31 December 2010

Speech by FRETILIN President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo at the ceremony in commemoration of the death of President Nicolau Lobato

Nicolau Lobato
31 December 2010

Your Excellency Mr. President of the Republic,


We come together again today to remember Nicolau Lobato.  On this same day for over thirty years FRETILIN has exercised its duty to maintain the immortality of the memory of this great son of the Maubere people.

Nicolau was a leader of immeasurable stature and unwavering determination.

He was a son of a humble family.   He demonstrated his leadership qualities from his early beginnings, through his great political honesty and determination as a freedom fighter.

In commemorating the 32nd anniversary of his death in combat, we do so conscious of the need to undertake a deeper reflection of his personality so that the new generations can also drink from the life of this great statesman, this great FRETILIN leader and this great Commander in Chief of the FALINTIL, his example to serve as an unerring eternal reference for us.

Nicolau was a modest man, humble but also a cultured person, constantly self-teaching and always seeking new knowledge.  Nicolau had as one of his great qualities the persistent seeking of perfection in everything he did, efficiency in his actions, and efficacy in his conduct.

For the first time today the State of Timor-Leste takes on this date as a date registering the history of our people, our struggle for national liberation.  For FRETILIN it is the consecration of an undeniable truth.  Nicolau Lobato died in combat whilst as President of FRETILIN he also assumed the responsibility as President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Commander in Chief of FALINTIL.  For this reason, and by his actions on behalf of the Maubere people, when Nicolau died he was the head of state and the uncontestable leader of the Maubere people.  In this way, from this day onwards, FRETILIN has decided to transfer to the State the responsibility of acknowledging this date as an important date in our history to be commemorated annually throughout our whole country.

Today as we commemorate 32 years, we do so before the palace that now takes the name of Nicolau Lobato.  FRETILIN expresses its gratitude to the President of the Republic for his timely decision of baptizing this palace with the name of our immortal Nicolau Lobato.  With this today, we close the doors on 2010.  Within a few hours we will be entering 2011.  In the past year, on this same day, FRETILIN through its Secretary General launched a challenge for all to join us in the quest of making the decade 2010-2020 the decade of peace, stability and the catalyst for development.  We reiterate this same appeal today under the silent watch of Nicolau Lobato.  We, FRETILIN, reject violence as a tool to conquest power.  We have already demonstrated this in practice.  For us 2011 will be a year of crucial importance to affirm this principle of the rejection of violence and of respecting the will of the people freely expressed in elections.  Because of this we launch our challenge for us all to make 2011 the year of building trust among us Timorese, a year of consolidation of our democracy and rule of law.

For our part we will do everything to contribute to these ends.

The struggle continues.

Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo

President of FRETILIN

Monteiro denies allegation of police involvement in prostitution

 Radio Timor-Leste, December 16, 2010 language source: Tetun Timorese Police Commander Commissioner Longiuinhos Monteiro has denied an allegation that his police officers are suspected of being involved in prostitution in the country.

Monteiro said such an allegation was baseless and no facts were presented, but the allegation was like a motivation for them to work optimally. Monteiro affirmed that the presence of an individual officer in a prostitution premises does not represent the police force and that should not be generalized.

"Our police officers are not involved in such activity and we are in pursuit of those who engage in prostitution," Monteiro said.

Timorese Military Police Unit yet to receive official letter from PNTL

Diario Nacional, December 17, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Military Police Unit Commander Lieutenant Abel Xavier has confirmed that they are yet to receive an official letter from the Timorese National Police (PNTL) regarding their plan to hold joint operations during the Christmas and New Year Eve.

"We the Military Police have a plan to help the PNTL particularly in the traffic aspect but we will provide help if they ask and we will not hold operations directly," Lieutenant Xavier said.

Lieutenant Xaier added that although the PNTL is yet to send them official letter asking their help, they have prepared a platoon to prevent undesirable things that might happen during the Christmas and New Year eve. Dili District Police Commander, Superintendent Pedro Belo refused to give comments on this matter saying that it is the competence of the General Commando of the PNTL to talk about it.

OIOS UNMIT Procurement 2009

OIOS UNMIT Procurement 2009                                                            

TLGov: Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 16 of December of 2010

Secretaria de Estado do Conselho de Ministros

Díli, Palacio do Governo,

16 de Dezembro de 2010



Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 16th of December of 2010

The Council of Ministers met this Thursday, 16th of December of 2010, in the Council of Ministers Meeting
Room in the Government Palace, in Díli, and approved:

1. Decree-Law about an extraordinaire Payment of one month basic salary to the public service

The IV Constitutional Government intends to carry out a policy for the preservation of the human
resources attached to the Timorese State’s activity, and thus considers it important to acknowledge and to
encourage the good performance of its public servants.

This is an equitable measure, even though of exceptional nature, that tends to bring the public servants
closer to other national workers, placing them at the same level.

2. Decree-Law about the Statutes of the National Institute for Training for Teachers and Education

This diploma regulates the terms of the creation, organization and functioning of the Statutes of the
National Institute for Training of Teachers and Education Professionals (which its creation is predicted in
the new Organic Law of the Ministry of Education).

The objectives of this Institute are: to answer to the enormous challenge of requalification of the teachers
in function, as determined by the Statute of the Teaching Career; promote the necessary investigation on
best practices with the view of teacher training; develop the curriculums of all training modalities; and
guarantee capacity and efficiency in providing its services in the national territory, for the prosecution of
an Education and Teaching System qualification as underpinning educational success of the students.

3. Decree-Law on the Environmental Licensing Regime

The present diploma approves the Environmental Licensing Regime that responds to the need for
negative environmental impact prevention, according to project complexity and taking into account the
social and economic reality of Timor-Leste.

This regime concedes the attribution of environmental licences and their enforcement, as a logical
consequence of the Environmental Impact Analysis procedure of the projects, thus creating an integrated
procedure and a simplified procedure for negative environmental impacts and pollution control of the

It is highlighted that the country has, since its restoration of independence in 2002, demonstrated
enormous worries and sensibility to the environmental issues. The Constitution establishes, in article 61,
not only the right to a healthy human living environment and ecologically balanced, but also the duty to
environmental preservation and protection for the good of future generations. At the international level,
Timor-Leste has been present in several Conferences and ratified several International Conventions,
celebrated under the scope of the United Nations – such as the United Nations Framework to Combat
Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Convention for Biodiversity (UNCBD)
the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Vienna Convention for the protection of the
ozone layer and the Montreal Protocol for the reduction of substances that destroy the ozone layer.
Fulfilling the international obligations from the UNFCCC, the State has now the duty to implement a group
of strategic measures directed to respond to the environmental needs related to Climate Change in the
country, where it is also proposed to carry out the necessary measures for the effective sustainable
development of Timor-Leste.

For this motive, and even though, under the UNFCCC, Timor-Leste as a developing country is not bound
to reduce its green house gases, and having also very low emission levels (around 0.02 Tonnes per
capita per year), the State proposes itself to voluntarily reduce them.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Decree-Law on the creation of the Timor-Leste oil company

Having already defined the regulations of activities connected to the oil sector, the Council of Ministers
analysed the proposal to create the Timor-Leste oil company that will detain and manage, with a
managerial framework and principles, the property assets of the Timor-Leste State, in the oil sector.

2. Decree-Law on the creation of the Investment and Development Fund

With the objective of fighting difficulties businessmen have at acceding to financing – an economic and
social reality confirmed by a recent study from the International Financial Corporation and the Asian
Development Bank – the IV Government intends to create a National Investment and Development Bank.
The process to create this financial instrument to support the private sector (and consequently to a model
of sustainable development for Timor-Leste) implies the fulfilment of a group of standards necessary for
the full functioning of the bank. The creation of a fund related to investment and development that may
allow for, on the short term, support to the private sector, was one of the options by the Council of

TEMPO SEMANAL: Gastao Salsinha: Insists that Petitioners are Still Military Personnel and Accuses Political Leaders of Using Petitioners

TEMPO SEMANAL: Gastao Salsinha: Insists that Petitioners are Still Military Personnel and Accuses Political Leaders of Using Petitioners

30 December 2010

Timor-Leste at United Nations on restoring reference to sexual orientation to a resolution on extrajudicial executions

From UN General Assembly debate on restoring reference to sexual orientation to a human rights resolution. "The amendment, to be added into operative paragraph (6b), sought to acknowledge that all persons had the right to be free from extrajudicial killings, especially those targeted because of their sexual orientation."

