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?
Kepada: east-timor@lists.riseup.net
Tanggal: Kamis, 16 September, 2010, 7:28 AM

http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2010/09/16/Timor-Lestes-land-law-The-monster-in-the-room.aspx

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.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/rudd-falls-in-behind-pms-asylum-seeker-plan-announces-trip-to-pakistan/story-fn59nm2j-1225923814739

PNTL resumes primary policing responsibilities in Ermera

UNMIT

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.

http://unmit.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=156&ctl=Details&mid=2149&ItemID=10367

East Timor PM says govt still stable

Guido Goulart

September 10, 2010 – 2:14PM

AP

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.

FRETILIN WILL NOT ACCEPT GOVERNING BEFORE FRESH ELECTIONS

Digital Daily – Thursday, September 9, 2010

FRETILIN’s leader and former prime minister of Timor-Leste, Mari Alkatiri, said today that his party is not willing to form a Government within the current parliamentary term, despite being the party with the most seats.

“I have already communicated to the President that we are not willing to form a Government for two years, because at least two years will be needed just to correct the mistakes made by the de facto Government, led by Xanana Gusmao,” he said.

Speaking to Lusa, Mari Alkatiri stressed that FRETILIN promotes stability and therefore will not take advantage of the current political crisis created by the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao, to make a grab for power.

Diário Digital / Lusa

Managing land conflict in Timor-Leste

Asia Briefing N°110, 9 September 2010
Measures to resolve land disputes in Timor-Leste must go beyond a draft law on land titling if they are to comprehensively reduce the risks posed, otherwise the law could bring more problems than solutions.

Full report in English (PDF) available here:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/timor-leste/B110%20Managing%20Land%20Conflict%20in%20Timor-Leste.ashx

Overview in English, Tetum, Portuguese, and Indonesian below and also here:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/timor-leste/B110-managing-land-conflict-in-timor-leste.aspx

The media release is available here:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2010/asia/managing-land-conflict-in-timor-leste.aspx

Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste
OVERVIEW

Eight years after independence, Timor-Leste is still without a legal basis for determining ownership of land. In its absence, the challenges of enforcing property rights have grown more complex and increased the potential for conflict. The politically charged task of sifting through overlapping claims inherited from the country’s two colonial administrations has been complicated by widespread illegal occupation of property after the displacement of over half the population that followed the 1999 referendum. The legal and social uncertainties this created magnified the effects of the country’s 2006 crisis, causing further mass displacement in the capital and beyond. Resolution of these uncertainties through new laws, regulations and policies is necessary to reduce conflict, diminish the risk of further instability and to provide a clear way to resolve past and future disputes.

Land disputes have grown out of a history of displacement that includes forced relocations, military occupation and deadly internal upheavals. Despite this troubled history, few disputes over land ownership lead to violence. Many have been resolved or at least managed through informal mediation, a marker of the strength of customary understandings of land tenure and local communities. Yet some cases remain beyond the capacity of village chiefs, local elders or religious leaders to fix. Others are “pending” in anticipation of long-promised legislation expected to clarify cases that have complex (and undocumented) historical roots. The risk is that this has created expectations that legislation alone will be unable to meet. Many of these issues are more political than technical and will not be resolved by the application of titling laws. Given the weaknesses of the Timorese legal system, support to existing mediation will need to be strengthened alongside new laws to provide a realistic option for those parties ready to settle out of court.

Draft legislation on land titling before parliament will be an important first step towards better management of land disputes and pave the way to enforcement of a new civil code to govern all property rights. It will provide the first legal proof of ownership and provide protections in a growing property market. It will also raise the stakes in ownership disputes and thus the risk of conflict. While the collection of land claims underway in many of the country’s urban areas has shown the level of disputes to be below 10 per cent, it has also brought dormant issues to the surface, such as problems with intra-familial inheritance and tensions over land between communities.

