24 December 2012

Witchcraft, Conflict and Resolution in Timor-Leste

ETLJB 24 December 2012 [Updated 07 January 2013] - ETLJB's Guest Poster is Matthew Libbis BA (Hons), Anthropology - I comment on the report of the murder of an alleged witch in Maubisse reported on Radio Timor Leste 21 December and in The East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin online on 22 December, and which follows on the debate between Wright and Herriman, and builds upon Harrington’s accurate capturing of the dispute mechanism process.
An old woman is accused of stopping a nursing mother from lactating. The people beat her to drive out evil. When she is confronted with the allegation, and asked if she is a witch, she replies yes; similarly, when asked if she had stopped the mother’s milk, she admits that she has. This is her role in society; she fulfils that function, and accepts her beating to drive out the evil.

On a charge of witchcraft, an entire family and lineage may be killed (Schulte Nordholt 1971:367). It was believed that witches passed their craft down through their daughters.

As East Timor’s justice system and Police Service (ETPS) was forming, existing dispute resolution mechanism may have been more respected and held more legitimacy locally; but summary justice is not acceptable on legal or human rights grounds: there are some cultural practices which are universally not on - and some which are made up.

Change cannot be instituted immediately; it requires a generational shift. The rule of law is now established in Timor-Leste which can deal with alleged cases of witchcraft that can be tried in court according rules of evidence that satisfy the requirements of that system.

At present, UN police have a specific mandate, which as it prepares to leave has been reduced to an advisory role, so the UN officer (Wright 2009) would have been correct in the current context, and the complaint referred to local police; however, the reference is from 2000 (Edgerton), in the early days for the UN in Timor, with little knowledge of the place.

So to dismiss the complaint does seem inappropriate, and there was not yet then even the semblance of a nascent police. In its formative stages, the role of the Timorese police was somewhat confused: there is the oppressive and corrupt examples from Portugal and Indonesia, and the police had never been incorporated into the social structure. That some police had come from the Indonesian system confounded the whole thing.

During the Indonesian occupation, the Timorese people had no real recourse to justice in the state system, either because perpetrators of state violence were effectively immune from prosecution; or for those in the resistance, a parallel system existed, and the use of customary law to settle disputes between Timorese thrived.

There is no traditional role of police as such; it is a community responsibility, and regulation – proscription as well as prescription -  is by way of tara bandu. Any other institutional  framework is not recognised. Some police try to assert authority, others defer to respective roles in community.

Some illustrations:
Land is the most common cause of conflict, and while the belief in witches is real, and the cause of death and illness is attributed to witchcraft (or speaking the words of the lianain without the ritual authority), often the accusation is cast to give solemnity to the situation and exacerbate the blame attributable to antagonists involved in the dispute.

In one instance, the UN police were conducting the investigation, with ETPS acting as interpreters. A person had returned to land on which coffee was growing, title for which his family had been granted by Portugal and acknowledged by Indonesia.

The Timorese considered it communal land, and during the interview with locals, the Timorese police left out of their translation the detail about chasing the owner with machetes and burning down his house.  ETPS said the dispute should be settled by traditional methods, and believed traditional ownership rather than title should prevail.

The acceptance of people back into the community follows the traditional methods for
resolution, and it is interesting to observe whether the same processes can be adopted as an adjunct to the justice system at a state level.  After 1999, there were reconciliation processes to accept returning militia; and after the 2006 Crisis, a Simu Malu process was implemented to reintegrate people into communities.

There was always the problem of political appropriation of defence and police, as well as former combatants and clandestine expecting or demanding roles in the current structure.  The lack of jobs, and the physical hardship and psychological trauma these people have suffered as a result of their sacrifice meant that they may not be fit for the scarce positions in the new security sector; and having trained in an atmosphere of opposition to an occupying force, how would they make the transition to democratic civilian rule?

This case of permanent hostility is itself a dyadic system, an acknowledgment that peace cannot exist without war, ‘that life would be impossible if this relationship were broken’ (Schulte Nordholt 1971:388). McWilliam (1989:155) notes that disputes ‘are an endemic feature of social life’. If you don’t have a problem, then create one, such as blaming someone of – or deflecting blame to – witchcraft.  War and death are a condition for life and marriage (Schulte Nordholt 1971:331, 356). And as someone who is married to a Timorese, I can vouch that war is indeed a condition of marriage, and that blame is part of being: going to work is construed as having an affair (I’m not the only one!)*

People ‘may use the opportunity of a land dispute to vent their anger over other silent feuds’ (McWilliam 1989:252). If an enemy burns your house down, the land is considered cursed; for example, a sacred house that was burnt to the ground 1999 was rebuilt, then collapsed (this may be more to do with the fact that the house was rebuilt using green wood, which is subject to mites). However, if a friend burns down you house, then it’s quite safe to rebuild on the same site.

A dispute concerned a stockpile of Teak from a barge washed ashore in 1998. Fields nearby were strewn with logged teak, and sale of teak had been banned, so ownership and disposal became an issue of contention, and a dispute resolution meeting was called.

The Minister for Agriculture made the point that as it was Portuguese land, which the Indonesian government had taken over, concluding that ownership of the land should pass on to the East Timorese government. The people disagreed, insisting that it is community land, and complained that the government does not treat the people with the same respect that it expects for its laws and demands from them.  Furthermore, they added that the government should not be able to dictate what is legal or otherwise regarding the use of land and disposal of trees or wood or goods from people’s land.

The difference between the state and customary systems, most noticeably in criminal matters, is that in the traditional mechanism, restitution must be made to the victim, whereas the state will merely punish the perpetrator, and pocket for itself any fines it may impose.

An argument in favour of the state system over the customary law is that the state protects all its citizens. On the other hand, the customary system may be seen as quicker and cheaper alternative to the cumbersome and overloaded state system, so that justice may give way to expediency.

More serious problems arise where someone who might want a case brought before the courts is coerced into accepting local mediation. This is more likely with more vulnerable members of that community, such as rape victims. If the laws and decisions of the courts reflect the views of the influential people in society, rather than community standards, the result may be similar to the problems encountered in the customary system. A problem the UN police found it mentoring the local force was that they would ask a woman about the assault leading up to, but out of respect for the victim, not ask about penetration.