Timor-Leste's delegate reaffirmed her commitment to respecting human rights without distinction.  Reiterating her country's 2008 position, condemning all forms of violence and harassment that undermined the inherent dignity of all people, she said such harassment for reasons of sexual orientation subverted that dignity.  To ensure all people were given full protection, she recognized the importance of operative paragraph (6b).  "LGBT" people should be included in the list.  She was disappointed that the language related to killings on the grounds of sexual orientation had been excluded from the text in the Third Committee, especially as such targeting had been documented by the Special Rapporteur.  She commended the Secretary-General for his commitment on that important issue and she would support the amendment introduced by the United States and requested all others to do so as well.

ETLJB Editor Note: Unfortunately, during the drafting of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, the reference in anti-discrimination provisions to sexual orientation was removed following pressure from the Catholic Church and homophobic politicians leaving East Timorese homosexuals vulnerable to discrimination, vilification and violence.  See further:

Homosexuality in East Timor  

Timor Leste Red Cross excludes homosexuals from HIV-AIDS Reduction Program

HIV-AIDS and Homophobia in Timor-Leste

Time has come for international forces to leave Timor-Leste, say Prime Minster Gusmao

13:53, December 22, 2010 Timor Leste's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who also serves as minister for Defense and Security, said the time had come for international forces who have been maintaining security in the country to leave, Suara Timor Lorosa'e reported on Tuesday.

Gusmao said that based on the research findings of the United Nations, Timor-Leste is now capable of resolving its own problem and as a reference is the 2006's crisis. "We,the Timorese,are now capable of resolving our own problems and therefore the time has come for the international forces to leave the country," PM Gusmao said.

Gusmao made the statement during a meeting with the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) leaders to talk about security in the country.

Source: Xinhua

Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste

ICG Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste Asia Briefing N°110 9 Sep 2010

This overview is also available in Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian and Chinese.


Eight years after independence, Timor-Leste is still without a legal basis for determining ownership of land. In its absence, the challenges of enforcing property rights have grown more complex and increased the potential for conflict. The politically charged task of sifting through overlapping claims inherited from the country’s two colonial administrations has been complicated by widespread illegal occupation of property after the displacement of over half the population that followed the 1999 referendum. The legal and social uncertainties this created magnified the effects of the country’s 2006 crisis, causing further mass displacement in the capital and beyond. Resolution of these uncertainties through new laws, regulations and policies is necessary to reduce conflict, diminish the risk of further instability and to provide a clear way to resolve past and future disputes.

Land disputes have grown out of a history of displacement that includes forced relocations, military occupation and deadly internal upheavals. Despite this troubled history, few disputes over land ownership lead to violence. Many have been resolved or at least managed through informal mediation, a marker of the strength of customary understandings of land tenure and local communities. Yet some cases remain beyond the capacity of village chiefs, local elders or religious leaders to fix. Others are “pending” in anticipation of long-promised legislation expected to clarify cases that have complex (and undocumented) historical roots. The risk is that this has created expectations that legislation alone will be unable to meet. Many of these issues are more political than technical and will not be resolved by the application of titling laws. Given the weaknesses of the Timorese legal system, support to existing mediation will need to be strengthened alongside new laws to provide a realistic option for those parties ready to settle out of court.

Draft legislation on land titling before parliament will be an important first step towards better management of land disputes and pave the way to enforcement of a new civil code to govern all property rights. It will provide the first legal proof of ownership and provide protections in a growing property market. It will also raise the stakes in ownership disputes and thus the risk of conflict. While the collection of land claims underway in many of the country’s urban areas has shown the level of disputes to be below 10 per cent, it has also brought dormant issues to the surface, such as problems with intra-familial inheritance and tensions over land between communities.

The government has so far been unable to provide alternative housing to the displaced or evicted, an essential element of the constitutional right to housing. A worst-case scenario is for a new land administration system that would legalise dispossession without providing basic protections to those who may be evicted due to either illegal occupation or government expropriation. Land in Dili and other urban areas is already at a premium. Protections in the draft legislation for land held under customary ownership – the vast majority of the nation’s land – are very weak, especially in the face of broad powers granted to the state. In many communities, the individual titles offered by the new legislation are unlikely to be appropriate or in demand. It is the government’s prerogative to develop the country, but without agreeing to clear and enforceable protections for those who will require resettlement, it risks simply creating discontent and rejection of the state’s authority, weakening the very rights it seeks to reinforce. The government’s new ambitious plans for development by 2030 make resolution of such questions more urgent.

Strengthening property rights in Timor-Leste will require more than a law. It needs further consultation and agreement on how to manage community land holdings, particularly as the country seeks to encourage new investment. To address these concerns, a medium-term goal should be to develop a comprehensive land use policy that incorporates community priorities. Earlier donor-driven attempts have fallen short. High-level government engagement and improved mediation will also be required to solve many of the political challenges that surround the more intractable land disputes. While a law on titling remains the first step, to date the draft is poorly understood. Broader debate anchored by wider public information on the law and its implications should be a prerequisite for its passage. This needs to be balanced against the risk of creating even more delays.

As the government plans for accelerated development and identifies areas for donor support, its priorities should include:

      further consultation and explanation of the implications of the land law and associated legislation before passage by parliament;
      immediate clarification on basic protections and resettlement plans for those who will have to move after being deemed illegal occupants;
      engagement with local communities on how the government can protect the rights of communities and access to land held under customary tenure;
      strengthened support to informal mediation processes alongside the formal land titling; and
      beginning discussion on a comprehensive land and housing policy that would incorporate community needs and government objectives.

Dili/Brussels, 9 September 2010

Menangani Konflik Tanah di Timor-Leste

Asia Briefing N°110 9 Sep 2010


Walau Timor-Leste sudah merdeka selama delapan tahun, masih saja tidak ada dasar hukum untuk menetapkan kepemilikan tanah di negara itu. Tanpa adanya dasar hukum, tantangan untuk menegakkan hak atas properti telah menjadi semakin rumit dan telah meningkatkan potensi konflik. Penyaringan klaim-klaim yang saling tumpang tindih yang diwariskan dari kedua pemerintahan kolonial sebelumnya, tugas yang sarat muatan politik, telah dipersulit dengan pendudukan properti secara ilegal yang terjadi secara meluas setelah pengungsian lebih dari setengah populasi Timor-Leste sebagai imbas referendum tahun 1999. Ketidakpastian hukum dan sosial yang ditimbulkannya memperbesar efek krisis tahun 2006 di Timor-Leste, yang mengakibatkan pemindahan penduduk secara besar-besaran di dalam dan di luar ibukota. Penyelesaian terhadap ketidakpastian-ketidakpastian ini lewat undang-undang, peraturan dan kebijakan baru diperlukan untuk mengurangi konflik, menurunkan resiko ketidakstabilan yang lebih jauh lagi, dan memberikan jalan yang jelas untuk menyelesaikan sengketa yang menumpuk dari dulu atau yang bisa terjadi di kemudian hari.

Sengketa tanah telah timbul dari pengungsian di masa lalu yang antara lain diakibatkan oleh pemaksaan relokasi, pendudukan militer dan pergolakan hebat di dalam negeri. Meskipun memiliki sejarah yang rumit ini , namun tidak banyak sengketa kepemilikan tanah berujung dengan kekerasan. Banyak sengketa berhasil diselesaikan atau setidaknya ditangani lewat mediasi informal dan hal ini menunjukkan kuatnya pemahaman adat atas kepemilikan tanah dan masyarakat lokal. Namun begitu, untuk beberapa kasus, penyelesaiannya masih di luar kapasitas para kepala-kepala desa, sesepuh setempat maupun pemuka agama. Kasus-kasus yang lain masih “menunggu” pembuatan undang-undang yang sudah lama dijanjikan yang diharapkan bisa mengklarifikasi kasus-kasus yang memiliki akar sejarah yang kompleks (dan tidak terdokumentasi). Resikonya hal ini telah menimbulkan ekspektasi terhadap undang-undang tersebut yang sulit untuk dipenuhi sendirian. Banyak dari masalah-masalah ini lebih bersifat politik daripada teknis, dan tidak dapat diselesaikan dengan hanya menerapkan sertifikasi hukum. Mengingat lemahnya sistem hukum di Timor-Leste, dukungan terhadap mediasi yang ada sekarang ini perlu diperkuat seiring dengan undang-undang baru untuk memberikan pilihan yang realistis bagi pihak-pihak yang bersedia menyelesaikan sengketa di luar pengadilan.

