28 June 2012
Inside Story 08/06/2012 - Even the party that loses next month’s election will share in the victory by helping set the tone for post-UN democracy in this young nation, writes Michael Leach
CAMPAIGNING began this week in Timor-Leste for the parliamentary elections on 7 July. In the country’s semi-presidential system, where executive power is overwhelmingly weighted towards the prime minister, this is the most critical of the three elections in 2012. Twenty-one parties will hit the hustings, competing for seats in the sixty-five-seat national parliament. Barring a sensational performance from one of the major parties, Timor-Leste’s proportional electoral system makes a post-electoral coalition the likely outcome. Many of the smaller and newer parties will fail to meet the 3 per cent threshold required to gain seats, a feature designed to limit the fragmentation of the party system in the interests of stability.
Much is at riding on a peaceful election. Should all go well, both the UN police and the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force will withdraw from the country from late this year. Timor-Leste’s two electoral bodies have now assumed primary responsibility for running elections, and the successful conduct of the two presidential elections, which saw the former military resistance commander and retired defence chief Taur Matan Ruak become the new president, was a significant and positive outcome. Widely respected by all parties – including Fretilin, the party of his second round opponent, Lu Olo – Ruak’s strong popular mandate of 61 per cent was a promising result for stability. It cemented part of the leadership that will steer the country beyond the past decade or more of internationally assisted state-building.
But a successful and widely accepted result in the parliamentary elections is even more important for democratic consolidation, and the year ahead will be critical for the incoming government, whatever its complexion. Ruak has emphasised this point by declaring he will not travel overseas in his first year of office: an extraordinary commitment for a head of state, and one which suggest exactly how much is at stake ten years after independence. As the East Timorese NGO Fundasaun Mahein has pointed out, many Timorese will lose their jobs upon UN withdrawal, and that will bring a heightened potential for political instability.
SINCE 2007, Timor-Leste has been governed by the Alliance with a Parliamentary Majority, or AMP, a coalition of parties headed by the current prime minister, Xanana Gusmão. Fretilin, which formed the first post-independence government from 2002, presently serves as the opposition. Though there is little in the way of polling, the major election issues are clear. Management of the country’s now $10 billion petroleum fund, and associated development policies, will be a key focus. With memories still fresh of Timor-Leste debilitating political-military crisis of 2006, preserving peace and stability will be another.
On peace and stability, the record of the AMP government since 2007 has been positive. It has successfully dealt with two bitter legacies of the 2006 crisis: the 150,000 internally displaced people living in camps in Dili, and the 600 army “petitioners” whose sacking from the military triggered the crisis. Because the country’s turbulent political history leads even the most disengaged voters to place a premium on peace and security, the electoral significance of these achievements should not be underrated.
The AMP’s performance on development issues has been more mixed. Some headlines indicators have certainly been positive: annual economic growth is close to 10 per cent, although it has been driven almost exclusively by government expenditure of petroleum fund revenues, and there have been further advances on the primary health and education gains made by the first FRETILIN government. Infant mortality rates fell by a third between 2004 and 2010, and maternal mortality rates more than halved, though both remain a concern. The national literacy rate remains a problem at 50 per cent, though it is improving substantially among younger Timorese. Although the official poverty rate has dropped from 50 per cent to 41 per cent since 2007, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty suggests the situation is worse, with 68 per cent suffering “multiple deprivations with respect to education, health and standard of living,” some 75 per cent of rural Timorese trapped in entrenched intergenerational cycles of poverty, and 58 per cent of children suffering from malnutrition.
The government has taken a distinctive approach to these challenges, arguing that spending above the “estimated sustainable income” generated by Timor-Leste’s sovereign wealth fund is necessary to kick-start development in the country. But critics have argued that vast expenditure of petroleum revenues – some $3 billion since 2007 – has disproportionately benefited a small group of Timorese in Dili, exacerbating inequality and inflating the prices of consumer goods and essentials. Though electricity provision has improved, the system remains unreliable, and popular perceptions hold that roads and bridges in the country are yet to show improvement. Indeed, former alliance partners like PSD leader Mario Carrascalão argue publicly that the results do not reflect the quantity of revenue spent, and East Timorese NGOs like La’o Hamutuk have expressed repeated concerns over the fund’s sustainability for future generations if spending continues at this rate.
The awarding of large contracts under the referendum and infrastructure funds has also generated allegations of an increasing culture of corruption in public life. The current trial of the justice minister Lucia Lobato is the most high-profile case. Others argue that too little has been invested in alternative industries to avoid the “resource curse,” especially in agriculture, where national performance appears to be declining rather than improving. For its part, the government released an ambitious National Strategic Development Plan for 2011–30 which outlines the goals of economic diversification for the future, and has also set up an anti-corruption commission.
A smaller but nonetheless significant issue concerns a pilot program to teach initial literacy to primary students in their home language in districts where the co-official language, Tetun, is less widely spoken than other Timorese languages. The plan is backed strongly by Kirsty Sword Gusmão, but a number of domestic critics have attacked it as likely to undermine national unity, arguing that all should learn in the official languages from the start of their school years. Though such reservations may seem understandable at first blush, international research strongly suggests that initial literacy in the home language would ultimately make these students more adept at both Tetun and Portuguese, and achieve that result more quickly.
EIGHTEEN parties and three coalitions will contest the July elections. Though it finished second in 2007 with 24 per cent of the vote, Xanana Gusmão’s CNRT – the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction – has been the lead party in the governing coalition, alongside the smaller ASDT–PSD (a coalition of the Timorese Social Democratic Association and the Social Democrat Party) and the Democratic Party. The CNRT has several electoral advantages – most notably its high profile leader, Xanana Gusmão, and his alliance with the popular new president, who this week made of point of saying the AMP had governed well in its term. The CNRTs decision to back Ruak – the only major party to do so formally – seems to have paid strategic dividends. The party is mounting a serious campaign, with an ambitious goal of winning forty-five seats, and have reportedly amassed a potential US$2 million war chest from national and international supporters to bankroll it. Questions have been raised about whether these breach Timor’s prohibitions against corporate electoral donations. Although the National Electoral Commission has declared compliance with the electoral law, a definitive reading on this point can only be rendered by the courts.
A potential challenge for the CNRT is a level of popular discontent with rising inequality and the limited development progress in the rural areas. With the powerful combination of two former Falintil commanders, Gusmao and Ruak, some in Dili fear the campaign could take the form of the “domestic and military resistance” against the “diplomatic front and diaspora,” creating a form of insider/outsider narrative. Though both groups were essential to the achievement of independence, and are in fact represented across the political spectrum, there are certain strains of popular resentment in Timorese society that could respond to such a theme.
For its part, Fretilin – still the largest single party – has a lot at stake in this election. A second term in opposition would damage the historic party. Fretilin’s advantage is a well-organised district structure, a committed membership base, a level of popular disaffection with development and inequality in the districts, and clear tensions within the AMP coalition in recent years. Despite some unhelpful rhetoric about the AMP being a “de facto” government, the party has generally performed well as a democratic opposition. This has made its own significant contribution to peace and stability in Timor-Leste. It is also true that Fretilin’s vote recovered considerably in the western districts in the presidential elections – offset by Ruak’s own good performance in the eastern districts.
Fretilin has staked a lot on plans to rein in corruption, but this issue may not pay great electoral dividends. A study by the East Timorese Anti-Corruption Commission found that while many are concerned about the issue, it “barely registers” when set alongside issues like unemployment, poverty, and political instability. Moreover, some 52.5 per cent of respondents indicated they did not know what corruption was. While these figures vindicate the commission’s emphasis on popular education, they raise some questions over the Fretilin strategy. However, while some commentators question whether the party has renewed its image sufficiently to capitalise on tensions within the AMP – and others wonder about the lack of an obvious leadership succession plan – the more important question is probably a different one: can Fretilin articulate and sell an alternative plan for national development during the campaign? A well-run campaign which places human development at the forefront could yet see Fretilin set the 2012 campaign alight.
Looking at other parties brings us to the wild card in this election: the former president and leader of the diplomatic front, Jose Ramos-Horta. As he signalled in March, Horta is participating actively in the parliamentary elections. He brings an important reputation as a bridge builder, and the only historic leader to emerge from the 2006 crisis on speaking terms with all sides. On the other hand, the political alliance forged between Horta and Gusmão in 2007 has since broken down, with the former president an outspoken and often critical commentator on issues of government performance and transparency in his final year in office. It is clear there is little love lost between the two key historic figures.
Horta has since thrown support behind the Democratic Party, or PD, led by the president of parliament and former clandestine resistance leader Fernando “Lasama” de Araujo, which has its support base among a younger generation of independence supporters educated in the Indonesian era. The PD underperformed in 2007 with 11 per cent, despite the better performance of its leader in the presidential races, and is also hampered by divisions between key leaders from the east and west of the country.
However, the PD has been considerably boosted by the support from Ramos-Horta, who received a solid 18 per cent of the 2012 presidential vote despite the lack of support from any major party. Notably, though, Horta has not joined their list of candidates, despite considerable efforts from PD to persuade him to plant his flag; nor has he joined the party. Indeed, it may come as no surprise if he also lends active campaign support to ASDT and Fretilin. While campaigning with more than one party will help Horta conserve his bridge builder image, this also points to a wider strategy. He has publicly signalled the desire to have Fretilin included in the next government, as a means of unifying the east and west of the country. It seems reasonably clear that Horta’s strategy is to help build up both PD and Fretilin – along with ASDT – to increase the chances of forging a coalition against CNRT.
