Monthly Archives: December 2010

Democracy Now: Richard Holbrooke and East Timor

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/15/richard_holbrooke_dies_at_69_remembering

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FRETILIN Christmas and New Year Message

From the Secretary General of FRETILIN, Dr Mari Alkatiri

Compatriots! Sisters! Brothers!

Within days we will commence celebrating the festive season of Christmas and the end of the year 2010.

Let this be a season of celebrations and that the new year is full of new horizons of hope and expectation.

In accordance with the cycle of life, another year has passed each one of us.

Shortly we will usher in the year 2011. It is a time to engage in a frank and honest self-assessment, with the courage and dignity to accept failures as failures and embrace our successes. There is no place to hide our problems. There is no need to punish ourselves with self-criticism, but we must seriously and profoundly reflect on our conduct during the last year, on what we have done and failed for the good of the people, our families and our society.

For us Timorese, 2011 will be a year of great challenges. It will be the year before the year in which Presidential and Parliamentary elections must be held. All of us need to move forward with confidence towards the 2012 elections. Therefore, 2011 must be a year where we create a climate of confidence and trust between all Timorese: confidence and trust in the values of the national liberation of the homeland and the people; confidence and trust in the political and constitutional system; and confidence and trust in the democratic process and its values.

Let us build a strong pact for stability, a new Platform for National Unity.

Let us unite around the Constitution and defend all the principles and values which are enshrined therein.

Let us unite to defend the democratic rule of law and reaffirm our indomitable will to defend all our achievements.

Let us unite against the use of violence as an instrument for obtaining political power.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, and I quote: “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.”

Therefore, our people expect freat lucidity of their leaders, more political maturity, total integrity, ethical behaviour in their daily activities, humility and modesty. The people demand of those same leaders the ability to think clearly and understand the consequences of each decision they make; to always look to build confidence and trust through their acts; and to eliminate all uncertainties and doubts which may increase both suspicion and mistrust.

The East Timorese people want peace and want it to be consolidated each and every day. They want their country to remain stable so that national development can proceed smoothly.

Our people will again be called on to vote in 2012. Therefore, the year ahead is crucial in creating confidence in the process which takes the Timorese people to the polls.

It is necessary that the principal political actors accept once and for all that the principle of alternation of the exercise of political power is of utmost sacredness. That the alternation is determined by the free exercise of a universal and secret vote is a logical consequence of a normal and democratically functioning society where power emanates from the people and is exercised within the limits set by the Constitution and the laws of Timor-Leste.

It is therefore important that all political leaders know how to contribute to the creaion of a climate of confidence which is necessary for the success of the entire process. It is imperative that all people contribute to the consolidation of the democratic rule of law where the will of the people is the single source of all legitimacy.

LET US ALL ERADICATE MUTUAL DISTRUST AND MAKE 2011 THE YEAR OF BUILDING TRUST BETWEEN TIMORESE AND THE YEAR OF NATIONAL SOLIDARITY.

LET ALL OF US PROCLAIM THE DECADE ENDING IN 2020 AS THE DECADE OF PEACE, STABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT.

WE LIBERATED OUR HOMELAND FROM FOREIGN DOMINATION. NOW LET US FREE THE PEOPLE OF POVERTY AND ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DEPENDENCE.

A LUTA CONTINUA!

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!

To all I send my sincerest wishes for a Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year.

With the warmest regards.

Dili, 15 December 2010


Jose A. Fernandes Teixeira
Deputado da Bancada Parlamentar da FRETILIN
Parlamento Nacional da Rep. Dem. de Timor-Leste
Telemovel: +670 728 7080

US Mission in Timor-Leste deny workers human rights

The US Mission in Timor-Leste refused to meet with the General Workers
Union of Timor-Leste (SJTL) on 22 November 2010 regarding the unfair
dismissal of our member Mario Barretta on the basis that:

“as part of the terms of his employment, Mr Baretto was/is not allowed
to be a member of any organized union and therefore we will not meet
with any representative acting on his behalf”

The US Mission is denying Mario Baretto his right to form and to join
trade unions for the protection of his interests as per Article 23 (4)
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The US Mission is also breaching the International Labour Organization
convention 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to
Organise Convention, 1948 which Timor-Leste ratified on 16 June 2009.

