28 April 2012

Prime Minister assumes powers of the Minister of Justice

SECRETARIAT OF STATE OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS PRESS RELEASE April 23, 2012 Prime Minister assumes powers of the Minister of Justice - On April 23, 2012 the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, assumed the powers of the Minister of Justice, and in doing so ensured continuity in the exercise of the responsibilities of the position.

This measure follows the suspension of the Minister of Justice, Lucia Lobato, by the National Parliament, at the request of the Díli District Court because of the undertaking of legal proceedings.

It should also be noted that paragraph 3 of article 6.of the Organic Law of the IV Constitutional Government, in accordance with the Decree-Law no. 15/2010 of 20 October, provides that the Head of Government has the power to make decisions on matters included in the areas of responsibility of any Ministry or Secretariat of State.

This exercise of jurisdiction will extend the duration of the suspension of duties of the Minister of Justice, with the suspension to expire upon the completion of the relevant judicial proceedings.

Parliament to discuss electoral law today

Diario Nacional, April 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - MP Arao Noe de Jesus from the national Congress for the Timorese reconstruction (CNRT) said that they would discuss the electoral law today as the referred law No. 40 prejudiced voters during the election. He said that it was important to amend the referred law in order to allow voters to attend election anywhere, adding that many people did not vote in the first and second round of the presidential elections due to the electoral law forcing them to vote in their respective village at which they produced their electoral card in. MP Rui Menezes from the Democratic Party (PD) who is a member of the Parliamentary Committee A for law and constitution said that their committee already analyzed the referred law and already submitted to be debated and to be amended it. “We the commission already reviewed the law and it is not many but there are two parts that if the voters do not have electoral card then they can use their passport and to facilitate voters to vote in the election anywhere, and I hope it could be approved today,” MP Menezes said.

CNE sets deadline for political parties

Idependente, April 26, 2012 Tetun- The National Election Commission (CNE) has set the deadline for all political parties to present their candidates for the upcoming legislative election as soon as possible.

CNE President Faustinho Cardoso said the political parties should have submitted list of their candidates based on the deadline determined. According to the electoral, time for the political parties and their coalitions to submit the list of their candidate is 30 days, he said. He added that the political parties should submit the list starting from 11th of April up to 1st of May.

Lobato’s husband made $ 97,000 off justice ministry project, witness claims

Independente, April 26, 2012 - Americo Lopes, husband of Justice Minister Lucia Lobato, received US $ 97,000 for facilitating a contract for a justice ministry project, the Dili District Court has heard. Ms. Lobato is facing trial on charges of corruption, collusion and nepotism related to the provision of uniforms to prison guard, rehabilitation of the Becora-Gleno prison, and the construction of civil registration conservatory office in eight districts. The first of three witnesses for the Public Ministry to appear before the court yesterday was Nacario da Silva, the director Wesupa Construction Unipesoal Lda. Wesupa Construction Company was awarded the project to supply uniforms to prison guard in 2008. Mr. da Silva told the court that, at that time, Mr. Lops, the director for Pualaka told him about the tender process for the justice minister project and asked Wesupa to apply. He said Mr. Lopes told him when Wesupa won the contract, he wanted ten 10% of the proceeds.

Debt to East Timor remembered by soldiers, betrayed by governments

GLF Tuesday, April 24, 2012 By Alex Salmon - Debt of Honour: Australia’s first commandos and East Timor
Exhibition at the Western Australian Museum
Until May 20.

When the Japanese entered World War II after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbour, they swept through south-east Asia and the Pacific.

Japanese forces overran Allied forces in Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia and bombed Darwin on February 19, 1942. During that time, the only Allied forces not to surrender were the Australian 2/2nd Independent Company, who were able to tie down Japanese forces in the hills of western and central East Timor.

They fought a 10-month guerrilla campaign against forces that would number 20,000. This would not have been possible without the assistance of the local population especially the young men and boys known as theCriados, who acted as guides for the Australians.

Through various artefacts and documents, Debt of Honour explores the 1942 campaign, the relationship between the Timorese and the Australian soldiers and the subsequent betrayals of the East Timorese after 1942 by successive Australian governments.

At the time, East Timor was a Portuguese colony. Despite Portugal being a fascist dictatorship, it pledged to remain neutral in the war. However, after Pearl Harbour a combined Australian and Dutch Force invaded East Timor.

Despite protests from the Portuguese authorities, they met no resistance. However, this intervention drew the Japanese into Timor. A day after the Darwin bombing, on February 20, 1942, the Japanese invaded Dutch-occupied East Timor.

Despite the Japanese forces taking control of most of Dutch-run West Timor, and the area around Dili, the Australian soldiers were able to retreat to the hills and begin their guerrilla campaign.

They were isolated from the Australian mainland and would not make contact until April. In September 1942, the 2/4th Independent company was sent in to reinforce them.

During their 10-month campaign, the 2/2nd and 2/4th were able to tie down significant numbers of Japanese troops needed for campaigns in New Guinea and the Pacific, thus greatly assisting the Allied cause. About 1500 Japanese soldiers were killed for the loss of 40 Australians.

A relationship developed between the Australians and the Criados often young Timorese boys with an average age of 13 and some as young as nine. The Criados stayed with the soldiers, assisting them in gathering food and vital intelligence, often putting themselves and their families at risk from Japanese reprisals.

Strong bonds were formed between the Australian soldiers and the Criados. Many other Timorese people also provided great support for the Australians. For the men of 2/2nd, this would be a “debt of honour” they would spend a lifetime trying to repay.

In late 1942, the Japanese enlisted the support of people from West Timor and East Timorese tribespeople. Using threats, bribery and the promise of independence, the Japanese were able to form a pro-Japanese force known as the Black Columns. This led to conflicts between pro- and anti-Japanese Timorese, with the Black Columns destroying villages and spreading terror.

This helped dry up support for the Australian soldiers, making it harder for them to continue their operations. By December 1942, the 2/2nd was withdrawn to Australia and the 2/4th left in January 1943.

The Criados along with rest of the East Timorese population were left to their fate.

This greatly distressed the men of the 2/2nd, especially considering the bonds they had formed with the Criados. In a December 1942 journal entry, Lt Archie Campbell wrote: “It tore your innards out to know that the lads who had been your existence were going to be dropped like hot cakes with no security of tenure whatsoever.”

Before the withdrawal of Australian forces, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) dropped leaflets telling the local population the Australians would not forget their friends.

The Japanese occupation of East Timor was brutal. Those who supported the Australians suffered greatly. By the end of the war in 1945, it was estimated that between 40,000 and 70,000 East Timorese had been killed by the Japanese or died from starvation, disease or malnutrition.

Promises by the Australian government to support East Timorese independence after the war were quickly forgotten as the Portuguese resumed control. When Portuguese rule crumbled in 1975, the Indonesian military invaded to prevent the pro-independence Fretilin party from taking power.

This invasion and the later brutal military occupation was supported by successive Australian governments, ALP and Coalition. This lasted until the 1999 vote by East Timorese for independence after which large protests pushed the Australian government to send troops to end an Indonesian-backed campaign of slaughter against Timorese civilians.

These cynical betrayals by Australian governments stand in contrast to the deep bonds of friendship between the Australians of 2/2nd and surviving Criados.

The sense of shame that many Australians felt at the betrayals of the East Timorese by their government led them to play a strong role in supporting the East Timorese struggle for independence.

After the Australian government tried to rob the newly independent East Timor of its oil reserves under the Timor Sea Gap Treaty, former members of the 2/2nd, such as Paddy Kenneally, campaigned for the East Timorese to get a fairer deal.

In 2006, the Australian government was forced to agree to give the East Timorese 60% of royalties from their oil reserves less than the Timorese have a right to under international law, but higher than Australia wanted to grant the impoverished nation.

I left the Debt of Honour exhibition with mixed feelings. I felt anger and sadness at Australian governments' betrayals of the East Timorese, who sacrificed so much to oppose Japanese occupation.

But I also felt admiration for the Criados and other East Timorese for their actions, as well as the efforts of the men of 2/2nd and 2/4th to repay their debt of honour.


Lack of a forensic lab makes it difficult to secure prosecutions in Oe-cusse

Lack of a forensic lab makes it difficult to secure prosecutions in Oe-cusse

30 Timorese working illegally in South Korea

30 Timorese working illegally in South Korea

Building and farming deemed too heavy labour for children

Building and farming deemed too heavy labour for children

Lack on quorum, Parliament fails to Reparations Law for victims 1975-1999

“Last time here at the Parliament we said we would debate and approve the law. We have put it on the agenda several times but we never seem to have a quorum every time we want to discuss it,” said Francisco Branco, FRETILIN, last week (10/04) at the National Parliament, Dili.

According to him, it is not certain when the law will be approved but the draft law is ready to be debated.
Meanwhile MP Paul Martins, CNRT, said the Reparations Law is pending the national parliament because the issue of the veterans in Timor-Leste has not yet been adequately resolved.

