22 December 2011

Martial Arts Violence Continues, as the PNTL remains without any Community Police Engagement Strategies.


East Timor Legal News Source: Fundasaun Mahein, 21th December 2011 - “In regards to PSHT’s graduation, we PSHT had sent a letter to the PNTL and the State Sectary for Security to provide security for that event. However we had received no security guarantees from the PNTL, and the end result was confrontation and the death of one of our members.” (Mario Trinidade 20/12/2012 TVTL)

If Mr. Mario Trinidade’s statement is true, then Fundasaun Mahein is very concerned that despite the PNTL and SES being informed about the graduation of new senior PSHT members, no security arrangements were provided.

Fundasaun Mahein is concerned with Police attitudes and the eagerness to use para-military tactics, which includes the setting-up of road checkpoints once the conflict is over. The recurring use of para-military tactics does nothing in the way of conflict prevention and only exacerbates tensions to the point where they become national security threats.

Fundasaun Mahein is saddened by the PNTL’s tardy intervention allowing the confrontation of Martial Arts Groups (MAG), which resulted in the death of a man and the destruction of people’s properties and vehicles.

Fundasaun Mahein requests that the PNTL adopt detailed plans and strategies to deal with MAG conflict and suggests the use of Community Police engagement strategies. These in FMs view would be beneficial to conflict prevention.

As a result, Fundasaun Mahein recommends both the Government and the PNTL to:

(1) Create an effective community police unit, which engages daily with the community. The community police will be able to identify minor conflicts in the community and offer preventive resolutions as opposed to Special Police Operations that cause public panic.

(2) Ask the PNTL to adopt problem solving orientated strategies which identify the roots of the problems in the community and recommends appropriate solutions, thus reducing the high risks to the community.

(3) Develop police structures and management procedures. In order for police officers to listen and respond to community needs and priorities, they need to have structures which allow them to access the communities, and they need to have the operational flexibility to adjust activities based on local needs and priorities.

(4) Fundasaun Mahein recommends the National Parliament Committee B, which is in charge of Security Defence and Foreign Affairs to draft an Organic Law of Community Police, which would empower the Community Police to carry out more peaceful operations within the community.

If you would like more information on this topic please contact: Nelson Belo,Director Fundasaun Mahein www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222

19 December 2011

Institutionalizing Community Policing in Timor-Leste: Exploring the Politics of Police Reform

East Timor Legal News 19/12/2011 Source: The Asia Foundation Nélson De Sousa C. Belo, Mark R. Koenig, Edited by Silas Everett Occasional Paper No. 8, December 2011 - A brief paper that examines the development of the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) over the last decade, which has been a core focus of the international community as well as successive national governments. As capacity has been developed at both the individual and organizational levels, the need for the PNTL to develop into a community oriented police service has been stated regularly. Despite this prominence in international and national rhetoric on police development, demonstrable progress toward making community policing a cornerstone of policing in Timor-Leste has been very limited. The political leadership of Timor-Leste is very focused on the issues around the police and the need for police reform. As a vague ambition rather than an immediate priority, community policing is chronically under-resourced, with the most recent FY12 budget leaving out its funds for training completely.



Download the full paper here.

East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste.

18 December 2011

President of the Republic denies requesting list of 100 prisoners to pardon on Christmas

H.E. President Jos Ramos-Horta
East Timor Legal News 18/12/2011 Source: Office of the President of the Republic Press Release  DENIAL - Dili, 16.DEC-11 (PPR) – The Office of the President of the Republic denies news published by Timorese press according to which H.E. President Jose Ramos-Horta would have instructed the Minister of Justice, Lucia Freitas Lobato, to prepare a list of 100 prisoners to receive pardons on Christmas.

The Head of State, within the scope of his institutional prerogatives and given his humanitarian culture, has always defended the commutation of sentences, provided they are based on solid arguments and, with that in mind, requested the Government for information and recommendations on prisoners eligible for a pardon, without any mention of numbers, for which the news published by the local press are completely false.

On December 1, the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic addressed a letter to H.E. the Minister of Justice, Lúcia Freitas Lobato, saying only: “In order to prepare the pardoning process for 2011, H.E. the President of the Republic tasked me with requesting from Your Excellency an updated list of all prisoners currently serving sentence in Timor-Leste’s correctional facilities”. At no time did this letter mention any numbers.

The false pieces of news in question were published on Monday, December 12, by the daily newspapers Suara Timor Lorosae and Timor Post.

Suara Timor Lorosae quotes the Minister of Justice saying she had received “instructions from the President of the Republic to prepare a list of 100 prisoners eligible for a pardon on Christmas.” The same newspaper adds that Lúcia Lobato has already contacted the national director of Correctional Services to submit a list to the Prime-Minister before bringing it to the highest Magistrate of the Nation.

Timor Post goes even further, explaining that “the Minister of Justice received an official letter from the Office of the President of the Republic requesting names of prisoners because he wants to pardon 100, from Becora and Gleno.”

“I received an official letter from the Office of the President requesting names of prisoners eligible for receiving pardons by Christmas,” Lúcia Lobato reportedly said to Timor Post.

The Becora Correctional Facility holds approximately 80 detainees awaiting trial and 90 prisoners serving sentences, in a total of approximately 170, while at Gleno there are 30 serving sentences and only two awaiting trial.east-timor,

17 December 2011

Police will not tolerate people who smuggle drugs into the country

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 16/12/2011 - Deputy Timorese Police Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus said that the police will never tolerate people who are found guilty of smuggling drugs into the country.

He said that they have detained many smugglers and drug consumers, and some detainees have been jailed and some others are facing the judicial process.

“Our state leaders including the parliamentarians have many times called on the police to control drug consumers and or smugglers. We have to spend much time to detect drug consumers and smugglers and we need financial support to hunt and monitor this criminal activity,” de Jesus said.

The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga has recently said that they will never tolerate drugs consumers because consuming drugs will have a negative impact on the life of young people.

PNTL Deputy criticises NGO’s Human Rights report

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente 16/12/2011 - The Timorese Human Rights Association (HAK) has recently released their report that stating that the Timorese National Police (PNTL) members were involved in 90 criminal cases, but the Deputy Police Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus rejected it.

De Jesus said the recent report by HAK on human rights violations by PNTL members is false because it was not based on fact.

“When you make a report about…(human rights violation) (it) must come with concrete data, and people’s names (must also be included),” de Jesus said. He added that, “You must not just mention something general like this (that doesn’t) have justification.”

Police yet to identify F-FDTL cadet’s killer

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 15/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander, Calisto Gonzaga, said that the police have not yet identified the suspect who killed a Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) cadet last month in Metiaut of Dili.

Gonzaga confirmed that the investigation of the case wascontinuing, but the suspect involved in the case had not yet been identified.

The police had questioned a few witnesses who were with Sabino Ximenes da Silva before the murder, but no significant result was reached, he said.

“Some witnesses said they were with the victim about six hours before he was killed and we are trying to find out the one that was with him in a very short time,” he said.

Related stories
Soldier's body found on Dili beach
Police continue investigating F-FDTL cadet's death

Autopsy on body of Timina Fuel manager does not show signs of killing

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 15/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander, Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga, said that the result from the pathology doctor of the autopsy on Saturnino Fatima Maia, the manager Timina Fuel who was recently found dead, did not show that he was killed by unknown people.

“I just receive the result of the autopsy from the pathology doctor and the document states that there is no indication or sign of killing on the body,” Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga reported that, according to the pathologist,t the wound on Maia's neck of Maia was not a sign that he was murdered.

“The pathology doctors recommend that the SIC should make an investigation into the case and we will inform the Public Prosecution so that they can authorise us to start investigations,” Gonzaga said.

Police commander slammed for criticising officers in public

PNTL Commander Longuinhos Monteiro
East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente15/12/2011 - As the general commander of PNTL, Longuinhos Monteiro should not publicly discuss the weaknesses of his senior officers, FALINTIL veteran and member of parliamentary Committee B, Faustinho dos Santos, said.

During a swearing-in ceremony for new PNTL unit police commanders on Monday, Mr. Monteiro said current members of the PNTL command unit did not work professionally and lacked of capacity to do their job.

Mr. dos Santos reacted strongly to this declaration. “In the past, when we were in the jungle as FALINTIL [guerilla fighters] we had one method to orient members – when some of officials failed we did not declare this in public because the failure was ours,” he said. He added that in the future the PNTL command should have a good policy to secure confidence inside the command.

Police register 2010 cases of traffic accidents

East Timor Legal News 17/1/2/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 15/12/2011 - The Commander for Traffic Police Inspector Valente Soares said that in 2011 the Timorese National Police (PNTL) from the Traffic Police Unit have registered 2010 cases of traffic accidents.

“Based on data from the 13 districts from January up to December 2011, the number of traffic accidents registered is more than 2010,” Soares said.

Commander for the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said that during 2011 the SIC cooperated with the traffic police to investigatr traffic accidents.

“We cooperate with the traffic police to make the process of autopsy and sometimes we need pictures to respond to the investigation process,” Gonzaga said.

Related Stories
More reckless driving by UN staff in Dili results in yet another collision
Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions
Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths
People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

More reckless driving by UN staff in Dili results in yet another collision

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente16/11/2011 - The United Nations Police in Timor-Leste yesterday yet again have been involved in a collision with a Timorese citizen on a motobike in Dili in front of the Tiger Fuel Station.

The incident took place when the UN Police car with the Number UN-0019 came out from the Tiger Fuel Station and hit a motorbike travelling in on the main road from Mandarin to Komoro.

The victim was injured but not seriously and the light on his motorbike was smashed.

This is the third traffic collision in the country in the last mongh involving United Nations vehicles with the previous two occuring on the 4th and 9th of December which have resulted in 3 deaths and two citizens seriously injured.

ETLJB Related Stories
Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions

Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths

People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 14 December 2011

East Timor Legal News 14/12/2011 Source: Government of East Timor Press Release -The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Government Resolution Proposal approving the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The accession of Timor-Leste to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a priority of the IV Constitutional Government, as well as the promotion of good relations with all nations. For that reason, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and its Protocols should be ratified.