US Mission officials had previously refused to meet with SJTL or to
attend mediation by the Labour Board on the incorrect assertion that
they enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Almerio Vila Nova, General Secretary of SJTL said:

“The US Mission seems intent on using any fabrication to avoid their
obligations to consult with Mr Baretto and his trade union.

We are dismayed that the United States of America is denying Timorese
workers their human rights and breaking national law and we are
disappointed that the US Mission will not even meet with us or attend
mediation to discuss the matter.

As such we are left with no option other than to call on the
governments of Timor-Leste to intervene and to seek international
support.”

Mr Baretta was employed by the US Mission as a security officer from 3
May 2004 and dismissed on 16 July 2010 in breach of the Labour Code of
Timor-Leste.

SJTL will hold a press conference at 10am in front of the Palacio de
Governo on 9 December 2010. All are welcome to attend.

Please direct any media enquiries to:

Almerio Vila Nova Rigoberto Monteiro/Jose da Costa
General Secretary General Secretary/President
General Workers Union Timor-Leste Trade Union Confederation
+670 724 8482 +670 723 6276/+670 723 9824

Still no electricity

*Parliamento residents urge Govt to facilitate them with electivity
*Suara Timor Lorosae, December 3, 2010 language source: Tetun

The Chief Village of Parlamentu of Lautem, Angelo Galvao Silva has called on the Government to keep its promise of facilitating and providing the local resident with electricity in the area. Silva made the statement following the Government has sent a team to hold survey in the area to provide electricity but unfortunately the Government had not realized its promise up to date. If the Government will not install power grid based on the time set, we will take an action urging the Government to implement their promise based on the plan, Silva said. A resident of Soikili Sub-Village, Calisto Pinto said they would protest the local leaders if the power grid installation would not come to their village.

Rice disapears as wet season continues

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/11/29/east-timor-rains-threaten-food-shortage-and-disease/

East Timor: Rains threaten food shortage and disease
By Janet Gunter Posted 29 November 2010

Posted 29 November 2010

This year East Timor has not experienced a normal dry season. Much of the country has had rain all year, apparently a result of La Nia (related to the El Nio weather phenomenon). The capital Dili has repeatedly flash flooded. Local news outlets have reported both crops destroyed by rains, and even more worryingly that farmers have not planted this year in many places, as they are not used to preparing fields in the rain.

East Timor at the best of times is a net food importer, not able to produce surpluses to support city dwellers, and with a hungry season between crops. But this year, the situation is quite dire.

Mercy Corps aid worker Jim Jarvie explains

Normally, families prepare for up to two months of limited food in January and February between harvests, but this year the exceptional weather has meant they have already been suffering from lack of food for several months, with the next harvest still four months away if they are lucky. []

To exacerbate the problem, the roads that link these vulnerable communities with the capital city, Dili, are crumbling down the steep slopes as excessive water slides the roads. sometimes down hundreds of feet, into gullies. There is little to no support for these weakening families in increasing isolation. And they have little voice.

Blogger The Dili Insider provides a simple photographic reminder that for the past years in this season, East Timor has found itself in this situation, waiting for ships with imported rice to arrive.

Since 2006, the government has been importing and subsidizing rice. In previous years, there have been scandals related to these rice contracts (see Global Voices’ 2009 coverage of The Ricegate scandal). It is not clear how much of the imported rice has ever reached these isolated rural communities with food deficits – most appears to have gone to town and city dwellers.

And given the serious situation facing Timorese farmers, the issue of food imports and access to imported food has taken center stage once again.

Opposition blogger Tatoli continues to criticize the ruling coalition [Tet] on its rice importation policy:

Maib foos mak tama iha Timor-Leste tonelada ba tonelada ms Povu Timor-Leste barak mak la hetan foos ne’e nia oin. Povu Timor-Leste kiak tiha ona, foos ms folin karun tan fila fali, enkuantu Sr. Germano da Silva Lobato (ministra Lucia Lobato nia la’en) sa’e karreta Hummer b-mai hodi soe rai-rahun ba Povu ki’ik-kiak.

