Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Hercules bring Timorese Art, with an Indonesian twist, to central Dili.
Behold - the new look of the Jardin Dili.....
Are the broken chains a metaphor from personal or national experience?
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The AMP Government is flexing its political muscles. Marza da Paz holds little against this....
It comes in the form of big budgets (legal or otherwise), Thai rice deals and ships. On 29 November there were an unprecedented number of ships, 7 of them, in Dili harbour, waiting for the eigth one to complete unloading its load of Tres Amigo rice.
Tres Amigo appears to be the Governments preferred supplier of rice which it provided to the general public at a subsidized price. It is certainly good business for the $17,000,000 dollar man, and appears to be good politics for AMP, even if it is totally unsustainable. While stability comes at a price, to be certain, how easy will it be to withdraw subsidies in Timor when the money gets tight again?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Timor-Leste A ilha insustentável
25.11.2008, Pedro Rosa Mendes, especial para o PÚBLICO
7. "To enter the United Nations is to be politically untouchable".A diplomat who enjoys the Javanese shadow theatre said: "The UN in Dili is in sync with the Timorese leaders. They all create ghosts: the great strategist, the great diplomat, the great guerrilla fighter. Otherwise the masks would fall, and it would be very embarrassing..." UNMIT, one of the most expensive missions of the UN, is slowly sinking in the same moral emptiness of Timorese leaders. Three thousand workers, police officers and military, a formidable critical mass that might be a counterweight to incompetence and foolishness, are crushed by the career-oriented charlatanism of its head of mission, Atul Khare, and by acolytes who see with good eyes in Timor-Leste that which they would never allow in their developed countries. "To enter the United Nations is to be politically untouchable ", explained a senior officer of UNMIT.
Who are the acolytes?
25.11.2008, Pedro Rosa Mendes, special reporter for newspaper PÚBLICO
This is the ruthless portrait of a reality we can no longer pretend that it isn’t there. These are some of the truths, hard as nails, regarding a country that dreamt to be different – and that made us dream too.
1. Timor is not a failed State. It is worse. The national project designed a decade ago has failed.
In nine years of freedom, Timor-Leste has not managed to ensure water, power and sanitation for its small capital. Baucau, the second "town", is a more gardened version of the slum that is Dili, thanks to the (officious) municipal management by the diocese. The rest, the "districts", is a country of mountain ranges for which the Neolithic is the daily life, far from the acceptable human minimum. You get there by roads and paths left by the "Indonesians". There are main roads that have not seen a pickaxe since 1999. The public good and the needs of the people have been ignored for nine years, with obscene contempt. The best example is the power company: for five years, the Dili power plant did not maintain any of the 14 generators – all of them offered – until the last major machine broke down.
National Hospital Guido Valadares, which is inaugurating shiny new facilities today, is yet to have a proper ultrasonography machine or ventilators at the Intensive Care Unit. There is not a CAT scan machine in the country (even though it costs the same as two of the new cars for members of Parliament); the Timorese girl who moved Portugal had her tumour diagnosed by chance by an American hospital ship that was anchored in Dili. The child mortality rate is only second in the entire world to that of Afghanistan. Post-delivery mortality is alarming. Nevertheless each Timorese woman of fertile age has in average 7.6 children.
A World Bank report is being circulated among diplomats and humanitarians, concluding that "poverty has increased considerably" between 2001 and 2007 (a devastating balance of the Fretilin consulate, as the study uses indicators up to 2006). About half the Timorese live with less than €0.60 a day, and half of these people are children. Timor is a rich country mired in indigence, where leaders insult each other on account of budgets that nobody is even able to spend.
2. The "Maubere identity" is a costly fiction.
The "national" identity of the Timorese political space does not exist, as good historians explain, whenever they mention the "peoples" of Timor in the plural. Under the myth of "Maubere people" there is a mosaic of some fifteen ethnic and linguistic entities, which are defined by opposition (in conflict, separation, mistrust, distance) to the "other", even when allied. This "other" may be an outsider or an insider. It is a type of circumstantial and opportunistic cohesion that dies with conflict, while preparing other conflicts in the future, in cycles of calm and crisis in an island with medieval paradigms. "Maubere" exploits have finally produced a chronologic reversion. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is the political crystallization of a society that had the enfranchisement of a State before having built an identity to support it.
