[Marxism] Timor Leste: Xanana Gusmao govt depletes Petroleum Fund, arrests protesting students

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Wed Jul 9 00:07:10 MDT 2008


Thanks for a very informative article. We're seeing some of the consequences 
of the platform Gusmao and Horta ran on.

There is one question it throws up but doesn't resolve, unless I've missed 
something. Gusmao and Horta are raiding the petroleum fund as they said they 
would do. I see the problem, in that it's short term spending from a fund 
intended for long term development, the latter being what Fretilin intended.

But are we actually against raiding it? Clearly there are some things it's 
being spent on that we'd object to, for example the cars the students point 
to.  But while they're protesting against specifics, it doesn't say they're 
arguing for the integrity of the Petroleum Fund in itself.

Despite its particular history, this is after all a capitalist government. 
If this was happening in, say, the Philippines we might well *demand* a raid 
on such a fund, to make food affordable in the here and now for example, 
rather than have it locked into capital accumulations.

 What do Timorese activists think? The article says it's a "big issue" but 
not what various quarters think. 






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