terça-feira, outubro 02, 2007

UNMIT Security Situation - Tuesday 2 October 2007

This is a broadcast of the UN Police in Timor-Leste to provide you with information about the security situation around the country.

The security situation in Timor-Leste has been generally calm.

Earlier today in Dili, UNPol responded to seven reports of incidents, none of which were major.

The situation remained mostly calm in Dili on Monday night, although there were sporadic disturbances in the Comoro area. Police arrested three people: two for riotous behaviour and assault, and one for possession of an illegal weapon.

Police visited Baucau hospital on Monday to question the victim of a stabbing incident that took place on Sunday following the Sandra Pires concert. Police have identified a suspect, and have confirmed that the victim’s wounds are not life-threatening.

The Police advise to avoid travelling during the night to the most affected areas. Please report any suspicious activities. You can call 112 or 7230365 to contact the police 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

O que o Procurador-Geral da República, Longuinhos Monteiro, Leandro Isaac e Agio Pereira conspiram

Tempo Semanal

The following transcript in Tetum and Portuguese was published as well as three articles of interviews on page 6 of Tempo Semanal of 1.10.07. The recording is now available to all and sundry around Dili. It is hard to email a copy of the sound bit because of the slowness of the Internet server.

1. Translation of transcript of mobile telephone conversation between Longuinhos Monteiro (LM), Leandro Isaac (LI) and Herminigildo Pereira, also known as “Agio” Pereira; on an unknown date but during the first or second round of the presidential election campaign.

LI: Yes....ah.

LM: They found it amusing, so they asked me to ring you and ask you to try read out the document, its contents, what it says. They said “heck” this is too much this F letter to Alfredo.

LI: Ah. Ah. Ah (laughing)

LM: Yes. Now. Now. The two of us are speaking right now but the old man is listening.

LI: Oh! Is that right? Give him my compliments, my good morning, my big embrace, but an embrace with the heart, not with a hot head. Tell him. Tell him from the heart.

LM: Ok

LI: Not with a hot head!

LM: Ok

LI: Yes.

LM: So read out the, what’s its name, that letter’s contents and what it says, that one from F.

LI: Ah. Its like this. Major Alfredo is our, our hero.

LM: Yes. Yes.

LI: Hero. Aahh......because of this we have to respect him.

LM: Hm. Hm.

LI: Ahhmm. Major Alfredo has already said that the people should not select Ramos Horta.

LM: Here the old man is laughing right now. Aha....speak on.

LI: Because of this the people have to give him maximum protection to this our hero. They should not let him fall into Ramos Horta’s hook.

LM: Hm. Hm.

LI: He should stay put, because if he comes down and falls into Ramos Horta’s hook then Ramos Horta will hand him over to the Australian Forces to kill him.

LM: Ok. Ok. Ok.

LI: Ah...This is their propaganda that they are now putting out.

LM: Ok. Alright. Alright.

LI: Ah. Ah. Yes.

LM: Alright. Alright. So this is the nucleus of it?

LI: This is the nucleus. This is the nucleus.

LM: Oh.

LI: Sending also one to me. Later today I will possibly receive it. Later it will be with me.

LM: Then you receive it, canalise one in turn to me.

LI: Oh with certainty. Certainly. Certainly.

LM: Alright. Alright, brother...then thank you, that’s all brother.

LI: Big thank you! Big thank you! A big embrace from me to the President, with a red heart, not a heart....not black.

LM: Ok.

(Voice of HP could be overheard in the background conversing with a third party, though unintelligible)

LI: Still red! So, thank you.

LM: Brother. Wait on a little. Don’t hang up yet. Don’t hang up yet. I am going to pass the phone, wait on. I am passing the phone to the Second, Second. Wait on.

LI: Ah. Good.

HP: Excellency!

LI: Aih. My brother! So!

HP: Now you are the Clandestine Parliamentarian pah!

LI: No. Not a Parliamentarian. I ceased being one.

(HP laughs)

LI: It’s Leandro Isaac. It’s true.

(HP laughs)

HP: The fight continues on all fronts.

(LI laughs)

LI: Its true. Its true.

HP: Brother, later, later send me your new number.

LI: Alright, alright. I will send it. I will send it.

HP: Or I will take it from brother Long here.

LI: Yes. But you know what? Today I said to the Prime Minister. I said to many, that, from today the 14th I will do what the President, our older brother Xanana Gusmão said at the time in 92, “let us leave the politics of the bedroom and go out onto the veranda”.

HP: Yes. Yes.

