Monthly Archives: September 2010

Update on Carrascalao resignation

Dear all,
Thought you might be interested to know that Mario Carrascalao, the Deputy Prime Minister in the ruling coalition in Timor Leste resigned on the 10th September.  His party the Social Democratic Party may pull out of the coalition – this resignation has been on the card for weeks –
The President Ramos-Horta asked Maria Alkitiri to step into the breach, but Alkitiri refused, saying  FRETLIN and himself were not opportunists.  Timor needed a strong government they would wait for the elections.  Alkitiri also said it would take at least two years to correct the mistakes the de-facto government has made.
A man of principles, unlike our Clegg and the rest of them – well you never know.
In the meantime Gusmao is saying this resignation will not effect his government – he is more or less saying he can go it alone, and that’s what been wrong with the whole coalition – think we all know of a Prime Minister in Britain who tried the same tactics.
Thought those of you interested in the Burma campagain would like to know that there was a demonstration in Dili airport when some dignatory from Burma visited Timor recently.  Apparently Timor-Leste are opening an embassy in Burma.  This is despite Ramos-Horta condemning Burma’s Human Rights, heard him myself at Bradford University.
The Timorese don’t think Timor should be giving the nod to the current regime in Burma, hence the demo, which I’m told was very lively.
Sorry to be late with these updates been rather ill recently, feeling a lot better now.  Should say that Dave has been putting some of this on the blog and would encourage people to check this out.
Speaking of the blog and web, there are is now a photo gallery – there are more photos of what went on in 2006 and more photos of 2002 – also photos on of my visit to Oxford and Sola’s baby.
Apologise to those who already have these updates.
in solidarity Lidia

Vice Prime Minister Jose Luis “LUGU” Guterres – INDICTED

Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa – INDICTED
The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao, has written a letter to Fernando Lasama de Araujo the President of the National Parliament to inform him that the Vice Prime Minister (Jose Luis Guterres) and the Foreign Minister (Zacarias da Costa) have both been indicted by the Office of the Prosecutor General for their involvement in crimes associated with their offices and employment acts” said in a letter from the Prime Minister dated 15 September 2010.

In 2008 the Opposition party FRETILIN raised the issues at hand in the National Parliament and requested that the graft watchdog the Provedor investigate the matter. This was followed up and has resulted in these two indictments.

According to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste they should now be suspended from their posts in Government so as to answer the charges in court. A meeting of the leaders of the parties in Parliament who manage the affairs of parliamentary sitting business has scheduled a secret ballot vote on the matter not long after the Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister return from New York.

Posted By TEMPO SEMANAL to TEMPO SEMANAL on 9/23/2010 01:49:00 PM

Timor’s land law: The ‘monster’ in the room?

Dear Readers

Land issues in East Timor currently is one source of social conflict in East Timor. Land and Housing are two things that can’t be separated. As I was involved in the project of Housing Program Formulation which is to breakdown the Housing Policy into a Program, the first step is making housing condition assessment to know the existing condition of community housing entirely.

Besides the architecturally assessment also considering the land availability for prospective housing development initiative. There presented many problems regarding the land ownership. In a part of the survey, as an initial assessment local authority/district land and property officer is requested to recommend the possibility area and vacant land which is regarded as state-land owned. they doubt to indicate which land is possible for new housing development or improvement existing housing, because they said there are many disputes and claims.

The complexity of the land issues in East Timor will impede housing development. hopefully the land law will approved as soon as possible in order to boost other related development such as housing development in East Timor.

Profirio Fernandes Xavier

— Pada Kam, 16/9/10, ETAN menulis:

Dari: ETAN
Judul: Timor’s land law: The ‘monster’ in the room?
Tanggal: Kamis, 16 September, 2010, 7:28 AM

Lowy Institute for International Policy

The Interpreter

Timor’s land law: The ‘monster’ in the room?

By Cillian Nolan – 16 September 2010 12:10PM

Cillian Nolan is the International Crisis Group’s Dili-based analyst.

Eight years after independence, there is still no way to legally buy, sell, or prove undisputed ownership of land in Timor-Leste. When Timor-Leste’s Vice Prime Minister Mario Carrascalão quit last week, his resignation letter noted that land ownership had been ‘transformed into a monster’ by hidden vested interests.

The need for a ‘land law’ has been talked about for so long that expectations are high after the Government approved a law on titling in March, now awaiting parliamentary approval. Few have read the complex law, which would establish the first ownership rights in a country that has inherited overlapping titles from Portuguese and Indonesian administrations. There’s little data on how much of the country’s land is subject to overlapping claims ­ many of the country’s land records were destroyed in the violence surrounding the 1999 referendum.

A greater difficulty than reconciling these claims may be accommodating formal titling with the reality that the vast majority of the country’s land remains under customary ownership, meaning communities turn to traditional leaders for guidance on usage and ownership.

