28 February 2010

Statement by Timor-Leste to UN Security Council 23 February 2010

Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations Statement by H.E. Mr. Jose Luis Guterres Deputy Prime Minister Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on the Issue of Timor-Leste TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL New York, 23 February 2010 - Mr. President , Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, - I thank you for the opportunity to address this Security Council meeting on Timor-Leste.

For more than decade the Security Council created various Missions from UNAMET in 1999 and to UNMIT today; you gave to the UN missions different focus, different composition and objectives according to the realities of the time.

The Report of Secretary General before us confirms that stability and peaceful political environment in Timor-Leste is a reality; it痴 a demonstration that your decisions have been right. In spite of the 2006 crises, in general, we may say that the United Nations intervention in Timor-Leste have been very successful.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Mr. President, the Security Council, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the international community at large for the continuing commitment to the success of the UN mission in Timor-Leste.

Mr. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon we do remember your visit to Timor- Leste in 2007, and the compassion you have shown when you visited the refugee camps in Dili.

Today these camps that are closed and the IDPS have returned back to their homes and to their families.

 By working together with the United Nations and the international community we were able to solve one of the most difficult and most complex problems in our Country. We would like to take this opportunity to thank your leadership and that of your Special Representative, and Deputy Special Representatives for their contribution to the successes we have achieved.

As a Nation and People we have been blessed by the kindness of the international community. As citizens of the world we value the spirit of Humanitarian solidarity; for that reason the Government of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, has on various occasions extended its financial support to the peoples in the region that have suffered natural disasters. After the earthquake disaster in Haiti the Council of Ministers decided to provide to the people and Government of Haiti a financial aid of five hundred thousand us dollars. We could not keep silent in such a magnitude of suffering of fellow Human Beings wherever they are.

Mr. President,

Despite the current world economic and financial crises our economic growth of non oil GDP in 2008 was 12.8%; and for 2009 our preliminary estimate is around 12%. In the meantime the annual average inflation is less than 2%.

The Agriculture sector substantially increased its productivity by introducing high yielding and hybrid variety of crops and by improving irrigation systems.

The Ministry of Finance improved the system of Public Finance Management and the budget execution at the same time remained steadfast on the path of fiscal prudence and discipline. It痴 our commitment to maintain the growth of non oil GDP for years to come and invest in rural area in human resources and in basic infrastructures in order to reduce poverty and unemployment; reducing unemployment is not an easy task; we need Foreign, National, Public investment. To minimize the high level of unemployment we made an agreement with the Republic of Korea to export our labor force; hundreds of Timorese are already working in that Country and we hope that other Countries may follow the example of Korea.

 Mr. President,

The Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is finalizing the strategic plan for the Country. This plan will play a major role in the development of the Country and to better prepare our People and our Nation to face the present and future challenges.

The budget for 2010 is US$637 million; the National priorities  for this year are: roads and water supply; Food Security; Human Resources Training; Access to Justice; Social Services and Administrative Decentralization; Good Governance; and Public Security.

The Government of Timor-Leste aims to make the Public Management of Public Finance among the most accountable and the most transparent in the world.

Few days ago a Executives from a Canadian Management software company Free Balance have visited Timor-Leste; they are providing accounting services to many countries; an agreement was reached in which they will provide software solutions for public financial and human resource management.

These new solutions will produce at least two portals for the public via a web-based interface; one is called transparency portal where the public can access real time information on how the state funds are being executed including details like amounts allocated, timing of the project, location of the project, and under which program the project is being implemented.

The other is a procurement portal that gives access to information on the procurement plans of the Government providing the business community equitable participation and adequate preparation time to complete and submit the process. Once the procurement process starts, it can be monitored and provide information to the public on how the procurement process was implemented which procurement method was utilized, the process of evaluation, the names of companies and bidders and the allocated to the successful bidder.

The citizens and organizations of my Country will be able to follow closely the budget execution and the procurement process in real time.

We are working towards the compliance of 18 requirements in line with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; our aim is to protect and prudently manage the petroleum sector to benefit the people of Timor-Leste and to ensure that those resources and revenues are properly accounted for and that global good governance standards, transparency and accountability are met and implemented. The petroleum fund will continue to be managed according to the current laws and any changes will be debated at our National Parliament.

As a recipient country of aid we have volunteered to become pilot countries together with 6 other fragile states to be monitored on the donor痴 principles of good international engagement in conflict situations. The high level forum on aid effectiveness held in Accra in 2008 endorsed an Agenda for action to reform the delivery of aid and improve the effectiveness of development assistance. The Accra Accords was based on the principles of 2005 Paris Declaration for the essential principles for aid effectiveness.

On 26th this month a global report will be launched in Washington where the Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, Dr. Emilia Pires will be one of the panelists.

 in April the 8th we will host in Dili the International Dialogue on Peace building and State building co-chaired by United kingdom and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We hope that by sharing the experiences and best practices between post conflict Countries we are all better prepared to navigate into future with more confidence.

Mr. President

The Council of Coordination of Justice composed by the Courts, General Prosecutors and the Ministry of Justice met on 12th February and they have agreed on a Strategic plan for the justice sector; the recommendations of ICNA were incorporated in this strategic plan. Major areas such as: Institutional Development, Infra-structures and IT, reform and legal framework, human resources development, access to justice, Important measures to strength the rule of law such as the implementation of the Audit Court, the improvement of capacity of criminal investigation, the creation of the forensic services, the implementation of case management system in all core justice institutions.

In February 19th a bilingual version of the Penal Code in Portuguese and Tetum was published. The domestic violence became a public crime. A draft law on protection of Women and Children subjected to Domestic violence was submitted to the National Parliament and is now under consideration. The land law under discussion will also protect the property of women.

The National Commission of Child is now fully implemented; it will have a positive impact as an oversight and consultative body to the Government in the matters related to the protection and dissemination of the rights of the Children.

The traditional or customary justice law is currently been drafted; it will regulate the cases that can be solved by customary justice and also protect human rights, specially related with women and children.

Government did what was possible to create better conditions for justice sector; this year a new training course for future judges, prosecutors and public defenders will began with the help of Portugal.

The justice sector is in its infancy; many achievements have been made but many challenges remain in the road ahead. Justice and reconciliation are part of our system of values.

We are strongly against impunity and we believe in the rule of law and Human Rights.

The Government welcomes the support of UNMIT and International Community in general to the justice sector.

Yesterday at our National Parliament the Chairman of the Anti Corruption commission was sworn in.

It represented a milestone in the fight against corruption and nepotism. Dr. Aderito de Jesus has all the professional and personal qualities to be chosen by absolute majority of the members of Parliament to lead this crucial struggle. He will have all the support he needs from the Government.

The People of Timor-Leste expects a lot from him and I wish him success.

Mr. President,

The stability and peaceful political environment in Timor-Leste is a result of a collective effort from Timor-Leste, United Nations and the International Community.

Many citizens of your Countries have served in Timor-Leste. Today they are still many in the United Nations system, Civilian and Police officers. There are others, from neighboring Countries such New Zealanders and Australians that have contributed to peace and came to Timor-Leste at the invitation of our Country and continue to serve in ISF. We hope that by 2012 they may return back to their families, after a successful mission.

Our relations with countries in the region are excellent.

 Timor-Leste is an observer member of the Pacific Island Forum and there痴 a strong will in our Country that a few years from now Timor-Leste will become a full member of ASEAN.  With Indonesia, we have worked together with courage and forward looking on common issues of the past such as the human rights violations through the CTF.  As democratic countries that are pro human rights, we have promised our people that we will not tolerate impunity or human rights violations in our countries.

Finally we concur with the assessment made in the report that there痴 a consensus in Timor-Leste that UNMIT should remain in Timor-Leste up to 2012.  We thank you all for your support.

Australian Company linked to former Minister of Finance Adviser alleged to get contract for China Boat Port.

