Timor-Leste Legal News December 2007 (Part 2)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 31 December 2007
PM Xanana: “Don’t politicize the IDPs” – Prime Minister (PM) Xanana Gusmao asked the members of the national parliament (MPs) not to politicize the IDP problem for the sake of individual interests, since it is genuinely a national problem. “This is not a small issue; people should collaborate to help solve it so that people are no longer forced to live in tents,” said PM Xanana whilst celebrating Christmas with the IDPs on Tuesday (26/12) in Sional Camp, Dili. PM Xanana also said that in the next year he will help the IDPs to return to their homes, but in the meantime will focus on improving their security situation. (STL)
NP to approve the state budget of 2008 – The National Parliament (NP) has approved a US$348.1 million state budget for 2008. Fernanda Borges of National Unity Party (PUN) said that she would abstain from the voting, since the state budget has no transparency when it comes to spending the oil money which belongs to all Timorese. Fretilin, as the opposition, voted against the state budget for similar reasons, claiming that it is not transparent, that it is unconstitutional, and will create a situation where the Timorese learn to live in dependency. The Alliance, which consists of CNRT, PSD, PD, ASDT and UNDERTIM, voted in favour, and stated that they trust in Prime Minister Gusmao and hope that the state budget of 2008 will solve the prevailing national problems. (STL)
Fernando Lasama: “Ashamed to see the situation of the IDPs” – The President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo, said he feels ashamed at the displacement of Timorese in their own country. “I am ashamed because when Indonesia withdrew from Timor-Leste, we loved and respected each other, and believed that we would no longer be a displaced people because we finally had our own land, but the reality of the situation is different,” said Mr. Lasama (NP) (STL)
NP accepts extra funds for RTTL: 7 days of broadcasting a week – The Corporation for Radio and Television in Timor-Leste (RTTL) received extra funding of US$7,500 to allow broadcasting to take place seven days a week in 2008. Until now, the working status of RTTL staff has been the same as other public servants: eight hours per day and five days in a week, with no extra hours, which has restricted when RRTL can broadcast to the public.
NP on the new step towards democratization – The NP of Timor-Leste has taken a step towards creating a true democracy in the nation, since MPs all are participating in the institution, and have put together a good budget for the future of Timor-Leste. “In the previous parliament, the opposition never cast votes in favour of any of the Government’s proposals, but now some opposition MPs vote for the Alliance and some Alliance MPs also vote for the opposition. It is a positive sign,” said Mario Viegas Carrascalão of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) on Friday (28/12) in the NP.
UNDP Justice System Programme Newsletter November/December 2007 Highlights of this Edition: PNTL officers receive training at the Legal Training Centre The Prosecutor-General’s Office, together with the Ministry of Justice, through the Legal Training Centre, launched a training course on the Penal Procedure Code for the National Police of Timor-Leste on 26 November.
Human Rights celebration day at Becora Prison – On 10 December Becora Prison prepared a Ceremony to celebrate Human Rights Day and to present to the guests the vocational training received by the prison population in the manufacture of several products, including carpentry, clothes and Tais confection.
District Courts Statistical Data for 2007
During 2007 the district courts of Dili, Baucau, Suai and Oecusse had been staffed with seven international and eleven national judges.
The Prosecutor-General’s Office, together with the Ministry of Justice, in the police, and with the good work of these officers will facilitate the work of the courts in trials and decisions”, said Dr. Cláudio Ximenes. During the training, the participants received instructions on the cooperation between the Police, Public Ministry and the Courts; on different types of cases and the role of the police in cases related to homicides, sexual abuse, violations, robbery etc. The first 40 police officers came from all the districts and were based at the PNTL headquarters during the week of the training. The first course was one week long and was delivered entirely in Tetum by the national prosecutors who were sworn-in this year. The participants received copies of the Penal Procedure Code in Tetum and a booklet on procedures to follow during an arrest or on how, if possible, to stop a crime or its consequences and how to contact the Public Ministry in each of the districts. According to the Prosecutor- General’s Office the provision of this type of training course is expected for 150 national police officers around the country in the next year depending on the outcomes of this first training course.
From the 8 until the 13 of November the Direction of Prison Services and Social Reinsertion organized an event to remember the youth who died at the Santa Cruz Cemetery and to celebrate the Proclamation of independence of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. On the 12 November the Minister of Justice, Ms. Lucia Lobato, together with the national directors from the Ministry of Justice, visited Becora Prison to remember the Santa Cruz Cemetery Massacre. The objective of the event was to promote social reinsertion between the inmates and the Timorese society”, said Mr. Manuel Exposto, Prison Director. During the day the prisoners from Becora and Baucau participated in several sport activities such as football, volley and ping pong. The winners received awards such as t-shirts, balls and cigars and had the opportunity to interact with the visitors during working hours. During the visit, the Minister talked to the interns in different blocks to evaluate their treatment and needs. She was accompanied by the UNDP Justice System Programme CTA, Mr. Claudio Santorum, UNDP international advisers, Mr. Allan Leary and Mr. Dave Bramley, prison guards and other visitors.
Commercial Registry training course provided by the MoJ – The Ministry of Justice in a joint effort with UNDP-TASI Project, launched on 21 November a capacity building course towards completing the implementation of the Commercial Registry. The participation of public servants from the Registry and Notary Directorate of the Ministry of Justice, Revenue System, Immigrations, Customs, Land and Property, Commerce Directorate, ANZ and BNU employees, will assist to achieve an holistic approach to the concept of enterprises legal registration. The main role of the Commercial Registry is to provide notice of legal acts and transactions related to commercial entities and sole traders, based on two essential aspects: recording these acts, and providing information about them to whoever applies for it, since it is a public service. Under the Rule of Law, the activity of the registry is one of the duties of the State, through which it provides a service to the community that facilitates the development of a reliable and safe business environment. The registration of legal acts, such as the constitution of a company, will provide a full prove presumption. The certificates issued by the Commercial Registry will assist justice servants to prove commercial legal acts and transactions required in a civil trial.
