15 August 2009

East Timor National Police assume greater responsibility

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE
IV CONSTITUITONAL GOVERNMENT

MEDIA RELEASE Díli- July 31, 2009

Statement By The Spokesperson of the IV Constitutional Government, The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers

PNTL assumes greater responsibility

The Spokesman of the IV Constitutional Government and the Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Ágio Pereira announced the PNTL, (Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste) is making significant advancements in capacity building, in professionalizing the police force and in rebuilding trust within the communities of Timor-Leste.

The advancements are evident in Lautém, Oe-Cussi Ambeno and Manatutu, three of the thirteen districts in Timor-Leste, where the PNTL have resumed primary policing responsibilities from UNPOL. Manatutu is the latest to resume policing responsibilities on July 25, 2009.

The transition is part of a concentrated effort between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT to gradually shift policing responsibilities to the Timorese police force after coordinated training was implemented to enhance the capacity and professionalize the police force.

Pereira stated, “We have entered a new era of peace. The stabilization of the nation has been a collaborative effort between the Government and the joint forces and supported by the successful reforms that the Xanana Gusmão Government has implemented to rebuild our security forces.

We see the transitions in assuming primary policing responsibilities as a huge step in becoming a self sustaining nation. Most importantly, we see these advancements as a sign our nation is healing and rebuilding trust in our institutions.”

Xanana Gusmão’s Government made national security a priority in 2008/2009 with an emphasis on establishing fair and equitable working conditions for police officers, implementing a national ranking system and providing commensurate pay increases which officers had not received since the nation gained sovereignty.

Officers have also been given intensive capacity building education in policing with senior officers sent to leadership programs internationally to learn best practice policing. Depoliticizing the police force was a major factor in the success of the reforms.

Pereira closed by saying, “We are proud of the accomplishments of the PNTL. Our communities have regained trust in their police force and the PNTL have achieved a new level of pride, sense of purpose and professionalism in their duties, responding to the call of our nation and people to serve with fairness and impartiality.” ENDS

For More Information Please Contact: Ágio Pereira +670 723 0011; E-mail:
agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl
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