The affiliation of each Timorese remains their respective "uma lulik" (sacred house) and the lineages that define other territories and other laws that do not include ministers, judges and police officers, but rather monarchs, oligarchs and war chiefs. This is what leaders try to be – or else they will not be leaders at all.
3. The independent State is sabotaged by the resistance structures.
The Timorese State works. However this does not mean that it produces any results, except for the Banking and Payment Authority, the single institution where the focus on building the capacity and empowering local staff and the rewarding of merit have turned the future central bank into an oasis of Nordic probity. The operative structures of the country are parallel, officious and opaque. They come from the time of the resistance, and there has not been enough courage or intelligence to formalize them in the new State. An obvious case is that of the Falintil veterans, who have not integrated the new Defence Forces (FDTL). In 2006, it was to 200 of those "civilians" that brigadier general Taur Matan Ruak turned to at a critical time for the survival of the State. The Timorese Defence Staff is, however, being investigated by justice. If this process is not stopped in the inquest stage, perhaps the case of the weapons and the "20-20" militia will open a debate that should have occurred before. The place for "moral reserves" has to be formalized, lest there is no line of separation between patriotism and delinquency. Major Alfredo Reinado illustrated, in a tragic manner, how easy it is to make this leap.
Still, parallel structures do not occur exclusively in the security sector. Former commander Xanana Gusmão does not hide that Caixa, the clandestine "intelligence" network, is still active. The loyalties, reflexes and atavisms of resistance still exist. The "old" voice of command is sometimes the last instance, and even in the Council of Ministers the last argument is sometimes the quality vote by way of a punch to the table.
José Ramos-Horta, removed from Falintil and the woods until 1999, knows that there is more than one way to skin a cat. The head of the State, in line with the masonry symbols trimmed in his shirts, has been for the past two years the second "father" of the Sacred Family. This is a society founded in 1989 by Commander Cornélio Gama "L7", which evolved into a somewhat mystical mix of a religious group, a political party and a vigilante militia. It was "L7", with the blessing of Xanana Gusmão, who presented the candidacy of Ramos-Horta as President of the Republic, in February 2007, in Laga. Several elements of the Sacred Family are integrated in the personal guard of the head of State.
The Timorese Republic is limited and sabotaged by occultism, nepotism, vassalage and cell mentality. However, if it were not for the informal trust and command networks, which also include codes of loyalty and group values, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste would have already imploded. A modern version of States within a State: the last confidential count reports 350 international advisors at the IV Constitutional Government.
4. The ruling strategy for the society is included in the Penal Code. It is called extortion.
The sympathy for the Timorese "cause" has stagnated in an ideal of society and person that is proven false by the frustrating daily experience. Ignorance, trauma, misery and negligence, sprinkled with the poisons of complacence, paternalism and pity, have made behaviours of opportunism, dishonesty, selfishness and falsity seem trivial. Solidarity, generosity and thankfulness have taken a backseat. What is considered marginal or criminal in other places, is often the rule in Timorese offices, businesses, markets, transit or homes.
The "historical leadership" rules over an untreatable country, in passive civil disobedience, which thinks and acts as if the entire world owed everything to it and as if everything was there for the taking, from oil to investment and international attention. Greed and social envy infect the political, social, working and even family domains. "Here everyone gives orders and nobody obeys them", to quote an old Timorese raised with principles that no longer apply in his country.
Current "stability" is purchased with a Christmas every day. Everything is subsidised, from rice to fuel, with a flood of benefits and compensations to an unthinkable range of clienteles. We may say that civil society is a sum of lobbies that receive as much as they threaten with fires and stone throws, from internally displaced persons to petitioners or students.
All this money has produced nothing. Some if it goes to Indonesia, which Timorese nouveaux riches consider to be a safer place for investing. What is left buys motorcycles and cellular phones.
Timor Telecom will end the year with 120 thousand clients in its mobile network, a percentage equal to that of countries with three times more income per capita than Timor-Leste.
