25 June 2012

Join pre-election briefing and debate on land rights

Invitation to a debate for political parties on land issues
Monday, 2 July 2012, 0900-1700 at Salaun Canossa, Haas-Laran, Dili
All political parties have been invited to this event, which is being organized by Rede ba Rai (Land Network). Land is a unique resource for Timor-Leste, especially for small and poor people, for whom land is a place to live, provides food, is culturally essential, and sustains their livelihoods. Access to land has created many problems since the Portuguese colonialism and Indonesian occupation, and recent proposed laws and development models could sabotage people's lives for economic reasons, turning land into a commodity. Rede ba Rai is organizing this debate, Oinsá Partidu Polítiku nia Polítika Atu Garante Povu Nia Direitu Asesu Ba Rai to help voters understand what each party and coalition plans to do about land during the next five years.
Download Tetum invitation or flyer.

Invitation to a briefing for journalists, observers and others 
Rights and Sustainability in Timor-Leste’s Development
At La’o Hamutuk, Bebora, Dili Tuesday, 3 July 2012. 10:00 am (sharp) – noon, followed by lunch 
Download this invitation in English or Tetum.
Download the briefing as a 16 MB Powerpoint, or 3 MB PDF.

The Timor-Leste Non-Governmental Organization La’o Hamutuk has monitored the development of this country since 2000. We research and analyze past and current realities, and future possibilities, in several fundamental sectors. This briefing will present an overview and respond to questions about these topics:
  • Timor-Leste is the second-most petroleum-export dependent country on earth, but our oil and gas resources are limited. This determines our State, our economy and our future.
  • Timor-Leste has almost no industry and an embryonic private sector, but state spending in growing faster than every country except Zimbabwe. Our “baby boom” is entering school, and we have just taken out our first foreign loans. What does the future hold?
  • Current development plans, centered on physical infrastructure, will not provide a sustainable improvement in our people’s lives. The unrealistic dreams of the Tasi Mane project rely on the petroleum industry and Greater Sunrise gas, which may never come here.
  • Impunity for past crimes, especially those committed as part of the Indonesian occupation, undermines the rule of law today and tomorrow.
  • Land is the basis of our culture and lives, and recent events could increase injustice and conflict.
Many of the observers and journalists coming for the Parliamentary elections have asked us for interviews, and we will meet individually when requested. In addition, we are offering this briefing to give people a quick, deep understanding of aspects of Timor-Leste’s current reality and future prospects.  Non-journalists are welcome to attend. Some of this material is on La’o Hamutuk’s website and blog, including a similar briefing last May. The July briefing will primarily be in English, but we will provide information in Tetum. This map shows the location of our office, which is behind Dili Cathedral on the left side of the main road westward toward Bairro Pite.

Thank you for your interest and participation. Please let us know if you plan to attend the briefing.

For more election-related information, click here.

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