BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      homeJune news

"Refugees: We know that more than 90% are reported to have said they want to stay in Indonesia. NGOs suggest that there should be an independent evaluation of the validity of this registration process." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e
The East Timor National NGO Forum
 

Kaikoli Street,  Dili-East Timor  telephone 322772/  etngocentre@hotmail.com


East Timor Donorsí Conference, Canberra

NGO Comment on Political Transition
 

Your Excellency, Mr Sergio de Mello, Mr Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia, Mr Ramos Horta and East Timor Ministers, Representatives of the Donor Countries, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thankyou for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the NGO delegation.
 

1. The process of Constitution-making

We are concerned about the time frame, which is too short. We have one and a half months  to consult the people and explain to them about the Constitution. It is a huge task to consult people about the abstract concept of a Constitution.

Since the election date is 30 August, maybe we could  extend the consultation beyond the election day, to give greater opportunity for a broad consultation with the community, which Mr Downer said was so important.

The Fiji experience provides us with some lessons. It was drafted by three experts, one Fijian, one Australian, and one Fijian living here in Australia. It is a very good Constitution, very detailed, but there is no ownership of it by the Fijian people, as we have seen.

Another possibility is to have an interim Constitution and after three or so years, have a review process which would give people more time to conduct a proper consultation in the future.
 

2. Voter Education and Civic Education

Another issue is Civic Education. UNTAET and NGOs are conducting this, but it needs to be much more comprehensive because people are still confused about what this election is about. There is a lack of information for people.
 

3. Justice and the International Tribunal

I didnít hear this in Sergio de Melloís speech, but Justice is another issue.  I appreciate the Indonesian Governmentís presence in the conference and the MOU signed by Sergio de Mello and the Attorney-General of Indonesia in April last year. This MOU agreed that we could transfer suspects and evidence, from and to Indonesia, however this MOU is not working. From an NGO point of view we need to proceed with the prosecution of people  who have committed human rights crimes. We have seen no progress in Indonesia and also in East Timor.  We might need to think about another way. How can we stop impunity? It is relevant and urgent to have a conference to discuss the establishment of an international tribunal, so that there is justice for East Timorese people, and this will assist the democratisation process of Indonesia.

During the past 25 years there was a loss of trust due to the oppression of colonisation,  we need to regain the peoplesí trust. We need more resources in the justice system, to build a strong and effective system.  There will be resources for the Truth Reception and Reconciliation Commission, but we must also address with some seriousness the crimes against humanity and war crimes, as Jose Ramos Horta said. The Truth, Reception and Reconciliation Commission is not a substitute for Justice for serious crimes.
 

4. Refugees

We know that more than 90% are reported to have said they want to stay in Indonesia. NGOs suggest that there should be an independent evaluation of the validity of this registration process.
 


East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e  Updated June 14
Umbrella agency for East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
VISION: To contribute to the building of a pluralist, democratic, just and sustainable East Timor through the development of a strong, independent and responsible civil society committed to upholding and making real in the daily life of the community, both village and urban, the full range of human rights so that all East Timorese, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, can enjoy the fruits of liberation and development in an East Timor forever free.
MISSION: To realise its vision by promoting a culture of learning, cooperation, partnership with the community and respect for human rights and good practice amongst East Timorese NGOs and between them and other development actors, both domestic and international, and by serving as a collective, independent voice for the rights and needs of the community.
VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: a rights approach to development; inclusiveness, participation; accountability; gender balance; respect for the environment; non-party political; non-sectarian; good governance; volunteerism.
Kaikoli Street, Dili-East Timor  Telephone +670(390)322772
E-mail: etngocentre@hotmail.com  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html
Jun 7 ETNGO Forum: Donors Meeting must be for Rural People: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01junrural.htm
Jun 13 ETNGO Forum: The voice of Civil Society calls the Donors: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01jundonors.htm



 

See also:

Jun 13 ET NGO: Donorsí Conference: Constitutional Process in East Timor  Paper added June 15
" ... we recommend that there should be a greater effort to resource the consultation process for the constitution, and the consultation needs to be extended beyond the elections for the Constituent Assembly. Without significant change in the timetable, the new Constitution should only be viewed as an interim Constitution, allowing more time for broad based input and consultation." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

BD: Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal - A collection of recent reports, articles and news

BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news

BD: East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e - A collection of recent media releases, position-statements, speeches, petitions, reports, and news


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      homeJune news
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