"Defendendo a Independencia de Timor-Leste"

"Defendendo a Independencia de Timor-Leste"

terça-feira, 22 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN condemns secret plan to create monopoly for vital supplies in Timor-Leste



Media Release

July 22, 2007

FRETILIN condemns secret plan to create monopoly for vital supplies in Timor-Leste

Aniceto Guterres, FRETILIN leader in parliament yesterday condemned the proposal by the Gusmao AMP government to create an Economic Stabilisation Fund using US$240 million of money from the Petroleum Fund. “It is a secret plan to create a monopoly in the supply of vital fuel and building materials, as well as vital rice and other foodstuffs, in the hands of one or two businesses linked to the ruling party and ministers in the government,” said Guterres.

“Information we have indicates this is part of a secret plan to deliver all these vital contracts into the hands of a few well-connected businessmen at the expense of others who would otherwise be able to compete to bring down prices, but cannot do so with the bulk the government is purchasing,” said Guterres.

Business people, including foreign investors, have complained to the FRETILIN leadership that everything is being channeled through one or two companies.

“When FRETILIN raised this both in the parliament and in the media, we provoked a vitriolic response from the Prime Minister but no real explanation. Even members of his own CNRT party say this deal must be explained thoroughly,” said Guterres.

“We are debating the revised budget now, which would increase the money the government will have by 122 per cent, from US$349 million to US$773.3 million. It will also involve taking money out of the Petroleum Fund beyond its Estimated Sustainable Income. Yet the government has presented inadequate justification to either the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council, an independent body nominated to oversee the fund and its sustainability, or to the parliamentary committee for economy, finance and anti corruption.

“Both these bodies say the government should not be authorized by parliament to withdraw the non-sustainable amount until the government provides such a justification,” added Guterres.

“We are not against helping our people against the shocks of the international food and fuel crisis. We are against using the crisis to create a fund lacking in financial controls and monitoring, without any proper planning, which is merely a Trojan Horse for collusion, corruption and nepotism,” closed Guterres.

The Economic Stabilisation Fund would give the government US$240 million to buy food, fuel and building materials that it would then sell to the public at a subsidised price. This is the concept that recently provoked public controversy because rice prices were neither stabilised nor lowered substantively by this mode of government intervention, especially in the districts where prices of rice and other foodstocks are exorbitantly high.

For more information, please contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080

sábado, 19 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN: Growing opposition to Gusmão's maladministration and bad governance



Media Release

July 19, 2007

FRETILIN: Growing opposition to Gusmão's maladministration and bad governance

There is growing opposition to the misadministration and corruption of the Gusmão government with members of a key parliamentary committee and a key independent parliamentary consultative body rejecting the government's request to withdraw from the Petroleum Fund an amount greater than the benchmark "sustainable income"*.

The defacto Gusmão government wants the additional money from the Petroleum Fund for its revised budget.

FRETILIN parliamentarian and leader in parliament Aniceto Guterres said, “The Economy, Finance and Anti-corruption parliamentary committee met yesterday (Friday 18 July) and delivered a report on the mid year budget recommending against the government’s request to withdraw USD$290 million in excess of the sustainable income amount.

“The decision of the parliamentary commission comes in addition to the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council’s recommendation to National Parliament that it refuse to authorize the transfer of funds from the Petroleum Fund to the government budget, because the government has failed to justify that it needs the extra money from the Fund.”

The Petroleum Fund Consultative Council is an independent body that is legally mandated to oversee the workings and future of the fund and is made up of civil society and representatives of religious confessions.

The members of the Council are independent from any political party.

Guterres said, “The decisions of the parliamentary committee and the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council reflect the wide spread and growing concern and suspicion about misadministration and corruption within the Gusmão government.

“Even members of Gusmão’s own CNRT party who sit in the parliamentary committee voted against the government's request”.

Guterres added, “The Gusmão government has only actually spent 22%, or USD$77.3 million, of this year's annual budget of USD$347.7 million, which is the largest in Timor-Leste's history and far greater than any of the budgets of the previous FRETILIN governments.

“It is ludicrous that a government that is incapable of spending even a fraction of the budget, and who is also the subject of many allegations of maladministration and corruption, would ask for a mid year budget increase in the amount of USD$425.6 million (taking this year’s revised budget to USD$773.3 million).”

Guterres said that if the excessive withdrawal from the fund is approved by parliament, the government would have used over USD$1 billion in just one year, when you take into account that the government also had a transitional budget of in excess of $300 million for the period between September 2007 to 31 December 2008.

