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30 January 2011

TLGov: 2011 State Budget was approved by the National Parliament

Government House, Dili, East Timor
Government of East Timor, Dili Fri. January 28, 16:47h - This Friday, 28th of January, the Timorese National Parliament concluded the discussion on the Bill pertaining to the 2011 Budget. The final vote and overall debate was held today with the majority of legislators approving the budget.

After almost one month of public hearings by the Standing Committees and 13 days of debate and vote the Budget suffered changes resulting from the of 142 proposals presented by the Members of Parliament.

Due to the approved, the total increased budget proposal it was necessary to reformulate the article about transferences from the Petroleum Fund, to allow for transferences over the Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI).

The maximum amount of those transferences increased from 734 million american dollars to 1,055 billion american dollars, exceeding the ESI by 321 million dollars. The main issue consisted in adding 282 million american dollars to the initial allocation of 166.741 million american dollars in the Infrastructure Fund for electricity supply a total of 448.741 million american dollars.

The State Budget Law for 2011 was, in this way approved by final vote, having obtained 42 votes in favour, 21 votes against and 1 abstention.

The Law is to be edited by the Committee C – Economy, Finance and Anti-Corruption, before sending to the President of the Republic for promulgation.

More than 60 families evacuate to Humand Rights and Justice Ombudsman office building

Radio Timor-Leste, January 26, 2011 language source: Tetun - More than 60 families who were residing in the former Indonesian Brimob housing estate have evacuated to the office building of the Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman (PDHJ) after the police expelled them from their houses.

Some of them quarreled with the Director for the PDHJ, Valerio Magno Ximenes, as he refused to allow them to stay in the office.

One of the residents said they were victims of maltreatment by the Government; therefore she called for the PDHJ to allow them to stay there while waiting for proper living conditions to be supplied by the Government.

Minister for Justice, Lucia Lobato said the Government would not compensate them, as compensation had already been made last year, yet they refused to move from the area.

Local residents of Mikarakoma Sub-village are dissatisfied with police response to recent incident

Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 26, 2011 language source: Tetun - Local resident of Mikarakoma Sub-village of Bairro Pite village are dissatisfied with the police response to an incident which  took place in their neighborhood last Saturday. Local resident are unhappy with the way police responded to a clash between young people because the police used weapons to threaten the victims.

"The police use weapons to threaten people here. They also said PSHT are thieves and that PSHT has destabilized this country," an unnamed source said.

Another source added that the police also threaten them saying, "What do you want to do against me? You will do nothing; PSHT will do nothing since I am still a police member."

The Timorese Criminal Investigation Police is investigating the case in order to find out what caused the clash.

Residents are concerned about police officers' professionalism

From TIMOR LOROSAE NACAO - diario
Timor Post, January 26, 2011 language source: Tetun - Local residents of Hudi-Laran are concerned about the conduct of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) officers to respond to a recent incident which took place in the neighborhood.

Terezinha Alves said she was concerned about the way police responded to  the case as it seemed like they were acting in a provocative manner which will worsen the situation in the country.

"It seems like the police came to worsen the situation. The police said PSHT are thieves and PSHT has destabilized the country. They also used weapons to threaten us.

They did not come to calm the situation down, but made it worse," Alves said.

Alves also called on the Timorese Police Commander, Commissioner Police Longuinhos Monteiro to take the necessary actions against those officers who dirty PNTL's reputation.

Ministry of Justice to move Brimob's residents to the Tasi Tolu quarantine area

East Timor police deployed by government against the poor.
Timor Post, January 26, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, said the Government has moved the residents who used to stay in the ex-Indonesian Brimob barracks to the quarantine area in Tasi-Tolu.

Minister Lobato made the comments saying that the Government decided to accommodate the residents to stay in quarantine area temporarily, adding that the Government would not increase compensation money but would provide some building materials for the residents to build their houses.

President Jose Ramos Horta has called on the Government to provide support to the residents of Bairro Pite who were forced out of their homes by the Government.

"I know this case well. Therefore I have told Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to hold a dialog with the residents; I will not intervene in this case," President Horta said.

Operational Police commander recognises that some police officers are working unprofessionally

Timor police at work
Timor Post, January 27, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Operational Police Commander Superintendent Eugenio Pereira recognised that some of the Timorese National Police (PNTL)'s officers have not carried out their work in a profession manner but the commanders would fix this based on the legal means provided to them.

"If we are talking about the professionalism of PNTL's officers then there are regulations which will regulate the police officers when responding to situations," Superintendent Perreira said.

Superintendent Pereira asked the public to understand the condition of the officers who respond to the situation as sometimes they must face violent situations while protecting victims, adding that PNTL's Commanders would try to resolve this case soon.

29 January 2011

General Ruak holds weekly meeting with President Horta

General Taur Matan Ruak, Commander of F-FDTL
Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 27, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander Major General Taur Matan Ruak has held his weekly meeting with President Jose Ramos Horta, discussing the general security situation in the country.

The agenda for the meeting was about security issues before the end of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) next year.

UNMIT will hand over security responsibility to the Timorese National Police (PNTL) and the F-FDTL.

"The current security situation in the country is normal," General Ruak said.

In regard to the recruitment of F-FDTL's new soldiers, Ruak said it is free for all the young Timorese to compete in the process of recruitment and said they will not treat them differently when selecting their documents.

TLGov: Government helps create new companies

Government helps create new companies Thu. January 27, 10:01h - The Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry inaugurated, in the beginning of this year, the restaurant area in the new touristic area of Metiaut, Cristo Rei, in Díli. The restaurants were delivered to 26 groups of women to be explored.

This new space located at beach front, started construction in December of 2009 and was concluded in December of 2010. The project cost around 950 thousand American dollars.

The Minister Gil da Costa Alves wished the best success to the groups to whom the Government trusted to explore the restaurants. “Improve your life, through the means created by the Government. This is an opportunity for you, small companies, to start a business activity and improve the quality of service rendered to the consumers”, said the Minister.

Also present in the inauguration, the President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, congratulated the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry for the project, and asked the business persons to be responsible and demanding in terms of quality and hygiene.

Ombudsmen Ximenes: Human Rights and Ombudsman Law to be altered

Timor Post, January 28, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Human Rights and Justice Ombudsmen (PDHJ) Sebastiao dias Ximenes said they would alter the law of PDHJ as the Government has set up an Anti-Corruption commission (KAK).

Ombudsmen Ximenes made the statements,because some important work carried out by the PDHJ such as combating corruption in the country, has been taken over by KAK, adding they need a lawyer to help them alter the law. "We need lawyers to help us alter the law for PDHJ," Ombudsmen Ximenes said.

PNTL responds to incidents based on the law

Graffiti in Dili "Bad Boyz"
Timor Post, January 28, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Operational Police Commander, Superintendent Eugenio Pereira, said that the police carry out their tasks according to the law, when responding to clashes between martial art gangs.

Superintendent Pereira has also called on members of the martial arts groups to cooperate with security officers like the police, to ensure security in the country.

Pereira added that they had also instructed the Dili district police to control those people who hold rallies in front of the National Parliament, to avoid undesirable things happening during the rally.

Fretilin threatens to take Infrastructure Fund allocation to court

Diario Nacional, January 28, 2011 language source: Tetun - MP Arsenio Bano from Fretilin said Fretilin would take the case of the Infrastructure Funds totaling US$ 282 million to court as the Government has not clearly explained how the money will be spent.

"We are analysing the fund in one hand, but in the other hand we will take the funds for infrastructure to the court because it is important they are based on the legal requirements which exist in the country," MP Bano said.

MP Bano made the statements because MPs from the Parliamentary Majority Alliance proposed to increase the infrastructure funds to US$ 282 million.

MP pedro dos Martires da Costa from the National Congress for the Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) said there was no need for the AMPs' MPs to respond to the questions from Fretilin's MPs because they proposed to increase the amount of money as a technical issue and not a political case.

Illegal gambling machines confiscated

Suara Timor Loro Sa'e, January 28, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry (MTCI) has seized 13 illegal gambling machines and other related goods at Exelsior Resort Apartments, in Dili.

Inspector-General for Gambling, Miguel Lobato said his ministry decided to carry out operations against illegal gambling, as the law does not allow gambling such as slot machines to be held in the country.

