East Timor 2014
Timor. In January, negotiations were held in the International Court of Justice in The Hague between East Timor and Australia. East Timor demanded that Australia release documents that the Australian intelligence agency seized in December 2013 in a lawsuit against a lawyer in Canberra who worked for East Timor. Australia stated that the seizure was done to protect national security. In March, the international court announced that the contents of the documents must not be used against East Timor and that the documents should be kept sealed. The documents concern the sensitive negotiations on gas and oil deposits in Lake Timor. East Timor has accused Australia of eavesdropping in previous negotiations and has asked for a 2006 agreement to be annulled.
In January it became clear that East Timor will participate in its first Winter Olympics when skier Yohan Goutt Goncalves had qualified for the competition.
In February, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão announced his intention to leave his post as prime minister in September. Gusmão is a well-known independence leader and was president in 2002 and 2007.
On May 6, Parliament approved a proposal for a new criticized media law. The law would mean the introduction of a licensing system for journalists. Uncertified journalists would be prevented from working in the country, which would also affect the ability of foreign journalists to report from the country. Human Rights Watch said the law threatened the country’s press freedom and urged President Taur Matan Ruak to refuse to sign the new media law. According to Countryaah.com, Timor-Leste population in 2020 is estimated at 1,318,456. The President requested that the law be tried in the Court of Appeal. In August, the court ruled that parts of the law did not support the constitution. The law was then sent back to Parliament.
In September, the International Court of Justice in The Hague agreed to update the planned negotiations between East Timor and Australia following a joint request from the countries. The countries wanted to try to find a settlement among themselves. Prime Minister Gusmão announced that he was postponing his plans to resign with reference to the ongoing negotiations.