07 March 2009

East Timor Ministry of Social Solidarity: Community Dialogue in Suco Bahalara-ua'in

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY PRESS RELEASE 5 March 2009 Community Dialogue in Suco Bahalara-ua’in - On 28 February 2009, the MSS/UNDP Dialogue teams organised a community dialogue in Suco Bahalara-ua’in (Buikarin), Viqueque. The dialogue was held in the form of a Nahe Biti Bo’ot or ‘stretching of the big mat’ conflict resolution ceremony in order to attempt to resolve a conflict that broke out in January 2009.

In early January, 118 families fled their homes in Suco Bahalara-ua’in to a church in Viqueque town as a result of a fighting between members of rival martial arts groups. The conflict has its roots in a dispute that arose in 1974 and was exacerbated by the Indonesian occupation as the four aldeias in the suco aligned themselves along ‘pro-independence’ and ‘pro-integration’ lines.

The Government reacted quickly to the January 2009 conflict to ensure the 118 families could return to their homes, and thus avoid the possibility of another long-term IDP displacement crisis. The day after the confrontation, the Minister of State Administration, the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, and the Secretary of State for Defence, [BML1] travelled to Suco Bahalara-ua’in to try to resolve the dispute. At the request of the Prime Minister, and under the leadership of FFDTL’s Major Ular the MSS/UNDP Baucau dialogue team had held a number of preparatory dialogues with the community over the preceding two months, who decided they wanted to try and achieve reconciliation through a Nahe Biti Bo’ot ceremony.

The 28 February 2009 also benefited from high level participation, including the attendance of five Secretaries of State, the Deputy Provedor, Major Ular, and the Deputy Commander of the PNTL. Major Ular, appealed to the people of Suco Bahalara-ua’in “to lay the fighting to rest, to stop passing down the problems from generation to generation so that we can move forward together as one people.”

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, thanked the people of Suco Bahalara-ua’in for participating in the dialogue process and narrating the history of the suco in an attempt to resolve the conflict in peace. He explained “only by resolving these localised conflicts will we be able to move forward and develop our nation. This government has been working hard to give meaning to our country’s independence. When the people can live peacefully together, other aspects of the country’s development will also improve.” He appealed to the people of Suco Bahlara-ua’in to try to resolve future disputes in a peaceful manner or to bring them to the local authorities or relevant institutions to try to resolve.

During the dialogue, youth representatives of three martial arts groups in Suco Bahlara-ua’in were asked to come forward and sign a document agreeing not to fight each other again. At the end of the Nahe Biti Bo’ot ceremony, community representatives also signed an agreement that the conflict was over. Those who participated believe that to go against the proclaimed outcomes of a nahe biti ceremony is to anger the spirits and to bring bad luck and ill health upon the perpetrator and their family. One of the Lia Nain (keepers of the word) explained “what happened in 1975, 1999 and earlier this year is over. It has been resolved by adat (custom). Now is the time for us to move forward.”
MINISTÉRIU SOLIDARIEDADE SOSIÁL KOMUNIKASAUN-IMPRENSA Loron-5 Fulan-Marsu 2009 Diálogu Komunitáriu iha Suku Bahalara-ua’in - Iha loron-28 fulan-Fevereiru 2009, ekipa Diálogu hosi MSS/PNUD organiza diálogu komunitáriu ida iha Suku Bahalara-ua’in (Buikarin), Viqueque. Diálogu ne’e hala’o tuir lisan seremónia rezolusaun konflitu Nahe Biti Boot atubele koko rezolve konflitu ne’ebé nakfera iha fulan Janeiru 2009 liuba.

Iha prinsipíu fulan Janeiru, umakain 118 halai husik hela sira-nia hela-fatin iha Suku Bahalara-ua’in ba iha Igreja ida iha sidade Viqueque nu’udar rezultadu hosi baku-malu entre membru grupu arte-marsiál sira. Konflitu ne’e nia abut mai hosi tinan 1974 no sai aat liután durante okupasaun Indonézia tanba aldeia haat iha suku ne’e balu apoia independénsia no balu fali apoia integrasaun.

