BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    March news

Background:
Mar 22 LH: ET NGO Forum: Rushed constitutional process  Request & Letter
"The [East Timorese] NGOs are demanding the establishment of a mechanism for thorough consultation throughout East Timor on the constitution, and for adequate time and resources to be allotted for this critical process. Clearly, this process is a crucial step in East Timor's struggle for self-determination. We ask for your immediate assistance in lobbying the UN Security Council through your national governments and in passing this letter to others." Pamela Sexton, La'o Hamutuk: The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis


"As you have likely already seen, things are moving very quickly on this issue, and not in the direction we had hoped. ... With the news of the defeat in yesterday’s NC vote, the working group is trying to think strategically about where we can go from here. Unfortunately, there seems to be little room to argue alternatives." Pamela Sexton, La'o Hamutuk: The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Also below: LUSA: National Council Rejects Bill on Constitutional Commission
 

Update on ET NGO Forum: Rushed Constitutional Process

La'o Hamutuk: The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis


Dear friends,

... As you have likely already seen, things are moving very quickly on this issue, and not in the direction we had hoped. I’ve pasted in the UNTAET media briefing from today below.

With the news of the defeat in yesterday’s NC vote, the working group is trying to think strategically about where we can go from here. Unfortunately, there seems to be little room to argue alternatives.  ...

Thanks again for your assistance in lobbying and as a resource of information.

Pam



UNTAET media briefing

NATIONAL COUNCIL DEFEATS CONSTITUTION COMMITTEES

The National Council today defeated a draft regulation on the establishment of national and district constitutional commissions introduced by the Standing Committee on Political Affairs.

The draft regulation was defeated with five votes in favor, seven against and eight abstentions. The main idea was to establish a formal mechanism to consult the East Timorese people at district and sub-district levels and to provide their input to the Constitution Assembly to be democratically elected on 30 August.

Aniceto Guterres, National Council representative for NGO’s, presented the motion, noting the broad support of NGOs for the proposal and its implementation.

The proposal was presented as having the support of civil society in general and was backed by members of the Committee on Political Affairs, among them CNRT and National Council President Xanana Gusmão.

UNTAET was also supportive of a formal consultation process, and will now look at other options.

The Council resumes its works on 2 April.


Pamela Sexton, La'o Hamutuk
The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis/
Instituto ba Analiza no Monitor Rekonstrusaun Timor Lorosa'e/
Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Lorosa'e
P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin Australia)
Mobil phone: (61)(0408)811373   Land phone: (670)(390)325013
laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org
Tetum and English editions of our Bulletin are available at our website http://www.etan.org/lh
East Timor National NGO Forum

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.
E-mail: etngocentre@hotmail.com  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html
La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
La'o Hamutuk (Tetum for Walking Together) is a joint East Timorese-international organization that seeks to monitor, to analyze, and to report on the reconstruction activities of the principal international institutions. It believes that the people of East Timor must be the ultimate decisionmakers in the reconstruction process and that the process should be as democratic and transparent as possible ...
East Timorese staff: Inès Martins, Benjamin Sanchez Afonso; International staff: Pamela Sexton, Mark Salzer Executive board: Sr. Maria Dias, Joseph Nevins, Fr. Jovito Rego de Jesus Araùjo, Aderito Soares
International contact: +1-510-643-4507  Email: lh@etan.org  Homepage: http://www.etan.org/lh
La’o Hamutuk Bulletin: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletin.html

Tetum: (the most common East Timorese language)
La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao
Saida mak La’o Hamutuk? La’o Hamutuk organizasaun klibur Ema Timor Lorosa’e no Ema Internacional ne’ebe buka atu tau matan, halo analize ho halo relatorio kona ba hahalok (actividade) instuisaun internacional ne’ebe oras ne’e haknaar iha Timor Lorosa’e, liu-liu hahalok sira ne’ebe iha relasaun ho rekonstrusaun fizika no social Timor Lorosa’e nian. La’o Hamutuk fiar katak Povo Timor Lorosa’e mak tenke hakotu iha procesu rekonstrusaun ne’e nia laran no procesu rekonstrusaun ne’e tenke demokratiku no transparante duni.
Local Contact:  P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)  Mobile: +61(408)811373;  Land phone: +670(390)325-013
International contact: +1-510-643-4507
Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org  Homepage: http://www.etan.org/lh
Boletim La’o Hamutuk: [Tetum PDF format]
Vol. 1, No. 3. 17 Novembro 2000 Hari Sistema Saude Nasional iha Timor Lorosa’e:  http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/LHbul3tm.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 2, 17 Julho 2000 Protesaun ba meio ambiente iha TL: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/bulletin02tetum.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 1, 21 Juñu 2000 Rekonciliasaun: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/bulletin01tetum.pdf


East Timor: National Council Rejects Bill on Constitutional Commission

27 Mar-17:45

East Timor’s National Council rejected Tuesday a draft bill regulating establishment of the National Constitutional Commission envisaged in the election law approved earlier this month.

The regulatory bill was the first entirely prepared by the political affairs committee of the Council (transition legislature).  It was rejected by eight votes for, five against and eight abstentions.

The proposal was submitted by Aniceto Guterres, a Council member representing a non-governmental organization, and follows the approval last March 13 of the law regulating the election next Aug.  30 of a Constituent Assembly, which will have 90 days to debate and approve a national constitution.

Article two of that law states that the Assembly, charged with preparing East Timor’s future constitution, should “take into due consideration the results of consultation” undertaken by the Constitutional Commission.

The “independent” commission rejected on Tuesday would have been responsible for consulting residents of all districts of East Timor on the constitutional process and preparing a final report for submission to the Assembly.

Members who rejected the commission during the Tuesday Council debate questioned both its relevance and the costs involved.
Cipriano Pereira of the Fretilin party called the commission “unnecessary”, adding that there were doubts about whether it was “necessary or a political maneuver”. He specifically criticized a section of the proposed law establishing a national planning commission to coordinate the commission’s work.

Aniceto Guterres was surprised at the bill’s rejection, saying it would transmit the message that the transition body “doesn’t want to consult the people”.

Independence leader Xanana Gusmao stressed that the people must be consulted on the constitutional process. He also rejected allegations of political manipulation and once again criticized the territory’s political parties.

“It is unacceptable that every[th]ing raised by us should be taken as being political manipulation”, he told Lusa.

Gusmao also criticized Fretilin for announcing publicly that the party would back him for president.

“I have already said I will not be a candidate. I have no interest whatsoever in being president. They’re the ones making maneuvers”, he said.

  JBC
  -Lusa


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    March news
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