31 July 2010

JSMP:Use of the Portuguese language makes it hard for a number of parliamentarians to debate the draft civil code

Press Release May 2010Use of the Portuguese language makes it hard for a number of parliamentarians to debate the draft civil code   - On 31 May, Committee A of National Parliament organized a plenary session to debate the Draft Civil Code in National Parliament. One of the members of parliament, Natalino do Santos, representing the CNRT bench, raised the issue of the use of Portuguese, which is making it difficult for them to engage in a thorough discussion and take decisions about the Draft Civil Code which is a very lengthy document which has important applications in the daily lives of citizens. 
JSMP Director Luis de Oliveira Sampaio stated that “JSMP is pleased to see that finally a large number of people are raising language as an important issue in order to increase participation in the drafting of laws to produce laws of high quality that truly reflect the cultural context of Timor-Leste”.  

JSMP has serious concerns about this issue, because the parliament is a crucial body that produces legislation, and if members of parliament find it difficult to express their opinions or participate in discussion on draft legislation, then what about the majority of ordinary citizens who don’t understand Portuguese? What can they do to contribute or participate to the legal drafting process, a process that is extremely important in their lives.  

The aforementioned Member of Parliament raised this issue in relation to the submission of the Draft Civil Code by the Minister of Justice, Lúcia Lobato, in National Parliament. The aforementioned Member of Parliament commented that this draft law is very lengthy and has been split into five books. He then stated that the Civil Code covers many issues and has important applications in the lives of citizens. Therefore this draft law needs to be discussed properly.

However, in reality the members of Committee A have not read the entire contents of the draft law because it is so lengthy, which has been exacerbated by the fact the document is written in Portuguese and the numerous legal terms make it difficult for them to understand the draft law and discuss it properly in order to make well informed decisions. Therefore, they requested the Minister of Justice to prepare the draft law in Tetum and provide explanations on the legal terms used.

The Minister of Justice confirmed that the Ministry has already translated this draft law into Tetum, however the Tetum version is still difficult to use in discussion because it does not properly reflect what was written in the Portuguese version. Nevertheless, the Ministry will endeavor to present the draft law in Tetum and will aim to be present when the draft law is discussed in parliament, in order to provide clarification to members of parliament about difficult legal terms.   

Even though there are difficulties with the language, JSMP congratulates the members of Committee A for working hard to discuss this draft law and present their opinions to the chair of Parliament.  JSMP hopes that the competent bodies and the entire community will work together to promote Tetum as a national language, and more importantly as a language to be used in the legislative process, so that everyone can give their opinion and contribute to the drafting of top quality laws that truly reflect the circumstances of the people of Timor-Leste as a whole.   

JSMP:Poor interpretation during trial of the perpetrators of the 28 April 2006 attack

Pess Release Published 14 July 2010 Poor interpretation during trial of the perpetrators of the 28 April 2006 attack - On 13 July 2010 the Dili District Court read out the indictment in Case No.88/C.ord/TDD/2009 in relation to an attack that was carried out on 28 April 2006 in front of the government building (government palace) involving the defendant OML. The trial took place before a panel of judges led by presiding judge Jacinta da Costa Correia who was accompanied by judge Guilhermino da Silva and international judge Maria Leonor Botelho. The prosecution service was represented by public prosecutor José Luis Landim and the public defender’s office was represented by international public defender Marcelo Mendonça.

JSMP noted that the interpreting provided in the aforementioned hearing was unsatisfactory, particularly in relation to the reading out of the indictment by the Public Prosecutor and the defence presented by the lawyer for the defendants. In response to this situation the presiding judge took over and summarized what was presented by the public prosecutor and public defender.

The director of JSMP Luis de Oliveira Sampaio considers that the language issue is a major concern in the justice system of Timor-Leste. This issue often creates difficulties and confusion for interpreters as well as defendants and victims, as occurred during the reading out of the indictment relating to an attack carried out on 28 April 2006 that caused damage to the government building. Therefore JSMP recommends and urges the government of Timor-Leste to make efforts to provide interpreters who are qualified and fluent in Portuguese, who have sufficient understanding of legal terminology to ensure that the trial process can run smoothly.

JSMP is concerned that during this trial the interpretation from Portuguese into Tetum was problematic and many statements were repeated and the message was unclear. As a consequence the presiding judge took over and clarified or corrected the interpretation to accurately reflect what was stated by the defence.

The prosecutor’s indictment charged the defendants with Article 189.3 of the Timor-Leste Penal code on instigation to commit a crime as well as Article 193.1 on failure to obey a lawful order. However, the lawyer for the defendants in his defence stated that what his client said in public speeches between 24 - 28 April 2006 could not be classified as the crime charged in the prosecutor’s indictment, because his client did not act in a manner that could be considered as instigating others to commit a crime. Rather, his client only stated his opinion by demanding an end to the issue of discrimination within the F-FDTL institution which had led to the petitioner issue at that time.  If violence and crimes were committed against state assets, then this was the public displaying their dissatisfaction with the government who had deliberately ignored the requests and demands that they had presented over five consecutive days

Committee A approves report recommending Draft Laws on a Memorial Institution and Reparations

Press Release  21 July 2010 Committee A approves report recommending Draft Laws on a Memorial Institution and Reparations - On 14 July 2010, Committee A of National Parliament approved a report/recommendation for a Draft Law on a Memorial Institutional and a Draft Law on Reparations.  The submission was approved after a vote of 5 in favor, 2 against and 0 abstain.

Members of various parliamentary benches were present for the discussion, namely Fernanda Borges from PUN who is also the President of Committee A, Carmelita Moniz from CNRT, Natalino dos Santos from CNRT, Teresa Amaral from ASDT,  Cornelio Gama a.k.a. L-7 from UNDERTIM and Aniceto Guterres and Domingos Sarmento from Fretilin.

