Timor-Leste Legal News January 2008 (Part 3)
25 January 2008 TVTL news coverage
Fretilin accuses the Alliance Government of failing to defend the State – President of Fretilin Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo has accused the current government of being irresponsible in defending and empowering institutions of the state. “Alfredo Reinado is walking freely in the mountains even though he is indicted for crimes against the state. Security forces could not provide security as each institution is under different directions. Furthemore, IDPs can not return home as there is no security for them,” said Mr. Lu-Olo on Thursday (24/1) in Hotel Timor, Dili.
Reinado intends to cause a revolution – Judge Ivo Rosa of the Dili district Court said the military uniforms and weapons used by Alfredo Reinado and his groups in a video recording shown by the Public Prosecution shows he wants to revolt against the state. Paulo Remeidos, legal advisor for Reinado said rejects the video recording, as it does not fit with the facts and has no relation to the allegations against his client. However, Prosecutor Felismino Cardoso said the video recording does contain facts relevant to the allegation, especially in relation to military uniforms and weapons used by Reinado and his group.
RTL news coverage – The American Embassy in Timor-Leste launches a new assistance package for Timor-Leste to respond the consequences of 2006 crisis: The Ambassador of USA in Timor-Leste, Hans Klemm said the friendship between the US government and Timor-Leste is based on supporting Timor-Leste and strengthening democracy. Furthermore, Ambassador Klemm said that the US will also support the government of Timor-Leste to provide security for its people.
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US ready to support the government solving Alfredo problem – The United States of America (USA) has signalled its readiness to support the government of Timor-Leste to solve the problems of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners. The Ambassador of USA in Timor-Leste, Hans G. Klemm declared that the USA will offer support when needed. “We will continue to support the President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to continue the process of dialogue to find a good solution for the problems in Timor-Leste,” said Ambassador Klemm on Thursday (24/1) in Pantai Kelapa, Dili. (TP)
The High Level Coordination Committee Level will strengthen security in TL – The High Level Coordination Committee has decided to strengthen security situation in the whole territory of Timor-Leste to increase calm and peace. “The Trilateral meeting held between us and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão is to strengthen security in Timor-Leste between Defence Forces of Timor-Leste, the National Police of Timor-Leste, the International Security Forces (ISF) and UNPol and to discuss how to create a secure and stable situation for the people,” said State Secretary of Security Francisco Guterres on Thursday (24/1) in the Government Palace, Dili. The High Level meeting was also attended by the Special Representative of Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste Atul Khare. (TP)
Alfredo’s trial, moved to March 2008 – The trial for Alfredo Reinado has been adjourned until March 2008 due to Alfredo Reinado not appearing in court. During yesterday’s hearing, the Court saw a video with Alfredo Reinado. He is been indicted for his alleged role in the crisis of April and May 2006. (TP and DN)
Alkatiri: dictator Xanana-TL to be a fail state – The Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri has compared Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão’s leadership to that of a dictator and has warned that Timor-Leste will become a failed state. “Fretilin has called his leadership to come to an end,” said Mr. Alkatiri in the Fretilin press conference on Thursday (24/1) in Hotel Timor, Dili. Mr. Alkatiri also said that Fretilin has proposed to the Secretary-General of United Nations Ban Ki-Moon during a visit in December that Fretilin should have a high level place in solving the problems of the country. “Those problems include security, justice, Reinado, the petitioners, IDPs, public administration reform, and the reform and restructure of the F-FDTL and PNTL,” said Mr. Alkatiri. (TP)
LDP asking President of the Republic to dissolve the Task Force – The Progressive Democratic League (LDP) has joined other political parties in asking the Prime Minister José Ramos-Horta to dissolve the current Task Force on Reinado and establish a new one with new and independent members. The Spokesperson of LDP Hermenegildo Lopes ‘Kupa’ said that the current Task Force is politically influenced. LDP is asking President Ramos-Horta to dissolve the current one a form a new one with members who are not politically influenced. (TP and DN)