“This will mean that 43% of the Petroleum Fund's current reserves of USD2.3 billion will be spent in just one year.

“We call on other members of parliament and civil society to follow the lead of the Economy, Finance and Anti-corruption parliamentary committee and the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council in expressing their opposition to this irresponsible budget.

“It is not only them or FRETILIN which have expressed concern. Other political parties, including the National Unity Party, ASDT and KOTA/PPT, as well as business groups and civil society in general have expressed their opposition to this irresponsible and questionable budget. But mostly they question the raiding of the petroleum fund, which has been acclaimed around the world.

“If the AMP members in the parliament authorize the withdrawal, then they will be flying in the face of overwhelming public opinion in this country. We urge them to question this government’s direction, just as they did with the government’s ludicrous gun laws that were defeated in this parliament, which was out of step with public opinion on the issue,” said Guterres.

The Timor-Leste parliament began debate on the government's proposed budget revision yesterday (Friday 18 July).

Background notes:

* The Sustainable Income (known formally as the “Estimated Sustainable Income”) is calculated under the Petroleum Fund Law and informs the Government, National Parliament and civil society of the maximum amount of money that should be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund in any given year to fund government spending. The Estimated Sustainable Income for the 2008 budget is USD$396.1 million.

If the government wants to withdraw more than the Estimated Sustainable Income it must first obtain the approval of National Parliament. As part of that approval process, the Government must set out its reasons why its total annual withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund should exceed the Estimated Sustainable Income and present them to the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council, who in turn provide their opinion to National Parliament. The aim of the Estimated Sustainable Income is to assist Timor-Leste avoid the “resource curse” experienced by other Third World resource rich nations. It does this by acting as a guide to Timor-Leste on how to spend its petroleum wealth sustainably, with the aim of creating inter-generational equity so that both current and future generations can enjoy the benefits of the petroleum resources.

For more information, please contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN opposes Decree Law creating Economic Stabilization Fund


Media Release

July 18, 2008

FRETILIN opposes Decree Law creating Economic Stabilization Fund

"Today FRETILIN expresses great concern about the Economic Stabilisation Fund proposed in the revised budget, which in our view is full of illegalities and lacks transparency."

This statement was made by the FRETILIN Parliamentary Leader, Aniceto Guterres, in a media release yesterday, July 17. The Decree Law was approved by the Council of Ministers and proclaimed by the President of the Republic, Ramos-Horta, on July 14. FRETILIN called on MPs in the government coalition to join it in voting against the proposed law, as they did recently over the proposed firearms law.

Guterres added: “Though there are a lot of areas for concern in this revised budget proposal, the Economic Stabilization Fund is the most worrying because it involves the withdrawal of a large amount of money from the Petroleum Fund without sufficient legal control.

“Although the president of the republic proclaimed the Decree Law, it is yet to be published and come into force. In the meantime the de facto government is seeking the approval of the parliament in its revised budget proposal to withdraw an amount of USD$240 million, which it would spend under this law, which does not detail clearly the legal and financial mechanism for procurement, disbursement and accounting for the funds in a transparent and accountable manner. So much money, representing the total of the Timor-Leste state budget between 2002 and 2005, to be managed simply by a law made up of one and a half pages and 8 sections.

“FRETILIN opposes this Decree Law and the proposal to take these funds from the Petroleum Fund in this way. Among other reasons, we strongly suspect it is nothing more than an attempt to withdraw funds from the Petroleum Fund in a non-transparent and irresponsible manner.

The objectives of the Decree Law, set out in Article 2, are the procurement and distribution of food for food security, fuels and building materials by the government. But the Decree Law does not establish the procedures, rules and mechanisms for the procurement, administration and financial control of the funds or the distribution of the acquired stock in a transparent or accountable manner. Sections 4, 5 and 6 state that these vital transparency and accountability issues will be dealt with by ‘appropriate regulations to be approved.’

“With all due respect, this demonstrates that the de facto government does not regard our peoples' parliament with seriousness and respect,” said Aniceto Guterres.

“We have to ask, what did this de facto government have in mind when it put to this parliament a proposal to approve such a large amount of money to be spent without the appropriate legal and administrative rules and procedures being set out in the law that purports to establish it? How are we, who are asked to approve this large amount of money and who are constitutionally mandated to oversee and hold the government accountable for its spending according to the laws of the land, going to be able to do our job, given that we are not informed of the rules and mechanisms to hold them accountable by?

