30 July 2017

East Timor Government supports Next Generation Democracy Roundtable

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 30th, 2017

Government supports Next Generation Democracy Roundtable

The Sixth Constitutional Government is pleased to be supporting the Next Generation Democracy Roundtable taking place in Dili on the 30th and 31st of July. The roundtable, organized by the World Leadership Alliance ‘Club de Madrid’, will bring together senior leaders and stakeholders to discuss “Shaping a Next Generation Democracy Agenda for Asia and Oceania”.

Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo will be participating in the closing panel discussion on Sunday afternoon which considers “The Future of Democracy in Asia and Oceania: What is at stake for youth in the region”. The President of the Republic, H.E. Francisco Guterres Lú Olo welcomed participants on the 29th of July and Club de Madrid member, former President H.E. Dr. José Ramos-Horta, will be involved throughout the event.

Notable visitors expected to attend include the Club de Madrid members H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [President of Indonesia 2004-2014], H.E. Jennifer Mary Shipley [Prime Minister of New Zealand 1997-1999] and H.E. Jigmi Yoser Thinley [Prime Minister of Bhutan 2008-2013]. H.E. Madhav K. Nepal [Prime Minister of Nepal 2009-2011] is also anticipated to participate along with a wide array of regional experts from international organizations, government, NGOs, Civil Society, academia, youth, the diplomatic corps and more.

The Club de Madrid said that the roundtable would discuss “existing good practices and transformative new ideas to advance democracy in the different sub regions of the Asia-Oceania region.”

The Democracy Index 2016, published earlier this year ranked Timor-Leste as the top country in South East Asia based on a consideration of electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of the Government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, said “we welcome many distinguished guests who will visit our shores to participate in the Next Generation Democracy Roundtable. It is completely fitting that the delegates are coming to Timor-Leste just after we have conducted our parliamentary elections in a way that has been lauded by experts around the world. We know the discussions, which will include our own experts and contributors, are going to support the advancement of democracy in our region.”ENDS

28 July 2017

East Timor National Employment Strategy 2017-2030 guides action to promote growth

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 28th, 2017

National Employment Strategy 2017-2030 guides action to promote growth

The National Employment Strategy [NES] 2017-2030, entitled Productive Employment shall be a central means of Nation Building and Wealth Creation, emphasizes productive employment as “the basis for improving household livelihoods and the prosperity of the country as a whole, where equal participation of men and women will be the only way of achieving inclusive economic growth and social development.”

The strategy, approved by the Council of Ministers on the 13th of June, was officially presented on the 17th of July by the by the Secretary of State for Employment Policy and Vocational Training  [SEPFOPE] with the support of the Office of the Minister of State, Coordinator for Economic Affairs and the International Labour Organisation.

The NES makes a frank analysis of the current employment environment and sets out the ‘Triple Employment Challenge’ faced by Timor-Leste: to create (1) more and better employment opportunities for the existing labour force, (2) new employment for the young people entering the labour force and (3) employment opportunities for women, whose productive capacity is under utilized.

To respond to this triple challenge the document sets out 16 strategies under 3 pillars, namely, increase labour market demand, improve labour market supply and strengthen labour market institutions.

To increase labour market demand the strategies proposed are boosting private sector generated employment, increasing employment from labour migration schemes, maximizing the employment impact of Government spending, and developing local potentials. To improve labour market supply the NES encourages continued implementation of the Timor-Leste Technical and Vocational Education and Training Plan, stronger links between the Ministry of Education and SEPFOPE, continued strengthening of training centres and higher education, improving the social protection system and inclusiveness of vulnerable groups, and promoting gender equality. Finally to strengthen labour market institutions are strategies which include strengthening labour market policies, coordination structures, labour market information systems and links between job seekers and employment opportunities, as well as the review of the labour law and wage setting mechanism.

The NES also defines a set of indicators to monitor the achievement of targets and objectives set, includes a coordination structure, summarizes the planned 5 years milestones, sets out a methodology of implementation, and outlines the structure of a NES Secretariat.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the Sixth Constitutional Government throughout its mandate has vigorously pursed actions to increase the demand for labour by supporting private sector growth and by strengthening the quality of our labour supply through education, training and improved well being. There is no doubt that diversifying our economy, creating sustainable employment and encouraging private investment are crucial factors for our successful national development. The Government welcomes the NES as an important tool for the incoming VII Constitutional Government and urges its use as a guide for actions to boost employment.”ENDS
etljb east timor law and justice bulletin

25 July 2017

TIMFO.ORG Eyes on Oz - Global Attention on the Conciliation Outcome

July 25, 2017 Following on from Professor Michael Leach's excellent article, Timor-Leste elections suggest reframed cross-party government I have tracked down the Report of the Committee on Armed Services US House of Representatives - and yes - there on page 210 of the report, is this observation by the Committee: Full article here: http://timfo.org/new-blog-avenue/2017/7/25/eyes-on-oz-global-attention-on-the-conciliation-outcome

East Timor Election Results 2017

FRETILIN: 29.66% Mari Alkatiri

CNRT: 29.46% Xanana Gusmao

PLP (Popular Liberation Party): 10% (Taur Matan Ruak)

PD (Democratic Party): 10% (Fernando de Araújo)

Khunto (Kmanek Haburas Unidade Nacional Timor Oan): 7%

Other: 13%




Additional Posts on ETlJB

East Timor set for new coalition after ruling parties win poll

AFP on July 24, 2017, 4:55 pm Dili (East Timor) (AFP) - East Timor is set for another coalition after the two governing parties in Asia's youngest democracy clinched a majority of the votes in a trouble-free contest praised Monday as "remarkable" by observers.

The poll came at a tough time for the tiny, impoverished country, with key oil reserves running dry while the government struggles to resolve a long-running row with Australia over lucrative energy fields.

