23 April 2011

Parting comments of Woodside CEO dishonour Timor-Leste

Parting Comments of Woodside CEO Dishonour Timor-Leste

22 April 2011

National Parliament Resolution No. 62/II Potentially in Conflict with the Constitution

Press Release Period  : April 2011 Edition : 18 April 2011 National Parliament Resolution No. 62/II Potentially in Conflict with the Constitution - On 5 April 2011 the National Parliament held a debate on Parliamentary Resolution No. 62/II on the suspension from office of the Deputy Prime Minister José Luis Guterres. This resolution was based on the request from the Dili District Court on 3 March 2011 asking the National Parliament of Timor-Leste to suspend Mr. José Luis Guterres from his office to facilitate the processing of justice in this case, which is already before the courts.

Parliamentary Resolution No. 62/II was passed on the following day, the 6th April 2011, with 38 in favor, 16 against, 1 abstaining and 3 invalid. The resolution suspended the Deputy Prime Minister from his functions for the day of the hearing only and not for the duration of the trial. In addition to this resolution, another resolution was submitted by the opposition bench, which was rejected in the plenary session of the National Parliament.

The Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, stated that even though he has the utmost regard for the rights of the defendant to a fair trial[4] and the principle of the presumption of innocence,[5] JSMP nevertheless believes that this resolution does not coincide with Article 113 of the RDTL Constitution, could potentially violate the Constitution and constitute a policy that deviates from the Constitution.

Article 113 (1)[6] of the RDTL Constitution states that:

Where a member of the Government is charged with a criminal offence punishable with a sentence of imprisonment for more than two years, he or she shall be suspended from his or her functions so that the proceedings can be pursued.

With reference to the scope of the aforementioned definition, JSMP believes that in a case where the indictment has reached the court and the offence carries a penalty in excess of two years imprisonment, then automatically the member of government concerned must cease his/her functions until the final decision is handed down to ensure that the legal process can proceed unimpeded.

In order to preempt and prevent any controversy or misunderstanding in relation to the Court’s eventual decision, JSMP believes that politically and legally it would be better for the National Parliament to adhere to Article 113 (1) of the Constitution and suspend the Deputy Prime Minister from his office until the Court announces its final decision, rather than merely to facilitate proceedings.

JSMP’s stance is based on considerations presented below and the real culture of political maturity that exists at present in Timor-Leste.

From a political angle, suspension until the final decision is handed down would show that the AMP coalition is firm in its promise to respect the spirit of the Constitution and its commitment to stamp out corruption in Timor-Leste. Secondly, if the Court then fails to convict the Deputy Prime Minister because elements of the law have not been proven, for example because the Public Prosecutor has not presented a strong case to convince the Court to the find the defendant guilty, then this will be a major victory for the Deputy Prime Minister himself, as well as a victory for the AMP coalition in the eyes of the public.

From a legal angle, JSMP believes that if the National Parliament adheres to the provisions set out in Article 113 (1) of the Constitution, this will signal a different approach in regards to the commitment and political will of the AMP coalition to develop and strengthen the justice sector, and at the same time reflect a political stance that demonstrates adherence to the spirit and mandate of the RDTL Constitution.

Moreover, such a suspension will have a positive impact on the court and allow it to carry out its functions unimpeded and in accordance with the Constitution; this will help reduce the likelihood of counterproductive responses to the Court’s decision in the future.

Therefore, JSMP is a little concerned that a partial or temporary suspension could create a dilemma for the court in carrying out its functions unimpeded and the court could be subject to political pressure, even if the court has pursued all available steps to fulfill its legal and constitutional obligations. In other words, even if the court decides this case correctly in accordance with the law, there still might be a negative reaction and questioning by the public, and certain political elements and interested parties will continue to criticize the court’s decision due to the reasons outlined above.

In addition, as mentioned previously, if the court completes the trial after cross-checking all of the facts and witnesses presented, and then decides that there is insufficient evidence to prove the crime of corruption or misuse of power, as charged in the Prosecutor’s indictment, then the public may react and claim that the court issued this decision because it was unable to freely carry out its functions, or that the court was subject to pressure by certain parties.

Furthermore, if the court cannot prove, or cannot be convinced about the facts or the legal basis put forward by the Public Prosecutor, and the court decides to dismiss this case, other legal avenues are available to restore and rehabilitate the good name of the Deputy Prime Minister if he wins the case and feels that he has been prejudiced by the Public Prosecutor’s unproven accusations or his privacy has been violated as an individual and also as a member of a sovereign organ.

