13 July 2022

La’o Hamutuk Congratulates Australia for Ending the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Urges them to Continue to Respect Timor-Leste’s Sovereignty

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La’o Hamutuk appreciates the decision of Australia’s Attorney-General to end the prosecution against Bernard Collaery. This overdue decision cannot undo the shameful history of Australia’s bugging Timor-Leste’s Government Palace in 2004, during the negotiations which led to the 2006 CMATS Treaty dividing oil revenues and delaying discussion of the maritime boundary between the two countries. The 2004 spying was done by Australian intelligence agents, one whom, known as “Witness K”, was also prosecuted, along with his attorney Bernard Collaery, when he blew the whistle on the illegal espionage.

To rebuild good neighborly relations between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Australian government should recognize that it has blatantly violated Timor-Leste’s sovereignty, and return to policies of mutual respect between the two nations. Healthy diplomacy needs to address past transgressions, and Australia should return more than $5 billion it took in from oil and gas fields that it now agrees are in Timor-Leste’s territory.

We also think that mutual respect as neighbors means supporting each other as partners, not taking advantage of Timor-Leste’s weaker economy, less experienced administration, and limited human resources to obtain benefits for Australia at the expense of Timor-Leste’s people. This should be reflected by cancelling some future projects, including the planned Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at Bayu-Undan which would exploit Timor-Leste’s vulnerability to enable the carbon-intensive Barossa project in Australia, further damaging the global and local climate.

In addition, we suggest that Australia should pardon “Witness K”, who was pressured into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. “Witness K” used proper channels to report an inappropriate action he was ordered to carry out, and should be unconditionally exonerated. Both he and Bernard Collaery have been good and honorable friends to Timor-Leste, and Australia should compensate them for the harm that unjust prosecution has already inflicted on them.

As a Timorese civil society organization, the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) has studied and advocated on the maritime boundary, petroleum development, and other aspects of the relationship between Timor-Leste and Australia for more than two decades, sometimes alone and often in collaboration with the Independent Information Center for the Timor Sea (CIITT), the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) and the international Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC). 

As we applaud the 2019 Maritime Boundary Treaty and the dropping of the charges against Bernard Collaery, we continue to struggle for a mutually respectful relationship.

Ami Kongratula Austrália ne'ebé Hapara Akuzasaun Kontra Bernard Collaery, no Tenke Kontinua atu Respeita Soberania Timor-Leste

Komunikadu Imprensa

La’o Hamutuk apresia desizaun Prokuradór-Jerál Austrália nian hodi hapara prosesu akuzasaun kontra advogadu Bernard Collaery. Desizaun tarde ida ne’e, labele nega istória fo’er Austrália nian ne’ebé halo espionajen iha Palásiu Governu TL nian iha 2004, durante negosiasaun kona-ba oinsá fahe riku soin petrolíferu iha Tasi Timor, liu-liu iha prosesu hakat ba diskusaun Tratadu CMATS 2006. Espionajen ida ne’e halo husi servisu intelijénsia Austrália nian no ema ida husi sira ne’ebé hala’o espionajen ida ne’e mak fó sai hatene ba Governu Timor-Leste, nune’e ema ne’ebé hanaran “Witness K” ho nian advogadu Bernard Collaery hetan persekusaun legál. 

Atu harii ikus relasaun nudár viziñu di’ak entre Austrália no Timor-Leste, Governu Austrália tenke rekoñese aktu dezrespeitu ba soberania RDTL no kontinua pratika respeita mutua iha aspetu hotu ba soberania rai rua nian. Relasaun diplomátika ho saudavel ida ne’e, presiza rezolve aktu laloos iha pasadu inklui Australia tenke selu fali liu biliaun $5 ne’ebé Australia simu husi rezerva petróleu no gas ida ne’ebé agora konkorda iha territóriu Timor-Leste nian. 

Ami mós hanoin katak atu respeita no kuidadu malu nudár viziñu ne’ebé di’ak tenke haree malu hanesan família no parseiru di’ak, la’ós apreveita vulnerabilidade sistema legal, administrasaun, Governasaun no rekursu umanu hodi maximiza benefísiu ba Austrália no tau ba risku povu Timor-Leste. Ida ne’e presiza refleta iha kansela projetu petrolíferu sira inklui Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) iha Bayu-Undan ne’ebé sei vunerabliza liu tan Timor-Leste no intensiva projetu Barossa iha Austrália, ida ne’ebé sei estraga liu klima global no lokál. 

Ami mós sujere atu Austrália fó perdaun ba “Witness K”, ema ne’ebé hetan presaun atu aseita sala ba krime ne’ebé nia la halo. “Witness K” uza kanál ne’ebé loos atu denunsia aktu la apropriadu ne’ebé orienta ba nia no tenke liberta nia inkondisionalmente.  Sira na’in rua sai tiha belun boot Povu Timor-Leste nian, no Australia tenke fó kompensasaun ba lakon hotu ne’ebé sira hetan durante persekusaun la justu ida ne’e. 

Nudár organizasaun sosiedade sivíl Timor oan nian, Institutu ba Monitoring no Analiza dezenvolvimentu - La’o Hamutuk durante ne’e halo estudu no advokasia ba fronteira maritima, dezenvolvimentu petróleu, no aspetu seluk husi relasaun entre Timor-Leste no Australia, liu dékada rua, dala ruma mesak, no dala barak servisu hamutuk ho Centru ba Informasaun Independente kona-ba Tasi Timor (CIITT), Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor (MKOTT) no Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC) internasionál.

Ita selebra Tratadu Fronteira Maritima iha 2019 no kansela akuzasaun kontra Bernard Collaery, ba oin ita kontinua luta ba relasaun di’ak no mutua entre nasaun rua.

