26 March 2010

What Woodside says about Sunrise

In recent weeks, the Timor-Leste media has been filled with polemics and misinformation regarding the future development of the Greater Sunrise gas field, the LNG plant that will go with it, and the views of the actors in this debate.  La'o Hamutuk is a Timorese civil society organization which hopes that this project will give the maximum benefit to the Timorese people. We are concerned that many of the articles and statements misrepresent the reality of the situation, which has economic, legal, technical and environmental aspects, not only politics.  Two years ago, we published a book Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges which is available in English or Bahasa Indonesia from our office in Farol, or online.

In an effort to bring the Sunrise discussion closer to reality, we are circulating the page at right (click on it to see it larger) from Woodside's 2009 Annual Report. La'o Hamutuk does NOT endorse Woodside's views, nor do we believe that decisions about Sunrise should be made by the Sunrise Joint Venture (Woodside, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Osaka Gas) alone. Timor-Leste and Australia are also involved in this decision, which is constrained by treaties and contracts already signed by both governments and the companies. However, we believe that supporters of Timor-Leste can advance this country's interests most effectively if we have the most accurate information, so we are circulating Woodside's perspectives.

La'o Hamutuk has been engaged with the Sunrise issue for a long time. Our 2004 paper The Case for Saving Sunrise advocated a position which was taken Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão earlier this week. We continue to research and publish about the Sunrise project, and welcome information and inquiries from all sources.

25 March 2010

Australia Kansela Projeitu Peskiza FSI nian

Uluk nia-nain, La’o Hamutuk hakarak hato’o apresiasaun bo’ot ba Governu no Forsa Militar Australia nian nebe ho nakloke simu kritika husi komunidade no sosiedade sivil sira wainhira bolu atensaun ba sira nia soldadu sira hodi evita involvimentu iha politika rai laran Timor-Leste nian.

Hafoin hetan protesta husi Chefe do Suco Lore I (Distritu Lautem) Sr. Mateus Fernandes Sequeira no ONG La’o Hamutuk tamba ho pergunta husi soldadu Forsa Stabilizasaun Internasinal (FSI/ISF) nia intervensaun ba direitu politika povo Timor-Leste nian. Iha loron 11 Marsu, komunikadu imprensa husi La’o Hamutuk no karta protesta husi Chefe do Suco Lore I hamosu diskusaun barak iha media sira iha Timor-Leste no Australia.

Chefe do Suco hato’o nia lamentasaun katak pergunta ne’e bele hamosu instabilidade iha komunidade nia le’et. La’o Hamutuk hateten katak direitu politika povo Timor-Leste nian laos asuntu Australia nian, maibe direitu privadu fundamental sidadaun Timor-Leste nebe hetan garantia husi Konstituisaun RDTL. Ami mos husu ba forsa estranjeiru sira tomak nebe iha Timor-Leste atu hado’ok an husi direitu politika sidadaun Timor-Leste.

Embaixadór Australia Peter Heyward, Embaixadór Nova Zelandia Tim Mclvor, no Komandante FSI Koronel Simon Stuart responde lalais komunikadu imprensa ida ne’e. La’o Hamutuk halo enkontru ho sira iha Embaixada Australia iha loron 12 Marsu. Sira rekonhese katak ne’e failhansu ida maibe sira realsa katak peskiza ida ne’e halao husi ema sivil ho akompanha husi militar FSI. Peskiza ida ne’e halao tiha ona enkontru komunitariu hamutuk dalas 90, durasaun peskiza ida ne’e ba tinan 2 too tinan 3 atu hare povo nia hanoin kona-ba asunto sira hanesan ekonomia, lideransa, justisa, edukasaun no seluk-seluk tan.

Iha loron 25 fulan Marsu, Canberra Times publika sai katak Forsa Defesa Australia nian kansela ona projeitu peskiza ida ne’e ho razaun katak kanselamentu ida ne’e bele hadiak liu tan relasaun forsa Australia nian no ho Stakeholders sira iha Timor-Leste.

