15 August 2009

FRETILIN renews push for parliamentary debate on Truth Commission reports




Dili, 12 August 2009

FRETILIN renews push for parliamentary debate on Truth Commission reports

FRETILIN's deputy parliamentary leader Francisco Branco today repeated FRETILIN's call for reports of the National Truth, Reception and Reconciliation Commission (known as "Chega", meaning "enough" in Portuguese) and the Bilateral (Timor-Leste and Indonesia) Truth and Friendship Commission to be debated as a priority in the third legislative session starting on 15 September 2009.

The official explanation from the parliamentary secretariat as to why the two reports have not yet been formally debated is that they are "pending decisions regarding their admissibility."

"It is becoming tiresome for us to keep demanding that the President of Parliament. Fernando Lasama Araujo place these reports on the agenda. He comes up with excuses every time. It is obvious that he too regards this delay as undesirable but he is following others on this, especially those who want parliament to whitewash the reports," Mr Branco said.

"FRETILIN is determined to move a resolution just to bring this debate on. This month we are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 1999 UN sponsored referendum that resulted in an overwhelming vote for independence, but also in death of thousands and violence and dislocation for hundreds of thousands.

"Timor-Leste was laid waste to, and our chances of beginning a stable life as a new state were impeded for decades to come. There is also the death and violence heaped upon our innocent people from the civil war and ensuing Indonesian invasion and illegal occupation for 24 years. Our people demand we deal with this, and that means debating the historic and very important reports from the two truth commissions," said Branco.

Branco urged the people of Timor-Leste and all other interested parties to write to the President of Parliament to put debate on the truth commissions on the agenda.

"He needs our support to overcome the untold pressure he must be under from others, including President Jose Ramos Horta, whose publicly expressed views on what should happen to these reports are very clear," Branco added.

"These reports have been sitting around for years yet during today's parliamentary debate on which items should be debated in the coming session, the increase in remuneration for parliamentarians and the gun laws seemed to occupy the minds of CNRT MPs.

"Today is at least the fourth time on which the work of the two truth commissions has been put aside. FRETILIN has raised objections and urged their speedy debate on each occasion."

For further information please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080

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