Monthly Archives: November 2010

East Timoe Oil – Lao Hamutuk

This article contains many errors. The current
Petroleum Fund law requires 90% be invested in
US-dollar-denominated bonds with high ratings,
not 60%. The revision proposed by the Government
does not ask to increase the 3% of TL’s Petroleum
Wealth (not only of the Fund) which can be spent
annually without explanation, but only to weaken
the process needed to spend more than this
guideline. Foreign funding is not discussed in
the Petroleum Fund Law. There was no ban on
altering the law within the past five years, just
common sense that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix
it” (which still applies today). However, the
changes proposed by the Government also include
removing the BPA (ABP) as operational manager and
politicizing the Investment Advisory Board.

For more detailed and accurate information,
including links to the proposed revisions to the
law and La’o Hamutuk’s submission to the Ministry
of Finance, see
http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/PetFund/revision/10PFRevision.htm.

— Charlie Scheiner, La’o Hamutuk

East Timor Oil Fund

East Timor government prepares review of Oil Fund Law [ 2010-11-16 ]

Dili, East Timor, 16 Nov The East Timor
government Wednesday is due to analyse the
proposal to review its Oil Fund Law, which
outlines where oil revenues may be invested, a
source from the prime ministers office said Monday in Dili.

Since the creation of the fund, in 2005 – despite
only having revenues from a single field,
Bayu-Undan, which is jointly explored with
Australia the rise in oil prices has provided
East Timor with a significant fund of US$6.604
billion and no domestic or foreign debt.

The law, as it currently stands, requires that at
least 60 percent of oil revenues be invested in
US Treasury bonds, with a rating of AA or above,
and an average maturity of less than six years
and investment in other assets must be applied to
foreign debt issues, with liquidity and
transparency negotiated on highly-regulated financial markets.

As the five-years in which the Oil Fund Law could
not be altered are now up, three major issues are
being debated in relation to its review the
rise in the percentage that the government can
withdraw from the Fund (currently just 3
percent), the possibility of the Timorese State
accessing foreign funding, when through that
route it can pay lower interest rates than those
it receives from its financial applications, and
finally, the diversification of its assets.

The first issue involves the governments
Strategic Development Plan, which outlines
significant investments in infrastructure and
creation of an industrial base that the country does not yet have.

The second issue relates to negotiations to
receive loans from China, Japan and even
Portugal, which announced the creation of a
credit line for East Timor and the third issue is
a question of diversifying assets.

Meanwhile the Timorese Banking Authority (ABP),
the countrys future central bank, said in Dili
that the Oil Fund had had a return of 1.62
percent in the third quarter, and its current value stood at US$6.604 billion.

The Oil Fund Law specifies that the ABP is the
agent responsible for the operational management
of the Fund and the Finance Ministry is
responsible for defining the Funds overall investment strategy. (macauhub)

Timor-Leste Subscriber News Local and International Media Monitoring

Local Daily News

November 19, 2010

*Ruak informs Horta on F-FDTLs activities
*Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

The Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) Commander, Major General Taur Matan Ruak has met with President Jose Ramos Horta talking on the F-FDTLs activities and current security situation of the country. Commander Ruak said during the meeting they talked on the F-FDTLs activities, current security situation and military cooperation with other countries. I informed the president about our activities, current security situation of the country. We also talked on military cooperation with other countries like Portugal which we are about to sign an agreement. This year we also cooperate with Australia, the US and New Zealand, Ruak said. Ruak added that the defense force is currently continuing to prepare capacity building for its soldiers.

*Govt needs to produce laws to regulate civil security officers
*Televizaiun Timor-Leste, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Advisor for Defense and Security reform, Alcino Barris said it was important for the Government to produce laws for regulating civil security officers in carrying out their work in the field. Barris made the statements after participating in the meeting with the representative of the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), civil security, Government officials and European Union at EDTA Hall, Dili. It is important to establish procedures to the private security companies in the country because there has been no regulation so far, Barris said. Director General for the State Secretariat of Security, Guilhermina Ribeiro said the meeting was important to have some inputs for producing laws to regulate civil security officers in carrying out their work well and optimally in the future.