But despite fears of violence, there were no reports of unrest in the campaign and on the day of the Sunday poll, the first parliamentary election since the departure of United Nations peacekeepers in 2012. Full story here: https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/36479520/east-timor-set-for-new-coalition-after-ruling-parties-win-poll/#page1

See also

23 July 2017

East Timor: Asia's most Catholic nation heads to polls

CNRT Rally
Voters in the fledgling Southeast Asian nation, Timor-Leste, head to the polls this weekend hoping to elect a government that can alleviate poverty, healthcare and education issues that have stalled the tiny nation's progress.

Twenty-one political parties are vying for 65 parliamentary seats amid widespread concern over successive government's failure to use the predominantly Catholic nation's petroleum fund wisely in developing non oil and gas sectors, and creating jobs.

Full story here: http://www.ucanews.com/news/asias-most-catholic-nation-heads-to-polls/79817

See also on ETLJB

East Timorese form long lines to vote in parliamentary election

DILI (Reuters) - Voters in East Timor queued up on Saturday to cast their vote in the country's fourth parliamentary elections since independence in a ballot where campaigning has focused on development and jobs in Asia's youngest democracy.

The parliamentary election will determine the country's prime minister. The official results of the election is expected to be announced by Aug. 6, although preliminary results should come much earlier.

Full story at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-timor-election-idUSKBN1A705U

FRETILIN and CNRT in front in East Timor vote

East Timor's two largest parties are leading in the parliamentary elections, as counting continues into the night.

No official numbers had been released by 10pm local time on Saturday, but unofficial results had the two main parties, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) and the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), taking the majority of votes.
The two parties formed a de facto coalition in 2015, ushering in a new era of greater stability and unity.

But early indicators suggest voters have also shown support for opposition parties, including the Democratic Party (PD) the newly established People's Liberation Party (PLP) and the emerging Khunto party, Michael Leach, Timorese expert from Swinburne University told AAP.

Full story here: https://thewest.com.au/politics/main-parties-in-front-in-east-timor-vote-ng-s-1751383

Polls close in Parliamentary vote in East Timor

9News Polling booths have closed across East Timor in what observers say has been a largely peaceful election, where voters have been focusing on corruption, basic needs and economic opportunities for its young population.

Around 750,000 people were registered to vote in the parliamentary elections on Saturday, in which a colourful mix of 21 parties competed for 65 seats.

While there was a formal complaint made by the popular Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) of voter intimidation in villages in Baucau, in the country's east, in the capital Dili polling day has been peaceful.

Read more http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/07/22/03/32/e-timorese-vote-in-parliamentary-elections

Are you kidding me? Australia's statements on Maritime Boundaries at the UN. June 13, 2017

TIMOR.INFO Are you kidding me? Australia's statements on Maritime Boundaries at the UN. June 13, 2017 Read the full article here: http://timfo.org/new-blog-avenue/2017/6/13/are-you-kidding-me-australias-statements-on-maritime-boundaries-at-the-un

The arrogance and hypocrisy of the Australian Government are staggering!

Form of Petition to the Australian Parliament on the maritime boundary with East Timor

URGENT ALERT 2 Petition to the Australian Parliament to settle the maritime boundary with Timor-Leste

Dear Readers,

We continue our campaign on the Petition to the Australian House of Representatives to settle the maritime boundary with East Timor, following the lead of Sr Susan Connelly. This is part of an historical movement by citizens to speak their voices in objection to the disgraceful treatment of our East Timorese neighbours by successive Governments since 1975. We should all be aware of this history. We should all be prepared to assist the East Timorese people in every way we can. And signing the Petition in one way that you can help.

We implore you again to take action on this critical problem and rectify a great injustice by the Australian State against our poor, suffering East Timorese brothers and sisters. 

If you are having trouble getting to the House of Representatives to sign the petition, can you please copy and print the following, complete it and post it to:

Sister Susan Connelly, 
14 Yerrick Road, 
Lakemba NSW 2195 

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and certainly by 30 July 2017

NB: The new rules for Formal Petitions state that addresses are not required.


This petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House the absence of an internationally recognised border between Australia and Timor-Leste.

We therefore ask the House to take all appropriate measures to assist the Government to finalise as soon as possible a fair and permanent maritime boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste, using median line principles, in accordance with current international law.

We ask that this be done in good faith and as a matter of urgency.

NAME (please print clearly)                                                                      SIGNATURE

22 July 2017

URGENT ALERT: 30 July last chance to sign the Petition to Australian Parliament on maritime boundary with East Timor

URGENT ALERT The petition will close on Sunday 30 July 2017. 

ETLJB implores all Australian citizens to sign the petition. Please print, complete and send to:

Sister Susan Connelly, 14 Yerrick Road, Lakemba NSW 2195 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and certainly by 

30 July 2017

Every signature is important, so send the sheet even if it has only one signature. Signatures must be on this side of the paper.

Only original signatures can be presented via paper petition in Parliament. Photocopied or scanned signatures cannot be counted.

It can also be signed be on the Parliament website in June for 4 weeks. THANK YOU! 

