29 June 2016

Suai Supply Base contract cancelled; it’s time to cancel the project.

Two weeks ago, the contract to build the Suai Supply Base (SSB) was terminated when the company pulled out of the project. La’o Hamutuk recommends that the project itself be scrapped, with no new tender or contract award. This project, which is likely to cost over a billion dollars, will hurt Timor-Leste’s economy, damage the lives and livelihoods of local communities, threaten our environment and prolong our nation’s suicidal dependency on petroleum. It should be permanently laid to rest.

In August 2015, Timor-Leste signed a $719 million contract (the largest in the nation's history) with the South Korean companies Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering to design and construct a logistics base in Suai for future offshore petroleum operations. The “Suai Supply Base” is basically a harbor, port and warehouses.

Hyundai E&C has been sanctioned many times by the Korean Fair Trade Commission – the Korean government organ responsible for investigating and prosecuting corruption cases involving Korean businesses. In 2014, Korea’s Public Procurement Service banned the company from bidding for government contracts for two years.

In October 2015, Timor-Leste’s Chamber of Accounts rejected the Hyundai SSB contract, using its power of prior review under Article 32 of Law No. 9/2011, the Organic Law of the Audit Chamber of the High Administrative Tax and Audit Court, which  requires contracts over $500,000 to be pre-approved by the Audit Chamber. La’o Hamutuk appreciates the wisdom and courage of the Audit Chamber and the Court of Appeals, and we hope that other public entities will emulate their integrity and impartiality.

The Government appealed the Audit Chamber decision in November, and the Appeals Court has not yet ruled on the appeal. The process is complicated because the Court of Appeals is also serving as the interim High Tax and Audit Court and there were too few judges available to hear the appeal, especially after the Government fired the Portuguese judges in 2014. On 17 June 2016, the Korea Herald, a Korean newspaper, reported that Hyundai’s patience had run out, and the company had told regulators it decided to ‘scrap’ the Supply Base project.

For the last several years, La’o Hamutuk has urged the Government of Timor-Leste to analyze objectively the potential customers and costs, benefits and risks of the Suai Supply Base. Will the gains for Timor-Leste’s people outweigh the project’s economic cost, social impacts and environmental damage? We have not seen any such analysis – only blind faith, sectoral self-promotion, and personal benefits for project implementers, rather than serious consideration of the public interest.

La’o Hamutuk believes that the Suai Supply base will waste Timor-Leste’s people’s money and disrupt communities, but that the economic development, jobs and taxes it will generate will not be enough to justify the financial, land and human costs.  Like the other parts of the Tasi Mane Project, the Suai Supply Base continues our unhealthy dependence on petroleum, ignoring opportunities to develop productive economic sectors.

In addition, Timor-Leste must strengthen its procurement system in order to guarantee that we do not give contracts to corrupt companies who simply wish to exploit Timor-Leste’s wealth for their own benefit. Although Hyundai E&C has already pulled out of this project, La’o Hamutuk urges authorities, perhaps including the Anti-Corruption Commission, to look into the tender process leading to this contract. Timor-Leste leaders have recently signed several contracts for large infrastructure projects without transparency and with dubious procurement processes. To protect the public interest, we encourage investigation to determine whether there were violations of Timor-Leste laws and to see how these critical systems can be strengthened.

Last week, the Council of Ministers approved a mid-year budget rectification and sent it to Parliament for approval. They want to add more spending to the 2016 State Budget to cover this year’s spending on poorly-planned megaprojects, including $150 million for the Suai Supply Base, $130 million for Tibar Port and $24 million for the Dili drainage project (which has also been rejected by the Audit Court). Although not mentioned in the media, another likely reason for the budget adjustment is cost overruns on the first segment of the Suai-Beaçu Highway – the 2016 budget allocates only $20 million, but the Transparency Portal shows that $56.9 million had already been spent by mid-June.
The delays in the Suai Supply Base contract make the budget adjustment unnecessary, as the current 2016 budget (Book 3A) already appropriates $142 million (plus $64 million in loan money) for the Suai Supply Base during 2016 and 2017, and $498 million more in 2018-2020. With no construction contract, this money will not be spent. Without the Suai Supply Base, other Tasi Mane elements including the $93 million Suai airport, $588 million first phase of the Suai-Beaçu Highway, Suai-Betano oil pipeline and Betano Refinery (for which no cost estimate has been released, but which will cost billions of dollars) make no logical sense, and should also be cancelled. This would free up this money for higher-yielding investments like education and health.

Tendering irregularities and Hyundai’s withdrawal from the Suai Supply Base contract have given Timor-Leste an unexpected opportunity to reconsider the decision to buy many components of the Tasi Mane Project. Although these have already cost Timor-Leste more than $100 million and displaced hundreds of people, the impacts to date are tiny compared with the billions of dollars and thousands of evictions which will accompany the Suai and Betano components of the Tasi Mane project, as well as the environmental damage they will cause. It is time to stop throwing good money after bad, and to focus on realistic, achievable pathways for sustainable, equitable development which will provide benefits for all citizens of Timor-Leste, not only for foreign construction companies and TimorGAP.

24 June 2016

Hanoin balu kona ba proposta Lei ba Rai

Artigu badak bazeia ba La'o Hamutuk nia Submisaun ba Komisaun A Parlamentu Nasionál.
Publika ona iha Jornal Independente, 21 Junu 2016.

Sumariu Kontextu

Iha 2011-2012, Parlamentu Nasionál aprova pakote Ezbosu Lei ba Rai tolu mak hanesan: Regime Espesiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis; Ezbosu Lei da Expropriação no Ezbosu Lei do Fundu Imobiliário. Prezidente da Repúblika tempu ne’ebá, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta veto pakote lei ba rai ne’e. Prezidente veto ho razaun katak pakote lei ba rai ne’e la refleta nesesidade ka proteje povu kiik no vulneravel sira nia direitu asesu ba rai.