The government has so far been unable to provide alternative housing to the displaced or evicted, an essential element of the constitutional right to housing. A worst-case scenario is for a new land administration system that would legalise dispossession without providing basic protections to those who may be evicted due to either illegal occupation or government expropriation. Land in Dili and other urban areas is already at a premium. Protections in the draft legislation for land held under customary ownership – the vast majority of the nation’s land – are very weak, especially in the face of broad powers granted to the state. In many communities, the individual titles offered by the new legislation are unlikely to be appropriate or in demand. It is the government’s prerogative to develop the country, but without agreeing to clear and enforceable protections for those who will require resettlement, it risks simply creating discontent and rejection of the state’s authority, weakening the very rights it seeks to reinforce. The government’s new ambitious plans for development by 2030 make resolution of such questions more urgent.

Strengthening property rights in Timor-Leste will require more than a law. It needs further consultation and agreement on how to manage community land holdings, particularly as the country seeks to encourage new investment. To address these concerns, a medium-term goal should be to develop a comprehensive land use policy that incorporates community priorities. Earlier donor-driven attempts have fallen short. High-level government engagement and improved mediation will also be required to solve many of the political challenges that surround the more intractable land disputes. While a law on titling remains the first step, to date the draft is poorly understood. Broader debate anchored by wider public information on the law and its implications should be a prerequisite for its passage. This needs to be balanced against the risk of creating even more delays.

As the government plans for accelerated development and identifies areas for donor support, its priorities should include:

further consultation and explanation of the implications of the land law and associated legislation before passage by parliament;
immediate clarification on basic protections and resettlement plans for those who will have to move after being deemed illegal occupants;
engagement with local communities on how the government can protect the rights of communities and access to land held under customary tenure;
strengthened support to informal mediation processes alongside the formal land titling; and
beginning discussion on a comprehensive land and housing policy that would incorporate community needs and government objectives.
GERIR o conflito de terras em TIMOR-LESTE
RESUMO

Oito anos após a independência, Timor-Leste continua sem uma base legal para determinar a propriedade de terras. Na sua ausência, os desafios da aplicação dos direitos de propriedade tornaram-se mais complexos e aumentaram o potencial para conflito. A tarefa de contornos políticos de filtrar reivindicações sobrepostas herdadas das duas administrações coloniais foi complicada pela ocupação ilegal generalizada de propriedade após o deslocamento de mais de metade da população, que se seguiu ao referendo de 1999. As incertezas legais e sociais que isto criou ampliaram os efeitos da crise de 2006 no país, causando ainda mais deslocações na capital e além dela. A resolução destas incertezas através de novas leis, regulações e políticas é necessária para reduzir o conflito, diminuir o risco de mais instabilidade e fornecer uma forma clara de resolver disputas passadas e futuras.

As disputas de terra nasceram de um historial de deslocações causadas por realojamentos forçados, ocupação militar e mortíferas agitações internas. Ainda assim, apesar desta história conturbada, poucas disputas sobre a propriedade da terra levaram a violência. Muitas têm sido resolvidas, ou pelo menos geridas, através de mediação informal, um marco da força dos acordos consuetudinários de detenção de terras e das comunidades locais. Porém, alguns casos permanecem para além das capacidades dos chefes de aldeia, dos anciãos locais ou dos líderes religiosos. Outros estão “pendentes”, à espera de legislação há muito prometida para clarificar casos com raízes históricas complexas (e não documentadas). O risco é isto ter criado expectativas que a legislação sozinha será incapaz de preencher. Muitos destes assuntos são mais políticos do que técnicos e não serão resolvidos pela aplicação de leis de títulos de terra. Dadas as fraquezas do sistema legal timorense, o apoio à mediação existente necessitará de ser fortalecido a par de novas leis que forneçam uma opção realista para as partes dispostas a chegar a acordo fora de tribunal.

