30 November 2013

Violent attacks spike in July/ August in Timor-Leste

ETLJB 30 November 2013 - Timor-Leste experienced an upsurge in reported violent crime in July and August this year with 108 cases identified by the national early warning response (EWER) system, up from 83 cases during the previous two months.

Belun a national Non-Government Organisation specialising in conflict prevention, monthly monitoring situational review released on Friday revealed crime in the district of Dili continues to rate the highest with a total of 25 cases reported.

Lautem 15 and Oecusse 14 were also in the double digits.

Over the two months period related violence 10pc, land dispute 6pc conflict between students 5pc an incidents involving the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL). Source: Independente November 27, 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

See also
Violence increasing in East Timor, says conflict-monitoring NGO
East Timor Violence Monitoring NGO reports increased weapons circulation and drug and alcohol abuse

Internal Migration from Districts makes capital the centre of conflict in East Timor, says Fundasaun Mahein

ETLJB 30 November 2013  - It its 64th edition, Fundasaun Mahein discusses the subject of urbanisation and uncontrolled migration from rural areas to urban centres in East Timor; in particular, the increasing numbers of internal migrants who move from rural areas to the capital city, Dili, and make “Dili became centre of conflict”.

According to Fundasaun Mahein’s monitoring, the social development process, economic, education and other aspects are not balanced between rural and urban areas in Timor Leste and that is it is this developmental process that causes urbanisation or "uncontrolled" migration from the Districts to Dili. Education, centralised commercial activities (export and import), business activities, public administration and job opportunities are all "capitalised" and make Dili the destination of urbanisation in Timor Leste.

Therefore, according to FM, there is a need to support basic infra-structure for formal and non-formal education, job opportunities in the Districts, the development of small industry in rural areas and road construction in order to minimise local migration to the capital city of Dili.

During its study, FM identified that majority of local migrants are youth with more than 50% of them seeking jobs in Dili. Also, every year about half of the fifty thousand students who graduated from pre-secondary and secondary school continue their study in Dili.

According to FM, it possible that this phenomenon will threaten national stability because of frustrations with the increasing cost of living, frustration because they cannot continue to study to the highest level and the lack of jobs are circumstances that make it easier for the youth to become involved in street gangs in Dili and, in the end, create instability within the territory.

This internal migration will also create other social problems like land disputes and lack of housing. Reality has shown that land disputes and housing and accommodation in Dili are increasing compared with the Districts FM cites "about 9.53% of land issue and 2.904 were under land dispute." (although it is not clear what these statistics mean). This may contribute to social conflict in the capital of Dili and may impact to national security. And it is possible for youth to be recruited by the organised criminal groups because they all concentrate in the capital. There is no balance of job opportunity and a high cost of living. It opens the opportunity to create conflict in urban areas because in the future Timor Leste will face two challenges which may contribute to conflict such as social inequality and systematic unemployment.

The problem of urbanisation and internal immigration from rural areas to the capital Dili is a matter to which the government must pay attention. The Government needs to increase investment in small industry in rural areas in order to support community economic development,  including opening up job opportunities to the youth in the Districts.  It must also establish commercial networks in the Districts to facilitate community export and import of local products to get income into the communities in the rural areas as well as develop infra-structure such as road construction from rural areas to the Districts, Sub Districts and the national network so that the community can access the market with their product. It is also necessary to instal electricity and provide clean water to the community in the rural areas and include support to small industry in the districts to minimise urbanisation in the capital, Dili.

 FM’s Recommendations

 1.    that the Government develop infra-structure for formal and non-formal education and provide good quality of human resources in order to avoid finalist students concentrating in the capital of Dili. 

 2. that the Government support small industry in the Districts to provide job opportunities to local communities in the rural areas and also increase the local product through investment in agriculture to avoid migrants coming to the capital for jobs.

 3.   that the Government fix infra-structure such as roads in the rural areas to the District and Sub District so that the community can access the market to sell their product.

 4.   that the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Tourism establish commercial networks in the Districts to facilitate export and import community local product in the national market. To avoid centralising their business in the capital Dili. Source: Fundasaun Mahein, 29 November 2013 Press Release Edited by Warren L. Wright (Note: numerous grammatical and syntactical amendments were rendered to the original English translation).

29 November 2013

Court Decision in Defamation of Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro SH (2009)

Note: This is an old case but has been republished here for archival purposes. Press Release from Yayasan HAK On 21 January 2009 the Dili District Court ruled on the defamation case of Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro against the defendant Francisco Lui alias Aquileong. The court decision freed the defendant Francisco Lui of the charges. This means the complaint of the defendant Francisco Liu and his attorneys of 23 August 2005, and published on 25 August 2005 in the paper Diario Tempo titled "Three Prosecutors Engage in Corruption, Money US$8,600" was not proved to be an act of defamation against Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, who was and is the Prosecutor-General of Timor-Leste.

To recall, at that time the defendant and his attorneys had lodged a complaint against Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro SH, Mr. Benevides Correia Barros SH, and Mr. Estaque S.P. Guterres SH for Mr. Longuinhos to return Aquileong's money in accordance with the 6 November 2001 decision of the investigative judge and the decision of the Finance Minister on 7 September 2004. They also asked for a public apology to Aquileong via the media in Timor-Leste within one week.

Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro claimed that the publication of the complaint in the media was an act of defamation, and consequently requested the defendant to pay US$50,000 in damages (indemnity) in a civil case.

To conclude the court proceedings, the Dili District Court decided in the case that Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro was not a victim as a result of the news, his case was not proved. What Mr. Longuinhos felt he lost as a result of the news was not proved, and because of this the Court cleared Aquileong of the accusation by Mr. Longinhos Monteiro who claimed he defamed him.

This press release is to inform the public, including the organs of the State, of the court's decision in relation to the case referred to above.

We hope that the media will publicize it so that the public will know.

Dili, 10 February 2009

Brief Chronology
Of the Case of Longuinhos et al.

2004:

    On 18 November 2004, at 21.15 (9:15 pm) at the residence of Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro (next to City Café), Mr. Longuinhos together with Mr. Benevides Barros (President of the Timor-Leste Attorneys' Association), Mr. Estaquio Guterres (Prosecutor) and two members of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) forced Mr. Francisco Lui (alias Aquileong) to give the three of them 279,000,800 Indonesian Rupiah.

    After this incident Aquileong, accompanied by his attorneys Mr. Silverio Pinto Baptista and Mr. Tome Jeronimo submitted a complaint to the Department of National Investigation (DIN) of the PNTL. At that time the Chief of DIN, Mr. Marcos took the complaint and indeed registered it as a criminal case with the Prosecutor's office as complaint No. 174.

    When Aquileong and his attorneys went to the Prosecutor's office inquire about the case, several visits over time, they were finally told that the documentation for case No. 174 was lost, demonstrating abuse of power in relation to the lost documentation on the case.

2005:

    Because the criminal case was not proceeding, Aquileong decided to bring a civil case against Mr. Longuinhos et al. The Civil Suit began by delivering a summons to Mr. Longuinhos et al. on 23 August, requesting their presence at a meeting to resolve the problem. However, Mr. Longuinhos et al. did not attend the meeting.

    On 25 August, the newspaper DIARIO TEMPO published a story about the case titled "Three Prosecutors Engage in Corruption, Money US$8,600".

    Based on the news story in DIARIO TEMPO, Mr. Longuinhos accused Aquileong and his attorneys of criminal defamation in the Dili District Court. Because Mr. Longuinhos, the alleged victim in the case, is the Prosecutor-General, the Dili District Court is not able to prosecute the case. The Dili District Court petitioned the Appeals Court to hear the case. Until now, the case registered as No. 107/05 is held up in the Appeals Court.

    Beside the criminal case, Mr. Longuinhos also filed a civil suit accusing Aquileong of defamation with the case file No. 82/Civil/2005/Tribunal Distrital Dili.

2008-2009:

    In the civil case referred to above (Case No. 82/Civil/2005/Tribunal Distrital Dili) the court held its first hearing on 11 July 2008 and concluded its proceedings on 21 January 2009, with a decision that:

    Freed Mr. Aquileong from accusations of defamation, because the allegation by Mr. Longuinhos was not proved. This means that the story in DIARIO TEMPO was not proved to be defamation, but indeed reality.
    Mr. Longuinhos must pay the court costs which total 10% of the value demanded (US$50,000) or US$5000.Source:

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers 21 and 22 November 2013

ETLJB 29 November 2013 - The Government met on November 21st and 22nd, 2013, at the Council of Ministers’ meeting room in the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Draft Resolution, approving the Cooperation Agreement in the areas of education and training for Humanitarian Assistance actions and fight against Natural Catastrophes between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of Japan


This agreement follows the signature of the Cooperation Agreement in the Areas of Education and Training on Humanitarian Assistance and fight against Natural Catastrophes, on last September between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Japan, which negotiation process was conducted by the President of the Republic. Apart from contributing to the capacity building of National Defence and Security Forces to act in Humanitarian Assistance situations, this agreement tends to strengthen cooperation relationships with Japan.

