Monthly Archives: December 2009

Commemoration of the death in combat of President Nicolau Lobato (Biography follows)



*Biography of President Nicolau dos Reis Lobato *

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato was born on the 24th of May 1946 in Sasatan Oan,
Aitara Hun, Soibada, Laclubar Administrative Post in Manatuto. The
eldest son of Narciso Manuel Lobato, from Leorema, Bazartete
Administrative Post in Liquica, and Felismina Alves Lobato, from
Malurucumo / Macadique, Uatolari Administrative Post in Viqueque. (His
maternal grandfather, Domingos da Costa Alves, from Samora, Soibada was
a catechist in Uatolari, which is why his mother was born in
Malurucumo / Macadique).

His parents had 13 children all together these being: 1. Nicolau dos
Reis Lobato as the eldest followed by 2. António Bosco Lobato, 3.
Rogério Tiago de Fátima Lobato, 4. Maria Cesaltina Francisca Alves
Lobato, 5. Januario do Carmo Alves Lobato, 6. Domingos Cassiano Maria
da Silva Lobato, 7. Luis Francisco de Assunção Alves Lobato, 8.
Silvestre Lobato, 9. Madalena de Canossa Alves Lobato, 10. Elga Maria
do Rosário Alves Lobato, 11. Jose Bernardo Alves Lobato, 12. Silvestre
Agostinho Alves Lobato, 13. Elisa Maria Lobato. There is only one
surviving member of this large family, Fatima Rogerio Tiago Lobato.
His father died of illness on the 26th of April 1976 in Leorema. His
mother was killed on Mount Maubere in Laclubar in July 1979. All other
brothers and sisters, with the exception of Silvestre Lobato who was
stillborn, fell as combatants in the long struggle for national

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato lived in Soibada until he was thirteen years
old, attending primary school at the Colégio Nuno Alvares Pereira where
his friend Alberto Ricardo da Silva, now Bishop of Dili, also studied
among other colleagues. He continued his studies together with Alberto
Ricardo da Silva in the Minor Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima in Dare,
and completed his fifth year of Humanities with distinction in all
subjects, especially in Portuguese and mathematics. His childhood
companions, in addition to his brothers Antonio and Rogerio, were
António Cesaltino Osorio Soares, Abílio Osório Soares, Luis Viana do
Carmo and João Bosco do Carmo, neighbours and sons of teachers Fernando
Soares and Jose Carmo respectively.

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato was baptized by Father Januário Coelho da Silva
in the Parish of the Immaculate Conception of Soibada, at the Catholic
Mission of the same name. His godfather was Fulgêncio dos Reis Ornay,
the traditional monarch of Fehuc Rin in Barique, and colleague of his
father. As a boy he was chosen to represent an angel during the famous
pilgrimage to Timor of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in 1951. He
received all his Catholic training in Soibada and Dare, and became a
true practicing Catholic. As a devotee of Our Lady of Aitara, he
committed himself to carry the statue of the Virgin, hiding it in a
secret place known as Anin Kuak (Wind Cave) in Soibada so as not to be
profaned. As a protector of Catholic priests during the war, he had as
his confidant and confessor Father Francisco Tavares, currently the
parish priest at the Catholic Mission of Ainaro.

To confirm his Catholic faith, it is sufficient to recall that during
the retreat to the mountains around Dili following the Indonesian
invasion, he passed through Dare and requested Father Ricardo Alberto
da Silva to say a mass for Timor-Leste. After the mass and upon
bidding farewell, he told him: “Please say a mass for me if I die.”
His colleague carried out his will after his death, saying a mass for
his soul.

During the years at the seminary he was selected by the Rector as the
head of the seminarians for three consecutive years. It was in these
years that he forged his character as a man, leader and sportsman. In
1965 he decided not to pursue his studies to become a priest and left
the seminary.

After leaving the seminary, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato’s dream was to
study law in Coimbro, Portugal. However he was impeded from realizing
this dream due to his father’s illness and the need to support the
education of his younger brothers and sisters, as well as the lack of
financial support available from the then Portuguese government. In
the mean time he continued his secondary studies to the seventh year at
the secondary school (Liceu) Dr. Francisco Machado in Dili where he
attained high academic results in philosophy, political organization
and national administration and Portuguese language.