*KAK commissioner meets with President Horta
*Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Anti-corruption Commission (KAK) Commissioner Aderito de Jesus Soares has met with President Jose Ramos Horta to inform him about the work of the KAK and preparation of celebrating the International corruption day. I met with the president as this is regular meeting one to update establishment of this institution. We also talked about preparation of the celebration of the International corruption that will take place on December 9, Soares said. Soares added that they had started to investigate those cases been filed in his office. We have started with the first step of investigation and this step is called collecting information and analyzing the cases being filed and we will analyze the information starting next week up too December because there are various information that we have regarding corruption cases. I am calling on the public to submit new cases starting from January next year, Soares said.

*Lasama concerned about some village chiefs attitude
*Radio Timor-Leste, November 18, 2010 language source: Tetun

President of the Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo said he was concerned about the attitude of some village chiefs, as they have not served fairly the communities. Lasama was referring to some of the village chiefs who had refused to sign project proposal made by the community members. Lasama stressed that the competent ministry should warn the village chiefs who have demonstrated such an attitude and the communities should judge those village chiefs themselves. He called all the village chiefs throughout the country to pay attention to the local residents needs and not to engage much in political interest.

*Govt does not halt contract for Chinese Company, says Gusmao
*Radio Timor-Leste, November 18, 2010 language source: Tetun

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said the Government had not halted contract for Chinese Company that was currently constructing the countrys heavy oil power project plant. The prime minister was responding to the Lao Hamutuk NGOs comments saying the Government had stopped Chinese company from constructing heavy oil power station. Gusmao affirmed that the referred company is currently installing and building distributing tower from Hera to the Capital of Dili. Gusmao added that the Government is planning to purchase generators from Finland of which weight is 250 tons.

*Committee C to examine general state budget: MP Tilman
*Radio Timor-Leste, November 18, 2010 language source: Tetun

MP Manuel Tilman from the Parliamentary Committee C for Finance and Anti-Corruption Commission said this committee would make examination to the general counts of the general state budget for the Government. Tilman made the comments regarding the Court of Appeals examination to the Parliamentary Committee C. Tilman affirmed that in its examination, the Court of Appeal has made some recommendations to the committee, asking the Government to implements some principles within the Ministry of Social Solidarity, especially about compensation to the internally displaced people (IDP). Based on the agenda the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry will discuss on the recommendations from the Court of Appeal.

*Govt cancels evacuation of students in Yogjakarta
*Televizaun Timor-Leste, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

The Timorese Government recently decided to evacuate emergently the Timorese students from volcanic eruption in Yogjakarta of Indonesia, but it cancelled, as those students are living in secure place. Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alberto Carlos said the Government had cancelled evacuation of the students, due to potency of Volcanic eruption had reduced and had impacted more people who were living near by the Merapi mountain. I want to tell the people in Timor-Leste that none of our students has become victim of eruption because they are living about 20 kilometers away from the Merapi, Vice Minister Carlos said. Carlos also appealed to the parents whose boys and daughters are doing their study in Yogjakarta not to be concerned about these conditions, as the Government would continue monitoring situation in the area until activity of the volcanic eruption is stable.

*Asylum seekers is regional issue: Gusmao
*Diario Nacional, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said the issue of refugee, particularly the asylum seekers who want to head to Australia was a regional issue. I have talked with the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that the problem of refugee is regional issue and therefore it is important to have coordination with Indonesian and Malaysia in the negotiation process, PM Gusmao said. PM Gusmao affirmed that the Government would think of the issue properly to know the consequences of setting up the asylum seekers processing center in the country. I will not talk about the position of the Government to agree or not with the Australian Governments proposal, asking the Timorese Government to set up asylum seekers processing center in the country.