Lack of confidence in both the police and the courts has not only resulted in continuance of local dispute resolution systems, but has caused some groups to form their own security organisations, but in effect are sometimes no more than standover thugs, whose activities range from protection rackets to threatening to kidnap judges unless a suspect is released.  Some of the gangs forming out of resistance said that they were doing so to honour their parents who had fought for freedom. There have also been cases of armed standoffs; one in which the inadequately armed UN forces reverted to slingshots to defend themselves. In another case, a lone UN police officer tried to intervene between dozens of members of rival gangs throwing stones at each other by firing a warning shot in the air; both gangs then descended on him, and he had to lock himself in the car and wait for back up.

Dispute resolution used to involve gift exchange, but now it’s just a matter of sitting and talking (nahe biti). Decisions are made by sitting by the families sitting with the elders, who have authority to adjudicate; the church is sometimes involved,  but I’m yet to hear of a case of exorcism in Timor. Usually it’s just a case of beating or killing the witch.

A more positive perspective is perhaps provided in the way that the community in Manufahi decided to choose its representatives to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation.  Firstly, there should be a gender balance. Secondly, representatives shall be chosen from legitimate members of the former resistance groups, which were in the process of transforming into the incipient civil society.

A personal perspective
When my daughter became ill with seizures at 2AM I ran to the clinic to get an ambulance;  when I returned, I was surprised to see an accumulation of thongs and an ensuing throng inside who blocked me from taking my daughter to hospital while they administered traditional medicine, which to me was obviously not only useless, but deleterious – what I consider to be witchcraft.

My wife led the charge, telling me I was a stupid malae and didn’t know anything and should go back to Australia. Her sister argued that if I took her to hospital, they would give her an injection which would kill her; I countered that her not having the injection would kill her.

After a prolonged standoff, we got to hospital, and as the paediatrician was trying to stabilise my daughter so she could fly to Darwin, my wife’s father insisted on taking my daughter home. The doctor explained that if she were to stay at the hospital, she might live; if she were to go to Australia, she might recover; but if she were to go home, she would certainly die; but my wife’s father was adamant that he was the grandfather, and what he said is what would happen, and that when she died, he would bring her back ‘pronto’ - the use of Portuguese supposedly lending some credibility to local utterances.

We went to Darwin, then Adelaide, where my daughter had neurosurgery to remove a tuberculoma from her right hemisphere, and three months intensive physiotherapy to learn to walk and use her left side to see, hear, chew and smile again (she still has only limited use of her left arm). I had brought my daughter and her mother to Australia before, and have since. My wife has returned to Timor with our daughter; so now I worry that my daughter with her white skin and seizures may well be considered a witch.

Edgerton, Robert B.. “Traditional Beliefs and Practices –Are Some Better than others?” in Laurence E.

Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, eds. Culture Matters. How values shape human progress (New York: Basic Books, 2000)

Harrington, A, 2006 ETLJ 7 Institutions & the East Timorese Experience

Herriman, N, 2009 ETLJ 7 The Case to Intervene and Stop East Timorese Killing ‘Witches’

McWilliam, A (1989), Narrating the gate and path: place and precedence in southwest Timor, Canbera: ANU

Schulte Nordholt, H (1971), The Political System of the Atoni of Timor, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff

Wright, W, 2009 ETLJ 6 Witchcraft and Murder in East Timor 2009 ETLJ 6

Wright, W, 2012 Murder and Witchcraft in Timor-Leste, East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin, http://easttimorlegal.blogspot.com/2012/12/murder-and-witchcraft-in-timor-leste.html, 22 Dec 2012

*My wife was in Santa Cruz cemetery, aged nine, when the Indonesians opened fire in 1991, and fled Dili on foot in 1999 to escape marauding militia, and in 2006 had to flee once again the violent confrontations that divided east and west. She is afraid of witches. And ducks, and insists she has seen witches hovering in the night, a common thematic representation.

Author: Matthew Libbis.
Post Script: The author also notes that there are several causes of seizures in Timor, whether it be from epilepsy, TB meningitis, neurocysticercosis or cerebral malaria, but they are often construed as either being possessed or cursed, or being a witch oneself, depending on the status of the person.

Author Bio: Matthew Libbis conducted anthropological fieldwork from 2000 to 2002 in East Timor, focusing on how the population was making the transition from occupation into independence. In addition to exploring socially sustaining institutions such as marriage, ritual and customs, his research was guided by prevailing issues that most concerned and affected the community, such as tensions between food production and participation in the formal economy, as well as more pressing issues of housing and reconciliation. He returned to East Timor from 2006 to 2008 following the Crisis that ripped the country apart to work in rebuilding the shattered civil society and governance structures. He has more recently been working in community resilience, social inclusion policy implementation, and humanitarian and disaster management, mitigation and recovery.  He may be contacted at malibbis-at-gmail.com

ETLJB Editor's Note: For further corroboration of the association between witchcraft and elipsy in East Timor, the East Timor Elipsy Assocation recounts the story of Dulce, an 18-year old girl from Ermera in Ermera District dated July 2005. The title of the report is "Epilepsy—a major cause of burns in East Timor" and Dulce's story is recounted as follows:

In 2002, Dulce developed epilepsy. As soon as she had the first bouts of seizures, her life dramatically turned for the worse. Suddenly Dulce was hated by her father and he used the slightest excuse to beat her. Her stepmother (her mother is deceased) called her a witch and in order to prevent her transmitting epilepsy to others burned her clothes and even her primary school certificate!

Dulce’s father and stepmother continued mistreating her, starving her and not allowing her to attend school, until finally a distant relative, Manuel, took pity on her and took her into his home. Manuel obtained traditional Timorese medicines for Dulce but they gave her no relief from seizures that she had as often as two to five times per day.

Two months ago, as Dulce was trying to get warm by a fire on a cold morning, she had a seizure during which her right forearm fell into the fire. She received a second degree burn extending almost to the elbow before Manuel pulled her out of the fire.

Dulce was admitted to the district hospital where she was diagnosed with epilepsy and anti-epileptic medication commenced immediately. After discharge she was followed up by a district mental health nurse and since then has not had any more seizures.

Webpage: Australia East Timor Friendship Association (SA) Inc http://www.aetfa.org.au/nl/etea-appeal.html. Accessed by ETLJB 24 December 2012.

