BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor Loro Sa'e: Monday August 27 2001


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Click on links relating to Women's issues at:

August 2001 LHB: Women and the Reconstruction of East Timor  Bulletin intro added Aug 22
"Unfortunately, women’s liberation is not a natural outcome of national liberation. In East Timor, as around the world, women face pervasive violence, both in public and private life. Women face higher rates of illiteracy, malnutrition, and overall poverty. Women as a group lack access to resources and power to impact public policies and development strategies. And while, since 1975, the United Nations has played an important role in international efforts to improve the status of women globally, economic globalization and international militarism continue to disproportionately impact women’s lives in severe and negative ways." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: Campaign to Support Women’ Rights in the Constitution  Article added Aug 22
"In March 2001, the National Council rejected a proposal that would have ensured that 30% of Constituent Assembly members’ seats would be for women. ... The defeat, ... has not slowed women’s activism on constitutional issues. A campaign is underway to collect 10,000 signatures in support of “the Women’s Charter of Rights” before 15 August, to present to the Constituent Assembly." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
"We want all people in East Timor to understand the importance of women’s rights in East Timor. The Constituent Assembly must listen to the voices of men and women and write a constitution that includes the rights of women,” Maria Angelina Pereira, Gender and Constitution Subcommittee of the Constitutional Working Group, a coalition of national and international organisations.

August 2001 LHB: Women’s Participation at the Rural Community Level  Article added Aug 22
"Present development practices often reinforce these patriarchal and urban-centered structures. In turn, poor women in rural communities are often left out of the development picture. ... Development planning, therefore, often focuses disproportionately on urban development, leaving rural communities neglected and leading to a flux of rural youth to cities in search of work. Instead, we should envision development from the perspective of people’s daily lives and with a focus on the most basic of needs, ... Development policies must focus on the most marginalized people in society  poor girls and women in rural communities - and women must be involved in development planning." Mana Micató, aka Maria Domingas Alves Soares, one of the founding members of Fokupers

August 2001 LHB: Domestic Violence: A Part of Women’s Daily Lives in ETimor  Article added Aug 22
" ... women have the right to talk about the violence they face and look for a solution. Domestic violence is not simply an individual or family problem as so many people think; it is a societal problem that we must identify as such. There must be support and solidarity from all parts of society: from political leaders; church leaders; legal bodies; and all men and men. All must acknowledge domestic violence as a deep social problem that needs immediate attention. There must be mechanisms to support survivors of violence." Manuela Leong Pereira is the Director of Fokupers

