22 July 2017

Accusations of voter intimidation ahead of East Timor elections

21 July 2017 Sydney Morning Herald One of East Timor's largest political parties has denounced "acts of intimidation and terror" against some if its supporters ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections.
Fretilin issued a statement late on Friday saying its supporters and sympathisers in several villages in Baucau, the country's second largest town, had been told that unless they voted "for certain political parties" their houses would be ransacked and they would be killed. Full article here: http://www.smh.com.au/world/accusations-of-voter-intimidation-ahead-of-east-timor-elections-20170721-gxgcs2.html

Corruption on voters' minds in East Timor

SBS AUSTRALIA 22 July 2017 While East Timor's president has praised the peace and stability surrounding the parliamentary election, voters say it is time for the government to tackle corruption and daily needs in a country facing an uncertain economic future.
In a country dogged by conflict and political upheaval, there was calm and good humour on Saturday morning as polling stations opened for 750,000 people to cast their vote on 21 parties vying for 65 parliamentary seats.
Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres and his wife, Cidalia Mouzinho Guterres, joined families and several other members of parliament at a polling station at Farol primary school in the capital, Dili, where he praised the "peace and stability" of the campaign. Full article at:

21 July 2017

11,600 Australian Citizens sign Petition to the Parliament to settle the maritime boundary with East Timor

Look how much closer it is to East Timor!
Here is the link folks. If you are an Australian citizen, may I make one last plea to you to sign this historical petition for justice for our impoverished neighbour, Timor-Leste


Update from Sr Susan Connelly; As of today, Friday 21st, we have 11,660 signatures on the paper petition concerning the non-existent border in the Timor Sea.

There is only one week to go, and the signatures need to be with me by Sunday 30 July. (We may be able to squeeze a day or two of grace before we have to get them to Parliament.)

Fantastic effort by so many!  There are sure to be more this coming in week, so we may just make the 15,000.  Please put this petition out too. Am attaching it, just in case.

Many thanks

And many thanks to you Sr Susan for leading the charge against the avaricious global energy corporations and the spineless and spiteful Australian government.

I had a thought that the Australian Government locked itself into a corner when it bargained with Indonesia over maritime boundaries on the continental shelf theory. If it were now to settle the boundary on the contemporary median line principle with East Timor, I'm sure the Indonesians would feel robbed by the deal they made with Australia. Or perhaps its a combination of the energy cartels interests in cohorts with the government that also accumulates ill-gotten revenue from the CMATS Treaty. What a shameful international outlaw Australia is. And a hypocrite to lecture other polities on how they should behave as good citizens of the international community of nations.

And aside from the legal arguments, do we not owe the people of East Timor our utmost support as they struggle to recover from the 24-year long genocide inflicted by the Indonesian State? The revenues from East Timor's sovereign resources is so critical to the national budget and nation building. Australia, like the rest of the world save the Lusophone nations, turned its back on the East Timorese people while they were massacred, raped, tortured, murdered and their culture corrupted and destroyed. Entire groups were murdered. We even collaborated with the Soeharto death cult of the Indonesian Orde Baru. Going so far as to negotiate the Timor Sea Treaty with Indonesia in 1989.
Credit: The Monthly

Recall the broadcasted vision of Ali Alitas and Gareth Evans flying above the Timor Sea drinking champagne and celebrating the agreement. It consolidated Indonesian hegemony in East Timor and acquiesced in the genocide that the Indonesians were perpetrating on the ground.

It is also timely to recall the eternal debt that Australia and our citizens owe to the East Timorese people that arose in WWII when the brave East Timorese people, who readily recognised which side they should support, put their own lives at risk protecting Australian military forces in East Timor during the Japanese invasion.

There are many compelling, rational and ethical reasons why the refusal of the Australian State to settle the maritime boundary with East Timor should not be tolerated.

You can contribute to this campaign for international justice for East Timor by signing the petition.

Here's the link again: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1991/9.html

15 July 2017

Timor-Leste's Political Unity

The Diplomat By Flavio Simoes July 12, 2017Don't  be fooled by the number of political parties. Timorese have a remarkable degree of consensus on major issues.
This is an election year in Timor-Leste, with the presidential election in March to be followed by the parliamentary elections, scheduled for July 22. Together, these polls will determine the leadership of the country for another five years.

The 2017 presidential election saw yet another former guerrilla fighter, this time Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, from one of the main parties, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), emerge as the victor.

On July 22, Timorese will once again head to the polls to vote for their new government and National Parliament representatives. Timorese take their civic duty to vote very seriously, with voter turnout in the presidential election at over 70 percent, just slightly lower than in the previous election.


14 July 2017

JSMP launches its Report on Contact Points Between Community Dispute Resolution and the Formal Justice System

Press Release 14 July 2017

JSMP launches its Report on Contact Points Between Community Dispute Resolution and the Formal Justice System

On 14 July 2017, JSMP, with technical support from USAID Mai Munisípiu project (formerly Ba Distrito) launched its thematic research report on how the courts (formal justice) consider community resolutions of disputes (non-formal justice).