La’o Hamutuk hare ida ne’e hanesan pasu positivu husi Australia hodi hatudu sira nia respeita direitu sidadaun sira nian iha Timor-Leste liu-liu ba komunidade sira iha Suco Lore I. Ami hanoin katak laos deit halo kanselamento ba projeitu peskiza ida ne’e nian, maibe mos iha preparasaun ba forsa Australia no Nova Zelandia nian iha futuru hodi komprende liu tan istoria no kultura povo Timor-Leste.

Australia cancels problematic military "research"

On 11 March 2010, La'o Hamutuk issued a press release Foreign Soldiers should stay out of Timorese Politics describing a "research" project conducted by the Australia-New Zealand International Stabilization Force (ISF) which had upset residents of Lore I in Lautem District. Click here for more about how ISF asked people to raise their hands to indicate if they like the AMP government more than the previous one, as reported by the Chefe do Suco of Lore I.

The relevant authorities reacted quickly, and Australian ambassador Peter Heyward invited La'o Hamutuk to his embassy the following day to discuss the issue with himself, New Zealand ambassador Tim McIvor and ISF commander Col. Simon Stuart. We learned that the Lore meeting was one of about 90 already conducted by ISF as part of a 2-3 year research project, and that the ISF considered it as civilian, academic research even though the researchers, working through double translation, were outnumbered by their uniformed, armed military escorts. We explained that this kind of activity could be expected to disturb people in remote areas who had decades of horrendous experiences with foreign soldiers asking political questions and the human right violations which ensued if they didn't like the answers.

On 25 March, the Canberra Times reported that the Australian Defence Force has terminated this 'research' project. La'o Hamutuk appreciates this prompt response to the concerns of the people of Timor-Leste, especially Lore I, which we brought to their attention. 

23 March 2010

ETAN hakerek karta ba PR Jose Ramos-Horta

[Tradusaun husi Ingles. The original is here.]

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202 USA

23 Marsu 2010
Sua Exelénsia Prezidente José Ramos-Horta
Prezidente da Republika, RDTL   
Dili, Timor-Leste

Sua Exelénsia:

Ami hakerek surat ida ne’e hodi hato’o ami nia triste no hakfodak bainhira ami le’e Ita-Boot nia diskursu ba Nasoins Unidas nia Konsellu Direitus Umanus nian iha Geneva iha loron 11 Marsu 2010. Iha diskursu ida ne’e, Ita-Boot koalia kona-ba “kritika ne’ebe la justu husi grupus ne’ebe iha ninin iha komunidade international”. Kritika ne’e kona-ba desizaun sira ne’ebe Ita-Boot no Governu Timor-Leste halo kona-ba justisa no akontabilidade.

Maske ita la uza sira nia naran, klaru katak Amnesty Internasional mak tarjeitu ita nia hirus tamba foin iha argumenta publika ho sira kona-ba ita nia posizaun ba tribunal internasional. Parese ironiku katak Ita-Boot ne’ebe iha fuan boot atu fo perdua bele mos hatete liafuan todan hasoru organizasaun ne’ebe hetan Prémiu Nobel ba Paz hanesan Ita-Boot. Amnesty Internasional servisu makaas ba dame, no servisu hamutuk no besik Ita-Boot durante okupasaun Indonesia nian durante kampaña ba direitus umanus iha Timor-Leste. Hanaran sira “iha ninin” no akusa sira “repete koalia ne’ebe fasil no la iha sentidu ka sai nudar koalia akademiku deit kona-ba justisa” la fo respeitu ba sira no halo buat ne’ebe ita du’un sala.