“This also leads us to think that the de facto government merely intends to use the funds the parliament approves as a slush fund without controls or accountability. It leads us to think that there will be even less procurement through open public tenders in accordance with the applicable procurement law, to procure such large amounts of foodstuffs, fuel and building materials, than there is at the moment. We are led to think that procurement contracts for these will simply be given directly, without open public tenders, to their friends and political allies, just as the recently publicized US$14 million rice procurement contract, which has been widely questioned. This rice procurement process was questioned even by members of the CNRT party in parliament, and the de facto government has thus far not fully explained or justified it to the satisfaction of the public or to our satisfaction.

“It is because of this that FRETILIN says that it will oppose this attempt to withdraw funds from the Petroleum Fund just to allocate contracts to friends and allies of the de facto government.

“With this attempt this AMP government has demonstrated yet again that they are not serious about executing and managing the peoples’ money with seriousness, responsibility, and transparency.

“We have already seen with important dealings that have been made public that they hide things. The agreement proposing to allocate large tracts of land to a foreign company to cultivate sugarcane for bio fuels was hidden for months, despite repeated requests for the agreement to be made public. The agreement to grant the sole and exclusive rights to a foreign oil company to market Sunrise gas remains hidden from the public at the government’s insistence that it is a ‘government secret’, despite requests to make it public. The contract to purchase luxury cars for members of parliament has been hidden from us again, despite requests that they be made available to opposition parties. Now, it’s worse, with an extremely large fund of USD$240 million they are not disclosing how they will spend these funds in regulations yet to be approved.

“FRETILIN already knows that there are parties and MPs who are prepared to exercise their conscience to oppose this proposal. We appeal to these well intended Timorese in our national parliament who otherwise vote with the AMP, who follow the government’s policy orientations, to join us in opposing this proposal that is not in the interests of our people. Just as we did with the gun laws some weeks ago, we ask you to join us in exercising your consciences and vote in the interests of the welfare of our people, the future of this nation, the peace and stability deserved by our people, instead of simply following the path that is not transparent, and will be detrimental to our nation and people.

“FRETILIN agrees with the objective of helping our people to meet the current global food and fuel crisis, but will not support courses of action that are not transparent and accountable, and which serve only to benefit a very few at the expense of our people, who will continue to stay poor and go hungry. During the budget debate FRETILIN will propose measures to confront the hardship faced by our people with seriousness, responsibility and transparency.”

For further information: FRETILIN parliamentary media officer - Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

quinta-feira, 17 de julho de 2008

Comunicado de Imprensa da Bancada da FRETILIN: "Fretilin Contra Dekretu Lei Fundo de Estabilizasaun Ekonomiku"


"Fretilin Contra Dekretu Lei Fundo de Estabilizasaun Ekonomiku"

Ohin Fretilin hakarak manifesta nia preokupasaun kona ba proposta ida iha orsamentu rectifikativu nebe'e tuir ami nia hare'e nakonu ho ilegalidade no laiha transparencia.

Deklarasaun ne'e fo sai hosi Chefe Bankada FRETILIN, Aniceto Guterres, Lio hosi Komunikado Imprensa, Quinta Feira (16/10), relasiona kona ba dekretu lei kona ba Fundo de Estabilizasaun Ekonomiku nebe'e Konselho Ministru Aprova ona ho hetan ona promulgasaun hosi Presidente da Republika Ramos Horta, Maske iha buat barak no seluk iha orsamentu rectifikativu nebe'e ema barak preokupa proposta atu hari'i Fundo de Estabilizasaun Ekonomiku ne'e proposta projetu ida.

Iha loron 14 de Julho 2008, Presidente da Republika promulga (maibe sei hein publikasaun) Dekretu lei nebe'e kria fundo lei ida nebe'e governu de facton ne'e hakarak Parlamentu aprova $ 240 milhoes, no fo kbit ba governu de faktu ne'e atu gasta ba objektivu nebe'e seidauk klaru iha pagina ida ho balun deit no artigu 8 deit.

Osan boot $ 240 milhoens, osan nebe'e representa orsamentu geral de estadu nia ba tinan 2002-2005 hamutuk sei gere ho pagina ida ho balun no artigu 8 deit.

Fretilin contra dekretu lei ne'e no proposta atu hasai osan hosi fundu mina rai tamba tuir ami nia hare'e ida ne'e tentativa suspeita ida atu hasai osan hosi fundu minarai sein liu hosi dalan nebe'e transparenti no responsavel.

