Shakedown: Australia's Grab for Timor Oil

Shakedown: Australia's Grab for Timor Oil

Shakedown: Australia's Grab for Timor Oil

Shakedown: Australia's Grab for Timor Oil

Excerpt

There are at least a few good reasons for writing this book. The battle for the resources underneath the Timor Sea, spanning a period of more than three decades, is a compelling drama that deserves to be told. While some might like the details of the negotiations to never be revealed, there are strong public interest grounds for informing the people of all countries concerned about the Timor Sea dispute, which began more than 35 years ago and was concluded in February 2007.

During the more recent years, many people in East Timor and around the world went to great lengths to help bring about a degree of justice and fairness for East Timor. Many are acknowledged in these pages, though it is not possible to do so for everyone involved.

Perhaps most importantly of all, this story may be instructive for other developing countries and indigenous peoples in their struggle to secure rights to their natural resources. This is a story that goes beyond the issue of maritime boundaries and into the relations between rich and poor nations, and the practice by the powerful of a narrowly defined and sometimes abusive approach to foreign policy. During his time as president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn emphasised the growing importance in the fight against world poverty of enabling poor countries to exercise their rights to their natural resources.

I am indebted to Lindsay Murdoch who first suggested that I write this book and then continued to remind me that I should do . . .

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