A member of the Fretilin bench, Domingos Sarmento, rejected the recommendations of the report because the law on reparations should prioritize victims who fought for national liberation, however the report included a recommendation that other victims should receive support and social assistance from the government.

Another member of parliament, L-7, agreed with the report because the reparations mechanism can benefit all victims, particularly those who have been rendered vulnerable as a consequence of their active or passive involvement in war. This sentiment was echoed by another member of parliament, Natalino dos Santos, who agreed at the Committee level to give proper recognition to the victims, however he may change his stance during the plenary debate if considered necessary.

JSMP Director, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, congratulates the members of parliament on their hard work, because despite their different political views on the matter, they all have a desire to carry out the recommendations of the final report from CAVR (Chega!) as well as the recommendations of the Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF). Therefore, JSMP encourages and urges the honorable members of national parliament to immediately discuss these draft laws in a plenary session and approve the laws before the end of this year.

JSMP hopes that these two draft laws will provide benefits to vulnerable victims who were subjected to violence, maltreatment or other violations of their fundamental rights as the result of actions or omissions or serious violations of international human rights law. JSMP also hopes that the existence of these laws can further prevent practices that discriminate against the rights of the disabled and provide health care and rehabilitation to those suffering mental health problems, as well as advice and social services, including professional training and non-formal training to the illiterate as set out in Article 9.1 a), b) and c) of the draft law on reparations.

25 July 2010

CJITL: Minister for Justice Lucia is Formally Made Suspect in Maternus Bere Case

Translation of Centre for Investigative Journalism Timor-Leste article
(Tetum to Portuguese)

Written by CJITL Editor-Friday, 09 July 2010

Dili Flash, Thursday 8 July 2010:


Lucia Brandao Lobato, Minister for Justice has been officially notified by the Timor-Leste Prosecutorial authorities as a suspect because of her suspected involvement with the release of former Laksaur militia leader, Maternus Bere.

The Minister for Justice Lucia Lobato appeared in the company with her lawyer Sergio Hornay to give her statement regarding her involvement in the release of Maternus Bere on 30 August 2009.

During this interrogation process the Minister had to comply with her legal obligations to answer numerous questions regarding her involvement in the case.

Shortly after giving her statement to the Prosecutorial Authorities, Lucia Lobato told journalist that she was the one who released him, but that the decision had been made by the President of the Republic (PR) Jose Ramos-Horta, because Horta had already promised to Jakarta before 30 August 2009 that Maternus Bere would be handed over to the Indonesian government.

“As a political leader who released Maternus Bere, I take responsibility for my actions, but other political leaders must also accept responsibility,” stated Lucia.

“I have already asked the Prosecutorial Authorities to also take statements from President Horta, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao as well as the Prosecutor General of the Republic, because they were all involved, but in the end it was the Minister of Justice alone that has had to answer, that is unjust,” Lucia pointed out.

Lucia Lobato received the notification letter on 22 June 2010 notifying that she had been made a suspect in the case of the release of Maternus Bere from Becora Prison.

“I want to say that the accused states that I took Maternus Bere out of jail, this I do not accept, because everyone was involved,” affirmed Lobato.

Sergio Hornay as defense counsel to the Minister for Justice, Lucia Lobato confirmed that high level figures should not wash their hands of this case, but that it is in everyone’s interest that everyone take responsibility and not just his client. (CJITL Editor)

HAK calls on L-7 to take his case to the Public Prosecutor

Timor Post July 15 2010 language source: Tetun - Rui Viana, the Director of the peak national civil society justice organisation, HAK [Timorese Human Rights Association]  has called on MP Cornelio L-7 Gama to take the case he is facing to the Public Prosecution as everyone is under the law in the country.

Viana called on the veterans not use politics to intervene in the legal process because all cases should be resolved through the legal processes and everyone should abide by the law.

He said the police might have strong reasons in this regard yet it was still known to the public.

Rui added it was important to take the case to the Public Prosecution if L-7’s car and wheels were still being seized by the police.

Fretilin and UNDERTIM to uncover pro-Indonesian clandestine group's intelligence in Timor-Leste

Diario Nacional July 15 2010 language source: Tetun - Fretilin and UNDERTIM parties will make efforts to uncover the intelligence activities of UNTAS [a pro-Indonesia organisation] as it aims at integrating the Timorese people with Indonesia.

MP Osorio Soares said that, as citizen,s all the Timorese should unite to defend the country’s stability from external threats.

Meanwhile MP Ernes Barros from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said Timor-Leste should pay attention to the UNTAS’ documents because it could create instability in the country.

The UNTAS was established in Kupang in 2000 [West Timor] in Indonesia which aimed to continue fighting for Timorese integration into Indonesia.

Bakcground to UNTAS
"UNTAS – ‘Uni Timor Aswain’ (Aswain means Heroes), an organisation created in West Timor on 5 Feb. 2000, is the successor to the FPDK (‘Forum Persatuan, Demokrasi dan Keadilan’ – Unity, Democracy & Justice Forum), which was set up before the referendum to provide political cover for the militias. UNTAS maintains that the UN-organised referendum was fraudulent.

Its leading figures are: Domingos das Dores Soares, Basílio Dias Araújo and Filomeno de Jesus Hornay.

The two main [pro-autonomy] groups, the militias and their political wing (UNTAS), both operating from within Indonesia, oppose the presence of relief organisations so they can maintain control over the refugees, without whom they would lose their power. They send armed men into East Timor to incite a guerrilla struggle, and still receive political and military support in Indonesia." from http://members.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/linkswatch.htm#ETO

State to save Justice Minister Lobato

Suara Timor Lorosa’e July 15 2010 language source: Tetun - MP Vital dos Santos from the Democratic Party (PD) said the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government would not intervene in the case of the release of ex-militia leader Maternus Bere but the Government had its own way to save Justice Minister Lucia Lobato from the legal charge.

