30 November 2011
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
|Beach Gardern Hotel, Pantai Kelapa, Dili|
“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
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.
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 email@example.com or by phone on 7374222.
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.
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.
.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Tlp +670 737 4222
mobile: + 670 733 8969
Rua dalan Balide, Dili, Timor-Leste
24 November 2011
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.
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.
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 Aniceto Guterres|
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.
|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.
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
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.
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.
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
• $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
• 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
18 November 2011
Spokesperson of the Movement for Defending the Dignity of Timorese Women, Maria Lurdes Amaral, has called on the State Secretary of Gender Equality Promotion (SEPI) to socialise the law on domestic violence as it is good way of reducing domestic violence case in the country.
"We call on the State Secretary of Gender Equality Promotion (SEPI) to be responsible for those women who are the victims of the domestic violence," Amaral said.
Amaral also called on national and international NGOs to socialise the law on domestic violence in order to stop people from engaging in this type of violence in the country.
|Map showing sub-districts of Baucau (Baukau), East Timor|
Operational Police Commander in Baucau District, Inspector Chief Joao J. da Silva Baptista, said the residents in rural areas such in Baguia and Quelicai are staying in a calm situation after the recent conflict in those areas.
"The security situation in the six subdistricts in Baucau District is under control," Baptista said.
"The general security situation in Baucau is under control," Squad Commander of F-FDTL in Baucau, Sergeant Miguel de Carvalho Soares said.
The Police also detained an assailant who killed a person in Buibao village, and the detainee is now in the prison waiting for further legal proceedings.
|Map showing location of Viqueque District in East Timor|
"The type of criminal case that remains high in Viqueque District is assault case that involve groups and individuals," Menezes said.
He explained that most of the cases took place because people were drunken and unemployed.
He added that another type of crime which also remains high in the area is domestic violence with the total number of this type of case being40 starting from January up to this month.
17 November 2011
|East Timor Police Commissioner Monteiro|
"From the total 97 cases of PNTL members being investigated this year, so far there are ten findings of lack of discipline, 9 leading to dismissal and one suspension," Commissioner of Police Longuinhos Monteiro said.
Monteiro explained that the decision made to dismiss the nine officers was made during the meeting of superior council held on November 14 this year.
He added that he will preside at a meeting of the police from the Portuguese Language Speaking Countries (CPLP) in 2012 in Timor-Leste.
|The grotto at MetiLaut beach, Dili|
The family of the deceased believed that their loved one was killed by unknown people on the beach.
The family also called on the police and all judicial institutions to investigate the case for legal proceedings.
"The police are currently conducting an investigation into the case to find out what the motive was", the father of the deceased, Luis Alves Pereira said.
"He was a soldier abidng by his mission within the defence force, but now he is dead," he said.
14 November 2011
13 November 2011
De Jesus explained that the incident happened last month when a car drooped 160 kg of tamarind to sell in Oepoli, Kupang in Indonesia.
“Usually our people conduct illegal business at the border of Timor-Leste and Kupang. There were four Timorese who dropped 160kg of tamarind who were detained by TNI when they crossed the border illegally and were on the way to Kupang,”
“TNI detained them in the area of Indonesia. They were assaulted and asked to report themselves at the security post, but they escaped and went into Timor-Leste territory and that was why they (TNI) shoot at the car eight times,” de Jesus said.
De Jesus added that no one was injured or killed in the incident, adding that the problem had been resolved by the Border Unit Police and TNI.
Jorge de Carvalho, a brother of one of the victims confirmed that the incident really happened as TNI shoot at his big brother Reinado de Carvalho and his friends when they dropped tamarind in Kupang.
ETLJB Editor's Note: Indonesian soldiers shoot at truck at border
Both governments must investigate and bring to justice all those responsible for unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, excessive use of force and other human rights violations during the peaceful demonstration.
The continued failure – twenty years later – to hold all the perpetrators to account highlights a wider problem of impunity for crimes under international law and other human rights violations committed during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste (then East Timor) between 1975 and 1999.
Many of the Timorese had attended an early morning memorial for Sebastião Gomes Rangel, who had reportedly been killed by Indonesian security forces on 28 October 1991. As the procession made its way to the cemetery, pro-independence banners and flags were raised. Minutes after the crowd arrived at the cemetery, the security forces opened fire. No warning was given.
According to eyewitness accounts obtained by Amnesty International immediately after the massacre, some soldiers fired into the air but others levelled their weapons at the crowd. The cemetery walls and the large crowd made it difficult to escape, but the shooting continued even as people tried to flee. Some were believed to have been shot in the back while running away. Many of the demonstrators were shot and killed, or otherwise injured. Hundreds of people were said to have been badly injured during the incident.
In a report released in 1994, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions found that members of the Indonesian military were responsible for killings during the event and that the response was “a planned military operation designed to deal with a public expression of political dissent in a way not in accordance with international human rights standards”.