These international legal instruments aim to promote peace, friendship, solidarity and cooperation among people at a regional and global level.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the five founding members of ASEAN in Bali in 1976, proceeding then to the extension to other countries through the three Amendment Protocols. The first and second Protocols were signed in Manila, Philippines in 1987 and in 1998 respectively. The third Protocol was held in Hanoi in 2010 allowing the European Union to join. Since its establishment sixteen countries outside ASEAN have joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

2. Decree-Law: approves the Special Careers Scheme for Health Professionals

The first amendment to the Civil Service positions of leadership and management careers scheme approved by Decree-Law 20/2011 of June 8, allowed us to develop the rules governing the creation of special careers and establish a its specific regulation.

It was thus solved the existing gap in the Civil Service Law covering health clinicians and in the Decree-Law establishing the Civil Service positions of leadership and management careers scheme that had insufficient legal basis to create their own careers  scheme within the Civil Service.

This legislation responds to the aforementioned needs and distinguishes health professionals, previously integrated in the general civil service career scheme, bearing in mind the specifics of their duties and the need to continuously build their scientific technique and functional autonomy.

3. Decree-Law: approves the Special Career Scheme and Statute of Prison Guards

This Decree-Law creates a special career regime for prison guards under the National Directorate of Prison Services and Social Welfare, distinct from the general civil service career scheme.

Prison guards face specific limitations, responsibilities and risks due to the performance of their duties in securing and in the surveillance of inmates. Prison guards also respond for the maintenance of order and tranquility inside the prison establishment.

In addition, this measure ensures the continuity of specific training given to prison guards during their career, allowing the development of their professional skills and improving prison services.

4. Decree-Law: approves the Statute of the Notaries and Registry Officers

This law creates a special career for both notaries and registry officers. It defines the rules of admission, appointment and career progression. It also establishes a salary in accordance to the set of special rights and duties. Moreover, it creates a separate incompatibility and impediments regime related to the specific nature of the functions and activities that registrars and notaries have to perform.

The implementation of the registry and notary system is one of the IV Constitutional Government Program priorities. By ensuring certainty and security within the country’s social and economic relations the Government aims at the reduction of judicial conflicts and the growth of a steady business environment, favorable to economic  and social development.

5. Decree-Law: approves the training regulation to access the registry and notary officer’s career

This regulation defines the application and entry conditions to access the special career and training of notaries and registry officers.

Joining this special career depends not only on the approval of a tender but it requires a mandatory special training, that ensures both notaries and registrars a due qualification, technical expertise and high-standard ethics. These components are essential for the maintenance and development of their professional activity and technical autonomy.

Building the capacity of notaries and registry officers is essential to the successful implementation of the registry and notary services. It is their special responsibility to maintain secure legal transactions and ensure the extrajudicial reduction of social conflicts

6. Decree-Law: approves the single pecuniary installment to the Combatants and the family of National Liberation Martyrs

This Decree Law defines the ownership and the requirements needed to start allocating the pecuniary installment process intended only to the families of martyrs and fighters for national liberation in agreement with Article 28 of the Statute of the Combatants of National Liberation

7. Fifth Amendment to Decree-Law No. 15/2008 of 4 June that regulates the Law of National Liberation Combatants

This decree-law amends the deadlines set out in Decree-Law No. 15/2008 of 4 June, in order to accelerate the pension claims procedures and appeals. The deadlines are now faster, without, however, undermining the rights of all beneficiaries

8. Decree-Law: approves the judicial holidays regime

The courts activity suspension system and the judicial actors’ holidays is severely outdated and unframed vis-à-vis the current judicial sector needs.

It is necessary not only to adequately ensure the right of judicial actors to pause but to provide institutions with enough time to organize training activities and to enhance the professional experience, competence and performance of their employees. This courts activity suspension shall not affect the guarantee of urgent services.

The Council of Ministers has approved a vote of condolence on the death of Ambassador RamonHernandez

Having been informed of the tragic death of HE Ambassador and friend Ramon Hernandez, who has recently ceased functions as Ambassador of Cuba in Timor-Leste, the Council of Ministers approved a vote of deep regret, addressing the most heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Maricela Hernandez and the rest of the family.

The relations between Timor-Leste and Cuba have strengthened considerably throughout the Ambassador Ramon Hernandez’s mandate. He has shown a strong commitment to support various areas, with particular emphasis on medicine and literacy, which by far have improved the living conditions of many Timorese people.

The Timorese people will always miss the work and the especial friendship that with no doubt distinguished Ambassador Ramon Hernandez. Timor-Leste is forever grateful.

15 December 2011

Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions

East Timor Legal News15/12/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 13/12/2011  - Government officials and Members of the National Parliamenta strongly condemned the attitude of the United Nations personnel in the country who killed three Timorese last week in the traffic accidents.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Carlos said that it was important for the competent institutions to investigate this case.

"The United Nations have their own rules. I used to be a staff member of the UN for 11 years in Africa. They have to be disciplined in using the UN assets and they have to abide by the rules. I do not know why they [UN Staff] drive UN's car and kill people recklessly therefore we have to investigate this case," Carlos said.

He also called on the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) leaders to evaluate their staff attitude and should send back their staff who get drunk and cause undesirable things to happen.

Deputy President of Parliament Maria Paixao said UNMIT Chief Ameerah Haq had recently said the competent institution was investigating the traffic accident involving UN staff, adding that the staff members who killed the Timorese should be punished based on Timorese law, if they were found guilty.

"We know that the Special Representative of the United Nations Ameerah Haq made a declaration saying that the investigation into this case is going on and if it is found that the UN Staff are guilty then they should be sanctioned based on our law," she said.

MP Cornelio L-7 Gama from UNDERTIM said it was important to hand over this case to the United Nations to process because they already killed many people.

Spokesperson for UNMIT Carlos Araujo said that UNMIT was cooperating with the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to investigate this case.

"In order to take the necessary action against UN staffs who are involved in these cases. there will be an investigation" Araujo said.
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UN to investigate traffic accidents involving its staff Source: Timor Post 13/12/2011 language source: Tetun - The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Timor-Leste, Ameerah Haq, on behalf of the UN extended condolences to the families of the victimes who died in traffic collisions involving her staff.

Haq made the condolences during the ceremony for the commemoration of the human rights day in the House of the Parliament yesterday.

She said the UN would fully support the process of investigation into the cases in order to explain the case. The UN also investigated the cases according to the procedures to take the necessary action for reducingthe  number of accidents, she said.

"This officers is the UN personnel who are involved in the collisions and will be sacked from the UN. The court in his own country will also legally process him based on the responsibility which the UN asks for," She said.

The MPs in the Parliament also called on the international entities who were working in Timor-Leste to respect human rights.
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UN promises to support outcome of PNTL probe into road deaths Source: Independente 13/12/2011 - UNMIT boss Ameerah Haq said her office would support the result of the police investigations into accidents involving UN vehicles that led to the deaths of three civilians last week.

Last Friday night, a Timorese national Pedro da Cruz and Indonesian citizen Patrisius Bau died after their motorbike was hit by a UN vehicle.

It is alleged that the driver of the UN car was drunk at the time the accident, which occurred about 1 am in Mataduro.

Five days yearlier, on December 4, six-year old Jose Maia was killed and his father and sister were injured after a UN police car hit the motorbike they were travelling on in Aitarak Laran, Dili.

Ms. Haq said the police were investigating the accident and the UN would support the outcome of the investigation.

The UN regretted the two incidents, she said, and if the investigation found the UN staff involved had committed crimes they would be disciplined by her office.

14 December 2011

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 7 December 2011

East Timor Legal News 14/11/2011 Source: Government of East Timor The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, 7 December 2011, in the Counsil of Ministers meeting roon, in the Government Palace, in Díli, and approved:

1. Decree-Law that approves the extraordinary payment of one month’s base salary to the public sector

The IV Constitutional Government develops a policy of preservation of human resources connected to the State of Timor-Leste and thus, there is the recognition of the work done by the State employees and, at the same time, the stimulus for a better performance.

This legislation approves the extraordinary payment of a month of basic salary to employees and agents, even if temporary but contracted for at least one year on the payment date set by this Decree, to the leaders of the Civil Service, those listed in Article 2 and to members of the organs under state sovereignty.

This measure is equitable, even though it is of exceptional character.

2. Proposed Government Resolution on the Double Taxation Agreement with Portugal

This law aims to establish a compromise between the Portuguese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to effectively eliminate double taxation and to establish mechanisms of cooperation between the two parties to prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

3. Government Decree approving the fourth amendment to the Government Decree that regulates the status of the members of the Sovereign Organs

Law No. 7 / 2007 of 25 July, adopted the Statute of the holders of the organs of sovereignty, regulated by Government Decree No. 2 / 2007 of 1 August.

Based on the experience of implementation of the mentioned diplomas, the need arises again to change the Government's Decree No. 2 / 2007 of 1 August, in order to better define the rights and privileges therein, thus shaping a transparent and sustainable system, that recognizes and at the same time, enhances the importance of the former holders of the organs of sovereignty to Timor-Leste.

13 December 2011

Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths

East Timor Legal News Source: Timornewsline12/12/2011 - The United Nations deeply regrets the traffic accident that occurred near Obrigado Barracks in the early morning of Saturday 10 December involving an UN vehicle and a motorcycle.

As a result of the collision two men travelling on the motorcycle died.

PNTL is investigating the accident. The UN is cooperating fully in the investigation.

"The United Nations takes seriously the issue of road safety," said Carlos Araujo, UNMIT spokesperson.

"We already have strict regulations governing road safety. We are taking further measures to strengthen enforcement of all rules and regulations. These measures include more road-checks and surveillance," he said.

The United Nations expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.
 -----
UN staff vehicle collides with motor cycle killing another Timorese and an Indonesian Source: Independente 12/12/011 language source: Tetun - A vehicle driven by a staff member of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has killed two persons; Pedro da Costa da Crus and Patrisius Bau, an Indonesian, last Friday after colliding with the motor cycle the two deceased were on.

The traffic incident took place in Matadouru at 1:00 AM and it is believed that the UN staff member who was driving the motor vehicle was drunk.

A witness, Atino, said that the UN car was coming from the direction of Balide and the two victims were coming from the direction of Obrigado Baracks.

"Two friends and I were sitting at the front of the house when we heard the sound of the collision," Atino said.

Spokesperson of UNMIT, Carlos Araujo, confirmed that the Timorese National Police (PNTL) is investigating the case.

"The United Nations consider the road safety as a serious issue," Araujo said.

He added that, "We already have a regulation to regulate road safety. We have taken an additional measures in order to better strengthen obedience to the rules and regulations. These measures also include check points and vigilance on the streets."

This latest incident follows the death of a young boy last week after he was struck by another UN vehicle.