Governu fó reasaun lailais ba konflitu iha fulan Janeiru 2009 ne’e atu asegura umakain 118 ne’e bele filafali ba sira idaidak nia hela-fatin, no hodi nune’e evita posibilidade krize deslokasaun tempu-naruk seluk tan. Loron ida hafoin tiha konfrontasaun, Ministru Administrasaun Estatál, Sekretáriu-Estadu ba Asisténsia Sosiál no Dezastre Naturál, Sekretáriu-Estadu ba Seguransa no Sekretáriu-Estadu ba Defeza, sai kedas ba Suku Bahalara-ua’in atu koko rezolve problema ne’e. MSS/PNUD nia ekipa diálogu Baukau halo kedas diálogu preparatóriu lubun ida ho komunidade ne’ebé ikusmai deside sira hakarak koko no atinje rekonsiliasaun liuhosi seremónia Nahe Biti Boot.

Iha loron-28 fulan-Fevereiru 2009 konsege hetan partisipasaun maka’as, inklui hosi Sekretáriu-Estadu na’in lima, Ajuntu Provedór Direitu Umanus no Justisa, Majór Ular hosi FFDTL, no Ajuntu Komandante PNTL. Majór Ular, ne’ebé simu knaar rasik hosi Primeiru-Ministru atu derije intervensaun ne’e, fó apelu ba povu iha Suku Bahalara-ua’in “atu para ona ho baku-malu, atu para ona ho hatutan problema hosi jerasaun ba jerasaun hodi nune’e ita bele hakat bá-oin hamutuk nu’udar povu ida de’it.”

Sekretáriu-Estadu ba Asisténsia Sosiál no Dezastre Naturál, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, fó obrigadu ba povu hosi Suku Bahalara-ua’in ba sira-nia partisipasaun iha prosesu diálogu no haktuir istória suku ne’e nian atu koko rezolve konflitu ne’e ho dame. Nia esplika “liuhosi rezolve konflitu hirak-ne’e de’it mak ita sei bele hakat bá-oin no dezenvolve ita-nia nasaun. Governu ida-ne’e haka’as an maka’as tebes atu fó sentidu ba ita-nia nasaun nia ukun an. Bainhira povu moris hamutuk ho hakmatek, aspeitu seluk hosi nasaun nia dezenvolvimentu mós sei sai di’ak liután.” Nia apelu ba povu iha suku Bahalara-ua’in atu koko rezolve sira-nia problema iha futuru ho lala’ok ida ne’ebé dame ka atu lori de’it sira-nia problema ba iha autoridade lokál ka instituisaun pertinente sira atu rezolve.

Durante diálogu, reprezentante joventude sira hosi grupu arte-marsiál tolu iha Suku Bahalara-ua’in asina dokumentu ida hodi hatán sira sei la baku-malu dala ida tan. Bainhira atu remata seremónia Nahe Biti Boot ne’e, reprezentante sira hosi komunidade mós asina akordu ida katak konflitu laiha ona. Ema hirak-ne’ebé partisipa fiar katak bainihira la halo tuir rezultadu sira ne’ebé mai hosi seremónia Nahe Biti Boot ruma sei halo matebian sira hirus no bele lori sorte la di’ak no fó moras ba ema ne’ebé kontra nomos ba sira-nia umalaran. Katuas lia-na’in ida esplika “saida mak mosu iha tinan 1975, 1999 no iha prinsipíu tinan ida-ne’e hotu ona. Buat sira-ne’e hotu adat rezolve tiha ona. Agora tempu ba ita atu hakat bá-oin.”

Image added by ETLJB: An East Timorese man with his child in an IDP camp.
East Timor Law Journal Blog

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