The precise numbers of those killed, disappeared and injured during the massacre and in the immediate aftermath remains unknown, although it is estimated that over 200 people were killed or disappeared and around 400 wounded. Two decades later, calls for justice have yet to be fulfilled and attempts to hold the perpetrators to account have been weak.
In 2001, the Timorese government set up the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (Comissao de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliacao, CAVR), mandated to inquire into and establish the truth regarding human rights violations which occurred between 1974 and 1999. In 2005 the Commission published its report, which recommended the investigation and prosecution of those suspected of serious crimes under international law committed from 1975-1999, including the Santa Cruz massacre. According to the Commission, despite evidence of the direct involvement of 72 military officers, to date only 10 have been tried and sentenced by military courts to between eight and 18 months’ imprisonment. The Commission further recommended steps to establish the whereabouts and fate of the disappeared and reparation for victims.
Amnesty International urges the Timorese and Indonesian authorities to initiate promptly an independent, impartial and effective investigation into the events at the Santa Cruz cemetery on 12 November 1991. This investigation should be within the framework of a wider investigation into serious crimes committed during 1975-1999. The Timorese and Indonesian authorities should also bring the perpetrators to justice in fair trials without the death penalty and ensure that victims receive full reparation.
The vast majority of those accused of human rights violations are believed to have been given safe haven in Indonesia, and Amnesty International urges the Indonesian authorities to co-operate fully with investigations and prosecutions of persons accused of crimes in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999, including by entering into extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements with Timor-Leste.
Amnesty International also reiterates its call to the United Nations Security Council to take immediate steps to establish a long-term comprehensive plan to end impunity for these
crimes. As part of that plan, the Security Council should establish an international criminal tribunal with jurisdiction over all crimes under international law committed in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999.
In 2005, a UN Commission of Experts recommended that the Security Council adopt a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to create an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for Timor-Leste if genuine steps have not been taken towards holding to account those responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timor-Leste. Six years later, such steps have still not been taken.
Amnesty International further calls on the Government of Timor-Leste to implement the recommendation of the CAVR to establish a public register of missing persons and those killed between 1975 and 1999 and to undertake jointly with the Indonesian government a systematic inquiry to establish the whereabouts and fate of those who went missing.
Amnesty International also calls on the Timor-Leste and Indonesian governments to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance at the earliest opportunity, incorporate its provisions into domestic law, and implement it in policy and practice.
|East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao|
Although it is not clear what the Minister has done, the Prime Minister Mr Xanana has said that she has already been notified by the court to appear to answer accusations formally made against her.
“We have a system in place, we have the courts in place, we have to respect it. I too have to answer to parliament about many other things. If the courts accuse me of something I will have to respond, the government also has to respect the court’s role,” he said.
PM Xanana also asked the Anti Corruption Commission to not only look at the US$200,000 state money that was lost but that it also has to be concerned with some investors who ask the state for large funds for projects where much less funds are needed.
He gave the example of asking for US$600,000 to construct a road that should only cost US$200,000.
“We should be more concerned with the large amounts of millions that we do not keep an eye on, that with the oil and those things we will lose out on, you (Anti Corruption Commission) do what you are doing, but keep paying attention to those millions that are very important and will have an impact,” Xanana said. (End)
Jornal Nacional Diario Friday, 14 October 2011 Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism in the AMP: PM Xanana: “Ministers Will be facing the Courts” - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said that Ministers in his AMP government who have been accused of Corruption will have to face the courts, just like the Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres’ case who has gone to court, proceedings that are ongoing.
In the event Ministers are formally accused by the Judiciary of having been involved in corruption, collusion or nepotism they will be ready to go and answer the charges.
“Speaking of corruption, speaking of these things, I am saying, my deputy PM (Jose Luis Guterres) has gone to court, and I mention Minister Arcanjo Leite will be going, my Minister for Justice (Lucia Lobato) will be going, my Minister for Finance (Emilia Pires) will also be going. What should they be scared of?” added PM Xanana to journalists in Dare, last Friday 13/10/2011.
PM Xanana followed up saying that the government he leads always respects and abides by the principle of separation of powers in this State, but it must follow what the members of his government commit during their governance.
“Some people are loud in saying that whoever steals 50 cents, they must be removed, but there must be due process, and if we do not follow due process then we would be acting wrongly,” PM Xanana acknowledged.
The head of government also said that he himself is ready to face the court, if one day there is an accusation against him for some wrongdoing.
“If one day I am accused of doing something wrong, I ask you all to take me something (food) when you go to visit me in jail, but it must be through due process,” added PM Xanana.
However, PM Xanana said that he does not have the power to arrest anyone because of corruption, because other state institutions have the powers to deal with these matters.
