ETLJB 20 April 2013 - The Government of Timor-Leste, more precisely the Secretariat of State for the Media (SoSM), in a joint-organization with the European Union Media Program, has started an international seminar which will gather national as well as international speakers in Díli, the speeches of whom will focus on the following topic: “Regulation of the Media – Towards a Culture of Responsability”.
On this first day, 20 of March, the opening session counted on the
speeches of the Secretary of State for the Media, Nélio Isaac Sarmento,
of the Vice Prime Minister, Fernando La Sama de Araújo, and of the
Political Adviser of the Portuguese Embassy representing his Ambassador,
Pedro Severo de Almeida.
In his speech, Nélio Isaac Sarmento showed that SoSM represents the will
of the Government in regulating the profession of the journalists and
the Media, reminding that the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of
Timor-Leste provides for the right to information, which implies
freedom of expression and of information.
According to the Secretary of State, “the Law of the Media not only
protects and defends the journalists, but it also demands added
professionalism, quality and accountability in accordance with an ethics
that reflects a national identity and culture and promotes transparency
The Secretary of State also stated that “the Government continues to
encourage the Media to conduct its work in such a manner as to always
remain independent from the political and the economic powers”.
The second speaker in the seminar was Fernando La Sama de Araújo who
started by stating that “democracy is a regulated freedom which implies
compliance with the laws”. He stressed the efforts being made by the
Government in professionalizing the various professional careers so that
media operators can work with professionalism. For the Vice Prime
Minister, “the power of the media should be used by the journalists in a
wise and fair manner”.
Pedro Severo de Almeida considers that “the Timorese media is
undoubtedly an irreplaceable pillar in the construction in the free,
democratic and peaceful country that Timor-Leste managed to transform
itself after almost 11 years after the restoration of its independence”.
At the same time, he recalled that “In the 2013 edition of the Press
Freedom Index of the Reporters Without Borders, Timor-Leste had the best
result in the South East Asian Region and one of the bests in Asia”. In
addition to underlining the importance of strictness and truth to be
observed by media professionals, Pedro Severo de Almeida also stressed
the will of Portugal in continuing to support the training and capacity
building of Timorese journalists.
After the opening ceremony, the first session came to us through the
President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, on the topic
“Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech, and the Right to Information in
the context of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of
In an eloquent speech, Vicente Guterres refers to the Constitution of
the Republic in which article 40 has to do with freedom of speech and
information and article 41 deals with freedom of press and of the media,
and reminds that “these freedoms cannot be exercised without respect
for the other rights or interests also provided for in the
The President of the National Parliament further states that “in order
to accomplish its role, the press needs to be free from political,
economic, financial, military and religious interferences”.
Banbang Harimurty, Vice-President of the Indonesian Press Council, spoke
on the “Defence of Freedom of Press and Regulation of the Media”,
thereby concluding the first session.
Carmelita Caetano Moniz, President of the Commission of Constitutional
Affairs of the National Parliament spoke on “A Law for the Media”, after
which several interventions by diverse media bodies took place.
The first day of this international seminar on “Regulation of the Media –
Towards a Culture of Responsability” was characterized by a major
affluence and participation in the debates by all in attendance, which
included students and a considerable number of media professionals, both
national and international.
Source: Government of East Timor 20/03/2013 Re-Posted by Warren L. Wright