Tempo Semanal Saturday, 27 February 2010 Breaking News - Port for Chinese Patrol Boats: Emergency Council of Minister Meeting to be Held 27 Feb 2010. Internet Exclusif: Australian Company linked to former Minister of Finance Adviser alleged to get contract for China Boat Port.

Tempo Semanal sources within the Government of Timor-Leste stated last night that the Council of Ministers will hold an extraordinary and emergency meeting today (Saturday 27 February 2010) to discuss the matter of the soon to arrive FALINTIL-FDTL patrol boats from China.

The Government of Timor-Leste signed a contract for two Shanghai class patrol boats from Poly Technology of the Poly Group in China.  Poly Group, which has close ties to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), is expected to deliver the patrol boats in the next 4-8 weeks.  However, port facilities are not ready and there is an urgent need to prepare the Hera port for their arrival.  Efforts are already underway to build a port facility for the patrol boats on the south coast of Timor-Leste.

Tempo Semanal sources have raised allegations that Ines Almeida (a dual Australian-Timorese national), formerly adviser to Minister of Finance Emilia Pires (paid for by the Worldbank) until mid 2009, has been aggressively lobbying on behalf of an Australian company to build port temporary facilities in Hera for the patrol boats. It is reported that the boats will be "modified versions of the Type-62 Shanghai-class patrol boat, which was designed in the 1960s: 43 meters long, displacing 175 tons and armed with two 30-mm cannons."

According to Tempo Semanal sources Ms. Almeida and agents of the Company she is lobbying on behalf of recently visited Hera port and requested data specifications on the port from F-FDTL officers.  This was refused and Ms. Almeida allegedly lodge a protest with the Government.

When contacted by Tempo Semanal on the morning of 27 February 2010 Ms. Almeida refused to comment, stating "I am no longer in the Government's employ, and am now a private citizen." 

Ms. Almeida was caught in the centre of a Worldbank/Ministry of Finance "contracts" for friends scandal reported on by this newspaper in April 2009 - see here and here for more details

According to a Tempo Semanal sources within the defence institution there are plans to build a permanent port facility and so F-FDTL is reluctant to move ahead on a temporary facility option.  

Additionally, an Indonesian company has also been recently conducting feasibility studies for a new multi-million dollar facility in Hera.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's government has come under intense criticism from many foreigners in regards to the procurement of the two patrol boats, from the controversial Poly Technology group.

Image from Tempo Semanal:Aging Portuguese Albatross Patrol boat at Hera Port

Veteran’s Laws need to be better explained: Committee for Poverty Elimination and Rural Development

Timor Post, February 26, 2010 language source: Tetun -  A Member of the Parliamentary Committee B for Poverty Elimination and Rural Development, Osorio Florindo, has called on the Ministry of Social Solidarity to better clarify the law for ex-resistance war veterans.

Mr. Florindo made the call following complaints by children of the resistance veterans who say they are worried about how the veterans laws work.

“We’ve met with the ex-resistance’s families and they have concerns about the veteran law’s implementation,” Mr. Florindo said.

Mr. Florindo said that the Ministry of Social Solidarity needs to make the law clear for the people it applies to because the veterans’ families have the right to receive money from the Government under law.
Artwork by Arte Moris

Eight Indonesian women deported from East Timor for using tourist visas for prostitution

Suara Timor Lorosa'e, February 26, 2010 language source: Tetun -  The Timorese Immigration Police Department Director, Boavida Ribeiro, has said that his department has deported eight Indonesian women for using their tourist visa to conduct business in the country.

According to Mr. Ribeiro the women were using the visas illegally to engage in prostitution.

Mr. Ribeiro says this is quite a common problem in the country and consequently the immigration police will be holding operations in the taverns and bars in order to check foreigners’ visas as a way of reducing prostitution in the country.

East Timor Police News 26 FEbruary 2010

Timor Government denies militarisation of the National Police Diario Nacional 26 February 2010   Language source: Tetun -  The Secretary of State for Security Francisco Guterres said Thursday (25/2) that the Timorese National Police is not militarising the institution though he admitted that a special unit is being trained in a quasi-military way to deal with criminals.

“Their training has to be different from regular police but it does not mean that we are militarising the police,” he said.

Mr. Guterres added that PNTL also trained Community Police who will bear revolvers instead of automatic guns in order to get the trust from the people.

He also said that in March the PNTL is going to train our Maritime Unit with trainers from the United States.

Asked about direct command of Longinhos Monteiro in leading the operation against Ninja, Mr Guterres said his presence is only for the supervision of the PNTL members’ adherence to rule of law in the field.

He asked me to go there so I let him, said Guterres.

Concerned about professionalism of PNTL, MP called Guterres for hearing Diario Nacional 26 February 2010   Language source: Tetun  Amidst the mounting public concerns about the professionalism of the Timorese National Police, Committee B of the National Parliament held hearing with the Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Guterres, Thursday (25/2).
“During the hearing the Parliamentarians expressed their concerns about the PNTL,” he said.

He added that there are many things to be fixed within the institution as part of the security sector reforms, which has started in 2007.

He said that the meeting was important to inform the MPs about the reform and how Parliamentarians could help with the process of budget approval.

Govt will ask technicians from Portuguese, Singapore and Thailand to asses the  National Police training Radio Timor Leste, February 26, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Alliance Government will ask technicians from Portugal, Singapore and Thailand to asses training procsses for the Timorese National Police officers.

The State Secretary for the Council of Ministries, Hermenegildo Pereira, has said that the technicians will join with the country’s assessment team to asses training promotion for the national police.

Mr. Pereira said that the assessment of the technicians will benefit to the police institution for a better future.

Portuguese Commander, Lieutenant General Santos meets with Timorese Police  Counterpart Timor Post, February 26, 2010 language source: Tetun -  The Portuguese Police Commander for Timor-Leste, Lieutenant General Nelson Santo, met with his Timorese counterpart, Commissioner Police Longuinhos Monteiro to discuss training programs earlier this week.

The objective of the meeting was to talk about the possibility that the Portuguese police could offer some training to the national police officers in the near future.

Commissioner Monteiro, said that the visit held by the Portuguese commander was a great honor to the national police, adding that the visit will better strengthen the relationship of the Timorese and Portuguese police officers.

Security Council Extends Mission in Timor-Leste until 26 February 2011, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1912 (2010)

26 February 2010
Security Council


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York Security Council 6278th Meeting (AM) - Security Council Extends Mission in Timor-Leste until 26 February 2011, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1912 (2010)

Recognizing the important role of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) in promoting peace, stability and development in the nascent South-East Asian nation, the Security Council today extended the Mission’s mandate until 26 February 2011 at current levels, while endorsing the Secretary-General’s intention to reconfigure its police component, including its drawdown, in line with the phased resumption process of policing responsibilities by the national police.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1912 (2010), following extensive debate earlier this week on the situation in that country, including the future strength of the Mission (see Press Release SC/9866), the Council supported the ongoing work on the resumption of policing responsibilities by the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) through a phased approach, to ensure that the force met the criteria mutually agreed between the Timorese Government and UNMIT, as set out in the Secretary-General’s report of 4 February 2009 (document S/2009/72).

In that connection, it requested the Government and UNMIT to continue to cooperate to expeditiously implement the resumption process, and requested the Mission to ensure, through its own police component and support to the Timorese force, the maintenance of public security in the country, and to intensify its efforts to assist with further training and strengthening of the police force, with a view to enhancing its effectiveness.

By a related term of the text, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report no later than 15 October on elements on reconfiguring UNMIT’s police component, and no later than 26 January 2011 on possible adjustments in UNMIT’s mandate and strength.

The Council underscored the need for the concept of operations and rules of engagement to be regularly updated as necessary, and to be fully in line with the resolution’s provisions.  It asked the Secretary-General to report on that to the Council and troop- and police-contributing countries within 30 days.

