Taxing Times in Timor

East Timor is one of the poorest countries in Asia. Its only economic hope for the future lies in massive reserves of oil and gas in the Timor Sea. But as small and young a state as it may be, it is certainly a nation of fighters. It’s now taking on some of the world’s biggest private energy companies, demanding they pay their fair share of tax on the oil & gas Timor says is being stolen from them.

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  1. A familiar scenario, “poor” “undeveloped” country finally wins “independence” and “democracy” over outside dictatorial, authoritarian forces only to be invaded by profiteering corporates who want “help” the people “develop”. There are too many examples of this in neo-colonial history, and its sad to see it still happening. Ultimately we have to learn that the path of development is a illusion, a seductive ruse, designed to subjugate local populations and gain access to dwindling resources. The general population will not benefit (look at Nigeria) from these resources being extracted by multinationals, but furthermore these resources will lead the destruction of traditional cultures, farming methods, ecological and social balance.