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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Constitutional Process
Konsulta iha Konstituisaun
Assembleia Constituinte:

A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news on East Timorese participation in the building of the constitution. Also contains info on the Constitutional Assembly that the East Timorese people voted for on August 30th 2001.


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Up-Dated: Feb 19, 2002

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see also
* UN appointed, East Timorese, Second Transitional Government of East Timor
* peoples' participation / partisipasaun politika / participação dos dovos
* Aug 30 2001 elections/ eleisaun
Contents:

Documents - Constitution  Updated Feb 19, 2002
Constitutional Assembly Press Releases  Updated Feb 19, 2002
News, articles and reports  Updated Feb 16, 2002


Documents - Constitution

Major Document
NEW Feb 9 2002 CA: Draft Constitution of East Timor (Official English translation)  200KB Document added Feb 19
"The following is the official English translation of the Draft Constitution of East Timor, as approved by the Plenary of the Constituent Assembly on 9 February 2002. Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesia versions and PDF files are at http://www.etan.org"

Portuguese:
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: http://etan.org/etanpdf/pdf2/draftconpt.pdf

Original Draft
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: http://etan.org/etanpdf/pdf2/draftconsten.pdf


Constitutional Assembly Press Releases

NEW Feb 18 CA: Assembly discusses independence celebration  Release added Feb 19
"During the plenary session this morning the President of the Commission for the Commemoration of the Independence of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation) briefed the Constituent Assembly members. He underlined the three main objectives of the celebration: to pay homage to the martyrs who in the past have given their lives to the cause of independence; to celebrate the victory in the present; and to promote the new image of East Timor to the outside world. The CA [Constituent Assembly] members supported the work of Ramos-Horta. They expect the celebrations to be a success." Constituent Assembly, East Timor

Feb 15 Constituent Assembly: 15 February 2002 press conference  Release added Feb 16
"Our main task is to listen to the people. ... We are always open to other opinions and criticism provided the criticism is constructive, based on facts and not destructive or just for the sake of criticizing. ... It will not make a difference if just one person is objecting to a provision in the constitution. But if the same issue would be raised in all districts, then the CA-members will take note of that point and discuss it later during the plenary session after returning to Dili" Arlindo Marçal, the vice-President of the Constituent Assembly

Feb 12 Constituent Assembly Consultation schedule revised  Release added Feb 14
"The members of the Constituent Assembly approved today a new calendar for the remaining part of the constitutional process. The previous timetable, which included 9 March 2002 as deadline, had proved to be too tight. ... From 23-25 February the CA-members will depart to the districts in order to be there in time for the public consultations which will take place between 25 February and 2 March 2002. ... Before the consultation process a total of 50.000 copies of the constitution (in Portuguese, Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia and English) will be distributed throughout the country. ... After the public consultations the members return to Dili to write reports about their meetings throughout the country. ... The constitution will be signed on 16 March." Assembleia Constituinte, Timor Leste


News, articles and reports

Feb 11 SMH: East Timor approves draft constitution  News added Feb 13
"In another step towards nationhood, East Timor’s constituent assembly has approved a draft of a constitution guaranteeing basic civil liberties and a mixed economy for the new state that will emerge on Australia’s doorstep in May. The 168-clause document establishes a semi-presidential system of government. Under it an elected president can dismiss the prime minister and veto legislation, but in a framework of strong checks and balances." By Jill Jolliffe, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Jan 31 UNTAET: Assembly Votes To Transform Itself Into Legislature  News added Feb 1
"The Constituent Assembly voted today to transform itself into East Timor’s first legislature upon final approval of the Constitution.
The overwhelming vote for the transformation - 65 in favour, 16 against, two abstentions and five absent - ended a heated debate on whether or not legislative elections should be held in concert with the 14 April presidential election or shortly after East Timor marks its independence on 20 May." UNTAET Daily Briefing 31 January 2002