Human Rights celebration day at Becora Prison – On 10 December Becora Prison prepared a Ceremony to celebrate Human Rights Day and to present to the guests the vocational training received by the prison population in the manufacture of several products, including carpentry, clothes and Tais confection. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Justice, Ms. Lucia Lobato, UNDP Country Director, Mr. Akbar Usmani, UNDP Justice System Programme CTA, Mr. Claudio Santorum, Mrs. Robin-Scott Charlton, AusAID Representative, Mr. Pedro Telles, from the Portuguese Embassy, directors from the Ministry of Justice and international advisers from UNMIT and UNDP. The prison is not only a place of punishment, it is also a place which can provide education and a source of work and fulfillment for the prisoners. I hope we can increase this type of activities in the future”, said the Minister of Justice in her speech. The ceremony was open for the guests to purchase the products manufactured by the prisoners and to observe the reforms being made in the last four months by the Ministry of Justice, with support from UNDP, coordinated by the advisers Mr. Dave Bramley and Mr. Alan Leary, such as the changing of entry gates, security fences, paintings, and other activities planned to start in the beginning of January next year.
Brazilian Training Centre and the MoJ sign agreement to provide professional training for prison staff – In the short visit of the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Celso Amorim, in Timor-Leste, the Brazilian Training Centre in Becora had a ceremony to deliver certificates for the graduates and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Brazil and Timor-Leste to provide training for the national prison guards currently working in Becora prison. At the ceremony were present the Minister of Justice, Ms. Lucia Lobato, the Minister of Education, Mr. João Cancio, the Brazilian and Portuguese Ambassadors, Australian Representatives, UNDP Country Director, Mr. Akbar Usmani, UNDP Justice System Programme CTA, Mr. Claudio Santorum, international advisers and guests. The agreement, signed by the Minister of Justice and the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, complements and expands the professional training courses already offered in the prison, such as civil construction, carpentry and sewing. We have a very energetic and enthusiastic Minister of Justice who commits a lot.
In the short visit of the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Celso Amorim, in of her time to the work of the prisons, we placed international advisers, and we also have the financial support and genuine interest from our donors without whom none of this would have been possible”, said UNDP Country Director, Mr. Akbar Usmani, in his remarks. Ms. Helena Madeira Gomes, Director of Prison Services, stated the need to reform some of the areas within the Becora Prison. We will provide the necessary structure for the trainers together with their security when visiting Becora”, said the Director.
District Courts Statistical Data for 2007 – During 2007 the district courts of Dili, Baucau, Suai and Oecusse had been staffed with seven international and eleven national judges. From January until October 2007 the national judges allocated in Dili decided 139 criminal cases while the international judges decided 130. In Baucau, the number of decisions were 86 for national judges and 41 for the internationals, during the same period.
The number of new criminal cases filed per month has increase since July, possibly in relation to the election of the new government. Updated statistical data presented by the Dili District Court indicates 68 criminal cases were decided while 150 new cases were filed between July to October. A total of 482 criminal cases are still awaiting decision.
The backlog, which had remained almost unchanged in the first semester has increased from July.
The capacity of national court clerks has been identified as a priority, since it should relieve the judges of clerical work to focus in decision making activities. Therefore, a short term training for national court clerks has already started in mid-November, and a full training for legal clerks is planned for early 2008. Civil cases are receiving more attention and the backlog has been reduced, though it is still high compared to the cases decided.
Deployment of national judges in District Courts – UNDP have been providing logistical support to create conditions for the full-time deployment of national judges to the districts of Baucau, Suai and Oecusse. Part of the deployment of national judges has already occurred and judges Edite Palmira dos Reis and Ana Paula Fonseca are already working in Baucau District Court. “Now we have a house in good conditions and we don’t need to travel from Dili to the district every week. It is much easier to perform our duties as judges, and we still can rely on the assistance of an international colleague who is currently working in Baucau with us”, said judge Ana Paula.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 21 December 2007
Xanana: fake IDPs – The Prime Minister (PM) Xanana GusmÃ£o said that people posing as IDPs are joining the real IDPS in order to get government assistance. PM Xanana said these people are creating greater challenges for rehabilitating IDPs back into their communities and are as such causing a grave injustice to real IDPs. The government will provide options for the real IDPs to guarantee their future, dignity and rights, but will ignore the fake IDPs. (STL and TP)
Fretilin: 2008 State Budget does not reflect reality – The opposition party in the National Parliament (NP), Fretilin, claims that the state budget of 2008 does not reflect people’s lives as there is no development plan for poverty reduction. Jose Luis Guterres: Government will try to Alfredo and the petitioners’ case. The Vice Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres said that while Alfredo and the petitioner’s case might create political tension in the country, the current government is still committed to finding a solution for the case. (STL)
Fretilin: No reforms with Xanana centralizing the budget – Fretilin’s party strongly believes that the ambitions of the Alliance Government to create reforms in 2008 will not be realized as the budget is centralized under PM Xanana. (TP)
Government to establish anti-corruption commission in 2008 – PM Xanana Gusmao promised that his government will establish for the first time an Anti-Corruption Commission to control corruption in the country. PM also said that the commission will work upon concrete mechanisms to combat corruption effectively. (TP)
Manuel Tilman: asking the Alliance Gov to rule carefully – The Head of Commission for Economy, Finance and Anti-Corruption of NP (Commission C), Manuel Tilman, has asked the Alliance Government to rule carefully as in the state budget many important aspects of the country’s development have not been included. “Sectoral relations, commercial and industry services, banks and objectives compatible with global results are not included,” said Mr. Tilman on Wednesday (19/12) in the NP on the debate of State Budget of 2008. (DN)
Fernanda Borges: US dollars unconstitutional – The President of National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges said that the US$381.1 million is unconstitutional and will provide no benefit to the people. The PUN is set to take this matter to the Court of Appeals. “The state budget is unconstitutional and we will bring it to the Court of Appeals since the programs give no benefit to the people and are not based on law,” said Ms. Borges in the NP, Dili. The opposition is claiming that the 2008 state budget does not reflect the needs of the people and gives no importance to areas of priority such as health, agriculture, education and infrastructure. In response, NP members from the Alliance said that the 2008 state budget does indeed cover people’needs and will be implemented in 2008. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 19 December 2007
Ramos Horta: Alfredo stop the threats: President José Ramos-Horta is asking Alfredo Reinado Gastão Salsinha to participate in the dialogue. – The President also appealed to Alfredo to stop threatening the entire country and the UN as people are angry to have threats made against them. PNTL Task Force: Committed to anticipating violence in the capital: The Dili District Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Pedro Belo said that the task force team of PNTL Dili district is ready to provide security for 24 hours during Christmas Eve. Mr. Belo also appealed to all people to direct all emergency calls or information to PNTL Dili District regarding security in the capital, Dili.