LI: Let’s go out onto the veranda. I am already on the veranda. Today I said to the Prime Minister, all the old numbers which I previously used, I am going to switch them on. They can catch me wherever they want to catch me, or they can .... can detect me wherever I am and fire a shot at me and I can die. But from today, I am going out onto the veranda.

HP: Alright.

LI: That which the old man said in 92.

HP: Later I will call you. I will call you again later.

LI: Yes....alright.....ready.

HP: Here is Long.

LI: Ok.

LM: So. We will leave it this way brother.

LI: Ready. Ready, Brother.

LM: Ready. I have already given the number.

LI: Have you told them that? Hello?

LM: Ah. Yes, yes.

LI: Have you told them of that decision yesterday, the day before yesterday, that the Central Committee took?

LM: Aahh. Regarding!?

LI: The three. The three resigned. The three.

LM: Ah. Ah. Yes. Yes. Yes.

LI: The three resigned. They have handed the party over to the younger ones.

LM: Ok. Alright. Alright.

LI: Tell them about that. Tell them about that. It is really cute that.

LM: Ok. Alright. Alright.

LI: We had our, our intelligence at the meeting and they informed us this morning.

LM: Alright. Alright. Alright.

LI: Tell them about that. It is very cute.

LM: Alright. Alright. Thank you. Thank you

LI: Thank you. Thank you.


The Vice President of FRETILIN after recently hearing this recording, was harsh in his criticism against the Prosecutor General, alleging that with this evidence it shows that the highest levels of the Prosecutor General’s Office in this country are not neutral and demanded that it is better for Longuinhos Monteiro to resign from his position, otherwise doubts will continue to emerge concerning justice in this country because it is not functioning properly.

When this newspaper referred to the example of results from some of the concrete cases undertaken by the Prosecutor General’s Office, such as the case involving the 12 F-FDTL members accused of being involved in a shootout with the PNTL in front of the Ministry of Justice on 25/05/06, Arsenio Bano said that it was a case involving arbitrary unilateral decisions on the part of the Prosecutor General himself.

The recording which has been disseminated by Bluetooth of a telephone conversation between former member of the national parliament Leandro Isaac and Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro has raised doubts regarding the independence of this Prosecutor General. “We will raise this issue in the National Parliament sometime soon in the coming days. Perhaps if the budget plan is not debated on Monday then we will raise this case”, informed Arsenio.

When asked the reasons why the Prosecutor General has to arrest these people whom he had named, Arsenio asked journalists to go and read the International Commission of Inquiry report established by the UN to investigate the violent events of April and May 2006.

According to the Commission of Inquiry the Railos Group suspected of attacking the F-FDTL Headquarters at Tasi Tolu on 25/5/06, the Prosecutor General’s Office should prosecute Railos and some of his members. “I know that an arrest warrant has been issued for Railos but why has not been arrested yet?” asked Arsenio.

Leandro Isaac who appeared in a film with a Steir rifle hanging off his back walking around the residence of Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak in Lahane whom the Commission also recommended be investigated. “In relation to Leandro Isaac it was clearly shown on the television that he was carrying a rifle but we see they are clearly befriended with one another,” he stated.

According to details which this newspaper possesses, Leandro Isaac has already given some testimony to the investigators.

During this conversation it shows clearly that Longuinhos Monteiro asked Leandro Isaac to inform him of the contents of a letter which is alleged to have been sent by FRETILIN to former Military Police commander Major Alfredo Reinado Alves which related to the second Presidential election campaign.

“As Vice President of the party I greatly resent these actions because from that which has been disseminated and which I have already heard, it shows that the Prosecutor General is not neutral, and very much because of this that he has no interest in arresting some suspects such as Mr. Railos,” said the FRETILIN Vice President, Arsenio Bano, successor to Rogerio Lobato.

3. Longuinhos Monteiro: I am unaware of it.

When this newspaper asked the Prosecutor General of the Republic for his comments by mobile telephone on Friday (28/09) at approximately 17:30 hours, he denied knowing anything regarding this conversation. “In the first place I receive complaints everyday from many sources about this case (red: recorded conversation) but I am unaware of this issue”, said Longuinhos.

Longuinhos Monteiro who is Prosecutor General of the State of Timor-Leste said he still remains always independent, arguing that if he had not remained independent then some cases which have been prosecuted would not have been.

Longuinhos Monteiro showed his discontentment during this interview regarding this case and he threatened to bring legal action. “I will take up this case in accordance with the criminal process,” said Long, saying also that he would reopen cases which had previously arisen including “yours”. The word “yours” that Mr. Longuinhos mentioned above, perhaps refers to this newspaper when it was still Diario Tempo which previously published the case of Akui Leon and his allegations of KKN (Collusion, Corruption, Nepotism) also involving Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro. Some years ago Dr. Longuinhos commenced legal action against Yayasan HAK and the newspaper Diario Tempo relating to the case of Akui Leon.