IF Ramos-Horta’s intentions are reasonably clear, Lasama’s are less so. Though there is little doubt he and some other PD leaders are open to a new alliance and known to be frustrated with their lack of policy input to the AMP government, a greater question mark hangs over Lasama’s ability to take a divided party along with him. At least one senior leader, Mariano Sabino, is more firmly in the pro-CNRT camp. While Ramos-Horta’s participation could help sell such a move to an uncertain membership base, the outcome cannot be assumed. Either way, given Ramos-Horta’s personal following, if PD can reconcile their internal differences then they could perform well in this election, emerge as the new “third party,” and potentially become the kingmakers in July.
One important recent development is the split in another AMP party, the Timorese Social Democratic Association, or ASDT. Not long after the death of the party’s founder, Xavier do Amaral, the party held a fiery congress that resulted in a major split, and two separate party lists being submitted to the National Electoral Commission: one from Gil Alves, the AMP tourism minister, known to be strongly pro-CNRT; the other from João Correia, whose faction sought to make Ramos-Horta honorary president of the party. In a potentially significant development, the “Correia list” was last week found by the courts to be lawful ticket, on the basis they were the only group to formally convene the required party congress. The potential for four or five seats to go to a party with close links to Ramos-Horta adds another level of intrigue to this election, though the larger issue could be how ASDT survive the passing of their much loved founder.
The same must be said of the Social Democratic Party, or PSD, whose founder, a former governor of the territory in Indonesian era, Mario Carrascalão is in ill health and not on the party list. Even he has publicly criticised the PSD’s decision to place Lucia Lobato – currently embroiled in a corruption trial – second on their list. In addition, the party has lost key members, including one of its co-founders, Fernando Gusmão, who has formed a new party, the National Development Party. While the PSD would generally be assumed to side with CNRT over Fretilin, and this may still prove the case, PSD itself insists it will be open to all options. The ongoing public disputes between Gusmão and Carrascalão appear to lend this stated position some credibility.
Finally, the National Unity Party and its impressive leader Fernanda Borges may hold their three seats. If they can expand their vote the previously neutral party could have a say in final outcome.
Tribunál Distrital de Díli halo prosesu julgamentu ba kazu violénsia doméstika ne'ebé akontese iha Suku Motael, Distritu Dili
22/06-2011 JSMP Komunikadu Imprensa Periódu: Juñu 2012 Edisaun: 22 Juñu 2012 - Tribunál Distrital de Díli halo prosesu julgamentu ba kazu violénsia doméstika ne’ebé akontese iha Suku Motael, Distritu Dili
Iha loron 19 fulan Juñu 2012 Tribunál Distritál de Díli halo prosesu julgamentu ba kazu ho natureza violénsia doméstika ho Númeru Prosesu; 262/TDD/2012. Kazu refere akontese iha Aldeia Palapasu, Suku Motael, Sub Distritu Vera Cruz, Distritu Díli. Arguidu ba kazu ne’e ho inisial AD ne’ebé prátika aktu krime hasoru nia kónjuje RCB.
Prosesu julgamentu ba kazu ne’e direje husi juiz singular Dr. Duarte Tilman Soares no parte Ministériu Públiku reprezenta husi Dr. Domingos Barreto. Aleinde ne’e arguidu rasik hetan asisténsia legál husi Dr. Cançio Xavier Defensór Públiku no Ofisial de Justisa Sr. Julio Martins.
Diretór Ezekutivu JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio haktuir katak, JSMP kontinua louva ba tribunál sira partikularmente Tribunál Distrital Díli ne’ebé kontinua hatudu pasu positivu, tanba julgamentu refere hetan kedas konkluzaun iha tempu hanesan. Prosesu ida ne’e refleta duni ba prinsipiu julgamentu ne’ebé lais, baratu, justu no kredivel ba parte sira ne’ebé hasoru justisa.
Tuir Ministériu Públiku nia akuzasaun haktuir katak, iha loron 2 fulan Abril tinan 2011, maiz ou menuz iha oras tuku 3 lorokraik, iha uma arguidu no lezada sira nian mosu duni dezintendimentu entre sira nain rua, bainhira arguidu mai iha uma ho kondisaun ne’ebé lanu.
Tanba ho kondisaun lanu, lezada hare no koalia barak too arguidu sente la satisfas ho lia fuan hirak ne’e. Arguidu fila basa lezada dala tolu iha lezada nia oin, tebe dala hat iha ain karuk, tuku dala lima iha lezada nia kotuk laran. Aktu hirak ne’e akontese no hamosu sofrimentu fíziku ba lezada rasik.
Iha tribunál arguidu rekoñese faktu sira ne’ebé Ministériu Públiku akuza ba arguidu. Aleinde ne’e iha parte seluk bainhira tribunál konfirma ba lezada konabá faktus hirak ne’e, lezada rasik deklara los duni aktu refere akontese duni hanesan saida mak deklara ona husi arguidu rasik.
Refere ba faktus hirak ne’e Ministériu Públiku kondena arguidu ho Lei Kontra Violénsia Doméstika artigu 35 junta ho artigu 145 Kódigu Penál Timor Leste ho pena prizaun tinan 3 ka multa.
Depoisde rona tiha deklarasaun husi arguidu no lezada, tanba laiha tan ona provas sira seluk hanesan prova testemuñal, nune’e, tribunál aproveita oportunidade hodi kontinua kedas ba alegasaun finál.
Iha alegasaun finál Ministériu Públiku kontinua defende katak aktu violénsia doméstika ne’e akontese duni. Maibé tanba arguidu ho lezada diak malu hodi hare sira nia oan, nune’e husu ba tribunál atu aplika pena suspensaun ba arguidu.
Iha parte seluk, defeza iha nia alegasaun konkorda ho buat ne`ebé mak Ministériu Públiku hato’o ona.
Desizaun tribunál, bázeia ba faktus hirak ne’e hotu tribunál imediatamente halo konkluzaun ba kazu refere ho lei no konviksaun juiz nian rasik, nune’e tribunál hamonu pena fulan 6 prizaun no suspende ba tinan 1 ba arguidu violénsia doméstika.
27/06/2012 Pun Unidade Nacional 5:00am Jun 27 on Facebook UNMIT Daily Media Review: Afternoon Edition, 27 June 2012 Independente - President of the National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges said that CAVR's [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] report disallows the autonomist [pro-Indonesian] leaders to rule the country.
Borges said that 200 autonomy leaders fought for integration with Indonesia and they are accused of engaging in serious crimes, in 1999.
Borges said that the report mentions that the autonomists are allowed to stay in the country as Timorese citizens, but they have no right to get involved in politics or to hold a position as a government official.
Borges added that Xanana and Horta know about this case but both continue to involve these people in governance.
She also said that it is critical for the Parliament to approve the law of Memorial Institute which will implement CAVR's recommendations so that those who were involved in the 1999 crimes will not rule the country.
28/06/2012 Komunikadu Imprensa
Periódu : Juñu 2012
Edisaun : 28 Juñu 2012
Ministériu Públiku kondena arguidu ALB, AMB no PSM ho pena tinan 20 prizaun
Iha loron 20 fulan Juñu 2012, Tribunál Distritál hala’ó julgamentu kontinuasaun ba kazu omisídiu agravadu ne’ebé rejista ho Nú.01/PEN/PEN/TDS. Kazu ne’e involve husi arguidu na’in 3 (tolu). Sira ida-idak ho inisiál ALB, AMB, PSM ne’ebé alegadu halo krime omísidiu hasoru matebian na’in 2 (rua) mak hanesan Ernesto da Costa ho Eusébio da Costa. Kazu ne’e, akontese iha Sub Distriu Atabae, Suco Loes iha loron 10 Juñu 2011.
Prosesu julgamentu hala’ó ho kompozisaun Juízes kolektivu ne’ebé kompostu husi Dr. Costançio Barros Basmery (Juíz Prezidénte) akompaña husi Dr. Âlvaro Maria Freitas no Dra. Florençia Freitas, reprezentante Ministériu Públiku husi Dr. Oscar Silva Tavares (MP Internasionál) ho Zélia Trindade. Iha fatin seluk, parte defeza husi Dr. Marçal Mascarenhas no Dr. João Henrique de Carvalho husi Eskritóriu Defensória Públika.
Diretór Ezekutivu JSMP Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, haktuir katak omisidiu ne’e nu’udar krime grave tanbá halakon ema seluk nia vida, tanbá ne’e husu ba tribunál kompetente atu hamonu pena ne’ebé justu bázeia ba gravidade krime ne’ebé arguidu sira komete ona, nune’é sidadaun tomak bele evita an atu la bele halo krime hanesan ne’e iha furutu.
Iha alegasaun finál Ministériu Públiku nian, nafatin mantein nia pozisaun relasionadu ho akuzasaun tuir 139 (f) Kódigu Penál Timor Leste kona-ba omisídiu agravadu ne’ebé defini katak oho ho premeditasaun (planu), ne’ebé iha kuandu nia uza frieza de ánimu, reflesaun kona-ba meiu ne’ebé uza ka rai nia intensaun atu oho durante oras 24.
Ministériu Públiku akuza mos arguidu sira tuir artigu 52 alinea (a), (c), (j) no (m) Kódigu Penál kona-ba sirkunstânsia agravante jerál.
Bázeia ba faktu hirak ne’e nomós depoimentus husi testamuña sira ba kazu ne’e, Ministériu Públiku husu ba tribunál atu kondena arguidu sira ho pena la tuun liu husi tinan 20 iha prizaun. Aliende ne’e, Ministériu husu ba tribunál atu kondena mós arguidu sira selu indeminzasaun tuir lei ne’ebé defenidu ona.
