27 November 2009
[Dear readers, My guest blogger rightly fears reprisals, so even a pseudonym is out.]
At the ?development partners? meeting a few weeks ago I was reminded of a line from a the book Outliers, where the First Officer says to the pilot ?the weather radar has been very useful? suggest that other devices apart from the naked eye could be used to land the plane as they are about to crash into a mountain.
Except that not one of the ?development partners? would even hint that there was such a thing as a weather radar. At this meeting the government, the DSRSG congratulated the government on its excellent progress to date, especially on matters such as food security and security sector reform ? what the hell?!
The World Bank also appeared to be in an extremely congratulatory mood. When the national priorities of justice and governance came up, not one ?development partners? raised a question about the President?s, Prime Minister?s, and Minister of Justice?s alleged breaches of the constitution with regard to the Martenus Bere case, nor did any of the ?development partners? raise any questions about the lack of accountability, transparency, and apparent unlawfulness and outright craziness of the misappropriation of the $70 million from the now postponed(?)/cancelled(?) heavy oil plant for pakote referendum.
The excuse appears to be that these issues are raised privately in meetings between high level representatives of the ?development partners? and Ministers. I know that these issues are not raised or even hinted at.
Why are the ?development partners? so afraid of offending their hosts? I understand that bilateral partners have a long term relationship to think about, but what about multilateral partners. What is the worst that would happen if they do offend their hosts by telling them the truth about what they are doing wrong? Would they get kicked out of the country?
Read the full story here
25 November 2009
Dili, 24 November 2009
UNPOL then known as CivPOL first came to Timor-Leste to build Timorese police institutions during the UNTAET period from late 1999 until 20 May 2002. UNPOL continued to have executive policing responsibility for PNTL from 2002 until 20 May 2004. From 2004 it was responsible for mentoring PNTL until the institution for which is was responsible collapsed as a result of public disorder in April 2006.
From May 2002 until May 2004 now SRSG, Atul Khare, was Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff to the then SRSG for UNMISET Kamalesh Sharma. From May 2004 until May 2005 Mr. Khare was DSRSG for UNMISET with Mr. Hasegawa as SRSG. As a result of his failures in 2006 Hasegawa was replaced. In December 2006 Mr. Khare returned to Timor-Leste as the third choice of the UN to be the SRSG of UNMIT. After Ian Martin of the United Kingdom and Antonio Moreira of Cape Verde.
UNMIT costs approximately 200 million USD per year. UNPOL?s costs represent the largest single fraction of that overall cost. Salaries, vehicles, computers, rations, housing, helicopters, paper, pens, radios, uniforms, shipping, medals, and more medals. What value has the international community, the PNTL and the Timorese gotten for ten years of this pricey police project?
Third stringer Mr. Khare along with UNPOL bears the greatest responsibility for the UN to fail to build an effective and accountable police institution in Timor-Leste. We all remember UN Police Commissioners de Sousa, Miller, Peisley, Tor, and now Carillho. They have all also contributed to the almost total failure of the UN to properly establish and then reform, restructure and rebuild our national police service the PNTL.
Many Timorese worry that the future holds more problems when it comes to law and order in Timor-Leste. Factionalism is rampant with the PNTL ? perhaps even worse than it was before the Crisis, and likely as a result of wrongdoers not being punished but in actual fact promoted. Former PNTL commanders Martins, de Jesus and now Montiero either did not inspire confidence, or have yet to do so. Timorese have little confidence in the police ? this is partially the fault of the Timorese ? but largely the fault of the United Nations. As they have been in charge for 7.5 of the last ten years.
In a 2008/2009 an Asia Foundation survey found that those who sought PNTL assistance ?report being treated with minimal respect and professionalism (47%), in a verbally abusive manner (15%), and in a physically abusive manner (19%)?.
But lets revisit the UN role and that of the primary UN leader responsible for building the PNTL over the past 10 years, and man who has been intimately involved from May 2002 until May 2005 ? and now again from December 2006 until 11 December 2009 when Tempo Semanal understands that he leaves Timor-Leste. Mr. Khare.
On 25 August 2006 the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1704 in which it mandated UNMIT ?to assist with the further training, institutional development and strengthening of the PNTL?.
On 11 January 2008 UNPOL drafted a plan called the ?PNTL ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN FOR REFORM, RESTRUCTURING AND REBUILDING?. It was never produced in a language that PNTL could read.
In a 24 November 2009 telephone interview with Fransisco Guterres Secretary of State for Security he said that this plan, ?drafted in New York, did not fit with the reality in Timor-Leste. They were trying to copy the plan that was designed for Kosovo and other places, which do not apply to the Timorese context. The UN Mission just wants to impose a model which we disagree with?.
Reform: UNPOL have presided over a reform process which has seen no reform. This is a clear fact. Timorese all know that 99% of the police officers who committed crimes before, during and after the 2006 Crisis remain in the PNTL ? and in many cases have been promoted. This is clear to all Timorese, it is a dinner table fact. Just as UNPOL are never punished for their crimes, nor are PNTL officers. In March 2007 Mr. Khare wrote a letter to the Government complaining about the promotion of Inspectors Delfim da Silva and Jorge Monteiro ? as they had failed to pass the integrity-screening process. Khare was ignored and has remained mute on the subject since. Ignoring his UN Security Council mandate. The Inspectors in question are now in positions of power in the PNTL, along with, as we all know many many others in similar situations.
Restructuring: In 2004 the then Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, with the permission of then Prime Minister Alkatiri, and the acquiescence of the then DSRSG Khare armed a series of special police units (the UPF, UIR and UPR) with hundreds of semi automatic police rifles. This concerned many people at the time. These people had a right to be afraid, as these weapons were then used extremely irresponsibly in 2006. After the 2006 crisis virtually the whole country was of the opinion that these weapons did not contribute to building a ?community oriented? police service, but were militarizing the police ? confusing the military and threatening the population. Since 2006 the UN has done little if anything to try and convince the police leadership to rid themselves of many of these weapons. Mr. Khare has apparently never publically expressed a direct opinion in favour of limiting these weapons. Perhaps Mr. Khare either agrees with the policy, or is too scared to have a public opinion on the matter. Either way we do not know as he does not speak of such things.
Tempo Semanal sources inform this newspaper that the current leadership of the PNTL has been exploring further weapons purchases from armaments suppliers in Java. Perhaps the same suppliers that the riot control water cannon were procured from in April this year. Is this community policing? What is Khare?s opinion? We do not know as he does not seem to express opinions on these subjects. Preferring to remain mute until he leaves. (as he did in the recent Bere case as well). Perhaps after the next crisis for which he will bear responsibility for such as the last one he will return as a highly paid SRSG once again?
Rebuild: The PNTL institution remains weak not only because of internal factionalism caused by a failure to punish those who have committed crimes but also because its facilities and support systems remain of extremely poor quality. A recent Government / UNMIT assessment of PNTL found that only, according to Tempo Semanal sources, a few districts were ready for handover, despite 10 years of UN Police assistance. A lack of working vehicles, communications systems, and other support material are almost wholly lacking to most districts. UNMIT, UNPOL, and Mr. Khare have failed to rebuild PNTL once again.
On 26 February 2009 in UN Security Council mandated UNMIT support ?the gradual resumption of policing responsibilities by the PNTL beginning in 2009 through a phased approach, while emphasizing that the PNTL must meet the criteria mutually agreed between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT as set out in paragraph 21 of the report of the Secretary-General to guarantee the PNTL?s readiness for the resumption of such responsibilities in any given district or unit, and requests the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT to cooperate with each other to implement the resumption process, and requests UNMIT to continue to ensure, through the presence of UNMIT police component and the provision of support to the PNTL, the maintenance of public security in Timor-Leste, which includes interim law enforcement and public security until the PNTL is fully reconstituted.?
Recent media reports quote Mr. Khare as saying that UNMIT UNPOL will begin to downsize in 2010. But only 3 districts are ready in 2009? Perhaps it does not matter, as he will not be here to bear responsibility for the obvious failure to handover when districts are without adequate cars and communications systems.
A senior source within UNMIT told Tempo Semanal in recent days that ?he feels UNMIT has largely failed in achieving its mandate, especially in regard to the reform, restructure and rebuilding of the PNTL?.
David Ximenes, former Head of CNRT Clandestine network, and Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs under the FRETILIN Government, and now Member of Parliament and its Committee B for National Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs told Tempo Semanal on 24 November 2009, ?Mr. Khare did not achieve the mandate given to him by the Security Council Resolution 1704?. With regards to the reform, restructuring and rebuilding of the PNTL Ximenes told Tempo Semanal that ?he does not know what they have done?. ?From what I see UNMIT is not doing their work.? He added that, "its just the same faces from last time".