Jan 31 JSMP: Constituent Assembly adopts Serious Crimes articles  Comment added Feb 1
"The Constituent Assembly yesterday adopted three new articles to the East Timorese constitution who all relates to the process of bringing perpetrators of previous serious crimes in East Timor to justice. The articles, however, surprisingly limits the process quite significantly compared to the system already established by UNTAET. ... JSMP fear that the limitations of the adopted articles derives mainly from confusion over legal terminology and lack of knowledge of the system currently in place for trying Serious Crimes in East Timor. The end result may be that some of the most severe crimes will not be tried, or tried in a court system already overburdened with cases and where the lack of resources may seriously endanger the defendant’s right to a fair trial. In another surprising decision, the assembly adopted a regulation establishing the right of the East Timorese Parliament to revise the mandate of the Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The suggestion was raised by Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri, and will limit the independence of the commission drastically." Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Jan 30 MFAC: Horta Addresses UN Security Council  Release added Jan 31
"Many sections of civil society were eager to be involved in the constitutional process. Much encouragement was received from international sources as well. The Assembly is now in the final stages of the process.  Last week, it decided to extend the final drafting period until the beginning of March. I am pleased that such a decision was taken. We have the unique opportunity to create a new and very progressive constitution and should take all the time and advice we need to do this successfully. I have been closely monitoring the constitutional drafting process and am pleased to report that the Constitution puts special emphasis on civil and political, as well as economic and social rights. Moreover, as stated in the draft itself, the whole of the Constitution must be interpreted in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights." Dr Jose Ramos-Horta is Senior Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

Jan 23 GLW: East Timor: Campaign launched for new elections  Article added Jan 22
"As East Timor’s Constituent Assembly draws closer to finalising the nation’s constitution there is increasing debate over whether fresh elections should be held for the proposed Legislative Assembly. Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri is adamantly opposed to such a move, stating that “opting for new elections is openly to want to provoke crises”. ... A universal complaint from election monitors, East Timorese NGO’s and from many of the country’s political parties was that many voters did not fully understand the implications of the ambiguous electoral regulation permitting the Constituent Assembly to convert itself into a permanent legislature.”." Green Left Weekly

Jan 21 affet: Selling E.Timor Short: Timor Sea gas project decision postponed  Statement added Jan 22
"At present East Timor is rushing towards Independence on May 20th, and under such circumstances many will want to finalise various negotiations. Yet this has its dangers. A Constitution has not been determined, nor the Constituent Assembly transformed into a National Parliament. All members lack experience in government. This is fraught with danger. ... Can the present East Timor government, and any future East Timor government, afford to throwaway a massive/huge potential income source without proper study or legal testing? If they can, what’s going on? The new East Timor parliament should withhold endorsement of the present arrangements, which in particular give East Timor only 20% of Greater Sunrise, until proper study and legal testing is done." Rob Wesley-Smith, australians for a free east timor, darwin

Jan 21 UNTAET: East Timor Constitution To Be Approved On 9 March  News added Jan 24
"East Timor’s Constituent Assembly today set 9 March as the date for completion and final approval of the nation’s first Constitution.
An Assembly working commission produced a revised constitutional debate schedule over the weekend after the full Assembly voted Friday to extend its deliberations. ... All 151-articles of the draft Constitution are expected to be approved by the end of January. The Portuguese-language document must then be translated into Tetum and distributed to various civil groups for review.  The final text is scheduled to be ready by 5 March, and a formal promulgation vote and ceremony is to be held on 9 March. " UNTAET Daily Briefing 21 January 2002

Jan 19 auskadi: Constituent Assembly passes articles on court structure  Letter added Jan 24
"Article 118 provides that the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to make declarations of illegality or unconstitutionality upon application by the Prime Minister, President, President of Parliament, Attorney General, Ombudsman, or one fifth of the members of Parliament. Why don´t ordinary citzens who can demonstrate an interest in the law at issue have a right to seek to have a law declared unconstitutional or acts of the government illegal....? It seems that only the political class will have the right to enforce the law and constitution. Why is this so and who argued for and against it? Is not the effect of this that nobody will challenge the constitutionality of a law becuase only the people who have passed the law or assented to it (other than the Ombudsman) can enquire as to its validity." auskadi

Jan 17 Lee, McKinley King, Shaw: Asbestos problem in East Timor  Report added Jan 18
"The removal of asbestos using Australian NOHSC standard must be made a top priority. The East Timor Constituent Assembly can and is in a unique position to make UNTAET accept this fact and act on it. The cleaning up of the asbestos will be a huge task which will require additional funding from donor countries as well as additional assistance from abroad. Many organisations including trade unions in Australia would be more than happy to provide the assistance ... Finally, the clean up of the asbestos would require the importation of large quantities of disposable asbestos overalls and masks. These items could be manufactured in East Timor as a cottage industry to provide local employment." HT Lee, Julian McKinley King & Andrea Shaw

