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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

December 2001 News, Articles & Reports:

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December 2001 ETSG Team: Transformation of Constituent Assembly into Legislative Assembly: Do we need a new election?  Seminar Proceedings added Jan 4
"As the Constituent Assembly moving swiftly to finalize and approve the Constitution of East Timor, debates about their transformation into Legislative Assembly has already taken place. Mr. Xanana Gusmao, East Timor’s national leader began addressing the issue publicly by arguing that East Timor needs a new election to elect the members of the Legislative Assembly. The elections for the Legislative Assembly can be done together with presidential elections in 2002. The reaction against that option was mixed. Mr. Mari Alkatiri, Chief-Minister in Second Transitional Cabinet and Secretary General of Fretilin, the majority party in the Constituent Assembly and Mr. Francisco Guterres, Lu-Olo, President of Fretilin and the Constituent Assembly disagreed. They argue that East Timorese need more funding to rebuild their houses and providing food for their families instead of wasting money in new elections. ... " ETSG Team: Paulino Guterres, BA; Francisco da Costa Guterres, MA; Estanislau de Sousa Saldanha, M.Tech; Helder da Costa, Ph.D; João M. Saldanha, Ph.D

December 2001 UNTAET: Peacekeeping Force (Fact Sheet 17)  Info added Jan 4
"UNTAET’s Peacekeeping Force maintains security in East Timor and renders humanitarian assistance to its people. The current deployment of 8,000 troops from 21 nations will be reduced to 5,000 troops and military observers by independence." UNTAET Press Office

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Desember 2001 BLH: Tinjauan Tentang Bantuan Bilateral untuk Timor Lorosa’e
Artikel ditambahkan tanggal 1 Januari 2002
"Sampai dua tahun yang lalu, masyarakat internasional umumnya mengabaikan Timor Lorosa’e. Pendudukan militer Indonesia yang ilegal menurut hukum internasional telah menghalangi banyak negara untuk mengirimkan bantuan ekonomi kepada Timor Lorosa’e. Tetapi, dengan berakhirnya pendudukan itu, banyak negara mendanai proyek-proyek di sini. Bantuan ekonomi ini tidak bisa menggantikan pengabaian itu, dan jumlah uang yang dikirim para donor tidaklah cukup untuk mengganti kerugian akibat penindasan Indonesia selama hampir 24 tahun – penindasan yang juga didanai dan didukung oleh banyak negara donor yang sama – tetapi penting untuk membuat Timor Lorosa’e kembali berdiri di atas kakinya sendiri." La'o Hamutuk: Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Timur

December UNTAET: 2nd Tranisitional Government (Fact Sheets 3&4)  Info added Jan 1
"* The Transitional Government comprises a Chief Minister [Dr. Marí Bin Amude Alkatiri, Fretilin], ten Ministers, seven Vice-Ministers and three Secretaries of State. The Transitional Government is supported by a number of high-level East Timorese advisors who report to the Chief Minister. * As the Transitional Government’s representative body, the Council of Ministers collectively takes the most significant decisions of the Transitional Government on policy and financial matters, under the Transitional Administrator’s [Sergio Vieira de Mello] ultimate authority and in close consultation with him. The Transitional Government will also recommend to the Transitional Administrator the promulgation of legislation in close consultation with the Transitional Administrator, who retains the ultimate executive and legislative authority. [Includes a list of the members of the Second East Timor Transitional Government]" UNTAET Press Office

Dec 31 AFP: Anti-riot troops ready in West Timor for closure of refugee camps  News added Jan 1
“The camps will gradually be closed as the government’s aid will halt by the end of December, and the police will take stern measures against those who refuse to leave the [refugee] camps,” Provincial spokesman Kosapilawan
“Those rioting or provoking violence will be shot on sight. This is to prevent social conflicts from spreading in the province,” East Nusa Tenggara Police chief Brigadier General Yacobus Jacki Uli

Dec 31 JP: All E.Timorese refugees must leave camps by Jan. 1; rioters to be shot  News added Dec 31
"In December 1999 only 100,000 people remained in West Timor’s refugee camps. Since then the government had provided them with 400 grams of rice and Rp 1,500 per day for each person. The government had earlier said that it was time the refugees became independent. Now that the government has decided to stop the aid, their refugee status will be withdrawn, and they must be independent and try to survive as other fellow citizens do. ... According to Brig. Gen. Jacobus, the officers would take preventive actions to deal with the refugees. “However, those rioting or provoking violence will be shot on sight. This is to prevent social conflicts from spreading in the province.” " Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang

December UNTAET: Timor Sea (Fact Sheet 18)  Info added Dec 31
"Much progress has been made in recent talks between East Timor and representatives of petroleum companies on outstanding issues. East Timor believes that a successful outcome in this regard can be achieved soon. The Second Transitional Government of East Timor, sworn in on 20 September, has indicated its willingness to ensure that East Timor’s tax regime provides oil companies with a fair rate of return. The Government has stressed the great importance to East Timor of gas development in the Timor Sea as a major source of future revenues." Catherine McKenna & Jonathan Morrow, UNTAET Press Office

December UNTAET: UNTAET Basic Facts (Fact Sheet 2)  Info added Dec 31
" ... the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) until 31 January 2002, bearing in mind the possible need for adjustments related to the independence timetable. ... The current authorized deployment of nearly 8,900 Peacekeeping troops will be reduced to 5,000 troops and military observers by independence. ... Planning for UNTAET Successor Mission: Under the coordination of the Office of the SRSG, planning teams on police, military and civilian components have been established." UNTAET Press Office

Dec 30 Yale: Health Care in ETimor  Overview added Dec 31
"Summary & Conclusions: The development of an effective health care system in East Timor requires that the following issues be addressed: a) coordination of various health care programs ... b) complete the basic training of the East Timorese medical students who have completed some training c) develop longterm educational goals for the country, in terms of strategies to train physicians, nurses, para-medical personnel d) development of programs to train village health care workers ... " Fredric O. Finkelstein, M.D. & Susan H. Finkelstein, MSW, Yale University

Dec 28 Aus: No room for Timor refugees  News added Dec 31
"About 1600 East Timorese who have been struggling for up to eight years to stay in Australia would not be given special consideration because refugee places are too scarce, Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said yesterday." Megan Saunders, The Australian
“I believe the Government should now give anyone who wants it permanent residence on the grounds we stuffed around with them ... It’s gone on too long, and most of it was the Government’s problem in that they kept arguing on the basis the refugees were Portuguese. That was ludicrous and unfair, and really was an abuse of process.” Marion Le, Independent Council for Refugee Advocacy president

Dec 28 Age: Timorese Rejected for Refugee Visas  News added Dec 31
"Refugee lawyer Liz Biok said many of the East Timorese were young women whose husbands had been killed and who had been victims of rape, while many others came as children or in family groups. Many had been severely tortured and all had been traumatised, she said. ... Sister Josephine Mitchell, of the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies in Sydney, said the young asylum seekers should be allowed to live here permanently, or at least be allowed to stay long enough to obtain educational qualifications." Darren Gray, The Age

Dec 28 ABC: East Timor reassures political asylum seekers  News added Dec 31
"The Chief Minister of East Timor, Mari Alkatiri, says up to sixteen hundred asylum seekers in Australia should have no fear of returning to East Timor. ... Dr Alkatiri says the East Timorese have a right to stay in Australia on some grounds, but political asylum should not be one of them." ABC Radio Australia News

Dec 28 CT: UN urges soft line on Timor refugees  News added Dec 31
"I think for the majority the situation is safe to return, however it all depends on individual cases for some, the situation is not yet right and it may never be right for return ... Even non-refugees would understand that eight years is certainly a very long time; you’ve put down new roots, you have children born in these new countries, they are educated there. It would be difficult for anyone to then think of uprooting again.” Jake Morland, UN High Commission for Refugees, Dili

Dec 28 Lee: Oz-ET asylum seekers/Ruddock statement  Action added Dec 31
" ... to allow 1600 [Timorese asylum seekers] to finish education -TAFE, high school, uni, etc. would be a far more “cost effective” form of aid than many of the current projects operating inside East Timor. In short, the cost of resettling these 1600 back to East Timor will far exceed the cost of allowing them to remain in the Australian community ... After all, they received minimum assistance since their arrival here [in Australia] in the wake of the ‘Dili massacre’ ... most of the “cost” of their resettlement (in oz) has been born by the long standing Timorese community that has been here since the late 1970s and by sympathetic charities and refugee support groups and the individuals themselves. ... Are the Timorese to become the latest pawns/scapegoats in the govt’s hard line policy over refugees since the Tampa crisis? ... " Jefferson Lee, Australia

Dec 22 Linton: Cambodia, ETimor & Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice  Intro & link added Dec 31
"In Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone, the United Nations has been involved in efforts to create a new species of tribunal for the prosecution of international crimes. These are the “internationalised domestic tribunals”, grafted onto the judicial structure of a nation where massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law have taken place, or created as a treaty based organ, separate from that structure. In a radical move away from the earlier prevailing wisdom that the non-inclusion in any position of nationals of the country most affected would preserve impartiality, objectivity and neutrality, mixed panels of international and local judges have jurisdiction to try crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." Suzannah Linton, author of Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice

Dec 20 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups condemn end run on military training restrictions  Release added Dec 31
"Counter-terrorism must not be used as an excuse to resume training for a military [Indonesian military (TNI)] which terrorizes its own people and continues to enjoy impunity for its scorched-earth campaign in East Timor ... The bill does not specify what will be taught in the program. There is no requirement preventing these funds from being used to train the Indonesian military, and we don’t think they should.” Kurt Biddle, Washington Coordinator, Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN)
“Until the Indonesian military and government comply with the very reasonable conditions in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the US government should not be training Indonesian military personnel. These restrictions were put in place for a reason,” John M. Miller, spokesperson for East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Buletin La'o Hamutuk: [PDF format]
Vol. 2, No. 8 December 2001
Tinjauan Tentang Bantuan Bilateral untuk Timor Lorosa’e:

La'o Hamutuk Bulletin:
Vol. 2, No. 8 December 2001
Bilateral Aid:

Dec 17 Linguistic map of Timor Island  Info added Dec 17
A Linguistic map of Timor Island is available at:
Languages of Timor Lorosae:

Dec 16 WSLS/LV: New Terrorist Laws Threaten Democratic Rights  Urgent Action update added Dec 16
"New Laws: * ASIO to get powers of arrest and detention for up to 48 hours * The removal of the right to silence when under questioning * The creation of terrorist offences and related legislation violating the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association * Removal of privacy rights and increased powers for government to seize organisation's assets * Denial of the right to legal representation ... In Australia ... Federal Cabinet has announced some extraordinary proposals and over the coming months proposed legislation will be made public. The legislation is likely to be considered in February so it is important for civil society to act now and influence the debate over what are acceptable changes, if any, to our democratic and civil rights. ... In Australia, support for the East Timorese's independence movement could have been banned." Damien Lawson, Western Suburbs Legal Service, Melbourne & Anne O'Rourke, Liberty Victoria (Australia)

Dec 15 IPRD: Indonesia, ETimor & The Western Powers: A Case Study  Research paper added Dec 18
"Indonesia and East Timor are prime examples of how Western foreign policy actually systematically results in the violation of human rights, the support of terror, the creation of conflict and the sabotage of peace. Policy, it seems, is formulated primarily on the basis of achieving regional strategic and economic interests, with humanitarian principles being systematically sidelined. In this context, we must view Western claims to be harbingers of humanitarianism, leading a genuine war against terrorism, with much skepticism." Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and a Researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Laporan utama
Des 14 JSMP: Keadilan Dalam Praktek: HAK asasi manusia dalam administrasi pengadilan
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal Desember 17
"Laporan ini mengkaji efektivitas administrasi Panel Khusus untuk Kejahatan Serius dari Pengadilan Distrik Dili yang dibentuk oleh Pemerintah Transisi PBB di Timor Lorosa’e (UNTAET). Panel Khusus ini diberi mandat untuk menangani Kejahatan-kejahatan Serius yang dilakukan selama pendudukan Indonesia, termasuk kampanye tindak kekerasan di tahun 1999. Kemampuan Panel ini untuk menegakkan keadilan secara adil dan independen sangat penting bagi proses rekonsiliasi yang tengah digalakkan. ... Untuk merangkum rekomendasi-rekomendasi yang diketengahkan: perencanaan strategis yang komprehensif berdasarkan pada analisa kebutuhan yang lengkap harus merupakan suatu prioritas. Hal ini harus mengarah kepada perubahan substansial pada administrasi pengadilan, termasuk mobilisasi sumber-daya yang semakin meningkat secara signifikan dan pelatihan terkoordinir serta pemantauan terhadap staff Timor Lorosa’e. Ini menyimpulkan bahwa tanpa suatu struktur administrasi jelas, tanggung-jawab yang didefinisikan dengan benar dan pelatihan memadai serta dukungan teknis, sistem peradilan Timor Lorosa’e yang baru dan Panel Khusus untuk Kejahatan Serius akan tetap bergelut." Program Pemantauan Sistim Peradilan