Tempo Semanal has obtained a copy of a recent confidential report written for the UN titled ?The UNPOL to PNTL ?handover? 2009: what exactly is being handed over?? by the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in New York dated 2 October 2009 written by respected PNTL scholar Bu Wilson and Nelson Belo of Fundasaun Mahein a local NGO. In this report they state that,
?Many leaders in Timor-Leste...have criticized the presence of international ? police. These criticisms have come from the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Security and the Secretary of State for Defence, the Chief of Staff of the F-FDTL, as well as the current and former PNTL Commander General. These sentiments are also echoed by opposition parties. Recent examples include a blog by the Secretary of State for Defence, highly critical of UNMIT and UNPOL?. and a comment in one of the daily newspapers by PNTL Commander General that translates as ?the majority of UNPOL lack capacity?.
This report concludes: ?Although the situation in Timor-Leste is currently calm and the ?handover? is proceeding without incident it can not be concluded that the PNTL have been reformed in any meaningful way. The handover of districts will become increasingly more difficult ? as more ?problematic? districts need to be considered. Given the poor relationship between UNMIT/government of Timor-Leste and UNPOL/PNTL.... it is unlikely that delaying handover would have improved PNTL reform prospects.?
Further the above report states that ?It also appears that many of the serious shortcomings of both UNPOL and PNTL, identified by [a] UN expert policing mission in 2008, have not been addressed. The question needs to be asked why these recommendations have not been heeded by the UNMIT mission.? Tempo Semanal?s various sources suggest that Mr. Khare holds ultimate responsibility on the ground for this failure.
Tempo Semanal sources say that Khare will be replaced by UN Mission Sudan DSRSG Ameera Haq, and that he has a strong likelihood of becoming SRSG of the UN Mission in Sudan. The President of Sudan is wanted for war crimes, much like ex-militia Martenus Bere is. UNPOL, UNMIT, and Khare let Bere go despite an executive mission. Sudanese no doubt will find this of interest.
23 November 2009
by Sasha Uzunov
A man who claims he was an Australian soldier on the East Timor-Indonesia border and viewed through binoculars but was powerless to stop the brutal murder of 3 United Nations aid workers, including a Puerto Rican/US citizen, in Atambua in 2000 has had an application for a disability pension rejected by Australia’s Department of Veterans Affairs DVA).
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, is being represented by Mr Brian O'Neill, advocate and pension officer with the Returned Services League, Australia’s veteran peak body.
Mr O’Neill contacted Sasha Uzunov, the Director/Producer of documentary film Timor Tour of Duty, to tell of the man’s plight.
“He witnessed through his binoculars from the border, the mutilation and killing of the three UN workers on 6 September 2000 near Atambua in Indonesian West Timor,” Mr O’Neill said.
Three United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) employees Samson Aregahegn of Ethiopia, Carlos Caceres-Collazo of Puerto Rico and Mr Pero Simundza of Croatia were killed when their office was attacked by militia in Atambua, Indonesian West Timor.
In the official 6RAR tour of East Timor journal (2000) on page 34, the Officer Commanding of Bravo Company, 6RAR, Major John McCaffery wrote:"...after the events of the 6th of September 00 in Atambua and the frustration and anger at the inability to affect the situation as it unfolded..."
The man was an experienced soldier with Bravo Company, 6RAR, the Brisbane based infantry battalion. As a member of a patrol he was following up a blood trail left behind by militia and a day later on 6 September 2000 ended up at Patrol Base Sparrow, southwest of Balibo. PB Barrow is close to the Indonesian border and about 12 km from Atambua township and used as an observation post by Australian soldiers.
“It was here that he saw smoke billowing from the area near Atambua and went up a hill to get a better sight. It was here that he saw through binoculars many of the Militia moving around the UN building with machetes. He observed the armed men entering and leaving the building and observed three people dragged out of the building. They were covered with blood and had been hacked and beaten to death,” Mr O’Neill said.
“He was very frustrated with what he called the stupidity of the Rules of Engagement and that they could not do anything about it. He briefed his chain of command by radio."
Under the Rules of Engagement, Australian soldiers were forbidden to encroach upon or fire into Indonesian territory regardless of the situation. Indonesian Special Forces, known as Kopassus, and militia groups regularly crossed the border in a secret war against Australian and New Zealand soldiers and international peacekeepers as payback for East Timor’s independence from Indonesia.
The man’s claim for psychological trauma was rejected by DVA on the grounds that it was physically impossible for the killings to have been viewed through army binoculars, which might have a standard magnification of x6 or x10 or x20, from 10 or so kilometres away. DVA, for reasons unknown, never called the Bravo Company Commander, Major McCaffery, to give evidence but relied upon a report compiled by Writeway, a private research company.
However, 6RAR's then Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mick Moon revealed to Writeway: "On a good (and very clear) day you can just see Atambua in the distance from a Patrol Base called Sparrow."
The Writeway report concluded: "It is most likely that the veteran...was at...Sparrow where the veteran may have been able to see Atambua from a distance and see the smoke from fires in the UN compound. He would not have been able to make out individual figures. This could hardly be classified as 'witnessing the killings.' "
"I don’t know all the facts to this story,” Uzunov said. “I’m hoping people with information will come forward to help this man confirm his story. Anyone who can help should contact Mr O’Neill.”
Legendary infantry Battalion 6RAR took part in the famous Battle of Long Tan in 1966 during the Vietnam War, which pitted over a hundred Australian soldiers against 2,000 or more Vietnamese Communist troops. In the last 20 years 6RAR had been reduced because of massive defence budget cuts. In 1999 the unit was strengthened with army reservist.
Respected military journalist John Hunter Farrell and editor of Australian Defender magazine wrote:
"Emerging from Vietnam as the best known of the Royal Australian Regiment’s nine infantry battalions, 6RAR has lived a volatile life, blasted by the winds of change that have swept the Royal Australian Infantry Corps since the withdrawal from Vietnam. 6RAR hit the bottom of the barrel...when the Australian Regular Army’s most revered infantry battalion was reduced to a skeleton staff of less than 200 heads."
The militia believed that 6RAR would be an easy target when it arrived in East Timor in early 2000. However, in 1998 the far-sightedness of Lieutenant General Frank Hickling, the Chief of Australia's Army, ensured that all troops, both regular and reserve, were combat ready and kept causalities to a minimum.
Nevertheless, 6RAR came under ferocious militia attack. In one infamous case, on 2 August 2000, 1 Platoon Alpha Company was engaged in a shootout and with two militiamen being killed.
Hunter Farrell wrote: www.australiandefender.com.au/stories/etim/ad_halet.htm
"The bodies of the two dead Militia told a big story. Clothed completely with TNI [Indonesian Army] issue DPM uniforms and wearing basic webbing, the KIA [killed in action] Militia were clean- and shorthaired. Underneath their DPM they wore civilian clothes. They carried plenty of ammunition and grenades and had local fruit in their pockets. Weird talismans of silver coins and weird stringy bits of dark frayed organic material were worn in little crocheted bags around their necks along with quantities of a red pharmaceutical drug in thin clear sealed sachets. While not clinically tested it was suspected that the liquid was Ba – a new super speed which is sweeping Asia - which would go a long way in explaining KIA Two’s 200 metre final. "
A former US Army officer and a southeast Asia specialist has confirmed that one of the militia killed was an Indonesian Army intelligence officer who was "on leave and freelancing for the militia."
"I've seen the photos of the dead man in uniform," he said. "What I find surprising is that this was an incredible intelligence find for the Aussies but none of the squad leaders (corporals) in the patrol received any medals or recognition. If they had been Americans they would have been awarded Silver Star medals for gallantry."
Uzunov's film, Timor Tour of Duty, reveals the Indonesian military's secret war against Australia, New Zealand and international peacekeepers in East Timor.
The film made its international debut in New York in late October 2009 and was the subject of controversy on Indonesian websites and blogs with one pundit claiming that it "re-opened old wounds" between Indonesia and Australia over East Timor."
Leading Australian academic Dr Damien Kingsbury has hailed the film:
"There is a prevailing view that Australia's military intervention in East Timor ten years ago was an untroubled affair - it was a successful operation without casualties. The reality, however, was that while casualties were limited, there were many tense moments, and exchanges of fire with Indonesian Special Forces, along the challenging and at times confronting border areas patrolled by Australian soldiers.
"Sasha Uzunov's documentary 'Timor Tour of Duty” graphically captures some of these exchanges and the very real impact that it had on the lives of the soldiers involved.
"Uzunov's experience as an Australian soldier in this area and in his own two tours and through his wider experience as a war correspondent, makes 'Timor Tour of Duty' as close to what it was like, without actually being there, for Australian soldiers in the troubled border region of East Timor between 1999 and 2003."
The film also received a commendation---a 2009 Platinum Reel Award from the Nevada Film Festival.
Official film website:
news story clipping:
20 November 2009
LINDSAY MURDOCH November 20, 2009 - PROSECUTORS at the trial of Timorese-born Australian Angelita Pires have refused to release photographs of the body of her slain former lover Alfredo Reinado, which they have denied existed.