Hafoin pakote lei ba rai kaduka (expire) tiha, Ministériu Justisa halo fila fali revizaun ba pakote lei ba rai ne’e, no iha fulan Maiu tinan ida ne’e entrega ba Parlamentu Nasional atu diskute. Proposta lei foun sira ne’ebé integra maka: Ezbosu Regime Especiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis, Ezbosu Lei Expropriasaun para a Utilidade Pública, no Ezbosu Lei Bazes de Ordenamento do Teritório. Ezbosu Lei Fundo Imobiliário ne’e la iha ona tanba Ministériu Justisa inklui hamutuk ona ba Ezbosu Lei da Expropriação.

Iha fulan Juñu 2016, Komisaun A Parlamentu Nasionál realiza audiénsia públiku ho grupu sosiedade sivíl sira no Instituisaun relijioza hodi rona sira nia hanoin molok Deputadu no Deputada sira lori ba debate iha plenária.

La’o Hamutuk partisipa iha audiénsia públiku ida ne’e no halo komentáriu ba Ezbosu Lei Regime Espesiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis no komentáriu ita tan ba Ezbosu Lei da Expropriação. Iha artigu ne’e haktuir deit La’o Hamutuk nia hanoin kona-ba Ezbosu Lei Regime Espesiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis (tuir mai sei bolu Lei ba Rai).

Lei ba Rai tenki haforsa sidadaun sira nia direitu báziku sira.

Konstituisaun da Repúblika Demokrátika de Timor-Leste hanesan baze hodi garante sidadaun hotu-hotu nia direitu ba; Propriedade Privadu (Artigu 54), Seguransa no Asisténsia Sosiál (Artigu 56) no Direitu ba Abitasaun (Artigu 58). Direitu hirak ne'e mós garante iha Deklarasaun Universal Direitu Umanus no mós iha Konvensaun Internasionál sira kona-ba Direitu Ekonomia Sosiál no Kulturál ne’ebé estadu Timor-Leste ratifika ona. Tanba ne'e, ezbosu lei Regime Espesiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis sai nudár meius ida hodi realiza sidadaun sira nia direitu.

Problema rai iha Timor-Leste, problema ida ne’ebé kompleksu tebes tanba liga metin ho istória kolonializasaun besik tinan atus neen. Ezbosu Lei ba Rai hatudu esforsu balu atu responde ba kompleksidade ne'e, liu husi artigu espesiál sira kona ba direitu sira ne’ebé liga ho tempu okupasaun nian no mós liga ba tradisaun Timor-Leste nian. Maske nune’e iha parte balu husi ezbosu lei ne’e presiza hadi’ak liu tan hodi bele garante sidadaun hotu nia direitu asesu ba rai ne’ebé justu.

Títulu ka Sertikadu ne’ebé hetan liu husi dalan korruptu

Ezbosu lei atuál rekoñese direitu anterior ne'ebé hetan durante okupasaun Portugal no Indonézia nian. Ba ema sira ne’ebé hetan títulu ho dalan ne’ebé loos, lei ida ne’e sei proteje duni sira. Maibé, durante tempu kolonializasaun Portugal no Indonézia nian, ema balu hetan sertifikadu ka títulu sira liu husi dalan korruptu no la justu. Ezbosu lei ne’e la hatudu intensaun atu buka tuir títulu/sertifikadu korruptu sira ne’e no la klaru oinsá governu sei halo klarifikasaun ba sertifikadu sira ne’ebé prodús husi Indonézia no Portugal.

Importante atu Parlamentu Nasional aprova lei ida ne’ebé labele kontinua fó benefísiu bebeik deit ba ema sira ne’ebé durante okupasaun Portugal no Indonézia nian, tanba sira nia podér, matenek ka relasaun besik ho kolonializador sira, bele okupa rai barak. Lei rai Timor-Leste nian tenke fó benefísiu ne’ebé justu ba povu baibain sira, grupu vulneravel sira, liu-liu sira ne’ebé kbiit laek sira. Lei tenki fasilita atu populasaun sira ne’ebé lakon sira nia rai iha tempu kolonializasaun nian, bele hetan justisa. Ho hanoin ne’e mak La’o Hamutuk rekomenda ba Parlamentu Nasional atu aumenta alínea ida ba Artigu 3 iha ezbosu lei ida ne’e hodi loke dalan ba klarifikasaun ba sertifikadu produtu kolonializador nian, no mós loke dalan ba reklamasaun kontra títulu/sertifikadu sira ne’ebé hetan husi dalan korruptu durante kolonializasaun Portugal no Indonézia nian.

Ema estranjeiru sai nain ba rai

Sai nain ba rai deit, la garante katak Timor oan sira sei hetan benefísiu másimu husi rai ne’e. Komunidade ne’ebé la iha kbiit ekonomia di’ak, dala barak sai vítima ba investor husi li’ur sira ne’ebé iha osan barak. Tanba ne’e, maski Artigu 6 iha ezbosu lei ne’e afirma ona katak, so sidadaun Timor-Leste de’it mak iha direitu ba rai, Lei ne’e tenke define klaru mós oinsá bele kontrola ema estranjeiru sira ne'ebé aproveita situasaun ekonomia maioria povu Timor-Leste ne'ebé fraku, hodi sai na’in indireta ka hetan kontrolu tomak ba rai balu.

Maske Timor-Leste sadere ba Merkadu Livre, Lei ba rai tenke haforsa kontrolu ba komersializasaun rai. Iha nasaun sira ne'ebé iha rai boot, karik ida ne'e la’ós sai kestaun importante liu atu diskute, maibé ba nasaun ki’ik hanesan Timor-Leste ne'ebé nia rai luan 15,000 km2 de’it, maioria uma kain iha rai menus husi hektares rua, populasaun aumenta 2.5% kada tinan, rai barak uza ona ba produsaun agrikultura, rai barak uza ona ka sei uza ba projetu infrastrutura sira, se bainhira ema fa’an no sosa rai arbiru, ikus mai sei hamosu problema boot ba estadu.