Pembahasan rencana perundang-undangan mengenai sertifikasi tanah di parlemen akan menjadi langkah awal penting menuju manajemen yang lebih baik terhadap sengketa tanah dan membuka jalan bagi penegakan hukum perdata yang baru untuk mengatur seluruh hak atas properti. Legislasi itu akan memberikan bukti awal kepemilikan secara hukum dan memberikan perlindungan dalam pasar properti yang sedang tumbuh. Hal ini juga akan menaikkan kepentingan dalam sengketa kepemilikan, dan oleh karena itu juga menaikkan resiko konflik. Meskipun pengumpulan klaim-klaim tanah  yang sedang dilakukan di banyak wilayah perkotaan di Timor-Leste telah memperlihatkan bahwa tingkat sengketa kepemilikan tanah jumlahnya di bawah 10 persen, tapi hal itu juga telah mengangkat persoalan yang tadinya terbenam naik ke permukaan, seperti masalah-masalah warisan antar-keluarga dan ketegangan mengenai kepemilikan tanah ulayat antar kelompok masyarakat.

Pemerintah Timor-Leste sejauh ini belum berhasil menyediakan alternatif pemukiman bagi mereka yang mengungsi atau terusir dari tempat mereka berdiam saat ini, dimana hal ini merupakan sebuah elemen penting dari  hak konstitusional atas perumahan. Kemungkinan terburuk (worst-case scenario) dari hal ini adalah apabila sistem administrasi pertanahan yang baru mengabsahkan pencabutan hak kepemilikan tanpa memberikan perlindungan dasar bagi mereka yang kemungkinan akan terusir karena menduduki sebidang tanah secara ilegal, atau  akibat pengambilalihan hak milik oleh pemerintah. Tanah di Dili dan wilayah perkotaan yang lain saat ini sudah memiliki harga jual yang tinggi. Perlindungan di dalam rancangan perundang-undangan atas tanah yang berada di bawah kepemilikan secara adat – termasuk mayoritas tanah di Timor-Leste – sangat lemah, terutama di hadapan kekuasaan luas yang diberikan kepada negara. Di sejumlah besar kelompok masyarakat, sertifikat tanah perseorangan yang ditawarkan oleh perundang-undangan yang baru sepertinya tidak akan sesuai atau laku. Pemerintah memiliki hak prerogatif dalam membangun negara, tapi tanpa adanya kebijakan perlindungan yang jelas dan bisa dilaksanakan bagi mereka yang akan membutuhkan pemukiman kembali, hal ini akan beresiko menciptakan ketidakpuasan dan penolakan terhadap otoritas negara, sehingga memperlemah hak-hak yang padahal sedang diupayakan untuk diperkuat. Adanya rencana ambisius pemerintah untuk menyelesaikan pembangunan sebelum tahun 2030 membuat penyelesaian persoalan-persoalan ini semakin mendesak.

Perkuatan hak-hak properti di Timor-Leste membutuhkan lebih dari sebuah undang-undang. Diperlukan konsultasi dan kesepakatan yang lebih jauh mengenai bagaimana mengelola aset tanah ulayat, terutama karena Timor-Leste saat ini sedang berusaha untuk mendorong investasi-investasi baru. Untuk menghadapi masalah-masalah ini, tujuan jangka menengah pemerintah sebaiknya mengembangkan sebuah kebijakan penggunaan tanah yang komprehensif yang menggabungkan prioritas masyarakat. Upaya-upaya sebelumnya yang didorong oleh para donor, tidak mencukupi. Keterlibatan pemerintah di tingkat tinggi dan mediasi yang lebih baik juga diperlukan untuk menyelesaikan banyak tantangan politik yang melingkupi sengketa tanah yang lebih problematis. Walaupun undang-undang atas sertifikasi tanah tetap menjadi langkah awal, hingga saat ini pemahaman masyarakat terhadap rancangan undang-undang tersebut sangatlah buruk. Sebelum undang-undang tersebut disahkan, debat publik yang lebih luas harus dilakukan dengan didahului pemberian informasi kepada publik mengenai undang-undang dan implikasinya. Keperluan debat publik ini harus diseimbangkan dengan keinginan agar tidak ada penundaan pengesahan undang-undang lebih jauh lagi.

Bersamaan dengan rencana pemerintah mempercepat pembangunan dan mengidentifikasi bidang-bidang yang membutuhkan dukungan para donor, prioritas pemerintah sebaiknya mencakup:

      Konsultasi dan penjelasan lebih jauh mengenai implikasi undang-undang pertanahan dan perundang-undangan yang terkait sebelum disahkan oleh parlemen;
      Klarifikasi cepat mengenai rencana perlindungan dasar dan pemukiman kembali bagi mereka yang akan diharuskan pindah setelah dianggap merupakan pemukim ilegal;
      Keterlibatan dengan masyarakat setempat mengenai cara pemerintah untuk dapat melindungi hak masyarakat dan akses ke tanah yang berada di bawah kepemilikan adat;
      Upaya-upaya untuk memperkuat dukungan bagi proses mediasi informal seiring dengan sertifikasi tanah formal; dan
      Memulai pembahasan mengenai sebuah kebijakan pertanahan dan perumahan yang komprehensif yang akan menggabungkan kebutuhan masyarakat dan tujuan pemerintah.

Dili/Brussels, 9 September 2010

Going Over Old Ground How Security Sector Reform’s Component Discourses Can Help Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Going Over Old Ground How Security Sector Reform’s Component Discourses Can Help Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice Thomas Eli Stratton Master of Arts in Post-war Recovery Studies Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit Department of Politics The University of York
September, 2008

Dmitry Titov's 2008 Confidential Report on security situation in Timor-Leste for UNSC

Dmitry Titov's Confidential Report on security situation in Timor-Leste for UNSC                                                            

Public Holidays in Timor-Leste 2011

TLGov: public holidays with fixed and variable date for 2011 Secretariat of State of the Council of Ministers Díli, Goverment Palace  27th  of December of 2010


The public holidays with a fixed date and variable date for 2011, determined by the Law n.o 10/2005 of 10th  of August, are the following:

a) 1st of January – New Year’s Day (fixed date public holiday);

b) 22nd of April – Holly Friday (variable date public holiday);

c) 1 st of May –World Labour Day (fixed date public holiday);

d) 20th of May – Restoration of Independence Day (fixed date public holiday);

e) 23rd of June – Corpus Christi (variable date public holiday);

f) 30th of August –Popular Consultation Day (fixed date public holiday);

g) 31st of August – Idul Fitri (variable date public holiday);

h) 1st of November – All Saints Day (fixed date public holiday);

i) 2nd of November – All Souls Day (fixed date public holiday);

j) 7th of November – Idul Adha (variable date public holiday);

k) 12th of November – Youth National Day (fixed date public holiday);

l) 28th of November – Proclamation of Independence Day (fixed date public holiday);

m) 7th of December – National Heroes Day (fixed date public holiday);

n) 8th of December – Day of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Timor-Leste Patroness (fixed date public holiday);

o) 25th of December – Christmas Day (fixed date public holiday).

The Law n. o 10/2005, of 10 th of August, determines national public holidays and the official commemorative dates.

Timor Leste's Prostitution. To condemn or to manage it?

Tempo Semanal-Dili, 29.12.2010 Those who involved in prostitution mostly come from neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Philippine and China. Those people are victims of human trafficking lured to Timor Leste with promises of decent jobs and good earnings. However when arrived in the destination country most of them are forced to provide their service in prostitution. They are forced to do the work by sex traffickers operating in those countries. Hence it is mandatory to the authority to prosecute those people involved in human trafficking by putting them in jail or have them deported.