Alfredo’s CD, evidence to bring down PM Xanana – Fretilin is now considering a video featuring Reinado, shown in the Dili District Court yesterday, as evidence that will remove the current Government. Fretilin considers that the allegations contained within the video are the same as those made by Vicente ‘Railos’ against Mari Alkatiri that forced the former Prime Minister to resign from his position in 2006. “It’s clear that Reinado’s video is evidence for Fretilin, as Railos’ video became evidence to force Alkatiri to resign, both allegations are the same,” said President of Fretilin Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo in Hotel Timor, Dili. However, Fretilin has expressed concern that the Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro has ignored Reinado’s allegation for the reason that it is too political. Mr. Lu-Olo said that when Fretilin was in Government, all NGOs and independent institutions screamed for justice, but when injustice occurs, nobody in the current government says a thing. (TP)
Ana Pessoa, leaders should have principles of the truth – The Fretilin Member of the National ParliamentAna Pessoa said leaders have to adhere to principles’ of truth to solve the current problems of Timor-Leste. “The nation’s problems, such as, Reinado and the Petitioners, IDPs and other development problems will be solved positively when all the institutions and leaders of the nation, including Fretilin sit together and find cohesion,” said Ms. Pessoa on Thursday (24/1) in the National Parliament in Dili. (DN)
Source: UNMIT’s Daily Media Review
PM to speak at Saturday seminar for journalists Thursday, January 24, 2008 CJITL – Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão will be the featured guest at an open seminar and discussion for journalists on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Fundasaun Oriente.
The hour-long event, sponsored by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), begins at 10.30 a.m. at the center, which is next to City Café on the Avenue Presidente N. Lobato.
The prime minister last week expressed dissatisfaction with Timor-Leste journalists, and has been invited to clarify and expand remarks he made about the country’s media.
At a press conference at the Ministry of Social and Solidarity reported by the Timor Post on Jan.16, Gusmão said careless or irresponsible reporting could exacerbate social tensions in the country. “If instability emerges in Timor -Leste, we will arrest the press,” he said then.
Francez Suni is the coordinator of ICFJ’s Special Projects Team, which organized the event. Suni said all journalists and organizations interested in press issues are invited to participate in the discussion.
For more information please contact Suni at: +670 736 7527 or e-mail: email@example.com Posted by CJITL at 8:35 PM http://cjitl01.blogspot.com/2008/01/pm-to-speak-at-saturday-seminar-for.html
ICFJ, IREX back KOLKOS workshop on media law – Thursday, January 24, 2008 CJITL – The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) together with IREX in Timor- Leste are supporting a workshop on media law organized by KOLKOS, the Legislative Commission for Social Communication. The workshop will be held Feb. 12 and 13 in Dili.
Francisco Agustinho Pinto, Media Law Coordinator for ICFJ and IREX, told CJITL Online that the two international organizations back KOLKOS’s ongoing efforts to encourage media and government to work together to draft a media law for Timor-Leste.
The February workshop will discuss plans and ideas for a national workshop to be held in May or June of this year. Pinto said he expects approximately 50 people from the media to attend, including journalists from across Timor –Leste; university students; and representatives of civil society. http://cjitl01.blogspot.com/2008/01/icfj-irex-back-kolkos-workshop-on-media.html
East Timor: Expert calls for end to legal language barriers – Dili, 24 Jan. (AKI) – East Timor’s laws should be translated into the local Tetun language to give people a better understanding and respect for the law, according to one of the country’s legal experts.
In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Warren Wright, editor of the East Timor Law Journal, commended the Asia Foundation’s access to justice program – which is translating the laws.
But he claimed that this action was not enough.
“Access to the law in a language that one understands is a fundamental democratic right that has not always been a salient feature in East Timor,” Wright told AKI.
