World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Govt Knew Whereabouts Of Balibo Five

CANBERRA, Oct 17 AAP - The Whitlam government knew the whereabouts of five Australian newsmen killed 25 years ago in Balibo, a former diplomat said.

The so-called Balibo Five were killed on October 16, 1975, as Indonesian troops moved across the West Timor border into East Timor.

Their relatives have been fighting ever since to uncover the real story of what happened.

Foreign affairs documents released in Canberra last month indicated officers had prior knowledge of the Indonesian attack, but had no idea that the Balibo Five could be harmed.

But former diplomat John Starey said he sent a brief to the government on the movements of the men - Brian Peters, Malcolm Rennie, Gary Cunningham, Gary Stewart and Greg Shackleton - in October 1975 before they were killed.

"I sent a brief - what you might call a contact report - just to advise the government this was happening, that I'd met them and who they were, what

they were going to do and how they were going to travel," Mr Starey told ABC television.

He said he met and chatted with three of the newsmen before their trip and they were not afraid of their journey in East Timor.

"They felt their job as journalists was to be where the story was breaking and I suppose, to use the word 'gung ho' would be a bit unfair, but they were very enthusiastic and keen to get on with the job and find what was happening up there on the border," he said.

Mr Starey said he advised the government of the crew's plans five or six days before the men died.

"I spelt out the names, said who they worked for, that they were going by charter aircraft and what their intention was to report on."

The widow of Shackelton said yesterday eyewitnesses to the murders were afraid to come forward.

Shirley Shackelton believes at least six key witnesses are living in Australia but would not come forward because of possible reprisals.

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE: http://www.pmw.c2o.org


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>


Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>