A database of men suspected of human trafficking need to be established. Identify these people, prosecute them, deport them and deny them entry to Timorese territory for unlimited of time. Timorese authority has been cracking down those involved in prostitution. Many foreigners have been deported whether they are victims or traffickers.

One important question raised from this issue is how about those Timorese who are also doing their service in prostitution? Should they be condemned by the society? Or should we, as society help them by providing certainty on their activity with a proper legislation and a designated place? A designated place or decriminalized brothels need to be considered to help improve safety. Yes, we talk about safety whether it is in term of health, combating human trafficking, security for all and social impact on the society.

Those people involved in prostitution are not the enemy of society as long as they make it for a living and do not harm anybody. But those that need and should be considered enemy of authority are those traffickers. Therefore, Police need to have guidance on how best to deal with problem linked to prostitution.

A debate is also needed in creating a prostitution law in order to tackle the negative effects from this activity. In order to manage something, one needs firstly to create a proper legislation to that end.

Designated places must be established openly and recognized by government in order to manage those girls who make a living in that service. To condemn is easy but it is more difficult to find a proper solution to the issue. So it is better to manage than to condemn.

Management by laws, legalization and finding designated places are good steps forward to help solve the negative effects of prostitution. By a good management on this issue, the government can monitor those who make a living from this activity and prosecute those who involved in exploitation of human beings. The government as representation of State must help those women in the prostitution by providing them safety guidance on health issues. Consider them as partners in combating health issues such as HIV-AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and cooperation in combating against human trafficking, which is synonym to sex exploitation of women. This can be done with decriminalization policy on prostitution.

It is time for this debate by Timorese society. (***)

See also an analysis of the social problem of Prostitution in East Timor on East Timor Law Journal

29 December 2010

UNMIT Press Statement: Shooting incident at Vila Verde, Dili, Timor-Leste

PRESS RELEASE UNMIT Press Statement: Shooting incident at Vila Verde, Dili, Timor-Leste Dili, 27 December 2010 - An incident occurred on the afternoon of 26 December at a Vila Verde residence complex involving a UN Police Officer and a Timorese national, working for the security firm, Asia Pacific Assurance Company, APAC. The incident resulted in a gunshot wound to the lower leg of the Timorese national, who was subsequently hospitalized and is reported to be in stable condition.

The UN regards the use of force and the discharge of a firearm under any circumstances as a very serious matter.

A full investigation is underway and depending on its outcome the UN will ensure that all necessary actions will be taken in accordance with the relevant laws.

For further inquiries, please contact UNMIT Acting Spokesperson, Carlos Araujo at 731-1513.

                                                                                  ** *** **

                                                          UNMIT KOMUNIKADU IMPRENSA

                                               Insidente tiru iha Vila Verde, Dili, Timor-Leste

Dili, 27 Dezembru- Insidente ida akontese iha loron 26, fulan-Dezembru lorokraik iha kompleksu rezidénsia Vila Verde nian ida mak envolve Ofisiál Polísia ONU nian no Timor-oan ida, ne’ebé serbisu iha kompañia seguransa, Asia Pacific Assurance Company, APAC. Insidente ne’e hamosu kanek tiru ba iha ain-kabun okos Timoroan ne’e nian, ne’ebé to’o ikus tama ospitál, no tuir relatóriu katak nia iha kondisaun ne’ebé estavel.

ONU konsidera katak uzu forsa no tiru kilat iha kualkér sirkunstánsia nu’udar kestaun ida mak sériu tebetebes.

Ami hala’o daudaun investigasaun kompletu ida no depende ba ninia rezultadu ONU sei garante katak asaun nesesáriu sira hotu sei foti tuir lei sira ne’ebé relevante.

Atu hetan informasaun tan, favor kontakta UNMIT nia Portavos interinu, Carlos Araujo: 731-1513.

28 December 2010

UNMIT Lia Naroman December 2010

UNMIT Lia Naroaman December 2010                                                            

Indonesian military linked to Timorese drug runs

Rory Callinan The Australian December 28, 2010 12:00AM - Indonesian soldiers have been linked to the alleged trafficking of crystal methamphetamine and other illegal drugs into East Timor.

The troops have been involved in a smuggling operation using remote bush tracks along the two nations' border, according to a local security-monitoring NGO.

Fundasaun Mahein (Guardian Foundation), which was established partly through funding from an Australian Federal Police grant, has warned of a growing threat from organised crime to the tiny nation and noted links between the Indonesian military and the trafficking of hard drugs.

It alleges that drugs are being sourced in Bali before being smuggled to East Timor and are then distributed to foreigners through a restaurant in the capital in a racket run by an Indonesian businessman with military connections.

The AFP, which has a contingent based in East Timor, says it is aware of the report but any comment should come from local authorities.

The report, compiled last month, quotes an anonymous official in the border regions and several informants, and provides detail of criminal activity identifying some alleged perpetrators and their businesses by initials and documenting the operations of one syndicate that is allegedly bringing in marijuana, ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine and heroin.

It says the mastermind of the drug syndicate is a Bali-based businessman who is involved in marine transport operations between Java and Bali.

He is alleged to hold a position in the military and has a contact based in Kupang in West Timor with connections to former militia members, who act as drug couriers to cross the border, the report says.

Smuggling now takes place at midnight, or early in the morning, and "there are stories that they are accompanied by several Indonesian National Army (or TNI members), who are on duty in the border area" and also by ex-militia members, the report says.

"Although I know there is distribution in the border, I don't dare to report because the risk is I can lose my life," a local official from the border area told FM.

"Selling takes place openly, especially when there are no UN staff, or UNPOL, around to take action."

The report said: "Smuggling activities from Nusa Tenggara Timor territory to Timor Leste are mostly done in the forests, among walking paths and other hidden locations along the border between the two countries."

Once in the country, the drugs were passed to a restaurant owner in Dili whose business the report names by its initials.

East Timor's Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Guterres, said the government was aware of the report but was already acting on the issues raised.

FM was established by East Timorese academic Nelson Belo and a former UN adviser, Edward Rees, to monitor security in East Timor.

In 2009, the AFP donated $90,000 to help fund the NGO.

19 December 2010

TEMPO SEMANAL: The United Nations in Timor-Leste: An Exercise in Hypocrisy

TEMPO SEMANAL: The United Nations in Timor-Leste: An Exercise in Hypocrisy

Recruitment for PNTL: A Long Way to Professionalism

Fundasaun Mahein, 14 December  2010

Press release

Recruitment for PNTL: A Long Way to Professionalism

This Voice of Mahein edition 15, emphasizes in depth the recruitment of PNTL members (PNTL) within the last few months. At the same time, FM focuses on the question of professionalism amongst the PNTL members during their ten years of existence, including the question of mal-administration within PNTL’s institution.

Through its monitoring programs, FM has discovered serious irregularities that have taken place during the process of rank promotion within the PNTL institution in 2010. The recent examples of irregularities are the people were promoted from the rank of Sergeant to Chief Inspector.  Officers are supposed to be promoted according to the laws of promotion for PNTL, but in the fact it appears that some officers who did not meet the criteria outlined in the promotion law for PNTL were also promoted to the higher ranks.

FM also identified that many of the irregularities in the promotion process were in regards officers who still had open cases still being heard in the courts, but were promoted anyway. FM recognizes that these irregularities came about because there is no proper coordination in place between the General Commander of PNTL and the Secretary of State for Security (SES). The recruitment process and promotion of rank have been the competence and with directed involvement of the General Commander of PNTL, even though the law for promotion gives full competence for these actions to the SES.

FM in this report also identifies that since its establishment, that with PNTL, until just recently, the major problem being faced was a lack of administration and their knowledge of the functions of state institutions in general. The other serious challenge has been their lack of understanding the laws of promotion which has become the major preoccupation for both the Commission of the Promotion of Rank as well as for most PNTL officers. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the PNTL to disseminate the laws regarding the promotion of police officers.

FM recommends that in the future the PNTL Rank Promotion Committee involves the civil society by asking the church, academic and intellectual groups their opinions regarding future promotions of PNTL officers.

FM recommends that the PNTL General Commander explain to the public the laws about promotion, the promotion system, and answer other technical questions for his officers, so there is no confusion from PNTL officers who are not satisfied with the current rank promotion system.