ETAN iha posizaun hirak ne’ebe hanesan ho Amnesty Internasional kona-ba justisa no akontabilidade ba krime sira ne’ebe mosu iha Timor-Leste durante okupasaun Indonesia nian no mos situasaun justisa nian iha Timor-Leste ne’ebe independente. Tinan barak ona ita halo diskusaun kona-ba posizaun sira ho Ita-Boot, iha manera publiku no mos privadu, no ho respeitu boot. Ami mos iha frustrasaun hanesan Ita-Boot tamba membru Konsellu Seguransa ONU nian la implementa promesa ONU nian katak impunidade la bele iha. Ita hamutuk konkorda katak la justu se Timor-Leste tenke buka justisa mesak deit.

Ami sente orgullu hamriik hamutuk ho Amnesty Internasional no organizasaun sira barak iha Timor-Leste, Indonesia no rai seluk hodi kontinua ami nia suporta ba tribunal internasional ba Timor-Leste. Hamutuk, ami sente tribunal internasional mak manera di’ak liu hodi hetan justisa no akontabilidade ba krime sira husi 1975 to’o 1999. Maske ami hatene iha susar no obstakulu sira, ami fiar katak foti prosesu hasoru sira ne’ebe responsavel ba krime funu no violasaun direitus umanus sira bele fo apoiu boot lahalimar ba demokrasia no direitus umanus iha Timor-Leste no Indonesia. Ida ne’e bele ajuda povo sira iha rai rua ne’e hodi la’o ba oin husi sira nia trauma ba moris ho dame iha lei nia okos.

Dala barak Ita-Boot dehan katak povo Timor-Leste lakohi tribunal internasional. Ami la konkorda. Bainhira ami husu ema Timor-Leste saida mak ETAN tenke halo, besik hotu mak dehan ami persisa kontinua halo luta ba justisa no akontabilidade. Hanesan ita hatene, iha koalisaun ANTI (Aliansa Nasional ba Tribunal Internasional) ne’ebe ami servisu hamutuk ho besik. Iha 2005, CAVR halo rekomendasaun ba tribunal, hanesan komisaun sira husi Timor-Leste, Indonesia no ONU desde 2000.

18 March 2010

LH asks Prime Minister to reject Copenhagen Accord

Dili, 16 March 2010
Excellency Mr. Xanana Gusmão
Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

La’o Hamutuk is writing this letter to you regarding the result of the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009. La’o Hamutuk participated in this conference, and we continue to help Timor-Leste’s government and people to understand this important issue, and take constructive action.

We believe that Timor-Leste Government delegation has already presented the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference to you, and you will decide whether to accept or reject it.

After returning from the conference, the Government of Timor-Leste has not yet made a decision on the Copenhagen Accord (CA). We’re happy that the Timor-Leste government is taking some time to consider this accord before making a decision, because it will be a very important decision. And as we suggest below, we ask the Timor-Leste to reject this Accord.

LH rekomenda TL rezeita Akordo Copenhagen

Bele hetan PDF iha ne'e, ka ba pagina web LH nian kona ba mudansa klimatika.

La'o Hamutuk
Dili,16 Marsu 2010

Exmo. Senhor Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
Primeiro Ministro da Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste

La’o Hamutuk hakerek karta ida ne’e ba ita-boot relasiona ho Akordu ne’ebé rezulta husi Konferensia Mudansa Klimatika iha Copenhagen, Dinamarka iha fulan Dezembru 2009. La’o Hamutuk mos partisipa iha Konferensia ida ne’e, no ami kontinua atu ajuda povu no estadu Timor-Leste atu komprende asuntu importante ne’e, no halo asaun konstrutivu.

Ami fiar katak delegasaun Nasaun Timor-Leste nian, hatoo ona aprezentasaun  ba ita-boot sira kona ba saida mak rezultadu husi Copenhagen, no ita-boot sira sei foti desizaun atu simu rezultadu ne’e ka la simu.