“It will not be approved during our mandate, only in the next [legislature] mandate,” said MP Martins.
He added this is not a matter of the National Parliament not wanting to make it a priority but the veteran’s problem needs to be addressed first.

27 April 2012

Fundasaun Mahein (FM): FM Congratulates Security Actors for a Job Well Done

Fundasaun Mahein, 26 April 2012

Press Release

Links; http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2012/04/26/fm-congratulates-security-actors-for-a-job-well-done/

FM Congratulates Security Actors for a Job Well Done

Fundasaun Mahein (FM) would like to congratulate the PNTL, the F-FDTL,
STAE, CNE, political and religious leaders for their tireless efforts
in securing and ensuring a successful presidential election. These
security actors often come under strong criticism notably from us at
FM, however praise is in order this time around.

The above-mentioned actors as a whole acted in a professional and
fitting manner and this will allow the building of greater trust among
Timorese in their state institutions. This will also give our
international friends greater confidence in our ability to run our own
country with the imminent departure of UNMIT & the ISF. This also
gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic on the successful conduct
of the upcoming parliamentary election in July and for the future in

Both presidential rounds were marred by a few incidents, but on the
whole these were fairly minor and through the efforts made by the
relevant security actors who mobilized hand in hand, these were
successfully resolved and contained. A good example was the attack on
Taur Matan Ruak’s campaign headquarters in Taibessi, whereby the PNTL
acted swiftly to contain the incident. Credit should also be given to
political leaders in affirming their condemnation of the incident and
for preventing any sort of retaliation.

The presidential election was on the whole a success and to build upon
this success, FM recommends a couple of things. Firstly FM noted a
higher abstention rate than in previous elections. The lowering level
of political engagement among the population is of concern and FM
links this to the legal impediment forcing people to vote in their
places of registration. This forces people to travel great distances
and creates a financial burden many cannot assume and therefore FM
recommends that the National Parliament amend this law as soon as
possible, so that it no longer applies come the parliamentary

Secondly, FM recommends that STAE & CNE be given greater penal
authority with respects to electoral transgressions in time for the
parliamentary election. During the presidential election, when an
electoral transgression would be recorded, STAE & CNE would have to
call upon the intervention of the PNTL, whom would be reluctant to act
because they are more accustomed in dealing with physical acts of
violence. This created confusion and this could be settled by giving
greater punitive powers to STAE & CNE but also by clearly defining the
rules to all actors in relation to electoral transgressions.

FM hopes that all the security actors can build upon their excellent
performances during the presidential election and that this will
translate into a successful parliamentary election. We also hope that
political leaders will continue to engage in positive campaigning and
encourage their militants to do the same. Finally, we thank religious
leaders for tirelessly preaching for peace and hope they have the
strength to continue in the lead up to the next election.

FM supports all the positive things that have been done by all the
above-mentioned actors and congratulates them once again for it.
Congratulations are also in order for the people of Timor-Leste for
their conduct during the presidential election and for successfully
electing their next head of state. We hope that Timor-Leste can become
a good model to other post-conflict and developing nations.

For further information regarding this article please contact
Nélson Belo,
Director of Fundasaun Mahein
Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org
Tlp +670 737 4222

Fundasaun Mahein, 26 Abril 2012

Komunikadu Imprenza

FM Kongratula Ba Autor Siguransa Sira Nia Serbisu Diak

Fundasaun Mahein (FM) hakarak hato’o parabens ba PNTL, F-FDTL, STAE,
CNE, lider relijiuan hotu, partidus politiku, ba sira nia esforsu no
kna’ar ba susesu periodu eleisaun prezidente nian. Autor sira ne’e
sempre hetan kritika maka’as liu-liu husi Fundasaun Mahein (FM), maibe
ba biban ida ne’e FM fo agradesementu no kongratula maka’as ba susesu
hirak ne’e.

Mensiona ona iha leten, ba sira hotu nia kna’ar ne’ebe profesional
tebes ho maneira diak ne’e sei estabelese konfiansa boot entre Timor
oan sira ho mos institusaun estadu nian hotu. Susesu ida ne’e mos fo
konfiansa boot ba maluk internasional sira ba ita nia kapasidade atu
governa ita nia an rasik to tempu ba UNMIT & ISF husik Timor-Leste.
Susesu ida ne’e fo razaun ba Timor-Leste oan sira optimista ba
rezultadu eleisaun parlementar ne’ebe mai dadaun iha fulan Jullu ba
futuru in jeral nian.

Eleisaun prezidensial ba ronde daruak nian liu ba haburas ho insedente
balun, maibe jeralmente ne’e regista insedente naton tanba kna’ar
autor relevante ba siguransa nian ho sira nia mobilizasaun diak ikus
mai rezolve ho susesu. Ezemplu diak ida maka momentu iha sede nasional
kandidadu Taur Matan Ruak nia iha Taibessi hetan ataka, PNTL ho rapidu
atua insedente refere. Iha biban seluk mos, kreditu boot mos ami fo ba
lider politiku sira ne’ebe ho meus barak ba insedente refere atu
prevene ataka hasoru.

Eleisaun prezidensial hatudu susesu diak ba susesu tomak ne’ebe ita
hotu hatudu, tan ne’e ho biban ida ne’e FM rekomenda pontus balun:
Dahuluk FM regista partisipasaun eleitor sira ba vota ladun
signifikante ba eleisaun sira dahuluk nian. Partisipasaun politiku
entre populasaun tun no ne’e FM liga ba lei eleitor ne’ebe obriga ema
ba vota iha fatin sira ne’ebe registra ba. Lei ne’e obriga ema ba
fatin dok no tenki gastu orsan ba fatin sira refere para vota halo
elitor sira todan boot, tamba ne’e FM rekomenda ba Parlementu Nasional
atu halo amandementu ba lei refere atu nune lei ne’e labele aplika iha
elisaun parlementar mai.

Daruak, FM rekomenda atu lei elitor mos fo ba STAE & CNE autoridade
boot atu foti dezisaun penal nian ba krime elitoral nian iha elisaun
parlamentar nian mai. Durante eleisaun prezidensial liu ba wainhira
regista violasaun ba eleitor STAE & CNE dala ruma bolu PNTL halo
intervensaun ne’ebe lolos iha lei PNTL laiha kna’ar halo atuasuan ba
violasaun administrativa maibe PNTL so halo atuasaun ba violasaun
fizika. Ida ne’e kria konfuzaun ba lei eleitoral ne’ebe fo autoridade
boot ba STAE & CNE, maibe mos atu defini kna’ar ba autor relevante
ne’ebe trata asuntu ligasaun ba krime eleitoral.

FM husu ba autor siguransa sira ne’ebe hatudu ona lalaok diak durante
elisaun presidensial no husu atu kontinua aplika ho susesu iha elisaun
parlementar. FM mos husu ba ulun boot politik sira kontinua halo
aprosimasaun pozitivu hodi tulun sira nia militantes sira halo hanesan
iha kampaña. Ikus nian, FM mos hato’o obrigadu barak ba lider
relijiuan sira ne’e kontinua serbisu maka’as iha sira nia aprosimasaun
ka homilia ba paz nian ba susesu iha eleisaun mai.

FM suporta ba kna’ar diak ne’ebe hetan ona ho pozitivu husi autor sira
hotu ne’ebe temi ona. Ami mos hakarak kongratula ba povu Timor-Leste
ba sira nia partisipasaun iha eleisaun prezidensial. Ami husu
Timor-Leste sai modelu dia ba nasaun sira ne’ebe pos konflitus sira.

26 April 2012

Lobato ‘Ready to Explain Truth’ as Corruption Trial Begins

Jornal Independente

April 24, 2012 By: Raimundo Oki DILI: Justice Minister Lucia Lobato’s corruption trial begins in the Dili District Court today.

The charges against Ms Lobato relate to the construction of Civil Registration Conservatory offices in eight of Timor-Leste’s districts, and include the misuse of power, nepotism and corruption.

The Social Democratic Party leader is accused of unlawfully granting projects to the party’s followers.

National Parliament has suspended the immunity Ms Lobato enjoyed as a member of government, and she said she was ready to face the court to explain the truth.

“I have been ready to respond to the Dili court, to defend myself, and I am happy (that the court will) process my case soon,” she told journalists during a press conference yesterday.

The Council of Ministers has decided Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao should assume the role of justice minister while Ms Lobato faces trial, she said.

“I will (go to court) as a normal citizen and I will not come to work (as minister) because the parliament has removed my immunity,” Ms Lobato said.

The four-day trial is expected to end on Friday.

Meanwhile, National Parliament yesterday suspended Minister for Administration Arcangelo Leite’s immunity so he can answer to corruption charges in the Baucau District Court soon.

During the vote in parliament, 42 MPs agreed to suspend Mr Leite’s immunity, one MP voted against the move and one abstained.

Parliament president Fernando Lasama de Araujo said the parliament wanted to cooperate with the justice sector.

East Timor faces hit by carbon tax

SMH David Wroe April 26, 2012 - EAST Timor could be slugged millions of dollars a year under the carbon tax, which is set to take a bite out of revenues from offshore natural gas fields that Australia shares with the impoverished nation.

