30 November 2015

Events to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence and 500 years of interaction with Portugal



ETLJB 30/11/2015 Government of East Timor Press Release Dili, 27 November, 2015 - Important activities are taking place over the next days to commemorate two very significant events in the history of the Timorese people.

On Saturday, the 28th of November, Timor-Leste commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence, remembering the day in 1975 when the text of the Proclamation of the Independence of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste was first read by Francisco Xavier do Amaral, the first President of the Republic.

The 28th of November also marks the highpoint of commemorations of 500 years of the interaction of two civilizations: Timor-Leste and Portugal and the Affirmation of Timorese Identity, recalling the arrival of Portuguese navigators and missionaries at Lifau, in the municipality of Oe-Cusse Ambeno, in 1515. Events and activities exploring the dimensions of this relationship and its impact on the Timorese Identity have taken place throughout all of 2015 with the 28th of November being considered as the pinnacle of this yearlong commemoration.

Activities for the coming days have been prepared by the Organizing Committee for the celebrations coordinated by the Ministry of State Administration led by H.E. Dionisio Babo Soares, Minister of State, Coordinator of State Administration Affairs and Justice and Minister of State Administration. Events are being undertaken in all of Timor-Leste’s thirteen municipalities with major events in Oe-Cusse Ambeno and in Tasi-Tolu, Dili.

Today in Oe-Cusse Ambeno the Lifau Monument was inaugurated. At its centre is a 8.5 tonne, 13 metre long bronze casting of a caravel, the kind of vessel that brought the Portuguese in 1515. Eight bronze figures including a standard bearer, sailors, a priest and Timorese are part of this monument. Tonight an Official Dinner will be hosted by the President of the Republic H.E. Taur Matan Ruak.

Tomorrow on Proclamation Day in Oe-Cusse Ambeno the President of the Republic, the President of National Parliament H.E. Vicente Guterres, Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo and many other officials and dignitaries of Timor-Leste, Portugal and other nations will join with the local communities for the Raising of the National Flag, the observation of one minute of silence to honor the fallen heroes and a reading of the declaration of Independence Proclamation of 28th of November 1975. In Dili, the Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, will be part of similar ceremonies to be conducted at Tasi-Tolu.

Before the National Flag is lowered in Timor-Leste at sunset on Saturday, many awards will be presented, sporting competitions conducted, cultural activities undertaken and festivities enjoyed.

The Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “these days mark two milestones in the history of our nation as we honour the proud proclamation of our independence in 1975 and recognize how our 500 years of interaction with Portugal has shaped us as a distinct nation in our region. As a part of that interaction we acknowledge the spiritual, human and material support offered by the Catholic faith and Church, particularly during the resistance times. During those dark decades, as we fought for our independence, we survived without external support - the world turned its back on us.

Yet we fought on to ensure that the country that emerged from Portuguese-Timor did not fade away. Against all odds, we not only survived, but now strive for higher goals as a sovereign and independent nation. At this time pay our respects to those who have gone before and look to our future with determination and hope.”
ENDS

27 November 2015

East Timor tackles cigarette smoking with a new law to control tobacco



ETLJB 27/11/2015 The Government of East Timor has approved a new law aimed at tackling the social problem of tobacco consumption in the country.

The new law will be Decree-Law on the Tobacco Control Regime.

The draft law has been previously considered by the Government at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 21 September 2015. It will define the regime for the prevention and control of smoking in the country.

This diploma is in compliance with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified in 2004 by the National Parliament.

According to a press release from the Government, "tobacco consumption in Timor-Leste remains very high, with significant negative impact on citizens’ health."

The Government notes that "approximately 70% of non-communicable diseases have as their main risk factor the consumption of tobacco."

On 4 June 2014, BBC News Magazine reported that "East Timor has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with nearly two-thirds of its men hooked on the habit."

According to figures from the Journal of the American Medical Association, 33% of East Timor's population smoke every day. The figure for men stands at 61% - the highest in the world.

"Young people are smoking more and more each year, especially young boys," says Dr Jorge Luna, The World Health Organisation's local representative. "It is a very serious problem."