FM recommends that the General Commander of PNTL always be consistent with the rank promotion system, and communicate in a direct way, that PNTL members who are involved in crime or have discipline problems will not be eligible for promotion until their cases are resolved in the court.

FM recommends the General Commander of PNTL and the PNTL Rank Promotion Committee promote police officers to positions of responsibility based on their experience, work capacity, ethics, discipline, and not based on emotional or family connections.

You can download the report here.

For more information on this issue, please contact

Nélson Belo,

Director of Fundasaun Mahein

Web: www.fundasaunmahein.wordpress.com

Email: direktor.mahein[at]gmail.com

tlp :   +670 737 4222



TEMPO SEMANAL: Government of Timor-Leste and the USA signs a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation

TEMPO SEMANAL: Government of Timor-Leste and the USA signs a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation

The Dili Insider: Letefoho 2002

The Dili Insider: Letefoho 2002

05 December 2010

Police officer accused of assaulting two youths during football game

Diaro Nacional, December 1, 2010 language source: Tetun - Two young men from the Dili suburb of Manleuana, Adao Barros and Jeferino Gusmao, allege that they were assaulted by a Task Force Police officer on 23/11 and were taken to the detention center for 72 hours.

Dili District Police Commander Superintendent Pedro Belo said he had no information about the alleged assault by his Task Force Police officer in Manleuana which had left two young people injured.

Spokesperson for the victims, Paulino da Costa, said the incident took place during a football match organised by Care International.

“The football game was part of commemorations for the November 28 Proclamation Day of Timorese Independence 1975-2010,” da Costa said.

Police ban use and sale of fireworks as threat to security

Suara Timor Lorosae, December 1, 2010 language source: Tetun - Police Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro said the PNTL would hold operations to stop the public using firewords between 01 December 2010 and January 1, 2011.

Monteiro said the PNTL would hold the anti-fireworks operations because the police had been instructed by the Ministry of Defence and Security to do so.

“The PNTL has undergone an orientation to conduct operations and socialisation in the communities and schools informing people not to ignite firworks becuase it posed a threat to security in the country,” Commissioner Monteiro said.

Commander Monteiro added that the PNTL will also hold operations against retailers and confiscate any fireworks for sale.

F-FDTL-PNTL recall military attributes and weapons

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, December 1, 2010 language source: Tetun - Police Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro said that local residents and civilian security officers had handed over military attributes and other facilities to the police voluntarily.

The facilities which have been handed to the commander of the PNTL included police and military uniforms, tear-gas, military emblems, knives and so forth.

Monteiro said the civilian security companies and the ex-guerilla fighter organization CPDRDTL had also given their contribution to the PNTL in recalling those facilities of the military.

PNTL (police) is now recalling these items as the Government through the council of the Ministers released a resolution that allows the PNTL and F-FDTL to recall military and police equipment used by civilian security officers and local residents.

TEMPO SEMANAL: Security Support and UNMIT: SSR Failure mixed with Misconduct

TEMPO SEMANAL: Security Support and UNMIT: SSR Failure mixed with Misconduct



29 November 2010

National Anthem Vocal Version 20 May 2002 Transfer of Sovereignty

Pátria, pátria, Timor-Leste nossa nação.
Glória ao povo e aos heróis da nossa libertação.

Pátria, pátria, Timor-Leste nossa nação.
Glória ao povo e aos heróis da nossa libertação.

Vencemos o colonialismo.
Gritamos: abaixo o imperialismo.
Terra livre, povo livre,
não, não, não à exploração.

Avante, unidos, firmes e decididos.
Na luta contra o imperialismo,
o inimigo dos povos,
até à vitória final,
pelo caminho da revolução!

25 November 2010

VIDEO: East Timor - Past & Future

24 Nov 2010 13:00:00 GMT Wten by: Thin Lei Win DILI (AlertNet) - The people of East Timor spoke to AlertNet about the changes that took place in their lives and the country in the 8 years since the nation gained full independence, and express their wishes on the country's future.

In 2002, East Timor became the youngest nations in the world when gained full independence from Indonesia, which invaded the country in 1975.

The road had been long and hard and the country remains fragile.

Reminders of the bloodshed caused by pro-Jakarta militia in 1999 when Timorese voted to become independent are still very visible in the country today.

Draft National Oil Company law is dangerous and premature, says civil society

Adapted from http://laohamutuk.blogspot.com/2010/11/national-oil-company-draft-law-is.html

Timor-Leste's State Secretariat for Natural Resources recently opened a brief public consultation on a decree-law to create PETRONATIL, a state-owned petroleum company.  They hope that the Council of Ministers will approve it on 30 November, and the proposed 2011 General State Budget allocates two million dollars to get it started.  La'o Hamutuk has many serious concerns about this proposed legislation, which we described in our submission yesterday to the State Secretariat for Natural Resources, which you can download from http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetRegime/NOC/LHSubPetronatil24Nov2010En.pdf .

Our submission discusses the following:

    * National oil companies are dangerous, and we should learn from failures as well as successes.
    * The public consultation process is inadequate.
    * PETRONATIL should be established by Parliamentary law, not decree-law.
    * PETRONATIL should serve the people of Timor-Leste.
    * This Decree-Law must be written clearly.
    * PETRONATIL should follow the rules for state agencies.
    * PETRONATIL needs to be transparent and accountable.
    * PETRONATIL should be designed to prevent corruption.
    * PETRONATIL should not be given more power than it needs.
    * PETRONATIL’s profits must be paid into the Petroleum Fund, not reinvested in the company.
    * PETRONATIL should not be empowered to borrow or issue bonds.

For the draft laws and background information, go to http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetRegime/NOC/10Petronatil.htm.

For more information on the 2011 state budget, including budget documents and hearing schedules, go to http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE11/10OJE2011.htm

La'o Hamutuk (The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis)
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Telephone:  +670-3325013 or +670-734-0965 mobile

24 November 2010

Thesis on Local Governance in Timor-Leste

Following is the abstract of a study on local governance in Timor-Leste, specifically focussing on konsellu de suku (village council), contextualised in the broader local governance environment. Fieldwork for this study was conducted in 2008-2009. The full thesis can be obtained by writing to debcummins@gmail.com.

Thesis abstract:

This thesis examines the impact of coexisting modern and traditional governance institutions as they are experienced in the villages of Timor-Leste. Within some development theory and much development practice, coexisting modern and traditional institutions are often portrayed as binaries and necessarily in opposition. However, the reality is that local communities across Timor-Leste are navigating both 'spheres' of governance on a daily basis. Drawing on fieldwork conducted by the author in the subdistricts of Venilale and Ainaro from July 2008 to February 2009, this thesis provides a detailed empirical analysis of this lived experience within contemporary Timorese villages. It then draws on these insights to provide a more nuanced, contextualised account of the impact of institutional interventions, local governance and democratisation within these villages.

Issues around the coexistence of pre-colonial and postcolonial forms of governance are not limited to Timor-Leste; rather, this coexistence is arguably a common experience in most postcolonial states. As such, institutional theory needs to account for this complex reality as it is experienced by millions of people across the world. This thesis argues for a critical approach to institutionalism in order to account for the coexistence of modern and traditional governance institutions. A central argument of this thesis is that this coexistence is best understood through the everyday "politics of mutual recognition" (Tully: 1995). In most cases, the politics of mutual recognition is not something that is formed through legislation but rather comes about as communities engage with modern and traditional institutions in order to fill communal needs, and as leaders engage with these institutions in order to pursue individual political agendas. This thesis critically examines the structured forms of mutual recognition that have formed within the villages of Timor-Leste and the various points of tension and mutual support that have emerged as a result of this coexistence.

This thesis reaches three conclusions. First, the coexistence of modern and traditional governance institutions should not be viewed as necessarily in opposition. While there are some important points of tension where the norms and values of modern and traditional institutions are in conflict, in many areas of communal life Timorese communities have created various forms of political hybridity that reflect the requirements of both modern and traditional institutions. Second, within the current political environment where very few resources are reaching the rural population, the balance that is negotiated between coexisting institutions tends to be determined with greater reference to the values and norms of traditional governance institutions. Third, this current reality is not a settled state of affairs. Rather, it is deeply contingent on the broader Timorese political environment. A necessary correlation to the current lack of investment in the rural areas is that the Timorese government can demand very little from communities in terms of institutional and behavioural change. The potential role of the Timorese state as a development agency means that the existing balance that is negotiated through local politics could change very quickly, creating new challenges and opportunities for different actors at the local level.