Uma proposta de lei sobre títulos de terras perante o parlamento será um primeiro passo importante no sentido de uma melhor gestão de disputas de terras e irá preparar o caminho para a aplicação de um novo Código Civil que governe todos os direitos de propriedade. Vai fornecer a primeira prova legal de propriedade e fornecer proteções num mercado de propriedade em expansão. Vai também aumentar a importância de tais disputas e, consequentemente, o risco de mais conflito. Apesar de uma recolha de reivindicações de terras, ainda a decorrer, em muitas das áreas urbanas do país mostrou que o nível de disputas de posse está abaixo dos dez por cento, também fez com que assuntos adormecidos viessem à superfície, tais como problemas com heranças intrafamiliares e tensões sobre terras entre comunidades.

O governo tem sido, até aqui, incapaz de fornecer alojamento alternativo aos desalojados ou aos despejados, um elemento essencial do direito constitucional à habitação. Na pior das hipóteses, um novo sistema de administração de terras legalizaria o desapossamento sem fornecer proteções básicas a quem vier a ser despejado devido a ocupação ilegal ou a expropriação governamental. Os terrenos em Díli e noutras zonas urbanas já são dispendiosos. As proteções na proposta de lei para terra sob propriedade consuetudinária – a maioria do território nacional – são muito fracas, especialmente face aos vastos poderes dados ao Estado. Em muitas comunidades, é pouco provável que os títulos individuais oferecidos pela nova legislação sejam adequados ou procurados. É prerrogativa do governo desenvolver o país, mas sem concordar com proteções claras e aplicáveis para aqueles que irão necessitar de realojamento arrisca-se, simplesmente, a gerar descontentamento e rejeição da autoridade estatal, enfraquecendo os direitos que procura reforçar. Os novos e ambiciosos planos do governo para o desenvolvimento até 2030 tornam a resolução de tais questões mais urgente.

Fortalecer os direitos de propriedade em Timor-Leste irá necessitar de mais do que uma lei. Precisa de mais consultas e acordos sobre como gerir as posses de terra comunitárias, particularmente à medida que o país procura encorajar mais investimento. Para abordar estas preocupações, um objetivo de médio-prazo deveria ser o desenvolvimento de uma política exaustiva de uso de terra que incorpore as prioridades comunitárias. Anteriores tentativas encabeçadas por doadores foram insuficientes. Será também necessário o envolvimento do governo a alto nível e uma mediação melhorada para resolver muitos dos desafios políticos que envolvem as disputas de terra mais intratáveis. Enquanto uma lei de titularidade continua a ser o primeiro passo, até à data a proposta é pouco compreendida. Um debate mais abrangente, ancorado em informação pública generalizada sobre a lei e as suas implicações, deverá ser um pré-requisito para a sua aprovação. Isto precisa de ser equilibrado com o risco de criar ainda mais atrasos.

À medida que o governo planeia desenvolvimentos acelerados e identifica áreas para o apoio dos doadores, as suas prioridades devem incluir:

futuras consultas e explicações das implicações da lei de terras e legislação associada antes de passar pelo parlamento;
*

clarificação imediata de proteções básicas e de planos de realojamento para aqueles que vierem a ter de se mudar depois de serem classificados como ocupantes ilegais;
*

envolvimento com comunidades locais sobre como o governo pode proteger os direitos das comunidades e o acesso à terra sob detenção consuetudinária;
*

esforços para fortalecer o apoio a processos informais de mediação a par de titulação formal de terras; e
*

o começo de uma discussão sobre uma política exaustiva de terras e de habitação que incorpore as necessidades da comunidade e os objetivos do governo.
* GERIR o conflito de terras em TIMOR-LESTE

RESUMO

Oito anos após a independência, Timor-Leste continua sem uma base legal para determinar a propriedade de terras. Na sua ausência, os desafios da aplicação dos direitos de propriedade tornaram-se mais complexos e aumentaram o potencial para conflito. A tarefa de contornos políticos de filtrar reivindicações sobrepostas herdadas das duas administrações coloniais foi complicada pela ocupação ilegal generalizada de propriedade após o deslocamento de mais de metade da população, que se seguiu ao referendo de 1999. As incertezas legais e sociais que isto criou ampliaram os efeitos da crise de 2006 no país, causando ainda mais deslocações na capital e além dela. A resolução destas incertezas através de novas leis, regulações e políticas é necessária para reduzir o conflito, diminuir o risco de mais instabilidade e fornecer uma forma clara de resolver disputas passadas e futuras.

