29 November 2010

National Anthem Vocal Version 20 May 2002 Transfer of Sovereignty

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

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

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

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

25 November 2010

VIDEO: East Timor - Past & Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our submission discusses the following:

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

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

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

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

24 November 2010

Thesis on Local Governance in Timor-Leste

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

Thesis abstract:

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

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

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

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

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

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

22 November 2010

President Horta appreciates KAK which starts to investigate corruption cases

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

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

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

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

Government needs to produce laws to regulate civilian security officers

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

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

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

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

TLGov: Council of Ministers Meeting, 18 November 2010

Secretaria de Estado do Conselho de Ministros

Díli, Palácio do Governo,

18 de Novembro de 2010



Council of Ministers Meeting, 18 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Council of Ministers also analyzed:

1. UNMIT Transition

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

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

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

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

3. Situation of the Students in Jogjakarta, Indonesia

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

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

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

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

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

21 November 2010

JSMP meets with the Prosecutor General of Timor Leste

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 November 2010

2011 East Timor budget documents available on-line

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

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

Policy to convert Temporary Officials into Permanent Civil Servants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also, for examlpe,

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

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

AI : Timor-Leste law allows amnesties for war criminals

Corruptors are the traitors of this country

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

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

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

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

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

Police commander denies allegation of smuggling cars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

East Timor government prepares review of Oil Fund Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 November 2010

Lao Hamutuk Submission on proposed Petroleum Fund Law revisions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organised crime in Timor-Leste

Fundasaun Mahein, October  28,  2010 Press Release Organized Crime Operating in Timor Leste -
Fundasaun Mahein’s Voice edition number 14 will discuss in depth about the actions of Organized Crime in Timor Leste.  The issue of Organized Crime has affected the safety of the public and many people do not know what the actions of Organized Crime are.  Organized Crimes are illegal activities (or crimes) committed by individuals and/or organizations with intelligence and with financial capital involving illegal transactions with a high level of sophistication. They include, among others, human trafficking, illegal electronic transactions, prostitution, money laundering, drug smuggling, Terrorism, controlling groups of professional thieves, stealing of vehicles in Dili, assault and most importantly, extortion rackets.

According to Fundasaun Mahein Organized Crime mostly operates where there is access to a large amount of economic benefits.  Timor-Leste’s State Budget for 2010 is $ 837, 981,000, in addition to the ratification of money for development projects.  This increased spending, without proper oversight mechanisms can be seen by organized crime as a potential way to make a profit.  As we saw with the attempt by businessman Datuk Edward Ong, who claimed to be representing a company called “Asian Champ Investment Ltd,” to scam Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund by asking for over $1 billion dollars to be transferred to a Hong Kong bank in return for an upfront 7.5% payout.[2]

In this report FM has identified a syndicate of motorbike thieves who cooperate with some government authorities who assist with the falsification of motorbike documents and the creation of fake license plates, which are used before the motorbikes are re-sold in the districts and to local vehicle dealerships in Dili.  40% of these stolen motorbikes are resold in the districts and 60% are sold to the dealerships in Dili mentioned above.  More details are available in the full-length report.  FM’s research also found information about illegal drugs being transported from Indonesia into Timor-Leste through the land border and also on ships.

Therefore FM recommends the Immigration Office establishes checks of the foreigners who are working illegally using tourist visas for business.

FM also recommends to PNTL to establish routine checkpoints to check vehicle registration and impound those vehicles without proper original documents and announce to the public that those who have had vehicles stolen can come to the police station to see if their vehicle has been found.

FM also recommends that the government create a law to combat money laundering.  This law can force the banks to report suspicious bank transactions and accounts to the government as suspected money laundering locations.  The government should also set up integrated security systems inside the foreign banks that exist in Timor-Leste as an extra measure of protection against money laundering.

For more information on this issue, please contact

Nélson Belo,

Director of Fundasaun Mahein

Web: www.fundasaunmahein.wordpress.com

Email: direktor.mahein[at]gmail.com

tlp :  +670 737 4222

[1] La’o Hamutuk “Trying to Scam a Billion from the Petroleum Fund” 4 October 2010 http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetFund/ACI/10AsianChampInvestment.htm

[2] La’o Hamutuk “Trying to Scam a Billion from the Petroleum Fund” 4 October 2010 http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetFund/ACI/10AsianChampInvestment.htm

12 November 2010

Immigration Department seriously searching foreigners at Bars and discotheque

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 11, 2010 language source: Tetun - Vice Director of Immigration Department Police Inspector Chief Luis Barreto said that the Immigration Police were now improving their search of bars and discotheques to control foreigners who were misusing their visas.

