27 August 2018

RDDU: The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) urges political leaders to promote dialogue or go through the courts to end the current political impasse

Rede Defensór Direitus Umanus (RDDU) Address: Faról, Dili Karaketu, Timor-Leste Phone: (+670) 77139641 / 77259858 Press Release Dili, 14 August 2018

 The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) urges political leaders to promote dialogue or go through the courts to end the current political impasse

The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) is comprised of civil society organizations that deal with Human Rights. This network exists to carry out monitoring and advocacy in cases of human right violations occurring in Timor-Leste.

The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) has been evaluating and carefully following the political situation evolving in Timor-Leste and consider it to be a risk that could lead to instability, especially economic, social, political and security related instability, which is an integral part of human rights that could potentially affect the day to day lives of the people if no solution is found to the current political impasse.

Therefore, the Human Rights Defenders Network urges national leaders and political party leaders to promote dialogue and to engage in intensive political communication by talking to each other and avoiding political disagreements, hatred and revenge, which will not help the people, so as to immediately end the political impasse that remains unresolved to date.

The Human Rights Defenders Network urges the sovereign organs to carry out their respective roles in accordance with the principle of separation of powers as set out in Article 69 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

Council of Ministers Meeting 21 August 2018

Presidency of The Council of Ministers VIII Constitutional Government PRESS RELEASE Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of August 21, 2018

The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the Government's Resolution Proposal submitted by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on the appointment of Xanana Gusmão as Special Representative of Timor-Leste for the conclusion of the procedures necessary for the ratification of the Treaty between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Australia establishing their maritime borders in the Timor Sea, the acquisition of interests in oil fields and the conclusion of agreements relating to the development of the Greater Sunrise oil fields.

The Special Representative will represent the East Timorese State in all matters related to that Treaty, negotiate for the acquisition of participatory interests in certain oil assets in the Timor Sea, which are expected to contribute decisively to the development of a petroleum industry in East Timor and consequently for the development of other industries and related economic sectors.

The Special Representative will also lead the process of negotiating and concluding with Australia and with the oil companies the agreements necessary for the development of the Greater Sunrise fields, reaffirming the Government's intention that the Greater Sunrise fields be developed through a pipeline to the coast of Timor-Leste and the construction and operation of a natural gas processing plant in Beaço.

24 August 2018

How homophobia influenced drafting of East Timor's Constitution

Image: GayStarNews
This is a republication of an article that I wrote 9 years ago under the title Homosexuality in East Timor.

I have of late been examining certain provisions of the Constitution of East Timor and, in my view, the dastardly social problem of discrimination and vilification on status, in this case sexual orientation, has its hateful genesis in the ancient sacred Christian texts and continues today even after the great struggle for freedom was won and should be enjoyed fully by all citizens regardless of sexual orientation because homosexuality was excluded from the Constitutional protections.

More recently, the second LGBT Pride Day was held last month in Dili so it is an appropriate time to support our gay brothers and sisters in East Timor and everywhere the law discriminates against them. See further East Timor's Pride parade goes back to the roots of what Pride is all about

Back to the Constitution, and how it came to be that protections for homosexual citizens were discarded. My 2009 article stands. Nothing has changed except that the gay community is now organised.

The following is also an edit made today to include extracts from the relevant provisions of the Constitution:

"PART II FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, DUTIES, FREEDOMS AND GUARANTEES TITLE I GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Section 16 (Universality and Equality)

1. All citizens are equal before the law, shall exercise the same rights and shall be subject to the same duties.

2. No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of colour, race, marital status, gender, ethnical origin, language, social or economic status, political or ideological convictions, religion, education and physical or mental condition."

In advanced democracies, provisions like this include sexual orientation and a host of other gender-related anti discrimination and anti-vilification legislation. These are all conspicuously absent from the Constitution of East Timor. Absent from the entire legal system.

ETLJB 25 April 2009 SYDNEY - The rights of the homosexual citizens of East Timor have proven to be a fertile ground for virulent anti-gay vilification by some of East Timor's political leaders. Discussion of the issue in the public domain has also provided an opportunity for the persecution of gay men and women in East Timor through the hysterical anti-human and anti-Christian condemnations of the Roman Catholic Church.

