Timor-Leste Legal News November 2007 (Part 3)
Security Council concludes its visit to Timor-Leste – 30 Nov ’07 A Security Council Delegation has concluded its visit to Timor-Leste having met with a wide variety of Timorese across the country and having gained a first hand view of the challenges facing the young nation. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Mr Atul Khare said the visit expresses the strong support that the international community has for the ongoing work in Timor-Leste and that the country is still a priority for assistance. “We are confident that the Security Council will have greater familiarity with the situation on the ground,” Mr Khare said, “Its visit has given the UN mission renewed energy to do its work as mandated by Security Council resolutions 1704 and 1745.”
Those participating were Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo (Head of Mission) from South Africa, Ambassador Liu Zhenmin from China, Mr. Muhammad Anshor from Indonesia, Ms Diana Eloeva from the Russian Federation, Ambassador Peter Burian from Slovakia and the United States Ambassador Jackie Wolcott. UNMIT’s current 12-month mandate expires on 26 February, 2008. Upon the conclusion of their visit, the Delegation briefed the media. For a full transcript of the briefing please visit http://www.unmit.org
For more information please call spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Hipolito Gama on +670 7211839.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 30 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
4 members of F-FDTL imprisoned: The Dili District Court on Thursday (29/11) found four members of the F-FDTL guilty of manslaughter. The members have been jailed for 10 to 12 years for the killing of a policeman during last year’s wave of factional violence.
One of the defendants said that as military people, they are ready to accept any decision of the court.
May 25th case: 4 members of F-FDTL imprisoned – The Dili District Court on Thursday (29/11) found four members of the F-FDTL guilty of manslaughter. The members have been jailed for 10 to 12 years for the killing of a policeman during last year’s wave of factional violence. One of the defendants said that as the military forces, they are ready to accept any decision of the court. F-FDTL Commander Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak also said that F-FDTL sees that there is no option other than to agree with the decision of the court. “Our soldiers are well prepared to accept any decision taken. There is no way other than to accept the decision of the court,” said Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak on Thursday (29/11) in Tasi Tolu, Dili. (STL, DN, TP and TVTL)
Security Council to extend the UN Mission in Timor-Leste – The mandate of the current United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) will end in February 2008, but it is planned that the Security Council will extend the mission further. The plan to extend the UN Mission in Timor-Leste was discussed in the Headquarters of UNMIT, Obrigado Barracks, Caicoli, Dili, by the Security Council Delegation and the political parties in Timor-Leste. Participants of the meeting said that they all agree with the plan to extend the UN Mission in Timor-Leste until the country has recovered. “The UN Security Council has come here to support the government and people of Timor-Leste. We have come to strengthen the government and offer support to its working in the right way,” said the Head of the Security Council Delegation, Mr. Dumisani Kumalo. (STL)
Prime Minister Xanana: Alfredo and the petitioners’ case are different – Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao affirmed that the problem of Alfredo Reinado Alves and petitioners are different, and so they will be solved in different manner. “The process with regards to Alfredo Reinado is ongoing, you all know that the government has a commitment to solve the problem, and we don’t need to mix up the cases of Reinado and the petitioners,” said the Prime Minister after meeting with President Jose Ramos-Horta on Thursday (29/11) at the presidential palace in Caicoli, Dili. The Prime Minister also said that this week the Task Force of the government will contact Alfredo Reinado, since the government has committed itself to having a dialogue with him. With regards to the petitioners’ case, the Prime Minister said that the dialogue in Aileu might be the failure of the government, but this does not permit the petitioners’ spokesperson to perform military parades everywhere. (DN)
Security Council team holds talks in eastern district of Timor-Leste UN News Service 29 November 2007 – The Security Council delegation visiting Timor-Leste to assess the work of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the tiny nation (<http://www.unmiset.org/unmisetwebsite.nsf/MainFrame-EN.htm?OpenFrameset>UNMIT) today travelled to the eastern district of Baucau for talks with local authorities, political party representatives, UN officials and police officers.
UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters that the discussions in Baucau focused on the needs of the people in the district, one of 13 in the South-East Asian country, and on ways in which the international community can help the Timorese to strengthen their democracy, security and development.
During their meetings with police, the members of the Council delegation reiterated the importance of ongoing collaboration between UNMIT and the police force, saying it will be critical to ensuring the future stability of Timor-Leste, which only gained its independence in 2002.