Further reference: Epilepsy Today (Epilepsy Action Australia) at www.epilepsy.org.au/sites/default/files/Epilepsy%20today.pdf which shows that the phenomenon of associating epilepsy with witchs is not unique to East Timor. Accessed by ETLJB on 24 December 2012, an excerpt of which reads: "Since the first recorded case of epilepsy 4,000 years ago, many inaccuracies have been believed: that it was contagious, a mental illness, caused by demon possession, a sign that a woman was a witch or an indication of genius.

Of course, it should not be inferred that witches and witchcraft are phenomena peculiar to East Timor. Beliefs in witchcraft have historically existed in most regions of the world. This was notably so in Early Modern Europe where witchcraft came to be seen as part of a vast diabolical conspiracy of individuals in league with the Devil undermining Christianity, eventually leading to large-scale witch-hunts, especially in Protestant Europe. Similar beliefs have persisted in some cultures up to the present, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. the Bantu witch smellers), and have occasionally resulted in modern witch-hunts. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology providing a scapegoat for human misfortune.

The continuing belief in witchcraft in some societies such as Timor-Leste should, however, be of concern to lawyers and jurists, human rights defenders, health care workers, the institutions of state as well as those dedicated to the emancipation of women from social, economic and political repression - not to mention the alleviation of the unnecessary pain, suffering, social ostracism, violence and murder of persons accused of witchcraft - and it is for those reasons that ETLJB continues to draw attention to this problem in East Timor. It is, of course, necessary for the state as well as the religious institutions to develop policies, laws and strategies to promote a rational analysis of social problems informed by experience rather than the supernatural to annihilate the torture and murder of persons accused of witchcraft and to punish those who perpetrate those acts.

23 December 2012

Conservation International records illegal exploitation of trochus in Nino Konis Santana National Park

ETLJB 23 December 2012 - Conservation International has recorded an illegal vessel taking trochus from the marine section of the Nino Konis Santana National Park.

CI reports that in October 2012, the illegal fishing vessel entered the waters of Timor-Leste and "cleaned out an entire population of Trochus, a valuable seashell in the food export market, from a “no-take zone” located within the Nino Konis Santana National Park. Although this is technically a protected area — in fact, the country’s first and only national park — criminals don’t play by the rules. The total value of their loot was a cool US$ 20,000, which is a fortune to the community that had spent the last two years allowing the Trochus population to regenerate."

CI notes in its report that "one of the saddest aspects of this tale is that the illegal vessel was operating in full view of the community, who could only watch as the boat’s crew made off with their ill-gotten gains with impunity. Confronting these illegal fishers would have been tantamount to a death wish, as they were armed with weapons they would not hesitate to use."

CI has been supporting the communities in advocating to the Timorese government to put a formal protection system in place within the park, including coast guards. 

Much of Timor-Leste’s environment has yet to be explored and much environmental harm was perpetrated by both the Portuguese and Indonesians in their rapacious exploitation of the vast sandalwood forests which once covered the entire island and fish stocks*. Even so, the island is situated in the Wallacea biodiversity hotspot between Australia and Asia and in the heart of the Coral Triangle and so the lands and waters of Timor-Leste are home to potentially globally significant biodiversity and high rates of species found nowhere else in the world.

CI is the first international environment NGO registered in Timor-Leste. With the support of USAID under the Coral Triangle Support Partnership, CI has conducted a successful marine conservation program in collaboration with the communities of Com, Tutuala and Lore.

CI has had great success in engaging communities to protect their own natural resources, because it is these communities who depend on their environment the most for their daily needs and livelihoods. About 90% of Timorese depend on natural resources for their daily survival. The difficulty is poachers from outside the communities who take whatever they want and leave the communities to deal with the repercussions.

*An East Timorese friend of this post's author (Mr Pedro de Sousa, former head of the East Timor National Directorate of Land and Property) noted, after a visit to Darwin in Australia where there are many flocks of birds and around the city, that "Dili used to be like that - before the Indonesians came." The Indonesians used environmental destruction as a means of subjugation of the people during the illegal occupation.

1. Conservation International Blog "In Timor-Leste, Striving to Protect Resources for Local Communities"
2. East Timor's first national park will protect the community's wealth http://easttimorlegal.blogspot.com/2008/09/east-timors-first-national-park-will.html
3. Timor Bush-warbler rediscovered http://easttimorlegal.blogspot.com/2012/01/timor-bush-warbler-rediscovered.html
4.Environmental laws fail to protect endangered fauna in East Timor http://easttimorlegal.blogspot.com/2009/07/environmental-laws-fail-to-protect.html
5. Sandalwood & Environmental Law in East Timor http://easttimorlawjournal.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/sandalwood-and-environmental-law-in-east-timor/
6. Tara Bandu: The Adat Concept of the Environment in East Timor http://easttimorlawjournal.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/tara-bandu-the-adat-concept-of-the-environment/

Author: Warren L. Wright BA LLB

22 December 2012

Defiant Lobato attacks East Timorese courts as politically biased

ETLJB 22 December 2012 - The former justice minister of East Timor, Lucia Lobato, who has been convicted on corruption charges by the Dili District Court which decision has been upheld by the Court of Appeals, has attacked the judiciary as politically biased.

According to a report in Indepdente on 21 December 2012, Lobato stronlgy condemned the Court of Appeals decision to dismiss her appeal for lack of evidence. The decisions of both courts were politically motivated, according to Lobato.

Lobato is quoted by Independente as saying that "the decision is politically made up because the Appellate Court and Dili District Court want to show that they had succeeded in jailing the former minister and corruptor."

Meanwhile, Suara Timor Lorosae also reported yesterday that Lobato's lawyer said he would fight the Court of Appeals decision.

"Some people want my client, Lucia Lobato, to go to jail shortly; therefore, as her lawyer we will take legal action against [the decision of the Court of Appeal]," he said.

He added they had not yet made an extraordinary appeal to the Court of Appeal in relation to the verdict.

In this regard, the Judicial System Monitoring System,as quoted by Timor Post, said that Lobato could not be jailed now as she still had time to make a further appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Director of JSMP, Mr. Sampaio, confirmed that the minister still had time to make an extraordinary appeal to the Court of Appeal, although there had been verdict from the court to sentence her for five years in prison.