“Through laws, citizens get to know their legal rights and obligations in relation to each other and to the state, as well as the nature of the legal conflict resolution mechanisms.”
However, Wright stated that more needs to be done to make the laws accessible to East Timor’s one million people, half of whom cannot read or write.
“It is still also necessary to inform ordinary people about the meaning of the laws. The government should carry out public information campaigns about important new laws, and how they affect society,” he said.
The Asia Foundation’s program includes a public legal information campaign. The program uses talkback radio programs, public meetings in rural areas, and posters and brochures to educate citizens about the country’s evolving legal framework.
Among the new Tetun-language publications is a reference volume for the court of appeal, an explanation of court responsibilities, and brochures explaining key provisions of the new penal procedures code.
Most of East Timor’s laws were written in Portuguese, the language of the former colonizer.
Portuguese and Tetun are two official languages in East Timor but the former is now only understood by, and associated with, a tiny political elite residing in Dili.
The language barrier in understanding the laws mirrors similar difficulties faced by East Timorese in obtaining jobs in public administration, where Portuguese is often required.
Most of the young, educated East Timorese studied in Indonesian-run schools during Jakarta’s 24-year long occupation of the former Portuguese colony.
The language issue has often been mentioned as one of the main reasons for the alienation of the young and the violence that still pervades East Timor.
24 January 2008
TVTL news coverage – TL-Malaysia: signing maintenance on the vehicles of F-FDTL: The government of Timor-Leste will sign an accord with the Malaysian governmentfor vehicles maintenance on Wednesday (23/1) in the Government Palace in Dili. The State Secretary of Defence Julio Thomas Pinto said that the objective of the Accord is to obtain vehicle maintenance and training on maintenance. (DN, STL, TP and TVTL)
RTL news coverage
Alfredo Reinado will not appear in his second trial in the court: Alfredo Reinado Alves said that he will not appear in court today for his second trial as the judicial system of Timor-Leste does not follow the public’s interest, rather it only follows and fulfills the political interests of certain people. Reinado also said that the Court is not impartial in dealing with people who were directly involved in the 2006 crises as they have still not been charged. Reinado said he will not appear in court until the country’s legal system is improved as he wants a military court with Timorese judges.
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Carrascalão: should form new Task Force for Alfredo’s case – The President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Mario Carrascalão has stated that a new and improved independent Task Force is needed to solve the Alfredo Reinado and petitioners’ problems. According to Mr. Carrascalão the recent Task Force has no credibility and neutrality to solve such case. “… to have a good solution, the Task Force should be formed with independent persons to find common ways between two paths,” said Mr. Carrascalão on Wednesday (23/1). (TP and DN)
Allegation to Alkatiri and Xanana: same form, vague objective – The Fretilin Member of the National Parliament (NP) Joaquim dos Santos said that the allegation by Alfredo Reinado against the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão as the author of 2006 crisis and Mari Alkatiri as the weapons distributor are old. He said the two allegations are the same as old allegations. He said the reasons for him repeating them are not clear and as allegations, they have a vague objective. (DN)
Pope Bento XIV, happy with a calm situation in Timor-Leste – President (PR) José Ramos-Horta ha met Pope Bento XVI and briefed him about the situation in Timor-Leste and his efforts to have reconciliation in the country. PR Ramos-Horta said that the Pope expressed contentment with the situation and encouraged Timor-Leste to continue the process of dialogue and the national reconciliation. (DN)
Arsenio Bano: “PM Xanana needs to give response to the allegation of Alfredo” – Fretilin Vice President Arsenio Bano said that PM Xanana Gusmão might not be arrogant, but he should respect people by responding to the allegation made against him by Alfredo Reinado. Mr Bano’s comments follow President Ramos-Horta’s intention to reconcile Fretilin with the Majority Alliance Party to solve national problems. “Fretilin proposed a grand inclusive government last year but was rejected but now we are being called upon to help solver the challenges, said Mr. Bano on Wednesday (23/1) in the NP. He also said that the problems of Alfredo Reinado, the Petitioners and the IDPs will not solved within a year as promised by a recent government campaign. (DN)
