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Chronology of AusAID cancellation of grant to Forum Tau Matan
with links to relevant documents

La'o Hamutuk press release in English or Bahasa Indonesia

Background documents

Chronology of events

29 September 2004: Nine Timor-Leste NGOs, including Forum Tau Matan, call on Australia to negotiate a fair maritime boundary with Timor-Leste. Media release in English or Tetum.

October 2004: Forum Tau Matan proposes a human rights monitoring and dissemination program to AusAID for their Human Rights Small Grants Scheme.

10 December 2004: Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer announces that an A$65,000 human rights grant has been awarded to Forum Tau Matan (FTM). AusAID press release.

15 December 2004: AusAID informs FTM that their application for funding has been successful.

25 January 2005: AusAID sends FTM a Letter of Agreement. According to the letter, "a cheque for A$65,830.00 will be handed over to you" after FTM signs the letter.

7 June 2005: AusAID informs FTM "that Australia is unable to provide support" because we have been reviewing the ways in which we engage with NGOs in different sectors.

8 June 2005: FTM replies to AusAID expressing their surprise and pointing out that the Letter of Agreement "does not contain any clause for revocation of the agreement in the event of a change of government policy."

28 July 2005: Australian Ambassador Margaret Twomey and AusAID Counsellor (Development Cooperation) Peter Ellis meet with FTM and inform them that the real reason the grant was cancelled was that FTM had signed the press release on maritime boundaries.

September 2005: AusAID and FTM negotiate compensation of about 10% of the original grant amount.

September-October 2005: AusAID advertises in Timor Leste newspapers for applications for the Human Rights Small Grants Scheme for 2006. (Click on ad to see it larger.)

May 2007: Peter Ellis leaves AusAID after seeking legal protection and protesting being told to lie for his country.

4 July 2007: FTM cancels an AusAID-funded, World Bank-managed, leadership training project that they were about to conduct because AusAID has still not replied to their letter from two years ago.  FTM press release (also Tetum).  FTM letter to the World Bank.

October 2007: Peter Ellis sets up a web page for Public Sector Accountability, with many additional details about this process. He also wrote a letter detailing his personal involvement in this process.

Back to La'o Hamutuk 2005 press release

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (Lao Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
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