MP dos Santos made the comments yesterday saying that the Government would not put hands into the legal process of the case of releasing the ex-militia commander Maternus Bere on 30 August last year.

Dos Santos added Timor-Leste was a democratic country and therefore the legal process for Bere’s release should be continued adding that it was important to look at the national interest as well.

“It is not mistake of the Justice Minister Lucia Lobato as she just implemented decision made in the national interest , namely, the country’s stability,” MP dos Santos said.

MP dos Santos added that the other reason of freeing Bere was because of socio-economy security and geography aspects of the country.-

Balibo Secret Excerpt

The following is taken from the Introduction to a new book called "Secret Ally". If you are interested go to the website www.balibosecret.gwds.com.au 

Unearthed secret Defence Department documents prove a massive armaments diversion in the region was at the centre of the Balibo cover up. A conspiracy to keep all Australian Prime Ministers from 1975 onwards ignorant of the arms diversion and the secret Indonesian invasion and thus from intervening in East Timor cost the lives of not only six journalists but hundreds of thousands of East Timorese. There will be no real justice for the dead until this story is told.

There are two camps of contention concerning the questions did Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam know of the deaths of the five journalists in East Timor on 16 October 1975 and did he see documents warning of the upcoming invasion of Balibo? It has been claimed by some people, including some of his own officials, that Whitlam actually gave the green light to President Suharto of Indonesia to invade the fledging democratic nation of East Timor.

From my twenty years of research Whitlam appears a particularly honest man with an even pedantic if not obsessive approach to protocol. When an outraged Margaret Whitlam asked her husband why he didn’t slap Governor General Sir John Kerr’s face and rip up the letter that withdrew his commission as Prime Minister, Whitlam replied “Because, Margaret, it was a legal document”. (“Margaret Whitlam”. Susan Mitchell page 266). He had a seeming profound respect, if not fixation for the sanctity of the official written word. If that is the case the following may appear shocking. If we go to the 2007 Coronial Report on the Inquest Into The Death of Brian Raymond Peters, the Coroner Dorelle Pinch notes on page 103 of her report that he was never even aware Indonesian special forces invaded Balibo in mid October 1975, "Rather he was of the impression that the first time Indonesian soldiers invaded East Timor was the attack on Dili on 7 December 1975." The Coroner then notes "As to the time he learnt of the deaths of the journalists, Mr Whitam gave evidence that he was briefed for the first time on 21 October. He stated that he was certain of the date because he was able to check his movements in his Official Diary."

So Mr Whitlam always believed the journalists were killed, not by Indonesian soldiers as the Coronial Inquest found, but in local partisan crossfire between East Timorese forces! This has been the official Indonesian and Australian Government’s line for the last 32 years! Would Whitlam lie under oath against his memory of events, let alone his own documented records. It seems out of character in the extreme that a trained and experienced lawyer would go against his memory of events as well as the document record of his Official Diaries to make a false statement and perjure himself, if he had prior knowledge of the invasion and up to the minute information concerning the murders of the Balibo Five.

We cannot prove or disprove claims that Gough Whitlam was aware of what was going down between Indonesia and East Timor in mid October 1975. Whitlam states he was not told of the deaths for five days and then appears ignorant about an Indonesian secret invasion and the reason he was briefed on the 21st about the deaths is given on page 106 of the Coronial Report by his Defence Minister Bill Morrison. "It was suggested to Mr Morrison that the reason the families were not immediately notified of the deaths was that DSD capabilities would be compromised if that was the only source of the information. However Mr Morrison pointed out that Kompas, an Indonesian newspaper, carried headlines on 20 October that Australians had been killed in East Timor and the text reported four bodies had been found. From that time, the article provided collateral for the DSD signal and it was not the source that caused further delay."

Whitlam-as well as the relatives -it seems from his testimony, was kept in the dark until the information was out in the public domain. The deaths being outed in the media, they had to tell Whitlam after the newspaper article on 20 October and they did so, as he and his diary notes the next day, the 21st, for he would find out anyway and they would look stupid or worse. Also Bill Morrison stated at the 2007 Inquest that he did not brief Whitlam of the invasion because Whitlam 'had too much on his hands' and Foreign Affairs Minister Don Willesee also claimed to have kept stum according to his daughter. Both men claimed Arthur Tange ordered them to keep it quiet.

There is also Whitlam's massive tome " The Whitlam Government 1972-1975" written soon after events, which goes into minute and copious detail the history leading up to and into proceedings in Indonesia and East Timor in 1975 and it is all pro Suharto and scorn for Fretelin. Then there is the later work "Abiding Interests" which is embarrassing in its ignorance and praise for Suharto and Indonesia and both books celebrate the work done by the Indonesians in East Timor. The extent of Whitlam’s true knowledge of events in Balibo we will look at later but what we can prove is that every other Australian Prime Minister after Whitlam for a 30 year period was ignorant of the secret Indonesian invasion of Balibo! This ignorance resulted in allegedly hundreds of thousands of East Timorese joining the Balibo Five in death! 

The reason why both Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser were so scornful of Fretelin as a communist regime, why nothing was ever done by them and the other PM's for decades to save the people and they were so supportive of Suharto is because this was the information and advice they were given by their Australian Government officials and Indonesian President Suharto and his officials. If we go to "The Whitlam Government 1972-1975" page 111, Whitlam notes concerning the discussions around the future of East Timor in 1975, "On 30 October Willesee offered an Australian venue for round table discussions. In Rome on 1 and 2 November the Portuguese and Indonesian foreign ministers agreed on the need for a meeting between Portugal and the three Timorese parties. Again it was impossible to reach agreement. Soon after the coup in Canberra on 11 November Fraser wrote to Suharto that he hoped to establish with him the close personal ties that he understood that I had with him.”

