27 November 2016

Government’s 2017 General State Budget presented to East Timor's National Parliament

Government’s 2017 General State Budget presented to National Parliament

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 24th, 2016

Government’s 2017 General State Budget presented to National Parliament

H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, has presented the Government’s proposed law for the 2017 General State Budget to National Parliament. In his speech given on the morning of the 23rd of November, the Prime Minister noted that the preparation of the budget “requires great responsibility and transparency, rigor and realism” and that the 2017 budget “was based on established national priorities including education, health, agriculture and the development of basic infrastructure.”

He explained that the budget had been developed mindful of six key factors: fiscal sustainability, the capacity for quality budget execution, the continued implementation of the second phase of the Strategic Development Plan, integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the impact of next year’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections and the global economic outlook for 2017.

The proposed budget for 2017 includes total State expenditure of $1,386.8 million. This is significantly less than 2016 and takes into account increased capital allocations in 2016 for projects advancing ahead of schedule and the historical trend of lower budget execution in election years.

The main categories of expenses are: Salaries and Wages  $208.8 million, Goods and Services $395.8 million, Public Transfers $421.3 million, Minor Capital $11.9 million and Capital Development [including the Infrastructure Fund and loans] $349 million.

Principal expenditures in the category of Goods and Services are towards maintaining and running the electricity supply, activities at the municipal level including the School Feeding program and the running of the national elections. Within Public Transfers the biggest allocations are to the Special Administrative Region of Oecusse Ambeno and the Oecusse Ambeno and Atauro Special Zones for Social Market Economy, and to the Ministry of Social Solidarity for social programs including veterans, old age and disability pension schemes, Bolsa de Mãe, support for victims of natural disasters and the medical treatment of veterans. Within the Infrastructure Fund the roads program is a central focus taking 38.6% of the allocation.

The Prime Minister noted the encouraging trend of rising domestic revenues which increased by 31% over the period 2013-2016 and are projected to be able to finance 30% of public spending by 2021, reducing reliance on withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund.

The general debate on the proposed law for the 2017 General State Budget in National Parliament takes place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of November. The Parliament will then vote on the draft law of the budget in generality. Discussion and voting in specialty, whereby each article of the law is scrutinized, begins on the 30th of November and is due to end on or before the 14th of December. After the conclusion this process there will be a final overall vote.

The Prime Minister concluded his speech saying that the Sixth Constitutional Government welcomed the opportunity to discuss the budget and engage in frank and constructive debate in National Parliament. He emphasized “the Government’s commitment to continue on the right track, even if it still needs some adjustments, in order to achieve the State’s goal of bringing prosperity to our people.”ENDS

East Timor 2017 General State Budget unanimously approved in generality

2017 General State Budget unanimously approved in generality

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 26th, 2016

2017 General State Budget unanimously approved in generality

On the night of the 25th of November the National Parliament unanimously approved the proposed 2017 General State Budget in generality. Sixty-two votes were cast in favor with none against and no abstentions.

The Parliament will now turn to consider the budget in detail and will discuss and vote on each article of the draft law before a final vote expected to be taken on or before the 14th of December.

In his speech closing the three-day plenary Minister of State Agio Pereira thanked the members of National Parliament for the “constructive way in which the General State Budget was debated in generality” noting that “the comments, suggestions and constructive criticisms have enriched this debate and will contribute to a better implementation of the Budget that is not of the Government, nor of the Parliament, but of and for all Timorese people.”

During the plenary debate the Parliament’s Commission C, tasked to analyze Public Finance, presented its report. After presenting questions and debating issues, Members tabled amendments to the law. By agreement of the Members of Parliament these amendments are now to be considered by the Eventual Commission for the Collection and Analysis of Proposals for Amendments to the Draft Law.

During the plenary debate, the Government reaffirmed that the Budget has been designed to assist the transition towards a more diversified economy, strengthening infrastructure essential for long-term growth. Coupled with the implementation of the Government’s program of reforms, these measures aim to support the creation of conditions to accelerate private sector activity and attract business investment.

Minister of State Agio Pereira in closing said “the commitment of the Sixth Constitutional Government is to implement the budget we are submitting today for the consideration of the various Members, with a total sense of responsibility in the implementation of the projects and programs that contribute to the sustainable development of the country and improve the quality of life of our citizens.”ENDS

Government offers condolences for Fidel Castro, a great friend of Timor-Leste

Government offers condolences for Fidel Castro, a great friend of Timor-Leste

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 26th, 2016

Government offers condolences for Fidel Castro, a great friend of Timor-Leste

It was with deep regret that the Government of Timor-Leste received news of the passing of Fidel Castro on the 26th of November 2016. The revolutionary leader’s death, at the age of 90, was announced on Cuban state television by his younger brother, President of Cuba, H.E. Raul Castro.

The Government of Timor-Leste on behalf of the Timorese people extend their condolences to President Raul Castro and express their solidarity with the Cuban people.

Fidel Castro was an inspiration for many Timorese people during the struggle for self-determination and was a resolute champion of Timor-Leste’s development after the restoration of independence. In 2010 he was awarded the grand Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste, for Cuban support in health and education. The award was presented in Havana by H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta and received by H.E. Raul Castro on behalf of his older brother.

A meeting in Malaysia in February 2003, including H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, provided the moment in which over a decade of Cuban aid to Timor-Leste was born, consistently characterized by a spirit of mutual respect, friendship and goodwill.

Timor-Leste is extremely grateful to Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for the brigade of health professionals who have provided medical assistance, the granting of 1,000 scholarships to young Timorese to study medicine in Cuba, the provision of technical assistance to eliminate illiteracy and partnerships in sport.

In 2015 Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo visited Cuba and expressed Timor-Leste’s gratitude and solidarity to President Raul Castro. Former Prime Minister H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão said that he regarded the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro as a dear and respected friend

The Government honors Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for their resolute friendship towards Timor-Leste and offers condolences and solidarity at this time.”ENDS

ETLJB

22 November 2016

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 26 April 2016

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 26th, 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government


Dili, April 26th, 2016

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 26th, 2016

The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Decree-Law approving the curriculum of the National Equivalence Programme for Basic Education

With this approval, it is intended to give a second chance to young people and adults (between 15 and 17 years) who need or want to complete basic schooling, ensuring equivalence to basic education. This law applies to public, private and cooperative education bodies (e.g. Community Learning Centres). The programme is characterized by flexibility, as well as by the guarantee of continuity, adapted to the particular situations of the persons for whom they are intended and the sociocultural context in which it is applied.

2. National Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325 of the Security Council of the United Nations (Women, Peace and Security)

The Council of Ministers approved the National Action Plan, developed under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior. The United Nations Entities based in Timor-Leste, representatives of Civil Society, women organizations, twelve ministries, donors, and other stakeholders were involved in drafting the plan. Taking into account the past armed-conflict in the country, in which women and children were the main victims, their participation to promote peace and security, the protection to human rights violations, access to justice and access to services to face discrimination is important.

