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25 September 2015

Maritime Boundary consultations begin with Indonesia

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ETLJB 25/9/2015 Government of East Timor MEDIA RELEASE Agio Pereira Dili, 23 September, 2015 - On Friday, September 18th, the process of delimiting the permanent maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Indonesia began, with consultations taking place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Díli. It was an historic occasion, marking the start of bilateral talks to address all maritime areas between the two States.

The consultations on Friday followed announcements made by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Rui Maria de Araújo, during the recent Official Visit to Indonesia.

Dialogue in Friday’s meeting reflected the statements made by the two leaders in August with delegates confirming that both States want to delimit a maritime boundary in a accordance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS]. Timor-Leste and Indonesia are both signatories to UNCLOS, and recognize the positive obligation to move toward boundary delimitation.

With the positive and constructive relationship between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, the delegates said they expect to make good progress and declared their commitment to engaging in the negotiations in an open and constructive manner, and in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.

Timor-Leste and Indonesia plan to reach agreement on the terms of reference for the negotiations which will outline the steps in the delimitation process. After this agreement formal negotiations on maritime boundaries will commence.

Last year the National Parliament of Timor-Leste authorised the formation of a body to coordinate and manage Timor-Leste’s efforts to achieve a permanent maritime boundary with its neighbors. This body, the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, was established by Decree-Law in April 2015 and is directly accountable to the Prime Minister.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the prompt meeting of the delegations in Díli last week and the constructive nature of the consultations was a positive start in the process of the maritime boundary delimitation with Indonesia. The declared aim of the leaders of our two States to negotiate our boundaries in accordance with international law has now resulted in the first stages of implementation. ENDS

23 September 2015

Murder, Attempted Murder, Rape, Sexual Abuse of Minor, Assaults & Domestic Violence: Summary of the trial process at the Suai District Court June 2015

ETLJB 23/9/2015 Case Summary Suai District Court June 2015


In June 2015 JSMP observed 15 cases that were tried at the Suai District Court. In addition to these cases the Suai District Court also tried another 27 cases via the mobile court in Ainaro, however JSMP did not monitor those cases because of other activities that were taking place in Dili.

These cases included 7 cases of gender based violence and the other cases involved a range of crimes. The cases that involved gender based violence comprised 5 cases of domestic violence, 1 case of sexual abuse against a minor and 1 case of sexual coercion. The other matters comprised 1 case of homicide, 1 case of property damage and making threats, 2 cases of simple offences against physical integrity, 1 case of smuggling, 1 case of making threats and 1 case of attempted murder.

From these 15 cases, the court has resolved 12 cases and the other 3 cases are still ongoing.

The information below outlines the cases observed:

1. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity - Case No. 90/pen/2015/TDS

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       : Argentino Luisa Nunes

Public prosecutor                     : Mateus Nessi

Public Defender                       : João H. de Carvalho

Conclusion                               : Settlement was validated

On 9 June 2015 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing to attempt conciliation in a case of simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendants SG, JMLDC and FCG who allegedly committed the offences against the victim RAdA. This case allegedly occurred in Debos, Covalima District.

20 August 2015

Commemoration of 40 years of FALINTIL

ETLJB 20/8/2015 Media Release from the VI Constitutional Government Dili, 19 August, 2015 - Celebrations are taking place this week that will culminate in special events on Thursday the 20th of August when the Nation observes FALINTIL Day, this year commemorating 40 years since the formation of the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste’s resistance army fought for 24 years in the difficult struggle for freedom, a small and illequipped army without any external military support, against a giant and its allies. With great courage and against all odds FALINTIL soldiers maintained a persistent guerrilla campaign until the people of Timor-Leste were able to vote in the 1999 referendum on independence.

Reflecting on FALINTIL’s impact, last year former Commander H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao noted “the sun rises every day over a free Timor-Leste because of the sacrifices of the combatants of national liberation and the martyrs that fell to make possible our dream of independence. We must never lose sight of this history and we must continue to honour their sacrifice and achievement.”

In the lead up to Thursday events have included a series of sporting events, memorial walks, night vigils and a ceremony remembering the “Declaration of Armed Insurgency”. This morning a conference on FALINTIL will be held at the Dili Convention Centre and in the afternoon a memorial Mass will be celebrated at 4:00pm at the Dili Cathedral.