When he was Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao repeated what is tantamount to the tobacco industry's line: "The law, banning this, banning that, will not be so effective. It needs education [and] it will take time but I believe that the more people are aware of the diseases that it can cause, the more they are able to stop by themselves."

Tobacco advertising is still prominent in public spaces in East Timor. Most cigarettes are imported from Indonesia, which also has a very high smoking rate in the population.


See also Tobacco control in Timor-Leste: weak

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers 24 November 2015



ETLJB 27/11/2015 - Government of East Timor Press Release 24 November 2015 Dili - The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday, November 24th, 2015, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. The Government Resolution on an investment project for limestone extraction and cement production in Baucau

The investment project of TL Cement, Lda. for the construction of a limestone extraction and cement production unit in the municipality of Baucau involves an investment, by the company, of about US$400 million and the creation of approximately one thousand permanent jobs. It will have a daily production capacity of approximately five thousand tonnes of cement clinker, allowing Timor-Leste to reduce its dependence on imported cement.

The project includes the construction of a jetty, quarries, an industrial complex and wind and solar energy parks, among other facilities. Studies conducted in 2014 point to the existence of large reserves of limestone in the region.

This diploma determines the creation of a technical team, composed of elements nominated by Government members of the relevant areas to the project. This working group will examine the model and the terms of the agreement for participation in the project and submit to the Council of Ministers a report with conclusions and recommendations.

2. Government Resolution that creates the Economic Coordination Structure
The Economic Coordination Structure’s mandate is to propose and implement measures and concrete actions to implement the Reform Guide and Economic Promotion of Timor-Leste 2015-2017, thus fulfilling the programme of the Sixth Constitutional Government in relation to stimulating and developing the private sector of the economy.

3. Decree-Law on the Legal Regime of Public Private Partnership for Tibar Port
This decree-law establishes the legal framework specifically applicable to the Tibar Port, assigning powers to Government to negotiate and sign the contract with the private partner, to develop the concept, financing, implementation, operation and management of the new deep water port.


4. Decree-Law on the Tobacco Control Regime
This diploma, previously examined at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of September 21st, 2015, defines the regime for the prevention and control of smoking in the country.

The tobacco consumption in Timor-Leste remains very high, with significant negative impact on citizens’ health. Approximately 70% of non-communicable diseases have as their main risk factor the consumption of tobacco.

This diploma is in compliance with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified in 2004 by the National Parliament.

5. Decree-Law on the extraordinary payment of one month's base salary to the public sector
The Sixth Constitutional Government maintains a policy of preservation, recovery and recognition of human resources linked to Public Administration, making, as in previous years, an additional payment, with character of exceptionality, one month of basic salary to employees of the State, listed in this diploma.

The Council of Ministers also examined:

1. Reform Guide and Economic Promotion of Timor-Leste 2015-2017
This project, examined at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on October 27th, 2015, was approved today by the Government taking into account the guidelines proposed in the previous meeting.

The Reform Guide and Economic Promotion of Timor-Leste 2015-2017, formerly named as Reform Programme and Economic Promotion of Timor-Leste 2015-2017, aims to ensure a more effective and efficient coordination of economic affairs, giving priority to stimulating the implementation of structuring economic measures for each of the priority areas identified in the Government Programme and in the Strategic Development Plan (SDP).

2. Timor-Leste’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency, P.I. - Tradeinvest
This project, presented by the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, aims to reform the Specialised Investment Agency - Tradeinvest, transforming it into the Investment and Export Promotion Agency - Tradeinvest Timor-Leste. The project foresees that the new agency will focus on the promotion, dissemination, coordination, streamlining and monitoring of investment opportunities in the country and of exports of goods and services produced in Timor-Leste, working as the privileged vehicle of the nation’s economic promotion.