But the rice that comes to Timor, ton after ton, many Timorese people never even see it. The Timorese people are already poor, the rice prices go up again, while Mr. Germano da Silva Lobato [Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato’s husband who got rice importation contracts] goes around in a Hummer kicking up dust all over the meek, poor people.

Economist blogger Professor Almeida Serra believes that inflation in recent months is linked to the availability of subsidized, imported rice. He wrote in late October [pt]

Para a subida da taxa de inflao ter contribudo, nomeadamente, o quase desaparecimento do mercado do arroz do MTCI, subsidiado, sendo substituido por arroz importado comercialmente. Por exemplo, a taxa homloga de inflao dos cereais, razes e seus produtos onde se inclui o arroz e que representa 13,1% do cabaz do IPC foi, nos meses de Junho a Setembro, respectivamente de 14,1%, 16%, 11,1% e 11,3%.

The near disappearance from the market of the subsidized MTCI [Ministry of the Tourism, Commerce and Industry] rice, substituted by commercially imported rice, has contributed to increased inflation. For example, the rate of inflation for cereals, tubers and their products – where rice is counted, representing a 13.1% of the basic needs basket – was from the months of June to September respectively 14.1%, 16%, 11.1% e 11.3%

Bloggers report changes in the government’s approach to rice. Lita at Notisia Negosio (Business News) writes [Tet]

Iha fulan Outubru 2010 MTCI sei hamenus intervensaun foos iha merkado, tamba fo hikas ona knar ba empresarios sira hodi nunee MTCI sei hare deit ba assuntos emergencia no sei atende deit iha fatin nebee deficil acesso ba mercado ( areas remotas ou rurais)

In the month of October the Ministry of the Tourism, Commerce and Industry [MTCI] will reduce its intervention in the rice market, because it has given this back to businesspeople so that the MTCI can focus on emergency matters and attend to those who live in places with poor access to markets (remote and rural areas).

One thing is clear: there will be little margin of error in food supply in East Timor over the coming months.

Mosquito-borne illness

Another potential impact of the rain is an increase in diseases transmitted by mosquitoes like malaria and dengue. The local media reported an upsurge in children being hospitalized in the month of October[Tet], with both patients and hospital officials citing the unceasing rains as a possible factor.

The World Health Organization’s regional tracking of dengue revealed that as of September in East Timor, more than two times as many cases had been reported than in all of the previous year. Their briefing states:

The exact reason for the apparent upsurge in reported cases in different countries is not completely clear, but weather patterns, especially relative increases in rainfall are very likely to be an important feature.

The Timorese Ministry of Health has set up a team called Kondemal to look at the extraordinary prevalence [of disease] or outbreaks that can happen in the rainy season. The Ministry announces on its blog [Tet]

Ekipa Kondemal sei foti asaun seriu ba kazu extraordinaria nebe mosu iha tenpu udan. Liu husi servisu konjunta entre Ministeriu Sade liu husi Sade Distrito, Ho autoridades local hodi hatun no halakon moras nee liu husi atendementu hanesan Fogin (Rega susuk), Abatisasi no intervensaun seluk mak hanesan liu husi atendementu SISCA neeb hatoo husi Meja 4.

The Kondemal team will take serious measures against extraordinary cases that arise in the rainy season, through joint work between the central Ministry of Health and District Health institutions, with local authorities to reduce and get rid of these diseases through services like fumigation, abatisasi [use of abate powder in stagnant water], and other interventions like those treatment through the SISCA [mobile health clinics].

Robin Taudevin’s 2006 photos of malaria and dengue patients at Bairro Pite Clinic are a dramatic reminder of what an impact these diseases have, particularly on children.

