Monthly Archives: November 2008

East Timor: Hydroelectric plant opened to supply electricity to Baucau [ 2008-11-19 ]

Dili, East Timor, 19 Nov – Gariuai, the first hydroelectric power
plant in East Timor was opened last week in order to provide
electricity to the city of Baucau.

The mini hydroelectric plant was a gift from Norway and it was built
under guidance of the Norwegian Directorate for Hydro and Energy
Resources, which has supported East Timor in managing its hydro and
energy resources since 2003.

Norway has invested over 1.4 million Norwegian kroner (around
US$204,000) on building this mini plant and the 4-kilometre
transmission line that will supply electricity to the city of Baucau,
which has thus far been dependent on diesel generators.

The Norconsult/Norplan consortium has also concluded field work for
economic feasibility studies for the Iralalary hydroelectric Project
and the transmission line to Dili, the final report of which is due
to be handed in at the beginning of 2009. (macauhub)

Woodside floats an idea of setting sail with Sunrise gas project

The Age

November 14, 2008 Friday

Barry FitzGerald, Resources Editor

WOODSIDE chief executive Don Voelte has raised the prospect of
Woodside sidestepping the Federal Government’s planned carbon
emissions trading scheme by “floating” its planned Sunrise liquefied
natural gas project out of Australian waters into waters administered
by East Timor.

The potential for the Sunrise project to proceed as the world’s first
floating LNG (FLNG) operation means Woodside would have the option of
moving the floating production and offload facility about 15
kilometres to the north-west, taking it into East Timorese waters.

“I wonder if the ETS (emissions trading scheme) is applicable to a
vessel sitting in Timor Leste waters,” Mr Voelte mused at an investor
briefing in Sydney.

At it is, a decision on just how Sunrise is developed is not due
until the first half of 2009.

The FLNG option is up against a conventional offshore development,
also in Australian waters, with the processing plant in Darwin. There
is also a rearguard action by East Timor to have the project’s
processing plant built there.

Mr Voelte has been a strong critic of the ETS proposal since the
Federal Government’s green paper released earlier in the year
envisaged that LNG (export) projects would not qualify for the same
protection as coal through the issue of free carbon pollution permits.

He told investors that Sunrise might well be the first project that
Australia loses as a result of the introduction of an ETS. He
qualified that statement by saying it was a comment, not a threat.

The Government is due to issue its white paper on the proposed ETS
early next month, with another Woodside executive, Rob Cole, saying
the company had had a good hearing on its concerns in Canberra. “We
believe our case is well understood,” Mr Cole said.

Mr Voelte said Woodside had not had formal discussions with the
Australian or East Timorese government about the potential location
of the FLNG plant.

But the potential to shift the plant into East Timorese waters to
avoid the Australian ETS had been mentioned to Australian officials.

Mr Voelte said the response was one of “surprise and kind of rolling the eyes”.

“I thought they took it very seriously,” he said.

His comments came as Woodside was being hit hard on the sharemarket
because of the slump in oil prices. The stock closed $3.09 lower at $36.90.

Part of the fall reflected disappointment that the North-West Shelf
project was suffering teething problems at its new $2.6 billion fifth
LNG processing “train”. A problem with its heat exchanger means it
will run at 80-90% capacity until it is fixed in a planned
maintenance shutdown in September 2009.

The project will lose about one cargo a month of LNG. Customers have
been notified and shipping schedules reshuffled. The good news was
that the design fault that caused the problem has been remedied in
the building of Woodside’s $12 billion Pluto LNG project, now
one-third complete.

Mr Voelte said Woodside would emerge stronger as a result of the
current turmoil in global financial and equity markets, with the
group’s balance sheet strength allowing it to take up new
opportunities. “Strong companies in recessions and downturns get
stronger. Bad companies go away,” he said.

“But bad companies sometimes have some very good assets that they
weren’t just lucky enough to bring on.”

The company has stuck to its earlier forecast that production of
between 81 million and 84million barrels of oil equivalent (boe)
would be achieved in (calendar) 2008. The forecast for 2009 was 81
million to 86 million boe, slightly lower than most in the market
have been forecasting.