In Dili, after having left the seminary, at the request of his parents,
he lived with the family of his mother’s cousin in Bidau, Armindo da
Costa Tilman and Lidia da Silva Boavida, both of whom treated him as a
son. Whilst living there he assiduously attended mass at Lecidere which
was celebrated by the Bishop of Dili at that time, Dom Jaime Garcia

In 1966 he commenced his service with the Portuguese Army. He
completed his Sergeant’s course with distinction having graduated first
in his class followed by João Viegas Carrascalão in second and Moisés
da Costa Sarmento in third. The latter would become his brother-in-law
when Moisés married his sister, Maria Cesaltina Francisca Alves
Lobato. His brother-in-law and sister were barbarically slaughtered in
Ratahu, Viqueque in 1979.

Whilst in the Portuguese Army he was first posted to the Bazartete
Military Post. After being promoted to the rank of Quartermaster, he
was transferred to the Hunter’s Company Number 15 in Caicoli and
appointed senior officer in charge of the barrack’s mess. It is there
that he became acquainted with First Sergeant Timane from Nampula in
Mozambique who secretly told him of the Mozambican national liberation

In 1968 he returned to civilian life having completed his compulsory
military service. At first he became a civil servant in the Agronomy
Mission of Timor. There he met the Agriculture Regent, Marcelino from
Cape Verde, who told him of the PAIGC and the struggle for national
liberation in Guinea and Cabo Verde. It is then that he began to
secretly read the first books regarding the liberation struggle in the
former Portuguese colonies in Africa. He subsequently moved from the
agronomy mission to finance department after succeeding in the
recruitment process to the category of Third Officer. There he was
given the task of supervising the salary and benefits payments for the
whole of the civil service.

As a sportsman he played volleyball, basketball and football having
become a notable footballer firstly with the Clube Desportivo of União
and then the Clube Desportivo of Academica.

It was while he was a civil servant in the finance department that
Nicolau dos Reis Lobato commenced a new phase in his life. He met
Isabel Barreto with whom he married in 1972 at the Bazartete chapel
with the wedding celebration taking place at Laulema, the residence of
Isabel Barreto’s parents. They were married by Father Simplício do
Menino Jesus, a missionary originally from Goa and parish priest of
Liquica at that time. They had a son, Jose Maria Barreto Lobato, who is
the only surviving off-spring of the couple. Nicolau’s wife, Isabel,
was brutally assassinated at the Dili wharf on the 7th of December
1975, the day Indonesia invaded Timor-Leste.

The son was adopted by his Uncle Jose Goncalves and Aunt Olimpia
Barreto and took on the name Jose Maria Barreto Lobato Goncalves.

In the middle of 1974 following the Carnation Revolution of the 25th of
April 1975 in Portugal, Nicolau Lobato voluntarily left the Portuguese
civil service to dedicate himself fulltime to the creation of the
ASDT/FRETILIN and the Timor-Leste struggle for national liberation.

At the transformation of ASDT to FRETILIN on 11 September 1974, he was
named as the Vice-President.

Nicolau Lobato led the action in response to the UDT armed assault
against FRETILIN launched on 11 August 1975 in his capacity as
Vice-President and without impediment of the then President of
FRETILIN, Xavier do Amaral. Thus:

1. On the evening of 11 August 1975, with the support of
Mari Alkatiri, Alarico Fernandes and Mau Lear, Nicolau Lobato led a
group of FRETILIN Central Committee (CCF) members in the withdrawal
from Dili;

2. On 13 August, he led a further withdrawal from the
surrounding mountains of Dili to Ai-Sirimou in Aileu;

3. In Ai-Sirimou, Nicolau Lobato headed the CCF delegation in
contacts with Timorese soldiers and sergeants in the Aileu Barracks in
order to inform them of the political and military situation in

4. On August 15, given the impediment of the absence of the
then President of FRETILIN and with the collaboration of some CCF
members, in particular Mari Alkatiri, he declared at Ai-Sirimou the
General Armed Uprising of the People, setting the strategy for a
prolonged popular struggle; the same day Nicolau Lobato, Mari Alkatiri,
Alarico Fernandes and some CCF members, assuming the powers of the CCF,
founded FALINTIL and created the first company of these same forces;

5. On 17 August, in a concerted action with the Timorese
soldiers and sergeants of the Aileu company, Nicolau Lobato led the
action that forced the Portuguese officials to hand over command of the
company to the Timorese (Sergeant José Silva);

6. From this date on, Nicolau Lobato led the entire
political and military counter-offensive operation;

7. During the months of September to November, he outlined
the political and military strategies. He always advocated the
necessity of Portugal’s return to resume the responsibility of
decolonizing Timor-Leste; He concentrated all efforts to find an
understanding among Timorese as a starting point for a political
solution to the conflict;