26 November 2015

JSMP Launches Report About Application of Alternative Sentencing in Domestic Violence Cases in the Oe-cusse District Court



ETLJB 26/11/2015 JSMP Press Release Oe-cusse District Court November 24, 2015 -  JSMP Launches Report About Application of Alternative Sentencing in Domestic Violence Cases in the Oe-cusse District Court as part of USAID’s Ba Distrito Project

Monitoring conducted by the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) as part of USAID’s Ba Distrito Project shows that cases of domestic violence continue to represent the highest number of cases in the Oe-cusse court, according to a new report launched today in the Municipal Administration buildings in Oe-cusse.

The thematic report, Application of Alternative Sentences in Domestic Violence Cases in the Oe-cusse District Court, shows that JSMP monitored 151 domestic violence cases from a total of 257 total cases in the Oe-cusse District Court during 19 months, from March 2014 to September 2015.

The monitoring and production of the report were made possible by USAID’s Ba Distrito Project, which is generously supported by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The report focuses on statistics and case studies from the Oe-cusse District Courts and show sentencing trends in domestic violence cases during the period of monitoring.

“The trends in sentencing that are discussed in this report give useful references to the courts about difficulties in determining sentences which are appropriate in cases of domestic violence. However, the courts need to look at all circumstances, including sentencing principles, specific requirements for each type of sentence, and unique factors in each case, to ensure the objective of preventing violence, and guaranteeing the safety of the victim,” said JSMP Executive Director, Mr. Luis Oliveira Sampaio.

From the total number of domestic violence cases which JSMP monitored in the Oe-cusse District Court, only nine percent (9%) involved female suspects. In relation to sentencing, 58 percent (53%) of the total domestic violence cases which JSMP monitored in the Oe-cusse District Court received a suspended sentence, and 36 percent (36%) of total cases received a fine.

When domestic violence crimes are brought to the courts, the courts are not able to conduct mediation. Statistics also show that passing the Law Against Domestic Violence is not enough to stop domestic violence. Domestic violence will continue to happen often if there is no coordinated effort from all actors, including the courts and the prosecutors.

The report also shares insights on the courts and judges, who have an importante role in this context, because they have the responsibility to make decisions in domestic violence cases according to the principles defined in the Penal Code (Decree Law No. 29/2009).

“The monitoring work done by JSMP provides important insight into how courts are currently dealing with domestic violence cases.  This information is valuable not only to court actors but also to the government, civil society organizations and other service providers who can use it to better determine how they can work together to ensure justice for victims and perpetrators.  It builds community confidence in the formal justice system’s ability to respond to domestic violence when information about outcomes of court cases is shared” said Counterpart International’s Carolyn Tanner, Chief of Party for Ba Distrito Project.

Analysis in this report is a continuation of the analysis which JSMP conducted previously about accusations, sentences, and executing sentences in cases of domestic violence, through JSMP’s thematic report, Law Against Domestic Violence: Three years of Implementation and its obstacles.

19 November 2015

TOR External Evaluation of JSMP's Improving Justice Outcomes for Women in Timor-Leste



ETLJB 19/11/2015- 1.   Project Background

Improving Justice Outcomes for Women of Timor Leste is a three year project funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta and implemented by the Women’s and Child Justice Unit (WCJU) of the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP). The goal of the project is to promote the development of a justice system in Timor-Leste that addresses the rights of women and is understood and easily accessed by female victims. The objectives of the project are to:

·         Strengthen legal protection for women in cases of gender based violence

·         Enhance women’s understanding of the formal justice system

·         Increase participation of women as justice sector actors.

The project commenced in November 2012 and will finish in November 2015. JSMP will conduct a final independent review of the project at its conclusion to assess the effectiveness of the project in meeting these objectives, lessons learned and to identify areas for improvement in the design of future interventions in this area.


18 November 2015

East Timor appealing for Australian public's support in border dispute, minister says



Map: BBC News
ETLJB 18/11/2015 From ABC News- East Timor is seeking Australian public support to try to persuade Canberra to settle a longstanding maritime border dispute over lucrative oil and gas reserves, development minister Xanana Gusmao says.

Mr Gusmao, a former president of East Timor, said his country would appeal to Australians' sense of fair play to push their government into meaningful talks.