Landmark court ruling creates budget crisis for Gusmão government

FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE

F R E T I L I N – PARLIAMENTARY BENCH

MEDIA RELEASE

Dili, 13.11.08

Today’s Court of Appeal decision outlawing the Gusmão-led government’s transfer of US$390 million from the national petroleum fund to government coffers has created an institutional crisis in Timor-Leste because the government no longer has any money to spend from the budget, FRETILIN said today.

The unanimous Court of Appeal decision of three judges ruled that the government’s creation of the economic stabilization fund and the withdrawal of US$390 million from the petroleum fund breached the Constitution and the Petroleum Fund Law.

FRETILIN’s leader in the National Parliament, Aniceto Guterres said today: “FRETILIN, its political allies and Timorese civil society warned the Gusmão-led AMP government many times before and during the debate on the supplementary budget that the proposed withdrawal from the petroleum fund was unconstitutional but they ignored our advice.

“The people of Timor-Leste now await a prompt, appropriate and law-abiding response from this government and its parliamentary allies to a constitutional, institutional and financial crisis of their own making.

“The Court of Appeal decision today means that the government budget for the whole for 2008 is US$360 million, or US$390 million less than the US$773.4 million it assumed was previously available.

“The budget execution report issued by the government for the three quarters ending September showed the government claimed at that stage it had already spent more than US$455 million this year, including US$60 million from the US$390 million which the Court declared unconstitutional.

“The government now only has money to provide some community services and pay some civil servants until the budget for 2009 is approved.

“The Court decision also prohibits the government from accessing petroleum fund money to pay for spending on budgeted government contracts awarded without a lawful and transparent tender process.

“This includes the environmentally devastating heavy oil power station which was rejected by a majority of members of parliament, and the naval patrol boats it has ordered.

“The government also cannot spend any more money from the Economic Stabilization Fund as the fund was declared to be unconstitutional.”

Aniceto Guterres said that even before FRETILIN received notification of the Court’s decision, certain members of the government were trying to use illegal means to continue spending money in violation of the Court’s decision.

Guterres said: “Government ministers, public servants and international advisers could face prosecution for devising schemes, including the backdating of receipts and contracts, to breach the Court’s decision.”

ENDS

For information contact: José Teixeira M.P. on +670 728 7080

Are the Food Security Fund and Economic Stabilisation Fund fattening select businesses or the Mauber

Subject: Rice Contracts
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 13:22:01 +1100

POLICITAL DECLARATION

FRETILIN BENCH

Excellency Mr. President of National Parliament
To all Distinguished Parliamentarians,
To all the Maubere people,

Today the FRETILIN bench wants to present in Parliament (cultural house of the Maubere people) the fundamental question of food security in connection with food to sustain people’s lives and budget that has been spent and that is to be spent in 2008.

The Food Security Fund was created as a mechanism that the FRETILIN government created with the intention to not only buy rice but to provide support to farmers to increase their capacities and to ordinary people to gain protection through having sufficient food.

After more than a year, the de facto AMP government has spent millions of dollars on the budget item Food Security Fund with money that has been moved from the Economic Stabilisation Fund with the intention to assist people who have difficulty obtaining food – but perhaps the intention was to fatten up as well some of their colleagues and friends, which included the quick expenditure of the budget that was approved by Parliament in July 2008, in particular the Economic Stablisation Fund.

The food shortage problem, especially rice, has become a big problem in our nation since the de facto AMP government began governing this country – because the question of food shortage has occurred in many districts in Timor-Leste which has made the de facto AMP government buy and sell rice to their own Maubere people.

Mr. President and all parliamentarians,

The question of buying and selling rice to the people has become the principal reason from the de facto AMP government to ask the representatives of the people who sit in parliament to approve a very big budget in the 2008 Ratified Budget.

From the very beginning of the year, the de facto AMP government sold rice to the Maubere people with the very high official price of $17 each sack but the price rose to as high as $40 a sack when sold in the market in some districts. Despite the government using the reason of intervention to normalize the price of rice in the market – this normailsation has instead become an instrument of the government to raise the price of rice which was sold at a price of $12 to $15 in the tome of the FRETILIN government. The FRETILIN bench is concerned with this policy of intervention from the government through the Food Security Fund and the Economic Stabilisation Fund.