The Coroner of the Inquest in 2007 handed down her finding which in part stated Brian Raymond Peters part of the group “collectively known as  “the Balibo Five” died at Balibo in Timor –Leste from wounds sustained when he was shot and/or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian Special Forces, including Christoforus da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah, to prevent him from revealing that Indonesian Special Forces had participated in the attack on Balibo.”

The ignorance of what was actually going on here and what Whitlam revealed above in his book, but which was really revealed at the 2007 Coronial Inquest is breathtaking. The above dates quoted by Whitlam, 30 October and 1 and 2 November were two weeks after the commencement of the secret Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the deaths of the journalists at Balibo, however Whitlam writes as if nothing has happened and peaceful negotiations are under way to resolve the future of East Timor! What’s more Whitlam notes Indonesian foreign ministers agreed to the need for more meetings between Portugal and the East Timorese when the Indonesians had already landed and taken Balibo and Maliana and were indeed advancing and would attack and take Dili on December 7, in what was already a military takeover codenamed Operation Flamboyan!  Whitlam seems profoundly ignorant of Operation Flamboyan and the attack and murders at Balibo, but what we can note here from the above is that new Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is totally ignorant of Operation Flamboyan, and the deaths at Balibo! What's more Malcolm wanted to be friends with Suharto too, just like Whitlam! He was caretaker Prime Minister and even weeks after the invasion he still knew nothing about it and he was kept out of the loop for his term of office and reportedly hundreds of thousands of peoples native to this land would follow the dead journalists prematurely into the dust of East Timor. That Malcolm Fraser would become a renowned humanitarian and globe trotting statesman for other causes had no impact on his ignorance of the Indonesian secret war in East Timor. Successive Prime Ministers Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard and Kevin Rudd, up to the 2007 Inquest, would all join the ignorance party.

There is a massive cover up and it is ongoing. The Coroner of the 2007 Inquest into Brian Peters' death formally referred her finding on war crimes committed by certain Indonesians at Balibo on 16 October 1975 to the Commonwealth Attorney General. The Attorney General seeking prosecution passed it on to the Australian Federal Police. The AFP website notes all kinds of difficulties in a such a criminal proceeding but notes an investigation is onging so it can't say much. How long will it take and would they ever seek extradition of these Indonesians after all this time? They want to hurry up, they are old men.

The real answer behind what is going on may be in the website of the National Archives in its Fact sheet 238-The 'Balibo Affair', East Timor, October 1975. Concerning Indonesian criminality in the deaths of the Balibo Five as found by the Coroner nearly three years ago and an Indonesian invasion of East Timor in mid October 1975, the official record of our National Archives states and I quote, "Fretilin declared the territory's independencd on 28 November (1975). Indonesia's response was an invasion of East Timor beginning on 5 December... 

That is the official line still, that Indonesia first invaded at Dili in December! The cover up is still going on for those students of history who go to the official records. What are the chances of finding anything in the files they offer the researcher! There is no closure for the relatives or anyone else. The only real closure to be found is in the following revelations contained in this website. My website is designed so that even those who can't afford the book can go to the relevant National Archives files, files that were illegaly and carefully hidden for 30 years and pull the documents that blow the whole thing open.
In “The Cameron Diaries” by the late, The Hon Clyde Cameron, page 90, the author notes, concerning the day Tuesday 23 March 1976, that a recommendation was put forward by a committee of senior Whitlam ministers that “East Timor should have the choice of (a) independence (b) adherence to Portugal or ((c) incorporation with Indonesia. The Committee also recommended the withdrawal of Indonesian forces in accordance with the Security Council’s decision, the stationing of a UN peacekeeping force in Portuguese East Timor, urgent humanitarian aid to all areas of need in Portuguese East Timor and the suspension of Australian defence aid to Indonesia if they do not withdraw their forces from Portuguese East Timor.”

This is the real world! The Security Council was involved, UN peacekeeping efforts were in place, the Whitlam ministers were behind these initiatives and advising even more. However Whitlam’s attitude is revealed on page 633 of the above book. Concerning a Caucus motion “of protest over Indonesia’s refusal to grant visas to Members of the Australian Parliament to attend East Timor. The Canberra Times report reads: Mr Whitlam pointed out that a delegation from Australia would be interfering in the internal affairs of another nation, Indonesia."

Whitlam has seemingly no idea of what went down in Balibo or East Timor in general. What is interesting is that Whitlam, instead of condemning Operation Flamboyan as a clandestine operation to take over East Timor, always believed the Indonesians were only doing good in East Timor while his ministers knew the truth of Indonesian expansionist aggression! Only they lived in the real world. Why? The reason that Whitlam was not living in it is that Whitlam was being briefed by rogue Australian Government officials and Malcolm Fraser would inherit these same rogue officials and their briefings and disinformation. Both men who would become renowned humanitarians were tricked into doing nothing from briefings by their officials that in Whitlam’s own words when replying to a challenge by George Negus that Balibo took him by surprise, “Not really, because as I said earlier to you, the new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, Mr Anthony, had three months earlier said that East Timor was coming under Communist control, that Fretelin was Communist. Now that played on Indonesia’s paranoia about all things which are thought to be Communist.”

This is what the Australian officials and even Suharto himself and his officials briefed Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser on concerning the need for the invasion of Dili in early December, it was the threat of the Red Menace! Whitlam had recalled Australian troops from Viet Nam and it subsequently fell to the Communists! The Australian officials and Suharto however mentioned nothing to Whitlam or Fraser about Operation Flamboyan, the attack on Balibo and the murder of the journalists that they were themselves fully aware of. Defence Secretary Sir Arthur Tange gave the orders concerning the relatives and Whitlam to be kept in the dark and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Renouf at the 2007 Coronial Inquest admitted seeing the documents concerning the invasion of Balibo and the deaths of the journalists. Both men went to work for the Fraser Government. It is on record in a further briefing they jointly dissuaded new Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser from doing anything to help the people of East Timor.