Accusations of voter intimidation ahead of East Timor elections

21 July 2017 Sydney Morning Herald One of East Timor's largest political parties has denounced "acts of intimidation and terror" against some if its supporters ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections.
Fretilin issued a statement late on Friday saying its supporters and sympathisers in several villages in Baucau, the country's second largest town, had been told that unless they voted "for certain political parties" their houses would be ransacked and they would be killed. Full article here: http://www.smh.com.au/world/accusations-of-voter-intimidation-ahead-of-east-timor-elections-20170721-gxgcs2.html

Corruption on voters' minds in East Timor

SBS AUSTRALIA 22 July 2017 While East Timor's president has praised the peace and stability surrounding the parliamentary election, voters say it is time for the government to tackle corruption and daily needs in a country facing an uncertain economic future.
In a country dogged by conflict and political upheaval, there was calm and good humour on Saturday morning as polling stations opened for 750,000 people to cast their vote on 21 parties vying for 65 parliamentary seats.
Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres and his wife, Cidalia Mouzinho Guterres, joined families and several other members of parliament at a polling station at Farol primary school in the capital, Dili, where he praised the "peace and stability" of the campaign. Full article at:

21 July 2017

11,600 Australian Citizens sign Petition to the Parliament to settle the maritime boundary with East Timor

Look how much closer it is to East Timor!
Here is the link folks. If you are an Australian citizen, may I make one last plea to you to sign this historical petition for justice for our impoverished neighbour, Timor-Leste


Update from Sr Susan Connelly; As of today, Friday 21st, we have 11,660 signatures on the paper petition concerning the non-existent border in the Timor Sea.

There is only one week to go, and the signatures need to be with me by Sunday 30 July. (We may be able to squeeze a day or two of grace before we have to get them to Parliament.)

Fantastic effort by so many!  There are sure to be more this coming in week, so we may just make the 15,000.  Please put this petition out too. Am attaching it, just in case.

Many thanks

And many thanks to you Sr Susan for leading the charge against the avaricious global energy corporations and the spineless and spiteful Australian government.

I had a thought that the Australian Government locked itself into a corner when it bargained with Indonesia over maritime boundaries on the continental shelf theory. If it were now to settle the boundary on the contemporary median line principle with East Timor, I'm sure the Indonesians would feel robbed by the deal they made with Australia. Or perhaps its a combination of the energy cartels interests in cohorts with the government that also accumulates ill-gotten revenue from the CMATS Treaty. What a shameful international outlaw Australia is. And a hypocrite to lecture other polities on how they should behave as good citizens of the international community of nations.

And aside from the legal arguments, do we not owe the people of East Timor our utmost support as they struggle to recover from the 24-year long genocide inflicted by the Indonesian State? The revenues from East Timor's sovereign resources is so critical to the national budget and nation building. Australia, like the rest of the world save the Lusophone nations, turned its back on the East Timorese people while they were massacred, raped, tortured, murdered and their culture corrupted and destroyed. Entire groups were murdered. We even collaborated with the Soeharto death cult of the Indonesian Orde Baru. Going so far as to negotiate the Timor Sea Treaty with Indonesia in 1989.
Credit: The Monthly

Recall the broadcasted vision of Ali Alitas and Gareth Evans flying above the Timor Sea drinking champagne and celebrating the agreement. It consolidated Indonesian hegemony in East Timor and acquiesced in the genocide that the Indonesians were perpetrating on the ground.

It is also timely to recall the eternal debt that Australia and our citizens owe to the East Timorese people that arose in WWII when the brave East Timorese people, who readily recognised which side they should support, put their own lives at risk protecting Australian military forces in East Timor during the Japanese invasion.

There are many compelling, rational and ethical reasons why the refusal of the Australian State to settle the maritime boundary with East Timor should not be tolerated.

You can contribute to this campaign for international justice for East Timor by signing the petition.

Here's the link again: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1991/9.html

15 July 2017

Timor-Leste's Political Unity

The Diplomat By Flavio Simoes July 12, 2017Don't  be fooled by the number of political parties. Timorese have a remarkable degree of consensus on major issues.
This is an election year in Timor-Leste, with the presidential election in March to be followed by the parliamentary elections, scheduled for July 22. Together, these polls will determine the leadership of the country for another five years.

The 2017 presidential election saw yet another former guerrilla fighter, this time Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, from one of the main parties, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), emerge as the victor.

On July 22, Timorese will once again head to the polls to vote for their new government and National Parliament representatives. Timorese take their civic duty to vote very seriously, with voter turnout in the presidential election at over 70 percent, just slightly lower than in the previous election.


14 July 2017

JSMP launches its Report on Contact Points Between Community Dispute Resolution and the Formal Justice System

Press Release 14 July 2017

JSMP launches its Report on Contact Points Between Community Dispute Resolution and the Formal Justice System

On 14 July 2017, JSMP, with technical support from USAID Mai Munisípiu project (formerly Ba Distrito) launched its thematic research report on how the courts (formal justice) consider community resolutions of disputes (non-formal justice).

The report titled “Court and Alternative Dispute Resolution” is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United State Agency for International Development, as part of JSMP’s partnership with Mai Munisípiu project implemented by Counterpart International and Tetra Tech DPK.

The report is produced based on research and monitoring JSMP conducted in Baucau, Covalima, Dili, and Oecusse District Courts during a five month period (January to May 2017).  Throughout the period, JSMP observed analyzed a total of 108 cases from which 26 were resolved within families/communities before brought to the court while 82 cases were conciliated before and by the courts. The objective of the report is to have a better understanding of how the courts, which administer the formal justice system, take into consideration resolutions of disputes which occurred at the community level in their decision-making process. In giving his observation to the report, the Executive Director of JSMP Mr. Luis Oliveira Sampaio said “the research also found that conciliation that occurred before the court was an important instrument to reduce court caseload.”

The report concludes that although community resolutions have positive aspects that are beneficial to the formal justice system-i.e. minimizing the court workload by solving some of the minor crimes (semi public crimes), the courts’ consideration of the resolutions should follow the existing laws. “Basically the Office of Prosecution Services also has the competence to withdraw cases constituting semipublic crimes during the questioning which can lead to terminate the process, but this does not happen so far” - Mr. Sampaio continued.