03 July 2022

Timor-Leste Must Do Better on Public Participation and Transparency to Comply with International Standards

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On 30 May 2022, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) released the results of the 2021 Open Budget Survey (OBS), which shows improvements in some indicators since the last survey. The survey evaluates transparency, public participation, and oversight in the state budget processes of 120 countries, including Timor-Leste. The results show an overall improvement of 20% in transparency among the 120 countries. In Timor-Leste, transparency has also improved and is better than the global average. However, the country’s public participation score has declined since the 2015 and 2017 surveys, and are below average. Although the results for oversight show some progress, Timor-Leste still needs to establish a Supreme Audit Institution to oversee budget implementation.

How did Timor-Leste Score in the Open Budget Survey?

In this survey, Timor-Leste’s scores are better than in the previous survey; the nation’s transparency score increased to 52/100 and oversight increased to 56/100. However, the government has yet to demonstrate a genuine commitment to popular participation, and has not shown significant change, improving just one point compared to 2019, to 7/100. The graph at the top shows changes in Timor-Leste’s scores and global averages since 2015.
Although we recognize that global conditions, namely the pandemic, have caused urgent necessities, this is not an excuse for the Government to fail to conduct public consultations during budget preparation, oversight, and execution. After data was collected for the 2021 OBS, the Government made some efforts by enacting the Budget Framework Law and, most recently, the Major Planning Options Law for 2023. Despite this, we note that Parliament does not have enough opportunities to study and analyze Government proposals, including laws approved by Parliament without thorough public consultation. 

Based on the new report, Timor-Leste complies with almost all key indicators regarding the publication of important budget documents. Of eight budget documents, this survey found that two — the Pre-Budget Statement and the Mid-Year Report — were late. While the figure at right shows that Timor-Leste occupies an average position, above Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, our nation rates lower than Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.  

La’o Hamutuk’s principal researcher for this survey notes that while Timor-Leste has improved its transparency score, it still needs to clearly explain data and projections regarding state revenues and spending, reflecting current conditions, including more serious projections about the condition of the Petroleum Fund which will be exhausted in coming years. Although issues regarding the Petroleum Fund aren’t specifically part of this survey, when we talk more generally about transparency it implies that all entities including the Government should demonstrate their commitment to respect and implement transparency, including publishing important information such as the annual report of the Petroleum Fund, which in previous years has been published late and failed to convey consistent information about the value of the Fund’s loan to Timor-Gap. 

Furthermore, the researcher found that it’s important for the Government, through Law 2/2022 on the Budget Framework, to improve budget transparency and create opportunities for public participation.

The principal investigator for this survey, La’o Hamutuk researcher Eliziaria Febe Gomes, notes that “we appreciate that the Government has created some limited space for civil society to participate in consultation and budget development, through the Jornada Orsamentál (Budget Days) meeting. However, it would be better to open up opportunities during budget development at the Ministerial level and also in the Budget Policy Committee (CROP) prior to approval of the budget by the Council of Ministers and submission to Parliament, because the Jornada Orsamentál is not a decision-making forum. Ideally, participation of civil society and public representatives would be maximized from the start of the budget process, through to review. The above graphic shows that Timor-Leste still occupies a below-acceptable position, scoring below Vietnam which has managed to improve its participation score.”

“Timor-Leste has a great opportunity to improve and promote participation, because we have already shown the world our great respect for democratic values, and so there is an opening to promote and include everyone’s opinions and participation at all policy-making levels. In this way, the people would feel a sense a ownership over decisions and they could trust and know that the Government is using their shared wealth to improve their lives.”

Indicators in the 2021 Open Budget Survey

  • Budget transparency is assessed in the OBS based on the public availability and content of eight important budget documents that the Government should publish according to international standards. Specifically, the survey examines whether documents and reports are published online according to schedule, and determines whether they include comprehensive and detailed information.

Despite partisan disputes in 2019, the Parliament approved the Budget. Despite being almost one month late because of a Presidential veto, Timor-Leste improved significantly on transparency, by publishing a Citizen’s Budget and a Year-End Report.
Timor-Leste’s transparency score is 52 out of 100, below the score of 61 which is needed to promote informed public debate. This score puts Timor-Leste in 48th place out of 120 countries.

  • Public participation is assessed based on formal opportunities for organizations and individuals to participate and share their thoughts during the budget process.

The global average score for public participation is very poor, at just 14 out of 100.
Timor-Leste received a score of seven, worse than the most nations in Southeast-Asia.

  • Oversight is assessed on the function of the legislature and the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) in the budget process.

A score of 61 out of 100 is considered adequate.
Timor-Leste received a score of 56.

Implications of the OBS Results for Timor-Leste

Based on La’o Hamutuk’s experience as a civil society organization that monitors the state budget process, the researcher observes that people in Parliament are often willing to share materials with us informally regarding proposed budget legislation, although we are rarely invited to testify directly. At the same time, we continue to encourage Parliament to officially publish materials in language that is easy to understand and in places that are easily accessible. 

One recent example of these tendencies is the Government’s proposed Rectification of the 2022 Budget in May 2022, which the Government convinced Parliament to handle as an urgent matter and therefore failed to properly inform or open space for the public. This situation demonstrated major shortcomings in participation, because people had no chance to share their opinions or suggestions. Although we appreciate that Parliament Committee C recognized that the Government's justification for urgency consideration was insufficient, the majority of MPs nevertheless voted for it. 

The Open Budget Survey aims to help each nation, including Timor-Leste, to see their citizens as the center of decision making on the budget process, including their role in monitoring how the Government manages their money and whether it is spent prudently and in their interest. Data and information for this survey is collected by independent civil society with a deep understanding of the budget and budget monitoring, without affiliation to any group or party. The results are revised by relevant parties such as the evaluators and Government representatives through the Ministry of Finance who provide commentary prior to publication.