Government rejects Alfredo’s demands – The government is insisting that it will not release the two members of Alfredo’s team who are imprisoned in Becora prison as demanded by Alfredo Reinado. The Chief of Task Force for Alfredo’s case Francisco Guterres said that the government could not release the two members of Alfredo as it is the task of the lawyers and their members to resolve this. (STL)
Xanana: “I do not threaten Alfredo” – Prime Minister (PM) Xanana has given an ultimatum to Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha, but insists that this does not close the door to having open dialogue between them and the government. “We will still try to find a just resolution based on the dialogue. For Alfredo’s case the government decides to give him one last opportunity.
The statement I made was not a threat, but a way to start dialogue to find a solution for Alfredo and Salsinha and their groups,” PM Xanana said on Tuesday (17/12) in the National Parliament (NP). (STL)
Prime Minister Xanana: proud of his government’s program – PM Xanana Gusmão said that he is more proud of his government’s development program of 2008 than Fretilin’s program over the past five years. PM Xanana guarantees that the Alliance government’s programs will bring progress and reform to all sectors. PM Xanana, in a speech to the NP on Tuesday (18/12), said that the US348.1 million of the state’s budget will contribute to structural changes and to State Management to improve public administration through greater transparency mechanisms added responsibilities. (TP)
Release Alfredo’s members: government will not intervene in judicial system – Related to the demand’s of Alfredo Reinado who is asking the government to release his two members from Becora Prison, Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that to release the prisoners from the prison is the court’s decision. “To release the prisoners from the prison is the decision of the court. The government has no competence to do so in interfering with the judicial system, including Alfredo Reinado. This is not to close the door for dialogue, but some day Major Alfredo will sit in the court to realize what he had promised,” said Minister Lobato on Tuesday (18/12) in the NP, Dili. Minister Lobato also said the two members of Alfredo are the same as other prisoners, treated with dignity with no discrimination. (TP and DN)
Government returns 616 IDPs homes during the transitional period – PM Xanana Gusmão said that the current government will succeed in bringing back 616 Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) from 93 families in the IDP camps of Comoro Airport and Canossa Has Laran. PM Xanana also said that the current government is trying to bring back another 156 IDPs of 25 of families in the IDP camps. (TP)
RI, Timor Leste to Sign MOU on Food, Drug Supervison 12/18/2007 07:17:30 PM EST Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Dec 18 (ANTARA): Indonesia and Timor Leste will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on food and drug supeversion in areas along their common border, a government official said here on Tuesday. “The MoU will be signed when Timor Leste’s prime minister visits Indonesia next January,” Haerani of the Ministry of Home Affairs said. She made the remarks at a national seminar on management of border areas in Indonesia which was held in East Nusa Tenggara’s provincial capital of Kupang. Haerani said Indonesia and Timor Leste needed to sign several MoUs on several issues regarding their border areas, including the drug and food supervision issue.
“There are a number of MoUs but most of them are still under internal deliberations by the relevant agencies. The MoUs are part of the management of border areas,” she said. Head of NTT’s Health Office Stefanus Bria Seran hailed the planned signing of the MoU on supervision of drug and food in border areas. The agreement would facilitate efforts to protect people from disease and dangerous drugs as well as from the circulation of fake medicines from overseas that entered Indonesia through Timor Leste. (THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 December 2007
TVTL Summary News
Prime Minister (PM) Xanana to give one last opportunity to Alfredo and Salsinha – PM Xanana Gusmão said that the government will still give one last opportunity to Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha to resolve their problems. As planned and organized by the Task Force of the government, including the National Movement of Youth and Swiss Group Unity for Justice and Humanitarian Dialogue, a dialogue was held on Sunday morning at 9am between PM Xanana Gusmão, President José Ramos-Horta, President of the National Parliament (NP), Colonel Lere Anan Timor-Filomeno Paixão from Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and Alfredo Reinado. Mr. Reinado and Salsinha did not make an appearance at the dialogue. PM Xanana Gusmão has asked the Timorese people, including IDPs, to not be afraid of Alfredo Reinado as the government is committed to solving this problem.