Regards Richard Hornabrook

12 July 2010

Tense Times in Timor-Leste

The Irrawaddy  By MATT CROOKJULY, 2010 - VOLUME 18 NO.7 Ozorio Leque stands accused of inciting a riot in Dili, the East Timorese capital, on April 28, 2006, when he publicly berated the government before a mob went on the rampage, attacking the government palace. The crisis that followed over the next two months led to 37 deaths and the displacement of 150,000 people.

One of the leaders of Colimau 2000, a resistance group comprising former freedom fighters, youths and farmers, Leque, 29, insists he was acting merely as an activist and that the real perpetrators of the crisis remain untouched. Meanwhile, frustrations among an increasingly disenfranchised youth demographic are now the country’s biggest social challenge.

“Now it’s more calm and more quiet and peaceful than before, but that does not mean that we don’t have conflict among the youths, among the leaders, that could lead to another social conflict in the future, particularly with martial arts groups,” he said.

In the crisis of 2006, a split in the armed forces over promotions led to clashes in the streets of Dili between the army (F-FDTL), police (PNTL) and martial arts groups. Rivalry between the army and the police remains a source of tension, but with an average age of 22 among the population of 1.1 million, the biggest threats to security are evident among the nation’s troubled young.

“This country is composed mostly of youths, but the major challenge that they are facing at the moment is the lack of skills and job opportunities. This is one of the issues that could lead to another social clash,” said Leque, whose trial at Dili District Court was again delayed on June 8.

The Indonesian military’s illegal occupation of Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999 led to about 200,000 deaths and culminated in the destruction of much of the country’s infrastructure. Shifting a nation’s mentality from resistance to development is key to maintaining stability, Leque said.

“We were coached to use violence against the Indonesian government to achieve our goal of independence or to demonstrate to international societies that we were refusing the Indonesian presence in our country, and most of these youths who were involved in the conflict in 2006 were involved in the violence against Indonesia,” he said.

“It is time for this generation to think for themselves and then their society, their family and their country. It makes no sense when you talk about development if you don’t start from yourself. Human investment is one of the most important issues,” he said. “Creating job opportunities and facilitating youths is one of the priorities in this post-conflict situation.”

But while the streets of Dili are mostly calm, especially compared to 2006, there are still bust-ups between youths in some parts of the city. The government meanwhile has discounted reports that tension between rival martial arts groups is smoldering to the point of destabilizing the country.

Secretary of State Agio Pereira said in a statement that Timor-Leste has one of the lowest crime rates per capita in the world and that reports of serious crime continue to decrease.

But not all crime is reported and the government’s knee-jerk defenses have drawn flak.

Aniceto Neves of the HAK Association, a human rights organization that works with members of martial arts groups, said a balance between sensationalist reporting and defensive posturing is needed.

“The martial arts situation is not something which is dangerous for the security of Timor-Leste,” he said. “It is about social jealousy. It is about social frustration. It is not really affecting the stability of the situation in Timor-Leste.”

Australian gang specialist James Scambary said in his latest report, “Sects, Lies and Videotape,” that fighting, “sporadic but at times intense, sometimes involving over 300 people at a time, is taking place in eight neighborhoods across the city.”

But Neves said “outsiders” have a tendency to exaggerate.

“You cannot consider most places in Dili as dangerous. You cannot consider most of the youths located in different places as dangerous or threatening to others. It is not true. If there is a threat, then the fighting would be very often,” he said.

Nelson Belo, the director of Fundasaun Mahein, a local NGO focused on security sector issues, said Dili is stable, but the problem of unemployment must be addressed or else it could pose a serious threat.

Gainful employment is hard to come by in Timor-Leste, which has only been formally independent since 2002. Subsistence farming is the norm and half the country remains illiterate.

“The problem is language,” Belo said, adding that many Timorese feel unable to get top jobs in the country because they are unable to speak Portuguese, one of Timor-Leste’s official languages, or English.

“Many Timorese only apply for jobs that are insecure,” he said.

“They only apply for jobs as security staff or cleaners, and so many of them are not in the decision level and this creates jealousy.”

The government should review its language policy so that Timorese who are unable to speak Portuguese and English can have the same opportunities as those who can, said Belo.

“Many internationals have good jobs and so people start to feel like they are guests in their own country,” he added.

The key to maintaining stability in Timor-Leste is greater involvement of people at the community level to shape future policies on security and better reflect the needs of the population, he said.

Another significant problem is the lack of coordination between Timor-Leste’s army and police force and the UN Police (UNPOL). The PNTL have been re-assuming policing duties from the UN on a district-by-district basis. To date, six of 13 districts have been handed over.

Cillian Nolan, a Dili-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, reported in February that it remains a “fiction” that the UN is in charge of policing Timor-Leste.

“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,” he wrote.

Recent allegations of excessive use of force have been leveled at the police over the beating of an unarmed man during a fishing competition and the fatal shooting of an unarmed youth in Dili last year.

In its latest “Security Sector Reform Monitor” for Timor-Leste, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) warned against the current militarization of the PNTL under police commander Longuinhos Monteiro.

“This situation underscores the need for a review of paramilitary policing and a drastic reduction in the number of PNTL weapons in a country with few illicit firearms.

“Everyday sightings of armed F-FDTL soldiers and PNTL officers, including paramilitary police units with semi-automatic assault rifles and district task force units in riot gear have increased substantially since the 2006 crisis,” according to the CIGI report.

Earlier this year, the police and military launched a six-month joint campaign after unfounded reports surfaced of “ninjas” terrorizing locals in the western districts. The heavy-handed response was widely criticized and cited as Monteiro’s way of justifying the gun-toting Public Order Battalion he created last year.

Monteiro’s show of strength may have had more to do with winning popularity points than hunting ninjas, but the stunt backfired as a torrent of complaints about human rights violations rained in on Monteiro’s men.