August 2001 LHB: International Security Forces and Sexual Misconduct  Commentary added Aug 22
"Sexual misconduct by military personnel occurs all over the world. Recent cases of sexual violence against women and children in East Timor show that the problem also exists in UNTAET’s Peace Keeping Forces (PKF) and Civilian Police (CivPol). Although many PKF and CivPol have good relationships with East Timorese, there have been several instances of sexual misconduct: in early 2001, two PKF based in southwest Suai were sent home ‘in disgrace’ after being found guilty of inappropriate behaviour involving East Timorese women; several PKF in Oecusse are currently under investigation after allegations of sexual misconduct; and one CivPol officer is facing a rape charge." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: Catholic Women’s Conference in Rome  Article added Aug 22
"Earlier this year, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) held a conference of members in Domus Pacis, Rome. Two East Timorese women, Sr. Maria Dias of PAS Clinic and Laura Abrantes of Fokupers attended the conference. Both women are also active with the East Timorese Women’s Network. ... At the WUCWO meeting in Rome, international representatives approved a list of 15 resolutions, which they have since forwarded to Pope John Paul II, the United Nations and many other influential individuals and organizations." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: Childbirth: A Major Health Concern for Women  Article added Aug 22
"Three newborn babies recently died in our village, ... It is not uncommon for either the mother or child to die during childbirth here.” a village chief
"East Timor faces many serious health problems; for women, childbirth is one of most pressing. ... Health workers identified the following practical steps as necessary to ensure safer childbirth: * General reproductive health education in villages. * Training for traditional birth attendants. * Establishment of networks and support groups. ... It is critical that these programs empower women as well as reduce heath-related problems. And it must always be understood that women’s health problems are deeply related to their socio-economic situation." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: The United Nations, Gender Affairs, and East Timor  Article added Aug 22
"In the East Timorese Women’s Network’s Briefing on Women’s Issues (June 2001) for the East Timor Donors’ Conference, there is a call for “the prompt realization of a Gender Unit within ETTA (East Timor Transitional Administration) both now and after independence, and both in Dili and in the Districts administration. This is an urgent requirement so that women can be involved in dialogue so as to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by administration policies.” Whether this office is created will depend largely on the new elected government. If created, its effectiveness will depend on its location in the new government structure, the mandate it carries, and the degree to which its staff understand and commit to that mandate." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: The Employment of Women in ETTA  Article added Aug 22
"Recently, ETTA led a large-scale effort to recruit and hire East Timorese for civil service positions. These positions will help lay the foundation for the new East Timorese government. The data below show the number of women employed as a percentage of total employment for different departments. ... Education 29%; Police 18%; Health 32%; Judicial Affairs 17%; Border Control 20%; Water and Sanitation 3%; Agriculture 10%; Labor and Social Services 4%; Land and Property 3%; Foreign Affairs 39%" La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Aug 24 UNIFEM: Participation of women as candidates for the elections  Info update added Aug 25
"We have made an important update to the East Timor page of the UNIFEM East and South East Asia web site ... Almost all of the page content has been changed, with the highlight being an all new section about the participation of women as candidates for the 30th August 2001 election, including an assessment of the support they will need to be elected. " Geoff Corner, UNIFEM

Aug 21 CIIR: Where are East Timor's women leaders?  Article added Aug 23
"As the people of East Timor prepare to elect the country’s first national assembly since independence CIIR is sending an all-women team of observers to focus on women’s participation. ... Three women candidates are standing as independent candidates in the districts, Olandina Caeiro, Teresa Carvalho, and Maria Domingas Fernandes. The election of one or all of them ... ‘ ... would be a step towards dealing with unreasonable discrimination in East Timorese society, which is profoundly conservative and traditional, and in which women occupy a position of subjugation, if we succeed in changing it just a little bit.’ [Caeiro said]" Catherine Scott, Asia Policy Officer, Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)

Aug 21 CIIR observer mission to East Timorese elections  Release added Aug 23
"Women campaigned for a minimum 30 per cent quota for female candidates in party lists, as agreed by the CNRT Congress and the first East Timorese women’s conference last year. But in March the National Council blocked the proposal. Women have since been developing alternative strategies designed to ensure adequate participation by women in the elections, and have been urging political parties to place female candidates high on their lists so that women can enter the assembly." Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Partisipasaun Politika hosi Feto  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Iha loron 1 fulan Maiu, UNTAET sira nian “Gender Affairs/Urusan Gender” Unit hamutuk ho Nasoes Unidas nian Fundus ba Feto sira (UNIFEM) komesa halao treinu potensial ba kandidatus feto sira. Treinu ne’e hala’o iha fulan Maiu nian laran to’o prinsipiu fulan Junhu no fokus ba partisipasaun politika, halo desizaun no konhecimentu baziku konaba oinsa bele sai kandidatu iha eleisaun oin mai hanesan membru konstituanti." La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

lia-tetun liután

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Read about Urgent Actions & Things to Do at:

Aug 24 TETA: No! to the Dispatch of Japanese SDF to ETimor  Release added Aug 25
"Free East Timor! National Coalition, Japan, is against the current Japanese government plan to send the Self Defence Force (SDF) to East Timor as part of PKF, issued a statement in mid-July, and we are currently doing a FAX campagin against the plan. While knowing that Xanana and Horta said OK to the sending of SDF and understanding it, we cannot agree with the dispatch of SDF. Please read the following and, if you agree to our stand, please act on with us to stop sending SDF. ... Last but not least, during WWII, Japanese army occupied East Timor and many Timorese suffered forced labour and sex slavery. Japanese government did nothing about this." Kyo Kageura, Tokyo East Timor Association