Barreto said many foreigners had been detained at bars and discotheques during the operations, due to misusing visas, adding that those detained people would be investigated by the police as whether they had breached the Immigration law.

The United Nations Police Commander Commissioner Luis Carilho said the UN Police would continue cooperating with the Immigration Police to control foreigners in the country, although the security responsibility had been handed over to the national immigration police recently.

Democratic Party and Fretilin urge Public Prosecution to hold profound investigation

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 11, 2010 language source: Tetun - MP Rui Menezes from the Democratic Party (PD) has called on the Public Prosecution to hold a thorough investigation into the foreign businessperson who had smuggled money totalling US$ 55 thousand through the International Airport of Nicolau Lobato.

“It is important to consider this case and if is it possible then this case should be taken to the court for further legal process,” MP Menezes said.

MP Menezes said what had been done by the foreign enterpriser by smuggling money through the airport was an offence to the Timorese Customs law.

MP Inacio Moreira also urged the Public Prosecution to investigate this case profoundly because bringing money in cash US$ 55 thousand to the country is act of crime.

Government should urge Indonesia to disclose location of the skeletons of November 12 victims

Diario Nacional, November 11, 2010 language source: Tetun - MP Domingos Mesquita from the National Unity Party (PUN) has urged the Indonesian Government to disclose the location of the skeletons of the November 12, 1991 victims who were massacred by the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI).

MP Mesquita made the request because many skeletons of the victims had not been discovered yet.

“I think what should be done by the Government is a good step of building monument for the victims, but the most important thing is the Government should pressure the Indonesian Government,” MP Mesquita said.

Some Government members start recruiting young people commit crimes

Radio Timor-Leste, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - Some Government members have started recruiting young Timorese to hold illegal activities in the country’s border and in the Capital of Dili.

Mahein Foundation affirmed that the illegal activities conducted by this group are smuggling cars, drugs and falsifying documents of the vehicles.

Director for Mahein Nelson Belo said those Government members engaged in such an illegal activity to make money. “The organized acts of crime begin by recruiting the young people by individuals in the Government officials by providing them with high wages,” Belo said.

Belo added that majority of the victims have not got any positive response from the police, because the police are not cooperative.

Timorese cops commit crimes says researcher

Radio Timor-Leste, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - Mahein Foundation Researcher Frey Guterres said some of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) officers had become the main authors of illegal activities within the community, allowing illegal groups to freely cross the border without having any proper travel documents.

Guterres said many of the young Timorese are in possession of illegal drugs in the public, andTimor-Leste was being used as a place for the illegal groups to hold political activities in the country.

Guterres affirmed that some of the community members have made claims about the issue to the police force about this problem, but there has been no response yet.

He added that the Government officers who are working on the border are now the main organisers of allowing illegal goods which are prohibited by the Government to be brought into the country.

11 November 2010

Some F-FDTL and PNTL officers like cowboys

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao who is also minister for defense and security said he had information that some of the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) members behave like cowboy within the community.

“I have always had information from the residents saying that members of the F-FDTL and the PNTL have many times acted like cowboys,” PM Gusmao said.

PM Gusmao called on the F-FDTL and PNTL members not to act like cowboys, adding that it is important for them to act professionally in order to gain people’s confidence. PM Gusmao made the statements during a pilot course for defense and security which was held at the Presidential Palace in Aitarak-Laran.

Justice Ministry and UNICEF to hold national campaign on birth certificates

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Justice Ministry and the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) will hold a national campaign on birth certificates for children from 15-20 of November this year.

The objective of the campaign is to inform the people about the importance of registering child’s birth in the country.

Director for Dili Registration in the Justice Ministry, Vitor da Costa, said the Justice Ministry and  UNICEF, including media, will promote this program in the country.

“We know that through the media we can have information about populations and therefore it is very important to cooperate with the media in promoting this program,” da Costa said.

Da costa said the national campaign on child birth certificates would only be applied for the babies 0 year up to five year and children.. Representative of the UNICEF Maryam Maglycon said all children have the rights of life and nationalities.