4. Leandro: I am not scared.

Leandro Isaac who partook in the conversation which someone has recorded and divulged by mobile telephone said he was not shaken: “I am no scared because I don’t want to be near a buffalo which is in internal agony,” said Isaac firmly.

In this mobile telephone conversation, Leandro Isaac informed Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro of the contents of a letter, which FRETILIN had sent to former Military Police Commander Alfredo Reinado Alves, but to this newspaper the former parliamentarian of the National Parliament, also expressed doubts regarding this recording that referred also to the campaign process for candidate Ramos Horta for President.

“This recording is full of manipulations because I am unaware of it and have never known about it,’ said Leandro.

But he added that during that time he did campaign for Ramos Horta’s candidacy. “I supported Dr. Ramos Horta and I campaigned for him,” said Leandro.

Former Jakarta governor to run for president

ABC Radio Australia
Last Updated 02/10/2007, 10:57:48

The former governor of Jakarta, Sutiyoso, who left Australia suddenly after an attempt to call him before a coronial inquiry into the deaths of the so-called Balibo Five in East Timor, has announced his candidacy for Indonesia's presidency.

Sutiyoso was a Kopassus captain in East Timor when five Australia-based journalists were killed.

Police in Sydney entered the then Governor Sutiyoso's hotel room and asked him to give evidence before a coronial inquiry into the death of Brian Peters in Balibo in 1975.

Offended by the police action, Sutiyoso abandoned official appointments and returned to Jakarta.

An ensuing diplomatic row ended with apologies from Australian politicians and officials.

The former Jakarta governor has now officially launched his candidacy for Indonesia's 2009 presidential race.

Nota de Rodapé:

Mais um que passou impune na Comissão da Verdade e Amizade. Mais um amigo de Xanana e dos australianos.

Timor won the heart of Stone

Canberra Times (Australia) - Monday, October 1, 2007

Emma Macdonald
Less than a week after graduating from Duntroon, 22-year-old Michael Stone found himself en- route to the smoking ruins of East Timor.

It was December 1999, and the tiny province had just waged an historic and almighty battle against 24 years of Indonesian occupation and oppression as the rest of the world looked anxiously on.

Stone remembers arriving in the capital of Dili where not one house, building or car was left untorched.

"It is hard to describe the extent of the destruction. What could not be picked up and taken was reduced to ash."

It was a dramatic and traumatic induction into active duty with the United Nations-sponsored INTERFET peacekeeping forces. But as Stone quickly assumed a command position within the Second Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, he also began an enduring relationship with the East Timorese people, which would, eight years later, lead the young Australian to be invited by President Jose Ramos Horta to become a special military advisor, a position he will take up in November.

Born into a military family in Canberra in 1977, Stone grew up enduring the peripatetic lifestyle which saw him change friends and schools as the family constantly moved.
But, at some point, Stone recalls, "I stopped missing people as much and started to look forward to the next adventure."

His father, Gary Stone, was a lieutenant-colonel in the army. But an abduction by Hezbollah while he was in Iran in 1989 serving as the Australian contingent commander with a United Nations military observer group propelled Stone senior to leave active duty and start working closer to God. He became an army chaplain.

Stone's first tour of East Timor passed in a blur as the nation recovered from its first democratic election. He enthusiastically returned for a second tour with the UN in 2001 and for a third tour in 2004, having been promoted to major. He trained a small and isolated East Timorese infantry battalion composed largely of ex-Falintil guerrilla resistance fighters.

He also advised Lieutenant Colonel Falur Rate Leak a veteran hero of their war against Indonesia.

While Stone had picked up some "coffee table" words in the East Timorese language of Tetum during his first tour, he realised that in order to really know the East Timorese and to communicate effectively, he had to become fluent.

"I wanted to become a human bridge between the military and the people and between Australia and East Timor," he says.

Stone had little language experience but he took the immersion approach and very quickly found himself in a translator's role. He recalls his best motivator was Falur himself whose machine-gun-fire speech required a new level of commitment. Over the 16 months he spent with Falur, Stone began to understand the East Timorese psyche as the country continued down the path of reconciliation and rebuilding.

"There is not one East Timorese who has not been traumatised, who has not been betrayed, whose family has not been affected by murder and fear and conspiracy," he says.
As his vocabulary grew, so did his confidence and public profile and Stone found himself propelled to wider audiences.

He spoke to public rallies, angry mobs, parliamentarians, gang leaders, aid organisations, church leaders and frightened villagers.

