Monthly Archives: September 2009

Not just Balibo that is unjust about East Timor’s past

Brisbane Times

Not just Balibo that is unjust about East Timor’s past

JAMES THOMAS

September 24, 2009 – 4:51PM

In seeking the truth behind the deaths of six Australian Journalists in
East Timor in 1975, actor Anthony LaPaglia and Kevin Rudd have something
in common.

LaPaglia’s portrayal of journalist Roger East in the movie “Balibo” is
compelling.

Kevin Rudd was also convincing when he took centre stage on November 17,
2007 to deliver this heroic pronouncement on the fate of the Balibo
five.

“I believe this has to be taken through to its logical conclusion. I
also believe those responsible should be held to account.”

“My attitude to this is dead set hardline. I’ve read a bit about what
happened in Balibo, I’ve been to Balibo, walked up there, I’ve seen the
fort, I’ve seen where these blokes lost their lives. You can’t just
sweep this to one side”

No, Prime Minister, you can’t. However, you can do the next best thing:
launch an AFP investigation. Then, should journalists ask questions
which embarrass you in front of your good friend and Indonesian
president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, you can respond “it would be
inappropriate to comment until such time as the Australian Federal
Police’s investigation has concluded.”

It may seem impertinent to suggest that our Prime Minister and his
government would conspire to ignore our nation’s obligations under the
Geneva Conventions to appease the Indonesians. However, the case of Guy
Campos suggests this is a plausible argument.

In June 2008, Campos, an East Timorese man, entered Australia on a World
Youth Day Visa as a pilgrim to see the Pope. Campos is not a holy
journeyman.

He is a self confessed child beater, and numerous witnesses have
recalled in acute detail his acts of torture – allegations he has
denied.

The former Principal Analyst on East Timor for the Australian Defence
Force’s Intelligence Corps, Dr Clinton Fernandes, confirmed Campos as a
key collaborator with the Joint Intelligence Unit of the Indonesian
military during their occupation of East Timor between 1975 and 1999.

Today Tonight broke the news of Campos’ illegal entry to Australia on
the 9th September 2008.

We reported he was living 1 kilometre from Joanna Ximenes. She claims
her 11 year old brother was bashed to death by Campos.

Then there was Odete Alves. At 16, she watched as Campos, dressed in
military fatigues, abducted her father. He was never seen again.

Now in her forties, Odete, like many East Timorese refugees, fled to
Australia for a new life and protection from the atrocities they endured
in East Timor. Odete and Joanna were deeply distressed when they learned
our government granted Campos entry into Australia to live less than 5
km from their homes in Sydney.

When we confronted Campos, he denied killing Francisco Ximenes.
Amazingly though, he confessed to beating the child on the night he
died.

Samantha Wills, spokeswoman for the Attorney General and Minister for
Home Affairs told me Today Tonight’s report “didn’t have much”.
Immigration spokesman, Sandi Logan, issued statements justifying Campos’
entry on the basis that immigration was unaware of any charges,
convictions or allegations that Campos had been involved in war crimes
or crimes against humanity. Within one hour of arriving in East Timor,
we uncovered court documents showing that Campos had been convicted of
“maltreatment leading to death of a child”, namely 11 year old Francisco
Ximenes. These court documents were supplied to the Australian Embassy
in 2006. Immigration has personnel at the Embassy.

We reported Campos’ alleged involvement in a massacre and attended the
exhumation of nine resistance heroes from a mass grave. All nine were
said to be nominated for execution by Campos, a story told to us by
their families and corroborated by Jamie Maia, a former collaborator
with the Indonesians who admitted to working alongside Campos.

We interviewed several East Timorese resistance members who say they
were personally tortured by Guy Campos.

We asked the Immigration Department how Campos had managed to enter
Australia despite a history of torture and war crimes. The Department
stated that it vetted individuals based on sources such as international
criminal tribunals and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Yet
there has never been an international criminal tribunal for East Timor,
and the ICJ hears proceedings between states, not individuals. It has
nothing to do with the issue of war crimes and torture. The department’s
answers were evasive and misleading.