Principal original
Dec 14 JSMP: Justiça na práctica: direitos humonos na administração do tribunal
Reportagem de Dec 17
"Este relatório examina a efectividade da administração do Painel Especial para Crimes Sérios do Tribunal do Distrito de Díli que tem sido criado pela Administração Transitória das Nações Unidas em Timor Leste (UNTAET). Essses Paineis especiais são mandatados para tratar dos crimes sérios cometidos durante a ocupação Indonésia, incluido a campanha de violência em 1999. As suas abilidades de ministrar justiça num clima justo e independente é vital para sustentar o decorrente processo de reconciliação. ... Para resumir as recomendações apresentadas aqui: plano estratégico compreensivo, baseado na total nescessidade de avaliação, deve ser uma prioridade. Isto deveria conduzir a reformas substanciais da administração, inclusive um melhoramento significativo da mobilização dos recursos e terinamento coordenado dos stafs de Timor Leste. Isto conclui de que sem uma estrutura administrativa lúcida, responsabilidades bem definidas, treinos adequados e assistência técnica, o novo sistema judicial de Timor Leste e os Paineis Especiais para Crimes Sérios continuarão a ser uma luta." Programa de Monitorização do Sistema Judicial (PMSJ)

Major Report
Dec 14 JSMP: Justice in Practice - Human Rights in Court Administration
Executive summary added Dec 17
"Since February 2001 the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) has been providing independent monitoring and analysis of the Special Panels of the Dili District Court. Through court observation of the Serious Crimes trials, JSMP monitors have observed a series of problems that are impeding the proper development of this important part of East Timor’s new justice system. JSMP’s first thematic report Justice in Practice: Human Rights in Court Administration examines these problems and their implications for the system’s capacity to comply with international human rights standards and fulfil its role in the broader reconciliation process in East Timor. The report also contains a series of recomendations that have been forwarded to the UN Transitional Administration and the Minister for Justice." Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Dec 13 S-DCW: Washington Gave Green Light to Invasion of East Timor  Article added Dec 31
"If Americans needed any reminding how, during the cold war, U.S. policymakers subordinated Wilsonian principles of self-determination to the larger anticommunist struggle, they should read several secret U.S. documents surrounding Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor obtained and released this week by the independent National Security Archive (NSA). The documents confirm that visiting U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave a green light to President Suharto for the invasion." Jim Lobe, contributing editor, Foreign Policy in Focus & journalist, Inter Press Service, an international news agency

Current AETA Resource List (Australia-East Timor Association)  Resources on ETimor updated Dec 16
AETA (Melbourne) provide a community-based service that includes the provision of books, educational materials, Tetum language books/kits and music CDs/cassettes. This diverse collection of resources includes materials that are otherwise difficult to obtain. - BD

Dec 12 Basilio Araujo: Tetun as the official language of the future East Timor  Letters added Dec 29
"We have to congratulate the members of the Constituet assembly who have decided courageously to pass Tetun as the official language of the future East Timor independent country. ... It is not true that chosing Tetun is the same as closing ourselves to the world. ... The future East Timorese generation will thank and salute you for your historic decision." Basilio Araujo, author, thesis on Morphology of East Timor Language, Christian University of Jakarta (UKI)

Begins December 11th: Donor Conference for East Timor Venue: Norway

Dec 11 Leite: Legal imperative of self-determination: Lessons from E Timor for W Sahara  Article added Jan 26
Identical situations must be treated by law in the same way. Since the famous UN Resolution 1514 of 1960 the right to self-determination is recognized as a basic right of all peoples. ... President Habibie had already proposed autonomy as a way to solve the conflict of East Timor. The Timorese, Portugal and the UN rejected it, keeping firm on the application of the principle of self-determination. Therefore, the question put to the voters in the referendum was: “Do you ACCEPT the proposed special autonomy for East Timor within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia? OR Do you REJECT the proposed special autonomy for East Timor, leading to East Timor’s separation from Indonesia?” The proposed autonomy was there, but as a conclusion of a process of free choice by the East Timorese, together with the other option, the independence. Contrarily, in the “Framework Agreement” for Western Sahara, autonomy is determined from the beginning; it is thus imposed on the Sahrawi people, before they have the chance to freely choose their status." Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary of the International Platform of Jurists for East Timor & member of the Executive Council of the International Association of Jurists for Western Sahara

Dec 11 AFP: Tetum and Portuguese named Timor's official languages  News added Dec 29
"East Timor’s fledgling lawmaking body on Tuesday adopted the tongues of both their native ancestors and Portuguese colonisers as the official languages of the world’s newest nation. Tetum and Portuguese were given the nod by 80 members of the 88-person constituent assembly, a body elected three months ago to draft a founding constitution for the half-island territory now five months away from full independence." Agence France Presse
“We used Tetum to recruit and unite people in the struggle against Indonesia ... (Independence leader) Xanana Gusmao used Tetum when he wrote letters to the youth, so we’ve always considered it the language of resistance" Mariano Sabino Lopes, of the youth-oriented Democratic Party

December 10th: International Human Rights Day
See: BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity (East Timor & Indonesia)