Lobato stressed that illegal gambling like slot machines is not allowed and the law only allows gambling called SDSB, kuru-kuru and bola guling.

Lobato affirmed that illegal gambling is run by foreign nationals and is supported by some Timorese.

See alsoThe Circulation of Lottery Tickets in East Timor on East Timor Law Journal
 

27 January 2011

TIMOR-LESTE GOVERNMENT RAIDS PETROLEUM FUND IGNORING THE LAW

Fretilin MP Jose Teixeira
FRETILIN.Media FLASH Dili, 27 January 2011 De facto Government MPs table proposal to increase budget by US$282 MILLION for dodgy and non-transparent Infrastructure Fund. It was in turn accepted without retort by the government, namely the de facto Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

The increase in the budget is allegedly to pay for cost blowouts for two power stations, substations and transmission lines, in turn a result of the procurement fiasco that was the "second hand heavy fuel power stations" from China.

The proposal increases the original budget for the electricity sector investment from US$166.7  million to US$448.7 million.  There were no satisfactory detailed justification as to how this money would be spent.

This increase takes the budget in just one day, from US$985 million to US$1.26 billion, an increase of 28% on the budget proposal, and nearly twice in excess of the 3% of the sustainable income estimate under the Petroleum Law.

It also represents 18.3% of the balance in the petroleum fund as at December 2010 of US$6.9 billion.

Without doubt this action has irretrievably eroded the petroleum fund’s sustainability.

This breaches the section 9 of the Petroleum Fund Law:

*Article 9*

*Transfers Exceeding the Estimated Sustainable Income*

*No transfer shall be made from the Petroleum Fund in a Fiscal Year in
excess of the Estimated Sustainable Income for the Fiscal Year unless the
Government has first provided Parliament with:*

*(a) The reports described in paragraphs 8 (a) and 8 (b);*

*(b) A report estimating the amount by which the estimated Sustainable
Income for Fiscal Years after the Fiscal Year for which the transfer is made
will be reduced as a result of the transfer from the Petroleum Fund of an
amount in excess of the Estimated Sustainable Income of the Fiscal Year for
which the transfer is made;*

*(c)  A report from Independent Audit certifying the estimates of the
reduction in Estimated Sustainable Income in paragraph (b) above; and *

*(d) A detailed explanation of why it is in the long-term interests of
Timor-Leste to transfer from the Petroleum Fund an amount in excess of the
Estimated Sustainable Income.*

This proposed withdrawal now exceeds the limit of the value that the government is legally permitted to withdraw from the petroleum fund without providing the detailed justification as set out above.  None has been provided.

There is no doubt whatsoever that this was done not just with the knowledge but also at the initiative of the de facto Prime Minister, as he accepted it without the usual retorts.

The fact that this was not ever included in the original proposed budget law that came before the parliament, nor during the committee hearing process.  This is a blatant illustration of this government's incompetence in public finance management. As stated in a recent IMF report evaluating Timor Leste's public finance management, "fiscal and budgetary policies lack a solid medium-term perspective," and "the Ministry of Finance lacks the time and capacity for adequate review of rationale, costing and impact of public investment."  This raises a lot of questions of this government's programs and projects, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

There are no alternatives to a legal challenge to this budget law when the “majority” rubberstamps this budget law, as they will without question or scruples.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA ON +670 728 7080
--
Jose A. Fernandes Teixeira
Deputado da Bancada Parlamentar da FRETILIN
Parlamento Nacional da Rep. Dem. de Timor-Leste
Telemovel: +670 728 7080

Member of Parliament - FRETILIN
National Parliament of the
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Mobile: +670 728 7080

25 January 2011

Timor-Leste left in the dark as one billion dollars snatched from its petroleum fund

FRETILIN MEDIA RELEASE DILI, 25 January 2011 Timor-Leste left in the dark as one billion dollars snatched from its petroleum fund - Without public consultation and in the face of widespread public opposition, Timor-Leste's de facto government is seeking to grab nearly US$1 billion from the country's petroleum fund, of which US$417 million will be allocated for a new agency, The National Development Agency to be established by decree and operate without parliamentary scrutiny.

This year’s budget of US$985 million represents 14.2% of the US$6.9 billion fund - virtually Timor Leste's only source of income said FRETILIN MP and parliamentary party spokesperson Jose Teixeira.

Teixeira said the de facto government was evading its constitutional obligations to treat the budget discussion process in an accountable, transparent and democratic way.

"They are leaving us all in the dark, literally and figuratively. The televised parliamentary debate on the budget is accompanied by frequent power cuts of up to six hours and more, right around the country.  This prevents people from following the debate and learning how State funds are being misused.

"We know budget debates attract a wide audience because budget discussions are often interspersed with points of order from MPs from all sides of parliament transmitting complaints from constituents around the country that their power is off and they are unable to continue viewing or listening to the debate.

"All this despite the de facto government spending more than US$219 million since 2007 to allegedly fix the power sector," Teixeira said.

A letter to the International Monetary Fund on 14 December 2010, from the national development watchdog Lao Hamutuk, highlighted the extent of public concern over lack of government transparency. Lao Hamutuk wrote in part:

"The processes of transparency and public consultation have gotten worse than the IMF reports indicate. For example, the many items listed as available to the public in the Summary have not been made available. In fact, until today the Ministry of Finance website did not contain a single document about the mid-year budget that was promulgated last July or about the 2011 budget currently being discussed in Parliament……….the Ministry (of Finance) has been totally uncooperative."

Lao Hamutuk continued: "The amount of information provided in the state budget has declined significantly. In particular, there is no information on costs of new initiatives, and multi-year capital projects are not costed beyond the current year. Although the Government secretly increased the contract cost of the national electricity grid from $367 million to $629 million last September, they did not inform Parliament of this and the budget documents ignore it. The Annual Action Plans in 2011 Budget Book 2 say nothing about the cost of each item, and the Ministry no longer provides a list of multi-annual capital projects which had been Annex 4 to Budget Book 1 in past years."

Jose Teixeira said the de facto government was trying to create two large funds, the Infrastructure and Human Capital Development Fund, totaling US$417 million to be managed by a so-called National Development Agency, apparently under the de facto Prime Minister's responsibility and effective control.

"However it is totally unclear at this point how this will occur and whether best practice in management, transparency and accountability will be adopted," he said.

"The government is asking to transfer a huge amount from the petroleum fund to one agency, which has not been legally established as required by the Budget Management Law. We have been told very little about how this agency will be run, or who will run it. The prime minister has provided the scantest of details on it thus far," Teixeira said.

Lao Hamutuk agrees. Its letter to the IMF said:


"The imminent establishment of several new independent agencies (including the PETRONATIL national oil company, the Institute for Petroleum and Geology and the National Development Agency) by decree-law evades budgetary accountability, transparency and democracy, as the budgets for these agencies will be outside the state budget and not subject to Parliamentary approval or oversight. Those in the petroleum sector also contravene the Petroleum Fund by intercepting oil income before it is deposited into the Fund. The expansion of the Decentralized Development Package (PDD) further erodes accountability and oversight. Budgeting and procurement is proliferating both above and below ministries."

Jose Teixeira accused the government of evading dealing with the details and making it up as they go along without proper planning.

He cited a recent IMF report evaluating Timor Leste's public finance management which said "fiscal and budgetary policies lack a solid medium-term perspective," and "the Ministry of Finance lacks the time and capacity for adequate review of rationale, costing and impact of public investment."

Teixeira added: "Our concerns about this very large budget are not being answered. We ask in the committees but no one answers our questions. We then ask in the plenary and our questions are not answered. In the case of the Prime Minister's own Ministry, Defence and Security, he delegates annually his secretary of state for defence to attend committee hearings, but he in turn declines to answer questions because they are matters the minister himself should be answering. But when we ask those in plenary they are ignored. This is not how this parliament or the people of Timor-Leste are used to being treated because former Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri took great care to come to parliament even during committee hearings to answer parliament's queries and never evaded questions from the plenary. As our democracy develops and we have greater amounts allocated for advisors etc, governments should become more transparent and be more accountable, not less."


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA M.P. ON +670 728 7080

Police have identified female suspected of abandoning baby in Ailok Laran

East Timor ancestor totem
Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 24, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Investigation Police have identified the woman who is suspected of abandoning her baby recently in Ailok Laran [Bairro Pite], a suburb of the Capital Dili.