Hatan ba alegasaun Ministériu Públiku nian, parte defeza hato’ó ba tribunál atu absolve arguidu sira husi akuzasaun Ministériu Públiku nian, tanbá testamuña na’in 3 (tolu) ne’ebé parte defeza aprezenta ba tribunál, iha sira nia depoimentus katak arguidu sira la komete krime tuir saída mak parte Ministériu Públiku akuza hasoru arguidu sira.
Tuir JSMP nia observsaun katak Ministériu Públiku alega arguidu sira, bázeia ba akuzasaun no depoimentus husi testamuña na’in 7 (hitu) ne’ebé Ministériu Públiku aprezenta ba tribunál. Iha sira nia depoimentu katak arguidu sira mak komete krime omísidiu agravadu hasoru matebian Ernesto da Costa ho Eusébio da Costa nu’udar ona ho idade minoridade.
Tanbá ne’e, JSMP husu ba tribunál atu tetu no tau konsiderasaun tuir faktus hirak ne’ebé produz iha audiénsia julgamentu laran hodi fó justisa ne’ebé justu ba krime ne’ebé mak arguidu sira komete, atu ne’e bele hari’i justisa ba familia vítima no lisaun ba soseidade atu evita violénsia iha futuru liu-liu halakon ema seluk nia vida.
Leitura akórdaun sei hala’ó fila fali iha loron 30 Maiu 2012, iha oras tuku 14.30 lororaik.
28/06/2012 Komunikadu Imprensa
Periódu: Juñu 2012 Edisaun: 28 Juñu 2012 Tribunál Distritál Suai Julga Kazu Infantisídiu ba Arguida DMN - Iha loron 06 fulan Juñu Tribunál Distritál Suai hala’ó prosesu julgamentu ba kazu infantisídiu ne’ebé rejista ho Númeru Prosesu: 59/PEN/2011/TDS. Arguida ba kazu ne’e, ho inisisál DMN ne’ebé halo krime infantisídiu. Infantisidiu katak inan ne’ebé oho nia oan hafoin partu. Kazu ne’e akontese iha Aldeia Taimea, Suco Mali-Lait, Sub-Distritu Bobonaro, Distritu Bobonaro, iha loron 10 Fevereiru 2011.
Prosesu julgamentu hala’ó ho kompozisaun juízes kolektivu ne’ebé kompostu husi Dr. Cosntançio Barros Basmery nu’udar juíz prezidénte, akompaña husi Dr. Âlvaro Maria Freitas no Dra. Florençia Freitas. Iha parte seluk, Minstériu Públiku reprezenta husi Dr. Oscar Silva Tavares (MP Internasionál) no arguida ninia defeza Dr. João Henrique de Carvalho husi Eskritóriu Defensória Públika.
Diretór Ezekutivu Luis de Oliveira Sampio haktuir katak aktu krime ne’ebé komete husi arguida hasoru nia bebe rasik, konsidera nu’udar krime omísidu infantisídiu tanbá ne’e husu ba tribunál kompetente atu hamonu pena ne’ebé mak justu bázeia ba gravidade krime ne’ebé mak arguida komete.
Bázeia ba akuzasaun Ministériu Públiku haktuir katak iha loron 10 fulan Fevereiru 2011, iha oras tuku 09.00 dader, arguida komete krime infantisídiu ho maneira buti metin bebe nia nia ibun depoisde partus bainhira bebe ne’e tanis makaas.
Konsekuensia husi arguida nia hahalok hirak ne’e, bebe hakotu nia vida. Depoisde akontesimentu ne’e arguida lori bebe nia isin loloon ba tau iha hudi hun no lori fatuk bo’ot hanehan tan ba iha bebe nia isin loloon.
Relasiona ba kronolójia husi kazu refere, Ministériu Públiku akuza arguida ho artigu 142 Kódigu Penál ho moldura penál husi tinan 3 to’o 10 iha prizaun.
Bázeia ba JSMP nia observasaun nota katak arguida rekuñese katak akuzasaun Ministériu Públiku nian ne’e loos. Mesmu nia mos haktuir katak nia arepende nia hahalok hirak ne’e no promete katak iha futuru sei la repete fila fali hahalok ne’e.
Iha alegsaun finál Ministériu Públiku nian, subliña katak arguida provadus kontra artigu 142 Kódigu Penál. Pozisaun Ministériu Públiku bázeia ba deklarasaun husi arguida nomós liga ba akuzasaun laran. Tanbá ne’e, Ministériu Públiku husu ba tribunál atu kondena arguida ho pena tinan 3 iha prizaun, maibé suspende ba tinan 3. Ho razaun tanbá arguida arepende ba nia hahalok nomós arguida iha oan ne’ebé mak foin fulan 2 (rua).
Nune’é husi parte defeza hato’ó ba tribunál atu aplika pena suspensaun ba arguida tinan 2 (rua), tanbá arguida foin primeíra vez mai hatan iha tribunál, rekuñese ba nia hahalok nomós arenpede duni ninia hahalok refere.
Aliende ne’e, JSMP nia observasaun katak Ministériu Públiku aprezenta testamuña nain 5 (lima), maibé tribunál la presiza testamuña sira nia depoimentu tanbá, arguida rekuñese nia hahalok hirak ne’ebé hakerek iha akuzasaun Ministériu Públiku nian.
Relasiona ho faktus sira ne’ebé deskreve iha leten, JSMP enkoraza nafatin ba autóridade ne’ebé kompetente atu tetu no tau konsiderasaun tuir sirkunstánsia hirak ne’e, hodi nune’é bele fó justisa ne’ebé mak justu ba soseidade evita krime hanesan la bele repete tan iha futuru.
Tribunál marka fali data audiénsia hodi halo leitura akórdaun ba kazu ne’e, iha loron 20 Juñu 2012, iha oras tuku 10.00 dader.
Link to Scribd for Translation of FRETILIN Parliamentary Election Policy Platform 2012:
27 June 2012
Construction workers discovered the remains last week in a garden outside the beachfront government palace, which houses the office of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, and contacted police.
In 1975 Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony, starting a 24-year occupation in which an estimated 183,000 people were killed or starved to death.
But East Timor's Criminal Investigation Service Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said that while a preliminary examination suggested the bones could date back to 1975, they appeared too large to be Timorese.
"We look at the heads and they are very big and some bones are very long. In summary I think they are not Timorese," he said.
"Until now we've found 52 bodies, but only 11 bodies are complete," Gonzaga added, saying the way they were buried indicated homicide.
Gonzaga said police would wait for an expert from Australia, expected to arrive in July, before making further investigations.
Australian professor Damien Kingsbury said if the bones were not Timorese it was most likely they were Chinese.
"The Chinese were still in Timor when the Indonesians invaded in 1975 and they were one of the primary targets of the Indonesian military at that time," he said.
Kingsbury, an expert on East Timor at Australia's Deakin University, said Indonesians would not have buried their own people in a mass grave, and it was less likely the bodies were Portuguese.
In 1999, East Timor voted to become an independent nation in a UN-sponsored referendum.
Note: Image added by ETLJB
Fundasaun Mahein 25/06/2012 The recent reports/claims of women being harassed and assaulted by Military Police in Dili and Baucau for wearing clothing above the knee has reminded us again of the difficulties posed by rumors and possible misinformation in Timor-Leste.
Until now, no complainants have been identified and not a single incident has been verified. Following an internal investigation led by the F-FDTL, Genera Lere Anan Timor on Thursday June 21st denied the allegations and claimed that the rumors were “a cheap political statement by politicians to damage F-FDTL’s image”.
Fundasaun Mahein (FM) is not in a position to confirm or deny these rumors, however we would like to bring attention the government’s inaction in providing any sort of explanation or for taking any action on this matter. The President as well as both the F-FDTL & PNTL have come out on this issue late last week. FM welcomes their statements but laments their tardiness. Politicians on the other hand have remained silent, most likely more concerned with campaigning.
FM has received a number of calls from concerned individuals on this matter, providing second hand accounts of these referred incidences and a general sense of confusion prevails among a significant section of the population on the legality of girls wearing short skirts. With security actors slow to respond to the accusations and with no government official or institution giving clear legal clarification on the issue, the rumor has gained momentum and there is now significant concern within the community.
As this rumor persists, young girls are growing worried and so are their parents. This affects their sense of security and self-confidence. Why has no official come out to explain to the general public that there is no law that allows police or military police to take any action with regards to girls’ choice of clothing?
That could have been an effective first step in handling the situation, and limiting the drawbacks from the spread of the rumor. Rumors create a sense of panic, which can lead to instability. It hinders people’s daily activities, and right now with the lead up to the parliamentary elections, it deters people’s attention away from the campaigns and their involvement in the democratic process.
FM would like to make a simple recommendation. We expect our government to take swifter, more decisive action when rumors break out. We expect government institutions to get right down to the bottom of such rumors so as to provide the public with a clear confirmation or denial and explanation. In other words, we expect a more pro-active approach to be adopted by both the government and the security institutions.
A special independent body could be created where people could seek clarification on such rumors. Finally, FM understands that politicians themselves are sometimes the source of rumors, and this is why the media has a major role to play in uncovering the truth about rumors. We expect our media to engage in high quality investigative journalism and to confirm incidences before reporting and printing them.