Among other provisions of the comprehensive draft, the Council reaffirmed the importance of ongoing efforts to achieve accountability and justice, expressing its support of UNMIT in assisting the Government in that regard within its mandate; underlined the importance of a coordinated approach to justice sector reform; and requested UNMIT to assist the Government in carrying out the proceedings recommended by the Commission of Inquiry.

In recognition of the importance of the National Recovery Strategy, the Council called on UNMIT to cooperate and coordinate with United Nations actors on the ground, and all other relevant partners, to support the Government and relevant institutions in designing poverty reduction plans, improving education and promoting sustainable livelihood and economic growth policies.  It asked it to fully take into account gender considerations as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate.

It encouraged the Government to strengthen peacebuilding perspectives in such areas as employment and empowerment, especially focusing on rural areas and youth, as well as socio-economic development, especially in the agricultural sector.

The meeting was called to order at 10:14 a.m. and adjourned at 10:17 a.m.


The full text of Security Council resolution 1912 (2010) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements on the situation in Timor-Leste, in particular its resolutions 1599 (2005), 1677 (2006), 1690 (2006), 1703 (2006), 1704 (2006), 1745 (2007), 1802 (2008) and 1867 (2009),

“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 12 February 2010 (S/2010/85),

“Reaffirming its full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Timor-Leste and the promotion of long-term stability in the country,

“Taking note of general stability through further improvements in the political and security situation, and reiterating its call on the leadership and other stakeholders in Timor-Leste to continue to pursue peaceful dialogue and to avoid violent means to resolve differences,

“Welcoming the successful completion of the village (suco) elections in October 2009 as an indication of the progress made in the democratic political process in Timor-Leste,

“Welcoming also the efforts of the political leadership of Timor-Leste to create opportunities for all political parties to make contributions to issues of national interest,

“Reaffirming the need for respect for the independence of the judiciary, stressing the need to act against impunity, and in this regard acknowledging the serious resource constraints of the judicial system and encouraging the leadership of Timor-Leste to continue its efforts to establish accountability for serious criminal offences committed during the 2006 crisis as recommended by the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry,

“Welcoming the resumption of primary policing responsibility by the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) to date, and recalling its previous statements on the need to implement fully the “Arrangement on the Restoration and Maintenance of Public Security in Timor-Leste and Assistance to the Reform, Restructuring and Rebuilding of PNTL and the Ministry of Interior”, concluded between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT on 1 December 2006,

“Noting the statement made by President José Ramos-Horta on 9 December 2009 on expectations of the Timorese authorities regarding the future role of UNMIT police during the 2010-2012 period,

“Expressing its full support for the role of the international security forces in assisting the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT, in the maintenance of law and stability, in response to the requests of the Government of Timor-Leste,

“Expressing serious concern with the high rates of unemployment and poverty among the Timorese population, as indicated in the report of the Secretary-General, welcoming in this regard the effort of the Government of Timor-Leste to finalize the Strategic Development Plan, and underlining the importance of continued support by international community for the socio-economic development of Timor-Leste,

“Recalling that while the manifestations of the current challenges in Timor-Leste are political and institutional in nature, poverty and its associated deprivations also contribute to these challenges, paying tribute to Timor-Leste’s bilateral and multilateral partners for their invaluable assistance, particularly with regard to human resource development, institutional capacity-building and social and economic development, and recognizing the progress being made in the development of many aspects of governance in Timor-Leste,

“Welcoming the closing of all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, while recognizing the remaining challenges with regards to the full reintegration of IDPs, in assuring the sustainability of the return and the reintegration into Timorese society,

“Reaffirming its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) on women, peace and security, and 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and welcoming the cooperation of UNMIT with other United Nations partners to support the Government’s effort to develop a national gender equality policy and strategy,

“Recognizing the important role that UNMIT continues to play in promoting peace, stability and development in Timor-Leste, and expressing its appreciation for the efforts of UNMIT and the United Nations country team, under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG),

“1.   Decides to extend the mandate of UNMIT until 26 February 2011 at the current authorized levels;

“2.   Urges all parties in Timor-Leste, in particular political leaders, to continue to work together and engage in political dialogue and to consolidate peace, democracy, rule of law, sustainable social and economic development, advancement of protection of human rights and national reconciliation in the country, and reaffirms its full support for the continued efforts of the SRSG aimed at addressing critical political and security-related issues facing the country, including enhancing a culture of democratic governance, through an inclusive and collaborative processes;

“3.   Requests UNMIT to extend the necessary support, within its current mandate, for municipal elections, if requested by the Government of Timor-Leste, and encourages the international community to assist in this process;

“4.   Reaffirms the continued importance of the review and reform of the security sector in Timor-Leste, in particular the need to delineate between the roles and responsibilities of the Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and the PNTL, to strengthen legal frameworks, and to enhance civilian oversight and accountability mechanisms of both security institutions, and requests UNMIT to continue to support the Government of Timor-Leste in these efforts;

“5.   Supports the ongoing work on the resumption of policing responsibilities by the PNTL through a phased approach, to ensure that the PNTL meet the criteria mutually agreed between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT as set out in paragraph 21 of the report of the Secretary-General of 4 February 2009 (S/2009/72), and requests the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT to continue their cooperation to implement expeditiously the resumption process in accordance with the mutually agreed criteria;

“6.   Endorses the Secretary-General’s intention of reconfiguration of UNMIT police component, including its drawdown, in accordance with the phased resumption process of policing responsibilities by the PNTL, and requests the Secretary-General to include in his next report his review of this process;

“7.   Requests UNMIT to continue to ensure, through the presence of UNMIT police component and the provision of support to the PNTL, the maintenance of public security in Timor-Leste, which includes interim law enforcement and public security until the PNTL is fully reconstituted, and, working with partners, to intensify its efforts to assist with further training, mentoring, institutional development and strengthening of the PNTL with a view to enhancing its effectiveness, including with respect to community policing, and to address the special needs of women, and recognizes the importance of ensuring that UNMIT personnel have the appropriate profile and specialized skill sets for these tasks, and the potential need for civilian experts for the above purpose;

“8.   Underscores the need for the concept of operations and rules of engagement to be regularly updated as necessary and to be fully in line with the provisions of this resolution, and requests the Secretary-General to report on them to the Security Council and troop- and police-contributing countries within 90 days after the adoption of this resolution;

“9.   Reaffirms the importance of ongoing efforts to achieve accountability and justice, expresses its support for the work of the UNMIT Serious Crimes Investigation Team, underlines the importance of the implementation by the Government of Timor-Leste of the recommendations of the United Nations Special Commission of Inquiry report of 2006 (S/2006/822), including paragraphs 225 through 228 of the report, and in this regard, requests UNMIT to continue its efforts, in assisting the Government of Timor-Leste in carrying out the proceedings recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry;

“10.  Underlines the importance of a coordinated approach to the justice sector reform, based on the recommendations of the Independent Comprehensive Needs Assessment and through implementation of the Timorese Government’s Justice Sector Strategic Plan, and the ongoing need to increase Timorese ownership and strengthen national capacity in judicial line functions, including the training and specialization of national lawyers and judges, and emphasizes the need for sustained support of the international community in capacity-building and strengthening of institutions in this sector;

“11.  Calls upon UNMIT to continue to support the Government of Timor-Leste in its efforts to coordinate donor cooperation in areas of institutional capacity-building;

“12.  Recognizes the importance of Timor-Leste National Recovery Strategy, especially the attention paid to infrastructure, rural development and human resources capacity development, and in this regard, calls upon UNMIT to continue to cooperate and coordinate with the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, as well as all relevant partners, to support the Government of Timor-Leste and relevant institutions in designing poverty reduction, promotion of sustainable livelihood and economic growth policies;

“13.  Encourages the Government of Timor-Leste to strengthen peacebuilding perspectives in such areas as employment and empowerment, especially focusing on rural areas and youth, as well as local socio-economic development in particular in the agricultural sector;

“14.  Requests UNMIT to fully take into account gender considerations as set out in Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate, and further requests the Secretary-General to include in his reporting to the Security Council progress on gender mainstreaming throughout UNMIT and all other aspects relating to the situation of women and girls, especially on the need to protect them from gender-based violence, detailing special measures to protect women and girls from such violence;

“15.  Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance by UNMIT with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges those countries contributing troops and police to take appropriate preventive action and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;

“16.  Further requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed of the developments on the ground and on the implementation of this resolution and to submit to the Security Council, no later than 30 September 2010, a report which includes elements requested in paragraph 6 of this resolution, and, no later than 26 January 2011, a report which includes possible adjustments in UNMIT’s mandate and strength;

“17.  Reaffirms the importance of the medium-term strategy and benchmarks for measuring and tracking progress in Timor-Leste, and assessing the level and form of United Nations support while keeping the benchmarks under active review, and underlines the importance of ownership of the strategy by the leaders and people of Timor-Leste in this process;

“18.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

* *** *


UN extends East Timor peacekeeping mission, cuts police ahead of possible pullout

By: Edith M. Lederer, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 26/02/2010 5:14 PM - The Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor for a year and backed plans to reduce its police contingent ahead of a possible pullout.