In many areas, these long-standing customary rights are stronger than any formal title. In Dili, members of the former vice-prime minister’s own influential family recently took a local leader to court for distributing land not far from the airport to residents in need of housing. He says it’s ’empty land’, but the Carrascalãos claim ownership based on an old Portuguese title.

In the country’s second city, Baucau, state-owned land around an Indonesian-built gymnasium is contested by at least two communities: one believes it has rights to sell the land, while elders from another want to distribute it for free.

Evictions and resettlement will remain a challenge for the Timorese state. Efforts to enforce a 2003 law on state ownership of property have often failed. Compensation has been ad hoc and set bad precedents. After thousands of families whose homes were destroyed in the 2006 crisis were paid $4500, it is now difficult to resettle anyone for less. A constitutional right to housing exists, but there is no policy or funds to address this obligation. Not one displaced person re-settled after the most recent crisis was provided with government housing.

In rural areas, the issues are different. To boost agricultural productivity, pre-UN administrations resettled people near the border town of Maliana. This first brought settlers from neighbouring villages and later Balinese transmigrants, who fled in 1999. Since independence, tension over this land has led to violence between two villages (some say it was deadly, others say just an exchange of blows). After repeated mediation failed, the dispute was sent to court, joining the hundreds of ‘pending’ land disputes that are either caught in the overall judicial logjam or simply awaiting a clearer legislative basis to make a ruling.

As the ICG argued in its recent report, such complexities are not an excuse for more delay, but they should be a warning that something more than just a new titling regime is needed to address Timor-Leste’s land problems.

Legally enforceable property rights will protect property transactions, promote economic development, and help consolidate rule of law. Implementing this will require a comprehensive government response, including a better legislative process that leaves behind a clear understanding with the public about the law’s content and impact, especially who stands to win and lose from its passage.

Consistent policies for compensating those adversely affected and how to house those evicted are also needed. Mediation needs support, as the courts will be hard pressed to cope with the influx of cases. The social fabric of villages, which has held Timor-Leste together throughout its eight years of weak government, needs to be respected as much as any act of parliament.

—–Berikut adalah Lampiran dalam Pesan—–

Timor Leste News

*Carrascalao has right to return to Parliament
*Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, September 16, 2010 language source: Tetun

Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama Araujo said the ex-Deputy Prime Minister Mario Vigas Carrascalao has the right to return to the Parliament as representative of the people.”It is his right, as the law allows him as he was elected. And now it depends on Carrascalao and his party,” Lasama said.Carrascalao was elected as an MP in the Parliament before he was appointed to become deputy prime minister for public administration and good governance.He was replaced by his co-party member, an ex guerilla fighter, Agusto “Tara” Araujo. According to the party’s constitution Mr. Tara should leave the position if Carrascalao wants to be back to the Parliament.

*Xanana calls for delay of state budget debate
*Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, September 16, 2010 language source: Tetun

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has officially asked the Parliament to amend financial law to prong schedule debate on the general state budget for 2011.The prime minister made the request, due to the state budget execution for 2010 had not reached target.In his official dispatch, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said they could only be able to present the state budget for 2010 on November 15 this year; therefore he called on the Parliament to amend financial law on schedule of the debate.MP Manuel Tilman said the execution of the state budget for 2010 had not reached 50%, especially decentralization development plan (PDD).”This should be realized, the general state budget is in great amount.Giving more time to PM Gusmao and his government is necessary,” Tilman said.

*Fretilin does not want to interfere AMP’s crises: Alkatiri
*Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, September 16, 2010 language source: Tetun

Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri said the Fretilin Party had no intention to make a power grab from the Parliamentary Majority Alliance Government (AMP), as it wanted these political crises only happened within the AMP and should not be transformed to national crises. Alkatiri made the comments during a meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Representative, Ameerah Haq at the Fretilin Central Committee on Wednesday (16/9).”I informed her that the Fretilin firmly with its position by not putting hands into it and let they resolve themselves. If it unresolved, let them live in the crises,” Alkatiri said. Alaktiri stressed that the Fretilin Party did not want crises, he therefore called on the AMP to resolve its crises.He added that head of UNMIT was pleased with the Fretilin Party’s position, as it did not want to use the crises for seizing power.

*TNI individual soldiers continue intimidating Naktuka residents
*Suara Timor Loro Sa’e, September 16, 2010 language source: Tetun

Indonesia’s TNI individual soldiers have continued threatening local residents in Naktuka border, the enclave district of Oe-cusee.The local residents called on the Timorese and Indonesia governments to resolve this case trough joint Committee for Bilateral Affairs shortly. A local resident, Jaime Kuno Kolo said all the local residents in Naktuka could not remain calm, as they were always threatened by the TNI solders. Kolo affirmed that they are now traumatized with such an intimidation and preferred this case to be resolved as soon as possible by the two governments.

Rudd falls in behind PM’s asylum-seeker plan, announces trip to Pakistan

James Massola, Joe Kelly

The Australian

September 15, 2010 1:18PM

KEVIN Rudd today denied Julia Gillard’s plan to process asylum-seekers in East Timor was a “lurch to the right” but confirmed he would not lead the talks with Dili.

