Timor-Leste Legal News January 2008 (Part 4)
UNDP, Timor-Leste support public sector reforms UNMIT Weekly No. 27 – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Timor-Leste launched a three-year, US$17 million project aimed at supporting civil service reform in the country.
According to the project document, activities will include the establishment of a Management Information System that underscores transparency and supports personnel management, and strategic planning and management of human resources in the civil service, among other things.
At the signing ceremony on 21 January, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão stressed the project’s importance in supporting the role of the Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management in leading the reform of public administration in Timor-Leste. “The values displayed by the civil service should be seen as a model for all East Timorese people,” he said, urging the civil service to be “a civil service for any Government in power.”
Describing the project as “quite timely,” UNDP Deputy Country Director Hiroko Takagi noted that the project will be implemented at a time when the Government prepares to draft its next five-year National Development Plan.
Better for PNTL and UNPOL to Arrest Alfredo Jornal Diario Nacional, 31/1/08 Dili, Timor-Leste The Commander of the International Stabilsation Forces (ISF) John Hutcheson stated that the ISF does not have the right to arrest Alfredo and his group, but if the court wants to arrest him it will be better to send the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) and UNPOL who have that function in Timor-Leste to arrest people.
The ISF Commander John Hutcheson said this to journalists following having participated in a farewell ceremony with the new ISF Commander James Baker at the ISF General Headquarters, Caicoli, Dili (28/1).
The ISF Commander explained further that it is the police who are able to undertake the arrest of Alfredo because according to the law in place it is the police who are able to arrest persons who have committed crimes, but the military cannot undertake such arrests.
“The relationship between the ISF and the Timor-Leste judiciary are good. But we do not have the right to capture or arrest anyone, especially those who commit crimes or other violations,” said the ISF commander.
Regarding the order that the ISF received recently from the court to capture Major Alfredo, the ISF Commander explained that only the court will be able to explain to the public the fundamental reason why the ISF cannot capture Major Alfredo in accordance with the letter sent by the court to the ISF.
“Regarding our not capturing Alfredo, only the court will be able to respond to this question,” recounted the ISF Commander.
When asked about the ISF action in Same some time ago, the ISF Commander explained that it was part of the ISF’s role to guarantee security to enable the people to go about their activities in peace. (END)
Human Rights Watch World Report 2008 Timor-Leste
UNMIT’S Daily Media Review 31 January 2008
TVTL news coverage – F-FDTL soldier recognizes police officers who attacked Ruak’s residence: An active Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) soldier, Damiao da Silva, yesterday testified at the Dili District Court that he recognized police officers who were involved in the attack on F-FDTL Commander, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak’s residence. During the trial, da Silva said he saw there were some police officers shooting at his commander’s residence, but he did not know about the exact involvement of Abilio “Mausoko” Mesquita. Da Silva said that during the attack, he was wounded on both his armpit and neck. Da Silva was testifying in the trial for the former police officer, Mausoko who was suspected of being involved in the attack on the F-FDTL commander’s residence during the crisis in 2006.
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RETRACTION No offer of money from UNDP to TLPC – The story printed yesterday claiming that the Untied Nations Development Program (UNDP) was to provide USD800,000 worth of funding for a project to purchase newspapers from the Timor-Leste Press Club (TLPC) has been retracted due to serious errors in the article. The Coordinator of Timor-Leste Media Independent Development Initiative Project, Miguel Caldera, has corrected the story stating that no such arrangement has been made between TLPC and UNDP. During the meeting between TLPC and UNDP, from which the erroneous article was based upon, discussions were had over possible UNDP support for all media in the nation. No specific finances were discussed.