Until Aug 31 Internews: Job Vacancy  Request added Aug 21
"Internews Network, an international nonprofit organization supporting independent media projects around the world, seeks a journalism trainer/resident advisor with extensive radio broadcasting experience to manage the training program in our Dili office. Competitive compensation package, excellent benefits. Visit our website at " Internews Network

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Access recently added news items at:

August 2001 LHB: Phillips Petroleum and Canberra Play an Old Game  Editorial added Aug 25
“In October 1999, while Dili was still in smoldering ruins, East Timorese leaders indicated to the companies that they welcomed their continued investment in the Timor Sea. At the time, the leaders were not aware of the unfair investment incentives, which lay hidden in company contracts. ... it is ludicrous now to assert that East Timor is obliged to give the companies the benefit of the same unfair fiscal incentives that were offered to them by the Indonesians and Australians ... offered to attract companies to invest in a territory which belonged neither to Indonesia nor Australia.” former Political Affairs minister, Peter Galbraith
"There is too much money involved in the Timor Gap for Phillips Petroleum and its allies to not stay involved. The question is, under what conditions will they be involved? As the past conduct of Phillips and its allies in aiding Indonesia’s subjugation of East Timor demonstrates, they are not defending any principle; they are simply trying to ensure high profits. The East Timorese leadership is correct to insist upon a set of tax policies that is significantly more favourable to East Timor." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Aug 23 ApT: Le réglement de la question du Timor oriental est une question internationale  Release added Aug 25
"Nous appellons le gouvernement français à maintenir son niveau d’implication dans la mission de l’ONU, à soutenir la création d’un tribunal pénal ad hoc pour Timor-Est et à agir de manière énergique pour que les Timorais de l’Est deplacés en Indonésie échappent à la terreur de milices soutenues par l’armée et puissent choisir librement de rentrer ou de rester en Indonésie." Agir pour Timor

Aug 23 ApT: A solution of the ETimor issue is an international question  Release added Aug 25
"We call on the French government to keep its level of implication in the UN mission, to support the creation of an ad hoc international penal tribunal for East Timor and to act energetically so that the East Timorese displaced in Indonesia escape the terror of army-supported militia and can freely choose to go back or stay in Indonesia." Agir pour Timor

Aug 22 AAP: Australian Senate rejects Timor war crimes tribunal  News added Aug 23
"The Senate has rejected a proposal for an international war crimes tribunal covering the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Instead, it backed Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s moves to prosecute those committing atrocities during the 1999 independence ballot." AAP
“I don’t accept this amendment because it is simply saying, well, this matter should be left to Jakarta and it should be circumscribed to the events surrounding the referendum in East Timor, ... Is the massive rape, death and destruction campaign in East Timor different from that in Rwanda or in Bosnia?” Greens [party] Senator Bob Brown

Aug 22 SMH: Timor justice shackled by 'joke' decree  Article added Aug 22
"She [President Megawati Sukarnoputri] spoke about her commitment [to prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses], but I don’t believe it, ... It was the military commanders who supported her rise to power. Many of those were in East Timor.” Mr Aniceto Guterres, director of Yayasan Hak, East Timor’s leading human rights organisation

Aug 20 HRW: Attorney-general a disappointing choice  News added Aug 21
"The recently appointed attorney-general is the most disappointing appointment in President Mwgawati’s cabinet," Sidney Jones in Jakarta

Aug 19 VOA: Xanana Gusmao: Guerrilla-Turned-Statesman  Article added Aug 21
"East Timor is not likely not to hold a presidential election until just before it achieves full independence early next year, and that poses a problem for East Timor’s U.N. caretakers. Mr. Gusmao is so extraordinarily popular that many are under the mistaken belief that the August 30 ballot to election an interim council to write a constitution is really a presidential election, and thousands have declared their intention to vote for Mr. Gusmao." Patricia Nunan

