28 February 2014

Obedience and Discipline in the East Timor National Police and the East Timor Defence Force

ETLJB 28/02/2014 - Mahein’s Voice report No.71 examines the levels of obedience and discipline exhibited by members of the PNTL and F-FDTL.  Analyzing these aspects allows for a greater understanding of the capabilities of the PNTL and F-FDTL as institutions.

Although both organizations have policies and regulations in place, some PNTL and F-FDTL members choose to ignore their mandate.  Violations that have been committed include provocations and physical altercations at bars.  Such incidents are frowned upon heavily by community members, and pose a retribution threat by people seeking to attack military and police members when they are off-duty.

FM’s monitoring has identified numerous incidents in which disputes between civilians and police or military officers led to violence.  In some cases that have yet to be solved, unidentified attackers killed PNTL and F-FDTL members.  One such case took place in 2012, when unidentified perpetrators attacked a F-FDTL member.  He died in the National Hospital Guido Valadares.  In another case in 2012, a PNTL officer was attacked and killed by an unidentified group in Tashilin village, in the Zumalai sub-district of Covalima.

In response to this problem, FM urges the government to prioritize a policy response to this declining discipline, and to continue to develop human resources in security sector institutions.  In addition, strong penalties must be enacted against PNTL and F-FDTL members who do not obey disciplinary protocol and regulations.

Fundasaun Mahein's Recommendations:

1. Recommend to the Ministry of Defense and Security through the Secretary of State fo Defense and Security to create a mechanism for political control over the development of the PNTL and F-FDTL institutions, particularly in the area of human resources, which would have a positive impact on the mentality of  the members.

2. Recommend that the command of the PNTL and F-FDTL strengthen disciplinary measure to ensure that PNTL and F-FDTL members who break regulation are punished accordingly. Source: Fundasaun Mahein http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/02/26/komprimentu-disiplinar-dezafiu-ba-instituisaun-pntl-f-fdtl/ 

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