Lao Hamutuk Annual Report
Calendar Year 2005
La’o Hamutuk (“Walking Together” in English) is a six-year old Timor-Leste (East Timor) non-governmental organization that monitors, analyzes, and reports on the principal international institutions present in Timor-Leste as they relate to the physical, economic, and social reconstruction and development of the country. La’o Hamutuk believes that the people of Timor-Leste must be the ultimate decision-makers in this process, which should be democratic and transparent. La’o Hamutuk tries to follow a model of equitable cooperation between Timor-Leste and foreign activists, and both Timor-Leste and international staff have equal responsibilities and receive equal pay and benefits.
La’o Hamutuk is an independent organization that works to facilitate effective participation for Timor-Leste people in the reconstruction and development of the country. In addition, La’o Hamutuk works to improve communication between the international community and Timor-Leste’s society. Finally, La’o Hamutuk is a resource center, providing literature on development models, experiences, and practices, as well as facilitating solidarity links between Timor-Leste groups and groups abroad with the aim of creating alternative development models.
La’o Hamutuk does not accept financial or other support from the principal institutions with interests in Timor-Leste – United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, major donor governments, international businesses operating here. This is so that we can provide objective analysis and monitoring of those institutions. We rely on funding from foundations, NGOs, and individuals.
La’o Hamutuk’s work remains crucial in helping international agencies and Timor-Leste’s citizens better understand each other as this country continues to define and evolve its own internal systems and its position in the international arena.
Timor-Leste, a small half-island between Indonesia and Australia, was colonized by Portugal from the 1500s until 1975, except for three years of devastating Japanese military occupation during World War II. In 1975, as Portugal prepared to withdraw, Indonesia invaded with support from Australia and the United States. The United Nations protested but did nothing, and the Indonesian military occupation continued for 24 years, taking approximately 100,000 lives out of a pre-invasion population of 600,000. Nevertheless, a small guerrilla resistance persisted, and most of the civilian population resisted nonviolently. After the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998, Indonesia allowed the United Nations to conduct a referendum in Timor-Leste. Undeterred by a campaign of terror organized by the Indonesian military, 98% of Timor-Leste’s voters went to the polls on 30 August 1999, voting 78% for independence from Indonesia. In the three weeks before international forces arrived, Indonesia’s military and their Timor-Leste militia proxies devastated the country, destroying 75% of the buildings and infrastructure and displacing about 75% of the people to the mountains or to Indonesian West Timor.
From the end of 1999 until mid-2002, the United Nations Transitional Administration in Timor-Leste (UNTAET) ruled as a benevolent dictatorship. More than two billion U.S. dollars was spent to rebuild the territory and prepare it for independence, although most of that money didn’t stay here. In 2001, elections were held for a Constituent Assembly, which wrote the constitution. Resistance leader Xanana Gusmão was elected President in April 2002, and the Constituent Assembly, with an absolute majority from the Fretilin party, became Timor-Leste’s Parliament. Although UNTAET made some progress in reconstruction, economic development, creating administrative procedures and inventing democratic structures, huge tasks were left for the new government, as described in the May 2002 La’o Hamutuk Bulletin.
Timor-Leste restored its independence on 20 May 2002, with sovereignty passing from the United Nations to Timor-Leste’s elected Government and Parliament under the new constitution. Foreign governments, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations continue to play a major role in Timor-Leste. International advisors continue to be pervasive in government. The third UN mission (UNMISET) ended in May 2005, although the UN maintains a smaller presence in the form of the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), which is scheduled to be reduced again in mid-2006.
With the conclusion of the UN mission and the closing of both the Serious Crimes Unit and the Timor-Leste Commission on Truth, Reception and Reconciliation, the international community has failed to complete its obligation to end impunity for crimes against humanity. As the new Timor-Leste government consolidates itself, international financial institutions, foreign governments, foreign companies, international agencies and advisors continue to have powerful roles. They are particularly involved in key areas like exploiting Timor-Leste’s petroleum resources, directing and screening donor contributions to Timor-Leste, providing “advisors” in all sectors of government, and advocating fee-for-service, private-sector economic policies as they have in many other developing countries.