Related story: People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

Borges re-elected to lead PUN party

Fernanda Borges, re-elected to lead PUN
East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Timornewsline 12/12/2011 - Ms Fernanda Borges who is also a Member of the National Parliament has been re-elected as the president of Partidu Unidade Nasional (PUN).

Ms Borges was elected during a fair and democratic election which was held last Friday (9/12) at the National Election Commission (CNE) conference room.

She was elected with 455 votes in a ballot in which she competed with four other candidates during the conference.

She expressed thanks to the party's followers who had voted for her in the national conference.

"Thanks to you as he have believed in me to continue leading this party. My commitment is to PUN to strengthen democracy for a better future for the country," she said.

PUN is committed to building a strong democracy in Timor-Leste, she said.

One hundred prisoners to be given pardon, says Justice Minister Lobato

East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 12/12/2011- The East Timor Minister for Justice, Mrs. Lucia Lobato, said she had received instructions from President Jose Ramos Horta to prepare a list of 100 prisoners who were possible candidates for receive pardons for their crimes.

"I will comply with the instruction given and I have contacted the Director of Prison and requested he prepare the list of the prisoners. The list will be sent to the office of the Prime Minister before being forwarded on to the president," she said.

Lobato made the comments after participating in the ceremony for commemorating human rights day in Liquisa on Saturday (10/12).

"The granting of pardons to prisoners is the prerogative right of the President of the Republic," she said.

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President Horta to give pardon to 100 prisoners Source: Timor Post 12/12/2011 language source: Tetun - Justice Minister Lucia Lobato confirmed that she has received an official letter from the office of the President of Republic asking the Justice Ministry to provide the names of prisoners for President Horta as he has planned to grant pardons to 100 prisoners in Becora and Gleno prisons.

"I received an official letter from the office of the President of Republic and he has asked us to send the names of prisoners as they will receive pardons on this coming Christmas day," Lobato said.

Minister Lobato said that giving pardons to prisoners raises polemic in the country so far, but unfortunately the Government could not do anything, because the president has prerogative power to give pardons to the prisoners.

Leading Law and Justice NGO opposes President Horta's statements regarding possible pardon for Samson

East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Independente 12/12/2011 - The peak East Timorese civil society organisation, the  Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Director Luis Oliveira Sampaio said that JSMP opposes the recent statement of President Jose Ramos Horta implying that it is possible to grant a pardon or amnesty to the Director of LABEH Christopher Henry Samson who has been convicted by the Dili District Court of fraudulently obtaining East Timorese citizenship.

The JSMP Director said thatwhile the President has absolute power to make a decision regarding pardons and amnesties for criminals, unfortunately the Parliament has not yet produceed an amnesty law and it is therefore important to respect the judicial process.

"I think this is a phenomenon which always appears. We think that even though President has power to push the Parliament to do so it is important for all of us to respect the judicial process," Sampaio said.

He also said that it is important for President Horta to be patient and wait for the final decision of the Appellate Court.

The Dili District Court recently decided to punish Christopher Henry Samson to three years and five months imprisonment because he was found guilty for falsifying his birth certificate in order to become a citizen of Timor-Leste.

There follows a report on the President's statement by TVTL
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President Horta: There is a possibility to give pardon to Samson Source: Televizaun Timor-Leste 12/12/2011 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta said there is a possibility to give a pardon to the Director of LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson following his conviction and sentencing by the Court in Dili this week.

President Horta made the statements regarding the recent verdict of the Dili District Court to sentence Samson to three years and five months imprisonment.

"I will try to see this case carefully, because I used to give pardons to those people who tried to kill me, therefore it is possible to give him [Samson] a pardon for falsifying his documents," President Horta said.

President Horta added that, "It is possible, but it is important to see the final decision of the Appellate Court."

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Related story: Court sentences Samson to three and half years in prison

12 December 2011

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor – a brief Update

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor – a brief Update

People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

East Timor Legal News 12/12/2011 Source: Independente 05/12/2011 - Residents in Aitarak-Laran, a place in front of the Presidential Palace, stoned a car belonging to the United Nations Police after it was involved in a fatal traffic accident that left a boy killed.

Jose Maria de Jesus was dead at the scene after the traffic accident involving a member of the UN Police. The registration number of the car is UN 0163.

Ramerio de Jesus and his daughter Niquelina de Jesus were also injured in the accident.

A witness said the driver of the UN Police car tried to hit the victim again but luckily the residents who were at the scene threew stones and smashed the window of the car.

“Many people came to throw stones at the car.

Three malae [foreigners] got out of the car and run away into a shop,” a witness said.

Court sentences Samson to three and half years in prison

Christopher Henry Samson
East Timor Legal News 12/12/2011 Source: Diario Naconal 05/12/2011  - The Dili District court has handed down its verdict and sentenced the Director for local civil society corruption watchdog organsiation LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson, to three and half years in prison. The civil socieity organisation's full name is Lalenok ba Ema Hotu or Mirror for All People.

Mr Samson was found guilty by the Court of falsifying documents regarding his citizenship of Timor-Leste.

Evidence adduced to the Court showed that Mr Samson had falsified his birth certificate during his stay in the country.

According to the court, such an attitude is an act of crime; therefore Samson is sentenced to three and half year in prison.

Meanwhile, local media outlet Independente reported today that Mr Samson will appeal his prison sentence to the Court of Appeal as he was dissatisfied with the court's decision to jail him for three years and five months.

“I will lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeals within 15 days,” Samson said.

Mr Samson's lawyer, Sergio Hornai, said they would make an appeal to the Court of Appealt because court did not consider his client’s original documents.

The Dili district court decided to sentence Samson  as was found guilty in falsifying his document to obtain East Timorese citizenship.

On the blog for his organisation, Mr Samson declares: "I mark my presence on the cyberspace through this Blog to unmask fraudsters worldwide. One of the biggest frauds in our time is currently taking place in Timor-Leste."

It is further stated on this blog that he was born in Rumah Adat Thama-Op, Bobonaro of an Angolan father and Timorese mother; he left Timor-Leste with his father when he was still a baby. Christopher Henry Samson returned to Timor-Leste in 1995, In search of his family, and then lived for some years in Malaysia and Indonesia. After a lifetime of separation from his parents, friends, and family members, he finally rejoined his family in Bobonaro in 2002. Read more about Mr Samson on his blog The Real Christpher Henry Samson (Accessed by ETLJB on12/12/2011)

08 December 2011

Police identify three suspects in double hotel homicide in Dili

East Timor Legal News Source: Televizaun Timor-Leste 05/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga has confirmed that the poilce have identified three people who were believed to have been involved in murdering the manager of the Garden Beach Hotel and his wife.

The Superintendent said that they had handed the dead bodies back to their families.

“We have compiled the data and therefore we need to analyse it in order to know whether the murder involved other people or not but we found that there were some people believed to have committed the murder. Our intelligences are continuing to search for information and we found there are three people who are accused of committing the murders,” Gonzaga said.

He added that they also found other people’s foot prints at the crime scene therefore it was believed that the victims were killed by other people.

Gonzaga said that they had also questioned eight witnesses to get information regarding the murder case.
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Maubere Security officers will be investigated for second time Source: Timor Post 05/12/2011 - The manager of  Maubere Security, Sebastiao Marques Soares, has confirmed that their security officers who provided security at the Garden Beach Hotel would be investigated for the second time regarding the recent murder of the hotel’s manager and his spouse.

“The investigation process for the first time was done. We sent four of our staff to the police office in order to give their information to the police that will help uncover the assailant who killed the manager of the Garden Beach Hotel and his wife,” he said.

Soares rejected rumours that the recent murder at Garden Beach Hotel involved Maubere Security staffs.

He explained that their staff’s duty was to control or maintain security outside the hotel and they were not allowed to get access into the Hotel.

04 December 2011

Council of Ministers Extraordinary Meeting from November 19, 2011

East Timor Legal News 04/11/2011 Source: Government of East Timor Press Release - The Council of Ministers met this Saturday, November 19, 2011, in the Council of Ministers Meeting Room, at the Government Palace, in Díli and approved:

1. Decree-Law that approves the Statutes for the University Teaching Career

The IV Constitutional Government, sensitive to the need for quality Timorese staff in higher education, who may encourage the Nation’s economic, social and cultural development, considers it important to implement a legal framework to regulate the higher education institutions and the special teaching and research career in these institutions.

Thus, this law establishes the rights and obligations of those who wish to pursue a teaching career, offsetting the value of their work in accordance with the dedication and effort on behalf of the University.

2. Proposal of Law on Legislative Authorization in Environmental Matters

Timor-Leste, as a coastal and island State, has a great environmental and marine diversity, with flora and fauna of its own that must be protected and conserved by the State.

The solutions proposed in this diploma took into consideration the general principles of environmental protection, the various international instruments that have been ratified by Timor-Leste and the particular economic, socio-cultural and insularity circumstances of the country.

This Proposal of Authorization Law was prepared with the technical support of the United Nations Program for Environment and relied on a public consultation process carried through with the relevant government and nongovernmental organizations.

02 December 2011

Lasama: Police should not tolerate criminals

Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama de Araujo
East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Timor Post 01/12/2011 - The Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama de Araujo has called on the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to carry out their work professionally to respond to  situations and should not tolerate those people who engaged in crime.

“I am calling on PNTL to carry out their work based on the existing law and that they should not to tolerate the criminal actors as crime is not good for our country,” Lasama said.

He also called on the United Nations Police to pay attention to public needs and not to the criminals who never respect the rights of the people.

“For the UN Police, they should not look at those people [criminals] who have never respected the public's rights.

They should not look at certain people or private groups who always disturb the people,” Lasama said.

He also called on parents to take care of their children and always monitor their activities and to dissuade them from joining groups which always engage in conflict.

Lasama made the statements regarding the recent martial arts clash between PSHT and 77 in Kampung Baru of Komoro in Dili.

Parliament will continue discussing money laundering law

MP Manuel Tilman
East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 01/12/2011 - The National Parliament will continue discussing the money laundering and terrorism financing draft law, MP Manuel Tilman from the Parliamentary Committee C for Economy, Finance and Anti-Corruption said.

Tilman was referring the discussion on the draft which had not yet been held as many of the MPs took part in UNDP and the Parliament’s joint conference.

The draft had started to be discussed in the plenary, but this morning most of the MPs went to participate in a conference which was held by UNDP and the Committee B at Hotel Timor, he said.

Tilman pledged to continue cooperating with the MPs to discuss about the law next week.