The Council of Ministers also reviewed:

1. Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

 The Secretariat of State for the Support and Socio-Economic Promotion of Women presented the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on legislative, judicial and administrative provisions applied in the country, based on the general report that comprises the period from 2009 to 2013, which included the contributions of CEDAW members and of Civil Society organizations, among others.

2. Legislative calendar

Following an earlier presentation, at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 23rd, 2016, the Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers reported on the current status of the ministerial legislative initiatives to be presented in the Council of Ministers during the March to June period. This calendar aims to organise the work and projects sent to the Council of Ministers.

3. Strategic Plan for Restructuring and Modernising the National Printing House

On the meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 23rd, a Government Resolution authorising the National Printing House (NPH) to produce and sell services to the public and private sectors was approved.

The investment in equipment has been done according to the requirements set out in the Strategic Plan for the Restructuring and Modernising of the National Printing House, funded from the General State Budget.

By 2017, it is expected to fully equip the NPH with high-tech equipment, fully enabling it to compete in the market.

ETLJB

East Timor Council of Ministers’ Meeting of 2 August 2016

Council of Ministers’ meeting of August 2nd, 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, August 2nd, 2016

Press Release

Council of Ministers’ meeting of August 2nd, 2016

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and considered several diplomas, most presented by the Minister of State, Coordinator of State Administration Affairs and Justice and Minister of State Administration.

The Council of Ministers approved: a Government Resolution on the appointment of the members of the Political Review Committee, which includes the schedule of meetings for the revision of the General State Budget for 2017; the Government Resolution on the Policy for Strengthening Institutions (2016-2030) which creates a working group to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy,  containing ten principles to guide the public sector in improving service delivery, supporting the overall Government objective of "A Vision, A Plan, An Action"; and, also, a Government Resolution on the investment strategy for the management of solid urban waste in Dili, which includes the services for the collection, storage, recycling and the final destination suitable for municipal solid waste.

Ministry of State Administration projects for the Action Plan Model, the Municipal Budget Model and the Interorganic Administrative Contracts Model were also analysed. These instruments are essential to start the process of administration decentralization and improve the quality of public works and services. The Council of Ministers approved the establishment of a working group for the revision of budget proposals submitted by ministries, aiming to redirect funds to municipal budgets.

The Decree-Law on the rules relating to access and classification of official documents, approved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 24th, was reviewed and approved by the Council of Ministers, taking into consideration recommendations proposed by the President of the Republic.

The Council of Ministers also adopted two proposals from the Ministry of Defence. One refers to the appointment of the new commanders of the components of the Armed Forces, proposed by the Chief of Staff of the F-FDTL. The other proposes the reappointment of Colonel Domingos Raul (Falur Rate Laek) as Chief of Staff of F-FDTL. These proposals will now be submitted for consideration by the President of the Republic.

The Secretary of State for the Support and Socio-Economical Promotion of Women drew attention to the need for the ministries to prepare a gender sensitive budget and annual plan, to comply with the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals, the recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the goals of the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. The Secretary of State will submit a proposal to develop common mechanisms to all ministries, in order to assess annual progress in relation to these goals.  END

ETLJB

East Timor Council of Ministers Meeting of 18 October 2016

Council of Ministers meeting of October 18th, 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, October 18th, 2016

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting of October 18th, 2016

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved proposals submitted by the National Procurement Commission, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications, regarding projects for the improvement and maintenance of roads linking Maubara to Karimbala, Atabae to Mota Ain and Baucau to Lautém.

The Ministry of State Administration presented a proposal to complete a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Korea, which was approved by the Council of Ministers. The Memorandum of Understanding is regarding the implementation of a pilot project for rural development and poverty eradication in Timor-Leste following the philosophy of the “Saemaul Undong” (New Village Movement).

The proposed amendment to Decree Law no. 33/2014, of December 3rd, which creates the Institute for Research, Development, Training and Promotion of Bamboo, presented by the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, was also approved. The amendment is intended to simplify the operation of the Institute of Bamboo, which will now be led by a single director, the Executive Director. The amendment codifies what had been occurring in practice. The Board of Trustees and the Scientific and Pedagogical Council are dissolved. The amendment is intended to assist the completion of the organic structure and operational regulations of the Institute.

The Council of Ministers considered the draft Law on Child Protection, presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, to promote Children’s rights, prevent threats to their welfare, and ensure the protection of children at risk and in danger, in order to support their wellbeing and complete development. This project meets the goal set by Government for the development of strategies aimed at ensuring the protection of children against violence, neglect and abuse. The Law will fill the void in the legal system, regarding the protection of children at risk and in danger.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment presented the draft resolution and outline of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions - INDC, to soon be presented to the United Nations Organization. ENDS

ETLJB

East Timor Government participates in National Conference on Social Audit

Government participates in National Conference on Social Audit

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, October 19th, 2016

Government participates in National Conference on Social Audit

On the 19th of October members of Government, representatives of State Institutions and members of Civil Society Organizations participated in a National Conference on Social Audit held in the Great Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Dili. The Sixth Constitutional Government introduced and has pioneered the concept of social audit since its inauguration in February 2015 with a view to promote inclusivity, partnership and accountability in governance and improve the efficiency and efficacy of public services.

In Timor-Leste social auditing provides a space where people are able to have their say about the way public services are delivered and where the government listens and is responsive to those views. The National Conference provided an opportunity to review progress of social auditing thus far and to look toward expanding and improving the approach in the future to optimize results.

In his inauguration speech of 16 February 2015, Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo extended an unprecedented invitation to Civil Society, Non Government Organizations and media saying that the “government wants to establish partnerships where you will be able to have a more active participation through what is known as a social audit, where the indicators of government action are thoroughly reviewed with greater exemption and accountability, so that by working together we may be able to provide better services to our people.”

Speaking to the National Conference participants the Prime Minister reaffirmed his confidence in the process saying “as each of us, Government and Civil Society, carry out our duties regarding the social audit, we make a concrete contribution to the well-being of our country and our people.”

Within the first 100 days of Government a Memorandum of Understanding was in place with FONGTIL, Timor-Leste’s independent umbrella organization for national and international Non-Government Organizations. The document signed on the 25th of May 2015 by the Prime Minister and the Executive Director of FONGTIL, Mr. Arsénio Pereira da Silva, set out the pathways for implementation of social audit in Timor-Leste within the four key sectors of Agriculture, Education, Health and Basic Infrastructure. A Social Audit Unit was set up within the Office of the Prime Minister to facilitate this new partnership, coordinated by Mr. Edio José Maria Guterres, the Prime Minister’s Liaison Officer for Civil Society Affairs.