There is a significant gay dimension to East Timorese society. But a proposed constitutional guarantee of the rights of homosexuals in East Timor was, under pressure from the Church and with the approval of homophobic members of East Timor's national parliament, excised from an early draft of the Constitution leaving the gay community susceptible to marginalisation, discrimination and hate-motivated violence. It was on that occasion that a prominent politician denied that there were any gay people in East Timor and declared homosexuality a disease.

The Church's influence in East Timor has actually contributed to the promotion of homosexuality, principally among East Timorese men. Strict compliance with bans on pre-marital sex and an oppressive social regime that seeks to control Timorese women's sexuality in East Timor have most certainly restricted the opportunities for young East Timorese men. But primal human compulsions, in the end, so to speak, find a way of being expressed.

The protection of the rights of gay people in East Timor should not be a matter left outside the mainstream concerns of the justice system. And yet not a single cent of the millions upon millions of dollars of donor money has been dedicated to this.

Gay civil rights movements in advanced secular democracies agitated and achieved unprecedented legal recognition of equality before the law and impartial access to the protections afforded by the law to straight citizens. These achievements did not come about without a long and injurious campaign to refute the prejudices of the conservative Church and to drag the State to entrench secular anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws and to delete a wide range of laws and policies that discriminated against homosexual people.

If East Timor is to be credibly received as a state based on the rule of law and international laws and standards as its Constitution mandates, both clear policies and legislation must be presented by the Government to the Parliament for enactment to ensure the protection of equal rights to all citizens.

Such efforts will also create a suitable legal and social environment for managing HIV-AIDS infections in East Timor.

Intrusions of religious doctrines into the formulation of social policies and legislation in East Timor is a grave error - morally, jurisprudentially and constitutionally, as it was in the drafting of the sacred Constitution of East Timor -ends-

Warren L. Wright BA LLB
Principal
Wright Law & Justice
Co-Founder HIV/AIDS Legal Centre

Postscript. After the amendment to the Australian Marriage Act 1961 to redefine marriage in genderless terms, thus legalising gay marriage, I wrote a short note pondering the issue whether East Timor would recognise Australian gay marriage

See my recent articles on the Constitution

ROCCIPI elucidates unconstitutional behaviour by President Lu-Olo

East Timor Constitution on Criminal liability of the members of Government

2018 Election: Fretilin falls, again; Xanana resurrects

East Timor President Lu-Olo Discredits Office of President & Perverts the Will of the People

On the President's Constitutional Powers on Nominations by Prime Minister of Ministers of State

A note on "unconstructive and irresponsible commentary" on the Constitution of East Timor

Constitution of East Timor: President's Role in Civil Governance by Elected Legislature and Government

East Timor: Whither Democracy?

East Timor: Democracy in Ruin by Presidential Unconstitutionality

East Timor Constitution on the Dismissal of the President

19 August 2018

ROCCIPI Analyses of Social Problems in East Timor: The Legislative Drafting Initiative in the National Parliament.

During the period 2002 through to 2004, the University of San Francisco School of Law Centre for Law and Global Justice, in partnership with and under the auspices of The Asia Foundation's Access to Justice Program in East Timor, conducted a Legislative Drafting Initiative comprised of both a civil society module and Parliamentary Committee module.

I was the LDI project designer, implementer and manager as well as de facto Project Director although this formal status was denied me by the University in favour of an American lawyer also consulting with USF but who had never been to East Timor, knew nothing of its history or its circumstances at the time and oblivious to the great suffering of the people who had survived a genocide and the cities laying in ruins.

Workshops were conducted with members of civil society organisations to teach the ROCCIPI methodology which is based on the United States-originated Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change theory.

The ROCCIPI acronym derives from the 7 basic elements of the theory that are the framework for analysing social problems and proposing draft legislation designed to address those problems; those elements being Rule, Opportunity, Communication, Capacity, Interest, Process and Ideology.

There resulted from the workshops with civil society a number of reports containing the ROCCIPI analysis of several social problems in East Timor and, in some cases, draft legislation.

These reports and drafts were then the subject of further workshops with the relevant Parliamentary Committees whose members were also taught the methodology with the aim of improved legislative drafting process in East Timor.

The reports from the civil society workshops are listed below as links to the content of the English translations of those reports. I also have Portuguese and Indonesian translations so if any one is interested in looking at them, please feel free to Contact Me.

Now president Lu-Olo was the President of the Parliament and I and my team had many meetings with him and educational interaction with the Parliamentary Committees.

