21 June 2017

Inauguration of Suai Airport in East Timor



Inauguration of Suai Airport

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

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, June 21st, 2017

Inauguration of Suai Airport

A ceremony to inaugurate the Suai Airport, conducted on the 20th of June, marks the completion of a major infrastructure project set to support national development. The airport, located in the municipality of Covalima and about 15 kilometres from the town of Suai, includes a 1,500-metre runway and new airside and landside facilities.

The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres, officially cut the ribbon and signed the inauguration plaque to open the “Commander in Chief of FALINTIL, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, International Airport”. This occasion also honored the 71st birthday of Minister Gusmão, who commended the airport as an outstanding project that would create investment, opportunities and jobs.

The ceremony included welcoming remarks given by the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communication, H.E. Gastão de Sousa, and the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, H.E. Alfredo Pires. The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo was in attendance along with other representatives of the Government, members of National Parliament, Veterans, Clergy, Local Leaders and Officials. The airport was blessed by the Bishop of Maliana, Don Norberto do Amaral.

The facilities include a new terminal building, control tower, fire station, meteorological station and a helipad with Medivac air ambulance facilities. The need to extend and refurbish the old Suai runway and build new modern facilities was identified in the national Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030.

The airport allows for increased national connectivity and will promote the ongoing development of the South Coast by supporting activities related to petroleum and minerals, agriculture and tourism. It will also assist in the delivery of services in areas such as health and security. This facility and associated development in the South Coast reflect the Government’s commitment to support growth throughout the territory of Timor-Leste.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the inauguration of the ‘Commander in Chief of FALINTIL, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, International Airport’ is an example of a major project, constructed with quality in a timely fashion. We congratulate the Ministries involved and Timor Gap E.P. for their role. This facility serves immediate needs on the South Coast, supports ongoing development and will be key to realizing the growth potential of the region.”ENDS
East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

East Timor 2017 General Parliamentary Election Campaign Begins



Preparations for Parliamentary Elections On Track as Campaign Period Begins

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

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, June 21st, 2017

Preparations for Parliamentary Elections On Track as Campaign Period Begins

The Government, through the work of the National Electoral Commission [CNE], the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration [STAE], the Ministry of State Administration, and the Ministry of the Interior are making all necessary preparations for the Parliamentary Election to be held on the 22th of July 2017.

The Official Campaign Period has begun and runs from the 20th of June to the 19th of July 2017. The Campaign Calendar is available on the website of the National Election Commission.

Last week the process of registering and verifying parties and coalitions taking part in the election was completed. Twenty parties and one coalition will be listed on the ballot paper in the order determined last week by lottery.

On the 22nd of July registered voters will cast their vote between 7am and 3pm at polling centers around the country. They are to make one mark the ballot paper in the box next to the one party of their choice. The 65 seats in the National Parliament are allocated depending on the number of votes received nationally for each party. To receive a seat a party must poll over 4% of the total votes counted.

Each of the 20 parties and the one coalition have already registered a list of their 65 principal candidates and a list of their supplementary candidates. On these lists, at a minimum, every third candidate must be female. The seats won by a registered party or coalition are filled in the order of their list.

A wide-ranging program is now being undertaken to advise voters of election process.

Last week the Minister of State Minister of State, Coordinator of State Administration Affairs and Justice and Minister of State Administration, H.E. Dionísio Babo Soares, met with members of the Diplomatic Corps and Development Partners to update them on preparations. The election will again welcome the involvement of accredited international observers.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the political parties, electoral institutions, national leaders and Government are all working to ensure a calm, well organized and constructive election. We are grateful that we have a country in which parties can openly campaign and where our citizens are able to freely exercise their democratic rights won at great cost by all engaged in the struggle for our liberation. We respect their legacy by our conduct as we approach the election on the 22nd of July.”ENDS

The calendar for the Parliamentary Election is available here.

East Timor Government Policy on Land Rights in the Creation of Legal Protection and Achieving Justice (Indonesian text)



KEBIJAKAN PEMERINTAH TIMOR LESTE TERHADAP HAK KEPEMILIKAN ATAS TANAH DALAM MEWUJUDKAN PERLINDUNGAN HUKUM DAN TERCAPAINYA KEADILAN

Berdasarkan apa yang di ketahui bersama bahwa tanah merupakan dasar kehidupan bagi masyarakat di muka bumi ini dalam menjalankan kehidupannya sehari-hari dan menjalankan kehidupan masyarakat tidak terlepas dari tanah, sehingga tanah mempunyai fungsi yang ganda yaitu untuk tempat tinggal, tempat berdagang, maka dalam menunjang kehidupan manusia, kebutuhan akan tanah sebagai hal yang sangat penting dan mendasar sekali. Bacah lebih lanjut: http://e-journal.uajy.ac.id/367/

USAID Propaganda on East Timor Land Law Issues



ETLJB Editor's Note: See the extract below which is a complete misrepresentation of the facts and a distortion of reality. As at the date of this article, there were no significant reforms in the review and enactment of a land rights law. The $10 million referred to would have gone a long way towards the implementation of systematic or even sporadic land rights registration, boundary surveying and the constitution of a land rights register. This has still not happened.