Ita hare'e iha aritigu 2 lei ne'e nian katak, objektivu atu sosa aihan combustivel no materia construsaun sivil, maibe depois iha artigu 4,5 no 6 laiha mekanismu ka prosedimentu oin sa bele halo ida ne'e, no halo gestaun ba objektivu ida ne'e. Dehan deit katak ida ne'e sei tuir mai bainhira "diploma propiu sei aprova".

Ho respeitu boot ida ne'e laiha transparensia, no hatudu atitude halimar ho orgaun soberanu povu nian- Parlamentu Nasional.

Governu de factu ne'e hanoin saida bainhira haruka pedidu osan bot nee mai Parlamentu no hein deit Parlamentu aprova deit osan boot ne'e sein hatudu regras no prosedimentu tuir lei hodi nune'e ita bele fiskaliza sira nia lalaok aban bain rua? Tamba laiha duni regras no prosedimentus.

Governu husu deit PN aporova orsamentu osan boot liu ho objetivu atu hari'i fundo ida nebe'e sira atu hodi uza hanesan saku azul. Maibe atu sosa tuir prosidementu no regras konkursu ka atu fo kontratu atu sosa aihan, konbustivel, no material konstrusaun liu hosi prosesu bolu deit no entrega deit ba maluk Partido ida nian deit hanesan ema barak kestiona ohin loron kona ba kontratu $ 14 milhoens sosa fos. Prosesu sosa fos neebe hetan mos kritika husi bankada CNRT rasik maibe seidauk hetan esklaresimentu diak no los husi governu de faktu.

Hodi ida ne'e mak ami FRETILIN dehan, tentativa ida ne'e atu buka dalan hasai osan hosi fundo mina rai no lori ba fahe kontratus ba maluk ne'e, Fretilin sei kontra!.

Ho tentativa ida ne'e governu AMP hatudu dalan ida tan katak sira la seriu atu halao exekusaun no gestaun osan povu nian ho seriadade, responsabilidade, honestidade no transparensia.

Ita hare'e ona ho assuntus importanti barak katak sira subar deit. Akordu fo rai luan Povo nian ba kompanhia husi liur ba tinan atus ida atu kuda Tohu subar. Akordu fo direitu ba kompanha mina rai husi liur atu faan gas hosi greaten sunrise subar. Kontratu sosa kareta luxu ba deputados ho subar. Agora a'at liu maka fundo boot liu ho osan $ 240 milhoens subar iha diploma lei nebe'e Parlamentu seidauk hare'e.

Ami Fretilin hatene ona katak partidu no deputadu balun iha consiensia atu kontra tentativa ida ne'e. Ami apela mos ba maluk sira seluk nebe'e vota bebeik ba AMP, nebe'e tuir governu deit, mai ita hasoru tentativa ida ne'e tamba ladun iha povu nia interese. Hanesan ita halo ba lei kilat, mai ita vota ho konsiensia ba povu nia diak , rai ne'e dia futuru no paz no estabilidade, em vez de tuir deit ema balun nia intensaun nebe'e la transparenti, la mos la diak ba it nia rai no povu..

Fretilin concorda ho inisiativa hodi tulun povu hasoru krizi aihan no kombustivel, maibe laos liu hosi poposta nebe'e laiha transparensia no sei habokur deit balun no povu sei kiak no hamlaha nafatin. Iha debate orcamentu Fretilin sei halo proposta oin sa bele hasoru ida ne'e ho seriadade, responsabilidade no transparensia.

Atu hetan Info bele kontaktu
Media Office Bankada FRETILIN
Nilva G, Hp 7340389

terça-feira, 15 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN condemns secret Timor Sea gas deal


Media Release
15 July 2008

FRETILIN condemns secret Timor Sea gas deal

FRETILIN today condemned a secret deal by Xanana Gusmao’s de facto AMP government to give a foreign oil company the exclusive right to market petroleum from the Greater Sunrise Field in the Timor Sea.

FRETILIN said the multi-billion-dollar deal again raised questions about malpractice and maladministration within the Gusmao administration and demanded that details and copies of the agreement be made public.

FRETILIN parliamentarian and former Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Jose
Teixeira said: “From the little they have told us, the government has given the exclusive right to market petroleum from the Greater Sunrise Field to a single foreign company without an open tender.

“It is internationally recognized best practice that deals such as this should not be secret. Only by treating them with the utmost transparency will you safeguard against corruption,” Teixeira said.