F-FDTL investigates its officers’ death

East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 01/12/2011- The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) is currently conducting an investigation into the murder of its officer, Damiao Soares, by his spouse.

The defence force also investigating the death of its new cadet who was found dead at the beach of Matiaut, in Dili recently.

F-FDTL Commander Major General Lere Anan Timur said they were currently investigating the cases in order to uncover the cause of their soldiers' deaths.

“We are also doing investigation into the case in order to know what the motives are,” he said.

Related stories:
Military officer stabbed to death by wife

Soldier's body found on Dili beach

Possible suspect in Beach Garden Hotel Murders

East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Independente 01/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Police Service (SIC) strongly suspected someone who is living in the hotel murdered the hotel's manager and his spouse.

Police Commander Longuinhos Monteiro said there was someone suspected of having committed the murder of He Sen and Monica Chin. This man contacted the deceased within two hours before the incident, he said.

He Sen and Monica Chin were stabbed to death on Tuesday (22/11) night in the hotel.


Related stories:


Police must work with UNPol to solve double murder in Garden Beach Hotel

Murder of expats will not affect relations between Timor-Leste, Malaysia and China

Hotel manager and wife stabbed to death in Dili hotel



01 December 2011

Police will use force to respond to martial arts clash: PNTL commander

East Timor Legal News 01/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 30/22/2011 - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) Commander Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro said the police would use force to respond to the ongoing violence involving martial arts clubs in Moris Foun [Komoro] in the capital Dili.

The commander made the comments because some of the residents in the area had to escape from their homes because of the conflict.

In such a situation the police should use force to respond to the clash as a numbers of people have become victims, he said.

Responding to the residents' demands, asking PNTL to set up security post in the area, he said Dili District Police would take it into a consideration.

Comoro village chief Eurico da Costa said the violence in his area continued happening as the police had not yet captured the main suspects.

Police Weapons: Items of Security or Threat?

East Timor Legal News 01/12/2011 Source: Fundasaun Mahein 30th of November 2011 Press Release  PNTL’s Weapons: Items of Security or Threat? - Mahein’s voice no. 25 will discuss whether the PNTL’s arsenal is a source for security or a threat to the Timorese population?   Timorese history has been filled with conflicts marred by heavy weaponry. These conflicts have been listed in the history of Timor-Leste and include the 1975, 1999, 2006 crises and the attempted assassinations of the head of State and Government of RDTL on the 11th of February 2008.

This report explains that the use of weapons in conflict continues to be used by State institutions against ordinary citizens. The report cited that, wrong doing caused by the use of weapons that lead to the intimidation and murder of civilians is caused by the lack of systems of control whereby the State has insufficient control over the weapons in use in the Army and the Police institutions. In addition to this, the individual soldier or Police officer is most often unaware of the laws relating to the use of weapons. This often results in the carrying of weapons by off duty officers, which leads to the use of weapons for wrongdoing. A striking example of this was the murder by two off duty PNTL border patrol Unit officers of a young girl on 4th November 2011 in Bobonaro district.

The report later goes on to reveal that the PNTL officer who committed the killing of a young man in December 2009 is still on duty while the case is ongoing and has not been sent to prison yet.  Moreover, FM also lists in this report the various incidents of murder and intimidation, which were committed by PNTL and army officers in Timor-Leste.

In this report FM also offered several recommendations to the Government of Timor-Leste.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government to set up a control system to better monitor the use of weapons by on and off duty Police and Army personnel.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government of Timor-Leste to conduct psychological tests of Police and Army officers to probe for cases of mental ill health and to ban the use of weapons while off duty.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government to have regular auditing of weapons within both the PNTL and the F-FDTL.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends that the commanders within the PNTL and the F-FDTL control their officers and soldiers when using weapons in the community.

 For more information on this issue, please contact Nelson Belo Director of Fundasaun Mahein Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp :   +670 737 4222
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Fundasaun Mahein, 30 Novembru 2011 Komunikadu Imprenza PNTL nia Kilat Atu Fo Seguru Ka Hatauk?

Mahein Nia Lian no. 25 sei deskute klean konaba PNTL nia fo seguru ka ameasa? Timor-Leste nia historia nakonu ho konflitus nebe’e uza kilat. Konflitus hirak ne’e mak akontese hahu tinan 1975, 1999, krize 2006, atentadu asasinatu ba lider estadu ho governu iha 11 Febreiru 2008.

Mahein nia Lian ida ne’e mos lista konaba uza sala kilat husi institusaun estadu hasoru sidadaun bain-bain. Relatoriu ne’e fo sai katak uza kilat hodi hatauk no oho ema tanba estadu menus kontrolu no la uza sistema iha institusaun Polisia, dala ruma sistema iha maibe la funsiona ho diak. Ho ida ne’e mos, pesoal ofisial polisia dala barak la hatene lei konaba uza kilat iha tempu servisu no tempu la servisu, ne’ebe ikus mai rezulta uza sala kilat, ezemplu maka oho feto foin sae iha ida distritu Bobonaro dia 4 Novembru 2011 no akontesementu hanesan iha fatin seluk nian mos.

Iha parte seluk, FM fo sai iha Mahein nian Lian ida ne’e  katak pesoal PNTL ida ne’ebe komete oho mane ida iha fulan Dezembru 2009 iha Delta Nova kontinua halo nafatin nia kna’ar no seidauk haruka ba prizaun. Pior liu tan liu tiha ona tinan 2 mak Tribunal Distrital Dili  halo primeiru audensia ba testamuna ne’ebe hala’o iha 24 Novembru foin lalais ne’e. Iha relatoriu ne’e FM fo sai konaba hamate ema ho intimidasaun hasoru sidadaun ne’ebe komete husi pesoal Polisia durante iha Timor-Leste.

Iha relatoriu ida ne’e FM mos hato’o rekomendasaun ba Governu Timor-Leste tuir mai ne’e:

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu atu estabelese paiol/armajem kilat nian ho funsionamentu sistema atu bele kontrola polisia nia kilat durante tempu servisu no tempu la servisu.

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu Timor-Leste atu iha teste piskolojia ba pesoal PNTL ne’ebe iha deskonfia problema mental bainhira halo kna’ar hodi nune’e bandu labele uza kilat iha tempu servisu.

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu kontinua halo auditing ba kilat iha institusaun PNTL 

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba komadante Polisia sira atu halo kontrolu diak ba sira nia membru sira wainhira uza kilat iha komunidade nia let.

Atu hatene klean liu konaba asuntu ne’e bele kontaktu Nelson Belo, Diretor Fundasaun Mahein www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222

30 November 2011

Military officer stabbed to death by wife

East Timor Legal News 30/11/2011 Source: Independente 29/11/2011 - A Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) officer, Damiao Soares, was stabbed to death by his wife on last Friday.

Soares was killed by his spouse in Golgota sub-village in Komoro Village because of a family problem.

Soares' wife, whose initials are MDL is alleged to have stabbed her husband to death and is now being locked up in the police detention center for investigation purposes.

An unmanned source said the suspect and her husband were involved in a verbal argument becasue the victim did not have money to buy rice, adding that the suspect stabbed to death her husband because the victim tried to mistreat his wife; therefore his wife took a knife and stabbed her husband's chest.

The source added they had many times involved in verbal arguing, adding that MDL had many times reported his husband to the Military Police about violations against her but unfortunately the case was never resolved.

MDL said it was not the first time that they have had family problems adding that her husband had many times violated her.

"When he returned from the office, he talked to me well and therefore I asked him to take off his uniform in order to help look after our child, but he got angry and wanted to beat me and that was why I took a knife and stabbed him. I took my child and ran away into the darkness and after that I made a contact through 112 for emergency call and I said I did it myself because he beat me," MDL said.

President Horta urges Parliament to close down criminal cases from 1974-1999

East Timor Legal News 30/11/2011 Source: Independente 29/11/2011 - President Jose Ramos Horta has called on the Parliament to approve an amnesty law in order to give social justice for the Timorese who are living in Kupang in Indonesia.

"I am calling on them to pay attention to an amnesty law in order to help closing down the existing problems. There are many people who are living in Atambua and Kupang in Indonesia and they are our brothers and sisters and they could not return to Timor-Leste but they also contribute to our country as they have never tried to destabilize the security situation at the border. There is a peace at the border and they are living calmly in their homes in Indonesia," Horta said.

Horta also called on the Parliamentarians to approve law for money laundering and financing terrorism.

Police must work with UNPol to solve double murder in Garden Beach Hotel

East Timor Legal News 30/11/2011 Source: Independente 29/11/2011 - President Jose Ramos Horta has called on the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to cooperate with the United Nations Police to properly investigate the recent murder case of Garden Beach Hotel's Manager and his wife.

President Horta said it was the first time foreigners were killed in the country since TimorLeste gained its independence.

"I am very concerned when I heard information (about the deaths). It is the first time it has happened like this.

We do not know what the motive is" Horta said. He added "I am asking for the police to work well with UNPol. There is no possibility of inviting an authority from Malaysia or the Australian Federal Police to help (with the) investigation."




Related stories: Murder of expats will not affect relations between Timor-Leste, Malaysia and China

Hotel manager and wife stabbed to death in Dili hotel

Parliamentary Majority Alliance Government State budget for 2012 approved by Parlliament

East Timor Legal News 30/11/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 29/11/2011 - The National Parliament has approved the country's general state budget for 2012.

The budget passed with 39 votes in favor, 20 against  and one abstention.

Fretilin voted against the approved budget due to the time for the budget execution being very limited and it wondered if the money would be spent recklessly.

The Government proposed US$ 1.7 billion to be allocated to the country's development and some new items proposed during the debate were also approved.

Parliamentary Committee C on Economy and Finance is currently correcting the final redaction of the budget before sending it to the president of the Republic for promulgation.

29 November 2011

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27 November 2011

Immigration police deports six Indonesian women involved in prostitution

East Timor Legal News 27/11/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 25/11/2011 - The Timorese Immigration Police Service (SPI) has deported six Indonesia women who were misusing their visas and were engaging in prostitution in the country.

Speaking to journalists, Head of SPI Investigation Alfredo said any foreign national who needed to come to Timor-Leste should not misuse their visas as it was against the law.

“We are currently doing strong operations to the foreign nationals who are misusing their visas in the country,” he said.