Mari Alkatiri: “Early Elections should be considered” The Secretary General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri said that there should be serious consideration given to holding early elections in 2009. Mr. Alkatiri said that if there is no anticipation that elections may be held early, Fretilin will rally the population to force the current government to step down. “This is not a threat to the Majority Alliance in Parliament (AMP). But this is Fretilin’s right, and the peoples’ need,” said Mr. Alkatiri on Wednesday (30/1) in the National Parliament (NP), Dili. (TP)
Fretilin decries CNRT Xanana adulation – A member of parliament (MP) from Fretilin, Francisco Miranda said that Fretilin disagrees with the political statement of the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) which bestows undue adulation on Prime Minister (PM) Xanana Gusmao. According to Mr. Miranda, such adulation is very dangerous for the process of democracy in Timor-Leste. “As citizens of this country, we should give honor to all political leaders. But to glorify one leader above all others is dangerous for the process of democracy,” said Mr. Branco in the NP, Dili. Mr. Branco was responding to the political statement of CNRT in the NP that Xanana’s contribution to the liberation of the country has been bigger then any other individuals. (TP)
Nelson Correia: “Alfredo’s case all politics” – The President of the Social Democratic Party Nelson Correia has said Alfredo’s case is no longer a military case as it has become quite political. As such, it is difficult to define Alfredo’s status and to know if the case requires a political or military solution. (DN)
IDPs reject Government’s food reduction – IDPs in the airport camp have rejected the Government’s plan to reduce food rations. The IDPs have made a request to the Government to continue food aid. “If the Government’s decision to reduce the food rations is implemented, we will demand that the Government show us immediately who the author of the military and political crisis has been,” said Mateus de Costa Belo, Spokesperson for the IDP camp. He also warned that such action would cause civil unrest such as strikes and roadblocks. (DN)
Baucau: IDPs demand food aid – IDPs in Baucau have asked the Ministry of Social and Solidarity to provide food aid and other assistance as there have been no food distributions in Baucau for 8 months. “We escaped to the district because of the crisis, not because we wanted to. We have lost all of our possessions. We are asking for assistance because we are victims, not beggars. The Government has to give consideration to our suffering,” said the IDPs in a statement sent to Diario Nacional. (DN)
ISF: Only PNTL and UNPol can arrest Alfredo – The Commander of the International Security Forces (ISF) John Hutcheson has said that the ISF has no mandate to capture Alfredo or his group. However, if the courts need to capture him, they can ask the UNPol and PNTL forces for assistance as they do have a mandate to capture him. (DN)
UN examines TL report on child prostitution – The United Nations Commission on the Rights of the Child has examined the report by the Government of Timor-Leste on child prostitution, child trafficking, child pornography and child soldiers. The Commission stated that Timor-Leste needs a comprehensive judicial board to guarantee the promotion and protection of the right’s of children. (DN)
TLPC sends protest letter to PNTL – Journalists from the Timor-Leste Press Club (TLPC) sent a protest letter yesterday to the PNTL Commander, Afonso de Jesus, claiming that members of the PNTL had used undue and unwarranted force in beating one TLPC member, Nelson da Cruz. The PNTL had also threatened the AFP Journalist with a gun. The protest letter was signed by the President of TLPC, Domingos Saldanha and the Secretary-General of TLPC, Paulino Quintas. “We understand that while Nelson da Cruz had broken a rule, he should not have been physically abused. There are other ways of resolving this conflict,” said the letter. The protest letter had also requested that the PNTL members conduct themselves with professionalism. (STL)
UNMIT’s Daily Media Review, 30 January 2008
TVTL news coverage
CNRT: request for Xanana to respond to allegations – The National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) MP Eduardo “Dusae” Barreto presented a political statement to parliament over a video recording allegation by Alfredo Reinado Alves against PM Xanana Gusmao. Dusae said PM Gusmao should respond to the allegations in parliament, as the video recording has been widely distributed within the community. Gusmao should explain whether he is responsible for the country’s crisis as he is accused of being in the video. Parliamentary Deputy President Vicente Guterres said that in a democratic nation everyone has the right to express their claims and that there are many mechanisms PM Gusmao can use to respond to the allegations, including directly addressing the NP.
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NP requests PM and Alfredo to present themselves – The National Council of Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) has asked PM Xanana Gusmão to present to the National Parliament his response to the allegations made by Alfredo. CNRT stated in a political statement that along with the PM, the former Minister of Defence Roque Rodrigues, the Commander of Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and other F-FDTL commanders which have relations with Alfredo and the petitioners, should present themselves to the NP. Furthermore, CNRT has also asked for the presence of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners’ spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha. (TP, STL, DN and TVTL)
New commander for ISF – Brigadier General Jams Baker has replaced Brigadier General John Hutchison as the Commander of the International Security Forces (ISF) on Tuesday (29/1). Brigadier Baker said that ISF will continue to collaborate with the government of Timor-Leste in security areas and will respect any decision made by the government on security issues. Furthermore, Brigadier Hutchison said that to date, the Timorese people have collaborated well with the ISF to ensure the stabilization of the country. “F-FDTL and PNTL are working well, even though there are still problems with professionalism.” said Brigadier Hutchison. (TP, STL and DN)
UNDP supports TL Press Club with US800.000 – The Timor-Leste Press Club (TLPC) has held the first meeting with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Representative Miguel Fontez, to discuss collaboration between the two groups on newspaper distributions throughout the country. According to the plan, UNDP will purchase newspapers from each printed media through TLPC to the amount of US$800,000 over a two-year period. UNDP has asked TLPC to translate the Media Law and present it to all journalists in the country. This meeting is a positive sign that UNDP and TLPC will sign an Accord of Cooperation in March 2008 on this collaboration. The Vice President of TLPC Jose Belo said that with Government and UNDP support, TLPC will organize newspaper distributions to communities across the nation. (TP)
