01 September 2012

East Timor Legal News 31 August 2012

GNR Barracks in Dili
Portuguese National Republican Guard to remain in East Timor - The Portuguese National Republican Guard (GNR) which has been a part of the United Nations Mission will remain in East Timor after the present UN mission ends later this year.

Diario Nacional reports that Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has already held discussions with Portuguese government representatives about keeping the GNR to support the security forces once the international stabilisation force and the UN mission pulls out in December 2012.
Defence Forces Chief says don't blame F-FDTL - The Timorese Defence Forces Commander General Lere Timur has said that people should not blame his soldiers for incidents involving military personnel because they are the defenders of the country. According to Diario Nacional, the Commander made the comment in reference to a recent incident in Tibar involving an F-FDTL member.

Commander Lere said that F-FDTL was always blamed when soldiers were bashed or killed.

There has been a spate of killings of soldiers in East Timor this year.

In a recent press release, security sector monitoring NGO, Fundasaun Mahein, expressed concern about the F-FDTL soldiers themselves and why they put themselves in unsafe situations even while off-duty. According to FM, this behavior puts at risk the integrity of the entire institution of F-FDTL and soldiers should remember that the reputation of the military institutions depends on each and every soldier.

Fundasaun Mahein recommended that the F-FDTL Command institute tighter rules with more rigid discipline and to create military compounds where soldiers’ families and relatives can stay together.FM also recommended that all soldiers not involve themselves in private conflicts and disputes.

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Soldier stoned to death in Timor-Leste
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Government and UNMIT commemorate Popular Consultation Day - The Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) jointly commemorated Popular Consultation Day known as Referendum Day on Thursday (30/8) at the Ministry of Finance's offices.

It was on 30 August 1999 that the Indonesian government finally succumbed to international pressure and the 24-year long independence struggle to conduct the popular consultation (jajak pendapat) to determine whether the then Indonesian twenty-seventh province would remain as part of Indonesia with special autonomy or break away and become an independent nation. The overwhelming majority of the East Timorese people rejected the autonomy option and opted for independence. In response, the Indonesian military and its local militias went on a rampage of killing and destruction before the UN authorised intervention through INTERFET which restored order.

During his speech marking ceremony for commemorating the day, Deputy PM Fernando Lasama Araujo said Timor-Leste would never forget the UN's support and contribution to the country.He called on all the Timorese people to love one another as the UN would leave the country in December.

On behalf of the Timorese people, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked UNAMET, UNTAET and UNMIT for their contribution to the country's independence and development.
Police Commisioner requests Government purchase new weapons - The Police Commissioner, Longuinhos Monteiro, has called on the Government to purchase new high quality weapons to replace the HK33 type carried by the Police Border Unit (UPF).

"I propose new weapons to replace UPF's HK33 gun as the first priority to facilitate UPF in doing their duty as a security force," he said.

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