Six years after the destruction of 1999 and nearly four years into self-government, Timor-Leste’s inexperienced public institutions remain fragile. Lack of professionalism and internal tensions within and between the military and police, poorly-developed mechanisms for expressing political debate, pervasive poverty and unemployment, and an increasingly isolated and self-protective governmental leadership are evidence that transition to democratic independence is a slow, difficult process which cannot be rushed to suit the priorities and agendas of international institutions and donors. It will take many more years of learning and support before Timor-Leste’s leaders, people and political institutions can be confident and secure in the stability and openness of their political system, and La’o Hamutuk will continue to participate in this process, encouraging and influencing constructive international engagement with Timor-Leste’s reconstruction and development.
La’o Hamutuk’s work remains crucial in helping international agencies and Timor-Leste citizens to understand each other better as this country enters a new phase in its history and continues to define and evolve its own internal systems and its position in the international arena.
The principal objective of La’o Hamutuk is to increase the Timor-Leste people’s level of knowledge about, and effective participation in, the reconstruction and development of their country. We are implementing this with the following Strategic Goals:
The main focus of our attention is investigating and monitoring international institutions active in Timor-Leste. The findings from that research are conveyed through several media and programs:
La’o Hamutuk conducts research into the programs and operations of international institutions here, in the historical and global context of their work. Our findings are published in the La'o Hamutuk Bulletin in both English (circulation 1,750) and Indonesian (circulation 3,000 - larger than any of Timor-Leste’s daily newspapers). The Bulletin is distributed nationwide at no charge. We print additional English copies if the issue is related to oil or justice, as more English readers seem to be interested in these issues.
Since 2000, we have published 35 Bulletins, ranging from eight to 24 pages. Each has a main topic, a few other articles, “in brief” news items, reports from activities and editorials. La’o Hamutuk staff write most of the articles, with occasional contributions by Timor-Leste specialists or experts relating the experience of other countries. In 2005 we published four Bulletins (one was a double issue), with in-depth articles on Falintil-FDTL, UN Support for Public Administration, Petroleum Dependency, The Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, the Petroleum Fund, and European Community Aid to Timor Leste, among others. See Appendix II for a list of all 2005 Bulletin articles.
We distribute the Bulletin nationally to schools, churches, government offices, and international and local NGOs throughout Timor-Leste with help from district-based organizations. Within Dili, we distribute to embassies, the World Bank, ADB and IMF, the UN, central government offices, hotels, restaurants, libraries, and other public places. The Bulletin is also circulated by email and posted on our website, where it is read by internationals in Dili and by interested people around the world.
Radio is the most effective and accessible medium for conveying information to the people of Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk’s radio program Igualidade is broadcast in Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia every Sunday on the national radio station, RTL, which has repeater transmitters across the country. Igualidade reaches many listeners who have no other access to the information in our broadcasts. The program features La’o Hamutuk staff interviewing and discussing contemporary issues with knowledgeable guests. Since 2004, La’o Hamutuk has had our own radio studio. Appendix III lists the 28 programs La’o Hamutuk broadcast in 2005.
“Popular education” describes a methodology of community organizing in which all people are both teachers and students, working together for social justice. Timor-Leste has a strong history of popular education, which can build critical thinking and empower both formally educated and illiterate people, to improve their participation in political and development processes.
La’o Hamutuk publishes Surat Popular, a four-page illustrated Tetum publication to bring our work to the grassroots by presenting key concepts from our investigations in language and images accessible to people without much formal education. 5000 copies of each issue are circulated throughout Timor-Leste through La’o Hamutuk’s own networks and the National Network of Popular Educators (Dai Popular; see Coalitions below).