The National Conference held on the 19th of October brought together a number of national NGOs who have practiced social audit in different parts of Timor-Leste and within different sectors to talk about their cycle of social audit, tools and methodologies, results to date, and to discuss some of the challenges they face. Representatives of State Institutions including the Anti Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice and the State General Inspectorate also participated, discussing their activities and the way social audit compliments their work. The Coordinator of the Social Audit Unit made a presentation on the cycle of social audit case management on behalf of the Government to explore how the Government and Civil Society’s systems can best compliment each other.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted that “from its outset the Sixth Constitutional Government has sought to promote inclusivity and partnership, understanding that to be truly effective national development must involve us all. The National Conference has highlighted the Government’s commitment to this principle and showcased the successful beginning of the implementation of social audit along with a willingness to continue to refining and improving the process to even better serve the people of Timor-Leste.”ENDS

ETLJB

Government seeks to improve opportunities for exporting goods and services as it formalizes candidacy to the World Trade Organization

Government seeks to improve opportunities for exporting goods and services as it formalizes candidacy to the World Trade Organization

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 11th, 2016

Government seeks to improve opportunities for exporting goods and services as it formalizes candidacy to the World Trade Organization

The Program of the Sixth Constitutional Government commits to promote trade through activities including “the creation of facilities and conditions, and the definition of programs for supporting the movement of goods inside the country and abroad.” On the 8th of November the Government took another step towards creating these facilities and conditions when the Council of Ministers agreed to formalize Timor-Leste’s candidacy to the World Trade Organization [WTO].

The Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, H.E. Estanislau da Silva, noted that joining the WTO was “critical to ensuring that Timor-Leste can diversify its economy in commerce, industry and agriculture for exports and access to markets” and explained “membership will greatly facilitate export of Timorese goods and services as well as trade with other countries”.

The WTO is based in Geneva, Switzerland and currently has 164 members. It is “the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations” and says its main function is “to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.” Member states sign onto agreements that are designed to create assurance and mitigate risk in order to “help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business”.

A delegation from the WTO Accession Team visited Timor-Leste on the 8th and 9th of November to discuss Timor-Leste’s application and met with members of the Government including Minister of State H.E. Estanislau da Silva, Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment, H.E. Constâncio da Conceição Pinto.

 The team noted that a lot of work had been done already as a part of the preparations for Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN and observed that the Government was demonstrating its commitment to complete the process as soon as possible. Countries are usually granted ‘observer status’ in their transition to full membership.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira said that “Timor-Leste’s steps toward membership of the World Trade Organization are the result of Government policy to create an environment conducive to international trade and condition supportive of Timor-Leste’s economic diversification. Such steps are key to setting the nation up for success.” ENDS

ETLJB

East Timor Government facilitates open Budget Process

Government facilitates open Budget Process

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 11th, 2016

Government facilitates open Budget Process

The Government has participated in a seminar on “Budgetary Overview 2017” organized by the Public Finance Committee of the National Parliament. The Government, as a part of its commitment to a transparent budget process, was pleased to participate and provided detailed contributions from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Strategic Planning and Investment.

The seminar aimed to gather the contributions of the different sectors of society regarding the proposed General State Budget 2017, which the Government submitted to National Parliament on the 13th of October. Participants in the Seminar at the Hotel Tusimo in Dili on the 10th and 11th of November included members of Government and National Parliament, NGOs, Development Partners, and representatives of the Judiciary and Central Bank. Inputs from the Seminar presentations and debates are expected to feed into the reports and opinions of the Permanent Specialized Committees that will in turn serve as a basis for the discussion of the Budget in National Parliament.

Total proposed spending in the General State Budget 2017 is $1.386 billion, a reduction on allocated spending for 2016. In its Budget Description and Analysis the Government notes its commitment “to ensuring a prudent level of spending by maintaining the overall size of the budget and reviewing existing programs to ensure maximum returns on every dollar spent.”

A comprehensive set of Draft Budget Books are available to the public for download at the home page of the Ministry of Finance website.

The draft law N.47/III (5th) – The General State Budget for 2017 – will be discussed by the National Parliament on the 22nd of November 2016 and will be voted on in its general terms within three days. Following the vote in general terms there will be discussion and voting on each individual section beginning on the 25th of November, a process which can continue for a maximum of ten days.

Then, after the examination of each individual section of the articles of the draft law, a final overall vote on the text of the draft law with its approved amendments will conducted on the floor of National Parliament. Once this is completed the final document – the General State Budget Law for 2017 – will be sent to the President of the Republic for promulgation. ENDS

ETLJB

20 November 2016

East Timor's Prime Minister to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis and deliver signed and ratified Agreement to the Holy See

Prime Minister to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis and deliver signed and ratified Agreement to the Holy See

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, March 1st, 2016

Prime Minister to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis and deliver signed and ratified Agreement to the Holy See

The Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, departs today, Tuesday the 1st of March, to Rome, Italy, on route to the Holy See, where he will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis. The main purpose of the visit is to personally deliver the historic, signed and ratified Agreement between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Holy See.

This Agreement was first signed by Prime Minister Araújo and the Secretary of State for the Vatican and His Holiness Pope Francis’ Legate, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Díli, Timor-Leste, on the 14th of August 2015. Subsequently the agreement was ratified by the National Parliament of Timor-Leste on the 26th of October 2015 and published as Resolution of National Parliament No18/2015 on the 11th of November 2015.

The document to be delivered establishes the legal framework for the relations between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Holy See, recognizing the importance of the historical and cultural role of the Catholic Church in Timor-Leste, noting the deep rootedness of the Catholic religion in Timorese Society and respecting the principles of religious freedom and separation of Church and State. The process leading to the exchange set to take place this Thursday the 3rd of March, began in 2006 with the creation of a commission to begin discussion on the terms of the agreement.

This Agreement defines and guarantees the legal status of the Catholic Church and regulates various areas, including canonical marriage, places of worship, Catholic institutions of education and training, the teaching of religion in schools, the Church’s charitable activities, pastoral care in the armed forces and in penal institutions and hospitals, and the patrimonial and fiscal system.

His Eminence Cardinal Parolin said last year that the Agreement was “an important step on the journey that the Catholic Church and the people of Timor-Leste have undertaken together for five hundred years.  This unique relationship, which is highly valued by the Holy See, is enshrined and clearly affirmed also in the Constitution of Timor-Leste.”

The Prime Minister is accompanied on this trip by the Vice President of National Parliament, H.E. Adérito Hugo da Costa and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation H.E. Roberto Sarmento de Oliveira Soares. A number of bilateral and working meetings are scheduled. The Prime Minister will also meet with members of the Timorese Community.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira said “the Prime Minister’s personal delivery of the signed and ratified Agreement to the Holy See and his meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis is an appropriate way to complete the long process taken to develop and finalize this important Agreement. His trip acknowledges the central role of the Church in our society, our history and our liberation, and gives expression to our deep and affectionate relationship with the Vatican.”