Jan 10 CONG: Letter to Constituent Assembly  Letter added Jan 16
"From our end, we want to assure you that we would like the Constituent Assembly to have as much time as it needs to write the best possible constitution for East Timor. In this regard, we propose that you consider further extending the session, perhaps by two months beyond that date. Your Constitution would still be finished well before formal independence. The extra time would enable more thorough discussions and additional consultation within the Constituent Assembly and throughout East Timor." U.S. Members of Congress: Dennis J. Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Chris Smith, Anthony D. Weiner, Tammy Baldwin, Bernard Sanders, Lane Evans, Sam Farr

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

Tetum:
"Serbisu-ekipa (Working Group) kona ba Konstitusaun" nian Surat Popular:
Saida mak konstitusaun:
html: Lia-inglés: http://www.etan.org/lh/wgconst.html
PDF formatu:
Lia-tetun: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/konsttetm.pdf
Lia-indonézia: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/konstbahasa.pdf

Dec 15 IPRD: Indonesia, ETimor & The Western Powers: A Case Study  Research paper added Dec 18
"III.V  The Real Agenda for [Western Humanitarian] Intervention: In contradiction to the [Fretilin] party’s past outstanding record of mass support and promotion of egalitarian social reforms, Fretilin has expressed its intent to implement free market capitalism under Western tutelage. On 6th September 2001, World Bank officials and UN administrator Vieira de Mello held high level discussions with Fretilin representatives in Dili on what the new government would comprise. They also met with Mari Alkatiri, Fretilin’s Secretary-General, to discuss the drafting of East Timor’s constitution. Clearly, the UN remains the principal authority in the enclave, while the new government that is set to come to power in the future will be structured and dominated by international agencies, principally the World Bank and the IMF, and thus foreign investors. The implications are disastrous." Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and a Researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission

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)

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

Nov 28 UNTAET: Constituent Assembly Chooses Presidential Election Date  News added Dec 16
"The Constituent Assembly today approved a motion recommending that East Timor’s first presidential election be held in the first or second week of April 2002, and that the voting process be universal, direct, and secret. The assembly also affirmed that the formal transfer of powers and sovereignty from the United Nations to democratically elected East Timorese institutions on 20 May 2002." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Nov 16 UNTAET: Alkatiri/de Mello press conference  Briefing added Nov 26
"Q: You have been talking about a Presidential election but you have not been talking about parliamentary elections. When do you think parliamentary elections will be? Marí Alkatiri: This is a decision that is going to be made by the Constituent Assembly itself. Are we going to have a parliamentary election before independence or after independence? If after independence, when? Two, three, four years after independence or immediately after the independence? The Constituent Assembly will decide on this." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Nov 12 SMH: Ten Years Later, Santa Cruz Massacre Still Leaves a Scar  Article added Nov 12
"Ten years after the massacre that shocked the world, memories are still raw in East Timor. ... Ten years later the territory has its nominal freedom, but Santa Cruz is still an open wound. UNTAET has paid little attention to victims of war crimes, although they constitute a substantial sector of the population. ... The balance is not entirely negative a decade later. Two young men, Gregorio Saldanha and Francisco Branco, were among those arrested and tortured for the crime of organising a peaceful demonstration. Both served eight years in Soeharto’s prisons, but were freed prematurely after the dictator fell. Today, they walk tall as members of Timor’s new parliament [Both are National Fretilin Party Representatives elected to the Constituent Assembly - BD]. Only their troubled, serious faces indicate their sad past." Jill Joliffe in Dili

Oct 31 UN: SC Endorses Proposal to Declare ETimor Independence 20 May  Statement added Nov 6
"The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the political progress achieved to date towards establishing an independent East Timorese State, and endorsed the recommendation by the Constituent Assembly of the Territory that independence be declared on 20 May 2002. ... Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister of the Second Transitional Government of East Timor, stressed the importance of institution-building and the gradual transfer of administrative functions to East Timorese civil servants." U.N. Security Council

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"In the last 25 years 96.6% of East Timorese experienced trauma. With the assistance of UNTAET’s Gender Unit and the leadership of Mr. de Mello, women obtained 26% of the seats in the recently elected Constituent Assembly. This remarkable achievement occurred despite the mixed messages from UN departments and ultimate rejection of the proposal that would have required 30% of each party’s political candidates to be women. The will of the East Timorese must be celebrated by continued efforts at expanding women’s roles within a patriarchal society." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