The Timorese Acting Investigation Police Superintendent, Calistro Gonzaga, said they have yet to detain the mother of the baby, due to the fact that they are still waiting for a delegation from the Public Prosecution.

"We will try to approach the suspected woman when the Public Prosecution sends its delegation. There is a woman, who was pregnant, but is no longer pregnant at this time," Superintendent Gonzaga said.

He also added that the Investigation police have identified the young gangs who were involved in the recent killing of Agostinho Viegas Barreto.

Infancticide and baby abandonment in Timor-Leste difficult to prosecute due to lack of witnesses -
Suspended sentence in infanticide case in East Timor no deterrent
Growing numbers of women "throwing away" their babies in Timor-Leste
Corpse of discarded baby in Dili partly eaten by dogs
Monsignor Ricardo: Act of throwing away baby against human dignity
Killing babies is a crime, says Bishop Nacimento
Baby's body brought home by dog
Dili bishop condemns baby killings

Fretilin concerned about PNTL's intelligence service

East Timor's 15 major gangs have an estimated membership of around 90,000.
Timor Post, January 24, 2011 language source: Tetun - MP David Dias Ximenes from Fretilin said he was concerned about the weaknesses in the Timorese National Police (PNTL) intelligence service.

MP Ximenes affirmed that such weaknesses has severely impacted the country, adding that there are many problems in the country, because PNTL's intelligence service is still weak regarding finding out who is masterminding the problems.

"We have talked about many things, but people do not want to listen. Young gangs get involved in clashes because the intelligence service is weak," MP Ximenes said.

Evicting residents was the last resort says Justice Minister Lobato

The heavy hands of the police are laid again on Timor's poor
Diario Nacional, January 24, 2011 language source: Tetun - The East Timor Minister for Justice Lucia Lobato said evicting the local residents from official government residences in Bairo Pite [the former Brimob housing estate] was the last resort, as they had not abided by the law.

Minister Lobato stressed that this is the last option for the government to resolve the problem.

"The Government does not issue a dispatch recklessly and deploying the police force was the Government's last resort" Lobato said.

The Justice Minister Lobato confirmed that the local residents were breaking the law and that they have been compensated, but still refused to vacate the disputed housing area.

23 January 2011

Horta calls on competent bodies to halt prostitution

East Timorese President Ramos Horta
Radio Timor-Leste, December 13, 2010 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta has called on the competent bodies of the country to close down prostitution sites in the Capital of Dili.

The president made the call during a speech in the Parliament marking the commemoration day of human rights.

Horta affirmed that some well-organised crime groups are facilitating foreign national women getting involved in prostitution in the country.

Horta urged the Public Prosecution, Immigration Department and the UN Police to take immediate action against all illegal activities in the country. 

"I am calling on the Public Prosecution, our Immigration Department and the UN Police to take an immediate action by closing down those places and expelling the organisations that engags in such illegal activities out of the country," Horta said.

Sexual assault and violence against children considered serious matters, says President :Horta

Timorese women and children experience high levels of violence
Radio Timor-Leste, December 13, 2010 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta said sexual assault and violence against children were considered to be serious issues in Timor-Leste.

The president made the comments during a speech marking the commemoration day of human rights at the Parliamentary Chamber in Dili last Friday (10/12).

Horta affirmed that the degree of political violence in the country is now decreasing, while violence against children is staying high.

Horta explained that such a situation appeared because there are organsied groups involving young girls in prostitution and domestic violence in a family could not be controlled well.

He called on all entities and the country's state bodies to seek a solution to this issue, as it has impacted on the morality of the state.

Judicial process is going slow; many cases are pending in courts

Suara Timor Lorosa'e, January 17, 2011 language source: Tetun - MP David Dias Ximenes from Fretilin said that the Public Prosecutor Ana Pesoa had promised to reduce the numbers of pending cases  in the courts, but reality showed that many cases were still pending and this was increasing.

MP Ximenes said families of victims [Valdir who was shot dead by a national police officers] had many times called on the PNTL and judicial institutions to process the case legally, but nothing happened.

"We do not know the judicial process for our boy who was shot dead in Delta Nova last year," MP Ximenes said. MP Domingos Maria Sarmento from Fretilin also questioned justice process for Valdir who was shot dead in Delta Nova in December 28, 2009.

Fisherman discovers skeletons on the beach

The beach at Manatuto - site of the discovery of human skeletons
Radio Timor-Leste, January 18, 2011 language source: Tetun - A fisherman named Mario Aleixo Ximenes said that he had discovered four skeletons on the beach at Mantuto when he was going fishing.

Ximenes affirmed that he had directly contacted the police to take a look closer at those skeletons.

Manatuto Investigation Police Deputy Commander Leopoldina Rodrigues said she had been instructed by national forensics to secure the skeletons, as they were on the beach.

Sales Luis, a reporter from the Timorese Public Radio, affirmed that the local residents and the police had collected the skeletons and had kept them at the Manatuto Police station, while waiting for the national forensics team.

Unknown group kills an ex-FDTL soldier with an iron bar

Timor mask
Suara Timor Lorosa'e, January 19, 2011 language source: Tetun - An unknown group belived to be comprised of four young people have killed a former soldier, Agostinho Barreto Viegas, with an iron bar in front of the Timorese Academic Police Academy and the Malaysian Federal Police camp.

Vicente Moniz, a member of the victim's family regretted the incident that took place in front of  the police academy and UN-Malaysian Federal Police camp, in Komoro, as there was action from the UN Police to respond to the situation.

"I am concerned about the police - why they did not take a necessary action to respond or prevent the fight, because he [Barreto] could not be killed if the police had respond to sooner," Moniz said.

A youth leader from Moris Foun Sub-village, Miguel Magalhaes, has called on the Timorese Police Commander, Commissioner Police Longuinhos Monteiro, to call on the United Nations Police to better control the security situation in the capital of Dili as it is responsibility of the UN Police to do so.
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Agostinho Barreto killed by unknown people Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 19, 2011 language source: Tetun - An ex-soldier of the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL), Agostinho Barreto, was killed by an unknown group of young men in a fight in front of the UNMalaysian Police camp, in Komoro, a suburb of the Capital of Dili on Monday night.

 Barreto was killed on Monday in an affray between him and an unknown group of young gang members in Komoro near the country's police academy.

Avelino Carvalho, a member of the family of the victim was deeply saddened by the fatal incident and had questioned the Malaysian Police's presence, as they had not responded to the situation.

"They fought in front of the Malaysian Police camp but they did not respond to  the case and that makes me regretful as they are here for what, they are here to ensure security or for what purpose they are here?

Old men who sell goods at the road side asked the Malaysian police a help but they did not want to respond to it," Carvalho said.

The Timorese Police Commander, Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro, said the Investigation police had identified four people who were suspected of being engaged in the incident.

"There are four people suspected of being engaged in the conflict and their age is around 28 years old. The incident has no relationship to any institution even though the victim was an ex-member of the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL).

The General Commando of PNTL is yet to receive the final result but the case is being investigated by the investigation police," Commissioner Police Monteiro said.

The United Nations Police Commander, Commissioner Police Luis Carilho, said he was yet to receive information about the Malaysian Police's failure to respond to the fight.

Timor Sea program amendment gets OK

Map showing location of the Timor Sea (Tasi Timor)
Published: Jan 20, 2011 Offshore staff SYDNEY, Australia – Oilex Ltd. reports that the Autoridade Nacional Do Petroleo has approved a proposal to change the production sharing work program at JPDA 06-103 of the Timor Sea. The changes means the decision to drill a fourth well if the third well is unsuccessful resides with the operator.

The joint venture operator also proposed that a further 140 sq km (54 sq mi) of 3D seismic survey be run on the Tutuala lead in the northern part of the permit and that a location for the third well finalized after the acquisition and interpretation of that survey.

ANP also agreed to extend the primary exploration term to Jan. 16, 2012.