Becoming citizens: civil society activism and social change in Timor Leste.

Wigglesworth, Ann (2010) Becoming citizens: civil society activism and social change in Timor Leste. PhD thesis thesis, Victoria Unversit Available at  http://eprints.vu.edu.au/15530/

This thesis focuses on a generation of Timorese who were educated during the Indonesian occupation. Conceptual frameworks of community development, participation, civil society and citizenship, are drawn upon to analyse the processes of development taking place in the first years of nationhood of Timor Leste. Within this context, three themes are developed. First, a generational divide related to education and the language policy which leaves the Indonesian educated young people marginalised within the new national development framework; second, the limitations that customary practices place upon the ability of young women to participate in political and social activities; third, an analysis of the centralised processes of development that have resulted in young men leaving the rural areas for opportunities in the urban areas and consequent implications for social organisation. These three themes are analysed in the context of a civil society largely run by young Timorese. I investigate the roles of power holders in contemporary Timor Leste – the government, the traditional leaders and international development agencies and analyse the place that civil society has in this new nation. I argue that Timorese activists are able to bridge the traditional Timorese world with international values of development and human rights, but their roles and contributions have to date been inadequately supported.

22 November 2010

President Horta appreciates KAK which starts to investigate corruption cases

Diario Nacional, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta said he did appreciate the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK), as they had started investigating corruption cases which were being filed in the KAK’s office.

President Horta said it was important for the KAK to carry out its work optimally to eradicate the corruption virus in the country, adding that KAK should take corruptors to the court to testify.

Anti-corruption Commission (KAK) Commissioner Aderito de Jesus Soares said they had started to analyse and investigate those cases being submitted to their office.

“We have started to take the first steps of investigations and is called compilation of information and analyses of the cases submitted to our office,” Soares said. Soares also called for the public to submit new corruption cases in January next year.

Government needs to produce laws to regulate civilian security officers

Televizaiun Timor-Leste, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun - Advisor for Defence and Security reform, Alcino Barri,s said it was important for the Government to produce laws for regulating civilian security officers in carrying out their work in the field.

Barris made the statements after participating in a meeting with the representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), civilian security companies, Government officials and the European Union at EDTA Hall, Dili.

“It is important to establish procedures to the private security companies in the country because there has been no regulation so far,” Barris said. Director General for the State Secretariat of Security, Guilhermina Ribeiro said the meeting was important to have gather inputs for producing laws to regulate civilian security officers in carrying out their work well and optimally in the future.

See also Handle with Care: Private Security Companies in Timor-Leste by Sarah Parker on the East Timor Law Journal

TLGov: Council of Ministers Meeting, 18 November 2010

Secretaria de Estado do Conselho de Ministros

Díli, Palácio do Governo,

18 de Novembro de 2010



Council of Ministers Meeting, 18 November 2010

The Council of Ministers met this Thursday, 18 November 2010, at the Council of Ministers Meeting Room, in the Government Palace, in Díli and approved:

1. Decree-Law that Approves the Organic Law of the Ministry of Infrastructures

This diploma defines the organizational structure of the Ministry of Infrastructures and the competence and attributions of each of its services and organisms.

The activity of the Ministry of Infrastructures covers a vast set of areas of political intervention in domains of essential nature: housing, public works, transport and communication networks, telecommunications, electricity, water and basic sanitation throughout the country, were the contractual relationships with constructors and consultants, resulting from public procurement, can also be highlighted.

Taking into account that infrastructures have a relevant place in the economic development framework of Timor-Leste, the Government understands that it is determinant the Ministry of Infrastructure has an organizational and functional structure that allows for the prosecution of its attributions, with gains in efficiency of managing existing services and human resources. In this way, the organic structure of the Ministry of Infrastructures obeys to the same common matrix defined for other Ministries, safeguarding the specificities of this Ministry which justify particular options.

2. Authorization request for Absence of the Country, by Members of Government

Taking into account the need to improve planning and feasibility of the members of Government’s functions, the Council of Ministers has decided that, in the future, all formal requests of any member of Government to leave the country to exercise official functions must be duly justified to a collective organ. Once this absence is authorized, the member of Government must, after his/her return, present a summary report, to the Council of Ministers, on the result of this travel.

3. Marine Site Investigation for Timor-Leste LNG in Beaço

Following the decision made in the previous meeting (of 10 November) to materialize the logistics support base for oil exploration in the southern coast of the country, the Council of Ministers has attributed the detailed study on the maritime conditions in Beaço, for the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), to the Toke-EGS Joint Venture, which obtained the best result in the respective international public tender.

The Council of Ministers also analyzed:

1. UNMIT Transition

The Council of Ministers received UNMIT representatives, including the Special Representative for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ameraah Haq, to know of the plans to organize the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) from the country, programmed for the years 2011 and 2012, taking into account the 2012 elections. The transition of responsibilities for national authorities which are still assumed by UNMIT, requires planning, organization and coordination between both parties – UN and the Government of the Republic of Timor-Leste – so that this withdrawal may process in a structured way, in order to mitigate possible effects that may derive from this exit, which will take place during the next 2 years. In this sense, the Council of Ministers has decided the establishment of focal points (from UNMIT and the Government) to form a Steering Committee which will plan and develop the transition.

2. Law Proposal for the Organic Law of the Chamber of Auditors of the Administrative, Fiscal and Auditors High Court

The High Institutions for Control promote transparency in public accounting, where their responsibility is also to ensure the responsibility for the accounts rendered. In this context, this Law proposal has been drafted, aiming to create the Chamber of Auditors of the Administrative, Fiscal and Auditor High Court, following the 2011-2030 Strategic Plan for the Justice Sector, approved this year by the Counsel of Justice Coordination and by the Council of Ministers.

While this Court is not created, all the powers that are attributed to it by the Constitution, are exercised by the Maximum Judicial Instance existent in Timor-Leste, or in other words, the Court of Appeals. It is through the strength of this constitutional framework that the Court of Appeals has to accommodate the Chamber of Auditors of the Administrative, Fiscal and Auditors High Court, until the latter is formally created.

3. Situation of the Students in Jogjakarta, Indonesia

The Council of Ministers evaluated the situation of the Timorese students in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, arriving at the conclusion that the danger is already quite reduced. However, taking into account the possibility of the existence of new eruptions of the Krakatau, Merapi and Bromo volcanoes, the Government decided to set up an interministerial prevention mechanism (involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education) who, in cooperation with the Indonesian authorities and the students, can act, in the future, in accordance with the situation on the ground.

4. Presentation of the Proposal of Amendment of the Electoral Law for the National Parliament

This project for the amendment of Law no. 6 / 2006, intends to modify procedural issues in order to improve the law, having present the parliamentary elections that will occur in 2012, namely the systematization of the candidacy processes to this election.

5. Presentation of the proposal Amendment to the Law of the Electoral Administration Organs.

The objective of the proposal for the First Amendment to the Law no. 5 / 2006, is to adjust the current situation of the electoral administrative organs, to the timorese reality. This adjustment need comes from the experience obtained in the elections carried out up to now, in the country.

21 November 2010

JSMP meets with the Prosecutor General of Timor Leste

Press Release Period: 2010 Edition: 29 October 2010 On 28 October 2010 - JSMP organized a meeting with the Prosecutor General at the Office of the Prosecutor General, Colmera, Dili, Timor Leste.

This meeting constituted a positive step forward in strengthening the working relationship between these two institutions as well as providing an opportunity to inform Her Excellency the Prosecutor General about the role of JSMP in the justice sector.  This meeting was similar to a previous meeting held with the President of the Republic.[3]

“The Office of the Prosecutor General is the highest institution that oversees the work of all prosecutors and prosecution units in Timor Leste, and is a key institution in strengthening and upholding the public interest and defending the democratic legality and sovereignty of this constitutional state, and therefore it is very important for JSMP to strengthen its working relationship with the Office of the Prosecutor General and examine the possibility of providing necessary support’, said Luis de Oliveira, Executive Director of JSMP, during this meeting.