"A normal appeal takes 15 days and an extraordinary appeal must be made before 30 days. So, if the decision is made from now, the defendant still has time," he said.

Related stories
Convicted former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato still not in prison
Justice minister sues East Timor newspaper
Former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato to go to jail for 5 years
Timor Justice Minister considers appeal
Lobato ‘Ready to Explain Truth’ as Corruption Trial Begins
Anti-Corruption Commission applies for house arrest of Justice Minister Lobato
East Timor Justice Minister Lobato Defends Husband
Public Prosecution presents new witnesses for Minister Lobato's case
Former East Timor justice minister receives jail sentence
Parliament removes Minister Lobato’s political immunity 
CJITL: Minister for Justice Lucia is Formally Made Suspect in Maternus Bere Case 
Perversion of the rule of law in Timor-Leste and its impact on State legitimacy

Murder and witchcraft in Timor-Leste

ETLJB 22 December 2012 - A person has been murdered in the sub-district of Maubisse in the southern district of Ainaro amidst reports of allegations of witchcraft in a dispute between two families.

Police are searching for four people suspected of having been involved in the murder following an initial investigation of the case.

Police have interviewed witnesses and neighbours in the area to try to determine the cause of the murder.

Superintendent Orlando Gomes is reported to have said that "the motive of the case is that two families in the area accused each other of witchcraft" according to a report by Radio Timor Leste yesterday (21 December 2012).

Allegations of witchcraft are not entirely unusual in East Timor. In September, 2000, this first came to focus the attention of the judicial system when four men were tried for allegedly torturing and killing an elderly woman accused of witchcraft. The facts of that case came to light in the court in Baucau, East Timor’s second largest city. A 62-year-old woman was murdered in the easternmost region of Los Palos in December, 1999. According to the prosecution, the woman was tortured and left for dead by four men after having been accused of killing children by witchcraft.

In another case, on 7 January, 2007, three women accused of being witches were killed and burned along with their house in East Timor. The three women, aged 70, 50 and about 25, were killed at Maubaralisa (subdistrict Maubara, district Liquica), about 40km west of the capital Dili. They were Bui-dau, 70, Flora, 50, and another (unidentified) woman about 25 years old. They had been accused of being witches. Three suspects were arrested.

In May, 2009, the issue of witchcraft hit the nation’s headlines once again with East Timor’s national broadcaster, RTTL, reporting that the East Timor National Police Deputy Commander Inspector Afonso de Jesus had called on residents in the capital Dili not to believe in rumor-mongering that there was a witch named Margareta flying around the city.

In his paper, Institutions and the East Timorese Experience, Andrew Harrington discusses the following case concerning witchcraft.

“…in one case involving witchcraft, an UNPol officer directed a deeply upset local who approached him with this complaint to deal with it in the traditional way.

A man had accused the complainant’s daughter of witchcraft and cursing his family. The UNPol (United Nations Police) officer had no authority to deal with accusations of black magic. A few days later, the complainant returned and advised the UNPol officer that he had done as told, and dealt with the problem using traditional means; he killed the accuser.

Another anecdotal example involving witchcraft and local dispute resolution mechanisms resulted in draconian punishment; villagers fatally placed hot coals on [an accused] witch’s back for punishment.

It should be noted that generally witchcraft punishments are not so severe, but that is not always the case; it depends on the ‘severity’ of witchcraft involved, or the degree to which the wrongdoer has disturbed the community’s system of value-circulation and socio-cosmic balance.”

Author: Warren L. Wright BA LLB

Sources: Radio Timor-Leste, Witchcraft and Murder in East Timor, The Case to Intervene and Stop East Timorese Killing ‘Witches"

21 December 2012

Additional Public Holidays in Timor-Leste on 24, 26 and 31 December 2012

ETLJB 21 December 2012 - The V Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste has decided to grant a day off on December 24, 26 and 31, 2012, for the whole day, to all employees and agents of the ministries or their dependent services, as well as to the institutes and integrated indirect administration bodies of the State.

This decision is based on Law No 10/2005 of August 10, which determines the days which are national holidays, the official commemorative dates and days off, and is made taking into account the family festivities celebrated in this festive season, and which is traditionally dedicated to the reunion of all its members, marked with celebrations and religious ceremonies. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government Press Release December 20, 2012

Media encouraged to self-regulate to ensure good international practice

ETLJB 21 December 2012 - As Timor-Leste last week joined the commemoration of Human Rights Day, it is important to also reflect on press freedom, highlighting the duty and the right to inform and be informed.

The media in Timor-Leste is considered the fifth pillar of the State. Media and press freedoms are a vital part of establishing a democracy and the promotion and protection of a free, fair and independent media environment is a critical aspect of nation building.

As Timor-Leste celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence we recognize that in many ways we are still a young nation. The media, like all the institutions, agencies and pillars of the State is still developing with regulations of the sector still under consultation and review amongst and between sector leaders and participants. Some good practices aligned to international norms should be observed to promote the integrity of the media; especially during this critical period of Statebuilding. International standards ensure a separation between advertorial, that is paid advertising, and editorial, the writing content of the newspaper. One person cannot do both. Creating separation protects both the media and citizens from any conflict of interest or potential abuse of powers. Abuse of powers can include people or organizations paying for favorable editorial, even if payments are made through legal means under “advertising costs”.

The opposite situation can be equally as compromising where those that will not pay for advertising may become the subject of aggressive and prolonged media campaigns. By separating advertorial and editorial, the writer of editorial is not privy to financial transactions related to advertising and therefore is kept from bias in writing editorial material.

As in any company or organization, financial transactions should be transparent to ensure no party, organization or individual is making inordinate financial contributions for a particular media agenda, either favorable or detrimental.

Good governance mandates that no person, individual, organization, State institution or member thereof interferes or intimidates any journalist or media outlet in regards to content, investigative journalism or editorial. This impedes on press freedoms and undermines the role of an independent media. In turn, it is important that the media in Timor-Leste take good care and due diligence in informing and educating the People of our nation with a true, impartial and un- biased representation of our laws and regulations while observing the Constitution.