La’o Hamutuk will continue to work with civil society, including sharing current and accurate information, to ensure the Government pays attention to looming problems, especially the fiscal cliff which will come when our nonrenewable oil and gas wealth is exhausted. We also work with the IBP to increase the capacity of local and national civil society to engage in budget analysis and advocacy. 

Download the complete OBS report for Timor-Leste here

La’o Hamutuk publications related to state finances are listed here.

Estadu Timor-Leste Tenke Pratika Di’ak Liu Tan Partisipasaun Públiku no Transparénsia Hodi Haktuir ba Klasifikasaun Internasionál

 Link to this blog in English 

Foin lalais ne’e 30 Maiu 2022, Parseiru Orsamentál Internasionál (International Budget Partnership - IBP) fó sai rezultadu husi peskiza (Open Budget Survey - OBS) 2021 ne’ebé hatudu mudansa di’ak iha sasukat balu kompara ba iha periodu survey sira liu ba. Survey ida ne’e avalia nivel transparénsia, partisipasaun husi públiku, no fiskalizasaun iha prosesu orsamentál iha nasaun 120 inklui Timor-Leste. Rezultadu survey ida ne’e hatudu katak valór ba transparénsia husi nasaun 120 mak atinje kuaze 20% kompara ho 2008. Jerálmente Timor-Leste nia transparénsia aumenta, no ida ne’e di’ak liu kompara ho médiu mundiál. Maibé valór partisipasaun nafatin hetan konsiderasaun ki’ik tebes kompara ba 2015-2017, ne’ebé kuaze menus sorin balu husi nivel médiu mundiál ka piór liu. Seluk, maske valór fiskalizasaun hatudu progresu di’ak, maibé estadu Timor-Leste presiza duni atu estabelese instituisaun ida atu realiza fiskalizasaun ba orsamentu.

Oinsá Rezultadu Survey OBS ba Timor-Leste?

Ba rezultadu tinan ida ne’e, Timor-Leste nia valór hatudu mudansa ne’ebé di’ak tebes kompara ho periodu sira liu ba, valór transparénsia aumenta ba 52 husi 100 no valór fiskalizasaun orsamentu ba 56 husi 100. Maske nune’e, nasaun ida ne’e seidauk hatudu nia kometimentu loloos atu promove partisipasaun ema hotu nian, tanba la konsege hatudu mudansa, valór partisipasaun aumenta pontu ida de’it kompara ho survey 2019, ba 7 husi 100. Gráfiku iha leten hatudu progresu ba mudansa iha valór Timor-Leste ho médiu mundiál sira dezde tinan 2015.
Karik ami rekoñese ba situasaun global hanesan pandemia bele hamosu nesesidade urjente maibé ida ne’e la’ós sai razaun atu Governu Timor-Leste la halo konsultasaun ho públiku durante prosesu preparasaun, fiskalizasaun too iha prosesu ezekusaun orsamentu. Hafoin halibur informasaun no dadus sira husi OBS 2021 remata, iha tinan rua ikus Governu iha esforsu balu atu halo mudansa ba polítika sira hanesan mudansa ba Lei Enkuadramentu Orsamentál too iha Lei ikus ba Lei Grande Opsaun do Planu. Mezmu nune’e, ami haree katak laiha espasu nato’on ba Parlamentu rasik nudár órgaun importante atu estuda no analiza kle’an ba proposta ne’ebé hato’o husi Governu, inklui Lei hirak ne’e aprovadu de’it husi Parlamentu lahó konsultasaun ne’ebé kle’an ba públiku.
Bazeia ba relatóriu foun, Timor-Leste kuaze kumpre sasukat xave sira hodi publika dokumentu importante kona ba orsamentu. Husi total livru orsamentu ualu, ba survey ida ne’e hatudu dokumentu 2 de’it mak tarde tebes atu fó sai ba públiku hanesan Pre-Budget Statement no Mid-Year Report. Maske hatudu iha figura tuir mai Timor-Leste nia pozisaun médiu kompara ho nasaun sira hanesan, Vietnam, Kamboja no Myanmar, nasaun ne’e nafatin piór liu kompara ho nasaun Malázia, Indonézia, Filipina no Tailándia. 

Haktuir ba investigadór prinsipál husi La’o Hamutuk ba survey ida ne’e salienta katak maske Timor-Leste hatudu valór aumentu iha transparénsia, presiza nafatin hatudu esplikasaun ne’ebé klaru liu tan ba dadus no projesaun sira liu-liu ba iha reseita no despeza sira ne’ebé tenke refleta ba kondisaun atuál, inklui hatudu projesaun sériu liu hodi tetu ba kondisaun Fundu Petrolíferu ne’ebé besik atu mamuk ba tinan sira tuir mai. Maske asuntu FP la hola parte iha survey ida ne’e, bainhira ko’alia kona ba transparénsia signifika entidade hotu iha Governu presiza hatudu sira nia kometimentu atu kumpre no fó valór ba transparénsia ne’e rasik, inklui publikasaun ba informasaun importante sira, hanesan ezemplu relatóriu anuál FP ne’ebé publika tarde no la fornese informasaun konsistente kona ba valór empréstimu husi FP ba TimorGap. 

Aleinde ne’e, tuir investigadór ne’e katak importante mós ba Governu liu husi Lei Nu.2/2022, Lei Enkuadramentu Orsamentál ida ne’e atu hadi’ak liu tan transparénsia iha prosesu orsamentu sira no kria mós oportunidade ba partisipasaun públiku.