Oct 27 RDP: Timorese leader rejects fresh general elections after independence  Interview added Oct 31
"I can assure you that we will not have general elections. I am saying this on behalf of the party which holds the majority in the constituent assembly. [FRETILIN] ... I am a member of the constituent assembly, an elected and sovereign body, and it will be the assembly that shall decide this. ... when we laid down the electoral law, and when we discussed these elections, discussions that also took place at the CNRT [the National Council of the Timorese Resistance, now defunct], it was decided that the constituent assembly would become a legislative and parliamentary assembly." Mari Alkatiri, chief minister of the provisional government

Sep 20 A Popular Challenge to UNTAET’s Achievements  Statement added Sep 20
"UNTAET has recently published in the September issue of its broadsheet Timor Tais 20 of the UN’s major achievements in East Timor. Many of these achievements are either misleading or things that UNTAET has been forced to do under pressure from Timorese people, civil society and leaders and international critics. ... 5. Constitutional Public Hearings: Consultation is one thing, dialogue is another. Consultation based on a short-term approach did not give Timorese time to formulate their views and to air them. Everything was being done at the same time, including civic education, political campaigning, civic registration, voter registration, and constitutional consultation. This represents a big rush, not an opportunity for the freedom of expression of Timorese regarding the future constitution."

Sep 19 Amaral-Arlindo chosen to be Constituent Assembly Vice-Presidents  News from ETimor added Sep 20
"The President of ASDT, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, and Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Arlindo Marcal, were chosen yesterday to be vice-presidents of the Constituent Assembly. ... With ASDT and PDC holding on the vice-presidency, chances are almost zero for the second and third winners of the election ­ PD and PSD ­ to hold any position in the Constituent Assembly." Suara Timor Lorosae

Sep 17 KY: Independence veteran elected ETimor assembly speaker  News added Sep 19
"The 88-member assembly elected Guterres, popularly known by his guerrilla name Lu Olo, after U.N. Transitional Administrator in East Timor Sergio Vieirra de Mello, who chaired the election, named him as a single nominee in the election. ... Following his election, Guterres, who is coordinator of the presidential council of Fretilin, the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of  East Timor, asked the assembly to cooperate and work together." Christine T. Tjandraningsih

Sep 15 AP: U.N inducts East Timor assembly  News added Sep 17
"The U.N. administration in East Timor on Saturday inaugurated the newly elected assembly that will draft the territory’s first constitution, bringing it one step closer to full independence. The 88-member assembly, which was voted in last month, will have three months to draft the charter and adopt East Timor’s new political system." The Associated Press

Sep 13 IFET: Constituent Assembly winners names and parties  List added Sep 13
"The following is the officially certified list of East Timorese who were elected to the Constituent Assembly on the August 30 ballot. ... The assembly has 88 seats. 60 votes are needed to enact articles of the Constitution. Fretilin has 55 seats." Charlie Scheiner, U.N. Representative International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Sep 11 RDP: Church reportedly invited to help draw up constitution  News added Sep 13
"[Reporter] During the Fretilin anniversary commemorations, the bishop accepted an invitation to contribute to the drawing up of Timor’s constitution. Dom Ximenes Belo is only waiting for this invitation to be made officially.
[Dom Ximenes Belo, Bishop of Dili] I am waiting for a written invitation, and to be given a place. We do not know the procedure for the church hierarchy to contribute. We are certainly open to this. Our vision is of a pluralist and democratic society, with equal opportunities for all Timorese. We will be there to give our contribution to the building of this Timorese society." RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, Portugal

Sep 6 RDP: Fretilin leader makes victory speech  Speech added Sep 8
"The wish of the Timorese people to assume their destiny with responsibility and solidarity, was once more reiterated, and so we are all to be congratulated. Fretilin counts on everyone to build a consensus in the constituent [assembly] to draw up a constitution we can all be proud of.  Not just because it will be modern and technically good, but above all because it will be the constitution which we all want, which we will all respect and defend. Fretilin counts on anyone who wants to serve the people, without complexes of superiority or any other type. Serving the community entails dedication and hard work, in addition to ability, solid moral principles, honesty and strength of character." Lu Olo, Fretilin’s president