The land law has only just been enacted; some 17 years since the international intervention in East Timor.

The truth of the mater is that enormous funds from the American tax payers were spent on USAID staff and international "experts" who did nothing to clarify land rights, did nothing to formulate appropriate policies for the government to consider.

The fact is the USAID is essentially an intelligence gathering organisation for the American government and corporations.

Property Rights Reform Makes Progress in Timor Leste

MARCH 13, 2012   ARTICLE

Update on Land Administration and Policies in Asia/Pacific

Earlier this month, the Parliament in Timor Leste passed three laws related to property rights. The new measures, which now await signature by the President, are expected to provide a foundation for resolving disputes and registering land; prescribe procedures under which the Government can expropriate land; and create a fund to compensate property owners who lose their property rights.

These new laws will have a large impact on economic growth, which stalled when the Indonesian occupation ended and civil war ripped the country apart.

The new legislation is a significant accomplishment that USAID and other bi-lateral donors have supported over the long term. Since 2007, USAID has invested $10 million in supporting the Strengthening Property Rights in Timor Leste (SPRTL) project. This project addressed serious concerns related to land-based conflict raised in a 2006 Conflict Vulnerability Assessment. The project’s main objectives included:

Read the rest of this crap here: https://www.land-links.org/2012/03/property-rights-reform-makes-progress-in-timor-leste/

20 June 2017

East Timor Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017



Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017


Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government
Press Release

The press release of the meeting of the Council of Ministers on the 13th of June did not include, by mistake, a Government decision very relevant to the country: the recognition of the right to equal pay for men and women for work of equal value (see last paragraph).
Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved a working paper with proposals for amendments to the Legal Regime of Procurement, Public Contracts and its Regime of Infractions. The document summarizes the main policy guidelines for the revision of the procurement regime in force since 2005, which has been reviewed by a national working group. Next steps in the process include internal consultations, followed by public consultations. The Ministry of Finance will verify the financial and budgetary impact of any new legislation coming into force. The current regime consists of three distinct legal diplomas (procurement, public contracts and infractions). This revision seeks to simplify and update its contents, in a single, clear, simple, objective, rigorous and transparent regime for the agents of the State and Public Administration and for the public.

The National Employment Strategy 2017-2030, presented by the Secretariat of State for Employment Policy and Vocational Training, was approved. Based on the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030 and on the Sixth Constitutional Government’s Programme, the Strategy recognizes the importance of formal employment for the country's economic development, seeking to increase demand, to improve labour market supply and to strengthen institutions.

The Council of Ministers approved the signing of the memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in force in Timor-Leste, as part of the process of accession to the World Trade Organization. The document was presented by the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, in order to conclude another step in the process of accession to this organization.

Three legislative pieces presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity were also approved.
The first, the Legal Regime of Social Solidarity Institutions, attributes to these institutions a specific status, based on requirements and procedures now defined. The diploma defines the institution’s obligations and rights, as well as the possibility of receiving State support and contracts to provide social responses. It also defines the special monitoring regime to be applied by the State.

The second, the Legal Regime of the combatants for national liberation’s special cemeteries “Jardins dos Heróis da Pátria" (Gardens of the Heroes), establishes the rules governing the operation of these special cemeteries and the funeral services provided for in the Statute of the Combatants for National Liberation.

The third, defines the structure, the objectives and the competencies of the Combatants for the National Liberation Council. This body was created in 2011, with the amendment of article 35 of the Statutes of the National Liberation Combatants, to advise the Government on issues related to defending the interests of Veterans and other issues regarding Combatants for National Liberation.


The Legal Regime of the interconnected functioning between the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of UNTL and the hospitals and units of the National Health Service was approved. This interconnection between Health and Education aims to improve teaching, scientific research and the ongoing training of health professionals.

Proposed by the Minister of State Administration, the Decree-Law on the Licensing of Advertising Messages was amended, in order to reduce the rate applied to the broadcasting of advertising messages.