Investigadór prinsipál ba Timor-Leste iha survey ida ne’e, peskizadóra La’o Hamutuk Eliziaria Febe Gomes, nota katak “Ami apresia ba esforsu Governu atu fó espasu uitoan ba sosiedade sivíl atu asiste konsultasaun iha prosesu formulasaun orsamentu liu husi soru mutu jornada orsamentál, maibé karik di’ak liu tan atu loke espasu mós ba prosesu formulasaun iha nivel ministériu sira no mós iha Komisaun Revizaun Orsamentu Polítika (KROP) antes hetan aprovasaun husi Konsellu Ministru no submete ba parlamentu, tanba soru mutu jornada orsamentál la’ós fatin atu deside, nune’e di’ak tebes atu maximiza partisipasaun sosiedade sivíl no reprezentante públiku hahú kedas husi inísiu too iha nia revizaun. Haktuir ba valór iha leten hatudu katak Timor-Leste nafatin iha nivel aseitavel nia okos kompara ho nasaun Vietnam ne’ebé konsege hadi’ak nivel partisipasaun.”

“Timor-Leste iha oportunidade boot liu atu hadi’ak no atu promove liu tan partisipasaun, tanba ita hatudu ona ba mundu katak ita respeita tebes valor demokrátiku, nune’e iha duni dalan atu ba oin promove no inklui ema hotu nia opiniaun no partisipasaun iha nivel desizaun polítika. Nune’e, povu hotu iha Timor-Leste bele sente sai na’in ba desizaun sira no sira bele fiar no hatene katak sira nia osan Governu uza duni atu hadi’ak sira nia moris.”

Sasukat sira iha Open Budget Survey 2021

  • Transparénsia orsamentál (Budget transparency) avalia iha OBS liu husi disponibilidade ba públiku no kont¬eúdu husi dokumentu importante ualu orsamentu nian ne’ebé governu sira tenke públika tuir padraun internasionál. Espesífikamente, ezamina dokumentu no relatóriu sira ne’ebé publika iha online tuir tempu determinadu no fó sai informasaun ida ne’ebé komprensivu no detallu.

Maske hasoru disputa entre partidu sira iha 2019, parlamentu nafatin aprova orsamentu. Maske tarde kuaze fulan ida tanba la hetan aprovasaun ka veto husi Prezidente Repúblika, Timor-Leste hatudu mudansa signifikativu ba nivel transparénsia, liu husi publika ona livru Orsamentu ba Sidadaun “Citizens’ Budget” no Relatóriu Tinan ikus “Year-End Report” .

Valór transparénsia Timor-Leste nian mak 52 husi 100, menus husi 61 hanesan valór mínimu atu promove debate iha públiku ida ne’ebé informadu, valór ne’e mós hetan pozisaun 48 ne’ebé inklui husi nasaun 120

  • Partisipasaun husi públiku (Public participation) avalia bazeia ba oportunidade formal ba organizasaun no ema sivíl sira atu partisipa no fó hanoin sira durante prosesu orsamentu.

Valór media global ba partisipasaun públiku ida ne’e aat tebes, 14 husi 100.

Timor-Leste hetan de’it valór 7, piór liu kompara ho nasaun sira iha Sudeste Ázia.

  • Fiskalizasaun (Oversight) sukat bazeia ba funsaun husi lejislatura no Instituisaun Supremu Auditoria (SAI) iha prosesu orsamentu.

Valór 61 husi 100, ida ne’e konsidera adekuadu iha fiskalizasaun.

Timor-Leste hetan valór 56.

Implikasaun Rezultadu OBS ba Timor-Leste

Bazeia ba esperiénsia La’o Hamutuk nudár organizasaun sosiedade sivíl ne’ebé tau matan ba prosesu orsamentál, investigadór observa katak Parlamentu Nasionál iha vontade di’ak atu partilla informalmente ho ami ba relatóriu no paresér husi alterasaun ba Lei Orsamentu sira, maske dala ruma ami la hetan konvite atu hato’o direta ami nia testemuña ba proposta lei sira. Entretantu, ami nafatin enkoraja Parlamentu inklui instituisaun sira atu publika informasaun no materiais sira ne’e ho ofisialmente iha lian ne’ebé fasil atu komprende no iha fatin ne’ebé ema hotu bele asesu. 

Ezemplu ida foin lalais akontese mak bainhira Governu hato’o proposta ba retifikasaun ba Lei OJE 2022 iha Maiu tinan ne’e ho pedidu atu halo diskusaun ho karákter urjénsia no la konsege loke espasu no informa ba públiku. Situasaun ne’e hatudu frakeza boot iha partisipasaun tanba la envolve sosiedade sivíl no públiku atu hato’o opiniaun ka sujestaun ruma. Maske ami apresia relatóriu no paresér Komisaun C Parlamentu Nasionál nian ba Lei ida ne’e, konsiente katak Governu nia Espozisaun Motivu susar atu justifika nia urjénsia, maioria deputadu fó tiha ona votu a favór ba proposta husi proposta urjénsia ida ne’e. 

Objetivu husi survey OBS ida ne’e, atu ajuda nasaun ida-idak inklui Timor-Leste bele konsidera povu nudár sentru ba tetu hotu iha prosesu orsamentál estadu nian inklui sira mós bele nafatin akompaña oinsá Governu jere sira nia osan no oinsá gasta ho prudente liu no bele responde duni ba povu sira nia nesesidade. Dadus no informasaun sira iha survey ida ne’e koleta husi sosiedade sivíl independente no iha koñesimentu kle’an ba orsamentu no akompaña prosesu orsamentu sira, ne’ebé la hola parte ba kualkér grupu ka parte ida. Hafoin rezultadu hirak ne’e hetan revizaun husi entidade relevante hanesan avalia or no reprezentante Governu rasik liu husi MF hodi avalia no fó komentáriu antes informasaun hirak ne’e publika. 