Arsenio Bano: Benevides, a politician or lawyer? – Vice President of Fretilin Arsenio Bano said that the lawyer of Alfredo Reinado, Mr. Benevides Barros seemed to be a politician by giving constant political statements to the public. Mr. Bano was responding the comments made by Alfredo’s lawyer, Benevides Barros who asked some parties to use his client to create confusion and instability in the country. (DN)
Adriano Nascimento: Task Force’s work should explain to the people – The Parliamentary Member from the Democratic Party, Adriano Nascimento said that the government needs to explain the work of the Task Force working to solve the Reinado and the Petitioners problems. Mr. Nascimento said that as a representative of the people, the NP should know the work of Task Force which has taken 5 months but gives no sign that the problems Alfredo Reinado and the Petitioners are going to be solved. (DN)
Source: UNMIT’s Daily Media Review
FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
Rua dos Mártires da Pátria, Comoro, Dili, Timor-Leste,
Dili, 24 January 2008
FRETILIN says: “AMP Government cannot defend the State.”
Timor Leste’s largest political party FRETILIN today accused the “AMP” government of failing totally in its responsibility to defend and strengthen the key state institutions of an independent Timor-Leste.
Speaking at a press conference today in Dili, FRETILIN Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri said that over the last few weeks there have been many more examples of the Gusmão government behaving illegitimately and irresponsibly.
We see examples almost daily of illegal and unconstitutional decisions, especially in the way public money is being spent and public assets are being used,” said Mr. Alkatiri.
Last week, thousands of hectares of Timor-Leste’s scarce agricultural land was handed over to a foreign investor to grow sugar cane, without consulting local communities and with no reference to any overall plan for agricultural land use and development.”
Mr Alkatiri continued: “Tendering processes are not transparent. Ministers are acting without taking advice from their own Directors. Instead of working through our Timorese Public Service, task forces are set up, increasing dependence on foreign advisers.”
FRETILIN’s President Lu’Olo reinforced Mr Alkatiri’s statement. “The undermining of the justice sector is obvious,” said Lu’Olo. “Reinado remains free even though he is accused of the most serious crimes against the State. The security forces cannot provide security and defend the rule of law because different institutions issue different instructions. The IDPs will never return home if there is no security.”
FRETILIN is also demanding investigation of other examples of maladministration, including the dismissal or downgrading of public servants without due process; inappropriate public service selection; excessive expenditure by government members on their own security; overseas trips taken without any clear program; and attacks on freedom of the press and the institution of parliament
The parliament is a key institution in a democracy,” said Mr. Lu’Olo. “The AMP government treats it with no respect, using its majority to force matters through without proper discussion, breaking the Parliament’s own rules. The Budget was approved without any transparency about the process of execution.”
Mr Alkatiri concluded: “Timor-Leste is in danger of becoming a failed state. FRETILIN has clear proposals to stop this. We put forward a proposal to the UN Secretary General, to use high-level Commissions which include FRETILIN representation to investigate and resolve the problems in key including Security, Justice, Reinado & the petitioners, the IDPs, and Reform of the Public Administration, PNTL and F-FFDTL.”
For further information, contact Arsenio Bano 7339416
East Timor govt hopeful of Reinado resolution ABC Last Updated 24/01/2008, 22:14:58 – East Timor’s fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado has refused to attend a scheduled court hearing to face murder and other charges related to a deadly outbreak of violence in 2006. Mr Reinado escaped from jail in the capital, Dili, in August 2006 and has been on the run ever since. His trial has been delayed until March 3, after he failed to show up in court to face multiple charges, including eight counts of murder, relating to the violence in 2006 that plunged the country into crisis.