Furthermore, East Timor’s Commission for Reception, Truth and
Reconciliation provided its report to the Australian Embassy in Dili in
February 2006. Three years later, the Immigration Department seems to
have taken no steps to identify individuals named in the report in order
to deny them a visa to visit Australia. There are some pretty evil
characters listed in the report – why would Immigration not use it as a
point of reference?

Guy Campos lived freely in Australia for more than a year. During that
time, numerous victims gave detailed statements to the AFP. At ground
level, the war crimes unit of the AFP headed by Bruce Pegg did an
impeccable job. It is understood they were confident of a successful
prosecution. The alleged perpetrator was alive and within reach. Eye
witnesses to his alleged acts were also in Australia and his alleged
torture victims were willing to testify. Jose Belo and Naldo Rei
travelled from East Timor to Australia to give detailed accounts of
their torture at Campos’ hands.

The AFP does not take the unilateral decision to lay charges in these
matters. This decision rests with the Commonwealth Director of Public
Prosecutions, Chris Craigie. Craigie and his department stated more
information was needed before they could make the decision to launch a
prosecution. However, if Campos was to leave the country the police
investigation would lapse. Last week Guy Campos left Australia. The
AFP’s investigation was suspended.

The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth speaks of “openness” and
“accountability”. This means that those who make the decisions on
whether to prosecute can be summoned to explain and justify their
actions. The AFP investigation into Guy Campos has come to a halt. The
investigation into the Government’s handling of the case should now
begin. Kevin Rudd and his fellow thespians will not want a part in that
play… It has no heroes.

James Thomas is a reporter for Channel Seven’s Today Tonight

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/not-just-balibo-that-is-unjust-about-east-timors-past-20090924-g4bj.html

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ETAN looks forward to your support. Go to
http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm to donate. Thank you.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email john@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller

Web site: http://www.etan.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/etan009
Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/134122?recruiter_id=10193810

Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out
how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

Winners: John Rumbiak Human Rights Defender Award for 2009

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how to subscribe send a blank e-mail to info@etan.org. To support ETAN
see http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm ]

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East Timor opposition slams 70-million-dollar infrastucture plan

East Timor opposition slams 70-million-dollar infrastucture plan

Posted : Thu, 24 Sep 2009 11:05:20 GMT

By : Andrew Langley

DPA

Dili – East Timor’s opposition on Thursday blasted a 70-million-dollar
infrastructure package unveiled by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s
government as a show of incompetence and open invitation for corruption.
“It’s a very crazy programme; this government has no plan and programme
at all,” Fretilin Party Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri said after
delivering a speech at the democratic governance forum organized by the
United Nations on Thursday.

The so-called referendum package, unveiled on the occasion of the 10th
anniversary of East Timor’s voting for independence from Indonesia, has
allocated a budget of 70 million dollars for 774 projects in East
Timor’s 13 districts.

Projects include fixing roads, building hospitals and schools as well as
improving sanitation.

Hundreds of East Timorese entrepreneurs are signing up to participate in
the programme which has no established tender process or selection
mechanism in place, Alkatiri said.

“I have no doubt that nothing will happen besides corruption,” Alkatiri
said.

However, Gusmao brushed off the criticism, claiming the programme would
accelerate rural development and infrastructure building in the poor
nation.

“There is no corruption, this package is to prevent corruption because
most of the companies are getting a chance to be involved in public
investment,” Gusmao said.

East Timor’s total budget for 2009 is more than 600 million dollars, but
the budget execution has fallen below target, allowing the cabinet to
transfer 70 million dollars to the package from other projects.

“This is illegal, they are drawing money from a specific heavy oil
project. This really shows lack of competence and lack of planning,”
Alkatiri said.

[The Dili Insider] Hercules Alert]

Yep, guess Xanana is friendly with some strange, brutal people,
embrassing Wirranto and callling him a friend was just the beginning.

In an email from a reader:

“At 19:55 24 September 2009 Prime Minister of Timor-Leste entered the
Hotel Timor. Upon entering the lobby he met Rosario “Hercules” Marcal –
notorious Jakarta gangland figure. After shaking hands and embracing
they sat down for a chat as if among old friends on the sofa next to the
restaurant on the western side of the lobby area.”
You can read alot about Hercules gang life here and here and here.

and connection s to militia here.

and his 2008 arrest in Jakarta here.