Jon Tippett, QC, representing Pires, says the 200 photographs are critical evidence indicating Reinado and one of his men were executed at close range at the home of East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta last February.
Mr Tippett told The Age he has arranged for a forensic scientist in Australia to examine powder burns from gunshot wounds visible in the photographs if the prosecution relents and releases the original photographs to East Timor's Dili District Court.
Copies of the photographs taken during an autopsy have been circulating in the East Timorese media for months. One shows Felismino Cardoso Garcia, one of the prosecutors at the trial, standing over the body in a group of eight people.
When Pires' lawyers filed a formal complaint and produced some of the media copies in court, Mr Garcia said they were not ''official'' and the prosecution had not been notified of their existence. Judges have yet to rule on the complaint.
Pires and 27 of Reinado's associates are facing numerous counts of conspiring or attempting to kill Mr Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.
Pires denies the charges, saying she had nothing to do with the attacks in which Mr Ramos Horta was shot and seriously wounded; he recovered after being flown to Royal Darwin Hospital.
Mr Tippett said the powder burns support other evidence disproving the prosecution version of events that a presidential guard, Francisco Lino Marcal, shot both Reinado and his associate Leopoldino Exposto.
An Australian Federal Police ballistics report obtained by Pires' lawyers under a freedom of information request shows Reinado and Leopoldino were shot with different guns. Ballistic tests also showed that bullet fragments found in the two bodies were not from the type of weapon Marcal said he used to kill them.
Key witnesses have refused to appear at the trial, which began in July. Dr Ramos Horta and Mr Gusmao have refused to appear but have agreed to present evidence in writing.
Mr Tippett said: ''It is wrong, in our view, that these two important witnesses have decided to stand above and outside their country's judicial system.''
The trial continues.
In light of Criminal Law, "investigation" means collecting evidence to clarify the crime occurred, demonstrating the existence or not (matter) of such crime and indicating to who committed this crime (authorship and participation), in addition to other relevant factors.
We must note that, here in East Timor, like Portugal, the members of the Public Ministry (Prosecutors) have a role in all acts of the investigation and they must ensure that they have all the evidence necessary to prove the existence of the crime, the identification of agents of the crime and demarcation of responsibilities. However, beyond that, considering also that the Public Ministry (Prosecution), further to being the one that makes the charges (accusations) based on the investigation which it (the Prosecution) leads, it is also the institution which, through its members, the Prosecutors, appear as a spokesperson for issues of social interests.
Thus, when the Prosecutor, presents to the Court, what is considered to be illegal in penal action and calls for a punishment , he does this in the name of the society offended.
Because it is so, the Prosecutor must act with legality, trying to meet and observe what the law says, never obstructing the realization of the right of others.
Case No 79/C.Ord/TDD/2009, where Angelita Pires, Sussar, Gastao Salinha and 24 other defendants in the 11 February Case, who were charged with conspiracy, murder and damage, in addition to other charges, it should be noted that since the investigation phase, the rights of these defendants have been violated and curtailed. They and their Lawyers did not access to the file when the law does not prohibit this right, except to the general public.
Furthermore, important evidence such as photographs and videos taken during the autopsy of Major Alfredo Reinado and Leopoldino Exposed were not properly joined in the investigation file by the Prosecution, when it should have been so. The reason is simple: through the photos, you can clearly see the marks of gunpowder, the severity of the injuries, the type of weapons used to kill Major Alfredo Reinado and Leopoldino Exposto, including other forensic characteristics that undoubtedly proves that both of these Major Alfredo and Leopoldino Exposto were not shot at a distance of 40 meters, during cross fire, as the security guards who worked at the home of President Jos? Ramos Horta have tried to lead us and the Court to believe. On the contrary, the photographs show that both Major Alfredo and Leopoldino were killed a short distance of no more than 3 or 4 meters. Therefore we can conclude that they were executed.
The Defense of Angelita Pires, knowing the importance of this evidence, asked the Court to determine the Public Ministry (Prosecutor) to join the photographs taken during the autopsy into the Process so that a Team of Forensic Cientist could analiuze the manner in which Reinado and Exposto died. The Prosecutor, Felismino Garcia Cardoso, in turn, responded to the request made by the AP?s Defense claiming the following:
"At no time was reported to Public Ministry (Prosecution) that during implementation of the autopsies, the medical team composed and led by physicians Drs Nurul and Rosa Pent?n, photographed these acts. Moreover, at no given time, the Public Ministry was aware of that the photos were taken at the time of the autopsies, and furthermore the Prosecution has never receiceived any such photographs.?
While saying this, note that the very Prosecutor, Felismino Garcia Cardoso, who headed the investigation and represents the Public Ministry (Prosecution) in the 11th February 2008 Case that is being heard in the Dili District Court, appears posing and smiling in some of the photographs gathered by AP?s Defense Team.
The Defense of Angelita Pires, contrary to what the Prosecutor stated in writing in the process, proved to the Court that such photos exist and proved that the Public Ministry did have knowledge of the existence of these photos, because the Prosecutor Felismino Garcia Cardoso, was with the team during the act and that important evidence has been withheld from the Court and Defense of the accused with the objective to obstructing and impeding the for truth and justice.
As noted, the photographs can prove that Major Alfredo Reinado and Leopoldino Exposto were executed at close range. If this is the case, it is clear that there was never any attempt on the life of the President or on the life of the Prime Minister. Instead, it was evident, however, that an ambush was prepared to kill Major Alfredo Reinado.
Based on this, the Prosecutor cannot argue, for example, that Angelita Pires was the one who planned and directed attacks against the Head of Government and against the Head of State. Similarly, there is no liability in relation to other defendants who, since 2008, have been unjustly accused and imprisoned.
It is for this reason that the Defense of Angelita Pires asked the Court to join the 9 photos that they found into the 11 February Process. It is known, however, that more than 200 were taken by the referred medical team.
The request for these photos has is supported and established in the Articles 133, paragraph 1, 241 ?, 114 and 252, all of the Criminal Procedure Code.
This points to another serious mistake: Many of the tests made by the Public Ministry (Prosecution) need to be redone. This is the case of ballistic examination. A properly trained team would have the capacity necessary to demonstrate the important issues and questions in relation to the deaths of Major Alfredo Reinado and Leopoldino Exposto, giving exact distances, type of weapons used, trajectories and other factors of great relevance to the discovery of the truth. A truth is that unfortunately, the Prosecution does not appear to be concerned with finding. Similarly, inspection of the scene should be performed.
The Defense is permitted to make these requests/applications to the Court because the law, namely the Code of Criminal Procedure, under the provisions of Article 60, paragraph 'h' Article 116, paragraph 1 and letter 'e', Article 151, paragraph 2, point 'a' and 'b'. In accordance with our adversarial principle the Defense has the right be present and to monitor the implementation of these tests.
However, members of the Public Ministry (Prosecution) are recognized as "those who are responsible and expected to protect and ensure the rights of all citizens," and most certainly, without reservation, the Prosecutor Felismino Garcia Cardoso?s speech is a further acknowledgment of this. However, when they (Prosecution) fail to ensure the implementation of the law when they do not observe individual rights, requesting the arrest of people that they (Prosecution) know to be innocent, and when they try to hide evidence of which, they know, are strong enough to absolve those who once have being wrongly accused; the Public Ministry (Prosecution) acts with total disloyalty, without dignity and legal credibility. The Prosecution has acted in disrespect and violation of the law, in dishonesty to the Process/Case and without the required ethical and moral sense granted to Jurists.
Angelita Pires? Defense is highlighting and insisting that it is merely asking to seek effective realization of justice. We are seeking the truth and to enforce the Law in accordance with the procedural, constitutional and fundamental rights. Will the Public Ministry and Felismino Garcia Cardoso continue to oppose these fundamental and democratic rights of the citizens of Timor Leste?
15 November 2009
The following is an English translation of a letter from La'o Hamutuk to Manuel Tilman, President of Committee C in the RDTL National Parliament, updating our submission to his Committee regarding the proposed 2010 State Budget. Last week, the Ministry of Finance instructed the Banking and Payments Authority to transfer at total of $512 million out of the Petroleum Fund during 2009, which breaks the promise contained in the budget documents sent to Parliament on 15 October.
The submission, including links to this letter in Tetum and English, is available at http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE10/sub/09LHSubOJE10En.htm.
Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis
I/1a Rua Mozambique, Farol, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 332 5013 email: email@example.com Website: www.laohamutuk.org
10 November 2009
To: Dr. Manuel Tilman
President and members of Committee C, RDTL National Parliament
CC: (1) Minister of Finance, Banking and Payments Authority, President of Parliament (and Heads of Parties in Parliament), Deloitte, Media, Petroleum Fund Consultative Council
Dear Mr. President and Members of Committee C, with our respect,
On 4 November, La'o Hamutuk made a submission to your Committee stating that:
"La'o Hamutuk agrees with the Government not to withdraw more than the Estimated Sustainable Income of $502 million from the Petroleum Fund during 2010, and we appreciate that spending will stay below the ESI during 2009, as it did during 2008, notwithstanding budgetary dreams to spend unsustainably."