2. Decree-Law regulating the Legal Regime of Public-Private Partnerships

This diploma regulates the Legal Regime of Public-Private Partnerships, approved by the Decree-Law 42/2012, of September 7th, and approves the necessary structures to the implementation of public-private partnerships, as well as establishing a legal base to the approval of the procurement procedure according to the public-private partnership projects’ cycle.

Therefore, this Decree-Law foresees the powers and features of the Public-Private Partnerships’ Unit and identifies procedures associated to the projects’ cycle, from the Initial and Feasibility Phase, Procurement and Negotiation Phase and Implementation and Operation Phase.

3. Decree-Law approving the F-DFTL Militaries’ Statute

This diploma aims to discipline the military career, since the admission, until the moment when, a member of military staff reaches retirement.

Positions are set, within each category or group, and the demands for evolution to proceed. New concepts are introduced, such as the need for military to be physically evaluated, and the category of Reserve, foreseen in the National Defence Law, is developed. Careers are structured and some specialties are defined.

To veterans, all of those who, for more than 20 years, fought for the liberation of the country and the people, members of FALINTIL who led to F-DFTL, it is given the right of anticipation to become Reservists.

Transitional rules are, also, created to allow the best implementation of changes and new demands.

4. Government Resolution approving the National Commission against Childhood Labour


The National Commission against Childhood Labour (NCACL), in a tripartite composition, counts with representatives of the Government, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and of the Unions’ Confederation. The NCACL is responsible for implementing and monitoring the implementation of Convention 182, of the International Labour Organization, related with the prohibition of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Immediate Action Aiming its Elimination, already ratified by the National Parliament.

5. Resolution Proposal approving the ratification of the Conventions n. 100 and n. 111 of the International Labour Organization

The Convention n. 100 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) defends the equal remuneration and the Convention n. 111 defends the non-discrimination in terms of employment and occupation. These two agreements meet the requirements of national labour legislation, allowing the State to take another significant step towards the protection of workers’ rights and equality between men and women.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Industrial Plant Investment Project


The firm Global Fidelity J (PVT) Ltd. presented to the Government a development project of an industrial park for textile and fisheries’ industries. According to the firm, the initial investment will be around five million dollars for the textile area, and it is predicted to grow along twenty years, and between three to five million dollars to fisheries. The project sets a business possibility to Timor-Leste, in the region, and of employment to locals. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers Press Release 22/11/2103 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Husband given one year suspended jail sentence for bashing wife

ETLJB 29 November 2013 - The social problem of domestic violence continues to be a scourge on East Timorese society with yet another conviction of a husband for violence against his wife.


According to a report in The Dili Weekly, the Dili District Court heard a trial for a domestic violence case that involved a suspect with initials JF who beat his wife when he was drunk.

The incident itself happened in 2010 in the Dili suburb of Fatuhada. The court found that the suspect always committed domestic violence against victim JVD when he was drunk. He was given a one year suspended sentence, as this behaviour is considered a public crime.

The wife testified in court that her husband always returned home at 5am drunk and that, after coming home, "he’d always break things randomly. If I talked, he would hit me,”the wife stated in her testimony. She gave evidence that on 15 September 2010, her husband returned home drunk and punched the door until it was broken. Then, when she greeted him, he struck her on her head with a stick.

“He entered the kitchen and took the stick and hit me until my foot was swollen and I reported it to the police,” JVD said.

The accused JF said he regretted his behaviour towards the victim and declared to the court he would not repeat his actions.

“I behaved this way because I was drunk, but from now on I will not hit her anymore,” JF said.

In the three years the judicial process was underway, the victim and the accused still stayed together in one house to look after family necessities and their children. Source: The Dili Weekly 13 November 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related posts
Dili District Court hands down a sentence of 20 years imprisonment in a case of incest “Girls live in danger and are unsafe in their own homes”  
Domestic violence continues to plague East Timorese society with 514 cases registered so far in 2013
Three years prison for husband in domestic violence proceedings in Dili District Court
The application of suspended prison sentences in cases of domestic violence in Timor-Leste
Dili District Court admonishes perpetrator of domestic violence
Court hands down suspended prison sentences in five cases of domestic violence and sentences defendant to 18 years imprisonment in case of incest

Stepfather sentenced to 14 years jail for sex crime against 12-year-old step daughter

ETLJB 29 November 2013 - The Dili District Court has sentenced a man to 14 years imprisonment for having sexual intercourse with his 12 year old adoptive daughter.

The Public Prosecutor presented facts to the Court that on 10 June 2012, in the sub-village of Tuhilo Leten, Fahilebo village, in the District of Liquisa, the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim.

The incident took place while the child’s mother attended an event in Fatumeta, a neighbouring village.

In her deposition the child told the court she struggled against the perpetrator but was gagged and threatened to death if she tried to shout. She was also told not to tell anything to her mother.

After the incident the child told her mother who then went the police to report the case. Source: The Dili Weekly 27/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related posts
Incest in East Timor
The Social Problem of Incest in Timor-Leste Latest Report records 49 minors victims of incest
Incest in East Timor - Justice Group says many parents in state of moral degradation
Oecusse District Court - Incest Against Minors Hearing
JSMP distributes information on incest to SIC and local authorities
JSMP urges Parliament to formulate specific legislation on incest

28 November 2013

United Nations Police (UNPol) in East Timor Security Briefings Archive 2006 - 2008

ETLJB 28 November 2013 - Between November 2006 and June 2008, I compiled and archived the daily security briefings from the United Nations Police (UNPol) in East Timor on the East Timor Legal Information Site (ETLIS). ETLIS has now become defunct with the legal news and information function taken over by this site, the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. The legal news reports that were published on ETLIS prior to the creation of the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin were all republished on the East Timor Legal News Archive 2006 - 2008.

Looking back at the UNPol security briefings that had been published on ETLIS, I realised that they constituted an important source of historical information about what was going on in the country at that time and so I decided to republish all of those security reports on a separate blog which I have named the United Nations Police in East Timor Security Briefings 2006 -2008.

For anyone interested in an historical look back at the security situation in East Timor during that period, I am sure that you will find the security briefings full of interesting information and I would encourage you to take a look at some of the posts. I have so far only posted 80 of them and have a couple of hundred more to go so please bear with me as I develop this record. I hope that it will prove to be a useful source of historical information for anyone researching the recent history of Timor-Leste.

Any comments and feedback are welcome and you may contact me at wwright1961@gmaildotcom

Warren L. Wright BA LLB

Timor-Leste in danger of moving from "low-level" HIV/AIDS epidemic to "higher prevalence" as public health policies fail

ETLJB 28 November 2013 -A review of the East Timor Health Sector Response to HIV/AIDS and STI program was conducted from 18 February 2013 through to 01 March 2013 by Dr. Po-Lin Chan, Mr. Freddie Mawanda, Ms. Ravipa Vannakit and Dr. G. Weerasinghe with the support of WHO and USAID.

ETLJB has previously published critiques of the HIV/AIDS public health policy in East Timor previously and statistics have shown an increasing number of HIV infections in recent years. (See also the links to posts at the end of this article.)

While most developed nations formulated public health policies, laws and public education programs early in the stages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic which have been very successful at reducing and minimising the transmission of HIV as well as developing drug treatments and availability that have rendered HIV practically a manageable chronic illness rather than a fatal disease, the report on the review of East Timor's health sector response has highlighted numerous deficiencies and that there is a growing trend that the HIV epidemic may be evolving from “low-level” to higher HIV prevalences.

Some observations in the report are worth noting. For example, the report states that "[s]ex between men is not uncommon.

Unprotected anal sex carries a high risk of HIV and STI infection, beside vaginal sex and needle use/injecting drug use. In the 2004 study, 12% of soldiers and taxi drivers, and 5% of male students, had anal sex with another man in the previous year. Over 40% of those men had also recently had sex with a woman. The authors noted that irrespective of how people think of themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or transgender, they are in practice behaviorally bisexual. These “bisexual” individuals can act as a bridge by which HIV and STI can pass from groups with higher risk behaviour to others with lower risk behaviour (termed “sexual mixing”). (at page 46).