Participants in the JPDA 06-103 PSC are Oilex (JPDA 06-103) Ltd. (Operator), 10%; Videocon JPDA 06-103 Ltd., 20%; GSPC (JPDA) Ltd., 20%; Bharat PetroResources JPDA Ltd., 20%; Japan Energy E&P JPDA Pty. Ltd., 15%; and Pan Pacific Petroleum (JPDA 06-103) Pty. Ltd., 15%

1/20/2011

TLGov: Timor-Leste embraces more coordinated and transparent budget process as the Prime Minister leads the televised debates to inform the citizenry

Prime Minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao
The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira January 21, 2011 Díli, Timor-Leste - Timor-Leste embraces more coordinated and transparent budget process as the Prime Minister leads the televised debates to inform the citizenry

It’s not often you see the Prime Minister of a Nation in National Parliament defending his line budget item by item but Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão of Timor-Leste has turned the tide by ensuring bureaucratic systems never devalue the budget process of the nascent nation of Timor-Leste by exempting any Member of Government from transparency and accountability, including himself as Head of Government. The Prime Minister today defended line items of The Office of the Prime Minister, engaged in a constructive debate with full pellucidity.

By example, Opposition presented 20 proposals reducing the budget allocation for the Office of the Prime Minister including, amongst others, halving the amount for the Procurement Agency and eliminating funding for the National Development Agency (NDA). The NDA is considered crucial in establishing the foundations to ensure that major national infrastructure projects are carefully monitored. Agency staff members to be recruited for their technical expertise will quality control project submissions to ensure specifications and costs are appropriate and scrutinize projects from planning to implementation with transparent reporting mechanisms in order to achieve quality outcomes and value for money.

Professional Services allocation was proposed by opposition to be reduced from US$449,000 to $176,000, however, most agreed that qualified human resources is and will be a challenge for Timor-Leste in the short and medium term and is considered a high priority for the OPM at this stage in development. Advisors and capable cadres to deliver services are still required to attend to the exigencies of the capital budget allocation as well as analyze complex documents amongst other demands.

Even small allocations like fuel allocation ($3,000) and domestic travel ($200,000) were constructively debated and defended with full transparency by the Prime Minister; demonstrating to the People that the Head of Government, along with the rest of the Council of Ministers, is answerable to the People which they serve.

The 2010 Corruption Percpetion Index (CPI) from Transparency International showed a massive shift in rankings for Timor-Leste over the last twelve months, with an increase in rank by 19 counties compared to the 2009 index. This was the first year that the CPI was reflective of the Gusmao Governments policy initiatives with the Index analyzing data from two to three years prior.

Greater transparency in the Budget process has been one of the underlying successes with the national agenda firmly coordinated to the Budget process and monitored in real time with the enhanced FreeBalance systems, allowing the Government and line Ministries to analyze project implimentation and budget execution throughout the year and know where every dollar has been spent from each Ministry and Institution on a daily and hourly basis as demand necessitates. Soon systems will go live on an e-portal so that each citizen can monitor the Budget and procurement process; an innovative and unprecedented initiative for transparency for any developed or developing nation globally.

Immigration police deport back Indonesian woman to their home country

East Timor police
Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 21, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Immigration Police Department has sent back eight Indonesian woman to their home country after they violated their tourist visas and engagied in immoral activity like prostitution in Timor-Leste.

The eight women were detained during the joint operation held by the Immigration Police, United Nations Police, National Investigation Police and UN-GNR of Portugal in Tuesday 13 this month.

Immigration Police Vice Inspector Chief Luis Barreto said that they had brought the eight women to the border at Batugade in order to hand them over to the Indonesian Immigration department.

"We detained them when they are conducting activity in the Nada bar and there is an indication that they are engaging in prostitution. We are focussed on the immigration law so that when a foreigner is found using a tourist visa but is conducting any activities or working then he/she should be detained as they violate the law," Barreto said.

Analysis of the Budget for Defense and Security in Timor Leste 2011

Fundasaun Mahein, DILI 22 January 2011 Press Release Analysis of the Budget for Defense and Security in Timor Leste  2011 - In the Voice of Fundasaun Mahein, 16th edition, we will debate in depth the issues concerning budget allocation for the Defense and Security sector starting from the years 2009-2010 to 2011.  As a new nation, Timor-Leste needs to develop a strong defense and security sector through the state budget.   Although the budget is not the only solution for defense and security, we should not ignore the importance of budget allocation for defense and security.  An adequate plan and program are needed to buy equipment according to the contextual needs of contemporary Timor-Leste.

The same government that allocated a budget of $59,000,000 for the defense and security sector in 2009, increased it in 2010 to $ 60,000,000. For 2011 they reduced it to $51,000,000, which did not included the $3,900,000 extra that come from the ministry for Infrastructure to the defense and Security sector.  With this, the total amount allocated for the defense and security sector budget for the year 2011 comes to $54,900,000.

Based on what FM sees, the budget allocated to the defense and security sector from 2009-2010 to 2011, this shows that the design for the defense and security budget is not very concrete.  And based on the observations from FM, the design process of allocation is not definitive.

This report questions/raises doubts that when equipment is purchased for defense and security institutions, the government should translate or explain the allocation program.  Defense and security institutions in Timor-Leste, which have good systems, need to use appropriate plans and programs to allocate the budget in an effective way.  An advanced study is needed to evaluate the viability of purchasing two naval patrol boats from China for the price of $28,000,000, and whether or not these boats meets the geographical needs for the protecting the waters of Timor-Leste.  Are there ports for these boats park in or not?  Reality shows that there is not yet any port capable of handling these two boats.

Based on these matters/questions, FM wants to recommend that in the future, the government review the design of the budget plan before purchasing boats for PNTL’s Maritime Unit and the F-FDTL’s Naval Component, so they can guarantee they receive maintenance for these boats.

FM also suggests that the government consider the geographical requirements of Timor-Leste’s waters, when purchasing patrol boats.

More so, FM asks that the government raise their capacity to manage budget allocation, so the budget can be used to effectively develop the defense and security institutions in Timor-Leste.

FM asks the National Parliament, especially Commission B, to exercise strong control over budget implementation, especially in the defense and security sector.  Significant control means not just looking at reports from the government, but must also observing the condition in training/practice.

For more information on this issue, please contact

Nélson Belo,

Director of Fundasaun Mahein

Web: www.fundasaunmahein.wordpress.com

Email: direktor.mahein[at]gmail.com

Telp. +670 737 4222

In Timor, Nonviolence Work Stands Up to Real-Life Test

In Timor, Nonviolence Work Stands Up to Real-Life Test

22 January 2011

TLGov: Government delivers 34 houses in the Dili district

Police deployed to implement unjust executive evictions in Dili
Government delivers 34 houses in the Díli district Thu. January 06, 18:05h The Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS), delivered 34 social houses, in the Díli district, on the 30th of December of 2010 - The construction project of these houses, destined for people in need, began in 2009, where around 150 social housings in the whole country have been constructed up to the end of 2010,. Houses have already been delivered to beneficiaries in the Covalima, Ainaro, Manufahi, Ermera, Maliana, Liquiça, Baucau, Viqueque and Lospalos districts. Some of the houses initially projected are still to be attributed, because the construction companies didn’t deliver them to the Government.

In 2011, the Government will continue with this social protection program.

The Vera Cruz sub-district Administrator, Jose Filipe Smith, said that “these houses, donated by the Government, should be kept in good state so that, in the future, they may provide a well-being to all the members of the beneficiary families”.

Of these 34 houses attributed in the Díli district, eight were delivered in the Vera-Cruz sub-district, eight in the Metinaro sub-district and 18 in the Atauro sub-district. The total value of the construction was US$ 136.000, each house having cost around $US 4.000.

http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=4507&lang=en&n=1


ETLJB Editorial Note : Meanwhile, the Government is deploying the police force to evict occupants of government lands in Dili without appropriate judicial process or effective judicial review of these executive evictions.

These evictions are based on provisions of Law No 1 of 2003 on the Juridical Regime Governing Immovable Property, the drafting of which was supported by USAID and participated in by ARD Inc. See also An Overview of Law No 1 of 2003. .