Alfredo Reinado: asks PM Xanana threaten him – The Former Commander of Military Police Major Alfredo Reinado, has asked PM Xanana Gusmão to not threaten him. Reinado said that he is not frightened of the threats and is ready to take any ultimatum made by the government. “Tell Xanana that Alfredo is never frightened, so never make threats. If I want to make an ultimatum, Dili will be an empty town. If forcing me, let’s have your ultimatum, I’ll will also have mine,” said Reinado on Monday (17/12) in Gleno. Mr. Reinado said that they did not make their presence in the meeting on Sunday (16/12) as the leaders were not professional and that what they say is different to what is decided. (STL)
Lasama: Xanana gives executive statement to Alfredo – President of NP Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that the strong statement made by PM Xanana Gusmão on the absence of Reinado and Salsinha to the dialogue on Sunday (16/12) is an executive statement of Xanana as the Chief of the Government. The dialogue was held with PM Xanana Gusmão, President José Ramos-Horta, President of NP and Colonel Lere Anan Timor-Filomeno Paixão from F-FDTL. The President of NP Fernando Lasama said that his role is as the people’s representative; not to involve but observe, see, listen and feel how the dialogue develops in finding a solution to the problem. However, Alfredo and Salsinha were not present. (STL and DN)
President Ramos-Horta: Alfredo’s provocation may bring reaction – President José Ramos-Horta is asking Alfredo Reinado Gastão Salsinha to participate in the dialogue to avoid adverse reactions. “I appeal to Alfredo and all do not think that it is a weakness of the state when conducting dialogue. If Alfredo provokes, there will be a reaction. I think it’s better for Alfredo not to threaten people, the entire country and the UN as people are angry and dizzy to have threats made against them,” said President Ramos-Horta on Sunday (16/12) in Palacio da Cinzas Caicoli, Dili. (STL, DN and TP)
PNTL Task Force: Committed to anticipating violence in the capital – The Dili District Deputy Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Delfim da Silva, said that the newly reactivated task force team has a strong commitment to anticipating the violence in the capital city, Dili. Mr. da Silva also said that the PNTL is working along with the UN Police (UNPol) to provide security in the capital city during Christmas Eve. The task force will also take action to curb illegal checkpoints along the roads and to arrest drunken people. (DN)
UNSG Ban Ki-Moon: “ISF presence in Timor-Leste is important” – The UNSG Ban Ki-Moon has said that the presence of the International Security Forces (ISF) is important to Timor-Leste. UNSG also said that the UN is asking all Timorese to work with the ISF to solve problems facing in the country. “All people have to congratulate the presence of ISF in Timor-Leste from a very difficult situation to now, so people should know the presence of ISF,” said UNSG Ban Ki-Moon. (DN)
NP President Lasama, asking Alfredo to collaborate with the dialogue – NP President Fernando Lasama is appealing to Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners’ spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha, to collaborate with the process of dialogue initiated by the government. According to NP President Lasama, Alfredo Reinado and Salsinha have the responsibility of finding the way out solve their problems in a calm and peaceful manner. “I think they have the responsibility to get the solution for the problems being faced to guarantee the situation in calm and peaceful among the Timorese societies,” said NP president. (TP)
UN has no competence to force ISF – The Chief of Democratic Party in the national parliament, Adriano do Nascimento, said that the UN has no competence to force ISF under its umbrella. Mr. Nascimento said that ISF which comprises forces from Australia and New Zealand was coming to Timor-Leste as the bilateral force to stabilize the situation in the country, not under the UN mission. (TP)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 17 December 2007
Ban Ki-Moon: Alfredo and the IDPs influence the security – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Alfredo Reinado and the IDPs’ problems will influence the stability of the country. The Secretary-General also paid his respect to the Timorese people for their effortsin facing the challenges of the nation after the crisis. “During my time in here, I heard and seen about the progress that has been achieved. I also congratulate the Timorese people for their successful elections that have been conducted peacefully,” said Mr Ban. (STL)
Government to reduce the international judges – Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the government will reduce the numbers of international judges as Timorese judges are increasingly trained. Minister Lobato said that Timor-Leste will still need the presence international judges as advisors in the country. (STL and TP)
Alfredo ignores the dialogue plan. Xanana: I give the last opportunity – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão is offering Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha a last opportunity to work out a meaningful solution to their problems. As planned and organized by the Task Force of the government, including the National Movement of Youth, and the Swiss group Unity for Justice and Humanitarian Dialogue a meeting was proposed for 9am on Sunday morning. In attendance were Prime Minister Gusmão, President José Ramos-Horta, President of the National Parliament and Colonel Lere Anan Timor-Filomeno Paixão from F-FDTL. However Reinado and Salsinha did not show for the meeting. (TP, STL and DN)
PM Kevin Rudd: Australia continue to assist TL in security sector – Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, said that Australia will maintain its security support to Timor-Leste indefinitely. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and President Ramos-Horta have both said that Prime Minister Rudd has a commitment to assist Timor-Leste in security. Nearly 1,000 troops in the country won’t be pulled out before the end of next year. “We look forward to the day when Timor Leste assumes its own responsibility in relation to security matters, but I agree with President Ramos Horta when he said these things have to be progressed in a calm and methodical way to ensure that stability and security of the people in Timor Leste is best guaranteed,” said Mr. Rudd. (DN)
Lu-Olo and UNSG Meeting: Fretilin is the political key to solve the problem – The meeting held between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of Fretilin Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo for 40 minutes shows that Fretilin is the political key to solving the country’s problems. “It’s a honor for Fretilin as the UN Secretary-General has his agenda to meet Fretilin directly and means that Fretilin as they key to solve the problem, said Mr. Lu-Olo. (DN)
President Ramos-Horta: asking UNSG to extend UNMIT – President José Ramos-Horta has requested UNSG Ban Ki-moon to extend the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) which has only one year mandate due to expire in February 2008. “We know that UNMIT has only one year mandate, but we believe that Security Council will extend the mission,” said the president. (DN)
East Timor PM Fumes Over Rebel No-Show for Talks – Gusmao said that Reinado wanted the government to free one of his followers who was in prison as a condition for talks. Reuters. Alfredo Reinado, a former military police chief, has led a revolt against the government and has been charged with murder during last year’s wave of factional violence, which left 37 people died and drove more than 100,000 from their homes.