The Prime Minister and delegation will return to Díli on Tuesday the 8th of March. ENDS

ETLJB

Dili District Court sentences defendant to 5 years in prison for crime of rape

JUDICIAL SYSTEM MONITORING PROGRAMME
PROGRAMA MONITORIZASAUN BA SISTEMA JUDISIÁRIU

Press Release
23 February 2016
Dili District Court 

Dili District Court sentences defendant to 5 years in prison for crime of rape

On 16 February 2016, the Dili District Court sentenced the defendant JCM to 5 years in prison after he was found guilty of committing the crime of rape against the victim JS on 24 October 2008, in Liquica District.

The court found that the defendant forcefully carried the victim and laid her on the ground, removed her clothing, covered her mouth tightly, and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her. The defendant committed these actions when the victim was taking food to her mother at a plantation. After the incident, the victim and her family made a complaint against the defendant to the police.

In front of the police, the defendant promised to marry the victim, so the victim and her family stopped the process against the defendant and it was resolved through the family. The victim and the defendant lived together, however, not long after the defendant left. The victim did not accept the actions of the defendant and reopened the case against him.

During the trial the court determined that the defendant’s promise to marry the victim was just a way for him to avoid criminal responsibility for the crime committed against her.

“JSMP believes that it is important for relevant institutions to understand their respective roles in accordance with the legal rules. According to the law, the police do not have the authority to facilitate negotiations between a victim and defendant in any crime, especially rape”, said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

The Public Prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 285 of the Indonesian Penal Code because this case allegedly occurred in 2008.

Although the defendant denied that he used force to engage in the aforementioned relations, and said the relations were based on mutual consent, the court proved the charge of rape based on the victim’s testimony that the defendant had raped her.

The case was registered with the court as Case No. 1430/08.PDDIL.The announcement of this decision was led by judge Jumiati Maria Freitas representing a panel of judges. The public prosecution service was represented by Antonio da Silva Tavares and the defendant was represented by public defender Sebastiao Amado de Almeida.

19 November 2016

Protocol re-establishes full cooperation with Portugal in the area of Justice

Protocol re-establishes full cooperation with Portugal in the area of Justice

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, February 25th, 2016

Protocol re-establishes full cooperation with Portugal in the area of Justice

Today in Lisbon, Portugal, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Justice H.E. Ivo Valente and Portugal’s Minister of Justice H.E. Francisca Van Dunem signed a Protocol of Cooperation in the area of Justice. The Protocol between the Ministry of Justice of the Portuguese Republic and the Ministry of Justice of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste marks the resumption of full cooperation with Portugal in the judicial area.

The document signed today is the result of in depth consultations between Timor-Leste and Portugal on how to best resume bilateral cooperation in the area of Justice, to deliver the desired long-term results, particularly the training of Timorese justice personnel. The aim of all training, mentoring and capacity building is to enable the justice sector to be well served by Timorese personnel and to create an environment where the nation can stand on its own two feet in the judicial sector, independent and sovereign.

Areas covered by the Protocol include legislation and legal policy, criminal investigation, forensic sciences, prison management and social reintegration, registry and notary functions, access to law and alternative dispute resolution, international relations and international law, and various aspects related to the planning and administration of justice.

Within the agreement are protocols for monitoring and evaluation coupled with commitments for timely communication to allow the resolution of any issues through mutual consultation.  These provisions will help ensure the cooperation program stays on track to achieve its goals.

The new Protocol extinguishes the previous 2014 Protocol of Cooperation and the 2008 Memorandum on Technical Cooperation for Criminal Investigation and Forensic Sciences.

While today’s agreement marks a new beginning, important cooperation has been ongoing in the judicial sector with the European Union, through the European Development Fund, a cooperation delegated in the Public Institute Camões, in areas such as technical support to the Scientific Police for Criminal Investigation and the Board of Auditors and the improvement of systems in the National Directorate for Registration and Notary.

Portugal and Timor-Leste have many successful and long-standing cooperation partnerships including programs in Education and Defense.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the Government of Timor-Leste welcomes the new cooperation protocol and has appreciated the frank, positive and respectful way the consultations have been conducted leading up to today’s signing ceremony. This new protocol guides ongoing bilateral cooperation to achieve our mutually agreed goals; the consolidation of the Timorese justice sector, particularly through institutional strengthening and the training of Timorese judicial actors.” ENDS ETLJB

Amnesty International Report on East Timor

TIMOR-LESTE


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE
Head of state: Taur Matan Ruak
Head of government: Rui Maria de Araújo (replaced Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão in February)


Impunity persisted for gross human rights violations committed during the Indonesian occupation (1975-1999). Security forces were accused of arbitrary arrests and unnecessary or excessive use of force during security operations in Baucau district. Levels of domestic violence remained high.

Background

In February, Rui Maria de Araújo, leader of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) was sworn in as Prime Minister. The new government included a coalition of most political parties, including Xanana Gusmão’s National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction. In September, Timor-Leste was reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Impunity

Little progress was made in addressing crimes against humanity and other human rights violations committed by Indonesian security forces and their auxiliaries from 1975 to 1999. Many suspected perpetrators remained at large in Indonesia.

No progress by the authorities was reported in implementing recommendations addressing impunity from the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the bilateral Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF). In September, a follow-up report by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances noted regret that Timor-Leste had yet to debate a draft law on the establishment of a Public Memory Institute, intended to implement the CAVR and CTF recommendations.

Justice system

Torture and other ill-treatment and unnecessary or excessive use of force by security forces continued to be reported. Accountability mechanisms remained weak.

Dozens of individuals were arbitrarily arrested and tortured or otherwise ill-treated by security forces as part of joint security operations in Baucau district between March and August. These operations were launched in response to attacks allegedly carried out by Mauk Moruk (Paulino Gama) and his banned Maubere Revolutionary Council (KRM) against police in Laga and Baguia subdistricts. Local human rights organizations documented dozens of cases of beatings by security officials who also destroyed property of suspected KRM members.[i] In August Mauk Moruk was shot and killed. The findings of investigations by the Provedor (Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice) were issued in November.

The justice system remained hampered by a lack of access to courts and due process. The expulsion of all international judicial officers employed as judges, lawyers and investigators in October 2014 continued to throw into question pending trials, including those addressing crimes against humanity.

Women’s rights

The 2010 Law mandating compulsory prosecution in domestic violence cases continued to be used although challenges remained. NGOs raised concerns on access to justice, limited protection for witnesses and victims, and a backlog of cases causing few women to actively file reports.

In November, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Timor-Leste adopt laws to ensure comprehensive reparation for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence that occurred during the Indonesian occupation and 1999 referendum, and that there would be no impunity for sexual violence committed during the occupation.