As disputas de terra nasceram de um historial de deslocações causadas por realojamentos forçados, ocupação militar e mortíferas agitações internas. Ainda assim, apesar desta história conturbada, poucas disputas sobre a propriedade da terra levaram a violência. Muitas têm sido resolvidas, ou pelo menos geridas, através de mediação informal, um marco da força dos acordos consuetudinários de detenção de terras e das comunidades locais. Porém, alguns casos permanecem para além das capacidades dos chefes de aldeia, dos anciãos locais ou dos líderes religiosos. Outros estão “pendentes”, à espera de legislação há muito prometida para clarificar casos com raízes históricas complexas (e não documentadas). O risco é isto ter criado expectativas que a legislação sozinha será incapaz de preencher. Muitos destes assuntos são mais políticos do que técnicos e não serão resolvidos pela aplicação de leis de títulos de terra. Dadas as fraquezas do sistema legal timorense, o apoio à mediação existente necessitará de ser fortalecido a par de novas leis que forneçam uma opção realista para as partes dispostas a chegar a acordo fora de tribunal.

Uma proposta de lei sobre títulos de terras perante o parlamento será um primeiro passo importante no sentido de uma melhor gestão de disputas de terras e irá preparar o caminho para a aplicação de um novo Código Civil que governe todos os direitos de propriedade. Vai fornecer a primeira prova legal de propriedade e fornecer proteções num mercado de propriedade em expansão. Vai também aumentar a importância de tais disputas e, consequentemente, o risco de mais conflito. Apesar de uma recolha de reivindicações de terras, ainda a decorrer, em muitas das áreas urbanas do país mostrou que o nível de disputas de posse está abaixo dos dez por cento, também fez com que assuntos adormecidos viessem à superfície, tais como problemas com heranças intrafamiliares e tensões sobre terras entre comunidades.

O governo tem sido, até aqui, incapaz de fornecer alojamento alternativo aos desalojados ou aos despejados, um elemento essencial do direito constitucional à habitação. Na pior das hipóteses, um novo sistema de administração de terras legalizaria o desapossamento sem fornecer proteções básicas a quem vier a ser despejado devido a ocupação ilegal ou a expropriação governamental. Os terrenos em Díli e noutras zonas urbanas já são dispendiosos. As proteções na proposta de lei para terra sob propriedade consuetudinária – a maioria do território nacional – são muito fracas, especialmente face aos vastos poderes dados ao Estado. Em muitas comunidades, é pouco provável que os títulos individuais oferecidos pela nova legislação sejam adequados ou procurados. É prerrogativa do governo desenvolver o país, mas sem concordar com proteções claras e aplicáveis para aqueles que irão necessitar de realojamento arrisca-se, simplesmente, a gerar descontentamento e rejeição da autoridade estatal, enfraquecendo os direitos que procura reforçar. Os novos e ambiciosos planos do governo para o desenvolvimento até 2030 tornam a resolução de tais questões mais urgente.

Fortalecer os direitos de propriedade em Timor-Leste irá necessitar de mais do que uma lei. Precisa de mais consultas e acordos sobre como gerir as posses de terra comunitárias, particularmente à medida que o país procura encorajar mais investimento. Para abordar estas preocupações, um objetivo de médio-prazo deveria ser o desenvolvimento de uma política exaustiva de uso de terra que incorpore as prioridades comunitárias. Anteriores tentativas encabeçadas por doadores foram insuficientes. Será também necessário o envolvimento do governo a alto nível e uma mediação melhorada para resolver muitos dos desafios políticos que envolvem as disputas de terra mais intratáveis. Enquanto uma lei de titularidade continua a ser o primeiro passo, até à data a proposta é pouco compreendida. Um debate mais abrangente, ancorado em informação pública generalizada sobre a lei e as suas implicações, deverá ser um pré-requisito para a sua aprovação. Isto precisa de ser equilibrado com o risco de criar ainda mais atrasos.