Hafoin fila husi konferensia ne’ebá, Governu Timor Leste too agora seidauk foti desizaun kona ba pozisaun ba Akordu Copenhagen. Ami kontente katak governu Timor-Leste  fo tempu atu tetu didiak antes foti desizaun ruma kona ba ne’e. Los duni, desizaun ne’ebé atu foti importante tebes tanba ne’e presiza tetu didiak nia diak no nia aat. Hanesan ami hakerek iha kraik, ami sujere katak diak liu Timor-Leste rezeita Akordu ida ne’e.

16 March 2010

Businesses should not encourage corruption

Timor-Leste today is struggling to overcome a culture of corruption dating from Indonesian occupation. La'o Hamutuk believes it is the responsibility of all members of the business community, as well as civil society organizations and government agencies, to prevent corruption and implement sound fiscal policies.

Below is a letter we recently sent to Harvey World Travel, a Dili branch of an Australian company, which refused our check and insisted on payment in cash for a ticket costing more than $3,000. We encourage other businesses and purchasers here to adopt policies discouraging the use of cash for large payments, as this opens opportunities for corruption.

13 March 2010

President calls Amnesty International "fringe elements"

In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 11 March 2010, Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta attacked fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Amnesty International, calling them "fringe elements in this amorphous international community." Why is the President so bitter toward peaceful human rights activists who helped his country achieve independence, while he readily pardons people indicted or convicted of serious crimes, who killed to enforce the illegal, brutal Indonesian occupation?

Here are links to a few documents issued this week to give some context:

8 March 2010: Amnesty International press release: Timor-Leste President would support international tribunal

9 March: Jakarta Globe Article: Indonesian Military Doubts Talk of E. Timor Military Tribunal

10 March: JRH press release: The President denies AI press release
This was issued in three languages, and the Portuguese is different from the other two:
English: http://www.presidency.tl/eng/pr/prl/mar2010/10.PPR.About%20AI_ENG.doc
Portuguese: http://www.presidency.tl/por/pr/prl/mar2010/10.CPR.Sobre%20AI_POR.doc
Tetum:  The President's website doesn't include Tetum, we posted it at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Justice/JRH/JRHdeniesAI10Mar10Te.pdf

11 March: JRH speech to UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva: Timor-Leste: The Decade of Peace and Prosperity
Speech:  http://www.laohamutuk.org/Justice/JRH/JRHSpeechHumanRightsCouncil11Mar2010.pdf
JRH press release: http://www.presidency.tl/eng/pr/prl/mar2010/12.PPR.Visit.Geneva_EN.doc
UN Press release: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=9900&LangID=E

17 March: Amnesty International wrote to President Ramos-Horta explaining their perspective.

21 March: The Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal and the Ermera group of Victims and Victims' Families issued statements expressing their unhappiness with the President's claim that no Timorese want and international Tribunal. They tried to greet the President when he returned to Dili airport but were not allowed to.

23 March: The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) from the USA wrote an open letter to President Jose Ramos-Horta

In Geneva the President justified the illegal release of Maternus Bere:
As it turned out, and not surprisingly, there was not a single soul lighting a candle in protest at the gates of the said embassy where the alleged mass murderer had been sheltered while awaiting medical evacuation.

Perhaps the 100 or so people who lit candles in front of the Indonesian embassy, on 6 September, the 10th anniversary of the Suai Church Massacre, are soulless. Decide for yourself, or click here for more information.

11 March 2010

Soldadu estranjeiru sira tenke hado’ok an husi Timor nia direitu politika

Hili iha ne'e atu hare Komunikadu imprensa tomak, ho dokumentus relevante.
Atualiza, 25 Marsu. Australia kansela program ida ne'e.

La’o Hamutuk bolu atensaun ba komandante militar no sivil husi soldadu Australia no soldadu estranjeiru sira iha Timor-Leste atu fo ordem ba sira nia soldadu hodi evita involvimentu iha politika rai laran nian, inklui husu sidadaun Timor-Leste nia vizaun politika ka enkoraje Timor oan sira hodi identifika an iha grupo politika ida ka grupo seluk.