As instability increased in the lead-up to last year's civil unrest, Stone even found himself with a nightly TV spot, where he could inform a broader audience of the latest developments and attempt to dispel the misinformation spreading from one village to another.

"I tried to debunk the myths and explain what was happening and the activities we were doing to promote transparency and deny the opportunity for rumours and propaganda to spread," he recalls.

His familiarity and connection to the language was accompanied by a connection to the society.
Stone's dad once told him "they won't care how much you know until they know how much you care" and his emotional commitment to the East Timorese people earned him enormous trust and gratitude, even if coming at a cost to his own well being.

Counselling mothers and fathers whose teenaged sons had been shot in the street, wrenching an eight-year-old girl from her father's body which had been beaten to a bloody pulp, discovering groups of mothers and babies burnt to death in a shelter these were daily events for Stone.

He recalls having to push his own trauma and fatigue aside to face each day's fresh crises.

"I guess for a very long time I didn't deal with it. I don't think it was deliberate; it was just a matter of us being so busy dealing with people in despair that it was not a consideration for me to let my guard down. It was most important to be strong and collected to provide hope. We were a stabilising force in an unstable environment, a country in a state of paranoia and trauma and being that rock of stability was, and still is, very important."

When Stone's work was recognised in the ABC documentary series Australian Story, aired in April, President Jose Ramos Horta praised his commitment to the country, noting "he has a natural gift to deal in human relations".
The new job will entail a close relationship between the two men as Stone is entrusted with the task of advising Horta, particularly with the rebuilding of East Timor's security forces.

It is something of a coup for Horta, who was prepared to offer Stone a number of positions to keep him in the country failing that, he was pushing for the good- looking Stone to form an attachment with a local woman.

Unfortunately for Horta, Stone fell in love last year with an American PhD student, Megan Lavelle, who was living in East Timor, studying childhood nutrition for a doctorate in medical anthropology.

Megan will return to working in East Timor with a medical aid organisation when Stone takes up the new post.

Stone is also innately optimistic about the future of East Timor despite its long history of bloodshed.

"I am hopeful for the people of East Timor. They are a strong people who have suffered a lot but they have also had the strength to survive. There are no doubt some very large challenges ahead and they will need a hand, though the overwhelming will of the people is for peace."

Rethinking Timorese Identity as a Peace Building Strategy: Lorosa'e - Loromonu Conflict from Traditional Perspective

Josh Trindade (via ETAN) – Mon, 01 Oct 2007 08:34
Dear All,
The following is executive summary of Lorosa'e - Loromonu Conflict Study. If you need the full report english version, please email me at trindade.josh@gmail.com

Many Thanks,
Josh Trindade, Author

Report Title: Rethinking Timorese Identity as a Peace Building Strategy: Lorosa'e - Loromonu Conflict from Traditional Perspective

Authors: Jose 'Josh' Trindade and Bryant Castro
Implementing Agency: GTZ/IS
Funded by: European Commission Timor Leste

Executive Summary

Since 2006 East Timor, the world’s youngest nation has been faced with a crisis of internal conflict. During the course of the past year a deepening regional and social division has become tangible (and violent on a larger scale) for the first time since independence. This conflict or division was defined by animosities, distrust and eventually street fights between people considered to be either of Lorosa’e (Eastern) or Loromonu (Western) region and background. Violence erupted out of widespread perceptions that discrimination against such regional groupings permeated state institutions, particularly in the security sector. From here unrest spread and led to the large-scale displacement of parts of the population that is still ongoing.
The most significant damage caused by this crisis was to the internal relationships that had until then bound the country together. This damage still threatens relations between the institutions of governance and those that they govern, as well as interpersonal relationships. The legacy of a failure to adequately address and transform the current situation will be fear and mistrust, providing fertile ground for future conflict in East Timor and hindering the processes of nation-building often considered to have been successful up until the crisis. What has been neglected though is that - while the economic indicators were positive - less tangible processes of cultural transformation and identity politics, in particular the (non-)formation of a shared national identity, were given little consideration and effort thus far.

