14 October 2012

Victims Compensation Law 1975-1999 must be approved by Parliament soon, says JSMP

The 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre
ETLJB  13 October 2012 The draft law on compensation for victims who suffered during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor between 1975 and 1999 must be enacted by the National Parliament without further delay according the country's leading law and justice civil society organisation, the Judicial System Monitoring Program.

According to JSMP Director, Luis Sampaio, the Victims Reparation Law was not approved during the last legislature because a parliamentary quorum was never met. The draft law is still pending in Parliamentary Commisison A.

“We ask MPs in this legislature to hasten the process of debating and subsequent approval of the Victim Compensation Law and the Public Remembrance Institute,” said JSMP Executive Director, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, after a meeting with Commission A, in Parliament.

Mr Sampaio added that the reason the Compensation Law was not approved was because the Parliament could not obtain a quorum.

One MP, Mateus de Jesus, said that the Parliament would again not be able to debate the law this session or the next few plenaries because the members were concentrating on the State Budget Review which will then be followed by the next draft law for the 2013 state budget.

Fretilin MP Estanislau da Silva further explained that "it cannot be approved as the period has lapsed, so it will have to be tabled again for Parliament to debate it. I must say however, there are some definitions and concepts which must be made very clear, otherwise it will result in confusion with regards to the definition of victims.”

Source: The Dili Weekly
Photo: W. Wright

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