Sep 4 WI: On the road to democracy, where the streets have no name Interview added Sep 13
"Generally, we want a constitution that reflects the life of the people of Timor Lorosae. A constitution that reflects and protects the people’s identity. We also want a constitution that positions Timor Lorosae in the current era. A constitution that looks forward, that is sensitive to the people tradition and history. ... What we want is a democratic Timor Lorosae, that honours human rights, that doesn’t isolate itself from the world." Partido Democratico (PD) leader, Fernando de Araujo

Sep 3 YHak: Elections in the Context of Nation-Building  Release added Sep 4
" ... this is an extraordinary election conducted for the purpose of writing and adopting the Constitution for East Timor. Even in the case of an ordinary election, the role of a candidate on election entails a great responsibility to ensure that they continue to reflect the will of the people and provide a space for the electorate to directly voice their concerns in decisions that affect their lives.  However, in light of the importance of the tasks of the Constituent Assembly members to adopt a Constitution which will endure far beyond their term of office and even the lives of their electorates, the burden on them to reflect the aspiration of the people is even greater." Yayasan HAK: Hukum, Hak Asasi & Keadilan (Law, Human Rights & Justice)

Sep 3 IFET Preliminary Election Observations  Report added Sep 4
"The constitution provides the basis of government - executive, legislative and judicial. It must effectively represent the aspirations of all East Timorese and be “owned” by them, so that the government can effectively serve the people and the people will be truly able to entrust power to the government. A primary concern is that the whole process is too rushed." International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

August 2001 LHB: For an Interim Constitution  Article added Aug 30
" ... there is something that the soon-to-be-formed Constitutional Assembly can do to correct this problem [of lack of representation]: it can produce a document that will only have interim status, one that will guarantee and facilitate a far-reaching participatory process to draw up a permanent constitution at a later date. East Timor’s Catholic Church advocated something similar earlier this year, officially recommending following the example of other countries emerging from traumatic pasts, such as South Africa, by drawing up an interim constitution." Aderito de Jesus Soares

Aug 29 FAETTA: Horta's response to PD advert  Release added Aug 30
"Tomorrow’s vote is not to choose the President and the Vice-President of the Republic, but simply and only to elect the Constituent Assembly. ... Under these circumstances I categorically and unequivocally declare that neither Xanana Gusmao nor myself Ramos-Horta are in the running for the August 30 elections. I therefore encourage every Timorese to vote their conscience, in choosing from the parties and candidates that are actually running for election, and vote for those you trust." Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs Dr Jose Ramos-Horta

Aug 29 Oxfam calls on the Constituent Assembly to listen to the people  Statement added Aug 31
"Oxfam calls on the new Constituent Assembly to, once elected, seek further active participation from the East Timorese population in forming the country’s constitution, ... It is vital that the voice and wishes of the East Timorese are fully included in the document which will be the foundation of their country. ... The Constituent Assembly could ensure effective participation by extending the 90 day time line for creating a constitution, or by declaring the constitution an interim document, with the opportunity for a fuller participatory process in the next two years. Thirdly, the Constituent Assembly could aim to achieve a full participation process within the 90 days,” Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International

Aug 29 GLW: Elections mark new step toward independence  Article added Aug 31
“The PST has called for fresh elections next year for the formation of a legislature. The Constituent Assembly only has the mandate to discuss the constitution ... The PST does not support a presidential system ... there must be a separation of powers between the executive and legislature.” Avelino da Silva, Socialist Party of Timor (PST) secretary general

Aug 29 AP: Large Number Of Voters Turn Up For East Timor Election  News added Aug 30
"Long lines formed in front of polling stations in the morning twilight more than an hour before they opened at 7 a.m. (2000 GMT Wednesday). The atmosphere was relaxed as people joked with police who were ushering women and children to the front of the line. Election monitors said there were no reports of violence. ... Voters will choose the 88-member assembly that will write the fledgling country’s constitution, and there was little doubt who would win. The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor, which led the country’s independence struggle, had a comfortable lead in polls." AP

Aug 28 SMH: To forge a future, Timor needs justice for the past  Article from ETimor added Aug 30
"On Thursday we elect a constituent assembly which will write our constitution. It is a proud moment for a new country. As we move towards independence, we must remain vigilant in pursuing justice for those whose lives were scarred by violence. The inner life of the people of East Timor continues to be clouded by the events of 1999, as well as by doubts about the future." Bishop Carlos Belo