In 2005, La’o Hamutuk published two Surat Populars, entitled Where is Justice? and Maritime Boundaries. In addition to distributing these to local communities, we used them to prepare participants to meet with the UN Commission of Experts and to conduct advocacy on petroleum issues in Maliana, Baucau and Ainaro together with students from the National University.
La’o Hamutuk public meetings bring together people from government, international institutions, media and civil society to discuss and debate key policy issues. Decision-makers appreciate these discussions as an opportunity to engage with the public, and citizens and civil society organizations use them to inform themselves and express their views.
In 2005, La’o Hamutuk hosted a public meeting concerning the findings of our December 2004 exchange visit to the Philippines, highlighting the social and economic impacts caused by unfair land ownership; exchange participants also held a meeting at the University of Dili. Other public meetings throughout the year discussed Timor Sea oil, the Commission on Truth and Friendship, and Timor-Leste-Cuba relations.
La’o Hamutuk staff often give talks or serve on panels at public events organized by other organizations and institutions. A list of the speakers and public meetings organized during 2005 is in Appendix IV.
The La’o Hamutuk office includes a resource center valuable to both Timor-Leste people and internationals. Our free library includes printed and audiovisual material on development, women’s rights and gender studies, education, petroleum issues, health, and global studies, as well as on Timor-Leste’s languages, history and culture. Our research files and in-house computer network contain extensive in-depth materials that we make available to researchers, students and others.
In 2005, La’o Hamutuk continued to purchase more books in Bahasa Indonesia and updated our intranet, making more documents available to users of the resource centre.
La’o Hamutuk had hoped to expand its resource centre during 2005, expecting that the Government would make a decision about whether we could remain in our Farol offices. A decision has not yet been taken about when this might happen, so we will probably move in 2006. Our plans for a new office include an expanded resource centre.
Although most projects managed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under Trust Fund for Timor-Leste have now been finished or phased into the Consolidated Fund for Timor-Leste (CFET), the World Bank continues to shape government programs through its Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and the ADB and IMF also have a strong influence on policies and Timor-Leste’s development process. La’o Hamutuk’s Multilateral Institutions Team incorporates our work in monitoring UN projects and examining international companies and markets, which will become more important as the government seeks to attract foreign investment with the assistance of international institutions.
During the first half of 2005, our Multilateral Institutions Team and Natural Resources Team worked together to analyze the Government’s proposed oil revenue management system. This continued from La’o Hamutuk’s detailed analysis and submission regarding the petroleum fund concept paper in December 2004. The design of the petroleum fund was substantially influenced by IMF advisers.
We closely monitored the formation of the World Bank’s first CSP (Country Support Program), attending all consultations with the Bank and lobbying for changes in the matrix’s design and content. Our Bulletin critiqued the decision to appoint Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. ambassador to Jakarta and key architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as World Bank president.
La’o Hamutuk was invited to make a presentation at an April symposium on the UN peacekeeping mission at UN Headquarters in Dili, marking the end of UNMISET. The main points of the presentation were included in the UN’s book International Symposium on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste: Accomplishments and Lessons Learned. The research for this presentation formed the basis of the article on UNMISET support for public administration published in our August Bulletin.
In October, La’o Hamutuk brought to public attention AusAID’s revocation of grants to local NGOs in response to their calling for a fair maritime boundary in the Timor Sea negotiations. The Australian government conceded, after initial denials, that their decision to stop funding was taken at the ministerial level. La’o Hamutuk’s research and media outreach were key in publicizing connections between and conditionalities in Australia’s foreign and aid policy as well as breach of contract. Please see Appendix V for some examples of this media work.
La’o Hamutuk conducted extensive research into European Community assistance to Timor-Leste, which was published in our December Bulletin.
Revenues from oil and gas already comprise the majority of Timor-Leste’s economy, and will expand to more than 89% of GDP and 94% of government revenues within five years. La’o Hamutuk has been the leading force in civil society for education and research regarding aspects of petroleum development, including maritime boundaries, revenue management, and the environmental, social, political and economic dangers of petroleum dependency and development.