Next, the report notes that "despite the increasing coverage of prevention interventions for both FSWs and MSMs including the related groups of clients of sex workers and an emerging at-risk group of ‘clients of MSM’ - quality of prevention interventions is inadequate. This is reflected by inconsistent condom use across the at-risk groups, very low risk perception for HIV and STI infections including inadequate knowledge of where to access condoms when the need arises. Sexual mixing i.e. at-risk groups and MARPs (Most At Risk Populations) having multiple partnerships, regular and casual partners including ‘lower risk’ partners such as wives, increases the risk of HIV and STI transmission within the population. (at page 47).

It also reports that "[l]evels of unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse are high among sex workers, with only 16% and 12% of women using condoms 100% of the time for vaginal and anal intercourse, respectively, with a paying client in the previous 12 months." (page 44)

In regard to condom use, the report finds that:

"Stakeholders report that a major challenge in the promotion of condom use is religious sensitivities, with resultant conflicting messages. This finding is apparent also in discussions with MARPs who belong to the religion. The MOH and NAP have engaged faith-based leaders and the Church in lengthy discussions, and the consensus seemed to follow the edict of Pope Benedict XVI which is “it is acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to ‘reduce the risk of infection’ from AIDS. Contraception interferes with the creation of life, but using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage”. This messaging, however, has not been widely disseminated and thus confusion reigns within service providers and community what the appropriate message should be."

There is no allocated budget for HIV prevention activities within the prison system. (page 49)

The report concludes, inter alia, that "[t]he growing body of data available on HIV/STI in the last few years suggests that the HIV epidemic may be evolving from “low-level” to higher HIV prevalences, possibly in geographical “pockets” and sub-groups of the population. Risk behaviours exist and unsafe sex is occurring across sub-groups within the population. Untreated STIs particularly within at-risk groups constitute an emergency which need attention and action. STI and HIV are symbiotically-related: they accelerate the transmission of one another."

It recommends, among other things, "[p]rotection of human rights and stigma/discrimination: Strengthen stigma and discrimination laws and policies including redressal mechanisms and protection for PLHIV and MARPs (including injecting drug users, men who-have-sex-with men, sex workers).

One of my principle objections to this report is the use of the term "men who have sex with men" as constituting one of the "Most At Risk Populations" and the abject failure to identify homosexual men as a separate "Most at Risk Population". I have raised this criticism in previous commentaries as an exercise in obscurantism and pandering to the deep seated homophobia on East Timorese society.

Men who have sex with men are not necessarily homosexual or do not identify as homosexuals. Some of the men who have sex with men referred to in this report have wives and families whereas homosexual men do not. Men who have sex with men do not engage in as much homosexual activity as homosexual men and therefore constitute a "less-at-risk" population than homosexual men. The failure to distinguish these two groups in policies and education programs is a fundamental failure of the report and of the government's public health policy on HIV/AIDS.

Those men who have sex with men who have wives need different counselling and education than men who just have sex with other men. Wives need to be educated about the risk of their husbands engaging in high-risk unprotected sex with other men (whether their sexual partners be "men who have sex with men who are not homosexuals" or homosexuals) and those women obviously face much higher risks of infection from their husbands who have unprotected sex with other men.

As for the recommendation regarding protection of human rights and stigma/discrimination and the strengthening of  stigma and discrimination laws and policies including redressal mechanisms and protection for PLHIV and MARPs (including injecting drug users, men who-have-sex-with men, sex workers); this is pathetically short on detail and fails to realise that there are no existing discrimination laws and policies or protections for PLHIV or "MARPS"; in particular, homosexual men and women. There are no laws protecting PLHIV or homosexuals from discrimination or vilification. There are no "redressal" mechanisms. Furthermore,there is no discussion in the report at all of homophobia and how homophobia contributes to the transmission of HIV/AIDS or how public policy and laws should resolve the social problem of homophobia. This is a critical failure in the report and a reprehensible omission by the researchers.

Reference: East Timor Health Sector Response to HIV/AIDS and STI 18 February 2013- 01 March 2013 by Dr. Po-Lin Chan, Mr. Freddie Mawanda, Ms. Ravipa Vannakit and Dr. G. Weerasinghe. This article written by by Warren L. Wright

The full report may be dowloaded from here 


Post Script
On 22 October 2013, the Government of East Timor at the meeting of the Council of Ministers approved  Law Decree that approves the creation of the Timor-Leste's National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS (CNCS-TL) and its Statute

This law approves National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS and defines its structure, composed of the National Council (plenary body that sets the policies) and the Secretariat (executive body who is responsible for technical and administrative management and promotion of activities to combat HIV/AIDS).

The establishment of the National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS is an integral part of the macro - policy strategy approved in 2003, which sets out the Government's objectives in the medium and long term as to combat and control the spread of the AIDS virus in Timor-Leste. Thus, in 2006, the government approved the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and appointed the Chairman of the National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS.

The Commission depended directly from the Ministry of Health and faced several difficulties associated with the definition and implementation of Government policies to control diseases and raising funds to fight HIV/AIDS, so it became essential to establish an independent Commission policy advice and support the implementation of strategies to combat HIV/AIDS established by the Government.

Related posts
Timor Leste Red Cross Excludes Homosexuals From HIV-AIDS Program
HIV/AIDS Services for Timorese Inmates
HIV-AIDS and Homophobia in East Timor
Homosexuality in East Timor
Catholic propaganda obscures the true toll of HIV in East Timor

27 November 2013

Indonesian State-owned companies win huge construction projects in Timor-Leste

ETLJB 27 November 2013 - According to Indonesian newspaper, The Jakarta Globe State-owned construction companies Waskita Karya and Pembangunan Perumahan have won huge tenders for construction projects in Timor-Leste.

Waskita Karya has won a tender worth US$59.9 million to construct an airport for Timor-Leste. It will build the runway and a terminal and will be fully financed by the Government of East Timor.

The other company, Pembangunan, better known as PP, obtained a construction project from the Artha Graha Group to build AGP Square, a building in Dili, East Timor's capital. The project is valued at US$85million and is set be the tallest structure in Dili.

AGP Square, which will be built on 15,000 square meters of land, is intended to be a symbol of a developing capital, as well as providing facilities including malls, office buildings, apartments and hotels. The project is expected to take two years. Source: The Jakarta Globe 23/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 22 October 2013

ETLJB 27 November 2013 - The Government met on 22 October 2013, in the Council of Ministers' meeting room, at the Government's Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Draft Law that approves the State Budget for the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for 2014

The draft law on the State Budget (OGE) for 2014 covers all revenues and expenditures of the State of Timor-Leste and covers the period from January 1,2014 and December 31, 2014. The estimated total revenue from all sources (oil, non- oil, tax and non-tax revenues and revenues from loan) of the State Budget for this period is $2,430.5 million U.S. dollars. The budget allocations, in U.S. dollars, are as follows:

1 - $166.932 millions of dollars for Salaries and Wages;

2 - $475.636 millions of dollars for Goods and Services;

3 - $292.175 millions of dollars for Public Transfers;

4 - $39.713 millions of dollars for Minor Capital;

5 - $525.544 millions of dollars for Development Capital.

Excluding the autonomous services and funds, special funds and loans, the total budget is $1,020,620 millions of dollars.

The estimated expenditure for the autonomous funds and services in 2014 is $14.245 millions, of which $9.476 millions is transferred from the state budget in order to subsidize expenses that exceed their own revenue.

The total budget allocation for the Fund for Infrastructure, including loans, is $425.135 millions and $374.087 millions excluding loans. The balance carried over from the year 2013 according to the law, is $221.013 millions of
dollars.

The total budget allocation for the Fund for the Development of Human Capital is $40 million, of which the value of $3.078 millions is the balance carried over from the year 2013, in accordance with the law.

The total estimated expenditure of the state budget is $1,500 millions of dollars. The maximum total approved for funding using the public debt in 2014 is $51.049 millions of dollars.

Non-oil revenues are estimated at $161.4 million dollars.

2. Government Resolution that approves the Agreement between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor -Leste and the Government of Japan for the rehabilitation of Mola's Bridge. 

The approval of the agreement ("Grant Agreement") between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of Japan for the project of rehabilitation of the Mola Bridge ("Project of River Training for the Protection of Mola Bridge") has two major objectives: on the one hand to promote the rehabilitation of this important infrastructure and on the other, to strengthen the bonds of cooperation with the Development Partners of Timor-Leste.

