Timor-Leste Legal News February 2008 (Part 3)
E.Timor president on life support, in coma 11 Feb 2008 08:04:43 GMT Source: Reuters – SYDNEY, Feb 11 (Reuters) – East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta, who was shot in the stomach on Monday by rebel soldiers at his home in Dili, was on life support under an induced coma, said an Australian medical spokesman. “He is in a critical condition on full life support, with a ventilator for breathing, and under an induced coma,” said a spokesman for CareFlight medical evacuation organisation, after Ramos-Horta landed in Darwin for medical treatment.
PRESIDÊNCIA DA REPÚBLICA GABINETE DA PRESIDÊNCIA DEPARTAMENTO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL English 11 February 2008 PRESS RELEASE Regarding to the incident that happened this morning to HE President of Republic, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta in Dili, the office of President of RDTL would like to inform that:
1. The security in the country is under controlled and remain calm, the ISF, F-FDTL, UNPOL, and PNTL has controlled the situation
2. The Office of President would like to ask to the population to stay calm, not to panic, and do their daily activities as a normal.
3. At this stage, the condition of HE President Ramos – Horta is stable and if needed he will be evacuated to Darwin – Australia today to get more sufficient medical treatment. ENDS
UNMIT Press Release on Shooting Incident – Public Information Office Press Release Dili, February 11, 2008 – A shooting has taaken place at the house of President Jose Ramos-Horta in Dili. Several injuries were sustained and the President is currently receiving medial attention.
The United Nations Integrated Mission regrets that such incidents have taken place.
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is safely in his office and is currently coordinating with UNMIT and international forces.
The United Nations Police (UNPol) is on a high state of alert and is coordinating with the
International Security Forces (ISF).
A Press Conference will be held at the Obrigado Barracks conference room at 4pm.
East Timor president wounded in rebel attack 11 Feb 2008 00:35:51 GMT Source: Reuters – DILI, Feb 11 (Reuters) – East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta is undergoing surgery at an Australian military base in the capital Dili after being shot in the stomach during an attack on his home by rebel soldiers, a presidential adviser said on Monday.
The adviser said the president, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for independence from Indonesian occupation, was being operated on by an Australian medical team.
“President Ramos-Horta was shot in the stomach and is undergoing surgery at the heliport,” the adviser, Agusto Junior, told reporters. Earlier, a neighbour of the president, Januario Freitas, told Reuters the stomach wound appeared serious.
Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack and an East Timor soldier was also seriously wounded, military spokesman Domingos da Camara said. “Two cars attacked President Horta’s home at 4.30 a.m. The attack was carried out by Alfredo’s group,” Camara told reporters.
Asia’s youngest nation has been struggling to claw its way back to stability after plunging into chaos in 2006 when the army tore apart on regional lines. The factional bloodshed two years ago killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes, with foreign troops needed to restore order.
Reinado has led a revolt against the government and has been charged with murder during the 2006 factional violence. Rebels loyal to Reinado fired on Australian troops patrolling near Dili earlier this month, an Australian commander said at the time. As Australian peacekeeping soldiers in Dili cordoned off the president’s residence, security analyst Alan Dupont, from Sydney think tank the Lowy Institute, said the shooting was grim news for East Timor.
“I’m afraid the promise of independence has faded quite considerably over the last couple of years,” Dupont said. “It is seriously going to destabilise East Timor further at a time when they looked to be recovering from the problems of the last 12-18 months.”
Australia’s government was being briefed on the shooting as senior ministers met in Canberra and a statement was expected later on Monday. Australia has around 800 troops in East Timor as part of an international security force. (Reporting by Tito Belo in Dili; Additional reporting by Rob Taylor in Canberra; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by David Fogarty)
E.Timor president undergoing surgery – adviser 11 Feb 2008 00:16:54 GMT Source: Reuters – East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta is undergoing surgery at an Australian military base in the capital after being wounded by gunfire in an attack on his home by rebel soldiers, a presidential adviser said on Monday.
