Timor-Leste Legal News February 2008 (Part 1)
UNMIT’s Daily Media Review 4 February 2008
UN Mission extended to 2009 – President Jose Ramos Horta has stated that the UN Mission in Timor-Leste will be extended until 2009. The mandate of the current UN Mission will expire in February 2008. “We have learned from past mistakes and I personally would like the UN to stay 2012,” said the President. (TP)
UNMIT must support PNTL and F-FDTL – Mario Viegas Carrascalao, MP from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), is asking UNMIT to continue supporting PNTL and F-FDTL if the UN mandate is extended. “PSD has no problem with UNMIT and will accept an extension of the current mandate,” said Mr Carrascalao. (TP)
F-FDTL to recruit 300 soldiers – In 2008, F-FDTL will recruit 300 soldiers based upon a Government-approved budget. The recruitment process will commence shortly and will be done by the Commander of the F-FDTL in conjunction with the relevant Government ministers. (STL)
Horta: Brazil asked to establish military tribunal in TL – President Jose Ramos-Horta stated during his visit to Brazil that he had asked the Government of Brazil to establish a military tribunal in Timor-Leste. “My visit to Brazil was to accomplish to missions. One, to enhance the public/media imageof Timor-Leste, and two, to strengthen diplomatic relations,” said the President. “I have had previous discussions regarding Brazil’s help with establishing a militarily tribunal. Before the tribunal can be established, much work will need to be accomplished to prepare the human resources for the tribunal.” (STL)
PM: F-FDTL must give hope to people – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has said that in order to face the future, people must have confidence in the F-FDTL. This institution must be the cornerstone for providing faith to the nation and the people in areas of security, stability and development. (STL)
UN: National police assume greater policing authority in Timor-Leste – Dili, February 4, 2008 – The United Nations Police (UNPol) will begin today to progressively transfer authority to the National Police of Timor-Leste by giving the PNTL command of three police posts in Dili.
They are Bairro Pite, Bidau and Mercado Lama.
The transfer of authority is intended to provide greater operational space and an opportunity for the PNTL to operate more independently, under the supervision and continued mentoring of international police.
Under Resolution 1704, UNMIT is mandated to support the training, institutional development and strengthening of the PNTL.
The decision has been taken by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Atul Khare in consultation with the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.
“Today’s transfer marks an important milestone in the reconstitution f PNTL” said SRSG Khare, stressing that assumption of responsibilities in all fields by the Timorese, assisted by the international community was essential for long-term sustainability of stability, peace and development.
The decision to transfer these three posts to the PNTL has been based on number of criteria including that the posts are managed by fully certified PNTL officers and that adequate logistical support is provided to the PNTL for them to perform their duties.
Over the longer term, the assumption of full PNTL authority will also depend upon the development of a cooperative relationship based on mutual respect and trust between the PNTL and the F-FDTL and demonstrated public confidence in the PNTL.
UNPol will continue to supervise the posts over the next couple of months to ensure that these criteria are being met and continue with the training and mentoring activities. The experience learned from this will be the basis of greater responsibility being handed to the PNTL over the coming months in other districts.
For more information please call UNMIT Spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Hipolito Gama on +670 7311839
TLGOV: Xanana at the F-FDTL 7th Anniversary Ceremony DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY PRIME MINISTER KAY RALA XANANA GUSMÃO ON THE CEREMONY OF THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE F-FDTL
2 February 2008
Naval Component ,Hera
His Excellency the President of the National Parliament
His Excellency the President of the Court of Appeal
Excellencies, Members of Government
Excellency, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General
Excellency, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Officers, Sergeants and Soldiers of FALINTIL-FDTL,
Since I have been Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security, I have been reaffirming that one of the main priorities of this Government is the restructuring of the F-FDTL, articulated with the reform of the Defence and Security Sector. As you know, National Defence is a State activity destined to fill one of the most essential purposes, which is stability, and the F-FDTL is a crucial instrument, through its military component, to achieve this purpose.
