UNMIT Daily Media Review 30 May 2008
Mario Carrascalão: asking the Government to cancel MAF-Indonesian MOU – TVTL
Member of Parliament Mario Carrascalão is asking the Government to
cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry
of Agriculture, Forests-Fishery (MAF) and the Indonesian Government.
Last Monday in National Parliament Mario said the MOU was a secret
agreement that will not be beneficial for the population. "We ask this
MOU to be cancelled because they signed it in secret. There should not
be a law that is created only for the interest of the Government. We do
not agree at all with them to sell the land to Indonesia, as stated in
the MOU that TL will give a concession to Indonesia for two years to use
100,000 hectares of land," Mr. Carrascalão said.
response to this, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture
said the agreement was not secret because at that time journalists were
invited to the signing. "This agreement is not secret. We just want to
say that on 15 January 2008 when we signed the MOU, it was witnessed by
many journalists as well broadcast on TVTL that the Ministry of
Agriculture had signed an MOU with a company named "GT. Leste Birotec,"
explained Lourenzo Borges Fontes. He added that this agreement may be
cancelled if there has been no activity from the time of the signature
up to now.
Government: to take 3% of petroleum funds as social subsidiary – Radio Timor-Leste
Minister Xanana said that the government will take 3% of petroleum
funds to give subsidize social programs. "The food crisis is an issue
around the world, not only in TL. The government should allocate funds
to respond to needs of society," said PM Xanana during ameeting with
President Horta in the government palace yesterday (29/5).
MSS: plan to have department to protect children rights – Radio Timor-Leste
of Social and Solidarity Maria Domingas Alves said on Thursday (29/5)
in Delta Nova, Comoro that the Ministry of Social and Solidarity will
create a new program and plan to establish a department to protect child
rights. The department will focus on runaways, children who need
protection from abuse within the home, and those who are facing
Pardon to Rogerio: MPs ask PR Horta retract his statement - Suara Timor Lorosa'e
of the National Parliament are asking President José Ramos-Horta to
withdraw his statement concerning the pardon of former Minister of
Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato in which he said that many of the
Rogerio's family died in the fight for the country's liberation. "The
president should give a pardon based on his authority and not because
someone's family died during the struggle," said CNRT MP Natalino dos
Santos on Thursday (29/5) in the National Parliament.
big impact [of the president's pardon] is setting a bad precedent to
the nation – therre is no legal basis on which to give a pardon based on
family members who died during the war. President Ramos-Horta did not
comment on the request even though journalists have been questioning him
about the pardon and his recent statements
UNMIT Daily Media Review 28 May 2008
Ministry of Justice: the Government does not need to report to NP about its recommendations – Diario Nacional and Televisaun Timor-Leste
of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the Ministry of Justice does not need
to notify the National Parliament on what they have recommended to the
president. Minister Lucia Lobato said that the Constitution does not say
that the President has to inform the National Parliament before giving
pardon to prisoners. "All of us know, especially the deputies, know the
duty in all institutions of the Government based on the Constitution.
is the authority of Parliament, the Government's authority, President's
authority and the Court's authority? Each institution has its own area
of authority to carry on as the constitution states.
connection with the pardoning of prisoners by the President,
particularly the deputies want to know about prisoner Rogerio Lobato. I
think Constitution does not say that when President wants to extend
forgiveness to the prisoners he must inform the deputies in National
Parliament. If it is written in Constitution, I humbly ask the deputies
to show me the article," said Minister Lobato.
said that the Ministry of Justice still has not received any
information from the president about granting pardons to the prisoners
as the case is being taken to court.
PNTL human rights violation against people continues to take place – Televisaun Timor-Leste
human rights violation victim, Silvina Assuncão de Jesus yesterday
(27/5) reported her case to Committees A and B in the National
Parliament. Silvina said the case occurred when the members of the Task
Force forced them to leave the place where they were staying. At that
time, the members of Task Force destroyed the victim's kiosk, causing
here to lose approximately US$200. Ms. Silvina is asking the Government
to reimburse her loss.
In a separate matter, Chefe
Aldeia of Caicoli, Tomas Jose Goncalves said the Government should
inform the local authority in the community before they send the
population to live there. "If the Government wants to relocate some part
of the population to any place in the community, they have to make an
agreement or hold a dialogue with us first so that we can be on the
alert and prevent any disturbances. Also, we can know whether those
people have their own house or not", explained Tomas.
response to this case, President of Committee A, Antoninho Bianco said
he has instructed the victim to report the incident to the PNTL in order
to investigate those members who tortured the population. "Some of
members of the Task Force yesterday tortured a victim in Caicoli. In
relation to this, we have directly contacted the PNTL and asked them to
gather evidence from the victim to thoroughly investigate all the
parties involved. Also, we have also contacted the Provider of Human
Rights and asked them to also gather evidence from the victim, so that
if there is no follow-up from PNTL about this case, the Provider of
Human Rights can present this case to General Prosecutor to be
investigated", confirmed Bianco.