8. Frustrated in all these efforts, he activated the process
that led to unilateral declaration of independence of Timor-Leste on 28
November 1975;

9. In the government formed after the proclamation, Nicolau
Lobato became Prime Minister;

10. In 1977, faced with problems that emerged within
FRETILN, Nicolau Lobato was appointed President of FRETILIN, President
of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of FALINTIL;

11. On 31 December 1978, he died in combat in the valley of
Mindelo, between Maubisse, Turiscai and Manufahi.

Bones gathering dust in NT may be of Timorese hero


December 28, 2009

DARWIN: Bones believed to be from the body of East Timor’s national hero Nicolau Lobato was forgotten and stored in Australia for five years.

As the remains lay in a Northern Territory police forensic centre, the East Timorese President, Jose Ramos-Horta, pressed Indonesia to return the body of Lobato, who was killed by Indonesian soldiers in 1978.

”In the name of our country and people, in the name of the state and of the family, I am asking here for the return of the body of Nicolau Lobato,” Mr Ramos-Horta said in a speech on August 30 marking the 10th anniversary of East Timor’s independence vote.

Territory police have kept bones believed to be those of Lobato since March 2004 when his family sent them to Darwin for forensic tests.

Three weeks after being questioned about the bones by the Herald, a police spokeswoman confirmed that three bones would soon undergo testing using new methods for the extraction of DNA from bones. A specialist contractor had been employed to do the work as part of a police and Coroner’s project to review 55 unidentified skeletal remains that have been stored in the NT since 1973.

The spokeswoman said after the bones arrived in Darwin in 2004 ”tests were done in the NT Police forensics laboratory on one section of bone but no DNA profile was able to be obtained and no report was completed to that effect”. The spokeswoman said police were now trying to contact Lobato’s family.

”While I can’t give you a timeframe on this testing, the project is expected to be completed early in the new year,” the spokeswoman said.

The body of Lobato, East Timor’s first prime minister and one of the founding members of the Fretilin Party, is a sensitive issue in relations between East Timor and Indonesia.

For years it was believed the body was buried in secret in Indonesia after the charismatic resistance leader was shot in an ambush in December 1978, three years after Indonesia invaded East Timor. But just before Christmas in 2003 workmen digging in the yard of the then prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, discovered remains that members of the Lobato family believed were those of Nicolau.

No head was found, which added to the family’s belief the remains were those of the national hero.

The former Indonesian president Soeharto is believed to have demanded that Lobato’s head be sent to Jakarta as proof of his death.

In 1978 the house was occupied by Colonel Dading Kalbuadi, the Indonesian army chief in East Timor, who arranged a triumphant ceremony for the return of Lobato’s body to Dili.

Lobato’s death was seen by Indonesia at the time as important in breaking the morale of the resistance movement and it boosted the career of Captain Prabowo Subianto, who went on to marry one of Soeharto’s daughters and is now one of Jakarta’s most powerful political figures. Indonesian army propaganda photographs show Colonel Kalbuadi and Captain Subianto standing over Lobato’s body.

Colonel Kalbuadi was involved in the attack on five Australian newsmen, now known as the Balibo Five, by Indonesian forces on October 16, 1975, during an incursion by Indonesia into what was then Portuguese Timor. Colonel Kalbuadi died in 1998.

If the bones in Darwin are confirmed to be those of Lobato, East Timor would give them a grand state funeral after a hero’s return.

Mr Ramos-Horta has described Lobato as ”our greatest hero”. Dili’s international airport is named after him. Lobato’s brother Rogerio is a former interior minister who was controversially convicted of arming a hit squad to eliminate political opponents in 2007.

He was sentenced to 7½ years’ imprisonment but had the sentence reduced and was allowed to leave East Timor to receive medical treatment and is now living in exile.

Government forced labor clean-up day

quarta-feira, 23 de Dezembro de 2009


Yet again the Gusmao de facto government has shown its willingness to
act against the constitution. This week an “executive decree” was
issued prohibiting all circulation by citizens between 0700 hours
until 1200 hours today (23.12.2009) and compelling them to
participate in a general clean up.

The right of every citizen to freedom of circulation or movement is
constitutionally guaranteed in article 44 of the Constitution. That
cannot be curtailed in any way by a mere government decree. Even
legislation by the parliament would contravene the constitution and
be struck down on the grounds of unconstitutionality.