It is a fundamentally flawed law more reminiscent of an executive dictatorship than a democracy. It is this law, following precedents set by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor of executive evictions without judicial review. See for example, Executive Order No 7 of 2002 On the Vacation of certain properties located in Farol, Dili, East Timor  

For more research on land issues in East Timor see also East Timor Law Journal Legal Research Land Law and Policy

Timor Leste Land Law and Policy Information Centre

Parliament approves budget to fight domestic violence

Timorese women experience high levels of domestic violence
Fretilin Media 21 January 2011 Parliament approves budget to fight domestic violence - FRETILIN MP Jose Teixeira welcomed the bipartisan commitment from the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao for a motion tabled by him, his fellow FRETILIN MP Josefa Pereira Soares, and National Unity Party MP Domingos Mesquita, to provide an adequate operational budget for the Vulnerable Persons Units (VPU) of the Timor-Leste National Police.

The VPU investigates and prepares prosecution briefs in relation to sexual assault and child abuse cases pursuant to the criminal code, as well as domestic violence pursuant to the Domestic Violence Law approved by the national Parliament last year.   The Domestic Violence Law made domestic violence a “public crime” whereby the prosecutorial authorities have a legal obligation to prosecute cases whether or not the victim wishes to proceed.

The amendment approved by the national parliament to the 2011 national budget today increased the overall budget for the VPU by US$1 million, consisting of US$600,000 for acquisition of vitally needed motor vehicles and US$400,00 operational costs for the VPU.

“The VPU is grossly under equipped to do its current work, little lone begin its work enforcing this new domestic violence law.  We acknowledge that the de facto Prime Minister’s support for improving the capacity of the VPU, but do not understand why an adequate budget had not been approved by the Council of Ministers in the first place, obviating our having to do it ourselves.  However, we are nonetheless thankful for the support and flexibility from the de facto Prime Minister in consenting to this amendment, thus resulting in its approval, otherwise, I am certain the PM’s MP’s would have blocked it.  We are grateful to him for this display of bipartisanship on this issue of great importance to us all. It is very welcome to know we can agree to concrete action on issues that are beyond and above party politics.

“We also welcome his input during the debate in the parliament that the budget should be allocated to his office as minister for defence and security, to ensure these resources in fact make it to the VPU and its work. We accept that by placing this budget allocation in his office, the vehicles and other financial resources will not be diverted for use by senior ranking police officers as their personally designated vehicles including for private use, but for investigation and preparation of these sexual assault and domestic violence cases as intended, as has unfortunately happened in the past with vehicles donated by our development partners.  We urge the de facto Prime Minister to keep a tight reign and watch on the use of these funds. We certainly will do that from parliament,” Teixeira told journalists.

Teixeira also said that other proposals were also passed by the parliament today providing funding for office and other equipment to enable the unit to perform its functions adequately, although he acknowledged this was only a start and much was still left to be done before resources and outcomes could be described as adequate in this area of policing and law enforcement.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA ON +670 728 7080


See also Timor-Leste struggles to implement law against dv because people think it “will break up families” 

PNTL expel people who are living in Government properties

Government uses police to evict the people from their homes
Timornewsline, January 21, 2011 Dili, timornewsline, - The Government through Timorese National Police (PNTL) has evicted people who were living in the former Indonesian Brimob Barrack in Bairro Pite, Dili.

Director of a national NGO LIFET, Domingos de Araujo Babtista, said that the Government should create some conditions for the people before evicting them from that place.

"I consider that the government is really irresponsible, our people are not an animals and therefore I am calling on the Government to prepare a proper conditions for them as they are human being.

The Government should not force them out like an animal, they are people of the country and have also contributed to the development of the nation," Baptista said.

Baptista added that the eviction of the people was illegal as it is not outlined in the constitution, adding that the government through land and property directorate should give an administrative defence before make eviction for the community that are living in government properties.

"The Government that uses PNTL to force evictions on the people is like a dictator and a regime that use force to oblige the people of this country and I consider that this country is not a democracy but is a dictatorship.

Protests as East Timor police evict 1,000 squatters

PM Gusmao: Local residents have not understand well of expelling them out from Govt land Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 21, 2011 language source: Tetun - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said the local residenst who are living in the ex-Indonesian Brimob Barracks in Bairro Pite had not well understodd why the police from the Government of expelling them from the Government's land.

PM Gusmao made the statements after the Government had give the evicted residents compensation money but they are hell bent on not leaving the houses. He added that they had not collaborated well with the Government. 

"This is a big problem we still not understand well and they should leave the land of the Government when they are asked to do so but they urge the Government to pay them before they go out and this is a problem," PM Gusmao said.

The residents who were staying in the ex-Indonesian Brimob barrack yesterday were evicted by the Timorese National Police (PNTL) Task Force officers as they were instructed by the Ministry of Justice to do so.

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Dear Readers.

The Prime Minister and Justice Minister (de facto) today endeavored to explain this issue in the National Parliament. There has clearly been some misreporting and it will be hard to get to the bottom. It seems however that there are still some things for the minister to explain regarding the legal proceedings she exercised pursuant to the law, in order for the affected people to accept the legal efficacy and transparency of this decision.

These administrative evictions are if the procedure is followed legally permissible. If the minister followed the procedures she has legal powers to do what she did. Very similar to the eviction of Mr. Mario Carrascalao, MP and former deputy PM in 2004.  The then FRETILIN government was whacked despite following the law in all respects, and were accused of political persecution blah blah blah.

Legalities aside, the matter must also be considered from another perspective, that of Timor-Leste's obligation under the international convention on the right to habitation that it signed and ratified, and from which it won a prize in 2003 for its efforts as a state to promote the rights of its citizens to habitation.

Dili, today is fast becoming the most expensive city in the region for rental, forget buying property, whilst simultaneously becoming the Mecca for what has been claimed as an explosion in economic growth, fueled by petrodollars.  It is also the fact that this growth, however exaggerated in its size by the government, is also very much created social and economic inequality, both in terms of the rural/Dili divide, as well as widening the gap between the rich and poor.  One does not have to go beyond one's extended family networks and neighborhoods to see this as a real phenomenon as plain as the nose on one's face.

Timorese have a constitutional right to live in the capital, just as many have, mostly because of the opportunities and services they miss out outside of Dili.

US$2,000 has been offered and paid to some as a one off compensation for these people to move.  This is plainly insufficient, given the cost of living in Dili. If their kids are in school here in Dili and they have economic opportunities here, they have a right to stay, but cannot afford to stay.

The issue of land and property and accommodation is a very sensitive, and will become even more so and volatile in the not too distant future.  Incidents like this one will be the mere tip of the iceberg compared to what will come in the near future as land and property become even scarcer resources and title becomes more legally defined.  The petrodollar driven Dili economic activity is generating alot of demand for land for commercial purposes as well as for ex-patriots and Timorese are being increasingly marginalized especially those already socially and economically marginalized. Like it or not, our state has a constitutional obligation to protect basic interest such as the right to social and economic security, including the right to habitation.

The reason for evicting these person is for the construction of a new office and barracks for a special police unit.

There is a similar situation with the drive to evict people from Aitarak Laran opposite the Presidential Palace to make way for a national Library. 

Regardless of legalities, it is clear that the process for moving these affected communities has not worked.  I am not arguing that the law should be be applied equally and to its full weight, but it must be done whilst ensuring that our obligations to human rights, especially economic and social rights highlighted by the President during his speech on international human rights day this year as being our major shortfalls as a state and nation.

It also affects our citizens' willingness to respect the law and authority exercised by the Minister to see the law not being applied to its full extent when it comes to those who are politically or socially influential, contrasting with very different treatment towards the ordinary person.  There are many people occupying the land of other people they know is not theirs, including senior police officers and politicians, and alot of state land is being occupied by persons who have not been moved on.  These acts and omissions have unfortunately aroused a great deal of lack of confidence in the rule of law in our country.  It is this that FRETILIN has persistently warned against with decisions by state entities and political leaders that derogate from this trust and confidence in the rule of law, such as the numerous presidential pardons, illegal release of the former militia leader Maternus Bere, misuse of state resources by the political elite and very high perception of Corruption and official misconduct with apparent impunity.

Social stability depends on a steadfast adherence and respect for the rule of law, respect for the constitution and the laws of the land.

There is still time for us to reimpose these as guiding principles in the governance and administration of this nation and state.  We can still reclaim the trust and confidence of our people by more principled and law abiding leadership in all respects. 

Regards,

Jose Teixeira  

21 January 2011

Immigration Police continue holding operations

Diario Nacional, January 20, 2011 language source: Tetun - Acting Immigration Police Inspector Chief Luis Barreto said the Immigration Police Department was continuing holding operations to search for those foreigners who use tourist visas but are conducting activities like business in the country.

