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25 February 2012

JSMP: National Parliament will pass a Law on Reparations and a Law on a Public Memory Institute before its mandate expires

President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo
East Timor Legal News 25 February 2012 Source: Judicial System Monitoring Program Press Release Period : February 2012 Edition: 17 February 2012 - On 10 February 2012 the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) was able to meet with the President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo, at his residence in Farol, Dili.

This meeting was held in relation to a request from JSMP to discuss the draft Law on Reparations and the draft Law on a Public Memory Institute which are still pending in the National Parliament.

In this meeting the President of the National Parliament promised that he would try to approach and speak with other members of the National Parliament, such as the opposition bench and the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP), to discuss and pass the Law on Reparations and the Law on a Public Memory Institute before he finishes his mandate this year.

The President of the National Parliament said that before ending his legislative mandate in May 2012 he will endeavor to finalize debate and pass the laws that are still pending, including the two draft laws that relate to the rights of victims of past crimes.

The Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, said that JSMP acknowledges the efforts and productivity of the National Parliament during this legislative period; however JSMP observed that these two laws that relate to past human rights violations are still pending. Therefore JSMP encourages the President of the National Parliament to retable the two laws for discussion and approval before the National Parliament ends its mandate.

JSMP acknowledges that the people’s representatives in the National Parliament are busy with their political campaigning for the presidential and parliamentary elections, however if the National Parliament manages to discuss and approve these two laws, this will have significance for the victims who were affected during the conflict and were targeted by the Indonesian military during the occupation.

The President of the National Parliament confirmed with JSMP that it would not be a major matter to discuss and approve the aforementioned two laws, because previously these two laws were tabled for discussion and approval. However because there are differences of opinion about these two laws, and although he leads the parliament, he does not lead by majority and therefore he has to engage in lobbying with each representative of the people to obtain their support.

JSMP hopes that through this meeting the representatives of the people in the National Parliament can be encouraged to consider the importance of discussing and approving the Draft Law on Reparations and the Draft Law on the Public Memory Institute, because this will prove that the members of the National Parliament who are politicians and representatives of the people are concerned and understand the suffering of the victims as the result of their struggle for the independence that now exists.

Finally JSMP was also very grateful to the President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama de Araújo for his willingness to accept the JSMP team and prays that he will be successful in his attempt at running for President for the period 2012-2017. 

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