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


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