Monday, March 16, 2015
Xanana Gusmão Gives Australia a Lesson in Diplomacy
Greetings from the Wig and Pen Bar at the Australian National University. His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment for the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste just made a speech in the hall next door. His excellency talked about the failure of peacekeeping operations in Africa which did not take into account local political considerations and his own efforts to help. He criticized large multi-national companies and powerful nations for exploiting the resources of developing nations. He mentioned how Australia had urged other nations to respect the UN laws on the exploitation of maritime resources, while not doing so with Timor-Leste. However, he also acknowledged Australia's role in bringing independence to his country. He ended on a note of optimism speaking of the development of his country since independence. ps: This talk has some parallels with the earlier one by Professor Keith Jeffery on intelligence agencies, as Australia stands accused of having spied on Timor-Leste during resource negotiations.