3. Government Resolution that approves the Agreement between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for the exemption of visa for the holders of diplomatic and service passports

Given the friendly relations between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Republic of Indonesia, and in order to further strengthen relations between the two countries on a reciprocal basis, the Council of Ministers approved the agreement for exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports. Thus, nationals of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and nationals of the Republic of Indonesia, holders of diplomatic or service passports will not be required to obtain a visa for entry, transit and residence in the territory of the other country for a period that must not exceed thirty days from the date of entry.


4. Government Decree that approves the Special Incentive for the Intensive Training of Teachers

The Ministry of Education, with a view of improving the quality of the education system in Timor-Leste, identified the need to hold, as a matter of urgency, intensive training of teachers. The Intensive Training Course for Teachers will run still in 2013 and will last 29 days, which, by the particular and exceptional nature, needs the allocation of a special incentive under Article 51. of the Statute of the Teaching Career, for the teachers who participate in this training.

5. Law Decree that approves the creation of the Timor-Leste's National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS (CNCS-TL) and its Statute

This law approves National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS and defines its structure, composed of the National Council (plenary body that sets the policies) and the Secretariat (executive body who is responsible for technical and administrative management and promotion of activities to combat HIV/AIDS).

The establishment of the National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS is an integral part of the macro - policy strategy approved in 2003, which sets out the Government's objectives in the medium and long term as to combat and control the spread of the AIDS virus in Timor-Leste. Thus, in 2006, the government approved the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and appointed the Chairman of the National Commission for Combating HIV/AIDS.

The Commission depended directly from the Ministry of Health and faced several difficulties associated with the definition and implementation of Government policies to control diseases and raising funds to fight HIV/AIDS, so it became essential to establish an independent Commission policy advice and support the implementation of strategies to combat HIV/AIDS established by the Government.

6. Salary of the Director of the NDI

The government approved a decree establishing the salary of the Director of the National Defence Institute, a body within the Ministry of Defence and Security, but endowed with administrative and financial autonomy.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Development of a National Payments System

The Banco Central de Timor-Leste (BCTL) submitted to the Council of Ministers a proposal to develop a sound and efficient National Payments System (NPS). Recognising that this is essential for both economic development and financial inclusion of all levels of society, the BCTL has launched a programme to develop the NPS to match the most advanced international standards. This programme comprises three main elements: a NPS development strategy covering the next three to five years; upgrading the legal and regulatory environment to recognise new methods and systems of payment; and an introduction of an Automated Transfer System (ATS).

The ATS will serve all the banks in Timor-Leste as well as the Treasury, the General Directorate of Customs and the General Directorate of Taxes. Source: Government of East Timor Council of Ministers 7/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related posts
Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 7 October 2013
2014 East Timor State Budget before the National Parliament

Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 7 October 2013

ETLJB 27 November 2013 - The Government gathered extraordinarily on 7 October 2013, in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Government’s Resolution which approves the Procurement Procedure for the project for the Establishment of the National Registry

This diploma authorizes the Ministry of Justice to request, by invitation, a technical and financial proposal for the establishment of the National Registry of Timor-Leste, following the adopted specifications. The development of the National Registry – which includes the survey and cadastral mapping of the territory, the establishment of a computerized database and the establishment of an asset evaluation’s system for taxation purposes – assumes a strategic relevance for national security, to the extent that deals with classified information. This project also assumes greater relevance to the economic and social development of the country, since it depends upon the attribution of property titles in Timor-Leste which will allow the planning and development of important economy sectors, such as agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as planning of greater national projects, such as Suai’s Logistics Base, the International Airport, the International Port, amongst others.

2. Government’s Resolution which approves the Procurement procedure for Service Provision of a Master Plan on Drawing and Detailed Drawing of three Polytechnic Institutes and an Academy of Fisheries and Maritime Studies

One of the priorities of the 5th Constitutional Government’s Program for Higher Education is the building of polytechnic institutes and an Academy of Fisheries and Maritime Studies, during its mandate.

Taking into account the importance of promptly responding to the development needs of Higher Education in Timor-Leste, and the assent of the National Procurement Commission, the Ministry of Education has scheduled, during this fiscal year, the beginning of the preparation works of the Master Plan, the Pre-Drawing and Drawing of these projects, aiming to obtain a quality service, which ensures the construction of such infrastructures.

3. Government’s Resolution appointing the Member of Parliament Carmelita Moniz to act as alternate vogue on the Superior Council of Magistrates

The Council of Ministers decided to appoint the Member of Parliament Carmelita Moniz to act as alternate vogue on the Superior Council of Magistrates. Let us recall that the Government had already appointed the member of the Management Board, according to the Law setting the Statute of Judicial Magistrates, which gives the Government the right to appoint one member and one alternate.

4. Summary of the Second Report on the Convention for the Rights of the Child in Timor-Leste

Following the accession of Timor-Leste to the Convention for the Rights of the Child and to the Optional Protocol of the Convention for the Rights of the Child, concerning the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the Council of Ministers approved the consolidated report - for the second and third periodic reports – presented by the Ministry of Justice.

The document covers the most important areas in which the State’s action is needed the most to protect children’s rights and the way States and international organizations accomplish the Convention. The report’s editing process was coordinated by the Coordination Committee appointed by the Ministry of Justice, supported by fourteen focal points and different ministries and institutions involved in the Convention’s implementation. The UNICEF provided technical support to the preparation and the drawing-up of the report, as well as to National Committee for the Rights of the Child, in children consulting, at national and district levels.

5. Condition of the imported vehicles over five years old awaiting customs clearance in Dili’s Port

Dili’s Port has more than 80 seized vehicles, which Customs, in need of space, purposed to take to auction. The Council of Ministers approved the auction, whose revenues will revert to the State.

The Council of Ministers also analyzed:

1. Execution Report of Infrastructural Fund Projects

The Ministry of Public Works presented to the Council of Ministers the Implementation Report of Infrastructural Fund Projects, by detailing the concluded projects and the ongoing ones, and from these, the execution percentage.  Source: Government of East Timor Council of Ministers 07/10/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

2014 East Timor State Budget before the National Parliament

ETLJB 27 November 2013 Díli, Timor-Leste - Timor-Lesteʼs 2014 State Budget is now before National Parliament for analysis, discussion and debate.

Once the Parliamentary Commissions have finished their scrutiny and the final report of Commission C (Public Finance) is submitted, the National Parliament will begin the Budget Debate in Generality, followed by the Debate in Speciality. The Plenary Sessions, in the interests of transparency, will be broadcast live on National Radio and TV.

This year the Budget process has included the Yellow Road Workshops held in May when the Government, in an effort to encourage national inclusion, worked with a broad group of community stakeholders to identify, analyze and discuss annual priorities and other matters vital to the nation building process. In the following months Ministries and Secretariats continued to refine their fiscal planning. On the 26th of September the Council of Ministers approved $1.5 billion for the 2014 Budget. The draft budget law for 2014 was then approved on the 22nd of October. Subsequently the Budget was delivered to National Parliament on the 25th of October and in continuing efforts to promote a transparent process and encourage public access to information, the Ministry of Finance posted the Budget Books to their website on the same day.

The Budget Books outline how the government intends to pursue its policy priorities for 2014 to meet the Governmentʼs priority of creating a higher standard of living for all citizens achieved via strong, inclusive and high-quality economic growth. Health, education and security sectors are prioritized along with spending on developing infrastructure on a small and large scale.

The total Government expenditure proposed for 2014 of $1.5 billion is a 9% decrease from 2013. In the allocations recurrent expenditure is up 11% with $292 million for Public Transfers, $476 million for Goods and Services and $167 million for Salary and Wages. On the other hand allocations for Capital Development have been reduced to take into account conditions on the ground with the Infrastructure Fund allocated $179 million, approximately 28% less than last year.

Domestic revenue in 2014 is set to continue itʼs upward trend in terms of taxes and other charges increasing to $166 million, over 13% more that the forecast for 2013 in last yearʼs budget. The Government is committed to increasing domestic revenues in order to move to a less petroleum dependent economy and to better integrate into the global economy.

The 2014 Budget is to be financed by withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund of the Estimated Sustainable Income [$632 million], excess withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund [$271 million], the use of Cash Balance [$378 million] and Loans [$51 million].