Just after the de facto AMP government came into place – the FRETILIN bench registered that the previous FRETILIN government had total of 17,582.57 tonnes of rice in storage. The previous government bought this rice at a price of not more than $500USD. The FRETILIN bench is very concerned why rice is being sold at a price of $17 a sack when it was bought for $500USD?

In the General Budget for the Transitional Period 2007 – the government requested total amount of $6,880,000USD for the Food Security Fund and this item was not spent, as reported in the 31 March 2008 final report of Execution of the Transitional Budget 2007, which was carried over to the total amount of $5,799,986USD.

But the food security item was increased in the 2008 General Budget to the amount of $5,352,000USD before the budget was ratified. The budget from the Food Security Fund is always increasing and then the parliament approved again the budget item of $11,867,000 but in reality the de facto AMP government has spent, since the budget of the transitional period, a total of $24,546,986USD.

The FRETILIN bench wants to know the total amount of money spent on food security, how many tonnes were bought and how many tonnes were sold? What was the contract process of the de facto AMP government and how did they carry it out? Was the Tender Regime applied or not? And why is the price of government rice so high?

We are concerned that perhaps the government contracts for buying rice were awarded by raising hands as occurred in the contract to Três Amigos, the company of which the director was formerly the director of finance and administration in the Office of the President when the current de facto Prime Minister was President of the Republic.

Parliamentarians,
The FRETILIN bench sees that the policy of buying rice from the AMP government has become an instrument to spend the people’s money quickly and without any control. In the month of October just after the approval of the 2008 ratified budget the FRETILIN bench registered that the government has already made contracts to buy rice with 7 companies, with money taken out of the Economic Stabilisation Fund. The companies that have been awarded contracts to buy rice are as follows:

1. Sebajaya; 1,615,000
2. Atramor; 1,848,640
3. Belun Feto; 3,842,500
4. Três Amigos; 3,843,500
5. Star King; 3,842,000
6. Maubara Fitun Naroman; 3,843,000
7. United Food; 3,842,500

The total amount of money spent from the Economic Stabilisation Fund to the companies listed totals 22,676,140 USD.

The FRETILIN bench has also noted that through the contracts that the de facto AMP government has awarded to the above named companies the government has also allocated money from the Economic Stabilisation Fund to a total of $57,371,750UDSD to buy rice, which brings the total amount of $80,047,890USD was spent to buy rice utlilising money from the Fund.

Parliamentarians,

The de facto AMP government, which has only recently come into power, has spent total of $104,594,876USD to buy rice. The amount of money that the government is spending to buy rice from the utilizing money from the Food Security Fund and Economic Stabilisation Fund deeply concerns the FRETILIN bench.

The fundamental questions that the representatives of the Uma Fukun (Parliament) have are as follows:

1. Was the people’s money that was spent was to buy rice provided to those who really needed it?

2. The policy of the Food Security Fund and the Economic Stabilisation Fund is for the benefit of the company Três Amigos and the Prime Minister or for the poor? The FRETILIN bench notes that the director of Três Amigos Mr. Germano da Silva, previously the director of Administration and Finance in the Office of the President, received a contract worth $17,842,500USD

3. The expenditures were made applying the Juridical Regime for Tender or not?

4. Finally, FRETILIN bench would like to ask for copies of all the contracts that the de facto AMP government has made with companies to buy rice and how much of the rice has been sold to Maubere people and how much is to be sold?

Mr. President of National Parliament,

Distinguished parliamentarians, all Maubere people,

In conclusion, the FRETILIN bench’s political declaration sees that the policy of the AMP government is to fatten their business friends rather than their people who have to buy rice at a high price. The FRETILIN bench sitting in today’s plenary will hold a parliamentary enquiry to the de facto AMP government according to the RDTL Constitution, articles 95, no. 3 and 101, no. 2 and articles 14h, 139 and 140 of the National Parliament Regiment, to discuss the extremely relevant question of national interests and material discussion of the subject of Food Security Fund and Economic Stabilisation Fund to buy rice for the Maubere people.