Bairo Pite Clinic: Ten Years On, GFC Compounds Basic Healthcare Crisis In East Timor

Bairo Pite Clinic, Dili, The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is a
partner of the Australian Foundation for Peoples of Asia and the Pacific

MEDIA RELEASE 22 September 2009

Ten Years On, GFC Compounds Basic Healthcare Crisis In East Timor

Instead of celebrating the tenth anniversary of the opening of the
internationally recognised Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, Timor-Leste (26
September), Dr Dan Murphy (the Clinic founder known to the Timorese as
Dr Dan), will continue to treat 300 patients each day while struggling
to find the money to fund this free, essential healthcare service for
the Timorese, made worse by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Dr Murphy, who recently accepted Timor-Leste’s highest honour from Dr
Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste,
was proud of the Clinic’s achievements but said, While this should be a
celebration, the reality is we are struggling to keep our doors open due
to a lack of funding.

With the support of Australians, the clinic has come a long way in terms
of delivering healthcare services to improve the health of the Timorese
but now, in the wake of the GFC we’ve seen much of the funds we rely on,
diminish, Dr Murphy said.

The Clinic, previously a military clinic used by the Indonesian
government and abandoned when Indonesian forces withdrew from
Timor-Leste, was established in 1999 by Dr Murphy to serve the immediate
needs of a population affected by the violence of the Indonesian
withdrawal. In the ten years since opening its doors, the Clinic has
developed from providing basic emergency treatment for victims of
war-like violence, to providing the only comprehensive free healthcare
service treating around 300 patients per day from in and around Dili.

In the past ten years, the Clinic has conducted an extraordinary one
million occasions of patient care, delivered around 7,000 babies and
through its Mobile Clinic programme, provided access to essential
healthcare for around 4,500 people living in remote regions across 8
districts of Timor- Leste.

In its mission to capacity build, the Clinic has also initiated 30
scholarships abroad in health related fields, facilitated rotations for
350 foreign medical students from 25 nations, and with the support of
Australia, the Clinic has referred 15 successful state-of-the-art
cardiac surgical interventions by leading healthcare facilities of whom
Baby Maria was one.

Today, the Clinic is the most highly visited health service in the
country, employing 50 local staff and 8 local volunteers to deliver free
healthcare services to a large number of Timorese including: maternity
and infant care, child health, vaccinations, TB and malaria treatment,
HIV diagnosis, inpatient and dental services as well as health outreach
and training for local healthcare workers. The clinic also operates a
basic medical laboratory and pharmacy.

There is no doubt that the extraordinary success of Dr Dan’s Bairo Pite
Clinic has had a dramatic impact on saving lives and improving the
health of the Timorese and yet, the day-to-day struggle to fund this
essential service, compounded by the impact of the GFC now threatens to
limit these services in the immediate future.

Margaret Duckett, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Foundation
for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific Ltd (AFAP) has seen the dramatic
effects of the GFC on many developing nations and services including the
Bairo Pite Clinic in Timor-Leste.

The impact on the Bairo Pite Clinic and indeed all of the communities
with whom we work has been devastating. With the GFC exacerbated by a
fall in the value of the Australian dollar and significant inflation in
some of the countries in which we work, it is a sad reality that today,
our activities in partnership with these communities including
Timor-Leste, have had to be scaled back to our mutual disappointment,
she said.

We hope that Australians will remember that despite some people doing it
very tough here, comparatively speaking, Australians are managing the
GFC well and we are urging them to continue to support this remarkable
healthcare service that would otherwise be unavailable to the Timorese
people, Ms Duckett said.

Dr Murphy also appealed to the Australian community to continue their
support for the Clinic saying,

For our tenth anniversary, our only wish is to continue to provide free
healthcare that sees innumerable daily miracles enjoyed by our dedicated
staff and the long suffering citizens of Timor- Leste.

100% of all donations go directly to support the work of the Bairo Pite
Clinic.