The resolution adopted by the council endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's intention to gradually reduce the number of international police from 1,608 to 1,280 by mid-2011, as East Timor's own police force assumes responsibility.

The council asked Ban to submit a report on plans for the U.N. police drawdown by Oct. 15 and another report by Jan. 26, 2011 with possible adjustments in the mission's mandate and strength.

East Timor's Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres told the council on Tuesday the government agrees with Ban that the mission should remain in the country until 2012. He indicated the government wants it to withdraw at that time.

Noting that civilians and police from many countries are serving in East Timor, Gutteres said, "we hope that by 2012 they may return back to their families, after a successful mission."

The former Portuguese colony broke from 24 years of Indonesian occupation in 1999, when 1,500 people were killed by militias and departing Indonesian troops. After three years of U.N. governance, East Timor declared independence in 2002. The small half-island nation in the Pacific, with a population of 1 million, has faced political turmoil and is still impoverished with chronic unemployment, but it is benefiting from large offshore oil and gas resources.

In early 2006, just as the U.N. was finishing its withdrawal, fighting broke out between rival police and army factions, killing dozens and toppling the government. Then, in February 2008, President Jose Ramos-Horta was nearly killed by rebel gunmen in an ambush.

Ban said in a report to the council earlier this month that he welcomed the commitments of all parties to ensure peace and security in the country, but he cautioned that "institutions are still fragile, inluding those in the security and justice sectors."

"How well they could withstand another major crisis remains uncertain," the secretary-general said.

He said many underlying factors that contributed to the 2006 crisis remain, despite measures taken to address some of them, including "tensions among the political elite, difficulties within the security institutions, poverty and its associated deprivations" and high unemployment, especially among young people.

The council resolution takes note "of general stability through further improvements in the political and security situation." It reiterates the council's call on East Timor's leaders to continue to pursue peaceful dialogue and "avoid violent means to resolve differences."

The council backed the phased resumption of primary policing responsibilities by East Timor's force and said U.N. police should continue to ensure public security until the country's police force "is fully reconstituted." It called for intensified efforts to assist the East Timor force with further training and mentoring in order to improve its effectiveness.

27 February 2010

Chaos in the National Parliament as Democratic Party followers attack Fretilin MP's in the Chamber

ETLJB 27/02/2010 - In the wake of a fracas in the East Timor National Parliament, President Jose Ramos Horta has called on members of the Parliament to control themselves during  Parliamentary debates.

President Horta made the call following the recent quarrel between the Fretilin and Democratic Party MPs in the Parliament while it was in Plenary Session. Followers of the Democratic Party stormed the Fretilin Bancada and threatened Fretilin members.

President Horta stressed that the MPs should use proper words in the Parliamentary debate recalling that the country is still in a fragile condition and should stop physical confrontation and engage in constructive debate to better develop the country.

Fretilin MP Osorio Florindo demanded that the President of the Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo, who is also the President of the Democratic Party and former student resistance leader , to take the Democratic Party followers involved in the attack in Parliament to the court.

Mr. Florindo said that the attack in the Parliament against Fretilin MP is a crime and should be tried in the court.

Mr. Florindo also said that the constitution guaranteed the right of the MPs to discuss issues faced by the country and people should not wrongfully interfere with the Parliamentary debate.

Sources: Radio Timor Leste 26/02/2010 and Suara Timor Lorosa’e, February 25, 2010 language source: Tetun

Reorganisation of security sector discussed by Government and National Parliament of Timor-Leste

State Secretary Guterres discusses reshuffle security system with the Parliamentary  Committee B Televizaun Timor Leste 26/02/2101  Language Source: Tetun -  The East Timor State Secretary for Security, Francisco Guterres, met with the National Parliamentary Committee B for Defence and Security yesterday to discuss government plans to reshuffle the nation's security institutions.

Mr. Guterres confirmed that he had conveyed his department’s plan to Parliamentary Committee B to reshuffle the East Timor National Police and reorganise the country’s security maintenance by the police.

“I meet with the Parliamentary Committee B to convey to its members information about our plan to reshuffle the National Police Institution as well as mechanisms utilised to maintain security in the country,” Mr. Guterres said.

The idea to reform the police comes amidst a wave of allegations (some publicly documented) of abuses and human rights violations by police officers such as assaulting citizens in the course of questioning in connection with the recent crack-down on allegedly organised criminal activities in the western frontier disctricts of Cova Lima and Bobonaro.

Image: A map showing the Districts of East Timor. Bobonaro and Cova Lima lie along the western border with Indonesia.

26 February 2010

UN Mission in Timor-Leste extended despite or because of its many failures?

ETLJB 1954hrs AEST SYDNEY - The announcement of the decision to extend the United Nations mission in East Timor (UNMIT) will come as a comfort to many - not the least of whom are the many highly-paid so-called experts to whom so much of the international aid money is paid to. With the recent catastrophic failures in policing in East Timor and the apparent waste of millions of dollars on training programs for the East Timor Police Force, along with the lack of coordination and at times outright hostility between the International Stabilisation Force, UNMIT and the security agencies in East Timor, it is no surprise that circumstances such as these also compel the extension of the foreign military and police even though it also means the continuation of an unreformed impotent and bungled administration of the UNMIT mandate.

It is no coincidence that at the same time when this decision was being made, there was a nation-wide public information campaign through the media and the government, accompanied by unconstitutional mobilisation of the police and human rights abuses, that seemed purposed to show that the security sistuation was still problematical in East Timor because of the supposed presence of criminal gangs and their alleged involvement in recent violance and killings. Other commentators have noted that the criminal gang problem in the Western Disctricts of Bobonaro and Cova Lima has been a distortion or have implied that they have been an organised operation by political interests.

The government has denied allegations and statements by citizens of assaults and other human rights abuses by Timorese police officers but a report by a respected and long-standing law and justice organisation, the HAK Foundation, found that there had been vioaltions of civil rights by the police. The media has also reported statements by citizens who were assaulted by  police officers in the recent so-called anti-crime surge.

The police have also been accused of becoming too militaristic and behaving like extra-legal agents of terror and intimidation by the state.
UNMIT in Timor-Leste up to 2011 Diario Nacional, February 25, 2010 language source: Tetun - The UN Security Council has given a green light to extend the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) to another year.

A press release has said the UN Security Council will support the extension of the UNMIT Mission from 2010 up to 2011.

During the UN Security Council meeting the Deputy Prime Minister for Social Issues, Jose Luis Guterres and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Ameerah Haq presented the report on the security situation of the country.

Mrs. Haq has said that so many things need to improve in Timor-Leste and that is endorsed by the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.

Image added by ETLJB: Foreign UNPol Officers, East Timor

East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste.