Most Timorese do not pay for what they use: water, electricity (which is why consumption increases 25 per cent per year, a rate than it impossible to accompany by any infrastructural investment), houses, lands, credit and rice. This model of pillage and squandering is unsustainable for the economy, banking, ecology, demographics and, in time, even politics.
5. Indonesian occupation was ruthless and Timorese leaders are dismantling with zeal what was left: dignity.
The most notorious gangster of the Jakarta underworld in the 1990’s – the Timorese Hércules –presently manages the rehabilitation of the finest garden in Dili. Those who were condemned for crimes against humanity, such as Joni Marques, from "Tim Alfa" (who had Portugal bringing out their white scarves in September 1999 after he had massacred nuns and priests), have returned to their villages with indemnities for houses burned while they were in prison.
In the mixed Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF), it was the Timorese part that, to the amazement of the Indonesians, tried to obtain a general amnesty for the 1999 crimes, with a persistence that could turn one’s stomach.
The report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), which records 24 years of pain in seven volumes, has been awaiting three years for the honour to be debated in the Parliament. Two dates were scheduled for November; however the holders of political offices have been trying backstage to bowdlerize CAVR’s recommendations.
Mari Alkatiri, Xanana Gusmão and José Ramos-Horta, by fragmenting the memory of the violence, have squandered the capital obtained at the cost of the death of two hundred thousand people (including their loved ones). The legacy of genocide is publicly debased as a risk capital and a visit card. The result is a moral dystopia, a chasm of tremendous proportions where the country is sinking – a country whose sovereignty, in view of its geographic and historical setting, was grounded on what essentially moral legitimacy.
The dead are the noble part of Timor, worthy of rituals and mournings. However, in this land of crosses, mass graves and missing persons, nobody has yet been kind enough to spend 200 thousand euros on a DNA laboratory that would finally enable the dead to be returned to their families.
Injustice and impunity are safe values in Timor-Leste.
6. Timor speaks all languages and none.
Timor is a fiction of the Lusophone community, where Portuguese navigates against a generation that is culturally integrated in Indonesia, against geography, against internal political manipulations and against the sabotaging by several international agencies. The reintroduction of Portuguese can only succeed if Dili shows political firmness regarding its official languages and if both these languages receive the necessary means.
The National Institute of Linguistics has a monthly budget of 500 dollars (more precisely, USD 6,000 per year). In the "Babel lorosa'e", as Luiz Filipe Thomaz called it, none of the common languages (Tetum, Portuguese, English and Indonesian) is spoken well. A language is the articulation of a world and our place in it. Removed from grammar and vocabulary, a generation of Timorese has reached adulthood and entered the labour market often without knowing such concepts as the law of gravity, time zones or geometrical shapes, just to mention a few easy examples.
The few (three) banks with agencies in Dili receive foreign investment projects with plans that do not include Timorese labour or that view them as dead weight in the payroll, working next to imported workers or technical officers who will be responsible for production.
7. "To enter the United Nations is to be politically untouchable".
A diplomat who enjoys the Javanese shadow theatre said: "The UN in Dili is in sync with the Timorese leaders. They all create ghosts: the great strategist, the great diplomat, the great guerrilla fighter. Otherwise the masks would fall, and it would be very embarrassing..." UNMIT, one of the most expensive missions of the UN, is slowly sinking in the same moral emptiness of Timorese leaders. Three thousand workers, police officers and military, a formidable critical mass that might be a counterweight to incompetence and foolishness, are crushed by the career-oriented charlatanism of its head of mission, Atul Khare, and by acolytes who see with good eyes in Timor-Leste that which they would never allow in their developed countries. "To enter the United Nations is to be politically untouchable ", explained a senior officer of UNMIT.
8. There is no Portuguese flag in the Timor sea.
There are no Portuguese interests in Timor-Leste, because this country still lacks the minimum conditions for any measurable interest to succeed. Certainly not according to the criteria applied elsewhere. It would be good if our politicians understood this. From 1999 to 2007, Portugal has granted over 440 million Euros to assist the development of Timor-Leste – almost half of the total we spend with cooperation.