The use of the Timor-Leste National Police to compel citizens to
alight from their vehicles and motorcycles and come out of their
homes, under threat of physical police enforcement is illegal. The
use of force has been widely reported throughout Dili with the police
assaulting citizens refusing to follow these illegal orders given by

It is unfortunate that the national police are being used in this
fashion to cover up the shortcomings of the de facto Gusmao
government in utilizing the very large and wasteful budget they have
to provide basic services such as sanitation. Resorting to forcing
persons to undertake unpaid/involuntary (in essence forced) labour
also breaches the human rights of citizens.

We do not condemn the police officers purely following orders of
their superiors, but the PNTL Commander General has been notified
that the use of the police in this fashion is improper and illegal.
FRETILIN intends to hold those in the PNTL command giving orders in
this matter legally responsible.

FRETILIN intends to file a petition to the Constitutional court
regarding this further unconstitutional act of governance, as well as
seek that the Prosecutor General of the Republic investigate all
physical action taking by the national police resulting in the
unlawful deprivation of the liberty of persons or that resulting in
assault to their persons or property.

The de facto government will undoubtedly publicize widely that the
cleanup was successful because of the extensive participation of
citizens. It is very clear that this has occurred mainly if not only
because of the impending threat of police action for refusal to
participate. This is inappropriate in our society, which we aspire to
be one based on the rule of law and democracy.

This has nothing to do with public health or sanitation as purported
by the government, but the use of excessive power to divert attention
form their own failings. In a city of so many unemployed it would be
a much more positive and constructive approach to take to pay members
of the community from the state budget to undertake regularly
cleaning and road maintenance. The latter is a proven effective way
of public transfers being made to those without employment or other
forms of household income.

Similarly, there is nothing wrong with engendering a spirit of
civic/community voluntary participation. Those citizens wishing to so
participate naturally are free to participate and we do not object.
We do however object to the curtailment of constitutional rights of
others in the process.

Security Sector Reform Monitor: Timor-Leste No. 1

*Dear all*

*Merry Christmas and Happy New Year*



In mid-2006, large parts of Timor-Leste’s security sector collapsed and the
fledgling nation lurched toward civil war. The country’s police (Polícia
Nacional de Timor Leste – PNTL) and military (Forças de Defesa de
Timor-Leste – F-FDTL) “**


*I don’t agree with this introduction that does not match what had happened
in Timor Leste. The information is not correct and is misleading those who
believe because it did not follow the evolution of the situation.*

* *

*I do not want to say that our security forces are perfect we have made
mistakes many areas need some improvement but not the method outside want
and also you must remember that we are a new country with 10 years of

* *

*It is all very nice talking about the Security Sector Reform for Timor
Leste but should reflect that your Governments or countries were involved in
the crisis of 2006 and which must assume the responsibilities of this mess
because the truths are being hidden wanting so wash hands or simply forget
everything that had happened.*

*I believe the published security documents outside are misguided in calling
for a reform. What kind of reform? What is the credibility of the Timorese
Government corrupt and criminal, conspirators of the 2006 crisis installed
and supported by former Australian Government?*

*You must open our eyes not making Timor Leste a dump field and treat the
Timorese with a **neo-colonial** mentality and support a Government so

*It is good not come with many stories launching dust in the eyes of the
people of Timor Leste; they already suffered and died during the 25 years of
Indonesian occupation. You should be ashamed to say these lies above
description only to serve your interests. The crisis of 2006 was created and
fomented by the policy “regime change “of the PM John Howard initiated by
Bush policy, with the aim of overthrowing the Timor Leste Government. Recall
that John Howard was always a supporter and sponsor the autonomy and
integration of East Timor. Foreign intervention was not for the good of the
Timor Leste people was yes to the natural wealth oil and gas.** Powerful
Australian interests are talking openly about the need for a strong
Australian hand on East Timorese policy.*

* Currently we have seen the hostility of the oil companies against the
Timorese government involved in the “Great Sunrise” pipeline to East Timor.
The collapse of the police is the fact that the command has abandoned the
post in support of conspirators 2006 crisis whose authors are Xanana, Horta,
Lasama and their accomplices with Australian Government support. Presently
the ex Commandant Paulo Martins is member of the Parliament of Xanana Gusmão
CNRT party and the new commandant Longinhos we can also consider one of
conspirators. It was only the Dili police headquarters suffered the fall but
did not happen in the Districts and Sub districts Station of Timor Leste.***