“President Ramos-Horta was shot in the stomach and is undergoing surgery at the heliport,” Agusto Junior, a presidential adviser, told reporters
FRETILIN condemns reports of attack on Timor-Leste’s President and Prime Minister: Demands answers from UN and ISF
FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE MEDIA RELEASE Dili 11.02.08 The Secretary General of FRETILIN Dr. Mari Alkatiri strongly condemned the reported attacks on the President of the Republic, Dr. José Ramos-Horta, and Xanana Gusmao, and gave FRETILIN’s full support to cooperate with the security authorities in any way it can to maintain peace and stability in their wake.
There have been separate unconfirmed reports of an attempt also on the de facto Prime Minister. Dr. Alkatiri and FRETILIN have issued a strong condemnation of both reported attacks.
We are shocked that this has happened, if the media reports are true. This comes as a total surprise given the recent positive developments, as a result of the President’s tireless efforts to find a mechanism of national political consensus to find solutions to the critical issues that are faced by our country,” said Alkatiri.
FRETILIN is also concerned that the Head of our State and Head of Government could be so easily reached by a breach in security. UNMIT and the International Stabilization Forces are principally responsible for security in our country at this time. We demand answers as to how these breaches in security could possibly happen if the reports are proven to be true,” closed Alkatiri.
For further information contact José Teixeira on +670 7287080
Five facts on wounded E.Timor president Ramos-Horta 11 Feb 2008 01:07:03 GMT Source: Reuters – East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot in the stomach on Monday when rebel soldiers attacked his home, a military spokesman said.
Here are five facts about the president of the tiny country, which became independent in 2002, more than a quarter of a century after Indonesia annexed the former Portuguese colony.
* Ramos-Horta, 58, was an anti-colonial journalist and activist when Portugal ruled East Timor, and was seen during that period as a fatigue-wearing rebel with bushy black hair.
* He spent years abroad as a spokesman for East Timor’s struggle for independence from Indonesian occupation. Fluent in not just the country’s Tetum language, but also Portuguese, Spanish, French and English, Ramos-Horta lobbied foreign leaders to highlight East Timor’s plight under Jakarta’s often-brutal rule.
* In 1996, having earned the respect and friendship of a number of foreign leaders and with a high profile as a diplomat, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo. He returned to East Timor in 1999 after two decades abroad.
* Ramos-Horta took over as prime minister in 2006 after the country’s dominant Fretilin party was blamed for failing to control riots that spun into deadly violence in which more than 30 people died.
* He won a resounding victory in presidential elections last May. Outgoing president and former resistance hero Xanana Gusmao then became prime minister after parliamentary elections in July. The pair are generally seen as allies and somewhat more friendly to international investment and the West than Fretilin stalwarts.
Xanana Gusmao was also attacked in Dili this morning – A direct report from Dili, RTP International Correspondent, Francisco Piedade, to Portuguese News TV, RTP International that while Alfredo Reinado attacked the house of Jose Ramos-Horta, Alfredo’s other group was also attacking the house of the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, who escaped unharmed.
Jose Ramos Horta is being transported to a plane bound for Australia according to RTP International News
East Timor president wounded in attack – military 10 Feb 2008 23:30:12 GMT
DILI, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Rebel soldiers attacked the home of East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta early on Monday and he has been wounded in the stomach by gunfire, a military spokesman said. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack and an East Timor soldier was also seriously wounded, military spokesman Domingos da Camara said. (Reporting by Tito Belo; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by David Fogarty)
International Stabilization Forces Lying Threatening Shots Fired by Major Alfredo Reinado’s Group Sunday 10 February 2008 MPs Timor Post, 9.02.08 – Dili – MPs from the Democratic Party (PD), Timorese Social Democratic Association (ASDT) and Social Democratic Party (PSD) parliamentary parties, said that the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) Commander Brigadier General James Baker has lied in his public statements that it was major Alfredo Reinado’s group that fired in a threatening manner against ISF soldiers when the had a sudden confrontation with an ISF vehicle in Ermera recently.
