16 March 2010

Defence Force Commander Matan Ruak's criticism of use of Portuguese in the courts a wake-up call for the people

General Ruak’s Concerns has awakened all people: Hornay and Oliveira Diario Nacional, March 15, 2010 language source: Tetun - Public Defender, Sergio Hornay, and the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Director, Luis de Oliveira, have both said that the recent statements made by the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Taur Matan Ruak, has awakened the country’s lawyers to improve and use Tetun in the trial process.

Mr. Hornay said that the expression of General Ruak was a suggestion to the Government, Parliamentarians and all the competent parties to see this language case as a challenge to the Timorese people who are looking for the truth.

Mr. Hornay added that Tetun language is the cultural identity ot Timor-Leste and therefore it is needed to valorize it.

“We all are proud of the recent statement made by General Ruak as it is a part of valorizing Tetun as our official language as it is guaranteed in the Timorese Constitution Article No 13 that the official languages of Timor-Leste are Tetun and Portuguesse.,” Mr. Hornay said.

Meanwhile, JSMP’s Director Luis de Oliveira has said that he agreed with the recent call made by General Ruak for the court to use Tetun language in the trial process, so that all people could understand decisions made by the court in all cases.

“Using Portuguese in the court during trial process has not reflected on the people's condition and it will be difficult to the people to understand it,” Mr. Oliveira said.

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