Government will not regulate work of journalists

Suara Timor Lorosa’e, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - Acting State Secretary for the East Timor Council of Ministers, Avelino Coelho, said the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government would not regulate or intervene in the work of journalists.

“I believe that with code of ethics for journalists which is being discussed by the journalists will have no perception that the Government will regulate the work of journalists,” Coelho said.

Coelho added that the Government’s role was to approve the draft of this code of ethics which would be submitted by the Timorese Journalists Association AJTL).

Parliament waiting for notification from courts

Diario Nacional, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - Parliamentary President Fernando “Lasama” de Araujo said the Parliament was currently waiting for notification from the court regarding Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres and Foreign Affairs Minister, Zacarias da Costa’s abuse of power case.

Lasama was referring to notification of the courts in relation to the Guterres and Da Costa’s case.

Lasama stressed that the court has the competence to make notification; therefore they are still waiting for it.

“We are now waiting for the court to send us notification letter, as this is its competence,” Lasama said.

Portuguese and Timorese military forces to continue cooperation:General Ruak

Radio Timor-Leste, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Taur Matan Ruak, said the Portuguese Military and the country’s defenve force would continue building cooperation to professionalise the fledging country’s military officers.

The commander made the comments after welcoming the Portuguese Defence Force commander at the F-FDTL’s head quarter in Tasitolu.

During a meeting, the two commanders made an assessment of the cooperation in the field of basic training provided to the F-FDTL soldiers and officials, advanced training, including academic training in Portugal.

Making an assessment of the ongoing cooperation and how to strengthen it in future,” Ruak said.

The Portuguese Defence Force Commander, Jose Luis Pinto Ramailho, said it was good to strengthen cooperation with Timor-Leste, especially in the field of defence.

Laivai case is now in courts, says General Ruak

Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 10, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Taur Matan Rua, has confirmed that the recent criminal assault case, involving some of his soldiers in Laivai, in the eastern district of Lautem is now in the court for legal proceedings.

“The case is now in the court and therefore we should wait for legal process and observe3 how it will be going on,” General Ruak said.

General Ruak added that another case that occurred in Likisa which also involved one of his soldier is being processed, adding that the F-FDTL Commando will not tolerate soliders who have engaged in acts of crime.

09 November 2010

Doing Business 2011 in Timor-Leste

Lao Hamutuk Dili 20/11/2010 For those without the time to read the World Bank's 267-page "Doing Business 2011" report, La'o Hamutuk has excerpted what it says about Timor-Leste (in addition to the improvements in the courts highlighted in the Bank's press release below). It's not a pretty picture.

Table 1.2: Rankings on the ease of doing business:
DB2011  Timor-Leste ranks 174 out of 183  (9 African countries are worse)
DB2010  Timor-Leste ranked the same 174 out of 183 in last year's report.
Reforms: 1  (scores range from 0 to 4)

Table 3.4: Paid-in minimum capital to start a business
In Timor-Leste, you need USD$5,000 = 921% of annual GNI per capita. This is the highest in the world. (Niger is second at 613%.)

Table 5.1: Where is registering property easy—and where not? (average of procedures, time and cost)
Timor-Leste ranks among the most difficult -- 180 out of 183 (Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Brunei are worse)

Table 6.1: Where is getting credit easy—and where not? (sum of the strength of legal rights index and the depth of credit information index)
Timor-Leste is the second most difficult -- 182 out of 183  (Palau is worse)

Page 50: "In East Asia and the Pacific half the economies have no credit bureau or registry, scoring 0 on the depth of credit information index. But things are improving. Timor-Leste is working to make its new public credit registry fully operational. ..."

Table 6.4: Who has the most credit information and the most legal rights for borrowers and lenders—and who the least?
Timor-Leste is in a 4-way tie for third-worst (only Palau and West Bank/Gaza are worse)

Table 8.3: Who makes paying taxes easy and who does not—and where is the total tax rate highest and lowest?
Timor-Leste is 8th best in number of payments per year, at  6.
Timor-Leste has the lowest total tax rate, at 0.2% of profit. (Vanuatu is next at 8.4%)
[See the box on http://www.laohamutuk.org/misc/AMPGovt/tax/NewTaxLaw08.htm for La'o Hamutuk's comment on these figures.]

Table 10.1: Where is enforcing contracts easy —and where not? (procedures, time and cost to resolve a commercial dispute through the courts.)
Timor-Leste is the worst in the world.