Prostitution and Drugs in Timor-Leste blamed on foreigners

President Horta calls for the Government to control illegal drugs and commercial sex Radio & Televizaun Timor-Leste, February 25, 2010 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta has called for the Government and the National Police to control illegal drugs and commercial sex in the country.

Mr. Horta has held a meeting with the deputy prime minister for management and public administration, the state secretary for security, the prosecutor general and the police commissioner to discuss the issue.

Mr. Horta stressed that the numbers of illegal drugs in the country are not high but some foreign nationals come to produce them and distribute to the young Timorese people.

“The amount of drugs is small, but some people out of the country through Atambua come and then start producing it,” Mr. Horta said.

Government to regulate illegal drugs and prostitution: Carrascalao Radio & Televizaun Timor-Leste, February 25, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Deputy Prime Minister for Management and Public Administration, Mario Viegas Carrascalao, has said that the Government will regulate illegal drugs and sex slave in Timor-Leste.

Mr. Carrascalao stressed that the immigration police will check the visas of all the foreign nationals who visit the country and the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism will control the licencing of  bars to avoid illegal drugs smuggling and prostitution.

Mr. Carrascalao said that bars that engaged in illegal drugs activity and prostitution should be closed down.

The Government will take necessary action against the illegal drugs and prostitution shortly before explaining it to the community.  

An analysis of the Social Problem of Prostitution in East Timor (Available in Indonesian and Portuguese)

East Timor Directory - Discover enigmatic East Timor online.

Luxury Hotel development under construction of site of remains of victims of Indonesian genocide in Timor-Leste

TEMPO SEMANAL http://temposemanaltimor.blogspot.com/2010/02/pelican-paradise-is-building-on-remains.html - At the building site of a five star hotel by Pelican Paradise in Tasi Tolu western Dili allocated to the company by the Government of Timor-Leste new concerns are being raised.  The company is a Malaysian consortium.

While construction work has commenced the company has found some suspected human remains on the building site.  Yesterday there were several foreign forensic experts on the site.

According to Tempo Semanal sources yesterday on the spot said that, "the forensic expert found more then one human remains." Another source close to the Ministry of Tourism Commerce and Industry (MTCI) told Tempo Semanal ,"so far we may find the remains of 9 people here"

Some Timorese who lost their relatives together several with veterans and ex political prisoners groups during the Indonesian occupation were present at the building site as well. These human remains are suspected to be Timorese who were killed by ABRI soldiers during the 24 years occupation. In those dark years more than one third of Timorese died from starvation, mass killings disappearances and torture.
Posted By TEMPO SEMANAL to TEMPO SEMANAL on 2/24/2010 09:00:00 PM

Image added by ETLJB: Tasi Tolu (The Three Seas/Lakes) on the western outskirts of Dili. Human remains from the Indonesian genocide have been discovered at the site of the contsruction of a five-star hotel development.

Land and Property Directorate Publishes Cadastral Maps in Land Registration Pilot Area of Manatuto

Only available in Tetum at the moment) Komunikado, 24 Febreiru 2010 DNTPSC HALAO TAN PUBLIKSAUN MAPA RAI-NIAN IHA AREA PILOTU MANATUTO - Director Direçcão Nacional de Terras, Propriedades e Serviços Cadastrais (DNTPSC), halo publikasaun mapa rai-nian ba  iha Kapital Distritu Manatutu no Distritu Liquica. Sr. Antonio Verdial de Sousa, Director DNTPSC hateten katak “Publikasaun mapa ne’e halao ba dala ikus ona iha Kapital Distritu Manatuto no ba Distrito Liquisa sei iha tan publikasaun seluk.  Director ne’e hatutan hodi husu ba maluk nai’n ba rai sira iha area nebe refere atu ba hare sira nia dadus iha publikasaun refere hodi aprova ita bo’ot sira nia dadus.  Karik iha dadus ruma nebe sala ka halo reklamasaun hasoru ema ruma nebe hala deklarasaun ba ema seluk nia rai”. 
Levantamentu de dadus kona-ba rai no na’in ba rai autorizada husi Ministra da Justiça liu husi Dekretu Ministerial No. 229/2008 de 1 Julhu 2008.  Dekretu ida ne’e fó mandatu ba DNTPSC atu hala’o publikasaun ba dadus ne’ebe rekolha tiha ona.  Prazu minimal ba publikasaun ne’e maka loron 30 (semana 6) durante tempu servisu. 

Area ne’ebe sei inklui iha prosesu mapa publikasaun ne’e maka hanesan :

·         Distritu Liquica, Sub-Distritu Bazartete, Suco Maumeta, Aldeia Nartuto; Publikasaun hahu iha loron 15 Febreiru to’o 29 Marsu 2010 no

·         Distritu Manatuto, Sub-Distritu Manatuto, Suco Aiteas, Aldeia Bi’uac, Uma Sau, no Carlilo; Publikasaun hahu iha loron 23 Febreiru – 7 Abril 2010.  .

Publikasaun hanesan prosesu hodi fo garantia ba transparensia, tanba fo oportunidade ba populasaun atu verifika dadus ne’ebe foti iha nivel local.  Durante tempu ne’e, ema sei bele hato’o deklarasaun foun ida, no mos bele hatama reklamasaun, ne’ebe hanesan disputa ida kontra ema seluk nia deklarasaun.  Bainhira publikasaun hotu ona, ema sei labele hatama deklarasaun foun ka halo reklamasaun ba ema seluk nia deklarasaun iha area ne’ebe refere.  Durante tempu publikasaun, mapa ho lista deklarante sei bele hetan iha nivel 4: nivel local (iha aldeia ka suco), nivel distrital no iha DTPSC , iha nivel nasional mapa sei publika iha sede DNTPSC, no iha nivel internasional liu husi Internet www.itaniarai.tl

Programa Ita Nia Rai ho durasaun tinan Lima (2007 – 2012) hetan fundus husi Governu Amerikano liu hosi USAID hodi tulun Governu Timor Leste atu asegura direitu ba rai no propriedade iha Timor Leste.  Servisu hamutuk ho DNTPSC (Ministerio da Justiça), programa ida ne'e atu fó asistensia téknika no suporta regulamentu ba dezenvolvimento sustentavel no transparante ba sistema administrasaun rai iha Timor-Leste.  Dadaun ne’e prosesu foti dadus kona-ba rai halao ona  iha Capital Distritu Aileu, Baucau, Bobonaro, Liquiçá, Manatuto, Oecusse, Dili no la kleur tan sei habelar ba Capital Distritu Lautém no Covalima. 

- Remata -

Briefing to the Security Council by Ms Ameerah Haq SRSG to Timor-Leste February 2010

Briefing to the Security Council by Ms Ameerah Haq SRSG to Timor-Leste                                                            

Timor Human Rights groups says National Police are like "Rambo"

National Police is like Rambo: HAK Foundation Diario Nacional, February 25, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Director for respected East Timorese civil society law and justice organisation, HAK Foundation, Rui Viana, has said that the National Police is now like Rambo because they wear the red beret reminiscent of the red beret used by semi-military.

Mr. Viana made the comments during an interview at the HAK Foundation office in the central Dili suburb of Palapaso.

Mr. Viana emphasised the recent involvement of the police in the acts of violence which seem to be caused by several factors such as culture, environment and training that has impacted on the police's capacity to comprehend the legitimate policing concept.

He added that cultural violence from generation to generation has also caused people to engage in act of violence.

Is policing in Timor-Leste a spectator sport?

Is policing in Timor-Leste a spectator sport? by Cillian Nolan - 24 February 2010 8:51AM Cillian Nolan is the International Crisis Group's Dili-based analyst. - The end of February is here, which means it's time for the UN Security Council to renew the mandate of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste. Based on the Secretary-General's latest report, released on 18 February, it seems very much like business as usual. The report clings to the fiction that the UN is in charge of policing the half-island state. The reality is a lot murkier. A formal handover of 'executive policing responsibilities' is progressing on a district-by-district basis, but response to recent events resembles a collective abdication of responsibility.