The Commander of Joint
Operation Command Filomeno Paixão said the JOC also has taken any
measures regarding human rights violations which were allegedly
committed by the members of the F-FDTL during its field operations.
According to Filomeno, 73 cases have been identified so far - 39 of the
cases were committed by F-FDTL and the other 34 were committed by the
Ministry of Finance to present audit report – Televisaun Timor-Leste
of Finance Emilia Pires said that the internal audit report of the
former Government is ready to be presented to the parliament. "As
discussed with the auditors, auditing processes generally take a long
time to do complete as they conduct the audit unit by unit. The report
has been prepared and still need some work as the previous government
did not have a good system in place. There are no documents and audit
archive and it is difficult to find the auditing files," said Minster
Fretilin-PUN: unhappy with NP plan to buy 65 cars for MPs – Timor Post
from PUN and Fretilin have reacted strongly to the plan of the National
Parliament to buy new 65 cars [Toyota Prado] for the 65 MPs in
parliament. According to PUN-Fretilin, saying it is unconscionable to
proceed with this plan while the people are suffering.
Fretilin Aniceto Guterres said that initially Fretilin did not accept
the plan of buying cars for the MPs as people are starving due to the
food crisis. "I concur that the parliament need cars to carry out
assessments and other duties, but not cars for every MP," lamented Mr.
PUN MP Fernanda Borges said that her party is
in the parliament to represent people and she is happy with US$10 per
diem [per day. There is no need for cars as the cars are so expensive
and will put too much strain on the State budget. "For me this is a
serious step to take for the State. If the cars are bought for the
current MPs, then the next MPs will also need cars, as we do now,"
questioned Ms. Borges.
The Vice President of the
National Parliament Maria Paixão said that the cars will be bought to
facilitate the work of the MPs and may be sold at a lower price.
ASDT withdraw from AMP – Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosa'e, Diario Nacional, Radio Timor-Leste and Televisaun Timor-Leste
Social Democratic Association of Timorese (ASDT) decided to withdraw
form the Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP) on Tuesday (27/5),
saying that the party's has not yet received any response from Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmão on its demands.
Francisco Xavier do Amaral stated that ASDT is no longer a part of AMP.
Any difficulties people face can be directly addressed to CNRT, PD and
PSD. Earlier ASDT had proposed to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to remove
the Minister of Commerce and Tourism Gil da Costa Alves and the State
Secretary of Environment Abilio Lima from their positions. ASDT is also
asking the Prime Minister to place ASDT members as much as possible in
the role of ambassador, district and sub-district administrators in
areas where the party received the majority of more votes during
"Up until now we have no
response from the Prime Minister. Such political dynamics may have a
strong impact on the economic crisis in the country and people will lose
their confidence in the AMP," said ASDT President Xavier do Amaral on
Tuesday (27/5) in Lecidere, Dili. Mr. Xavier said that people's lives
were getting more difficult as the large state budget approved by the
National Parliament has not yet reached the people. "Starting from today
(27/5), we declare directly to the people that everything that is going
wrong is the fault of AMP fault. Just ask CNRT, PD and PSD. ASDT has no
responsibility anymore for decisions made by the AMP Government," he
ASDT President Xavier do Amaral also said that he
is still concerned with some of his members' statements that they want
to be independent MPs in the parliament. "I (Xavier) ask them (ASDT
members) to respect to the votes of ASDT supporters when they make
decisions. The members in the parliament have rights and in a democracy
can do it. But they were not voted in by the parliament/government. They
were chosen by the ASDT supporters to take a seat in parliament, so
they have to follow ASDT. They are free to discuss anything but we
[ASDT] do not regard them as ASDT members and their statements are not
considered as representing the party," said Xavier.
Another ASDT member of the NP, João Manuel Carascalão said the as an MP will continue to support the AMP Government.
an MP, I have a moral conscience and a big responsibility to serve the
community and state, not only the party. In parliament, we are the
representatives of the community, not only the representative of the
party," said Mr. Carrascalão. With other ASDT MPs, Mr. Carrascalão said
that they are not concerned about ASDT's decision concerning them.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 May 2008
February 11 case: investigators find 6 more suspects – Timor Post
rebels who used to deny that they were not involved in the case of
February 11 should now accept the results of the new investigation into
the incident that will be presented to the court. The new investigation
shows that they were involved in the attacks against President JosÃ©
Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The National Investigation
Department (NID) identified the six rebels as being directly involved
in the incident. However, the six rebels deny that they were involved in
the attacks of February 11, saying that they were only involved in the
Fatuahi case on May 23, 2006.