La’o Hamutuk nafatin kontinua servisu hamutuk ho maluk sosiedade sivíl sira inklui fahe nafatin informasaun atuál no real ba públiku hodi asegura katak Governu nafatin tau atensaun aas ba limitasaun sira ne’ebé ita iha, liu-liu ba kondisaun ne’ebé besik ona tama ba rai-naruk fiskál (fiscal cliff) tanba de’it riku soin limitadu no úniku ne’ebé tuir projesaun sei remata ba tinan balu tuir mai. Ami mós servisu hamutuk ho IBP atu ajuda kapasita maluk sosiedade sivíl sira iha nivel nasionál no lokál atu komprende no hatene kle’an liu oinsá hala’o advokasia no halo analiza rasik ba orsamentu sira. 

Bele hetan relatoriu OBS kompletu tomak kona-ba Timor-Leste iha ne'e.

Bele hetan informasaun adisionál husi La'o Hamutuk kona-ba finansas estadu nian iha ne'e.

30 June 2022

TimorGAP begins exploring Pualaca Block by itself

As some people know, on 24 June 2022, TimorGAP launched the Pualaca Block project with a socialization program for their petroleum exploration activities in contract area PSC-TL-OT-21-17, after signing the Production-Sharing Contract (PSC) in December 2021. The Government awarded this PSC to TimorGAP through a secret process – there was no public tender or opportunity for other companies to make proposals.

Petroleum and gas extraction activities have two main phases – exploration (research) and production. In the first phase oil companies begin to look for information and collect data, including through seismic research and test wells. From industry-wide experience, most of this research does not find a reserve with enough commercial value to justify production.

One past well in the contract area is in the Pualaca aldeia in Laclubar suku: a small oil and gas deposit among several seeps scattered in this area, as local people know. This field has been developed since 1892, in the Portuguese period, and produced oil for local consumption through a small refinery which was run by Dr. José Ramos-Horta’s older brother.  Oil and gas has seeped into the local environment there for more than 130 years; there is no strong reason to believe that there’s enough left for commercially viable production. At its peak, annual production from Pualaca was less than Bayu-Undan produces every half-hour.

TimorGAP is beginning these exploration activities as operator and 100% owner; before now their other projects were always operated by their joint venture partners, including Eni, Timor Resources, Woodside and SundaGas. Operating without any experience increases risks to the community and the environment, and TimorGAP has never done these activities before.

Prior to the 24 June event, the relevant authorities – the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM) and Ministry of Petroleum and Mining (MPM) – had not shared the contents of the PSC on the internet or the Jornál da República. However, ANPM did publish the contract on their website this week, after La’o Hamutuk reminded them it was legally required. According to Article 29 of the Petroleum Activities Law, the Ministry must publish a summary in the Jornál da República and make the full text publicly available.

The Pualaca Block covers 1,575 km2 in three municipalities, from Laclubar, Natarbora and Barique (Manatuto) to Fatuberliu (Manufahi) and Dilor (Viqueque). TimorGAP and its subsidiary plan to conduct aerial research (Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry - FTG)) before deciding to proceed with the seismic research phase. We understand that they have contracted the FTG work to be done during July, but we have not yet seen any sign of a Terms of Reference or initial process for environmental licensing. As project proponent, TimorGAP must present a proposed Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Management Plan when they apply for a license, and the lengthy process requires transparency, public consultation and thorough analysis before the operation can start.

At this launch, in addition to the Minister of Petroleum and Mining and the ANPM, civil and military authorities from all three municipalities participated, including PNTL and F-FDTL commanders. TimorGAP, ANPM and MPM gave general explanations that Timor-Leste needs to continue to look for and produce petroleum because Bayu-Undan is almost empty and the Petroleum Fund will run out in ten years. They also explained that the industry needs people with specific, high-level skills, and will establish a team to bring together representatives for detailed consultation in specific places. In their speeches, police commanders tended to threaten and use harsh language directed to local people, especially the youth. In the discussion period, participants suggested that when petroleum activities are underway, it would be better to promote healthy dialogue than this approach of showing force and bullying people to comply.

Due to limited time for discussion, La’o Hamutuk was not allowed to speak or ask questions at the socialization event, although we appreciate that people from the community and students raised important issues and received good responses from MPM, ANPM and TimorGAP. The respondents promised to introduce local content, but failed to explain how they would involve people from the local area, saying that they should wait until the speeches are over to realize truly participatory consultation, knowledge, and mutual understanding, including providing more complete information to people in affected communities. About 200 people, mostly men, attended the event; many came from Dili as well as 20 police, some soldiers, and community representatives.

La’o Hamutuk thinks that a better way for the Government of Timor-Leste to move away from depending on nonrenewable oil and gas resources is to promote agriculture and transformative industries. We should use some of the money invested in financial markets through the Petroleum Fund to improve our human resources and develop a diversified, sustainable economy. We believe that unleashing ourselves from petroleum dependency is the first step along a genuine pathway which will be more equitable and just, addressing long-existing structural problems.

We appreciate the closing intervention by the President of TimorGAP that indicated there will be deeper consultations to hear various parties’ rights, concerns and interests before the process proceeds. We encourage everyone involved to use these opportunities to help local people understand the unmentioned risks which will come with petroleum activities in the contracted areas.

Thank you.