The balance of Timor-Lesteʼs Petroleum Fund has grown to $14.6 billion and Timor-Lesteʼs non-oil growth is forecast to be 8% for 2013, one of the highest economic growth rates in the region. Spokesperson for the V Constitutional Government Agio Pereira noted “as the Government enters this very busy period in the process of the State Budget we remain committed to a transparent process and to the ultimate goal of our Strategic  Development Plan to achieve the collective vision of the Timorese people for a peaceful and prosperous future.” ENDS Source: Government of East Timor 13/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Most juveniles imprisoned in East Timor for crimes of sexual violence, sexual abuse and murder

ETLJB 27 November 2013 - According to a report in The Dili Weekly, most of the children who are imprisoned in East Timor have been convicted for crimes of sexual violence, sexual abuse and murder. It also notes the findings of the National Commission for the Rights of the Child in East Timor that the number of children in Becora prison has increased from 20 in 2012 to 25 this year.

The report cites the President of the National Commission for the Rights of the Child (NCRC), Commissioner Adalgiza Ximenes, as saying that "the number of the children involved in criminal activities is on the increase and this is because families are failing to adequately educate their children."

She explained the role of the NCRC is to provide advocacy to society and to parents about the rights of children but an honest education comes foremost from the family.

“When we see children involved in such cases [crimes] we ask them what have their parents done given they only spend a couple of hours at schools and the rest of their time with them. So education must be given first by the family,” said Commissioner Ximenes.

The Commissioner acknowledges the government has also not done enough to ensure children get a good education at school but the family is also responsible for their education so they become good citizens. Source: The Dili Weekly 26/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

25 November 2013

East Timor's Refinery Project and Petrochemicals: Major Development or Major Threat?

ETLJB 25/11/2013 - Mahein Nia Lian report No. 58 analyzes the government’s plan to implement a refinery project and petrochemical clinic in the village of Betano, as outlined in the government’s National Development Strategy Plan- NDSP.  Various government ministries have collaborated to begin soil testing and the Nova Betano community has been consulted for advice on producing state policy in coordination with the implementation of this large-scale project.  They have successfully identified the various social, environmental, and cultural impacts stemming from this project that could negatively affect the community.

The refinery project and Nova Betano development will produce devastating environmental consequences.  Agricultural activity in the area will be severely hurt, and plantations, crops, and animals will all be affected.  The government’s socialization efforts regarding the refinery have included only a slide show presentation that failed to give substantive details about the foreseeable impacts of the project.  The community is also concerned about government compensation payments for land taken from community members.  Community members are particularly skeptical of government promises following the installation of a Central Electricity complex in Betano; the government failed to compensate the community after claiming it would. (emphasis added)

There are also concerns regarding the government’s plan to re-locate community members to a hill area 2-5 kilometers from the area of the refinery project.  The government claims that the air pollution caused by chemicals from the refinery poses a threat to their health.  However, community members have resisted this proposal, stating that moving to the hill is unsustainable for them as they would not be able to plant crops and conduct their agricultural activities in that location.

Another concern is how the employment opportunities at the refinery and Nova Betano will be handled.  The Betano community has requested that the government utilize local labor for this project, and not hire the majority of laborers from Indonesia as was done during the previous construction of the Central Electricity complex in Betano.  If not addressed, this situation has the potential to escalate into conflict between locals and foreign laborers.  Fundasaun Mahein’s final concern regards the creation of the Nova Betano community, which will be comprised of foreign workers and laborers.  Fundasaun Mahein urges the government to provide an explanation to the community of who will be living in Nova Betano and for how long.  In this way, community members can be prepared for future developments and conflict will be avoided.

 Recommendations from Fundasaun Mahein:

1. Recommend to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Timor Gas to conduct visible socialization projects within the community before implementing the project.  These efforts should include informing the community with details about the expected impact from the refinery project and petrochemicals as well as Nova Betano on the area.

2. Recommend cooperation between government ministries to reach out to the community and explain how and when they will be compensated.  An agreement should be reached and recorded to avoid potential conflict during the project’s implementation.

3. Recommended to government, particularly the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, to sign a contract with the community to legalize the government action in their community to avoid tension or conflict in the future. Source: Fundasaun Mahein 18/09/2013 Press release

Related posts
Government and Community celebrate agreement on land use for Suai Supply Base
Communities "surrender" land for government supply base

Baukau Communities "surrender" 10h of land to the State for Portuguese school
Community Land in East Timor: Compensation for Acquisition for Public Purposes

See also Electrification of the Nation continues with the Inauguration of Central Electric Betano 

Edited by Warren L. Wright

24 November 2013

East Timor Court of Appeal upholds application for disqualification of Chief Judge Ximenes due to bias

Judge Ximenes. Photo: Centru Jornalista Investigativu Timor-Leste
ETLJB 24 November 2013 - In an extraordinary decision by the East Timor Court of Appeals in September last, the judges of the Court other than its President, Claudio Ximenes, upheld an application for his disqualification due to bias in proceedings concerning the corruption trial of the IV Constitutional Government's Minister of Justice, Lucia Lobato. Ms Lobato was convicted of certain crimes relating to her time in office including corruption and abuse of power and sentenced to 5 years in jail in June 2012.

The full Court of Appeal for East Timor granted a request for recusation (disqualification due to bias) against Judge Claudio Ximenes following a complaint filed by prosecutors in the proceedings involving the former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato.

The President of the Court of Appeal was thus unable to participate in proceedings concerning the former Justice Minister. The grounds of the application appear to have been that the country's chief judge had been in personal communications with the former Justice Minister during the trial and related processes. The judgement of the President's fellow judges was handed down in August.

According to a machine translation of a report in LUSA, the decision of the full Court of Appeal referred to above was taken following statements made to the press by the President.


The judgement emphasised that "[f]rom the point of view of the average citizen, given the express public demonstration revealing a judgment in favor of the defendant  referring to the process that ran against her in the Court of Appeal, is susceptible to generate public opinion in this country (certainly with some foundation ) of feelings of personal favoritism, as well as recognition of regular contact with the defendant during the course of the Habeas Corpus, it is to admit the susceptibility of suspicion about the fairness of Mr. Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal."

The application for Habeas Corpus that had been filed by the defence attorney for Lucia Lobato was rejected by two judges of the Court of Appeal with the dissenting opinion of Claudio Ximenes, who explained why he was in favor of the immediate release of Lucia Lobato, considering that there are procedural errors.

According to the LUSA report, the judges who signed the judgment that upheld the application for recusation against the Chief Judge were also the target of accusations of bias by the former Justice Minister of East Timor’s defense lawyers, who had also filed applications for recusation against them but the Court of Appeal rejected those requests of suspicion of bias against the judges.

LUSA also reported that ,in a statement to the press, the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program warned that "the public can understand that the decisions were not neutral or fair because decisions on extraordinary appeals were taken by the same judges" in the first appeal.
(Source: LUSA 23/09/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright)

It is not the first time that the competency of the Chief Judge has been seriously questioned. In 2003, the National Parliament had to enact a law to override the decision of Ximenes that the applicable law of East Timor was Portuguese law. The law, Law No 10 of 2003, commenced with the following preamble:

"Interpreting a law literally, outside its context and system, aloof from reality, and in violation of the most elementary rules of legal hermeneutics, leads to an absurdity, which may undermine the country’s stability, as it tends to bring about a situation of institutional crisis that would otherwise not exist.

Section 1 (Authentic interpretation) then went on to provide that:

Under the terms of the provision of section 1 of Law No. 2/2002, of 7 August, applicable legislation in East Timor on 19 May 2002 means all Indonesian laws applied and that were in force “de facto” in East Timor, prior to 25 October 1999, as provided by UNTAET Regulation No. 1/1999."

The law was necessary because the Court of Appeal, under the stewardship of Claudio Ximenes had applied Portuguese law in  three appeals applying Portuguese law in East Timor. In each case heard before the Court on the majority of the Court , namely Judge Claudio Ximenes (Presiding) and Judge Jose Antunes (Portugese International Judge) affirmed their position that the appropriate subsidiary law in East Timor is Portuguese, rather than Indonesian law.

But the the third member of the Court, Judge Jacinta Correia da Costa, whose jurisprudence was ultimately confirmed as rational and correct, delivered a dissenting opinion expressing her view that the correct interpretation of the Constitution of East Timor, taken together with United Nations Regulations 1/1999, was that Indonesian Law should be the subsidiary law in East Timor. In her dissenting judgment, Judge da Costa emphasised that it was Indonesian, and not Portugese law, which was being applied in East Timor prior to October 1999.

In another controversial case before the Court of Appeal, On August 14, the Court of Appeals issued a decision that the re-election of Mari Alkatiri and Francisco "Lu'olo" Guterres to the leadership of the ruling Fretilin party by a show of hands at the party congress in May was legal. The decision was in response to a case brought by members of Fretilin Mudansa, a faction within the ruling Fretilin party that opposes the leadership of Mari Alkatiri. ("Mudansa" in this context means "change" or "reform".)