Then, in May, reports of a shoot-out between an illegally armed group and police in Ermera District spread through local media and triggered another wave of ninja talk, with Monteiro once again talking up the need for police action.

NGO Fundasaun Mahein on June 7 released a report casting doubt over Monteiro’s claims that there was an illegal group of gun-toting menaces on the loose, citing conflicting police reports and a lack of evidence.

“The alarmism raised by the general commander, Longuinhos Monteiro, is no different from the invention of the ninja situation in Bobonaro and Suai,” the report found.

“The rumors of illegal groups are strongly connected with PNTL’s militarization and have the potential to create competition between PNTL and F-FDTL.”

But for all the criticism, there have been improvements in the country’s police force, said Silas Everett, the country representative of the Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste.

“The police have been undertaking a transformation here, and in terms of community policing, there has been a real growing acceptance of it as an appropriate policing strategy. Officers are going out there and engaging with communities and all of that doesn’t make it into the media,” said Everett.

“In Timor-Leste, stories pick up on the violence, the poverty, and not enough is said about the good things that are happening, especially in regards to the security sector,” he added.

Yet even if security is bolstered, Timor-Leste’s ineffective justice system needs significant investment.

Neves added, “During the crisis in 2006 until present times, there are a number of people who suffered damages, who lost their houses, lost their families, had things stolen­there were people who killed­but what people face now is the absence of justice.”

A lack of qualified prosecutors has led to a backlog of about 5,000 cases at the Prosecutor General’s office.

“There is no responsibility. The ones who are suspected of killing are just free, just going around and walking freely. It makes people frustrated. Very easily they can turn to violence,” he said.

“Social frustrations regarding the justice system are provoking people to be angry with each other and then they are fighting.”



The Secretary-General has appointed Shigeru Mochida of Japan as his Deputy Special Representative for Security Sector Support and Rule of Law of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).  Mr. Mochida succeeds the late Takahisa Kawakami of Japan, who passed away on 15 March 2010.  The Secretary-General is grateful for the dedicated and excellent leadership of the late Mr. Kawakami during his service with UNMIT as well as prior United Nations assignments at Headquarters and in the field.

Mr. Mochida has served the United Nations with commitment over the past 30 years in various capacities, and brings to UNMIT extensive management and operational experience, including in the political, security and conflict-resolution areas.  He most recently served, since 2005, as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, and, before that, as the Deputy Director of the Africa I Division of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) at United Nations Headquarters in New York (2000-2005).

Mr. Mochida formerly worked with DPA as the Team Leader of the Horn of Africa Team in the Africa I Division (1994-2000) and as Officer-in-Charge of the Branch for Peaceful Settlement Procedures in Africa (1992-1994).  He was also Desk Officer for Asia and the Middle East in the Office for Research and the Collection of Information in the Office of the Secretary-General from 1988 to 1992.  He began his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, where he initially served as Attaché with the Political Affairs Division of the United Nations Bureau (1975-1976) and then as Liaison Officer in the Security Affairs Division of the American Affairs Bureau (1978-1980).

Mr. Mochida received a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University.  He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

Born in Japan in 1952, he is married and has no children.

The message as issued by UN HQ.

JapGov: Statement on Mr. Shigeru Mochida as Deputy SRSG

Japan - Statement by the Press Secretary on Mr. Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Appointed as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste

1.The Government of Japan welcomes the announcement that on Friday, July 9 (US Eastern time), Mr. Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, has been appointed as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Timor-Leste by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2.The post of the DSRSG, to which Mr. Mochida has been appointed, is an extremely important one: his tasks include supporting the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and advancing peacebuilding process in Timor-Leste in such areas as the resumption of Policing Responsibilities by Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL), security sector reform and strengthening of the rule of law.

3.The Government of Japan has been contributing to nation-building in Timor-Leste since its pre-independence days and looks forward to Mr. Mochida's contributing significantly to peacebuilding in Timor-Leste.


10 July 2010

Army will execute a cout d'etat in Timor-Leste, says Finance Minister Pires

 Finance Minister Alleges TMR Will Carry Out Coup D’état Again TEMPO SEMANAL  Dili, 6 July 2010, Edition XXVII - Despite Taur Matan Ruak (TMR) having repeatedly stated publicly that a coup d’état against a democratically elected government would set a bad precedent for the Timor-Leste nation, there are people who persist on accusing him of wanting to undertake a coup d’état against the government.  During a meetig organized by UNMIT last year Taur joked, “I must be the dumbest general in the world.  Had I been a smarter general then maybe I might have been like Perves Musharaf (ed: Pakistani President),” moving the gathered  audience to applause.
That was not the first time the general trained in the jungle for 24 years joked in this way, as he took a large UN Security Council delegation to task during a visit by them to the Falintil-FDTL headquarters at Tasi Tolu.

It is Taur Matan Ruak’s character to be honest and confronting, but he has also served the nation with utmost discipline.

Despite this fact the former Falintil Chief of Staff continues to be the target of all sorts of accusations including of acting discriminatorily, being an assassin (ed: as in 2006) and lately of wanting to undertake a coup, as can be seen in an email by Dr. Emilia Pires, the current Finance Minister in the Fourth Constitutional Government, as well as by Ms. Ines Almeida who alleged that Taur Matan Ruak would act undemocratically and carry out a coup against his former Commander in Chief.  “ I feel that some people are preparing the land in ET to follow the same steps…..,” (referring to the military coup in Fiji in 2006), wrote Dr Emilia in an email to 13 of her friends on 5 December 2006.

It seems Dr Emilia Pires wrote this after having seen news reports on CNN TV of the Fiji coup and concluded that Taur Matan Ruak was also thirsty for power and would follow the example set by the Fiji Armed Forces in December 2006.

Dr Emilia reminded her friends that signs of this had emerged in Timor-Leste from the strong statements made against the International Forces by Commander Taur.