Dec 10 Basilio Araujo: Research of the Morphology of Tetun Language  Letters added Dec 29
"I have found my thesis on Morphology of East Timor Language. ... Since East Timor is on its early stages for nationhood, I would like to contribute this thesis to the ministry of Education of East Timor in order to print it out for use by the teachers of East Timor Language in East Timor. I am sure that this research on Tetun Language Morphology is very important for the preparation of Tetun to become the national languge in the future." Basilio Araujo, author, thesis on Morphology of East Timor Language, Christian University of Jakarta (UKI)

Dec 8 ETNGOs: Commemoration Day of the Commencement of the Pacific War  Letter added Jan 24
"The Pacific War which was begun by the Imperial Nation of Japan on 8 December sixty years ago, cost around 40,000 innocent lives in East Timor during the time period of three and half years of the military occupation of the Emperor of Japan. ... History is very important in order to build a better future. For that reason, mistakes of the past have to be straighten out before steps can be made forward. If not, human history has already proven similar mistakes will be repeated. ... We are aware that Japan is the largest donor nation for the East Timor Trust Fund and has given major attention to the reconstruction of East Timor. And we too would like to express our gratitude for this assistance. However, this assistance may not simply cover up the wounds that have been inflicted by the Japanese military on this land of East Timor. If there is no justice, there can be no betterment of life." Representatives of 20 East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

December 7, 1975:
Indonesia commences invasion, occupation and genocide in Timor Lorosae
See: BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity (East Timor & Indonesia)

Principal original
Dez 7 Assembleia Constituinte: Constituição - Texto Base:  [420KB PDF format]
Inclusive: * Texto Base * Recomendações Das Comissões Temáticas * Recomendações Da Mesa Da Comissão De Sistematização E Harmonização * Observações
ETAN U.S. Web:

Major Report
Dec 7 Constituent Assembly: Draft Constitution:  [430KB PDF format]
Includes Draft Constitution and Recommendations made by the Thematic Committees & the Chair of the Systematisation and Harmonisation Commission.
Link to East Timor Action Network U.S. site:

Dec 6 NSAEB: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion, 1975-76  Article added Dec 31
"Most recently, journalist Christopher Hitchens raised questions about the role of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in giving a green light to the invasion [of East Timor] that has left perhaps 200,000 dead in the years since. Two newly declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, released to the National Security Archive, shed light on the Ford administration’s relationship with President Suharto of Indonesia during 1975. Of special importance is the record of Ford’s and Kissinger’s meeting with Suharto in early December 1975. The document shows that Suharto began the invasion knowing that he had the full approval of the White House." National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 62

Dec 3 OTL: A Reconciliação
Reportagem de Dec 18
"Timor Leste chega à independência e são muitos os novos desafios. Após 24 anos de violência há muitas feridas a curar. A guerra contra a Indonésia envolveu Timorenses dos dois lados. Para que possam voltar a viver e enfrentar juntos o futuro, a reconciliação entre Timorenses é prioritária; mas poderá haver reconciliação sem justiça? Foi criada uma Comissão de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliação. Qual a atitude dos dois lados perante a ideia de reconciliação? Como é que cada lado vê as condições necessárias para a reconciliação: verdade, desculpas e reparações, perdão? A reconciliação não é uma solução de facilidade." Observatório Timor Leste

Dec 3 ETO: Reconciliation  Overview added Dec 15
"As independence draws near, a variety of new and continuing challenges face East Timor. 24 years of violence have left many wounds yet to heal. Timorese fought on both sides in the war with Indonesia. Reconciliation is now of paramount importance if Timorese are to live in peace again and enjoy a stable future together. But can there be reconciliation without justice? A Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been set up. What do the two sides think about reconciliation? What do they consider to be the requirements for reconciliation: truth-seeking, public apology and redress, pardon? Reconciliation is not an easy option." East Timor Observatory

December 2nd: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
See: IHRC & TLS: Wage & Sexual Slavery of East Timorese Children & BD: Sexual Slavery of East Timorese Women & New Internationalist: The Burden of Slavery & Anti-Slavery Society of Australia & Anti-Slavery International

Dec 1 PL: A Grammar of Tetun Dili  Info added Dec 16
"Pacific Linguistics is happy to announce the publication of the titles below: A grammar of Tetun Dili, by Catharina Williams-van Klinken, John Hajek, Rachel Nordlinger ... Tetun Dili is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language in Dili, East Timor. It is also spoken as a lingua franca throughout much of this fledgling nation, and is set to become its national language. ... This work constitutes the most detailed grammatical description to date of any language of East Timor, complementing an earlier description of Tetun Terik as spoken in West Timor." Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra

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