The Communist Party of Australia wants to save the Marxist-Leninist Prime Minister of East Timor, Mari Alkatiri. It also wants to make sure that its friends, Cuba and China maintain a foothold in the region.
The CPA believes that the rebel army forces in East Timor are Australian backed. They believe that PM Alkatiri is the real target and that Australia wants to replace him with someone friendlier to Canberra.
Excerts from a statement by the CPA Central Committee and published in The Guardian 14.6.06
The Communist Party of Australia fully supports the sovereignty and independence of East Timor (Timor Leste) and the right of its people and government to develop their economy and political system in accordance with their circumstances and wishes. We regard these to be the right of all nations and are non-negotiable. They are in accord with the principles and Charter of the United Nations.
It is in disregard of these rights that the Australian Government has for some time been interfering in the internal affairs of East Timor, has attempted to destabilise its democratically elected government, encouraged dissident military and political forces within East Timor to stage a military coup to overthrow the elected government headed by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.
Alkatiri’s Government adopted a policy for the debt-free development of East Timor and resisted pressure to accept World Bank loans. His Government opposed the privatisation of electricity and started to rebuild public institutions such as health and education systems. Mari Alkatiri fought hard to win a justified share of oil revenues in opposition to the stand taken by the Australian Government. His Government sought to build a state-owned petroleum industry. It adopted a poverty reduction program and accepted medical aid from Cuba.
When the coup attempt by some dissident military and police forces failed the Australian Government sent in a powerful contingent of military forces to help create a situation in which regime change could be brought about.
Before Australian military forces landed in East Timor the Australian and East Timor Governments adopted an agreement called the rules of engagement. It provided that Australian military and police forces would act to stem the violence, burning and looting, would cooperate with the East Timorese Government and would disarm the rebel military forces which had staged an armed revolt in Dili. This agreement has not been carried out by the Australian Government while an underhand campaign of propaganda has been carried on to discredit the Timor Government in an attempt to remove Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.