* *

*The reform should be made gradually according to the conditions of East
Timor and not and never compiled documents imported from outside the United
Nations or countries involved in the crisis to be applied to police of Timor
Leste. What is the honesty of those countries and how we can trust if were
implicated in the crisis and installation corrupt and criminal government?
The government of these countries nothing contributed for our liberation
struggle working only for our destruction to a failed State and thus remains
with the pretext of instability. Some public statements on the Security
Reform made by current Secretaries of Defense and Security of States were
well explicit in explanations of non-interference of the Nation internal
affairs. *

*Currently all we do they consider wrong such superiority complex pointing
fingers and accusing our security institutions. As we all know they had
created the mess in 2006 crisis comes to tell us now to put our House in
order. Shame! And also should not forget that our police were trained and
developed by the United Nations in coordination with the Government of East
Timor. What do you or they want? We are not slaves of your interests. I
think it is only to make money at the expense of Timor Leste people like”
NGO ALOLA” has done belong Xanana wife money deposited in Australian Banks
and many more with government subsidies.*

* *

*Selling these theories this type of research as has always done in many
areas: health, education, infrastructure, etc. through its advisers, which
is a waste of funds on projects many of these are under the carpet that do
not reflect the realities of East Timor. It is a bitter pill to swallow
because it is the difficult to hear the truths what happened in East Timor,
the way as I express I lived and I followed the situation closely and I am
able to refute all details on this subject.*

* *

*Let’s to decide what is best for our country as an independent nation. What
we want is a real security it is fair to all society no outside interference
and to maintain stability with a lasting peace to focus on the construction
and development of the country.*

* *

*Nothing is perfect in this world, we are all human beings, our brain to
think and think that we cannot better than others, many theories imported
from abroad including security only to confuse, destroy and distort our

* *

*Here are some extracts of intentions of Australia on East Timor.*

* *

*The post-independence crisis in Timor Leste has drawn attention to the
fragility of ins**titutions in that newly independent country. Australian
intervention in 2006 has been accompanied by menacing suggestions of a
“failed state” – not just a state that cannot govern itself, but one that
poses a threat to others, thus justifying intervention. Yet foreign
intervention is anathema to independence and self-governance (in East
Timorese terms, “ukun rasik an”).***

*The immediate danger to Timor Leste’s established right to
self-determination is likely to be an Australian neo-colonial dominance that
could reverse the independent path the nation has undertaken, with its new
constitution, national development plan and distinctive policies. The
internationalization of the intervention (the UN involvement) only slightly
diminishes this threat. Powerful Australian interests are talking openly
about the need for a strong Australian hand on East Timorese policy.*

*Australian Government and corporate media have not even condemned the
renegade soldiers who took up arms against their own government and shot
people in the street. John Howard and Alexander Downer pretend an
“even-handed” policy to Timor Leste’s elected government and its violent

*President Xanana Gusmao has so far escaped criticism for not denouncing the
renegade soldiers and gangs that are acting in his name. Xanana has great
domestic popularity and has not been so closely implicated in the policy
conflicts with Australia.*

*The attacks on Prime Minister Alkatiri reflect underlying tensions that
have been building for some time. The prime minister, a strong economic
nationalist, remains the country’s chief strategist. Many of the tensions
relate to distinctive policy developments in the seven years since 1999. The
best known achievements have been in the oil and gas dispute, but there have
also been modest advances in agriculture, health and education. Yet
associated with many of these advances have been opposition or hostility
from Australia, and its mentor, the US.*

*There was wide support for the construction of a new constitution (with a
bill of rights, a highly democratic electoral system, recognition of shared
national resources and customary law) and a development plan. The pursuit of
a greedy Australian Government over East Timor’s oil and gas resources
proved more difficult. Alkatiri led the first round of negotiations (mainly
over the Bayu-Undan field), with broad East Timorese and Australian support.
The deal shifted Australia’s 80-20 offer to a 90-10 settlement. The second
round (over the Greater Sunrise field) shifted the Australian “final”
position of 18-82 to a settlement of 50-50.*

*In both sets of talks there was considerable aggravation, particularly the
latter, where Australia got its way in deferring fixed maritime boundaries.
Australian officials and some academics told the East Timorese again and
again that they were “unrealistic” and would get nowhere. Downer told
Alkatiri he would give him “a lesson” in politics. Downer and the “realists”
were wrong. The East Timorese did not get their full claim, but they came
out several billion dollars ahead.*