Meanwhile recent government-sponsored dialogue and peace-making initiatives by international actors present in East Timor have shown little impact on the sentiments and root causes underlying the eruption of violence last year. In particular, there has been little effect on countering the trend of a deepening social divide between Lorosa’e and Loromonu that is evolving into a kind of ‘ethnic polarisation’ of regional and social distinctions, which - though historically developed during colonial times and surfacing at different moments in-between - had previously not been violent on any large scale. The study set out to explore why any measures tried until now to address and resolve the conflict and transform sentiments have not worked well. Many causal factors - political, economic, and legal - have been mentioned in previous research, but one facet has remained underexplored: gaining a deeper understanding of local cultural understandings and views of the crisis as well as local ideas for processes of resolution and long-term transformation. At the core of the Lorosa’e - Loromonu conflict, respondents stated, is a fundamental discord that pinpoints some of the faultlines present in current processes of social change in East Timor since independence. Such faultlines refer to the fluidity and tension between modern-traditional; urban-rural; elder-youth; migrant-local; and not least between the world views and values at stake. For instance, much of the rural population finds that at the core of the new regional conflict is an imbalance between the physical-material and the spiritual-ancestral worlds. Hence, the study describes in detail some of the local ideas and conceptions of conflict as well as enduring, age-old structures and practices of conflict management, resolution and prevention in East Timor.

Based on the ideas of respondents in seven districts and an appraisal of two recent peace initiatives in Dili, the study then proposes the careful and considerate use of traditional Timorese concepts and practices such as Nahe Biti Bo’ot [a traditional dialogue process] and Juramentu [a blood oath to seal a settlement or agreement] in future peace processes aimed at transforming the Lorosa’e - Loromonu conflict in the long-term.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1. Introduction
1.1 Objectives
1.2 Approach, Methodology and Format
1.3 Structure
1.4 Limitations of Study
2. Background and Context
2.1 The 2006 Crisis - a Lorosa’e- Loromonu conflict?
2.2 Historical and Political Roots to the Lorosa’e – Loromonu Conflict
2.2.1 A Historical View of Lorosa’e and Loromonu
2.2.2 The Politics of Lorosa’e – Loromonu
3. ‘Modern’ and Traditional Understandings of the Crisis
3.1 ‘Modern’ Perspectives on the Causes of the Crisis
3.2 Traditional Perspectives on the Causes of the Crisis
4. Traditional Concepts and Community Structures in East Timor
4.1 The Uma Lulik and Relationships
4.2 Leadership: Liurai, Dato and Lia Nain
4.3 Sasan Lulik
5. Traditional Practices of Conflict Management in East Timor
5.1 Nahe Biti and Juramentu : Two Timorese Grassroots Mechanisms
5.2 Nahe Biti Bo’ot and Juramentu
6. Impact, value and limitations of traditional conflict management
6.1. A Variety of Voices
6.1.1 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
6.1.2 Political Leaders
6.1.3 East Timorese Intellectuals
6.1.4 Traditional Leaders
6.1.5 Youth
6.1.6 Church
6.1.7 Views on the role of Uma Lulik in resolving the Lorosa’e-Loromonu conflict
6.2 Limitations of Traditional Conflict Mechanisms
6.2.1 Urbanisation and Migration
6.2.2 Limited (National) Political Legitimacy
6.2.3 Limited effects on urban youth - generation gap
6.2.4 Contesting spiritual institutions
6.2.5 ‘Divisive’ Variations in Lisan [traditional] Practice
6.2.6 Re-enforcing gender and age inequalities?
7. Rapid Appraisal of Lisan in Recent Peace Initiatives
7.1 Simu Malu Rapid Appraisal of Lisan Implementation
7.2 Low-Level National Dialogue Rapid Appraisal of Lisan Implementation
8. Using Traditional Mechanisms to build peace among Lorosa’e and Loromonu
8.1 Short-Term Strategy to address the Lorosa’e - Loromonu Conflict
8.1.1 A National Nahe Biti Bo’ot
8.1.2 A National Juramentu (Blood Oath)
8.2 Foundations for a Long-Term Strategy to prevent future conflict
8.2.1 The Process of National Uma Lulik Construction
8.2.2 Creating National Sasan Lulik
9. Conclusion
Annex 1: The Proposal
Annex2: Glossary of Terms
Annex 3: Interview Questions
Annex 4: Participants Compositions
Annex 5: Participants List
Annex 6. Selected Photos


Oil: Timor's Double-Edged Sword

Australian Financial Review - September 29, 2007

Can this tiny nation avoid the 'oil curse' and succeed where so many before it have failed?
by Angus Grigg

Dili, East Timor - Alfredo Pires is whispering. East Timor's newly appointed Energy Minister is being pushed for a number he's reluctant to give.

It is a number that will determine his country's future, determine if it remains the world's poorest nation and, ultimately, resolve whether this dusty half-island can become a viable, independent country.

It is the value of East Timor's oil and gas reserves - a billion dollar question that Pires is well qualified to answer.
The 43-year-old Australian-trained geologist with a business degree from Macau is an activist, and represents the new generation of East Timorese leaders in the six-week-old government of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

"I have thought much about this number," Pires says. "If we find a few other goodies it could be worth over $100 billion."