East Timor Legal News 13/11/2011 Source: JSMP Press Release 31 October 2011 - On Wednesday 20 October 2011, the Suai District Court continued its mobile service to try an ordinary case in the District of Maliana. The aforementioned case was registered as No. 57/TDS/2011 involving light maltreatment against a spouse.
The aforementioned crime was allegedly committed by the defendant JLS against the victim AB. The incident allegedly occurred in Maliana District on 7 March 2011. The hearing was convened to hear testimony from the defendant and victim.
The trial was presided over by single judge Florençia Freitas, and the Public Prosecution Service was represented by António Tavares da Silva, and the defendant was represented by public defender Calisto Tout.
The Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira, stated that the initiative of the Suai District Court to operate a mobile court is an extremely positive step because it is a concrete response to difficulties faced by the parties who due to the prevailing circumstances are unable to travel to court on their own.
We believe that until such time as the courts can function effectively in all districts across the entire territory, mobile courts are an alternative mechanism that is extremely productive to bring justice to the public and to encourage the public to use the formal justice sector as a more effective means of resolving conflict occurring within the community.
Based on JSMP monitoring conducted in October 2011, in addition to operating the mobile court in Maliana, the Suai District Court also operated a mobile court in Ainaro District from 4th – 7th October 2011. 10 cases were heard in Ainaro, which comprised 2 cases of domestic violence, 1 cases of aggravated murder, 1 case of aggravated theft, 1 case of sexual assault, 1 case of robbery accompanied by violence, 1 case of misuse of trust, 2 cases of serious maltreatment, and 1 case of light maltreatment.
Based on JSMP monitoring of the case of light maltreatment that was heard in Maliana, the defendant exercised his right to remain silent during the trial in accordance with Article 60 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
After hearing statements from the defendant and victim, the trial continued with the reading out of the final recommendation of sentence.
Based on the evidence presented during the hearing the public prosecutor concluded that the defendant was guilty of committing light maltreatment in the form of slapping and punching the victim in the right eye, and well as kicking the victim twice on the backside and grabbing the victim on the mouth.
Based on the aforementioned facts the public prosecutor recommended for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 years imprisonment without suspending the sentence. In addition, a recommendation was made for the defendant to provide maintenance for his children totaling US$150 per month.
The final recommendation of sentence was made pursuant to Article 145 of the Penal Code and Article 35 of Law No. 7/2010 (Law Against Domestic Violence).
JSMP hopes that the steps taken by the Suai District Court can reduce the backlog of cases in the aforementioned jurisdiction and at the same time can increase public trust towards the justice sector.
A decision in the aforementioned case will be announced on 27 October 2011 at 2.30pm.
12 November 2011
East Timor Legal News 12 Nov 2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 9 Nov 2011 - The Timorese Immigration Police has held an inspectionof Chinese shops in the capital of Dili searching for Chinese who misuse their travel documents, such as passports and visas.
The inspection was held after the Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres called for the police to control foreign nationals who misuse their visas in the country.
Immigration Police officer, Gregorio Pinto, said during the inspection they found Chinese, Pilipinos and Indonesians, but most of them had been given working visas.
"We only detained few foreign nationals who misused their visa. We are investigating the case based on the immigration law," he said.
East Timor Legal News 12 Nov 2011 Source: Timor post 10 Nov 2011 - MP Fernanda Borges from Parliamentary Committee A for Justice and Constitutional Affairs said the defendant Valente Lavio, a member of the infamous Milisi Besi Merah Putih had escaped to Indonesia last month.
MP Borges called on the tribunal to explain the motive of Lavio's escapes from the justice.
"It means that there are still some weaknesses in the Timorese justice sector," Borges said during in a seminar which was held at Delta Nova Wednesday (09/11).
She said being a citizen she felt unhappy because the victim's family were waiting for Justice but the tribunal did nothing against the defendant Lavio.
Borges called on the Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecution to return the defendant to the country.
East Timor Legal News 12 Nov 2011 Source: Independente 11 Nov 2011 - The two police officers who fatally shot a 20-year old girl in Bobonaro district on Friday are now in Jail Becora, Dili, PNTL's Deputy Commander, Afonso de Jesus said.
Mr. de Jesus said the two officers had been disarmed as soon as possible after the shooting and taken to Suai Court for a hearing before being sent to jail in Dili.
They will face court again after a Public Prosecution investigation, he said.
"I think the action we are going to take will be serious to them both. This means they can be sacked," he said. He said his institution would not tolerate any police officer who broke the law.
UPF police in prison: De Jesus Source: STL 11 Nov 2011 - Timorese deputy police commander Afonso de Jesus said that the members of the Border Police Unit (UPF) who shot dead a high school in Bobonaro were now in prison. De Jesus added that the case was still in the process of investigation, but his officers were being locked up.
"We already informed all our members when going out of the office they should leave their weapons and ammunition," said De Jesus.