The President of the Court of Appeal Hon. Judge Deolindo dos Santos who gave his remarks at the launch event said “The Timorese Constitution recognizes customary norms and practices which have existed long before the courts. This practice, which varies from one place to another,  is quite widespread throughout Timor-Leste attempts to provide solutions to problems or disputes in the communities”

Also present at the launch event was Dr. Jorge Graca- the President of Legislative Reform and Justice Sector Commission (CRL). The Commission is established to undertake research studies and make recommendations to the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) about legislative reform necessary to strengthen the justice system. In his remarks, the president of CRL stated that “community dispute resolutions are have their own social legitimacy and spiritual power which originated from historical convictions and this is what our communities practice. Value of community dispute resolutions are underpinned by a collective will of those involved in committing offence to create peace and social harmony, and it’s allowed by our Constitution”.

Timor-Leste Versaun rua Tetum no Englesh - JSMP Lansa Relatóriu kona-ba Pontu Kontaktu Entre Rezolusaun Komunitária no Prosesu Justisa

Komunikadu Imprensa 14 Jullu 2017

JSMP Lansa Relatóriu kona-ba Pontu Kontaktu Entre Rezolusaun Komunitária no Prosesu Justisa Formál

Iha loron 14 Jullu 2017, JSMP liu hosi USAID nia projetu Mai Munisípiu ne’ebé uluk hanaran Ba Distrito lansa relatóriu temátika hosi peskiza ne’ebé JSMP halo kona-ba oinsá tribunál (justisa formál) konsidera rezolusaun ba disputa iha komunidade (justisa naun-formál).

Relatóriu ho títulu “Tribunál no Rezolusaun Disputa Alternativu” ne’e konsege prodúz tanba hetan apoiu Jenerozu husi Povu Amerikanu liu husi Ajénsia Estadus Unidus ba Dezenvolvimentu Internasionál nu’udar parte husi JSMP nia parseria ho projetu Mai Munisípiu ne’ebé implementa husi Counterpart Internasionál no Tetra Tech DPK.

Relatóriu ne’e hakerek bazeia ba monitorizasaun no peskiza iha Tribunál Baucau, Covalima, Dili, no Oecusse durante fulan-lima nia laran (Janeiru to’o Maiu 2017). Durante períodu ne’ebé refere, JSMP halo monitorizasaun no avaliasaun ba totál kazu 108 no entre kazu 108 ne’e iha kazu 26 mak parte sira deside hodi resolve tuir família/komunidade hafoin lori ba tribunál ka molok lori ba tribunál no kazu 82 mak Tribunál rasik mak halo tentativa konsiliasaun. Objetivu relatóriu ne’e atu haree oinsá tribunál nu’udar órgaun independente ida ne’ebé administra justisa formál konsidera rezolusaun ne’ebé akontese iha nivel komunitária durante prosesu julgamentu no halo desizaun ba kazu sira. Fó ninia observasaun ba relatóriu ne’e, Diretór Ezekutivu JSMP, Sr. Luis Oliveira Sampaio, hatete “Peskiza ne’e mós deskobre katak konsiliasaun ne’ebé halo iha Tribunál nu’udar instrumentu importante ida atu redús pezu/todan iha tribunál.”

Relatóriu ne’e konklui katak maske rezolusaun komunitária iha aspetu pozitivu balun- porezemplu bele hakmaan todan husi tribunál liu-liu ba ofensa ki’ik sira (krime semi públiku), tribunál ninia konsiderasaun ba rezolusaun sira ne’e tenke haktuir saida mak lei permite. “Tuir loloos Ministériu Públiku mós iha kompeténsia atu deziste keixa ba kazu semi públiku sira durante prosesu inkéritu, ne’ebé rezulta iha terminasaun prosesu sira ba kazu hirak ne’e, maibe ida-ne’e lakontese durante ne’e,” Sr. Sampaio hatutan.

Presidente Tribunál Rekursu Honorável Juis Dr. Deolindo Dos Santos ne’ebé mós fó ninia intervensaun durante lansamentu relatóriu ne’e hatete, “Konstituisaun Timor-Leste rekoñese norma prátika kostumáriu hirak ne’e no pratika uzu kostumáriu ne’e eziste tiha ona antes justisa formál estadu nian ka tribunál sira eziste. Pratika hirak ne’e lao iha Timor laran tomak ho ninia maneira rasik hodi fó solusaun ba komunidade sira nia problema.”

Marka mós prezensa iha eventu lansamentu ne’e Dr. Jorge Graça nu’udar Presidente Komisaun Reforma Lejizlativa no Sektór justisa. Komisaun ne’e ninia objetivu mak atu halo estudu, analiza, no halo rekomendasaun sira ba governu Timor-Leste kona-ba reforma lejizlativa no sektór justisa ne’ebé karik presiza atu haforsa liu-tan sistema justisa iha Timor-Leste. Iha ninia intervensaun, Presidente KRL hato’o “Rezolusaun disputa komunitáriu iha natureza sosial no meius sira ne’e iha ninia lejitimidade sosial rasik, iha forsa espirituál ne’ebé mai hosi konviksaun istóriku no ida-ne’e mak ita nia komunidade aplika no ninia valor desizoins sira bazeiadu ba vontade koletivu hosi sira ne’ebé involve hodi kria paz no harmonia sosial, no konstituisaun permite pratika ida-ne’e.”

Council of Ministers meeting of July 11th, 2017

Council of Ministers meeting on July 11th, 2017

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting of July 11th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and the Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers saw a Government Resolution approved on the appointment of Rosário da Graça Maia for Chairman of the Board of Directors of TATOLI - Timor-Leste News Agency, PI, for the next four years.

The interim Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture made a presentation titled Developing Brand Tourism Timor-Leste. With the support of the NGO, the Asia Foundation,  branding components to promote Timor-Leste as an attractive and unique tourist destination have been created for the international market. These components were approved by the Council of Minsiters.