While in Dili, the national capital, the delegation met with civil society members and local representatives of political parties to gauge the views of the wider community about the work of UNMIT and other UN entities in Timor-Leste and what challenges lie ahead.
The delegation, led by South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, also includes Ambassador Liu Zhenmin from China, Luc Joseph Okio from the Republic of the Congo, Muhammad Anshor from Indonesia, Diana Eloeva from the Russian Federation, Ambassador Peter Burian from Slovakia and United States Ambassador Jackie Wolcott. It began its visit on the weekend and is due to conclude the trip tomorrow.
East Timor soldiers jailed for killing police By Tito Belo DILI, Nov 29 (Reuters) – A court in East Timor jailed four soldiers for between 10 and 12 years on Thursday for killing policemen during last year’s wave of factional violence. The government’s dismissal of 600 soldiers had prompted a series of protests that degenerated into violence, leaving 37 people dead and forced more than 100,000 from their homes. Judges at the Dili court found the four soldiers — Raimundo Madeira, Nelson Fransisco, Fransisco Amaral and Armindo da Silva — guilty of homicide in a shooting spree near the national police headquarters in May 2006. The 600 soldiers, more than one third of the entire defence force, were sacked after they had lodged a petition alleging discrimination in the institution by the government of then-prime minister Mari Alkatiri.
The new government led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, an independence hero, has been trying to hold dialogue with the former soldiers with little success. Predominantly Catholic East Timor voted in 1999 to break away from more than 23 years of Indonesian rule in a violence-marred U.N.-sponsored referendum. The country of about 1 million people became fully independent in May 2002 after more than two years of U.N. administration but remains one of the world’s poorest. (Writing by Ahmad Pathoni; editing by Roger Crabb)
East Timorese soldiers convicted of murdering unarmed police – DILI, East Timor, Nov 29 (AP) – Four East Timorese soldiers were convicted of murder and sentenced to up to 12 years in prison Thursday for gunning down unarmed police officers during a spasm of violence in the fledgling democracy last year. Eight police officers were killed and 25 other people wounded when the troops opened fire on them during a U.N.-mediated cease-fire. They were walking past the Justice Ministry with a white flag and their hands in the air.
East Timor descended into chaos last April when a third of the army deserted, fleeing to the hills with their weapons. Clashes between police and army forces gave way to gang warfare, looting and arson that left at least 37 people dead and drove 155,000 people from their homes. Relative calm was restored by thousands of foreign troops — still needed to maintain peace — and a new president and government were installed earlier this year without major incident. Former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato was sentenced to seven years in prison for arming civilians, but Thursday’s ruling was the first against those directly involved in the bloodshed.
On Monday, the court will put on trial renegade soldier Alfredo Reinado, who last week threatened fresh violence against the government, said Judge Ivo Rosa Caeiro. Reinado is not expected to attend the hearings. East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, gained independence in 2002 after more than two decades of brutal Indonesian occupation. Its new political leaders, including President Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, have vowed to tackle rampant poverty and restore damaged relations between the country’s police and army.
See further on this case: 25th of May 2006 Massacre & War Crimes in Timor-Leste
UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 November 2007
UNPol present to support development – The presence of United Nations Police (UNPol) in Timor-Leste is to support the development of the country. The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) were asked to seize this opportunity while UNPol is still responsible for security. “The country is yours; you are the future of the nation. Our question is how best to support the development process in this country,” said the Dili UNPol Commander, David Lourent on Tuesday (27/11) in Caicoli, Dili. Mr. Lourent said that UNPol will work with the PNTL to maintain the stability and security of the nation. (STL)
Security Council concerned by the case of Alfredo Reinado – The cases of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners are the preoccupation of the government of Timor-Leste, but also are of major concern to the Security Council. The Security Council asked that the state solve the two cases, because of their significance to the country. While meeting the national parliament, the Security Council stated that they would be ready to contribute to any solutions aimed at solving the problems in the country. (TP and DN)
Heavy weapons for the F-FDTL to arrive next month – The State Secretary of Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, said that special weapons, to be used by the F-FDTL for night operations, will arrive in December. “The purchase was part of the program of 20:20, along side the establishment of a munitions store and a military court that the government runs, to develop the nation’s defence forces,” said Mr. Pinto on Wednesday (28/11) in the Government Palace, Dili. The State Secretary also said that the program of 20:20 was planned by the previous government, but the current government has a commitment to make it happen. (TP)
UNMIT Welcomes the Security Council to Timor-Leste Press Release Dili, 27 November 2007 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Atul Khare has welcomed a Security Council delegation to Timor-Leste noting that the visit is an important expression of the international community’s commitment to the nascent nation.