In February, La’o Hamutuk was invited to a World Bank-organized meeting in Paris, regarding the UK-Government initiated Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). La’o Hamutuk chose not to attend because civil society participation in similar events is sometimes used to legitimize international financial institutions’ policies, but we submitted a statement EITI: Limitations in Practice. The following month, La’o Hamutuk attended the EITI conference organized by the British Government in London, which was also attended by the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. We presented our views and listened to others, building relationships with international civil society, government and industry representatives.
In May and June 2005, La’o Hamutuk staffer Tomas Freitas did a speaking tour in Australia, organized by the Timorese Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) and the Melbourne-based Timor Sea Justice Campaign. The tour informed Australians of their government’s actions in the Timor Sea Negotiations and how this relates to international law.
La’o Hamutuk produced detailed analyses of the draft Petroleum Fund Act that determines the expenditure of oil revenue as part of the national budget and made submissions to the drafting committee and Timor-Leste’s Parliament. We also facilitated the submissions of Martin Sandbu of Columbia University and Joseph Bell of the Open Society Institute. The Petroleum Fund Act, incorporating some of our suggestions for improved accountability, was enacted in July. As the fund has begun operation, we continue to monitor its revenues, management and reporting.
As part of follow-up work to monitor the petroleum fund, La’o Hamutuk, Oxfam Australia, CAFOD and local NGOs held discussions to form a budgetary monitoring group. This evolved into the ‘Core Group,’ a coalition of local and international NGOs that have the objective of ensuring the transparency of the Timor-Leste Government budget. The group’s inaugural meeting took place in July 2005, and included speakers from the Publish What You Pay Coalition and the Open Society Institute.
During 2004, La’o Hamutuk submitted extensive analysis and critique on the draft Petroleum Regime, a set of laws which defines how Timor-Leste will conduct petroleum projects and manage its relationships with oil companies. We continued to engage with this process until the legislation was passed in July 2005. In November, our Bulletin included a report on the many gaps and loopholes in the regime.
The Natural Resources Team monitored initial phases for international oil companies to bid to explore and exploit previously undeveloped areas of the Timor Sea. These were conducted by both the Government of Timor Leste and the Timor Sea Development Authority (for the Joint Petroleum Development Area with Australia). We also provided information about government and oil company plans and analyses of the possibility of liquefying natural gas from the Sunrise field in Timor-Leste.
The Natural Resources Team contributed a chapter to a book on ecological and external debt and petroleum dependency published by the Ecuador-based OilWatch network, of which we are a member. This work provided the background research for an article on petroleum dependency that appeared in November’s Bulletin. We also wrote three chapters for a book published by Internews to train Timor-Leste journalists on covering oil issues.
Throughout the year, we updated our website and our OilWeb CD-ROM on oil and gas issues, as well as enhancing our relationships with local and international media, organizations and networks which work to reduce negative impacts of petroleum development. We also provided information for journalists and politicians in Australia, the U.S. and elsewhere about Timor-Leste petroleum development, especially the maritime boundary dispute with Australia, and continued to monitor Australia’s theft of Timor-Leste’s resources from the Laminaria-Corallina oil field. In addition to asking for international solidarity for Timor-Leste, we initiated and participated in a local march and petition to the South Korean government as part of the October International Day of Action Against the Shwe Gas Project in Burma.
La’o Hamutuk continued to monitor the issue of justice for crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999 and to advocate for an end to impunity for the masterminds and perpetrators of those crimes. We work closely with the National Alliance for an International Tribunal and published several Bulletin articles and a Surat Popular.
In April, the National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI) organized a silent protest (‘aksi damai’) at Dili International Airport to greet the UN Commission of Experts, whom the Secretary-General had asked to assess justice efforts undertaken to that point. Subsequently an LH staff member, also a Board member of the Alliance, met with the Commission at UN headquarters in Dili to discuss accountability for those who committed atrocities during the occupation. Another staff member met with the Commission at UN Headquarters in New York and gave them extensive materials on CD-ROM. Later, we provided input to UNOTIL head Sukehiro Hasegawa on what he should recommend to the Secretary-General regarding future international justice activities.