In December, shots fired into the air by the Timorese police (PNTL) outside a late-night party led to the death of a popular musician. The PNTL General Commander soon ordered his officers in Dili to 'step back' and give the UN police the lead.

As Dili residents began to complain about the sudden invisibility of their own police, the Timorese district commander then unilaterally ordered his officers to cease operations altogether. He said the UN police were ineffective, using their guns 'just for show', citing the injury of his officers in a confused joint response to fighting in one of the city's markets.

He also said the PNTL wasn't learning anything from its UN counterparts. After all, the commander asked, isn't the UN technically responsible for security? It was a daring rebuke to the logic of the UN's district-by-district handover. Newspapers quickly filled with calls for the return of the PNTL, seen as faster to respond and less hesitant to bring out its guns. PNTL has since returned to the streets, but the incident hurt the image of the UN police and further weakened the 'democratic policing principles' they are here to promote.

Neither the PNTL senior command nor the Government publicly spoke out against the district commander's move. The General Commander was busy leading a dubious 'mega-operation' against rumoured 'ninja' activity in the border districts ­ without any UN involvement, even though the international force retains executive authority in the area. (One leading NGO has also raised concerns over possible human rights violations.)

The Secretary-General's report is short on prescriptions to cure the ills of the Timorese police, but provides incisive diagnosis of its problems. Dili is back to 'apparent normalcy' since the 2006 crisis, but it argues the PNTL is not ready to give up UN support. The service remains weak in operational, administrative and management capacity, and lacks basic equipment. There are few clear, enforced policies on fundamentals such as the use of force. There is ample evidence of misconduct with no effective disciplinary mechanism. Police frequently have little understanding of the country's evolving criminal legislation.

Much work thus remains to be done, but the report also acknowledges the 'limited capacity of UNMIT police to contribute to the development of the PNTL', noting consistent difficulties in attracting staff with the right skills. The Secretary-General recommends a limited reduction in police presence by mid-2011. But the question is not how many police will be here but what they will be doing. Much remains to be defined regarding a 'reconfiguration' of roles as the handover proceeds.

Given this inability of UN police to influence outcomes, Crisis Group recommended in December that the UN hand over formal control sooner rather than later. This would bring the mission's mandate into line with the reality of policing in the country and hopefully prompt the Government, and the police, to take further steps toward solving problems only they can fix.

Future support from either the UN, Australia, Portugal, or even Indonesia will only work if the Government can be clear about its needs. It requires a comprehensive plan for the force's future development ­ a full independent assessment could be a first step. In the meantime, the Government, PNTL and UNMIT need to put aside public rancour and find common ground on 'reconfiguring' the role of the UN police if they are to remain an active player rather than a mere spectator in building the police in Timor-Leste.

Image added by ETLJB: East Timorese policemen.

Timor cops run amok unrestrained by the rule of law

At 5pm Sico rides his rickety $300-worth motorbike, newly repaired at 3pm, from his home in Lecidere, to his place of work, a distance of 300 metres. Sico is a security man who struggles, but fails, to care for his wife and two children on $70 per month. What happens during this 300 metres? A lot. He hears a screeching behind him and half looks round, to see one of those daily Dili disasters – a motorbike accident. He rides on. Not for long. A white patrol truck appears from behind, bedecked with 6 action-hungry cops called “Task Force”. These upholders of the law, dressed in a uniform blue slightly resembling the Portuguese paramilitaries (GNR), set about what they know best, and perhaps learnt in spite of the Police Academy – assault. A crime?

Yes, for un-uniformed mortals. But assault it was, without a question, without a warning, a premeditated assault of body and bike. Fresh from shooting dead an innocent citizen in Delta two months before (December 2009), this was the Task Force’s re-entry into law enforcement. With fist and heavy wooden truncheon, they belaboured Sico with two severe blows to the back of the neck and three to the back, all the time holding Sico’s throat in a choking clench. What have I done wrong, gasps Sico? Running from the accident! With that they reign – all 6 of them – truncheon blows and kicks to his rickety bike, smashing the thin plastic wings of the bike in three places, front, middle and back, and topping that with a kick to the newly repaired engine parts, which brought forth an unstoppable flow of fuel.

Is this the police’s daily bread and butter?  Is this defending a victim, or is this perpetrating a crime against a victim? Does the government pay them to do this?

Anyway, by this time the commander of the patrol truck had got out from his front seat and summed up the situation. This man Sico is short. But the man who crashed into the bike was tall. The same colour shirt, yes, but this was the wrong man. Stop your hitting, men! So they left Sico and his bike on the side of the road and hurried off in a belated and no doubt fruitless pursuit of the real crash-and-run man. Apology? no. Help with the wounds? no. Assistance with picking up the bike? no.

I came across Sico at 6pm, after finishing work. He was badly shaken and said he had been crying. A man aged 30, a strong man too, who had fought against TNI in his own way during the 1990s. TNI had beaten him severely resulting in chest pains for 10 years and coughing up of blood which has cost him dearly. He must do light work and not exert himself, say the doctors, Cuban and otherwise. More - he must find $30 a month to buy medicine to forestall the possibility of an early death.

Sico was shattered, but possessed the desperation to go to the PNTL station and complain. It was now 7pm. Readers would know the futility of such a quest for justice, but don’t we all have to stand true to our disdain for barbarism? What transpired? For the record, no more, the PNTL front man took Sico’s name and noted the motorbike damage, leaking petrol and all. Sorry, he couldn’t help, because he did not know which patrol, out of the many, had done this. Sico pushed further but the front man did not give an inch, warmingly suggesting that Sico went home and attended to his motorbike repairs.

The next day Sico got a quote for the repairs, which came to $132, nearly twice Sico’s monthly earnings. He took the quote to the PNTL station, but the front man would not accept the note. The police are not responsible! In the afternoon Sico, still dissatisfied, tried a third time. This time there was another front man. This time the answer was that the patrol was probably from one of the Districts, so, sorry, it was beyond his control.

Poor Sico – a poor man, an innocent man, and a man with bruises, swellings and a bill for $132.

Who will defend the small man against the Government’s ninjas? Who will pay the $132 for the Government-smashed motorbike?

Incidentally all of this defiantly happened just 100 metres from the seaside dwelling of Mr and Mrs Xanana.

Do we really need a police force?

Image added by ETLJB: The Gun-Toting East Timor Police Commander Longinhos Monteiro - Unable -or unwilling - to reign in a violent abusive police force running amok.

25 February 2010

No cabinet re-shuffle in Timor-Leste

Suara Timor Lorosae, 23 February 2010 language source: Tetun -  The Prime Minister Jose Xanana Gusmao has announced that he will not reshuffle his cabinet because he believes that his current team is functioning well and that there is no substantiated reason for it.

The Prime Minister’s announcement comes after weeks of speculation about a possible change in the cabinet following allegations of corruption. President Jose Ramos Horta also called for a change in the front bench.

However, the Prime Minister has denied the allegations.

“If they are a thief, this I cannot tolerate but I haven’t reshuffled (the cabinet) simply because I have confidence in the members of my government,” Mr Gusmao said.

Mr. Gusmao explained that the reshuffle can only be done if the ministers are not worthy of their positions, are incompetent, or have not spent their budget wisely, but he says he’s confident that his ministers are working well.

According to Xanana, another reason for not doing the reshuffle is to ensure the stability of his current leadership coalition which consists of five parties including CNRT, PD, PSD, UNDERTIM, and ASDT.

The bench leader for the Opposition in the National Parliament, Francisco Branco, said that Xanana is not willing to reshuffle his cabinet because he wants to protect corrupt ministers within his cabinet.

Image added by ETLJB: Artwork by Arte Moris: Portrait of the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

Amnesty International Letter to UN Security Council on the Justice Situation in East Timor 23/02/2010

Amnesty International Letter to UN Security Council on the Justice Situation in East Timor                                                            

More allegations of abuses by police in Timor-Leste

Police assault two local residents Radio Timor-Leste 23 February 2010 language source: Tetun - Two men seriously wounded because they were assaulted by the National Police officers in the western district of Kovalima.