PD MP Adriano Nascimento, who was accompanied by Francisco Araujo (ASDT) and Fernando Dias Gusmao (PSD) sought o clarify the events in a press conference at Parliament House on Friday (02/08), saying that the statements reported by Brig Baker that Alfredo’s group opened fire threateningly, were a lie.
At the time the three were together in the same place with and meeting with Alfredo Reinado and Gastao Salsinha.
Recently, Brig Baker said that Alfredo’s group fired threateningly at the Australian ISF soldiers, when they suddenly came across them in vehicles on the road. Baker said that his soldiers were on patrol at that location to repair the road which had been damaged by heavy rains.
However, according to the three MPs, their meeting with Alfredo had been underway for about 30 minutes, when one of Alfredo’s members yelled out that the ISF patrol were approaching too closely, and one of his members fired six shots into the air because he had spotted four ISF vehicles already only about 25 meters away.
MP Adriano said that in accordance with the agreement between the ISF and Alfredo, the ISF can patrol along the roads but cannot approach anywhere near the area where Alfredo and his group are staying.
He also said that unfortunately due to sudden confrontation involving weapons the discussion they were having could not continue and they were unable to further their objective of hearing directly from them how their problem could be resolved. They were forced to react swiftly and ready to defend themselves and their position, taking up positions to have a shootout, said Adriano.
As the MPs could see that Alfredo’s group and the Australian Forces had their weapons raised at one another, the three MPs on their own initiative reacted by commencing to speak with the Australian Forces. In speaking with the Australian Forces, they informed the ISF that they were members of parliament from ASDT, PSD and PD who were there to meet with Alfredo to hear directly from them about their problem so as to contribute towards a solution, but the Australian Forces kept their weapons pointed at them.
“We greatly lament the conduct of the Australian Forces, we came out raising our arms telling them we were MPs, showing them our identification cards, raised our hands twice more telling them we were civilians, but they continued with their weapons pointed at us,” said Adriano.
“We approached to about three meters from them but they still kept their weapons trained on us, but it was not until we held up our identification cards that some of them with whom we had been speaking lowered their weapons, but some others kept their weapons trained on us. It was not good for them to do this to a Member of Parliament.”
The three MPs stated that as a result of this action by the ISF, they had delivered a letter of protest to Australian Embassy in Dili and the Australian Parliament for their attention to this issue.
The presence of the three MPs in Ermera, should have included an MP from CNRT but he had to withdraw at the last minute due to other work commitments. The three MPs traveled to Ermera with the authorization of their respective party presidents to hear directly from Alfredo and Gastao Salsinha, so that they could find a solution to this problem. Fernando Dias added, “ we went there officially, not as individuals, but as Mps with the authorization of our parties.”
Francisco Araujo (ASDT) said that they had gone there because they consider that this problem had already dragged on for too long without resolution. “We went because three years have lapsed without this problem being solved, and because we are committed to and hold the position that we needed to hear directly from Major Alfredo, but we are disappointed we could not realize our objective because of what occurred,” he said. http://timor-online.blogspot.com/2008/02/mps-international-stabilization-forces.html
District consultations focus on juvenile justice legislation UNMIT Weekly 8 February 2008 – Traditional justice is currently the preferred approach for the majority of juvenile justice cases, with police and the formal justice system reserved for “serious” crimes such as murder, this according to a new field report related to the development of new juvenile justice legislation in Timor-Leste.
The report reflects the outcome of a series of district consultations, initiated by the Ministry of Justice and UNICEF, with communities, leaders, and local government representatives, which were held to better understand the role of traditional justice and community-based conflict resolution methods for children who commit crimes.
The report notes that traditional justice focuses on “restorative” principles of confession, forgiveness, and social cohesion. In addition to pledging their commitment against further harm to the community’s ancestors, offenders found guilty of committing crimes against their society or an individual are obliged to remedy the wrong they have committed through appropriate practical tasks such as building a house, repairing a fence, or helping in the rice fields. It sees the principle of restorative justice as a likely core future component of legislation that adequately responds to the needs of the people and respects the culture of Timor-Leste.