Continuing a Portuguese tradition, the post-imperial projections and the fascinations with successive apprentices of Mandela take precedence over the information coming from economical operators in the field. "But you will never hear a Portuguese ruler say anything against Timor", said a Portuguese ruler visiting the country, at the coffee table.
9. "Everything is yet to happen ".
The wound in the body of Ramos-Horta, when the President was lying in a pool of blood after being shot twice, is a gap as deep as the shame of the nation. The resurrection of the Nobel prophet has created a Gnostic Christ, but the stigmata, in this torn land, no longer create religions with the same ease they used to create States ten years ago.
Dili, as a circus with gladiators, boils with young men thrown to the fight. They have no job, no education and no perspectives. Someone tells them: "You are not bandits, you are warriors."
But from the Aswain, the heroes of the Timorese mountains, all that remains is the physical courage, a scrap of rituals dispersed by rival groups and the intransigent sacralisation of their territory. This is an explosive mix for the entire nation. "The resistance still exists, but now it has no direction. And without direction, all it can do is fuck things up", says the former Youth advisor to Ramos-Horta, José Sousa-Santos.
"Everything is yet to happen", warned the "spirit" of an ancestor, through the voice of a little girl in Ermera, in the still innocent Christmas of 2005.
Dili, November 2008.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Prabowo hugs Lere - in Tommy Winata's Borobodur Hotel in Jakarta.
No one should be that surpised that the long awaited review of the CAVR report by the Timorese National Parliament was cancelled again, in the run up to this historic meeting.
Prabowo was a killer as a young man.
Now he tries to fashion himself a smooth politician. Compare his political machine website http://www.prabowosubianto.net/ with the Wikileaks history of the man at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prabowo and make up your own mind.
To read about the 27 year old Prabowo's role in the killing of Nicolau Lobato in 1978 click here.
Fantasy merges into reality and a modern day Presidential candidate.
It really is a great shame that the Timorese leaderships feels that they have go these lengths to keep the Indonesian establishment benign.
to quote the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers
"the Government [will] withdraw an amount from the Petroleum Fund that exceeds the Sustainable Income by $181,2 million USD."
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of ETAN
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 10:01 PM
Subject: *****SPAM***** TLGov CoM: Meeting of the Council of Ministers 24 November 2008
REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
V Constitutional Government
SECRETARIAT OF STATE FOR THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
Meeting of the Council of Ministers 24 November 2008
The Council of Ministers met this Monday, 24th November 2008, in the Council of Ministers Meeting Room,
1- Draft-law on the State General Budget for 2009
In today's meeting, the Council of Ministers approved the draft-law on the State General Budget for the Fiscal Year 2009, which will now be submitted to National Parliament for consideration and approval.
The Budget that was prepared by the Government aims, on one hand to accelerate the national reconstruction process at a social and infrastructural level and on the other, to allow the development of the economy, job creation and poverty reduction.
The 2009 SGB includes all revenues and expenditures of Timor-Leste. The total annual estimated revenues of 2009 from all sources – oil, non-oil, development partners aid and other non fiscal revenues – amount to $1,344,1 million united states dollars.
The total of the budgetary appropriations for the State Budget is of 680,873 million dollars, which corresponds to the estimated total for expenditures. The non-oil revenues are estimated to be $91,045 million USD, this the fiscal deficit amounts to $589,828 million USD, which will be covered with moneys coming from the Petroleum Fund.
In accordance with the Petroleum Fund Law, the Fund's Sustainable Income is three per cent (3%) of the oil wealth per year. For the Budget of 2009, we estimate that the Sustainable Income will be $407,8 million USD, which will see the Government withdraw an amount from the Petroleum Fund that exceeds the Sustainable Income by $181,2 million USD.
The budgetary appropriations for the State are distributed as follows:
· $93,123 millions for Salaries and Wages;
· $248,548 millions for Goods and Services;
· $38,053 millions for Minor Capital;
· $205,334 millions for Capital Development; and
· $95,815 millions for Public Transfers.