China to build F-FDTL Headquarters – The Government of China will build one hundred houses for F-FDTL after completing the Office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Presidential Palace in Timor-Leste. An Accord between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of the People’s Republic of China was signed on Tuesday (29/1). “The Accord signed with China will support building of the F-FDTL Headquarter in Metinaro along with more than a hundred houses for veterans,â€ said Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. Not including the construction of the F-FDTL Headquarters, Chinese contributions to Timor-Leste to date total more than USD42 million. (DN)
CPD-RDTL: asking Fretilin not to condemn Xanana – The Popular Council of Defence of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (CPD-RDTL) is asking the leaders of Fretilin and Alfredo Reinado not to condemn Prime Minister Xanana as the author of the 2006 crisis. CPD-RDTL considers the attitudes of Fretilin leaders immoral in criticizing Xanana publicly. (STL)
IDPs Jardin: we want to return home – The coordinator of IDPs in Jardin Colmera IPD camp, Leopoldo Pinto, said that the majority of IDPs in the camp want to return home as they have suffered enough. Mr. Pinto said that the only problem still faced by the IDPs was that of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners. “As soon as their problems are solved, I believe that the problems of IDPs can also be easily resolved,” said Mr. Pinto on Tuesday (29/1) after meeting Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão with other IDPs in the Ministry of Solidarity in Dili. (STL)
Hermenegildo ‘Kupa’: need to establish military academy – The President of Millenium Democratic Party (PMD) and the Spokesperson of the Progressive Democratic League (LDP), Hermenegildo ‘Kupa’ has said that in creating a professional institution in F-FDTL, the government should establish a military academy. “In any nation, a military academy is very important to produce professional soldiers for the defence of the country. So, a military academy is needed in this country,â€ said Mr. â€˜Kupa’ on Monday (28/1) in Dili. (STL)
Security Council Report: Feb 2008 Timor-Leste
ABC: East Timor to review corporate tax reductions ABC Radio Australia Last Updated 28/01/2008, 16:45:59 – East Timor’s government is conducting a major review of the country’s tax and investment laws in a bid to lure foreign investment.
East Timor’s economy and development minister, Joao Gonsalves, says the level of tax imposed on companies is to be dropped from 30 per cent to 10 per cent. He says this is one of numerous measures aimed at attracting foreign investors. “We’re also bring down import duties as well as reviewing other taxes including salaries… so it’s a major review,” he said.
Too Much Friendship, Too Little Truth – Monitoring Report on the Commission of Truth and Friendship in Indonesia and Timor-Leste Megan Hirst January 2008 http://www.ictj.org/images/content/7/7/772.pdf
TLGOV: The President of the Republic of Timor-Leste on the death of Suharto
English Media Release 28 January 2008 Communication of the President of the Republic of Timor-Leste regarding the death of Ex-President of Indonesia, Gen. Suharto
The moment that ex-President Suharto left this world, one historical chapter is closed in Indonesia, in Timor-Leste, in our region and of the cold war.
Suharto came into power in 1967, in the sequence of major internal unrrest in Indonesia in 1965/66. Hundreds and thousands of Indonesian citizens died and more than one hundred thousand were imprisoned. Millions of innocent Indonesian citizens were imprisoned and executed. Some were executed after more than 20 years spent in jail without trial.
The ideological rivalry started with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. After World War II with the Soviet Union becoming a nuclear power, the rivalry between the two major nuclear powers deepened with negative impacts reaching across the world.
The North American intervention in Vietnam and its consequent political and military defeat aggravated the regional and international tension.
Gen. Suharto’s regime was established in this political context. Hundreds and thousands of Indonesians citizens died in 1965/66 and the prersecution of hundreds of thousands more in the following years should be understood as the consequence of this great ideological struggle where small countries across the world were affected.
In 1975 Timor-Leste turned into another Cold War victim with the Indonesian invasion, adding to the millions of victims all over the world, in Asia, Africa, Latin America where human beings were sacrificed at the altar of interest of two super powers.
The West, in particular, the United States was a great defender of Suharto’s regime and were its major beneficiaries, turning a blind eye to the nature of the regime.
Under these circumstances Timor-Leste bore witness to Suharto’s era. He stabilized and developed his country and reduced poverty, elevating Indonesia’s prestige in the region and in the world. But corruption, the total impunity of the regime and the occupation of Timor-Leste allowed the material progress to take is toll on the ex-President Suharto.
Today Indonesia is finally a free nation, democratic and in peace. Timor-Leste is also a free democratic country and in peace.
We, the Timorese, not forgetting the tragedy that knocked on almost all of our family’s doors, should show our grandeur as a small nation, having won our freedom, knowing how to forgive the one that has caused us harm.
We have one mission to overcome: to build peace in the present, and to consolidate peace in the future.
To the family in mourning, please accept my sincere condolences. -ENDS.
Dili Yet to Settle RI Asset Claims The Jakarta Post Friday, January 25, 2008 – INDONESIA: The government of Timor Leste has yet to conclude arrangements for Indonesians wishing to reclaim their assets deserted in the country post the 1999 secession referendum, East Nusa Tenggara Deputy Governor Frans Leburaya said Thursday.
He said Jakarta was awaiting initiatives from Timor Leste to allow such asset redemption for Indonesians, who fled to escape riots and massacre ensuing the referendum.
Leburaya also said the Indonesian government was close to completing the construction of houses for Timor Leste refugees, with full
completion slated for 2009.
“Every refugee needs to be relocated to a decent location or join the transmigration program in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku or other regions,” he said.