The commemoration of the seventh anniversary of the FALANTIL-FDTL has, therefore, a special meaning, since its inception is, in a certain way, entwined in that of the Nation itself. The F-FDTL are intrinsically linked to the concept of national sovereignty and national independence and it is through the identification of this Institution with its Country and its People that we can proudly preserve the national identity.
The Armed Forces, according to the Constitution and the Law, are essentially a means of preserving peace and should contribute as an element able to resolve conflicts and tensions and thus assure the essential stability for the sustainable development and guarantee to the People the well being they deserve. Your mission is to integrate the Armed Forces at the service of the Nation, and not at the exclusive service of a Government, whatever Government it may be, or of an elite, whatever elite it may be, but at the service of the construction of a State based on the Rule of Law.
It is in this context that I want to tell you about the Reform. The IV Constitutional Government has elected 2008 as the year of Reform, implementing structural and balanced changes to the Management of the State, which implies that all the State bodies will be more efficient and functional and corruption free. The development of the State presupposes that all its institutions shall follow it in this task, and the Armed Forces cannot, naturally, be excluded from this process.
The professionalization of the Armed Forces, is a matter of vital importance, and is associated with the preparation and training of the military, the respect for the hierarchy and military discipline, the sense of cohesion and the will to work towards a common goal. Professionalization implies furthermore, the modernization of the material and equipment and the realistic training of the forces in order to respond to the conflicts demands, keeping in mind the real nature of the threats.
The consolidation of the F-FDTL depends also on the capacity of the State to foster bilateral and multilateral cooperation relationships with other countries and pursue the opportunities presented. I have announced publicly, last Sunday, that the ISF International Stabilization Forces will, within the scope of bilateral cooperation, provide the training needed to the Timorese military in order to enable them to fully reach the desired professional standards.
Also at the end of the 2007, following the 2nd meeting of the Portuguese-Timorese Bilateral Commission under the Domain of Defence, a Framework Program for the Technical and Military Training Cooperation for the three year period 2008-2010 was approved, which consists of four main activities: i) support to the development of military advisors; ii) support to operations linked to the census and military recruitment; iii) training, including training of new recruits of the F-FDTL and in which a Centre for the Portuguese Language will be created, and iv) training programs in Portugal, for Timorese sergeants and officers.
Timor-Leste continues to receive the generous support from other Countries. We know how to receive this with recognition and gratitude, with the certainty that soon we will also be in a position to act within international cooperation models in a more active manner, stimulating cooperation policies based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal matters of each State.
As Minister of Defence and Security, I wish to emphasize the national nature of the Military Institution and therefore the reform the Government wants to implement, counts with the institutional solidarity of the sovereignty bodies. The National Defence and Security Policy intends to be integrated to guarantee national security, and therefore the military should actively cooperate with all the intervenient parties in this process, especially the National Police of Timor-Leste, thus greatly reducing the differences that have caused an undesirable gap between these two Institutions.
We wish that the Military Institution be effectively at the service of the Homeland and the People, more oriented toward civilian-military cooperation activities with greater concern for humanitarian and peace support operations; we also want its territorial expansion in order to cover the whole Country, which will be reflected in wider operational and response capacity as well as in a gain of trust from the community towards the Armed Forces.
We also want more Timorese youths to give their contribution to the patriotic mission that represents the national defence, and on the other hand, the urgent implementation of measures in favour of the Falintil combatants (those within and outside of the F-FDTL). Independence was achieved, in large part, due to the determination and sacrifice of these combatants, we cannot shade the fact that the real demobilization has not yet been done, and this Government is planning to begin this process in the first trimester of this year.
I am convinced that it is the duty of the Government to resolve all conflicts that may endanger the national unity and stability and that the conflict that has been generated by the abandonment of the Military Institution by the so-called petitioners, the Alfredo Reinado case and the displaced people, remain sensitive issues, that unable a decisive start towards the Country’s development and modernization, the efforts of this Government, in partnership with other Sovereignty Organs and the Civil Society, have been doubled for the their resolution.
In these three cases the responsible intervention of the F-FDTL may be fundamental to resolve these problems once and for all. In the petitioners case because they know them better than anyone else and may be a privileged partner to the dialogue; in the Reinado’s case, because it was within your institution that he learnt the behaviour and military honour codes which sooner or later will make him aware of the fact that there is only one way out of this deadlock, which is through justice.