Aug 16 J Hejak & A Tilman: New East Timor phrasebook released by Lonely Planet  Release added Aug 21
" ... East Timor is a land of many different languages and dialects. More widely used and understood than any other is Tetun, the first language of 20% of the people and the second language of most. ... Being the official language of East Timor, Portuguese cannot be overlooked. A chapter of the book is therefore dedicated to key phrases in Portuguese. For those going off the beaten track, three indigenous languages - Fataluku, Makasae and Kemak - are also covered. With and enticing food chapter ... plus a comprehensive health section, ... advice on etiquette and essential cultural information." Lonely Planet

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak  News from ETimor added Aug 26
Lia-foun no Kestaun husi 'Boletim La’o Hamutuk': Konsulta iha Konstituisaun; Partisipasaun Politika hosi Feto; Traballadór; Oecusse Isolado; Bispo katolico Basilio De Nascimento; Timorizasaun; Nasional survey konaba votantes sira nian konhecimentu.

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Oecusse Isolado  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Sira hateten ba hau katak [Ro-ahi] servisu foun ne’e atu hala’o . iha 23 Maiu semana kotuk ne’e, maibe seidauk hala’o. Ami kole ona hein bebeik. Ami mos preokupa katak kada bilhete nebe karun teb-tebes US $10 kada bilhete para ba deit Oe-cusse, osan ida ne’e la’os ema hotu iha Oe-cuse mak bele selu. Ami precisa solusaun permanente ida.” Ana Paula Sequeira husi Conselhu Nasional representante Oe-cusse

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Traballadór  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Iha loron 1 fulan Maiu 2001, besik trabalhador atus ida ho sira nia apoiantes hamrik iha UNTAET nia oin atu komemora Loron Premeiru de Maiu. ... Wainhira UNTAET simu kritikas tamba la estabelese lei servisu basiku trabalhador hanesan pagamentu minimu vencimentu ho mos estabelecimentu oras walu loron ida Asaun ne’e fo oportunidade ba ema barak bele fahe ho fo sira nian preokupasaun no experiencia iha servisu." La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Konsulta iha Konstituisaun  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Iha karta loron 18 fulan Abril nian ba Peter Galbraith, chefe Departamentu UNTAET ba “Bidang Politik/Political Affairs” no “Timor Sea/laut Timor,” NGO Forum oficialmente rejeita UNTAET nian konvite atu tur iha panel selesaun ba komisariu konstitusional. NGO Forum mos reitera hanoin nebe fo sai iha nia karta iha loron 17 fulan Marsu ba Konselhu Seguransa ONU nian konaba planu prosesu nebe sei falta hela." La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Nasional survey konaba votantes sira nian konhecimentu  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Iha loron 22 fulan Maiu, Asia Foundation (husi Estados Unidos) fo sai resultadu “nasional survey konaba votantes sira nian konhecimentu.” Survey ne’e hala’o iha fin de Marsu husi working group NGO Forum ba Edukasaun Votantes sira nian, envolve mos ho intrevistas ho votantes potensiais iha districtus 13 iha rai Timor. Hatudu Timor eleitoradu sira senti positivu pursentu 75 ema ba hare ne’e hanoin katak rai ne’e la’o iha diresaun los no pursentu 94 hatete katak sira atu vota iha eleisaun be mai ne’e. Maibe resultadu ne’e fo’o preokupasaun bo’ot konaba eleisaun." La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

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Access details of Canberra & National (Australian) Events at:

International Conference: “Politics, Crime and Criminal Justice”
International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law
Final day of the conf: Emphasis on East Timor: Restoration of criminal
justice systems & development of international criminal justice systems
Info: email: website:
Old Parliament House, High Court of Australia & Rydges Lakeside Canberra Hotel, Canberra, Australia
26-30 August 2001