*On agriculture both the World Bank and the Australian Government opposed
the transitional government’s plans (2000-02) to rehabilitate rice fields,
and to use aid money for public grain silos and a public abattoir. That is,
the Australian Government – blinded by neo-liberal ideology, and their
belief in privatization and export orientation – blocked East Timorese
developmental plans. Yet few interventions are more destructive to
development than obstructing a small, post-colonial nation defining and
creating its own institutions.*

* *

*Whatever their prior knowledge of the Reinado-led rebellion, the Australian
Government made good use of it to undermine the elected government of Timor
Leste. However, domestic compromises (including two ministerial
resignations, the promotion of Ramos Horta and a UN inquiry) seem to have
forced a temporary back-down. Yet if the “palace coup” does not succeed on
this occasion, we will need to closely watch progress in what The
Australiancalls the now “poisoned” relationship between the Howard and
the Alkatiri
governments. At stake is an independent *

* *

*Herein lies the problem. An oligarchy of Australian business leaders, who
consistently opposed East Timorese independence, pre-1999, have openly
declared themselves hostile to the Fretilin-led project. The Howard regime
gives lip service to East Timorese autonomy, but shares the hostility. This
is a strategic hostility as much as opposition to any particular policy. But
the ‘protectorate’ mindset certainly wants easier access to East Timorese
resources, greater privileging of foreign investment, abolition of East
Timor’s army and a shift in national language policy from Portuguese-Tetum
to English-Tetum.*

*It seems likely that, even with Alkatiri sidelined, a Fretilin-led
government will maintain the strategy spelt out in East Timor’s National
Development Plan and sectoral policies, and backed by the Constitution.
Alternatively (and if Murdoch’s scribblers have their way), a more
‘Australian friendly’ government might be persuaded to abandon its economic
nationalist past, and accept protectorate status.*

*So what is the problem with a small country taking loans from the World
Bank and becoming more ‘western friendly’? Isn’t this a legitimate way of
attracting investment, improving governance and reducing poverty? Let’s
examine this, in light of experience elsewhere.*

*The process begins with loans for essential infrastructure, usually power
and roads; and in East Timor everyone has been complaining about power and
roads. The World Bank would loan money to the government at low commercial
interest or (in view of East Timor’s low GDP per capita) a very low IDA loan
at only 0.7% interest over 35 years. This, at first glance, seems generous.
But strict conditions would be attached, in the form of a ‘good governance’

*An important section of the ‘good governance’ conditions would stipulate
that, while the loan is public, the construction and service delivery would
be private – a ‘development partnership’. This means that large foreign
companies would be contracted to construct the power grid and roads, while
others would meter and enforce a ‘user pays’ power supply regime. As the
‘good governance’ agreement would also stipulates no price subsidies, the
only way poor families could access power would be by direct fiscal subsidy.
But the government has no spare cash, which is why it would have borrowed in
the first place.*

*Such ‘partnership’ schemes have seen even water supplies become
unaffordable in major cities from The Philippines to Bolivia. The small
middle classes who can afford the fees might get a better service, but the
government will still have to intervene to ensure quality and contain the
corruption that privatizations*

* *

*So why do the leaders of developing countries participate in neo-liberal
programs, when they are so damaging for ordinary poor people? Sometimes they
have been obliged to cut political deals, for independence. Sometimes it is
due to policy weakness and a desire to accommodate the big powers – some
elements of this are now visible in East Timor. But very often leaders (such
as Indonesia’s Suharto) enter the business elite themselves, taking
commissions, rents and other benefits from cashed up aid and privatization
programs. Neo-liberal ‘good governance’ (previously called ‘structural
adjustment’) has most often enhanced this corruption, rather than preventing

*The Australian role in undermining East Timorese independence is difficult
to see now, with a barrage of media influencing the desire to see ourselves
as the little country’s ‘saviors’. We are nothing of the sort. Australian
friends of East Timor should recognize the shocking prospects of neo-liberal
protectorate status, and maintain their support for an independent nation.*

— On *Tue, 15/12/09, ETAN * wrote:

From: ETAN
Subject: Security Sector Reform Monitor: Timor-Leste No. 1
Received: Tuesday, 15 December, 2009, 5:29 AM

Security Sector Reform Monitor: Timor-Leste

No.1 Friday, December 11, 2009

The Security Sector Reform Monitor is a quarterly publication that tracks
developments and trends in the ongoing security sector reform (SSR)
processes of five countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Timor-Leste, Haiti and
Southern Sudan. This inaugural issue of the Security Sector Reform Monitor,
Timor-Leste, will cover sector-wide developments and trends, but will focus
predominantly on police reform.