Table 10.4: Who makes enforcing contracts easy—and who does not?
Timor-Leste is the fifth worst in the world in number of procedures (51, better than Brunei, Syria, Sudan and Kosovo).
Timor-Leste is the 10th slowest in the world, at 1,285 days.
Timor-Leste is the most expensive in the world, with cost at 163.2% of claim.

Table 12.1: Who makes getting electricity easy—and who does not?
Timor-Leste is in a 9-way tie for best, with only three procedures.
[Apparently the Bank doesn't know that it is impossible to get electricity in most of the country, and that service is intermittent even in the capital.]
The cost of getting an electric connection (7,389% of annual per capita income) in Timor-Leste is the 12th highest in the world.

Country Table for Timor-Leste (East Asia & Pacific)
Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (US$) 543
Ease of doing business (rank) 174
Lower middle income
Population (m) 1.1

Starting a business (rank) 167
Procedures (number) 10
Time (days) 83
Cost (% of income per capita) 18.4
Minimum capital (% of GNI per capita) 921.3

Dealing with construction permits (rank) 128
Procedures (number) 22
Time (days) 208
Cost (% of GNI per capita) 138.2

Registering property (rank) 183
Procedures (number) NO PRACTICE
Time (days) NO PRACTICE
Cost (% of property value) NO PRACTICE

Getting credit (rank) 182
Strength of legal rights index (0-10) 1
Depth of credit information index (0-6) 0
Public registry coverage (% of adults) 0.0
Private bureau coverage (% of adults) 0.0

Protecting investors (rank) 132
Extent of disclosure index (0-10) 3
Extent of director liability index (0-10) 4
Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10) 5
Strength of investor protection index (0-10) 4.0

Paying taxes (rank) 20
Payments (number per year) 6
Time (hours per year) 276
Total tax rate (% of profit) 0.2

Trading across borders (rank) 91
Documents to export (number) 6
Time to export (days) 25
Cost to export (US$ per container) 1,010
Documents to import (number) 7
Time to import (days) 26
Cost to import (US$ per container) 1,015

Enforcing contracts (rank) 183
Procedures (number) 51
Time (days) 1,285
Cost (% of claim) 163.2

Closing a business (rank) 183
Time (years) NO PRACTICE
Cost (% of estate) NO PRACTICE
Recovery rate (cents on the dollar) 0.0

The complete report is available at  http://www.doingbusiness.org/Reports/Doing-Business/Doing-Business-2011 .

A table of Timor-Leste data is at http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/timor_leste, which contains some additional information, such as that between 2010 and 2011, Timor-Leste dropped 45 places in the ranking on Dealing with Construction Permits.

Irish Aid Study Fellowship Training Programme 2011/2012 Academic year

The Government of Ireland, under the Bilateral Aid Programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs (known as Irish Aid), offers a number of Study Fellowship Awards annually to candidates from Irish Aid’s programme countries (namely - Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia), to further their education in Ireland or within their own region.

Fellowships are offered in areas which are particularly relevant to the development of the individual’s home country.

·       Fellowships are offered at Postgraduate Diploma/Masters level.

We encourage applications for study in the areas of Local Government, Private Sector Development, Employment Creation and Gender Equality.

The applicant is normally in employment in their home country and would obtain leave from their employer for the period of study. On completion of the course the applicant would resume employment in their home country where the qualification would be expected to enhance their own development and contribute towards the continued development of their country.

Notes for applicants

·       English Language Certification is a requirement for courses in English speaking countries such as Ireland and Australia. For courses in these countries, a candidate must achieve a minimum overall score of 6.5 in IELTS or 570 in TOEFL.  Higher scores are required for certain courses.

·       Doctoral studies are not funded.

·       Please contact maria.celia-tavares@dfa.ie or ring 3324880 (office hours are from 9am to 12 and from 2pm to 5pm) to request an application form. Application Forms are also available at the Irish Aid office, Embassy of Ireland, 12 Rua Alferes Duarte, Arbiro, Farol, Dili.  CLOSING DATE for receipt of Application Forms is 6th December 2010 at 4.30pm.

·       Irish Aid is an Equal Opportunities Organisation.

Application Forms must be dropped off in person to Ms. Maria Celia Tavares at the Irish Aid Office. Please phone 3324880 during office hours to make an appointment to drop off your application.  Late applications will not be accepted.