The Ministry of Justice and UNICEF are now finalizing a draft of new juvenile justice legislation. A public seminar will be launched in March to discuss and finalize the draft with a wide variety of interested parties.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the United Nations. UNMIT Weekly is published in English and Tetum by the Communications and Public Information Office/UNMIT. Tel: +(670) 330-4100. E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.unmit.org/unmisetwebsite.nsf/192bda2f4f2cbc284925739500311c4c/$FILE/28.weekly.english.080208.pdf
Reflections on gender issues in Timor Leste Concern in Timor-Leste – http://www.concern.net/what-we-do/blog-posts.php?p=1385&utm_source=ARWE&utm_medium=rss&utm_term=rs&utm_campaign=A_rss_feed
UNMIT Daily Media Review 8 February 2008
TVTL news coverage
Unidentified groups blast petitioners’ gathering – Unidentified groups threw a grenade in the gathering place of the petitioners in Ai-Tarak Laran, Dili. No injuries were sustained. The suspects fled before the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Task Force arrived. The PNTL Operational Commander, Henrique da Costa, said that the situation was under control and that the case is currently being investigated. PNTL police will remain on location until the dialogue has ended.
Government to provide extraordinary subsidies to F-FDTL and PNTL – Members of the National Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) will receive extraordinary subsidies from the Government. The subsidies will increase monthly salaries by up to 60 per cent. The State Secretary of Minister’s Council, Agio Pereira, said that the Council of Ministers has approved the decree providing the subsidies.
RTL news coverage
FONGTIL appeals to MSS – The Director of the National Forum of NGOs of Timor-Leste (FONGTIL), Angelina Sarmento, has appealed to the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) to create a mechanism able to respond to the needs of students applying for scholarships as recommended by President Jose Ramos-Horta. Ms Sarmento raised this issue on the back of recent protests by thousands of students demanding scholarships from MSS. “Because of the President’s unconstitutional and illegal promises, a new mechanism has to be created to respond to the protestors’ demands,” said Ms. Sarmento.
* * *
UN calls upon Alfredo to submit to justice peacefully – The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) insists that Alfredo and his group must submit themselves to justice in a peaceful manner. “Alfredo must make an effort to submit himself to justice,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare. “I would also like to call again for Alfredo Reinado, if indeed he feels for this country and has the best interests of this country at heart, to submit himself to justice in a peaceful manner,” added the SRSG at the UNMIT regular press briefing in Obrigado Barracks Caicoli, Dili on Thursday (7/2). (TP and DN)
71 Petitioners gather in Dili – Seventy one members of the petitioners’ group gathered together in Ai-Tarak Laran, Kampung Alor, Dili. The petitioners, led by Major Tara and Major Marcos, came from Manatuto, Lautem and Maliana Districts. People residing near the meeting place for the petitioners in Ai-Tarak Laran have voiced fears over having the gathering in such close proximity to them. “We are afraid and worried about the potential consequences of having the petitioners gathered here.” said the Aldeia Chief, Jacinto Tavares. (TP, STL, DN and TVTL)
Parliament PD Chief: Dialogue invalid if Salsinha not involved – The Chief of the Democratic Party (PD) in the National Parliament (NP), Adriano Nascimento, has said that unless the Government approaches the petitioner’s Spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha, the whole dialogue will be invalid. “Efforts made by the Government are good, but if Salsinha is not included, then this shows that the Government wants to divide the petitioners into two groups. This will be a very dangerous situation,” said Mr. Nascimento in the NP, Dili on Thursday (7/2). (TP, STL and DN)
Petitioners’ gathering place attacked with grenade – Unidentified groups threw a grenade in the gathering place of the petitioners in Ai-Tarak Laran, Dili. No injuries were sustained. The suspects fled before the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Task Force arrived. The PNTL Operational Commander, Henrique da Costa, said that the situation was under control and that the case is currently being investigated. PNTL police will remain on location until the dialogue has ended. (TP)