Lei Regime espesiál ida ne’e tenke prevene atu labele iha ema individual ka grupu kiik balu de’it ne'ebé iha osan barak, bele sosa rai sein limitasaun no ikus mai domina atividade ekonomia nasaun nian. Iha tempu hanesan, tenke mós prevene atu ema labele fa’an rai arbiru hodi ikus mai fó todan ba estadu bainhira laiha ona rai atu hela ka uza ba halo produsaun.

Ema sira ne’ebé muda “forçadamente” durante periodu okupasaun nian.

Durante okupasaun ilegál Indonézia, governu/militár muda obrigatóriu populasaun sira husi sira nia fatin orijen ba fatin seluk atu hafasil militár sira nia kontrolu ba populasaun sira. Ezbosu lei ne’e, iha Artigu 21.2 dehan, “uzukapiaun espesiál” la aplika ba populasaun sira ne’ebé Indonézia muda obrigatóriu, no kazu sira hanesan ne’e sei rezolve kazu pur kazu.

Aplikasaun artigu ida ne’e sei hamosu problema sosiál barak. Komunidade sira ne’ebé sai vítima “dezlokasaun ho obrigatóriu’ barak mak sei hetan eviksaun, lakon sira nia vida moris, no bele hamosu konflitu iha komunidade nia le’et. Ho hanoin ne’e mak La’o Hamutuk rekomenda ba Parlamentu Nasional atu elimina tiha alínea 2 ne'e, hodi rekoñese direitu populasaun sira ne'ebé ‘desloca forçadamente’ ba rai ne’ebé sira hela ba, no ba rai na’in orijinál sira tenke konsidera hanesan direitu anterior ida, nune’e bele hetan direitu ba indemnizasaun hanesan regula iha Artigu 48.

Zona protesaun komunitária

Artigu 26 kona-ba Uso de bens imóveis em zonas de protecção comunitário, alínea 3 loke dalan ba atividade ekonomia. Artigu ne’e mós limita envolvimentu komunidade nian ba de’it nivel konsultasaun, laos sai hanesan parte ne'ebé halo desizaun no planu kona-ba oinsá atu jere zona protesaun ne'e ba atividade ho natureza ekonomia. Tanba zona protesaun barak mak iha ligasaun ho komunidade sira nia vida moris no tradisaun, importante atu lei labele loke espasu ba atividade ekonomia ne’ebé estraga fali komunidade nia vida moris no tradisaun. Atividade ida ne’ebé iha posibilidade fó benefísiu liu ba komunidade mak atividade kooperativa komunitária nian ka atividade turizmu kulturál sira ne’ebé sustentável duni. Estadu bele suporta realiza atividade ekonomia iha zona protesaun komunitária nian maibé komunidade mak tenke sai na’in ba atividade sira ne’e.

Despejo, hasai ema husi rai/propriedade ida

Artigu 77 kona-ba Despejo iha lei atuál hakerek katak despejo hotu-hotu sei regula ho Diploma Ministerial. Governu elimina tiha Kapitulu VIII iha ezbosu anterior ne’ebé deskreve klaru prosesu despejo no nia regulamentu sira. Governu la iha razaun klaru tanba sá tenke hasai Kapítulu VIII ne’e. La’o Hamutuk fiar katak, despejo tenke regula kedas iha lei ba rai, tanba despejo iha relasaun maka’as ho sidadaun sira nia direitu konstitusional sira. Parlamentu Nasionál nudár reprezentante povu iha direitu no devér atu halo no aprova lei sira ne’ebé la kria espasu ba violasaun sidadaun sira nia direitu Konstitusional.

Ho hanoin  ne’e mak La’o Hamutuk rekomenda ba Parlamentu Nasionál atu hatama fali Kapitulu VIII, Artigu 56-66 husi ezbosu lei anterior 2015 nian ba ezbosu lei atuál Regime Espesiál para a Definição de Titularidade dos Bens Imóveis no hasai artigu 77 husi ezbosu lei atuál.

Konkluzaun

Lei ba Rai importante atu klarifika situasaun jurídiku kona ba rai no nia problema ne’ebé kompleksu tebes iha Timor-Leste. Ezbosu lei atuál inklui ona pontu di’ak barak hodi garante sidadaun sira nia direitu ba rai. Maske nune’e, presiza haforsa liu tan lei ne’e atu bele prevene problema sira ne’ebé akontese hanesan legalizasaun ba sertifikadu korruptu husi tempu Portugal no Indonézia, ema labele fa’an no sosa rai sein limitasaun, dominasaun ema estranjeiru iha Timor nia rai, eviksaun ba vítima dezlokasaun obrigatóriu iha tempu Indonézia nian, estragu ba komunidade sira nia vida moris no tradisaun ne’ebé liga ba zona protesaun komunitária, no despejo ne’ebé la justu ba komunidade kbiit laek sira.

Atualiza: Iha loron 20 fulan Junu, Komisaun A Parlamentu Nasional fo sai sira nia relatoriu kona ba Ezbosu Lei Expropriasaun.

18 June 2016

TL presiza duni Portu Tibar ka lae?

Fulan ida ne’e, Governu Timor-Leste asina konsesaun ba Parseria Públiku-Privadu (PPP) ho Bolloré Consortium atu halo konstrusaun no operasaun portu bo’ot foun ida iha Tibar, 15km iha diresaun oeste husi Dili. La’o Hamutuk hakerek ona analiza kle’an kona-ba projetu portu ne’e, ne’ebé identifika impaktu negativu sosiál no meiu-ambientál balun, no mós diskute preokupasaun kona-ba portu nia viabilidade ekonómiku no implikasaun ba Timor-Leste nia sustentabilidade iha futuru. Artigu blog badak ne’e sumariza ideia importante balun husi artigu prinsipál, ne’ebé públika iha Tetum ho Inglés.