26/06/2012 Timor-Leste has been working to enact a Basic Law on Environment for about two years. La'o Hamutuk is glad to report that the process is almost complete, and that the version of the law pending Presidential promulgation will be good for Timor-Leste, and is significantly improved over earlier drafts. We appreciate the willingness of the people involved in writing this law to invite and listen to suggestions from La'o Hamutuk and others in civil society.
During 2011, the National Environment Directorate held two limited public consultations on earlier drafts, to which we made submissions. In November, Parliament delegated its power to enact this law to the Council of Ministers, which approved it on 11 April 2012. It was sent to President Taur Matan Ruak in early June, and he may promulgate it soon.
For more information and analysis, including the text of several versions of the law in English and Portuguese, see http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/EnvLaw/11EnvBasicLaw.htm .
Following informal conversations with the new President's advisors on the latest version ( English or Portuguese), La'o Hamutuk wrote them a letter to recommend that he sign it, which follows:
Institutu Timór-Leste ba Monitór no Analiza Dezenvolvimentu
Rua Martires dos Pátria, Bebora, Dili, Timór-Leste
20 June 2012
Office of President of the Republic Taur Matan Ruak
Palacio Nicolau Lobato, Aitarak-laran, Dili, RDTL
We are writing this letter to follow up on our recent informal conversation about the Environmental Basic Law which was approved by the Council of Ministers on 11 April 2012. We hope it will be helpful to you in advising the President of the Republic whether to promulgate this law or send it back for further consideration.
We are gratified that many of La’o Hamutuk’s recommendations on earlier drafts have been incorporated, and we believe that this law will be good for Timor-Leste and should therefore be promulgated by the President of the Republic. We especially appreciate the inclusion or strengthening of special attention for vulnerable groups, environmental services, public information, cultural rights, citizens’ participation and consultation, marine ecosystems and pesticides.
Since environmental policy is fundamental for Timor-Leste, it would be better if the law were discussed publicly, with committee hearings and reports, and enacted by Timor-Leste’s Parliament, under Article 95.1 of the RDTL Constitution. Although it is legal for Parliament to delegate its power to the Government under Article 96.1, it is not mandatory. We do not think that the avoidance of an open legislative process is justified, especially as the law will probably not come into effect until after the Parliamentary election next month.
Wouldn't it be better for the next Parliament and Fifth Constitutional Government to enact this basic law, which will create the framework for other legislation, programs and projects that the new Government will carry out? We raise this question with some trepidation, as it is possible that Parliament could weaken some of the good provisions in the latest version of law, but that is a risk of democratic process.
Although the law passed by the Council of Ministers is significantly better than earlier drafts, there are still a few areas which need improvement. Most of these were discussed in our earlier submissions:
Article 1: Definitions.
Add definitions of Environmental decommissioning plan, endangered species and threatened species, National Park.
(d) Restore “consultation” to definition of Strategic environmental assessment
(g) Add atmospheric composition (e.g. emission of greenhouse gases) as part of Environmental degradation.
(h) Include the idea of Environmental Services in defining Sustainable Development.
(j) The term being defined is "renewable energy”, not “alternative energy”.
(x) Remove “considered worthless, unnecessary or without value” from the definition of “waste.” For example, the cans and plastic water bottles which litter Dili are “waste” even though they were considered necessary at one point, and have value to recyclers.
Article 4 (d): We agree with the addition of this article, but suggest that Article 4(d) from the previous version, “The creation, development and management of hazardous areas, the protection of species and habitats, to ensure the conservation of nature and preservation of biodiversity and other environmental values, and the appreciation and conservation of natural heritage;” should also be in the legislation. Perhaps it was removed by clerical error?
Article 5 (c): The definition of Principle of Prevention was worsened between the two 2011 drafts to make considering the actions “in advance” apparently optional. The definition in Article 4 (c) of the January 2011 draft should be restored: “Principle of prevention: all actions or actions with immediate effects or long-term environment should be considered in advance, so as to reduce or eliminate the causes of environmental degradation. Actions with immediate or short-term effects should be considered in advance, reducing or eliminating the causes, primarily to correct the effects of these actions or activities that may alter the quality of the environment.”
Article 5 (e): Participation, including public consultation, should also be required for planning, formulation of policy and decision-making, not only for specific projects.
Article 6.5: Citizens should also have the right to ask the courts to order cessation of the causes of violation, and for compensation. Article 6.4 of the September 2011 draft was better.
Article 12: The state should guarantee (not only recognize) the right of local communities and vulnerable groups to participate, as in Article 11.1 of the January 2011 draft.
Article 14: Should include environmental standards for biodiversity, cultural resources and environmental services.
Article 16 (b) and (c) are identical. Perhaps one of them is supposed to be “periodic review of changes in the quantity and quality of renewable and non-renewable natural resources”?
Article 27.2 should ban imports of genetically modified organisms, not just regulate them. This is consistent with the precautionary principle.
Article 28 should be restored to the previous version, which also covered species endangered due to their “size, age or rarity.”
Article 30.2 states that “the extraction of nonrenewable natural resources must be made in a sustainable manner,” which is impossible – nonrenewable resources by definition cannot be used sustainably. We encourage prioritizing protection and conservation of both renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, rather than advocating less injurious ways to use them.
Article 44 about the future Environmental Fund is less detailed than in previous versions. We expect that it will be filled out in a subsequent law or decree, and hope that there is an effective public consultation before it is enacted.
Article 46 (e): Timor-Leste should not support or participate in carbon trading. Carbon trading and similar market mechanisms provide economic benefits to traders but allow continuing destruction of the global environment. This law should aim at preserving the environment, not making brokers rich.
Article 67: World Health Organization standards are inadequate, even in the interim. They are the absolute minimum, not strict enough to ensure sustainable development of Timor-Leste. They do not follow the Precautionary Principle in Article 5(d) of this law. Standards issued by the International Standards Organization (ISO) would better safeguard Timor-Leste.
We would like to suggest an additional article to stimulate the creation of an environmental policy for procurement, construction and other projects and activities undertaken by RDTL state entities. This could include catering using local foods; construction using energy-efficient design (i.e. air vents, natural light etc.); first preference for sustainable and locally made goods and services, minimizing waste, etc.
In conclusion, we have based the suggestions in this letter on computer-assisted English translations of drafts of the law. We hope that we have not made errors due to translation, and that you can easily apply our comments to the official Portuguese text.
We hope that this letter is useful to you, and would be happy to try to answer questions or have more discussion, either in person or by email.
Alexandra Arnassalon and Charles Scheiner
 We have collected information and analysis on the history of this law at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/EnvLaw/11EnvBasicLaw.htm, which links to our submissions to DNMA made in February ( http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/EnvLaw/LHsubLeiAmbiental28Feb.pdf and http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/EnvLaw/LHsubLeiAmbientalTable28FebEn.pdf ) and October ( http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/EnvLaw/Sep11/LHsubLeiAmbiental7Oct2011.pdf ) 2011.
Ending the 2006 Internal Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste: Between Humanitarian Aid and Transitional Justice
International Organization for Migration
List of Acronyms..............................................................................................5
1. Introduction: The response to the 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste
situated in policymaking on internal displacement..................................9
2. The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste: A brief backgrounder..........................13
The 2006 crisis.......................................................................................16
3. Resolving the IDP crisis in Timor-Leste: From a humanitarian
response to the National Recovery Strategy............................................21
4. Devising the National Recovery Strategy: Pragmatism prevails..........25
From a broad-ranging plan to the provision
of “return” or “recovery” packages........................................................25
Resistance to a cash-based approach......................................................27
5. Achieving return and resettlement through the cash
grant scheme: Selected implementation challenges................................29
Reducing conflict and overcoming fear:
The key role of mediation and dialogue.................................................29
Uncertainty of land and property rights as a barrier to return................30
Identification of IDPs.............................................................................33
Gender and the recovery package...........................................................34
6. Does the National Recovery Strategy amount
to a reparations programme?...................................................................37
A participatory process that included both acknowledgement
and recognition of the failure of the state to protect its population........38
National Recovery Strategy: Not part of a comprehensive
transitional justice policy........................................................................40
National Recovery Strategy: Not a reparations programme...................41
The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste saw close to 15 per cent of the population displaced from their homes, threatening to sink the country into protracted instability and violence. Remarkably, less than five years later, the country looks to be back on track, with the internal displacement file largely resolved. This study looks at the National Recovery Strategy (NRS) adopted by the government to resolve internal displacement in Timor-Leste, from the viewpoint of a participant in the policy development and implementation process. Particular attention will be paid to the cash grant component of the NRS, as well as the accompanying dialogue processes. After discussing the move towards a cash grant-based programme and looking at some of the implementation challenges the government faced, this study will try to ascertain whether or not the NRS can be qualified as a full-fledged reparations effort. It concludes that while the NRS had some important characteristics that are usually associated with (administrative) reparations programmes, including a clear reparative effect for a defined category of victims, a number of factors stand in the way of wholeheartedly qualifying it as a reparations effort. Nevertheless, the experience of Timor-Leste contains a number of important lessons for reparations efforts in respect of displaced populations elsewhere, which will be highlighted in the conclusion.
full text: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/MRS44_13June2012.pdf
26 June 2012
A soldier murdered in Maliana Source: Radio Timor-Leste, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Bobonaro District Police Commander Superintendent Joao Asis Belo has confirmed that a man was stabbed to death in Ritabou village in Maliana, Bobonaro district on Monday (25/6) early morning.
During a telephone interview Belo said they had identified the victim’s name as Sebastiao Borges Marques who was a soldier of the East Timor Defence Force.
