[TimorLesteStudies] The great game of Greater Sunrise

Damien Kingsbury damien.kingsbury at deakin.edu.au
Mon Oct 10 17:29:24 EST 2011

This is by far the most rational assessment of the Greater Sunrise conundrum that has been made publically available to date. As a model for resolution, it also closely corresponds to informal discussions held over a year ago.

Perhaps, as Clinton Fernandes notes in the attached article, after the elections there might be some political space for a more reasoned reassessment of the whole issue, to produce an outcome that produces real, long-term benefits for the people of Timor-Leste. 
Professor Damien Kingsbury
Director, Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights
Faculty of Arts and Education
Deakin University, Melbourne
From: easttimorstudies-bounces at anu.edu.au [easttimorstudies-bounces at anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of geoffrey a mckee [gamckee at optusnet.com.au]
Sent: 10 October 2011 13:36
To: easttimorstudies at anu.edu.au
Subject: [TimorLesteStudies] The great game of Greater Sunrise

Robert Wesley-Smith posted to this list a link to a talk by G A McKee (the undersigned) regarding Timor-Leste's petroleum dispute (ref "Hope for Timor Gas dispute" sent Wed Aug 3 12:33:52 EST 2011).

Readers may be interested to check out the cover story of The Petroleum Economist monthly, October 2011.

It was headed "The great game of Greater Sunrise", a line lifted from the above talk.  The reporter, Damon Evans, based much of the story on the above talk, given to Jude Conway's Newcastle NSW East Timor support group on June 17, 2011.

Here's a link to a reprint of the cover story.  It sums up very well in my opinion the issues involved, for those who are interested in trying to understand the complexities of this impasse between a poor post-conflict half-island of population about 1.2 million, and a large and influential oil company.


Link to original talk by G A McKee


There has been a lot of talk in the academic community about the effectiveness of foreign aid to countries such as Timor Leste.  One of the underlying assumptions of the above talk was that self-determination underwritten by energy security and education is necessary for a modern functioning nation state.  Foreign aid may be good, but no substitute for real wealth such as energy and education. Positive foreign aid for Timor Leste has been assistance with education faciliteis.  Energy is required to produce food, goods and services for an expanding population, and if the solution to the Greater Sunrise impasse can be found wherein Timor Leste becomes energy independent for the foreseeable future, it would help to set the country on the path social wellbeing, or higher "human development index".

Comments welcome.

G A McKee
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