[i] Timor-Leste: Dozens arrested and tortured in Timor-Leste (ASA 57/1639/2015)

TIMÓR LÉSTE 


REPÚBLIKA DEMOKRÁTIKU TIMÓR LÉSTE
Xefe Estadu: Taur Matan Ruak
Xefe Governu:      Rui Maria de Araújo (troka Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão iha Fevereiru)


Impunidade kontinua ba violasaun grave hasoru direitus umanus ne'ebé komete durante okupasaun Indonézia (1975-1999). Forsa seguransa sira hetan akuzasaun katak sira halo kapturasaun arbitrária no uza forsa ne'ebé la nesesáriu ka exesivu durante hala’o operasaun seguransa iha Distritu Baukau. Nivel violénsia doméstika sei kontinua aas.


Antesedénsia

Iha Fevereiru, Rui Maria de Araújo, lider husi Frente Revolusionária de Timor-Leste Independente (FRETILIN) simu pose nu’udar Primeiru Ministru. Governu foun inklui koligasaun husi maioria partidu polítiku, inklui Xanana Gusmão nia Kongresu Nasionál Rekonstrusaun Timor-Leste. Iha Setembru, ONU nia Komisaun kona-ba Direitu Labarik nian revee Timor-Leste.

Impunidade

Iha progresu uitoan de’it hodi tau matan ba krime kontra umanidade no violasaun sira seluk kontra direitus umanus ne'ebé komete husi Indonézia nia forsa seguransa sira no sira-nia milísia entre 1975 - 1999. Ema barak ne'ebé deskonfia halo krime sei livre iha Indonézia.

Autoridade sira la relata progresu ruma kona-ba implementasaun ba rekomendasaun sira hodi tau matan ba impunidade ne'ebé fó-sai husi Komisaun Simu-Malu, Lia-loos no Rekonsiliasaun (CAVR) no komisaun  bilaterál entre Indonézia-Timor-Leste kona-ba Lia-loos no Amizade (CTF). Iha Setembru, relatóriu segimentu ida husi ONU nia Grupu Serbisu kona-ba Desaparesimentu Forsadu ka La Voluntáriu lamenta katak Timor-Leste seidauk halo debate kona-ba ezbosu lei hodi estabelese Institutu ba Memória Públika, ho intensaun atu implementa CAVR no CTF nia rekomendasaun sira.

Sistema Justisa

Sei iha informasaun katak forsa seguransa sira halo tortura no tratamentu aat sira seluk ka uza forsa ne'ebé la nesesáriu ka exesivu. Mekanizmu responsabilizasaun sei fraku.

Ema lubuk ida hetan kaptura arbitrária no tortura ka hetan tratamentu-aat seluk ruma husi forsa seguransa sira nu’udar parte husi operasaun seguransa konjunta iha Distritu Baukau entre Marsu no Agostu. Operasaun hirak-ne’e lansa ona hodi responde ba atake sira ne'ebé tuir alegasaun halo husi Mauk Moruk (Paulino Gama) no nia Konsellu Revolusaun Maubere (KRM), nu’udar organizasaun ne'ebé bandu tiha ona, hasoru polísia iha Laga no sub-distritu Baguia. Organizasaun lokál sira ne'ebé tau matan ba direitus umanus dokumenta kazu lubuk ida ne'ebé ofisiál seguransa baku ema no mós harahun propriedade ba ema ne'ebé sira deskonfia sai membru KRM.[i] Iha Agostu Mauk Moruk hetan tiru no mate. Konkluzaun sira husi investigasaun Provedór nian (Provedór ba Direitus Umanus no Justisa) fó-sai iha Novembru.

Sistema justisa sei enfrenta obstákulu tanba falta asesu ba tribunál sira no prosesu ne'ebé loloos. Ofisiál judisiál internasionál hotu-hotu ne'ebé serbisu nu’udar juis, prokurador no investigadór sira hetan espulsaun iha Outubru 2014 ne'ebé kontinua kria problema ba julgamentu sira ne'ebé sei pendente hela, inklui julgamentu sira ne'ebé tau matan ba krime kontra umanidade.

Feto sira-nia direitu

Lei 2010 ne'ebé hatuur katak iha obrigasaun atu prosesa kazu violénsia doméstika kontinua aplika iha prátika maibé sei iha dezafiu. ONG sira hato’o preokupasaun kona-ba asesu ba justisa, protesaun limitada ba sasin-na’in no vítima sira, no kazu sira ne'ebé hada hela, no tanba ne’e feto uitoan de’it ho ativu hato’o keixa.

Iha Novembru, Komisaun CEDAW rekomenda katak Timor-Leste tenke adota lei sira hodi garante reparasaun abranjen ba vítima sira ne'ebé sofre violasaun seksuál no violénsia seksuál seluk ne'ebé akontese durante okupasaun Indonézia no referendu iha 1999, no sei laiha impunidade ba violénsia seksuál ne'ebé komete durante okupasaun. 



[i] Ema lubuk ida hetan kaptura no tortura iha Timor-Leste (ASA 57/1639/2015)  

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 24 February 2016

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 24th, 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

.............................................................................................................................

Dili, February 24, 2016

Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 24th, 2016

The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, February 24th, 2016, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the interposition of an appeal for the annulment of the decision to dismiss the General Chief of Staff of the Defence Force and the Deputy General Chief of Staff of the Defence Force, as well as the subsequent decision to appoint a new General Chief of  Staff of the Defence Force, under the terms of paragraph a) of no. 4 of article 129 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

United Nations Police in East Timor Security Briefings 2006 - 2008

http://unpol-easttimor.blogspot.com.au/ by ETLJB

East Timor Land Studies

East Timor Land Studies  http://timorlestelandlaw.blogspot.com.au/

by East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

If any one has any reports on land issues, please let me know wwright1961atgmail.com


National Youth Day and Commemoration of the Santa Cruz Massacre

National Youth Day and Commemoration of the Santa Cruz Massacre

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 11th, 2016

National Youth Day and Commemoration of the Santa Cruz Massacre

The 12th of November 2016 marks 25 years since the Santa Cruz Massacre and is National Youth Day in Timor-Leste. Events and activities supported by the Government are taking place to commemorate a day of both sadness and hope.

November the 12th was designated as National Youth Day to honor the courage and determination of hundreds of young people who in 1991 attended Mass at the Church in Motael, Dili and then marched to the Santa Cruz cemetery, paying their respects to their recently murdered colleague Sebastião Gomes. Their peaceful march gave rise to singing and the waving of banners expressing their deep yearning for justice and freedom.

“Chega!”, the report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor, records that shooting by Indonesian soldiers began once students arrived at the cemetery as “Soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons into the unarmed and peaceful crowd, many of whom fled into the grounds of the cemetery.” Independent estimates put the number killed as high as 271, with 250 listed as missing.

The Santa Cruz massacre was a turning point in Timor-Leste’s struggle for self-determination as footage smuggled out of the country and reporting by visiting international journalists brought the intolerable situation in the country to the attention of the world.

Government Spokesperson Agio Pereira noted “as we commemorate the massacre and celebrate National Youth Day each year, we recognize the bravery, resilience and enthusiasm of our young people and their potential as agents of change.”