Ami seidauk hatene portu Tibar nia kustu ba Parseria Públiku, povu Timor-Leste. Kontratu promete atu selu tokon $129 ba Bolloré iha inísiu, maibé Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2016 aloka de’it tokon $94 ba tinan lima oin mai. Maibé, númeru rua ne’e la inklui gasta adisionál ba estrada, jestaun projetu ka kustu ekstra ne’ebé seidauk antisipa. Projetu PPP barak halo estimasaun ba kustu ne’ebé ki’ik demais, tanba proponente sira sempre hakarak justifika projetu nia viabilidade. Semana ne’e nia laran de’it, Timor-Leste nia lider sira sujere atu aumenta Orsamentu Estadu 2016 atu kobre kustu portu Tibar nian, maske polítika na’in sira hatene kleur ona kona-ba projetu ne’e molok orsamentu ne’e aprova.

Parseria Privadu Bolloré Africa Logistics hamutuk ho subsidiáriu Bolloré nian SDV – sei investe tokon $278 iha inísiu ba konstrusaun, no sei opera portu ba tinan tolu nulu nia laran, atu nune’e manán retornu hodi hetan fila fali sira nia investimentu, kustu no lukru. Maibé, La’o Hamutuk preokupa katak kontratu konsesaun finál (ne’ebé mak ami seidauk haree) karik sei obriga Timor-Leste atu selu fali Bolloré nia investimentu karik portu la hetan retornu ho montante ne’ebé sira espekta, ezemplu karik tráfiku ladún barak ka diverta ba portu seluk iha rai laran.

Bainhira ideia ba projetu ne’e kria tinan haat liu ba, ema barak espekta katak Timor-Leste sei atinje kreximentu GDP naun-petróleu ‘double-digit’ tinan ba tinan, no sira mós fiar katak ita iha riku-soin mina no gás barak liu duké realidade. Maibé, GDP ‘naun-petróleu’ – parte bo’ot mai husi Governu gasta osan husi mina – la aumenta tuir sira nia espetasaun; dadus foun husi Governu Timor-Leste hatudu katak kreximentu durante 2013 mak 2.8%, no 5.9% durante 2014. Tanba Timor-Leste nia reserva mina-rai tun maka’as, Governu tenke ko’a nia despeza iha tempu badak, no ida ne’e sei fó impaktu negativu ba GDP naun-petróleu.

Bainhira estadu hamenus nia despeza, Governu nia importasaun sei tun, no osan ne’ebé sirkula atu sidadaun sira bele selu ba sasán importasaun mós menus. Durante tinan hira liu ba, Timor-Leste nia importasaun bo’ot liu ba dala tolu nulu kompara ho esportasaun, no tanba ne’e maioria kontainer (peti kemas) sira ne’ebé esporta sai mamuk, no situasaun ne’e sei kontinua ba tinan barak ba oin. Karik la iha atividade ekonómiku seluk, defisit komérsiu ne’e la bele kontinua.

Tanba dezeñu orijinál ba portu Tibar mak bazeia ba projeksaun ekonómiku ne’ebé optimistiku liu, estatístika foun ne’e iha implikasaun bo’ot ba portu nia viabilidade. Aleinde ne’e, tráfiku iha portu foun sei fahe entre portu foun seluk ne’ebé planu iha Suai, Oecusse no Baucau. La’o Hamutuk espera katak desizaun kona-ba projetu Tibar sei bazeia ba evidénsia atuál no projeksaun realistiku. Ami mós fiar katak se karik portu Dili aumenta oras servisu no efisiénsia, ida ne’e bele nato’on ba Timor-Leste nia nesesidade ba tinan barak oin mai.

Aleinde impaktu ba Timor-Leste nia finansas estadu, portu Tibar mós fó subsídiu ba produtu importasaun kompara ho produtu lokál, Maske ida ne’e bele hamenus importasaun nia folin, maibé sei mós sai susar liu ba produtór lokál sira – liu-liu to’os na’in sira – atu kompete hasoru importasaun ai-han ne’ebé baratu liu. Karik ema lokál sira lakohi hola produtu lokál tanba importasaun baratu liu, agrikultór sira sei hamenus investimentu ba kuda ai-han, no ida ne’e sei estraga produtividade, ekonomia, soberania ai-han no nutrisaun. Bainhira Timor-Leste nia Fundu Petrolíferu remata iha futuru (ida ne’e bele akontese iha 2025), to’os barak sei mamuk de’it. La iha osan atu sosa ai-han importasaun, ema bele terus tanba hahán la iha.

Tanba ne’e, portu sei aumenta liu tan Timor-Leste nia dependénsia ba produtu importa husi li’ur, maibé tuir lo-loos ita tenke aumenta produsaun iha rai laran atu garante sustentabilidade ekonómiku bainhira mina maran ona. Portu ne’e sei mós foti povu nia rai, estraga sira nia vida-moris no uza rekursu Governu nian ne’ebé tenke uza ba servisu báziku ba povu baibain sira.

La’o Hamutuk nia artigu kompletu fó informasaun kona-ba istória prosesu tenderizasaun ba projetu ne’e, ne’ebé ikus liu só kompañia ida de’it nia proposta mak hetan konsiderasaun. Artigu mós diskute oinsá mak portu sei fó impaktu ba vida-moris peskadór sira, no sai perigozu ba ai-parapa no ahu ruin sensitivu, no artigu fó rekomendasaun sanulu.

La’o Hamutuk husu bo’ot ba Governu atu analiza ho sériu Timor-Leste nia nesesidade komérsiu ba tempu naruk atu hatene se karik halo operasaun iha portu Dili 24/7 (24 oras lor-loron), no kontrola korrupsaun, hadi’ak jestaun no aumenta númeru no skill traballadór sira. Nune’e Timor-Leste bele poupa osan, proteje ema vulneravel sira no responde ba nesesidade públiku liga ho importasaun. Ida ne’e bele fó oportunidade ba ita atu dezenvolve ita nia ekonomia doméstika atu garante futuru ne’ebé sustentável ba povu Timor-Leste tomak.