The eight-member delegation has arrived in Timor-Leste to underscore the long-term commitment of the international community to stabilisation and development and the need for ongoing support to bilateral and international partners aiding Timorese efforts towards self-reliance.
The delegation will discuss and exchange views with the Timorese authorities on how to help the country develop the capacity necessary to build on what has already been achieved in the areas of security and democracy, among others.
Those participating are Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo (Head of Mission) from South Africa, Ambassador Liu Zhenmin from China, Mr. Luc Joseph Okio from Congo, Mr. Muhammad Anshor from Indonesia, Ms Diana Eloeva from the Russian Federation, Ambassador Peter Burian from Slovakia and the United States Ambassador Jackie Wolcott
“The Security Council is expressing its full support for Timor-Leste and for the United Nations presence here, and we are very grateful for that support.
It is an important acknowledgement – by the international community – that there has been success in stabilising the security situation and that democratic progress has been achieved through peaceful and acceptable elections.”
Mr Khare added the visit also underscores the long-term commitment of the international community to stabilisation and development in Timor-Leste.
UNMIT’s current 12-month mandate expires on 26 February, 2008.
For more information please call spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Hipolito Gama on +670 7211839.
9 Filipino UN peacekeepers in East Timor, Kosovo hurt By Veronica Uy INQUIRER.net Last updated 07:04pm (Mla time) 11/30/2007 – MANILA, Philippines — Nine Filipino police officers, including one female officer, serving with the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Timor-Leste and Kosovo were injured in three separate incidents last week, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said Friday. In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Ambassador Hilario Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said that a Filipino peacekeeper was injured after he was beaten up by a mob in Timor-Leste while eight other peacekeepers were hurt in two separate vehicular accidents in Kosovo. The report, which is available at the <http://www.un.int/philippines/news/20071128.htm>UN website, said that the Filipino peacekeeper in East Timor was beaten up by a mob who tried to prevent him from retrieving a motorcycle earlier reported stolen. Quoting a report from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Davide said the police officer had to be evacuated to Darwin, Australia, for treatment of the injuries he sustained in the incident that took place on November 19.
In Kosovo, the DPKO reported that eight police officers were injured in two vehicular accidents that took place within hours of each other on November 20 due to poor weather conditions. In the first accident, a Filipino police officer suffered a broken arm after the UN vehicle he and another UN police officer were riding in skidded and hit an embankment while trying to avoid another vehicle along the Zvecan-Mitrovica Highway. Four hours later, seven PNP officers, including a female officer, were injured when the UN vehicles they were in spun out of control and rolled over along the Pristina-Mitrovica Highway. The DPKO said all seven were treated for shock and minor injuries.
The Philippine Mission did not release the identities of the injured peacekeepers but said all were officers of the Philippine National Police serving with the UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) and the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). According to the Philippine Mission, the country is the No. 1 contributor of individual police officers to UN peacekeeping operations, with a total of 144 police officers serving in UNMIT and another 55 in UNMIK. It has 119 other police officers deployed in the UN missions in Afghanistan, Cote d’ Ivoire, Georgia, Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, and the Sudan. In addition, the Philippine Mission said, the country has more than 300 military officers and enlisted personnel serving in Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, the Sudan, and Timor-Leste.
REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE MINISTÉRIO DAS FINANÇAS Dili, 27 November, 2007 Media Release GOVERNMENT OF EAST TIMOR ANNOUNCES REVIEW TO REFORM AND MODERNIZE CUSTOMS SERVICES
East Timor’s Minister of Finance, Emilia Pires, today announced the launch of a major review of Customs services. In keeping with the Prime Minister, His Excellency Xanana Gusmao’s promise to modernize the county to global standards, this first step in reviewing and adopting sound regulatory practice is a significant step by the new leadership to encourage investment and trade in East Timor.
The Review will examine all aspects of the Custom Service’s operations including airports, seaports, border posts, and central administration against the framework provided by the WCO (World Customs Organization).
Pires said “Customs Services operations are integral to the economic and social development of the country. In order to facilitate trade, the import and export of goods, we must adopt sound and best case practice while at the same time improving revenue collection, community protection, governance standards and national security. The current systems are considered slow, ineffective, and act as a deterrent for doing business in Timor.