The SGBO for the Fiscal Year 2009 will ensure the continuity of the work that has been initiated by the IV Constitutional Government. One should be reminded that in 2008 the Government initiatives were dubbed “2008 Year of the Reform” were based in four main components:
· To have a Public Administration free of political interferences;
· To establish processes and mechanisms to fight corruption;
· To improve the remuneration and the management of the income of the civil servants; and
· To reform the financial and budgetary in the Government.
The continuation of these reforms in 2009 is a component of the SGB. The Government considers that the continuous reform of the public sector is crucial to the success and economic growth of the country.
2- Decree-Law that approves the Organic Law of the Ministry of Finance
The diploma that the Council of Ministers approved in today's meeting establishes the organic structure of the Ministry of Finance as well as the competencies and attributions of each service.
Secretariat for the Council of Ministers
24 November 2008.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Agreed - the Japanese Ambassador - need a lesson in etiquette!!!!
Friday, 7 November 2008
<http://xananarepublic.blogspot.com/2008/11/whale-of-time.html>Whale Of A Time
Speaking of whales, does the Japanese ambassador really need to have
2 UNPol cars and 2 PNTL motorcycle outriders, with all the bells and
whistles going, just to pop down the shops for a packet of durries
and a 6 pack of Kirin on a quiet Saturday afternoon on the beach road?
After all, that's my tax money being spent. And I don't like it.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Director of Tres Amigos: Rice importers for the AMP Coalition Government.
Born in Manatuto, Timor-Leste.
Formerly, Director of Finance in the Office of President Xanana Gusmao - now Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.
Has received 2 rice contracts in less than 5 months for $17 million....?!
It would appear that Thai Rice is coming to Dili. By the shipload - many of them.
In the last three weeks the Government appears to have awarded tens of millions of dollars of rice contracts to friends and allies. Not many, if any, tenders seems to have occured for these rice deals. But then again it is a food crisis period......
12 companies are reportedly invloved. Including but not limited to:
1. ATRAMOR for $1,848,640
2. BELUN FETO for $3,842,500
3. STAR KING for $3,842,000
4. MAUBARA FITUN NAROMAN for $3,843,000
5. UNITED FOOD for $3,842,500
6. SERBAJAYA for $1,615,000
7. TRES,AMIGOS for $3,843,500
(we will remember this companies $14 million contract in July 2008 http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2008/07/rice-and-patronage.html It is proving to be a very good year for Xanana's friend Germanu da Silva. Have you seen the quality of his house recently.....?)
GRAND TOTAL $22,677,140 in rice contracts.... equal to 20% of Timor-Leste entire national budget in 2005....!
Monday, November 10, 2008
The University of Evora (http://www.uevora.pt/) is a state-public institution.
One would have thought that IF Rogerio Lobato has indeed enrolled at Evora that it might have been blocked for reasons of impropriety....
Then again perhaps Evora, whose standards are usually quite high, have slipped a lot in recent times.
Questions and Complaints can be addressed to:
universidade de évora largo dos colegiais 2, 7004-516 Évora
firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +351 266 740 800 fax: +351 266 740 831
He has reportedly now enrolled in University in Portugal as of 5 November 2008.
The Insider has heard that Lobato enrolled at the University of Evora very recently. Odd how the Government of Malaysia would allow him to wonder off to Portugal, and that Portugal would recieve a convicted criminal that is supposed to return to Timor to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Is this how Malaysia and Portugal support the rule of law in Timor?
Wonder what the Timorese Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato thinks of it all..... she is after all family. The again no one else is serving time.... including fellow Liquica big man Vicente "Rai Los" Conceicao - the man that received weapons from Lobato.
Lobato attending his trial in 2007.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
As readers of the Insider may note, one of it first blogging entries was about the Bio-Fuel project proposed by a Company named GT LESTE.
On 27 May 2008 The Insider wrote about it. http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2008/05/100-000-hectares-poof-signed-away-on.html and had another blog see http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2008/09/gt-leste.html.
Others have made a lot of comment on the matter including members of the AMP government, the FRETILIN Opposition, and NGOs etc.
As of today as reported in the Timor Post it appears the deal is dying. Congratulations to Mariano Sabino for recognizing a mistake when he sees one – and to all those who pointed out this mistake to him.