The tiny country, which relies heavily on revenues from fossil fuel deposits in the Timor Sea, has expressed concern after learning recently it would likely be financially disadvantaged under the tax.

The federal government has acknowledged it needs to strike a compromise with its neighbour as to how the carbon tax will apply to greenhouse emissions arising from gas production in the Joint Petroleum Development Area, though no discussions have yet taken place.

Alfredo Pires, East Timor's Secretary of State for Natural Resources, told The Age the development area meant ''a lot to our future'', and his country would not accept the unilateral application of Australian legislation.

''This is a very young country and on the other side we have a big country with a very advanced economy,'' he said. ''We like to have a very high standard of environmental requirements but at the end of the day we are a small country and I don't think our contribution to polluting the world is significant. There is a question of fairness in this, but then the whole question of the Timor Sea has a long history of what is fair and what is not.''

He said he was also concerned that rising costs could hurt investment. ''We are living in a very competitive world,'' he said.

Under the deal, the revenues from gas fields such as Bayu-Undan and about a fifth of Greater Sunrise are shared 90-10 between East Timor and Australia. The revenues are split after costs are deducted, including the percentages paid to the companies that extract the gas, notably ConocoPhillips, which operates Bayu-Undan and processes the piped gas in Darwin.

The extra costs imposed by the carbon price will cut the total proceeds. In Australia's case the government makes the money back because the carbon tax flows into its coffers.

How much it will pay is unclear and depends on future negotiations, though a source said the figure could be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Francisco da Costa Monteiro, president and CEO of Timor Gap, E. P., East Timor's state-owned oil and gas company, said the matter was ''a serious concern from the Timor-Leste side''.

''If it is $11 million or $1 million, from Timor Leste's perspective it is quite significant. We have a lot of schools to rebuild and healthcare facilities to put in place.''

A spokesman for the Climate Change Department said Australia would consult East Timor and ensure the carbon tax's application was consistent with international law.

Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt said the government appeared to have no understanding of the impacts of its own tax.

''One of the poorest nations in the world will now be hit for millions each year by the carbon tax,'' he said.

25 April 2012

Viqueque incident will not affect national stability

Timor Post, April 19, 2012 language source: Tetun - Timorese Police Commander Commissioner of Police Longuinhos Monteiro affirmed that the recent incident in Viqueque where two groups of people attacked each other would not bring a negative impact on the national stability.

He said that the incident would not implicate the national stability as it happened not because of the election. He affirmed that the police already detained five people for investigation purposes, adding that they would continue to control and ensure the security in the Capital of Dili and other districts.

Police Commissioner denies rumors about gun shots in Dili

Timor Post, April 19, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Police Commander Commissioner of Police Longuinhos Monteiro has denied the recent rumours that there were gun shots in the Capital of Dili at night.

Monteiro made the statements recently in a press conference held at the HQ of PNTL in Caicoli, Dili regarding the rumors about gun shots.

He said that there were no gun shots and the sound heard as gun shots were the sounds of exhaust pipes of motorbikes.

He also said that the National Police was cooperating with the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) to control the security situation to prevent conflict.

Baucau District Police investigates two people

Timor Post, April 19, 2012 language source: Tetun - Baucau District Police is currently investigating two people as they were believed to have committed acts of crime by throwing stones at local residents’ houses in Triloka village, the eastern district of Baucau.

Baucau District Police Commander Superintendent Chief Faustino da Costa said that the two suspects who stoned people’s houses were drunk.

He added that the police also already questioned the owners of the houses or victims and some other witnesses for more information about this case. He added that the assailants were believed to be the supporters of a certain presidential candidate.

He said that they would continue to hold patrol in the places at which the conflict always appeared. “The general security situation in Baucau is going well even though there were widespread rumors, saying something will happen in Baucau, but the police are prepared at the moment to respond to the situation effectively,”da Costa said.

Fundasaun Mahein (FM): The Everlasting Trouble in Uatulari

Fundasaun Mahein (FM) was saddened to hear that a house had been burnt
down last week in the subdistrict of Uatulari in Viqueque district,
following the second round of the presidential election. This followed
the pelting of rocks onto a PNTL patrol car in the same area on the
16th of April.

These latest attacks are part of a long-standing pattern of violence
that has afflicted the area since 1942 and 1945. Major violence
troubled this area in 1959, 1975, 1999 & 2006. Violence tends to
aggravate during local and national election periods and during the
2007 election, over 200 houses were burnt down, causing widespread
destruction as well as the creation of numerous Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs).

The F-FDTL presence in the sub-district mobilized intentionally to
secure the presidential election was unable to deter these acts of
violence. This represents yet another failure in the response adopted
by the authorities in trying to prevent conflict from breaking out in
Ualulari Subdistrict.

The prevailing tension in Ualulari is deeply rooted in disputes that
go back generations, which have become extremely complex over time.
However, security actors have tended to resort to using paramilitary
techniques when seeking to resolve this issue. These have always
failed, simply quelling outbreaks of violence but never resolving the
root of the problems.

FM recommends that both state leaders and community leaders in
Ualulari work together tirelessly to find the right mechanisms so to
create dialogue among the local population in the subdistrict with the
aim of overcoming this everlasting problem. These are old, deeply
rooted problems, which the PNTL & the F-FDTL are attempting to resolve
using modern and heavy-handed techniques and they are failing.
Appropriate conflict preventative approaches are required when dealing
with disputes that are so deeply entrenched. FM sincerely hopes that
during the upcoming parliamentary elections, the people of Ualulari
are actively engaged in the election and not fall victims to it once

Council of Ministers Meeting on April 18, 2012



Council of Ministers Meeting on April 18, 2012

The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in the Council of Ministers meeting room, at the Government Palace, Díli, and approved:

1. Decree-Law that approves the Statutes of the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education

The General Inspectorate of Education, as provided in the Organic Law of the Ministry of Education, is a service under direct administration of the Ministry of Education with strategic relevance not only in support of the disciplinary control of teachers and staff in the education sector but also to support the fiscal and administrative supervision of the implementation of educational policies in relation to schools and quality education.

The government thus regulates this important service of monitoring the administrative activities of the education sector to ensure the necessary coordination with the legislation in force concerning the Civil Service Statute, the Inspector General of the State, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Service Commission.

2. Decree-Law that approves the legal regime of an accreditation and evaluation system of preschool, primary and secondary school education

This decree aims to provide the education sector's legal framework for an accreditation and evaluation system for education and non-higher education, and will be carried out under specific regulations for different types of intervention.

Therefore, a consistent set of standards to define the mechanisms of accreditation and evaluation of preschool and elementary educational institutions is hereby established, whether the institutions are public, private, or cooperative, and taking into account reasonable limits for the adaptation of already existing and functioning institutions.

It is essential to ensure the quality, coherence and consistency of the educational system with this system of accreditation and evaluation.

3. Government Resolution that establishes the Academy of Arts and Creative Cultural Industries in Timor-Leste

According to the National Policy on Culture, approved by the Council of Ministers in September 2009, "the creation of an Academy of Arts and Creative Culture Industries corresponds to the Government's perspective that artistic work is key to cementing the values of freedom and critical for solidarity and pluralism in Timorese society. The existence of an Academy of Arts and Creative Culture Industries will develop technical and artistic training and also work as a focal point for research on the arts in Timor-Leste".

It is the responsibility of the State to protect and enhance cultural heritage as a means of democratizing access to culture and as a key element in the consolidation of identity and sovereignty. Whereas the teaching and promotion of the arts should always be performed with the ultimate objective of achieving a just and egalitarian society, promoting cultural diversity as a fundamental humanitarian principle and development, the Government recognizes that it is the Secretariat of State for Culture’s duty to ensure the legal framework essential for the establishment of the future Timor-Leste Academy of Arts and Creative Culture Industries.

The approval of the strategic and regulatory approaches to teaching the arts in Timor-Leste, as a fundamental tool of the defense and consolidation of national unity and identity, will be embodied in a strategic document and in the statutes of the future Academy, currently under preparation.

4. Government Resolution that approves the National Policy for Inclusion and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The National Policy for Inclusion and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities defines the areas of intervention and strategies of each government department and government agency in order to ensure the full participation of disabled people in the community.

This policy thus seeks to eliminate forms of discrimination based on disability to ensure effective compliance with the rights of persons with disabilities and full participation within the family and community.

It is recalled that in 2010 the Government established a multidisciplinary working group to study and develop a draft on a National Policy on Disability, which resulted in this document, now approved by the Council of Ministers.

5. Decree-Law that approves the transition Regime of State Social Security

Following the approval of the Transitional Regime of Social Security for old age, invalidity and death for State workers last February, this law defines the procedures for payment of pensions under the scheme, which represents the start of operation of a social security system in Timor-Leste.


Dili, 24 April 2012 Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for coming here today to be part of this important signing ceremony.

This occasion marks an important milestone in the implementation of Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan.

The Strategic Development Plan provides a long term vision that builds on the foundations that we have already built for our nation.
Together, we have achieved security and peace.