The Mudansa group had put forward Jose Luis Guterres, then East Timor's Ambassador to the United Nations and now Foreign Minister, to run against Alkatiri at the May congress, and many observers expected him to win. However, he withdrew from the race in protest when the delegates voted to abolish the secret ballot and hold elections by a public show of hands, a move seen by many as facilitating widespread bribery and intimidation by the pro-Alkatiri faction (see reftels). 3. (U) Last month the Fretilin dissidents filed a case claiming that the election violated Article 18c of the Political Party Law, which provides that party leaders "can only be elected by means of a direct and secret vote of all party members or of an assembly representing them". 4. (U) The Court's decision was based not on the Political Party Law but rather on the Civil Procedure Code, stating simply that it could not adjudicate the case because it was filed past the time limit stipulated in the Code of Civil Procedure. (Comment: Contrary to the court's opinion, the code article in question appears to apply only to interlocutory motions in ongoing cases. It does not purport to create a prescriptive period --- in common law terminology, a "statute of limitations" --- after which a party aggrieved by some action or event is barred from bringing a lawsuit. Such prescriptive periods are typically measured in years rather than days. End comment.) 5. (U) After holding that the action was barred because it was filed too late, the Court went on to state its opinion that the petitioners (plaintiffs) would not have prevailed on the merits even if they had filed their action on time. The Court noted that article 18c of the Political Parties Law gives parties two options for electing national leaders: election by all party members, or election by an assembly representing party members. The Court held that the "direct and secret vote" requirement applies only to elections by all party members, not to elections DILI 00000428 002.2 OF 003 by an assembly. (Comment: Contrary to the Court's opinion, the language of article 18c requires "a direct and secret vote of all party members or of an assembly representing them." The words "or of" preceding "an assembly representing them" ("ou de assembleia deles representiva" in the original Portuguese) can only refer back to the phrase "a direct and secret vote." End Comment.) 6. (U) Finally, the Court held that even if the action had been timely filed and even if the show of hands was illegal, it had no power to order the remedy requested by petitioners, an extraordinary party congress at which a secret ballot would be held to elect new leaders. The Court also briefly addressed other allegations by petitioners, including that the leadership elections at the last Fretilin Congress in 2001 were by secret ballot and that the show-of-hands ballot at the recent Congress was part of a pattern involving bribery and intimidation of delegates, as irrelevant to the legal case.

Decision provokes further criticism of Court of Appeals President: The decision has been subjected to harsh criticism both by Timorese lawyers and by international observers in Dili. Much of this criticism is directed personally at the decision's apparent author, President of the Court of Appeals Claudio Ximenes, who has been accused in the past of shoddy decisions tending to favor the position taken by former Prime Minister Alkatiri. In particular, most observers read the plain language of article 18c as clearly requiring a secret vote either of all party members or of a representative assembly.

For instance, Dionisio Babo Soares, the co-chair of the bilateral Truth and Friendship Commission who is a trained lawyer*, said the decision was "stupid" but consistent with many other decisions made by Claudio Ximenes, the Court's President (chief judge).

Soares noted that there is increasing concern among both East Timorese and internationals that Ximenes, a Portuguese judge of Timorese extraction who has been serving as East Timor's chief judge since 2003 while on leave from his position in Portugal, not only makes key decisions based on political rather than legal exigencies, but that he produces low-quality and incoherent arguments. Other Timorese lawyers, as well as Dili-based foreign diplomats and United Nations lawyers, have made similar comments. Source: http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=06DILI428&version=1314243000 Accessed 24/11/2013) * and now the Justice Minister of the V Constitutional Government) For an analysis of this case, see The Law on Political Parties (No 3/2004) & the Decision of the Timor-Leste Court of Appeal in the case of Vitor da Costa & Ors v Fretilin

Related posts
Convicted former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato still not in prison
Timor Justice Minister considers appeal
Lobato ‘Ready to Explain Truth’ as Corruption Trial Begins
Anti-Corruption Commission applies for house arrest of Justice Minister Lobato
East Timor Justice Minister Lobato Defends Husband
Public Prosecution presents new witnesses for Minister Lobato's case
Former East Timor justice minister receives jail sentence
Parliament removes Minister Lobato’s political immunity
CJITL: Minister for Justice Lucia is Formally Made Suspect in Maternus Bere Case
Perversion of the rule of law in Timor-Leste and its impact on State legitimacy

East Timor Violence Monitoring NGO reports increased weapons circulation and drug and alcohol abuse

ETLJB 24 November 2013 - The East Timorese NGO, Belun, that monitors violence in the country says that while it has recorded a gradual decrease of violence in Timor-Leste, increased weapons circulation, gambling drug and alcohol abuse in communities continue to threaten long-term stability with youth as the leading instigators of violence.

Belun's latest conflict potential analysis report covers the period February - May 2013 and provides comparative a analysis of the security situation in Timor-Leste a year after the 2012 elections and visualizes incident data in a conflict infographic. While it has been some time since the reporting period, this Conflict Potential Analysis provides valuable material about the circumstances in Timor-Leste directly after the withdrawal of the UN Peace Keeping Forces.

A comparison to the same period in 2012 has shown a sharp increase in weapons circulating in communities. Other violence multipliers, such as gambling, alcohol and drug abuse are also on the rise.

During this reporting period, with high district-by-district variability, the PNTL on average responded to 61% of incidents recorded across the country, an increase by 5% from October 2012 - January 2013. These figures demonstrate that PNTL continue to be active responders to incidents, with rates returning to levels close to those observed during the electoral period (60% from Feb-May 2012).

Young people continue to rate as the highest group of initiators of violent incidents in Timor-Leste - responsible for 35% of incidents during this period.

Disclaimer: The EWER system is generously supported by the European Union through the Instrument for Stability, and the GIZ Peace Fund on behalf of BMZ (the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) through the German-Timorese Development Cooperation together with the State Secretariat of Youth and Sport.

Information provided by Belun through the EWER Program is provided as a guide only. All incidents are verified to the extent possible. Belun does not accept liability for incorrect data, or decisions arising from the use of the data. Belun asserts that they are the sole authors of this report and that the ideas, opinions and commentary contained within are not intended to reflect or represent those of the the Government of Germany, GIZ, the European Union or the Government of Timor-Leste.
Source: Belun 23/11/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related post
Violence increasing in East Timor, says conflict-monitoring NGO
Belun Monitoring shows Post-Electoral Tension in Uatulari, Ossu, Baucau Vila and Lautem Moro 

23 November 2013

Violence increasing in East Timor, says conflict-monitoring NGO

ETLJB 23 November 2013 - According to the latest report from the East Timorese conflict monitoring civil society organisation, Belun, "conflict monitoring for July and August 2013 showed an increase in reported incidents in comparison to the previous two months."

Belun notes in particular that "[i]n July, the transportation of a deceased member of the Kera Sakti group back from Indonesia resulted in a violent confrontation with PSHT in Gariuai (Baucau) and that this incident partly contributed to Government Resolution no.16/2013 on the Termination of Martial Arts Groups.

Much of the youth-related violence is concentrated in Dili and Belun reports that "these incidents demonstrated the relative ease at which verbal provocation can escalate into physical violence, with stone throwing and knives being the most common form of weaponry."


Belun aslo noted a link between alcohol consumption and violence and that its monitoring revealed several crimes in which the perpetrators were unable to be identified causing panic and unease in the community. Source: Belun Situation Review July-August 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Note: Belun is a national Timor-Leste NGO committed to conflict-prevention and building the capacity of communities runs the Early Warning, Early Response program in Timor-Leste. It was established in 2004 to bolster civil society in Timor-Leste and reduce underlying tensions that may lead to violent conflict. Belun's mandate is to serve communities within Timor-Leste, develop the organizational capacity of the partners, reduce tensions and prevent conflict in Timor-Leste. BELUN means “friend” or “partner” in the national language, Tetum. (Source: Belun's Facebook page accessed 23/11/2013)


Related posts
East Timor Police Identify 3 Illegal Groups Creating Instability
Belun Monitoring shows Post-Electoral Tension in Uatulari, Ossu, Baucau Vila and Lautem Moro
Military will shoot people who create instability in East Timor 

22 November 2013

East Timor Police Identify 3 Illegal Groups Creating Instability

ETLJB 22/11/2013 - The East Timor National Police have identified three groups believed to be engaged in criminal activities that have been creating fear and social instability in the country. The groups have been named as Kibata, Monster and Dewa Mabuk who are operating in the nation's capital, Dili.

