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25 July 2014

Timor-Leste: The Politics of Purchasing Weapons from Indonesia: A Threat to Security Strategy

ETLJB 25/07/2014 From Fundasaun Mahein - The Politics of Purchasing Weapons from Indonesia: A Threat to Security Strategy

Timor-Leste and Indonesia recently are really enjoying a romantic cooperation in some important sectors. This cooperation has occurred on economic, social, security-related, and even political fronts, as the two countries vie for Timor-Leste's induction to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This occurs in spite of the historical rivalry between FALINTIL and TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia), who were enemies during the Indonesian occupation. It is the first time Timor-Leste appears, 15 years after the people of Timor-Leste separated from Indonesia. It can be said that, though these enemies aimed to kill each other in the past, now these powers are looking to support, lend funds, and sell military equipment to each other. This cooperation can strengthen the relationship between these neighboring countries and serves as an importance means of enhancing good relations, peace, and stability in region.  

But one must consider another angle as well, from the perspective of policy and strategy, if these countries are to depend on each other for military equipment. Enemies can be friends, yet this depends on each county’s interest. Timor-Leste and the Republic Indonesia are developing and dealing with the defense cooperation area, and the main provision of this contract is that Timor-Leste intends to purchase military equipment from PT.PINDAD (Persero) and other entrepreneurs from Indonesia that produce the military’s equipment.

Prior to this, Timor-Leste has purchased weapons on a large scale from the PT.PINDAD (Persero). 75 'PM2-V1' weapons were issued to the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) in 2012. According to the Indonesian media, Timor-Leste will purchase more military equipment. Therefore, Timor-Leste will communicate intensively with Indonesia through the contract that has been signed by leaders of the two countries.

However, Timor-Leste needs to know that Indonesia does not ensure yet management and controlling of the weapons themselves. Some weapons have been used by some terrorists in Asia, entrepreneurs, civilians, and other army groups in Papua. These weapons have also been used in some conflict areas in Indonesia, such as Poso and Maluku. Those weapons are produced by the PT.PINDAD (Persero), and the weapons are being sold by individuals of the National Indonesia Military (TNI) and the Indonesia Republic Polices (POLRI), including weapons stolen from the TNI and POLRI armories.

On another note, Timor-Leste and Indonesia have close boundaries and seas, and this poses a potential threat. If any situation occurs along the border line, Timor-Leste and Indonesia will blame each other if criminals or terrorists use these weapons. Timor-Leste is facing problems in management and control of weapons, according to word spreading among communities in Timor-Leste that illegal weapons exist here. Furthermore, Timor-Leste purchased weapons in 2013 without detail process, and this represents a problem of its own.

Recommendations

1.   FM recommends that the Ministry of Defense and Security perform a review of the policy used in distributing arms and security equipment to the Institution of Security and Defense of Timor-Leste.

2.  Recommends and further adds to the recommendations of the Eventual Commission Investigation that the government needs to consider the  circumstances of international policy and progress in this global era and demands that the government classify information regarding the developing the Defense and Security areas as confidential and hidden from neighboring and non-state actors.

3.  Recommends that the Indonesian government and the elected Republic President, who will assume power for the next five years, review and fortify the control system for weapons at the armories of TNI and POLRI as well as those entrepreneurs that produce the weapons. This is recommended because people from these two countries are concerned, as neighbors, about the possibility of   weapons being used by terrorists, civilian and other army groups as a result of this purchase of weapons. Source: Fundasaun Mahein 24 July 2014 Press Release http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/07/24/politika-sosa-kilat-husi-indonezia-ameasa-ba-estratejia-siguransa-nasional/


See also
PNTL buys PINDAD weapons and PNTL Intelligence Commander loses his semiautomatic assault rifle
Civil society demands investigation into police guns procurement from Indonesia
Police weapons procurement failed to adhere to tender process as MP warns against purchasing arms from Indonesia 

24 July 2014

Baucau District Court hears assault, domestic violence, property damage and arson cases in April 2014

ETLJB 24/07/2014 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its case summary of proceedings before the Baucau District Court in the month of April 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Summary of the trial process at the Baucau District Court – April 2014

Introduction

In April 2014 JSMP continued its monitoring activities at the Baucau District Court. During this period JSMP monitored 13 cases from a total of 28 cases that were tried at the court.

The 13 cases consisted of 3 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity, 6 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence, 1 case of property damage, 1 case of aggravated property damage, 1 case of arson, and 1 other case involving serious offences against physical integrity.

Of these 13 cases, 9 were decided by the court and the remaining 4 cases are still ongoing.

The information below outlines the cases observed:

22 July 2014

Extraordinary Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers 10 July 2014

ETLJB 22/07/2014 - The Government met extraordinarily this Thursday, July 10th, 2014, in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Government Resolution on the Sao Tome e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau unpaid contributions

The Government of Timor-Leste decided to exceptionally support São Tomé e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau in paying their unpaid contributions to the CPLP.

São Tomé e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau face serious political constraints and economic challenges which affect not only their prospects of fighting poverty but also their national development objectives.

This decision takes into account the strong bonds of friendship, solidarity and spirit of mutual help of the people of CPLP.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Applications for the post of Anti-Corruption Commissioner

Following the withdrawal of the application by the candidate Dr. Sergio Hornai for the election of the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, the Government has chosen new candidates to present to the National Parliament for the election of the Anti-Corruption Commissioner.

2. Organization of the X Conference of Heads of State and Government of CPLP

The Government has made a progress report on the completion of preparations of the various events taking place this July, under the X Conference of Heads of State and Government of CPLP, to be held in Dili, on July 23. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government July 10th, 2014 Press Release


See also FM: After 24 years of Support from the CPLP, Now Dili Holds the Conference for CPLP

Timor Leste oil fund totals US$15.7 billion in the first quarter

ETLJB 22/07/2014 From (macauhub/TL) 18 July 2014 - The Timor Leste (East Timor) Oil Fund at the end of the first quarter of the year totalled US$15.7 billion, according to a report on the fund from the first three months of the year.

At the beginning of 2013 the Fund totalled US$11.8 billion, and at the end of the year had risen to US$14.9 billion.

In 2013, Gross Investment Income generated by the Fund rose by US$865 million.

Government spokesman and Minister of State Ágio Pereira said “the Timor Leste Oil Fund is growing well and generating good returns, which boost its sustainability. Our strategy is to use the Oil Fund to develop critical sectors and supporting the economic diversification of our nation is a positive strategy.”  Source: http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/2014/07/18/timor-leste-oil-fund-totals-us15-7-billion-in-the-first-quarter/
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