At the very first meeting, a sort of hostile xenophobia became apparent as well as ignorance of why we malae were even there in the first place. Fortunately, my Program Manager, who was a well known student dissident to the Indonesian occupation and who had suffered therefore, politely reminded the Parliamentary President Lu-Olo and the Committees that were dominated by Fretilin as the then governing party, that the Parliament had in fact invited the University back to undertake the programme following a demonstrative workshop in the Parliament previously. And, so we were able to proceed.

The CSO component went beyond expectations with the East Timorese students of this arm of the program ever enthusiastic, working hard and together in teams to ponder the social problems they had selected and which had been confirmed with the Parliament and to learn the ROCCIPI methodology which is ultimately directed to the goal of democratic social transformation and the resolution of social problems by study, development of policy and drafting law as well as interaction between civil society and the Parliament.

Our first workshop in the Parliament was with Committee B on Defence and Security. It turned out that the CSO's were concerned about the extent of powers of the Minister and the behaviour of the military in East Timor; which was, indeed, problematical as history has shown us. That had all been put into the CSO report based on the ROCCIPI analysis, translated into Portuguese and Indonesian and distributed to the Committees in preparation for the workshop. It did contain criticism of the role occupants and sought to identify and explain the problematical behaviour of the military.

The first Committee B spokesman began by launching a scathing attack on me and the University and accused us of interfering in the affairs of East Timor. I reassured the Committee that the University had never sought to influence the work of the CSO groups and that the works of the CSO groups were entirely their own, unedited and uncensored by me.

Committee B adjourned. We then resumed and the Committee had the good grace to accept the position I had explained and the objective intention of seriously looking at the reports and learning how they came about through the ROCCIPI workshops with their very own CSOs, their own citizens whom we sought to enlighten on the methods of evaluating and resolving the multitude of grave social problems, the legacy of the Indonesian genocide.

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Gambling in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Serious Crimes and Amnesty in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Communal Rights on Adat Land in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Land Rights in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Prostitution in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Function and Role of F-FDTL in National Defence of East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Livestock Regulation in Urban Areas in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Forest Preservation in East Timor

ROCCIPI Analysis of Diplomacy, Defence and National Security

18 August 2018

East Timor Community Legal Education Program


-->
In partnership with The Asia Foundation and the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Centre for Law & Global Justice, I directed this part of the TAF’s Access to Justice program.

At the beginning, I was instructed by my superiors to conduct the Community Legal Education Program (CLEP) “just like a University course with exams and everything”. This advice came from an American lawyer who knew not nor cared for East Timor.

I did not conduct the CLEP in that way. It was an absurd notion to put forward to the community who had just been through the destruction of their entire nation and mass extra judicial killings along with the deployment of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations to keep the civil peace and the constitution of UNTAET to administer the territory until the restoration of independence.

The Universities lay in ruins. The students dead or traumatised.

And so I formulated another methodology in consultation with my East Timorese staff. We then implemented a series of workshops with village chiefs, university students, civil society organisations, government officials, and women with East Timorese as teachers and organisers. I stayed well in the background as the invisible administrator. We even organised radio call in sessions with the Catholic Church's radio station where citizens could call in and ask government officials and lawyers questions. This particular and effective methodology has also since been adopted by The Asia Foundation.

The workshops were successful with full attendance and many questions from participants and legal information distributed in Tetum and Indonesian.

When I allocated funds to provide transportation and a per diem for the attendees to come from as far away as Atauro, the Director of The Asia Foundation sought to stop me. She then proceeded to appropriate US$30,000 from my projects budget. This was crushed by the central administration in San Francisco after I reported to the University. Such a scurrilous act that does not go unremembered because it spitefully constrained and stressed the important work my team was doing in community legal education.

The Asia Foundation has since taken up a more comprehensible role in legal education with a respectable American university and we hope that politics will not influence that although I remain suspicious of the true intentions behind TAF and all but particularly American aid entities in East Timor who gather information through project activities and then convey it to certain interested parties.

It behoves us to recall the origins of TAF as a CIA agency. [1]

[1] https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/0001088617 
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0001088617.pdf

Warren L. Wright BA LLB
Former Consultant TAF &
USF in East Timor

ROCCIPI elucidates unconstitutional behaviour by President Lu-Olo

ROCCIPI Perhaps some of my East Timorese friends who were invited to participate by me in the University of San Francisco School of Law Legislative Drafting Initiative with the National Parliament Committees and civil society groups will recall ROCCIPI, a methodology for the identification, explanation and formulation of solutions to social problems through a democratic transformational process.