With a thorough independent examination of all aspects of Customs Services and advice on options and strategies for improvement, we can modernize and regulate our Customs Services to a world class standard” The purpose of the Customs Services Review is to provide an initial diagnosis of the existing management and institutional framework, capacity and performance, to identify immediate priorities to ensure maintenance of existing levels of services and safeguards, to consider options and propose a detailed reform and modernization strategy, and to provide the basis for an implementation strategy which identifies priorities, sequencing, responsibilities and resource requirements.
The Review will be directed by the Ministry of Finance and jointly sponsored by the World Bank and New Zealand Government will actively solicit input from and consult with government officials and advisers, donors, the private sector, NGOs and other relevant agencies. The findings: Reform and Modernization Strategy and Implementation Plan, will be delivered in 2008.
Pires closes “This Government is working overtime to facilitate reform, we see this as a major step in modernizing our systems, creating a free and fair business climate in line with leading world standards and encouraging international trade and investment in our country. ” ENDS
For further information please contact: Ms Ines Almeida, mobile: +670 723 0032.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
Fretilin still regards the current government as unconstitutional: During his visit, the President of Europe Union, José Manuel Durão Barroso, also met the former Prime Minister and Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri. Mr. Alkatiri said that during the meeting he informed Mr. Barroso that the current government is unconstitutional and incompetent, and lacks capacity. However, Mr. Barroso said that all Timorese have to be united to develop this fragile country. The Secretary-General also said that it is time for all the leaders to come together and work together based upon a national consensus to develop the country.
UN continuously assisting the IDPs – The United Nations in Timor-Leste continuously provides assistance to IDPs who are now facing many kinds of problems in the camps, in the capital city of the country. The UN Spokesperson, Allison Cooper, said that in the area of humanitarian assistance, the UN is providing tents and making preparations for the rainy season. The preparations include increasing food, water, and medicine, and improving sanitation.
Fretilin asks Australia to maintain security in Timor-Leste – Fretilin asked the new Prime Minister of Australia to continue to maintain its forces in the country to provide security for the people of Timor-Leste. “As a major party in the country, Fretilin wants to talk to the Australian government, which ruled by the Labour Party, on how best to maintain their forces in Timor-Leste,” said the Secretary General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri. (STL)
UNPol seizes weapons in Dili – The United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today announced that its police officers, working alongside their Timorese counterparts, and with support from the International Security Forces (ISF), have completed a successful weapons recovery operation in a troubled district in the capital city. The Dili district of Bairo Pite is often the scene of fighting between gangs. Police and army officers have recently seen weapons being used during fights, according to UNMIT. “Operation Weapons Sweep” began on Wednesday and concluded on Saturday after an assortment of weapons ranging from bows, arrows, machetes, sling shots, knives, spears and homemade guns were recovered. Community officials also participated in the Operation by assisting police with the searching of homes based on the written authorization of their owners, UNMIT said. “Involving community officials in police work is essential for reducing the incidence of gang violence on Dili streets,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare. “It sends a strong message to those indulging in violence that it will not be tolerated by the community itself, or by law enforcement authorities, and collectively we will move to confiscate the weapons that are used to execute violence,” he said. (STL)
Lucia Lobato asks the National parliament to send a commission to Malaysia – Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato is asking the national Parliament to create a commission to Malaysia to ascertain the health of the former Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato. “Mr. Rogerio Lobato is currently under treatment in the Pantai Medical Centre of Malaysia, therefore I have suggested to the National Parliament that it send a commission to look at his condition,” said Ms. Lobato in the national parliament.
Illegal Transaction at the border: PNTL & UNPol deployment will not solve the problem – The District Administrator of Covalima, Inacio Pires, said that there has been an illegal transaction at the border between the people of Timor-Leste and the neighbouring country. “Deploying the officers of the PNTL and UNPol at the border is not quite enough, there needs to be another solution,” said Mr. Pires.
Male Leaders in Timor-Leste Give Voice to End Violence Against Women UNIFEM Timor Leste Media Release 26th November, 2007 – As part of the International 16 Days of Activism Campaign to End Violence Against Women UNIFEM, with support from UNMIT, the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI) and the Association of Men Against Violence (AMKV) will launch a multi-media campaign on the 26th of November to capitalize on the commitment of Timor-Leste’s leaders to end violence against women.