In his first statements as foreign minister, Mr Rudd said he would work closely with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who would be responsible for the negotiations.

He also announced he would visit flood-affected areas in Pakistan – a trip he recommended to the Prime Minister – before flying to the United States.

Mr Rudd said Labor’s policy on regional processing did not constitute the “lurch to the right” he had warned against on the night before Julia Gillard deposed him as prime minister.

“The government’s policy on a regional processing centre states very clearly that such a centre and a regional co-operation framework on asylum-seekers would, one, be compatible with the United Nations refugees convention, two, have the support of the UNHCR and the International Office of Migration, the IOM, and three, the support of relevant regional countries,” he said.

Mr Rudd said a “lurch to the right” meant acting in defiance of the “provisions and principles” of the refugees convention.

During his press conference, Mr Rudd outlined the details of his trip to Pakistan and the US.

“I recommended it (the Pakistan trip) to the Prime Minister and had a long conversation with the PM on Monday. And she readily agreed to it. She like myself shares a deep humanitarian concern for what has happened in flood-affected Pakistan,” he said.

“As for the rest of the international community, 24 hours into the job, I’m not quite sure what other countries have done and what more they are proposing to do. I’m sure that will become apparent on Sunday in New York.”

Mr Rudd will meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US national security adviser General James Jones in Washington to discuss the security situation in Afghanistan.

In New York, he will deliver the annual address to the United Nations general assembly and attend a series of high level meetings on climate change, environmental sustainability and the millennium development goals.

Mr Rudd said that Australia’s commitment in Afghanistan was contingent on the fulfilment of the “mission statement”.

“What is our mission statement? It is to train the Afghan 4th Army Brigade to the point it can undertake the security obligations which are necessary within the province of Oruzgan,” he said.

The trip to Pakistan was necessary, Mr Rudd said, because “Australia is currently the fifth largest donor, some $35 million and the international community needs to do more”.

“We do not want to turn around in three or six months time and ask what more could we have done.”

Mr Rudd also paid tribute to his predecessor as foreign minister, Stephen Smith, and said he looked forward to “working very closely” Trade Minister Craig Emerson and parliamentary secretaries Justine Elliott and Richard Marles.

PNTL resumes primary policing responsibilities in Ermera


Dili, 10 September 2010 – Today, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Timor-Leste (DSRSG) Shigeru Mochida and Vice Prime Minister José Luís Guterres presided over the ceremony marking the resumption of primary responsibilities for the conduct of police operations by Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) in Gleno, the administrative capital of the District of Ermera.

DSRSG Mochida congratulated Vice Prime Minister Guterres and the Timorese people on their achievement. Noting that infrastructural and logistical challenges will still need to be overcome the DSRSG pledged that the United Nations would increase its support including mentoring PNTL officers.

“The long term stability of the country depends to a large extent on the development of an effective and professional police service in which the community can have confidence. This is a big responsibility for all police officers, and we are all grateful to you for taking on this responsibility,” DSRSG added.

The Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT are jointly implementing the resumption process district by district. PNTL is assessed in each district by a joint team comprising Government and UNMIT representatives, including UN Police and PNTL. The team applies mutually agreed criteria to assess the readiness of PNTL to resume primary policing responsibilities.

Ermera is the eighth district in which the PNTL has resumed primary policing responsibility since the resumption process began in Lautem District May 2009. In addition responsibility for the administration and management of the Police Training Centre, and the Maritime Police Unit and the Police Intelligence Service was handed over to PNTL in September and December respectively, last year.

UN Police will maintain their presence in the districts where the PNTL have resumed responsibilities, in order to monitor, advise and support the PNTL, including in the area of human rights protection.

East Timor PM says govt still stable

Guido Goulart

September 10, 2010 – 2:14PM


Prime Minster Xanana Gusmao said on Friday that the resignation of his deputy, whose party has threatened to withdraw from the ruling coalition, will not lead to the collapse of East Timor’s government.

Gusmao’s former deputy Mario Viejas Carrascalao said he had no choice but to quit this week after his boss called him a “liar” for openly questioning the country’s commitment to fighting corruption and improving people’s lives.

If Carrascalao’s Social Democratic Party pulls out of the government, Gusmao’s ruling coalition will lose its majority in parliament by three seats, dealing another blow to the tiny country’s political stability.

“This won’t affect my government at all,” Gusmao said early on Friday morning.

“The government is still strong.”

It was unclear whether Gusmao was saying that he expected the Social Democrats Party to stay, or whether he was confident that other MPs could be recruited to join his coalition if they withdraw.

Gusmao said he has accepted Carrascalao’s resignation as one of two deputy prime ministers and will not seek a replacement.

Members of the Social Democratic Party, among four parties in the ruling coalition, hinted on Friday that they could withdraw from the government as early as next week.