In August, La’o Hamutuk published an editorial regarding the bilateral Timor-Leste-Indonesia Commission for Truth and Friendship, assessing its mandate and limitations compared with other mechanisms for achieving reconciliation, and explaining that it has little to do with justice. We also engaged with several people suggested to be Timorese members of the CTF, and discussed the political context and inadequacies of this proposed commission with them.
Through La’o Hamutuk, ANTI helped to organize and participate in a September 2005 workshop in Jakarta which brought together victims of Indonesian military human rights abuses from Timor-Leste and Indonesia, including people and organizations from West Papua, Aceh, Maluku and Kalimantan. The meeting increased information sharing and cooperation among the victims’ groups, as well as between Timorese and Indonesian organizations including ELSAM, Kontras and Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Institusi (Legal Aid Institute). These organizations share experiences of repression and the objective of finding ways to achieve justice for crimes against humanity. After returning from Jakarta, the Alliance organized follow-up meetings with local NGOs and at the National University in Dili.
La’o Hamutuk continued monitoring the work of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), which presented its final report to President Gusmão in October. When its public release was delayed for many months, La’o Hamutuk and ANTI wrote to the President, urging him to make the report available.
Members of La’o Hamutuk staff and ANTI continued to give interviews and provide information to local and international media, researchers and policy-makers regarding accountability, the Commission of Truth and Friendship, and the gap between the positions of Timor Leste’s people and leaders on how to achieve effective justice.
We continue to be a driving and motivating presence in NGO coalitions in order to work collaboratively with other organizations and to reach a larger audience.
La’o Hamutuk continues as an active member of the Popular Educators’ Network, Dai Popular.
In 2005, Dai Popular members, including La’o Hamutuk, published the book “Tansa Mak Tenke Kuba?” (“Why must it be Cuba?”) based on the Cuba Intercambio La’o Hamutuk organized in 2003. This relates experiences of participants and presents alternatives to the neoliberal development model. The book has helped people in Timor-Leste understand the Cuban Health system, which is important because scores of Cuban doctors are working in Timor-Leste and more than 300 Timor-Leste students are studying medicine in Cuba. This book is available in La’o Hamutuk’s resource centre.
La’o Hamutuk remains involved in Dai Popular’s other activities, including planning trainings on popular education, producing publications, and conducting campaigns aimed at alleviating illiteracy.
National Movement Against Violence (MNKV)
MNKV includes women and men working to reduce domestic violence, which is endemic in Timor-Leste. LH considers our participation in MNKV an important part of our work towards nonviolent change. La’o Hamutuk staff conducted training through MNKV workshops in 2005 in Aileu, Lautem and Liquiça concerning gender, funded by Oxfam Australia and involving other local NGOs. Our 2005 strategic planning identified that many organizations now focus on domestic violence. La’o Hamutuk has therefore decided not to continue to play a leading role in this work, though we will remain a member of MNKV.
The Core Group is a network of civil society and other organizations that works to promote transparency and accountability in the national government budget, especially in regard to petroleum revenue (more than 90% of the budget). The Core Group was founded in July 2005 by a coalition of international and national NGOs, including La’o Hamutuk. We work with the Group by organizing seminars around the country to explain the importance of transparency. We also contribute to the Group’s objectives by analyzing Petroleum Fund operations.
National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI)
La’o Hamutuk is one of the most active members of this coalition of Timor-Leste human rights NGOs who push to end impunity for crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste during the 24-year Indonesian occupation. See the preceding discussion on Justice for more about how we work with ANTI.
At the end of 2004, La’o Hamutuk conducted an external evaluation and planned to revise our structure, based on the recommendations of the evaluators, staff and board. We began to implement these during 2005. We drafted an organizational constitution and discussed ways to involve the Executive Board more in the decision making process. In April, one of the external evaluators returned to assist in following up the evaluation, improving La’o Hamutuk’s structure.
