The practice of martial arts in Timor-Leste assumes a significant social and cultural importance, particularly among the younger segments of citizens, and teaching such arts also constitutes a means of inculcating fundamental values and principles in the conduct and character of their practitioners and admirers.
Nevertheless, considering the particularly dangerous nature of some of the techniques used in the practice of martial arts as well as the sense of responsibility required for promoting, teaching, and learning them, it is imperative that a legal framework be established, followed by a specific regulatory statute, so that the principles of public order and respect for the rights, freedoms and guarantees of the citizens can be ensured.
Since the Timorese society has been witnessing to a departure from the original objective of this kind of activity, a situation that has been causing an increase in criminality and violence, the need arises to legalize the existing martial arts associations and teaching/learning centres and to put in place mechanisms for authorizing the establishment of such associations and teaching/learning centres.
On the other hand, and in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the present statute and discourage the exercise of activities devoid of proper legal framework, provisions have been made for applying disciplinary sanctions, including the incrimination of individuals or corporate bodies practicing, teaching, learning, or inciting the practice of such activities without proper authorization.
Several entities have been consulted, including the Office of the Prosecutor- General, the Dili District Court, the Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice and the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste, the contribution of which have been fundamental for the preparation of the present law whose objective is to define and regulate the practice of several modalities of martial arts existing in Timor-Leste.
Thus, Pursuant to article 95.1 of the Constitution of the Republic, the National Parliament enacts the following to have the force of law: Read the entire Law No 10/2008 of 16 July The Practice of Martial Arts...
Image: Martial arts groups in East Timor have been the basis of criminal gangs.
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