Ami nia artigu kompletu kona-ba portu Tibar inklui gráfiku, liga, dokumentu no artigu barak husi fonte oi-oin. Ami sei atualiza artigu ne’e bainhira iha eventu ka informasaun foun.

Is the Tibar container port what Timor-Leste really needs?

This month, Timor-Leste signed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the French company Bolloré to build and operate a major new container port at Tibar, 15km west of Dili. La’o Hamutuk has analyzed the project in depth, identifying some social and environmental impacts, raising concerns about economic viability and pondering  implications for Timor-Leste’s sustainability. This blog summarizes points from our longer article, which is in both English and Tetum.

We don’t yet know how much Tibar port will cost the Public Partner, the people of Timor-Leste. The contract promises to pay $129 million to Bolloré up front, but the 2016 State Budget only allocates $94 million over the next five years, and neither figure includes additional spending for roads, project management or unanticipated cost overruns. PPPs all over the world underestimate costs in the planning stages, as promoters often bias their research to justify viability. Just this week, Timor-Leste’s leaders suggested a mid-year increase to the 2016 State Budget to cover some Tibar port costs, notwithstanding that officials knew about them long before the budget was enacted.

The Private Partner Bolloré Africa Logistics in consortium with Bolloré subsidiary SDV – will initially invest $278 million for construction and will operate the port for 30 years, collecting revenues to recover their investment, costs and profit. However, La’o Hamutuk is concerned that the final concession contract (which we have not been shown) may obligate Timor-Leste to guarantee Bolloré’s return if the port does not generate as much income as expected, due to lower traffic or shipping being diverted to other ports.

When this project was conceived four years ago, many thought that Timor-Leste’s non-oil GDP would continue to grow at ‘double-digit’ rates, and that our oil and gas wealth was more valuable than it has turned out to be. However, ‘non-oil’ GDP – which is largely driven by government spending of oil money – has not grown as much as expected; the latest Government figures report growth of 2.8% and 5.9% in 2013 and 2014 respectively. With rapidly falling oil revenues, the Government will have to reduce spending, which is likely slow the growth of non-oil GDP even more.

Lower state spending means fewer imports by the government, as well as less money circulating to enable citizens to buy things from overseas. For the last several years, Timor-Leste has imported thirty times as many goods as we exported, so that most containers shipped out are empty and will be so for decades to come. Without other economic activity, this trade deficit cannot continue.

The Tibar port design was based on overly optimistic economic projections, and more recent data cast doubt on its rationale. In addition, its traffic will be shared with other new ports planned for Suai, Oecusse, and Baucau. La’o Hamutuk hopes that current evidence and realistic forecasts will underpin decisions about the Tibar project. We believe that longer hours and more efficient operation of Dili port may provide for Timor-Leste’s needs for decades to come.


In addition to the impact on State finances, Tibar port subsidizes imported products relative to locally produced ones. Although this may make imports less expensive, local producers – especially farmers – will have to struggle even harder to compete against cheap food products from overseas. Reduced demand for locally-grown produce could discourage Timorese farmers from growing food, hurting productivity, the economy, food sovereignty and nutrition. By the time Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund runs out (which could be as soon as 2025), many fields may be unused. Without money to purchase imported food, people will starve.

Therefore, the port will make Timor-Leste even more dependent on overseas products, at a time when we should be increasing local production to ensure non-oil economic sustainability. It will also take over local people’s land, destroy their livelihoods, and divert Government resources away from basic services for ordinary people.

Our longer article relates the three-year process of tendering for this project, which ultimately resulted in only one company’s bid being considered. It also discusses how the port will impact fishing livelihoods, as well as endangering sensitive mangroves and coral reefs, and makes ten recommendations.

Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this new port, La’o Hamutuk urges policy-makers to seriously analyze Timor-Leste’s long-term shipping requirements to see if they can be met by operating the existing port in Dili 24/7 while controlling corruption, improving its management, and enhancing its workers’ skills and numbers. In that way, Timor-Leste would save money, protect vulnerable people and address public needs, allowing us to focus on building the domestic economy to provide a sustainable future for all of Timor-Leste’s people.

Our longer article, which will be updated as the project evolves, includes many more graphics, links, documents and articles from a wide variety of sources.

06 June 2016

LH husu PDHJ atu haforsa implementasaun Lei Lisensamentu Ambientál

Tinan rua liu ba, La'o Hamutuk lamenta katak entitade barak iha Timor-Leste la respeita lei ambientál sira, no ami kontinua atu ajuda funsionáriu tékniku sira iha Ministériu Komérsiu, Indústria no Ambiente (MKIA) bainhira sira koko proteje Timor-Leste nia ambiente frajil. Infelizmente, sira hasoru obstákulu barak -- tékniku, polítiku, podér, riku soin -- ne’ebé limita sira nia kapasidade atu implementa sira nia knaar. Entaun, La'o Hamutuk hakerek karta aberta tuir mai atu husu Provedoria dos Direitus Humanus de Justisa atu halo investigasaun no halo rekomendasaun hodi dirije órgaun kompetente sira atu prevene aktu sira ne’ebé viola lei no injustisa sira nudár parte ida hosi nia ámbitu servisu nian.

La'o Hamutuk, Bebora, Dili, 31/Maiu/2016

Exmo:       Sr. Silverio Pinto, Provedor dos Direitus Humanus de Justisa (PDHJ)-Timor-Leste

Asuntu:   Implementasaun projetu Infrastrutura boot ne’ebé kontinua viola Dekretu Lei No.5/2011 Lisensamentu Ambientál.