As to the displaced people, the performance of public missions of public interest passes through humanitarian activities in support of the displaced people and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the general community. We hope that the F-FDTL will continue to actively cooperate in the process of supporting the displaced people allowing them to return to their communities and homes of origin, either through the provision of security associated with the process or in raising the awareness of the communities which host them or in concrete logistic and transport support.
Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak
Officers, Sergeants an Soldiers of the FALINTIL-FDTL,
We are very pleased to see the delivery of the two boats completely rehabilitated. The sea vector presents itself, actually, as a main priority for the Country and consequently a strategy of national defence and security implies the development of the naval component. A light naval force allows the Country to use the sea in accordance with its needs, guaranteeing adequate levels of security, helping the development of maritime spaces where we apply our sovereignty and jurisdiction honouring our commitments under international treaties. I understand that the patrolling and surveillance of our territorial waters, where important resources for the sovereignty and sustainable development of Timor-Leste are found, are to be carried out as a matter of urgency.
I salute all the military present here for their commitment and dedication to the national cause. I believe the worse has already passed: the construction of an institution, which grew with weaknesses. Lessons learnt with the mistakes of the past, we are all together committed to raise again the Military Institution to a path identical to similar ones around the world.
We shall face the future with resolve and confidence, and be assured that we will know how to maintain the efficiency, dignity and prestige of the F-FDTL. This institution shall be a reference of hope for the People and for the Homeland: of security, stability and development.
I also wish to congratulate Second Sergeant Arlindo and his Section that provide security to EDTL in Comoro for their firm actions in defending the interests of the State and People.
Thank you very much
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
2nd February 2008
NZ Defence Force continuing deployment to East Timor Sun, 03 Feb 2008 04:51p.m. – New Zealand has more defence personnel in East Timor than anywhere else overseas – the most recent addition was a fresh Airforce helicopter detachment of 31 crew.
They are joined by nearly a hundred and fifty kiwi soldiers.
Part of their objective is to help local police and military function professionally – clashes between the two units contributed to a bloody uprising in 2006 and friction between them remains.
A report from a US think-tank warns that security forces are likely to remain politicised and volatile unless reforms are carried out.
It says that: “The potential for political actors to use the army and police for their own purposes remains high. Shared (security) responsibility between the president and prime minister is confusing lines of authority.”
And it is not just a fledgling security force which is a challenge for the New Zealand contingent – a package of nail darts and a slingshot was confiscated during a vehicle checkpoint.
Sgt Major Percy McLaughlin: “Having a Timorese point one of these at you is justification by our rules of engagement to use lethal force.”
And those seeking to increase numerical support to make a political point will often exploit the nation’s demographic challenges – almost half the population is under the age of 15, and rates of urban unemployment are high.
East Timor gained independence in 1999, but problems with infrastructure, poverty and dislocation remain immense.
While stability is being restored, there is no sign yet New Zealand’s commitment here is about to end.
The Timorese have only had a few years to exercise their political freedom and be independent, after centuries of colonial domination. Today, it remains a fledgling and deeply troubled nation – and a nation which will continue to require international assistance for many years to come. http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/Story/tabid/209/articleID/45054/cat/41/Default.aspx
UNMIT Daily Media Review 1 February 2008
TVTL news coverage
Ministry of Education prepares education law – In a few weeks time, the Ministry of Education will present the new education laws to the Council of Ministers to be discussed before getting approval from the National Parliament.
ASDT representatives ask Ministers Alves and Lima to step down – The representatives of the Democratic Association of Timorense (ASDT) from 13 districts have asked the Minister of Tourism Gil Alves and the State Secretary of Environment Abilio Lima to step down, claiming that corrupt practices by the Ministers are giving a bad image to the ASDT. RTL news coverage
UN Police will officially transfer responsibility to Timorese National Police (PNTL) – The Spokesperson for the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Alison Cooper, said in a press conference held yesterday that UN Police will officially transfer responsibility to Timorese National Police (PNTL) in Dili next Monday. Ms Cooper said that this transfer was based on an assessment held by the UN on the capacity of the PNTL. Ms Cooper expected that the PNTL would cooperate with the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) and generate confidence from the population. Ms Cooper added that the UN Police would still monitor PNTL’s work, and gradually hand over full security powers to them.