“We found (there was) a person appearing at the police station to turn himself in to the police saying he had killed someone.”
“We locked him up in the cell; after that we went to the crime scene at which we found there was a dead body and he was a defence force officer,” Belo said.
Belo affirmed that the murder happened when the victim went to a kiosk to buy wine, but unfortunately the assailant, Carlito Carvalho stabbed the victim at his back side and the victim died immediately at the scene.
He added that the assailant was now in the police cell and was waiting fo rthe investigation and the deceased was in the Referal Hospital of Maliana for autopsy purposes.
Ximenes was killed by IS Source: Radio Timor-Leste, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Viqueque District Police Commander Superintendent Chief Justinho Menezes affirmed that Aleixo Ximenes was believed to have been killed by someone with initial IS and six other people in Viqueque district.
Menezes during telephone interview said that the incident happened on Sunday in Nahareka Village in Osu Sub-district of Viqueque District.
He explained that the incident happened because of a taunt between the victim and the suspects during a drinking-wine feast, adding that they were relatives.
Menezes said that they already detained the 26-year old murder suspect with initials IS and he was now in the police detention center in Osu for investigation purposes.
“They drank wine in the victim’s home until night time and they became involved in verbal arguing. The victim slept in his house and at about midnight the suspects came to victim’s house and called him out and killed him approximately 40 meters away from victim’s house,” he said
He affirmed that the other six people who also engaged in murder had escaped and they all are the members of CPD-RDTL group, adding that the police were searching for them.
He added that the security situation in the scene after the incident was under control, because they already deployed the police officer in the area.
Two young people detained in Baucau District Police station Source: Radio e Televizaun de Timor-Leste, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Chief of Criminal Investigatios in Baucau District, Rogerio dos Reis, said on 23 of June that the Fretilin party held their political campaigns Baucau, but an unknown group stoned at their convoy.
He said two people detained in Baucau District police station due to they was suspected to have been engaged in stoning at the convoy.
“PNTL has detained two young people for involving in a case,” he said.
Court tries 15 suspects engaged in burning family members Source: Suara Timor Loro Sae, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - The District Court on Monday (25/6) tried 15 suspects who were suspected of being engaged in burning and killing six women and a four-year old child on May 25, 2006.
The court only presented 14 suspects in the trial and another suspect had left Timor-Leste.
During the trial some of the suspects urged the court to seriously identify who is the main suspect of the case.
The murder happened when the violence and turmoil broke out in the Capital of Dili in 2006.
Court of Appeal yet to receive Lucia Lobato’s appeal Source: Diario Nacional June, 26 2012 language source: Tetun - The Court of Appeal officer Jose Camoes said today was the deadline for Minister for Justice, Lucia Lobato to submit her appeal to the Court of Appeal but they had not yet received her appeal.
“We have not yet received appeal from Lobato due she has not submitd her appeal to the court, in the process of appeal, the court gives 15 days to learn,” he said.
In response, the official from Dili District Court said the court had received an appeal from Lobato on June 22, adding that it had been submitted to the Public Prosecution to learn.
Lobato’s defender already submitted appeal Source: Independente, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Defender of Lucia Lobato, Cancio Ximenes affirmed that they already submitted an appeal to the Dili District court and therefore they were waiting for further process.
“We already submitted (the appeal) last week, we just wait when the district court present (submit) it to the Appellate Court,” Ximenes said.
He affirmed that they made appeal because they were dissatisfied with something which was needed to be fixed and be considered.
Dili District court recently decided to imprison Lucia Lobato, because she was found guilty engaging in corruption and abuse of power.
Horta agrees to be investigated and waits for Gusmao’s action Source: Independente, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Former President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta said that he agreed with the request of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to hold an investigation into his office and is waiting for PM Gusmao’s action.
Horta said that no matter to hold investigation into his former office, but the investigation should also be held into the office of the Prime Minister, tribunal and other Government’s institutions.
“Not only hold investigation into the office of the (former) president, but also investigate the office of the prime minister, tribunal and others, I agree with this investigation,” Horta said.
He added that it was important to hold investigation into all the state institutions as it was a way of guaranteeing transparency and accountability in the country.
Horta added that he was ready to be investigated because the United Nations Development Program had also held an investigation into the use of power at his former office (President Palace).
Baucau court to continue trial of Minister for State Administration and Territorial Management Source: Independente, June 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Baucau District is scheduled to continue trying Minister for State Administration and Territorial Management Arcangelo Leite today.
Defender of Leite, Cancio Xavier affirmed that their client was accused of engaging in maladministration in the process project tender.
Xavier said that based on their observation in the first trial process held last week that there was no strong evidence, prejudicing their client.
“The witnesses declared in the court that the project is in good quality. Should they be taken to court for trial,” he questioned.
Mr. Leite is facing legal process because he is suspected of being engaged in abuse of power and maladministration.
25 June 2012
ABC News Foreign Correspondent Updated June 24, 2012 07:30:00 - In East Timor, the politics of language can be a complex and fiercely debated topic. While the official languages are Tetum and Portugese, there are no fewer than 16 other local languages.For children starting school that's a complicated world to understand, let alone navigate, and many are being left behind.
Source: Correspondents Report | Duration: 6min 48sec
ELIZABETH JACKSON: In East Timor, the politics of language can be a complex and fiercely debated topic.
While the official languages are Tetum and Portugese, there are no fewer than 16 other local languages.
For children starting school that's a complicated world to understand, let alone navigate; and as Liam Cochran reports many are being left behind.
(Sound of guitar playing)
LIAM COCHRANE: From East Timor's capital, the harbour city of Dili, it's about a two hour drive to the district of Manatuto.
When it comes to education outside Dili, this school is about as good as it gets. The classrooms have books and learning aids, the playground has clean toilets and running water, and young children are learning basic numeracy.
But venture into the countryside and it's a different story. Just getting there can be a challenge.
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: Well, sadly with all of the recent very heavy rain the road has washed away.
LIAM COCHRANE: These challenges are nothing new for Australian born Kirsty Sword Gusmao who was part of the clandestine resistance movement working for East Timor's independence. These days her husband, Xanana Gusmao, is Prime Minister and she's goodwill ambassador for education in East Timor.
It's a sector in trouble. A World Bank study in 2009 found at the end of grade one 70 per cent of children couldn't read a single word of Tetum or Portuguese. By grade three, 20 per cent were still totally illiterate.
Kirsty Sword Gusmao and a range of supporters want to change that. This year a pilot program has started in 12 schools across three districts using the local language or mother tongue to teach children during their first years of school. With this foundation in a language they already understand, teachers can then slowly introduce Tetum and Portuguese.
(Sound of children singing)
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: Yes, this is the Rembor Primary School and this was previously the grade five classroom. We gave a recommendation to the principal that the grade one students actually be given this classroom, given the very high numbers of grade one students, I think there are about 40 or 50 students.
And therefore, during the training the teacher trainers were able to actually transform the classroom into a child friendly space, putting posters and the kids' drawings, the teachers' drawings on the walls. And also to set up art corners, reading corners, and activity corners for the kids.
So it's a much different place from the one that we first visited a month or so ago.
LIAM COCHRANE: Tetae is 7-years-old and she's typical of children who have struggled under the old system.
Despite two years of formal schooling, she still can't recognise a single letter in either Tetum or Portuguese. And the reason for that is at home she speaks the local language of Galoli, like most of her friends.
Her father is Paulino Timun.
PAULINO TIMUN (Translation): Before this program started Tetae was very reluctant, almost scared to go to school because the teachers were forcing her to learn in what are essentially foreign languages. And since this program has started, she's actually become really happy about going to school.
LIAM COCHRANE: Tetae's mother, Juliana Soares, and her father are both enthusiastic about the mother tongue pilot project.
JULIANA SOARES (Translation): I want my daughter to have a good education and to be able to acquire other languages in the future.
LIAM COCHRANE: The pilot has only been running a few weeks but already Tetae is engaging at school like never before. She says when she grows up she wants to be a doctor.
But not everyone agrees with the mother tongue teaching pilot.
Laura Pina, a member of the Women's Network.
LAURA PINA (Translation): This project will cause discrimination among the students from different mother tongue groups. We have to provide quality education to all students equally.
Mother tongue languages can be developed and protected in many ways, but if we use mother tongues in formal education, it will cause great confusion.
LIAM COCHRANE: Laura Pina is concerned about friction between the languages groups of East Timor. And there's also a practical element to her opposition.
LAURA PINA (Translation): In Manatuto they're going to use only Galoli, but as we know there are many mother tongues in Manatuto, three or four, not just Galoli. So how will they use mother tongue to give a lesson to the students when the students speak so many languages? How many different math teachers will we need?
LIAM COCHRANE: Teaching kids in their mother tongue as a bridge to another language is a concept that's been tried in other countries with great success, notably in Cambodia.
Teo Ximenes works for the humanitarian organisation Care, and he travelled to Cambodia to see the mother tongue teaching program in action there.
TEO XIMENES: If we introduce this mother tongue in the lower grades of primary school, children can learn easily.
LIAM COCHRANE: However, Kirsty Sword Gusmao says the criticisms of the project go beyond education policy.
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: I think some of the criticism is politically motivated. For some reason my involvement seems to suggest to people that this is an official program and policy of the present government, which is actually not the case.
The ministry has given its full support to the pilot, but has actually delayed any, you know, overarching support for or embracing of this policy until some results are shown.