JSMP monitored the plenary discussion on the 5th and 6th April at the National Parliament regarding the suspension from office of the Deputy Prime Minister and noted that arguments were presented both for and against the proposal. This process eventually resulted in the drafting of two resolutions, namely Draft Resolution No. 62/II on the partial suspension from office of the Deputy Prime Minister José Luis Guterres, and Draft Resolution No. 63/II on the need to protect the regular functioning of the Office of the Prosecutor General, in relation to the questioning of the Prosecutor General Ana Pessoa Pinto, who is unable to provide testimony to the court because a quorum could not be formed.

JSMP believes that the National Parliament has given careful consideration to this resolution, however JSMP still urges and encourages all parties to respect and adhere to the Constitution as the highest source of law in Timor-Leste.

[1] The principle of a “fair trial” is a fundamental element of human rights and is an integral part of the concept of a democratic state based on the rule of law. This principle encompasses the right to equal treatment before the courts and access to the courts, the right to a trial open to the public, the right to be tried by an independent, competent and impartial court, the right to speedy trial without undue delay, right to the presumption of innocence, the right to defend oneself and to be given legal assistance by a lawyer, etc. (DJ Ravindaran, Human Right Praxis, A Resource Book for Study, Action and Reflection 102 (cited in  Uli Parulian Sihombing -The Indonesian Legal Resource Center-ILRC, 1998).

2 The principle of the presumption of innocence means that every defendant must be considered innocent until a final decision has been issued by the court (Article 34 (1) of the RDTL Constitution and Article 14 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

3 RDTL Constitution Tetum Version from Court of Appeal .

Siaran Pers

Periode      : April 2011

Edisi          : 18 April 2011

Resolusi No. 62/II Parlemen Nasional Berpotensi Menyimpang dari Mandat Konstitusi

Pada tanggal 5 April 2011 Parlemen Nasional melakukan  perdebatan mengenai sebuah Resolusi Parlemen Nasional dengan Nomor 62/II tentang pemberhentian jabatan Wakil Perdana Menteri  José Luis Guterres. Resolusi ini mengacu kepada surat permintaan dari Pengadilan Distrik Dili, pada tanggal 3 Maret 2011 untuk meminta Parlemen Nasional Timor Leste memberhentikan Bapak José Luis Guterres dari jabatannya untuk memudahkan proses kasus yang telah memasuki proses di  tingkat pengadilan.

Resolusi Parlamen bernomor 62/II ini, kemudian disahkan melalui perolehan suara pada hari berikutnya, tanggal 6 April 2011 dengan hasil: setuju 38, tidak setuju 16, abstain 1 dan 3 batal/tidak sah. Resolusi untuk memberhentikan Wakil Perdana Menteri dari jabatannya ini hanya berlaku pada saat persidangan berlangsung, bukan diberhentikan hingga proses kasusnya berakhir. Selain Resolusi ini, terdapat juga Resolusi lain yang diajukan oleh Fraksi Oposisi yang pada akhirnya tidak lolos di sidang pleno Parlemen Nasional.

Direktor Eksekutif JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, mengatakan bahwa walaupun pihaknya sangat menjunjung tinggi hak-hak terdakwa atas peradilan yang adil[7] (fair trial) dan prinsip praduga tak bersalah,[8] namun menurut JSMP bahwa Resolusi ini tidak merefleksikan kententuan dalam Pasal 113 Konstitusi Republik Demokratik Timor Leste dan berpotensi untuk mencederai Konstitusi sekaligus mencerminkan praktik  politik yang menyimpang dari Konstitusi.

Menurut Pasal 113 (1)[9] Konstitusi Republik Demokratik Timor Leste menentukan bahwa:

Apabila seorang anggota Pemerintah dihadapkan pada sebuah dakwaan tetap  atas sebuah kejahatan yang dapat diancam dengan  hukuman penjara di atas 2 tahun harus dihentikan dari jabatannya, agar proses kasusnya dapat dilanjutkan.

Mengacu kepada batasan definisi tersebut, menurut  pemahaman JSMP bahwa apabila sebuah kasus yang proses dakwaanya telah memasuki tingkat pengadilan dan ancaman hukumannya di atas dua tahun penjara, maka secara otomatis anggota pemerintah tersebut harus melepaskan jabatan/fungsinya untuk memungkinkan proses hukumnya berjalan dengan bebas.

