Blom Oppmåling gets contract from Indonesian authorities: Mapping the Timor Gap with aid money
By Tarjei Leer-Salvesen
Blom Oppmåling has got the task to define the dividing line for the Timor Gap, the sea between Australia and Indonesia. Such a dividing line does not exist, as East-Timor is not a part of Indonesia but an occupied territory. The board chairman of Blom, Per Fredrik Blom, defends himself by saying that they will not chart anything else than the international waters outside the 200 mile border. In addition, Blom refers to the UNCLOS-agreement where the UN has instructed Indonesia to carry out such charting of its waters The newspaper Klassekampen rejects this (15.10.96), as the UN condemns the occupation of East-Timor, and so, has not instructed Indonesia to determine the dividing line between East-Timor and Australia. NORAD supports the sea charting project with mixed credits worth USD 12,5 million, and has given a clear condition for the support: The land nor the sea of East-Timor's territory will be charted. Jan Andersen from NORAD does not wish to comment on the case as the project can be interpreted as legitimating the occupation. But Per Fredrik Blom illustrates the case as such: -If you were to make a map of the North Sea, and Hordaland was a country of its own. What would you have done than? He further says: We are given the task of deciding the dividing line between Australia and Indonesia, and chart the sea towards Indonesia. The UN has decided that this kind of charting will take place. NorWatch:- But if Indonesia defines East-Timor as Indonesia, something they knowingly do, than they will also decide on a boarder which does not exist, isn't it? -We will chart the territory according to how Indonesia defines its boarders, answers Blom Blom Oppmåling has thrown themselves into the inflamed political conflict between Indonesia and East-Timor and NORAD uses substantial sums to support the activity.
"If you were to make a map of the North Sea, and Hordaland was a country of its own. What would you have done?"
Per Fredrik Blom in conversation with NorWatch 11.10.96
Blom in Indonesia
The company Blom Dantarsa is a joint venture between Blom Oppmåling and Indonesian Dantarsa. The Company has got the USD 116 million contract to chart the sea's dividing line between Indonesia and Australia.
Norwatch Newsletter 10/96