To make a tax deductible donation today, please go to:www.afap.org

For more information and to arrange an interview please contact:
Clare Collins – Insight Communications
P: 02 9319 3844
M: 0414 821 957
E:clare@insightcommunications.net.au

Timor-Leste President says: “the national interest can override the law”

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 03:55:21 -0400

MSO – Lusa
21 September 2009

Dili – The President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Jose
Ramos-Horta in an interview today broadcast on TVTL, admitted that the
national interest can override the law, as has been the case with
Bere.

Questioned about whether or not the delivery of Maternus Bere, who is
indicted for crimes against humanity in the massacre of 1999 in the
Suai Church to Indonesian authorities, the Head of State responded
that “not everything that is legal can support the national interest
and the interests of the State.”

Ramos Horta, in the interview in Tetum, the language most spoken in
the country, said that as head of state his first duty is to ensure
the sovereignty and independence of East Timor and so he has to
cultivate good neighborly relations, particularly with Indonesia,
which has its own difficulties in moving towards democracy.

The President made the analogy of delivery Maternus Bere, who is
Indonesian nationality, to the agreement made with the United States
in 2002 by the government of Mari Alkatiri, which states that crimes
committed in Timor-Leste by the US military cannot be tried in Timor,
but would be handed over to the American authorities.

Drwaing parallels between the U.S. and Indonesia, Ramos-Horta stressed
that both countries, unlike East Timor, have not ratified the Treaty
of Rome, so if the International Criminal Court were to issue an
arrest warrant against a U.S. citizen within Timor-Leste’s
jurisdiction, it is bound by the agreement to deliver him to the
United States.

According to Ramos-Horta’s interpretation, in agreeing with Indonesia
to deliver Bere to them, Timor-Leste would be doing the same as if it
were an American citizen, as both the USA and Indonesia, have not
ratified the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court.

The President also said that the establishment of an international
tribunal to try serious crimes committed between 1975 and 1999 in
Timor-Leste is not generally supported in East Timor, nor is it
consistent with the position of both parties, but shows the
“hypocrisy” of some sectors at home and abroad.

“FRETILIN was in power from 2002 to 2007, with a majority in
Parliament and did not want a tribunal, understanding the importance
of neighborly relations with Indonesia,” he recalled.

On the other hand, Ramos-Horta recalled that the UN had the exclusive
administration of East Timor from 1999 to 2002, as mandated by the
Security Council and “did nothing” regarding serious crimes at that
level.

“So why is that the Security Council did not adopt a resolution to
create an international tribunal at the time,” questioned the Head of
State.

During the interview, he also commented on the recent incident with
the National Parliament, which took the decision to prevent him
traveling abroad on an official visit, pending clarification on the
case Bere, but then reconsidered it.

Ramos-Horta pointed out that, constitutionally, the President, is
directly elected, and is not accountable to neither the Parliament or
to the government, so the first parliamentary decision was vitiated by
an unconstitutionality, and also said to have been itself a surprise.

“The secretary general of Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri, had attended a
meeting to consider a way out and gave his contribution, showing
understanding of the relationship with Indonesia. We were surprised
that Alkatiri’s moderated analysis of the problem was not reflected in
the position taken by his party in the parliament,” he said.

Questioned about the censure motion against the government of Xanana
Gusmão, tabled in Parliament by FRETILIN, Ramos-Horta said that as
President of the Republic, he considered this to be a normal practice
in democratic regimes.

“Personally as a citizen, I Ramos-Horta, support the AMP government
100%, which I believe have all the constitutional legitimacy and have
total confidence in the Prime Minister,” he said.
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Schools of Esperanca in Atauro, Timor Leste

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109638649741

Schools of Esperanca in Atauro, Timor Leste

In 2006 Brazilian teacher Dunalva Liberio Coelho left Dili as civil
unrest broke out. She fled to the Island of Atauro. As she was
teaching in Dili at the time, she offered her services to the local
community of Atauro.

That was three years ago.