Untuk mengantisipasi dan memastikan tidak adanya polemik dan kesalahpahaman atas putusan pengadilan di masa mendatang, JSMP berpandangan bahwa baik secara politik dan hukum, akan lebih baik dan ideal kalau Parlemen Nasional memenuhi perintah Pasal 113 (1) Konstitusi untuk memberhentikan Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri dari jabatannya secara sementara hingga pengadilan mengumumkan putusan akhirnya.

Posisi JSMP ini didasarkan pada pertimbangan-pertimbangan dan keadaan-keadaan berikut realitas budaya kedewasaan politik Timor Leste saat ini.

Dari aspek dan kepentingan politik, hal ini sebagai langkah penegasan dari kubu AMP untuk tunduk kepada janjinya untuk menghormati amanat Konstituisi dan komitmennya untuk memberantas praktek korupsi di Timor Leste. Kedua, jika pengadilan kemudian tidak menghukum Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri karena syarat-syarat hukum yang diperlukan tidak terpenuhi seperti misalnya Jaksa Penuntut Umum tidak dapat menghadirkan bukti-bukti yang kuat dan meyakinkan pengadilan untuk menghukum Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri, ini akan menjadi kemenangan besar bagi Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri secara pribadi, dan pada saat yang sama akan menjadi kemenangan bagi  kubu AMP secara umum di mata publik.

Dari aspek dan kepentingan hukum, menurut JSMP  bahwa apabila Parlemen Nasional mematuhi perintah ketentuan Pasal 113 (1) Konstituisi, ini akan menandai sebuah makna politik yang berbeda atas komitmen dan kemauan politik dari kubu AMP untuk mengembangkan dan memperkuat sektor peradilan, dan sekali lagi pada saat yang sama merupakan cerminan atas prilaku politik yang menunjukan kepatuhan kepada perintah dan amanat Konstitusi Timor Leste.

Lebih lanjut, pemberhentian  ini juga akan memberikan dampak positif lain kepada pengadilan untuk menjalankan fungsinya secara bebas dan memberikan ruang yang cukup untuk menjalankan tugasnya secara imparsial menurut ajaran Konstitusi dan juga untuk menghindari stigma dan reaksi-reaksi yang kontra-produktif atas putusan pengadilan di masa mendatang.

Oleh karena itu, JSMP merasa sedikit khwatir, apabila pemberhentian tersebut hanya bersifat temporal atau parsial, bisa menciptakan situasi dilematis bagi pengadilan untuk menjalankan fungsinya secara bebas atau menempatkan pengadilan pada posisi di bawah tekanan politik walaunpun pengadilan telah melakukan semua upaya untuk memenuhi hukum dan kewajiban konstitusionalnya. Dengan ungkapan lain, walaunpun pengadilan memutuskan kasus ini secara benar dan menurut hukum, namun akan tetap memunculkan reaksi negatif dan pertanyaan dari publik, terutama dari elemen-elemen politik dan pihak terkait lainnya akan tetap menggugat  putusan pengadilan, karena alasan-alasan tersebut di atas.

Selain itu, sebagaimana disebutkan di atas, setelah pengadilan mengadakan persidangan, melalui proses pengujian silang atas semua fakta dan saksi yang dihadirkan, dan kenyataannya  pengadilan tidak yakin atau menurut keyakinan para hakim di pengadilan bahwa perbuatan tersebut bukanlah tindakan korupsi atau sebagai sebuah bentuk dari penyalahgunaan wewenang sebagaimana dalam dakwaan Jaksa Penuntut Umum, bisa memunculkan reaksi dari publik bahwa putusan pengadilan begitu adanya karena pengadilan tidak merasa bebas untuk menjalankan fungsinya atau pengadilan di bawah tekanan pihak tertentu.

Lebih lanjut, apabila pengadilan tidak dapat membuktikan atau tidak dapat diyakinkan atas fakta dan dasar hukum yang diajukan oleh Jaksa Penuntut Umum, dan pengadilan memutuskan untuk membebaskan kasus ini, masih terdapat mekanisme hukum lain yang dapat digunakan untuk mengembalikan dan memulihkan nama baik Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri jika memang dia merasa bahwa hak-hak privasinya telah dilanggar baik selaku pribadi maunpun selaku unsur dari sebuah lembaga berdaulat.