TimorGAP Hahú Esplorasaun Mesak iha Bloku Pualaca

 Link to this post in English 

Hanesan públiku karik hatene, iha dia 24 Juñu 2022, TimorGAP realiza lansamentu projetu Timor Gap Pualaca Block no programa sosializasaun ba atividade esplorasaun petróleu iha area kontratu PSC-TL-OT-21-17. PSC (Production-Sharing Contract) ka Kontratu Fahe Produsaun ida ne’e asina iha Dezembru tinan 2021, Governu fó PSC ba TimorGAP liu husi prosesu segredu – laiha konkursu públiku ka oportunidade ba kompañia sira seluk atu fó proposta.

Atividade petróleu no gas, iha faze rua prinsipál, husi peskiza no produsaun, esplorasaun mak kompañia petrolíferu sira hahú husi buka informasaun ka halibur dadus, sízmiku too perfurasaun (teste well), esperiénsia hotu indústria ne’e nian maioria parte peskiza sira la hetan rezerva ho valor sufisiente atu justifika produsaun. 

Posu ida husi area kobertura ba bloku ida ne’e mak iha aldeia Pualaca iha Suku Laclubar, rezerva ki’ik ida ne’e mina-rai no gas naklekar tiha iha rai leten hanesan públiku hatene, kampu ida ne’e dezenvolve husi tempu okupasaun portugés dezde 1892 no halo produsaun liu husi harii refinaria ki’ik ida ne’ebé jere husi Dr. José Ramos-Horta nia maun hodi uza ba konsumu lokál. Mina no gas sai ba rai leten iha posu Pualaca ne’e la’o tiha ona maizumenus tinan 130, nune’e laiha serteza forte atu iha rezerva signifikante atu justifika komersialmente ba produsaun.

TimorGAP foin atu halo atividade esplorasaun iha area ida ne’e hanesan operadór mesak, antes ne’e sira nian projetu seluk sempre iha operadór seluk hanesan Eni, Timor Resources, Woodside, no SundaGas. Iha indústria estrativa sira ezije esperiénsia boot atu hamenus risku boot ba komunidade no ambiente, TimorGap rasik laiha esperiénsia atu halo atividade hanesan ne’e mesak.

To’o lansamentu no sosializasaun ida ne’e realiza, autoridade relevante ANPM no MPM rasik la publika konteúdu ba PSC ne’e iha internet no Jornál da Repúblika, ANPM foin publika PSC ida ne’e hafoin La’o Hamutuk relembra sira nian obrigasaun legal. Tuir Lei Atividade Petrolíferu artigu 29 prevee kona ba dokumentu sira ne’ebé tenke publika husi Ministériu ka instituisaun relevante sira ba iha Jornál da Repúblika mak avizu inklui selebrasaun autorizasaun sira.

Area kobertura iha Bloku ida ne’e too iha area 1,575 km kuadradu iha munisipiu tolu, husi Laclubar, Natarbora, Barique (munisipiu Manatuto) too Fatuberliu (munisípiu Manufahi) no Dilor (munisípiu Viqueque).  Tuir planu TimorGap ho nian subsidiáriu sei halo peskiza ho aviaun (Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry (FTG) detail) antes determina ba peskiza iha faze sízmiku. Ami rona katak kontrator ba servisu ida ne’e sei realiza FTG iha fulan jullu nian rohan maibé too agora ami seidauk haree atividade ida ne’e nian TOR no prosesu lisensamentu ambientál. TimorGAP nudár proponente presiza aprezenta proposta Avaliasaun Impaktu Ambientál no Planu Jestaun Ambientál molok bele hetan lisensa, ida ne’ebé liu husi transparénsia, konsultasaun públiku, no lori tempu atu analiza kle’an antes permite operadór hala’o nian operasaun.

Iha lansamentu refere, aléinde partisipa husi Ministru Petróleu no Minériu, ANPM, marka prezensa mós husi autoridade sivíl no militár sira husi munisipiu tolu, Viqueque, Manufahi no Manatuto inklui Komandante FDTL no PNTL. Sosializasaun ida ne’e TimorGap, ANPM no MPM esplika jerál de’it katak Timor-Leste iha nesesidade atu kontinua ho esplorasaun no produsaun sira seluk tanba Bayu-Undan atu hotu no Fundu Petrolíferu atu remata iha tinan 10 tuir mai, esplika mós katak indústria ida ne’e ezije ema ho skill espesífiku no as, afeta rai, nune’e sei estabelese ekipa ida hodi halibur reprezentante oin-oin atu halo konsultasaun detallu ho fatin espesífiku iha area autorizasaun. Husi Diskursu Komandante PNTL sira nian, iha tendénsia ba ameasa ka hasai liafuan kro’at ba povu, liu-liu ba foin-sa’e sira. Iha tempu diskusaun partisipante sira husu, bainhira atividade petrolíferu ida ne’e la’o bele promove diálogu saudavel duke aproxima ho maneira hatudu forsa no obriga atu kumpre. 

Maske iha limitasaun tempu durante diskusaun, komisaun la permite La’o Hamutuk atu ko’alia iha sosializasaun refere ka halo intervensaun ka pergunta ruma, maibé ami apresia tanba komunidade lokál no estudante sira loke asuntu importante sira no hetan resposta di’ak husi MPM, ANPM no TimorGAP rasik, sira promete atu introdús konteúdu lokál maibé la konsege atu oferese maneira no prosesu sira atu envolve populasaun sira iha area ne’ebá, maibé ita tenke hein too diskursu sira bele tau iha pratika katak, sei realiza duni konsultasaun Partisipativa ho koñesimentu no konsiénsia mutua komunidade nian inklui fornese informasaun kompletu ba públiku no komunidade afetadu sira. Lansamentu no sosializasaun ida ne’e maizumenus ema na’in 200 maioria mane, barak mós ba husi Dili, inklui membru Polísia hamutuk 20, F-FDTL balun no reprezentante komunidade sira. 