Download from here


In mid-2006, large parts of Timor-Leste’s security sector collapsed and the
fledgling nation lurched toward civil war. The country’s police (Polícia
Nacional de Timor Leste – PNTL) and military (Forças de Defesa de
Timor-Leste – F-FDTL) were at best incapable of controlling, and at worst
complicit in fomenting crime and lawlessness, requiring the government to
request an Australian-led peacekeeping force and international policing
presence to restore public order.

The tragic events of April–June 2006—in which 37 died in the violence and
over 150,000 were driven from their homes—laid bare the dysfunctions of the
security sector. “The Crisis,” as the events of 2006 are now known, revealed
that there was little substance to many parts of the security sector beyond
uniforms and weapons. It became clear that Timor-Leste required a
comprehensive and far-reaching security sector reform (SSR) process.

There have been significant changes in the Timorese security sector since
2006, not all of which have been positive. After nearly three years of
executive policing authority, the United Nations Police (UNPOL) has begun a
staged handover to national authorities. There has also been a marked
improvement in relations between the PNTL and F-FDTL. The return to national
control of the police is a welcome development as it demonstrates the
growing legitimacy of the country’s security institutions and increasing
local ownership over the SSR process. However, it comes with some risk; it
was the Timorese government’s mismanagement of the security sector that led
to the 2006 crisis. Although this edition of the Security Sector Reform
Monitor: Timor-Leste will cover sector-wide developments an

Introduction 1

Historical Background of the Security Sector 2

Security Environment 4

The United Nations and SSR 6

Policing 6

Justice Sector 10

Armed Forces 10

Conclusion 11

Works Cited 12

[The Dili Insider] Threats. Shutdown – to return in time.

The attacks on the Dili Insider are an unfortunate assault on freedom
of information and debate. That people would resort to threats to
suppress information and views they disagree with rather than debate
them must be challenged.

If you have information that they might have otherwise shared with
the Dili Insider, you are welcome to contact us. If it checks out, we
will certainly consider sharing it on this list and ETAN’s website and blog.

We believe it is very important to stand up to bullies.


At 12:45 PM 12/16/2009, The Dili Insider wrote:
>Due to a series of telephone and email threats, this blog will shut
>down effective immediately.
>It will however return.
>The DI Team
>Posted By The Dili Insider to
>Dili Insider at 12/17/2009 02:45:00 AM
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>Content-Disposition: inline; filename=”message-footer.txt”
>[This message was distributed via the east-timor news list. For info
>on how to subscribe send a blank e-mail to To support
>ETAN see ]


Support ETAN! Read what Noam Chomsky says about ETAN:

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 Skype: john.m.miller

Web site:

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East Timor fighting Darwin gas plant

NT News
East Timor fighting Darwin gas plant

DARWIN may miss out on another gas plant, a leading analyst says.

John Hirjee of Deutsche Bank in Melbourne says one of the four
partners in the Sunrise field off the Territory coast may opt for a
floating production platform in the Timor Sea, rather than an LNG
complex alongside Darwin Harbour.

Woodside was last week reported to have chosen the Darwin option. But
Mr Hirjee says in a report that the Australian energy company may go
for the floating platform option because of opposition from East Timor.

Sunrise, 450km northwest of Darwin, is being developed by Woodside,
Shell, ConocoPhillips and Osaka Gas. It lies partly in the Joint
Petroleum Development Area, which means royalties from gas
exploitation would be shared between Australia and East Timor.

The Dili government wanted the gas to be piped to a LNG plant in East Timor.

But the joint venture partners ruled that out because of political
instability, the lack of skilled workers and the deep undersea trench
that lies between the country and Sunrise.

East Timor is now lobbying for its second preferred option –
processing the gas on a floating platform.

Australian unions oppose this choice because the platform would be
manufactured overseas and be manned by mainly foreign workers.

Darwin would miss out on a $2 billion gas plant, which would employ
more than 1000 workers during construction and up to 300 during operation.

The joint venture partners are expected to announce their decision by
the end of this year.

ConocoPhillips is believed to have chosen the Territory option.

Shell is thought to want a floating platform. It is not known how
Osaka Gaswill vote.

Oilwatch SEAsia: Solution Not Delusion

Available online at (English) (Bahasa Indonesia)

For more information in English and Tetum about Timor-Leste and climate change, see

Southeast Asian Leaders – Go for Solution Not Delusion!