ETLJB Editor's Note: See also an analysis of the social problem of Prostitution in East Timor on the East Timor Law Journal

More martial arts gang violence rocks Dili

East Timor Legal News 27/11/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 25/11/2011 - Following several recent incidents of violence involving so-called martial arts clubs in the Capital of Dili, the Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama has called on all the martial arts clubs members to make peace as people want to remain calm.

“I am calling on martial arts and ritual arts, especially PSHT, KORK and 77 to make peace among themselves and do not always think about conflict because people want peace and want to live in peaceful situation,” he said.

Lasama said the state would not tolerate those who prefer creating violence to destabilise security in the country.

Police should talk with Public Prosecution to detain criminals

East Timor Legal News 27/11/2011 Source: Independente 25/11/2011 - Deputy President of the Parliamentary Committee B for Defence and Security, MP Paulo de Fatima Martins has called on the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) to liaise with the Public Prosecution before detaining the suspects.

MP Martins said it was important for the SIC to approach the Public Prosecution so that they could release an authorisation letter to allow them to detain the suspects they had identified.

MP Martins made the statement regarding the murder case of a cadet of the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL), the murder case of the foreign manager of the Garden Beach Hotel and the death of a Sao Jose High School student.

“The police should make efforts to detain the criminal actors and send them to court as what they did could damage the country’s image internationally,” he said.

26 November 2011

Murder of expats will not affect relations between Timor-Leste, Malaysia and China

Beach Gardern Hotel, Pantai Kelapa, Dili
East Timor Legal News 26/11/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 25/11/2011 - Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Roberto Carlos said that the recent murder of the Garden Beach Hotel manager from China and his wife who was from Malaysia would not impact the friendship ties between Timor-Leste, China and Malaysia.

“The state will detain the criminals and send them to the prison. There is no impact on friendship ties between our country, Malaysia and China and we will continue to be a good friends with both of those countries,” Carlos said.

Carlos made the statements yesterday after meeting with the National Police General Commander, Longuinhos Monteiro. The objective of the meeting with Monteiro was to inform him about the recent murders of the Garden Beach Hotel manager and his wife in Dili on Monday 21 November 2011.


Related story: Hotel manager and wife stabbed to death in Dili hotel

25 November 2011

Right to Information in National Security Sector in Timor-Leste

East Timor Legal News 25/11/2011 Source: Fundasaun Mahein Press Release 24/11/2011 Fundasaun Mahein attends Asean Civil Society Consultation on National Security and the Rights to Information Principles.

On November 9-10, 2011, around 60 freedom of information activists, human rights defenders, e-Media activists, advocates, academia and Members of Parliament from 15 countries in Asia met in Jakarta for the Asian Civil Society Consultation on National Security and the Rights to Information Principles. Timor-Leste was represented by both Fundasaun Mahein (FM) & AJTL.

This consultation was jointly organized in Jakarta by Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Institute for Defense Security and Defense Studies, Tifa Foundation and Open Society Foundations for the following objectives:

    To explore and highlight the situation of National Security policies and their impact to promote and protect the Right to Information in Asian countries;
  
To provide recommendations on the Asia context and needs regarding the finalization process of the Global Principles on National Security and Right to Information; and,
   
To develop and strengthen an action plan ensuring the promotion and protection of the right to information in the Asian region for all stakeholders (country based civil society organizations, international organizations, national governments and parliaments, as well as the security sectors).

The regional consultation was also participated by Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, who shared useful global perspectives on the right to information as part of freedom of expression, and his personal expertise.

Background

Recently, there has been increased international interest on how to balance the principle of access to information and the need to protect national security. Over the past years, the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) has been working on a set of international principles that address issues of national security and access to information. The intention is that these principles will serve as a resource for those engaged in drafting or revising classification or related laws and to command the respect of a wide spectrum of stakeholders. A number of consultations have taken place since the initiation of the project and in June 2011, a meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary where the principles were further refined and discussed. The principles will be finalized and launched in 2012.

The meeting allowed Asian stakeholders, especially those from civil society organizations, to provide a regional perspective regarding the political and legal conditions that relate to issues of access to information and national security.

Points of Recommendation

After 2 days of exploration of the national security policies and rights to information protection in Asian countries to examine the Principles, the participants of the Asian regional consultation provided some relevant and important recommendations as below:

1. For the purposes of guaranteeing the human rights and other fundamental rights including the right to information, all government should hold open public consultation and accommodate public inputs in order to develop specific, clear and accountable definition of national security.

2. On clarification of what constitutes a public body or public authority, noted that private companies operating with public funds or performing public services should also be held accountable.

3. On national security and legitimate secrecy, national security should be limited to defending against specific threats to the very existence of the state.

4. Oversight is a necessary function. Multilayer oversight on the implementation of national security and protection of rights to information must be institutionalized, including establishing independent oversight bodies to oversee intelligence agency or national security council.

5. Mechanism of accountability should be put in place for people in charge of classification and declassification of national security information.

6. Authority to declassify national security information should be defined in law, preferable the same level of authority that classified the document. The classified documents must be kept in archives until it is released officially as public documents.

FM would like to add a further two recommendations more specific to Timor-Leste:

7. The government should set up a department of translation whereby all legislation is officially translated into Tetun, allowing easier access and formation of opinions among the general population.

8. The government should push forward significant information campaigns whereby they educate the population at large about the main laws that govern them. In other words, a program of “socialization of the law” is required so as to create greater awareness and understanding of the legal framework in place in Timor-Leste.

As a result of this forum, FM has decided to undertake a specific report relating to the right to information in the national security sector in Timor-Leste. This is due to be published early next year.

For further information feel free to contact FM Executive Director, Nelson Belo by email on nelson@fundasaunmahein.org or by phone on 7374222.
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Fundasaun Mahein, 24 Novembru 2011 Komunikadu Imprenza - Fundasaun Mahein Tuir  Asean Sivil Sosidade Konsultasaun ba Siguransa Nasional no Dereitu ba Asesu Informasaun, iha Jakarta.


Iha Novembru loron 9-10, 2011, ativista ba defende Direitus ema nian ba asesu informasaun hamutuk  60 ne’ebe maka kompostu husi freedom of information activists e-Media, ativista advokasia nian, akademista sira ho membru Parlamentais husi nasaun 15 iha rejiaun Asean nian ne’ebe tuir ona  sorumutu forum Asean iha Jakarta konaba Asian Sivil Sosiedade konsultasaun ba Siguransa Nasional ho Direitus ba Asesu informasaun nian. Husi Timor-Leste reprezenta husi Fundasaun Mahein ho Asosiasaun Jornalista Timor-Leste.

Konsultasaun ida ne’e organiza lesuk iha Jakarta husi FORUM-ASIA, Institute for Defense Security and Defense Studies, Tifa Foundation and Open Society Foundations ba objetivus hirak tuir mai ne’e:

Atu esplora no identifika situasaun konaba politika Siguransa nasional no impaktu promove ba protesaun direitu asesu informasaun iha nasaun sira iha Asia.
   
Atu hari’i no haforsa iha planu estratejiku no hatene lolos halo promosaun no protesaun ba direitu asesu informasaun iha rejiuan Asean no ba nasaun sira ne’ebe iha sosidade sivil nasional ho internasional, governantes ka parlementais ho autor siguransa sira nian halo kna’ar ba.

Lala’ok
Dadaun ne’e, interese internasional atu hasae konaba balansu prinsipal asesu informasaun no persiza ba protesaun siguransa nasional. Liu tinan barak ona, the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) servisu hodi hari’i prinsipu internasional ne’ebe foka ba isu sira ne’ebe konaba siguransa nasional no asesu informasaun. Ho intensaun katak prinsipu sira ne’e sei serbi no liga ba draft lei no mos halo revizaun klasifikasaun or relasaun konaba lei sira atu komanda ba Stakeholder barak.

Sorumutu iha Jakarta fornese ba  Asian Stakeholders, liu liu ba Organizasaun sivil sosidade sira foti isu konaba situasaun politika no legal nian ne’ebe iha relata ba isu sira.

Pontus  Rekomendasaun

.Depois loron  2 eksplora informasaun konaba prinsipiu no direitu ba protesaun informasaun iha nasaun Asean sira examina prinsipiu sira no partisipante konsultativu hamosu rekomendasaun relevante ne’ebe importante tebes hanesan:

1. Atu garantia direitu ema nian ne’ebe fundamental inklui mos direitu ba informasaun. Husu governante sira atu loke espasu ne’ebe luan ba konsultasaun publiku no input publiku ne’ebe lolos nian konaba siguransa nasional.

2. Mekanismu konaba akauntibilidade tenki tau iha fatin atu nune’e povu iha asesu ba klasifikasaun ka desklasifikasaun asesu informasaun siguransa nasional.

FM hakarak rekomenda pontu importante rua ne’ebe espesifiku ba Timor- Leste:

3.  Governu RDTL tenki hari’i departementu tradusaun ba lei sira ne’ebe ofisial ba iha dalen Tetun atu nune’e habiban jerasaun hotu hotu asesu informasaun  saida deit liu liu informasaun siguransa nasional nian, hodi nune’e fasil ba sira atu fo opinion.

4. Guvernu RDTL tenki sirkula informasaun ida ne’ebe signifikante no halo kampanha ba informasaun iha ne’ebe deit hodi halo edukasaun ba populasaun hotu konaba lei sira ne’ebe governu aplika iha Timor-Leste. 

Rezultadu husi Forum ida ne’e, Fundasaun Mahein sei produz relatoriu ida konaba Dereitu Asesu Informasuan Siguransa Nasional. Relatoriu ne’e sei publika iha semana dahuluk nian, iha Janeiru 2012.

Atu hatene klean liu konaba asuntu ne’e bele kontaktu Nelson Belo, Diretor Fundasaun Mahein ww.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222

Caetano Alves
Outreach Unit
Fundasaun Mahein
mobile: + 670 733 8969
email: atay@fundasaunmahein.org
http://www.fundasaunmahein.org
Rua dalan Balide, Dili, Timor-Leste

24 November 2011

Hotel manager and wife stabbed to death in Dili hotel

East Timor Legal News 24/11/2011 Source: Televizaun Timor-Leste 23/11/2011 - The manager of the Garden Beach Hotel, Hei Sen and his wife Monica Chin Hui Jia were found dead in their bed room.

These two Malaysian were suspected being killed by unknown people and the dead bodies are now in mortuary of the National Hospital of Guido Valadares (HNGV).

The Timorese Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said that based on the evidence the victims were killed witha  knife.

“This is a murder case because we found wounds on the dead bodies and it seems they were stubbed. We need to hold further investigations to uncover the truth whether they were killed by unknown people or they killed themselves,” Gonzaga said.