Maria Celia Tavares| Administration Assistant | Embassy of Ireland
Po Box 383,12 Rua Alferes Duarte Arbiro -Dili Timor Leste
Telephone +670 332 4880 | Fax +670 332 4881 | Mobile: +670 723 0604  | www.irishaid.gov.ie

08 November 2010

WB: Timor-Leste Increases Court Efficiency

Washington, D.C., November 4, 2010­Timor-Leste has increased court efficiency by training and appointing new judges and passing a new civil procedure code, according to the Doing Business report launched today. However its regulatory environment in which local firms do business still lags behind other East Asian economies.

Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs is the eighth in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World Bank. For the first time in eight years, the economies of East Asia and the Pacific were among the most active in improving the regulatory climate in which local firms do business. Timor-Leste ranked 174 out of 183 economies.

“IFC is keen to assist the government to realise business climate reforms underway such as streamlining of business start-up processes and improving access to credit, which will enable small and medium-size businesses to flourish and create jobs,” said Milissa Day, IFC’s Timor-Leste Country Manager.

World-wide it is easiest for local firms to do business in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR China, and New Zealand. Vanuatu, at rank 60, is the top performing country in the Pacific region.

The Marshall Islands improved business regulations most among Pacific nations in the last year, moving up 15 places to 108, by strengthening its legal framework to facilitate access to finance with a new secured transactions law. The law establishes a collateral registry and broadens the range of assets that can be used as collateral. Solomon Islands also passed a new secured transactions law and established a collateral registry, improving its ranking by 10 places to 96. In Papua New Guinea, a new private credit bureau that makes it easier for lenders to provide entrepreneurs with finance helped to improve the country’s ranking by five places to 103.

Samoa used new information technologies to become the most improved economy globally in the area of property registration. Samoa reduced the time required to register property by four months by shifting from a deed system to a title system and fully computerizing its land registry.

About the Doing Business report series

Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level, or the strength of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies.
For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit: www.doingbusiness.org

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org , www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.

Adjustments to 2010 Rankings:
Doing Business 2010 rankings were retroactively adjusted to reflect the removal of the Employing Workers Indicator from the aggregated calculation of rankings. The Employing workers indicator (EWI) methodology is currently being reviewed by internal and external consultative groups, with the aim of getting a good balance between worker protection and efficient employment regulation that favors job creation. Since the consultative process is not complete, the employing workers indicator will be in an Annex of the Doing Business 2011 report and it will not be factored into the rankings. The new indicator Getting Electricity will also not be included in the rankings.

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2011:

East Asia and the Pacific
Hannfried von Hindenburg +852-2509-8115Carl Hanlon +1 (202) 473-8087
E-mail: hvonhindenburg@ifc.org E-mail: chanlon@worldbank.org

(See attached file: Timor-Leste Doing Business Press Release Final.doc)

Barbara Ratusznik
Communications Associate
Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea & Pacific Islands
The World Bank
Level 19, 14 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
P: +61 2 9235 6563
F: +61 2 9235 6593

See also (on East Timor Law Journal) Developments in court administration: Timor- Leste 2007 JSMP Justice Up Date October 2007

07 November 2010

Crime & Punishment in East Timor?

Global Diplomacy November 3rd, 2010 § Leave a Comment What is the right approach for reconciliation in East Timor? To critics, the release of Mr. Salsinha and his men is the latest example of crime without punishment in East Timor.

Since his election in 2007, Mr. Ramos-Horta has drastically increased pardons and commutations, prompting criticism that he has undermined efforts to punish those responsible for crimes during Indonesia’s bloody 24-year occupation, as well as during instability since independence in 2002.

But for the government, and Mr. Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace laureate, the pardons are about mercy and reconciliation in Asia’s newest and poorest country.

With giant Indonesia just across the border, and local divisions still strong, there is another calculation, critics say: a blank slate can buy peace and stability.

Image added by ETLJB

President of East Timor releases the men that attempted to murder him two years ago.

Pace International Law Review Blog Nov 4th, 2010 by Ellen Wardrop - In East Timor, Gastao Salsinha has been released from prison after leading an attempt to murder the president and prime minister in 2008.  In March, Salsinha was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his actions, however, he is free today. 

The president, Mr. Ramos-Horta, says that the release of Salsinha and the 23 other men from the attack is about forgiveness, peace, mercy, and stability which all outweigh the need for punitive remedies. 

