The relevant authorities reacted quickly, and Australian ambassador Peter Heyward invited La'o Hamutuk to his embassy the following day to discuss the issue with himself, New Zealand ambassador Tim McIvor and ISF commander Col. Simon Stuart. We learned that the Lore meeting was one of about 90 already conducted by ISF as part of a 2-3 year research project, and that the ISF considered it as civilian, academic research even though the researchers, working through double translation, were outnumbered by their uniformed, armed military escorts. We explained that this kind of activity could be expected to disturb people in remote areas who had decades of horrendous experiences with foreign soldiers asking political questions and the human right violations which ensued if they didn't like the answers.
On 25 March, the Canberra Times reported that the Australian Defence Force has terminated this 'research' project. La'o Hamutuk appreciates this prompt response to the concerns of the people of Timor-Leste, especially Lore I, which we brought to their attention.
Defence pulls plug on Timor research