Ami foin dadauk ne’e hetan karta ne’ebé ami tau iha anexu, husi Sr. Mateus Fernandes Sequeira, Chefe do Suco Lore I (Distritu Lautem), ne’ebé hateten observador militar husi Australia no Nova Zelandia konvida komunidade lokal sira ba iha enkontru komunitariu ida iha loron 23 Fevereiru. Depois soldadu sira too ho helikopteru, sira husu ba komunidade sira hodi foti liman karik sira prefere governu AMP diak liu kompara ho governu anterior. Atu hateten katak hahalok ida ne’e laos asuntu Australia nian, obriga povo hodi publika sai sira nia espresaun politika, ne’ebé sira adere ba iha nasaun soberania foun liu ne’e, hanesan perigu no hanesan estragus. Hahalok ne’e bele hamosu violensia ka vingansa, hakotu “Stabilizasaun” ne’ebé Forsa Stabilizasaun Internasional (FSI) hare nudar razaun ida iha ne’e hodi asegura.

Konstituisaun iha demokrasia nurak ida ne’e garantia nia sidadaun sira nia direitu atu suporta partido politiku ruma ne’ebé legal tuir sira nia hakarak, no kaer metin katak inklinasaun ne’e ba ema ida-idak nian karik sira hili ba. Buat ida ne’e espesialmente importante ne’ebé hetan husi istoria Timor-Leste nian, povo dala barak hetan oho, kaptura ka hetan tortura husi sira nia inklinasaun politika nian durante okupasaun ilegal Indonezia nian, no wainhira iha grupo politika ne’ebé la hanesan sei hamosu violensia.

Karik soldadu Australiano sira la komprende ida ne’e, ami sujere hanoin esperimentu ida: Imajina katak soldadu Indonezia sira tu’un iha suku izoladu ida iha fatin rurais Queensland nian, sira halibur komunidade lokal sira, no hateten ba sira atu foti liman karik sira prefere governu Kevin Rudd nian diak liu kompara ho Governu John Howard nian. Wanhira ita boot hanoin katak ida ne’e la apropriadu iha ita boot nia nasaun, ida ne’e mos la apropiadu iha ne’e.

Wainhira FSI fou-foun tama mai iha Timor-Leste iha 2006, iha relatoriu barak kona-ba soldadu Australia sira ne’ebé fo presaun ba sidadaun Timor-Leste hodi alinha ba hamutuk ka kontra lider individual ida ka grupo ida. Iha atmosferu krize, no ho soldadu sira ne’ebé orientasaun la adekuadu no laiha esperiensia, ida ne’e tristeza boot maibe dalaruma ita komprende ba. Maske, depois besik tinan hat nia laran iha ne’e, sira tenke hatene diak liu tan. Ami espera katak insidente iha Lore I ne’e hanesan kazu izoladu ida (mesmu ami rona kazu sira seluk). No ami enkoraje komandante sira husi forsa estranjeiru sira iha ne’e atu garantia katak kazu hanesan ne’e sei la akontese tan.

Foreign Soldiers should stay out of Timorese Politics

Click here to see the complete press release and relevant documents in both English and Tetum. 

Update, 25 March. Australia has cancelled this program.

La’o Hamutuk calls on the military and civilian commanders of Australian and other foreign soldiers in Timor-Leste to direct their soldiers to avoid involvement in local politics, including asking Timorese citizens their political views or encouraging them to identify with one political grouping or another.

We recently received the attached letter from Mr. Mateus Fernandes Sequeira, Chefe do Suco of Lore I (Lautem District), which describes Australian and New Zealand military observers inviting local residents to a community meeting on 23 February. After arriving by helicopter, the soldiers asked the residents to raise their hands if they like the AMP government better than the previous one. In addition to this being none of Australia’s business, coercing people to publicly express their political leanings in this newly sovereign nation is dangerous and destructive. It can lead to violence or retaliation, undercutting the “stabilisation” that the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) is ostensibly here to secure.