One week later, we learned that the Ministry of Finance had instructed the Banking and Payments Authority (BPA) to transfer a total of $512 million from the Petroleum Fund during 2009, including $152 million in December. This contradicts promises made when the Government presented the draft General State Budget for 2010 to Parliament on 15 October. Pages 16 and 28 of Book 1 (English version), say that the Government will not transfer more money than the Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI), $408 million, from the Petroleum Fund during 2009.
La'o Hamutuk regrets that the information we relied on in our submission to your Committee is no longer correct, and we too are surprised that the Government will withdraw $104 million more than the ESI during 2009. This will reduce the ESI in every future year by $3.1 million, including in 2010.
Therefore, the plan in the 2010 draft budget to transfer $502 million from the Petroleum Fund in 2010 is higher than the ESI will be ($499 million). Consequently, the draft budget violates Article 9 of the Petroleum Fund Law, which requires the Government to provide a detailed explanation when it proposes to transfer more than the ESI.
We believe that Parliament has a critical responsibility to examine and improve State Finances, and it is therefore important for you to know that there is an inconsistency between what the Government presented in the Budget Documents and what they are actually doing. You might want to ask the Ministry of Finance to provide further information.
On a related topic, you have seen the 4 November letter from the Prime Minister to the President of Parliament (Ref. No 1981/GPM/XI/09) spelling out changes in the design and enlargement of the heavy oil electricity generation and distribution project. These alterations will increase the project cost far beyond the original $375 million allocated in the 2009 State Budget (as discussed on pages 11 and 12 of our Submission on the 2010 State Budget). The Prime Minister's letter increases our concern that the appropriation for this project in the draft 2010 State Budget ($48 million in 2010, $73 million total) could be half a billion dollars less than the actual project cost. It seems likely that the Government plans to borrow this money (perhaps from China). Before approving the 2010 State Budget (which increasingly looks like an interim budget, with many major decisions being put off until a rectification a few months from now), we encourage Committee C to seek a full explanation of how much this revised project will cost, how it will be financed, and how any loan will be paid back.
We remain aware that the Petroleum Fund not only has to provide for today's generation, but also must support the lives of our children and grandchildren, and should be used for sustainable development of non-oil sectors, as we all know that our oil and gas resources will run out in less than a generation. We believe that you and other members of Committee C share our perspective and concerns.
Thank you for your attention. We hope that this information is helpful and welcome any comments or questions you may have for us.
Juvinal Dias, Charles Scheiner, Viriato Seac
La'o Hamutuk Natural Resources Team
Dili, 11 November 2009
Gusmao forced to scrap heavy fuel power plan
In a serious admission of policy failure, the Gusmao government has been forced to cancel its environmentally-ruinous decision to import old, de-commissioned heavy fuel electricity generators from China as the centrepiece of its national electrification plan.
In a vaguely worded letter to MPs, dated 4 November, delivered to the parliament on 5 November, but only distributed to MPs on 9 November, the de facto prime minister Xanana Gusmao announced that "jointly with the consultants, we see the need to make an immediate correction to the whole electrification plan for the country and consequently make a correction to the respective contract for the 'Construction of the Power Stations'."
The letter conceded that "the involvement of a consultancy firm in this process of the Construction of the Power Stations should have been considered much earlier" - a measure FRETILIN called for even before the government announced the contract with the China Nuclear International 22nd Company (CNI22).
FRETILIN's parliamentary leader Mr Aniceto Guterres MP today described Mr. Gusmao's letter as "a grave admission by the de facto prime minister that his government has failed to prepare a transparent, detailed, workable and sustainable plan to electrify the country."
Mr Guterres warned that the government appeared to be repeating its original mistake of relying on fossil fuel without taking into account the medium and long-term prospects of utilizing renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydro.
"We are pleased to have received the letter, because FRETILIN has provided the most forceful opposition possible in parliament against this ill conceived, unsustainable and environmentally disastrous proposal to buy outdated equipment under a secret contract with the Chinese company.
"However the government clearly has not learnt any lessons from their ill-fated heavy fuel adventure. Once again the de facto Prime Minister puts forward very vague aspirations to acquire 'new generators' capable of operating on gas and other refined fuels as well as heavy oil.
"Mr Gusmao also is apparently planning an increase in capacity beyond Timor-Leste's forecast needs up to 250 megawatts, without any costings and no mention of technical or economic feasibility studies. This is typical of Mr Gusmao's total lack of transparency."
Mr Guterres said FRETILIN would hold the government accountable for financial losses suffered by the cancellation of the heavy fuel deal.
"As much as US$10 million has already been paid under the original contract, on our reckoning," he said. "This equates to almost the total of US$11 million budget for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy in 2006, which had responsibility for the power sector, when petroleum revenues had not yet begun to come in."
"The government arrogantly dismissed advice about the technical, legal and environmental shortcomings of the now-abandoned plan to use heavy fuel generators," he said. "Opponents of this foolish plan were treated with rudeness, condescension and ridicule, including by the de facto Prime Minister himself during budget debates in parliament."
Mr Guterres repeated FRETILIN's demand for the government to make public the contract and procurement documents for the deal with CNI22, as well as the contract with the Italian consultancy firm, Elc-Bonifica Joint Venture (EB-JV), which was hired by the government to analyse and advise on the contract with CNI22.
Mr Guterres said the Gusmao government would fail to meet its promise to deliver 24 hour electricity to all thirteen districts by end of 2009.
"The last two years of huge budgets for the power sector have been wasted. The Gusmao regime ignored upgrading the current generating capacity to keep up with supply, chasing 'Xanana's dream' of a quick fix before the next election.
"Power supply even to the capital Dili is being cut off for up to four or more hours per day. The only residents not affected are those served by the VIP feeder that delivers electricity to the embassies and residences of government ministers and other dignitaries."
For further information please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080
P R E S S R E L E A S E H.E. the President of the Republic will be present, on Thursday, at the Santa Cruz cemetery, in Dili, for the 18th anniversary of the 1991 massacre in which hundreds of Timorese, especially young people, were killed by the Indonesian troops.
The celebrations will start with a mass at the Motael Church, at 08.00am.
Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta foresees his arrival at the Santa Cruz cemetery at 11:00 a.m to honor the heroes and martyrs of the massacre.
The Head of State will make a speech assisted by the President of the National Parliament, Fernando “La Sama” de Araujo, and the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.
The ceremony culminates with the laying of flowers at the cemetery’s Big Cross (Cruz Bo’ot).
The Government, local authorities and the youth have already started evoking the tragic event, which will also include a religious reflection before the vigil.
Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta insisted today in the construction of a garden for the Memorial to the Santa Cruz Massacre – November 12th, in Dili, which is already being budgeted by the Government. A monetary compensation should also be given to the massacre victims at the expense of Social Security.
It is the State’s obligation to take after the victims of November 12th”, declared the Presidential Palace.
CPR – Dili, NOV 11th – 09 (to November, 12th, Thursday)
FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
Dili, 13 November 2009
Gusmao signed multi-million dollar fuel contract to nephew
FRETILIN MP Inacio Moreira today called for an urgent investigation into the awarding to Nilton Gusmao, a nephew of the Prime Minister, part of the contract to supply fuel for government vehicles, following a tender in 2007. Nilton Gusmao dos Santos is a principal of Esperansa Timor Oan, the company concerned.
According to section 3 of Law 7 of 2007 on Constitutional Officeholders (which was proclaimed into law by President Ramos-Horta on 22 July 2007), Esperansa Timor Oan should not have been allowed to tender for the fuel supply contract, if Nilton Gusmao held 10 per cent or more of the shares, directly or indirectly, in the company.
“We are only able to raise questions about the fuel supply contract because of a report in the local media, whereas the Finance Minister should have upheld the law and avoided the tender proceeding the way it did,” said Mr Moreira.
“FRETILIN wants this tender and contract urgently investigated by the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice. When the new Anti-Corruption Commissioner is appointed, if the investigation is not finalised, it should be handed over to that official to deal with under the new anti-corruption law,” said Mr Moreira.
On May 26, 2008, the Finance Minister Ms Emilia Pires signed a contract with ETO and another company, Aitula Fuels, as a result of the tender process. After a trial period of six months, the contracts were extended for a further four and half years, this time signed by the Prime Minister.
The total contract over four years is worth at least US$8 million, with Esperansa Timor Oan providing fuel for state vehicles in the Districts of Lautem, Baucau, Viqueque, Manatuto, Oecussi and Dili districts, while Aitula Fuels looks after Aileu, Ainaro, Same, Suai, Liquica, Ermera, Maliana and also Dili District.