"If we go to the media and if we raise awareness, it is not because we want people to be against Australia but just to say 'oh yes, it is unfair'," Mr Gusmao said.

Mr Gusmao said he hopes to win sympathy from Australian activists, who had championed East Timor's struggle for independence from Indonesia.

He also wants support from Australian soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the impoverished nation.

East Timor has sought for years to renegotiate a treaty governing oil and gas revenue sharing arrangements that was signed with Australia soon after it gained statehood in 2002.

"From the beginning we asked Canberra to talk," Mr Gusmao said.

"They wouldn't want to blow up all of these issues. We are neighbours, we have problems, we sit down, we talk — but nothing."

East Timor argues the sea border, undefined since it was a Portuguese colony, should fall halfway between it and Australia — which it says would put several oil and gas fields in its territory.

Under the treaty, East Timor shares revenues from these fields — from a mooted half share of the as-yet undeveloped Greater Sunrise fields to 90 per cent of the currently producing Bayu-Undan and Kitan fields.

Allegations that Australian spied on Timorese negotiators fuelled controversy over the treaty.

The issue was taken to the International Court of Justice before East Timor officially dropped the case in June.

However, East Timor is still pursuing international arbitration over both the maritime border dispute and a tax case involving a pipeline from the existing fields to Australia.

Australia warns that defining the border the way East Timor wants may prompt Indonesia to also seek to shift its sea border, and thus gain ownership of disputed oil fields.

An Australian government map shows most of the Greater Sunrise fields in its waters, but with a warning they could be claimed by Indonesia if the border moves.

East Timor's map shows the fields within its claimed share of the Timor Sea.

Greater Sunrise is 33 per cent owned by Woodside, the operator. Its co-owners are ConocoPhilips, Royal Dutch Shell and Japan's Osaka Gas Co Ltd.

Greater Sunrise contains an estimated 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 226 million barrels of condensate, although the border dispute, and low gas prices, means development is on hold.

Reuters

16 November 2015

Oral Statement by Civil Society Coalition in Timor-Leste to Sixty-Second CEDAW Session November 2015



ORAL STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION IN TIMOR-LESTE (35 NATIONAL CSOS/NGOS)

62ND CEDAW SESSION, NOVEMBER 2015

Note: Please consider this email or this statement as final version and it’s the statement from Rede Feto, JSMP and ALFeLa and please ignore the previous email or statement that was not from the JSMP and Amnesty International. We apologize  for the inconvenience.

-----

Thank you Madame Chair,

On behalf of Timorese Women we are present our priority issues:

    Women’s leadership / decision making positions (Local Level)
    National Action Plan based on the Law against Domestic Violence
    Re – Entry School Policy

1. WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITION

In rural areas of Timor-Leste, women as “leaders” are still restricted by social, cultural and political barriers. There is continued under-representation of women in public life and decision making processes. We have 442 (four hundred and forty two) village chiefs in Timor-Leste and only 12 (2%) are women.  Out of 65 Sub-Districts, only 5% of women only hold posts as Sub-District Administrators, and none of them are District Administrators. To ensure the involvement of women in this process, we urge the CEDAW Committee to recommend to our government to guarantee quotas for women leaders in the village election law which will be discussed by the National Parliament in 2016.

2. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN BASED ON THE LAW AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

While the National Action Plan on Domestic Violence and GBV requires appropriate provision for victims’ services, the government lacks the resources both financial and human especially in the rural areas. Additionally, as safe houses are limited, sometimes the victims still have to share the same shelter with the perpetrators. This National Action Plan has not been implemented effectively.  This action plan also does not enable additional services that allows for victims, including their children to recover from trauma and most victims end up in other vulnerable situations. The government needs to evaluate this action plan to ensure its policies, and provide economic initiative programs. This must include the implementation of the Civil Protection Order as a priority because it protects victims and witnesses in cases of domestic violence.