“Each year on this day”, he said, “we both honor the past and declare our hope for the future, reflecting on the courage, character and contribution of the youth of Timor-Leste.”

Events for the day include a Mass said at the Motael Church, a procession between the church and the cemetery, and a Commemoration Service in the cemetery where the construction of a special monument will be launched. Other cultural and sporting events are taking place over a number of days. A photographic exhibition, theatre and various opportunities for reflection will feature as part of the commemoration. ENDS

Image added by ETLJB

JSMP Summary of the trial process at the Suai District Court in July 2016

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program Case Summary
Suai District Court
July 2016

Summary of the trial process at the Suai District Court in July 2016

1.  Crime of ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence
Case No.                                :184/PEN/16/TDS
Composition of judges        : Single
Judge                                      : Argentino Luisa Nunes 
Public Prosecutor                 : Bartolomeo de Araujo
Public Defender                   : Angelo Barreto (private lawyer)
Type of decision                  : Sentenced to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year.

On 12 July 2016 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision in a case of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant CAT who allegedly committed the offences against his wife in Covalima District.

The Public Prosecutor alleged that on 15 October 2016 the defendant kicked the victim once above the eye which caused pain and an injury.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding simple offences against physical integrity, as well as Articles 2, 3 and 35 (b) of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the aforementioned hearing the defendant used his right to remain silent. The victim also corroborated the charges of the Public Prosecutor and testified that she had forgiven the defendant. 

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year. The public prosecutor recommended this penalty to educate the defendant so he does not repeat his actions in the future. The public defender requested for the court to impose a fine against the defendant.

After evaluating the facts established during the trial, the court concluded this case and sentenced the defendant to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year, and ordered him to pay court costs of US$50.

2. Crime of ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence
Case No.                                : 172/PEN/15/TDS
Composition of judges        : Single
Judge                                      : Argentino Luisa Nunes 
Public Prosecutor                 : Bartolomeo de Araujo
Public Defender                   : Angelo Barreto (private lawyer)
Type of decision                  : Sentenced to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year.

On 12 July 2016 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision in a case of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant MAP who allegedly committed the offences against his wife in Covalima District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 3 March 2015 the defendant punched the victim once above her right eye which caused the victim to suffer pain and swelling above her right eye.

Timor-Leste’s economic outlook positive as reforms begin to show results

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 17th, 2016

Timor-Leste’s economic outlook positive as reforms begin to show results

Recent reports by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, along with analysis contained within the Draft 2017 State Budget Overview, have identified positive trends in Timor-Leste’s short-term economic outlook. Low inflation, the positive impact of infrastructure development and benefits beginning to flow from the Government’s reform efforts are cited as contributing factors.

The World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Economic Update published on the 4th of October 2016 observes “Timor-Leste is facing an outlook starkly different to its recent past. Previously one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, it could become a post-oil country in as little as five years’ time”. While emphasizing the importance of developing the domestic economy and supporting economic diversification, the report notes that the Government’s “reform efforts are beginning to show results, with a pipeline of Foreign Direct Investment emerging” and says “In 2016 and 2017, domestic growth is expected to continue in a similar range as the last two years, with growth forecast at 5.0 and 5.5 percent, respectively.”

The International Monetary Fund’s Press Release IMF Concludes Staff Visit to Timor-Leste of the 7th of November 2016 said that “Economic “activity in Timor-Leste is expanding at a satisfactory pace, and is likely to maintain the momentum into next year” and goes on to say that “the near-term outlook remains generally favorable with a continuing non-oil growth recovery accompanied by low inflation.” The team lead by the IMF’s Ms. Yu Ching Wong also said that financial soundness indicators had improved within the banking system and welcomed “the steady progress in implementing the Financial Sector Master Plan aimed at raising financial inclusion and safeguarding financial stability.”

The Government’s Program recognizes that “it is urgent we diversify our economy” which is why it focuses on “expanding and modernizing the agriculture sector, building a thriving tourism sector, encouraging much higher levels of private sector activity and activating industries, including the growth and expansion of small and micro businesses.” It is also why the Government is working to improve economic infrastructure and to address industry, financing and trade constraints.

The draft 2017 State Budget Overview analyses Timor-Leste’s economic performance over recent years and quotes final figures from 2014 which show that the non-petroleum sector accounted for 39% of Timor-Leste’s real Gross Domestic Product [GDP] and that real non-oil GDP grew by 5.9%. It says there was an increase in household consumption of 9.8% and private sector investment growth of 17.3%. The Overview also highlights the improvement of domestic revenue receipts from tax revenues, fees and charges, interest and revenues from autonomous agencies. Domestic revenues are forecast to increase by 4.3% in 2017 due to improvements in Government Services and collection.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted that “the Government welcomes the report of the World Bank and the Press Release of the IMF team which present a favorable short-term economic outlook for Timor-Leste and recognize the positive results of Government policy. It continues to be a top priority of Government to do all it can to encourage conditions for private sector growth and economic diversification through the provision of basic economic infrastructure, the removal of constraints and the implementation of reforms that are supporting enhanced economic activity.”ENDS

ETLJB

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 23 February 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, February 23, 2016

Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 23rd, 2016

The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Government Resolution authorising the National Printing House to produce and sell to the private and public sectors

The National Printing House has recently modernised and reorganized its equipment and human resources, to be prepared to produce quality printed materials with speed, reliability and confidentiality, for both the public sector, until now its main client, and the private sector.

The authorisation to produce and sell to the private and public sectors comes within the framework of the Strategic Plan for the Restructuring and Modernisation of the National Printing House, approved by the Fifth Constitutional Government, in 2013, which provides for its gradual transformation into a modern and self-sustainable business, tailored to meet all the graphic design and print production needs of the State.

2. First amendment to Decree-Law no. 20/2003, of November 13th, on the Legal Currency in Timor-Leste

This amendment repeals the provisions under Decree-Law no. 20/2003, of November 13th, governing the import and export of currency as this matter is the subject of Law no. 17/2011, of December 28th (Money Laundering Law) where it is more comprehensively addressed.

3. Second amendment to Decree-Law no. 19/2010, of December 1st, on the General Labour Inspectorate Statutes

The restructuring of the services of the labour inspectorate aims to improve its functions and to extend inspection activites throughout the country.

This measure is essential due to the impact that business, investment and economic growth is having on the labour market, which is growing and becoming increasingly demanding. Thus it is essential to ensure that the rights and obligations provided for in Labour Law and in other regulations are respected, and therefore the level of service provided to the community by the General Labour Inspectorate increases, with more efficiency and effectiveness being demanded of its compliance with labour laws monitoring activity.

In the last two years, the General Labour Inspectorate has inspected over 2,400 work places, covering a total of 31,565 employees, and made joint inter-ministerial operations to more than 146 locations, having applied sanctions to infringements committed by more than 1,284 employers.