He added that Mr. Hei was stubbed to death in his back whereas his wife was stubbed to death in her stomach, adding that the police will publicise complete information after the investigation and autopsy.
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Hotel manager killed in their bedroom Independente 23/11/ 2011 - A husband and wife were stabbed to death in their bedroom at the Beach Garden Hotel in Pantai Kelapa, Dili on Monday night.

The victims – He Sen from China and his wife Monica Chin - were from Malaysia and were both managers at the hotel.

The Head of the PNTL Criminal Investigation Service Calisto Gonzaga said both had been stabbed in the back. A knife and food prints were found in the room, he said.

“We saw (they) were stabbed but we need to look properly at whether they both killed by someone else or they killed themselves,” he said

INDEPENDENTE observed yesterday morning that the victims’ bedroom window was broken and there was blood on the glass.

Student found by road with head injuries dies in hospital

East Timor Legal News 24/11/2011 Source: Independente 23/11/2011 language source: Tetun - A high school student has died after being found with severe head injuries beside the road near the Dili Institute of Technology (DIT) early yesterday morning.

Zelino Soares Tilman Rodrigues, 18, was found about 6am by residents in Manleuana, the victim’s sister-in-law, Martalina Trindade, said.

Trindade said Zelino left his Bebora home at 4 am yesterday with his brother’s bicycle to visit a friend. She said her bother-in-law was still alive when he was found near the road but he could not speak.

He died in hospital from his injuries, she said.

23 November 2011

Fretilin MP questions plan to establish judicial police

Fretilin MP Aniceto Guterres
East Timor Legal News 23/11/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 22/11/2011 language source: Tetun - MP Aniceto Guterres from the opposition Fretilin Party has questioned the Ministry of Justice's plan of establishing a judicial police agency.

According to him, the judicial police's role is is in contradiction with the criminal investigation police as there has been no explanation about the role of the two institutions.

"Does the establishment plan for the judicial police belong to the Government or does the Ministry create it itself as there has been no coordination with the national police commander," he questioned.

Ministry of justice to use state budget to set up judicial police

Justice Minister Lucia Lobato

East Timor Legal News 23/11/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 22/11/2011 language source: Tetun The East Timor Minister for Justice Lucia Lobato has announced that her ministry would use the general state budget for 2012 for setting up judicial police for the courts and implementing its new programs.

Minister Lobato made the comments during the debate of the country's general state budget for 2012 yesterday in the Parliament.

The Ministry of Justice was proposing more than US$600 million in the general state budget for 2012, she said.

Such an amount was very important for the Justice Ministry to move forward with its program implementation, she said.

Police continue investigating F-FDTL cadet's death

East Timor Legal News 23/11/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste, November 22, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) is continuing the investigation into the death of a new cadet of the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL), Sabino Ximenes da Silva, whose body was found on the Metiaut Beach, in Dili.

Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Calisto Gonzaga made the comments regarding their investigation into the case.

Ganzaga said evidences about the case had been sent to the Public Prosecution for further follow-up investigation in order to discover the suspect.

Related story: Soldier's body found on Dili beach

20 November 2011

2012 Budget Legislation Speech

East Timor Legal News 20/11/2011 Source: Government of East Timor 10/11/2011 - ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRIME MINISTER KAY RALA XANANA GUSMAO ON OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL CONCERNING THE 2012 STATE BUDGET NATIONAL PARLIAMENT 9 November 2011

Your Excellency, the Speaker of Parliament

Distinguished Members of Parliament

Distinguished Government Members

Representatives from Civil Society

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we are here to present the State General Budget for 2012, the last budget of the legislature of the Fourth Constitutional Government, and as such one that fulfils the commitments made by this Government.

When this Government entered into office it adopted an ambitious agenda based on the Program approved by this Parliament. Acknowledging the many priorities, the Government set out a clear program for each year in order to achieve the necessary and desired outcomes.

Importantly we had the political will to improve the state of the Nation and viewed our economic, social and security difficulties as challenges we had to stand ready to overcome. The government team that has been with me for four years has responded with hard work and responsibility to the call for reform that was made by our people and succeeded in bringing about change.

As such, reform is the legacy this Government leaves for the future!

With bold reforms we succeeded in consolidating stability and security and beginning an effective process towards sustainable development, which in turn will provide Timorese with more jobs and more opportunities.

Your Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen,


Because we are in the last year of the mandate of the AMP Government, a pioneering 5-party coalition, it is apt to recall that it is the Constitution of Timor-Leste that dictates that the government is to consist of the party, or the alliance of parties, that hold a parliamentary majority.

In August 2007 when we came to government, our Nation was experiencing a delicate situation of fragility, with frequent episodes of instability and violence. It appeared as if we were on our way to becoming a failed State.

At this time, the AMP provided the necessary governing stability, which was a necessary prerequisite for serving the best interests of the People and of the Country.

We are aware that we did not do everything. Furthermore, we know that we were not alone in doing the things we did. The Government has also relied on the active participation of His Excellency the President of the Republic and the dynamic and vital collaboration of Parliament – both from the AMP and the opposition, which has been a strong and informed opposition – to find solutions for critical problems faced by the State in its process of consolidation.

We have sought to govern in dialogue with all State Agencies. We have sought to listen to Civil Society and to engage all Timorese citizens.

Therefore, it must be said that if today we are living in a more stable situation, and in a climate of greater confidence in the future, it is primarily due to our People. If we succeeded in conveying a constructive policy message to the Country, then our People succeeded in interpreting this message and embracing it to change the image of Timor-Leste.

In very brief summary, the change we have made in the Country is a result of the following measures that were implemented:

1. Thorough reforms to State administration and public sector management;

2.  Vital reforms in the defence and security sector including capacity building and the  professionalising of the Defence and Police Forces;

3.  Establishment of systems and structures to ensure good governance and transparency, including the capacity building of Justice agencies and their officers;

4.  Development of key policies in the areas of education, health and agriculture;

5.  Recognition of the veterans and the elderly, as well as other victims who directly or indirectly suffered physical, moral or psychological damage from our struggle for  Independence, by way of more just welfare policies and the provision of financial  support to address hardship;

6.  Beginning implementing a plan of integrated basic infrastructure to enable the development of the Country’s productive sectors;

7.  Promotion of a coherent policy in regard to the development of the fledgling
national private sector.

It was in this atmosphere of change that we concluded the year of 2009 with the motto ‘Goodbye Conflict, Welcome Development’. We then concluded 2010 with growing confidence and optimism as a result of our ‘unprecedented economic growth’. Now, as we approach the end of 2011, I can say that we have a clear vision of what we can be in 20 years: a strong and prosperous Nation, as set out in the ‘Strategic Development Plan’ that belongs to and was welcomed by our People, since it reflects their aspirations.

Your Excellency, The Speaker of Parliament

Distinguished Members of Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year of 2012 will be very important for our young democracy and for our consolidation as a sovereign, tolerant and developing Nation.

Next year we will be celebrating important dates that connect us with the more recent past of the struggle for independence as well as with our older roots that make us unique within both the region and the world. In addition to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Restoration of Independence, in 2012 we will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Manufahi Revolt and the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese in Timor-Leste.

Further, in 2012 we will hold presidential and parliamentary elections. These will be the third democratic elections in our Country.

In January 2011, when presenting the 2011 State General Budget, I urged everyone to ‘socialise the values of moral policy and to build on the confidence of the People in the future, to consolidate social harmony and democratic tolerance’. Today, in this National Parliament, I urge all the people, and the youth in particular, as well as those who are responsible for the future of this Country, to show the world that we can exert our rights with responsibility, and that together, we will ensure that the electoral processes take place in an atmosphere of peace and social and political harmony.

Also in 2012, after the elections, and with our heartfelt thanks for their invaluable assistance, we will witness the departure of the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF) and of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). Regarding the latter, we have already endorsed the Joint Transition Plan, which means that at last we will regain full responsibility for our future.

We have many reasons to be proud of our Nation and to be Timorese. Now that we are living in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, it is heartening to see how tolerant and peaceful our people are by nature.

We are living in harmony with our cultural and social diversity. Every day in our institutions, streets and our homes we live alongside people with different languages, cultures and social habits, coming from all corners of the world, who add to our diversity. We accept, welcome and have learned to live with this diversity, although unfortunately some countries still issue “travel warnings” that discourage their citizens from visiting Timor-Leste, as if we were Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Speaking of foreign countries, allow me to say a few words on our international policy.

During these past few years we have consolidated our privileged relations with the CPLP Countries.

In 2011 we have also been busy with the process for formally joining ASEAN, and we hope that soon we can access this important Regional Forum.

We have been an active Observer in the Pacific Islands Forum, having already explored opportunities to cooperate. We believe that in the future there will be more areas of shared interests. We are also a founding member of the South-West Pacific Dialogue and enjoy positive relations African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union.

As you all know, I have recently been to Juba, the capital of South Sudan. On the day we arrived, the South Sudanese were celebrating 100 days as an independent State, pleased with the fact that they were so soon able to host an international event, the g7+ Ministerial Retreat.

At the g7+ meeting we were pleased to approve the entry of two more countries, Equatorial Guinea and Togo, bringing to 19 the countries represented in this group. Guinea-Bissau requested to host one of the next meetings of this group, so that the g7+ can assist them in better addressing their challenges.


The Retreat also discussed the proposal for a New Aid Deal, which seeks to improve the effectiveness of international aid. In July 2010, Dili held an International Dialogue on “Peacebuilding and Statebuilding” and a preliminary g7+ meeting. At the end of this month, Busan, in South Korea, will host the Fourth International Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and the g7+, chaired by Timor-Leste, will also be present.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From 2007 to 2011, Timor-Leste made significant advances towards good governance and transparency in the public sector which included:

• Establishing the Civil Service Commission.

• Establishing the Anti-Corruption Commission.

• Strengthening the powers of the Office of the Inspector-General and the capacity  of the Office of the Prosecutor-General.

•  Establishing the Chamber of Accounts as the precursor to the Higher
Administrative, Tax and Audit Court.

• Establishing an integrated financial system so as to better monitor budget execution and procurement processes and enabling public access through the Transparency Portal and the Procurement Portal.

• Moving up 19 positions from 2009 and 2010 in Transparency International’s world ranking, measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index.

• Receiving full compliance status with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, becoming only the third country in the world to achieve this status. This international recognition enabled us to be elected for a second term as Members of the EITI International Board.