Luis de Oliveira added that JSMP is a non-government/civil society organization and more importantly, as the only organization that monitors all of the courts in Timor Leste including the Court of Appeal, JSMP is determined to improve the working relationship with all other judicial institutions to make a collective effort to safeguard and uphold justice for everyone.  Therefore, this meeting constitutes a positive step in upholding the law and ensuring that the law is administered in the proper way.

After hearing a short introduction by the team representing JSMP, Her Excellency the Prosecutor General Ana Pessoa Pinto, stated that the Office of the Prosecutor General has keep abreast of JSMP activities and reports. Sometimes she agrees with JSMP on certain issues, however sometimes she takes a different view.  The Prosecutor General stated that every one has the right to interpret the law and the legal system that is currently developing.  On the issue of presidential authority to grant pardons and commute sentences, the Prosecutor General agrees with JSMP that measures or legislation should be introduced to regulate this matter.  However, she did not agree with the attitude that there has been no law until now, because the Prosecutor General said that the Constitution is a law, and it is the highest law in Timor Leste.

The Prosecutor General was seriously concerned about several developments in the formal justice sector relating to how the law was being interpreted and how law was being practiced in the courts.  The Prosecutor General was extremely concerned with the interpretation of provisions relating to the application of restrictive measures such as Termu Indentidade ba Rezidensia (TIR)[4], ‘suspended sentences’ for convicted persons and the interpretation of Article 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code[5] on ‘refusal to give a deposition’ in cases involving family members or spouses. The Prosecutor General believes that if legal actors did not interpret the law precisely and carefully then this could impact on the community in general, and their trust in the formal justice/legal system.  In relation to these matters the Prosecutor General said that it would be very difficult to ensure that the courts adhered to due process and consequently the community would lose their faith in the justice system in Timor Leste.

The Prosecutor General emphasized that court actors are continuously focusing on the concept of human rights. Therefore when they were leading a trial of a case, many of their legal considerations have tended to focus more on the rights of the defendants and have overlooked the rights of victims who have suffered as the result of violent acts committed by defendants in violation of their human rights.  That is why in nearly all serious cases involving murder and (sexual) assault defendants are only ordered to remain under TIR.  Also the courts have got into the habit of applying suspended sentences in all cases that carry a prison sentence of less than three years. This has a major impact on the way that victims feel about the judicial process, which is supposed to restore and repair the rights that have been violated.  These practices actually harm the rights of the victim and hurt the feelings of the wider community in relation to their trust and perception of having a justice system that is fair and credible.

In consideration of these developments the Office of the Prosecutor General regularly discusses the correct and logical interpretation of the law as well as encouraging prosecutors to carry out their work with full responsibility and integrity.  Other considerations were the inclusion of provisions on compensation in charges filed by prosecutors, and also the establishment of district prosecution units in each jurisdiction.  Also there are plans to establish a prosecution unit to provide representation in several districts that require such a service.

In response to a request from JSMP to establish an institutional working relationship, the Prosecutor General stated that she is open to all initiatives, including arranging interviews and responding to questions and concerns passed on to JSMP by those living in remote areas. Currently the Office of the Prosecutor General is working with UNDP to develop a community radio program and there is a possibility of including JSMP in several sessions as part of this program.

The meeting ended with an additional request from JSMP to be given support from the Prosecutor General to be involved with the Judicial Training Centre with a view to modifying what is currently being developed and applied by the Training Centre.  The Prosecutor General replied that she will seek a solution and make a proposal to the Ministry of Justice.

[1] On 22 October 2010 JSMP met with the President to present its stance on the issue of presidential pardons, and also to provide input and request for the President to morally support the role and function of the formal justice system.

2 Termu Indentidade ba Rezidensia (TIR), this is a measure imposed by the court prior or post conviction, where by the defendant or convicted person may live at home and move freely in their home town but may not travel to other districts without permission from the Court.

3 In 2009 JSMP issued an analytical report on the application of Article 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code entitled “The provisions of Article 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code problematic for victims of domestic violence”. For more information, please refer to JSMP website: http://www.jsmp.minihub.org

For more information, please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director of JSMP Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

19 November 2010

2011 East Timor budget documents available on-line

On 15 November, the Government presented copies of a six-volume set of budget books to Parliament, some in Portuguese and some in English, with their proposal for a $985 million General State Budget for the coming year. Although the Ministry of Finance refuses to provide electronic copies, La'o Hamutuk has scanned the budget law and the Explanatory Note, translated them to English and posted them to our website. We have also scanned and posted English versions of the Executive Summary and the Expenditures, Revenue and Financing chapters of Book 1, and we will post more in the next few days.

The documents are available at http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE11/10OJE2011.htm

Policy to convert Temporary Officials into Permanent Civil Servants

November 16, 15:02h - At the end of the month of October, in the CFP Press Conference Room, in Díli, the President of the Public Service Commission (Portuguese acronym CFP), Libório Pereira, announced the policy to convert Temporary Officials into Permanent Civil Servants.

Liborio Pereira informed that the approval, by the Government, of the Public Service policy on the conversion of Temporary Officials into Permanent Civil Servants, is based on the Public Administration’s necessities. Before its implementation, the CFP explained a few essential points of this policy to the public so it could be better understood and thus facilitate its implementation.

The purpose to convert Temporary Officials into Permanent Civil Servants is to guarantee the institution’s needs, the right of the public servants, guaranteeing the sustainable development of the public service, and to reduce the number of temporary officials caring out functions with permanent nature.

Another objective to be accomplished is organizing and implementing the conversion process itself, where the Public Service establishes criteria to provide the best solution for the employment of temporary officials. This policy is applicable only to temporary officials that work in Ministry and State institution services with a permanent nature.

There are around 13 thousand temporary officials, of which 6 thousand are teachers and the remaining 7 thousand are scattered throughout the Ministries, Secretariats of State and other autonomous organs.

The CFP President also added that the requirements to regulate the public servants are based on article 14 of the Public Service Statute. These are requirements such as:, to be Timor-Leste citizen, not to have committed fraudulent crime that corresponds to effective prison of two years or more or to have praticed other acts that can be considered incompatible with the exercise of public administration functions, not to have been dismissed of the public service, have a good health and be physically and mentally capable for the functions that he/she is applying for.

Other critera is, at a minimum, to achieve a classification of ‘GOOD’ in the evaluation that will be done between January and March 2011. The temporary officials the will be converted into permanent public servants will be the ones that signed a contract as a temporary official but have performed work of a permanent nature,] during six consecutive months, according to the necessities of their working place. The implementation period is from January to June 2011.

17 November 2010

CEPAD Director Joao Boavida: The judicial system and impunity inhibit peace

Radio Timor-Leste, 11 November 2010 Timor-Leste has difficulty to implement sustainable peace because most people are more concerned with individual and political parties' interests than national interest.

That is one factor found by the research of the Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD) through a two-year study conducted from 2007 to 2009.

CEPAD Executive Director Joao Boavida claimed that the justice system and the culture of impunity is one obstacle to sustainable peace in this country.

CEPAD's research found four main causes that inhibit sustainable peace in the country, which include collusion, corruption and nepotism.

Boavida added that another inhibiting factor is the history of the struggle and occupation of  Timor-Leste which has contributed to the creation of certain groups.

Boavida stated that CEPAD formed a team to perform the research which will focus on how to bring everyone to realise the importance of national interests rather than the interests of individuals and political parties.

The research group is made up of a thirty-member team, which will consult with all stakeholders including the community and state leaders to find solutions together.

See also, for examlpe,

Timor-Leste Release of Laksaur Militia: Dom Basilio, The Church wants justice 

Lawyers condemn pardoning of criminals in East Timor as an erosion of democracy and the rule of law

AI : Timor-Leste law allows amnesties for war criminals

Corruptors are the traitors of this country

Timor Post, November 15, 2010 language source: Tetun - Recipient of the November 12 medal Edio Saldanha said corruptors were the new traitosr of the country.

“Souls of the November 12 victims should look at the new corruptors that appear in this new country as they just sit and get well paid every month but they still engage in corruption,” Saldanha said.

Saldanha said the Government officials had corrupted people’s money for their own interest and that had brought negative impacts on the ordinary people’s lives.

Luis da Costa also yelled and shouted at the parliamentarians, as they did not produce laws that reflect the real conditions of the country’s people.