We are consolidating democratic governance and have built our State institutions.

And we are working hard to improve our health care and our education system and to alleviate poverty.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The Strategic Development Plan focuses on three key areas: social capital, infrastructure development and economic development.

Today is an important step to realising the targets that we have set ourselves for infrastructure development.

Timor-Leste needs to build core infrastructure not only to underpin our growth, but to create jobs and support the development of our private sector.
While quality infrastructure is essential to be able to develop socially and economically, the scale and cost of addressing this challenge is significant.
We have already started to address this challenge.

The Infrastructure Fund has been established to provide a vehicle for us to finance infrastructure projects.

And the government has set up the National Procurement Commission, the National Development Agency and the Major Projects Secretariat to make sure that what we build meets the needs and aspirations of our people.

Ladies and Gentleman,
The National Procurement Commission is still a young institution and we have given it a very big responsibility – to procure large projects.The National Procurement Commission is still a young institution and we have given it a very big responsibility – to procure large projects.

The work of the Commission covers the whole procurement cycle: from issuing a procurement notice, and evaluating proposals from different companies, to recommending which company should be awarded the contract.

The projects the Commission will be asked to procure span across many sectors and include roads and bridges, ports and airports, water and sanitation, public housing, schools and hospitals.To undertake this critical task it is important that the Commission has the best international support available.
This is why I am pleased that the Commission has been able to secure the services of the international procurement firm Charles Kendall and Partners.

I believe this company will provide excellent advice and support to the Commission and will help it to develop the necessary tools to undertake its role.

Charles Kendall and Partners will also help to address some of the short term human resource capacity requirements of the Commission.

Importantly, the company will help to make sure that our major infrastructure projects are of good quality, provide value for money and are managed with the highest levels of transparency, professionalism and integrity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you again for attending this important event.

I would like to wish the National Procurement Commission every success with this contract and welcome Charles Kendall and Partners to Timor-Leste.

I am confident that together you will work well to build our infrastructure and support our national development.
Thank you very much.

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao 24 April 2012

24 April 2012

Council of Ministers Meeting on April 18, 2012

PRESS RELEASE - The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in the Council of Ministers meeting room, at the Government Palace, Díli, and approved:
1. Decree-Law that approves the Statutes of the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education
The General Inspectorate of Education, as provided in the Organic Law of the Ministry of Education, is a
service under direct administration of the Ministry of Education with strategic relevance not only in support
of the disciplinary control of teachers and staff in the education sector but also to support the fiscal and administrative supervision of the implementation of educational policies in relation to schools and quality
The government thus regulates this important service of monitoring the administrative activities of the
education sector to ensure the necessary coordination with the legislation in force concerning the Civil
Service Statute, the Inspector General of the State, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Service Commission.
2. Decree-Law that approves the legal regime of an accreditation and evaluation system of preschool, primary and secondary school education
This decree aims to provide the education sector's legal framework for an accreditation and evaluation system for education and non-higher education, and will be carried out under specific regulations for different types of intervention.
Therefore, a consistent set of standards to define the mechanisms of accreditation and evaluation of preschool and elementary educational institutions is hereby established, whether the institutions are public, private, or cooperative, and taking into account reasonable limits for the adaptation of already existing and functioning institutions.
Secretariat of State of the Council of Ministers 1/3 Díli, Government Palace
April 18, 2012

JSMP : Baucau District Court unable to conduct trial in a case of aggravated murder because no interpreter available

Press Release Period : April 2012 Edition : 24 April 2012 - Baucau District Court unable to conduct trial in a case of aggravated murder because no interpreter available

On 18 April 2012 the Baucau District Court was unable to conduct a trial in a case of aggravated murder that had been listed in the court schedule. The case was registered with the court as Case No. 29/Crm.C/2012/TDB. There were seven defendants in this case, namely TL, OL, AL, ATL, OLL, FS and VS who allegedly committed the crime against the two deceased victims David Armando Ramos and Alarico Soares. This case allegedly occurred on 20 August 2012 di Hailarino Sub-Village, Luro Village, Luro Sub-District, Lautem District.

The trial was led by a panel of judges comprising judge António Fonseca Monteiro, José Gonçalves and Ângela Faria Belo. The Public Prosecution Service was represented by prosecutor Adérito Tilman and the defendants were represented by public defender Gregório de Lima and private lawyer Ângelo Neves.

The Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, said that JSMP encourages the Ministry of Justice to give serious attention to this situation and recruit interpreters for all mother tongues/dialects that are used in the respective jurisdictions to ensure that the trial process in the courts can be conducted effectively.

Previously in its annual report entitled 'An Overview of the Justice Sector in 2011' JSMP found that the issue of court interpretation continues to be a common problem or obstacle that has not yet been resolved.

The trial of this case could not take place because interpretation from Tetum into Sae’ene was not available. For this reason the court decided to adjourn the trial until 25 April 2012.

Based on information JSMP obtained from the court, the public prosecutor charged the defendants with Article 139 of the Penal Code which carries a penalty of 12 to 25 years.

To anticipate similar problems in future hearings the court will send an official request to the Lautem District Administrator to appoint/provide a person who has a good understanding of Tetum and Sae’ene to provide interpretation on the date set by the court because most of the parties do not understand Tetum.

Based on JSMP monitoring in Baucau District Court, there are three interpreters who provide interpretation from and into Makasae, Naueti, Uaimua, Galole, Tetum-Terik, and Tetum to Portuguese, however there is no interpretation for other languages such as Sae’ene, Fataluku, Makalero and others, so this often makes it difficult for the court to conduct trials in cases involving perpetrators who use one of these languages.

22 April 2012

Unknown persons set fire on two houses in Hera

Radio Timor-Leste, April 19, 2012 language source: Tetun - Unknown persons set blaze to two houses and two kitchens belonging to local residents in Hera yesterday (18/4) , the eastern part of Dili, National Police Operational Commander, Armando Monteiro said.

The commander affirmed that the police were dispatched to the crime scene to respond to the situation and investigate it.

“The incident happened at 14:00. The police were immediately dispatched to the scene to respond to the case and are holding an investigation into the case,” he said. He said the current security situation throughout the country was normal and was under control.

21 April 2012

Belun Monitoring shows Post-Electoral Tension in Uatulari, Ossu, Baucau Vila and Lautem Moro

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release 19 April 2012 Belun Monitoring shows Post-Electoral Tension in Uatulari, Ossu, Baucau Vila and Lautem Moro

Situational monitoring from NGO Belun’s Early Warning Early Response (EWER) system showed a spike in reported incidents during Monday’s second round presidential run-off and vote count. As shown on Belun’s online map (www.belun.crowdmap.com) incidents reached a peak during the final presidential vote with intimidation and stone throwing prevalent during the past week.

Sub-districts where Belun’s monitoring displays particularly high tension include: Uatulari (Viqueque), Ossu (Viqueque), Baucau Vila (Baucau) and Lautem Moro (Lautem).

Since the commencement of the campaign period (1 March – 18 April 2012), Dili (48), Baucau (18), and Suai (11) districts have recorded the highest number of incidents. Police have been swift in their response to most situations which has prevented further escalation of many incidents.

As part of its EWER system Belun will continue to map incidents from across the country for the duration of the electoral period until August 2

18 April 2012

Presidential Election Run-Off Final Provisional Results

STAE 17/04/2012 11:30am

Final Provisional Results:

Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo – 38,77% (174,386)

Taur Matan Ruak – 61, 23% (275,441)
630 Polling Centres counted

Turnout: 73, 12% (458,703 votes)

Abstention: 26, 88% (168,592 votes)

Total registered voters for the 2nd Round: 627, 295.

17 April 2012

Taur Matan Ruak to be new President of Timor-Leste

17 de Abril de 2012, 01:19

Díli, 16 abr (Lusa) - Provisional results of the presidential elections released today by the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) in Timor-Leste until 00:00 and when they are counted 398,548 votes are as follows:

Ruak - 235,299

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 155,518

The results for district are:

Aileu (counting closed)

Ruak - 13,851 (70.76%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 5725 (29.24%)

Ainaro (counting closed)

Ruak - 16,602 (67.19%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 7617 (32.81%)

Baucau (85.07% of votes counted)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 25,870 (54.87%)

Ruak - 21,279 (45.13%)

Bobonaro (66.18% of votes counted)

Ruak - 16,581 (68.56%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 7603 (31.44%)

Covalima (58.14% of votes counted)

Ruak - 10,870 (62.37%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 6557 (37.63%)

Dili (79.63% of votes counted)

Ruak - 43,823 (66.46%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 22,111 (33.54%)

Lautém (closed)

Ruak - 13,555 (50.40%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 13,340 (49.60%)

Liquiça (closed)

Ruak - 17,426 (64.19%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 9723 (35.81%)

Manatuto (97.87 percent of votes counted)

Ruak - 14,168 (73.53%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 5100 (26.47%)

Manufahi (76.09% of votes counted)

Ruak - 9269 (51.11%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 8868 (48.89%)

Oecussi (closed)

Ruak - 21,252 (75.92%)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 6740 (24.08%)

Viqueque (96.08% of votes counted)

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo - 22,450 (66.46%)

Ruak - 11,330 (33.54%)

STAE, which stopped the publication of provisional results in Dili at 00:00 (16:00 in Lisbon) has to disclose the preliminary results late on Tuesday.