The report titled “Court and Alternative Dispute Resolution” is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United State Agency for International Development, as part of JSMP’s partnership with Mai Munisípiu project implemented by Counterpart International and Tetra Tech DPK.

The report is produced based on research and monitoring JSMP conducted in Baucau, Covalima, Dili, and Oecusse District Courts during a five month period (January to May 2017).  Throughout the period, JSMP observed analyzed a total of 108 cases from which 26 were resolved within families/communities before brought to the court while 82 cases were conciliated before and by the courts. The objective of the report is to have a better understanding of how the courts, which administer the formal justice system, take into consideration resolutions of disputes which occurred at the community level in their decision-making process. In giving his observation to the report, the Executive Director of JSMP Mr. Luis Oliveira Sampaio said “the research also found that conciliation that occurred before the court was an important instrument to reduce court caseload.”

The report concludes that although community resolutions have positive aspects that are beneficial to the formal justice system-i.e. minimizing the court workload by solving some of the minor crimes (semi public crimes), the courts’ consideration of the resolutions should follow the existing laws. “Basically the Office of Prosecution Services also has the competence to withdraw cases constituting semipublic crimes during the questioning which can lead to terminate the process, but this does not happen so far” - Mr. Sampaio continued.

The President of the Court of Appeal Hon. Judge Deolindo dos Santos who gave his remarks at the launch event said “The Timorese Constitution recognizes customary norms and practices which have existed long before the courts. This practice, which varies from one place to another,  is quite widespread throughout Timor-Leste attempts to provide solutions to problems or disputes in the communities”

Also present at the launch event was Dr. Jorge Graca- the President of Legislative Reform and Justice Sector Commission (CRL). The Commission is established to undertake research studies and make recommendations to the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) about legislative reform necessary to strengthen the justice system. In his remarks, the president of CRL stated that “community dispute resolutions are have their own social legitimacy and spiritual power which originated from historical convictions and this is what our communities practice. Value of community dispute resolutions are underpinned by a collective will of those involved in committing offence to create peace and social harmony, and it’s allowed by our Constitution”.

Timor-Leste Versaun rua Tetum no Englesh - JSMP Lansa Relatóriu kona-ba Pontu Kontaktu Entre Rezolusaun Komunitária no Prosesu Justisa

Komunikadu Imprensa 14 Jullu 2017

JSMP Lansa Relatóriu kona-ba Pontu Kontaktu Entre Rezolusaun Komunitária no Prosesu Justisa Formál

Iha loron 14 Jullu 2017, JSMP liu hosi USAID nia projetu Mai Munisípiu ne’ebé uluk hanaran Ba Distrito lansa relatóriu temátika hosi peskiza ne’ebé JSMP halo kona-ba oinsá tribunál (justisa formál) konsidera rezolusaun ba disputa iha komunidade (justisa naun-formál).

Relatóriu ho títulu “Tribunál no Rezolusaun Disputa Alternativu” ne’e konsege prodúz tanba hetan apoiu Jenerozu husi Povu Amerikanu liu husi Ajénsia Estadus Unidus ba Dezenvolvimentu Internasionál nu’udar parte husi JSMP nia parseria ho projetu Mai Munisípiu ne’ebé implementa husi Counterpart Internasionál no Tetra Tech DPK.

Relatóriu ne’e hakerek bazeia ba monitorizasaun no peskiza iha Tribunál Baucau, Covalima, Dili, no Oecusse durante fulan-lima nia laran (Janeiru to’o Maiu 2017). Durante períodu ne’ebé refere, JSMP halo monitorizasaun no avaliasaun ba totál kazu 108 no entre kazu 108 ne’e iha kazu 26 mak parte sira deside hodi resolve tuir família/komunidade hafoin lori ba tribunál ka molok lori ba tribunál no kazu 82 mak Tribunál rasik mak halo tentativa konsiliasaun. Objetivu relatóriu ne’e atu haree oinsá tribunál nu’udar órgaun independente ida ne’ebé administra justisa formál konsidera rezolusaun ne’ebé akontese iha nivel komunitária durante prosesu julgamentu no halo desizaun ba kazu sira. Fó ninia observasaun ba relatóriu ne’e, Diretór Ezekutivu JSMP, Sr. Luis Oliveira Sampaio, hatete “Peskiza ne’e mós deskobre katak konsiliasaun ne’ebé halo iha Tribunál nu’udar instrumentu importante ida atu redús pezu/todan iha tribunál.”

Relatóriu ne’e konklui katak maske rezolusaun komunitária iha aspetu pozitivu balun- porezemplu bele hakmaan todan husi tribunál liu-liu ba ofensa ki’ik sira (krime semi públiku), tribunál ninia konsiderasaun ba rezolusaun sira ne’e tenke haktuir saida mak lei permite. “Tuir loloos Ministériu Públiku mós iha kompeténsia atu deziste keixa ba kazu semi públiku sira durante prosesu inkéritu, ne’ebé rezulta iha terminasaun prosesu sira ba kazu hirak ne’e, maibe ida-ne’e lakontese durante ne’e,” Sr. Sampaio hatutan.