“To pick a company that will do the best job for Timor-Leste requires an open and competitive tender process. The government did not do this and we demand that they be held publicly accountable for their actions.

“The public has the right to know what price the company will pay for obtaining these exclusive rights, exactly how Timor-Leste will benefit from this deal, and exactly what other concessions the government has given this foreign company.

“This contract involves billions of dollars because the marketing company is responsible for finding buyers for our petroleum who will sign long-term contracts with the government of Timor-Leste.”

Teixeira added that the deal also threatened Timor-Leste’s reputation as a favourable investment environment for the exploration of petroleum resources.

“Without naming the company, we are aware it has its own interests in the Timor Sea Joint Petroleum Development Area. The company also does not have any interests in any upstream activities such as processing and refining.

“However, it seems this company may also have been granted participatory rights in any LNG plant which will be built in Timor-Leste.

“This raises potential for conflict of interest which prejudices the rights of other existing contractors in the Timor Sea who invested on the basis that Timor-Leste was committed to a world-class transparent regime. The other Timor Sea contractors would be justified in feeling that their trust has been shattered,” said Mr Teixeira.

“I have asked the de facto government twice in parliament and twice in meetings of the Natural Resources Parliamentary Committee to be transparent and make the agreement public.

“However, on each occasion Secretary of State for Energy and Natural Resources Alfredo Pires has refused to do so, stating that the documents are a government secret.

“I don’t accept Mr Pires’ response and I don’t believe that the people of Timor-Leste, who demand transparency and accountability from government, accept that the details of this deal should be kept secret.”

Teixeira repeated FRETILIN’s public declaration of November 2007 that because it does not accept the legitimacy of the AMP Government, all agreements entered into by this government, especially those relating to sovereignty and natural resources, would be considered on a case-by-case basis when FRETILIN returns to government.

“That consideration would necessarily involve examining the transparency and commercial propriety of natural resources agreements,” he said.

Note: As the former Minister for Energy and Natural Resources under the leadership of former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Jose Teixeira was instrumental in establishing in Timor-Leste a petroleum regime which has been applauded by industry experts and the international community as a world leader in transparency. In 2005-2006, Teixeira oversaw what has been widely acclaimed as the most transparent international bid round for acreage blocks in Timor-Leste’s exclusive offshore areas.

For further information contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080
Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

domingo, 13 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN demands President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of Parliament release documents on purchase of luxury vehicles for MPs


Media Release
13 July 2008

FRETILIN demands President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of Parliament release documents on purchase of luxury vehicles for MPs

FRETILIN parliamentary group deputy leader, Francisco Miranda Branco today demanded that the President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of the National Parliament (known as the
‘Parliamentary Administration’) provide copies of the contract and Commitment Payment Vouchers (‘CPV’) for the proposed purchase of luxury 4 wheel drive vehicles for members of the national parliament.

“Despite repeated calls to do so by our party group, and the National Unity Party group, the Parliamentary Administration have thus far failed to divulge to us copies of the contract and CPV documents. This is not a particularly difficult request, nor does it involve matters that are secretive to either them or the ministry of finance. There is no reason whatsoever not to release the documents we have requested,” said Branco.

According to Branco it is very important for the copies of the documents that were requested to be urgently made public because a controversy is currently raging regarding this issue, and there have even been demonstrations demanding answers to questions like how much these luxury vehicles will cost the state, and where the budget to pay for them exists or will exist.

“It is extremely important to all of us MPs and for civil society to see with our own eyes the details so that we can inform the public of the truth of the matter. Otherwise, this matter will remain a matter of controversy. The continued failure of the Parliamentary Administration to provide us with copies of the documents requested has led many people to conclude that there is no transparency in the management of the parliament’s finances. We tend to agree and ask the administration to quickly reform themselves in this regard,” Branco added.

This week the national parliament will commence to debate the Revised Budget from the de facto AMP government, which seeks to increase the current budget by 122%.

“It is they in the AMP who have defended the purchase of these luxury vehicles. But those parties who have questioned it are unable to obtain the documents regarding the proposed purchase or the documents filed with the ministry of finance. This shows yet again that the AMP regime is not transparent in its administration and does not have the political will to manage the budget and its spending with the minimum of transparency, because they cannot even do something as easy and simple as provide documents that are public and not confidential in any way.