East Timor’s state secretary for security, Francisco De Costa Gutteres, has told Radio Australia’s Stephanie March the government thinks the situation with Reinado can still be resolved peacefully. “One positive thing that I see from Alfredo is his willingness to submit to the dialogue,” he said. “He decided everything should be resolved through the dialogue.”
The prosecutor played the court a one hour video featuring Mr Reinado wearing a military uniform and denouncing the government led Task Force set up to resolve his case. Mr Reinado has communicated through his lawyers and the media that he will not face justice until the government meets certain demands, including reinstating him and his followers back into the military.
It’s the second time the trial has been postponed. You can find the full story at the Connect Asia website: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia
23 January 2008
TVTL news coverage – Alfredo not to appear at his second court hearing: Former Military Police Commander Major Alfredo Reinado said that he will not appear at his second court hearing in Dili District Court as he is preparing himself for dialogue with the government. Alfredo’s lawyer, Benevides Barros said that his client, Reinado does not mean to not respect the court’s decision, but he is preparing to have dialog with the Government in a short space of time.
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Alfredo, petitioners and the government: commit to have dialogue – The State Secretary for Defence Julio Thomas Pinto said that Alfredo Reinado, the petitioners and the government have committed to continue the dialogue process. As the state decided previously, the only way to solve Alfredo and the petitioners’ problems is through dialogue. (STL and DN)
Alfredo’s allegation: opposition pressuring Xanana to present to the National Parliament – The opposition parties in the National Parliament (NP), PPT and KOTA, are pressuring Prime Minister (PM) Xanana Gusmão to present on the allegations of Alfredo Reinado that Xanana is the ‘intellectual’ author of the 2006 crisis. “As the PM of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão has to tell all people about the accusation by Alfredo Reinado which said that he is the ‘intellectual’ author of the 2006 crisis,” said Manuel Tilman in his political declaration on Tuesday (22/1) in the NP, Dili. Furthermore, Adriano Nascimento from the Democratic Party (PD) asked PM Xanana to reveal the actions of the Task Force for the cases of Reinado and the petitioners. (STL and DN)
Bishop Basilio is surprised by the presence of the ISF in Baucau – Bishop Basilio Nascimento from Baucau Diocese said that he is surprised with the presence of the International Security Forces (ISF) who are walking around Baucau district. “I am surprised when in see soldiers walking around. There was no helicopter in Baucau when the nation was in crisis. Now all is calm, there are Australian helicopters flying around us. I get no explanation from the government, political parties or the NP why there are Australian soldiers all around in the country. Previously, they were only in Dili. I don’t know who decided this,” said Bishop Basilio on Friday (18/1) in Baucau. (TP)
National Parliament to look into possibility of calling Xanana – The Vice President of the NP Vicente Guterres declared that the NP will look into the possibility of calling on current PM Xanana Gusmao to respond to opposition pressures related to the accusations made against him by Alfredo Reinado’s. “We’ll find time to discuss with parties’ leaders in the NP whether we can invite PM Xanana Gusmão to come to the NP or not,” said Vice President NP Guterres in the NP, Dili. NP member from Democratic Party (PD), Adriano Nascimento, also said that PM Xanana should give a political statement to the public to avoid confusion amongst the people (TP, TVTL and DN)
Afonso de Jesus: people in districts are calm – The Commander-Designate of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Afonso de Jesus said that the people in thirteen districts around the country are living in calm thanks to the security situation which is guaranteed by the United Nations Police (UNPol), PNTL and the community of Timor-Leste. Commander Afonso de Jesus said that the security situation has been calm thanks to the cooperation of the community with the PNTL in the New Year. (DN)
US: rejects providing uniform to Alfredo – The Ambassador of the United States of America in Timor-Leste Hans Klemm rejected the rumour that the recent US Ambassador in Timor-Leste was providing military uniforms to Alfredo Reinado and his group. “The uniform might be the same as the uniform worn by the US military, especially the marine corps, but this is just a coincidence,” said Ambassador Hans on Tuesday (22/1) in a press conference in Farol, Dili. Ambassador Hans asked the media to show a strong commitment to the truth and report responsibly. (DN)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review
22 January 2008
RTL news coverage
The President of the National Parliament (NP) appeals to all sectors of society to contribute to solving the problems of the country: The President of the National Parliament (NP) has appealed to all sectors of society to contribute towards solving the problems of the country. The problems of Alfredo Reinado, the petitioners and IDPs are national problems that require the conscience and contribution of all sectors, including political parties.