The Secretary of State for Youth and Sports saw two Government Resolutions approved: one on the Youth Parliament (in Tetum, Parlamento Foinsa'e Nian) and another on the National Policy for the Development of Sports. After eight years of operation, the Youth Parliament has established itself as a successful instrument. During these years, changes have been made that were not contemplated in the original programme, namely the increase in the number of parliamentarians, in order to ensure the participation of two representatives of young people with disabilities, the extension to a maximum of three years of the “term in office” of the young parliamentarians, to ensure and maximize the effects of the programme, and the strengthening of activities within the framework of leadership and entrepreneurship.

,The Government decided to adopt a National Policy for the Development of Sports, a priority identified in the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. This decision comes in the wake of several initiatives that have contributed to the strengthening of the entities that make up the sports movement, in particular the Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympic Committees, the Sports Confederation and the federations, associations and clubs active in the country.

Finally, the Council of Ministers approved the draft National Parliament Resolution approving the Agreement on Technical Cooperation and Cooperation Programme of Volunteers from Japan to Overseas between Timor-Leste and Japan. Presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, this agreement aims to strengthen the bonds of friendship and enhance cooperation between the two countries.

11 July 2017

Timor-Leste votes at UN to endorse treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 11th, 2017

Timor-Leste votes at UN to endorse treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

On the 7th of July 2017 Timor-Leste was one of 122 of the United Nations 192 Member States to endorse a landmark Draft treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The treaty will be open for signatures at the UN Headquarters in New York from the 20 September 2017. Each State Party that signs will undertake to never under any circumstances “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

Timor-Leste’s position on this issue is entirely consistent with its long held advocacy of peace clearly expressed by then Prime Minister H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 when he said:

“The responses to the crises faced by humankind cannot be exacerbated by the desire to end war by waging war. Instead, they must be based on the desire to build a world of peace, supported by dialogue and by an effort – herculean, if need be – to respond to the root causes of problems that lead to terrorism, racism, extremism and intolerance.”

Timor-Leste is a State Party to the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the Mine Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Timor-Leste’s involvement in the work to prohibit nuclear arms helped to produce the United Nations First Committee’s 2013 Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons which says “The catastrophic effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design cannot be adequately addressed. All efforts must be exerted to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.”

This Statement was one of many ‘stepping stones’ leading to the recent UN Conference which produced the draft treaty endorsed last week. The next step in this journey is to secure the maximum number of State signatures during and following the United Nations General Assembly this September.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “Timor-Leste, should be proud of its contribution to this draft treaty. As a country knowing all too well the scars of war, we must continue to be counted amongst those who boldly advocate for tolerance and peace.”ENDS
east timor law and justice bulletin

10 July 2017

Campaign Period Proceeding as Preparations are made for Parliamentary Election Day in East Timor

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 10th, 2017

Campaign Period Proceeding as Preparations are made for Election Day  

The official campaign period for Timor-Leste’s parliamentary election has now entered its final week and the National Electoral Commission [CNE], the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration [STAE], the Ministry of State Administration and Ministry of the Interior continue work in their respective roles to ensure that all is in place for a calm and orderly election.

Voters will head to the polls on the 22nd of July. The official campaign period, which began on the 20th of June, ends on the 19th of July. Twenty parties and one coalition are vying for their place in the 65-seat National Parliament.

A total of 760,907 voters are registered and 1,118 polling stations in 843 polling centres will be ready to facilitate their vote. The STAE have developed an online map to show the position of polling centres. Following a successful pilot program during the Presidential Election polling stations will be open in Australia [Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin], Portugal [Lisbon], South Korea [Seoul] and the UK [London].

Accredited international electoral observers, whose participation is welcomed by the Government, are arriving in Timor-Leste in significant numbers. The European Union has already installed 13 teams across the national territory. Following the Presidential Elections in May the EU Observation Mission “concluded that the election was well-run and peaceful, commending the electoral authorities for delivering a well-administered and inclusive process”.

The STAE continue to roll out their public information campaign to call on all registered voters to participate. Specific materials have been developed to encourage and inform young voters, women and people with disabilities.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the election process and preparations are ‘on track’ as we approach voting day, when with dignity we will exercise our rights, won at great cost, as a free and democratic Nation. ”ENDS

09 July 2017

Timorese President promulgates legal regime of land ownership

WARNING MACHINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL AT http://www.dn.pt/lusa/interior/presidente-timorense-promulga-regime-juridico-de-titularidade-de-terras-8531789.html

The president of the Timorese Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, promulgated the legal regime of land ownership after the Court of Appeal did not pronounce for the unconstitutionality of the diploma, informed the presidency in a statement.

After several years of impasse East Timor has a new special regime for the definition of real estate ownership, essential to begin to define the whole complex architecture of land tenure in Timor-Leste, where inherited titles live together Administrations plus customary uses.

This is a diploma, Lu-Olo explains in the communiqué, which "ensures the safety of the population, the State and all those who have the right to land".

An initial version of the regime that was prepared by the IV Constitutional Government was vetoed in 2012 by the head of State, José Ramos-Horta, this year the National Parliament sent a revised proposal of the law.

The previous President Taur Matan Ruak had requested in April the preventive inspection of the respective constitutionality to the Court of Appeal that did not pronounce for the unconstitutionality of the text.

Taur Matan Ruak had raised questions of constitutionality, inter alia, the balance of the system of rules relating to the recognition of different prior property titles, the articulation of the special regime for the definition of the first property titles with the general regime and the conditions of access The Law and the Courts in the definition of land ownership. "

The text, which will now be published in Jornal da República, was approved on February 6 by the Timorese National Parliament.

The final version was the subject of almost 30 proposals for change in committee of the specialty, in an intense debate between the representatives of the parliamentary benches.