Minister of State Pereira noted “We should be very proud of the advancements within our media sector and the men and women in it. They operate within a free and fair climate which is supported by laws which protect their work and press freedoms. As a new country, we must continue to aim for international best practice in all sectors to advance in our development trajectory and ensure fair and equitable outcomes for all citizens.” ENDS Source: Government of East Timor Spokesperson Press Release 20 December 2012

Draft Law on State Budget 2013, Fireworks Banned, One Month Bonus Pay for Public Servants

ETLJB 21 December 2012 - The V Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste met on Monday, December 10, 2012, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the following:

1. Law Proposal for the State Budget of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for 2013
The V Constitutional Government will continue the successful programs already initiated by the previous government and is determined to transform Timor-Leste into a middle-high income country, with a healthy, educated population living in a climate of safety by 2030.

The Government Programme outlines the policies needed to achieve this goal, and this proposed State budget estimates budgetary allocations to finance these policies for next year.

 The Law Proposal on the 2013 State Budget (OGE) includes all revenues and expenditures of the State of Timor-Leste and it covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2013. The total estimated revenue from all sources (oil, no oil, funds from development partners and non-tax revenues) The OGE for this period is $2.987,8 million U.S. dollars.

The budgetary allocations in U.S. dollars are as follows:
1 - $160.257 million for Salaries and Wages;
2 - $461.744 million for Goods and Services, of which $ 42.448 million corresponds to the Development of Human Capital Fund;
3 - $236.473 million for Public Transfers;
4 - $47.150 million for Minor Capital;
5 - $891.895 million for Development Capital of which $ 752.877 million is allocated to the Infrastructure Fund.

The total amount of the State Budget is $1.797,519 million U.S. dollars.

Excluding the autonomous services and funds, special funds and the loan, the total budgetary allocations is thus of $862.047 million dollars.

The Infrastructure Fund (with a budget of $752.877 million including loans) will continue to assist the Government in building the infrastructure of Timor-Leste and is a unique tool that allows a secure, efficient and transparent execution of multi-year contracts.

The balance carried over from the year 2012 under the law is $444.351 million dollars. The Development of the Human Capital Fund (with a budget of $42.448 million, of which $ 8.549 million is the balance carried over from 2012, under the law) ensures a form financing multi-annual projects for human resources training, increasing the capacity and training of professionals in strategic sectors of development, such as justice, health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, oil and financial management. Based on article 20.0, Law no 13/2009 of October on Budget and Financial Management and the Law No 13/2011 of February, 21, on the Regime of the Public Debt, the Government presents to the National Parliament a proposal debt ceiling for which legal any obligation must be intended only to build strategic infrastructure for the development of the country.

2. Government Resolution on banning the sale and use of pyrotechnics
The use of pyrotechnic articles (panchons, candles, carnival bombs, rockets and snaps) is a recurrent situation and use of these materials is becoming more widespread. The sale of these artifacts was done without the knowledge of the proper authorities and it represents a potential danger for the population, especially for children. The sale, transportation, burning and use of these materials can cause serious injury when they are made by unauthorized persons.

As it is the State's duty to ensure the public peace, the full exercise of citizenship, law and order and the protection of personal property of all citizens, the Government decided to ban the sale, transport and use, in any form, of these materials and pyrotechnic derivatives (panchons, candles, carnival bombs, rockets and snaps) until such a time that regulation can be adopted for this purpose. As an exception, it may be allowed to use fireworks in festivals and ceremonies, at a time and place previously designated by the qualified professionals and licensed by the government members responsible for the areas of Security and of Commerce.

3. Decree-Law that approves the extraordinary payment of one month's basic salary in the public sector
This decree approves the extraordinary payment of one month's basic salary to the Civil Service, the one’s listed in article 2.ยบ and to employees and agents, albeit temporary, contracted at least one year on the payment date set by this Decree-Law. This measure is fair, though exceptional, and comes as recognition of the work done and increased performance by state employees.  

Source: V Constitutional Government Presidency of the Council of Ministers Press Release 10 December 2012

Timor-Leste declares war on drugs

ETLJB 21 December 2012 - The trafficking and use of illegal drugs in East Timor has become the focus of attention of the media and the law enforcement agencies over the last couple of months with several significant arrests and the seizure of large amounts of drugs at the international airport and at points along the border with Indonesia.

State leaders have been appealing to the law enforcement agencies to tighten security measures to combat drug trafficking in the country. On 17 December 2012, the State Secretary of Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, was quoted in Jornal Nacional Diario as saying that the military forces will be deployed at the border with Indonesia combat drug traffickers and networking.

According to the leading security monitoring civil society organisation, Fundasaun Mahein (FM), this constitutes "a kind of declaration of a war against drugs in East Timor", in much the same was as Western nations have declared wars on drugs. (FM The Military and the War On Drugs : “Lessons from Mexico”*)

Fundasaun Mahein has also made some observations on the policy of the government to involve the military in drug control. Drawing on the experience of Mexico which has also deployed its military in a war on drugs in that country, FM notes certain advantages of such a policy; namely:

• Increased manpower to man checkpoints, patrol streets, and support local police.
• Drug-related violence decreases due to increased law enforcement presence.
• If work with Indonesia, bilateral cooperation could use resources more efficiently on both sides of the border.

FM also referred to several disadvantages resulting from the deployment of the military at the border to combat the illegal drug trade:
• Increased risk of human rights abuses through military tactics – heavy-handed measures that lack transparency.
• Law enforcement breakdown from overlapping roles between the military and the police.
• Confusion stems from roles that are not clearly defined.
• Police feel they do not have to enforce community laws because somebody else is doing it.
• Violence just shifts to another area of Timor-Leste as soon as troops are deployed to another area, as military deployments are slow-moving and cumbersome.
• New community issues arise for an area after troops arrive.
• Members of the F-FDTL may easily be recruited to work for drug traffickers as their current salaries are very low. Many of the most vicious drug traffickers in Mexico were formally part of the Mexican military.

ETLJB respectfully agrees with the points made by FM; the most problematical of which is the confusion of the role of the military in domestic law enforcement. ETLJB has previously noted that dangers of the unconstitutional deployment of the military for law enforcement (see for example, Role of military in internal security re-emphasised by Prime Minister Gusmao, as have other writer such as Wilson ( Joint Command for PNTL and F-FDTL Undermines Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste).