The abstention rate will only be known at the end of counting of votes in all districts.

According to police source, the second round of presidential elections in Timor-Leste took place without incident relief throughout.

In all polling stations visited by Lusa was visible police presence.

The second round of presidential voting was disputed by Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, supported by the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (Fretilin), and Ruak, former chief of the armed forces, supported by the National Council for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT ) Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao.


Lusa / End

15 April 2012

Police yet to identify suspect who killed F-FDTL cadet

Radio Timor-Leste, 12 April 2012 - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) has yet to identify the suspect who killed a cadet of the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL), said Domingos Mali, a relative of the deceased.

The murder investigation should continue to search for the suspect who killed Sabino da Silva in November last year, said Mali.

Da Silva was murdered in mid-November last year while going to the Defence Force Training Centre. His body was found on the beach in Metiaut, Dili.

Residents fear rumours about conflict

Radio Timor-Leste, 12 April 2012 - Residents in the capital of Dili fear rumours that conflict will appear if one of the presidential candidates does not accept the results of the election.

Rosario dos Santos said he evacuated his family to his hometown because of the rumours.

Rui Bernardo said that he and some of his relatives also heard about rumours on instability that might occur.

He called on the security authorities to continue guaranteeing security so that people can remain calm.

In response, the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Lere Anan Timur said the elections this year would be successful and that there would not be a coup d’état.

Ex-guerrillas face off in East Timor decider

AFP Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 - DILI - East Timor's second presidential election as a free nation will see two ex-guerrillas compete in a run-off vote on Monday, after the Nobel Prize-winning incumbent was knocked out in the first round.

Either Francisco Guterres "Lu Olo" or Taur Matan Ruak, both heroes of the nation's 24-year war against Indonesian occupation, will replace Jose Ramos-Horta, who trailed in third place in a vote seen as a key test for the young democracy.

While the presidency is largely ceremonial, it enjoyed a high profile under Ramos-Horta, and the election is the first in a series of landmark events for the half-island nation of 1.1 million people.

In May, East Timor will celebrate 10 years of independence, which came after three years of UN administration.

Then, in July, voters will choose a new government in a general election.

At the end of the year the impoverished and chronically unstable nation bids goodbye to UN forces stationed in the country since 1999.

The soft-spoken Guterres, 57, who heads the opposition Fretilin party, which is synonymous with the resistance, lost the presidency to Ramos-Horta in a run-off in 2007.

Widely respected for the two decades he spent in Timor's hills and thick jungles fighting the occupation, Guterres topped the March 17 first round with nearly 29 per cent of the vote.

But in election campaigns, he has strived to purge his guerrilla identity, stressing that his priorities included figuring out "how we can make light in every house, how we can get justice for all (Timorese) people".

"I can't go back to the history of what happened but we have to, as a nation, move forward," he said in a recent campaign speech, referring to the war that left an estimated 183,000 people dead through genocide, disease and starvation.

Ruak, whose name means "piercing eyes" in the local Tetum language, is the former military commander of Fretilin's military wing.

The 55-year-old, running as an independent but backed by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's powerful National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor party, won about 26 per cent of the first-round vote.

Ruak, who has vowed to introduce mandatory military service if elected, is accused by the United Nations of illegal weapons transfers in 2006, when rioting and factional fighting had the nation on the brink of civil war.

But in election campaigns, he has focused on employment for the poor and "preparing our children for the future".

"Now listen to me, in the second round when you choose your leader, it is no time to choose the wrong one," he told a rally of 5,000 supporters in Dili's Democracy Field.

"I will respond to what you are worried about in the future," he said. The peaceful polling in the first round stood in stark contrast to the deadly pre-election violence that erupted in 2006, which left the country on the brink of civil war.

Ahead of the run-off, at least two homes of political supporters or campaign organisers were torched and a number of campaign vehicles attacked.

On Friday, about 100 people reportedly pelted stones at Ruak's headquarters in Dili.

Timor-Leste’s Language Policy: The Boulder On The Shoe – Analysis

Written by: RSIS April 14, 2012 - Timor-Leste has chosen Portuguese as its official language of government, though Tetum remains the other official language. This language policy, a return to its colonial heritage, has future implications for the state’s development and geopolitical relations in the region.

By Victor R Savage

THE CURRENT presidential election in Timor-Leste has brought international visibility to this rather marginalised state within Southeast Asia. The freedom-fighter generation of Timor-Leste has everything to be proud of in these elections. This is one country which testifies that an irredentist movement that fought for independence could eventually create statehood in the 21st century. It also underscores a moment in Indonesian history when the domestic fervour for reformasi was best symbolised not just in political change in Indonesia but in the granting of independence for East Timor as it was then known.

Challenges Making Portuguese The Official Language

The simmering issue on the ground in Timor-Leste however has less to do with the presidential election. The likely source of future political debate lies in its language policy. The Timor-Leste government has chosen to use Portuguese as its official language of government since 2002 despite the fact that less than five percent of the population spoke the language. According to official sources the government chose Portuguese to safeguard their unique culture and identity, maintain their connections with the former colonial master, Portugal, as well as their privileged ties and friendships with other Portuguese-speaking nations. While the country’s leaders had privately defended keeping the Portuguese language as a matter of heritage, they have also recognised the importance of learning English in schools to survive in a competitive world and to popularise Bahasa Indonesia.

Yet on the ground one gets the feeling that Portuguese has been given priority because it is the language of communication of the political and social elites – in short it is an elitist language in Timor Leste. This language policy has its own challenges.

Firstly, Portuguese is not an international language that will connect the people of Timor-Leste with a globalising world. Besides Portugal, the only Portuguese-speaking heavyweight is Brazil which is thousands of kilometers away. The ability to connect with the rest of the world for trade, tourism and business is likely to be hampered. In Asia, Portuguese is no longer a language of political power that it once was from Goa to Malacca and Macau in the 16th century.

Secondly, Portugal is certainly not a country of economic and political prowess either globally or in the European Union (EU) to warrant the use of its language. Indeed Portugal forms one of the five PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) countries of the EU where the governments are saddled with huge debt. Portugal cannot be expected to lend financial support and advice to the Timor-Leste government. As one Timorese researcher said to me: “Portugal is a poor country, Timor-Leste is poor, and the relationship will make Timor-Leste poorer.” When there are so many more economically developed states in Asia, why does the Timor-Leste government need to reconnect with its former colonial master?

Thirdly, the current language situation in Timor Leste is highly diversified – the people are exposed to essentially four main languages and many more dialects: Tetum, the native language, Bahasa Indonesia which is widely spoken, English and finally Portuguese – a language retained by the older generation Portuguese Eurasians in Timor Leste. One can understand the logic that after having won a bloody war of independence with Indonesia, the government wanted to distance itself from Indonesia. Yet, the reality on the ground begs for a more pragmatic political consideration:

Bahasa Indonesia is already the unofficial lingua franca in the country; Timor-Leste cannot separate itself from its geographical links and geopolitical realities of Indonesia. Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia – accounting for 40 percent of the region’s land area, population and GNP. Many Timor-Leste government officials and educational personnel have graduated from Indonesian universities and technical institutes and estimates show about 5000 students are currently enrolled in Indonesian institutions. Indonesia is also currently a rising economy which Timor-Leste cannot afford to ignore and yet could tap into.

Why Not English As The Top Official Language?

If the Timor-Leste government did not want to use Indonesian as its official language, it certainly could have considered English as the official language of priority. This neutral language would be amenable to all citizens and offer far more advantages than Portuguese: i) English is a language of international politics, trade, tourism, and higher education; ii) it is quite widely spoken in the country amongst the informed public and even youths; iii) many students expressed keen interest in learning English rather than Portuguese which they find of no cultural or economic relevance; and iv) if Timor-Leste is interested in joining ASEAN, does it not make more sense to give priority to English which is the operating language of the region? Given that Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and the Philippines are all English-speaking neighbouring countries, the use of English will certainly give the government economic and political leverage.

It is noteworthy that a private university in Dili, as a protest against the government’s language policy, decided to conduct its classes in Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia and English – leaving out Portuguese.

One might say the Timor-Leste government is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea in pursuing the Portuguese language: its biggest English-speaking neighbour Australia has been unfriendly and certainly opportunistic with regard to off-shore oil and gas reserves and its Indonesian neighbour is viewed with apprehension and veiled distrust. Yet language forms the foundation and bedrock of a country – language cannot be changed overnight once set in place.