À medida que o governo planeia desenvolvimentos acelerados e identifica áreas para o apoio dos doadores, as suas prioridades devem incluir:

futuras consultas e explicações das implicações da lei de terras e legislação associada antes de passar pelo parlamento;
*

clarificação imediata de proteções básicas e de planos de realojamento para aqueles que vierem a ter de se mudar depois de serem classificados como ocupantes ilegais;
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envolvimento com comunidades locais sobre como o governo pode proteger os direitos das comunidades e o acesso à terra sob detenção consuetudinária;
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esforços para fortalecer o apoio a processos informais de mediação a par de titulação formal de terras; e
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o começo de uma discussão sobre uma política exaustiva de terras e de habitação que incorpore as necessidades da comunidade e os objetivos do governo.
* MENANGANI KONFLIK PERTANAHAN DI TIMOR-LESTE

RINGKASAN IKHTISAR

Walau Timor-Leste sudah merdeka selama delapan tahun, masih saja tidak ada dasar hukum untuk menetapkan kepemilikan tanah di negara itu. Tanpa adanya dasar hukum, tantangan untuk menegakkan hak atas properti telah menjadi semakin rumit dan telah meningkatkan potensi konflik. Penyaringan klaim-klaim yang saling tumpang tindih yang diwariskan dari kedua pemerintahan kolonial sebelumnya, tugas yang sarat muatan politik, telah dipersulit dengan pendudukan properti secara ilegal yang terjadi secara meluas setelah pengungsian lebih dari setengah populasi Timor-Leste sebagai imbas referendum tahun 1999. Ketidakpastian hukum dan sosial yang ditimbulkannya memperbesar efek krisis tahun 2006 di Timor-Leste, yang mengakibatkan pemindahan penduduk secara besar-besaran di dalam dan di luar ibukota. Penyelesaian terhadap ketidakpastian-ketidakpastian ini lewat undang-undang, peraturan dan kebijakan baru diperlukan untuk mengurangi konflik, menurunkan resiko ketidakstabilan yang lebih jauh lagi, dan memberikan jalan yang jelas untuk menyelesaikan sengketa yang menumpuk dari dulu atau yang bisa terjadi di kemudian hari.

Sengketa tanah telah timbul dari pengungsian di masa lalu yang antara lain diakibatkan oleh pemaksaan relokasi, pendudukan militer dan pergolakan hebat di dalam negeri. Meskipun memiliki sejarah yang rumit ini , namun tidak banyak sengketa kepemilikan tanah berujung dengan kekerasan. Banyak sengketa berhasil diselesaikan atau setidaknya ditangani lewat mediasi informal dan hal ini menunjukkan kuatnya pemahaman adat atas kepemilikan tanah dan masyarakat lokal. Namun begitu, untuk beberapa kasus, penyelesaiannya masih di luar kapasitas para kepala-kepala desa, sesepuh setempat maupun pemuka agama. Kasus-kasus yang lain masih “menunggu” pembuatan undang-undang yang sudah lama dijanjikan yang diharapkan bisa mengklarifikasi kasus-kasus yang memiliki akar sejarah yang kompleks (dan tidak terdokumentasi). Resikonya hal ini telah menimbulkan ekspektasi terhadap undang-undang tersebut yang sulit untuk dipenuhi sendirian. Banyak dari masalah-masalah ini lebih bersifat politik daripada teknis, dan tidak dapat diselesaikan dengan hanya menerapkan sertifikasi hukum. Mengingat lemahnya sistem hukum di Timor-Leste, dukungan terhadap mediasi yang ada sekarang ini perlu diperkuat seiring dengan undang-undang baru untuk memberikan pilihan yang realistis bagi pihak-pihak yang bersedia menyelesaikan sengketa di luar pengadilan.