The Law against Domestic Violence that was enacted in 2010 is also not effectively implemented. To date, our monitoring shows that there is a lack of protection to access justice for victim of Domestic Violence and GBV.  Protection orders are also almost never applied and there is weak sentencing in cases of violence against women and girls.  From 2010 to 2013 our court monitoring shows that 52% court decision has been suspended and 24% decision resulted in the issuing of only fines to the perpetrator of domestic violence.


Related to the implementation of the national action plan, the NGOs currently depend mostly on international funding, that has an impact on the sustainable implementation of this action plan. We urge the CEDAW Committee to recommend to our government to allocate a permanent budget for NGOs and service provider Institutions

3. RE-ENTRY SCHOOL POLICY

Finally, the Re-Entry School Policy based on CEDAW’s 2009 Concluding Observation is still poorly implemented. In reality the number of girls dropping out of school continues to increase.  Many of these girls continue to face stigmatisation and often are transferred to different schools. In these new schools they face difficulties including lack of family support.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

We urge the Committee to request the State Party to:

1.    Ensure the effective and timely implementation of the GBV NAP and Law against Domestic Violence.

2.    Ensure the effective implementation of the Witness Protection Law

3.    Adhere to the 2009 Concluding Observations on the re-entry policy on education

4.    Provide adequate resources both financial and human for work on women’s human rights as stated above

Thank you for your attention.

Timor-Leste appreciates the work of the International Court of Justice



ETLJB 16/11/2015 Government of East Timor Press Release Dili 11 November 2015 - On the occasion of the presentation of the Report of the International Court of Justice to the United Nations, Timor-Leste has expressed its appreciation for the work of the Court. The Report was presented to Member States at the United Nations Headquarters, on November 5th. The President of the ICJ, Judge Ronny Abraham, declared that over the last twelve months “the Court has devoted every effort to responding, as speedily as possible, to the expectation of its international subjects.”

This was certainly the experience of Timor-Leste in the case it brought before the ICJ, Timor-Leste v Australia, concerning “Questions relating to the Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data.” The Annual Report presented last week summarizes each step of this case beginning with Timor-Leste’s application instituting proceedings on 17 December 2013, through to the awarding of provisional measures on 3 March 2014, the adjournment of the case to seek an amicable settlement on 3 September 2014, the return of the seized document and data on 12 May 2015 and the removal of the case from the Court’s list on 11 June 2015.

It is customary for nations who have instituted proceedings covered by the Report to deliver remarks at the presentation. On behalf of Timor-Leste, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sofia Borges, thanked the Court for its work, noting the importance of the ICJ for smaller states and reaffirming Timor-Leste’s support for the United Nations and international law. Timor-Leste called for all Member States who have not done so to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court.

The Ambassador noted “the reliance of small States on the Court to protect their sovereignty shows its ability to resolve international disputes in conformity with the principles of justice and international law,” and said “The multilateral system and international law guides fair behavior and can provide States with options for dispute resolution.”

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “It is the preference of the Government wherever possible to avoid litigation. However when left with no recourse and compelled to uphold national interest, we instituted proceedings with the International Court of Justice in late 2013. The Court was prompt, respectful, transparent and efficient in all of its dealings with Timor-Leste throughout the carriage of this case through to its conclusion this year, demonstrating well the role the Court plays in the peaceful settlement of Inter-State disputes. Timor-Leste strongly affirms its support for the work of the International Court of Justice and the importance of the multilateral system.”ENDS 

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

13 November 2015

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 10 November 2015



ETLJB 13/11/2015 Government of East Timor Press Release Dili 10 November 2015 The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday, November 10th, 2015, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Decision to appeal against the Judgment from the Board of Auditors refusing the Prior
Approval to the contract of design and construction of the Suai Supply Base

The Council of Ministers examined the judgment of the collective of the Judges of the Board of Auditors of the Court of Appeal, which refused the prior approval to the contract of design and construction of Suai Supply Base concluded with the engineering and construction consortium HDEC-HEC, from South Korea. Following this judgment, was approved the project of appeal of Government, to appeal to the Board of Auditors.