The new government led by Gusmao had ordered security forces to stop hunting Reinado and instead proposed dialogue to discuss his grievances and those of 600 soldiers who were sacked by the previous government.
Reinado has said he was fighting for justice for the sacked soldiers, adding he was ready to hold talks with the government.
But he failed to show up on Sunday after agreeing to meet Gusmao and President Jose Ramos-Horta for talks mediated by a Switzerland humanitarian group.
Gusmao said Reinado’s lawyer had told him that Reinado wanted the government to free one of his followers who was in prison as a
condition for talks.
“I told him this is not my responsibility. This is the responsibility of the judiciary and I can’t intervene,” Gusmao told reporters.
“I’m telling Alfredo: Don’t play with me. Xanana today is different from Xanana of the past,” he said, referring to his apparent soft treatment of Reinado in the past.
The dismissal of the soldiers triggered a series of protests last year that degenerated into street fighting and arson attacks.
In August last year Renado escaped a Dili jail where he was being held on murder charges. He later raided a police post and made off with dozens of arms. The former Portuguese colony voted to break away from 23 years of Indonesian rule in a violence-marred vote in 1999. It became independent in 2002 after a period of UN administration but remains one of the world’s poorest nations.
UNMIT Daily Media Review – 13 December 2007
TVTL Summary News
PNTL Commander: appeals for calm amongst the population and denies that PNTL members are joining Alfredo: The Commander-Designate of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Afonso de Jesus strongly denied that any PNTL members had left to join Alfredo’s group. The PNTL have been working hand-in-hand with the United Nations Police (UNPol) to provide security for the country, based on the constitution of Timor-Leste. The Commander also appealed for people to remain calm and ignore the rumours. F-FDTL to guarantee security: The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, said that the F-FDTL is prepared to provide security for Christmas Eve and for international visits in this week. He also added that the F-FDTL is ready to give any assistance to the community as needed.
If Justice is not implemented, the youth are ready to die with Alfredo – The spokesperson of the pro-justice youth, Julio Soares Salsinha, said that the youth are always ready to support Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha as these two people stand for truth and justice. During a press conference in Balide, Dili, on Wednesday (12/12) Mr. Salsinha said that if no justice is achieved, the youth will be ready to die for Alfredo. Mr. Salsinha added that they are prepared to face arrest for their support for Alfredo. (STL and TVTL)
Taur Matan Ruak: we will guarantee that the situation stays calm – The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak said that the F-FDTL is ready to provide security for Christmas Eve and the international visits this week. “The situation in the country is good. Security will be provided during the visit of the United Nations Secretary General (SG) and for Christmas Eve. Hopefully there will be no problems,” said Brig. Gen. Taur in Caicoli, Dili, on Wednesday (12/12). (STL, DN and TVTL)
Francisco Branco: Xanana-Ramos Horta’s statement on Alfredo is out-of-date – Francisco Branco, a member of the national parliament (MP) from Fretilin, said that the promise made by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and President Ramos-Horta to arrest those who support Alfredo is out-of-date. Mr. Branco said that the statements of the President and Prime Minister are contradictory; on the one hand, the government has formed a task force to organise a dialogue between the state and the rebels. On the other, the President and Prime Minister launch threats to put pressure on Alfredo’s supporters. Mr. Branco also questioned the status of Alfredo Reinado, asking whether he is an active military officer or a rebel; if he is a rebel than he should be forced to obey the law of this country. (STL)
Between Alfredo and the Alliance: there should be a commitment to peace – The Former MP from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Leandro Isaac, said he hoped that there would be a commitment to stability and security between the Alliance Government, led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, and former Police Military Commander Alfredo Reinado. “I think both parties should commit to stability and security to create peace. And Alfredo should make this commitment to keep people calm, which in turn could help him solve his problem,” said Mr. Isaac on Wednesday (12/12) in Comoro, Dili. (STL)
PNTL Commander: denies that his members are joining Alfredo – Commander- Designate of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Afonso de Jesus strongly rejected the suggestion that members of the PNTL had left to join Alfredo’s group. “It’s only a rumour,” said the Commander of PNTL. The PNTL have been working hand-in-hand with the United Nations Police (UNPol) to provide security for the country, based on the constitution of Timor-Leste. The Commander also appealed for people to remain calm and ignore the rumours. (STL, TP, TVTL and DN)
National Parliament to ask the UNSG to extend the mandate of UNMIT – The National Parliament (NP) will ask UNSG Ban Ki-Moon to extend the tenure of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) during his visit to Timor –Leste on Friday 14/12). The NP is planning to express the desire that the UN continue its work. “The United Nations have said that they will not leave Timor-Leste unsupported, but we need to state directly that we need a UN presence here,” said the vice president of the NP, Vicente Guterres. Mr. Guterres also said that the NP is preparing a special session to welcome the UNSG Ban Ki-Moon. During the session they will ask the UN to assist Timor-Leste through its current crisis period, and ask that it continue to provide assistance in security and stability, socio-economic matters, politics, and the democratic development of the country. The NP is also planning to describe the current problems faced by the nation, such as security, IDPs and Alfredo’s case to the UNSG. (TP)
IV Constitutional Government of East Timor delivers 2008 State Budget for Timor-Leste REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE MINISTÉRIO DAS FINANÇAS Dili, 10 December, 2007 – The Government of East Timor today announced that the 2008 Budget for Timor–Leste has been delivered to Parliament. The Budget is currently in debate, and expected to be completed within the constitutional guidelines and as set by Chapter VII, Sections 151 to 158 of the Regulations of the National Parliament.