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UN raises US$22M for Timor-Leste – The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said that in 2007 UN organizations in Timor-Leste raised US$22M for the development of the country. DSRSG Finn also said that US22M was provided by the international community. “The fund has enabled the government to provide food and humanitarian assistance to the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) …,” said DSRSG Finn on Thuursday (17/1) in Obrigado Barracks, Dili. DSRSG Finn was responding to a journalistâ€™s question about UN support in 2007. (DN)
Screening of the F-FDTL is a positive step – The decision of President (PR) José Ramos-Horta to screen the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) is a positive step that will help solve the political and military crisis of the country. “… PR Ramos-Horta, as the Supreme Commander of F-FDTLL, has made this decision to help find a solution to the problems of the petitioners, including Alfredo Reinado,” said Duarte Nunes, a member of the National Parliament (NP). (DN)
Branco: “Threatening journalists reveals a dictator’s attitude” – From a political statement in the NP, a NP member from Fretilin, Francisco Miranda, stated that the attitude of Prime Minister (PM) Xanana Gusmao is similar to that of a dictator who intends to curb press freedom, in light of his threatening comments to journalists. “If he feels offended by a media publication, any citizen of this country may bring such a case to the court, but threatening is not acceptable,” said Mr. Miranda on Monday (21/1) in the plenary session of NP in Dili. However, the NP member from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said that Fretilin are just “playing politics” and Fretilin should only complain if the Alliance Government starts putting journalists in jail or sanctioning them. (DN and TP)
Alfredo Reinado: “People can decide whether I’m a rebel or not” – Alfredo Reinado said that only the Timorese people can decide whether he is a rebel or not, not internationals, since he has never stood against them or their nations. According to Reinado, contextually the internationals are the rebels because they have exploited the opportunity presented by the crisis.
Alfredo declared that he is not a rebel as long as he has not committed any action against the people. (STL)
Tilman: NP may invite Xanana to give his opinion on Alfredo’s CD – A member of the NP from KOTA, Manuel Tilman, said that he is asking the NP through the President of the NP Fernando Lasama to invite PM Xanana Gusmão to give his opinion on Alfredo’s CD which has spread widely in Dili and in which the PM was accused of being the author of the 2006 crisis. ‘We all know that Xanana used to be the leader of the army, the clandestine movement and the diplomatic front, and then brought us a referendum to achieve independence. That’s why I request through the NP President that we invite PM Xanana to explain the political truth,” said Mr. Tilman on Monday (21/1) in the NP, Dili. The Vice President of the NP, Maria PaixÃ£o, said that the suggestion will be discussed.
“There are many CDs from Alfredo’s, not only accusing Xanana, but also accusing other people, including PM Mari Alkatiri. We might ask all of them to come and explain the truth to the NP,” said Ms. PaixÃ£o. (DN)
Administrative reform: government signing an accord with UNDP – PM Xanana Gusmao on Monday (21/1) signed an accord with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to support the Ministry of State Administration in their project to reform public functions. “We are working on a program and need to improve the capacity of public servants. The accord is signed so that UNDP could assist the government’s work,” said PM Xanana in Dili. The project is signed for five years, between the government of Timor-Leste and UNDP, until 2012 and entails supervising public servants to help them to deliver give good services to the people and the nation. (DN, TP and STL)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 22 January 2008