Eleven of Timor-Leste’s foremost figures, such as RDTL President Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, RDTL Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, and the President of National Parliament, Fernando Lasama” de Araujo will share their status and sentiments on violence against women, to the nation, in a campaign that will reach all thirteen districts of the country. A series of posters, radio and television public service announcements have been developed in an effort to heighten public focus, awareness and government response in the country on violence against women.
Dr Rui Araujo, Timor-Leste’s former Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Health and current Special Adviser on Policy Implementation and Management Strengthening to the Ministry of Health, echoed the message and theme of the campaign, suggesting, “there is a widely disseminated misperception that gender is a women’s issue. It is important to promote the role of men in advocating gender issues. Men, and the state, have to become greater advocates for ending violence against women.”
The participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Dr. Atul Khare, in the campaign demonstrates the commitment of the UN and the international community to ending violence against women:
Attempts to end violence against women must of course begin at a national level“, said Dr Khare, however, there is widespread international recognition of the debilitating effects that such violence has on society, and the international community has an important role to play in helping to end it.”
The campaign will complement a baseline study on the prevalence of, and attitudes towards, sexual and gender-based violence conducted as part of the UNIFEM programme Supporting Community- Led Initiatives to Promote Women’s Engagement in Peace Building and Prevention of Sexual Violence in Timor-Leste.
Preliminary findings of the baseline study reveal sexual exploitation as particularly common in the borderline sub-district of Covalima. In contrast, discussing the issue of sexual violence remains taboo in Bobonaro, where the community largely remains silent on the subject.
In an effort to raise community awareness as a prevention strategy towards violence against women, workshops on findings of the baseline study will be held in the 16 days of activism period, with UNIFEM supporting workshops conducted by the Asia Pacific Support Collective-Timor Leste (APSCTL) on the reporting back of baseline findings in Maliana and Suai as well as community discussions on domestic violence and violence against women in Iliomar, Lospalos, being implemented by AMKV.
UNIFEM, which works to promote women’s empowerment, rights and gender equality worldwide, in Timor-Leste, runs in-country programs seeking to further champion women’s empowerment in democratic governance as well as advocating for a platform within the country’s nascent democracy to eradicate violence against women. Their Timor-Leste Programme Supporting Community-led Initiatives to Promote Women’s Engagement in Peace-building and Prevention of Sexual Violence (SGBV) is a two-year programme aimed at developing community based responses to SGBV and promoting women’s engagement in local conflict reconciliation and peace building initiatives.
For more information, please contact; Chris Parkinson Communications UNIFEM Timor Leste p. (+670) 726 3773 e. email@example.com w. http://www.unifem.org http://www.unifem-eseasia.org
Timor-Leste: Successful Weapons Recovery Operation Concludes in Dili District UN News New York, Nov 26 2007 9:00AM – The United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today announced that its police officers, working alongside their Timorese counterparts with support from the International Security Forces (ISF) have completed a successful weapons recovery operation in a troubled district in the capital city.
The Dili district of Bairro Pite is often the scen of fighting between gangs. Police and army officers have recently seen weapons being used during fights, according to UNMIT.
“Operation Weapons Sweep” began on Wednesday and concluded on Saturday after recovering an assortment of weapons ranging from bows, arrows, machetes, sling shots, knives, spears and homemade guns.
Community officials also participated in the Operation by assisting police in searching homes based on the written authorization of their owners, UNMIT said.
“Involving community officials in police work is essential for reducing the incidence of gang violence on Dili streets,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare.
“It sends a strong message to those indulging in the violence that it will not be tolerated by the community itself, or by law enforcement authorities, and collectively we will move to confiscate the weapons needed to execute violence,” he said.
UNMIT Press Release: Successful Weapons’ Recovery Operation in Dili – Dili, 26 November 2007 – United Nations police officers working alongside their Timorese counterparts, and assisted by the International Security Forces (ISF) have completed a successful weapons recovery operation in the Dili district of Bairro Pite.
The district is a problematic area and often the site of fighting between gangs and recently, police and army officers have seen weapons being used during fights.
Acting upon intelligence, “Operation Weapons Sweep” began on Wednesday and concluded on Saturday. An assortment of weapons ranging from bows, arrows, machetes, sling shots, knives, spears and homemade guns were recovered.
Community officials also participated in the Operation by assisting police in searching homes. All houses were searched with the written authorization of their owners.