Dili, 11 November 2008

In the name of the FRETILIN bench

Parliamentarian Arsénio Bano

———————-

Note Rice Contract after 11 November 2008.

1. Serbajaya; 1,615,000
2. Atramor; 1,848,640
3. Belun Feto 3,842,500
4. Tres,AMIGOS; 3,843,500
5. Star King; 3,843,000
6. Maubara Fitun Naroman; 3,843,000
7. United Food; 3,842,500
8. Jubilex; 3,516,000
9. Monteveado; 3,516,000
10. Prima Food; 3,516,000
11. Ran Aitana; 3,516,000
12. Suai Indah; 3,516,000
13. Hercio International; 3,516,000
14. Veteran General; 3,516,000
15. Olifante; 3,516,000
16. Taci 3,516,000
17. Lunarsol; 3,516,000

There for, The total amount of money spent from the Economic Stabilisation Fund to the companies listed totals 57, 838, 3900 USD.

The FRETILIN bench has also noted that through the contracts that the de facto AMP government has awarded to the above named companies the government has also allocated money from the Economic Stabilisation Fund to a total of $22,209,390 to buy rice, which brings the total amount of $80,047,890USD was spent to buy rice utlilising money from the Fund.

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ANTI press realease

Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI)

Secretariate National NGO Forum, Caicoli, Dili, Timor-Leste

Telephone +670-728-4602

Press Release

Chega Debate, Points to the Cemetery Where the Santa Cruz Massacre Occurred,

Judge the Perpetrators of the Crimes Now ….!!!

Today we are all thinking back on the major event which took place 17 years ago, thinking anew about an event with significant impact for our youth and which woke up the international community. We know that our independence was not a gift from the invading nation not from the international community, rather our independence came from all our people’s sacrifices, and the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for the liberty of our country. Since the liberation of our country, in the past eight years the victims of the Santa Cruz massacre have yet to achieve truth or justice, those responsible from the invading Indonesian military who committed grave crimes have yet to be brought before a court and judged. Worse yet, our leaders in Timor-Leste have launched cheap propaganda claiming we must forget our past suffering because Timor-Leste no longer needs justice.

Deputies in the National Parliament currently prioritize discussion on the purchase of luxury cars for their use rather than give importance to the Chega Report. As families of the victims, we will never forget and remain sad today due to the loss of so many loved ones taken from us. Even sadder because until today we do not know where our loved ones were buried; where are the remains of those who gave their lives on that day? Why have they not only lost their lives, but also their bodies have disappeared? Because of this, the victims’ families will not be silent but continue to call for those who took the lives of our loved ones to take responsibility for their action. We are independent but still searching for the truth and justice to satisfy those of us who lost so many of our loved ones. Consequently, ANTI makes the following demands:

1. We demand the Indonesian Government reveal where those killed in the Santa Cruz Massacre of November 12, 1991 are buried as truth telling to the victims’ families.
2. We demand the Timor-Leste National Parliament give priority to discussing the CAVR or Chega Report in November 2008!
3. We demand the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia judge, in a court of law that is impartial and just, the perpetrators of the crimes of the Santa Cruz Massacre as a means to end the chain of impunity in Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
4. We demand the United Nations take the perpetrators of the Santa Cruz Massacre before an international tribunal as a step towards fulfilling the process of democratization, reconciliation and friendship between Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
5. We demand that the government of Timor-Leste give priority to justice, to prevent the growing impunity in our country.

If there is no justice, reconciliation is not viable;

If there is not truth, democracy is not viable;

Peace and development will remain illusive throughout our country if justice does not exist!

REGARDING THE ILL FUNCTIONING OF THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT

FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE

F R E T I L I N

Secretariado Nacional

Sede: Avenida Mártires da Pátria, Comoro, Dili, Timor-Leste

EXTENDED MEETING OF THE FRETILIN CENTRAL COMMITTEE

STATEMENT

The FRETILIN Central Committee (CCF), in extended meeting with the FRETILIN parliamentary bench, former MPs, former members of government and with the district representative organization of the party, held in Dili, on 8 November 2008, analysed exhaustively the role of the National Parliament as a constitutional body, representative of the people, with legislative powers, oversight power over the government, which are conferred upon it by the Constitution of the RDTL (articles 67 and 92 of the CRDTL) and concluded that the National Parliament was not properly functioning.