LIAM COCHRANE: It's early days for the 12 schools where the mother tongue teaching approach is being tried. It's only cost $US13,000 to get these pilot programs running, but more money it needed to keep going and to assess whether it's actually helping kids learn.
KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: I hope that when we hold those results up, that our ministry of education will see the benefits and will want those benefits to be shared and enjoyed by young people and teachers, communities all over the country.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: And that was Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Goodwill Ambassador for Education in East Timor, joining Liam Cochrane.
24/06/2012 Lusa The Timorese police today arrested two persons in Baucau, east of Dili, for stoning supporters of the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) at the end of a rally for the parliamentary elections on July 7.
"The PNTL arrested two individuals undergoing investigation following the incident," said the police source to Lusa.
The same source also told Lusa that since the beginning of the election campaign since 5th last only about six minor incidents were recorded, some of which related to the destruction of election campaign material.
Contacted by telephone by Lusa, Harold Moucho, political adviser to the president of FRETILIN, said two cars were stoned and a supporter was injured, but not seriously with a machete wound, and is receiving hospital treatment.
"At the gas station, a car that was ahead of the party president Lu Olo and Secretary General Mari Alkatiri's convoy was stoned," said Harold Moucho.
Then, according to the advisor, a bus carrying FRETILIN members was stoned, and a member attacked who "was injured by a machete wound."
Asked by Lusa that the two detainees were supporters of a party, Harold Moucho explained that it is a "group known to cause disturbances in Baucau".
"It is the first incident that we have in the election campaign. We again appeal to our members and supporters not to get involved in trouble," he said.
The campaign ends on July 4.
21 parties and coalitions are contesting the country's third legislative elections.
24 June 2012
Dili, 20 June 2012: President of Republic, Taur Matan Ruak met the Anti Corruption Commission (CAC) team at the Palacio Presidente Nicolao Lobato, today.
CAC team led by Commissioner Aderito de Jesus briefed the President of the work undertaken by the Commission.
President Ruak expressed his appreciation towards all efforts that been shown by the institution in the area of investigation, corruption prevention and promoting good governance.
The President asked the institution to maintain their credibility and work together with the President's Civil Society Adviser, as promoting good governance is also one of his main priorities.
The Jakarta Post 06/21/2012 5:05 PM - Twenty four bodies were recovered on Wednesday from a mass grave that was accidentally found in the garden of the office of Timor Leste's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in Dili last week by several construction workers.
The workers were digging the ground to construct pipes for the park's new water fountain.
Timor Leste's detective chief Calistro Gonzaga told Tempo on Wednesday that he believed more bodies would be found in the mass tomb. He added that his office would summon an anthropologist from Australia to help identify the bodies.
"We will try our best to identify all of the bodies as soon as possible. We will announce the names once all the victims are identified," he said.
A number of technicians from Bantuan Tenaga Kerja Group, a water construction company, initially found 13 bodies that were buried in a 3 square-meter hole about 2 meters deep on Monday last week.
The country's State Secretary for Veterans Affairs, Marito Reis, said separately that he had suspected the bodies were the victims of a massacre during the announcement of Timor Leste's independence in 1999.
He also suspected that one of the bodies was the former Indonesian professional boxer, Thomas Americo, who had been missing since 1999.
A member of the forensic team who refused to be named told Tempo that the result of the identification process would be announced next week.
Timor Leste was an Indonesian province before becoming an independent state in 1999 through a United Nations-organized referendum.
The country will hold a parliamentary election on July 7. (asa)
23 June 2012
UNFPA Press Release For immediate release: June 22nd, 2012 - On Friday, June 22nd, the handover of a vehicle donated by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) to the JSMP-VSS (Judicial System Monitoring Program,s Victim Support Service) took place in Dili. JSMP-VSS is a key partner in the referral network of support services providing legal support for victims of Gender Based Violence in Timor-Leste. UNFPA's donation was made following a direct request by VSS for funds to purchase a new vehicle to improve the quality of their service delivery to victims of domestic violence.
JSMP-VSS carries out vital work providing legal assistance and advice to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault often living in remote areas. The VSS accompanies victims and witnesses to the police, prosecutors, and courts, and brings them to safe houses. The VSS also provides follow up services with local authorities and helps clients to access other referral services such as medical and counseling services.
In the past there have been delays in reaching victims of GBV because of the lack of access to transport which has impacted on the quality and quantity of assistance provided to clients. At present, the VSS does not have its own car for activities in eight districts including Dili, Aileu, Liquisa, Ermera, Baucau, Manatutu, Viqueque and Lautem, and has to rely on vehicles borrowed from other JSMP departments when available or motorcycles, rented cars and taxis in order to implement their program activities.
The Executive Director, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Luis de Oliveira Sampaio JSMP believes that with the funds provided by UNFPA to purchase this car will improve the quality and quantity of assistance that VSS is able to provide to its clients, will improve the security of VSS staff, and will contribute to the achievement of access to justice for victims of gender based violence in Timor Leste.
UNFPA has been supporting JSMP-VSS since 2004, under the SEPI/UNFPA programme to address GBV in Timor-Leste. The handover ceremony was attended by Dr. Domingas Bernardo, UNFPA representative OIC, Executive Director, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Lisa Mortimer, the JSMP - VSS advisor, Marcelina Maria Fernanda Amaral, Interim Coordinator VSS and UNFPA and VSS staff members .
22 June 2012 This week Fundasaun Mahein (FM) came across yet another picture posted on a social networking website of a civilian showcasing what was confirmed as a real assault rifle. More worrying this time, the person in the picture, was a young girl no older than 10 years old, daughter of a PNTL officer.
There seems to be a growing trend of security actors in this country, handing out their guns to relatives and civilians to pose for pictures, which are then posted online. This is both worrying and unlawful, as the officers concerned cannot control the actions of untrained and in this case under aged individuals weapons in hand.
Feto sivil kaer ho pistola hasai filmajen
Guns are no toys and FM is pointing out the obvious when stating that guns in the hands of civilians and notably children are a recipe for disaster. Accidents can happen. The handling of guns entails training and allowing children to play around can have tragic consequences. Additionally, showcasing your weapon to your child and storing it at home, risks the situation of curiosity leading a child to search for it and handling it in an unsupervised context.
Furthermore, we already live in a highly traumatized society, and the handling of guns by children doesn’t help and could be seen as psychological torture. This also applies to plastic guns, as some look incredibly real. Their handling perpetuates a psychology of warfare and struggle, Timorese were so accustomed to for generations, and trivializes the use of guns. Ten years on since the restoration of our independence, we are desperately trying to firmly cement peace in this country. One easy step is to keep weapons far away from children. As in other peaceful countries, let children be children and let them play with regular toys, such as cars, dolls and balls. Lets do away with our post conflict nation image.
Feto sivil lorik kilat boot hasai foto
FM once again calls for stricter gun controls on members of both the PNTL and the F-FDTL. We also ask that commanders take these incidents seriously, and that appropriate punishment be given to officers who are caught lending their weapons or even uniforms to civilians.
Radio Timor-Leste, June 22, 2012 language source: Tetun - Director for Fundasaun Mahein, Nelson Belo said the Government had failed in translating all the laws of the country from Portuguese into Tetun during its five-year office term.
Mr. Belo made the comments during a press conference which was held on Thursday (21/6) in Dili.
Belo said the Government should translate the laws as all the Timorese people were speaking Tetun and that was the language that was most understood.
He added that this failure had impacted the communities as they could not access information about the law which was about the security.
A researcher Joao Almeida said this was the major problem for the National Police and the Defense Force officers to better understand the laws when implementing them as they were written in Portuguese.
21 June 2012
Radio Timor-Leste, June 19, 2012 language source: Tetun - Baukau District police is currently waiting for a warrant of arrest from the Public Prosecution to be used for arresting the suspect who shot three people in Uaniuma, Caibada of Baucau District.
Baucau Police Commander, Faustinho da Costa said they had investigated the case and had submitted its findings to the Public Prosecution, asking for arrest warrant.
During the interview, Commander da Costa refused to mention the suspect's name as it is still in the process of investigation.
"There are three victims and are in good condition. They will be soon discharge from the hospital. The case is still in the process of investigation and let the findings of the investigation to reveal the truth," he said.
East Timor Legal News Source: Suara Timor-Lerosae language Source: Tetun - The National Director for Health Ministry, Isabel Maria Belo said HIV/AIDS had affected all people in 13 districts of the country and 273 of Timorese people have been suffrerring from HIV/AIDS and 30 of them have died from the disease.
Belo called on all young people to be careful of having sexual relations because HIV/AIDS could not be cured.
"The people that have been suffering from HIV/AIDS filed in the data base of Ministry of health are 273 people," Belo said.
Number of people infected with HIV/AIDS increasing in Timor-Leste on ETLJB
HIV-AIDS and Homophobia in East Timor on East Timor Law Journal
Despite also gaining the status of official language in Timor-Leste, the previous two governments in 10 years, have failed in translating all legislation into Tetun, which is the most widely spoken language in this country. Most legislation is drafted in Portuguese, which consequently translates into less involvement and input by Timorese in the legislative process. This renders its implementation harder and has a potentially high impact onto the lives of people in Timor-Leste.
This report also highlighted that the Portuguese speaking elite in this country have a strangle hold on the running of affairs in Timor-Leste and have forced all government workers and civil servants to operate and handle documents in Portuguese. This explains to a certain degree the difficulties faced by many in the public sector to conduct their work effectively. Working in a language one is not fluent in, when attempting to develop a country is not ideal. Many public servants spend a large chunk of their time taking Portuguese lessons, especially in the judicial sector.