“Involving community officials in police work is essential for reducing the incidence of gang violence on Dili streets,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Timor-Leste, Mr Atul Khare.
“It sends a strong message to those indulging in the violence that it will not be tolerated by the community itself, or by law enforcement authorities, and collectively we will move to confiscate the weapons needed to execute violence,” said Mr Khare.
For more information please call the UNMIT spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Hipolito Gama on +670 7311839.
As Security Council Readies Visit to Timor-Leste, Rights Groups Call For Justice and Accountability 26 Nov 07- An open letter from a worldwide coalition of human rights organizations has called on the UN Security Council to act for substantive justice for the East Timorese people, as a council delegation travels to Timor-Leste. The East Timorese suffered countless war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Indonesian military’s illegal occupation. The letter rejects the Indonesian government’s attempts to escape accountability.
The letter is signed by representatives of more than 60 organizations from 15 countries, who call on the Security Council “to act forcefully for justice for the people of Timor-Leste,” by implementing the relevant recommendations of East Timor’s Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR).
The letter applauds the UN Secretary-General’s decision not to give legitimacy to the bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF), unless its terms of reference are substantially changed. The CTF and Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Human Rights Court “have proven manifestly unsuitable in both design and implementation to the task of delivering justice in accordance with international law,” the letter states. Instead, the council should create an international criminal tribunal or fully reconstitute the Serious Crimes process with sufficient resources and international backing to investigate crimes committed during the 24-year occupation, not just in 1999. A total of 290 individuals already indicted under the Serious Crimes process remain at large in Indonesia, outside the jurisdiction of courts in Timor-Leste.
The letter says that the recent inquest into the killing of journalists in Balibo, East Timor, in 1975 is the only recent formal investigation into the many crimes committed in East Timor before 1999.
The letter notes that there is widespread support for substantive justice within Timor-Leste, especially by the Church and civil society and insists that the international community, as embodied in the United Nations, must be involved in addressing crimes which violated international criminal law, the UN charter, and Security Council resolutions.
The letter is timed to coincide with the official visit of the UN Security Council’s mission to take place the last week in November 2007.
“An international norm has crystallized against impunity”, said Dr Clinton Fernandes of the Australian Coalition for Transitional Justice in East Timor, a signer. “The UN Security Council must reinforce this norm by ensuring that those bearing responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity are brought to justice.”
Signers include human rights groups from Indonesia, Timor-Leste, elsewhere in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, United States, and Europe. The full text of the letter in English and Bahasa Indonesia with a complete list of signers can be found at http://www.etan.org/news/2007/11unscltr.htm.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 26 November 2007
Government asks Alfredo not to enflame the situation – The Alliance government is asking Alfredo Reinado, the former Commander of the Military Police, not to make people panic. “We should remain calm, let” just sit and talk. We should not frighten people. I know Alfredo and Salsinha understand this. The government must face the problem and solve it, but we have to sit and talk about it,” said the State Secretary for Security, who is also the Spokesperson of the Task Force, on Friday (23/11) in Hera. (STL)
Julio Pinto: F-FDTL has made progress – On the occasion of the promotion of 203 members of Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) in Hera on Friday (23/11), the State Secretary of Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, stated that the promotions showed the progress of the institution. (STL)
President Ramos-Horta: Military parades never solve any problems – President José Ramos-Horta asked Alfredo and the petitioners whether military parades will solve their problems. “If Major Alfredo and the petitioners want to win over the people then they should stay calm. Do not mess around and make people panic,” said the president upon his arrival at Comoro Airport on Friday (23/11). According to the president, military parades are only performed by army forces in their barracks when the government sees fit – and cannot be performed by any group that wants to. (STL)
F-FDTL should uphold universal military values to win over the people – The State Secretary of Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, stated that the F-FDTL should involve itself in the process of nation-building to win over the people. According to Mr. Pinto, the military has to have military spirit, an “esprit de corps”, and help establish national unity. (TP)