ETLJB would like to draw attention to the fact that the wars on drugs in Western countries have yet to prove an effective policy for drug trafficking and use prevention and have resulted, along with the criminalisation of drug use, in generating even more complex and costly social problems, such as deaths, injuries and the spread of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C in the intravenous drug-using community, increased criminal activities by drug users to obtain money to pay for drugs on the black market, overcrowding in prisons, corruption in the law enforcement agencies and the involvement of organised crime.

Finally, the militarisation of the border with Indonesia may impact on diplomatic relations between the two countries and may provoke a similar deployment of Indonesian troops on the Indonesian side of the border creating a circumstance in which the risk of international disputes is increased.

All of this indicates that in addition to the creation of more problems,  a "war on drugs" is over simplistic and inherently bound to fail unless it is accompanied by a more comprehensive policy and laws. As FM points out, the war must be fought against more than drug traffickers. For example, drug consumption must be reduced (or regulated in a manner other than through the criminalisation of possession and use of drugs), associated weapons supply sources must be tackled, and, more broadly, economic opportunities provided for people to make a living by lawful means. In addition, laws, policies and strategies must be developed to fight organised crime including money laundering and human trafficking.

Related reports
Three arrests on suspicion of drug smuggling to Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste becoming transit zone for international drug smuggling
Drug traffickers handed over to Indonesia
Plenty of drugs in Timor-Leste, SPI helpless to stop it
Prostitution and Drugs in Timor-Leste blamed on foreigners
Police will not tolerate people who smuggle drugs into the country
Indonesians and Mozambiquans arrested on suspicion of importing 8 kgs of methamphetamine to Timor-Leste
Murders, Drugs, Assaults, Embezzlement, Corruption & Land Disputes: Summary of Cases Heard by the Dili District Court in May 2011
UNMIT warning on date rape drugs in Dili

Source: Fundasaun Mahein, ETLJB. Edited by Warren L. Wright

20 December 2012

Brothel operating near Presidential Palace

ETLJB 20 December 2012 - A brothel that has been operating in the precinct of the presidential  palace in Dili was the subject of comments by a Member of the National Parliament.

Timor Post reported on 18 December 2012 the remarks by member of parliament, Domingos Carvailho calling on the State Secretary for Security to instruct the police to forcibly move the brothel to another location in the suburb of Bairo-Pite.

Timor Post reported a statement by the MP saying that when he was washing his car near the presidential palace, he saw many people in the area. "Therefore, I am calling on the competent institutions to remove this prostitution site to another place,” MP Domingos Carvailho said.

MP Carvailho said the Government should decide to move the place of prostitution because it could damage the image of the Presidential Palace.

“The Government is not serious about controlling prostitution which involves many young girls in the country,” he said.

The brothel has been operating near the presidential palace since at least July 2012. On 13 July 2012,  Independente reported on the house which is near the Presidential Palace in Aitarak-Laran, Dili was being used as brothel. At that time, Independente's source said that there were 12 Timorese women who worked at the brothel which has four rooms and two guest rooms.

It was also reported that an Indonesian restaurant in Pantai Kelapa, Dili was being used as brothel with the cost of rooms varying from US$10  to US $15. The money is paid to the owner of the restaurant, an unnamed source said.

East Timorese law does not allow prostitution and people found guilty of engaging in prostitution are liable to five years imprisonment.  

Related reports
Morality, Religion & the Law: Abortion & Prostitution in East Timor
ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Prostitution in East Timor 

Source: Timor Post, Independente, ETLJB Edited by Warren L. Wright

Convicted former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato still not in prison

ETLJB 19 December 2012 - The disgraced former East Timorese Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, has still not been arrested and taken to prison even though the Court of Appeals has dismissed her appeal against her conviction on  corruption-related charges by the Dili District Court.

According to an English translation of a report in the daily Jornal Independente dated 18 December 2012,  the National Criminal Investigation Commander, Calisto Gonzago said that the police had still not received any letter of notification authorising the police to arrest Ms Lobato and take her to prison.

“Up to now we have not received any instruction. We have not received any authorisation to take [her] into,” he said.

The Court of Appeal has recently confirmed the decision by the Dili District Court to sentence Ms Lobato to 5 years imprisonment after finding her guilty of abuse of power and corruption relating to the tendering of a government contract to her husband.

Ms Lobato's uncle, Rogerio Lobato, who was the Internal Affairs Minister in the I Constitutional Government of FRETILIN, was also convicted on criminal charges arising out of the illegal distribution of weapons to civilian groups that contributed to the 2006 crisis in East Timor. He did not serve the term of seven and a half years imprisonment imposed on him for those offences because the then President, Jose Ramos Horta, granted him an amnesty cutting his sentence in half.

Ms Lobato is also the niece of resistance hero Nicolau Lobato, who is the brother of Rogerio Lobato.

Related reports
Justice minister sues East Timor newspaper
Former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato to go to jail for 5 years
Timor Justice Minister considers appeal
Lobato ‘Ready to Explain Truth’ as Corruption Trial Begins
Anti-Corruption Commission applies for house arrest of Justice Minister Lobato
East Timor Justice Minister Lobato Defends Husband
Public Prosecution presents new witnesses for Minister Lobato's case
Former East Timor justice minister receives jail sentence
Parliament removes Minister Lobato’s political immunity 
CJITL: Minister for Justice Lucia is Formally Made Suspect in Maternus Bere Case 
Perversion of the rule of law in Timor-Leste and its impact on State legitimacy

Source: Jornal Independente. Edited by Warren L. Wright

18 December 2012

Former militia members sentenced by Dili District Court

ETLJB 18 December 2012 - On 11 December 2012, three former members of the notorious militia group known as Besi Merah Putih were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 16 years by the Dili District Court for serious crimes including crimes against humanity in 1999 in Ulmera village in Bazartete in Likisa District.

The accused known as Faustino Filipe de Carvalho was the village chief of Ulmera as well as the Milisi Besi Merah Putih Commander was found guilty of committing the crime of forcefully removing the civilian population from Ulmera Village to the Indonesian city of Kupang in West Timor as well as the crime of illegally detaining women and children. de Carvalho was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

The second accused, Miguel Soares, who was a member of the militia in the area around Besiten, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment after being found guilty of being involved in the crime of murdering victim  Fransisco Bras.

The third defendant, Salvador de Jesus (Kasait BMP Commander), was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment after being found guilty of the murder of two victims, Felix Barreto and Francisco Bras.

