Things are not right in the Timor Sea. Gallant little East Timor has taken Australia to the International Tribunal in the Hague over our interpretation of the Timor Gap Treaty. An exasperated Xanana Gusmao, spoke of his despondency outside the tribunal; “Australia used to tell others to respect international law,” he said. “They must now show us that they also abide by international law.”
Clearly Mr Gusmao has no sense of humour. Which reflects in some part the Australian Government’s sense of humour in dealing with the fledgling nation. A spokesman for the Australian Government was quick to define our position. “ We’ve always tried to help little Timor. Incredibly they just don’t understand how diplomacy works. In the most recent round of Timor Gap Treaty negotiations, we bugged their embassy. We then extracted the most unfair agreement from them, and when they complained about our bugging, high handedness and bloody mindedness, we raided their ambassadors headquarters in Canberra in the middle of the night and confiscated all their papers. Papers, which would have shown us in a very bad light. Would’ve really damaged our international reputation.
What East Timor doesn’t understand is that being bullied is pivotal in any big state versus small state relationship. We’ve tried to make it quite clear that the old diplomatic maxim, ‘there’s no such thing as a fee lunch” is an eternal truth. We dumped them when they were invaded. O.K’d the execution of our own journalists. Committed the people of East Timor to twenty five years of unmitigated suffering. Baled them out, screwed them to the wall, and then they still want fairness and open handedness. This is ridiculous! It’s like asking China, who incidentally is wanting most of the South China Sea as their own to back down. How degrading would that be? China is a big nation status country. They want their backyard. That’s why they took Tibet. It’s why Germany took Poland back in 39, and why we, took this country back in1788. Real-politic. If you want to play footy with the big boys you can’t go screaming off to the umpire every time there’s a dodgy decision.
Look what Timor did in the Olympics. On that index alone they can’t expect much more than pity and the honour of knowing that as our nearest neighbour, they’ve earnt the MSS status. ‘Most screwed status’ . We have an acronym for everything in the department of Foreign Affairs. East Timor should be proud that we even talk to them. And besides it’s not their oil and gas anyway. And if we gave it t them they’d only spend it on their people and elevate them from poverty. WE like to give oil and gas to the companies that make Australia great. They pay no taxes, make no contribution to the general population and make us proud. You can’t expect a tin pot democracy to do that! And even if they did they’d still not get OGMS’.
We asked the diplomat what OGMS meant. He laughed; ‘Oh that’s another popular diplomatic acronym used to define a country’s real position amongst advanced economies. It means “Olympic Gold Medal Status”. Its the gold standard of important world ranking countries. It’s axiomatic with EBBNS’. EBBNS we enquired; “Entitled Bullying Bastard Nation State”. That’s us. It’s a good un. Invented by our former Minister for Foreign Affairs. He invented the BAC. BAC we enquired, “ Busted Arse country”. Timor is a BAC, but they don’t know it. Alexander tried to tell em but they wouldn’t listen. Even when we bugged their confidential national security meetings they didn’t get it. That’s the problem with BAC’s, their totally unrealistic. They think that treaties bind. That’s why we don’t have a Treaty with our first peoples. It’s all about interpretation. Best to keep it open. And find a suitable WRS. WRS we enquired? Oh, another fundamental in trade negotiations ‘Wriggle Room Situation’.
A history of treaties in the Timor Sea (ABC News)
In 1989 Australia and Indonesia signed the Timor Gap Treaty when East Timor was still under Indonesian occupation. East Timor was left with no permanent maritime border and Indonesia and Australia got to share the wealth in what was known as the Timor Gap.
In 2002 East Timor gained independence and the Timor Sea Treaty was signed, but no permanent maritime border was negotiated. East Timor has long argued the border should sit halfway between it and Australia, placing most of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in their territory.
In 2004 East Timor started negotiating with Australia again about the border. I
n 2006 the CMATS treaty was signed, but no permanent border was set, and instead it ruled that revenue from the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field would be split evenly between the two countries.