La’o Hamutuk hanoin katak dalan di’ak liu mak Governu Timor-Leste atu muda diresaun husi dependénsia ba rekursu la renovavel petróleu no gas ba promove setór agrikultura no indústria transformadór sira. Bele uza osan uitoan ne’ebé ita investe iha merkadu finanseiru liu husi Fundu Petrolíferu agora ba dezenvolve rekursu umanu di’ak no dezenvolve ekonomia diversifikadu no sustentável. Ami fiar katak kore an husi dependénsia ba petróleu mak pasu inísiu la’o iha dalan ne’ebé loos no define dalan seluk ne’ebé ekitável no justu liu hodi solusaun loloos ba problema estruturál seluk ne’ebé eziste tinan barak.

Ami apresia Prezidente TimorGAP nian intervensaun ikus katak sei iha konsultasaun ne’ebé kle’an liu atu rona parte oin-oin nian diretu, preokupasaun no interese antes prosesu hotu la’o ba oin. Ami enkoraja atu uza oportunidade sira hodi ajuda komunidade sira atu hatene risku sira ne’ebé sei husik hela husi atividade petróleu no gas iha area sira ne’ebé hetan autorizasaun. 

22 June 2022

Hanoin husi LH ba Parseiru Dezenvolvimentu sira

 Link to this blog in English

Iha 10 Juñu 2022, Governu Timor-Leste organiza reuniaun anuál ho Parseiru Dezenvolvimentu sira iha edifísiu Ministériu Finansa, Dili. Tuir mai mak hanoin badak balu husi La’o Hamutuk ne’ebé fahe ona ba partisipante. Bele liga ba informasaun kle’an liu kona ba soru-mutu refere (inklui video no aprezentasaun sira) no ami nia komentáriu iha lian Tetum no Ingles.  

Komentáriu husi La’o Hamutuk ba Enkontru Parseiru Dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste 2022

La’o Hamutuk nudár organizasaun Sosiedade Sivíl ne’ebé liu dékada rua, partisipa ativu iha prosesu konstrusaun no dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste nian, liu husi monitoriza, analiza no halo advokasia bazeia ba evidénsia no polítika públiku Timor-Leste nian. La’o Hamutuk mós asume papél hodi fahe informasaun oin-oin ba povu atu bele iha kbiit hodi enfrenta dezafiu sira nudár Estadu no Nasaun, no atu fahe informasaun no perspetiva sira ba ukun-na’in sira iha Governu no parseiru dezenvolvimentu sira.

Aproveita tempu ida ne’e, hato’o agradesimentu ba kontribuisaun hotu ne’ebé parseiru dezenvolvimentu sira oferese iha momentu difisil hotu povu Timor nian inklui krize saúde no dezastre naturais dala rua tuituir malu iha istória ikus Timor-Leste nian.

Situasaun atuál Timor-Leste nian

Fundu Petrolíferu Sei Mamuk Lalais.

Diskusaun no previzaun sira ne’ebé resposta husi Orsamentu Retifikativu 2022 no Proposta Lei Grande Opsaun do Planu ba OGE 2023, husik hela mensajen prinsipál ba ita hotu katak Fundu Petrolíferu sei hotu lalais liu sein investe ba interese Povu Timor-Leste nian ba tempu naruk.

Agora, produsaun Bayu-Undan besik atu remata, no laiha kampu seluk prontu atu fornese reseita. Durante Janeiru-Abril 2022, valor investimentu iha Fundu Petrolíferu tun 10% ($1.6 biliaun). Maske Ministériu Finansas inklui projesaun grave kona-ba presépio financeiro (fiscal cliff) iha Lei Grande Opsaun do Planu ba OGE 2023 ne’ebé foin pasa husi Parlamentu Nasionál, realidade katak situasaun ida ne’e bele mosu lalais liu kompara ho sira nia estimizasaun. 

Situasaun ida ne’e fó ameasa ba ita nia nasaun no bem-estar povu nian, tanba ita nia kapasidade atu finansia setór báziku hanesan saúde no edukasaun, sei perigozu tebes bainhira Fundu Petrolíferu kuaze mamuk ona. Situasaun ida ne’e bele mós fó ameasa ba ita nia soberania, se Governu deside atu foti empréstimu ne’ebé Timor-Leste sei susar atu selu fali.

Diversifikasaun Ekonómiku Seidauk Realiza.

Ami haree iha tendénsia atu kontinua gasta osan ba Projetu Tasi Mane no projetu boot sira seluk ne’ebé nia retornu nafatin iha duvida, too agora seidauk klaru ba benefísiu husi Projetu Tasi Mane atu dezenvolve ekonomia Timor-Leste nian. 

Tendénsia atu investe iha projetu boot sira ne’ebé falta atu hamosu diversifikasaun ekonómiku ne’ebé sustentável, ida ne’e lori konsekuénsia ba ita nia nasaun atu depende nafatin ba importasaun. Kada tinan, Timor-Leste importa sasán ho valór kuaze tokon $500. Esportasaun naun-petrolíferu maizumenus tokon $20 kada tinan. Produsaun ai-han lokál la sufisiente atu hasoru nesesidade populasaun.

To’o agora, Timor-Leste kobre défise komérsiu ida ne’e ho osan husi reseita petrolíferu no retornu investimentu. Maibé ne’e la’ós solusaun sustentável, tanba hanesan ita hatene ona Fundu Petrolíferu bele mamuk iha tinan sanulu tuir mai. 