Several elements of the bill had sparked some controversy among parliamentary representation forces, especially around issues such as ownership of secondary rights to land and property.

A complicated process given the nature of the impact of the various systems in the country: customary and traditional law, Portuguese colonial administration, Indonesian occupation, transitional UN administration and post-independence period.

Among the solutions is the recognition of previous rights validly acquired "during previous administrations", and created the figure of "informal property rights, with a view to correcting the injustices practiced before the independence of Timor-Leste, due to the lack of formalization of rights ".

Access to land is guaranteed in two ways: "on the one hand, through the creation of the National Land Registry, allowing the emergence of a secure and transparent real estate market, on the other hand, by clarifying the assets belonging to the Domain of the State ".

The decree also provides criteria for the resolution of disputes and the principle of compensation when there is "duplicity of rights."

The law also recognizes community ownership and creates the picture of community protection zones, aspects that will be further elaborated in later legislation.

The law passed by the Parliament was later sent to the President of the Republic for promulgation.

Timor's parliament approves land and property regime

WARNING MACHINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL AT http://observador.pt/2017/02/06/parlamento-de-timor-aprova-regime-de-titularidade-de-terras-e-propriedades/

The Observer 6/2/2017, 7:38  The Timorese National Parliament unanimously approved, in the specialty and in the final overall vote, the draft law on the "special regime on the ownership of immovable property".

The East Timorese parliament approved unanimously, in the specialty and in the final global vote, the proposal of law of the "special regime on the ownership of immovable property", a diploma considered essential for the economic development of the country. "It is very important that this legislation has been adopted," Justice Minister Ivo Valente told Lusa after the vote, which was present in the final debate in plenary.

"It is fundamental for the future of the country and our citizens. It is a sign that we are making progress in terms of the development of the country, because we have a rule that will guide us to find some solutions to some of the disputes that exist on the ground, "he said. The text approved Monday, in its final version, was the subject of almost 30 proposals for amendments in committee of the specialty, in an intense debate between the representatives of the parliamentary benches.

Several elements of the bill had sparked some controversy among parliamentary representation forces, especially around issues such as ownership of secondary rights to land and property. Approval of the law, which will now be referred to the President of the Republic for promulgation, is the final step after several attempts to pass a land and property law.

A complicated process given the complex nature of the impact of the various systems in the country: customary and traditional law, Portuguese colonial administration, Indonesian occupation, UN transitional administration and post-independence period. A first decree was vetoed in March 2012 by the then President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, who alleged a lack of consensus among civil society regarding some of the envisaged solutions. In mid-2016 the current diploma was passed in plenary in general and the debate in the specialty has been accelerated in recent weeks to be able to approve the diploma before the end of the legislature - legislative elections are planned for July.

The text considers that "regularization of ownership of real property" is "fundamental to ensure peace and social and economic development of the country" with solutions. Among the solutions is the recognition of previous rights validly acquired "during previous administrations", and created the figure of "informal property rights, with a view to correcting the injustices practiced before the independence of Timor-Leste, due to the lack of formalization of rights ".

"This informal property right corresponds to a traditional and individual right to land, allowing those who have not previously obtained documents regarding their property rights to be able to invoke them, on the same terms as those who previously had their rights formalized. In this field, this law operates the formalization of these rights through its registration, "he explains.

Access to land is guaranteed in two ways: "on the one hand, through the creation of the National Land Registry, allowing the emergence of a secure and transparent real estate market; On the other hand, through the clarification of the assets belonging to the domain of the State ". It also provides criteria for the resolution of disputes and the principle of compensation where there is "duplicity of rights". The law also recognizes community ownership and creates the picture of community protection zones, aspects that will be further elaborated in later legislation.

East Timor Parliamentary committee approves in the special law Timorese land and property law


31 Jan 2017 09:10 Lusa

Committee A of the Timorese National Parliament has approved in the specialty the bill of the "special regime on the ownership of immovable property," an essential diploma for Timor-Leste that has been 'stuck' for several years.

The committee's approval - which will now have to be approved in the final and global plenary vote, yet to be scheduled - was completed during a retreat that brought committee members together in a hotel on the outskirts of Dili.

Several elements of the bill had sparked some controversy among parliamentary representation forces, especially around aspects such as ownership of secondary rights to land and property.

In particular the benches were divided in the appraisal of article 38 of the proposal that assigns the property right to the declarant of the previous secondary right title, if it is "in the current and peaceful possession of the property declared."

The impasse was eventually solved and other differences between the four parliamentary seats were also "remedied," parliamentary sources told Lusa, allowing agreement on a law considered essential to the country.

Timor-Leste has already made several attempts to pass a land and property law, a complicated process given the complex nature of the impact of the various systems in the country: customary and traditional law, Portuguese colonial administration, Indonesian occupation, transitional UN administration And the post-independence period.

A first decree was vetoed in March 2012 by the then President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, who alleged a lack of consensus among civil society regarding some of the envisaged solutions.

In mid-2016 the current diploma was passed in plenary in general and the debate in the specialty has been accelerated in recent weeks to be able to approve the diploma before the end of the legislature - legislative elections are planned for July.

Property rights recognise rights previously acquired validly "during previous administrations," as well as creating "informal property rights, with a view to redressing the injustices committed before Timor-Leste's independence, due to the lack of formalisation of rights."

Access to land is guaranteed in two ways: on the one hand, through the creation of the National Land Registry, "allowing for the emergence of a secure and transparent real estate market" and, on the other hand, clarifying "the property belonging to the domain of the State, enabling it to achieve a better management of its assets ".

The law also recognises community ownership and creates the picture of community protection zones.