The General Commander of
NID, Nuno R. Gomes said that he presented the information yesterday
afternoon (26/5) to the Public Ministry as part of the court hearing on
the case. "We did the previous investigation with the Public Ministry
based on their statements that they only involved in the Fatuahi case.
But the later investigation identified them as being involved in the
attempt of February 11," said Mr. Gomes on Monday (26/5).
Fretilin-PUN: No audit report, Govt tries to hide corruption – Timor Post and Diario Nacional
of the National Parliament demand that the Government of the Alliance
Majority in Parliament (AMP) immediately release an audit report. The
MPs said that the report is very important for them to construct a
budget for the implementation of the Government's program. The Chief
bench of the National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges said that up
until now, the National Parliament has not received any audit report of
the budget which has been executed.
"We demand that the
Government send us the report immediately. We want to know whether the
budget has been executed properly or not, and if there is any sign of
corruption that has been identified or not," said Ms. Borges.
Prime Minister and Fretilin's MP Estanislau da Silva said that if the
Government does not provide the audit report to the National Parliament,
it signals that the current Government is not transparent and is trying
to hide existing cases of corruption. "This is clearly shows that the
Government is not transparent. They say that Fretilin is corrupt, but
they are the worst," said Mr. Estanislau. CNRT MP Aderito Hugo said that
every financial report is delivered late to the National Parliament
because it has to be annexed with the audit results. The audit report,
which was created by international consultants hired by the Government,
will also cover the previous government financial report.
Pardon to Rogerio: Minister of Justice still waiting for Horta's decision – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
though Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato has made recommendations to PR
Ramos-Horta regarding to the reduction of prisoners' sentences,
including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, no final decision
from the president has been received. "I still not see or receive any
report because this is the president's decision. If this is published in
the Jornal da Republica, then it will be considered as a law," said
Minister Lobato on Monday (26/5) in Vila Verde, Dili. Minister Lobato
recommended to PR Horta a reduction of three months from Rogerio's
sentence of 7 and a half years.
IDPs of Jardim Colmera Camp unhappy with payment process – Suara Timor Lorosa'e and Diario Nacional
IDPs of Jardim Colmera Camp are unhappy with the payment process of the
Government's recovery grants because the funds have still not yet been
transferred to IDPs through the Authority Payment Bank (BPA). The
Coordinator of Jardim Colmera Camp, Leopoldino Pinto said that all the
IDPs in the camp want to return home but until now the Government has
not transferred the money to the Bank. "We are asking the Government not
to make promises that are confusing," said Mr. Pinto on Monday (26/5).
Ximenes, an IDP from Baucau, said the Government has to give the money
to the IDPs as they are entitled to it. "We came here to get our rights.
Do not lie to us, we have suffered a lot," said Mr. Ximenes.
MP Maria de Camara 'Bisoi' asked the Government to immediately improve
the living conditions of the IDPs, as she does not want people suffering
during the time of independence. She also suggested the Government
create actions that promote peace in society and harmonious
relationships in the community on the return of IDPs to their homes.
Pardon to prisoners: Parliament is awaiting the Government's recommendations – Diario Nacional
Chief bench of the National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges is
demanding that the Government immediately send the recommendation which
it gave to President JosÃ© Ramos-Horta concerning his pardon of the
prisoners. Ms. Borges said that the constitution gives the president the
authority to pardon prisoners, but he also has to consider the
"What has been said in
the recommendation and what justification have they [Government] given
regarding the pardons? It is not enough to say that a pardon is being
given to a prisoner because of his/her good attitude and behavior," said
Ms. Borges on Monday (26/5) Ms. Borges is also questioning whether the
president's constitutional authority of the president is being used in a
thoroughly legal manner. "President has authority, but he must use it
responsibly, not using without any consultation," she added.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 26 May 2008
UNDERTIM: only force could lead to an early election – Timor Post
Vice President Faustino de Jesus-Renan Selak said that only force could
lead to early elections but this would be suicide. Renan Selak said
that the early election might take place if the Government failed twice
in passing its programs in the National Parliament. "If the opposition
has the power to lobby other parties to vote against Government's
programs [in the National Parliament], the early elections will be
realized," said Mr. Selak in the National Parliament. He said that his
party is joining with AMP to block Fretilin's attempt to force early
elections and save AMP and its programs.