He believes that their actions can be attributed to the government breakdown and are ultimately not their fault. 

Will releasing these prisoners really promote the president’s vision, or will it create more chaos by allowing the crimes to go unpunished?

East Timor President's clemency extends to his attackers

Today Online 05:55 AM Nov 03, 2010 GLENO (East Timor) - Gastao Salsinha (left), retired rebel and failed assassin, says it is probably politics that explain why he is free to roam East Timor's cloud-covered hinterlands rather than languish in prison.

Salsinha was the most senior of 24 rebels convicted this year of trying to murder President Jose Ramos-Horta (right) and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in twin attacks in 2008.

But even as a court in Dili, the capital, sentenced him in March to more than 10 years in prison, Salsinha, a former army lieutenant, looked forward to certain release.

Mr Ramos-Horta - who was left bleeding and near death with gunshot wounds outside his home - had promised forgiveness in August when he commuted the sentences of the 23 rebels in custody. The Timorese Constitution grants the president the right to issue pardons and commutations "after consultation with the government".

The opposition, rights groups and the United Nations reacted with dismay, saying the decision undermined the rule of law.

"For us, this is a direct effort to minimise the meaning and essence of national law in Timor-Leste," said Mr Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, the director of the Judicial System Monitoring Programme, a non-governmental organisation in Dili, referring to the country by its official name.

Even Salsinha, sitting outside a relative's home in the hilly western district of Ermera, said that the president probably had overstepped his constitutional power to grant commutations. "But because there's been political intervention, anything can happen," he said, smiling shyly.

To critics, the release of Salsinha and his men is the latest example of crime without punishment in East Timor.

Since his election in 2007, Mr Ramos-Horta has drastically increased pardons and commutations, prompting criticism that he has undermined efforts to punish those responsible for crimes during Indonesia's bloody 24-year occupation, as well as during instability since independence in 2002.

But for the government, and Mr Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace laureate, the pardons are about mercy and reconciliation in Asia's newest and poorest country. With giant Indonesia just across the border, and local divisions still strong, there is another calculation, critics say: A blank slate can buy peace and stability.

According to the United Nations mission in East Timor, Mr Ramos-Horta has issued 217 pardons or commutations since 2007.

In a casual interview as he was strolling outside his office building in Dili, Mr Ramos-Horta said that in the case of Salsinha's men, forgiveness, and preventing a return to instability, trumped punitive justice. They were victims of the breakdown in the political system, he said, a crisis not of their making and for which they should not be punished.

He said he rejected the argument "that if you forgive people who have been tried, who have faced the whole justice process, and who faced two, three years in prison, you foster a kind of impunity".

"You can say that when you put up that question to me, I laugh," he said.

The United Nations, however, is not laughing. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his report on East Timor to the Security Council last month, said the rebels' commutations could endanger future investigations into war crimes and undermine "efforts to combat impunity". The New York Times

06 November 2010

Council of Ministers 4 November 2010

Press Release of the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 04.11                                                            

TLGov: Timor-Leste has active regulators in the petroleum sector

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira November 2, 2010 Díli, Timor-Leste - The appropriate regulatory processes are underway with two companies seeking to begin exploratory drilling campaigns for oil and gas in the Timor-Leste Exclusive Area (TLEA).

Eni S.p.A. has submitted documents including an Environmental Impact Assesment and Evironmental Mangement Plan for “Cova 1”, a well in block C (S06-03) and has plans for further test drillings in that area. Reliance Exploration and Production dmcc is making applications for drilling in block K (S06-06). The companies can only proceed after approvals from the National Petroleum Authority (ANP) and the National Directorate for the Environment (DNMA), with the DNMA assessing the credentials of the Environmental Documents and the ANP across all other requirements to ensure the safe exploration and extraction of the sovereign resources of Timor-Leste.

Two recent oil spill disasters, the largest ever recorded that took place at Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico and the Montara spill close to Timor-Leste revealed the danger of regulators taking an inactive role. The Production Sharing Contracts issued both within the JPDA and the TLEA are underpinned by the involvement of an active regulator in the form of the ANP. It is precisely this active regulatory role that has slowed agreement with Woodside regarding the Greater Sunrise field. Woodside and the Joint Venture Partners have now indicated their plans to present to the ANP the three separate development concepts as required within the terms of the production sharing contracts. Although it has taken some time for Woodside to comply, the ANP has remained firm in requiring operators to comply with all established mechanisms for the best practice management of Timor-Leste’s petroleum sector.