The 2008 Budget is the first full year budget of the IV Constitutional Government and reflects its key election commitments of easing poverty, rebuilding vital infrastructure and creating a business friendly environment that will encourage private growth and investment.
The timetable nominated by the AMP Government expects the budget to be executed on January 1, 2008, after which critical services can be delivered to the people of East Timor. Significant reforms to key service areas including the implementation of regulatory guidelines, practices and systems, will ensure smooth budget delivery in 2008.
The 2008 General State budget was preceded by the successful execution of the transitional budget passed on October 10, 2007, which is expected to achieve 95% delivery by the end of the year. The new Minister of Finance Emilia Pires said “Urgent times require urgent actions. This Government has worked overtime to deliver the 2008 General Budget of the State to Parliament.
‘We have a mandate from our people; our duty is to provide vital services. Our citizens are hungry, they are cold, many are sick. As we are in the rainy season, we are facing a severity of human conditions. Our people do not need bureaucracy, they need action. This budget supported by reformed administrative procedures, delivers urgent relief and represents our commitment to both the social and economic development of the country. ”
Most notable is the definitive focus by the AMP Government on significant levels of public spending to stimulate the economy, create employment opportunities and provide urgent aid in the forms of financial assistance to the nation’s IDP’s, Veterans and poorest citizens. Substantial increased expenditure including ealth, agricultural extension, social welfare and human resource development support the first stages of a new national development plan. Focused on best practice economic management with rapid decentralization and reform to the civil service, the new administration has delivered their electoral promise to be an accountable and transparent government working cohesively for the citizens of the world’s newest nation.
The total budget is $348,100,000 USD, allocated across nineteen portfolios and supported by a new procurement and auditing system with significant anti- corruption measures introduced by a Government determined to rebuild the administrative institutions..ENDS
For further information and a full report of the 2008 General Budget of the State, please contact Ms Ines Almeida, mobile: +670 723 0032.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 12 December 2007
PM Xanana meets UN Under-Secretary-General (USG): UN focused on the security situation in TL – The United Nations (UN) is focusing on the security situation in Timor-Leste and is asking that the current problems be solved for the sake of people’s freedom. In a meeting between Prime Minister Xanana GusmÃ£o and the USG Jean Marie Guehenno, Prime Minister Xanana said that the problems of IDPs, security and Alfredo / the petitioners are the main challenges facing the current government, and they have all been prioritised with a view to solving them in the short-term. The Prime Minister also explained the cooperation between UNPol and the PNTL on security sector reform. USG Jean Marie Guehenno said that UN is ready to give assistance to Timor-Leste, and is always ready to work together with the government of Timor-Leste. (DN)
ISF presence: providing security – ISF Captain Mathew Moran said that the International Security Forces (ISF) are present in Timor-Leste to create stability and provide security to the Timorese people. Captain Moran also said that the ISF is trying to help the Timorese people achieve peace, even though there are rumours that the ISF is not working well. Furthermore, the officer said that ISF is working and cooperating with the Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), the United Nations Police (UNPol) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) to promote security as the people need to live in peace. (DN and STL)
US$15 million may solve the IDP’ problems – The President of the National Parliament (NP), Fernando Lasama, said that state funds of US$15m might help solve the IDPs’ problems. Mr. Lasama also said that the NP will control how the current government spends the IDP money that has been approved in the NP. (DN)
Lasama: supporting Alfredo is absolutely not a crime – The President of the National Parliament, Fernando “Lasama” de Araujo, commented that those who support Major Alfredo Reinado Alves or his group are absolutely not committing a crime. “I appeal to the public for their support in ensuring that the dialogue between Alfredo and the Government does not lead to any public tension.” He added that the dialogue process is underway and that all parties should highlight how the dialogue will be achieved and find a solution to the problem. (STL and TP)
Fernanda Borges: a state has failed when it follows no law – Fernanda Borges, a member of the national parliament (MP) from the National Unity Party (PUN) said that Timor-Leste would become a failed state if the organs of state work without a legal basis. Ms. Borges said that the NP has to follow the processes and rules of the parliament when approving the proposed funds for the government. “Taking one or two days to approve the state funds means that Timor-Leste will avoid becoming a failed state – it should follow the processes and rules of the parliament,” said Ms. Borges on Monday (10/12) in NP. (STL)
Ramos-Horta contacts Xanana: increased funds for poverty reduction – After the President’s program of “Combating Poverty” was considered unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal, the President approached the Prime Minister Xanana to save his idea by asking him to increase funding for poverty reduction in 2008. Via a letter to Prime Minister Xanana, President Ramos-Horta also asked that funding be increased for those facing educational financial problems. (TP)
Afonso de Jesus: some leaders have been intervening in the PNTL’s decision making – PNTL Commander-Designated Afonso de Jesus complained that some political leaders have been intervening with the work of the PNTL in the areas of operations and administration. Mr. Afonso also asked the government to begin recruiting new members of the PNTL and suggested that the government and organs of state do not allow PNTL members to participate in parliamentary and presidential elections in the future. (TP)
Parliament Timetable for Debate of Budget Law Illegal FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE FRETILIN Media Release December 11, 2007 – FRETILIN MPs, with the support of the National Unity Party (PUN), have warned that the State Budget debate in the parliament is too short, and thus undemocratic and would legally invalidate the Budget. They petitioned for a timetable that fulfills the parliament’s regulations and the constitutional requirements for parliamentary oversight of the government.