For a fledgling country with limited resources and a low level of development, Timor Leste needs to consider pragmatic, long term and viable educational programmes. The government’s belief that the people of Timor Leste can pursue a multiple-language educational programme (Tetum, Portuguese, English, Bahasa Indonesia) seems flawed since there are few examples of successful bi-lingual much less multi-lingual national programmes regionally or globally. While pre-independence East Timor might have been for Indonesia’s former Foreign Minister Ali Alatas the “pebble in the shoe”, the Portuguese language might be a veritable boulder on the shoe for independent Timor-Leste’s future progress and development.

Victor R Savage is an Associate Professor in Geography at the National University of Singapore and Honorary Vice-President of the Commonwealth Geographical Bureau. This article, specially written for RSIS Commentaries, reflects his personal views.

About the author:


RSIS Commentaries are intended to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy relevant background and analysis of contemporary developments. The views of the author/s are their own and do not represent the official position of the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU, which produces the Commentaries.

Mob attacks East Timor candidate's office

From:AAP April 14, 2012 5:25PM - UNREST has broken out in East Timor, where the campaign office of presidential candidate Taur Matan Ruak has been attacked in the lead-up to the election on Monday.

Police said a large group of people attempted to charge Taur Matan Ruak's campaign headquarters in Dili and when blocked by police, threw stones into the compound.

Taur Matan Ruak's campaign manager called the incident "shameful for democracy" after allegations that Fretilin supporters were involved.

A Fretilin spokesman said there was no proof Fretilin supporters were involved and the incident had been exaggerated as part of a smear campaign against the party.

The incident comes ahead of the presidential election on Monday, where independent candidate Taur Matan Ruak, known as TMR, is up against Fretilin candidate Francisco Guterres "Lu Olo" for the role of president.

National Police (PNTL) deputy commander Alfonso de Jesus said due to the presence of police the incident was not a serious one.

"We had six police officers there but straight away they are not respecting the police presence there then the group is using the opportunity to take stones and throw them at the office," he said.

Mr de Jesus said the group were out on the road and then tried to charge through into the office, but police blocked them.

No arrests have been made but a police investigation is underway into the incident.

TMR campaign manager Jose Belo said he was in the office when the attack occurred.

"They tried to storm into the compound and there were a lot of stones, they threw stones into the compound, yelling and whatever. It's a shame for our democracy," he said.

Mr Belo said it was lucky there was a police car stopped in front of the main gate and the group was blocked from entering.

Fretilin campaign spokesman Jose Teixeira said the party went to great lengths to cooperate with police for the Fretilin rally yesterday and "any act of violence is abhorrent".

"But considering the history of Timor-Leste this was a very minor incident," he said.

Mr Teixeira said the Fretilin party had been subject to more violence and intimidation than anyone else.

"We reject the allegation our supporters were involved, and we call on the police to thoroughly investigate the incident and prosecute those they feel are responsible."

12 April 2012

Parliamentary election will be held on 7 July 2012

PRESS RELEASE from Office of the President

President of the Republic calls parliamentary elections on July 7th

Dili, 11 April 2012 The President of the Republic, Dr. José Ramos-Horta, this Tuesday set by decree the date for the election of the members of the National Parliament for the third parliamentary term, which will occur on July 7 (Saturday).

The decision of the President of the Republic was made based on the legal standards in force, following consultation with the Government and political parties with parliamentary representation.

The President of the Republic summoned the Government and the political parties with parliamentary representation for a consultation meeting on Tuesday at Nicolau Lobato Palace, in which the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) were also present.

Assault case involving supporters in Baucau investigated

Independente, April 11, 2012 language source: Tetun - Deputy Police Commander Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus affirmed that the Baucau District Police already submitted the recent assault case between supporters of the two presidential candidates to the General Commander of PNTL and that case was now in the investigation process.

De Jesus said that Baucau District Police and the National Commission for Elections (CNE) already resolved some problems amicably, but some other cases should be processed legally because they breached the law. “It is still in the process and will submit it to the judicial institution,” de Jesus said.

He also said that the promotion teams of the two presidential candidates were cooperating with each other to identify those involved in the conflict.

Timorese Govt does not care about justice for victims: Civil society

Radio Timor-Leste, April 11, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Government does not care about justice for the massacre victims but it prioritises its bilateral ties with Indonesia, Representative of Civil Society, Jose Moniz said.

Timorese civil society is concerned about this issue because the Government has not made any efforts to legally process the criminals, he said.

Moniz made the comments during a press conference which was held yesterday at the office of HAK, in Dili.

He said the two governments had ignored justice and accountability for the victims and they had no interest to follow-up the recommendations made by CAVR [Commission for reconciliation] calling on legal process for the criminals.

SocialDocumentary.net | Ted McDonnell | Last of the Bloodsports | East Timor

SocialDocumentary.net | Ted McDonnell | Last of the Bloodsports | East Timor

11 April 2012

One house and two motorcycles destroyed

Diario Nacional April 10, 2012, Language Source: Tetun- In the early part of this month unknown groups started moving around in the capital of Dili and have destroyed one house and a motorbike last Saturday (07/04).

Operational Commander of PNTL Superintendent Armando Monteiro said the police had identified this unknown group which continues making provocation and stealing people goods in the capital of Dili.

“I have received a report from PNTL members that the Police have identified the unknown group’s hideout and when the police held patrol in their hideout, the members of the group ran away,” he said.

He added PNTL had received reports from the victims, now PNTL was making preparations to capture them.

Reports on justice sector important: Ivo Valente

Timor Post, April 10, 2012 language source: Tetun - pDeputy Minister for Justice Ivo Jorge Valente said this year that the JSMP (Judicial System Monitoring) had launched reports which were very important for the justice sector in the country.

The reports are very important for the Government to use some of its recommendations to make changes, he said.

“We are trying to compile and make efforts to follow-up the recommendations on how to amend the law for the lawyers to give the lawyers more opportunity to have more practice in the court,” he said.

Horta: Electoral law not amended, Government should facilitate voters

Independente, April 10, 2012 language source: Tetun - President of the Republic Jose Ramos Horta has called on the Government to facilitate people with transport so that they can return to their respective village to vote.

He said that he was displeased with the current electoral law as it prejudiced people to vote in the presidential election.

“There is a bit mistake in the electoral law, as it forces people to go to the place where they registered their electoral card and I do not understand, the Government should resolve the problem which appears in this law,” President Horta said.

He added, “The Government should prepare trucks, or other mini trucks to drop people to their districts and it should be free and I think its cost will not be more than US $1 million or US $300 thousand. It is complicated if people have to pay it and I do not really agree with this.”

More political violence in Timor-Laste as a house burnt down in Uatulari

Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, April 10, 2012 language source: Tetun - One house belonging to local resident Mariano Soares was set fire by the supporters of a certain presidential candidate in Uatulari of the eastern district of Viqueque.

Soares’ house was set blaze as he is one of the supporters of Presidential Candidate Taur Matan Ruak and coordinator for Partidu Republicana.

Deputy Commander for the National Police Commissioner Afonso de Jesus said the police were currently conducting an investigation into the case and was chasing up the suspect to face legal process.

09 April 2012

FM Calls for an End to Inflammatory Rhetoric

Fundasaun Mahein’s, 09 March 2012 Press Release - In late February of this year, Fundasaun Mahein (FM) condemned PNTL General Commander, Longuinhos Monteiro’s order to his officers to shoot on sight anyone trying to derail the general elections following the actions of unknown persons who threw Molotov Cocktail bombs at the offices of the Secretariat For Technical Electoral Support (STAE). We argued that this was another demonstration that the PNTL was not a ‘community-oriented’ police force and that the PNTL had once again proven to be a typical reactionary force, always reacting with
excessive force after a crime has been committed. (PNTL commander
accentuates the rise of violence, 23rd of February:

Last week, local media (DN Independente 04rd of March quoted the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Lere Anan
Timur giving out a similar statement, threatening to shoot dead anyone
who will commit acts of violence during the general election period.
Once again FM laments the very violent tone of this comment, which
serves only to accentuate tensions and increase trauma and fear among
the general population. This also serves as a barrier to ordinary
citizens to actively participate in the democratic process of choosing
our country’s next head of state.

FM would like to remind the commanders of both security forces of the rights of citizens as enshrined in the relevant laws and Constitution
of the RDTL. The role of the F-FDTL & PNTL is to protect and serve the
community and to uphold the rule of law. We have a system of justice
and our security forces cannot take the law into their own hands by
applying the system of shoot first, ask later.

FM calls on both security forces to actively engage with communities
instead of using such violent rhetoric. The traditional Timorese form
of dialogue Nahe biti Boot could be used as a model for both the
F-FDTL & PNTL when engaging with the community. Their role is to
maintain order and security while upholding the rule of law and FM
once again calls for greater integration of both force’s operations
and activities during this election period.

FM also recommends that commanders of both the police and army instead make statements that are problem solving oriented. They could use their positions of influence to call attention to politicians to steer
away their militants from confrontation so as to create a peaceful
democratic process. Timor-Leste is a small nation but nonetheless
well known internationally and FM hopes our country can set an example
to other post-conflict countries.