“TMR has been saying that the army is supposed to raise up again to bring law and order because the international forces can’t do it…..,” Emilia wrote.

Dr. Emilia added that fighting between martial arts groups at the time were a means to facilitate the former guerilla fighters’ taking power.

“These gangs fights I feel is part of the plan to continue destabilizing , so that the army under TMR will have an excuse to raise up and similar things as in Fiji….,” wrote Dr. Emilia Pires.

The former World Bank staffer argued that the Falintil-FDTL could not however do as they wanted because the international community was still present.

“Lucky for us that the UN is there….which makes it harder for those there to justify their actions…..won’t be as easy as in Fiji…….but they will use some other tactics, including terrorism activities as they (F) already announced on their press release on 17 of November,” Dr. Emilia wrote.

Dr. Emilia expressed her fears recalling a conversation with a very senior American officer.

“When last I spoke with an US very senior officer….he told me that nowadays….coup d’états are made by those in power themselves against themselves when they feel they are losing ground….at the time I did not understand but now it is all very clear…..” The same day a good friend and former advisor of Dr. Emilia Pires, Ms. Ines Almeida, who is now a director of the company Lifese Timor-Leste (ed: see statements by Secretary of State for Defense Julio T. Pinto after meeting with Committee C of the National Parliament regarding this company which will construct the very expensive US$8.1 million temporary port for the F-FDTL patrol boats) also wrote an email alleging that General Taur Matan Ruak would move against his supreme leader during the resistance Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.

“I suspect if Xanana wins 2007 elections F mob will do a coup using TMR who, when elected as PR will be the Chief of Armed Forces.  Food for thought,” Ines Almeida warned her friends (15 of them), whom some people have branded “the gang from Australia”.

This newspaper tried unsuccessfully to obtain clarification from the Finance Minister, Dr. Emilia Pires.

Tempo Semanal also tried to speak by telephone with the Minister on her official number but all calls went unanswered, so on Saturday 3 July 2010 at 11:41:06 hours Tempo Semanal sent some questions to the Finance Minister by SMS, inquiring: “Big Sister Minister, I want to confirm with you that which you alleged that Taur Matan Ruak would carry out a coup against the Xanana government.  Do you still believe that TMR wants to do in TL what was done in Fiji?  Is it the case that the martial arts groups that have re-emerged in Comoro all the way to Java is a tactic to justify TMR acting to bring down the government? What have you done to dissuade TMR not to carry out a coup? Thanks.” This SMS has remained unanswered by the Minister for Finance up to the
time of publication.

This newspaper also tried to seek clarification from Ms. Ines Almeida but we were unlucky because the mobile number for her was switched off, and we were informed by sources close to her that she was away in Sydney.

President of the Republic Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, who is also SupremeCommander of the Falintil- FDTL, told journalists during a press conference at Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili upon his return from his state visits to Australia and the Philippines on 3 July 2010 that he has not seen these emails.  “I do not know whether or not the Finance Minister said anything of the likes you have said,” he said answering questions on this from journalists.

But the President made it known to Dr. Emilia that, “I can only say that our Armed Forces have been a model to be followed by many countries.  You know, even during the height of the crisis our Armed Forces were humble, they never acted in any way against the Constitutional Order.”

He added that Falintil under the Command of Taur Matan Ruak, who never spent one day in a military academy to become a general as have many generals around the world, “defended the Constitution with discipline and when ordered came to Dili to help re-establish law and order, they did so.  When I as Prime Minister asked them at the end of May that they return to barracks, they exhibit utmost discipline and returned to barracks. So, I have 100% confidence in our armed forces who over the years have shown professionalism and respect for the constitution despite facing many difficulties.”

Jorge, a former member of the clandestine front from  Ermera greatly lamented the attitude expressed by some of his compatriots who returned from overseas.  “I think the Finance Minister does not know General Taur and his character.  Perhaps she thinks the general has ambitions to rise to the top or to become rich.  We steadfastly believe in his honesty, integrity and discipline,” said Pos Kombi.

“I think that the general’s intelligence was gained in a university where many intelligent people such as doctors fear to study.  His studies were completed from living with death and suffering, so I believe that the Minister is frightened by his shadow so has defamed this hero Taur Matan Ruak,” said Jorge.

“I ask the Finance Minister to measure her remarks because we will not allow anyone to accuse others because of their own ambitions, to accuse others who have sacrificed themselves and are still sacrificing themselves to defend the Constitution of the Republic,” warned this former senior member of the clandestine resistance.

“I think that the Finance Minister is today working in this country because she is receiving a salary, but General Taur Matan Ruak has from the time when things were difficult shown his loyalty to the nation and continues to this day to show his firm resolve to serve the Constitution of the RDTL . So there is no reason for Ms. Emilia to insult Taur in the same way foreigners have done,” said JG, who is a former clandestine resistance member form Baucau.  The leadership of the Falintil-FDTL  has been persecuted since the time of the occupation as being communist, subversive elements (GPK), thieves and atheists.

However, Falintil’s struggle for independence has been a struggle against a military regime and dictatorship.  “Falintil is the Armed Forces for the national Liberation of Timor-Leste. It is so that Timorese can develop our society in a democracy and in peace,” Taur Matan Ruak told journalists on 17 November 1997 at Mundo Perdido.

“Many of the Falintil-FDTL leadership lived and experienced hardship together with the people so I do not believe they would do a coup d’état,” said Manuel Dos Santos Pereira, a member of the Liquica community.

This newspaper tried to get comments from the Government’s Members of Parliament but they refused to comment.

On the other hand, Mateus da Costa a youth from Becora said the Finance Minister had lived overseas for a long time and so did not know what it was to live under a dictatorship and therefore does not know Taur Matan Ruak. “It often happens that people do not know but speak out regardless like the Minister of Finance has done,” said Mateus.