Menurut pemantaun JSMP selama dua hari sidang pleno atas pencabutan  jabatan Bapak Wakil Perdana Menteri pada tanggal 5 dan 6 April 2011 di Parlemen Nasional tersebut memunculkan polemik pro-kontra. Situasi ini kemudian, pada akhirnya melahirkan dua Projek Resolusi, salah satunya bernomor 62/II mengenai penghentian jabatan secara parsial kepada Bapak Wakil PM José Luis Guterres dan Projek Resolusi lainnya bernomor 63/II mengenai kebutuhan untuk melindungi fungsi regular Kejaksaan Umum untuk melakukan penyelidikan terhadap Jaksa Agung Timor Leste Ibu Ana Pessoa Pinto, untuk memberikan keterangannya di pengadilan tidak dapat dilaksanakan karena tidak memenuhi kuorum.

JSMP percaya  bahwa Parlemen Nasional memiliki keyakinan dan pertimbangan politik sendiri atas Resolusi ini, namun JSMP tetap mendesak dan mendorong semua pihak untuk menghormati dan memenuhi aturan Konstitusional sebagai aturan yang palaing tinggi di Timor Leste.

[1] Prinsip “peradilan yang adil”  merupakan sebuah elemen fundamental dari  hak asasi manusia dan menjadi bagian integral dari konsep negara hukum demokratis. Prinsip ini meliputi: hak untuk mendapatkan perlakuan yang sama di depan pengadilan dan akses kepada pengadilan, hak atas peradilan yang terbuka untuk umum, hak atas pengadilan yang independen, kompeten dan tidak memihak, hak atas peradilan yang cepat dan bebas dari penundaan yang tidak layak, hak atas praduga tak bersalah, hak atas pembelaan diri dan bantuan hukum dari pengacara dan lain-lain (DJ Ravindaran, Human Right Praxis, A Resource Book for Study, Action and Reflection 102 (1998 yang ditulis kembali oleh  Uli Parulian Sihombing-The Indonesian Legal Resource Center-ILRC).

2 Prinsip Praduga Tak Bersalah artinya bahwa seorang  setiap terdakwa harus dianggap tidak bersalah hingga adanya putusan tetap dari pengadilan  (Pasal  34 (1) Konstituisi dan  pasal 14 2) Konvensi mengenai Hak Sipil dan Politik

3 Konstitusi  RDTL versi etum  dari Pengadilan Tinggi

03 April 2011

Participation, authority, and distributive equity in East Timorese development

Shepherd, C. J. 2009. Participation, authority, and distributive equity in East Timorese development. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal 3: 315-342.

After its violent escape from a quarter-century of Indonesian rule in 1999, the new nation of Timor-Leste (before 1974 Portuguese Timor) became the ground for an unparalleled concentration of ‘development
industry’ specialists determined to shape the country according to the most modern ideas of how development should take place. The rural uplands of the island’s interior, where diverse people lived mainly by shifting cultivation and extensive pastoralism, experienced a number of interventions. In a recent paper, four of these interventions are discussed by Australian National University anthropologist Chris Shepherd, who shows how questions of participation, authority and equity have been very variably approached. One project involved almost  literally moving an Australian dairy to Timor; one the setting up of an enclave of industrial agriculture, and one the introduction of improved germplasm under tightly-controlled experimental conditions.

The fourth sought to adapt old Timorese cultural-management practices to help in nothing less than the replacement of shifting by organic permanent agriculture on terraces, and free-range grazing by stall-feeding. We focus on the second and fourth in this short summary.

The enclave of industrial agriculture is a hydroponic greenhouse set up to grow capsicum and tomatoes for buyers in the capital Dili, supplemented by outdoor gardens for a range of vegetables, all set among the unchanged subsistence crop and livestock farming of a community of some 90 families. Only a small group of families was selected for participation and for a year they provided their labour unpaid. They had to accept a considerable number of new rules. When the prospect of real profits began to emerge serious problems were
faced. It had been agreed that 20% of the profits would go to the community as a whole, but how were the profits to be determined? Who would run the project? A wholesaler who bought and delivered the produce might run the enterprise, or the community might own it. The project decided to follow the latter approach, but who then would manage it? Although the participants included village leaders who had been trained, no-one was skilled in management. The widening inequalities within the community had not been resolved. The participants wanted the agency to continue to handle management, resolve technical and social problems and continue to supply inputs. Sensibly in Shepherd’s opinion, the farmers declined to take
ownership; indeed they saw advantages in not doing so.

The ambitious fourth project faced wider issues of land degradation and therefore also of inter-generational equity. It also had wider territorial span. Timor has a long dry season and over centuries has been largely deforested. To reverse degradation it seemed necessary that use of fire be outlawed. But first it was necessary to offer an alternative, and one was provided by a Canadian NGO. The core task involved labour-intensive manual terracing of degraded hillsides and the planting of tree-, staple- and fodder-crops in the terraces, from which livestock were excluded. An appeal was made for social responsibility toward sustainability of practices and livelihoods. It had significant success with some.