Bainhira Fundu mamuk ona, nasaun ne’e sei la bele selu importasaun barak no impaktu ba povu sei todan liu tan se produsaun ai-han lokál seidauk aumenta maka’as. Agora, maioria husi populasaun la iha seguransa ai-han, no labarik ho idade menus husi tinan lima iha Timor-Leste ho kondisaun isin ra’es badak (stunted). Se situasaun ida ne’e sai grave liu, oinsá ho nia impaktu ba povu? Diversifikasaun ekonomia la’ós asuntu abstratu de’it - ne’e fó impaktu maka’as ba povu nia moris.

Mudansa Klimátika halo situasaun ida ne’e grave liu tan.

Mundu tomak preokupa tebes kona-ba mudansa klimátika, ne'ebe mai husi fonte sira inklui produsaun mina no gas ne’ebé hasai gas estufa hodi estraga klima no rezulta krize umanu oin-oin iha mundu inklui Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste la ketak husi planeta mundu nian, ida ne’ebé hetan efeitu no kontribui mós ba mudansa klimátika ne’ebé umanidade mundiál enfrenta.

Impaktu husi mudansa klimátika bele halo problema balun ne’ebé ita enfrenta hela sei sai todan liu tan, inklui inseguransa ai-han, produsaun agrikultura menus, asesu ba bee moos no kualidade infrastrutura. Ita la bele adapta-an nafatin ba situasaun ne’ebé kontinua sai grave liu tan, no presiza esforsu husi nasaun boot sira (inklui doadór) atu hamenus sira nia emisaun gás estufa.

Rekomendasaun ba Parseiru Dezenvolvimentu Sira

  • Aumenta investimentu ba ekonomia produtivu, ne’ebé orienta ba konsumu doméstiku. Ami hanoin katak Timor-Leste bele iha liu tan kbiit atu enfrenta situasaun aat oin-oin iha futuru kuandu ita harii duni ekonomia ida ne’ebé produtivu no sustentável. Ami husu doadór sira atu foka liu ba produsaun agrikultura ne’ebé bele responde ba krize seguransa ai-han no nutrisaun. Liu husi hametin sistema produsaun eskala-ki’ik ne’ebé eziste ona, no valoriza kapasidade, forsa no vontade inklui kondisaun ba atividade ne’ebé eziste ona iha populasaun.

  • Investe atu haforsa no hametin Timor-Leste nia rekursu ho valor boot liu – ita nia povu. Atu la’o ba futuru, Timor-Leste presiza apoiu husi doadór sira atu hadi’ak liu tan ita nia sistema edukasaun no saúde, no atu hamenus kedas malnutrisaun no pobreza. La ho povu ne’ebé forte, liuliu joven no labarik sira, ita nunka bele harii nasaun forte.

  • Ajuda polítiku na’in sira atu kompriende katak indústria estrativa sira – petróleu, mineiru – labele fornese osan no empregu adekuadu ba Timor-Leste, no sei labele sustenta ekonomia no orsamentu estadu iha futuru. Ita tenke hamenus atensaun ba fantasia ida ne’e, no halo esforsu maka’as atu dezenvolve ekonomia sustentável, bazeia ba rekursu umanu no renovavel sira ne'ebé ita iha duni – povu, agrikultura, indústria transformadóra, dezenvolve fatin turistiku komunitáriu inklui poténsia seluk ne’ebé bele adopta tuir karakterístika Timor-Leste nian rasik.

  • Parseiru dezenvolvimentu sira bele rekoñese realidade atuál Timor-Leste nian no kontinua aliña an iha prioridade no nesesidade loloos ne’ebé povu no nasaun ne’e presiza. Ami sujere atu kontinua ho inisiativa di’ak atu fó apoiu ba hirak ne’ebé marzinalizadu hanesan feto sira, hirak ne’ebé moris kbiit laek iha área rurál, ema ho defisiénsia, labarik sira ne’ebé ho kondisaun malnutrisaun, sira ne’ebé seidauk hetan asesu ba edukasaun no asesu ba saúde ho di’ak no adekuadu. Nune’e, povu hotu iha área remota sira ne’ebé falta atensaun ka seidauk hetan asisténsia bele moris ho kondisaun ne’ebé di’ak liu no ekitável liu.

  • Ami husu doadór hotu atu aliña sira nia programa kona-ba adaptasaun ba mudansa klimátika ho sira nia nasaun ida-idak nia polítika rasik. Dalan efetivu liu ba hasoru krize mudansa klimátika mak nasaun industrializadu sira tenke hamenus kedas sira nia emisaun. La bele husu nasaun ki’ik hanesan Timor-Leste atu adapta aan nafatin ba situasaun ne’ebé nasaun industrializadu kontinua atu prolonga.

  • Parseiru Dezenvolvimentu sira bele ajuda Governu atu atualiza dadus importante sira ne’ebé bele ajuda Governu dezenvolve polítika bazeia ba evidénsia, inklui halo analiza ba planu programa sai realistíku liu. Hanesan: Demographics and Health Survey ikus halo iha 2016, Household Income and Expenditure Survey halo iha 2011, Living Standards Survey iha 2014 no Labor Force Survey kompletu iha 2013.


Ami apresia tebes ba vontade másima husi parseiru sira ne’ebé hakarak apoia nasaun ida ne’e no nia povu. Nune’e ami sujere atu suporta ami nia desizor sira ba diresaun ida ne’ebé bele ajuda eleva kapasidade umanu liu-liu hirak ne’ebé marzinalizadu no hakbiit ami nia ekonomia rai laran hodi hametin liu tan ba konsumu doméstiku. Aleinde ne’e, bele nafatin fó asisténsia ba ami nia rai ne’ebé vulneravel tebes ba risku mundiál atu reforsa ami nia reziliénsia ne’ebé bele garante ba moris sustentável liu. Obrigada barak.