Pembahasan rencana perundang-undangan mengenai sertifikasi tanah di parlemen akan menjadi langkah awal penting menuju manajemen yang lebih baik terhadap sengketa tanah dan membuka jalan bagi penegakan hukum perdata yang baru untuk mengatur seluruh hak atas properti. Legislasi itu akan memberikan bukti awal kepemilikan secara hukum dan memberikan perlindungan dalam pasar properti yang sedang tumbuh. Hal ini juga akan menaikkan kepentingan dalam sengketa kepemilikan, dan oleh karena itu juga menaikkan resiko konflik. Meskipun pengumpulan klaim-klaim tanah yang sedang dilakukan di banyak wilayah perkotaan di Timor-Leste telah memperlihatkan bahwa tingkat sengketa kepemilikan tanah jumlahnya di bawah 10 persen, tapi hal itu juga telah mengangkat persoalan yang tadinya terbenam naik ke permukaan, seperti masalah-masalah warisan antar-keluarga dan ketegangan mengenai kepemilikan tanah ulayat antar kelompok masyarakat.

Pemerintah Timor-Leste sejauh ini belum berhasil menyediakan alternatif pemukiman bagi mereka yang mengungsi atau terusir dari tempat mereka berdiam saat ini, dimana hal ini merupakan sebuah elemen penting dari hak konstitusional atas perumahan. Kemungkinan terburuk (worst-case scenario) dari hal ini adalah apabila sistem administrasi pertanahan yang baru mengabsahkan pencabutan hak kepemilikan tanpa memberikan perlindungan dasar bagi mereka yang kemungkinan akan terusir karena menduduki sebidang tanah secara ilegal, atau akibat pengambilalihan hak milik oleh pemerintah. Tanah di Dili dan wilayah perkotaan yang lain saat ini sudah memiliki harga jual yang tinggi. Perlindungan di dalam rancangan perundang-undangan atas tanah yang berada di bawah kepemilikan secara adat – termasuk mayoritas tanah di Timor-Leste – sangat lemah, terutama di hadapan kekuasaan luas yang diberikan kepada negara. Di sejumlah besar kelompok masyarakat, sertifikat tanah perseorangan yang ditawarkan oleh perundang-undangan yang baru sepertinya tidak akan sesuai atau laku. Pemerintah memiliki hak prerogatif dalam membangun negara, tapi tanpa adanya kebijakan perlindungan yang jelas dan bisa dilaksanakan bagi mereka yang akan membutuhkan pemukiman kembali, hal ini akan beresiko menciptakan ketidakpuasan dan penolakan terhadap otoritas negara, sehingga memperlemah hak-hak yang padahal sedang diupayakan untuk diperkuat. Adanya rencana ambisius pemerintah untuk menyelesaikan pembangunan sebelum tahun 2030 membuat penyelesaian persoalan-persoalan ini semakin mendesak.

Perkuatan hak-hak properti di Timor-Leste membutuhkan lebih dari sebuah undang-undang. Diperlukan konsultasi dan kesepakatan yang lebih jauh mengenai bagaimana mengelola aset tanah ulayat, terutama karena Timor-Leste saat ini sedang berusaha untuk mendorong investasi-investasi baru. Untuk menghadapi masalah-masalah ini, tujuan jangka menengah pemerintah sebaiknya mengembangkan sebuah kebijakan penggunaan tanah yang komprehensif yang menggabungkan prioritas masyarakat. Upaya-upaya sebelumnya yang didorong oleh para donor, tidak mencukupi. Keterlibatan pemerintah di tingkat tinggi dan mediasi yang lebih baik juga diperlukan untuk menyelesaikan banyak tantangan politik yang melingkupi sengketa tanah yang lebih problematis. Walaupun undang-undang atas sertifikasi tanah tetap menjadi langkah awal, hingga saat ini pemahaman masyarakat terhadap rancangan undang-undang tersebut sangatlah buruk. Sebelum undang-undang tersebut disahkan, debat publik yang lebih luas harus dilakukan dengan didahului pemberian informasi kepada publik mengenai undang-undang dan implikasinya. Keperluan debat publik ini harus diseimbangkan dengan keinginan agar tidak ada penundaan pengesahan undang-undang lebih jauh lagi.

