Open letter to Commander of Australian ISF in Dili

Open Letter
11 August 2009

To Commander, International Stabilisation Force
Camp Phoenix
Caicoli, Dili, Timor-Leste

Dear Sir,

I am a Japanese graduate student. I visited Aileu on 5 August 2009,
dropping in to a restaurant in the town en route to another location in
the district. I arrived at around 1300, and encountered seven
Australian ISF soldiers there, drinking beer. They were in combat
uniforms, with guns; some of which were on the table, while others on
the floor. I didn’t notice their names or ranks, but among them I
recognized one soldier, whose name tag seemed to say “Smith”. Outside
the restaurant, a military truck was parked, apparently heading towards
south, with three other military personnel. Encountering drinking
soldiers with guns frightened me very much.

Previously I have seen Australian military personnel carry guns while in
restaurants, grocery stores and DVD rental shops, among other places.
This is insensitive and inappropriate given the relatively calm security
situation. It makes people feel unsafe.

I would like to ask the following questions in relation to the
regulation of firearms use by Australian military personnel:

1. Are Australian military personnel permitted to carry guns while
drinking alcohol?

2. Under what precise circumstance are Australian military personnel
permitted to carry guns? When will the current policy on carrying long
arms be reviewed?

3. What is the process of registering and addressing complaints?

I look forward to your reply and strongly recommend that your answers
with specific reference to operational guidelines on carrying guns
should be made public to both Timorese and foreigners in Timor-Leste as
this is a safety issue, and thus of public concern. Similarly
information on how Timorese and foreigners can register complaints and
how these are addressed should be made public.

Yours sincerely,

Takahashi Shigehito

[Tetun translation]
Surat Nakloke/Karta Aberta
11 Agosto 2009

Ba: Komandante, ISF (Forsas Estabilidade Internasional) Australia
Camp Phoenix
Caicoli, Dili, Timor-Leste

Ho respeito,

Hau esutudante ida husi Japaun. Hau vizita ba Aileu iha loron 5 fulan
Agosto, 2009, no tama restaurante ida iha Vila. Hau too iha neeba mais
ou menus tuku 13:00, no hasoru ho soldadu ISF Australia nian nain hitu
(7), neebe hemu dadauk serveja. Sira hatais farda funu ho kilat, balun
tau iha meja leten, seluk soe hela iha rai. Hau la hatene sira nia
naran ou diviza, maibe hau haree soldadu ida ho ninia naran tau iha
farda hakerek hanesan “Smith”. Kamioneta militar nian para hela iha
restaurante nia oin, karik ba diresaun sul. Ema militar nain tolu (3)
tan hein ho kamioneta ida nee. Hasoru ho soldadu lanu no kaer kilat
halo hau tauk lahalimar.

Durante nee hau haree soldadu Australianu sira kaer kilat iha
restaurante, supermercado no toko Rental DVD, no fatin seluk-seluk tan.
Hahalok hirak nee la sensitivu no la apropriadu, tanba situasaun
seguransa kalma hela. Sira halo ema hotu sente la seguru.

Hau hakarak husu pergunta tuir mai, neebe relasiona ho regulamento kona
ba kilat ba soldadu Australianu sira.

1. Soldadu Australianu sira autoriza kaer kilat bainhira hemu dadauk

2. Situasaun saida mak soldadu Australianu sira hetan lisensa atu kaer
kilat? Bainhira atu haree fila fali politika kona ba autorizasaun kilat?

3. Prosedur atu hatama keixa oinsa?

Hau hein Ita-Boot nia hatan no rekomenda Ita-Boot atu fo-hatene ba
Timor oan ho ema estrangeiru sira hotu iha Timor-Leste kona ba Ita-Boot
nia hatan ho “guideline” operasional kilat nian atu ami hotu bele
hatene. Tanba ida nee kona ba seguransa ka keselamatan, no nuu nee
preokupasaun publiku.

Obrigado ba Ita-Boot nia atensaun,

Takahashi Shigehito


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