A Joint Statement, Copenhagen, Denmark, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen – 14 December 2009: We, members of Oilwatch Southeast Asia[i] and Indonesian Civil Society Forum for Climate Justice (CSF), declare our common position and demands on the current climate negotiation in COP 15 UNFCCC Copenhagen. We have witnessed the lack of leadership among industrial countries to significantly cut carbon emission let alone show their responsibility to support developing countries to tackle the impacts of climate change.

Southeast Asia is considered as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to impacts of climate crisis. Most of the Southeast Asian countries are poor and majority of the population in the region live in deep poverty resulting to a very low capacity to adapt to climate change impacts. The location of the region poses high risk for disasters such as typhoons, droughts, earthquakes, and flooding.

We are disappointed that the negotiations in COP15 UNFCCC do not take into account the reality in the ground that fossil fuel exploitation by industrial countries have been going from strength to strength. Oil and gas projects of transnational corporations are mushrooming and demand for coal is increasing[ii].

Big foreign and private corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell, BHP Billiton, CNUOC, Chevron-Texaco, Amarada Hess, ConocoPhillips and Bumi Resources, are the same actors who plunder natural resources and pollute the environment[iii]. These big corporations control and exploit the rich natural resources of the region particularly fossil resources like oil, gas and coal. Also these entities with the support of international financial institutions like International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, are the owners and suppliers of fossil-based technologies and products that the people of Southeast Asian are forced to be dependent with.

Given the fact that burning and consumption of fossil fuels especially oil and coal is the leading cause of global carbon emission, we demand the national governments in Southeast Asia
· To agree on a common position to push for more than 40% carbon reduction from ANNEX I countries by 2020 from the level of 1990.
· To demand from ANNEX I countries to compensate Third World countries from ecological debt and fund their mitigation and adaptation initiatives
· To declare an immediate moratorium on new exploration and commercial operation of oil, gas and coal by big transnational companies in the region.
· To define a concrete timeline and comprehensive plan on eventual phase out of fossil fuel extraction and usage in the region.

In this regard there should be a significant investment on research and fast development of technologies that harness alternative and renewable resources of energy that are cheap, safe and clean. This is needed to make the economy and energy needs of Southeast Asia to veer away from relying on the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Majority of the income and revenues from the existing extraction of fossil fuel in the regions should be automatically appropriated for funding public services

We oppose the false solutions being implemented and pushed for by ANNEX I countries and their transnational corporations such as carbon trading, clean development mechanism, the proposed REDD and ‘clean’ coal technologies. These market-based and profit-oriented solutions put the interest of private corporations and ruling elite above anything else.

We push for the leaders of Southeast Asia countries to unite for truly address the issue of climate change and curb global warming. There should be a reversal of the orientation and framework of economic development and production in the region. In this regard, climate solutions should be based on human security, rectification of ecological debt, land rights, the change of production and consumption pattern, to realize social justice and people’s sovereignty.

These principles ensure in the heart of climate solutions are the welfare and interest of the people and the environment.

The Oilwatch Southeast Asia, CSF, PACC, La’o Hamutuk and TCJ remain committed not only in pushing for genuine climate solutions but also in steadfastly fight along with grassroots communities against agreement, policies, program and projects that will further aggravate climate change and endanger our communities.

Media contacts:
Clemente Bautista, People’s Action on Climate Change (PACC), email:; cell phone: +45 2639 2749
Ines Martins, Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis, email:; cell phone: +45 5274 8769
Siti Maemunah, CSF Indonesia, email:; cell phone +45 5049 9567
Penchom Saetang, Thai Working Group for Climate Justice (TCJ), email:; cell phone: +45 2862 7267

[i] Oilwatch SEA is a regional alliance of fossil fuels-affected communities and support organizations from Arakan Oil Watch from Burma; Indonesian Civil Society Forum on Climate Justice (CSF) and JATAM from Indonesia; Friends of the Earth from Malaysia; People’s Action on Climate Change (PACC), Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) and Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. from Philippines, Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) from Timor Leste; and Thai Working for Climate Justice (TCJ) and Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand from Thailand.

[ii] Almost half of Indonesia coal production, – around 100 million tons – , was extracted by Bumi Resources mostly for export. The company Climate Justice (TCJ) and Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand from Thailand.

[iii] Today 80% of 216 million tons total coal product from Indonesia is aimed for export and the demand has been increasing over the year.

La’o Hamutuk (The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis)
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Telephone: +670-3325013 or +670-734-0965 mobile
email: website: skype: cscheiner