*President Horta appreciates KAK which starts to investigate corruption cases
*Diario Nacional, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

President Jose Ramos Horta said he did appreciate the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK), as they had started investigating corruption which were being filed in the KAKs office. President Horta said it was important for the KAK to carry out its work optimally to eradicate corruption virus in the country, adding that KAK should take corruptors to the court to testify. Anti-corruption Commission (KAK) Commissioner Aderito de Jesus Soares said they had started to analyze and investigate those cases being submitted to their office. We have started to hold first step of investigation and the step is called compilation of information and analyses of the cases submitted to our office, Soares said. Soares also called for the public to submit new corruption cases in January next year.

*President Horta calls on PM Gusmao to increase wages of teachers
*Diario Nacional, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

President Jose Ramos Horta has called on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to create good conditions for the teachers by increasing their wages, adding that it is important for the Government to create a proper condition to the teachers as they were keys of the countrys development. There are many problems, this is because there is also problem happening to the basic education, nine year school program, teachers and illiterates and therefore the president also concerned about teachers conditions like their salary. We will look at it! Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said. PM Gusmao said there were multiple problems faced by the country and therefore he hopped that the Government could respond to some problems next year, adding that the Government proposed huge amount of state budget for 2011 to respond to it.

*Govt should take care of children
*Diario Nacional, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Justice Ministrys National Commission of the Children, Adalgisa Ximenes has called on the Government, religious institutions and their partners to take care of children as they need to be protected. Ximenes said it was important for the Government and all sides to protect children as they were the keys for the country in future. Deputy Minister for Justice, Ivo Jorge Valente said it was important to all people to have commitment to protect childrens rights as it is outlined in the Article 18 of the constitution. Representative of UNICEF in Timor-Leste, Jun Kukita said Timor-Leste had reached some progresses in creating good environment for the children. Youth Parliament is like a forum for the young people as they can express their vision and be active partner in developing this country, adding that health assistance, and education and other humanitarian aid are going well. System for protecting children from violence is being set, Kukita said.

*It is important to produce law for people to declare their wealth
*Timor Post, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

MP Aderito Hugo da Costa from the National Congress for the Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) and Arsenio Bano from Fretilin said it was important to produce a law that could force people to declare their wealth, particularly for those people who assume political post. MP Bano called on the competent institutions to update wealth of the Governments officials before and after they assume a political post.I am calling on the competent institutions to update wealth of the Governments officials in order to uncover what they have before and after assuming political post like ministers. Officials of the Government said they had declared their wealth but it is important to update it as many of the Governments officials become rich suddenly, MP Bano said. MP Aderito Hugo da Costa from (CNRT) also agreed with the opinion of MP Bano by saying that it was important to produce law to guarantee the competent institutions to update wealth of the Governments officials.

*Parliament to contact Finance Minister and Prime Minister for explanation
*Timor Post, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

The Parliamentary Committee C for Economy, Finance and anti-corruption President, Manuel Tilman said the Parliament would contact Finance Minister and officials of the Prime Minister to appear in the parliament explaining proposal of the general state budget. Structure of this new general state budget is different from the structure of last years budget and the amount is too big comparing with the last years budget, Tilman said. MP Tilman added that some ministers and officials of the Prime Ministers office should give their response in the Parliament regarding budged execution for 2009, adding that the Appellate Court is also concerned about the 2009s general state budget execution.

*PM Gusmao: I will not give compensation to any people
*Timor Post, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said the Government will not give compensation to any people regarding the heavy oil power production project construction in Hera, eastern part of the Capital of Dili. I will not give compensation to any people, PM Gusmao said. PM Gusmao made the Statements yesterday following some residents had called on the Government to compensate the land used to build tower for heavy oil power production.