Deepwater drilling, utilized over the past twenty years and currently used across hundreds of projects around the world, is a technique required for the recovery of the petroleum assets of Timor-Leste and for the significant economic benefits; contributing to the development of the nation and investment in current and future generations. The ANP is aware of the associated risks of deepwater drilling and is committed to holding companies to the highest standards of safety. It is this determination to minimize risk that has led the ANP and the Government of Timor Leste to voice concerns about the Floating LNG development plan for Greater Sunrise proposed by Woodside. Whilst deepwater drilling has occurred over decades with associated risks that can be predicted and mitigated, the Floating LNG technolgy is new and untested.

The Government notes the recent statement of Goldman Sachs and Partners Australia that Woodside will need a Diplomat CEO after Don Voelte departs”. Diplomacy has been missing in the interactions over Greater Sunrise with documentation as far back as the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (Report 49 article 4.21, 2002) noting that unilateral decisions had been made by Woodside to exploit the resources of Greater Sunrise including a development preference for floating LNG, without an expectation that Timor-Leste eight years later, would be ably represented by an active petroleum regulator in the sector on behalf of the people of Timor-Leste.

Secretary of State Pereira noted “Signs are promising that Woodside and the JV partners are working towards more comprehensive compliance required within the conditions of their contracts. At the same time we are excited to see the beginnings of what we hope will be significant projects in our exclusive zone, the TLEA. Across the TLEA, the JDPA, and the Greater Sunrise project, the ANP will continue to actively regulate the sector to ensure properly managed resource exploration and extraction on behalf of the people of the nation.”ENDS

A house set on fire by unidentified people

Radio Timor-Leste, November 5, 2010 language source: Tetun - A house belonging to a widow has been set ablaze by unidentified persons in Taklela in the western district of Ermera on Wednesday (3/11) morning.

The widow was forced to live with her neighbors in the area. Taklela village chief, Felisberto das Neves, reported that unidentified people had destroyed and burned down a house belonged to the widow, Imaculada Salsinha.

Neves called on the local residents not to use violence as a mean to resolve problems, but should resolve it amicably, as the widow is innocent.

 Neves pledged to make a report to the Ministry of Social Solidarity to provide the widow with humanitarian aid.

Police were dispatched to the scene for investigating the arson committed by unidentified people.

Traffic police commander concerned about allegation of bribery

Radio Timor-Leste, November 5, 2010 language source: Tetun - Traffic Police Commander, Antonio Lourenco Soares said he was concerned about allegations made by some of the MPs in the Parliament saying that some traffic police officers were suspected ofengaging in bribery.

Commander Soares affirmed that such allegations would be acceptable to him if the MPs are objective by presenting facts which could prove that his officers are really engaged in the case.

Soares stressed that the MPs have accused his officers of collecting money illegally from motorists and passengers.

Soares also said they would accept any criticism from the MPs, but it had to be constructive one, so that the police could make a self-improvement in future.

TLGov: Timor-Leste’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira November 5, 2010 - Díli, Timor-Leste Timor-Leste’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption - Perception Index leaps 19 countries as newer data is utilized. Transparency International’s recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) reports Timor-Leste has improved 19 places in country rankings from 146 in the 2009 CPI to 127 in the 2010 CPI. The 2010 CPI is the first to capture the impact of the Xanana Gusmão Government’s reformist agenda.

Last year’s 2009 CPI was compiled from sources which included the Asian Development Bank (2008), Global Risk Services, the World Bank (2008) and the World Economic Forum (2008/2009); assessing prior data not indicative of the reforms of the Xanana Gusmão Government.

It is expected subsequent CPI indices will continue in an upward trend, with improvements reflecting the Gusmao Government’s policies and national agenda; implimenting major reforms to strengthen the institutions of the state, professionalize the civil service, increase transparency in Public Finance Management and ensure good governance.

Playing a significant role in ensuring the integrity of the Civil Service, the Civil Service Commission, an independent body established in 2009, is now exercising it’s responsibility to ensure a politically neutral, impartial and merit based Public Sector with a clear code of conduct and provisions for disciplinary recourse.

The Gusmão Government has been resolute within its’ mandate to establish a comprehensive authority to counter corruption. The Anti Corruption Commission is now established with a broad authority to investigate and pursue criminal investigations into corruption offences as set out in the criminal code and conduct education and public outreach programs.