•  Being acknowledged in the first ever Revenue Watch index as a Government with  Comprehensive Revenue Transparency.

•  Improving petroleum revenues by 38% from 2009 to 2010.

•  Achieving strong budget execution rates, which have been increasing considerably since 2007. Budget execution in the capital development category alone, from 2006/07 to 2011, increased by 3,413%. The budget execution rate was 89% in 2009 and 91% in 2010. It is estimated that the budget execution rate in 2011 will be at least 95%.

These reforms, together with the increase in public investment, enabled Timor-Leste to have the highest economic growth rates not only in the region but also in the entire world, with 12.7% in 2008 and 12.9% in 2009, despite the world’s serious financial crisis.


Economic growth is only a valid sign of progress if it results in real improvements in the living conditions of the people. There are indicators that measure these improvements, such as:

• The scope of the Millennium Development Goals regarding the mortality rates for infants and children under five. Health indicators are improving fast, with 78% of children currently receiving treatment for basic illnesses and 86% of mothers receiving pre-birth care – a 41% increase.

• The United Nations’ 2010 Human Development Index shows that Timor-Leste moved up 11 positions since 2005, being currently situated in the category of medium human development.

• UNDP’s 2011 Human Development Report shows that Timor-Leste increased once more its Human Development Index, with a 22% improvement from 2001 to 2011. The report highlights the positive and sustainable growth and development of Timor-Leste, including key indicators such as the increase in the average life expectancy.

• The United Nations’ Report on Human Rights in Timor-Leste showed advances in the justice sector, with Timor-Leste having the potential to become a regional and global leader in terms of human rights.

I must also mention other achievements made in the recent past that contribute to make Timor-Leste a more developed society, such as:

I know there are some doubts about the implementation of the MDG-Sucos Programme, with an investment of $65 million in 2011. In May we promoted a general assembly with the heads of Suco from the entire territory to explain precisely the rational of this program.

I would also like to take this opportunity to explain to the general public that housing under the MDG-Sucos Program cannot be built like the social housing built for poor families.

MDG-Sucos’ housing meets the Millennium Goals (which involves decent homes with water, sanitation, electricity and access to health, education and markets). It is precisely because of this that during discussions with communities we set the following criteria: a permanent water source as the number one criterion; land that is sufficient and accepted by the entire community; and good road access.

Land has been ascertained to be the primary obstacle, and as a result we decided to begin pilot projects to motivate communities to find collective solutions to problems. We believe that, by the end of 2012, and after presenting the outcomes of pilot projects, we will be able to witness positive changes in communities throughout the Country.

• The Decentralised Development Program I and II, with an investment of $44.3 million in 2011, funded the development of small-scale infrastructure and nurtured the growth of construction companies in the districts, sub-districts, sucos and villages of the Country.

In relation to this program, we have also heard concerns regarding the quality of the works. The NDA is involved in a process with small business people to demand greater responsibility from them. It should be noted that these local business people have agreed to undertake corrections and in doing so demonstrating their seriousness and a good attitude.

By the end of the year, the Government will have awarding certificates to the best companies, so as to create healthy competition in the fledgling private sector.

I would also like to mention that the program “Sensus Fo Fila Fali” is currently taking place, to socialise the results of the 2010 Census, at local and community level. This data will contribute to providing sucos with greater knowledge about their own future needs, and to enable them to measure their relative development every year. As well, communities will also be better equipped to make their own choices and to set their own collective priorities.

• In terms of access to education, we now have 90% of school-aged children enrolled in basic education, fulfilling the goal set for 2015. Additionally, in 2011 alone we have built and rehabilitated around 35 basic and secondary education schools and over 250 classrooms.

• In 2011, the national literacy campaign made considerable progress, with the eradication of illiteracy in the districts of Manatuto, Manufahi, Lautém, Aileu and Covalima by the end of the year.

• Agricultural production and productivity increased substantially in regard to rice and corn with a cultivation of around 28,000 hectares producing 64,000 tonnes of rice (productivity of 2.97/ha) and cultivating around 27,000 hectares producing 30,600 tonnes of corn (productivity of 1.41/ha).

• To promote food security, we developed the integrated information system database and the regular collection of information on food security through the communities of the 13 districts.

• We trained over 1,200 groups of farmers on improved agricultural techniques and we distributed over 12,000 information manuals for agricultural extension workers.

• We continued to pay Bolsas de Mãe to over 15,000 beneficiaries and strengthened the attendance and assistance to women who are the victims of abuse and to children at risk. In addition, we have been paying pensions to National Liberation Combatants and we have awarded around 98 scholarships to the children of martyrs.

• We have started to build the 20 Monuments to the National Heroes and the 12 mausoleums, and on 20 August we conducted the Demobilisation Ceremony for 236 National Liberation Combatants.

• We have integrated the 668 medicine students who returned from Cuba into the National Health System and we held the ceremony declaring Timor-Leste Free from Leprosy.

• The Vice Minister for Health currently holds and will for the next two years, the position of Vice President of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.

• The transformation of the Banking and Payments Authority into a Central Bank, with specific responsibilities in the development of the financial sector, constitutes another important stride towards the consolidation of State Agencies.

• This Government has also invested in the largest infrastructure project ever in the Country, the creation of an electric energy production, transmission and distribution system, which is currently in an advanced stage of construction. This project includes the Hera Generation Plant, with 119.5 MW capacity, as well as the Betano Generation Plant, with a capacity of around 137 MW. These projects also include transmission lines to establish a ring around Timor-Leste, to enable all Timorese, even those residing in the more remote areas, to have access to electricity.

The entire National Power Grid will be completed by the end of next year. Already this month, Hera can supply Dili, Aileu, Manatuto, Liquiçá and Gleno. It is hoped that before Christmas, and upon completion of the Baucau sub-station, Baucau, Lospalos and Viqueque will also be supplied by Hera. The Generation Plant, which is starting its operations, as well as the Bobonaro, Suai and Cassa sub-stations, may be operational before late 2012.

The importance of this project is unquestionable. In addition to generating direct and indirect employment, it will create numerous business opportunities and attract foreign investment. The regular supply of electricity through the National Power Grid is one of the key achievements of this Government, and its impact will start to be realised between late 2011 and mid-2012.

Your Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen,


In January 2011 I came here to defend the 2011 State General Budget. Today I want to repeat what I said in January 2011 word for word.

‘It is important to highlight the following:

1.  This budget execution rate will be higher still, because according to the applicable international standards the closing of accounts is only fully recorded two months after the end of the financial year in question;

2. The Government no longer includes commitments in the financial execution reports. I should clarify that there are differences between obligations and commitments;

3. All funds not used revert to the State at the end of the year, in a transparent manner; 4. Expenditure is monitored through the FreeBalance system, in view of the expenditure approved by Parliament, thus ensuring greater transparency and real time adjustment to the contingencies of the Country, making public spending more efficient.’

There is a methodology, which may be archaic but is still very useful, to monitor any development process. The current development stage of the Country requires all actors, inside and outside the State, to understand the parts in order to be able to have a realistic perspective of the whole.

Those development stages can be international, regional and national.

Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament

Distinguished Members of Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 2012 State General Budget was programmed in order to establish a launching pad to transform Timor-Leste into a medium-high income country within the next 20 years.

Once again following the legal framework to the letter and using proper planning instruments, we have a budget program that is sound, transparent and displays vision.

As the Distinguished Members of Parliament will recall, on Friday, 4 November, the Government referred to the meetings that took place on 1-2 August at the Dili Convention Centre to demonstrate that it is committed to improving management practises and correcting mentalities in Public Administration, as well as implementing a better budget methodology. I stated here last January that the Government wants to reformulate the Budget into two major divisions: recurring expenses and development expenses. We are on the right path when we view the recurring expenses we want to stabilise, thus focusing more on capital development.

In a stage when we are building and consolidating the institutions of our State, having a numerical methodology with set figures would only serve to show our inability to adjust, both mentally and critically, to the realities of the Country.

The international budgeting standards are probably not the best. When every day I see TV coverage showing the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron trying to give advice, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looking scared and waving the white flag to the IMF a few days ago, and the Greek nation in an unprecedented political crisis, I find myself thinking that the Member States of the European Community have not been paying too much attention to the international standards. Perhaps that was the reason why President Obama accused the European countries of not having been able to solve their own problems since 2008. Similarly, the G20 held last week in Cannes failed to deliver the sign of hope that so many were longing for. Today, many commentators say that Italy may become the next Greece.

Within this global context of economic and financial crisis, forgetting that we are part of the great region that is Asia, with strong and emerging economies, is failing to place ourselves in space and time.


Your Excellencies,

The 2012 State General Budget will be the first to reflect the development goals set out in the Strategic Development Plan launched in July. The Strategic Development Plan covers three vital areas for the development of the Nation: capital, infrastructure and economic development. It has been informed by the valuable data from the 2010 Census, which captured the actual and objective situation of the population, and now uses this data to create sustainable development policies.

Investing in development in 2012 means investing $1,763.4 billion in sustainable policies for the Country, which will build on the achievements so far and place Timor- Leste on the right path.

This investment is designated particularly for the construction and maintenance of essential and productive infrastructure, to the building of the petroleum sector on the South Coast, to decentralised development at district and local level and, also to the development of our human capital.

Knowing that three quarters of our population reside in rural areas, we will continue to invest in agriculture projects so as to increase the productivity of the sector. Together with DDPs I and II and with the LDP, these projects will promote employment creation for young people and adults living in rural areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I will now describe the key budget guidelines for 2012:

1. We intend to invest $1,054.4 million in Capital Development, increasing investment in this category by 209% against the year 2011. This amount includes:

• $746.2 million for the Infrastructure Fund;
• $52 million for Decentralised Development Programmes I and II; and
• $200 million for the Capitalisation of the Timor-Leste Investment Company. The Infrastructure Development Fund, created in 2011 with an initial allocation of $599 million, and dedicated to multiyear projects, to support a modern and productive country that is able to generate employment opportunities, will continue in 2012.

If the Infrastructure Fund and the DDPs are not new, as they continue this Government’s focus on infrastructure and rehabilitating more and better roads, bridges and ports, irrigation systems, schools, clinics and hospitals, power grids, monuments, houses and police and military facilities, as well as the important development of Tasi Mane and other basic infrastructure at national and district level, the capitalisation of the Timor-Leste Investment Company (CITL) is an innovative measure for the new fiscal year.