The petitioners' position: AMP-Fretilin recommend civilian life – Timor Post and Diario Nacional
AMP and Fretilin bench in the National Parliament recommend that the
petitioners return to civilian life as they had left the military when
they deserted F-FDTL. PSD Member of Parliament Riak Leman said that the
petitioners do not deserve to return to the F-FDTL. He said that the
petitioners were involved in two situations: First, from the military's
point of view they are deserters as they by abandoned their barracks.
Second, the petitioners' case, which was pending for some time, was
destroyed when Salsinha and Alfredo attacked PR Ramos-Horta and PM
Xanana on 11 February.
"They should have resolved their
problem by the time the abandoned the HQ. Why didn't they want to
resolve their problem, instead abandoning their HQ? So, some of their
friends who did not follow them will not be happy to see them again.
Therefore I have reminded the petitioners' leader former Major Tara to
think ten times if they want to return to military," he said.
President Mario Viegas Carrascalão said that the credibility of F-FDTL
will be damaged if it decides to accept the petitioners' return. The
Fretilin chief of bench in the National Parliament, Aniceto Guterres
said that previously his party suggested that, based upon their decision
to leave F-FDTL and the ensuing 2006 crisis, the petitioners should
return to civilian life.
Rogerio's pardon: Horta starts a bad precedent – Timor Post
though the reduction by three months of the former Minister of
Interior's sentence has implemented, criticism of PR Ramos-Horta
continues. According to AMP leaders, PR Ramos-Horta has constitutional
authority to grant a pardon to former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago
Lobato. But they do not agree with Horta's statement that he pardoned
Lobato because he is the only survivor [of the resistance] in
Timor-Leste or even in the world.
"It is wrong and
would destroy the nation's judicial system if Rogerio becomes a special
citizen. Under the law, our constitution guarantees equal rights to all
the citizens," said AMP member Hugo da Costa on Friday (23/5) in the
National Parliament. MP Hugo said that PR Ramos-Horta's attitude signals
a start to creating impunity for criminals in the country. Those who
think of themselves as heroes may freely commit crimes and then be
The President of the National Parliament
Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that PR Horta's decision has generated
criticism. Yet, it is fait accompli - everyone has to respect it as the
constitution gives the President the authority to take such action.
Ed: Are the petitioners' problems being solved transparently? – Timor Post
though moving slowly, but there are positive signs that the Government
of the Alliance Majority in Parliament is solving the petitioners'
problems. The Government said that the petitioners who want to be
civilians will be compensated and the others will be given an
opportunity to return to the military with good conscience. The result
of the recent questionnaire announced in the last few weeks showed that
356 petitioners chose to be civilian and other 339 decided to return to
The Government might be afraid of the
number of the petitioners who want to return to the military – because
they only filled in answers on questionnaires. The Government through
its Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security Xanana Gusmão
should try another way to brainwash the 339 petitioners who want to
rejoin the military so that they would change the mind and follow the
same path as the other 356 petitioners, to be civilians.
Prime Minister is using this policy to discriminate against the
petitioners who want to return to the military by saying that it is
better for the petitioners who only finished primary school to return to
civilian life. The statement made the 339 reconsider their personal
preference. Only 80 petitioners out of 339 still want remain to return
to the military.
We should agree with the Government
policy, because the recruitment system will different as done
previously. Now we need a professional force.
concern is why questions about the petitioner's level of the education
were not included among the items on the questionnaire. Of course, we do
not know! We wait …
MP PUN says State institutions should work together – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
PUN Fernanda Mesquita Borges said that in order to achieve a good
judicial system in the country, State institutions such as Presidency,
National Parliament, Government and Tribunal should work together to
achieve this. Otherwise everything will be out of sync and reckless if
the state organs always criticize each other, politicians fight for
position, and influence the nation's judicial system. Regarding the
president's comment on the tribunal system is operating without
direction, Fernanda Borges said that the case has to be brought to the
Prosecutor-General in order to investigate the failed judicial system in
the country. "We can not put someone in prison without a decision from
the tribunal. They have to be investigated to determine how this could
happen," said Fernanda Mesquita Borges to the journalist of STL on
Friday (23/05) at the National Parliament.
Ed: buying luxurious cars, parliament should give clarification – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
people recognize that Timor-Leste is the poorest nation in the world.
It is true as we only achieved self-determination a few years ago. We
are still too young. Every year we face poverty and other problems. If
we solve one problem today, tomorrow we will face another. The prices of
goods are getting higher and agriculture products are still limited.
Heavy rains come with storms which and destroy the farmer's corn crops.
problem that the Government is solving is the case of the petitioners.