ETLJB Editor's Note: See also on ETLJB Timorese Audit Chamber “fails” largest contract in the history of the country

2. Government Resolution on the importance of sandalwood as an emblematic plant of
national value
The National Policy and Strategies for the Forest Sector defines as a specific objective the protection of forests, in the framework of which the protection of sandalwood is assumed as a priority. Thus, the Council of Ministers adopted the resolution that promotes activities of sandalwood planting, the guarantee of compliance with laws and regulations applicable to environmental protection and repression of the illegal exploitation of forests and forest products.

ETLJB Editor's Note: See also on ETLJB:
Portugal invaded Timor-Leste because of sandalwood, says PM Gusmao
and on the East Timor Law Journal Sandalwood and Environmental Law in East Timor

3. First amendment to the structure of Courts’ Support Services The present draft amendment seeks to remove from judges the responsibility for the administrative services of support to the courts, namely in the financial and patrimonial, human resources and judicial service areas, that pass to the competence of the Courts General Directorate. The structure of the Courts’ Support Services was approved in the Council of Ministers, on April 4th, 2012.

4. First amendment to Decree-Law that created the National Petroleum Authority
Since its creation, the NPA (ANP in Portuguese) assembled and developed a considerable set of human and technical resources, as well as the knowledge and experience needed to handle large scale and complex projects. The proper regulation of the mining sector is a fundamental element for the socioeconomic development of the country and the approval of a new set of rules will create a modern legal framework, in line with the best international practices. Thus, the Council of Ministers decided to amend the statutes of the ANP and give it the new mission as regulatory body for licensing and exploration activities of the mining industry.

At this meeting, the Council of Ministers also examined:
The Comoro bridge, Dili. Wikimapia

1. The project for construction of the new Comoro bridge
The Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications presented the project of the new Comoro bridge. After the construction of the CPLP bridge, there is an urgent need to improve road traffic in Dili, in particular between the west and east parts. Starting at the crossroad of the Timor Block building and finishing at the national road Ao3, it will have an extension exceeding 3 kilometres.

05 November 2015

Proposed 2016 Budget delivered to members of East Timor's National Parliament



ETLJB 5 November 2015 Government of East Timor Press Release - Dili, 4 November, 2015 - The proposed State Budget for 2016 was delivered to members of National Parliament last week for their
review prior to the official submission of the Budget to Parliament. The “Budget books” have also been made available for public review through the website of the Ministry of Finance website at www.mof.gov.tl.

On the 20th of October the Council of Ministers reported that the Government had approved the proposed Budget, which will now come before National Parliament for discussion, culminating in the Budget Plenary to set conclude in December. Once the 2016 Budget Law is approved by National Parliament it will be submitted to the President of the Republic for promulgation.

This year the Budget has been prepared in line with the Sixth Constitutional Government’s Budget Performance Reform which seeks to ensure that Timor-Leste’s public resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to provide quality services. Strengthening the quality of planning and the connection to public expenditure is a key part of this reform. Book 1 of the 2016 State Budget explains:

“The 2016 Budget presents a classification of certain expenditures by program as well as the usual classification by appropriation category and institution. Each Ministry has identified its major programs and submitted a joint budget submission classified by program and activity. All Budget books therefore include a Program Budgeting component, which breaks down expenditures within each line ministry by program and activity for 2016. “Book 2 covering Annual Plans contains these comprehensive breakdowns for each area of Government demonstrating improved planning and a strengthening of the linkage of programs and activities to public expenditure.

The proposed 2016 State Budget is $1,562.2 million with $1,127.3 million allocated for recurrent expenditure including salary and wages, goods and services and public transfers and $434.9 allocated for capital expenditure.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the Government is conscious of its responsibility to effectively manage public funds for the benefit of the people of Timor-Leste. That is why we have reviewed all existing programs to seek to maximize the returns on all expenditure and insisted on improved planning within each area of Government. We welcome the upcoming period of discussion and encourage the review of the proposed 2016 State Budget.” ENDS

See also East Timor Government proposes 2016 to Parliament 2 weeks later than legally required, says La'o Hamutuk

03 November 2015

Fundasaun Mahein: The Many Police Institutions of Timor-Leste. What makes them different?