The diploma that now goes to the final and global vote is part of a package of three diplomas approved in June last year and which begin the process of legislation on land and property in Timor-Leste, one of the most important aspects for the country's development.

Also part of the package is the Law on the Basis of Spatial Planning, which the Government approved in April 2016, which provides for "the existence of two major types of territorial planning instruments: those of national scope and those of municipal scope."

The third law is the law on "expropriation for public utility" which "defines the regime applicable to the expropriation of immovable property and establishes rules and procedures for cases in which the State, for the purpose of pursuing a public purpose purpose, Is driven by the absence of other viable alternative solutions, to call itself the ownership of real property that was in the sphere of the private domain. ASP // ISG Lusa / The End http://24.sapo.pt/noticias/internacional/artigo/comissao-parlamentar-aprova-na-especialidade-lei-de-terras-e-propriedades-timorense_21866646.html

07 July 2017

Young Voters Will Decide Timor-Leste's Parliamentary Election

A total of 21 political parties are registered to contest the Timor-Leste parliamentary election on July 22. In the race for political office, many observers are keeping an eye on four political parties – the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin), National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), Democratic Party (PD), and People’s Liberation Party (PLP).

In our previous article, we noted that young voters will help to decide the result of the upcoming parliamentary election as their loyalties are up for grabs. http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/young-voters-will-decide-timor-lestes-parliamentary-election/

JSMP East Timor Preference for the application of Article 154 and Article 145 of the Penal Code in cases characterized as domestic violence


Justice Update
7 July 2017

Preference for the application of Article 154 and Article 145 of the Penal Code
in cases characterized as domestic violence
(Commemorating seven years since the implementation of the Law Against Domestic Violence)

The 7th July of this year will mark seven years since the Law Against Domestic Violence (LADV)[1] was implemented. Since the implementation of the LADV some progress has been made, especially in terms of acknowledging and confirming that domestic violence is a public crime[2] and more cases have been brought before the courts in comparison with previous years, before the LADV came into force.

The LADV establishes a legal framework for effectively processing cases of domestic violence through the formal justice system, as well as providing relevant measures to deter and prevent domestic violence and to provide legal aid to victims.

Despite significant progress, there is still confusion relating to the most relevant and appropriate articles that should be applied in cases involving domestic violence characterized as physical violence in pratice. JSMP has observed that in most crimes involving domestic violence prosecutors charge offenders with simple offences against physical integrity pursuant to Article 145 of the Penal Code (PC).[3]

04 July 2017

Timor Leste PM comes out supporting LGBTI rights

Gay Star News Timor Leste PM comes out supporting LGBTI rightsIn an act described as a ‘breath of hope in the region’, Timor Leste’s Prime Minister has made a definitive statement in support of LGBTI rights.

Rui Maria De Araujo is the Prime Minister of Timor Leste (East Timor) and is now the first Southeast Asian leader to publicly support LGBTI rights. The small country is located in the Timor Sea between Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

It gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 and has since worked to build itself as an autonomous nation-state in the region. Timor Leste is known as a region leader on human rights and the PM’s statement confirms that.

‘Everyone has the potential to contribute to the development of the nation, including members of the LGBT community,’ De Araujo said in a video last week.

‘Discrimination, disrespect and abuse towards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does not provide any benefit to our nation.’

De Argujo argued for the young nation to develop its people needed to live free from violence and discrimination.

‘For a nation to develop well, every young person needs to be able to grow up in an environment that provides them with protection, love, and opportunities for personal growth – regardless of their differences,’ he said.

‘Parents need to accept their children, and schools need to create an environment where all students are protected.

‘This is how we can create an inclusive nation, where everyone can participate in the development process and make the most of the independence we all fought for.
‘One for all, all for one.’

LGBTI advocates in Asia and Timor Leste celebrated the PM’s statement including Natalino Ornai Guterres who helped orchestrate the historic moment.

Ornai Guterres heads the organization Hatutan Youth and he wrote to the PM asking him to become involved in the LGBTI awareness initiative. Only hours after reaching out to him the PM agreed to record the video. The prompt response shows a willingness to promote LGBTI rights in Timor Leste.
‘It means a lot because throughout this whole time, none of the government officials, let alone a Prime Minister has said anything on the issue,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘The country seems to promoting human rights in the region and the UN, we keep voting yes for every resolution about LGBTI rights, but on the ground there’s still quite a few problems we need to tackle.

‘The Prime Minister is a family man with an open mind… he is also aware of the issue and knows of the problem.’

Ripple effect
The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (Association of Southeast Asian Nations and sexual orientations and gender identity expression) also welcomed the PM’s statement.

‘Assurance and positive encouragement from high level government officials is crucial in order to make LGBTIQ people feel accepted and welcomed in their own home countries,’ said Ryan Silverio, regional coordinator, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus.

‘We are glad that Timor Leste is becoming a breathe of hope in the region. We hope that his action creates positive ripples, inspire more leaders in our region to take a stand for inclusion and human rights.’

Timor Leste’s first Pride march
The PM’s statement came during a very big week for Timor Leste’s LGBTI community.
Last week the capital, Dili, hosted a huge LGBTI Pride event and the country’s first Pride parade. A Catholic nun who runs a shelter for vulnerable people, including LGBTI people, opened the proceedings with a prayer.

‘We marched with a marching band and everyone came with their signs about diversity and inclusiveness and equality,’ Ornai Guterres said.

The march ended in a concert with many of Timor Leste’s leading musicians performing.
Check out the best photos from the first Pride Parade here.