To make the bans on fire and free-range grazing work, the NGO revived a neglected traditional ritual practice under which local law regulating farming and dispute settlement had been formalized every few years. It involved an animal sacrifice, the bones displayed on a cross to mark the authority of spiritual ancestors who would punish transgressors fiercely. The NGO involved the Catholic Church in blessing this ritual, thereby also legitimizing the modern addition of a book of regulations and penalties. Even so, a significant minority
of farmers – especially those without land close to their homes, with few cattle and reluctant to undertake the hard work of terracing – continued to resist. Fires were still set but at a distance where the perpetrators could not readily be identified. Another division, albeit not apparently acrimonious as in the case of the greenhouse, had been created between those who participated, and those who did not.

All development initiatives in Timor-Leste have come from outside. After the cultural and political repression of the Indonesian period (even though it did bring some material benefits) the massive and idealistic new wave of interventions has been welcomed. But it has not been without problems. Many Timorese have not liked being told what to do by the developers; those who did gain some professional standing in the Indonesian period now found themselves asked simply to mediate between foreign specialists and the local beneficiaries; there has been a paucity of consultation. Divisions have been created between those who have learned to talk the language of development and have prospered, and those whose embrace of modernity has been more
selective or less rewarding. Efforts to hybridize old cultural institutions, as in the sustainability project, have encountered skepticism from some quarters and great optimism from others.

One decade is a short period and Shepherd does not offer any final judgments. He seeks a broader approach to central questions about who is authorized to define tradition and modernity, and how participation can become a true union of interests in the pursuit of progress with equity.

To communicate with the author, and/or to request a single copy (hard or electronic) of the paper, write to Dr Chris Shepherd at chris.shepherd@anu.edu.au

Shepherd, C. J. 2009. Participation, authority, and distributive equity in East Timorese development. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal 3: 315-342.

Government calls on Parliament to produce law for money laundering

Suara Timor Lorosa'e, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Government, through the Public Prosecution and the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK), has called on the Parliament to produce a law to ban people from money laundering and financing terrorism in the country.

The Parliamentary Committee for Finance, Economy and Anti-Corruption (KAK) President , Manuel Tilman, said they held a seminar to discuss money laundering, adding that the presenters of the seminar were from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region who shared their ideas with the members of Committee C about money laundering.

"There is no concrete law that will ban people from engaging in acts of crime for money laundering and financing terrorism. Therefore Committee C of Parliament is taking the initiative of producing a law for money laundering, because Timor-Leste wants to contribute to the international community with our laws and intelligence," MP Tilman said.

Prosecutor General investigates 40 corruption cases

Suara Timor Lorosa'e, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - Deputy Prosecutor General, Vicente Fernandes Brito, confirmed that the Public Prosecution has investigated 40 corruption cases from 2010 to 2011.

"Starting from 2010 up to 2011, the Prosecutor General received 40 corruption cases and the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) also has the right to investigate these cases which is called "Pucalato" (if a public official misuses state money)," Brito said.

Brito added that KAK has the power to investigate any corruption cases which is believed to be in  engaged by public officials within the Government instructions.

Case of extorting money from eldery people has been resolved

Suara Timor Lorosa'e, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - MP Mateus de Jesus confirmed that the case of extorting money from elderly people in Leo Hitu and Leo Lima villages of Balibo  sub-district in Bobonaro have been resolved by the Administrator of Bobonaro District.

"The Administrator of Bobonaro, Domingos Martins, has resolved the case of extorting money from elderly people in Leo Hitu and Leo Lima villages of Balibo sub-district," MP de Jesus said.

The Parliamentary Committee E for Poverty Elimination, Rural Development and Gender Equality President, Osorio Florindo, said the extortion, which involved officials of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, is criminal corruption. "Acts of MSS officials extorting money from elderly people is corruption," MP Florindo said.

Court hands over KM Jaya Samudra 5 to the Government

Televizaun Timor-Leste, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Klamar Fuik confirmed that the Court has handed over KM Jaya Samudra 5, a ship which was detained by the Timorese Maritime Force on November 18 of last year, to the Government and that ship has now become an asset of the state.

"Based on the court's verdict, this ship has become the property of the state and this is a good example for our state. If we cannot control and defend our sea then other people will come to do things based on their own will," Klamar Fuik said.

Klamar Fuik added that the ship is being handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to be used for fishing, adding that the Marine Force has resources to support the operations of the ship, but cooperation depends on the Ministry.