The principal ceremony on FALINTIL Day will take place at Tasi Tolu beginning with a military parade at 8:30am. Eminent dignitaries of Timor-Leste will be joined by international guests including Australian veterans and officials along with representatives of veterans from g7+ countries including South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. Australian veterans have been invited in the context of an ongoing relationship of friendship and solidarity that has been examining ways to support veterans and memorialize the struggle and sacrifice of the people.

The President of the Republic, H.E. Taur Matan Ruak will speak at the ceremony in Tasi Tolu where there will be events marking the decoration, promotion and retirement of F-FDTL cadre, the presentation of commemorative plaques and a symbolic presentation of Special Identification Cards to Veterans involved for between 15 and 24 years of the struggle. Former Commander in Chief, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, will be awarded the highest medal of Timor-Leste, the Order of the Guerrilla.

On Friday morning a final event will occur at the Archive and Museum of the Timorese Resistance when a ground breaking ceremony will be undertaken for the “Eternal Flame”, a memorial being developed as a poignant focal point honoring those lost in the struggle.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “we are forever grateful for the sacrifices and achievements of those that have gone before us. On FALINTIL day we look back to remember, to honor and to pay our respects. Then we look forward, more inspired to serve our country, to walk with dignity and work toward a peaceful and prosperous Timor-Leste, always conscious of what those who lost their lives for our freedom expect from us.” ENDS

17 August 2015

Members of Village Councils in Oecusse Municipality received training from JSMP on access to justice and women’s rights

ETLJB 17/8/2015 JSMP Press Release Oe-Cusse District 12 August 2015 -  Between 27 July and 07 August 2015 the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) conducted training for 47 participants, comprising 16 women and 31 men. The participants included village chiefs, sub-village chiefs, village elders, women’s representatives and representatives of the village administration support staff from the Sub-Districts of Pante Makassar, Nitibe, Pasabe and Oesilo.

The training in Costa Village started on 27 July 2015, and involved 16 members of village councils from the Villages of Lalisuk, Bobocase, Cunha, Naimeco, Costa, Lifau and Taiboco, comprising 6 women and 10 men. Meanwhile the representatives of Nipani Village were not present because they were attending other activities.

When opening the training the Sub-District Pante Makasar Representative, Gonzalo Eko, stated that this training for members of the village councils is really important because it can raise their awareness about the law. He added that this training can also help the members of the village councils to resolve problems in the community.

The training in Usitako Village, Nitibe Sub-District, started on 31 July 2015 and involved 16 members of village councils from the Villages of Ban-Afi, Lela-Ufe, Bene-Ufe, Suni-Ufe and Usitaco, comprising 3 women and 13 men. In this training the Village Chief organizer Julio Cael who was representing the Nitibe Sub-District Representative, thanked JSMP, Belun and International Counterparts for conducting the training in their village.

The training took place in Bobometo Village, Oesilu Sub-District on 05 August 2015 and also involved members of the village councils from Passabe Sub-District. The participants came from the Villages of Bobometo, Usi-Tasae, Usi-Taqueno and Malelat. Members of the village council from Abani Village did not take part in this training. 13 participants attended the training, comprising 8 males and 7 females.

The Village Chief organiser, who was representing the Oesilu Sub-District Representative, in the opening session of the training thanked JSMP and the other stakeholders who provided support for this program which is aimed at raising the understanding of members of the village councils about the law.

This training discussed human rights and the right to equality. The participants questioned the right to subsidies, slander (accusations about using magic), abandoned wives and children, the responsibility to provide alimony, inheritance, customary practices that benefit sons or the stronger recognition given to the rights of sons in the community.

The village elders admitted that the customs in the Villages of Nipani, Bobocase, Naimeco and Taiboco Pante Makasar Sub-District have always recognized the equal status of sons and daughters in the family. Therefore, even though they marry and move away, their parents still give land to daughters, which acknowledges their rights. The village elders from the Villages of Lalisuk, Cunha, Lifau and Costa testified that their customary marriage traditions pass on land inheritance rights to their daughters.

In addition, the participants also raised the issue of those women who are impregnated and then the fathers refused to acknowledge their children, so they requested for the government to set up a DNA test laboratory to ensure the recognition of children’s rights to alimony.

All of the questions and concerns that were raised in each training session were responded to in accordance with the training modules that had been previously prepared on women’s rights and the applicable law in Timor-Leste.

This training was carried out with the support of the BELUN Coordinators in the Municipalities of Liquica, Ermera and Oecusse. BELUN will continue to assist with the coordination of the next training sessions in Covalima and Baucau.

Previously, similar training was carried out in Liquica and Ermera and training is planned for Suai at the end of August 2015.
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