Recognizing that inadequate attention is given by international agencies and government to rural areas where most Timor-Leste people live, we created a Rural Development investigative team to complement the research we continue to do on Bilateral and Multilateral agencies, Natural Resources and Justice. In July 2005, the team began to assess how money from UN Agencies is benefiting people who live outside of Dili. At the same time, we decided on a strategy to coordinate our various media outputs, print, radio and website, to produce more effective advocacy.
Throughout the year, international staff at La’o Hamutuk taught English to Timorese staff. At the end of 2005, we brought in two temporary staff to improve our research and writing capacity. To build civil society’s capacity, a La’o Hamutuk staff member gave three trainings for local journalists on petroleum issues, organized by the Timor-Leste Media Development Centre. These trainings formed the basis for three chapters in a book published by Internews.
We continued to receive assistance in important areas of our work from a network of internationally and nationally-based volunteers. These included former members of staff, translators, advocacy organizations which share our goals, and researchers. We also work closely with international solidarity networks such as the Timor Sea Justice Campaign (Australia) and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN, USA).
La’o Hamutuk conducted follow-up work for our earlier Cuba and Philippines intercambios. Though La’o Hamutuk had planned to carry out additional intercambios in 2005, we decided that this was not feasible, as we were committed to follow up prior Intercambios and to change our structure. We plan to conduct international exchanges in the future, though on a smaller scale and over shorter time periods.
In August 2005, La’o Hamutuk redesigned and enhanced our web site, adding many La’o Hamutuk publications and creating a topic index to make it easier for researchers to find material on specific issues. Nearly 300 items are listed, organized into broad areas of Justice and human rights, Oil and natural gas, International Financial Institutions, Global trade and markets, Timor-Leste government finances, Aid to Timor-Leste, United Nations, Militarization and war, Agriculture, Popular Education and Intercambios, and Solidarity and activism. During the last three months of 2005, our website was visited more than 18,800 times, with usage increasing about 10% every month.
In June 2005, three people left La’o Hamutuk staff, due to differences in opinion and perspective. They formed a new NGO called Luta Hamutuk (“struggle together”) which monitors the RDTL government and its role in administering public works. La’o Hamutuk continues to cooperate with Luta Hamutuk, especially in the context of our work in monitoring the national budget.
In August and September, two outstanding Timorese women, Santina Soares and Bella Galhos, joined La’o Hamutuk’s staff to work on Natural Resources and Multilateral Institutions.
La’o Hamutuk had planned to publish six Bulletins in 2005. We published five (one double and three single issues). We published two Surat Populars in 2005. We had planned to publish a third, in cooperation with our partners in local communities. Staff changes prevented us from publishing as many Bulletins and Surat Populars as we had planned.
In 2006, La’o Hamutuk hopes to recruit two new Timorese staff and three new international staff, to replace staff who left in 2005 or will finish in 2006, as well as to increase our staff to approximately nine.
The Timor-Leste government will probably take over our current building use during 2006, and we will have to move to a new office. This will require expenditures for renovation and furniture, and a likely increase in rent. It will also disrupt our normal activities for some weeks.
During 2006, we will produce and broadcast three radio programs each month, sharing one monthly airtime slot with the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), which will use our radio studio.
We will continue to monitor petroleum revenues and operations, through analyzing and publicizing the Petroleum Fund’s quarterly reports, our participation in the Core Group, and close attention to bidding process. In addition, we will research and write an in-depth report on the social, economic and environmental impacts of a possible natural gas liquefaction (LNG) facility in Timor-Leste. Our natural resources team will continue to develop its expertise and contacts through study tours and exchanges with people in other countries who focus on similar issues.
We hope to publish at least six Bulletins and four Surat Populars in 2006.
Our monitoring of the three International Financial Institutions operating in Timor-Leste will continue in 2006. We will watch the implementation of the World Bank-designed Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and the Asian Development Bank’s plans to extend and privatize the water and electricity utilities.