Police to take strong action against one-way tinted windows

Radio Timor-Leste, March 31, 2011 language source: Tetun - Traffic Police of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) will take a strong action against both public and government vehicles which are using one-way tinted windows.

This decision was made to push the drivers to abide by traffic regulations and also help prevent human trafficking and organized crime that could impact the country's internal security.

The Timorese Public Radio (RTL) journalists reported that the police have started announcing the prohibition of using one-way tinted windows on public cars and cars belonging to the state.

02 April 2011

KAK investigates six corruption cases

Timor Post, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - Timor-Leste's Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) Commissioner, Aderito de Jesus Soares, said the KAK's investigators are currently investigating six corruption cases within the Government institutions.

"Our investigation is going on now into a number of cases. Last year we focused on three cases and this year we are investigating six cases. These six cases are serious ones," Soares said.

Soares refused to make comments about which ministries they are investing right now.

Deputy Prosecutor-General, Vicente Fernandes said, based on KAK's constitution; it has the competence  to investigate any criminal cases within the Government. He added that corruption cases which are being investigated by KAK were delegated by the Public Prosecution and its findings will be sent to the Public Prosecution for legal proceedings.

Police Commissioner Longinhos: Police will use force to respond to acts of violence

Timor Post, April 1, 2011 language source: Tetun - The Timorese National Police Commander (PNTL), Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro, said the police play a very important role in responding to situations within the country so all Timorese people could remain calm.

However, if there are strong acts of violence, the police will use force to respond to it.

"The police will not let people stone them. But when people want to throw rocks at them then I myself will go down to arrest them directly," Monteiro said.

Monteiro stressed that the police should make efforts to keep their professionalism, security and credibility.

"If there is an act of violence, the police will use force. The Police will use proper manners to stop the conflict, so that the community members remain calm," Monteiro said.

In relation to the journalists' questions asking if the UN Police will interfere in any situations in the country, Monteiro said the UN Police will not interfere in responding to any situations, including any situation in the general elections. He added that they could only ask for the UN Police's help when acts of violence get out of hand.

TLPres: Speech at 11th Anniversary of PNTL

For two years, joint teams comprising staff from the Secretary of State for Security, UNMIT, PNTL and UNPOL assessed all PNTL District Commands, Units and Services and drafted consensual recommendations. Their reports show the current status of PNTL and identify the areas that need improvement. This joint effort should be publicly praised.

I also wish to acknowledge the efforts made by the PNTL Command to ensure the compliance with the criteria defined for responsibility handover from UNPOL to PNTL, especially in those Units that were further away from the objectives on their first assessment.

This effort was met by UNPOL’s commitment to assist PNTL in assuming command. I therefore want to thank UNPOL, who has been with us in this arduous task of establishing a police for the citizens, making a decisive contribution to the maintenance of law and order.

Commissioner Luís Carrilho contributed, together with the Commander-General of PNTL, to the atmosphere of friendship and trust that allowed to unite PNTL and UNPOL in their dedication to Timor-Leste. His endless commitment towards PNTL and the Timorese authorities is commendable.

This is why we must take the continued presence of UNPOL over the next two years to develop PNTL, so that it becomes and remains able to better accomplish its objectives, favoring preventive action, in a network of community policing, using minimum force when necessary and always in the respect of, and to enforce, law and order.

Today we reach the end of the Consolidation Phase to enter the Full Reconstitution Phase, during which PNTL and UNPOL should together ensure that the criteria agreed upon during the Consolidation Phase are met continuously. Only that can ensure PNTL its institutional stability.

Command handover to PNTL must be accompanied by the continuing effort to transfer skills and capacity, for technical and organizational improvements aiming at achieving an internal security platform capable of facing any challenge.

PNTL Command has faced major challenges that demanded great leadership capabilities and a sense of public service. The new command brought PNTL a new dynamics and reinstated confidence, which are of the utmost importance to achieving its goals.

I congratulate the PNTL Commander-General, Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro, for his remarkable sense of duty, dedication, full availability and highest quality of professional performance, demonstrated in the past two years, in reconstructing and developing our Security Force.

A word of appreciation is due also to Commissioner Afonso de Jesus who successfully directed PNTL in the most difficult time of its recent history.

I am happy to say that the conditions have been created for us to believe in the good omen of the final phase of cooperation between PNTL and UNPOL.

The areas of training, resource management and most of all development of operational capacity and disciplinary responsibility remain before us, as constant challenges.