According to a secret and restricted report dated 31 December 2009 titled “Preliminary Assessment of Achievements, Challenges, Benchmarks and priorities for the UN System in UNMIT Mandated Areas 2010-2012”, Taur Matan Ruak's role is noted as being important.  “There is no other figure that has yet emerged who has Taur Matan Ruak’s capacity to lead the Falintil-FDTL.  There are some candidates, but there is not one who has TMR’s standing, charisma or intelligence,” the report states in paragraph 42.

The same report also stated, “talk of reform by replacing TMR or other senior Falintil-FDTL officers arouses concern amongst the population; people still do not trust the capacity of the young officers to take over from the Falintil Veterans.  TMR however does not try to take advantage over the government due to this fact.”

UNMIT has finally started to recognize the capacity of the Falintil-FDTL and their role, which is something the UN failed to do during the UNTAET mandate. (ends)

“The Fish is out of the Water” : The Relationship between the Military and the Civilians in Timor-Leste

Fundasaun Mahein 6 Juli 2010 Press Release The Fish is out of the Water” : The Relationship between the Military and the Civilians in Timor-Leste

Mahein Nia Lian no. 7.  In this issue we will discuss the lack of serious debate in the nation regarding the military-civilian relationship. Falintil-Forca Defeza de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), during all their events and celebrations state the slogan; ‘F-FDTL is the fish and the people are the water.’ During the resistance, this slogan was used to inspire and motivate people in the villages and towns to support the guerrilla army Forca Armadas de Libertasaun Nacional de Timor-Leste (FALINTIL).

The relationship between Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) and civilians is not good at the moment, because there have been many incidents where PNTL used their weapons, which are supposed to be used for patrols and providing security for the population, intimidated people and also engaged in the killing of people’s domestic animals in the villages.

Many people have said that PNTL should put more effort into developing and strengthening their community policing practices, rather then their paramilitary forces. F-FDTL LTC Filomeno Paixao stated, that based on the state constitution there are very clear areas of responsibility for PNTL and F-FDTL. PNTL deals with internal security and the external security threats are the responsibility of F-FDTL, except PNTL would like to replace the role of F-FDTL.

Unfortunately, unless the relationship between PNTL and F-FDTL becomes more harmonious, problems may arise in the future.  While the government has made an effort to unite these institutions, particularly in joint Command Operations such as in 2008 when they worked together to capture Gastao Salshina and his group, the PNTL operation against the Ninjas in Suai-Bobonaro, and other joint operations in 2009, they should continue to work on improving the relationship between the different security forces.

By appointing Longuinhos Monteiro as the commander of PNTL, and arming PNTL’s officers with semi – automatic rifles and submachine guns and giving them military style training, civilians have taken notice, and these actions have had a large impact on the relationship between the civilians, and the security institutions.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends that the government work on strengthening the relationship between PNTL and F-FDTL so that civilians have a more positive image of those institutions tasked with protecting them, and we can change the perception that “the fish is now out of the water”, and is back in its natural habitat.

Access the report in Indonesian language here.

For further information please contact Nélson Belo,

Director Fundasaun Mahein


email.direktor.mahein@gmail.com , tlp +670 737 4222

Nelson Belo
Fundasaun Mahein - Timor-Leste
E-mail: direktor.mahein@gmail.com
Mobile: +670 7374 222
Skype: nelson.belo

06 July 2010

F-FDTL awaits decision from public prosecution on handover of weapons seized in 2006 crisis

Diario Nacional, July 5, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander Major General Taur Matan Ruak said his side was currently awaiting the decision by the Public Prosecution to hand over the weapons seized by the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) from the slain rebel leader, Alfredo Reinado Alves to the FFDTL.

Ruak was referring to the recent letter from the Public Prosecution about the weapons which were still with the ISF.

Ruak stressed that he received a letter from the Public Prosecution about the weapons and was now waiting for its decision.

01 July 2010

National Languages Conference - 5 to 6 August, 2010

28 June, 2010

Dear Friends,

With a view to contributing to the promotion of national (non-official) languages in Timor-Leste and to exploring their role in nation- and identity-building, the Timor Lorsa’e Nippon Culture Centre, National Institute of Linguistics, State Secretary of Culture and the UNESCO National Commission for Timor-Leste will organise a National Meeting on the Languages of Timor-Leste from 5 to 6 August in Dili.

In preparing for this meeting, we are attempting to compile a comprehensive Resource Map, consisting of all known publications (dictionaries, word lists, grammars, literacy materials, songs and chants, poems etc), researchers (international and East Timorese) and local language authorities for each of the principal linguistic groups.

We invite you to assist us in this effort by sending us details of publications (including soft copies of materials, if available), web references and the contact details of researchers and local language authorities you have knowledge of.

We thank you in advance for your interest and collaboration,

Kirsty Sword Gusmão
Chair, UNESCO National Commission for Timor-Leste
Email: kirsty@alolafoundation.org

Kirsty Sword Gusmão
Embaixadora de Boa Vontade para os
Assuntos da Educação /
Goodwill Ambassador for Education

Fundasaun Alola
Komisaun Nasional Edukasaun
Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO

PO Box 3

PM Gusmao condemns martial arts followers committing crimes

Suara Timor-Lorosae1 June 30, 2010 language source: Tetun - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão has strongly condemned martial arts followers who were believed to have been involved in recent clashes between martial arts clubs in Jogjakarta in Indonesia.

PM Gusmao called on all the parents to better parent their children, particularly those whose children were doing their study in Indonesia, to urge themto stay away from acts of violence.

“I am calling on all the parents to better educate their children who are doing their study in Indonesia, so that they would not commit crimes which affect other people’s lives,” PM Gusmao said. 

Gusmao also called on the Timorese students who were doing their study abroad to do their study well, so that when they return to the country they could give their contribution to develop the country based on their educational background.