4. Government Resolution on the Independent Scientific National Commission for the History of the National Liberation Struggle

The creation of the Independent Scientific National Commission for the History of the National Liberation Struggle was provided for in the Statutes of the National Liberation Combatants, with the mission to write the recent history of the Timorese Resistance against foreign occupation. The Commission will have a coordinating team and a technical team, constituted by historians and writers.

This diploma defines the norms that regulate the creation of this Commission, which will have a two-year term.


The Council of Ministers also reviewed:

1. Legislative calendar

The Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers made an assessment of the current situation regarding legislative initiatives that are awaiting the Government’s ministerial appreciation in the next four months. This legislative calendar organizes the work of projects sent to the Council of Ministers, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its assessment and decision-making.

2. Report on the impact of the El Niño phenomenon in Timor-Leste

The Ministry of the Interior updated Government on the impacts caused by the climatic phenomenon known as El Niño and the measures which are being developed, following a presentation on the meeting of the Council of Ministers of January 12th, 2015.

A summary on the Government's Response Plan was presented, developed by the National Authority for Civil Protection in collaboration with the Crisis Management Centre, which coordinates the support provided to the population, in collaboration with the State Administration and with the National Police of Timor-Leste.

The Response Plan defines the priority areas for emergency support in matters of food security throughout the country, in the period from March to August 2016, taking into account the weather forecasts and the data on the agricultural production, with particular attention to the areas of subsistence agriculture.

3. Construction Projects

The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications, accompanied by the National Procurement Commission, submitted to the Council of Ministers several projects for the construction of basic infrastructure, including the new bridge of Bidau-Sant'Ana. The current status of the construction, advisory services and supervision of several sections of road, namely Manatuto-Natarbora, Tíbar-Liquiçá and Tíbar-Gleno, were also analysed.

ETLJB

Number of elected female Suco Chiefs nearly doubles in East Timor local elections

Number of elected female Suco Chiefs nearly doubles

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 18th, 2016

Number of elected female Suco Chiefs nearly doubles

Provisional results of the Community Leadership elections conducted in Timor-Leste on the 29th of October and the 13th of November, published on the 15th of November by the Ministry of State Administration and the National Directorate for Suco Administration, show that 21 women have been elected to the role of Suco Chief. This represents close to a doubling of women elected by their communities to this important role compared to 2009 when 11 women were elected.

The Government drafted the new Suco Law that regulated these elections to encourage the participation of women in community leadership roles, including as applicants for the role of Aldeia Chief and Suco Chief. Across the nation there were 319 female candidates who presented for the role of Suco Chief.

The Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo welcomed the increase as a good beginning to what he hoped would be a growing trend. The Prime Minister has consistently stated that for accelerated and sustained development Timor-Leste needs to increase the participation of women in decision-making and leadership roles. Considering the total number of 442 Suco Chiefs, the ratio of representation, although nearly doubling, is still very low. Chiefs of the nations 2,225 Aldeia’s were also elected.

Each Suco Council, the local decision making body, is comprised of the Suco Chief, the Aldeia Chiefs belonging to that Suco, a female delegate from each of the Suco’s Aldeias, a male delegate from each of the Suco’s Aldeias, a female youth representative of the Suco, a male youth representative of the Suco and a ‘lian-na’in’.

At the level of National Parliament, Timor-Leste has one of the highest percentages of female representation in the region with 39% of seats occupied by women.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted that “the recent elections have been conducted successfully in a calm and dignified way, with acceptance of the outcome of our democratic process. This gives us confidence as we head into the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2017. The Government welcomes the increase in women elected to the role of Suco Chief and congratulates all candidates that have been elected to positions of responsibility.” ENDS

16 November 2016

East Timor Council of Ministers Meeting of 15 November 2016

ETLJB 16 November 2016 Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, November 15th, 2016

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting on November 15th, 2016

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the Structures of the Tax and Customs Authorities, proposed by the Ministry of Finance together with the Fiscal Reform Commission.

These measures come in the wake of the Fiscal Reform carried out by the Sixth Constitutional Government to increase and improve the collection of domestic taxes in Timor-Leste.

The Tax Authority will be responsible for collecting taxes and other financial contributions for the State. It will be comprised of central services and services at the municipal level to ensure greater proximity to taxpayers. It will integrate areas of fiscal justice, inspection, planning, internal audit, communications and IT support to achieve the best results in revenue processing.

The Customs Authority will substitute the Directorate General of Customs, and deal with all customs related taxes and administration. It will have a modern structure in accordance with the best international practices to facilitate international trade, and will control the passage of goods through customs, with emphasis on the future Tibar Port, which will become the main port for the entry and exit of goods from the country.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity presented two proposals which were also adopted: the amendment to Decree-Law no. 6/2005, of September 14th, providing the Red Cross of Timor-Leste with a legal framework that guides the support of Government grants to the institution; and the Social Security Budget for 2017, an independent budget, which includes money collected from workers and their employers. This proposal will soon be presented to the National Parliament. This is the first time that the Government presents the General State Budget and the Social Security Budget, ensuring the transparent inclusion of all revenues and expenditures. The contributory scheme of Social Security was approved last month by the National Parliament.

The Decree-Law establishing the system for controlling the movement of vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds and goods through land borders, when entering and leaving national territory, proposed by the Ministry of the Interior was approved. This measure, which will be coordinated with the relevant ministries, complies with the second phase of the Internal Security Plan, mentioned in the Government Programme, as a way to "improve the operational effective capability in the prevention and investigation of crimes, the consolidation of public security and border control". The movement of goods at border posts, in particular motor vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds, relates to the importance of economic transactions and trade between Timor-Leste and Indonesia. The freedom of cross-border movement has resulted in an increase in the entry and exit of goods that should be monitored. The strengthening of border controls will serve to prevent crime and the bolster internal security.

The Council of Ministers approved the signing of two agreements submitted by the Ministry of Health: the Protocol between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of the People's Republic of China on sending a Chinese medical team to serve in the Guido Valadares National Hospital  for a two-year period; and the Agreement on Cooperation between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cuba and the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, for technical assistance and training that the Government of Cuba has been providing to Timor-Leste, through the Health Programme. ENDS

13 November 2016

Lei Kona Ba Justisa Tradisional iha Timor-Leste

ETLJB 13 November 2016 Source: Government of East Timor Ministry of Justice

Court continues to apply additional condition obliging defendants in cases of domestic violence to appear periodically before the relevant institutions

ETLJB 13 November 2016 JUDICIAL SYSTEM MONITORING PROGRAMME
PROGRAMA MONITORIZASAUN BA SISTEMA JUDISIÁRIU

Press Release
18 February 2016
Dili District Court

Court continues to apply additional condition obliging defendants in cases of domestic violence to appear periodically before the relevant institutions 

The courts continue to apply an additional condition obliging defendants to appear periodically for a significant amount of time in several cases of ordinary offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence.