Presidente Tribunál Rekursu Honorável Juis Dr. Deolindo Dos Santos ne’ebé mós fó ninia intervensaun durante lansamentu relatóriu ne’e hatete, “Konstituisaun Timor-Leste rekoñese norma prátika kostumáriu hirak ne’e no pratika uzu kostumáriu ne’e eziste tiha ona antes justisa formál estadu nian ka tribunál sira eziste. Pratika hirak ne’e lao iha Timor laran tomak ho ninia maneira rasik hodi fó solusaun ba komunidade sira nia problema.”

Marka mós prezensa iha eventu lansamentu ne’e Dr. Jorge Graça nu’udar Presidente Komisaun Reforma Lejizlativa no Sektór justisa. Komisaun ne’e ninia objetivu mak atu halo estudu, analiza, no halo rekomendasaun sira ba governu Timor-Leste kona-ba reforma lejizlativa no sektór justisa ne’ebé karik presiza atu haforsa liu-tan sistema justisa iha Timor-Leste. Iha ninia intervensaun, Presidente KRL hato’o “Rezolusaun disputa komunitáriu iha natureza sosial no meius sira ne’e iha ninia lejitimidade sosial rasik, iha forsa espirituál ne’ebé mai hosi konviksaun istóriku no ida-ne’e mak ita nia komunidade aplika no ninia valor desizoins sira bazeiadu ba vontade koletivu hosi sira ne’ebé involve hodi kria paz no harmonia sosial, no konstituisaun permite pratika ida-ne’e.”

Council of Ministers meeting of July 11th, 2017

Council of Ministers meeting on July 11th, 2017

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting of July 11th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and the Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers saw a Government Resolution approved on the appointment of Rosário da Graça Maia for Chairman of the Board of Directors of TATOLI - Timor-Leste News Agency, PI, for the next four years.

The interim Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture made a presentation titled Developing Brand Tourism Timor-Leste. With the support of the NGO, the Asia Foundation,  branding components to promote Timor-Leste as an attractive and unique tourist destination have been created for the international market. These components were approved by the Council of Minsiters.

The Secretary of State for Youth and Sports saw two Government Resolutions approved: one on the Youth Parliament (in Tetum, Parlamento Foinsa'e Nian) and another on the National Policy for the Development of Sports. After eight years of operation, the Youth Parliament has established itself as a successful instrument. During these years, changes have been made that were not contemplated in the original programme, namely the increase in the number of parliamentarians, in order to ensure the participation of two representatives of young people with disabilities, the extension to a maximum of three years of the “term in office” of the young parliamentarians, to ensure and maximize the effects of the programme, and the strengthening of activities within the framework of leadership and entrepreneurship.

,The Government decided to adopt a National Policy for the Development of Sports, a priority identified in the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. This decision comes in the wake of several initiatives that have contributed to the strengthening of the entities that make up the sports movement, in particular the Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympic Committees, the Sports Confederation and the federations, associations and clubs active in the country.

Finally, the Council of Ministers approved the draft National Parliament Resolution approving the Agreement on Technical Cooperation and Cooperation Programme of Volunteers from Japan to Overseas between Timor-Leste and Japan. Presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, this agreement aims to strengthen the bonds of friendship and enhance cooperation between the two countries.

11 July 2017

Timor-Leste votes at UN to endorse treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 11th, 2017

Timor-Leste votes at UN to endorse treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

On the 7th of July 2017 Timor-Leste was one of 122 of the United Nations 192 Member States to endorse a landmark Draft treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The treaty will be open for signatures at the UN Headquarters in New York from the 20 September 2017. Each State Party that signs will undertake to never under any circumstances “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

Timor-Leste’s position on this issue is entirely consistent with its long held advocacy of peace clearly expressed by then Prime Minister H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 when he said:

“The responses to the crises faced by humankind cannot be exacerbated by the desire to end war by waging war. Instead, they must be based on the desire to build a world of peace, supported by dialogue and by an effort – herculean, if need be – to respond to the root causes of problems that lead to terrorism, racism, extremism and intolerance.”

Timor-Leste is a State Party to the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the Mine Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Timor-Leste’s involvement in the work to prohibit nuclear arms helped to produce the United Nations First Committee’s 2013 Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons which says “The catastrophic effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design cannot be adequately addressed. All efforts must be exerted to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.”

This Statement was one of many ‘stepping stones’ leading to the recent UN Conference which produced the draft treaty endorsed last week. The next step in this journey is to secure the maximum number of State signatures during and following the United Nations General Assembly this September.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “Timor-Leste, should be proud of its contribution to this draft treaty. As a country knowing all too well the scars of war, we must continue to be counted amongst those who boldly advocate for tolerance and peace.”ENDS
east timor law and justice bulletin
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