03 July 2017

East Timor Judge Assaulted in Baucau District


Press Release 

Baucau District Court
28 June 2017

Judge from the Baucau District Court was physically assaulted near Mobile Court in Lospalos Administrative Post, Lautem Municipality
JSMP calls for heightened security for judges whilst they are performing their duties  
On 8 June 2017, at 09.45 a.m., a judge from the Baucau District Court was assaulted in the vicinity of the mobile court in Lospalos Administrative Post, Lautem Municipality.
On the morning of the incident, the judge was standing with a court officer on the veranda of the former Lospalos Administrative Post PNTL Office. The location was being used to hold the mobile court session. A person identified as a visitor (entering to process a document before the police) walked between the judge and the court officer. The judge asked the individual to go around, but the person did not accept this and pushed the judge and proceeded to attempt to punch the judge, but missed, because the judge managed to grab the person's arm. However, the individual continued to make offensive gestures with his hand towards the judge.

This act occurred without any clear motive, but JSMP believed that it is possible that the individual did not know that the person standing at the former police station was a judicial authority.

There were no police officers providing security at the location of the mobile court at the time. After the incident, police arrived, but he did not take any action against the individual. The individual attempted to depart on motorcycle, but a prosecutor arrived and ordered the police to identify the individual and to put him in a police cell pending an investigation.

JSMP is disappointed and very concerned with this situation because judicial actors continue to be assaulted because some people lack sufficient knowledge about the role of judges, or because of other reasons. Judges need to be comfortable and safe when carrying out their work, and all people need to respect judicial authorities in all situations,said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

In research conducted by JSMP between July – September 2013 entitled "Access to Justice in Timor-Leste: The Welfare of Judicial Actors and the Capacity of Legal Institutions"[1]  JSMP also raised the issue of the security of judicial actors. As part of this research, some judicial actors conveyed their concern that whilst performing their duties they face intimidation and various threats from defendants or unknown people.
There have been at least six recent incidents directed at judges and judicial officers including threats against the security of judges because of their work or for other reasons/motivations.

These incidents are listed below:
1. On 27 January 2017, a judge from the Suai District Court was physically assaulted by a member of the F-FDTL while travelling on his motorcycle from Suai to Dili. This judge was assaulted in Ainaro when he rode his motorcycle (private) on a road near the F-FDTL premises at the moment they were engaging in a flag lowering ceremony. At that time, the judge had decided to stop his motorcycle until the flag lowering ceremony was finished, before proceeding.After the flag was lowered the judge continued with his journey but members of the F-FDTL stopped the judge. The judge asked why he was being stopped, however, the members of the F-FDTL did not accept this and argued with him.The judge told them that he was a judge. However, several members did not acknowledge this and continued to act aggressively towards the judge and made verbal threats that they would beat him to death.

2. On 10 August 2015, at 2 p.m.when the Judge Administrator of the Baucau District Court left his office he saw that the front driver's side window of the car had been smashed by some unknown people. Unfortunately the, security guard who provides security at the Court did not see or identify who had thrown stones at the judge's car;

3. On 28 June 2015, a judge from the Baucau District Court was physically assaulted by a member of the F-FDTL when he was travelling from Dili to Baucau. At that time some F-FDTL members were operating a checkpoint at the Metinaro directorate in relation to a joint operation as part of the Mauk-Moruk case. At the check point the judge introduced himself as a judge and also explained that according to the law court vehicles should not be inspected, but the F-FDTL members ignored this and told him “This is an order. Just follow it, and don't say anything”. They also asked the judge "so what if you are from the court?" After being subjected to this aggression the judge asked the F-FDTL members “what he had done or why would beat him...” However, the F-FDTL members did not respond and continued to make verbal threats and said it would be better for the judge to leave rather than making them angry, because they could beat him again.

4. On 29 May 2014 a judicial officer from the Baucau District Court was physicallyassaulted whilst carrying out his work in the field;[2]

5. On 8 April 2014, a female judge was assaulted at her residence in Suai, by an unidentified person who was suspected of being involved in cases that were being processed.[3]

These acts of aggression and behavior have demonstrated serious threats against the personal security of judges. Even though there is no accurate data on the motivation behind these incidents, in several cases, the aggression was directed at judges in relation to their work, status, or because of the specific cases they were handling.
Also, in other cases JSMP presumes that the members of a State institution who identified themselves as the military felt that they have more power than other institutions and they felt free to exert pressure and intimidation on anybody. Individuals evidenced that they have no respect for judicial authorities or other institutions, as demonstrated in the cases mentioned above. This is very serious because normally in democratic country like Timor-Leste, which is based on the rule of law, judges are entitled to security and dignified treatment and respect from all entities, including the military or civilians.

These assaults and threats will have a negative impact on the ability of judges to exercise their functions and enjoy their freedom as judicial actors because they will feel threatened and concerned with potential assaults and other threats that can in the future as the result of performing their duties.

JSMP asked the Minister of Justice and Minister of Defence and Security to respond to the security of judicial actors whilst they are performing their duties out in the field or in any location, including the provision of security at their official residences.
JSMP believes that the role of judges and other judicial authorities is critical to the community the development of the entire State, however these duties often carry risks towards their personal security.

In relation to the mobile courts in particular, JSMP asks for effective coordination between the security institutions to ensure the provision of adequate security whilst mobile courts are being conducted. Without necessary security, judicial authorities need to assume unnecessary risk and often risk being exposed to violence. They must assess the security situation and potential security risks, including cases being tried at the mobile courts, to avoid unexpected incidents. 

JSMP encourages the security institutions to show respect for judicial authorities, when members of these authorities identify themselves as judges or other judicial officers.
JSMP also asks for the superior institutions of the Court and the Superior Council of Judicial Magistrates to give careful consideration to these issues and to coordinate with relevant institutions in the security sector and the area of defence to ensure security for judges. This includes providing adequate and safe transport for judges working in remote courts.

JSMP hopes that incidents like this will prompt the competent bodies to pay attention to this important issue, and they should not wait until this problem poses a risk to someone's life.