In a press release from the Judicial System Monitoring Program on 17 December 2012 which reported the Court's findings, JSMP applauded the steps taken by the public prosecutor who requested the court apply  measures of temporary detention against the convicted persons while the appeal process is taking place, to avoid a repeat of the mishap whereby the convicted person Lavio was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment but which decision could not be enforced because the convicted person had absconded to Indonesia.

The judges who heard the case were Ana Paula Fonseca, Antonio Gomes and Antonio Quantes.  The public prosecution was represented by Jose Landim and the convicted persons were represented by public defender Jose da Silva.

Source: Judicial System Monitoring System Press Release 17 December 2012. Edited by Warren L. Wright BA LLB

17 December 2012

Draft Laws on Reparations and Public Memory Institute not yet enacted after more than10 years since restoration of independence

ETLJB 17 December 2012 - On the 10 December 2012, Timor-Leste celebrated International Human Rights Day through an official session at the National Parliament and ‘Dr. Sergio Viera de Mello Human Rights Awards’ were made to recipients. The celebration was attended by the President, members of the National Parliament, the Prime Minister and his ministers, the former President of Timor Leste Mr. Jose Ramos Horta, representatives from other government institutions, the diplomatic corps and other members of civil society.

In his address, the President state, among other things, that the awards “provide encouragement for those who have dedicated themselves to helping others to achieve better lives”.

In this regard, East Timor’s leading law and justice civil society organisation, the Judicial System Monitoring Program, took the opportunity to note that the conferring of the Dr Sergio Viera de Mello Human Rights Award is a good practice to demonstrate that state’s commitment to human rights, JSMP noted that, in addition, the State should be obliged to ensure that each citizen is able to enjoy his or her basic rights as provided for in the Constitution. Accordingly, JSMP, in a press release on 11 December 2012, urged the State to do everything possible to guarantee these rights."

According to JSMP, the right to justice for victims of past human rights abuses is a fundamental human right and has urged that the State, through the National Parliament, discuss, enact and promulgate two important draft laws that have been pending in the National Parliament for some time; namely; the Draft Law on Reparations and the Draft Law on a Public Memory Institute.

ETLJB respectfully agrees with the remarks by JSMP on these draft laws. Being of such central importance, it is difficult to discern the reason for the substantial delay that has occurred in the enactment of those draft laws.

One of the basic considerations in the legislative process is the cost-benefit analysis. Perhaps it is from the perspective of the cost that would arise from the reparations law that is delaying its enactment because so many people had their basic rights violated by both the Indonesian state apparatus and its local proxies and, if the reparations were to include the payment of compensation in the form of money to the victims, then it might be anticipated that the cost of that would be extremely high if it were to be just compensation and not just some nominal compensation.

In this regard, the definition of reparations is measures taken by the state to redress gross and systematic violations of human rights law or humanitarian law. Reparations are usually in the form of material benefits such as money or property. Ordinarily, reparations are paid by the perpetrators but what chance is there of the Indonesian state making reparations for the human rights violations that it and its institutions such as the Indonesian military committed in East Timor during the occupation? In any event, that would require legislation to be enacted by the Indonesian parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) not the East Timorese parliament. (see further Note 1 below)

The only other alternative would be to compel individual perpetrators who have or who might in the future return to East Timor from Indonesia but that does not appear as a realistic alternative. But the so-called reconciliation process has seen perpetrators of serious crimes "forgiven" or been required to pay highly disproportionate compensation to vicitms, if any, and have been allowed to walk away from real justice.

Part of the problem of reparations is the quantification of the losses and damages caused by violations. How does one assess and quantify the price, for example, of psychological injuries, let alone the loss of limbs, senses or other permanent physical injury. In statutory schemes that exist, for example, in Australian jurisdictions for the compensation of injuries suffered in the work place or in motor vehicle accidents, there are tables of the types of injuries and a pre-determined amount of compensation that is payable to the injured person for particular injuries (including psychological injuries.

There follows a table that sets out those matters for head and neck injuries:

Brain Damage
$9,875 to $257,750
Minor head injury
$1,400 to $8,100
Facial Injuries

Cheek bones
$1,500 to $10,100
Jaw fractures
$4,100 to $29,000
Facial disfigurement
$2,500 to $62,000 (females)/$2,500 to $42,000 (males)
Eye Injuries
$2,500 to $172,500
Ear Injuries
$8,000 to $70,000
Whiplash/General Neck

$850 to $95,000
Psychiatric Damage

Chronic fatigue Syndrome
up to $32,000
Post-traumatic stress disorder
$2,500 to $64,250

There would be adjustments made to such amounts of compensation in the context of East Timor taking into account the economic and financial circumstances of the country but this table demonstrates that it is possible to quantify the losses caused by injuries and the amounts that might be payable to victims who have suffered injuries as a result of a violation of their rights.

It may be that it is such aspects of any draft law on reparations that is causing the Parliament to baulk at the enactment of a reparations law for citizens who suffered injuries resulting from violations of their human rights. The only source of funds for any compensation scheme would be the East Timorese State itself but it was not the perpetrator of the violations and it is doubtful whether the state could or would be prepared to provide the necessary amounts of money to make a reparations scheme meaningful for those who suffered during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste. So, while the idea of reparations for past human rights abuses in East Timor seems like a simple and clear case, that is not the case when the foregoing considerations are taken into account.

Note 1. Legally, reparations are compensation for an injury; redress for a wrong inflicted.

The losing countries in a war often must pay damages to the victors for the economic harm that the losing countries inflicted during wartime. These damages are commonly called military reparations. The term reparation may also be applied to other situations where one party must pay for damages inflicted upon another party.

In the twentieth century, military reparations have been extracted from Germany twice. After Germany's defeat in World War I, the Allies conducted a peace conference in Paris at which they drafted the Treaty of Versailles (225 Consol. T. S. 188 [June 28, 1919]) which was extremely harsh toward Germany. Germany was compelled to deliver to the Allies one-eighth of its livestock and provide ships, railroad cars, locomotives, and other materials to replace those it had destroyed during the war. Germany also had to provide France with large quantities of coal as reparations.

The treaty required Germany to pay large yearly sums of money to the Allies, but it did not set the total amount due. A reparations commission, which was created to determine the amount, decided in 1921 to set total cash reparations at about $33 billion.

