BD News: Responses in Timor-Leste to Australia's asylum seeker plans

Update on Australian PM's proposal for Asylum-seeker Processing in Timor-Leste

BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor-Leste:

Australian PM's proposal for Asylum-seeker Processing in Timor-Leste:

13 October 2010

A collection of articles and news items about Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's proposal to establish a processing centre in East Timor for people seeking asylum in Australia.

Please find below the latest 17 articles from the website.
To read the full article click on the relevant link.
Articles are in reverse chronological order.
To view more of the 260 or so articles on this topic
follow this link:

12 Oct 2010: east-timor: Press Release: Timor-Leste Speaks Out Against Australia's Asylum Plans
Tonight Ms. Dinorah Granadeiro, Director of Timor-Leste’s NGO Forum, presented a public petition to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship at an invitation only reception in Dili. The petition opposes an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste. It highlights Australia’s poor human rights record in asylum seekers and emphasized Australia’s responsibility to receive asylum seekers on its own soil. “We reject any proposal for an Australian refugee detention centre in Timor-Leste,” said Ms. Granadeiro."

12 Oct 2010: east-timor: Open Letter to Chris Bowen against an asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste
Dear Minister Bowen,
We write to present to you a public petition against an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste. In less than 30 hours, over 210 people in Timor-Leste from all walks of life have added their name via SMA, email and in person. This includes Timorese and Australian citizens. This response reflects the widespread sentiment in Timor-Leste against the asylum seeker processing centre. The Timor-Leste Parliament and the Timor-Leste NGO Forum have already spoken out against this proposal."

"Obrigada ba ema hotu ne'ebe asina petitisaun ne'e. Petisaun iha naran 215 hafoin horas 25 resin no ema barak liu hakarak tau naran hafoin petisaun mak taka. Dinorah Granadeiro, Direktor FONGTIL, fo ona petisaun ba Ministru ba Imigrasaun no Sidadaun Chris Bowen iha 11 Outubru. Agora ita loby grupu avokasia husi Australia, Get Up!, atu halo kampana kona-ba asuntu ida ne'e. (Get Up! hanesan grupu Move On iha USA. Get Up independente, la'os husi partidu politiku). Ema hotu ho email bele vota. Bele tau vota 1, 2 ka 3 ba idea kampana ba Get Up!
Atu suporta kompana husi Get Up! kontra Australia-nia sentru pencari suaka iha Timor-Leste, bele vota iha:
Atu realiza kampana ne'e, ita presiza hetan vota bar-barak. Por favor, pasa link ida ne'e liu husi email, facebook nsst."

12 Oct 2010: east-timor: Vote for a Get Up Campaign against an Australian asylum seeker processing centre
We are now trying to convince Australian advocacy group Get Up! to take up a campaign. (Get Up is similar to Move On in the USA and doesn't have any political party affiliation). Anyone with an email address can vote. You can vote with 1, 2 or 3 votes on all Get Up! campaign ideas.
To support a Get Up! campaign against an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste vote at:
To convince we'll have to get a lot of votes. So please pass on this link via email, facebook etc."

12 Oct 2010: FRETILIN.Media: Media Release: Timor-Leste Not Ready to Have Asylum Seeker Centre on its Shores
In a meeting held in Dili on 12 October 2010, at FRETILIN headquarters, between a FRETILIN delegation headed by party Secretary General and former Prime Minister of the RDTL Dr. Mari Alkatiri and the Australian delegation headed by His Excellency The Honorable Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the issue of a proposal by the Australian government to establish an asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste was discussed. Dr. Alkatiri presented the following points to the Australian delegation as to why Timor-Leste does not have the conditions to accept the Australian government’s proposal of an asylum seeker processing centre: ... "

12 Oct 2010: Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Immigration: Minister's visit to East Timor, Regional Protection Framework
Press Conference, Presidential Palace, Dili, East Timor
"Chris Bowen [Australia's Minister for Immigration]: ... The President and I have just had a very constructive and substantive meeting, and a discussion about a proposal for a Regional Protection Framework and for a regional assessment centre. The President and I agreed on some very important key underlining principles: that is, that such a centre would [inaudible] run in line with UNHCR principles and that the UNHCR would need to be very closely involved, together with the IOM.
Jose Ramos-Horta [Timor-Leste's President]: ... we will need – in order to discuss with Australia, Indonesia and others – more detailed concept proposals that we will take to the Council of Ministers, to the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, and the key parliamentary committees and we will discuss with members of civil society. Because if we are to agree with it, we would want our people to embrace it and not something that they would feel that was imposed on them because the people who would come to Timor-Leste would have to feel welcome and they are not received with hostile attitudes."

