20 January 2012

The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste



East Timor Legal News 20/01/2012 Source: Fundasaun Mahein : The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste - Mahein Nia Lian no. 28 conducted in-depth discussion about the role, structure, competencies, policies and challenges faced by the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste.

Despite its small size, Timor-Leste has numerous institutions, which place immense pressure on limited human resources. This results in overstretched human resources whom are forced to make appropriate management decisions and regulations. The Supreme Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste is the consultative organ of the President of the Republic on matters relating to defense and sovereignty. On such matters, real power of decision lies with the executive/government and the role of the president on the council is
purely consultative.

As an institution that only has a consultative role on matters of defence and security, incidences such as the 2010 shooting in Naktuka, Oe-cusse by Indonesian military officers (TNI) at the border, the 2009 heavy-handed PNTL operation in Suai-BononaroDictrict, the 2010 PNTL operation in Baucau where the PNTL used the term “State of Emergency” and the recent confrontation between Martial Arts Groups (MAG), all pass through the Superior Council but merely on a consultative approach, allowing no executive role for a decision to be made on any of these cases.

Therefore, FM would like to make the following recommendations to the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste;

• The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste needs to review past activities and incidences and pursue its work on any doings currently in the pipeline. The Nakutka case has yet to be resolved and people are further victimized when there is a lack of will and good work to resolve the issue.

• The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste should in stages evaluate the situation in the country and scrutinize potential external threats and issues so as to inform the relevant institutions in order to avoid the politicization of information.

• Greater capacity building is needed for the secretary of the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste within the Civil Cabinet of the Department Head of House who provides assistance to the work of the Superior Council for Defence and Security.

For more information on this issue, please contact Nélson Belo, Director of Fundasaun Mahein Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp :   +670 737 4222

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