22 September 2011

Maritime Security in Timor-Leste – A Fragile Situation

East Timor Legal News 22/09/2011 Source: Fundasaun Mahein Press Release - In Mahein’s Voice no.23, Fundasaun Mahein (FM) undertook comprehensive research into the issue of Maritime Security in Timor-Leste post-independence.

Maritime security in Timor-Leste represents one of the most important components of national security. The government of Timor-Leste exercises sovereign rights in Timor-Leste’s economic exclusive zone. Defending public security and fighting against illegal trafficking at sea has become a challenge in the past decade since independence.

The control systems in place are weak because the current Maritime Authority, which comprises among other bodies the PNTL & F-FDTL, lacks the adequate capacity and equipment to effectively secure Timorese waters. This report highlights that up till now, maritime borders have not yet been clearly defined, between Timor-Leste and its neighbours, Indonesia & Australia. An unclearly defined maritime border, leads to confusion. This confusion hinders the Maritime Authority’s abilities to provide effective security at sea.

This report delves into some of the consequences that result from a weak control of Timor-Leste’s maritime zone. These include illegal fishing, shortages in terms public security, arms trafficking, contraband, drug trafficking, and maritime environmental degradation.

There are yet to be any patrols from the maritime unit on the south coast of Timor-Leste, which is an area of great fishing activity and a busy route for cargo ships. This puts peoples lives at risk as it leads to the unfortunate reality that should any vessel encounter any problems at sea, they cannot get any assistance from the Timorese authorities. There is also currently no system in place that can locate suspicious boats dealing in illegal activity. For example, the weaknesses of the maritime authority are such that it cannot distinguish between domestic fishing boats and illegal fishing boats.

On the one hand, this report sites that the PNTL marine unit and F-FDTL navy have made some efforts in the handling of numerous accidents at sea and have successfully captured several boats through the use of joint operations. But there is no chance yet to stop all illegal activities occurring at sea. F-FDTL patrol boat Jaco-Betano and two other boats along with PNTL speedboats are unable to patrol the south coast due their inability to tackle rough seas.

On the other hand, this FM voice has declared that there is no adequate legislation in place ensuring the capacity of the Marine Authority to guarantee the safety for those that work at sea. This places many lives at risk. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism and the Secretary of State for Fisheries have yet to designate specific fishing and conservation zones. As a result of this, fishing and arbitrary movement at sea may be very damaging to the marine environment.

FM concludes and recommends to the Government and the Maritime authority the following:

1. The Government of Timor-Leste needs to carry out a comprehensive study into the Maritime threats affecting Timor-Leste and must intervene urgently.

2. The Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Indonesia need to work closely with one another, and include joint patrols on the Timorese-Indonesian border to tackle all sorts of illegal activities currently taking place at sea.

3. The Government of Timor-Leste needs to establish an Integrated National Maritime Authority bringing together the naval component of the F-FDTL, the PNTL, Customs, Quarantine, the Port Authority, and the National Fisheries Directorate. Furthermore, legislation needs to be drafted in order to strengthen their activities.

4. An increase in the quality of human resources and a higher level of coordination and control within the Maritime Authority. This will ensure better security at sea.

5. The Government of Timor-Leste needs to create an organic law for the National Maritime Authority.

For more information on this issue, please contact Nelson Belo, Director of Fundasaun Mahein Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp :   +670 737 4222
Fundasaun Mahein 21 Setembru  2011 Komunikadu da Imprenza  Siguransa Maritima Timor-Leste Iha Situasaun Frajil -  Iha Mahein nia Lian no. 23, Fundasaun Mahein halo peskiza kle’an ba Lalaok Siguransa Maritima iha Timor-Leste depois ukun rasik-an.

Siguransa Maritima iha Timor-Leste,  hanesan setor ida importante mos iha sistema siguransa nasional. Iha zona ekonomia ekskluziva no nia dereitu iha zona maritima ne’ebé soberanu nasaun Timor-Leste nian. Maibé atu satan netik siguransa seguru ba publiku no siguransa ba trafiku iha tasi laran sai obstaklu iha dekade hirak ne’e nia laran,  depois Timor-Leste ukun-an.