We live in a country where very often, Government officials diffuse information to the public in Portuguese without a clear understanding of what they are reading. Moreover, draft legislation in Portuguese is debated and ‘scrutinized’ by parliamentarians who do not understand the language. As well as limited scrutiny, enforcing solely Portuguese in state matters, results in the public being restricted in its ability to provide feedback. Despite this, Portuguese continues to be solely applied.
Additionally, the elite’s insistence on using Portuguese limits people’s ability to contribute to political and civil life. People and most notably this country’s youth find it hard to form opinions and contribute, which results in a growing sense of frustration. With already high rates of unemployment, this frustration is made worse, when many job vacancies request fluency in Portuguese.
This is also a great problem within our security forces. Many within the PNTL and F-FDTL do not understand their organic laws and other relevant legislation and this causes quite some trouble when it comes to their implementation. This also leads to the greater risk of officers committing crimes.
Within the general population and civil society, additional problems will result by the insistence on Portuguese. The recent land laws for example drafted in Portuguese may cause some problems, as many will not have access to them or will have no idea on their existence. The language issue also results in less scrutiny by the media, civil society, student unions and other organizations.
Furthermore, it can be argued that the Lusophone minority violates the constitution by often referring to Bahasa Indonesia (one of two working languages along with English recognized by the constitution) as Malay language and by not attempting to develop Tetun further.
In this election, unfortunately not many people have highlighted this issue, which Fundasaun Mahein (FM) believes, has a great effect on people’s lives. FM recommends the upcoming government to undertake the official translation of all legislation into Tetun, and implement a whole government system whereby legislation is automatically officially translated.
FM also recommends that the next government undertake the development of Tetun with the aid of Timorese linguists. This project would be closely monitored by the National Parliament and would report to the President of the Republic. The standardization of Tetun into a modern language would be a priority and FM would welcome the opening of Departments of Tetun across the various universities in Timor-Leste. The government could implement a ‘Tetunisation’ campaign around the country and this could start by signs being posted in Tetun. Lastly, FM would welcome a requirement set to all international agencies operating in Timor-Leste that all their published documents be translated into Tetun.
Finally, so that FM is not seen as being hostile to Portuguese, we recommend that if the government is serious on promoting the teaching of Portuguese to the general population, then it must provide greater resources to our schools as currently our teachers do not even have the sufficient amount of textbooks required to teach. At FM, we simply believe that Tetun should be treated as an equal to Portuguese. The constitution clearly states two official languages and we hope that our politicians would respect this. Is it too much to ask that our government operate in a language understood by most?
ETLJB Note: See also East Timor: Language and The Law on the East Timor Law Journal
|Maria Natercia Gusmão|
The new government officials should declare their assets before assuming their posts as ministers or state secretaries, she said.
Ms. Gusmao was referring to law number 7/2007 about state declarations of government officials and said it was good to require government members to declare their assets.
"Law number 7/2007 is about asset declaration but it is not so strong. In the law a government official must only make a written declarations, but it does not clearly require a verification of assets," she said.
Law on assets declaration creates a toothless tiger Source: Independente June 20, 2012 language source: Tetun - A Judge of the Court of Appeals, Maria Natercia Gusmao, has stated that the Court of Appeals could not investigate the wealth and assets of Government officials as the law was not so strong.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of the Timorese Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) Aderito de Jesus said the asset declaration by the state leaders was good to prevent people from engaging in corruption.
"I think declaration of the assets is helpful for us to prevent corruption and also in the criminal investigation context," de Jesus said.
Anti-Corruption Commision has investigated 20 corruption cases Source: Diario Nacional June 20, 2012 language source: Tetun - In just over two years, the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) has investigated 20 corruption cases alleged to ahve occurred within the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government, CAC Commissioner Aderito de Jesus Soares said.
"We have investigated about 20 corruption cases and the investigations are still going on. Some of the cases have been filed in the court," he said.
In relation to those cases, seven Government officials have faced the legal process, he said.
The commissioner also refused to mention the government officials who were allegedly involved because the matters were still under investigation.
PNTL investigates police officer who shouted support for CNRT Surce: Independente, June 20, 2012 Deputy Timorese Police (PNTL) Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus has confirmed that the poice were investigating an officer who was believed to have shouted support for CNRT.
De Jesus said that investigation was made in order to discover whether the officer had ever provided security for the Government or been tasked to monitor campaign activities.
"We have not yet received a formal written complaint from the relevant authorities but with the information that we have, Command has already begun the investigation process," de Jesus said.
An unnamed source said that the involvement of in the political police officers in the campaign of the National Congress for the Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) in Atauro Island would bring a negative impact to the PNTL institution's image.
Prime Minister Gusmao calls on Inspector General to investigate former President Horta Source: Independente June 20, 2012 language source: Tetun Inspector General of the tateS, Francisco Carvalho, has confirmed that he received a dispatch from Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao asking him to investigate the former President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta.
"We received a dispatch to do an investigation and audit into the office of the president of the republic. This is requested by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao," Carvalho said.
He said that he had been asked to conduct an audit into the budget execution and the work carried out by the former president Horta over the last five years.
Justice Ministry makes efforts to prevent public civil servants from committing corruption Source: Suara Timor Lorosae June 20, 2012, language source: Tetun The Ministry of Justice has instructed all public servants to stay away from acts of corruption, said Deputy Minister for Justice, Ivo Jorge Valente.
The Ministry of Justice held a seminar on the prevention of corruption in the public administration.
"Our ministry works hard to invite all the public civil servants to understand the importance of the seminar; so that everyone can stay away from corruption," he said.
Police have power to identify potential conflict sites Source: Suara Timor Lorosae June 20, 2012, language source: Tetun Political leaders called on the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to better identify potential conflict sites in the country so that the people could vote freely.
Secretary-General of the KHUNTO Party Jose Agustinho da Silva said PNTL should provide tight security to all the people in the legislative election.
Roberto Pinto from ASDT Party said the legislative election should be run in peaceful manner and therefore PNTL should guarantee the security in all villages and sub villages.
"We are calling on PNTL to provide security for the people in remote areas so that they could vote freely," he said.
Illegal communication for tender process is a crime: Minister Valente Source: Radio Timor-Leste, June 20, 2012 language source: Tetun
Deputy Minister for Justice Ivo Valente said any Government officials who illegally communicated with each other to pass a company in the project tender process will be considered to have committed a crime in violation of the Penal Code.
Mr. Valente said the Government official should refuse any telephone calls from anyone to pass any company in the tender process as it was a crime.
"You should refuse to agree with anyone who is trying to approach and influence you for passing any company in the tender. Although it is just a telephone call, it is an act of crime," he said.
He called all the public civil servants and the directors to stay away from conflicts of interest.
Justice Ministry barometer for others: Ivo Valente Source: Radio Timor-Leste, June 20, 2012 language source: Tetun - Deputy Minister for Justice Ivo Jorge Valente said the Ministry of Justice was a barometer for other ministries; therefore all Government officials who were working for the referred ministry should work hard to guarantee the process of good governance in the country.
Mr. Valente made the comments during a meeting with legal practitioners and the Government officials of the Ministry of Justice yesterday, in Dili.
He affirmed that the internationals always visited Timor-Leste, they visited first the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; therefore all the public civil servants and the Government officials who were working for the Ministry of Justice should be good example for others.
20 June 2012 - Fundasaun Mahein (FM) was recently made aware of two separate incidences of police brutality in Dili. On June 4th 2012, a young man was beaten up by a group of three PNTL officers opposite Palacio Governo during the live transmission of a euro cup game. Their motives were unclear and the young man was arrested and claimed to be beaten again at the police station. He claims their attack was unwarranted.
The second incident took place on June 16th 2012 in Comoro when a man, suffering from mental illness, was attacked by a group of several PNTL officers. Both incidences involved officers from the PNTL Public Order Battalion (BOP).
These two recent cases add to at least two other recent confirmed instances of police brutality. In late 2011, FM reported on the brutal arrest of a man completely naked in Kuluhun once again suffering from mental illness. Additionally, in the summer of 2010, Diario Newspaper, reported that PNTL officers attacked one of their journalists and destroyed his camera outside Palacio Governo, during the broadcast of a world cup game.
Membru PNTL kaer ema moras mental (bulak) no kolu molik wainhira atu lori ba sela distrital Dili. dok. FM
FM is in no doubt that countless other similar occurrences of police brutality go unreported, but these latest two reports show us that despite continual funding and training directed towards the PNTL, police brutality remains a continual problem.
The PNTL at times act like ‘town bandits’, with excessive use of force and abuse of power becoming a far too regular occurrence. Should an individual be breaking the law, the role of a PNTL officer, is to arrest that person, and bring them to justice. The Organic Law of the PNTL with regards to the permitted use of force states the following:
1. In cases of disturbances of public order and tranquillity and where other means reveal themselves to be insufficient to oppose illegitimate resistance against PNTL members, the latter shall be authorised to use force in the exercise of their functions, pursuant to the law.
2. Force may only be used in self-defence or in defence of third parties, to repel an actual and unlawful aggression against the physical integrity of PNTL members or other citizens.
The law goes on to state that the force to be used shall always be the minimum deemed necessary for re-establishing legitimate order and has to be proportional to the threat. Furthermore, the PNTL shall not impose restrictions or use coercive means beyond those that are strictly necessary.
FM calls on all the relevant bodies, notably the Provedor for Human Rights & Justice (PDHJ), the PNTL Justice Department, Criminal Investigation Unit and Disciplinary Department as well as Parliamentary Committee B, to double their efforts in enforcing the laws relating to police use of force and to ensure that PNTL crimes are duly processed in a transparent and accountable manner.