Through that initiative, we sought to transfer knowledge to Parliamentarians and the CSO's about a method of analysis of social problems known by its acronym, ROCCIPI:

R is for Rule
O is for Opportunity
C is for Capacity
C is for Communication
I is for Interest
P is for Process
I is for Ideology.

The ROCCIPI factors help us determine the causes of problematical behaviour that generates social problems.

When we turn to the Role Occupants in this social problem, we identify the primary Role Occupant as the President and his problematical behaviour since the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak nominated Ministers but which nominations were refused by the President in an unconstitutional manner, (the President, the Prime Minister, the Parliament, the Government, Ministerial candidates are the other role occupants in the social problem). The victims are the people.

When we seek to discover the cause of his problematical behaviour, we see that the only ROCCIPI factor that is relevant in explaining his behaviour is IDEOLOGY. The Rules are clear enough as I have sought to elucidate in previous writings.[1]  Opportunity, Capacity, Communication don't seem to go very far in elucidating this problematical behaviour. Perhaps there is some Process problem or Interest explanation but IDEOLOGY is the most likely explanation.

So let's try to identify what the Ideology is. The most likely candidate is political ideology.

I posit that the scenario is approximately what follows.

The minority FRETILIN government lost all power in the 2018 elections. The AMP secured a solid majority in the Parliament entitling it to govern. The President is politically biased, in favour of Fretilin and against the AMP. This tension between the Alkatiri/Guterres and the Xanana-inspired AMP has been the central axis about which politics in East Timor has revolved ever since the restoration of independence. We have seen that tension leave enormous social dislocations, fear, violence, extrajudicial killings and the bodies of PNTL officers massacred by the F-FDTL soldiers rotting in the tropical sun on the streets of Dili outside the Ministry of Justice, of all places. This occurred on 25 May 2006; the darkest day since liberation.

The President’s behaviour, though unconstitutional, is something much more insidious. Fretilin can not bear the thought of not ruling East Timor, can not understand why they have been rejected by the people after leading the Revolution. Well, the Revolution is over comrades and it is the men and women of the Revolution who have failed to transition the war factions of Fretilin during the great struggle into a stable democratic State based on the rule of law that lies behind the constant tension and repeated instability.

The Fretilin President is doing all he can to hinder and obstruct the AMP and deny the Prime Minister his democratic mandate because of politics.

Warren L. Wright BA LLB
ROCCIPI Teacher

[1] See also:

East Timor Constitution on Criminal liability of the members of Government

2018 Election: Fretilin falls, again; Xanana resurrects

East Timor President Lu-Olo Discredits Office of President & Perverts the Will of the People

On the President's Constitutional Powers on Nominations by Prime Minister of Ministers of State

A note on "unconstructive and irresponsible commentary" on the Constitution of East Timor

Constitution of East Timor: President's Role in Civil Governance by Elected Legislature and Government

East Timor: Whither Democracy?

East Timor: Democracy in Ruin by Presidential Unconstitutionality

East Timor Constitution on the Dismissal of the President

17 August 2018

Suai District Court hears cases of smuggling, aggravated & attempted rape, sexual exhibitionism & assaults including domestic violence


The following summary is based upon the JSMP Report that may be found on the JSMP web site.

1. Crime of smuggling Case No: 0004/17.BBBGD
On 3 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its ruling in a case of smuggling involving the defendant Rosa Martins who allegedly committed the offence against the State of Timor-Leste, in Batugade Village, Bakibi Sub-District, Bobonaro District.
Type of Penalty: Acquitted
Decision After evaluating the facts produced during the trial, the court acquitted the defendant from the charges of the prosecutor because the defendant had not been proven guilty of committing the crime of smuggling. In addition, the court decided to give back US$600 of kerosene money to the defendant.

2.  Crime of aggravated rape Case No: 0064/17.PDSUA
Type of Penalty: Acquitted
On 3 May 2018 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision in a case of rape involving the defendant JM who allegedly committed the offence against the victim, his neighbour, in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating the facts produced during the trial the court decided that the defendant was not guilty of committing rape against the victim because the sexual intercourse between the defendant and victim was based on consent.

