16 March 2010

Parliamentary President supports Defence Commander's call for use of Tetum in the Courts

Parliament supports General Ruak's calls for the Government to use Tetun in the courts Diario Nacional, March 15, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Parliamentary President, Fernando Lasama de Araujo has said that he supports the calls recently made by the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Taur Matan Ruak, to use Tetun in the trial process.

Mr. General Ruak made the call following the concerns of many Timorese, including the lawyers and defendants, about their inability to understand the overall trial processes in which Portuguese is the only language used in the court.

Mr. Lasama stressed that the county’s judicial system should make efforts to use Tetun.

“The judicial authorities should make efforts to use Tetun in the trial process; otherwise people will not understand the decisions that will be made,” Mr. Lasama said.

Mr. Lasama added that the time has come for the Timorese lawyers to lead trial process, adding that the international lawyers could become advisers only.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee A for Law and Constitutional Affairs President, Fernanda Borges, has said that she also agrees with the recent statements made by General Ruak demanding that the courts use Tetun in the trial process in all cases so that people can comprehend the process.

MP Renan Salak from UNDERTIM also said that Tetun is both a national and co-official language and therefore the court should use it.

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