Pires is referring to the government's petroleum fund, established in late 2005 to hold the revenue from the Bayu-Undan field in the Timor Sea.

Thanks to high oil prices, the fund is roaring ahead of expectations. Already it is worth $US1.6 billion ($1.8 billion), and is growing at an impressive $US100 million a month - 10 times ahead of what was projected just four years ago.

Thus East Timor is often said to be a rich country full of poor people. The United Nations estimates 40 per cent of children are malnourished and 60 per cent of the population illiterate.
It is the world's smallest economy and most of its 1 million people live on less than $US1 a day.
"Those figures would rival many places in sub-Saharan Africa. The development challenges here are enormous," says the UN's head of development in East Timor, Finn Reske Nielsen.

And time is running out. Alan Dupont, director of the International Security Centre at Sydney University, says East Timor has a small window of opportunity to avoid becoming a failed state.
"An independence dividend is needed. You can't live on vision alone, you need practical solutions," says Dupont, who is advising the government. Solutions are required to prevent a repeat of August's civil unrest that saw buildings torched and lives lost, in the worst violence since the "crisis" of last May.

Order has been restored for now, but with 40 per cent of the population unemployed and nearly 100,000 internally displaced people, the UN says trouble could flare up again.

That prospect and the lack of basic infrastructure will make foreign investors wary, which puts the onus back on the government to create jobs. Its ability to do this comes back to oil. It is quite literally East Timor's only chance.

Over the next two decades, as foreign aid declines, oil and gas are forecast to account for 95 per cent of the country's budget.

This year, petroleum will generate $US1.2 billion in export earnings, while coffee, its next largest item, will bring in just $US8 million.

The problem with oil is that it provides only a few jobs, therefore these petrodollars must be redeployed in other areas to create long-term local industries. This is where the petroleum fund comes in. It's a simple idea, modelled on the success of Norway's sovereign fund that totals more than $US400 billion.

For East Timor it's all about avoiding the "oil curse" and not following African and South American examples, where corrupt government officials and energy companies were often the only ones to benefit from the riches underground.

The hope for East Timor is that long after the last barrel of oil has been pumped, it will have a pool of capital from which to live.

To ensure this long-term prosperity the government can only take out 3 per cent of the fund's "estimated sustainable income" each year, or about $US300 million this year. But this figure only takes into account the Bayu-Undan field and not the many other "goodies" Pires likes talking about. "We have not even started looking onshore yet," he says.

"There are places in Timor where the drinking water is mixed with oil, yet we are still the world's poorest country."

Pires, who fled to Australia with his family after the Indonesian invasion in 1975, says the country must engage with the industry to get the most out of it.

"Without proper engagement we might only get $US40 billion out over the next 20 years," he says.

"If we do things properly, that number could increase threefold."

In truth nobody can really say what the magic number will be. There are too many variables - the price of oil, how many new fields are discovered, what percentage East Timor gets, and the rate of return on invested funds. But even the very conservative figure of $US20 billion, arrived at some years ago by the government, represents a huge cash injection.

"It equates to a tripling of the budget since the days of Indonesian occupation," says Dupont.
"For East Timor, it's a once in a generation opportunity to transform the country."

But this pool of money will have to go further each year.

As the statue of Jesus overlooking Dili reminds visitors, this is a very Catholic country with one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. If the current birth rate (7.8 per cent) continues, East Timor's population will double over the next two decades, halving per capita gross domestic product and placing a huge strain on government services. "That's why we need to engage," says Pires.

Part of this planned "engagement" is sending students offshore to study engineering and finance so international oil companies can be better scrutinised. "We need to keep a closer eye on these costs. The international oil game is a cut-throat business."

Engagement also means working the money harder. At present the entire fund is invested in highly secure, but low-yielding, US government bonds. Pires says the government is talking with Singapore about setting up a Temasek-style investment fund, which would diversify into equities, property and corporate bonds.

But these are all longer-term ambitions. In the short term, a liquefied natural gas plant is seen as the country's big hope. The plant, which would process gas from the giant Sunrise field, is seen as an economic saviour. But Charles Scheiner from the La'o Hamutuk Federation, a local non-government organisation, says the plant is unlikely to be built in Timor. Political risk aside, a deep water trench just off the coast makes constructing the required pipeline difficult and expensive.

So, though it is further to Australia's northern coast, Woodside (which will operate Sunrise) has indicated it favours building the plant in Darwin. And for Scheiner, it would not have been the boon many ministers suggested. "It would create about 200 permanent jobs. You could gradually train up locals for the higher paid and more specialised jobs, but in the early stages the East Timorese would be mopping the floors and serving the food." Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks, now an adviser to the East Timorese government, says oil can be used to broaden the economy.