During the first legislative session of the second legislature, we saw the systematic breaching of the National Parliament’s Standing Orders and various breaches of the Constitution of the Republic following its subordination to the irrationally so called parliamentary majority Alliance, and under the designs of the self proclaimed fourth constitutional government.

The absence of constitutional responsibility, the lack of sentiment of state allowed the subordination of the Parliament thorugh the AMP members of Parlaiment to the AMP Government, which compromises the separation of powers and the balance of powers and impedes the National Parliament in its effective oversight of the Government activities.

Continuing with this state of events, the Parliament cannot exercise its constitutional obligations, namely, its role as the oversight body, which compromises the whole constitutional system that defines the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as a Democratic State under the Rule of Law, based on the separation of powers and supremacy of the law.

During the first legislative session we sae the continuance of the following:

– Non compliance with the terms of the constitution and the law by the Government as well as the National Parliament;

– Interference by the Government in the functioning of the National Parliament;

– Negation of the right of the opposition in our democracy in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution of the Republic by impeding opposition members of parliament from speaking or by cutting short debate time on important issues to the national political life, such as the General Budget of the State (GBS);

– Approval of laws with unconstitutional provisions.

Taking into account the above:

1) The exercise of the right to interpellate/question the Government regarding the GBS by FRETILIN was boycotted by the President of the parliament;

2) Numerous and multiple questions from FRETILIN presented in writing to the President of the Parliament have not been answered by the AMP Government;

3) A request by the FRETILIN bench to the president of the parliament for an urgent debate on the execution of the budget was neither answered by the government or scheduled by the president of the parliament;

4) There has never been any session for questioning of the government in accordance with the standing orders of parliament, due to a boycott of same by the president of the parliament, whilst he clearly knew that FRETILIN had the right to demand the presence of the AMP Government in the national parliament, once every month, to answer questions regarding their activities and how they are managing the funds of the state and people.

The FRETILIN Central Committee considers this situation the parliament is undergoing to be grave and worrying and decides as follows:

a) If this situation continues, the CCF delegates to the National Central Committee (CPN) the powers to determine the renunciation by FRETILIN from the National Parliament on terms and conditions to be defined at the opportune time;

b) Appeals to all MPs from the other benches to safeguard the democratic state under the rule of law, to preserve the independence of the National Parliament, to prevent undue interference and gurantee the separation of powers.

Dili, 8 November 2008

By the FRETILIN Central Committee

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo
President of FRETILIN

Mari Alkatiri
Secretary General of FRETILIN

Who gets rice contracts?

You will remember that massive rice deal that was reported in September – – – – http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-lies-between-dili-and-bangkok-sea.html

It would appear that Thai Rice is coming to Dili. By the shipload – many of them.

In the last three weeks the Government appears to have awarded tens of millions of dollars of rice contracts to friends and allies. Not many, if any, tenders seems to have occured for these rice deals. But then again it is a food crisis period……

12 companies are reportedly invloved. Including but not limited to:

1. ATRAMOR for $1,848,640

2. BELUN FETO for $3,842,500

3. STAR KING for $3,842,000

4. MAUBARA FITUN NAROMAN for $3,843,000

5. UNITED FOOD for $3,842,500

6. SERBAJAYA for $1,615,000

7. TRES,AMIGOS for $3,843,500
(we will remember this companies $14 million contract in July 2008
http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2008/07/rice-and-patronage.html It is proving to be a very good year for Xanana’s friend Germanu da Silva. Have you seen the quality of his house recently…..?)

GRAND TOTAL $22,677,140 in rice contracts…. equal to 20% of Timor-Leste entire national budget in 2005….!


Posted By The Dili Insider to The Dili Insider at 11/11/2008 03:36:00 AM