“If they cannot be trusted to show transparency with such a small matter, how can we trust them to execute a budget which is 122% bigger than the existing budget transparently? This is the people’s money, not the administration’s or the parliament’s. Because of this we all have a right as the peoples’ representatives to access the detailed information regarding the process of the proposed purchase,” Branco concluded.

For further information contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080
Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

Komunikadu Imprensa: FRETILIN Ezigi Meza Parlamentu Nasional Fo Sai Kopia Surat Kontratu no CPV Kona Ba Sosa Kareta ba Deputadus


13 Julhu, 2008

FRETILIN Ezigi Meza Parlamentu Nasional Fo Sai Kopia Surat Kontratu no CPV Kona Ba Sosa Kareta ba Deputadus

Vice Chefe Bankada FRETILIN, Francisco Branco ohin ezigi dala ida tan ba meza parlamentu nasional atu fo sai kopia dokumentus kontratu no CPV sosa kareta ba deputadus parlamentu nasional.

“Maske ami nia bankada, no bankada PUN mos ezigi ona dalan rua ba meza parlamentu nasional atu fo sai dokumentus kontratus hirak nee, no CPV, meza seidauk hatan ba ami nia pedidu. Buat nee laos buat susar ida, no mos laos buat segredu ba meza deit ka ministeriu finansas. Ida nee Povu nia osan, no mos osan neebe ami deputadus hotu hotu envolvidu iha laran. La iha razaun ida atu la fo sai dokumentus hirak neebe ami husu,” tenik bRANCO.

Tuir Branco, importanti duni atu hetan dokumentus hirak nee tanba iha polemika barak neebe mosu iha komunidade nia leet kona ba, no manifestasaun mos mosu, kona ba osan hirak mak kareta hirak nee sei kusta ba estadu, no orsamentu mai husi neebe.

“Importanti duni ita deputadus hotu hotu, no sosiedade sivil bele hare ho matan rasik detalhus hirak nee atu bele informa povu tomak. Se lae, ita sei dun malu nafatin no konfusaun sei mosu tanba dadus konkretus la too ba publiku. Tanba nee mak hau dehan, importanti no urgenti duni sira fo sai dokumentus hirak nee.”

“Meza nia falansu atu fo sai kopias dokumentus neebe ami husu, halo ema balun iha komunidade hanoin ona katak parlamentu nasional la iha liu transparensia. Ami mos konkorda no husu meza atu halo mudansa lalais ba lalaok hanesan nee,” Branco hatutan.

Aban, Segunda-Feira loron 14 Julhu, Parlamentu Nasional atu hahu diskusaun kona ba Orsamentu Retifikativu tuir neebe governu de facto AMP nian buka atu amuneta orsamentu geral estadu nian 122%.

“Sira AMP mak defendi liu sosa kareta nee. Maibe ami bankadas neebe kestiona sosa kareta nee labele hetan nem kopias dokumentus kona ba sosa kareta hirak nee no CPV neebe hatama ba Ministeriu Finansas. Nee hatudu dalan ida tan katak regime AMP nee la iha transparensia nem vontade politika atu halau minimu transparenti kona ba orsamentu no gestaun orsamentu, tanba sira labele halo buat ida kiik hanesa loke dokumentus neebe lolos dokumentu publiku, laos segredu.”

“Se ita labele konfia sira atu hatudu transparensia ho buat kiik hanesan nee, oinsa ita bele konfia sira ezekuta orsamentu ida neebe atu aumenta ba 122% bot liu tan ho transparensia. Nee povu nia osan, laos meza nian ka parlamentu nian deit. Tanba nee tenki hatudu momos ba povu nia representanti detalhas tomak kona ba prosesu sosa kareta,” Branco taka.

Kontactus: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080 Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

quarta-feira, 9 de julho de 2008

Media Release: FRETILIN MPs back Amnesty International concern at student arrests


Media Release
July 9, 2008

FRETILIN MPs back Amnesty International concern at student arrests

The Gusmao de facto AMP government and its allies in the national parliament have to listen to Amnesty International's concerns, said the MPs from FRETILIN yesterday, as a further 16 students were arrested while holding another peaceful protest against government corruption.
FRETILIN is the largest party in the Timor-Leste parliament.

“We as Timorese who resisted against the Suharto military regime, in many instances have Amnesty International to thank for helping to save our lives," said Aniceto Guterres, leader of the FRETILIN parliamentary group.

“Many Timorese escaped death and torture because Amnesty International was our defender throughout the world, at a time when we did not have a voice, when there were few who would listen to our cries. They were listening only to the large nations, big powers, listening mostly to the Indonesians.”