The Dili weekly newspaper, Tempo Semanal, reported this case on September 7, 2009, noting that their journalists were denied information on the share holders of ETO from the Directorate of Business Registration of the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry.
“Tempo Semanal focused more on the anomaly that Nilson Gusmao signed a contract written in the name of the principal of the other company, Aitula Fuels, and asked if the Prime Minister saw this signature when he signed. But FRETILIN is much more concerned that ETO was able to both tender and be awarded such a large contract. In the meantime we have heard nothing from the de facto government on this even though details have been made very public months ago,” said Mr Moreira.
For further information please contact Inacio Moreira MP on +670 746 6168 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Operations Officer
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP Office in Dili, Timor-Leste
Closing date: 25 Nov 2009
Location: Timor-Leste - Dili
Duration: 7 months (with possibility of a 6 month extension)
Expected Start date: 1 December 2009
Type of Contract: SSA
Organizational Unit: UNDP – Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit
The Security Sector Review Project has expanded significantly from its initial inception growing to a two year capacity building and review project with a budget of around 3.38 million USD. With this expansion of the project, planning, operations (recruitment, procurement, financial management) and donor reporting requirements have increased. These TOR are for recruiting an Operations Officer who has previous experience in post-conflict environments, good knowledge of UNDP procedures, and preferably some exposure to Security Sector Development.
Under the supervision of the SSR Project Manager (PM), the incumbent is responsible for providing high quality operational support, including recruitment, procurement, financial planning and monitoring, as well as administrative backup during peak times such as event organization and reporting periods. The Operations Officer will work on a daily basis with a relatively large number of advisors and consultants, UNDP and UNMIT. This would require the incumbent to develop and maintain viable working relationships, client-oriented and strong problem solving approach. S/he will also ensure continuity of work in the absence of the PM.
Summary of Key Functions:
- Financial resources management
- Procurement and logistical services
- Human resources management
- Support to tasks related to advocacy, programming, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting
Ensures effective and accurate financial resources management focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Proper budget planning and monthly expenditures tracking in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
- Review of travel authorizations, documentation, and payments.
- Proper and timely preparation of regular accurate financial reports for UNDP, donors and counterparts as per contractual commitments.
Ensures efficient procurement and logistical services focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Project compliance with corporate rules and regulations and management of procurement processes including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management and performance measurement, in liaison with UNDP procurement unit.
- Management of contracts and contractors and legal implications in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
- Proper management of project assets, facilities and logistical services.
- Planning, organization and oversight of the necessary administrative and other logistical support to consultancy missions, workshops, overseas learning and other project activities.
Ensures effective human resources management focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Management of recruitment processes including job descriptions, vacancy announcement, screening of candidates, interview panels, contracts, etc.
- Management of and tracking contracts and transactions related to positions, recruitment, HR data, benefits, earnings/deductions, etc. in close liaison with HR unit.
- Development and management of SSR consultants’ rosters.
- Knowledge building and sharing with regards to management and operations including training of national colleagues.
Ensures efficient support to tasks related to advocacy, programming, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Supports gathering of data/information for project monitoring and evaluation processes for reporting on results and progress towards outcomes.
- Assists in promoting dialogue and good practice among different stakeholders.
- Assists the SSR Project Manager in the preparation of narrative reports to the Government, UNDP HQ, and donors as well as in the planning and revision of project workplans.
- Maintains proper project-filing system.
- Ensures timely follow up of routine actions and deadlines.
Impact of Results
The key results have an impact on the overall efficiency, effectiveness and timely implementation of the Project.
Competencies and Critical Success Factors
1. Corporate Competencies:
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism
2. Functional Competencies:
- Solid knowledge of financial and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, information and communication technology, general administration
- Ability to lead business processes re-engineering, implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change
Management and Leadership
- Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
- Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
- Shows mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills
Education: Master’s Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field.
- At least 3 years of relevant experience in project implementation, preferably in a post-conflict environment.
- Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, and in handling of web based management systems.
- Experience in UNDP Project Management and familiarity with UNDP management procedures.
- Experience in the use of Atlas is a strong advantage.
- Previous exposure to security sector development is an asset.
Language Requirements: Fluency in English. Working knowledge of Portuguese, Tetum or Bahasa Indonesia is an asset.
- Good understanding of Timor-Leste state environment highly desirable, as well as of the organization and functioning of legislative institutions and defense and police institutions
- Experience in staff development preferably in a developing country environment
- Ability to work effectively under pressure and in a highly political environment
- Demonstrated ability to work in a team
- Superior skills in writing and oral presentations and demonstrated ability to prepare clear and rigorous briefs, technical opinions and a variety of specialized documents in an easy-to-read format
- Communication – effective written, oral and presentation skills
- Good interpersonal and communication skills and ability to motivate people
How to apply
Please submit your applications letter together with: Curriculum vitae, financial proposal; P11 forms on line by accessing this link: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?job_id=13420
*Financial proposal (doesn’t include the cost of airfare)
The deadline for submitting applications is 25 November 2009
Only short-listed candidates will be notified. Women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Reference Code: RW_7XPBHB-57
By GUIDO GOULART Associated Press Writer - DILI, EastTimor, Nov 12 (AP) - Families in East Timor appealed Thursday to their own government and Indonesian authorities to help recover the bodies of dozens of loved ones still missing 18 years after being gunned down in a cemetery during Jakarta's two-decade rule.
The appeal came as thousands of people gathered for a service at the Santa Cruz graveyard in downtown Dili, Timor's capital, where Indonesian troops opened fire on pro-independence demonstrators on Nov. 12, 1991, killing hundreds.
Mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers clutched photos of dead relatives on Thursday, holding flowers and candles as they set out from the Motael Catholic church singing Hymns, saying prayers and weeping.
"My son is still missing," said 71-year-old Maria Lourenca, whose boy Antonio was a junior high school student at the time. "I want justice for his death. He was too young. The Indonesian soldiers who shot him should be punished."
Dramatic footage of the shooting and the wounded was captured by Western journalists and smuggled out of East Timor.
Some of the gunmen were clearly captured on video, but no one has ever been prosecuted for the killings. Dozens of victims remain missing nearly a decade after the end of a 24-year Indonesian occupation that wiped out a third of Timor's population.
The failure to find victims of past crimes highlights East Timor's ongoing struggle to come to terms with its violent history that includes more than 250 years as a Portuguese colony before it became an Indonesian province. Some of roughly 174,000 people who died during Jakarta's rule were buried in mass graves that have never been discovered or exhumed.
Mourner Terezinha da Silva Ximenes, 65, asked for help to locate the bodies of 65 missing victims, including her son.
"I beg our leaders ... to approach Indonesian authorities to show us the graves of my son and his other comrades so that we can give them a humane burial in accordance with our beliefs, our religion and our Timorese culture."
President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, icons of the country's independence movement who attended Thursday's service, have rejected calls to put on trial more than 300 suspects, most of whom are believed to be at large in Indonesia.
Court hearings would open old wounds and may undermine the sensitive relationship with Indonesia for the tiny nation of 1.2 million that only gained independence seven years ago.
East Timor recently released an alleged militia leader accused in a 2003 U.N. indictment of murdering women, children and priests at a church in the town of Suai. Gusmao ordered Maternus Bere's handover, in what rights groups say was an illegal act that violated the constitution.
The decision was made during intense negotiations with Indonesia, which insisted Bere be let go.
He was brought to the Indonesian Embassy on Aug. 30 during celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of East Timor's independence vote.
Bere, whose trial had been under preparation by prosecutors, was freed without consulting judges or a court hearing, highlighting the weakness of East Timor's infant legal system. The case is being investigated by the Supreme Court.
Pat Walsh, 11 November 2009 - In recent times, two individuals allegedly responsible for violations of human rights in Timor-Leste have freely and legally entered Australia and Timor-Leste respectively. Both were issued visas. The two individuals in question were Guy Campos, an East Timorese who entered Australia from Indonesia at the time of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in 2008, and Maternus Bere, an Indonesian from West Timor who entered Timor-Leste on 9 August 2009. Though neither has been convicted of human rights violations, both men are credibly accused of such violations in Timor-Leste and both were involved in militia activity at different times. In addition, Guy Campos was found guilty of maltreatment resulting in the death of a Timorese minor in 1979.
Like any other visitor to Australia, Guy Campos was required to complete a visa application which contains no fewer than eleven questions relating to character background. The questions include: ‘Have you been convicted of a crime or offence in any country (including any conviction which is now removed from official records)?’ ‘Have you left any country to avoid being removed or deported?’ ‘Have you committed, or been involved in the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity or human rights?’ ‘Have you served in a military force or state sponsored/private militia?
To get through this tightly woven net, one assumes that Guy Campos either ticked no to each box or ticked yes to some but was given a visa because his name was not on an independent, up-to-date alert list against which his claims could be checked. As a result, a person with a criminal record and a suspect human rights background entered Australia. His presence caused considerable stress to the families of his victim and the expenditure of taxpayer money on futile investigations (he has freely returned to Indonesia). The case has left the impression that Australia is harder on carriers of swine flu and asylum seekers than the likes of Guy Campos.