CC:     Sr. Constáncio da Conceição Pinto, Ministru Komérsiu, Indústria no Ambiente
         Sr. João Carlos Soares, Diresaun Jerál ba Meiu-Ambiente
         Sr. Antonio Lelo Taci, Diretór Nasionál-Diresaun Nasionál Kontrolu Poluisaun no Impaktu Ambientál (DNKPIA)
         Sr. Francisco Poto, Xefe Ekipa Tékniku (DNKPIA)
         Ba Media no públiku

Ho respeitu,

La’o Hamutuk, hakerek karta ida ne’e nudár parte ida hosi knar sidadaun nian hodi hato’o keixa ba Provedoria Dos Direitus Humanus da Justisa (PDHJ) atu uza nia podér Konstitusional nian atu promove no proteje direitus umanus ba estabelesimentu estadu direitu ida ne’ebé efetivu, no mós atu promove kultura efisiénsia, transparénsia, integridade no mós responsabilidade ba entidade tomak, órgaun públiku no mós setór privadu nian.

Liu hosi karta ida ne’e, La’o Hamutuk hakarak atu fó informasaun ba Provedoria Dos Direitus Humanus da Justisa (PDHJ) katak iha projetu lubuk iha Timor-Leste ne’ebé la hatuur efisiénsia, transparénsia, integridade no mós responsabilidade atu proteje direitu sosiál, ekonomia no ambientál tuir Dekretu Lei No.5/2011 kona ba Lisensamentu Ambientál no mós Dekretu Lei No.26/2012 kona ba Baze do Ambiente. Ami konsidera katak bainhira proponente projetu sira lakohi kumpre enkuadramentu sira ne’ebé vigora, nune’e, violasaun direitus umanus sei akontese hasoru povu sira, liu-liu sira ne’ebé vulneravel liu ne’ebé presiza ambiente ida ne’ebé mós, saudavel no mós bele garante moris sosiál ida ne’ebé ekilíbriu no sustentável.

Dekretu-Lei No.5/2011 kona ba Lisensamentu Ambientál husu atu projetu sira ho klasifikasaun A[1][bele le'e nota hotu iha ne'e ka iha kraik] ho poténsia risku as ba meiu ambiente nian tenke halo aprezentasaun uluk liu kona-ba sira nia avaliasaun ba impaktu ambientál nian atu bele hetan lisensa,[2] halo konsulta públiku,[3] hetan Opiniaun no Analiza Tékniku[4] nian no mós tenke halo avaliasaun ambientál no mós hetan uluk lai lisensa hosi autoridade ambientál nian iha Timor-Leste (Diresaun Nasionál Kontrolu Poluisaun no Impaktu Ambientál - DNKPIA) uluk DNMA molok implementa projetu.[5] Aleinde ne’e, proposta sira ne’ebé hato’o ba autoridade ambientál sira ne’e tenke aprezenta informasaun kompletu projetu nian atu bele hafasil autoridade DNKPIA hodi deside nia kategoria no kritéria sira ne’ebé tenke kumpre,[6] inklui autoridade ambientál tenke halo lista no rejistu nudár dadus informasaun nian.[7]

Ami hanoin katak enkuadramentu legal sira ne’ebé Timor-Leste estabelese ne’e importante tebes atu regula no proteje ita nia meiu ambiente, bio-diversidade no ekolojia liu hosi regulariza setór públiku no setór privadu atu prodús relatóriu kona-ba impaktu ambientál no sosiál hosi projetu sira ne’ebé sira implementa iha Timor-Leste tuir klasifikasaun projetu. Tanba ne’e, ami husu ba projetu na’in sira atu kumpre lei sira ne’e, inklui ba autoridade públiku nian ne’ebé responsabiliza ba meiu ambiente[8] atu foti desizaun tuir lei. Infelizmente, pedidu sira ne’e ladún hetan prioridade tanba iha projetu balu mak la hetan lisensa ambientál maibé hala’o ona nia atividade,[9] no ami preokupa tebes tanba dala barak mós autoridade ambientál sira la aplika pena ba kompañia implementador sira ne’e.[10]

Ho observasaun sira ne’ebé ami halo ona durante ne’e, nune’e, iha biban ida ne’e, ho abrigu hosi Artigu 6.5[11] Dekretu Lei No.26/2012 kona-ba Lei Baze do Ambiente nian, La’o Hamutuk hakarak atu hato’o Keixa ba PDHJ tuir Artigu 2 Lei No.7/2004 kona-ba Estatutu PDHJ nian, no espera katak PDHJ sei hala’o knar tuir Konstituisaun RDTL Artigu 27.1 atu hare no buka hatán ba sidadaun sira nia problema hasoru podér públiku hodi haree loloos hahalok sira tuir duni lei no halo prevensaun no hahú prosesu tomak hodi haburas fali justisa.

Tuir mai ami hakarak fó lista projetu lubuk ne’ebé implementa hosi instituisaun estadu no setór privadu sira iha Timor-Leste ne’ebé ami hare balu tuir hela lei no balu ami konsidera iha kontradisaun ho Dekretu Lei No.5/2011 kona ba Lisensamentu Ambientál ne’ebé vigora iha Timor-Leste.