On December 6, 2007, the de facto government’s supporting parties in the parliament – the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Association, and the Prime Minister’s party CNRT – rejected the proposals by FRETILIN and PUN (National Unity Party) for an alternative timetable.
FRETILIN MP and Deputy Leader in the Parliament, Francisco Branco, explained that the Regulations require a minimum of 38 days for the budget process, but the parliament has voted for just 13 days. “Chapter VII, Sections 151 to 158 of the regulations of the National Parliament clearly stipulate that the committees have 15 days from the tabling of the proposed State Budget Law to examine and deliver their report to Committee C, Economy, Finance and Anti-Corruption. The committee then has 10 days in which to deliver its report to the parliament following discussion amongst its own members of the proposals and comments from the other committees. The parliament then has a ‘minimum of 3 days’ to debate the proposed budget law in its generality and a maximum of 10 days to debate the proposed law in the specificity,” said Mr Branco.
“The parliament and its members have a duty to exercise the oversight function which the Constitution, and the voters, have entrusted us to undertake. The budget law is the single most important piece of legislation to come before the parliament each year because it legally authorises the collection of the revenue and spending of monies by the Executive,” Mr Branco said.
“The parliament’s role is not merely to approve the law, but to oversight the spending, especially in comparison to the previous budget, as part of the exercise of determining if the Executive is properly performing its financial and public administration functions, and therefore the nature and extent of future spending approvals for those functions for the coming year,” said Mr Branco.
“Yet this Constitutional role of parliament is being severely curtailed by the de facto government’s proxies in the parliament, in breach of the parliament’s own law, its own regulations. These regulations were designed to enable we members of parliament to properly serve the people who elected us by examining what the government proposes for the financial functioning of the state in the coming year. In breaching this law, the parliament is turning itself into a rubber stamp for the government. This is illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic. FRETILIN will not tolerate it and will seek legal redress to ensure this breach is remedied,” added Mr Branco.
The FRETILIN petition for an alternative timetable to debate the proposed budget law, also pointed out that, according to section 175, 1 of the Parliament’s own Regulations, failure to comply with these sections enforcing timetables for the examination, debating and approval of the proposed State Budget Law would render the process null and void.
“Once again the parliamentary majority has demonstrated its complete disregard for the Constitution and the law. This was also done with the transfer of petroleum fund savings during the debate for the transitional budget, and with the approval of a line item allocation in the budget for the proposed anti-poverty task force in the office of the President of the Republic,” said Mr Branco.
“On those occasions FRETILIN protested loud and clear against the blatant breach by the parliament majority of the law and the Constitution. Our latest warning to the parliament is in the interests of ensuring compliance at all times with the Constitution and to promote the Rule of Law in our country, no matter how inconvenient it may seem to some people at times.
“We will continue to stand up for these vital principles because only by doing so will we bring peace and stability to our nation, and protect our young democracy,” Mr Branco concluded.
For further comment: Francisco Branco MP +670 728 7080
UNMIT Daily Media Review 11 December 2007
PNTL Identifies those funding Alfredo Reinado – After the President and the Prime Minister have declared they would capture people who were supporting Major Alfredo, PNTL has identified some of the names of those who support, while others are under investigation. “In reality, we already collected a few names but we cannot make them public, as we must protect our sources of information. The police have a duty to keep their names confidential,“ said the PNTL’s Operational Commander, Mateus Fernandes. (STL)
Portugal provides support for the F-FDTL -Portugal and Timor-Leste have signed an agreement to develop the Timorese military, as part of the country’s ongoing need for the training of its defence forces. “We are exploring how Portugal will help our military forces to gain more experience in the future,” said the Secretary State for Defense, Julio Tomas Pinto, after signing the agreement with Portugal’s Secretary for Defense, Joao Mira Gomes. “Portugal has a commitment to help Timor-Leste’s defense force. (STL)
International Human Rights day: 182 Prisoners Showed Their Exhibition – The Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato and other representatives of Timor-Leste’s human rights organisations have joined 128 prisoners from Becora Prison to commemorate International Human Rights Day on 10 December. “The Government highlights this important day as International Human Right Day for all the people in Timor-Leste including the prisoners, because they are also entitled to their human rights,” Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato said. (STL)
ISF Presence in Timor-Leste same as Indonesian invasion – The Deputy of the Fretilin Party, Fransisco Miranda, said the ISF presence in the country is aiming to abolish the Fretilin Party in the same way the Indonesian did over 32 years. Meanwhile he requested the National Parliament to review again ISF’s presence in the country, to verify the number of ISF soldiers in the country and the exact nature of their cooperation with PNTL and F-FDTL. He asked what the ISF operation had accomplished up until now, and when they would leave the country. “According to the laws of Timor-Leste, any agreement made by the Government has to be ratified by the National Parliament. This is necessary to reduce speculation and different opinions about whether the ISF presence in Timor-Leste is legal,” said Mr. Miranda, who is also the Deputy of Fretilin Party in the National Parliament. (TP)
President Ramos-Horta calls for human rights to be promoted – The President of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta has appealed to all Timorese people to promote the value of human rights. He also used the occasion of International Human Rights Day to remind people that during the Indonesian occupation, Timorese people used non-violence to achieve their independence, not weapons. “I am asking all the Timorese people, especially young people who often become either perpetrators or victims of human rights violations. It is now time to end human rights violations in the nation,” said the President Ramos-Horta. He made the plea as part of his remarks during Human Rights Day commemoration day at Kampu Demokrasia in Dili. (TP)