For further information on this report please contact
Nelson Belo,
Director of FundasaunMahein
Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org ,
Tlp +670 737 4222

Fundasaun Mahein, 09 Marsu 2012

Komunikadu Imprenza

FM Bolu Atu Hakotu Estetmentu Provokativu

Iha fulan Fefreiru tinan ida ne’e , FM kondena maka’as PNTL nai
Kommandado Geral, Longuinhos Monteiro, nian ordem atu tiru iha fatin
ema ne’ebe mak hakarak estraga elesaun geral wainhira STAE hetan
ataka ho bomba Molotov husi ema diskuinhesidu. Iha tempu ne’eba FM
kondena katak ordem Kommandante Geral nian ordem ne’e hatudu katak
PNTL laos Polisia Komunitaria no ida ne’e hatudu katak PNTL, hanesan
baibain, nunka antisipa situasaun seguransa maibe so hatene halo
reasaun boot deit wainhira krimi akontese tiha ona. (Komandu PNTL
haforsa numeru violensia) 23 Febreru:

Iha semana kotuk liu ba media, DN Independente iha dia 4 March, sita
steitmentu komandante F-FDTL Major Jeneral Lere Anan Timur, katak ema
ne’ebe mak halo atus violensia durante eleasaun sei tiru mate durante
elisaun jeral, dala ida tan FM deskontenti los ba estatementu ida
ne’ebe haforsa violensia, tensaun, trauma no hatauk ba populasaun.
Estetementu ida ne’e mos hanesan bareira ida atu taka fali prosessu
demokratiku ne’ebe mak populasaun atu halao hodi hili ita nian ulun
boot estadu nian.

Ho oportunidade ida ne’e FM hakarak fo’o hanoin ba kommandante
institusaun rua ne’e nian katak direitu povu nian hakerek nanis tiha
ona iha ita nian lei no ita nian Lei Inan. PNTL no F-FDTL nian Kna’ar
mak tenke defende lei no proteze i serve komunidade. Ita nian sistema
justisa iha ona, ne’e duni ita nian forsas seguransas sira labele tau
lei iha sira nian liman ho sistema ida tiru uluk depois mak husu ikus.

FM husu ba institusaun seguransa sira nian atu halo aprosimasaun ho
povu duke uza liafuan retorikal ne’ebe ho violensia. Tradisaun
Timor-Leste nian hanesan sorumutu Nahe Biti Boot hanesan modelu ida
hodi ba F-FDTL ho PNTL halo aprosimasaun ba komunidade . kna’ar forsas
rua nain maka tenke manteina ordem no seguransa ne’ebe difini ona iha
lei. Dala ida tan FM husu para forsas rua ne’e halo atividade ida
ne’ebe integradu iha sira nia operasaun durante periode elesaun.

FM mos rekomenda ba komadante PNTL no F-FDTL atu halo deit estetmentu
hirak ne’ebe mak hatudu intensaun ida ne’ebe mak resolve problema.
Sira bele uza sira nian pozisaun hodi apela ba politik nain sira katak
politik nain sira tenke hado’ok sira nian milititantes husi
konfrontasaun hodi atu kria paz iha prosessu demokratiku ida ne’e.
Timor-Leste nasaun ida ne’ebe mak ki’ik maibe koinhesidu iha mundu
tomak maibe FM husu nafatin nasaun ki’ik ida ne’e hatudu nian exemplu
diak ida ba nasaun pos-konflitus sira seluk iha mundu ida ne’e.

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

Police recover UD $156,740.00 stolen from BNU

Diario Nacional, January 10, 2012 language source: Tetun

The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) has recovered US $157,740.00 from the total of US $209,600.00 which was stolen on January 4th from the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) in Baucau District, says Baucau Operational Police Commander Inspector Chief Joao D. S. Baptista.

Baptista affirmed that they found the money yesterday during a house-to-house search of four houses belonging to the local residents where the money was hidden.

“The result of house-to-house search showed that the police were able to find money at the residence of former staff of BNU in Baucau with initials JX and AS and the total money found is US $58,740.

Police continue to check on another staff of BNU with the initial AG and the police found 585 of Euro and US $9000.00.

The Police continue to check a house in Buibau and the initial of the house owner is JN and the police found US $60,000.00 and therefore the total money found by police is $156,740.00,” Baptista said.

He added that they started to investigate the staffs of the referred bank since they had information that there was US $209,600.00 went missing at BNU in Baucau on 4th January. He explained that they cooperated with Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) for holding operations or searching for houses in which they believed the money was hidden adding that they searched the referred housesat 2:00 yesterday.

Police have inquired 30 witnesses regarding Comoro Bridge case

Independente, January 10, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) have questioned 30 witnesses about last year's Comoro Bridge conflict, including some civilians, Deputy PNTL Commmander, Afonso de Jesus said.

Those witnesses directly saw the incident which left one man killed, some cars and other properties destroyed, he said. “We have done the process. We have investigated 30 witnesses and some PNTL members who were suspected of being directly involved in the case,” he said.

He affirmed that if his members were found guilty in the legal process, then they would be dismissed from the police force.

According to the state secretary for security, about 70 police officers are threatened to be sacked from the police because of their involvement in the martial arts conflict at the end of December last year.

Former petitioners threaten MP’s life

Independente, January 10, 2012 - Social Democratic Party MP Agusto Tara said some former petitioner group members in Comoro, Dili, wanted to kill him because he supported former F-FDTL Commander Taur Matan Ruak’s bid to run for president of the republic.

Mr. Tara told the Parliament yesterday he had not met the people who were threatening him but had heard about their intentions. If he travelled between Likisa and Ermera the group would launch an attack on him, he said.

“Because of the candidacy of ‘brother’ Taur, some former petitioners and youths threatened to kill me,” he said. Tara said he supported Mr. Ruak’s presidential campaign because they were both veterans. The ex-petitioners spokesperson, Gastao Salsinha said most of his former members were unhappy with Mr. Tara but this had nothing to do with Mr. Ruak’s presidential candidacy.

08 April 2012

Government delivers certificates of land ownership

Traditional house, East Timor
East Timor Legal News 8 April 2012 Source: East Timor Government Thu. December 29, 17:26h - The Government delivered the first certificates of land title to owners in three districts (Manatuto, Liquica and Ainaro) in Liquica on the occasion of World Day of Human Rights.

The Minister of Justice thanked, on behalf of the Government, "the communities that have contributed to encourage the Government to continue to strive to better serve its People. I especially thank the Embassy of the United States and the representatives of USAID, as it was with them that we began determining the land through the project Ita nia rai".

Lucia Lobato added that the awarded certificates will allow solving many problems in communities, since the owners have a way of proving their rights.

Present at the ceremony, the Acting Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres, stated that "the State would like to recognize the owners’ right over their land through the delivery of certificates, because these lands were the property of our grandparents, our ancestors, and I hope that you take good care of them and don’t sell them".

The event was also attended by the Vice-Minister of Justice, Ivo Valente, the Vice Minister of Economy and Development, Cristiano da Costa, the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto, the Secretary of State for Professional Training and Employment, Bendito Freitas, Director of the United Nations Program for Development and the UN representative, Nikiku Tanaka, representatives of civil society and other NGOs.

Catholics in Balibo attack new religion

Map showing location of Balibo
East Timor Legal News 8 April 2012 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae January 17, 2012, Language source: Tetun - Catholics in Balibo Sub District attacked a group of new religion for being suspect disseminating doctrines for the people. The conflict happened in the Leohito Village, Balibo Sub District and left 17 people injured and they are receiving medical treatment at the Referral Hospital in Maliana. Unnamed sources said that the group was attacked because they insulted Catholic priests and sisters.

Administrator for Bobonaro District, Domingos Martins said every citizen should respect the law and for those who want to conduct their activities should firstly consult with the local authorities for securing their activities. He added that RDTL Constitution guarantees every person the right to choose their own religion and therefore no one has rights to hamper another people to join with other new religion.

PNTL commander suspend three members

East Timor Legal News 8 April 2012 Source: Independente, January 17, 2012, Language source: Tetun -The Timorese National Police (PNTL) Commander, Commissioner of Police Longuinhos Monteiro, has suspended three police officers who were believed tohave been directly involved in a crime near the Comoro Bridge recently.

PNTL decided to investigate the three members of PNTL based on information they have found.

"The suspensions are based on the institution's regulation - when a police officer is being investigated then he/she will not actively working in the institution," Monteiro said.

Three suspects are facing provisional imprisonment

BNU in Dili
East Timor Legal News 8 April 2012 Diario Nacional, January 17, 2012 language source: Tetun -Three people who are alleged to involve in criminal act to steal money at the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) in Baucau district were facing provisional imprisonment, says the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander. Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga, said that the result of investigation showed that there were four people who were believed to assault BNU staff and stole the money.

"We identified four people, regarding BNU case and three of them are now facing provisional imprisonment and another one is not yet because of his health condition but he/she is also an assailant," Gonzaga said.

He added that they have collected back money stolen, more than half of the total money lost or thieved.

Regarding the recent murder case at Garden Beach Hotel in Pantai Kelapa, he said that they have processed three people and two of them with the initial AN and STAR were facing provisional imprisonment.