Naran Projetu Nain Fatin Obra Rai nia luan Estatutu Lisensamentu
Implementa hosi Estadu
Suai Supply Base TimorGAP Suai Baze fornesimentu Suai, Nova Suai, Aeroportu, portu, fatin rua atu hakiak Lafaek Hektares 1105 Hetan ona Lisensa iha loron 12/6/2013.
Lisensamentu ida ne’e fó tanba hetan interferénsia polítika. (Maske nune’e iha ona mudansa ba dezeña tenke halo revizaun ba Avaliasaun Impaktu Ambientál).
Projetu Refinaria TimorGAP Betano Halo indústria refinaria mina, nova Betano no sistema fornesimentu be Hektares 1420 DNKPIA aprova ona TOR, prosesu dokumentu Esteitmentu Impaktu Ambientál (EIA)
Projetu Refinaria TimorGAP Betano Pipa kondensadu atu transporta produtu refinaria hosi Betano ba Suai 78 km DNKPIA aprova ona TOR, prosesu dokumentu Esteitmentu Impaktu Ambientál (EIA)
Edifísiu Ministériu Finansa. Andár 11 Ministériu Finansa-RDTL Dili - Kampung Alor Konstrusaun remata ona Hektares 2 La iha aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Konstrusaun Portu Tibar MOPTK Liquiça - Tibar Seidauk halo konstrusaun Hektares 41 Aprezenta ona TOR, hetan komentáriu hosi DNKPIA seidauk halo revizaun ba TOR
Sentrál Elétrika Hera EDTL, MOPTK Dili - Hera Konstrusaun remata ona Hektares 3,5 La halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA dezde konstrusaun hahú iha tinan 2009 no to’o nia halo operasaun iha 2011
Sentrál Elétrika Betano EDTL, MOPTK Betano - Same Konstrusaun remata ona Hektares 82 La halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA dezde konstrusaun hahú iha tinan 2010 no to’o nia halo operasaun iha 2012
Implementa hosi setór privadu
TL Sement Plant BGC Australia Pty.Ltd Baucau Konstrusaun seidauk komesa Hektares 3 DNKPIA aprova ona TOR, prosesu dokumentu Esteitmentu Impaktu Ambientál (EIA)
Konstrusaun ba fatin edifísiu, apartamentu no fatin halo komérsiu sira seluk Palm Business and Trade Centre Dili - Surik Mas Konstrusaun remata ona Hektares 2 La halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA dezde konstrusaun hahú iha tinan 2011 no loke ba públiku iha 2013
Timor-Plaza andár 5 no sira nia konstrusaun sira seluk Tony Jape Dili - Comoro Konstrusaun ba edifísiu komersiál balu remata no kontinua halo konstrusaun sira seluk Hektares 4 La halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA dezde tau primeira pedra iha tinan 2009 no loke ba públiku iha 2011
Harii hotel fitun lima Pelican Paradise Holdings Timor-Leste Dili - Tibar Kontrusaun seidauk hahú Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Harii fábrika bebidas oin-oin Heineken Asia Pacific Pte.Ltd Dili, Metinaro Hahú hamoos ona rai Hektares 5 DNKPIA halo hela prosesu Esteitmentu Impaktu Ambientál (EIA)
Pacific Beach Resort Tony Jape Dili - Dolok oan Konstrusaun seidauk hahú Hektares 22 Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Zetty ba Kombustivel Sacom Energia Dili - Hera Konstrusaun seidauk hahú Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Zetty ba Kombustivel Esperansa Timor-Oan (ETO) Dili - Hera Konstrusaun remata ona Hektares 2 Hetan ona lisensa hosi DNKPIA (TOR)
Implementa hosi Rejiaun Otonomu Oecusse
Sentrál Elétrika Sakato MOPTK Oecusse -Sakato Konstrusaun remata ona Area ne’ebé uza ba projetu ne’e rai nia luan 79.5 m no nia naruk 165.3 m Hatama ona dokumentu Esteitmentu Impaktu Ambientál (EIS) ba DNKPIA
Aeroportu ZEESM Oecusse-Palaban Konstrusaun hahú ona Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Irrigasaun ZEESM Oecusse-Tono Konstrusaun hahú ona Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Estrada ZEESM Oecusse-Palaban Konstrusaun hahú ona Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA
Konstrusaun Hotel fitun lima ZEESM Oecusse-Palaban Konstrusaun hahú ona Seidauk halo aplikasaun ba DNKPIA

Maske Dekretu Lei No.5/2011 fó podér boot ba DNKPIA atu kontrola projetu infrastrutura hodi labele estraga ambiente, infelizmente, DNKPIA seidauk iha forsa no barani hodi fó sansaun todan hasoru projetu boot sira ne’ebé viola lei, hanesan kansela sira nia lisensa ka hapara sira nia atividade projetu.

Tanba ne’e ami husu Provedoria dos Direitus Humanus da Justisa (PDHJ), atu halo investigasaun no halo rekomendasaun hodi dirije órgaun kompetente sira atu prevene aktu sira ne’ebé viola lei no injustisa sira nudár parte ida hosi nia ámbitu servisu nian hodi asegura direitu ba benefísiu ba ema sira ne’ebé vulneravel sira hanesan ema sira ne’ebé marjinalizadu, feto, labarik ka grupu minoritariu sira ka defisiente sira.

Atu taka, La’o Hamutuk hakarak apresia tebes ho aprezentasaun hosi PDHJ nia estudu preliminár ne’ebé fahe ho ami no organizasaun sira seluk iha fulan balu liu ba, ne’ebé hatudu evidénsia kona ba violasaun sira ne’ebé akontese ba populasaun vulneravel sira iha Oecusse, ne’ebé iha relasiona ho projetu konstrusaun irrigasaun no haluan estrada nian. Nune’e, ami fiar katak ita boot sira sei kontinua asegura direitu povu nian iha projetu sira seluk ne’ebé ami lista tiha ona iha leten.

Ami konsidera katak ita-boot sira nia servisu sei haforsa liu tan DNKPIA nia servisu atu implementa lei, asegura kualidade obra, no salva povu nia moris, ambiente, osan no biodiversidade sira hotu. Obrigadu barak no ami sempre prontu atu responde ita boot sira nia pergunta.

Ami be saran lia
Adilsonio Da Costa Jr.         Juvinal Dias     Charles Scheiner
Peskizadór iha ekipa Rekursu Naturais no Ekonomia - La’o Hamutuk

26 April 2016

Health and safety for all workers, not only those in mining & petroleum

Informasaun kompletu iha Tetum iha ne'e.
See La'o Hamutuk's web page for the full submission in Tetum

On 4 March 2016, Timor-Leste's State Secretariat for Professional Training and Employment Policy (SEPFOPE) circulated a draft Decree-Law on Employment in the Extractive Activities for public comment. The proposed law would create a specific legal regime for workers in the petroleum and mining industries, supplementing or replacing the Labor Law 4/2012 which applies to workers throughout the formal economy. SEPFOPE held a workshop on 10 March to discuss the draft with stakeholders.

