Monthly Archives: August 2010

De Facto Deputy PM Carrascalao must himself be more transparent and accountable

FRETILIN

MEDIA RELEASE

Dili, 24 August 2010

De facto deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao’s attempt to defend his hiring of a Timorese citizen as an “international advisor” in his office on a monthly salary of US$17,000, shows he is not a “new broom” or Mr Clean in the fight against misconduct and corruption inside the Gusmao de facto government, said FRETILIN Vice President and MP Arsenio Bano today.

The Dili weekly newspaper Tempo Semanal published details of a contract signed by Mr Carrascalao which set a salary of US$17,000 per month for a procurement advisor in his office.

Mr Carrascalao replied with a media release accusing Tempo Semanal of “illegal” and “inappropriate” behaviour. He also announced an investigation into the “leaking” of the contract document.

Arsenio Bano said FRETILIN believed the contract should have been publicly available as a matter of good governance.

Mr Bano said Mr Carrascalao had previously complained about his ministerial colleagues deliberately witholding documents he needs to investigate complaints of corruption and misconduct.

“In attacking the publication of what should be a public document, Mr Carrascalao is himself perpetuating the practice of many of his ministerial colleagues,” Mr Bano said.

Mr Bano said he did not doubt that the leak came from shadowy forces within the AMP de facto government seeking to destroy the credibility of Mr Carrascalao’s anti-corruption work.

“However it is a mistake for Mr Carrascalao to perpetuate the culture of non-disclosure, unaccountability and lack of transparency that prevails in the Gusmao de facto government,” Mr Bano said.

“The leak is symptomatic of the divisions, turf wars and battle for control of procurement, that has been going on between Mr Carrascalao and those who have corruptly stolen millions of dollars of public funds. We have no doubt it was done to discredit Mr. Carrascalao and his work. But he too must be transparent and accountable, not just preach it.”

Mr Bano said FRETILIN and other members of the parliamentary opposition have for over three years now been denied access to numerous documents regarding government budget expenditure, including large infrastructure projects arranged without a transparent tendering process.

“MPs from FRETILIN and other parties were stunned and appalled when de facto Deputy Prime Minister, Jose Luis Guterres, claimed in parliament on February 20, 2009 that government contracts are ‘confidential’, and so details and copies will not be disclosed to parliament.

“If his government can use ‘confidentiality clauses’ in agreements to justify withholding information from parliament, what hope will any anti-corruption committee or watchdog have?” Mr Bano asked.

Mr Bano listed the formal requests that FRETILIN and other parties have made for details of and copies of government contracts since 2007, which the de facto government has ignored. They include:

1. Documents regarding the purchase of luxury 4 Wheel Drive vehicles for MPs, which was opposed by FRETILIN and the National Unity Party;

2. Contracts for international and national advisors employed by the Ministry of Finance, including those of political appointees;

3. Documents for the contract awarded by the government for the acquisition and installation of a second-hand heavy fuel oil power station;

4. Contract for the acquisition of two navy patrol boats from a Chinese company, awarded without a tender;

5. Documents relating to the purchase and importation of US$48 million worth of rice;

6. Documents detailing payments pursuant to the pensions law for former political officeholders;

7. Agreements and / or MOUs signed by the government with energy companies to grant marketing and / or other rights relating to petroleum from the Greater Sunrise field and the development of that field.

“By refusing access to information regarding transactions involving the people’s money, the de facto government is preventing parliament from exercising effective oversight of public finances,” Mr Bano said.

For further information please contact Arsenio Bano on +670 741 9505

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JSMP urges Australian Prime Minister to Respect Timo r Leste’s Constitution

Hi Deborah,

Hope your well.

I certainly recall how the Australian media sidelined PM Alkatiri in
2006, think maybe Howard and Downer deliberately used this tactic to
sideline Alkatiri and promote the idea that power legally rested with
Gusmao. According to my family the same tactic was used in Britain
during 2006.

Good the JSMP has clarified the Constitutional power rests with the
government after approval by the parliament, but a great pity that
this was not clarified in 2006 – think this would have stopped the
crisis in its tracks.