3. Crime of sexual exhibitionism Case No : 0029/17.CVMCT
Type of Penalty: 1 year in prison, suspended for 2 years
On 15 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its decision for the crime of sexual exhibitionism involving the defendant MSP and the victim BPA in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating the facts the court gave more weight to the victim's statement and proof that the defendant committed the crime according to the facts set out in the indictment. Based on this evidence, the court concluded the matter and sentenced the defendant to 1 year in prison, suspended for 2 years, and ordered him to pay court costs of US$25.

4. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity Case No: 0092/17.CVSUI
Type of Penalty: Validating withdrawal of complaint
On 15 March 2018 the Suai District Court attempted conciliation in a case of simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendant Agustinho Gusmão who allegedly committed the crime against the victim Aleixo de Araujo in Covalima District.
Decision Based on the request of the victim to withdraw the case and the amicable agreement between the parties, the Court decided to validate the settlement.
5.  Crime of simple offences against physical integrity Case No: 0024/17.CVMCT
Type of Penalty: Validating withdrawal of complaint
On 16 May 2018 the Suai District Court presided over a hearing to attempt conciliation in a case of simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendant Armandina Cardoso, the defendant Maria Cardoso, the defendant Aleixo do Carmo and the victim Carlota Cardoso who was their older sister and the sister in law of the defendant Armando, which allegedly occurred in Maukatar Sub-District, Covalima District.
Decision Based on the request of the victim to withdraw the case and the amicable agreement between the parties, the court decided to validate the settlement.

6.  Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence Case No: 0071/17.CVSUI
Type of penalty: 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year
On 17 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its decision in a case of simple offences against physical integrity characterised as domestic violence involving the defendant LPA who allegedly committed the offence against his wife in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating all of the facts the court found the defendant guilty of committing the crime based on the facts set out in the indictment. Based on the facts that were proven during the trial, the court concluded the matter and sentenced the defendant to 6 months in prison, suspended for 1 year.

7. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence Case No: 0043/16.CVSUI
Type of penalty: 1 month in prison, suspended for 1 year
On 17 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its decision in a case of simple offences against physical integrity characterised as domestic violence involving the defendant JdS who allegedly committed the offence against his wife in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating all of the facts the court found the defendant guilty of committing the crime against the victim based on the facts set out in the indictment. Based on this evidence the court sentenced the defendant to 1 month in prison suspended for 1 year and ordered him to pay court costs of US$ 25.00.

8. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence Case No: 0080/17.CVSUI
Type of penalty: 1 year in prison, suspended for 1 year
On 17 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its decision in a case of simple offences against physical integrity characterised as domestic violence involving the defendant LdS who allegedly committed the offence against his daughter (ASG) and wife (AS) in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating the facts that were proven during the trial, the court concluded the matter and sentenced the defendant to 1 year and six months in prison, suspended for 1 year and ordered him to pay court costs of US$ 25.

9.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity Case No: 0001/16.CVMCT
Type of Penalty: Validating withdrawal of complaint
On 17 May 2018 the Suai District Court attempted conciliation in a case of simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendants Castro Almeida, Antonio Gusmão and Augstinho Gusmão Barros who allegedly committed the offence against the victim Januario Maia in Maukatar Sub-District, Covalima District.
Decision Based on the request of the victim to withdraw the case and the amicable agreement between the parties, the Court decided to validate the settlement.

10.  Crime of failure to fulfil an obligation to provide food assistance Case No : 0018/17.PDSUA
Type of Penalty: Withdrawal of complaint
On 22 May 2018 the Suai District Court announced its ruling in a case of failure to fulfil an obligation to provide food assistance involving the defendant MG who allegedly committed the offence against his wife and child in Covalima District.
Decision Based on the agreement made by the parties and the victim's request to withdraw the complaint the court validated the settlement on the condition that the defendant must keep his promise in accordance with the agreement made by the two parties before the court.

11.  Crime of attempted rape Case No: 0032/17.PDSUA
Type of Penalty: 3 years in prison, suspended for 5 years
On 29 May 2018 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision in a case of rape involving the defendant AG who allegedly committed the offence against the victim MCA, his neighbour, in Covalima District.
Decision After evaluating the facts produced during the trial, the court found the defendant guilty of committing the crime based on the facts set out in the indictment. Based on the evidence the court concluded this matter and sentenced the defendant to three years in prison, suspended for five years, and also ordered the defendant to pay court costs of US$25.00. ETLJB -ENDS-

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...