Since this time, Dunalva has worked in Atauro in three different
aldeias (areas of the island); Arnatutu, Bit and Uabuk, with the
local churches and the community members/ leaders to establish
pre-primary and primary schools. They offer literacy programs and an
opportunity to grow stronger communities through better health
awareness. Dunalva has been training teachers in each souco/ aldeias
to continue the literacy programs on a sustainable/ long term basis.

Fitun Esperanca 1 and Fitun Esperanca 2 (or School of Hope 1 and 2)
are now operating in mountainous districts on the island of Atauro.
There are more than one hundred and fifty children attending these
primary schools. The children have to walk up to 10 kilometres (an
hour and half) each way to reach the schools.

One of our biggest challenges is to develop a methodology that helps
the small children. We will also involve the parents for
conscientization”, Dunalva, teacher.

The Future

Jardin de Esperanca Pre-School is the third school project for the
community. This is a very important project because villages have no
pre-school and these children walk very far to reach the schools near
the shore. Already 50 children have been enrolled for Jardin de
Esperanca. The community has been given the old church building to
use. However the building is so run down that it will need some
renovations done before it will be suitable enough to hold classes.
Some odd tables and chairs were also left for the school but they are
so old it is actually an occupational health and safety risk to use them.

The Jardin de Esperanca Pre-School needs support with the following:
children books (in English or Portuguese), school desk and chairs,
white boards and markers, exercise books, pencil and pens. Any craft
items and sports equipment is also welcome.

The children would love to have a playground, I would love for them
to have a playground. I want equipment like jungle jim, swing,
see-saw, play-house and sand-table. Physical development is a very
important part in education. It is also part of their social
development. It encourages self-confidence and good sportsmanship
too”, Dunalva, teacher.

The Government gives very little support for non-government
organizations (NGOs) and churches to do these kind of projects in Atauro.

Your Support

This is a great opportunity for you to support the early stage and
future development of the school and the wonderful work of Dunalva
Coelho and the Community of Atauro.a

For further information please contact Dunalva Coelho on +670 7237352
dunalva@yahoo.com.br

Thank you for your interest in this wonderful project. I look forward
to your support and lasting friendship.

On behalf of Dunalva Coelho,

Thank you.

Ana Joaquim-Pedruco, Volunteer and friend; anajoaquimpedruco@hotmail.com

Idalina Da Silva, friend from Wings Of Hope for Timor-Leste;
wingsofhope2005@yahoo.com

E.Timor may force election

——– Forwarded Message ——–
From: ETAN
To: east-timor@lists.riseup.net
Subject: E.Timor may force election
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 09:51:25 -0400

Sep 18, 2009

E.Timor may force election

AFP

DILI – EAST Timor’s opposition threatened on Friday to force an early
election in an escalating row with the government over the release of
an Indonesian militia leader accused of crimes against humanity.

Fretilin party spokesman Jose Teixeira told AFP the party will
‘seriously consider’ pulling out of parliament if a motion to censure
the government of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is not passed by parliament.

Fretilin, which controls 21 of the parliament’s 65 seats, submitted
the motion on Monday over the Gusmao government’s decision last month
to release militia leader Martenus Bere.

‘We can’t continue to be a part of what has become a violation of
law,’ Mr Teixeira said.

‘If the censure does not go through, we can’t see any way out,’ he
said, adding the withdrawal of Fretilin’s MPs would be enough to
automatically force an election.

Bere was arrested after crossing into East Timor on August 8, five
years after being indicted for his role in a string of human rights
violations including the 1999 Suai church massacre in which up to 200
people were killed.

The United Nations’ human rights representative in East Timor on
Tuesday criticised government ‘interference’ in freeing the militia
leader. But Gusmao and President Jose Ramos-Horta have said
reconciliation with giant neighbour Indonesia is more important than
dwelling on past abuses.

At least 100,000 people were estimated to have died during
Indonesia’s 24-year occupation of East Timor, which ended with bloody
violence surrounding a 1999 UN-backed independence vote. — AFP

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ETAN looks forward to your support. Go to
http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm to donate. Thank you.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email john@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller

Web site: http://www.etan.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/etan009
Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/134122?recruiter_id=10193810

Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out
how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

Winners: John Rumbiak Human Rights Defender Award for 2009

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