PM: Petitioners should remain calm – Prime Minister Xanana GusmÃ£o has made a strong appeal to the petitioners to be disciplined and to not be incited into violence by other trouble makers as they to work together with the Government to solve their problems. “I appeal to all people who live in Dili to come here together to solve the problem as these issues have remained unresolved for two years already,” said PM Xanana in Ai-Tarak Laran, the gathering place of the petitioners on Thursday (7/2). The Prime Minister guaranteed that security would be provided to all petitioners. (STL)
AMP-Fretilin and Horta seek joint solution to national problem – The Majority Alliance in Parliament and Fretilin held a meeting with President JosÃ© Ramos-Horta on Thursday (7/2) to form a Formed Unit to collectively solve the problems presented by Alfredo Reinado, the petitioners, and the IDPs. “In the coming days I will consult with PM Xanana GusmÃ£o, Mari Alkatiri, Lu-Olo and other political leaders to establish a high level mechanism to solve these issues,” said the President. “Fretilin is involved in this Formed Unit and will take part in the decision making process.” (DN)
UNDP Justice System Programme Newsletter January 2008 Editorial – In this month’s edition we are proud to announce the graduation of the second batch of trainees from the Legal Training Centre and their recent deployment in the respective justice institutions. Also we would like you to join us in welcoming the new court clerks, prison guards, IT specialists and M&E Specialist, who recently arrived to support the UNDP Justice System Programme during its activities in 2008. Finally, we would like to thank our readers for all the comments and suggestions during 2007 and hope to continue to count with you. We wish to all that we continue to overcome the challenges and, even more, to reach new achievements this year to come.
LTC graduates the second class of Magistrates and Public Defenders – In late December the students from the second class of the course for national Magistrates and Public Defenders finished their training at the Legal Training Centre and in the beginning of January the new ten probationary magistrates and public defenders were allocated at their respective justice institutions. Two Judges, four Prosecutors and four Public Defenders are going to stay for the next year, with national and international colleagues, working and receiving training until their swearingin in 2009. Meanwhile they will continue to receive mentoring at the LTC in Civil and Penal Code, Portuguese and Tetum. This second group will bring another reinforcement for the justice institutions and a third class is expected to start in the second semester of 2008. The LTC is organizing the swearing-in ceremony for the next weeks.
Monitoring & Evaluation specialist arrives to Justice Programme – Ms. Seraina Caviezel, 31 years old, arrived in the beginning of for the UNMIT electoral project in Los Palos as an Electoral District Adviser. Ms. Caviezel has a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Zürich and two years of experience working with human rights in Switzerland. She has been in Timor-Leste for six month in 2007 working for the UNMIT electoral project in Los Palos as an Electoral District Adviser. Under the UNDP Justice System Programme she will assist with the implementation and improvement of the M&E mechanism to evaluate the performance of the international advisers as mentors and trainers. “I expect to contribute in the improvement of the UNDP Justice System Programme by finding ways to facilitate the advisers monitoring and their evaluations”, said Ms. Caviezel.
New staff for the IT Unit of the Ministry of Justice – In January the IT Unit from the Ministry of Justice received two new international advisers to work and provide training and capacity building for the national staff during 2008. Gustavo Sales, 29 years old, arrived in Dili on 11 January to work as Software Developer. He studied Computer Sciences at UNICAMP in Brazil and has over 10 years of experience in the private sector. I expect to integrate the system which was already implemented at the Dili District Court and the Prosecutor-General’s Office and implement systems at the Public Defender’s Office and the Court of Appeal”, said Gustavo. Andre Piazza, 28 years old, from Londrina, a city in the southern part of Brazil, has over 7 years of experience and a Masters Degree from the University of Santa Catarina. “I found that the infrastructure is much better than what I expected. I saw many accomplishments, but it is still possible to implement new ideas to improve the efficiency and productivity of the current network”, said André.