The second one is the veterans. However, progress on these two problems
is not solving the problems of the population as a whole.
is confusing. In an environment of so many problems, the President of
the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo stated that in one
year the parliament will buy 65 luxurious cars to facilitate the daily
work of all the MPs. "We will buy working cars. With half of the budget
we will buy 65 luxurious cars for the MPs," said Fernando Lasama on
Friday (23/5) in the National Parliament.
The cars will
be [Toyota] Prado. The price will be US$20,000–$30,000: too much money.
Big confusion: after MPs end their elected mandate, then the cars will
be theirs. The decision might be considered an injustice as public money
will be used for private gain.
The National Parliament
has to clarification the situation. The money, which is coming from
petroleum fund, belongs to Timorese people, not the leaders. How lucky
are the MPs – coming in as poor people - but after one or two yyears in
the NP, owners of luxurious cars. If it is so, then the National
Parliament is not representative – but a place to become rich.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 23 May 2008
Only 80 petitioners still want to return to the military - Timor Post
the 339 petitioners who indicated a preference for rejoining the
military, only 80 of them still want to return since Prime Minister
Xanana Gusmão asked them last week to re-consider their choice of
military or civilian life. "There are 80 petitioners who have not
changed their decision to return to the military,â€ said one of the
petitioners who still wants to be rejoin the military due to his love
for the F-FDTL. He also said those other petitioners who changed their
minds and now want to enter civilian life are illiterate and have some
health problems. Some of them believe that if they return to the
military, then they will not receive Government compensation.
Recently the numbers of the petitioners who want to become civilians increased from 356 to 605 out of a total of 685.
Vice President of the National Parliament Vicente Guterres said that it
was good for the petitioners to be civilians as they have abandoned
their barracks. Mr. Guterres said that when there is problem within an
institution, the problem should be solved internally, not outside of the
institution. "As they have brought the problem out of the institution,
if I were them, I would not go back," said Mr. Guterres.
Party MP Adriano do Nascimento said that he did not agree with the
Prime Minister who had earlier said that it was good for the
petitioners, who are illiterate, to return to civilian life. This
statement dishonoured the petitioners, he said. "The petitioners left
their barracks because of political matters and actions taken by
political leaders [not because they are illiterate],â€ said Mr.
Be model for the world: PR Horta asks permission for the UN and NGOs to visit Becora prison – Timor Post
his visit to Becora Prison on Wednesday (21/5) PR Ramos-Horta asked
prison guards to allow the Red Cross, UNMIT Human Rights and national
NGOs to visit Becora Prison in order to ensure transparency.
am requesting this prison to allow visits from the National Red Cross,
UNMIT Human Rights and NGOs who work for human rights, not for NGOs who
are working for politics. If we do this, then our prison will be a model
for the world, a prison that hides nothing and reveals everything,â€
said PR Horta. PR Horta also said that he visited Becora Prison as a
Nobel Peace Laureate, not as President, Prime Minister or the Minister
of Foreign Affairs. President's pardon: 10 prisoners freed, Rogerio's
sentence reduced – Timor Post
Out of 84 prisoners who
received pardons from PR Ramos-Horta on Independence Day, 20 May, ten of
them have received a full pardon. Rogerio Tiago Lobato, the former
Minister of Interior, received only a reduced sentence.
of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the Government's preference is for
the president to only reduce Rogerio's sentence by three months as the
court had sentenced him to seven years in prison.
Minister: Government recommends reduction of three months of Rogerio Lobato's sentence – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
of Justice Lucia Lobato has recommended to the President Jose
Ramos-Horta that he reduce only three months of the prison term given to
the former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato because of his involvement
in arming civilians which caused many people to be killed in 2006. She
made the statement to journalists on Wednesday (21/05) while
accompanying president Ramos-Horta's on his official visit to Becora
Prison. "The government has recommended only three months reduction of
sentence but it depends on the president's decision,â€ said Lucia
According to the president, the pardon is based
on the former Interior Minister's past struggle to free the country. He
said that Rogerio has also lost many of his family who sacrificed their
lives during the war. Dili's international airport is named after
Nicolau Lobato, the former Minister's younger brother who was killed
during the struggle for independence.
East Timor Legal New now on East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin
East Timor legal news continues on in the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. ETLJB covers the period from 2008 to the present. The archive and ETLB span almost a decade. It is by no means a comprehensive archive of legal news from East Timor but does cover many subjects and sources that have been of critical importance in the development of East Timor's legal culture since the catastrophic disintegration of the rule of law in 2006. Relates sources are East Timor Law Journal, East Timor Land Studies and United Nations Police in East Timor Security Reports for the period 2006-2008.