And the plot thickens...

Just thought that was something worth watching; interesting in the aftermath of the Cold War, light of increasing pressure on the Strait of Malacca, and that it might provide a potential preview of how other maritime disputes might be resolved in SE Asia -- sorta like a mini-Great Game or something. As Martin Wolf sez, it's "more political than geological."

[Also, fwiw, an interesting parallel to the proposed land bridge across the Kra Isthmus in Thailand is the proposed rail link between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan to create a "North-South Corridor" that would rival the Suez Canal. (Also see Pipelineistan II.)]
posted by kliuless at 8:32 PM on June 12, 2004


I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE
posted by crunchburger at 10:12 PM on June 12, 2004


The people of East Timor really need to work with Australia on this. You can just imagine the multinational energy companies salivating at gaining control of these fields via East Timor and then given free reign to pollute and pillage for their own profit while giving token returns to the poverty-stricken Timorese (think Bhopal). Yes, they are involved anyway, but its a little harder to trash the place with Australia overseeing them.

And the East Timorise certainly deserve a larger share of the profit. If it was Indonesia getting the money, it would be channeled straight to the Muslim terrorist groups that have such a strong power base in the country, and eventually lead to the massacre of more foreigners.
posted by Meridian at 1:39 AM on June 13, 2004


Worth adding to kliuless' excellent post that Wiranto is way off the pace in the presidential race.
posted by i_cola at 4:27 AM on June 13, 2004


The people of East Timor really need to work with Australia on this.

I think it's more a matter of Australia needing to work with the people of East Timor, if you know what I mean...Australia are being pretty nasty about it, and should show just a wee bit of charity.

If it was Indonesia getting the money, it would be channeled straight to the Muslim terrorist groups

Now that's a big statement. Care to elaborate and tell us (and possibly the CIA) what you know about Indonesian energy companies turning all their profit over to terrorist groups?
posted by Jimbob at 6:40 AM on June 13, 2004


Profile of SBY at BBC News.
posted by gimonca at 9:55 AM on June 13, 2004


If it was Indonesia getting the money, it would be channeled straight to the Muslim terrorist groups that have such a strong power base in the country...

Way, way, way off the mark. Whether you're Megawati, a current or former General, a Jakarta business tycoon, or even someone in a moderate, sane Islamic group like NU, your interest is in seeing the very small groups of violent, extremist Muslims fall off the face of the earth.
posted by gimonca at 10:06 AM on June 13, 2004


To call us a big bully is a grotesque simplification of Australia.

Alexander Downer in full simper.
posted by emf at 9:50 PM on June 13, 2004


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