August 30th East Timor National Election Date

Post-Timor Election Dinner
Also, some interesting speakers to talk about the election and its implications.
Acceptances by 28 August to Robert and Wendy by phone 62822805 or by e-mail
$25 per person. (includes $5 fundraiser)
Greater Indian and International Restaurant Curtin Place, Curtin (opposite the Curtin shops), Canberra
Friday 31 August 7.30 p.m

Public discussion on E.Timor: "Democratisation and Decolonisation - The Elections as Prism"
Speakers include:
Peter Hosking, former Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in East Timor; Tricia Fitzgerald, ABC journalist; Balthasar Kehi,
East Timorese Lecturer; Helen Hill, Senior Lecturer & Research Fellow.
Institute of Post-Colonial Studies
Info: Helen M. Hill
Uniting Church Hall, Elm street, North Melbourne
Thursday, September 20, 8pm

(Selection of) SYDNEY EVENTS:

Access details of Sydney Events at:

"Leaving the Crocodile" Exhibition: The Story of the East Timorese Community in Sydney
Timorese artists working with the Liverpool Museum
Principal Curator: Amanda Wise: email
Liverpool Regional Museum, Cnr Congressional Drive & Hume Hwy, Liverpool, Sydney
August 25th-December 15th

A 25 Year Retrospective Of The Best Documentary Films On East Timor
includes unscreened footage from Maliana and Sydney
An AETA fundraiser. Details Andy 9960-550
Bookings at The Valhalla 9552-2456. $10 entry.
The Valhalla Cinema, Glebe, Sydney
Monday 27th August 8.15pm-11pm

Mass to be celebrated, praying in solidarity with the people of East Timor
for a successful and peaceful outcome to their first and momentous elections on August 30.
Mary MacKillop Chapel, Mount Street, North Sydney
Wednesday, August 29th,1pm

August 30th East Timor National Election Date

John Birmingham In Conversation With Lansell Taudevin
on the Quarterly Review essay “Appeasing Jakarta”
Gleebooks, upstairs, $8/$5. Bookings: Gleebooks (02) 9660-2333
Thursday 30th August, 6.30pm for 7pm

Post-East Timor election PARTY to officially OPEN ‘Leaving the Crocodile’ exhibition
Come and celebrate! Free. All welcome - Timorese bands, dancers, food.
Exhibition details 9602-0315 Email
Includes: Launch of Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies (MMIETS) Literacy Program
Launch details: 9623-2847 Email:
Liverpool Regional Museum, Hume Hgwy Liverpool, Sydney
Sat. Sept 1st Timor - from 1pm onwards

"Friends Of Maliana" Monthly Meeting (held first Tuesday of each month)
Details 9367-9047 or
Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney
Tuesday 4th September, 7 p.m

Amnesty Group Seminar on Torture in East Timor with speakers including:
Ciaron O’Reilly, Sr. Susan Connelly, Peter McGregor, Lansell Taudevin, STARRTS, etc.
Details  David Druery
Uni of Western Sydney (Parramatta campus), Room EG36
Wednesday 5th September, 12 Noon to 2pm

Guest Lecture By Ciaron O’Reilly:
'The solidarity movement’s reclaiming of public space to resist the Indonesian occupation of East Timor'
Catholic Worker & ‘Swords into Ploughshares’
Includes: Book Launch of Ciaron’s 'Remembering Forgetting: A Journey Of Non-Violent Resistance To The War
On East Timor' by Sister Susan Connelly, of Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies (MMIETS)
Details: Peter McGregor, Lecturer, Media & Social Studies, (02) 98525244, or
Uni. of Western Sydney, (Kingswood Campus), Room K104
Wed. 5th September, Lecture: 3pm, Book launch 4pm.

Guest Lecture by Lansell Taudevin (aid specialist & author of 'East Timor: Too Little, Too Late'):
'Espionage in aid work'
referring to his involvement in East Timor from 1996 to 1999, & the limits to which the innocent can be used as informers.
Details Peter McGregor, Lecturer, Media & Social Studies, (02) 98525244, or email
Uni of Western Sydney, (Werrington South campus), Room BJ117
Thurs. 6th September, from 5pm

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