MONALPON is planning to bring down the Alliance Gov – The Movement of Maubere People for Liberation (MONALPOM) is planning to organise and mobilise its supporters through out the country to bring down the current government. The Coordinator of MONALPOM, Carlito ‘Sanamia’ Soares, said that MONALPOM will force the president to conduct a snap election to re-establish democracy in the country. “We will always consider the current government as unconstitutional, because of the decision made by the President,” said Mr. Sanamia on Friday (23/11) in Comoro. (TP)
PR Ramos-Horta: Those who have been involved in crime will not come back to the barracks – President Jose Ramos-Horta said Alfredo would better spend his time thinking of how to explain to the courts his attack on the F-FDTL in Fatuahi rather than conducting military parades. The president also said that those petitioners who have been involved in crime should not dream that they will ever be able to come back to the barracks. (DN)
ISF provides no security for Alfredo and the petitioners – The Commander of International Security Forces (ISF), Brigadier General John Hutchison, said that ISF is not going to provide security for Alfredo and his groups in Gleno, Ermera District. “We are not providing any security to Alfredo and the petitioners in Gleno, Ermera since it is the responsibility of the Task Force formed by the government. Our mission this country does not involve anything political – we simply provide assistance to all Timorese by guaranteeing the security of the country,” said Brigadier Hutchison. (DN)
FRETILIN CONGRATULATES LABOR WINNING GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIAN ELECTIONS FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE FRETILÍN Rua dos Mártires da Pátria, Comoro, Dili, Timor-Leste MEDIA RELEASE Dili, Sunday, 25 November 2007 – FRETILIN congratulates Prime Minister Elect Kevin Rudd and his front bench team for being elected the new government of Australia at yesterday’s general election, said party Secretary General, and former Timor-Leste Prime Minister, Dr. Mari Alkatiri.
“We know Kevin Rudd. He has been a friend of Timor-Leste for a long time, even before the 1999 referendum. We are elated that the Australian people have embraced he and his Party’s vision for a more compassionate, respecting and forward looking society,” said Dr. Alkatiri.
“In September 2001, Kevin Rudd offered his standing as a senior leader of the Australian Labor Party to assist FRETILIN gain membership to the international community of progressive political parties, the International Socialists, of which the Australian Labor Party has played a leading historical role. Because of this FRETILIN is today a fraternal colleague of the Australian Labor Party. We are always positive and happy to see a party from our International Socialist family be entrusted by their people with the task of governing; entrusted to put in place the democratic and social justice ideals we all share as International Socialists,” added Dr. Alkatiri.
“Our two countries have historical links going back for more than half a century, to World War II. FRETILIN and most in the Australian Labor Party have a historic fraternal relationship which grew out of the 24 years of our struggle for independence. We are committed to continuing to build on these links, to continue to nurture future relations based on mutual respect, real fraternity, oriented towards a mutually beneficial and economically and environmentally sustainable future.”
Dr. Alkatiri concluded with underscoring that as the largest political party in Timor-Leste, FRETILIN looks forward to positive and meaningful dialogue at the earliest opportunity with the new Labor Government with regard to how Australia can engage positively and meaningfully towards stabilizing the security and political situation in Timor-Leste.
“We look forward to a mutually respectful and productive dialogue to address any issues which may impede our mutually shared goals of building lasting and trusting relations between our two parties and nations,” said Dr. Alkatiri in closing.
For further information, please contact: -José Teixeira, Member of National Parliament, Tel. 728 7080, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNMIT Weekly United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste Issue No 18 23 November 2007 Not official document for information only. PNTL, UNPol, ISF Officials Answer Security Questions on New RTL Talk Show – Timorese citizens across the nation can now have their questions about security issues answered directly by some of the most senior security officials in Timor-Leste. On 22 November Radio Timor Leste began airing a monthly interactive talk show featuring a panel of PNTL, UNPol, and ISF officers. During the programme, panelists provide an overview of activities and operations in the past month, and then take questions from listeners. The panel for the first programme included Acting PNTL Commander-Designate Ermenegildo Da Silva, UNPol Commissioner Rodolfo Tor, and ISF Commander Brigadier John Hutcheson. The programme, initiated in collaboration with UNMIT Radio, is a live broadcast in Tetum on Thursday from 19:00 to 20:00 in the third week of the month. The free telephone number is 800 291.
East Timor: Fugitive Rebel Soldier Threatens New East Timor Government 2007-11-23 10:08 – GLENO, EAST TIMOR: A rebel soldier wanted on murder charges told cheering supporters in East Timor’s hills Thursday (22 Nov) he would destabilize the fledgling nation once again unless the government reinstated hundreds of mutinous troops. Alfredo Reinado deserted the army with around 600 soldiers and battled police units in the capital early last year. The violence killed several dozen people, sent more than 150,000 fleeing their homes and led to the fall of the government. The country is now policed by the United Nations.