The police Operational Commander, Superintendent Armando Monteiro, called for the contribution of the people by informing the police if they are aware of these illegal groups within the community.

Monteiro said that based on the results of investigations into these groups, they are being paid by certain people in the capital of Dili.

Meanwhile, Timor-Post has reported that some police officers are believed to be involved with organised criminal groups.

The people’s representatives in the Parliament suspect some of the National Police (PNTL) members of taking oaths with organised groups in the capital of Dili and help facilitate them if they face difficult situation.

"Some members of PNTL support the organised groups. When the groups commit acts of crime, the police will not arrest them as they have sworn oaths with these organised groups", said MP Jacinto Vicente.

MP Roke said that the police commander should better monitor his officers as such attitude would negatively impact peace and stability in the country. Source: Radio Timor-Leste 1/10/2013; Timor-Post 1/10/2013 via TLMDC Edited by Warren L. Wright

Preventing foreigners from purchasing land should be socialised

ETLJB 22/11/2013 - As land issues continue to be a prominent social problem in East Timor frequently leading to disputes, conflicts and violence, a Member of the National Parliament has called on the Government to educate the community about not selling their land to non-citizens adding that the reasons for that must be explained to communities.

"Our Government needs to make public education programs in the communities to make sure that communities do not sell their lands to foreigners. If we just talk about the land and property law, foreigners continue to use the people’s land and the local people continue selling their land to foreigners,” the National Parliament member (MP) Paulino Moniz said during plenary on Monday 30 September 2013.

MP Virgilio Hornai also said the Timorese people who sold their land to foreigners would lose their right to live on a piece of land and the foreigners who bought the land from the Timorese could be considered as unlawful because the Constitution did not allow foreign nationals the right to land. Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 1 October 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

See also
Fears of foreign domination in East Timor economy and land by Chinese and Indonesian investors

Military will shoot people who create instability in East Timor

ETLJB 22/11/2013 - According to an English translation of a report in media Independente on 01/10, the Commander of the East Timor Defence Force at the Metinaro Training Centre, Colonel Falur Ratelaek, has said that the military is ready to shoot people who create instability in the country.

According to the translation distributed by the Timor Leste Media Development Centre, Colonel Falur said the current situation was the responsibility of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) but when PNTL needed F-FDTL’s support, it was ready to hunt criminals in the capital of Dili.

”If we were police we should shoot at them. All Timorese should abide by the law and not create instability again in the country otherwise F-FDTL (Falinil-East Timor Defence Force) would shoot,” he said.

Falur called on the young Timorese to remain calm and learn something but not to hunt each other, otherwise they would lose their lives. Source: Independente 1 October 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

11 November 2013

Consolidating democracy in a pluralistic society - Address by Prime Minister of East Timor Xanana Gusmao at the Bali Democracy Forum 2013

ETLJB 11 November 2013

Community members in remote areas request for JSMP to continue visiting their villages to provide information about the formal law

ETLJB 11 NOvember 2013 - On 30 October 2013 the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP), through its Legal Research Unit (LRU) provided legal training about “access to the formal law” in Baricafa Village, Luro Sub-District, Lospalos District.

The participants in this training included members of the village administrative structure, namely the Village Chief, Sub-Village Chief, elders, women and youth representatives. There were 30 participants in this training, comprising 17 men and 13 women.

The training materials covered issues relating to the rights of all citizens, the formal justice system in Timor-Leste, the role of judicial actors such as judges, prosecutors, private lawyers and public defenders, the classification of public crimes and semi public crimes in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code (the positive law).

“This training for local leaders is part of a commitment and concerted effort by JSMP to continue providing legal information to community leaders and all elements of the village administrative structure. As they are the ones with primary responsibility in remote areas, it is hoped that they will pass on the information to other members of the community who are not yet aware of the formal justice system”, said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

The Village Chief of Baricafa, Lamberto Soares, in his welcoming speech expressed his admiration and pride that JSMP had chosen to provide information about the legal process administered by the courts, including explanations about the advantages and complexities involved, to the residents of the aforementioned village.

The Village Chief said that this type of training can increase their knowledge about legal matters and how they can resolve a case through the formal justice system and at the same time they can learn about their rights and responsibilities in relation to their involvement or association with a criminal act and the legal process.

Therefore, in his capacity as the Village Chief he requested for the members of the community, and in particular the elements of the village administrative structure, who participated in this training to pay full attention to the information provided by the facilitator so that this information could be passed on to family members and other members of the community.

Almost all of the participants actively participated in the training and showed a high level of enthusiasm to find out about the formal justice process.

They also requested for JSMP to continue organizing the same kind of training in their village and in other villages because many members of the community have not received this kind of training about the formal justice process.

This training program training was carried out with the financial support of the government Finland, in Jakarta. Source: JSMP Press Release 4 November 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

See also
Timor Leste Legal Education Project - Free Legal Texts on Professional Responsibility, Contracts and Constitutional Law in English, Tetum and Portuguese

Timor Leste Legal Education Project - Free Legal Texts on Professional Responsibility, Contracts and Constitutional Law in English, Tetum and Portuguese

ETLJB 11 November 2013 - ETLJB would like to congratulate The Asia Foundation, Stanford Law School and USAID on the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP).

TLLEP seeks to institutionalise ways for local actors in Timor-Leste to positively influence the development of domestic legal education.

Towards this end, TLLEP provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to help build knowledge in Timorese universities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

Here are the links to the the text books produced so far under the project and which can be downloaded for free:

An Introduction to Professional Responsibility in Timor-Leste
Download the book in English
Download the book in Tetum
Download the book in Portuguese

Contract Law in Timor-Leste
Download the book in English
Download the book in Tetum
Download the book in Portuguese

Constitutional Law in Timor-Leste
Download the book in English
Download the book in Tetum
Download the book in Portuguese

Source: http://www.stanford.edu/group/tllep/cgi-bin/wordpress/ Posted on ETLJB by Warren L. Wright

See also
Community members in remote areas request for JSMP to continue visiting their villages to provide information about the formal law

Statement by the Government of East Timor Regarding Arbitration Commenced by ConocoPhillips

ETLJB 11 November 2013 - On 25 October, the Government of Timor-Leste submitted its Statement of Defense in response to the arbitration commenced by ConocoPhillips. Timor-Leste responded comprehensively to each of ConocoPhillips's claims, providing, for the first time, the full historical background and facts of ConocoPhillips's operations in the Timor Sea.

Timor-Leste is defending its sovereign right to interpret and apply its own tax laws and believes the tax assessments ConocoPhillips complains of represent the proper exercise of sovereign taxation authority.

The arbitration hearing on ConocoPhillips' claims is scheduled for June 2014 and we look forward to the swift and impartial adjudication of this matter. ENDS Source: Government of East Timor Press Release 31/10/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright 

See also 
ConocoPhillips Challenges Tax Reassessment Action In East Timor 
Timor-Leste confirms action underway to reclaim taxes

Correction to Press Release: Dili District Court convicts three defendants for committing crimes in their capacity as civil servants

ETLJB 11 November 2013 - On 30 October 2013, the Dili District Court read out its decision in a case involving the defendant Abílio Lima, the former Secretary of State for the Environment, and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay compensation of US$5,300 and court costs of US$50.

The defendant Antonio de Carvalho, who was the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State for the Environment was sentenced to 3 years 6 months imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation of $ 5,300 and court costs of $ 20.  The defendant Ilda da Costa Be-Loi who was the former treasurer in the Office of the Secretary of State for the Environment was sentenced to 1 year 3 month’s jail, suspended for 3 years 6 months and she was ordered to pay court costs of US$20.

The defendants were found guilty of engaging in the crimes of active corruption, passive corruption for an illegitimate act, embezzlement and the falsification of a technical report that allegedly occurred in December 2010.

“Although the appeal process in this case is still ongoing, this decision is a positive step forward for the justice sector, especially in regards to ensuring that all State authorities who misuse their responsibilities and functions as civil servants for personal gain will be taken to court because any crimes of this nature will seriously threaten the sustainability of Timor-Leste in the future”, said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, the Executive Director of JSMP.       

This decision is very important for the community as well as for State authorities as it sends a strong message that will encourage everyone to value their role and to uphold their functional responsibilities to serve the national interest. If they fail to fulfill their responsibilities, then consequently they will be brought before the law for the professional negligence they have committed.