Fundasaun Mahein (FM): The Superior Council for Defence and Security ofTimor-Leste

Press Release 19 Jan 2012The Superior Council for Defence and Security of Timor-Leste -Mahein NiaLian 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.

Victims from Taibesi Marketplace call for their rights

East Timor Legal News 7 March 2012 Timor post, January 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - Spokesperson for the 2006 military crisis Victims Paulo Soares on behalf of the victims have called on the Government to pay compensation for their properties destroyed during the crisis.

He threatened to mobilise people to hold rallies if the Government took slow action to respond to their demand. “If the Government does not respond to our demands, then we will take a big action in order to see our losses compensated and we will never be afraid of calling for our rights,” Soares said.

He added that the military crisis happened due to the political tendency or conflict of the state leaders and finally the grassroots people become victim. He made the statements in a press conference held in Quintal Boot, because the Government had not yet responded their demands to date.

07 April 2012

CNRT MP calls for legal process for porn video authors

Radio Timor-Leste, January 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - MP Arao Noe from the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) has called on the competent authorities to legally process the porn video authors.

The MP was referring to the porn video produced by two Timorese which had been widespread in the public.

Noe said this case needed to be processed legally because it would impact the country’s young generation’s mentality.

Timor-Leste is a religious country; therefore the Timorese National Police (PNTL) should pay attention to such matters, he said.

MP Francisco Branco said this was an immoral attitude and said he felt sad because one of the authors of the video was a public figure.

Related posts
Timorese porn video widespread in public
It is difficult for judicial authorities to charge porn video actors:JSMP director

Timorese porn video widespread in public

Radio Timor-Leste, January 26, 2012 language source: Tetun - A pornographic video has been widely published on the internet porn is throughout the country involving two Timorese citizens, a police official has said.

National Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Calisto Gonzaga said one of the people appearing in the pornographic video had appeared in the police station asking for an investigation into the case.

According to him, the porn video was produced for the author’s personal interest and not for public consumption; therefore the author called for the police to investigate the case.

RTL reported that many people had accessed this porn video by copying it and down loading it from the internet.

He explained the porn video was widespread as the author lost his flash disk in the commemoration of the November 12 Massacre Day last year.

It is difficult for judicial authorities to charge porn video actors:JSMP director

Radio Timor-Leste, January 30, 2012 language source: Tetun - It is difficult for the judicial authorities to legally charge the widespread porn video actors and the suspect, who has distributed the referred video, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Director, Luis Oliveira said.

According to him, there have been so many porn video productions in the country, but no one has been tried legally.

He explained that the Article 183 of the Penal Code regulated the crime of privacy, meaning that anyone who disseminates any production which could damage someone’s privacy would be jailed for one year.

Oliveira called on the police to continue investigating the case to uncover the person who had widely distributed the porn video.

Related posts:
CNRT MP calls for legal process for porn video authors
Timorese porn video widespread in public

06 April 2012

Citizen assaulted by soldier

Radio Timor-Leste, April 4, 2012 language source: Tetun - A Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) soldier is believed to have assaulted a local resident named Francisco Sico Botak in Debos village, in Suai of Covalima District.

MP Francisco Branco from Fretilin during the Parliamentary plenary session on Monday said such an attitude was not good as it was against powerless people. Branco also called on the competent institutions to pay attention to this case because it was violating the democratic rights of the citizens.

The Parliamentary President Fernando de Araujo was also concerned about the act of a member of F-FDTL assaulting a resident in Suai was not good. Lasama added that he would take this case to the court to try in the future.

Army chief threatens to shoot dead citizens

Major General Lere Anan Timur
East Timor Legal News 7 April 2012 Source: Independente, April 4, 2012 language source: Tetun - The Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) Commander Major General Lere Anan Timur has threatened to shoot dead anyone who commits acts of violence during the general election period.

He stressed that, the people who would try to cause conflict should receive its consequences: die or be hospitalized.

"In order to guarantee the election to run well then I say that whoever engages in crime will receive its consequences: to go to prison, be hospitalised or shot dead and their place is in the cemetery," General Lere said.

General Lere made the statements yesterday at the HQ of the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) in Fatuhada, regarding the widespread rumours that there would be a conflict if one of the two presidential candidates Taur Matan Ruak and Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres do not win the election.

East Timor – a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful

New Statesman BY JOHN PILGERPUBLISHED 03 APRIL 2012 The island led to freedom by the militants of Xanana Gusmso and Jose Ramos-Horta is still seen as a colony by Washington and its local sheriffs, Australia and Indonesia, hungry for resources.

Milan Kundera’s truism “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” described East Timor. The day before I set out to film clandestinely there in 1993, I went to Stanfords map shop in London’s Covent Garden. “Timor?” said a hesitant sales assistant. We stood staring at shelves marked “South-East Asia”. “Forgive me, where exactly is it?”

After a search, he came up with an old aeronautical map with blank areas stamped “Relief Data Incomplete”. He had never been asked for East Timor. Such was the silence that enveloped the Portuguese colony following its invasion by Indonesia in 1975. Yet not even Pol Pot succeeded in killing, proportionally, as many Cambodians as the Indonesian dictator Suharto killed and starved in East Timor.

In my film Death of a Nation, there is a sequence on board an Australian aircraft flying over the island of Timor. A party is in progress, and two men in suits are toasting each other in champagne. “This is an historically unique moment,” babbles one of them, “that is truly uniquely historical.” This is Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister. The other man is Ali Alatas, Suharto’s principal mouthpiece. It is 1989 and they are making a symbolic flightto celebrate the signing of a piratical treaty that allowed Australia and international oil and gas companies to exploit the seabed off East Timor. Beneath them are valleys etched with black crosses where British- and American-supplied aircraft have blown people to bits.

Zillions of dollars

In 1993, the foreign affairs committee of the Australian parliament reported that “at least 200,000”, a third of East Timor’s population, had perished under Suharto. Thanks largely to Evans, Australia was the only western country that formally recognised Suharto’s genocidal conquest. The murderous Indonesian special forces known as Kopassus trained in Australia. The prize, said Evans, was “zillions” of dollars.

Unlike Saddam Hussein, Suharto died peacefully in 2008 surrounded by the best medical help his billions could buy. He was never at risk of prosecution by the “international community”. Margaret Thatcher told him, “You are one of our very best and most valuable friends.” The Australian prime minister Paul Keating regarded him as a father figure. A group of Australian newspaper editors, led by Rupert Murdoch’s veteran retainer Paul Kelly, flew to Jakarta to pay their tribute to the dictator; there is a picture of one of them bowing.

In 1991, Evans described the massacre of more than 200 people by Indonesian troops in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, East Timor’s capital, as an “aberration”. When protesters planted crosses outside the Indonesian embassy in Canberra, he ordered them torn up.

On 17 March, Evans was in Melbourne to address a seminar on the Arab spring. Now immersed in the busy world of “think tanks”, he expounds on great-power strategies, notably the fashionable “responsibility to protect”, which Nato uses to attack or threaten uppity or out-of-favour dictators on the false pretext of liberating their people. Libya is a recent example. Also attending the seminar was Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, who reminded the audience of Evans’s long and crucial support for Suharto.

As the session ended, Evans, a man of limited fuse, stormed over to Zunes and yelled, “Who the fuck are you? Where the fuck are you from?” Zunes was told, Evans later confirmed, that such critical remarks deserved “a smack on the nose”. The episode was timely. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of an independence Evans once denied, East Timor is in the throes of electing a new president.

For many Timorese, their children malnourished and stunted, the democracy is notional. Years of bloody occupation, backed by Britain, the US and Australia, were followed by a relentless campaign of bullying by the Australian government to manoeuvre the tiny new nation out of its proper share of the seabed’s oil and gas revenue. Having refused to recognise the Law of the Sea, Australia even unilaterally changed its maritime boundary.

Shot by the sheriff

In 2006, a deal was finally signed, largely on Australia’s terms. Soon afterwards, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, a nationalist who had stood up to Canberra and foreign interference, was in effect deposed in what he called an “attempted coup” by “outsiders”. Australia has “peacekeeping” troops based in East Timor and had trained his opponents.

According to a leaked Australian Defence Force document, Australia’s “first objective” in East Timor is for its military to “seek access” so that it can exercise “influence over East Timor’s decision-making”. One of the two current presidential candidates is Taur Matan Ruak, an army general and Canberra’s man, who helped see off the troublesome Alkatiri.

One independent little country astride lucrative natural resources and strategic sea lanes is of great concern to the United States and its “deputy sheriff” in Canberra (George W Bush actually promoted Australia to full sheriff). That helps explain why the Suharto regime required such devotion from its western sponsors. Washington’s obsession in Asia, past and present, is China, which today offers developing countries investment, skills and infrastructure in return for resources.

Visiting Australia last November, President Barack Obama issued another of his veiled threats to China and announced the establishment of a US marine base in Darwin, just across the water from East Timor. He understands that small, impoverished countries can often present the greatest threat to predatory power, because if they cannot be intimidated and controlled, who can?