The gun and ammunitions may be carried only based on the commander's instruction, he said.
MP demands answers after police shoot high school student dead Source: Independente 9 November 2011 - The fatal shooting of a high school student by police in Bobonaro district must be investigated seriously, President of the Parliamentary Committee B, Duarte Nunes said.
A 20-year old Malibaka high school student died after she was shot in the leg and stomach while attending her friend's birthday party on Friday.
"It must be investigated. (That) someone died is a crime. Police must explain clearly why they shot someone," he said.
He said his committee was working hard to get clear information about the shooting.
ASDT MP Francisco Araujo said it was sad that a young life had been cut short. "As the people's representative I am dissatisfied with the attitude displayed by members of PNTL against the people," he said. Police officers had to show their professionalism and nationalism in their duty so that community could trust them, he said.
East Timor Legal News 12 Nov 2011 Source: Timor Post 9 November2011- A Timorese National Police (PNTL) officer has assaulted a female teacher because she is suspected of engaging in witchcraft in Fatunaba [Balibar] in Dili.
The case has been handed over to the police for investigation purposes, Criminal Investigation Service Commander, Calisto Gonzaga said.
The case should be processed legally, so that the state can pay attention to the police officers who are not disciplined, he said.
He affirmed that the victim is a teacher; therefore they would present the case to the investigation police and the National Parliament.
See also 2009 ETLJ 6 Witchcraft and Murder in East Timor
East Timor Legal News 12 Nov 2011 Source: Suara Timor Loro Sae 9 Nov 2011- The Timorese National Police (PNTL) officers from Maritime Police Unit and Aileu Police station bashed four local residents when traveling to Aileu from the Capital, Dili.
One of the victims, Carmen de Araujo, reported the case to the PNTL commander general on Monday (7/11).
Araujo said the incident happened on Sunday (6/11) afternoon on their way to Aileu when the two police officers stopped the police car and bashed them.
The police stopped us and asked "Did you insult us?" Araujo said.
"I know these two police officers, one if from Maritime Police Unit and another one is from Aileu Police Station, he said.
11 November 2011
East Timor Legal News 11 Nov 2011 Source: The Independente - By: Manuel da Silva - 11/11/11 DILI: Education Minister Joao Cancio Freitas has recognized that monthly salary payments are still being made to teachers who have died.
But he declined to reveal who was collecting the wages on behalf of the deceased. Mr Freitas said payments were made to dead teachers because there was no law to regulate them.
“We, in the Education Ministry, have (made payments for dead teachers) since the first constitutional government. We have some professors who are called ‘the dead soul professors’ – the names are there but those people have died,” the minister told INDEPENDENTE yesterday.
In parliament last week, FRETILIN demanded Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao address the issue.
Mr Freitas said his ministry had asked the office of the Public Function Commission to investigate the problem.
While there is no law in effect governing the payment of salaries for teachers who have died, the current government has developed a career regulation for teachers that will regulate their rights to a salary once it is implemented.
This regulation will end the payments to dead professors, Mr Freitas said.
There were 2000 professors on the Education Ministry’s payment list, he said.President of Parliament Commission C Manuel Tilman asked the government to control the salaries of public servants in 2012.
“(The government) must control (payments to) those who have died and (do) not work in the state institutions. (It) must look at it … (and) not pay,” Mr Tilman told the government during the 2012 general budget discussion between the parliament and the government led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao yesterday.
Head of the FRETILIN parliamentary group Aniceto Guterres said on Friday that the public was aware that some ministers and directors employed their relatives and those with the same political affiliations as advisers and office staff. Mr Guterres said his party had asked the Public Ministry to investigate this issue.
East Timor Legal News 11 Nov 2011 Source: Independente 8 Nov 2011 - Gun shots continue happening at the border between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, Deputy Police Commander, Afonso de Jesus said.
According to him, there were gun shots in the area of Naktuka, Beneufe village, Nitibe sub district, district of Ambeno [Oecusse], he said.
The gun shots happened because there was illegal market activities in the area, he said.
The Indonesian National Army (TNI) shot at a truck which was suspected of being engaged in an illegal market activity, he said.
“TNI soldiers really engaged in shootings, but they did not fire at our local residents, but shot at a truck and no one was wounded,” he said.
East Timor Legal News 11 Nov 2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 8 Nov 2011 - The Criminal investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said he is awaiting an authorisation letter from the Public
Prosecution which will allow him to investigate the missing money in the office of the State Secretary for Defense (SED). Gonzaga said the total money went missing within SED office is US $271 thousand, adding that they have identified the one stole the money. “We have the invoice that will complete this process.
The thief has been identified as we already received the evidences and we are waiting for authorisation to complete these documents with evidences,” he said.
He also called on the Public Prosecution to authorise SIC to accomplish their investigation and submit the case to the court for legal proceedings.