Though most Australians are unaware of it, Australia is a world leader in this aspect of border control. Few other countries have followed Australia’s lead and question intending visitors on their human rights background. The Guy Campos case, however, prompts questions about the management of the system. How well publicised is the existence of the system? Do applicants from countries with bad human rights records know about it? How is the data-base, a sort of reverse blacklist of the type used in Indonesia during the Soeharto years, managed and maintained? How many people have been denied entry because of their human rights background? Who were they and from which countries? Does the alert list contain the names of those indicted by the Timor-Leste Serious Crimes process or those listed in Chega!, the report of the CAVR?
Entry to Timor-Leste is much easier than Australia. Timor-Leste’s net is woven loosely and its arrival card requires visitors to address only two of the 11 questions asked by Australian immigration. Like any other visitor to Timor-Leste, Maternus Bere filled in a form which required him to answer yes or no to the following two questions: ‘Have you been convicted of a criminal offence in any country?’ and ‘Have you ever been deported, extradited, excluded from, expelled from, or required to leave any country for any reason?’
It is not known how Maternus Bere completed his application. It is fair to assume, however, that he either ticked no to the questions above or the duty officer ignored, for whatever reason, any yes ticks. Either way, the system failed and Timor-Leste was left with a huge rumpus it needs like a hole in the head.
To its credit, Timor-Leste has acknowledged that Martenus Bere’s visa was issued in error. The question now is what can be done to avoid a repetition of this error. What is required, one might suggest, is a more tightly woven net that comprises (a) a more comprehensive set of questions like those asked of visitors to Australia and (b) a data base – using Chega! and Serious Crimes information – against which border control can check entrants and their claims.
More effective screening and publicity in both Australia and Timor-Leste will also communicate a key message that both societies have zero tolerance of human rights violations. As the CAVR report Chega! urges in its recommendations, more effective ways of discouraging human rights violations are needed. Denying perpetrators easy access to human rights friendly countries is one way of reminding those who continue to enjoy impunity that that’s not the end of the story. It will also discourage military and other potential offenders by reminding them that there will be a price to pay for their inhumanity, even if they manage to avoid formal justice.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News November 13, 2009 -transcripts- New abortion laws cause debate in East Timor Sara Everingham
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The predominantly Catholic country of East Timor has introduced controversial new laws on abortion. They don't go as far as women's groups had hoped - they've been campaigning for legal abortion to be extended to cases of rape and incest. But the Catholic Church rejected those proposals, as Sara Everingham reports.
SARA EVERINGHAM, REPORTER: It's standing room only at Sunday mass in Dili. In this strongly Catholic country, abortion is a sensitive topic. Just this year, the Parliament passed new laws making abortion a crime, except when three doctors decide a woman's life is in danger. But they do not allow abortions in cases of rape and incest.
ALITA VERDIAL, ALOLA FOUNDATION (voiceover translation): It's not realistic because to find enough doctors in the districts is very hard.
FRANCESCA ALVES TAOLIN, RED FETO WOMEN'S GROUPS (voiceover translation): Our understanding of the law is that it doesn't give enough value to women's rights.
SARA EVERINGHAM: The church is opposed to any more exceptions.
MARTINHO GUSMAO, DIOCESE OF BAUCAU: We have to restrict them. We cannot accept case like incest and rape. It cannot be accepted.
SARA EVERINGHAM: At this busy Dili clinic, Dr Dan Murphy says he gets a request every day for a termination, even though his hands are tied by the law.
DAN MURPHY, BAIRO PITE CLINIC: Many times they're not married, they happen to get pregnant and just like in any other country, it could be incest, it could be rape, it could be just a one-night episode that you really didn't want to do, but you were pressured.
SARA EVERINGHAM: He says he also sees women who've attempted to induce an abortion themselves.
A recent report initiated by one of the women's groups here in Dili found that women in East Timor are dying from unsafe abortions, but because of a lack of reporting, the numbers aren't known. The women's groups fear those deaths will continue to happen under this new law.
East Timor's First Lady, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, has been a strong proponent of women's rights.
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO, EAST TIMOR'S FIRST LADY: It takes, I guess, leaders of the Government and of the country to be very courageous and honest in looking at themselves and at their society and also at their duty to women, to ensure that women are not victimised twice, first as a victim of rape or incest and then secondly by having to, you know, raise a child that's born from that situation.
SARA EVERINGHAM: Father Martinho Gusmao from the Diocese of Baucau says most people in East Timor don't want any abortion at all.
MARTINHO GUSMAO: If you explain to the people in the ground, they are shock that our state allow the abortion. I don't think that the women group can explain to the people in the ground that we accept abortion for (inaudible). They will kill you.
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: I think that given the current state of Timorese society, and as I mentioned, the very conservative nature of society and traditional belief systems and so on, I don't think it's an altogether bad outcome. And given that is, you know, a process, I think we possibly still have quite a long struggle on our hands.
SARA EVERINGHAM: The battle over abortion reform is set to continue - yet another difficult debate as East Timor's democracy develops. Sara Everingham, Lateline.
Lunch Talk with the Diplomats in Australian Embassy Jose Antonio Belo Director, Tempo Semanal national weekly newspaper November 11, 2009/12:00 - Good morning. I would like to acknowledge and welcome the representatives of the groups who are here today, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts. This is a very good initiative to hold this forum.
SECTION ONE: Personal background and ideas of journalism
My name is Jose Antonio Belo, and I am a journalist here in East Timor. Some of you may know me from my work with the newspaper Tempo Semanal, and some others will have known me for much longer, maybe even from before I became a journalist.
I come here today to speak with you about the current state of journalism in East Timor, and the effects this has on government, freedom of information, and the health of our society. So many things have changed in recent years, but this young, tiny nation is still facing as many threats as it has for decades before.
I speak as someone who has had only practical training. I have received my training through learning from my mistakes during some of our nation’s darkest years. I became interested in journalism from my time in the Resistance movement, when I worked with international reporters to tell the world of the East Timorese people’s struggle. Journalists played important roles when bringing independence to this country, and continue to protect this independence now that we have it.
Through this process, I realised how important it is for the voiceless people of this nation to have their troubles heard and acted upon, and also how important it is for journalists to be as strong and unbiased as possible when telling the stories which affect them. My former commander, mentor, and hero, David Alex, once said: “The struggle for independence is very tough, but in some ways it's also easy. The struggle to serve the people is the hardest.” He was killed in our liberation struggle, but his words live on and are just as important now as they were then. We, the East Timorese media, continue to struggle in our fight to serve the people of East Timor who still cannot have their voices heard.
I have three characteristics: honesty, being frontal, and credibility. Which some people may not like. So today in this forum, I may make some people feel uncomfortable and for that, I apologise. I know the dignitaries who I’m talking to are very intelligent people, so I may receive some hard questions after this. I do like receiving the challenges and criticisms from you all so I can build my capacity.
SECTION TWO: The Public Effects of Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism in East Timor and Journalism’s Role in Addressing The issue
In every democracy, the public has a right to know what their leaders are doing to help lead their country. East Timor is not different. We deeply respect some of our leaders for their personal sacrifices during the Resistance struggle, who, like so many of the people they led, lost family and friends to foreign occupiers.
But we are beginning to see some problems. Some of our once-great leaders are acting differently than how we thought they should. Some of our leaders seem to be working for themselves and their families, instead of working for the people who they once united in a common struggle against a murderous enemy. The phrase, “luta hamutuk”, or “struggle together” is well-known to our people, and shows our solidarity and how we share common goals. Yet some of our most important leaders are now threatening to destroy this solidarity upon which our nation has been liberated and continues to be built.
We have seen how our leaders can act in many of the local media’s news stories. One example is the Minister of Justice’s blatant conflict of interest with Pualaka, a company heavily influenced by her husband, regarding tenders for the Becora prison. A report from last July by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate stated this issue involved nepotism, conspiracy, and misinformation by the Ministry of Justice, and abuses of power by it and the Ministry of Finance. This issue first came to light through Tempo Semanal’s investigations, and the Minister of Justice has since laid criminal defamation charges to discredit and silence the newspaper. I will speak more about that later.
Another example of how our leaders are acting out-of-order concerns the case of Maternus Bere. This abuse of power has devalued our justice system and set a troubling precedent for any similar incidents which may happen in the future. In the future, will the East Timorese people look to our leaders for the leadership and governance systems to resolve these problems in just and peace-building manners? Or will this incident cause our people to lose faith in our justice system and take justice into their own hands?
One anonymous Tempo Semanal reader posted a comment on our website after reading that Maternus Bere had been returned to Indonesia, which reads as follows: “On another day, capture the militia members and just kill them!!! Then put their head on a tray and send it to Xanana and Horta for them to eat.” Is this the kind of behaviour which our leaders’ actions should be causing?