The two were beaten in Debo of Zumalai sub district by Kovalima police operational officers.

Victim, Manuel Monis has said that the police kicked him with boots, punched to his chest and also beat him with weapon.

Another victim, Filomeno Guterres also maltreated by the police and was freed after the inquiry.

24 February 2010

East Timor's "attempted assassination" trial - Who conspired to murder who?

President Horta will show his scars to the public Televizaun Timor Leste & Diário Nacional, February 20, 2010 language source: Tetun - The President Jose Ramos Horta said that he would show his scars to the Timorese public sometime in the future as there are some who disbelieve that he was shot by rebel soldiers led by Alfredo Reinado on February 11, 2008. 

“I want to see those who are like Saint Thomas by showing them my scars and I believe that like Thomas they will be ashamed but I cannot act as if I were in a zoological garden to take off my clothes in public,” Horta said. 

President Horta said that many witnesses including the Australian surgeons that worked on him after the failed assassination attempt in 2008, and the former Timorese Health Minister Doctor Rui de Araujo, can
verify that he was shot and still has scars.

But the President has said that he could show the scars privately to members of the court case if necessary.

Former Rebel Gastao Salsinha denies allegations made by public prosecution Radio Timor Leste, February 20, 2010 language source: Tetun - The ex-rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha, has denied the allegation made by the Public Prosecution that he, and the other rebel followers, were involved in the assault and attempted assassination of the President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao on February 11th 2008.

Mr. Salsinha made the comment as his trial taking place at the Dili District Court comes to a close.

He repeated his statement that he, and the other rebels, went to the president and prime ministers houses with the intention to hold discussions with the leaders and said that none of the rebels wanted to attempt an assassination.

Mr. Salsinha stressed that the Public Prosecution is wrong in accusing him of intending to kill the leaders and also said that noone was actually hurt, either the security guards or rebels, in the alleged assassination attempt on Prime Minister Gusmao. 

Alleged assassin Marcelo Caetano denies shooting President Horta Radio Timor Leste, February 20, 2010 language source: Tetun - The man accused of shooting President Horta on February 11th 2008, Marcelo “Susar” Caetano, yesterday denied the charges against him in testimony before the courts.

Mr. Caetano said that he had no intention of shooting President Horta, because he considered the president as a father.

Mr. Caetano revealed that he was told by his commander Alfredo Reinado to come to President Jose Ramos Horta’s house to hold discussions with him, but not to attack the president.

“We went to the President Horta’s resident to hold dialogue with him as we were instructed buy our commander Reinado”, Mr. Caetano said.

Alleged assassination mastermind Angelita Pires claims her innocence Radio Timor Leste, February 20, 2010 language source: Tetun - The accused, Angelita Pires, has claimed that she, along with the twenty-seven other former rebels alleged to involve in the attempted assassination of 2008, are innocent.

Mrs. Pires denies the allegations, made by the prosecution, that she raised funds to support the ex-rebel leader, Alfredo Reinado and says Reinado’s group was funded by the Timorese Government at that time.

“The allegations made by the Public Prosecution are a falsehood because there is no evidence; therefore the courts have to reveal the truth, based on the facts presented in this case,” Mrs. Pires said.

She also denied claims Reinado had sought any support from Australia, saying that he was well funded by the Timorese Government.

She explained that her relationship with Reinado, was that she was his girlfriend, not an organizer of any alleged attempts to assassinate the President.

President Horta should show his scar to the court Suara Timor Lorosa’e, February 22, 2010 language source: Tetun - The lawyer for the ex-rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha, Jose Pedro Camoes, has said that he will not believe that President Jose Ramos Horta was really shot by the rebel on February 11th 2008, if the president not yet to show his scars to the court.

Mr. Camoes made the comment following the Public Prosecution and medical staffs are not yet to present a formal report on the President Horta and the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) officer, Celestino Gama, to the court.

Mr. Camoes added that the lawyers are not believe that the president was really shot by the former rebel leader, Alfredo Reinado’s followers.

“We do not believe that Mr. President Horta was really shot by Reinado’s followers as he has not showed his scar yet,” Mr. Camoes said.

Bodyguard that saved Xanana in 11 February 2008 attack died Diario Nacional, February 22, 2010, language source: Tetun - A bodyguard that saved the life of Prime Minister in February 11 attack, Adolfo Soares dos Santos, died last Friday (19/2) in Denpasar, Bali (Indonesia) due to a complication of high blood pressure, kidney and stomach problems. 

During an official ceremony held for the deceased, PNTL Commissioner Longinhos Monteiro said that the death of Mr. Santos was a big loss for the PNTL. 

Also present during the ceremony was the Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Defense and Security. 

Since 1986, Mr. Santos was a member of Mobile Brigade Unit of Indonesian Police and was a security guard for the last two Indonesian governors in Timor-Leste afterwards. 

He became a personal body guard and driver for Mr. Xanana, then president of the CNRT, based on the recommendation from Mr. Mario Carrascalao in 2000. 

In 2002 he become a PNTL member and from there was recruited as personal bodyguard of Xanana.

He was born in Estadu village of Ermera in 1966 and is now survived by his wife Maria Lourdes Pina with their five children.

20 years sought for attackers Diario Nacional, February 22, 2010, language source: Tetun - The Timorese public prosecution office has sought prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years for those 28 people involved in the February 11th attack on the President of the Republic and the Prime

The charges against the attackers were decided during a trial held by Dili District Court last Thursday (16/2). 

Mr. Felizmino Cardoso said that there were convincing fact and evidence that the attackers held automatic guns illegally and that they had committed crimes against the state, according to the Indonesian penal code nos. 53, 338 and 104. 

The lawyer of rebel group Jose Pedro Camoes said that there was no strong and sufficient evidence against the attackers and therefore he asked the court to immediately release them. 

Mr. Camoes said that the rebel group led by the late Alfredo Reinado came down to Horta’s residence based on the invitation of the president sent through a short-message service (SMS).

He also stressed that there was no intention from the rebel group to kill the President and the Prime Minister.

The verdict of the lawyers is scheduled to be heard at 2 P.M. of March 3rd, 2010.

118 Arrests and 7 detentions in recent anti-crime surge in Timor-Leste

118 captured and 7 imprisoned for criminal activity in Bobonaro and Kovalima Diario Nacional, February 22, 2010 language source: Tetun - The National Police Commissioner, Longuinhos Monteiro, has said that one
hundred and eighteen people have been captured and seven people were imprisoned in operations connected with “ninja” gang activities in the districts of Kovalima and Bobonaro. 

“There were seven men there wearing ninja clothing and they have now been detained awaiting trial, however the other one-hundred and eighteen residents have simply been participating in police procedures,” he said,
during a press briefing in Kovalima.  

Commissioner Monteiro also added that the number of those who voluntarily handed themselves in has now reached a total number of  four hundred and fourty-eight people, including sixty-seven people from
Fohorem Sub-district. 

Commissioner Monteiro also said that one of the seven people, “Karau Timor”, was captured in Ainaru on Thursday and was taken to the Suai court.

From the hearing allegations were made that “Karau Timor” had been involved in horrible crimes including the decapitation of a girl, as well as an alleged sexual assault against his own niece. 

Commissioner Monteiro says that the police operations to stop criminal activities in the Bobonaro and Kovalima will continue until at least August 2010 “in order to restore peace and security within the troubled districts”.

But see also HAK Report on the Human Rights Situation in Covalima and Bobonaro 20 February 2010 

Image added by ETLJB: Timorese Police Commission Longinhos Monteiro

Timor Government denies rights violations in recent anti-crime surge while civil society condemns unconstitutional acts

No Violations during Bobonaro and Kovalima Intervention: State Secretary  for Defence Suara Timor Lorosa’e, February 22, 2010 language source: Tetun - The State Secretary for Defense, Julio Tomas Pinto, has said that the Timorese National Police and Defense Force have not committed any violations of citizen’s rights during their current operation to hunt down so called “ninja” crime gangs in the districts of Bobonaro and Kovalima.