*PM Gusmao to meet with Australian PM Julia Gillard in Bali
*Timor Post, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said proposal of the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, asking for the Timorese Government to set up asylum seeker processing center in the country was currently in the evaluation step and therefore he would make efforts to meet with PM Gillard in Bali of Indonesia for in a forum in Bali. I will go to participate in the third forum that will be held in Bali of Indonesia and I will try to meet with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to talk about this issue, PM Gusmao said. Prime Minister Gusmao said the asylum seekers processing center was a regional issue, adding that the Australian PM Julia Gillard had held official visit to Indonesia and Malaysia talking about it.

*Coelho not surprised with Fretilins threat
*Suara Timor Loro Sae, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

State Secretary for Policy of Energy, Avelino Coelho said he was not surprised with the Fretilin Partys threat that would take him to the court in relation to the Fretilins allegation that he has distributed bio gas and solar power to his partys followers only. In response, Coelho said the distribution of the solar power and bio gas was based on the Governments policy and not distributing them to his party [PST] followers. Coelho denied the allegation made the Fretilin and explained that in Viqueque they distributed the bio gas and solar power to the villages which are being the base of the Fretilin.

*UNMIT proposes private security to use weapons
*Suara Timor Loro Sae, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Expert of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Andre Thorsen has proposed to the Timorese Government to produce a law for regulating the private security companies officers to use weapons. Thorsen made the comments during a discussion with the Timorese Security and Defense Council at ETDA, in Dili on Thursday (18/11). Advisor for the Council of Defense and Security, Alcino Barris said it depended on the Parliament to produce laws for regulating this issue. Barris stressed that it is important for the Government to regulate the private security companies not to act like police and armed force and private security officers should be trained by the Government.

*Portuguese defense secretary visits Timor-Leste
*Suara Timor Loro Sae, November 19, 2010 language source: Tetun

Portuguese State Secretary for Defense, Marcos Perestrelo has held an official visit to Timor-Leste to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries. Perestrelo is scheduled to meet with the Timorese Defense State Secretary, Julia Thomas Pinto to talk about military cooperation in future. In realizing the referred military cooperation, both sides will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). State Secretary for Defense, Julio Thomas Pinto said they would talk about cooperation in the field of defense.

Timor Leste, RI sign air service deal

via Joyo News

The Jakarta Post

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Timor Leste and Indonesia on Monday agreed to allow two Indonesian
airlines to serve routes into Timor Leste, with 14 flights a week.

The airlines are state-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines and the
privately owned Batavia Air.

As of [Monday], Batavia and Merpati are allowed to fly to Timor Leste
14 times a week,” Indonesian Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi
said after signing an air service agreement with Timor Leste’s
Infrastructure Minister Pedro Lay da Silva.

The airlines would serve the Jakarta-Denpasar-Dili route, Freddy said.

We also plan to open a Surabaya-Kupang-Dili route soon,” he said.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said the government
would soon allow other airlines to fly into Timor Leste.

However, we have to renegotiate the plan with the Timor Leste
government,” he said. Meanwhile, da Silva said the agreement would
benefit both countries because it would boost the Timor Leste economy.

Timor Leste is a new country. We expect the agreement to develop the
tourism sector there,” da Silva said.

Da Silva added that Timor Leste planned to establish its own
airlines, but said this plan would take some time to realize. Until
now Merpati has been the only airline flying to the former Indonesian
province since it seceded in 1999. Merpati, operating non-commercial
regular flights with 18 sales branches in Timor Leste, serves the
Denpasar-Dili route seven times a week using a 138-seater Boeing 737-300.

Merpati executive vice president commercial Tonny Aulia Achmad said
the route had a load factor of 85 percent, with 60 percent of
passengers being businesspeople.

He added that airfares were set at US$348.

Merpati plans to add one new flight to Dili from Denpasar and open
three new routes including Kupang-Dili, Makassar-Dili, and Kupang-Dili-Darwin.

Meanwhile, Batavia commercial director Hasudungan Pandiangan said the
private airline would fly the Jakarta-Denpasar-Dili route in December
using an Airbus A319 with a capacity of 144 seats.

We will offer cheaper airfares than Merpati,” he said.