Members of the national alliance of the Timor Sea Justice groups met in Canberra on 13th and 14th of June.
The hospitality of the Canberra Friends of Dili and of the Canberra Timor Sea Justice Action Group was gratefully received. Time was taken to tell stories of involvement in this struggle, and to share ideas. Dinner and speeches on the Tuesday night prepared us for the events of the next day.
Early morning appointments with Senators and MPs led towards the demonstration outside the Parliament at midday. Large banners declared the issue. Speeches by Senators Claire Moore, Scott Ludlam and Nick Xenophon were straight and to the point - Draw the Line.
Shirley Shackleton spoke, a stalwart supporter of the Timorese, one who keeps the Balibo Five disgrace alive before the Australian people.
Bernard Collaery gave two speeches, one at the rally and one the night before at the dinner. He is the lawyer for "Witness K", the person who made known Australia's alleged spying on the Timorese negotiating team concerning the 2004-2006 Greater Sunrise discussions. The narrative of Australia's treatment of the Timorese people over these Timor Sea matters was riveting and disturbing.
"We live in a rough country," said Bernard.
A great deal of work remains to be done in this rough country, and with this rough issue.