Tetum
Aug 25 Xanana: Desizaun ba Kandidata an Presidente hosi Timor Lorosa’e  Statement added Aug 29
"Loron hirak tan, iha 30 de Agosto,  ita hotu sei tuir eleisoens ba Assembleia Constituinte, nebé sei fila ba ita nia Parlamento. Fou-foun kedas, mosu duvida iha povu nia let kona ba se mak atu sai Presidente, tanba ita nia povu hanoin katak ita sei tui sistema indonésio nian nebé DPR mak foti Presidente."Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

Portuguese
Aug 25 Xanana: "Aceitarei Ser Candidato Dos Partidos A Presidente"  Statement added Aug 29
"As eleições que vão ter lugar no próximo dia 30 de Agosto serão para a Assembleia Constituinte e que muito provàvelmente virá a tranformar-se no primeiro Parlamento. Havia logo no início, no seio do povo, a dúvida se estas eleições seriam também para o Presidente da República, pois o povo estava já habituado ao sistema das eleições indonésias, onde o parlamento decide sobre quem deve ser o Presidente." Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

Aug 25 Xanana's statement on decision to run for President  Statement added Aug 29
"The elections which will take place on 30 August are for the Constituent Assembly which will, in all likelihood, transform itself into the first Parliament. From the beginning there existed among our people doubts as to whether these elections would also determine who would become the President of the Republic given that our people are accustomed to the Indonesian electoral system, according to which the parliament decides who will take office as President." Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

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: Domestic Violence: A Part of Women’s Daily Lives in ETimor  Article added Aug 22
"All must acknowledge domestic violence as a deep social problem that needs immediate attention. There must be mechanisms to support survivors of violence. ... The law must also give protection to women facing violence. East Timor has inherited Indonesia’s legal code in which there is no specific reference to domestic violence. ... The East Timorese people are working to build a new constitution, and we need to work hard to ensure that women’s needs are included in this important document. This can help build a foundation for positive change." Manuela Leong Pereira is the Director of Fokupers

Aug 19 VOA: Xanana Gusmao: Guerrilla-Turned-Statesman  Article added Aug 22
"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 18 STL: Bishop Belo's Pastoral letter  Letter added Aug 20
"Those amongst you who want to be big must first be your servers; those amongst you who want to be famous must first be your slaves. Why? Because the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to give his life so that Mankind may live (Mark 10: 43-45) ... It is important that we elect people who are qualified to sit in the Constituent Assembly and people who would respect the outcome of the elections. Drafting the Constitution is a sacroscant function because it will reflect all our genuine hopes and will also act as a source of laws for the people in order for them to live in unity and in a free and fair environment." Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo

Aug 11 ABC RN: Jose Ramos Horta: Walk a Mile in my Shoes  Transcript added Aug 13
"KOTA’s Clementino Amaral says his party’s main worry about Fretilin taking control is that it wants to introduce a Western-style democracy in East Timor. His concern centres on a draft constitution, already drawn up by Fretilin, that is heavily based on the Portuguese constitution. Given the tight time frame it would face a Fretilin-dominated Assembly would be expected to only engage in a minimum of consultation before approving its own document. It’s a scenario that worries Clementino Amaral." Gerald Tooth

Aug 9 RENETIL'S Election Observer Commission  Statement added Aug 30
"RENETIL, one of the leading youth organizations in the Timorese resistance, sees East Timor’s unfolding political process as one of its main priorities as it encourages popular participation in the August 30th general election and the subsequent drafting of a democratic constitution. To implement this priority RENETIL is undertaking civic education projects and fielding election observer teams." RENETIL, Resistencia Nacional Dos Estudantes De Timor Leste

Jul 27 AI: EAST TIMOR Justice past, present and future  Report added Aug 13
"Amnesty International calls upon the members of the future Constituent Assembly, which is scheduled to be elected on 30 August 2001 and which will adopt a constitution for East Timor, to ensure that there is clear and explicit commitment in the future Constitution to protect and promote human rights, including through the ratification of international human rights instruments." Amnesty International

Jul 19 TP: PST does not want Constituent Assembly to be like National Council  News from ETimor added July 20
“The regulations that were passed in the NC reflected the needs of the administration and not that of the people. These regulations did not take into account actual realities, ... I do not want to be in a so-called legislative body [the Constituent Assembly] where I will be used as a rubber-stamp and cannot perform my duties as a people’s representative,” Avelinho Coelho, the secretary-general of the Timor Socialist Party (PST)