"No one is going to invest here unless the country can develop reliable infrastructure," he says.
For the world's poorest country, even spending money is difficult.

Timor Leste's Petroleum fund

Leftclick - Sunday, September 30

16Mb. 96kbps mono 21:42 mins.

Listen at http://leftclickblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/timor-lestes-petroleum-fund.html

Jennifer Drysdale at the Centre for Environmental Studies at the Australian National University spent 2 years in Timor Leste researching the governance of East Timor's hard won petroleum resources. Now, with the new Timorese Parliament taking control of the Petroleum Fund she talks with Nimbin Community Radio 2NimFm about the past and future prospects for East Timor's budding economy. The lineup of political parties that kept Fretilin out of government campaigned strongly on accusations that Fretilin was 'holding out' on the petroleum fund. Yet, the new parliament shows no signs of changing the Fretilin policy. Jennifer's PhD. research turns Australian media preconceptions on its head, indicating that the Fretilin policy was, in fact, what the people really wanted, and that Fretilin was actually responding to the popular will.

Media Realese: "I intend to be the best advocate of the poor"

Presidência da República, Gabinete da Presidência - 01 October 2007

President Ramos-Horta unveils fast-track mechanism to alleviate poverty and spur rural development

Education and Youth employment also key areas for public spending

President José Ramos-Horta reaffirmed his commitment towards poverty alleviation as the first priority of his tenure.

"I am establishing a fast track mechanism under my personal leadership to provide direct assistance to individuals, groups or rural communities", the President of Timor-Leste announced as he addressed the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"The idea is that it should not take more than 10 working days for a decision to be made on a project and for the first instalment of a grant to be disbursed", President Ramos-Horta said.

The President of the Republic highlighted the positive prospects for Timor-Leste’s economy which "will see a strong 22 percent growth this year due to our oil revenues and UN presence".
Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund has accumulated over US$1.4 billion and currently has monthly revenues of US$100 million.

However, President Ramos-Horta pointed out, "all this was not enough to improve the living standards of the poor".

"The vast majority of the people who have been poor for centuries cannot and should not wait" longer, the President said.

"I have pledged to be the President of the Poor and I intend to be their best advocate", the President added as he detailed the new mechanism of financial assistance for rural development and poverty alleviation.

Dr. Ramos-Horta said that in the medium term the fast track initiative coupled with public investment in infrastructure (road, bridges, port and airport) and in the agriculture sector will deliver a significant reduction of unemployment and a decrease of poverty levels.

The President also stressed the fact that the government has accepted his fiscal reform proposal that will turn Timor-Leste into a tax free country.

Education and youth employment

Dr. José Ramos-Horta singled out Education and youth employment as key sectors under his attention.

"Education and youth employment are areas that my presidency and the new government are prioritizing with more public spending", he affirmed.

The President added that is proposal of establishing a permanent Youth Parliament will help society to focus its attention in this important and socially sensitive age group.

The Youth Parliament, President Ramos-Horta said, "is not only an effective and creative way to empower youth but it also serves as a unique leadership development process and as a school for future leaders".

Rule of Law and Human Rights

The President of the Republic said that in spite of the events of 2006 that led to serious breaches of human rights, including the right to Life, the Justice sector of Timor-Leste is coping well with its responsibilities and the Rule of Law is one bright feature in the country’s achievements.

"While we failed in many areas, we succeed in others. We have succeeded in not abandoning our deep commitment to human rights and the rule of law", President Ramos-Horta said.

"Timor-Leste stands among very few that have ratified all seven core Human Rights Treaties", the President said.

"Timor-Leste seeks a seat on the Human Rights Council for the term 2008-2011 and we are particularly pleased and grateful that many countries have so far expressed support for our candidacy", Dr. Ramos-Horta added.

The President reaffirmed the commitment of the Nation with Peace and the peaceful resolution of differences and conflicts.

"We believe in dialogue to solve national and international disputes, in the power of ideas, in partnership and cooperation to address regional and international challenges", he said.

Freedom for Daw Aung Suu Kji

President Ramos-Horta expressed distress concerning the current events in Myanmar.
"Timor-Leste follows with deep concern and disappointment the developments in Myanmar. As human beings and friends we are distressed at the deteriorating social, humanitarian, and political conditions in that neighbouring country", the President said.

"The leaders in Myanmar must not continue to hold Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung Suu Kji and the entire nation hostage to a mind-set that belongs to the Cold War and to policies that have brought international opprobrium and economic ruin", contended President Ramos-Horta, himself a Nobel Peace Laureate.