12 Oct 2010: Chris Bowen MP, [Australia's] Minister for Immigration: Media Release: Minister Bowen concludes talks in Timor-Leste
"The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, has completed a day of meetings in Timor-Leste, starting with the President, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, the Secretary of State for Security, Dr Francisco Guterres, and the Secretary of State for Council of Ministers, Mr Agio Periera, as well as other senior government officials. President Ramos-Horta and Minister Bowen agreed to establish a high-level taskforce led from Australia by the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Andrew Metcalfe, and Australia's Anti-People Smuggling Ambassador, James Larsen."

12 Oct 2010: ABC: Bowen, Ramos-Horta to meet over asylum deal
"[Australia's] Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says he will discuss different models for a regional framework for dealing with asylum seekers when he meets East Timor's president today. East Timor's president Jose Ramos-Horta says he would like to see more details of Australia's proposals to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor." Sara Everingham

11 Oct 2010: east-timor: AETFA SA INC: Refugee Processing Plant in Timor-Leste?
"The Federal Government is at it again! Generally the East Timorese do not want an Australian processing centre on their soil. They are still attempting to reconstruct their country after it was destroyed by the Indonesian military (TNI) and improve the living standards of the people which are amongst the poorest in the region."

11 Oct 2010: east-timor: Timor-Leste News October 11, 2010
Horta, Alkatiri and Gusmao to discuss asylum seekers processing center
Timor Post, October 11, 2010 language source: Tetun
east-timor: [scroll down page]

11 Oct 2010: east-timor: Timor-Leste News October 11, 2010
[Timor-Leste's] Parliament to discus asylum seekers processing center
Diario Nacional, October 11, 2010 language source: Tetun
east-timor: [scroll down page]

11 Oct 2010: Perth Now: Jose Ramos-Horta says asylum centre must be temporary
"EAST Timor's president believes his country has a humanitarian obligation to accept Australia's proposal that it host a regional refugee processing centre. However Jose Ramos-Horta insists Dili will not foot the bill and, in a blow to hopes for a permanent solution, said any regional centre in East Timor would be “temporary”."

11 Oct 2010: West Australian: Australia says E.Timor refugee centre to cost 'many millions'
"Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Monday he had several "models" of how to establish a regional refugee centre in East Timor, as he arrived in Dili for talks with President Jose Ramos-Horta. ... Bowen said he expected a "good two-way exchange" with the president, who told AFP on Sunday that such a centre could cost 30 million US dollars to build and another 30 million in annual upkeep, and would only be "temporary"."

11 Oct 2010: SMH: Optimism for East Timor refugee plan
"Ahead of his trip to East Timor, Indonesia and Malaysia this week, Chris Bowen is optimistic about winning support for the government's proposed regional processing centre. ... ''We've had some encouraging feedback,'' Mr Bowen said, asked about the progress he was making on the processing centre. ''I think it is something which could … very much work for East Timor's benefit as well as for Australia's and the region's.''" Jacob Saulwick

10 Oct 2010: Chris Bowen MP, [Australia's] Minister for Immigration: Minister's visit to East Timor, regional protection framework
Doorstop interview, Dili Airport, East Timor
"Bowen: Yes, while I'm here [in Timor-Leste] I'll be meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Alkatiri. I'll be meeting with the President of the Parliament as well, of course, as the President of East Timor and the Secretary of State for Security will be also involved in that meeting. So I'll be meeting very senior officials from both the government and the opposition."

10 Oct 2010: Laurie Oakes and [Australia's Minister for Immigration] Chris Bowen interview on Today on Sunday
"LO: Now you are heading off tomorrow for East Timor, Indonesia and Malaysia. CB: Yes.
LO: Now is this a genuine serious attempt to get a regional asylum seeker processing centre of the ground?
CB: Absolutely, and it is about more than just the regional processing centre it is about an entire regional framework. We have a regional and international problem which needs a regional and international solution."

10 Oct 2010: 9 News: Timor meeting won't deliver deal: Bowen
"[Australia's] Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says he won't return from East Timor this week with a final deal to address people smuggling and the offshore processing of asylum seekers. ... Mr Bowen said Mr Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao were still "very interested" in talking through the idea."

- - -

BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor-Leste monitors the media following topical themes of relevance to Timor-Leste.

To subscribe to these email web-site updates, email: and include the words "subscribe Back Door" in the subject line.

To unsubscribe, email: and include the words "unsubscribe Back Door" in the subject line.

Subscribers can expect to receive between one and five emails each month.