The Council of Ministers appointed Sabino Henriques as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Civil Aviation Authority of Timor-Leste (AACTL). Pedro da Costa Freitas and Ricardo da Costa Ribeiro were appointed to the board of this body.
The Council of Ministers also approved the recognition of the right to equal pay for men and women for work of equal value. This right was initially recognised in 1919, by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), as a key element for social justice. In 1951 the international convention known as the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, was adopted by the ILO’s General Conference. According to the ILO, the salary difference between payments to men and women, for the same activity, worldwide, is 22.9% on average. This means that women earn, on average, almost a quarter less than men, to do the same work. In Timor-Leste, the National Employment Strategy 2017-2030, which was also approved in this Council of Ministers meeting, recommends the adoption of measures to eliminate discrimination towards women at recruitment and promotion and the inclusion of concrete measures to monitor and apply legislation in the public and private sector. Concurrently, the Government Resolution that recognises the right to equal pay for work of equal value takes a decisive step to implement this measure. It allows analysing if equal pay for men and women for equal work is being carried out in the institutions that are a part of the indirect administration of the State, an important measure since many of these workers are subject to the Labour Code and not to the rules applicable to civil servants. ENDS ETLJB

19 June 2017

East Timor Government launches National Action Plan Against Gender Based Violence



Government launches National Action Plan Against Gender Based Violence

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

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, June 19th, 2017

Government launches National Action Plan Against Gender Based Violence

On the 16th of June the Government’s National Action Plan Against Gender Based Violence 2017-2021 was launched at a ceremony at the Hotel Turismo in Dili. The plan is the most comprehensive developed to date in response to what it calls the “insidious problem” of Gender Based Violence in Timor-Leste.

Signaling the high level of Government commitment to addressing this issue, the Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, spoke at the launch and firmly endorsed the overall goal of the National Action Plan to “reduce and ultimately eliminate gender based violence that affects women, men and children in our communities through a coordinated, multi-sectoral approach.” The Secretariat of State for the Support and Socio Economic Promotion of Women took the lead role in developing the new plan which updates, extends and enhances the previous plan produced in 2012 following the introduction of the Law Against Domestic Violence in 2010.

Secretary of State H.E. Veneranda Lemos Martins, said the plan was developed through a participatory and inclusive approach. This included discussions with key actors in the sectors of education, health, social solidarity, security, justice, line ministries, national institutions, service providers, civil society organizations and development partners. Community consultation workshops were also conducted throughout the country.

The plan was approved by the Council of Ministers on the 7th of February 2017 and has four pillars: the Prevention of Gender Based Violence, Provision of Services for Victims, Access to Justice for Victims and Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation. A matrix covering the next five years sets out specific actions to be undertaken in each of the four pillars, identifying who is responsible from within government and which external organisations will be collaborating, estimating how much each action will cost, and listing the specific indicators that will be used to measure success.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the liberation and development of our country must result in the liberation and development of us all. That many of our people endure ongoing violence is not acceptable. It is not to be tolerated. It is not to be endured. The Government commends this plan, which should be implemented and appropriately funded for its entire duration so that we can work to transform attitudes and properly support victims and survivors. ”ENDS ETLJB

18 June 2017

Timor parliament approves land ownership system and property



NB: Machine Translation of report in http://observador.pt/2017/02/06/parlamento-de-timor-aprova-regime-de-titularidade-de-terras-e-propriedades/

 The Timorese National Parliament approved on Monday unanimously in the art and in the final overall vote, the bill of "special regime on the ownership of real property", a diploma considered essential to the economic development of the country. "It is very important that this legislation has been approved," he told Lusa, after the vote, the Justice Minister Ivo Valente, who was present at the final debate in plenary.

"It is critical for the future of the country and our citizens. It is a sign that we are making a breakthrough in the country 's development, because then we have a standard that will guide us to find some solutions to some disputes that exist on the ground, "he said. The text approved on Monday in its final version was the target of almost 30 amendments in committee specialty, an intense debate between the representatives of the parliamentary groups.

Several elements of the bill had raised some controversy between the forces represented in parliament, particularly around aspects such as the ownership of secondary rights to land and property. The approval of the law, which will now be sent to the President for promulgation, is the final step after several attempts to pass a law to land and property.

A complicated process given the complex nature of the impact of the various systems in the country: customary and traditional law, the Portuguese colonial administration, the Indonesian occupation, the UN transitional administration and the post-independence period. A first degree was vetoed in March 2012 by the then President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, who claimed lack of consensus of civil society for some possible remedies. In mid-2016 the current legislation was approved in plenary in general having the debate on the details been accelerated in recent weeks in order to approve the legislation before the end of the legislature - are scheduled parliamentary elections for July.

The text considers the "regularization of ownership of real property" is "fundamental to ensure peace and social and economic development of the country" with solutions. Among the solutions is the recognition of prior rights validly acquired "during previous administrations," still creating the figure of the "informal property rights, in order to correct the injustices practiced before the independence of East Timor, due to lack of rights formalization ".

"This informal property rights corresponds to a traditional and individual right to land, allowing those who previously have not received documents for their property rights can now rely on the same terms of those who previously had their formal rights. In this field, this law operates the formalization of these rights through registration, "he explains.

Access to land is guaranteed in two ways: "on the one hand by creating the National Property Register, is allowing the emergence of a secure and transparent real estate market; On the other hand, by clarifying the property belonging to the state domain. " It also provides criteria for the resolution of disputes and the principle of compensation if any "rights of duplicity." The law also recognizes community ownership and creates the figure of community protection zones, aspects that will be deepened in subsequent legislation.

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