Barreto said the Police would deport those foreigners who use tourist visas to work in the country or they would be asked to leave their work voluntarily.

"Our people are not enough to control the foreigners but we have coordinated with district police to support us in identifying those foreigners who are using tourist visas but are conducting illegal activities such as selling goods or doing another thing," Barreto said.

Barreto added that there are many foreigners in the country and their presence here was legal as they use passport but many of them violated visas.

Guterres: Pereira's death is in the investigation process

Diario Nacional, January 20, 2011 language source: Tetun - The State Secretary for Security Francisco Guterres has confirmed that the police were already investigating the recent conflict in Komoro that left Agostinho Preira dead at the scene.

"We are waiting for this case and I have instructed that the case be investigated, adding that if the findings show that the policewere late in responding to the incident than it is their fault and we will see all this things," Guterres said.

Guterres added that the police had tried to respond to the incident but unfortunately they were too late to reach the scene, adding that actually the Malaysian Federal Police should respond the incident earlier but
there was some contradiction that made them not respond to the case.

See also Local residents criticise and condemn PNTL and UN Police
 

Baby's body brought home by dog

A dead baby found in Bairo Pite, Dili Televizaun Timor-Leste, January 20, 2011 language source: Tetun - Local residents of Ruin Naklekar Sub-village of Bairro Pite village found a dead baby.

It was believed that the dead baby was thrown in another place and was brought by a dog to the place where he was found.

Maria Fatima said she found the baby when the baby was brought by dog.

"The dog brought the dead baby when I return back from garden and sit at the tire and am thinking that it is chicken but the children said it is a baby when they go and see it," Fatima said.

The forensic police had brought the dead baby to be autopsied in order to discover why the baby died.

Local residents criticise and condemn PNTL and UN Police

Malaysian police in East Timor can protect the PM but not the people
Radio Timor-Leste, January 20, 2011 language source: Tetun - Local residents in Moris Foun a suburb of the Capital Dili have strongly criticised and condemned the UN-Malaysian Police and the Timorese National Police, as they have not responded to fight which left a man killed.

Unnamed sources confirmed that the fight involving a gang of youths happened in front of the Malaysian Police's camp and near the Timorese police academy and said some people tried to seek help from the police but they refused to respond to the situation.

"We tried to contact the police, but they did not come and then we throw stones at them asking them to return to their country," the source said.

According to them, the UN and the PNTL have not worked professionally and that has caused people not to remain calm.

see also Guterres: Pereira's death is in the investigation process

Defendant in rape case facing 15 years jail

Press Release

Period:            January 2011

Edition:          20 January 2011

Defendant in rape case facing 15 years jail

On 13 January 2011 the Dili District Court tried Case No. 244/C.ord/2011/TDD relating to sexual assault.  The defendant ADS was charged with committing the aforementioned crime against the victim CDP on 20 June 2009.

The trial was presided over by a panel of judges comprising João Ribeiro, SH,  João Felgar, SH and Antonio Fonseca SH. The Prosecution was represented by Hipolito Exposto, SH and the Public Defenders Office was represented by Marcia Sarmento.

The Executive Director of JSMP commented that “rape is quite prevalent in our society. Therefore, in relation to this trial, I ask the court to decide the matter in accordance with the law. Moreover, I ask the public prosecutor to do everything possible to reveal all the relevant facts and present sufficient evidence to establish a strong case”.

According to testimony given to the court, the incident in question occurred on 20 June 2009 when the defendant (a friend of the victim’s brother) went to stay at the house of the victim at approximately 10 or 11 pm.  The victim was sound asleep when the defendant entered her room and raped her.  The victim testified that when the incident occurred she tried to scream, but she was unable to do so because the defendant bit her mouth and was holding her down with great force.

When the judge read out the prosecutor’s indictment the defendant completely denied all of the charges and said that the charges were untrue. In addition to hearing testimony from the defendant and the victim, the court also heard testimony from two witnesses.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant under Article 172 of the Timor Leste Penal Code relating to rape.

In his final recommendation the public prosecutor insisted that the defendant should be found guilty for violating Article 172 of the Penal Code, because after hearing testimony from the defendant, victim and witnesses the prosecutor was certain that there was sufficient evidence to find the defendant guilty of raping the victim.

After hearing the final recommendation of sentence from the prosecutor, the court gave an opportunity to the defence to respond.  The public defender rejected all of the charges because the public prosecutor was not able to produce strong evidence. Therefore she asked the court to acquit the defendant.

The court will deliver its final decision on 28/01/11 at 2pm.

For more information, please contact:
Luis de Oliveira Sampaio
Executive Director of JSMP
E-mail: luis@jsmp.minihub.org
Landline: 3323883

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JSMP: Arguidu ba kazu violasaun seksual ameasadu ho pena prizaun to'o tinan 15 Komunikadu Imprensa

Periodu           : Janeiru 2011

Edisaun          : 20 Janeiru 2011

Arguidu ba kazu violasaun seksual ameasadu ho pena prizaun  to’o tinan 15

Iha loron 13 Janeiru 2011, Tribunál Distritál Dili halo  julgamentu bá kazu  violasaun seksual  ho númeru prosesu 244/C.ord/2011/TDD. Kazu ne’e diskonfia komete husi arguidu ADS hasoru lezada CDP iha Maumeta, Liqiuca iha loron 20 Juñu  2009.

Julgamentu ba kazu ida ne’e deriji husi juiz koletivu mak hanesan: Dr. João Ribeiro, Dr. João Felgar no mos Dr. Antonio Fonseca. Husi parte Ministériu Públiku, reprezenta husi Dr. Hipolito Exposto no husi parte defeza, reprezenta husi Dra. Marcia Sarmento husi eskritoriu Defensoria Públika.

Diretór JSMP Luis de Oliveira Sampaio haktuir   katak: “violasaun seksual hanesan kazu ne’ebé mak sempre akontese iha sosiedade nia leet. Tanba ne’e relasionadu ho kazu ne’ebé julga dau-daun,  nia husu bá tribunál  atu bele fo sansaun tuir lei ne’ebé mak vigor. Alende ne’e, husu mos bá ministériu públiku hodi halo esforsu hot-hotu ne’ebé posivel  atu asegura faktus relevantes hodi produz  evidénsia ne’ebé adekuadu no forte ba kazu refere.

Bazea ba deklarasaun ne’ebé maka lezada hato’o iha tribunal,  katak kazu ne’e akontese, iha data 20 de Juñu 2009, wainhira arguidu (kolega ho lezada nia maun) bá tobá iha lezada nia uma. Maiz ou menus iha tuku 10.00 ka 11.00 kalan. Wainhira, lezada toba dukur hela, arguidu tama bá ninia kuartu no halo violasaun seksual hasoru nia. Lezada mos deklara katak, iha momentu kazu ne’e akontese  lezada buka meus ka halo esforsu atu hakilar, maibé la bele tanbá arguidu tata nia ibun no hanehan maka’as nia.

Iha parte seluk, wainhira juiz koletivu lê akuzasaun ba argidu, arguidu rezeita totalmente akuzasaun ne’e no hateten katak akuzasaun hirak ne’e la los. Alende rona deklarasaun husi arguidu no lezada, tribunal mos rona depoimentu husi sasin nain rua.

Ministériu Públiku iha kazu ida ne’e, akuza arguidu ho Artigu 172 Kódigu Penál Timór Léste nian konaba violensia seksual.

Nune’e mos iha alegasaun final, ministériu públiku nafatin mantein nia alegasaun  ho artigu 172 Kódigu Penál ne’ebé maka akuza bá arguidu. Tanba, depois rona tiha deklarasaun no depoimentus husi arguidu, lezada, no testemuña sira, iha duni indisiu sufisiente katak arguidu halo violasaun seksual hasoru lezada.

Depois rona tiha alegasaun final husi ministériu públiku, tribunal fo oportunidade ba parte defeza atu hatan alegasaun ne’e. Kuandu hetan tiha oportunidade ne’e, husi parte defeza kontra akuzasaun ne’e, tanba tuir defeza katak, ministériu públiku la hatudu evidensia ne’ebé mak forte. Nune’e  husu ba tribunal atu absolve arguidu.