Brazil will support justice in Timor-Leste – The Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celson Amorin said that Brazil will support the Timor-Leste justice sector, while also supporting Timor-Leste’s education sector and military. (TP)
There is no law to forbid people supporting Alfredo – The President of the National Unity party in the National Parliament, Fernanda Borges, said the law does not forbid the people from supporting Major Alfredo and his members. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 10 December 2007
PM Xanana Gusmao: “The Government Will Arrest Whoever Supports Alfredo” – Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao and President Horta said that they have already identified who is distributing uniforms and money to Alfredo Reinado and his group, and the Government will arrest them for committing a crime against the nation. “We will try to capture the people who supplied the uniforms to Major Alfredo because it is a crime to support them financially or with materials. As you know, we only have one military force in Timor-Leste, not two. His supporters are not trying to resolve the situation but instead are creating various problems. Therefore, the authorities will capture, bring them to court, and try them based on the law in Timor-Leste,” said the Prime Minister (STL)
Fernando Lasama Araujo: “Timor-Leste is Open to Investors” – The President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama Araujo, said Timor-Leste is open to accept investors who want to invest in the country. “We are aware that the fourth constitutional government cannot alone resolve the huge problems we are confronted with, and we all know that one big problem is unemployment”, said the President of National Parliament. (DN)
Horta Unhappy with the Decision of the Court of Appeal on with regards to the Reduce Poverty Program – The President of the Republic was unhappy with the decision of Court of Appeal to reject the poverty reduction program under the Office of the President of the Republic. “I actually do not agree with Court’s opinion, but I accept the decision. I also was unhappy with how Fretilin parliamentarians politicized what supposed be a universally-valued issue. I did not want to politicize helping poor people and I don’t want to have any further controversy”, said Mr. President of Republic. (DN)
Trilateral Meeting on Security Issues – A Trilateral meeting was held in the Government Palace last Thursday attended by Prime Minister Mr. Xanana Gusmao along with his Deputy Mr. Jose Luis Guterres, the General Commander of F-FDTL Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, the ISF Commander, the UNPOL Commander and the PNTL Commander. They discussed the issue of security and the official visit of the UN Secretary General, the Australian Prime Minister and others. “In this meeting we did not touch upon Alfredo and the Petitioners. Mostly, we discussed the current situation and the plan for providing security for the visits of the United Nation Secretary General, the Australian Prime Minister, and the Norwegian Finance Minister”, said Mr. Francisco Guterres, Secretary of State for Security.
Ramos Horta: “The Drama of Distributing Guns Has not Come to an End” – The President of the Republic, Mr. Ramos Horta, said that the drama of gun distribution to civilians is not yet over, and in light of this Fretilin parliamentarians should not talk too much. “Mister Alfredo will not avoid the judicial procedure and he will face trial, because he has a right to justice. He will explain to the court and to the people why he fled the armed forces for the jungle, who provoked the crisis, who distributed the guns – either Rogerio Lobato or any other leaders – because these stories are not yet over. I was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and did not make decisions on matters of defence. Therefore, those who talk too much in Parliament should remain quiet, because the gun distribution story has not yet come to an end”, said the President of Republic.
Fretilin Should Continue to Struggle for the Truth – The Deputy Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mr. Jose Manuel Fernandes, said that the Fretilin party should be reborn with Jesus Christ on 25 December this month to fight for truth and justice. “It is time for Fretilin to stand up to defend the truth. I declare that Alfredo is not with Fretilin, because Fretilin defends the sovereignty of the state”, said Mr. Jose Manuel. (DN)
The Government has approved a resolution to support the victims of the crisis – “At a recent council meeting, the AMP Government approved a resolution to support the F-FDTL and PNTL members and their families who were disabled and killed during last year’s crisis, as they were officials of the State,” said the Minister of Council, Hermenegildo Pereira. (STL)
The President of Timor Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta, declares that he wants to eliminate poverty in Timor Leste – The President of Timor Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta, declared that he will continue to use funds that have been allocated to his department in order to combat poverty, despite the Court decision that the allocation was unconstitutional. (STL)
Julio Pinto: The Civil Court can prosecute the soldiers – The State Secretary for Defense, Julio Pinto, said that F-FDTL members who have committed crimes should be brought to trial in a civil court, as no military courts exist as yet. He said the civil court is available to try them. (STL)
UNPol and ISF can’t capture Major Alfredo because they don’t want more bloodshed in the country – UNPol and the ISF declared that they will not pursue and capture former Military Police Chief Major Alfredo and his members at this time because they don’t want anymore bloodshed in the country. UNPol and the ISF respect the Government decision to give the Task Force – who are currently working to find a way to open dialogue between Major Alfredo and the State- more time, so that Alfredo may submit himself to justice in a peaceful manner. (TP)
Government Asks UNMIT to support the work of an Audit Team – The Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, has requested the help of UNMIT and the World Bank with regards to auditing. He asked them to support the Government by sending an international team of auditors to review the work of the current Government. Xanana said the auditors will begin at the Presidential Palace in Caicoli, the Government Palace, and the National Parliament. (TP)