“This decision will continue to show all people that corruption is not just a violation of the law, but these kinds of practices have a very serious impact and undermine social development and seriously threaten the future of the nation and the State. JSMP hopes that when corruption is dealt with seriously this will educate all elements of society and deter them from engaging in the crime of corruption,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, the Executive Director of JSMP.

In the public prosecutor’s  final allegation the court was also requested apply Article 301 of the Penal Code on aggravation against the defendant Abílio Lima because his conduct at the time while performing the duties of the Secretary of State for the Environment was an abuse of his position in public office.

The public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 5 years imprisonment for committing two different crimes involving active corruption in accordance with 294 of the Penal Code and Article 295 of the Penal Code on embezzlement plus Article 301 of the Penal Code on aggravation. The public prosecutor also requested for the court to convict the defendant to pay compensation to the State of US$3,850.

Based on the evidence, in relation to the defendant Antonio de Carvalho, the public prosecutor sought a sentence of 3 years imprisonment, to be suspended for 3 years, because the defendant had confessed to the conduct, regretted his actions and has returned the money that he misused. In this case the public prosecutor charged the defendant with Article 295 of the Penal Code on embezzlement.

In relation to the defendant Ilda da Costa Be Loi, the public prosecutor asked that the defendant be sentenced to 3 years imprisonment suspended for 5 years because the defendant regretted her actions, admitted guilt and has already returned the money in question. The public prosecutor had charged the defendant for violating Article 292 of the Penal Code on passive corruption for an unlawful act and Article 303 of the Penal Code on falsification of a technical report.

Recalling that this case is of major importance to the public interest, JSMP encourages the Court of Appeal to prioritize this case, so that the public does not have to wait in doubt and uncertainty, which has happened in previous cases.

The decision was announced by Ana Paula Fonseca representing the panel of judges. The Public Prosecution service was represented by Angelina Saldanha and the Office of the Public Defender was represented by Manuel Sarmento, Cancio Xavier and Fernando Lopes de Carvalho. Source: JSMP Press Release Edited by Warren L. Wright

Original Press Release: Dili District Court convicts three defendants for committing crimes in their capacity as civil servants

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of November 5th, 2013

ETLJB 11 November 2013 - The Government met on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. First Amendment to the Decree-Law approving the Legal Regime of Public-Private Partnerships

The Decree-Law n.42/2012, from September 7th, established a legislative framework in which was defined the legal regime of the agreements made between the State and private entities (public-private partnerships).

Through these agreements, private partners have to ensure the construction and execution of infrastructural projects. Nevertheless, the design, operation and maintenance of infrastructures may also be object of procurement through the modality of public-private partnerships, allowing efficiency gains in service delivery.

Thus, this diploma establishes a framework that allows a public sector entity and a private partner to be part on a public-private partnership agreement, with the aim of performing one or several of the activities on design, construction, operation and maintenance of public infrastructures as well as for the service provision attached to them.

2. Decree-Law on the Commission for Interministerial Coordination and the Interministerial Technical Work Group for Local Development

The Commission for Interministerial Coordination and the Interministerial Technical Work Group for Local Development were established in 2012, aiming to coordinate and conciliate the different actions on local development, namely the District Integrated Development Plan (DIDP) and the National Program for the Development of Sucos (NPDS).

Within the framework for local development that the Government has been encouraging in the last years, it is, thus, important, either at a political or a technical level, to maintain and regulate the statute of those commissions to ensure continuity on the work developed.

3. Loan with ADB for the development of the Road Network Sector Upgrading Project
The Council of Ministers approved the contraction of a loan with the Asian Development Bank to develop the Road Network Sector Upgrading Project, as foreseen in the Program of the 5th Constitutional Government and the Strategic Development Plan. Specifically, this multiyear project comprises the construction of the road linking Manatuto to Natarbora and the access route to Laclubar; the improvement of about 30 kilometers of other national roads; the design of 170 kilometers of national roads (Baucau-Lospalos, Baucau-Viqueque); and support in preparation and implementation of a Plan of Action for Road Safety. This project shall begin next year and should be finished in 2017.

4. Decree-Law approving the Organic Law of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

According to the Organic of the V Constitutional Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for the design, implementation, coordination and evaluation of the policy, defined and approved by the Council of Ministers, for the areas of agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries.

Aiming to give a response to the great options of the policy, established in accordance with the Strategic Development Plan, this diploma reformulates the structure and the due competencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, giving it the means that allow increasing equity, effectiveness and efficiency of its services, in order to achieve food safety and generate national economic growth.

5. Tasi Mane Projects

After an analysis of the results of calls for projects related with the South Coast (Tasi Mane), presented to the National Procurement Commission (NPC), the Council of Ministers approved the recommendation of NPC, of awarding the contract for the construction of the Airport of Suai to the firm PT.Washkita Karya.

The Council of Ministers also assessed the result of the pre-qualifying evaluation for the design and construction of the Logistical Support Base of Suai, having approved the application of five companies from the 15 competing for this project. The selected companies were: Essar Projects (India) Ltd, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd., HDEC-HEC-AMCO consortium, BAM International-Van Oord Dredging-Marine Contractor-Wijaya Karya consortium and the Construtora San Jose S.A.-Tecnicas Reunidas S.A. consortium.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Construction project of a luxury hotel in Dili

The company Permata Kusuma Jaya, Lda presented to the Government a construction project of a five-star hotel in Kaikoli, with 26 floors. This ambitious project aims to place Timor-Leste as a possibility for Tourism and Business, in the region, and will provide employment to local population. Source: Government of East Timor 05/11/2013Edited by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund has assets of US$14.6 billion at end of September

ETLJB 11 November 2013 - (macauhub) The Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund had a capital of US$14.6 billion at the end of last September, up from US$13.6 billion at the end of June, the Central Bank of East Timor announced on Thursday in Dili.

The three months from June to September witnessed a gross capital inflow amounting to US$703 million, from both tax payments into the Fund and royalties from the National Petroleum Authority. The return on investment rose to US$413 million.

The same period saw an outflow of US$184 million, almost entirely in the form of transfers to the state budget.

The Petroleum Fund Law specifies that the Central Bank of East Timor is the body responsible for the Fund’s operational management, while the Finance Ministry is responsible for setting its overall investment policy.

10 November 2013

Case Relating to Damage to Property Adjourned Again June 2009 in Dili District Court

ETLJB 10 November 2013 (Note: This is a re-posting of the JSMP report archived on the East Timor Legal Information Site) 28 April Case Relating to Damage to Property Adjourned Again June 2009 in Dili District Court

On 22/06/2009 the Dili District Court experienced a slight interruption in a criminal case that was due to be tried by a panel of judges because the new Penal Code needs to be applied to this case. Based on court monitoring conducted by JSMP, before opening the hearing the presiding Judge Jacinta Correia explained that the trial of case No. 88/c.ord/2009/TDD could not be continued because of the new Penal Code which entered into force on 8 June 2009. Article 3 of the new Penal Code states that “The law subsequent to the commission of the crime shall apply to previous misdemeanors where it proves to be actually more favorable to the perpetrator and, in the case of a final decision, if a benefit can still be obtained”.

The judges in this case did just rely on this reason only, but they focused on the legal principle of ‘Lex Posteriori Legi Priori’. For the aforementioned reason, the panel of judges decided to send the case back to the competent court in accordance with standard procedure by issuing a new decision requiring the case to be tried by a single judge based on the aforementioned decision. The presiding judge told the defendant OML about the implementation of the new Penal Code.

In accordance with the general principle mentioned above, the new provisions are very favorable to the defendant facing criminal charges carrying a sentence of 15 years or more. This means that the shortest sentence is the most favorable and therefore the law to be applied in this case is the law that formed the basis of the charges, namely the Indonesian Penal Code.

JSMP notes that Article 189.3 of the new Penal Code carries a sentence of 2-5 years imprisonment. This means that this article relates to the previous charge, namely Article 160 of the Indonesian Penal Code which the public prosecutor used to charge the defendant, which carries a sentence of six years and a fine of Rp 4.500.

The application of this general principle is correct and normal in this case, however JSMP believes that the contents of the original article applied in the case (Article 160 of the Indonesian Penal Code) and Article 189 of the new Penal Code have not been harmonized, meaning that the criminal act committed by the defendant does not match the elements of the two aforementioned articles even though the application of the aforementioned principle is justifiable.

The decision to allocate this case to a single judge did not set a date for hearing. The presiding judge told all of the parties who have been cooperating well with each other to date to comply with any summons they receive and attend the court to have this matter retried. Source: JSMP Press Release Edited by Warren L. Wright
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...