By Janet Gunter Posted 29 November 2010

Former Militiamen Urge Indonesia To Prevent Arrests Over Timor Right Abuses

via joyonews10@gmail.com

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific November 29, 2010

Text of report by Indonesian newspaper Media Indonesia website on 27 November

[Unattributed article: ‘403 Mantan Pejuang Integrasi Timtim Berstatus DPO’]

Former deputy commander of the [pro-integration militia] East Timor
Integration Fighters (PPI), Eurico Guterres, asked the Indonesia
Government to stand up for the 403 individuals still on the United
Nations’ wanted list, so that they are not arrested. They are on the
list for serious crimes committed before and during the 1999
referendum and cannot travel overseas.

“If the political elite care about the fate of the pro-integration
fighters, they must support [us],” Guterres said on 27 November 2010.

According to Guterres, the issue will be discussed during the United
Heroes of Timor (UNTAS) congress to be held on 28-30 November. The
congress aims to fight for the rights of former East Timorese living
in Indonesia, including on housing and health issues.

Source: Media Indonesia, Jakarta, in Indonesian 27 Nov 10

UNMIT leaks

Tempo Semanal can reveal that since 2007 25 audits of UNMIT operations have been conducted by the United Nations Chief Auditor and Investigator in New York known as the Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

To date sources have provided this newspaper with a comprehensive list of all OIOS reports, and complete copies of 8 of the total 25 OIOS reports.

The reports that are not available as yet include investigations into fatal accidents, sexual abuse, theft, misuse of property, fraud, gross staff misconduct, money laundering/fraudulent wire transfer, and poor performance in the UNMIT Public Information Office. All are listed below.

The reports which this newspaper has obtained copies of involve investigation into :

• poor management performance in the assessment of risk in UNMIT doing its job well.

• Poor UNPOL performance, and how UNPOL were able to use rubber bullets in Timor-Leste despite being banned elsewhere, among other police failures such as a counterproductive command and control agreements between UNPOL and PNTL. As well as the very high rate of UNPOL car accidents some of which involved Timorese fatalities and grievous injuries.

• Poor and slow recruitment caused UNMIT to fail to be able to fulfill its tasks in its critical first 18 months.

• Poor management and performance in UNMIT Serious Crimes Unit.

• Wasteful procurement against UN rules, with suggestions of corruption.

• Poor management of Travel Funds, waste, misuse and possible corruption.

• Poor management and performance of UNMIT’s Security Sector Support Unit, with one staff member being in serious breach of professional guidelines.

• Poor management of UNMIT Administration of Justice Unit. One bad effect is that it leads to poor relations with Timorese Government partners..

On 23 November 2010 this paper asked Mr. George Kakuk Chief Spokesman for the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Caicoli Dili to 1) provide comment on the reports that this newspaper has obtained copies of, 2) provide this newspaper with copies of the reports which still secret.. The United Nations is charged with promoting transparency and accountability in the state institutions of Timor-Leste and is often very critical of these institutions when they are not transparent or accountable.

If a Timorese kills someone on a fatal car accident, UNMIT will quite rightly demand access to justice to on behalf of the victim and his/her family. But if a UNPOL or UN staff commits a crime such as this, it seeks to cover up the facts and circumstances. This is also relevant in the cases of sexual assault, theft, misconduct and corruption.

In the case of the OIOS reports as detailed by this newspaper Mr. Kakuk and UNMIT refuse to give copies of reports as yet unavailable, however they promised to deliver comments by Friday 26 November 2010 but in conclusion Mr. Kakuk informed Tempo Semanal that he was unable to comment because UNMIT Legal Affairs has yet to make a determination on what UNMIT can state in regards to the misconduct, mismanagement and possible criminal activities of UN staff in Timor-Leste between 2007 and 2010.

Mr. Kakuk has informed that this newspaper may run the story without UNMIT at this stage, but commits to an UNMIT response with a week.

Between 2007 and 2010 the UN Special Representative of the Secretary –General (SRSG) in charge of UNMIT was Mr.. Atul Khare of India. Since early 2010 the SRSG for UNMIT has been Ms. Ameerah Haq. The vast majority, 72%, of OIOS investigations into UNMIT misconduct occurred while Mr. Khare was in office.

