20 January 2012

The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste

East Timor Legal News 20/01/2012 Source: Fundasaun Mahein : The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste - Mahein Nia Lian no. 28 conducted in-depth discussion about the role, structure, competencies, policies and challenges faced by the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste.

Despite its small size, Timor-Leste has numerous institutions, which place immense pressure on limited human resources. This results in overstretched human resources whom are forced to make appropriate management decisions and regulations. The Supreme Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste is the consultative organ of the President of the Republic on matters relating to defense and sovereignty. On such matters, real power of decision lies with the executive/government and the role of the president on the council is
purely consultative.

As an institution that only has a consultative role on matters of defence and security, incidences such as the 2010 shooting in Naktuka, Oe-cusse by Indonesian military officers (TNI) at the border, the 2009 heavy-handed PNTL operation in Suai-BononaroDictrict, the 2010 PNTL operation in Baucau where the PNTL used the term “State of Emergency” and the recent confrontation between Martial Arts Groups (MAG), all pass through the Superior Council but merely on a consultative approach, allowing no executive role for a decision to be made on any of these cases.

Therefore, FM would like to make the following recommendations to the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste;

• The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste needs to review past activities and incidences and pursue its work on any doings currently in the pipeline. The Nakutka case has yet to be resolved and people are further victimized when there is a lack of will and good work to resolve the issue.

• The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste should in stages evaluate the situation in the country and scrutinize potential external threats and issues so as to inform the relevant institutions in order to avoid the politicization of information.

• Greater capacity building is needed for the secretary of the Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste within the Civil Cabinet of the Department Head of House who provides assistance to the work of the Superior Council for Defence and Security.

For more information on this issue, please contact Nélson Belo, Director of Fundasaun Mahein Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp :   +670 737 4222

12 January 2012

Civil society human rights organisation reports 90 cases of criminal acts by police

East Timor Legal News Source: Timor Post 19/12/ 2011 - The  Executive Director for the Timorese Human Rights Defender (HAK) Rogerio Viegas Vicente said that based on of HAK's report some members of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) have been involved in 90 criminal cases in the country but the legal process for those cases are pending in the court.

Vicente said that the 90 cases that directly involve police officers are classified as the worst assaults and physical aggression to people using repressive force repressive and weapons to threaten people in the country.

In responding, Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus has called on HAK to present the list based on complete identity of the officers involved in the cases.

"We should not only report general cases like this because if HAK has no justification then it means that this report was unclear and HAK should make a report identitying the criminals in order to help us identifying those who are involved in these cases," Neves said.

"Based on police statistics we have some indiscipline cases but we have resolved them and we have sacked the officers who have violated indisciplinary norms in the police institution," De Jesus said.

Related story:  PNTL Deputy criticises NGO’s Human Rights report

Police Force inaugurates 11 patrol boats to control territorial waters

East Timor Legal News Source: Independente 19/12/2011 - Timorese Police Commander Commissioner of Police Longuinhos Monteiro said that the police have inaugurated 11 boats to be used to pontrol Timor's water in Batugade.

He  said that the inauguration was positive as the officials of PNTL will cooperate with the Customs Department and the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) to control the sea in order to avoid illegal fishing.

"We can say that our Government loses millions of dollars each year, because people continue to steal our wealth in the sea," Monteiro said.

Marine Unit Police (UPM) Commander Superintendent Lino Saldanha has called on the Government to continue improving human resource of their Unit in order to facilitate their work effectively in the field.

04 January 2012

Timor Bush-warbler rediscovered

East Timor Legal News 04/02/2011 Source: Birdlife International Fri, Dec 30, 2011 - There had been no confirmed field observations of Timor Bush-warbler Bradypterus timorensis since two specimens were collected on Mount Mutis, West Timor, in 1932. A paper published online in BirdLife’s journal, Bird Conservation International(BCI) [1], reports the rediscovery of the Timor Bush-warbler in Timor-Leste (East Timor) in 2009, prompted by the discovery of a previously unknown population of bush-warbler on the island of Alor, Indonesia, to the north.

Timor Bush-warbler was first recognised as a full species in 2000, when along with Russet Bush-warbler B. mandelli and Java Bush-warbler B. montis it was split from Benguet Bush-warbler B. seebohmi. The authors of the BCI paper assign all these species to the genus Locustella.

On Alor, at least 13 male bush warblers were heard singing from shrub and grass beneath woodland and forest edge at 859–1,250 m. On Timor, at least 40 males were heard from tall grassland at 1,720–2,100 m.

The songs are loud and can be readily heard from at least 100 m. However, the birds on both islands were skulking and hard to observe, even while singing. Brief direct views on Alor noted a large, buff-brown, long-tailed bush-warbler. Birds were observed to walk or scurry, mouse-like, on the ground on thin shrub and grass stems. Although they can fly, they do so rarely and probably mostly under cover.

There were substantial differences in habitat use by bush-warblers on Alor and on Timor, presumably resulting from island-specific differences in habitat availability, elevation and land-use pressure. High grazing pressure and repeated fires ensure that there is little or no suitable habitat over much of Timor’s montane habitat, except on steep slopes. There are few known threats to bush-warbler habitat on Alor, but ongoing assessments are needed.

Timor Bush-warbler is considered Near Threatened by BirdLife on behalf of the IUCN Red List, but will now require re-evaluation. The Alor population is currently well isolated from Timor (c.100 km between sites), and these islands have never been connected. The populations have little chance of interbreeding and the authors of the BCI paper say they should be considered as independent, evolutionarily significant units. Further field surveys are needed on both Timor and Alor to capture birds, clarify taxonomic relationships using molecular approaches, and further define habitat use and conservation status.
ETLJB Editor's Note: This report reminds us of the importance of environmental laws in East Timor. Some of the earliest laws enacted by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) included Regulation 19 of 2000 on Protected Places and Regulation No 17 of 2000 on On the prohibition of logging operations and the export of wood from East Timor. But the implementation of those laws has failed to protect other endangered species; for example, see  Environmental laws fail to protect endangered fauna in East Timor

02 January 2012

Timor-Leste Public National Holidays 2012

East Timor Legal News Source: Secretariat of State of the Council of Ministers Díli, Goverment Palace December 28, 2011 IV CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERMENT SECRETARIAT OF STATE OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS PRESS RELEASE

The public holidays with a fixed date and variable date for 2012, determined by the Law No 10/2005 of 10th of August, are the following:

a) 1st of January – New Year’s Day (fixed date public holiday);

b) 6th of April – Holly Friday (variable date public holiday);

c) 1st of May –World Labour Day (fixed date public holiday);

d) 20th of May – Restoration of Independence Day (fixed date public holiday);

e) 7th of June – Corpus Christi (variable date public holiday);

f) 30th of August –Popular Consultation Day (fixed date public holiday);

g) 20th of August – Idul Fitri (variable date public holiday);

h) 26th of October – Idul Adha (variable date public holiday);

i) 1st of November – All Saints Day (fixed date public holiday);

j) 2nd of November – All Souls Day (fixed date public holiday);

k) 12th of November – Youth National Day (fixed date public holiday);

l) 28th of November – Proclamation of Independence Day (fixed date public holiday);

m) 7th of December – National Heroes Day (fixed date public holiday);

n) 8th of December – Day of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Timor-Leste Patroness (fixed date public holiday);

o) 25th of December – Christmas Day (fixed date public holiday).

The Law n.o 10/2005, of 10th of August, determines national public holidays and the official commemorative dates.