The Constitution of this young democracy guarantees its citizens the right to support any legal political party they want, and to keep that preference private if they choose to. This is especially important given the history of Timor-Leste, where people were often killed, arrested or tortured for their political beliefs during the illegal Indonesian occupation, and where sectarian differences have led to violence.

If Australian soldiers don’t understand this, we suggest a thought experiment: Imagine that Indonesian soldiers landed in an isolated village in rural Queensland, called local residents together, and told them to raise their hands if they liked Kevin Rudd’s government better than John Howard’s. If you think this isn’t appropriate in your country, it’s not appropriate here.

When ISF first came to Timor-Leste in 2006, there were many reports of Australian soldiers pressuring Timorese citizens to align with or against a particular leader or faction. In the crisis atmosphere, and with the soldiers’ inadequate orientation and inexperience, this was regrettable but perhaps understandable. However, after nearly four years here, they should know better. We hope that the incident in Lore I is an isolated case (although we have heard otherwise), and encourage the commanders of foreign troops here to make sure that nothing like this happens again.

09 March 2010

LH writes ADF Chief about ISF accountability

The complete letter is here; this is an excerpt.

Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, AC, AFC, Chief of the Australian Defence Force

8 March, 2010
Dear Air Chief Marshall Houston,
We write regarding your recent statement that the Australian Defence Force would “put in place processes” to avoid a repetition of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) mishandling of a vehicle accident as occurred when Gracinda da Costa was killed.

Since 2006 we have expressed concerns regarding the ISF mandate and Status of Forces Agreements, as well as ISF public information, accountability and complaints processes. Our website documents these concerns, which we have also discussed with Australian military and diplomatic staff. In November 2008 we discussed another fatal vehicle accident when an ISF vehicle killed a Timorese man.

We write to offer suggestions to address systemic issues in current complaints, accountability and compensation processes which should also be considered in learning from the Gracinda da Costa case.

These issues include:
  • The ISF has not clearly communicated to Timorese people how to make and track a complaint.
  • Soldiers receiving complaints often do not pass them up the chain of command.
  • The ISF has no clear compensation process for personal injury, only property damage.
  • Civilians have no way of knowing if investigators consider all relevant evidence in making recommendations for disciplinary action or compensation for incidents involving ISF members.
  • The ISF leadership has not integrated much of Australia and New Zealand’s expertise in Timor-Leste since 1999 which could improve its cultural and contextual understanding.
We recommend that the ISF:
  • Develop an accountable complaints process which allows people to register and check the status of their complaint. This process should ensure that the ISF provides information to each complainant about the result of the complaints process, and informs them who to contact if they feel this response inappropriate. Timorese people should provide input into developing this process and the ISF should share information on how to make a complaint.
  • Provide public information about what the military can and cannot do, to ensure that people understand their right to report inappropriate behaviour. This is particularly important after the impunity Indonesian security forces enjoyed during 24 years of illegal, brutal military occupation.
  • Extend compensation processes to include personal injury, including loss of livelihood.
  • Harness expertise about the local context and culture, and incorporate the expertise of those who live and work in Timor-Leste for extended periods. This could include ADF and NZDF advisors to government, former members of the military and Timorese people whose work relates to security forces in Timor-Leste.
  • Investigate all cases of inappropriate ISF behaviour, including the Gracinda da Costa case.

08 March 2010

Bele hetan Buletin LH nian fulan Fevereiru 2010 iha Tetum

Buletin La'o Hamutuk Vol. 11 No. 1-2 publiku ona. Nia inklui artigu kona ba Justisa Rai iha Timor-Leste; Lei ba Rai tranzitoriú; Mudansa klimátika; Osan husi doador desde 1999; Justisa Nafatin Nu'udar Obrigasaun Internasionál ida; Editorial: Rejeita impunidade, la'o ba justisa.

Ita hotu bele hetan Buletin ida ne'e husi kantor La'o Hamutuk nian iha Farol, ka husi ami nia website.