The discipline issue persists, and needs to be addressed definitely, with impartial judgment and the assurance of the defendant´s right to be heard. There are still pending cases that should be solved quickly. This is an area where UNPOL assistance will prove most beneficial to improve the capacity of the members of the Department of Justice.

I would like to end with a note on the Recruitment Process for the PNTL Agents Training Course: there have been 9338 applications from all 13 Districts, that might reveal pride or wish of serving a noble institution that assures the maintenance of Law and Order, but it also certainly reveals something more worrying about our youth’s level of unemployment. State policies that include a comprehensive concept of security, namely human security, cannot ignore this data.

Last I would like to thank all bilateral partners who have made devoted contributions to the development of our police, particularly Australia with the Timor-Leste Police Development Programme (TLPDP), Indonesia on training, Malaysia on Training of Inspectors, New Zealand on Community Policing, Portugal on Recruitment Process and PNTL Agents Training Course, and the United States on Criminal Investigation.

Before ending I wish to express our gratitude to UNMIT, through the Special Representative of the Secretary General, my dear friend Ameerah Haq. Her commitment in working together with the Timorese authorities has been crucial in this phase of our State-building.

Today is a remarkable day, a day filled with pride about our achievements and with optimism and confidence for the tasks that lie before us. I congratulate everyone for a job well done!


Joint press release from the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT: National police resume responsibility in Timor-Leste

Government of Timor-Leste United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste For immediate release National police resume responsibility in Timor-Leste

27 March 2011, Dili – The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Lestee (UNMIT) today handed over policing responsibility from the UN police to the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) at a ceremony celebrating the 11th anniversary of the PNTL at the Palacio do Governo in Dili.  Starting on Monday 28 March 2011 the PNTL will be responsible for policing throughout Timor-Leste, with the UN police (UNPOL) in a supporting role.

"The United Nations assumed authority for policing at the request of the Government of Timor-Leste in 2006 after a period of instability" said Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão. "Today, I am delighted to announce that PNTL is resuming this important responsibility for maintaining law and order in Timor-Leste.  I congratulate General Commander Longuinhos Monteiro and all PNTL officers for this achievement. I extend my thanks to the United Nations and the international community for its assistance in strengthening our nation's policing capabilities."

PNTL started resuming policing responsibilities almost two years ago in the district of Lautém. Since then, PNTL has resumed command in nearly all districts and units with no increases in crime rates or public order incidents.

"PNTL and UNMIT have worked together for more than four years to rebuild and develop PNTL's abilities to maintain the rule of law in Timor-Leste, the youngest nation in Asia," said Ameerah Haq, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the head of the UN's mission in Timor-Leste.  "We will continue to work side-by-side. However, PNTL will be squarely in the driver's seat, and the UN will focus on providing the training and support Timor-Leste's police service needs to further strengthen its capabilities over the long term."

"The resumption of policing responsibility by PNTL at this time has the advantage of enabling PNTL to assume its role before next year's elections and well before the anticipated withdrawal of the UN's mission at the end of 2012," said Haq.

The UN will maintain a police presence of up to 1,280 personnel to support the PNTL until after the elections of 2012, when UNMIT is planning to withdraw from Timor-Leste.

"President Ramos-Horta and I are working together with SRSG Haq to plan the withdrawal of the UN's peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste," said Gusmao. "Our High-Level Committee on transition will receive regular reports on PNTL's progress to ensure that we are building the strength of our national police service through a Joint Development Plan.

For more information, photographs, video and sound, please contact: Gyorgy Kakuk, UNMIT Spokesperson Phone +6707230749 email: kakukg@un.org

The Dili Insider: Violence Shall Meet Violence 4 days after PNTL Handover?

The Dili Insider: Violence Shall Meet Violence 4 days after PNTL Handover?

TLGov: Council of Ministers meeting of 29 March 2011

Secretariat of State of the Council of Ministers Díli, Government Palce March 29, 2011


Council of Ministers meeting of March 29, 2011

This Tuesday, March 29, 2011, the Council of Ministers met at the Council of Ministers’ meeting room in the Government Palace, Dili, and approved:

1. Decree-Law Proposal about the Program for the Decentralized Development I and II The local development and the increase of the business entities in the districts are promoted through the procurement of construction works to local  companies, which will construct and  rehabilitate the  infrastructures with knowledge and responsibility.

The Program for the Decentralized Development I and II thus represents an essential measure for the strengthening of the economy in the districts and for the incentive to the appearance and development of local  companies, for  construction and rehabilitation of infra-structures in the districts. The acquired experience with the implementation of similar programs in previous years allows  for  a more efficient execution of this diploma.