Four court clerks to assist in the District Courts and PGO – On 13 January, four Portuguese Court clerks arrived in Dili to work and mentor the national staff from the District Courts and Prosecutor-General’s Office under the agreement between the Portuguese government and UNDP. Deolinda Baptista, José Manuel Mendes and Maria João Cardoso are designated for the District Courts of Dili, Baucau, Suai and Oecusse respectively and Franklin Reis is based at the PGO. “We will need to concentrate our work in providing organizational skills for the national staff”, said Mr. Mendes. These four court clerks will reinforce the work in the justice institutions and assist the three international colleagues, who are already working in Timor-Leste. “We noticed that many delays and obstacles can be overcome through massive training in the Civil and Penal Procedure Codes to improve the efficiency of the national servants”, said Ms. Maria João.
Three Portuguese prison guards arrive to train prison staff – In order to improve the service provided in the prison system of Timor-Leste, the UNDP Justice System Programme and the government of Portugal signed, on January 8, a Memorandum of Understanding to provide three Portuguese prison guards who will train the national prison staff during 2008. On 13 January Vitor Leite, José Santos and Carlos Valente arrived to Dili to work in Becora and Gleno Prisons providing training for ten prison supervisors. In the training program are included issues such as security, human rights, health, and prison international standards. The objective of this Training of Trainers is to provide a course for the supervisor and accompany the subsequent training which the supervisors will perform to the 28 prison guards recently recruited by the Ministry of Justice to ensure the transfer of knowledge. The prison guards have more than 10 years of experience working in Prisons in Portugal in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. “We expect to observe several improvements during this year and consolidate the knowledge for the nationals to provide a more safe and efficient service in the prisons, ensuring the security of the prisoners while they are doing time”, said Vitor Leite.
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser arrives to Justice Programme – For the next three months the UNDP Justice System Programme will count with the expertise of Ms. Graciela Fuentes, who arrived in the beginning of January, to work as the Senior Consultant for Monitoring and Evaluation for the justice sector and UNDP’s Programme. Ms. Graciela is from Argentina and has many years of experience working in developing countries. I expect to provide tools which can be used constantly to measure the progress of the programme”, said Graciela.
The struggle to rebuild East Timor 08 February 2008 Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Jose Luis Guterres, addresses the forum in his opening address – Oppression, corruption and inequity need to be overcome if East Timor is to successfully rebuild a torn nation, according to the Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Jose Luis Guterres.
Mr Guterres spoke passionately about a country, which has risen out of the ashes and was looking towards the future, as part of his opening address at the two-day international conference, Democratic Governance in Timor-Leste: Reconciling the Local and the National, which opened at Charles Darwin University yesterday.
“Timor-Leste is a complex country in its relative infancy with a history of fighting and suffering,” he said. “We are mindful of our past and the atrocities that took place and we are united in the belief that these crimes against humanity cannot go unanswered. The experience is unforgettable but we are looking to the future and rebuilding East Timor,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Guterres pointed to the recent occupation of East Timor as a process which has now strengthened sentiment and unity in East Timor. “We have paid a huge price to live in the East Timor of today, with almost 200,000 lives lost as a result of the fighting,” Mr Guterres said. “As a state, country and government we are committed to do whatever we can to foster and maintain stability in our nation and relationships with our neighbours.”
Mr Guterres said his government, under the leadership of Prime Minster Xanana Gusmao, had established a number of programs that would further East Timor and provide services essential to the evolution of the world’s youngest nation. Deputy Prime Minister Guterres also communicated his government’s commitment to addressing issues which had lead to the downfall of previous governments in East Timor.
“We are serious in fighting corruption, oppression, poverty and inequity in our nation. Ideally we want to create a system in East Timor that can last even if there is a change in government and these factors need to be overcome if this is to be a reality.” Mr Guterres said that East Timor faced a great struggle ahead and he hoped that the informed discussion and debate emerging from the CDU conference would aid in the rebuilding process. “We cannot develop a nation without academics and educated discussion. We have a lot to learn from other countries and we look forward to what the future holds for East Timor,” he said.