On Monday, July 7, Amnesty called on police in Timor-Leste not to use excessive force on student protestors.

They also said: “We urge security forces to respect people’s right to protest peacefully.
Individuals should have the freedom to express their views in public through legitimate protest.

“According to press reports, today saw a number of people detained 'for investigation purposes' at one demonstration in Dili. We also ask for any individuals detained for protesting to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence, or released immediately,” said Amnesty International.

Guterres urged members of parliament and the de facto government not to forget that their constitution consecrates the right to demonstrate as a basic right in their democracy. “We want to remind everyone of this basic principle and give our unqualified support to the exercise of this right,” he said.

“All FRETILIN members of parliament would also like to make it clear that after we investigated Monday's events, we found that the students had acted peacefully and in accordance with the law. We condemn the use of what we regard in the circumstances to have been excessive force by the Police," Aniceto Guterres said.

The law on public demonstrations does not require police authorization before a demonstration can proceed. It merely requires notice be given to the police. “We have seen the letter from the police to the students ‘denying authorization’ for the demonstration. This is not required by law,” said Guterres on behalf of the FRETILIN MPs.

As has been widely televised and witnessed, the students involved on Monday were not on the road, they were standing on the verandah of the university. The police entered the verandah to arrest them. The students were standing peacefully and with dignity. “Our view is that Monday’s actions by the police were illegal and we do not accept their actions,” said Guterres.

“FRETILIN members of parliament clearly declare that we have no objections to anyone demonstrating in front of the parliament peacefully and in a democratic spirit. That’s democracy. In 2006 and 2007, the FRETILIN government was faced with many such demonstrations. We do not mind if people want to express their criticism of their politicians. That is their right.

"Long live democracy. Long Live the RDTL. Long live the Maubere People," concluded Guterres.

Contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080
Nilva Guimaraes + 670 727 0458

segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2008


Petition delivered July 7, 2008

University Students protest will be carried on today in Dili.

A petition was delivered yesterday to the following institutions
- Parliament: Received by the President of the Parliament, Fernando Lasama and the two vice-Presidents of the Parliament, Vicente Guterres and Maria Paixão.
- Office of the President: Received by the Chief of the Cabinet, Ms Natalia Carrascalão
- Office of the Prime Minister: Received by Ms Elisabeth Exposto
- F-FDTL: Received by Colonel Lere

The students will deliver today the same petition to the Court of Appeal and the Office of the Ombudsman.

This petition was presented by ASUTIL (Timor Leste University Students Solidarity Action) and aims at raising concerns of the people of Timor-Leste.

It demands the following:

that state institutions look into measures to decrease food prices to allow people to have greater access to food

that the President of the Republic uses his power of veto to block the rectifiying budget because it is too high, the government is incapable spending it appropriately, it is only going to further benefit the powerful elite, it would lead to corruption and also lead to greater dependency of Timor-Leste on debts when the country stops receiving revenues from the petroleum resources.

This could happen in the very near future.

that the Parliament blocks the proposal on the arms law in which article 4 is a major concern

that the President and the both Vice-Presidents of the Parliament should not change the agreement they had made with the students on the 12 June 2008 in regards to the purchase of the luxury cars for the parliamentarians. On this agreement they were told that only 26 cars would be purchased for the Parliament Committees.

that Mariano Sabino, the Minister of Agriculture should stop making agreements to provide land for foreign companies for sugar cane and rubber plantations because people need this land for food production.

that the President meets the students to hold talks on scholarships which should have taken place on the 11th of February 2008 (the date of the assassination attempt on the President).

that government should resolve the issue of Internally Displaced People to avoid having refugees in our own country

A peace march will be organized to defend people’s rights if the students’ demands are not met.

Action Coordinator: Santiago Ximenes Vaz “Kilikai Mata”

Spokesperson: Marcos Guterres Gusmão “Auraga”

Dili, 7 July 2008
Contact: +670 737 9007

Media Release: Call to investigate Gusmão's rice contract for mates


Media Release
July 7, 2008

Call to investigate Gusmão's rice contract for mates

The de facto Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao, is being widely condemned for awarding a US$14.4 million rice supply contract to a ‘mate’, without a competitive tender.

FRETILIN today called for an independent investigation into the contract which went to the company Tres Amigos, headed by Mr Germanu da Silva, Vice-President of Gusmao’s CNRT party, and an old friend and a member of Mr Gusmao’s Finance Department when he was President.