Efforts to collect the reparations failed, primarily because the German economy was in dire straits in the 1920s. U.S. financier Charles G. Dawes presided over a committee of experts to deal with this problem. In 1924 the Allies and Germany adopted the Dawes Plan, which reorganized the German national bank, placed stringent economic controls on Germany, and provided for loans to Germany, all to improve the German economy so that the country could make reparations. In 1929 Germany renegotiated its reparations requirements with the Allies. A committee headed by U.S. representative Owen D. Young reduced the amount Germany owed and ended foreign controls over the German economy. Even this reduced amount of reparations was not paid. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, he repudiated the Treaty of Versailles and the reparations provisions.

In the twentieth century, the term reparation has come to imply fault. However, in some circumstances nations may pay for damages inflicted by their armed forces without admitting fault or legal liability, by offering compensation ex gratia, which is Latin for "out of grace." Such payments are usually made for humanitarian or political reasons.

1. JSMP Press Release 11 December 2012 Celebration of International Human Rights Day: JSMP urges the National Parliament to discuss, enact and promulgate the draft law on Reparations and the draft law on a Public Memory Institute.
2. Australian Claims Authority Web Site, Compensation Payout Guide at http://www.claims.com.au/compensation-payouts. Accessed 17 December 2012.
3. The Free Dictionary by FARLEX definition of "reparations" at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/reparation Accessed 17 December 2012.

Author: Warren L. Wright BA LLB

16 December 2012

250000 East Timorese still in Indonesia 13 years since secession

ETLJB 15 December 2012 Updated 17 December 2012 - According to the peak security sector monitoring civil society organisation in East Timor, Fundasaun Mahein (FM), there are still 250000 East Timorese in Indonesia*, having fled or been forcibly removed from East Timor in the horrendous upheavals in 1999 when the referendum was held on secession from Indonesia. FM says that at least 30000 of them want to return to their homeland and the issue of the return of these refugees has of late become the subject of public rhetoric.

ETLJB reported yesterday certain comments that were attributed to the East Timor military chief, Major-General Lere Anan Timor, that the Government needs to carefully consider the matter and to set criteria for those who wish to return to the country more than 13 years since the break away from Indonesia. But the Major-General has clearly not read the Constitution, Article 44 (2) of which guarantees the free right of return to the home territory to all citizens.

The questions posed by FM which are important are:

1. Why are the refugees only now returning when the UN mandate is at an end?
2. Why does government not facilitate the return of these refugees?

One of the most concerning issues identified by FM relating to the return of refugees is the potential security impacts particularly in relation to land because the lands that they abandoned when they fled may (in ETLJB's opinion, most likely will have been) occupied by other Timorese who stayed or have already returned earlier. How will these land be recovered by the returnees? Will that process lead to further conflicts in an already conflict-riven land sector? What compensation will those who are forced to relinquish the land be entitled to, if any? Even if such parties are compelled to surrender the land to its owners who return under government or traditional institutions without any apparent problems (which some have said has already been the case in some areas where refugees have already returned), it might reasonably be expected that resentment will remain in those who have occupied, cultivated and looked after those abandoned lands for 12 years since secession and this may very well fester as a latent cause of conflict that might manifest itself in other ways later on; probably in violent ways including assaults and murders.

Fundasaun Mahein also notes that among these refugees are Timorese who committed major and minor crimes against humanity. Both the Truth and Friendship Commission of Timor-Leste - Indonesia and the CAVR Commissions recommend compensation to the victims. For those who committed minor crimes, what is the NaheBiti Boot mechanism? At the same time, FM notes further that some of these people did not commit any crimes at all and were actually victims, forced to leave their hometowns, during the Indonesian occupation. All these steps for socialization should be clear because otherwise the confusion will provoke problems.

In addition to the land and past crimes issues, there are also the problems of employment. According to FM, those who fled have had a better chance at education and skills acquisition than, for example, the veterans of the independence struggle and their children and if those refugees obtain employment and the veterans' children do not, this is another possible source of conflict.

Finally, these issues raise the question of what government's policy and plans to do to handle this social problem. There does not seem to be any clear plan or strategies developed by the government to coordinate and manage the return of refugees who are still in Indonesia after all this time nor does there seem to be any dedicated plan to resolve the potential problems that the refugees' return might provoke.

FM therefore proposes some suggestions for the government to consider;

1. that institutions such as the Human Rights Ombudsman, the relevant Committees of the National Parliament, civil society and the media monitor the process of returning refugees;
2. that the government form an integrated team from multiple ministries to deal with this immediately including the identification of how many families in which districts will be impacted by the returnees;
3. that the government provide alternative security in these districts;
4. that the government involves local leaders in impacted communities to successfully socialise and reintegrate the returnees with the local people.

ETLJB respectfully agrees with the insightful observations of Fundasaun Mahein and commends Fundasaun Mahein for raising and analysing this issue. ETLJB also notes that it is probably with good cause then, even if it is an inappropriate intervention by the military to publicy comment on such matters, that Major-General Lere Anan Timor's mind is being exercised by the issue.

*Unfortunately, FM does not cite the source of this figure. One source states on 15 October 2012, that of the estimated 370000 who went to Indonesia in 1999, there were still at least 100000 still in the country in refugee camps. per Herminio Costa 15 October 2012 in  Pandangan Indonesia Terhadap Pengungsi Timor Leste di Indonesia. Source: http://domintimor.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/pandangan-indonesia-terhadap-pengungsi.html  Accessed 17 December 2012.

Another report published in The Jakarta Globe on 19 May 2012 (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sby-wants-action-on-timorese-refugees/518728), states that "several groups have estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 East Timorese reside in the Indonesian part of Timor Island, including 5,000 still living in temporary shelters and impoverished conditions. Accessed on 17 December 2012 

International Crisis Group states that a quarter of a million East Timorese fled to Indonesia but does not state, in its article Timor-Leste: Reconciliation and Return from Indonesia at http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/timor-leste/B122%20---%20Timor%20Leste%20-%20Return%20and%20Reconciliation%20from%20Indonesia.pdf Accessed 17 December 2012

Author: Warren L. Wright BA LLB  Sources: Fundasaun Mahein and references cited at * above.. Edited by