The document includes rules regarding the Program for Decentralized Development I and II, defining the construction work  procurement procedure up to the value of one hundred and fifty thousand  American dollars and five hundred thousand American dollars, respectively, to local companies located in the subdistricts and districts.

2. Resolution about the appointment of the Director for the Large Projects Secretariat

The Council of Ministers has temporarily appointed Manuel Monteiro, National Director for Procurement from the Ministry of  Finance, and in a service commission regime, as  Director for the  Large Projects Secretariat. This Secretariat technically supports the Infrastructures Fund Council of Administration which is responsible for the approval and coordination of the programs and strategic projects  intended for infrastructure acquisition,  construction and development  which promote the country’s strategic growth.

The Infrastructure Fund is intended to finance these projects.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Presentation of the Website Globalfoods.net

The Globalfoods Networks Inc. presented to the Council of Minister the company’s project that supplies solutions through the internet for businesspersons in the food field. The project’s general objective is to increase the production quality of items in the Country, develop export and improve import.

2. Political Analysis and Processes for the Import and Disposal of Motor Vehicles in Timor-Leste The Government  is concern with the impact and application of policies and practices related with the import of  motorized vehicles.  Since it is its responsibility to promote the development and protect the consumers and the  environment, a request was made for a “Political Analysis and Processes for the Import and Disposal of Motorized Vehicles in Timor-Leste”.  The study was presented to the Council of Ministers and  has  the  objective  of changing the process to improve the commercialization and other factors related with motorized vehicles import.

3. Resolution that Approves the Establishment of the  Gender Working Group  Mechanism  at National and District Level

The Secretariat of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI) has been establishing and implementing a mechanism within each Ministry and Secretariat of State in the scope of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, to guarantee the integration of a gender perspective in the development of strategies, policies, programs and legislation within the government’s scope. This mechanism has been functioning for more than two years. SEPI intends to expand this gender integration mechanism, in order to strengthen and improve its efficiency, in the recognition that gender equality is a priority and a priority for the Timor-Leste Government and its People.

01 April 2011

On the use of Portuguese in the National Parliament

ETLJB 01 April 2011 - It was announced this week that the East Timor Parliament had decided to hold plenary proceedings in the Portuguese language at least once a month.

In East Timor, it is well known that the vast majority of the population does not speak, read or write in Portuguese. Tetum, Indonesian and local languages are the principle languages of the community while Portuguese is the language of the political elite who seized the state apparatus upon the transfer of sovereignty in 2002 and who imposed constitutional and governance regimes that were dominated by a language not understood by the people. The use of Portuguese in the parliamentary proceedings is another manifestation of this phenomenon - a quest to maintain a political hegemony that is essentially undemocratic.

The Parliament, the Government and the Courts' use of Portuguese for legislation and judicial decisions with hardly any translation or socialisation of the laws and decisions that determine the rights and liabilities of citizens under the law is not consistent with basic democratic principles.

It causes serious problems for the rule of law and the maintenance of the civil peace because when people do not know what their legal rights and obligations are, they are much less likely to enjoy protection of those rights vis-a-vis the State and if they do not know their obligations, they are much less likely to obey them.

The publication of legislation and court decisions in Portuguese entrenches the political order that deploys those tactics to maintain dominance of the State by the existing elite and provides little opportunity for the community to participate in the law and policy making processes.

It is, to lawyers, and to the ordinary person, an absurd notion that a Parliament or a Government or the Courts would use what is in effect a foreign language to the present generation that grew up under the Indonesian occupation.

It would be like the Australian or United States or English legislatures publishing new laws in Japanese.

Further, how, for example, would a member of the East Timorese community be able to sit in the public galleries in that august chamber of the Parliament when in session and using Portuguese and understand what was going on? Not even all members of parliament know Portuguese - but they would at least would have the benefit of simultaneous translation.

During the Indonesian occupation, bahasa Indonesia was also deployed as a means of domination and exclusion by the Javanese imperialists who perpetrated decades of crimes against humanity and human rights abuses leaving hundreds of thousands of Timorese dead, maimed and or psychologically injured.

So, there are some aspects of the use of Portuguese not only in the Parliamentary sessions but in the laws it enacts as well as in government decree-laws and government decrees, judicial decisions, the Official Gazette in which certain decisions of the State organs as well as all those laws must be publisehd and so on, which raise some fundamental questions about the transparency of political and legal debate in the country, about the common citizens opportunity to participate on the political processes and about the fate of participatory democracy in this country.