Sistema kontrola fraku, tanba autoridade Maritima hanesan PNTL ho Komponente F-FDTL- Naval sidauk iha kapasidade ho ekipamentus, rekursus ema nian ne’ebe naton atu halo siguransa diak ba tasi Timor. Relatoriu ne’e mos sita katak to’o agora seidauk iha liña fronteira Marina Timor-Leste nian ho nasaun seluk hanesan Indonezia ho Australia. Wainhira seidauk iha liña fronteira nasional ne’ebe klaru, iha biban maka’as fo konfuzaun ba autoridade Maritima Timor-Leste nian la fo siguransa diak.

Relatoriu ida ne’e mos deskobre katak, konsekuensia husi kontrolu fraku ba zona Maritima Timor-Leste nian, peskador ilegal, Siguransa Publiku, trafiku kilat, kontra bandu, transaksaun ka transportasaun droga no mos estragus ba ambiente marina nian durante ne’e akontese  iha zona Martima Timor-Leste.

Seidauk iha patrollamentu hosi Unidade Maritima ba area kosteira tasi Timor-Leste ne’ebé movimentu ró peska no komersiu nian, atu asegura siguransa ba pasazeirus sira bainhira iha aksidente ruma. Nune’e mos, sidauk iha sistema kontrolu ba ro peska nian, wainhira iha deskonfia halo atividades illegal ruma, pur ezemplu, ro peska nian bele serbisu hamutuk fali ho ro ilegal sira iha tasi Timor-Leste nian.

Relatoriu ne’e mos sita katak iha ona asidente balun ne’ebé, esforsu governu Timor-Leste daudaun ne’e liu hosi PNTL Unidade Maritima ho F-FDTL Komponente Naval. Hanesan, operasaun konjunta hosi PNTL Marina  ho F-FDTL Naval konsege prende ró balun, maibe seidauk iha biban atu hapara krime sira ne’ebe temi iha leten. Tamba Ro’ F-FDTL Jaco-Betano ho ro rua seluk no mos bero PNTL Speed Boad labele hakur liu parte zona Marina Kosta Sul nian.

FM Nia Lian ne’e mos deklara katak seidauk iha lei kona-bá asegura vida autoridade Marina nian, ne’ebé serbisu iha tasi laran. Konsekuensia hosi ida ne’e sei rezulta  asidente ruma karik, bele mate saugate deit. Iha parte seluk, seidauk iha markasaun hosi Ministeru Turismu ho Sekretariu Estadu Peskas no Akuarium nian, konaba areas Turismu nian ho peska nian iha tasi laran. Konsekuensia hosi ida ne’e maka hamosu ro peska ne’ebe ho  movimentu arbiru deit no halo estragus ba ambiente tasi nian.

Fundasaun Mahein nia relatoriu ne’e konklui ho rekomendasaun ba governu ho autoridade Maritima nian hanesan tuir mai ne’e:

1. Governu presiza halo estudu kle’an saida mak sai hanesan ameasa iha tasi Timor-Leste no saida mak governu presiza halo intervensaun urjente.

2. Governu Timor-Leste no Governu Indonezia presiza estabelese lina lateral entre Timor-Leste no Indonezia inklui patrulla konjunta iha fronteira Timor-Leste no Indonezia hodi asegura siguran iha lina fronteira husi aktividade peska ilegal, kontra bandu, droga, kilat no aktividade ilega sira seluk.

3. Governu Timor-Leste no Australia iha posiblidade ruma atu halo patrulla konjunta iha tasi hodi hein demarkasaun lina fronteira iha tinan 50 mai.

4. Governu presiza harii lalais Serbisu Integradu Autoridade Nasional Maritima nian kompostu husi Komponenti Naval F-FDTL, UPM, Alfandega, Karantina, Portu no Dirasaun Nasional Peska nian hanesan Sentru Nasional Siguransa Maritima nian ho ninian responsabilidade tuir ida-idak nian serbisu. Nune’e mos lejislasaun ba Autoridade Nasional Maritima nian atu fortifika sira nian serbisu.

5.Hasa’e kualidade rekursu humanu iha nivel kordenasaun, kontrolu no fiskalizasaun iha serbisu Maritima nian liu-liu komponenti operasionais.

6. Governu presiza kria Lei ne’ebe difini estatutu ba elementu ne’ebe integra iha Autoridade Nasional Maritima nian tamba serbisu tasi nian ameasa boot tebes ba sira nian vida. Karik sira hetan asidenti ruma hanesan mate, saida mak governu halo hodi garante sira nia familia.

Atu hatene klean liu konaba asuntu ne’e bele kontaktu Nelson Belo, Direktor Fundasaun Mahein www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222

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