Although labor rights are not a fundamental part of La'o Hamutuk's work, SEPFOPE's consultation was well-conducted (it is exceptional for a Government agency to ask for input, providing translations of a draft law with enough time for comment before sending it to the Council of Ministers). Therefore, La'o Hamutuk decided to apply our knowledge about extractive industries, especially oil and gas, to write a submission (Tetum) to this consultation process.

The main points of our submission, which also suggests a number of specific changes to the draft, are:

This Decree-Law should follow principles of equality for every worker, rather than creating a privileged class of workers in one sector. It should conform with international human rights covenants.

We agree with many provisions in the draft Decree-Law, and they should be incorporated into the Labor Law and applied to all workers in Timor-Leste. These include:
  • Health and safety insurance
  • Pension fund, which should be expanded to include workers in the informal sector through a Government-managed pension scheme funded by taxes on companies.
  • Minimum wage should be the same for all sectors.
  • Protection of women against abuse or discrimination, and recognition of their childbearing responsibilities
  • If bonuses (in addition to the 13th month salary applicable to all workers) are legally mandated, they should apply to all employed workers.
  • Occupational safety and environmental protection should apply to all sectors, and whistle-blowers should be protected. However, particularly hazardous work, such as some mining jobs, may require special rules.
The law should define minimum standards while recognizing the right of workers to organize and to secure greater benefits through collective bargaining and contract negotiation.

Penalties for employers who violate this law should be severe enough to encourage compliance.

Education at all levels should be improved to prepare Timorese workers for higher-skill, higher-paid jobs in extractive and other industries.

20 April 2016

Private investment is a road, not a destination

Many in Timor-Leste see private investment – people or companies putting their money into projects with the intention of earning a return in the future -- as the key to Timor-Leste’s future economic development. They expect Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), where the money comes from other countries, to accelerate economic development in Timor-Leste, resulting in jobs and other benefits for our people. Unfortunately, this does not happen automatically, but needs careful planning, guidance and regulation.

Because Timor-Leste has not yet attracted many significant foreign investors, the Ministry of State Coordinating Economic Affairs (MECAE) is revising Timor-Leste’s Private Investment Policy and Law (replacing the 2011 law currently in effect), citing the need to comply with ASEAN and United Nations Convention on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) guidelines. La’o Hamutuk wrote a submission to MECAE on the draft Private Investment Law and another submission on the summary of the draft Private Investment Policy – and here we summarize some of our main points.

Private investment is a means to an end, not an end in itself, and the policy and law should describe how private investment can promote human development in Timor-Leste, rather than assuming that this will happen automatically. Conversely, the policy should analyze potential negative impacts from private investment which Timor-Leste could avoid. In many developing countries, foreign investments – particularly in extractive industries, palm oil plantations and logging – damage local livelihoods, destroy the environment, take land away from citizens and from food production, increase corruption and deplete natural resources.

La’o Hamutuk is disappointed that the draft investment policy only mentions export-oriented agriculture as having potential for investment, while ignoring the wide variety of food crops grown by most people. We should prioritize investment in organic agriculture and food processing for domestic consumption which would improve productivity, employment, incomes and nutrition. Manufacturing and tourism are other key sectors outlined in the Strategic Development Plan which should be invested in to diversify Timor-Leste’s economy and reduce dependency on imports.

Timor-Leste does not need to adopt ASEAN’s Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) before we join ASEAN; instead, we should keep space to negotiate exceptions or delays to ASEAN investment and importation rules, as most members do. (Current regrets over signing CMATS in 2006, when our leaders agreed to delay maritime boundaries for fifty years, is a lesson in the importance of not giving up bargaining power.) Also, if Timor-Leste follows ACIA’s mandate and gives investors from ASEAN ‘national treatment’, Timorese investors would have to compete with large companies from Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia, which could effectively exclude local businesses.

MECAE wants to enact these rules by this September; we think this is too rushed. Other legislation, such as tax reform and land laws should come first, because they are fundamental both to people’s lives and to economic development, including investment. This draft investment policy needs significant improvement, which will take deeper discussion and thought than the current schedule envisions.

La’o Hamutuk has doubts about some assumptions about ‘free enterprise’ and ‘market principles’ which appear to underlie this law and policy. Although private investment is one aspect of economic development, an “open economic model, based on market principles and led by the private sector”  is not necessarily the most effective way to improve the lives of our people. Private investment is just one avenue among many -- instead of regurgitating free market dogma, our laws and policies should consider all viable alternatives that can foster economic development.

Both the policy and law envision special favors to attract investors and expedite investment applications. However, improved bureaucratic efficiency and rule of law would benefit all of Timor-Leste’s citizens, as well as increasing investor confidence. Everyone has the right to fair and equal treatment -- giving privileges to investors just because they have money undermines this principle and opens a door to corruption.

Finally, we recommend that policy makers evaluate the actual factors that have deterred people and companies from investing in Timor-Leste. Low-hanging fruit like slashing business taxes (2008) and simplifying business registration (2013) were unsuccessful in attracting investors. We believe Timor-Leste needs to confront more challenging obstacles – human resources, land titles, contract enforcement, and reliable, sustainable infrastructure. Overcoming these problems will not only attract investment, but will also improve all citizens’ lives. If we don't do this and simply make special rules to bypass broken or inefficient processes, less scrupulous investors who seek to exploit our resources and limited experience may come, while legitimate investors will not want to do business in an environment of patronage and favoritism.

Private investment policy can bring benefits for Timor-Leste’s people, but if managed poorly it also can create damage and increase inequality. La’o Hamutuk appreciates MECAE’s willingness to take this issue to public consultation, and we encourage citizens and civil society organizations to engage in the process as the Private Investment Law moves through the Council of Ministers, Parliament and the Presidency.