Reinado, who was surrounded by men with automatic weapons, said if Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao did not reinstate the renegade soldiers, who made up nearly a third of the armed forces, “I will lead my soldiers down to Dili.” “The situation and stability of this country will be worse than last year’s crisis,” he told the crowd of more than 500. Reinado was indicted for his alleged role in several deadly shootings between the rebel army troops and police units. Calm was restored by foreign troops and peaceful elections were held earlier this year, but low-level violence continues.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, gained independence in 2002 after more than two decades of brutal Indonesian occupation. Its new political leaders, including President Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, have vowed to tackle rampant poverty and restore damaged relations between the country’s police and army. (AP)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 22 November 2007
UN asks the Timor-Leste government to solve Alfredo’s case according to the law – The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) is asking the government to solve the problems of Alfredo and the 591 petitioners according to the law of Timor-Leste. UNMIT Spokesperson Ms. Allison Cooper said that UNMIT is giving its recommendation to the government and the other organs of state for consideration. According to Ms. Cooper, the recent crises have their root in last year’s crisis and the government should solve the two big problems of Alfredo and the petitioners. (DN)
Alfredo: “leaders are hiding the Tasi Tolu incident” – Former Commander of Military Police Major Alfredo Reinado asked why the court only pays attention to his case and ignores the incident of April 28 last year in Tasi Tolu where lots of people were killed. “The court is only talking about my case. The petitioners’ case is ignored. When they hide the truth, the crisis will not last, no one will go to court,” said Mr. Reinado on Wednesday (21/11) in Gleno, district of Ermera. (STL)
The petitioners’ and Alfredo’s military parade: President Horta does not participate – President Jose Ramos-Horta will not participate in the petitioners and Alfredo Reinado’s military parade, as he is still on his formal trip abroad and will return on Friday (tomorrow). According to the Presidential Media Officer, Joel Pereira, the presidential cabinet was invited by both the petitioners and Mr. Reinado to give speeches at today’s military parade. The PNTL was also invited. (STL and TP)
The petitioners act with F-FDTL discipline – The spokesperson of the petitioners, Gastao Salsinha, said that they are still members of F-FDTL; they left the barracks because of discrimination which then created last year’s crisis. “Discrimination made us leave the barracks, but that does not mean that we left our military functions,” said Mr. Salsinha on Wednesday (21/11) in Gleno. Mr. Salsinha said that he acts as the spokesperson to find the solution for the petitioners because this is his moral duty. Mr. Salsinha said that the military parade in Gleno will show people that the petitioners are still members of the military since they act according to F-FDTL military discipline and have done so for over a year. (STL)
Hundreds of PNTL members to be sacked – Hundreds members of National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) are going to be sacked as over 300 members have potentially been involved in criminal and disciplinary cases. “If the evaluation panel determines that 366 members have been involved in serious cases then they will be sacked,” said Commander PNTS-Designated, Hermenegildo da Cruz, on Wednesday (21/11). Mr. da Cruz said that some of the members will still be able to join the PNTL if it is found that they are not involved in serious cases. (STL)
Law on lawyers to be presented to NP in January 2008 – The president of the Timor-Leste Lawyers Association (AATL), Jose Pedro Camoes, said that early in January 2008 the draft of lawyers’ law will be presented to the national parliament and will be available to the public.(STL)
Audit team to arrive in Timor-Leste – The audit team, named Delinkh arrived in Dili on Wednesday (21/11) to perform an audit on the previous government’s programs. The team will work together with the procurement unit to audit all the programs performed by the previous government. The Director of the Procurement, Francisco Costa Pereira, said that the team will audit the departments of agriculture, solidarity, procurement and tax. According to Mr. Pereira, the team will be on duty until December, and then will present the auditing result to the government via the council of ministry. As the ruling party of the previous government, Fretilin have said that they are not frightened by the audit team. (TP)
Mario Carrascalão: “The Alliance government is carrying out its program behind a curtain” – A Member of the national parliament from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Mario CarrascalÃ£o, said that in after a hundreds days of ruling the government, the Alliance government is carrying out its programs behind a curtain, as the public know nothing about any program implementation. “The first a hundred days is a special opportunity to show people what a new government is about. But the current government has only been showing its political seriousness; showing honesty as a political sentiment. It’s time for the government to publicise that all of the programs are going well,” said Mr. Carrascalão in the national parliament. (DN)