20 June 2018

Jose Maria Vasconcelos (Taur Matan Ruak) appointed Prime Minister of East Timor

"In the wake of the destruction of the rule of law in East Timor in 2006, the United Nations....made recommendations for the prosecution of numerous persons, including the Chief of the Falintil-East Timor Defence Force, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak" Wright, W

Former East Timor Defence Force Chief and former president Taur Matan Ruak has been announced as the new Prime Minister, five weeks after the Alliance of Progress and Change coalition won an overwhelming majority of 43 in the nation’s 65 seat legislature.

The fallen FRETILIN minority government, a government that enlivened the problems with Article 106 of the Constitution and which ultimately caused its downfall, was unable to pass any legislation through the Parliament.

Congratulations are due to both the Alliance and Maun Bo'ot Taur Matan Ruak, as well as the East Timorese people whose understanding of democracy is far more profound than their leaders.


In 2010, East Timor's then Finance Minister, despite Taur Matan Ruak having repeatedly stated publicly that a coup d’état against a democratically elected government would set a bad precedent for the Timor-Leste nation, persisted in accusing him of wanting to undertake a coup d’état against the government.

During a meeting organised by UNMIT last year Taur joked, “I must be the dumbest general in the world.  Had I been a smarter general then maybe I might have been like Perves Musharaf (ed: Pakistani President),” moving the gathered  audience to applause. (Tempo Semanal 6 July 2010 [Army will execute a cout d'etat in Timor-Leste.
http://www.easttimorlawandjusticebulletin.com/2010/07/army-will-execute-cout-detat-in-timor.html].

The former now disgraced Finance Minister was later convicted of "crimes of economic participation in business".  [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-10/australian-fights-against-east-timors-unfair-jail-sentence/8256952]

East Timor Law & Justice Bulletin Taur Matan Ruak Prime Minister of East Timor 2018
The 25 May Massacre
In the wake of the destruction of the rule of law in East Timor in 2006, the United Nations constituted a special commission of inquiry into the events surrounding the violence and made recommendations for the prosecution of numerous persons, including the Chief of the Falintil-East Timor Defence Force, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, Chief of Staff Tito da Costa Cristovao, aka Lere Anan Timor and Domingos Raul, aka Rate Laek Falur.

The UN COI Report is dated 2 October 2006.

The following are extracts from the Report of the United Nations Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste. Numbers are paragraph numbers of the report.

134. F-FDTL weapons. The evidence relating to the unlawful movement, possession and use of F-FDTL weapons is described in paragraphs 95 and 96 and demonstrates that those weapons were distributed by and/or with the knowledge and approval of the following persons: Roque Rodrigues, Taur Matan Ruak, Tito da Costa Cristovao, aka Lere Anan Timor, Manuel Freitas, aka Mau Buti, and Domingos Raul, aka Rate Laek Falur. The Commission recommends that these persons be prosecuted for illegal weapons transfer.

147. The transfer of F-FDTL weapons is described in paragraphs 95 to 96 above. The Commission concludes that in arming civilians, the Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force acted without lawful authority and created a situation of significant potential danger. This danger was realized in the Mercado Lama incident described in paragraph 87.

Armed confrontation of 25 May between F-FDTL and PNTL

148. By 25 May the F-FDTL command considered that F-FDTL was subject to a campaign of attack by PNTL. They responded militarily. The armed confrontation on 25 May must be viewed against the background of a lack of coordination and communication between PNTL and F-FDTL. However, it is apparent also that limited steps were taken by the F-FDTL command to verify the extent of the threat posed or to use non-military channels to resolve the perceived threat. On 25 May the F-FDTL High Command did not attempt in the event to contact those in operational command of PNTL or to engage the Prime Minister or President in resolving the situation. The Commission is of the view that it was the duty of the Chief of the Defence Force to exhaust all avenues either to prevent or stop the confrontation with PNTL.

In 2008, when Jose Ramos Horta and Xanana were the subject of assassination attempts, East Timor's senior political leadership was bitterly divided and depended on the "personal chemistry" of the four political leaders - Prime Minister Gusmao, President Horta, Mari Alkatiri the Fretilin opposition leader and Tuar Matan Ruak, the then army chief.

See
UN Recommended prosecution of PLP Leader (former Commander F-FDTL) Taur Matan Ruak in 2006 http://www.easttimorlawandjusticebulletin.com/2017/10/un-recommended-prosecution-of-plp.html

Harrington 25th of May 2006 Massacre &War Crimes in Timor-Leste January 24, 2007

United Nations admits East Timor on brink of anarchy http://www.easttimorlawandjusticebulletin.com/2008/12/united-nations-admits-east-timor-on.html
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