The East Timorese news media exists for similar reasons as other countries’ news media: to keep our leaders accountable and to inform the public about their actions. East Timor’s leaders have pride under their skin. When you keep talking about their corruption, they feel ashamed for themselves and to their community. They lose face in the community. They pretend to smile, but they’re really feeling ashamed.
Our people must know about these issues. Public pressure is a very effective way of preventing those in power from corrupting the people’s interests for the sake of their own. When they learn about these issues, our people feel disappointed with the leaders, and the leaders know. The community is starting to think that these leaders are committing the same errors that were committed by the Indonesians, that the Resistance leaders act like Soeharto’s regime by misusing and abusing the power which should be used for the people. Some leaders even try to use their history in the Resistance movement try to justify their malpractice and immoral actions in Government, which only devalues the struggles we made to achieve independence.
If our leaders are allowed to commit these actions without accountability or consequence, then the state won’t just be corrupted, but the public’s opinion of the state will be as well.
Slowly we can prevent this corruption of our state, and of a way of life which we’ve barely had time to appreciate since independence. I disagree with the Government to set up another commission to fight corruption, because East Timor is too small. Everyone knows each other. The commission members are not going to compromise their security or safety to investigate or prosecute their friends, who are the leaders themselves.
Journalism can, should, and will play a key role in fighting corruption in Timor-Leste.
Journalism is an effective form of public education, which informs many people about high-level events in ways which are easy to understand. Tempo Semanal’s motto is “husi imi, ba imi” or “from you, to you”. Our journalists are normal, poor-yet-courageous East Timorese people who understand how their compatriots feel about these issues.
East Timorese people are smart, and know that they should not support leaders who do not work for them. Instead of setting up another ineffective anti-corruption commission, we should focus on informing our people as well as possible so they can hold their leaders accountable by the vote. By democracy. This is the sustainable way of ensuring Prime Minister Gusmao’s desire for “a culture of integrity, rigour, and professionalism in public administration,” and for improving public understanding of and accessibility to the Government.
The PM himself has said that, “An integral part of a democratic state is the right to be informed and it is in this sense that we assume the commitment to guarantee freedom of the press and the independence of the public media, before economic and political power.” It is this attitude which helped journalists tell of East Timor’s independence struggle, and it is this attitude which will help preserve its integrity, and public faith in our system of government.
Prime Minister Gusmao reiterated this in his press conference one day before the 10th anniversary of the 1999 referendum, where he appealed to the media to co-operate with the Government to develop East Timor.
Tempo Semanal is the only paper which criticises the Government every week. Yet the Prime Minister has never said he wants to decrease the distribution subsidies which help supply valuable news to the remote parts of East Timor. The Prime Minister still remembers his promise on August 8 2007 to support the media, because he understands the role of the media in the Indonesian times and that it will eventually change the mentalities of those in Government and society in general.
I am glad when I see university students coming from the middle- or lower-classes, rather than from the oligarchy above. They’re now observing the situation in Dili, walking past a Pajero or Hummer and asking “who owns this, who is in control?” They are questioning how power is used in East Timor, in the same way as journalists must do to find the information which the students read.
SECTION THREE: Issues Facing Investigative Journalism in East Timor
As journalists, we are still going to be committed to the people of East Timor, and uncompromising in our approach. We want international donors to look at how they are spending their taxpayers’ money, how our national Government is spending its people’s money and resources, and how much it is benefitting the people of East Timor. We want to see genuine efforts from those who say they wish to help, because foreigners have already come to our country too many times, taken what they wanted, and left us with the consequences.(after more or less 9 billion spent in East Timor what are the result? Why the number of Corruption, collusion and Nepotisms Increased? Why the poverty are increased?
Why the jobless number raised? Insurvey of world bank and Finance Miniter).
Are the East Timorese people going to be silent while the word “justice” is twisted and broken to mean something more like “abuse of power” and “nepotism” in the hands of those who we call leaders? Are East Timorese people going to be silent while World Bank advisors to their government receive outrageous salaries to be, at best ineffective, and at worst complicit, in dealing with corruption, collusion and nepotism in our public service? The advisors know there is corruption but they don’t want to talk too much about that because they don’t want to lose their contracts.
$200,000 is more than the money that is invested in roads in the district of Oecussi in one year. But it is less than the amount paid in that same year to a timorese, a World Bank-funded media officer to the Ministry of Finance, for her job of deflecting questions from journalists who want to tell the people of East Timor what is really happening behind the Ministry’s doors. This is a truth which came from one of Tempo Semanal’s investigations.
This story about World Bank advisors’ salaries is actually one of many which was almost never published. Like any newspaper, Tempo Semanal is open to threats by political and commercial interests. We found this story in April had caused someone with power to speak with the company which prints our newspaper, and the company refused (afraid) to print our edition that week. Someone was trying to silence the truth, at the expense of East Timorese people’s right to know what exactly is happening in their Government.
It can happen again, and it probably will. The East Timorese independent news media are not as strong as in other countries, and someone will always try to use their power (influence) to tell us what we can and cannot do.
Tempo Semanal has recently been hit with a charge of criminal defamation against the Minister of Justice, but the matter has still not entered court. This is one example of a very powerful person trying to force us to make our reporting softer, but instead of running scared from this issue, we welcome it. We have already asked two deputy Prime Ministers to encourage the Minister of Justice to carry on with the case, because this means that Tempo Semanal will be able to explain our stories in a court of law. We are prepared to fight, to use this opportunity to justify our position, and to prove that the Ministry of Justice has been used for corrupt purposes.
If we use this opportunity and the charges are sustained, then we know there is little chance for the truth in a court when things become political. I am prepared to go to the same jail where I was imprisoned during the Indonesian occupation for the chance to prove that our justice system has been corrupted by its own leader.
In other news, Tempo Semanal recently published a story about the referendum package which has made the Opposition quite angry and aggressive. While FRETILIN has been trying to highlight how the package is allegedly illegal, Tempo Semanal has reminded the public that many FRETILIN-linked companies (such as Hidayat) will benefit from the project.
This shows that Tempo Semanal does not just criticise the Government, much to the Opposition’s surprise. The only difference is that the current Government has never asked Tempo Semanal to change any of its stories. The Opposition has.
How is the East Timorese media going to be independent when this kind of interference happens? No matter how clearly the truth is told, the interests whom it exposes always want it to be silent.
SECTION FOUR: Future Solutions and the Sustainable Development of East Timorese News Media
This may cause us to question how much genuine support there is for developing and strengthening independent, critical East Timorese news media institutions. There have been many reports and funding applications written, but what practical outcomes have been achieved? Media development organisations should come to East Timor to support the media institutions which already exist, not to create new ones and spread journalism too thin in a country with such low literacy and media accessibility abilities. If AusAID gives $500,000 to Tempo Semanal like it’s given to the ICFJ, I will make Tempo Semanal live for 100 years, and the benefits to the people of East Timor will continue for much longer.
We at Tempo Semanal have been fortunate to receive an AusAID-funded volunteer to provide practical training on the job for our media business development staff members. We are focusing on self-sustainability to decrease our dependence on external funding, and we are looking towards the future. Like most other things in the development area, this has been a slow process, but we are very grateful for this contribution.
There are four main rules to building institutions which we are following: to establish, develop, then consolidate, and finally sustain the institutions to ensure their long-term success. This is a difficult process in any country and in any situation.
But don’t forget that we, the independent East Timorese media, must still develop ethical and sustainable businesses for ourselves in spite of the challenges which corruption and self-interest hold for the authorities, businesses, and individuals who we report about. It’s hard enough to do business properly in East Timor, but it becomes much more difficult when we try to do this with a newspaper that makes its business from exposing the corrupt businesses of others.
It is funny, but our biggest market right now is the Government. We cannot escape it in our reporting, in our business, and in our daily lives. This is the same for many East Timorese people, and explains why we need to ensure that our Government is sustainable and transparent now and into the future. For our sake, and for the sake of future generations.
So how do we make sure that the news media can work effectively to achieve this? It’s important to remember that the news media are public servants. We serve the public’s interest, and work every day to improve the quality of our national institutions. This is similar to what many international donors want in East Timor, to create a stable government and society where citizens’ rights are respected and upheld.
As I said at the beginning of this speech, I have had little formal journalism training, and have had to learn my job through experience, which has not been easy. But young East Timorese journalists now do not have to do the same as me. There is so much opportunity to help train East Timorese journalists and to build strong, independent, sustainable East Timorese media institutions. If it is done correctly, the benefits of this will flow on through the generations, across many public and private sectors, and wherever the public needs high quality, unbiased information that helps them understand what is happening in their nation.
East Timorese journalists are very interested to take part in this process. There are many young East Timorese people who want to follow in the footsteps of famous journalists who helped liberate them, who see the importance of news media today in East Timor, and who want to improve it for the future.