Best wishes Lidia

> Thankyou JSMP for providing such a concise and clear explanation of
> the Constitutional power “… the general policy for this country rests
> with the Government, after approval by the Parliament. It does not
> rest with the President’”
>
> Many will recall how the majority of Australian media, and our PM and
> Foreign minister at the time, (Howard and Downer) also made this
> mistake continuously during the 2006 crisis when PM Alkatiri was
> relegated by them to the sideline seemingly to believe that power,
> legally speaking, rested with the then President Gusmao.
>
> This was conveniently used at the time to create the impression with
> the Australian public that the elected government especially its
> leader was undemocratic and indeed illegal and deals could be done
> without him and his government. Indeed here in Australia Gusmao was
> considered by the general public to hold a position similar to the US
> President!
>
> After this debacle by PM Gillard it is hoped in future Australian
> media and politicians will not make this mistake regardless of their
> political bias and that the Australian public now understands the
> Timorese system of government a little better.
>
>
>
> Deborah Durnan
>
>
>
>
>
> From: east-timor-owner@lists.riseup.net
> [mailto:east-timor-owner@lists.riseup.net] On Behalf Of ETAN
> Sent: Wednesday, 28 July 2010 11:15 PM
> To: east-timor@lists.riseup.net
> Subject: JSMP urges Australian Prime Minister to Respect Timo r
> Leste’s Constitution
>
>
>
> Press Release
>
> Edition: 8 July 2010
>
> JSMP urges Australian Prime Minister to Respect Timor Leste’s
> Constitution
> JSMP urges the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, to respect
> the Constitution of Timor Leste in any negotiations relating to the
> establishment of an asylum seeker processing centre in Timor Leste.
> JSMP makes this statement in response to Gillard’s announcement on
> Tuesday, after consultation with President Ramos Horta, that
> Australia plans to send Australia-bound asylum seekers to Timor Leste
> for processing.
> According to Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Executive Director of
> JSMP ,‘It is clearly stated in article 115 of the Constitution that
> the power to implement the general policy for this country rests with
> the Government, after approval by the Parliament. It does not rest
> with the President’.
> Luis de Oliveira Sampaio added that ‘While the President of the
> Republic possesses some minor powers with respect to foreign
> relations, these are largely symbolic. He is not authorised to engage
> in general negotiations about foreign relations and general policy
> without consulting the Government or National Parliament.’
>
> JSMP believes that it is particularly important for foreign
> governments to respect constitutional allocations of power in Timor
> Leste since Timor Leste’s institutions are very young and there is a
> history of leaders acting outside the authority granted to them by
> law.
> JSMP also believes that any proposal to process asylum seekers in
> Timor Leste should not be accepted without careful consideration of
> the impact that this would have on the rule of law in Timor Leste and
> the justice system, which at present is still weak and in the process
> of development.
> JSMP is concerned that should a processing centre be established,
> Timor Leste may have difficulty complying with its own obligations as
> a signatory to the Refugee Convention.
>
> For more information please contact:
> Luis de Oliveira Sampaio
> Executive Director JSMP
> Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org
> Landline: 3323883
>
> ==============================
> Komunikadu Imprensa
> Edisaun : 8 Jullu 2010
>
> JSMP Rekomenda ba Primeiru Minístru Australia atu respeita ba
> Konstituisaun Timor Léste
>
> JSMP rekomenda ba Primeiru Minístru Australia, Julia Gillard, atu
> respeita ba Konstituisaun Timor Léste wainhira halo negosiasaun
> relasionadu ho asuntu refere ba estabelesimentu sentru iha Timor
> Léste ba ema ne’ebé buka aziliu. JSMP hasai estetmentu ne’e hanesan
> resposta ida ba anunsiu husi PM Gillard iha Tersa Feira liu bá,
> depois halo konsultasaun ho Prezidente Jose Manuel Ramos Horta, katak
> Australia iha planu atu haruka ema ne’ebé buka aziliu iha Australia
> ba Timor Léste hodi halo prosesa legal ba sira. Tuir Luis de Oliveira
> Sampaio, Direitór Ezekutivu JSMP katak, “konabá ne’e klaru iha Artigu
> 115 Konstituisaun Repúblika katak poder atu hala’o politika geral ba
> nasaun nian iha governu nia liman, wainhira hetan aprovasaun husi
> Parlamentu Nasional, la’os iha Prezidente nia liman”. Luis de
> Oliveira Sampaio akresenta tan katak “nune’é Prezidente Repúblika
> iha poder ne’ebé ki’ik relasionadu ho relasaun estrangeiru, poder
> ne’e maior parte simbóliku deit. Nia sei la hetan lisensa atu bele
> involve iha negosiasaun jeral konabá relasaun ho estrangeiru no
> polítika jeral sen iha konsultasaun ho Governu ka Parlamentu
> Nasional”. JSMP hanoin katak importante tebes ba governu iha rai
> seluk atu bele respeita ba kolokasaun poder ne’ebé define ona iha
> Konstitusaun Timor Léste, tanbá orgaun sira iha Timor Léste sei nurak
> no iha istoria la diak tanbá iha funsionariu ka ofisial públiku halo
> aksaun sai husi ninia poder ne’ebé define ona ba sira iha Lei ne’ebé
> vigora ona. JSMP mos fiar katak proposta atu hari’i sentru ba ema
> ne’ebé buka ba aziliu iha Timor léste, governu la bele aseita sé la
> konsidera impaktu proposta ne’e ba sistema judisiariu iha Timor
> léste, ne’ebé oras ne’e dau-daun sei frazil no iha prosesu
> dezenvolvimentu nia laran. JSMP lamenta katak sentru aziliu wainhira
> deside ona, Timor Léste bele hetan difikuldades atu bele kumpri
> ninia dever rasik hanesan estadu ne’ebé ratifika ona konabá Kovensaun
> ba Refugiadus ninian.
>
>
> Atu hetan informasaun kle’an favor kontaktu:
> Luis de Oliveira Sampaio
> Direitór Ezekutivu JSMP
> Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org
> Landline: 3323883
>
>
>
> ================================================================
>
> This article was sent to you by the Judicial System Monitoring
> Programme (JSMP). Through the provision of independent legal
> analysis, court monitoring and community outreach activities JSMP
> aims to contribute to and evaluate the ongoing process of building a
> strong and sustainable justice system in Timor Leste. Visit our
> website at http://www.jsmp.minihub.org
>
> JSMP does not guarantee the content or endorse the views contained in
> articles distributed the list other than in respect of those
> publications prepared by JSMP itself
>
> To subscribe send a blank email to:
> list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org (Daily News and JSMP Publications)
> jsmpreports-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org (JSMP Reports)
> justiceupdate-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org (JSMP Justice Updates)
> media-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org (JSMP Press Releases
>
> For more information, please refer to our website:
> Se ita boot preciza informasaun tan, favor ida haree JSMP nia website:

> http://www.jsmp.minihub.org
>
>

Thai company will pay for Timor oil spill

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 07/31/2010 11:37
AM A | A | A|

PTTEP Australasia has agreed to pay Indonesia compensation for damage
to its territory near Timor from an oil spill caused by the Thai
company’s rig, an official says.

“They have agreed to pay our claim,” Indonesian advocacy team leader
Masnellyarti Hilman said.

An exact amount for compensation is still being calculated by the
Indonesian government since the oil slick has expanded to cover over
66,000 square kilometers (sqm) of the Timor Sea.

More than 500,000 tons of oil spilled into the Timor Sea after a
PTTEP Australasia oil platform exploded in the Montara field off
Australia’s north coast in August 2009.

Negotiators from Indonesia and PTTEP Australasia met for the
first time Tuesday in Perth. The
two parties have not yet scheduled meetings.

The team will ask the National Aeronautic and Aviation Agency (LAPAN)
to perform modelling on the areas affected by the spill before
proposing a final amount for compensation, Masnellyarti said.

“We will collect supporting data from the Maritime Affairs and
Fisheries Ministry, which previously reported a level of polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons [PAH] that exceeded marine water quality
standards,” she added.

Samples collected by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources
indicate that the hydrocarbons now found in the Timor Sea were
similar to samples taken from the Montara platform, she added.

The Environment Ministry said its analysis showed the quality of sea
water in Timor Sea failed to meet tolerable levels set by Indonesian
government.

The ministry sampled sea water in five different areas.

It said that the total suspended density (TSS) of particulate matter
in the samples was at 147 milligram per liter (mg/l), far higher than
the tolerable level of 20 mg/l.

The East Nusa Tenggara environmental agency also found physical and
chemical contamination from the oil spill that exceeded the tolerable
level set by the Indonesian government.

The Montara field was developed by the Norwegian and Bermudan-owned
Seadrill company and operated by PTTEP Australasia, a unit of PTT,
the Thai state-owned oil and gas company.

The company’s oil platform exploded spilled more than 500,000 liters
of crude oil into the Timor Sea.

Thirty-eight percent of Indonesia’s sea territory in the Timor
Sea was affected by the spill, local fishermen’s catches dropped
and thousands of tons of dead shallow water fish and whales were
discovered.

The spill also destroyed seaweed farms cultivated by coastal
communities in East Nusa Tenggara.

Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi, who is the head of
the National Team for Ocean Oil Spill Emergency Situations,
previously said the government asked PTTEP Australasia to pay US$5
million in initial compensation to repair environmental damage from the
spill.

The initial payment will cover the short-term impacts of the spill,
such as losses suffered by fishermen and seaweed farmers in the area,
and is estimated to exceed Rp 247 billion, he said

“That was the figure when the oil spill area was still around 56,000
sqm. Now that the area extends over 66,000 sqm. We must recalculate
the figure,” he said.

The East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration estimated damage
from the oil spill in the short term could reach Rp 806.17 billion.