FRETILIN Vice President, former minister and MP Arsenio Bano today condemned the contract and called for a full and transparent independent inquiry into the deal that even some CNRT MPs have criticised as indicative of “Corrupt, Collusive and Nepotistic” conduct, known in Timor-Leste by its Indonesian acronym “KKN”.

“It is well known that Gusmao and Germanu da Silva are long time friends and political allies,” Bano said. “It raises many questions when the Prime Minister gives him a contract for US$14 million, with no public tender or other competitive bidding process.”

Bano said the growing furore in Dili over the rice deal would embarrass Gusmao’s “luminary foreign advisors who have shouted long and loud about the Gusmao government’s anti-corruption credentials”.

Bano said copies of contract documents obtained by FRETILIN, show that an original contract was awarded by Gusmao on 29 February 2008 for the supply and storage of 8,000 tons of rice, at US$510 per ton, with a total contract value of US$4.08 million. This original contract was amended by Mr Gusmao on or about 7 May 2008 to increase the amount of rice to be supplied to 16,000 tons at a unit price of US$900 per ton and a total contract price of US$14.4 million.

“When you read the copies of the contract documents, you see that at first there was one amount to be supplied for the price of US$4.08 million, then it was changed by hand to 10,000 tons, then it was reduced again by hand to 8,000 tons. It looks to us like rice price speculation on the run,” Bano said.

“This is very suspicious especially when it involves a single source contract, without any other competitive bidder being involved. To anyone looking at the documents, it looks like they have colluded to play around with the amount of rice to be supplied to get a better deal for the supplier.”

Critics of the rice deal include two MPs from Gusmao’s own CNRT party – Mr Cecilio Caminha, Vice President of the Parliament's Economics, Finance and Anti-Corruption Committee C (Timor Post 3 July 2008) and Ms Maria Terezinha Viegas (Timor Post 4 July 2008).

Arsenio Bano said Mr Gusmao could not legally commit his government to the contract purchase rice because parliament had not approved the budget.

Bano said there were serious doubts about the integrity of other major contracts awarded by the Gusmao administration, including for two patrol boats and two heavy fuel-oil powered electricity plants.

“To cover these and other contracts, the administration is seeking a supplementary budget increase of 122% for 2008. All indications are that they cannot be trusted with such a huge increase,” Bano said.
Bano said FRETILIN had already referred cases of suspected corruption involving Gusmao’s deputy prime minister and others to the Ombudsman for investigation.

Contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080
Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

quarta-feira, 2 de julho de 2008

Media Release: Timor Leste: Second defeat for controversial gun law


Media Release
July 2, 2008

Timor Leste: Second defeat for controversial gun law

A controversial new gun law proposed by Timor Leste’s de facto government suffered a second defeat in parliament on Monday, and debate on the draft law was postponed.

Article 4 of the draft law, drawn up by Xanana Gusmao’s AMP (Parliamentary Majority Alliance) without any public consultation, would empower the national police commander to licence civilians to obtain and carry firearms.

Following Monday’s vote, FRETILIN’s parliamentary leader Aniceto Guterres called on the AMP leadership to allow MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

“FRETILIN believes Timor Leste needs fewer guns, not more, and many AMP members of parliament agree with us,” Guterres said.

The legislation was first voted down on June 25 (by 23 votes to 11 with 3 abstentions) with AMP members siding with FRETILIN and other opposition parties.
FRETILIN’s parliamentary leader Aniceto Guterres said AMP leaders tried to resurrect Article 4 in parliament on Monday, June 30.

“FRETILIN again proposed the elimination of Article 4, and our position was supported by 25 votes to 17. Everyone in the chamber counted it as such, but the vote was formally declared of 25 votes against our motion and 20 in favour. We objected and a second vote was held immediately which resulted in 23 in favour, 23 against and 7 abstentions – a tie,” Guterres said.

“In the event of a tied vote, the standing rules of parliament provide for another vote after further debate, but that was not immediately possible because parliament became too unruly. Parliament then agreed on a joint motion to suspend the debate.

“Our people have had enough of being subjected to armed groups disrupting their lives. That’s why FRETILIN opposes this legislation and we know that many AMP members agree with us. But they are obviously under pressure to tow the line.”
Guterres said the de facto government had ignored FRETILIN’s offer last week to discuss how to reach consensus on a new draft law, opting instead for a confrontational approach.

“If the gun law comes back in the same form or substantially the same form, we will again oppose it,” he said.

Contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080
Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389