ETLJB 3/11/2015 Source: http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2015/09/30/instituisaun-polisia-barak-iha-timor-leste-saida-maka-halo-sira-diferente/

The term “police” in Timor-Leste makes people think only of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), because the PNTL works in and amongst the community every day. Another police force operating in Dili is the Military Police (PM) of FALINTIL-Defense Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). Because the PM is often seen within the community, it is sometimes contacted by the population to provide police services. Indeed, people often prefer contacting PM because of its perceived rapid intervention compared to other police, including the PNTL (particularly in Dili). With various active forms of ‘police’ beyond the PNTL, the concept deserves further discussion.

As already mentioned the PNTL is well known amongst the population in terms of uniforms, weapons and other equipment which it has used since it was established in 2000.

However, more confusion was created in the last few years, when investigators from the Commission of Anti-Corruption (KAK) received weapons training from the PNTL – and thus being perceived more as a police force. Furthermore, the Scientific Police of the Criminal Investigation (PSIK) has recently been established and is considered as the supreme corps of the criminal police. According to its organic law members of PSIK can carry and use their weapons. So KAK and PSIK can also be considered as Police? Timor-Leste presents both as a small nation, yet one that possesses many police institutions.

With many police forces comes many interpretations of duty, so what makes them different? Only the law defines the difference according to their nature, mission and competency of the institution as written on the organic statute of each institution: The PNTL is a security force with the mission to defend the democracy legality, ensure security ad rights for citizens based on the established terms on the constitution and laws.

KAK is an organ of the specialized criminal police independently to intervene based on the legality criteria and objectivity ordered by the law. It possesses the qualities as the criminal police organ and focuses on the prevention and investigation of corruption.

PSIK is the criminal police corps that organized according to the hierarchy under the Ministry of Justice. PSIK’s mission is to support judicial authorities develop, promote, coordinate and centralize preventative action, detention, investigations and criminal information, including working with international police (particularly in complex cases).

On the other side, PM constitutes a unit inside the F-FDTL directly responsible to the Chief State Major General of the Army Force (CEMGFA) with a clearly defined legal jurisdiction to secure order and internal discipline of the F-FDTL and also to ensure the security of infrastructure, material and military members. Simply put, the PM is designed as a police force for the military only.

Therefore, FM recommends to:

1. The National Parliament and Government to create a law in order to define and distinguish the nature of each criminal investigation institution or “police” force.

2. The Government to socialize and clarify the role of each police institution in the community, to resolve confusion and allow for better interaction.

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

East Timor Government proposes 2016 to Parliament 2 weeks later than legally required, says La'o Hamutuk



ETLJB 3/11/2015 One of East Timor's leading civil society organisations, La'o Hamutuk, has reported that on 29 October, the Ministry of Finance sent its proposal for the General State Budget for 2016 to Parliament.

According to Lao Hamutuk, this is 2 weeks later than is required by the law of the country.

La'o Hamutuk notes that "The Government informed Parliament that the budget would be two weeks late, but Parliament did not grant an exception (as they had in 2010), so this appears to violate Article 30 of Law 13/2009 which says that "Government shall present to the National Parliament by the 15 October the draft Budget Law for the following financial year."  Source: http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE16/15OGE16.htm#sib Accessed 3/11/2015.

Lao Hamutuk states that the "Ministry also made the eight-volume set of explanatory books available, some in two or three languages."

La'o Hamutuk has posted the Budget Books and some preliminary analysis to on the internet at http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE16/15OGE16.htm.

Although the explanatory material discusses slower economic growth, falling oil revenues and investment returns, and the depletion of Timor-Leste's oil and gas reserves, the expenditure level is virtually the same as in 2015, totalling $1,562,200,000.