“Brothers and sisters, Corruption is growing freshly within the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government, but they always said if you had evidence then take the case to the court and this is a cheap politics,” da Costa said.

Police commander denies allegation of smuggling cars

Radio Timor-Leste, November 14, 2010 language source: Tetun - Acting Commander for Dili District Police Bernardino Lemos has denied allegation made by the civil society organisation Mahein Foundation saying his officers are suspected of being engaged in smuggling cars into the country.

Commander Lemos said he had not received any claims from the public about the allegation.

Lemos said the District Police station had not received any information on its officers’ engagement with some illegal organizes groups to smuggle cars.

Lemos stressed that the Mahein Foundation’s report findings are positive and is like an eyeopening for the police to pay attention to its officers. He added that there has been no one coming to report cases which related to the allegation made Mahein.
DNTT calls for evidence of falsifying documents Radio Timor-Leste, November 14, 2010 language source: Tetun - Director for National Transport (DNTT) Silvestre de Oliveira has called for the Mahein Foundation to present evidence which could show that his officers are really engaged in smuggling cars.

Oliveira made the comments in relation to the recent investigation findings of Mahein indicating the DNTT and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) officers were suspected of being engaged in smuggling cars. “Its findings should be presented, so that we can investigate it and take the case to the court for legal charge,” Oliveira.

Oliveira added that he the DNTT is ready to face inquiry and to respond to the case in the court, yet there should a good coordination.

Martial art clubs problems, domestic violence and land dispute cause conflict

Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 16, 2010 language source: Tetun - The State Secretary for Security, Francisco Guterres said social conflict that mostly happened within the communities was caused by the martial art clubs, domestic violence and land disputes.

Guterres made the comments yesterday after participating in an opening ceremony of professionalizing Focal points of the National Department of community conflict prevention entitled “Di’ak liu Prevene Duké Kura” [It is better to prevent rather than cure].

Guterres said it was important for the community leaders to have adequate knowledge to resolve problems happened as it was part of contribution to the peace keeping in the country.

See further The Regulation of Martial Arts in East Timor: An Overview of Law No 10 of 2008 on the practice of martial arts

Council of Ministers approves general state budget totalling US$ 985 million

Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 16, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Council of Ministers last Wednesday approved the general state budget for 2011 which is totalling US$ 985 million.

The amount of US$ 115, 909 million of the budget will be allocated to the wages of the Government officials, US$ 270, 459 million to be allocated to good services, including US$ 25 million for human development, US$ 164, 456 million for public transparency, US$ 28, 252 for minor capital and US$ 405, 924 million for capital development and US$ 317, 306 will be allocated to infrastructure building.

The Council of Ministers has also approved amount of money of US$1 billion* which will be allocated to humanitarian aid for tsunami and volcanic eruption victims in Indonesia, including funds for evacuating the Timorese students from the volcanic eruption in Yogjakarta.

* ETLJB Note: This amount is more probably $1 million not $1billion! Evenso, its an extraordinary amount of money for East Timor to be giving to Indonesia. Imagine how many new houses, schools or medical clinics that would build for the people of East Timor!

Horta surprised with state budget for 2011 totalling US$ 985 Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 16, 2010 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta said he was surprised with the total amount of money for the state budget for 2011 US$ 985 that was approved by the Council of Ministers last Wednesday.

President Horta stressed that he was surprised with such a great of amount, as he was yet to have the Government’s proposal of the referred budget.

“I have not seen the proposal yet, I am surprised with such a great amount if I compare with the 2009-2010 general state budgets,” President Horta said. President Horta added that he is concerned about the great amount of the budget as the Government lacks the capability to execute it, particularly in the field of infrastructure. President Horta also called on the Government to reduce the numbers of overseas visit by the ministers.

Government submits proposal of the general state budget for 2011 to the Parliament Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 16, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government yesterday officially handed over the proposal of the general state budged for 2011 totaling US$ 985 million to the Parliament.

MP Aderito Hugo da Costa from the National Congress for the Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) said the total amount of the general state budget for 2011 as presented by the Government reflected the Government’s policy.

MP da Costa recognized some failures in the budget execution, particularly in the capital development, adding that it happens due to climate change.

MP da Costa also said another obstacle was the change of the procurement system within the Technical Secretary of Procurement (STA).

“This is not only reason, but the record of presentation showed that the budget execution in 2008 reached 48% and it increases to 90% in the 2009, but it faces a problem in 2010 this is because of climate change,” MP da Costa said.

MP Fernanda Borges from the National Unity Party (PUN) and MP Francisco Miranda Branco from Fretilin said they were pessimistic with the Government in executing the general state budget, adding that the Government lacked capability to execute the budget.

East Timor government prepares review of Oil Fund Law

Dili, East Timor, 16 Nov 2010 – The East Timor government Wednesday is due to analyse the proposal to review its Oil Fund Law, which outlines where oil revenues may be invested, a source from the prime minister’s office said Monday in Dili.

Since the creation of the fund, in 2005 - despite only having revenues from a single field, Bayu-Undan, which is jointly explored with Australia – the rise in oil prices has provided East Timor with a significant fund of US$6.604 billion and no domestic or foreign debt.

The law, as it currently stands, requires that at least 60 percent of oil revenues be invested in US Treasury bonds, with a rating of AA or above, and an average maturity of less than six years and investment in other assets must be applied to foreign debt issues, with liquidity and transparency negotiated on highly-regulated financial markets.

As the five-years in which the Oil Fund Law could not be altered are now up, three major issues are being debated in relation to its review – the rise in the percentage that the government can withdraw from the Fund (currently just 3 percent), the possibility of the Timorese State accessing foreign funding, when through that route it can pay lower interest rates than those it receives from its financial applications, and finally, the diversification of its assets.

The first issue involves the government’s Strategic Development Plan, which outlines significant investments in infrastructure and creation of an industrial base that the country does not yet have.

The second issue relates to negotiations to receive loans from China, Japan and even Portugal, which announced the creation of a credit line for East Timor and the third issue is a question of diversifying assets.

Meanwhile the Timorese Banking Authority (ABP), the country’s future central bank, said in Dili that the Oil Fund had had a return of 1.62 percent in the third quarter, and its current value stood at US$6.604 billion.

The Oil Fund Law specifies that the ABP is the agent responsible for the operational management of the Fund and the Finance Ministry is responsible for defining the Fund’s overal investment strategy. (macauhub)

ETLJB Note: see also Petroleum Fund Law No 5 of 2009 Unofficial English Translation from the East Timor Law Journal

16 November 2010

Lao Hamutuk Submission on proposed Petroleum Fund Law revisions

Submission to the Ministry of Finance, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
From La’o Hamutuk
Regarding the Proposed Revision of the Petroleum Fund Law
5 November 2010

Timor-Leste is the most petroleum-export-revenue-dependent nation in the world, spending its non-renewable oil and gas wealth to pay for around 95% of state expenditures. But Timor-Leste’s petroleum reserves are very limited. Although Bayu-Undan provides more than a billion dollars every year today, it will be used up in less than 15 years.

Fortunately, Timor-Leste established our Petroleum Fund in 2005 to “contribute to a wise management of the petroleum resources for the benefit of both current and future generations.”  Experience shows that many oil-rich nations become poorer because they spend all the money as it comes in, and their resource wealth becomes only a story to tell their grandchildren. Often the money is spent on short-term desires rather than invested for long-term benefit; used without good planning; diverted by politicians, companies, criminals or special interests; or diverts attention from developing the non-oil economy. A well-managed, secure Petroleum Fund can help Timor-Leste avoid this “resource curse,” together with other forward-looking policies.

The 2005 Petroleum Fund Law says that the range of qualifying instruments for investments shall be reviewed after five years, considering institutional capacity, and that any changes require Parliamentary approval.  This is the fifth year of the Petroleum Fund, but this does not mean that the law has to be changed. Laws should define policies which endure from one government to the next, providing policy continuity and guiding frameworks to help decision-makers act for the long-term national interest.

A summary of this submission is available at http://laohamutuk.blogspot.com/2010/11/lh-submission-on-petroleum-fund.html .

The full text, with links, is at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetFund/revision/10LHSubMFRevFPEn.htm. This email version has been abridged slightly.