* * *
UNPol to provide security during food distributions – The United Nation’s Spokesperson Allison Cooper stated that the United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste have decided to reduce food rations to IDPs based on an agreement made in September 2007. The Spokesperson explained that the policy of food reduction was made in acknowledgement that there are many non-IDPs who also require assistance. “We have reduced humanitarian support in order to look after those people who are facing natural disasters and other such problems within the country,” said Ms Cooper in a press conference yesterday. “Reducing food aid to the IDPs will allow the Government to focus on the other vulnerable people in Timor-Leste and the overall food security situation.” Food rations will be reduced to 4kg per each person or family per month. The United Nations Police and the PNTL will provide security during food distributions. (DN)
Government Commission to solve food reduction problem – The State Secretary for Natural Disaster Support, Jacinto Rigoberto, stated that the Government will form a commission to resolve the problems caused by the food reduction policy in a meeting held with IDPs in the airport camp yesterday. Mr Rigoberto said that he alone could not resolve the grievances of the IDPs and that he would have to consult with other ministers. The IDPs will join the commission so that they their concerns can be properly considered. (DN)
Australian Government gives 40 cars to PNTL -The United Nations Police Spokesperson, Benjamin Osuji, stated in a press conference held yesterday that the Australian Government will provide 40 cars to the PNTL in order to help the PNTL with their operations. (DN)
LDP asks Government to reform Task Force – In an attempt to resolve Alfredo and the petitioner’s case, the Democratic Progressive League (LPD) has asked the Government to reform the Task Force as they claim the Task Force has not had any success. LPD’s Spokesperson, Hermenegildo Cupa, said that the Government has to find a resolution to the problems of Alfredo, petitioners and the IDPs as this is affecting the development of the country. “Instability in the country affects democracy,” said Mr Cupa. “We will never be able to develop as such instability creates unemployment and hampers the development of education.” (DN)
Case of abused Journalist under investigation – A PNTL member of the Transition Unit who beat and used his pistol to threaten an AFP journalist, Nelson da Cruz, is under investigation. The United Nations Police Spokesperson, Benjamin Osuji, stated in a press conference held yesterday that the case was under investigation. (STL)
UNMIT mandate to end – The mandate of the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) will end on 26 February. The United Nations Security Council will decide whether to extend the mandate after the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare visits the UN to present his report to the Security Council. The Report will be presented during the second week of February and will detail UNMIT’s work to date. (TP)
UNPol passes power to PNTL – The United Nations Police will begin to pass responsibility to the PNTL in order for the PNTL to become more independent. The transfer of responsibility was made based on four criteria: PNTL officers must be screened; adequate support must be provided by UNPol to the PNTL; there must be cooperation between PNTL and F-FDTL; the public must have confidence in the PTNL. The decision to transfer responsibility was made in consultation with the Government. (TP)
Mandate extended for TSDA Upstream (Norway) February 1, 2008 – The petroleum regulator for the offshore joint petroleum development area shared by East Timor and Australia has had its mandate extended again, this time until 30 June. The Timor Sea Designated Authority (TSDA) administers all oil and gas activity in the shared offshore zone and is due to be amalgamated with the country’s National Directorate of Oil & Gas, a division of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The new regulatory body was due to have already been operational under the terms of the Timor Sea Treaty between the two countries, but there were delays including civil unrest in East Timor in 2006 and presidential and national elections in 2007. An earlier extension for the TSDA was valid until 2 January, and that has been extended again, said the agency. The TSDA has developed a lot of expertise since it was established five years ago. As well as overseeing activity at ConocoPhillips’ Bayu-Undan project, it has sharpened its skills by establishing a new financial and legal framework for the joint petroleum development area that culminated in the successful 2006 licensing round. http://www.upstreamonline.com/