According to the La'o Hamutuk analysis, State expenditures have been allocated as follows:
  • $182 million for Salaries and Wages (2.2% more than the rectified 2015 budget, 12% over  the fiscal envelope adopted by the Council of Ministers last June )
  • $469 million for Goods and Services (9% less than 2015, 11% over fiscal envelope), including $34 million through the Human Capital Development Fund
  • $476 million for Public Transfers (4.7% more than 2015, 38% over fiscal envelope), including $218 million for ZEESM (63% more than 2015, 77% over fiscal envelope)
  • $18 million for Minor Capital (41% less than 2015, 17% more than fiscal envelope)
  • $418 million for Development Capital (6.9% more than 2015, 3.6% less than the fiscal envelope),  including $377 million through the Infrastructure Fund.
The $1,562 million revenue is projected to be comprised of:
  • $545 million Estimated Sustainable Income  to be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund
  • $739 million more from the Petroleum Fund above the ESI (7% more than in 2015, although the Petroleum Fund balance is the lowest it has been since May 2014)
  • $171 million from domestic revenues (taxes and fees)
  • $107 million in loans, $41 million of which will be carried over from 2015.

The budget will be studied by the Parliament's Committees followed by a plenary sitting to discuss and approve the budget.

Timorese Audit Chamber “fails” largest contract in the history of the country



ETLJB 3/11/2015 Translation from LUSA article at http://noticias.sapo.tl/portugues/info/artigo/1457298.html. For more information about the contract and the Suai Supply Base, including proposed 2016 budget figures, see http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/TasiMane/13SSBen.htm

Translation from LUSA 30 October 2015 - The Timorese Audit Chamber (Camara da Contas) refused to give prior approval to the largest contract in the history of the country’s Government, US$720 million dollars, for the design and construction of the Suai Supply Base, a project known as Tasi Mane.

A source from the Audit Chamber confirmed to Lusa that the decision was signed on 23 October and the parties were notified on the 26th. A 15-day period is running before it becomes final, during which time it can be appealed by the proponent themselves or by the Public Prosecutor.

The same source explained that the rejection was due “to non-compliance with basic standards in force in Timor-Leste.”

The law considers that “a basis for refusal is the lack of an appropriate budget section or line item, as well as lack of compliance with act, contracts and other instruments referred to by the laws in force.”

It was announced in June that the South Korean builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction had gotten the contract worth $720 million (€ 660 million) for the design and construction of the Suai Supply Base, which is considered essential for oil exploitation activities in the Timor Sea.

The contract refers to “design and construction of Suai Supply Base”, one of the central elements of the Tasi Mane Project, one of the main element of Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan (SDP).

The Organic Law of the Audit Chamber, approved in 2011, stipulates that prior approval is “necessary for expenses and any acquisitions of assets worth more than $500,000,” a figure that was by ten times, to $5 million, in August 2013.

Under the law, contracts subject to prior review “can only come into effect, whether contractual or financial, after approval” by the Audit Chamber.

The Tasi Mane is a multi-year project involving the construction of the supply base, a refinery in Betano, a Natural Gas Liquefaction Plant (LNG), a port and airport in Suai, a gas pipeline from the Greater Sunrise field, and the Suai-Beaçu highway.

“The project will involve the development of a coastal zone from Suai to Beaçu and ensure the availability of the necessary infrastructure to support a growing domestic oil industry,” according to the SDP.

This contract, which was awarded by the National Procurement Commission, is the first to a South Korean company in Timor-Leste.

Based on the contract, the company said, two units of the Hyundai Motor Group - Hyundai Engineering &. Construction Co and Hyundai Engineering Co - will “construct supply facilities and a seawall to be used for oil development off the southern coast of Suai.”

The construction of the 3.3 kilometer seawall and other smaller accounts for 60% of the contract value.

It is expected that construction will take until September 2018.

Despite several attempts, Lusa could not get any comment from Alfredo Pires, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Francisco Monteiro, president of the Timor Gap, also declined to comment.

See also
Timor-Leste New Frontier: Oil for Human Development
East Timor's Refinery Project and Petrochemicals: Major Development or Major Threat?
Government and Community celebrate agreement on land use for Suai Supply Base
Communities "surrender" land for government supply base
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