Bersamaan dengan rencana pemerintah mempercepat pembangunan dan mengidentifikasi bidang-bidang yang membutuhkan dukungan para donor, prioritas pemerintah sebaiknya mencakup:

Konsultasi dan penjelasan lebih jauh mengenai implikasi undang-undang pertanahan dan perundang-undangan yang terkait sebelum disahkan oleh parlemen;
*

Klarifikasi cepat mengenai rencana perlindungan dasar dan pemukiman kembali bagi mereka yang akan diharuskan pindah setelah dianggap merupakan pemukim ilegal;
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Keterlibatan dengan masyarakat setempat mengenai cara pemerintah untuk dapat melindungi hak masyarakat dan akses ke tanah yang berada di bawah kepemilikan adat;
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Upaya-upaya untuk memperkuat dukungan bagi proses mediasi informal seiring dengan sertifikasi tanah formal; dan
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Memulai pembahasan mengenai sebuah kebijakan pertanahan dan perumahan yang komprehensif yang akan menggabungkan kebutuhan masyarakat dan tujuan pemerintah.
*

Jim Della-Giacoma
South East Asia Project Director
International Crisis Group (ICG)

Menara Thamrin Suite 1402
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav.3
Jakarta 10250
Indonesia

Email: jdella-giacoma@crisisgroup.org
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Website: http://www.crisisgroup.org

East Timor’s government in disarray over graft claims

http://www.theage.com.au/world/east-timors-government-in-disarray-over-graft-claims-20100908-1518y.html

The Age

East Timor’s government in disarray over graft claims

Lindsay Murdoch

September 9, 2010

A BITTER row over allegations of corruption has destabilised East Timor’s four-party coalition government.

The government is reeling over the resignation yesterday of deputy prime minister Mario Carrascalao, who was appointed early last year to crack down on ministerial corruption.

Mr Carrascalao, the 73-year-old patriarch of one of the country’s most powerful families, said he was left with no option but to quit over personal attacks on him by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, which allegedly included calling him an ”idiot”.

Instability in the government is likely to make it more difficult for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to negotiate her proposal for a regional asylum centre in East Timor.

Mr Gusmao yesterday issued a statement congratulating Ms Gillard on her re-election and said there were ”matters of significance that our governments will discuss in the shared interests of our people”.

In Dili, Mr Carrascalao said Mr Gusmao had ignored the alleged loss of $US3 million ($A3.3 million) in government funds and instead spread untruths about him. Mr Gusmao could not be reached for comment.

In a blistering resignation letter, obtained by The Age, Mr Carrascalao detailed 29 criticisms of the government, including corruption, nepotism and collusion. He said the corrupt were ”protecting one another”.

The criticisms also included the failure to curb domestic violence, lack of compulsory education, lack of justice and one of the world slowest bureaucracies.

Late last month the government’s Council of Ministers stripped Mr Carrascalao of his powers over government procurement and accused him of making unfounded allegations.

A week later government spokesman Agio Pereira said Mr Carrascalao’s actions and law suits emanating from his office had caused budget delays and impaired service delivery in government departments.

”To date the office of Vice-Prime Minister Carrascalao has made no advancements in identifying, discovering or uncovering any corrupt activities,” Mr Pereira said.

Mr Carrascalao’s Social Democratic Party, or PSD, is likely to withdraw from the coalition as early as this weekend, giving a majority in parliament to an opposition led by Fretilin, the largest political party.

Fretilin’s secretary-general Mari Alkatiri has said the opposition would not use any majority it might get as a result of the crisis to bring down the government at the moment. But he has made clear the opposition would demand that national elections be brought forward from 2012 to next year.

Dr Alkatiri said: ”Mr Carrascalao’s treatment shows that incompetent and crooked ministers will be allowed to stay in their posts long after Mr Gusmao should have got rid of them.”