Tetum:
Junho 2001 BLH: Harii Kapasidade Liu-Liu ba Iha Prosesu  Editorial from ETimor added Sep 21
"Konstituisaun Timor Lorosa’e nian sei sai fundasaun ida importante tebes ba nasaun independente. Prosesu ida nebe ema Timor Lorosa’e hakerek konstitusaun mos importante. Ba ema Timor Lorosa’e mane no feto tenke partisipa iha prosesu kritikal ida nee. Sira tenki iha informasaun no tempo halo diskusaun no haburas sira nian hanoin / opiniaun" La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

Tetum:
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

Jun 29 SMH: People to have their say - but so will the UN  News added June 29
"The United Nations has told the people of East Timor they will be virtually self-governing from September 15 - but that the UN will decide who will form the government. The head of the UN administration in the country, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, appealed yesterday to political parties to accept a government of national unity after elections on August 30 for a constituent assembly, or parliament. He indicated he had the right to appoint such a government, although he added that the new Cabinet would “broadly reflect” the results of the elections." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Portuguese:
Jun 18 OTL: Transição e processo eleitoral  Report added June 23
"Não encontramos informações sobre a maneira como serão conduzidas as audições das comissões constitucionais. Existe um ou diversos textos bases para conduzir a discussão? Sem bases e regras para a recolha das opiniões a consulta não produzira efeitos." Observatório Timor Leste

Jun 18 ETO: Transition and the electoral process  Report added June 23
" We have come across no information on the way in which the constitutional commission hearings are to be conducted. Are there any standard criteria or guidelines to serve as a basis for the hearing discussions? If no such criteria or guidelines are applied to the process of eliciting people's views, how are the results of discussions to be "distilled" so they genuinely reflect civil society's views?" East Timor Observatory

Jun 13 ET NGO: Donors’ 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

Jun 13 ETNGO Forum: The voice of Civil Society calls the Donors  Statement added June 14
"The timeframe for political transition should allow for adequate consultation and civic education with the women and men of East Timor, to ensure that the political will of the people can be genuinely exercised. NGOs believe that the rapid pace of the “consultation” adopted by United Nations in East Timor does not allow for a genuine process of popular debate regarding the election processes or the development of the constitution." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Jun 13 CAA-OA: East Timor Donors must deliver  Release added June 14
"The international and national non-government organisations in East Timor are calling for:
* A longer timeframe for political transition – Donors are asked to support a longer time frame for popular consultation on the constitution, so that East Timorese men and women can be consulted effectively." Oxfam Community Aid

May 29 A People’s Constitution for East Timor  Release added June 22
“A constitution should be a living document reflecting the needs, hopes and aspirations of the Timorese people. It is important that the Constitution is not only owned by the elite, but also by ordinary men and women. It is important that all the Timorese are involved enough in the process so that we can call it a People’s Constitution,” Joaquim Fonseca, Advocacy Officer, Yayasan Hak

May 14 LH: NGO Forum declines to join UNTAET Constitutional Process  Letter added May 16
"The NGO Forum has chosen to coordinate with, but remain independent of, the UNTAET Constitution building process because of strong concerns that UNTAET’s process is rushed and highly inadequate." Lao Hamutuk, East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 28 BBC: Gusmao resigns as East Timor leader  News
"I feel, as president of the National Council, that any attempt to overcome the deadlock is in vain due to the lack of willingness [of Council] members, ... As I refuse to be part of a politically irresponsible process, I hereby tender my resignation,” East Timor independence leader Jose “Xanana” Gusmao

Mar 28 LH: Sexton: Update on ET NGO Forum: Rushed Constitutional Process  Letter & News
"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

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

Feb 17 Conference on Sustainable Development a great success  Release added Sep 15
" ... sustainable development should be the basis for planning and implementing development in East Timor. ... The conference accepted for East Timor, the internationally recognised definition that "sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Sustainable development addresses the linkages between environment, economy and social well-being. ... [Recommendations] included the key recommendation for sustainable development to be written into East Timor’s Constitution." Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor coordinating committee

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jan 25-31 KPB: REKOMENDASI: Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa’e  Article added July 27
"1. Memasukkan pembangunan berkelanjutan di dalam draft konstitusi Timor Lorosa’e" Konferensi Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa'e


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