Audensia julgamentu hodi rona akórdaun sei kontinua iha loron 28/01/2011 oras tuku 14.00 lorokraik.

Atu hetan informasaun klaru, favor kontaktu;
Luis de Oliveira Sampaio
Direitór Ezekutivu JSMP
E-mail: luis@jsmp.minihub.org
Landline: 3323883

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Siaran Pers

Periode           : Januari  2011

Edisi                : 20 Januari  2011

Terdakwa dalam kasus pemerkosaan diancam hukuman 15 tahun penjara

Pada tanggal 13 Januari 2011, Pengadilan Distrik Dili, mengadakan persidangan atas kasus kekerasan seksual dengan  nomor perkara 244/C.ord/2011/TDD.  Kasus ini diduga dilakukan oleh terdakwa berinisial ADS terhadap korban berinisial CDP pada tanggal 20 Juni 2009.

Persidangan atas kasus ini dipimpin oleh hakim majelis/panel antara lain: João Ribeiro, SH,  João Felgar, SH dan Antonio Fonseca SH. Dari Kejaksaan Umum diwakili oleh Hipolito Exposto, SH dan dari pengacara diwakili oleh  Marcia Sarmento, SH dari Kantor Pengacara Umum.

Direktur JSMP, mengatakan bahwa “kasus pemerkosaan adalah kasus yang selalu terjadi di dalam masyarakat. Oleh karena itu, sehubungan dengan kasus yang sedang disidangkan tersebut, Ia meminta kepada pengadilan untuk memberikan sanksi menurut hukum yang berlaku. Lebih lanjut, Ia meminta kepada jaksa penuntut umum untuk melakukan semua upaya yang mungkin untuk memastikan bahwa semua fakta-fakta yang relevan untuk menghasilkan bukti yang memadai dan kuat dalam kasus ini.

Mengacu kepada keterangan yang disampaikan di pengadilan, bahwa kasus ini terjadi pada tanggal 20 Juni 2009, ketika terdakwa (teman dari kakak korban) pergi tinggal di rumah korban, kurang lebih pada pukul 10. 00 atau 11 malam. Ketika korban sedang tertidur pulas, terdakwa masuk ke dalam kamarnya  dan melakukan pemerkosaan terhadap dirinya. Korban juga menerangkan bahwa pada kasus tersebut terjadi korban mencari cara atau berusaha untuk berteriak, namun tidak berdaya karena terdakwa mengigit mulutnya dan menekan korban dengan kuat.

Sementara itu, di lain pihak, ketika hakim majelis membacakan dakwaan jaksa kepada terdakwa, terdakwa membantah secara total keseluruhan dakwaan tersebut, dan mengatakan bahwa dakwaan tersebut adalah tidak benar. Selain mendengarkan keterangan dari terdakwa dan korban penagadilan juga mendengarakan kesaksian dari dua orang saksi.

Jaksa Penuntut Umum dalam kasus ini, mendakwa terdakwa dengan Pasal 172 KUHP Timor Leste, mengenai pemerkosaan.

Demikian juga dalam tuntutan akhirnya, jaksa penuntut umum tetap pada posisinya untuk menuntut terdakwa dengan Pasal 172 KUHP Timor Leste yang telah didakwakan kepada terdakwa. Karena setelah mendengarkan keterangan terdakwa, korban dan kesaksian dari para saksi, diyakini terdapat bukti yang cukup bahwa terdakwa telah melakukan pemerkosaan terhadap korban.

Setelah mendengarkan tuntutan terakhir dari jaksa, pengadilan memberikan kesempatan kepada pihak pengacara untuk menjawab tuntutan jaksa. Setelah mendapatkan kesempatan ini, pihak pengacara membantah semua dakwaan ini, karena menurut pengacara bahwa jaksa penuntut umum, tidak bisa menunjukan bukti yang kuat. Dengan demikian meminta kepada pengadilan untuk membebaskan terdakwa.

Persidangan untuk pembacaan putusan akhir pengadilan akan dibacakan pada tanggal 28/01/11, pada pukul 14.00 sore hari.

20 January 2011

Presentation by Fernanda Borges, MP Executive President of GOPAC and Chair of Committee A: Seminar on: “Launching of Anti-Corruption Draft Law”

Fernanda Borges MP from the National Unity Party
GOPAC  Timor Leste

Good morning to all distinguish guests. 

A warm welcome to Her Excellency the Prosecutor General Dr. Ana Pessoa and Commissioner for Anti Corruption Dr. Aderito de Jesus Soares.  On behalf of GOPAC, I would like to extend our grateful thanks for your participation in this seminar. 

We are here today to launch the Anti-Corruption Draft Law.  GOPAC would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Prosecutor General for putting an urgent focus on combating corruption and for quickly producing this draft anti corruption law which GOPAC members have endorsed as being of utmost importance in our legislative agenda to combat corruption.  Indeed, Timor Leste is taking another critical step in combating corruption.  GOPAC is pleased to be able to collaborate with all state institutions and civic society to assist in the enactment of legislation, promote civic values and assist institutions to implement legislation comprehensively, impartially and sustainably.  


The objective of the seminar is to inform the public about the draft anti-corruption law and to also gather public opinion and views about this important anti corruption instrument.  My presentation will focus on why the Anti-Corruption Draft Law is important and highlight some of the issues that we may need to consider.

Concern alone for corruption is not enough.  Timor-Leste has made some important inroads to combating corruption.  Very early in our nascent state we established an independent institution, Provedor for Human Rights with limited powers to investigate corruption.  As corruption become a national concern we were able to gain consensus on the establishment of Anti Corruption Commission with exclusive powers to investigate corruption and passed a penal code that criminalizes a broad range of specific forms of corruption.

This Anti Corruption Law is important because it will complement our penal code and enable our Anti Corruption Commissioner, Prosecutors and Judges to investigate, prosecute and trial corruption cases more effectively. 

The penal code has provisions that deal with crimes practiced in the exercise of public functions articles 292 to 302, and other corruption related articles 192, 274, 275, 287, 288, 290 and 314.  Based on our context and comparative studies of laws these articles are insufficient to effectively combat corruption.  The new draft law introduces new crimes that are specific to corruption in our context and makes an attempt to address some of the principles in the UNCAC Convention. 

Since Timor Leste is now a signatory to the UNCAC Convention we have the obligation to broaden the type of crime committed to include the corporate or business sector, unjust enrichment during tenure or after tenure of office, fraud in the building process, obstruction to investigation and legalizes the involvement of the public to participate. 

The Anti Corruption Draft Law also establishes criminal procedure provisions additional to what is in the criminal procedure code.  A complimentary review of what is established in the CAC Law to ensure that the two are compatible and identify the gaps that need to fill. 

The draft law is important because it attempts to start setting standards in law on anti bribery actions, promoting integrity in business and public involvement in the fight against corruption. 

The new anti-corruption law is also urgent in our development context as it identifies and seeks to address what is currently the worst area of corruption fraud in the building process.  This will help ensure that public investment monies result in quality infrastructure and citizens have the improved and better access to infrastructure throughout the country.  We may also wish to consider how else we can address the forms of corruption that hit the poor hardest. 

As the intention of the seminar is to also gather public opinion and views, I would like to also share some ideas that have come to mind. 

1.  Are the sentences imposed in the penal and proposed law too low for such crimes?  Is it sufficient to deter people from being corrupt?

2.  Does the draft law and penal code adequately address asset recovery in the criminal and civil law and process?  Do we need to consider quickly adopting the Stolen Asset Recovery (STAR) Initiative which allows developing countries to recover from safe havens in developed nation’s assets that have been stolen by corrupt leaders? 

3.  Do we need more new corruption crimes that are relevant to our context?  Have we addressed all the opportunities for corruption throughout the project building cycle?  Does our Procurement Laws and Penal Code provide the appropriate provisions to enable effective prosecution? 

4. Does the law adequately protect citizens from political bribes?

5.  Is the current witness protection law adequate to combat corruption?

6.  Should we consider whistle blowers role and protection?

7.  The draft law establishes a special investigation team.  With the presence of the Anti Corruption Commissioner, we hope to hear his views on this matter and the coordination mechanism and cooperation established or to establish with the Prosecutor General. 