East Timorese journalists are quite intelligent when it comes to investigating problems with their country. They have a very strong sense of social justice, and they want to make sure that the independence they gave their blood and their lives for is not wasted through corruption, collusion and nepotism. Supporting good quality East Timorese journalism is one very good way of ensuring the public knows that corruption, collusion and nepotism will not be tolerated in this country.
Yet this must be done according to East Timorese journalists’ ideas. International donors cannot come here without observing very closely how East Timorese journalists do their work. (find out the problems, find alternative to solve the problem). A genuine effort to help East Timorese journalism means foreigners must understand what it is like to see from an East Timorese journalist’s eyes, to speak their language, and to live in their society. It is difficult to impose new ideas on East Timorese journalists if you don’t work from the ideas that they have already, because it may not suit the situation here and will not create sustainable news media development.
If it is to be done correctly, journalism development, like many other parts of the development process, must be a long-term commitment. International donors and their staff in East Timor must show local journalists that they are committed to this process until the East Timorese news media can stand on its own feet. This is the only way to build trust with Timorese journalists, who sadly must be suspicious of many things if they are to do their jobs properly.
If donors are really interested in developing East Timor’s news media institutions, they should provide assistance to work within the institutions themselves, and not to take journalists to separate buildings away from their work environments. This allows East Timorese media institutions to better determine where their own development is travelling, and for donors to intimately understand how the institutions operate.
Donors need to conduct more comprehensive monitoring and development evaluation to ensure they are producing adequate results. We should be helping journalists to study specialisation topics such as economics, agriculture, law, the environment, international relations and business, so they can better understand and report on the development that happens in their country. And, as with every donor project, we should always focus on spending taxpayers’ money as efficiently and transparently as possible.
I can give three more recommendations for future alternatives:
- Corruption: Ask the donors to talk to the Government about corruption, to raise the issue of corruption with the Government;
- Institutional capacity-building: the donors have to understand that media institutions are a new thing for East Timor and that not all institutions have proper planning. The donors should come and sit down with the media owners to plan how to properly develop and sustain the institution. To build is easy, but to develop is very hard.
- Human capacity-building: those who have an interest in strengthening the independent media should talk to overseas universities and media institutions to conduct exchanges and intensive visits to these institutions, like what we have been conducting with Fairfax Media in Australia. The six journalists who have recently visited us left something special here, a solidarity and lasting impression with our journalists that has motivated them to improve how they do their jobs.
Furthermore, our media institutions need to be in control of their own assets. There is a political party which has obtained a printing press, and they have approached me to ask if I want to use it to publish Tempo Semanal. If the commercial printing company which we use to print our newspaper keeps being intimidated by authorities and they stop printing Tempo Semanal, will we be forced to use a political party’s printing press to publish our journalism?
After ten years, the media is not yet independent as we expected. In the next few years, we would like to see a stronger, more mature and independent news media to help secure this nation’s development for many years to come. We need support to do this and have been receiving it, but this support has not really come in the way we want. So we need to readjust the way the media is being supported in East Timor and to do that, we need a dialogue.
14 November 2009
Trial 11 February-PGR SHOWS TO THE COURT THE FACE OF THEIR LIES
TRAGEDY INCRIMINATE INNOCENT AND LIE WHEN IN COURT
It was more or less always the public that the accusing circumstances that were placed on the accused of 11 February harmed several violations the legality or at least the dubious procedures on the part of PGR, Public Prosecutor's Office. This was the beginning of an argument defences that the indictment, the Prosecutor, always denied.
The numerous illegalities or dubious procedures are public and even were greatly publicised. But the rebels are presented in the first place to the Prime Minister Gusmão instead of being presented to the judges, to Court. Progress at the time that such a manoeuvre was due to the fact that Gusmão wishing to put the necessary pressures to manipulate which the rebels should declare in Court. The reasons related and relate to the fact that Gusmão can be one of responsible of 11 February 2008, belief that is increasingly in greater numbers of the population of Timor Leste and observers who have been to monitor the developments in the whole process in parts which issued to be familiar with.
The arguments are valid for which it is argued that the attack to Gusmão, Balibar, was a huge farce, as is becoming increasingly clear that Alfredo Reinaldo was the victim of a treacherous scenery for appeal to Dili, home of PR Ramos Horta, the order to assassinate. Adding about this more some condiments, certainly related to the assassination PR Ramos Horta, attempted action but that intervention was foiled by the relevant of first aid provided by a Portugal medical team in service in Timor Leste and Australian hospital doctors of that military force, for where Ramos Horta was transported. There he has been stabilized and transferred to a hospital in Darwin.
Without any doubt that apparently the coup of 11 February foresaw to kill two rabbits with one bullet, Alfredo Reinaldo, is one of contestant of the Gusmão actions, which threatened to disclose the responsibilities of the former President of The Republic and now Prime Minister, in 2006 coup d'état, but also José Ramos Horta, who had said go to convene for early elections agree with the demands of the opposition, prominently the Fretilin.
Currently the expectation that some truth are revealed about what really happened and who are actually responsible for events February 11, since the trial from July in Dili has been demonstrated that are in the dock the wrong people and not the responsible for all this fateful tragic day. The views are categorical that until now the Prosecutor was unable to prove the guilt of accused and has been showing the inconsistency of their primary arguments and take a position of not reminiscence, abandonment of their thesis, by the simple fact that cannot prove that there was in fact attempt murder of Horta and Gusmão in concerted attacks by that were appropriate accused and who are currently sitting in the dock and in prison of Becora.
Despite the PGR, Longuinhos Monteiro in 2008, have omitted and contaminated evidence, have manipulated criminal process, their arguments are crumbling and increasingly losing credibility, both public opinion, either before the Court.
In fact, the Prosecutor, which is taking charge, Felismino Cardoso Garcia, appears to be the victim of spectacle and lies that PGR Longuinhos "pasted" the process by conveniences that should be cleared for the sake of Justice and the national interest. Flawed and improper procedures has the defence been pointing several strands, without Prosecution will be able to submit valid and credible arguments that actually is not accusing innocent to hide real responsible in this final process.
On 20 July, practically at the beginning of the trial of this case, the Defence submitted application in multiple requests, having Felismino Garcia pointed to all items required something like a theatrical operation by defences, that the Court should not correspond and consent to.
In fact, surprisingly, this magistrate Felismino, "employee" of Longuinhos, prepared document which contradicted the defendant defences. Within the request of the defence was requested, Requirement 4, paragraph d, "which are forwarded (the Court) photographs taken during the autopsy performed either in the body of Alfredo Reinaldo either Leopoldino body exposed … "
The defendant argued the magistrate Felismino Garcia, in paragraph F question 7: "At no time was communicated to the Prosecutor that while carried on the autopsy, composite team and led by Drs. Nurul and Rosa Pentón, photographed such acts.” "Moreover, adding that at no time was reported that were made photos of exact moments and examinations, Prosecutors have not received "
Big liar, we must consider the Dr. Felismino. Exactly here below you can see the pictures taken during the Alfredo Reinaldo autopsy and is disgusting and unacceptable spectacle that surrounds the corpse of major murdered.
Irrefutable proof that this "employee" following the path of Longuinhos knew the fallacy in the document in which he says to the Court that there was no photographs of autopsy, knowing he also participated in the sad spectacle of autopsy and that is documented in photography … photos that he said there did not exist, lied shamelessly, and we present below.
Before this we must ask ourselves that confidence in the PGR of Longuinhos Monteiro throughout this process? Why current PGR continued after he has gone off with the same thesis decadent and untruthful? Because aren't certain those who point to the suspicion of guilt of Gusmão on 11 February events, where Longuinhos Monteiro had the merit of contaminating all the process, infecting of lies and falsehoods to conceal the true responsible? Because we must not believe these arguments when everything is pointing to a farce mounted by elements obedient to lie at the expense of truth and justice? Why it is not investigate the strands that still huge suspicions before certain evidence?
If the Prosecutor Felismino Garcia lied shamelessly in this example, is it recognized that credibility? Is it him and PGR? What is the truth of 11 February, hidden by lies which have been orchestrated by Longuinhos, Gusmão confidence man?
So trust, he was appointed commander and Police all-powerful. A Gusmão slave for all service, as was demonstrated recently in release the killer Martenus Bere, for example.
In addition to all this nonsense and respect due to the dignity of Alfredo Reinaldo and Exposto cadavers, demonstrated by actors “enjoyment “in the sad spectacle photographed. For lack of scruples, until this Felismino Garcia joined "party" and as the bandit Longuinhos that denied in court the existence of proving the macabre repulsive display in that participated along with medical professionals and also violated the dead in precepts that deserve and to the Timorese is sacred (Lulik).
After seeing and know the truth about this “small episode "– there are others -who else will believe in the Public Prosecutor PGR of Horta and Gusmao? When the truth and the presence of real responsibility in the dock?