This Company will promote investment and economic growth opportunities, by focusing on commercial strategic projects. This will be the privileged instrument by the Government to transform our petroleum wealth into a non-petroleum economy. In other words, we will be diversifying our economy and promoting the creation of industries and services, instead of relying on petroleum and natural gas.


With an initial capitalization of $200 million, this company will start its activity with an autonomous management, similar to Singapore’s Temasek. The creation of this company is a strategic decision by the Government, with a political and economic nature, that is foreseen in the Constitution. The State, as the sole stockholder, acts as an economic agent, supporting the market and enabling investment in certain economic areas.

Potentially, CITL will be dedicated to the following projects:

• An underwater cable providing internet connection to the rest of the world, using the best available technology and substantially improving internet access in Timor- Leste.

• Reference projects in the areas of tourism, particularly concerning hotel building and manufacturing parks producing quality products at competitive prices, through the exploration of partnerships with advantages for the development of the tourism sector;

• Building commercial offices to allow the provision of high quality services;

• Other strategic investments, such as supporting access by passengers and freight at fair prices.

2. We intend to invest $344.7 million in Goods and Services, including:

• $30 million for the Human Capital Development Fund;
• $87 million for the fuel required to supply electricity to the entire Country;
• $2.4 million for the professional training of teachers, to improve the skills and professionalism of teachers, which in turn will result in better education for the students;
• $6.5 million for the operational services of the Ministry of Education, to support primarily the school meals programme;
• $14.5 million for the operational costs of the presidential and parliamentary
elections;
• $9 million for the Food Security Fund, so as to ensure national reserves of
corn and rice;
• $1.6 million for the National Development Agency;
• $2.1 million for the National Procurement Commission.

The National Development Agency and the National Procurement Commission, also created in 2011 by Decree-Law, along with the Timor-Leste Investment Company, will contribute to a better implementation of the major strategic projects, ensuring proper management, monitoring and cost-efficiency of infrastructure works and assuring that the implementation of the Strategic Plan, in regard to capital works, is a success.

On the other hand, I would like to highlight in this expense category the considerable investment made in education and technical and professional training, including the Human Capital Development Fund, which foresees around $11.8 million in scholarships alone for key development areas such as the petroleum sector, public finance and management, and education.

The Human Capital Development Fund, created in 2011 with a total of $25 million, to be increased up to $175 million during the first 5 years, is developing the necessary competences – in the fields of education, professional training and technical capacity – for Timor-Leste to have the labour required for the social and economic progress of the nation, particularly in strategic areas such as natural resources, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, education and health.

Lastly, in this expense category we would like to note the expenses required to ensure that the 2012 elections take place in a fair, democratic, participative and safe atmosphere. For this purpose we have allocated $8 million to STAE, $1.5 million to CNE, $4 million to PNTL, $0.5 million to F-FDTL and $0.5 million to RTTL.

3. We will invest $194.2 million in the category of Transfers, including:

• $69.9 million for payments to National Liberation Combatants;
• $32 million for payments to elderly citizens over 60 years old, covering
around 89,000 beneficiaries;
• $6.3 million to continue to implement the Local Development Program,
supporting rural communities; and
• $20 million for rural-based community projects, seeking to improve rural
roads and to create employment in rural areas.

To invest in people is to invest in the future of the Country. This has been one of the mottos of our government. For this reason, we will continue with our public transfers program, including the payment of benefits to National Liberation Combatants, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

Our governing experience has shown that this type of justice and social stability programs provide an invaluable return for the country. Additionally, removing our people from poverty, either directly or indirectly, is a moral obligation for any Timorese leader, since it is to our People that we owe the Independence of Timor-Leste. This is a debt that can never be paid in full.

4. The 2012 Budget also includes $30 million for Minor Capital, particularly for purchasing multipurpose vehicles for health centres and for purchasing medical and hospital equipment.

5. Finally, we have allocated $140.1 million for Salaries and Wages. In addition to the recurring expenses in this category, we decided to:

• Increase salaries in the area of education, in order to implement the teacher
career regime, with an investment of $2.6 million;
• Strengthen higher education, through UNTL, with an investment of $3.5
million;
• Implement special careers for health professionals, with an investment of
$3.4 million; and
• Convert temporary public servants to permanent staff, with an investment of
$23.2 million in 2012.

Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament

Distinguished Members of Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The impact of the investment we have been making during these past few years on the living situation of the Timorese, and on the operation of the State institutions, is the best indicator of budget execution and encourages us to be even bolder when developing the country.

For the first time, Timor-Leste will incur public debt, based on the Public Debt Regime approved by Parliament. Consequently this Budget presents the maximum borrowing threshold of $33.1 million for building strategic infrastructure for the Country.

Nevertheless the Government vows to manage public debt in a sound and sustainable manner, identifying from the start the projects to be funded in this manner and listed in the SDP:

• Construction and supervision of the roads linking Dili-Manatuto-Baucau; Manatuto-Natarbora; Dili-Liquiça-Tibar-Ermera; and Maubisse-Ainaro/Same.
• Construction and supervision of the motorway in the South Coast, so as to support the development of this region.
• Construction and supervision of the development of the Dili drainage system, resulting in a cleaner city that is less subject to floods. We have started to fulfil the goal set in the Strategic Plan of developing an extensive road network linking communities, promoting rural development, industry and tourism and providing access to markets, as well as improving basic sanitation and drainage systems, by 2015.

In 2012 the Government may use Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to support projects included in the SDP, namely the construction of large projects such as Ports and Airports. The legal and political framework for this is being developed. However we know that these processes are very complex and consequently should only be used in cases where it is necessary to share risks and to have access to international expertise.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These large infrastructure projects should be associated with the development of our banking and financial services, so as to maintain an environment that is attractive to national and foreign investment. For this reason, in 2012 we will continue to invest in long-term credit and funding systems, with accessible rates, in order to encourage the development of our private sector.

We will also continue to invest in the Commercial Bank of Timor-Leste, formerly the Microfinance Institute of Timor-Leste, focusing on providing micro and small loans. It is estimated that the number of clients in the portfolio will increase in 2012, as well as the number of deposits and loans, particularly at district level.

Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament
Distinguished Members of Parliament,


Domestic revenues have been increasing gradually and should increase even more as the economy grows and public administration improves. For 2012 we are estimating an amount of $136.1 million in domestic revenues. This represents a 23.6% increase against 2011.

As such we continue to rely on petroleum revenues to fund our budget, but it is precisely to curb this trend that we programmed the 2012 budget with the priorities we have set out.

Up to 1 January 2012, we estimate that the total petroleum wealth that encompasses the actual net total from the future petroleum revenue is $22.2 billion. According to the latest Bank Payments Authority report the balance as of 30 September 2011 is $8.9 billion, and it is estimated that by the end of 2011 we will have $9.4 billion and by the end of 2012 $11 billion.

The revenue deficit is $1,627.3 billion. It is financed through the Petroleum Fund ($1,594.2 billion) and through public debt ($33.1 million). The withdrawal exceeding the 3% of the Estimated Sustainable Income Budget is justified because the policies integrated in 2012 concern the long-term sustainable development of the Nation.

One of the conditions required for the ESI to be truly sustainable is that the real return rate of the Fund is 3%. Because of this, and in order to protect future generations, the legislation proposal approved by Parliament changes the Fund’s investment policy, so as to diversify its portfolio.

This reform proposed by the Government will enable increasing the medium and long term investment returns from our Petroleum Fund, in order to achieve 3% or more, against our present return of 2%. Consequently, the changes made to the Petroleum Fund Law state that the purpose of the investment policy is to maximize the return adjusted to risk, using the principle of diversifying the Fund’s investment portfolio.

Changing the law also enables investing at least 50% of the Fund’s assets in Treasury Bonds and no more than 50% in equities. The economic models estimate that this will give a reasonable probability of achieving a real return of 3% over time, with a level of risk that is acceptable to the Government. This will align the Petroleum Fund’s investment policy with the budget expenditure guidelines on the ESI.

Lastly, we will be able to present 10% of the value of the Fund as collateral for borrowing money that can only be used to build strategic infrastructure for developing the Country. This enables us to negotiate borrowings under more favourable conditions and with greater security.

The Government continues to argue that the only way for us not to be eternally dependent from the Fund is by diversifying the economy. This is fundamental for us to achieve sustainable economic growth. The Government also considers that the responsibility to create jobs is part of the prudent and sound management of the Fund.

Consequently, we cannot let our human capital go to waste. Human capital is the key factor for growing our economy. As such, we have been creating the conditions to generate


employment. Still, the driving force for this employment creation should be the Private Sector, rather than the State alone.

This is precisely the change we want to make in the Country. It is here that the Government assumes its responsibility to create the necessary conditions for facilitating private initiative and of making our economy stronger and more competitive.

The Government must take on an increasingly regulatory and oversight role, creating an environment that is conducive to investment and inducing our Country’s business people to be more participative in the development process.

As such, the first obstacle to the development of the business and industrial sector has already been removed. By ensuring security and stability in the Country, the Government has given the private sector more confidence to invest.

Now, through the Strategic Development Plan, the Human Capital and Infrastructure Development Funds, the Decentralised Development Plans, the development of banks that provide credit to the Private Sector, and many other initiatives, we are creating the necessary conditions for multiplying economic development opportunities in the Country.

Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament

Distinguished Members of Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year that lies ahead will be important for Timor-Leste. It will be a year for reaffirming the democracy we have earned, a year for consolidating the development we have achieved, and a year for celebrating historical dates that make the Timorese identity unique in the entire world.

For next year we have big dreams and large challenges, as well as the start of a stage of major national investments. The implementation of the Strategic Development Plan entails the need for considerable investment, at least during the first five years of execution. Still, we know that making the dreams and aspirations of our people come true is an investment with a return that cannot be expressed in words.

I would like to conclude by reminding everyone that in 2012 we will receive guests from all over the world to take part in our celebrations. I know that these senior representatives have great expectations in relation to Timor-Leste, although it has only been 10 years since we have emerged from the debris of destruction and started to build our Nation. Many other young democracies that were created in post-conflict situations such as Timor-Leste cannot yet claim the same successes that we have achieved. Presently we are a success case at a global level!

As such, let us welcome 2012 with hope, optimism and the will to build a better Timor-Leste for our children.


It is in this spirit that I ask your collaboration and commitment, Distinguished Members of Parliament, so that we can make this State Budget a Budget for the future, a Budget for every Timorese citizen.

Thank you very much.

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
9 November 2011
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