The newspaper will be reviewing the documents in ittt possession over the coming weeks and will 1) produce reports on each, and 2) publish each document online.
Below is a complete list of OIOS reports 2007-2010 which this newspaper has in its possession (8) and has requested from UNMIT (17), but as yes UNMIT has refused to act in a transparent and accountable manner. Complete OIOS report lists.

Period 2007:

1. 03/10/2007 Risk Assessment UNMIT No.AP2007/682/06 (on file with TS)

2. 29/11/2007 Investigation into an allegation of sexual molestation by a contingent formed police unit officer in the United Nations integrated Mission in Timor-Leste 0404/07 UNMIT ID
Period 2008:

3. 04/03/2008 Audit Report UN Police in UNMIT, Recruitment at UNMIT, No. AP2007/682/01 (on file with TS)

4. 09/05/2008 Closure report on allegations of false expense claims by UN Contractors in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). 0482/07 OIOS IA

5. 09/05/2008 Closure report on harassment by UN Civilian Police Chief of Staff in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). 0039/08 OIOS ID

6. 15/05/2008 Closure report on possible misconduct of staff member in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). 0640/07 OIOS ID

7. 27/05/2008 Closure report on death threat allegations at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). 0590/07 OIOS ID

8. 27/05/2008 Investigation report on sexual assault by a Formed Police Unit member in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). 0113/08 DFS ID

9. 19/11/2008 Closure report on possible misconduct by a UNPOL Officer at the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) ID 0681/07 OIOS

10. 28/11/2008 Closure report on possible theft of personal property at the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) ID 0423/08 OIOS

11. 05/12/2008 Audit Report Recruitment at UNMIT, No. AP2008/682/04 (on file with TS)

Period 2009:

12. 10/02/2009 Serious Crimes Investigation Programme in UNMIT, Delays in commencement of investigative work has resulted in a backlog of cases, No. AP2008/682/06 (on file with TS)

13. 21/04/2009 Closure report on possible misconduct by a staff member of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) ID 0112/09 DFS

14. 24/07/2009 Closure report on fatal traffic accident in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) DFS 0580/08 ID

15. 07/08/2009 Audit of procurement management in UNMIT – Further improvements to the procurement process needed to ensure compliance with the Procurement Manual UNMIT AP2008/682/07 IAD (on file with TS)

16. 27/08/2009 Travel arrangements in UNMIT – Inadequate internal controls over travel and related entitlements UNMIT AP2009/682/06 IAD (on file with TS)

17. 28/09/2009 Closure report on possible misconduct by staff members at the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) DFS 0068/08 ID

18. 23/12/2009 Audit Report, Management of the Security Sector Support Programme in UNMIT – UNMIT’s Support to security sector review and reform in Timor-Leste has not been fully effective UNMIT AP2009/682/02 IAD (on file with TS)

Period 2010:

19. 29/01/2010 Investigation report on the fraudulent wire transfer by a staff member at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) DFS 0290/09 ID

20. 26/02/2010 Preliminary Investigation report on misuse of communication and information technology resources by a United Nations Police Officer at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) DFS 0222/09 ID

21. 01/03/2010 Support to the development of the administration of justice in Timor-Leste – Progress has been made in supporting the development of the capacity of the justice sector; however, more efforts are needed to increase the level of engagement with national counterparts UNMIT AP2009/682/03 IAD (on file with TS)

22. 28/05/2010 Investigation report on misuse of information and communication technology resources by a staff member at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) DFS 0172/10 ID

23. 28/05/2010 Advisory on the misuse of information and communication technology resources in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) 0222/09, 0170/10, 0171/10, 0172/10 DFS ID

24. 11/06/2010 Investigation report on misuse of information and communication technology resources by a staff member at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) DFS 0170/10 ID

25. 15/06/2010 Public information services in UNMIT – Ineffective planning and weak governance diminished the efficiency and effectiveness of UNMIT’s public information services UNMIT AP2009/682/04 IAD. (TS)


Posted By TEMPO SEMANAL to TEMPO SEMANAL on 11/27/2010 08:39:00 PM