The President of Timor-Leste said that further isolating Myanmar would be counter productive.

"We do not believe that a strategy of isolating and punishing a whole community is the best way to advance the cause of freedom and democracy", President Ramos-Horta said.

"The actual consequence of such a strategy is the further isolation and impoverishment of a whole people", the President added. - ENDS

Departamento de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República Democrática de Timor-Leste
Contactos: telefone:(+670) 333 9003, telemóvel: (+670) 723 9043, e-mail Chefe Dep. Com. Social: riko.joel@gmail.com; e amorcopricorn4@yahoo.com

Massacre de Balibó vai dar origem a filme na Austrália

Notícias Lusófonas - 1 de Outubro de 2007, 17:19

O massacre de Balibó, ocorrido em 1975 em Timor-Leste, vai ser transposto para o cinema através do cineasta australiano Robert Connoly, devendo as filmagens começar no início de 2008.

Segundo a edição de hoje do diário Sidney Morning Herald, o papel principal será desempenhado pelo actor Anthony La Paglia, que interpretará Roger East, o jornalista assassinado em 1975, em Díli, quando investigava a morte dos cinco camaradas de profissão, ocorrida cerca de mês e meio antes.

Descrito como um intenso "thriller" político, "Balibó", tal como se intitula o filme, vai recriar os acontecimentos que rodearam a morte dos cinco jornalistas - Brian Peters, Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham, Malcolm Rennie e Tony Stewart.

Os cinco jornalistas morreram quando, a 16 de Outubro de 1975, se encontravam em reportagem naquela localidade próxima da fronteira com a Indonésia, no início da invasão das tropas e milícias de Jacarta ao território timorense.

No entanto, e mais de 30 anos volvidos, há ainda muitas dúvidas sobre as circunstâncias que rodearam as suas mortes, com versões contraditórias.

Um relatório independente das Nações Unidas, elaborado em 2006, concluiu que, "provavelmente", os cinco jornalistas - dois australianos, dois britânicos e um neozelandês - foram mortos pelos soldados indonésios.

Jacarta, porém, nega as acusações e tem insistido na ideia de que os jornalistas foram mortos num fogo cruzado entre as tropas indonésias e milícias timorenses.

A morte de Roger East, todavia, é menos conhecida e aconteceu a 08 de Dezembro de 1975, quando o jornalista da Australian Associated Press (AAP), então com 51 anos, se encontrava em Díli a investigar a morte dos seus colegas, acabando capturado pelas tropas indonésias, que o executaram em público.

Chegado a Díli poucos dias após a notícia da morte dos seus cinco colegas, a sua estada foi acompanhada pelos jornalistas Michael Richardson, do "The Age" (australiano), e de Jill Jolliffe, "freelance" australiana que trabalhava então para a Reuters e que, mais tarde, colaborou com vários órgãos de comunicação social portugueses e de outros países.

Segundo relatos da imprensa então publicados, quando se tornou claro que a invasão indonésia estava iminente, Richardson e Jolliffe decidiram abandonar Díli e regressaram em conjunto com os representantes da Cruz Vermelha para Darwin (Austrália), mas Roger East optou por ficar na capital timorense.

Ainda segundo esses relatos, Roger East planeava seguir para as montanhas a acompanhar a retirada da Fretilin, mas acabou capturado pelo exército indonésio, que o juntou a outros prisioneiros e, de acordo com testemunhas, foi executado por um pelotão de fuzilamento em frente ao porto de Díli.

Alguns relatos dão ainda conta de que Roger East tentou enviar uma última notícia a partir do Centro da Marconi no aeroporto de Díli, quando começaram a aterrar os páraquedistas indonésios.

A Indonésia invadiu a antiga colónia portuguesa em 1975, administrando-a até 1999, ano em que um plebiscito resultou numa votação esmagadora a favor da independência do território, que se concretizaria em 2002.

Segundo o jornal, será a primeira participação de La Paglia num filme australiano desde 2001, quando apareceu em "Lantana", interpretação que lhe valeu o prémio de melhor actor nos "AFI Awards", da Austrália.

La Paglia fará, nesse sentido, uma interrupção do programa "Without a Trace", num canal de televisão norte-americano, para desempenhar Roger East.

O argumento de "Balibó", baseado no livro "Cover UP - The Inside story of the Balibó Five", de Jill Jolliffe, foi redigido conjuntamente por David Williamson e Robert Connely, que vai dirigir também o filme produzido pela Film Finance Corporation.


Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!

Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006

"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.