8.  Is the right to information sufficient for citizens and media to control corruption?  Do we need a separate legislation and a new public ethos of openness?



Finally, before closing much of the law involves the pursuit of justice – exposing and prosecuting the guilty.  As a young democratic state determined to make corruption illegal it is also prudent to do with it caution so as not to suppress peoples civil and political liberties which can act as a further deterrent to even less public accountability. 

Again, thank you very much for your participation here today.  I look forward to an open and frank discussion on the importance of this law and to hear your views. 

19 January 2011

CAFOD: East Timor:“Without Land there is no Culture , there is no Nation”

January 18, 2011 · 9:33 am East Timor:“Without Land there is no Culture, there is no Nation”
On October 9th 2010, the people of Samatrai Ermera gathered by the edge of a cliff overlooking a 35 hectare coffee plantation to publicize their demand for agrarian reform and request that the rightful ownership of the land to be returned to the 125 families whose ancestors lived and died there before the Portuguese colonial era, when it was converted into a coffee plantation.

Today, the Gou-io plantation owner pays these families to pick coffee for US$0.05 a kilo. The new generation is demanding that this land be redistributed so they can grow food crops to sustain themselves.

On this misty Saturday morning the families of Samatrai village organized themselves into 6 groups representing the Uma Lisan or ancestral houses. These ancestral houses are the cultural fiber of Timorese society. They define the individual, their place in the community and connection to the land; they represent the guiding force of the ancestors. The ancestors are buried in the land and are perceived to protect it. The word for these timeless guardians is rai nain, literally “land owner”. According to customary systems the Uma Lisan is the defining arbitrator in settling disputes. In stating their claims through the Uma Lisan, these families are calling on the highest order of the land to testify in their struggle.

The story of this community is the story of the district of Ermera, perched high in the mountains of East Timor; Ermera is the prime site of coffee production. This black gold, which accounts for at least 90% of commodities exports in Timor Leste, renders the land extremely valuable; those who control plantations, often descended from colonists; do not want to see them split up and given back. It is not uncommon for plantation owners to threaten local communities; as it was done in Gou- io on September 10th 2010, when shots were fired into the air, allegedly by a police officer in plainclothes, as the community was mobilizing.

Plantations like Gou-io were set up during the late Portuguese colonial era and persisted through the Indonesian military occupation, until the present To the community whose ancestors owned this land, independence from foreign occupation means they should have their land back.

Eight years after its formally recognized independence East Timor continues without a legal framework to decide land ownership. In the absence of which, arbitrating land claims become fertile ground for conflict. Many of the conflicts to date have been managed through ‘informal’ local mediation, a mark of the strength of traditional systems.

The draft land law, which is now sitting in Parliament for approval, potentially offers protection to customary land but there has been no consultation or piloting of this. The risk is that the wrong structures could be put in place undermining rather than protecting customary land.

The residents of Samatrai, tired of being peons on the plantation called on UNAER, the Ermera Agricultural Farmers Union, for help. UNAER, inaugurated in 2008, has 4000 members; all small farmers from Ermera district, many facing similar challenges. UNAER supports agrarian reform in Timor Leste; particularly concerned about issues of land, they recognize that without a proper legal framework farmers like those in Samatrai can easily become victims of the legacy of colonial occupation which originally took their land away. UNAER has enjoyed support from long time CAFOD partner KSI; since its inception it has assisted three communities in the process of gaining access to their land and the fight is far from over.

Source: http://blog.cafod.org.uk/2011/01/18/east-timor%E2%80%9Cwithout-land-there-is-no-culture-there-is-no-nation%E2%80%9D/

18 January 2011

Police deport eight prostitutes to Indonesia

Artwork by Arte Moris artist
Diario Nacional, January 17, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) has deported eight Indonesian women, believed to have been engaged in prostitution in TimorLeste.

These Indonesian nationals were captured during joint operations which were held by the Criminal Police Unit and the Immigration Police at the bars and hotels in the Capital of Dili.

Apart from capturing eight Indonesians, the police also arrested six Chinese women and two men. A police officer, Luis Soares Barreto said those foreigners were arrested on January 17, 2011, as they misused their visa.

See also An Analysis of the Social Problem of Prostitution in East Timor on East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

Majority of the ASEAN members support Timor-Leste: Foreign Minister da Costa

ASEAN
Radio Timor-Leste, January 16, 2011 language source: Tetun - Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Zacarias Albano da Costa said the majority of ASEAN members supported Timor-Leste becoming a member of ASEAN soon.

The minister believes that Timor-Leste will give its contribution to security, economy and culture in the region when entering ASEAN.

Da Costa added that Timor-Leste will get a great opportunity to join ASEAN when Indonesia starts to lead the Secretariat of ASEAN this year.

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor Help Australian Flood Victims

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor Help Australian Flood Victims

17 January 2011

National Parliament passes Budget in Generality with positive and constructive debate

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Government Press Release Agio Pereira January 14, 2011Dili, Timor-Leste National Parliament passed Budget in Generality with positive and constructive debate - The National Parliament concluded the first round of debates on the 2011 State Budget with the budget being passed in generality with a vote of 43 in favor, 21 against with 1 absentee. The debate was considered highly productive with thoughtful and constructive input coming from all members of the National Parliament.

Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao opened the budget debate earlier this week by describing the nation as being “at the dawn of a decade that can be historical for Timor- Leste in economic terms.” After pointing to the many indicators that show recent improvement in the country he stressed “these indicators are only of value if the Timorese are able to feel a difference in their daily lives, but they nevertheless provide unquestionable evidence that our efforts so far have been successful.”

The proposed Budget of US$985 million is the largest to date and commits to major investments into Infrastructure and Human Capital required to develop the nation and further reduce poverty which has thus far declined by 9% since 2007 with a targeted spend by the Government of $1.4 billion.

Two Special Funds were proposed that will ensure better coordination of investment and development projects, as well as their gradual and multiyear planning and monitoring. $317.3 million, covering multiyear projects and other large projects over one million dollars, has been allocated to the Infrastructure Fund and $25 million is allocated to the Human Capital Development Fund for 2011.

In 2011 the Infrastructure Fund will enable the continuation of the national project for generating and distributing electrical power at the plants of Hera and Betano with $166 million allocated. The MDG Suco program, which seeks to provide housing, solar power, water and sanitation, in addition to other small social development works throughout the country is allocated $65 million. This program foresees the construction of 5 houses in each hamlet, which means that in 2011, housing will be provided to over 11,000 families. The ultimate purpose of this is to improve the living conditions of over 55,000 families in rural areas by the end of 2015. Important developments on the South Coast will begin in 2011 with more than $30 million allocated to the development of the Petroleum Industry.

The Decentralised Development Program (PDD) will continue, with $15.5 million at the aldeia (hamlet), suco (village) and sub-district level and $28.8 million at district level. This program continues to energise local business and support rural communities.

The Human Capital Development Fund, with around $25 million allocated for 2011, is to invest in the people of Timor-Leste to ensure professional and technical training with the issuing of scholarships and support of other training methods to ensure the nation has the skilled human capital it needs for the next decades.

Along with the presentation of the proposed 2011 Budget the National Parliament was also briefed on the execution of the 2010 Budget. Timor-Leste uses modified cash basis accounting system, which allows the Government to make payments for all goods and services and physical projects completed by 31st December within the first two months of the following year. To date the Government has executed $729.9 million or 87.1%of the 201o Budget. The Capital Development component of $209.1 had an execution rate of 82.4%; a major achievement given the difficulties encountered in 2010 including institutional challenges which caused delays in procurement channels and an extended rainy season

The Secretary of State Agio Pereira said today “The spirit in which the Budget debates have been conducted in National Parliament this week show the dedication of our collective sense of responsibility for the Nation and how strong our desire to develop Timor-Leste for the benefit of our people. We have made significant progress in recent years but in 2011 we are on the cusp of an extended period of economic growth that will see a great fall in the level of poverty and a welcome rise in the quality of life of our citizens. We have truly embraced the idea of Goodbye Conflict, Welcome Development and regained a sense of confidence and self trust which will serve us well in the years to come.” ENDS

Agio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail:agio.pereira@cdm.gov.tl or govtlmedia@gmail.com Website: www.timor-leste.gov.tl
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