Lastly FM would like to make one recommendation to the above-mentioned actors, to set-up a free hotline, which people can contact should they wish to report or enquire about cases of police brutality. This body would have to be independent from the PNTL, so people can feel safe and comfortable to report police crimes, and it would have the competency to follow up these reports and inform the public about them.
17 June 2012
East Timor Legal News Source: The Guardian (UK) guardian.co.uk, Friday 15 June 2012 - By the time he was 17, Da Costa – the name he is "comfortable" with – had stabbed three people to death. Within the next few years, he would go on to kill another three, serve a jail sentence, head a gang, teach members how to fight, and spend evenings with them roaming around this dusty capital, drunk and looking for a fight. "I didn't think about whether violence was good or bad, or right or wrong," he says. "Back then, all that mattered was whether you were an enemy. And for me the enemy was anyone who didn't want independence from Indonesia ."
It is 10 years since Timor-Leste, a small island nation in the South Pacific, won its right to self-rule, after a bloody, 24-year conflict that killed a third of its population due to famine, violence and disease. Now the country is fighting just to meet its basic needs: regular law and order, steady employment and food security. But Timor-Leste is still awash with gangs – from martial arts groups and politically-linked clans to spiritual organisations and neighbourhood street boys – comprising an estimated 90,000 members, or just under one-tenth of the population.
Only some, like Da Costa, now 30, have chosen to leave "the brotherhood" for good. Two years ago, Da Costa traded in his knives and swords to work as a community outreach officer at a local charity, Ba Futuru, teaching conflict resolution to many of the gang members with whom he once fought both against and alongside. He admits that he had to be convinced there was life beyond violence. "I grew up watching militias killing people and fights breaking out on the street," he says. "Conflict was normal. I remember sitting in these classes talking about other ways to solve problems, thinking, 'What's the point?'. I would get up and walk out."
Ba Futura's co-founder, American-born Sierra James, says that the volume of violence witnessed and experienced by Timorese society over the past few decades makes conflict resolution integral to the future health of the nation. "We're dealing with people who have seen rape and murder, had their houses looted and burned, watched their fathers beat their mothers – the cycle of violence just goes on and on," she says. "But even halfway through a single day of training, you can see a light bulb go on in [participants'] heads. They start asking questions and thinking differently about issues they always took for granted."
Every afternoon here at Ba Futuru – meaning "to the future" in the local Tetum language – young Timorese crowd the concrete classrooms spray-painted with psychedelic swirls and peace signs. At one end of the sprawling compound there are English lessons and drama workshops; at the other, volunteers teach graphic design in the computer training centre, Spanish guitar wafts out of a music workshop, and an oil-painting class is starting in the studio next door.
Former gang member Atoy, 25, teaches conflict resolution through music and art therapy to other former gang members - some of whom he personally invited from the streets of Dili - while studying human rights at the local university. He reels off his memories with a studied calm: he was nine when he watched his uncle being tortured by Indonesian troops; at 12 he witnessed a series of militia murders; then his cousin was slashed to death right next to him by sword-wielding rival gang members. "When you see that kind of violence and blood, it makes you feel nervous and angry inside," he says. "I didn't know what to do, so I lived to drink and fight."
The government – and the many aid groups working in Timor-Leste – are quick to stress that the nation has the lowest per-capita violence rate in south-east Asia. But with youth unemployment hovering around 70%, a gang's promise of camaraderie, protection and purpose is often a prospect too good to ignore. "Everyone in my village belongs to my gang, and we protect each other from rivals in other villages," says JC, 25, an active member of one of Timor-Leste's largest gangs. "A lot of people [my age] have no money, no job and no prospect of a job. So it's easy to want to get involved." Members don't always join a gang voluntarily. Some are plied with drugs and alcohol; others are threatened with violence, or promised work as armed security officers, particularly when political violence kicks off, as it did in 2006.
Academics attribute gangs' popularity to various factors, among them long-running ethnic clashes, land disputes and family or political rivalries.
According to Australian researcher James Scambary, who wrote a 2009 paper on armed violence in Timor-Leste, "these groups [once] protected their communities from Indonesian security forces and the latter's proxies". Now, he says, "they protect their communities from one another".
Human rights groups estimate that a significant proportion of Timorese are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and have pushed the government to investigate past crimes. But the government has been loth to "rehash the past", as some ministers call it, and has instead promoted reconciliation, in some cases resulting in presidential pardons. According to the prime minister, Xanana Gusmao, it is not just Indonesia who should be held accountable. "Timorese died from bombs and arms that did not come from Indonesia," he said. "The US made the planes and bombs. Germany sold [Indonesia] tanks and munitions. And the UK, the arms. The international community must also be held responsible; if not, they cannot speak of impunity."
For those that have been able – and want – to change their ways, it is not laying down their weapons that can prove the hardest task. "I've been stabbed, shot at, dumped in a ditch and left for dead, and I've had to learn how to forgive," says Da Costa. "What helps is that people see the change in me, and that makes them want to change too."
See also The Regulation of Martial Arts in East Timor: An Overview of Law No 10 of 2008 on the practice of martial arts
14 June 2012
Independente, June 8, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Government of Timor-Leste will implement the labor law which has already been promulgated by the President of Republic last February. President of Confederation of Timor-Leste Union (KSTL) Jose da Conceicao da Costa said that majority of the article of the referred law guaranteed the right of the workers. The law which was approved by the National parliament last December in 2011 guaranteed the minimum salary for the labor which worth US $115/ month. “This minimum salary is rewarded to those who just begin their work and for those who do not have skills like shopkeeper, and others,” da Costa said.
13 June 2012
Diario Nacional, June 13, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Dili District Court’s decision to sentence Justice Minister Lucia Lobato to five years in prison was a positive progress of the country’s judicial system, JSMP Director Luis Oliveira said.
Mr. Olveira said every case had its own character; therefore he could not a make conclusion on whether the verdict was fair or not.
He added that the legal adviser for the minister was the one who should make appeal in order to rehabilitate her credibility in the future.
East Timor Legal News Source: Radio e Televizaun de Timor-Leste, June 12, 2012 language source: Tetun - Public Defender Sergio Hornai said the verdict of Dili District Court sentencing the ex-minister of Justice Lucia Lobato to five years in prison was unfair.
Hornai said he would make efforts to make an appeal to the Court of Appeals to find real justice and a final verdict.
He added the process of justice was not fair because the former director for procurement of the Justice Ministry, Mr. Antonio Freitas was acquitted.
12 June 2012
East Timor Legal News Source: Diario Nacional, June 12, 2012 language source: Tetun - Justice Minister Lucia Lobato yesterday met with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to inform him of her condition.
"I am here to inform PM Gusmao about my situation and as a suspended justice minister what should be done and also inform him about what has happened. We also discussed some other issues,"
"But I think in the few coming days, I will hold a press conference to discuss a number of things," Lobato said.
She added that she and her defence lawyers would have a discussion before making an appeal to the Appellate Court.
Dili District Court has recently decided to imprison Minister Lobato for five years, because she was found guilty of corruption and abuse of power.
11 June 2012
11 June 2012 ABC Radio Australia
Connect Asia Timor Justice Minister considers appeal - East Timor's former Justice Minister has two weeks to decide whether she will appeal against a conviction for misadministration of funds, or else face jail.
On Friday, Lucia Lobato was sentenced to five years prison, but was found not guilty of three other charges including corruption, the abuse of power and falsification of documents.
Ms Lobato's lawyer says the prosecution presented no evidence to support the charge and he will encourage her to appeal within the 15 days period allowed for lodging a challenge.
Correspondent: Karon Snowdon
Speaker: Cancio Xavier, lawyer for East Timor's former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato
SNOWDON: In the months leading up to East Timor's presidential election a scandal erupted that shocked this small island state.
It was used by critics to accuse the government of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of gross corruption.
Justice Minister Lucia Lobato was suspended by the parliament because she was facing serious charges.
Thirty-six of the 65 members of Parliament voted to suspend her.
Now she faces the prospect of five years in jail, the mid point between a possible two to eight year sentence.
The court found her guilty of one of the four charges against her -- the misappropriation of Ministry funds.
Lawyer Cancio Xavier says the sentence which includes a hefty fine is a heavy one, and was arrived at he says, without evidence.
XAVIER: No corruption and no power abuse, and then no falsified documents. But during the court process, we never got to any evidence.
SNOWDON: Lucia Lobato was implicated in a case of collusion involving government tenders for contracts worth one million dollars. Ms Lobato was elected to East Timor's first Parliament in 2001 and appointed Finance Minister in 2007. She is a member of the Social Democratic Party and was the sole female candidate in East Timor's 2007 Presidential election.
Cancio Xavier says Ms Lobato is traumatised by the case and doesn't want to appeal. Her lawyer hopes to convince her to change her mind within the 15 day limit to avoid jail.
XAVIER: Today, maybe she's traumatised regarding this conviction, so she said to us, she doesn't want to make an appeal. But we have advised her after today, because when we make appeal fifteen days later, when we appeal against this decision. Automatically after the fifteen days, she'll go to jail.
SNOWDON: And would you be confident of winning the appeal?
XAVIER: Yes, of course, of course!
SNOWDON: Cancio Xavier, Lawyer for East Timor's Justice Minister Lucia Lobato,
Another five government ministers have been investigated by East Timor's Anti-Corruption Commission.