Placing the nation at the forefront of best practice in the petroleum sector, in July, the Xanana Gusmão Government announced that Timor-Leste was only the third country in the world to be granted full compliance status by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the international oversight mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability in resource rich nations.

Reforms to Public Financial Management in tandem with the World Bank have put the first legally compliant system in place in accordance with the Budget and Financial Management Regulation Section 39.1. Checks and balances now ensure all State budget expenditure is qualified independently; with auditors reports submitted to National Parliament.

A stronger justice system is vital to discourage corruption. In its’ recently released Human Rights Report on Timor-Leste titled “Facing the Future” the United Nations identified a number of significant improvements made in strengthening the justice sector. The report noted advances including the establishment of new training programs, an increase in personnel within the sector, improvements to rural facilities and the passage of domestic violence legislation. The 2010 budget cleared the way to double the number of judicial actors (judges, prosecutors and public defenders) and simultaneously the legal framework setting the conditions for the judicial actors was approved. After the release of the Fourth Human Rights Report on East Timor, the United Nations cited Timor-Leste now as having the potential to be a regional and global human rights leader.

Secretary of State Pereira noted “We welcome the improvement in Timor-Leste’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index and consider this 2010 report to be the first to begin to reflect the anti corruption reforms of the Gusmao Government. However what matters to us is the identification and prosecution of actual practices of corruption by our strong and independent authorities and the consolidation of structures and processes that limit opportunities for corruption whilst encouraging a high standard of professional conduct. In these matters this Government has acted with determination.”ENDS

Agio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail:agio.pereira@cdm.gov.tl or govtlmedia@gmail.com Website:

05 November 2010

Students Council and residents meet with Horta over administrative evictions

Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, November 4, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Students Council (DSMPTT) members and Aitarak Laran local residents have met with President Jose Ramos Horta to discuss the Government’s decision on evicting the residents who are living in official residences.

During the meeting President Horta pledged to discuss this issue with the Government to seek the best and fair solution.

Speaking to the president, the local residents said they were ready to leave the place, yet the Government should treat them fairly with compensation.

The DSMPTT Spokesperson, Afonso Casioano Ramos said so far they had focused on helping the local residents both in Aitarak Laran and the former Brimob barracks to get a fair compensation.

04 November 2010

Six Government officials engaged in abuse of power

Timor Post, October 29, 2010 language source: Tetun - The President of the Public Service Commission (KFP), Liborio Pereira, said the six of the Prime Minister’s office staffs who were suspected of being engaged in abuse of power and maladministration was now in the process of inquiry.

“It is true that the Public Service Commission (KFP) has processed this case and it is now in the inquiry phase.

Those officers who engaged in maladministration had been called into hearings and have testified on the disciplinary process,” Pereira said.

Pereira affirmed that they are yet ready to publicise the results of the inquiry as the commission would respect confidentiality, adding there would be more officers investigated.

F-FDTL needs to strengthen discipline: Mahein

Diario Nacional, October 29, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Director of the Mahein Foundation, Nelson Belo, said the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) needed to strengthen discipline and professionalism for defending people’s interest.

Belo stressed that being the defence of the country, F-FDTL had to be functioning based on the constitution and should not be affiliated to any political parties.

Belo affirmed that in the period of the resistance, FALINTIL [Timorese liberation army] which has been transformed into the F-FDTL has contributed to the country’s independence and should keep up with its impartiality.

He added that the F-FDTL is originally from the Fretilin which was called FALINTIL, yet time has changed and it is now the national defense force; therefore it should be independent now.

Assault of resident in Kinta-Boot now in process: Commander Niki

Televizaun Timor-Leste, October 29, 2010 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Military Police (MP) Commander Abel da Costa “Niki” Xavier said the recent assault in Kintal-Boot involving his officers was currently being processed and was being submitted to the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) commander. An investigation into the case was about to be launched.

Commander Niki confirmed that the individual military police officers  suspected of being involved in the case are now the military detention center for investigation purpose.

“The Kintal- Boot case is now in process, as we have made report to our general commander about it. We are waiting for instructions from our General Commando as to compliance with the legal rules. The officers who have engaged in the case are now in our detention center,” Niki said.

Niki added that he has no information from the victim that his officers really engaged in the assault and therefore he called for the victim to present some evidences proving that act of crime.