Mr. Pinto said that he had not received any reports, from residents of the two districts, about any possible violations that may have occurred.

Mr. Pinto also reiterated that the presence of the two hundred national soldiers in the Bobonaro and Kovalima districts is to provide special support to the police in maintaining security along the border.

But see further HAK Report on the Human Rights Situation in Covalima and Bobonaro 20 February 2010

Image added by ETLJB: State Secretary for Defense, Julio Tomas Pinto denies human rights violations and unconstitutional interventions reported by civil society. Who is telling the truth?

HAK Report on the Human Rights Situation in Covalima and Bobonaro 20 February 2010

HAK Report on the Human Rights Situation in Covalima and Bobonaro 20 February 2010                                                                   

An analysis of the social problem of the lack of regulation of communal lands in Timor-Leste

Communal Land Rights in East Timor                                                            

23 February 2010

Arrests, human rights abuses and unconstitutional interventions as East Timor "cleans up criminal gangs"

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira February 23, 2010 Dili, Timor-Leste Update on security issue

The Spokesperson of the Government of Timor-Leste, Secretary of State Agio Pereira said that the current security concerns that exist between the districts of Suai and Maliana, particularly in the remote areas, are localized incidents which have now been secured with the strengthening of five police posts.

The districts are being patrolled by a large presence of PNTL (Police) officers deployed to the area to protect and monitor communities who have been exposed to acts of intimidation, and both petty and major criminal offences by a group of organized perpetrators.

The operation has been successful. National security intelligence was utilized in accordance with community policing efforts to identify offenders. PNTL officers were able to quickly and effectively secure the region.

Investigations have identified some 35 suspects including 5 main actors. From that number, 30 have been brought to the court for preliminary hearings. Seventeen have been applied Terms of Residence (TOR), 3 were conditionally released and 10 are still waiting for the decision from the courts. The majority of followers of the group voluntarily and peacefully surrendered to the police due to the good work and collaborative efforts of the communities, local authorities and police officers.

Further investigations are still underway to determine motive; instrumental in ensuring that further incidents of this type are prevented.

Since the crises of 2006; law and order has been restored to Timor-Leste, some 150,000 IDP’s returned to homes and infrastructure has been rebuilt allowing for an unprecedented level of stability, fostering social and economic growth.

The Xanana Gusmao Government has a no tolerance policy on acts of gang violence or civil disobedience that threatens communities. All necessary action by the security sector within the principles of law, order and justice will be implemented to ensure the safety and protection of the citizens of Timor-Leste. ENDS

For More Information Please Contact: Agio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail: agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl

Image added by ETLJB: Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira 

For a report by civil society law and justice organisation, HAK, on this security operation, see Leading Timorese Human Rights Group reports violations of human rights and unconstitutional mobilisation of police 

Community Land in East Timor: A Lesson from Paraguay

ETLJB 23/02/2010 1856hrs AEST SYDNEY - As the government of East Timor, with the support of the United States and Australian governments  as well as the World Bank, drafts its law on community lands in East Timor, those lands are already being alienated by the government to investors even though there are no clear legal protections for community lands or the local groups that occupy them and claim them as their ancestral legacy.

In the interests of traditional local communities in East Timor who have not been properly represented in the policy formulation or the drafting of the legislation, it is instructive to examine recent experiences of traditional communities in other countries.

As in East Timor, the government of Paraguay also grants rights and concessions over community lands without there being a protective legal framework that seeks to ensure the integrity of communal land rights as against both the state and outsiders. Nor is there any apparent policy from the government to shore up its traditional communities or act in their interests. This approach causes serious social problems to arise that have the potential to spiral into violence.

The initial draft of the law on the special regime for the determination of ownership of immovable property in East Timor made no mention whatever of the legal status of communal land rights or compensation for the appropriation of the land through the agency of the state to private capital. Instead, it left the matter entirely within the unrestrained discretionary powers of the executive (and, subject, ultimately, therefore, to the arbitrary decisions of the reigning political group and the economic elite).

A third draft of the law has made significant progress on the provisions pertaining to community lands in East Timor but there remain several problems which are yet to be addressed. Whether these problems will be justly resolved or whether the old battles of state land versus communal lands,  of international capital  versus local traditional communities will continue to take an agonising toll on local communities who have used their lands for centuries if not millenia but who now face the challenges of the modern age and the voracious greed of wealth accumulation by the ruling class and foreign corporations.

It is not too late for East Timor to act in accordance with international laws, conventions and declarations in relation to its traditional indigenous communities and ensure an appropriate regulatory framework - and enshrine sustainable participatory development based on the complete recognition of the ancestral land systems as well as just compensation where rights are diminished or are appropriated in the public interest.

The third draft may be read here on ETLJB.

Image: Uma lulik (sacred house): The symbol of local power and the spiritual centre of the traditional community in East Timor: Pre-Christian beliefs and practices continue in East Timor side-by-side with Catholicism. In many church yards, there is also a uma lulik and/or totem. By tolerating and even incorporating the symbols of animistic and ancestral cults, the Church maintains both its religious and political position in East Timor (as well as through its vast land holdings) even while its Roman doctrines seem to conflict with such a juxtaposition of beliefs.
From Global Voices Online - Paraguay: Indigenous Group Sprayed Aerially with Pesticides Thursday, November 12th, 2009 @ 23:02 UTC by Eduardo Avila - In eastern Paraguay, 217 members of the Ava Guaraní indigenous community recently came down with health symptoms that include nausea and headaches. It is believed that these individuals became sick as a result of intentional aerial spraying with pesticide, after they refused to vacate their ancestral lands.

Governmental officials confirm that parts of the indigenous group's land located in the Itakyry district in the Department of Alto Parana had been sprayed where no crops are present [es]. Many of the signs point to Brazilian soy growers as those responsible for the spraying, in part because the indigenous community's land is valuable for the crop and that they had been in a dispute with the Ava Guaraní over the ownership of approximately 3,000 hectares [es], according to the blog Interparaguay [es].

Jose Angel Lopez Barrios of Bienvenidos! [es] describes the isolated community where the incident took place.

Itakyry is one of the districts of the Department of Alto Parana, located 450 kilometers from the capital city of Asuncion. One arrives by unpaved roads, its heyday was during the yerba mate cultivation. This ended after 100 years, making way for the soy cultivation during recent times.

It is demand for soybeans, and the rising prices, which makes land suitable for this crop at such a high premium. Some of this land is located on ancestral lands of indigenous communities, such as the Guaraní. Blogger Carlos Rodríguez of Rescatar [es] does not think that the spraying incident against the indigenous group is an isolated incident, and calls the act “genocide”:

There was a time in Paraguay when the aboriginals were not considered human beings. They were hunted like animals and their offspring collected like trophies.

Some of their land was appropriated with bullets and blood, and as the indigenous did not go to the institutions in charge of of providing titles to the lands that always belonged to them, the white man did go to these institutions, it makes no sense that the rightful owners of these lands are now the “invaders.”

They continue to be treated like animals. It is only this way that one can understand how the soy producers can send fumigation planes to spray poison on top of them, which was proven by the Ministry of Health, which is now helping the indigenous poisoned by pesticides.

Lopez Barrios is also ashamed of the history of mistreatment of indigenous communities in Paraguay [es]. As a descendant of emigrants to the country, he writes that the incident “makes him feel like returning to Europe ….but really … prefers that the exploiters leave.”

To resent an indigenous group with more than 38 centuries in existence on their own and true territory, does not seem appropriate to me…. If we do not respect our elders, our days on earth will be shortened, and if greed is placed ahead of any other virtue, we will fall hopelessly…..