JSMP values the positive changes taking place at the courts to effectively utilize the provisions that relate to rules of conduct in cases of domestic violence, in accordance with the recommendations that JSMP has been making all this time. Previously JSMP consistently recommended for all of the courts to apply additional conditions when they substitute a prison sentence with a suspended sentence or a fine.

“JSMP considers that these types of decisions are a significant breakthrough in ensuring that defendants do not repeat their actions in the future, especially in cases of domestic violence. JSMP believes that the application of such additional conditions will have a deterrent effect in these cases because convicted persons will feel that a real punishment has been applied against them, that they have to comply with,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

The Penal Code and the Law Against Domestic Violence provide rules of conduct for the imposition of additional conditions that include an obligation to appear before the relevant institution  (Article 70 (1) (g) of the Penal Code), to be monitored during the duration of the suspended sentence (Article 71 of the Penal Code), follow up support services for the victim (Article 38 (1) of the Law Against Domestic Violence), a penalty prohibiting contact with the victim for a maximum period of 3 years (Article 38 (2) of the Law Against Domestic Violence) and an obligation to provide maintenance to the victim (Article 29 of the Law Against Domestic Violence).[1]

On 9 February 2016 the Dili District Court sentenced the defendant FMG to 1 year in prison, suspended for 2 years, with the obligation to appear before the court twice a month, in the first and third weeks. The defendant was found guilty of committing maltreatment against his wife on 14 September 2014 in Liquica.
 
Previously, on 5 February 2016 the Dili District Court sentenced the defendant AC to 3 years in prison, suspended for 3 years. The court also applied an additional penalty obliging him to appear before the court once a month for 6 months and also to pay compensation to the victim of US$ 250.00.[2]

Then, on 5 February 2016 the Dili District Court also sentenced the defendant GS to 1 year 6 months in prison, suspended for 3 years and obliged him to appear once a month before the court during the period of the suspended sentence. The court sentenced the defendant after finding him guilty of committing domestic violence against his wife.[3]

In addition, on 04 February 2016 the Dili District Court also sentenced the defendant LS to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year and obliged him to appear once a month before the court during the period of the suspended sentence. The court sentenced the defendant because he was found guilty of committing maltreatment against the physical integrity of his wife. This case allegedly occurred on 07 October 2015 in Dili District.

On the other hand, on 4 February 2015 the Baucau District Court also sentenced the defendant AC to 2 months in prison, suspended for 1 year and ordered him to pay court costs of US$10.00. The court also applied an additional condition to appear before the courts every Friday for three months. The court found the defendant guilty of committing maltreatment against his wife on 02 October 2013 in Baucau District.

Even though JSMP has observed and welcomed this progress, JSMP continues to encourage the courts to consider the importance of developing sentencing guidelines in cases of domestic violence to help the courts find the right sentence and protective measures as set out in the Penal Code and the Law Against Domestic Violence.

JSMP believes that these guidelines will respond to the complexity of sentencing in cases of domestic violence and will particularly help judges to determine the right sentence in each case.

[1] JSMP Thematic Report entitled: Application of alternative penalties in cases of domestic violence at the Oecusse District Court 2015, page 2. Available at www.jsmp.tl
[2] JSMP Press Release: Court suspended prison sentence and obliges defendant to report and pay compensation to the victim -11- February -2016
[3] JSMP Press Release: Court suspends prison sentence and obliges the defendant to report periodically to the court during the period of suspension - 11- February -2016

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of February 16th, 2016

ETLJB Meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 16th, 2016 Presidency of the Council of Ministers Sixth Constitutional Government

.............................................................................................................................

Dili, February 16, 2016

Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 16th, 2016

On the day that the Sixth Constitutional Government completed one year of governance, the Executive met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in Dili, for the meeting of the Council of Ministers, where Government members analysed the work developed in the last 12 months. This reflection considered some of the challenges faced and ideas for fine-tuning strategies and increased inter-ministerial coordination.

At this meeting, the Council of Ministers approved:

1. Government Resolution on the creation of the Commission for Public Administration Reform

The National Commission for Public Administration Reform has the mission to develop a public policy for improving the operation of the set of Bodies, services and entities of Public Administration and for the training, strengthening and appreciation of the human resources of the Civil Service. The ultimate objective is to provide higher quality public services to recipients in a more efficient and effective manner.

This comes as a result of the approval of the Guide for Public Administration Reform, at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 9th, 2015, and represents the Government's determination to achieve this important commitment of its Programme.

The National Commission for Public Administration Reform is supported by a Technical Team composed of representatives of various public institutions and by a work subgroup, the Monitoring Committee of the Guide for Public Administration Reform, composed of a representative from the Presidency of the Republic and representatives of civil society.

2. Proposal for a National Parliament Resolution that approves the Statutes of the International Institute of the Portuguese Language (IILP in Portuguese)

This Resolution proposal, that the Government will now submit to National Parliament in accordance with the Constitution, seeks the approval of the statutes of IILP, approved at the 15th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), in Luanda, July 22nd, 2010.

This is a joint initiative of the Timorese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Education with IILP’s National Commission, whose creation was approved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of September 2nd, 2011.

IILP is necessary for the construction of concrete policies for the promotion and diffusion of the Portuguese Language, and its internationalization and affirmation as a Global Language. Through the adoption of the Statutes, IILP is endowed with the means to achieve these objectives.

3. Road rehabilitation project

 The Council of Ministers approved the rehabilitation and improvement of three key sections of roads along the North Coast, with a total of 97 kilometres. The roads concerned, Baucau-Lautém, Maubara-Carimbala and Atabae-Mata Ain, have completion deadlines for the end of 2018.

4. Agreements between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Republic of Cuba to train teachers

The Government approved the signing of two agreements between the Ministries of Education of Timor-Leste and Cuba, to train Timorese students as mathematics teachers.

5. Extension of the technical support Project to the Scientific Police for Criminal Investigation (SPCI) and to the Board of Auditors

The Government approved the extension of the project to support SPCI and the Board of Auditors. This project is part of the Justice Component of the Timor-Leste Support Programme to Democratic Governance, delegated cooperation by the European Union on Portugal in the Camões Public Institute. Since 2012 the Institute has had a partnership with the Ministry of Justice of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in the context of good governance, with two components: support to SPCI and Board of Auditors.

6. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Economic and Trade Cooperation

The Government authorized the signature of this agreement, which provides for the creation of a Joint Commission, to create a formal structure, which allows for ongoing commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries.

7. Government Resolution on the appointment of Timorese members to the Joint Commission between the People's Republic of China and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for bilateral cooperation in Economic and Trade Affairs

Following the adoption of the previous Memorandum of Understanding, the Government identified the representatives of Timor-Leste that will be part of this commission, headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

8. Proposal for Deed to transfer to the Holy See the surface rights on a State property for the construction of the Apostolic Nunciature in Dili

The Council of Ministers approved the terms of a Deed to transfer to the Holy See the surface rights on the plot of land for the construction of the Apostolic Nunciature in Dili, decided at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 28th, 2015.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...