In order to carry out more research, two experienced solidarity activists from Indonesia will help build our staff’s capacity in research and writing during the first six months of 2006. During our strategic planning in October 2005, we decided using people from outside La’o Hamutuk to teach English to our staff would be more effective than having our own international staff do it, and we will follow that approach in 2006. This will also allow international staff more time for other work.
During 2006 we will consolidate our involvement the coalitions in which we participate in order to work collaboratively with other organizations and to reach a larger audience.
All amounts are specified in United States dollars. La’o Hamutuk’s fiscal year is the calendar year.
La’o Hamutuk maintains our policy of not accepting contributions from the UN and its agencies, the World Bank, ADB, IMF, major donors to Timor-Leste and transnational corporations operating here, to preserve the organization’s independence.
The organization has a flat wage structure with both local and international staff receiving a salary of $400 dollars per month. All staff receive benefits that include health insurance, some of which is self-insurance funded from the ‘Health Reserve’ account in the balance sheet. International staff receive one return airfare from their home country, as well as a ‘readjustment allowance’ of $400 for each month worked up to the end of the first year, payable after they finish working with La’o Hamutuk.
This table indicates our total cash and bank account balances at the start and end of 2005, amounts of money set aside for specific purposes, and unrestricted money available for general operations.
The following table compares our actual income with what we had projected for 2005.
The following table compares our actual expenditures with what we had projected for 2005.
Projected budget for 2006
Volume 6 (2005)
(organized by La’o Hamutuk in Dili except where noted)
A sampling of additional media interviews, citations and references to La’o Hamutuk
La’o Hamutuk staff includes seven professionals, six from Timor-Leste and one from England, five women and two men. The staff is non-hierarchical and makes decisions collectively, although two members serve as rotating coordinators to free the rest from routine administrative tasks. All staff share administrative and program responsibilities, with conscious effort being made to share skills and increase capacities.
The following people are on our staff at the close of 2005:
Maria Afonso de Jesus
Born in Dili, Maria (“Merry”) joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004, having previously worked at Caritas in Dili. Merry is La’o Hamutuk’s finance officer and works on justice issues. Merry is a Board member of the Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal, representing victims’ families, as her husband was killed in the April 1999 Liquiça massacre. Merry speaks Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia.
Bella was born and grew up in Dili. In 1994 she sought political asylum in Canada where she stayed until 2000, before returning to Timor-Leste to work for UNTAET as a human rights officer, and later as a producer of programs at Radio UNTAET. Bella speaks English, Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia. She joined La’o Hamutuk in September 2005, where she works on Multilateral Institutions and Gender.
Alex arrived in Timor Leste from England in September 2004 to work at La’o Hamutuk, two years after having completed a Masters degree in Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In the interim period he worked in conflict resolution organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium and helped establish an Aceh civil society solidarity group, Pinto Aceh, in London. At La’o Hamutuk he works on International Financial Institutions and Bilateral Assistance and serves on the Coordination Team. He speaks English, Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia.
Yasinta was born and grew up in Oecusse, the enclave of Timor Leste surrounded by Indonesia. She studied at the Social Welfare University in Bandung, Indonesia, and worked at Christian Children’s Fund and Catholic Relief Services before joining La’o Hamutuk in August 2002. She speaks Tetum, Indonesian, and Dawan. With La’o Hamutuk, Yasinta investigates UNMISET and UN Agencies. She also coordinates our Surat Popular and resource center, and was on La’o Hamutuk’s Coordination Team for much of 2004.
Inês was studying economics at the University of Timor Leste before the Indonesian military destroyed it in September 1999. Born in Bobonaro, Timor Leste, she worked with ETWAVE (a local NGO which focuses on human rights of women and children). Inês is fluent in Tetum, Portuguese and Indonesian. Inês has been working with La’o Hamutuk since May 2000, and has researched many issues including Portuguese assistance and the coffee sector. She participated in the exchanges to Brazil in 2001 and Cuba in 2003, is active in Dai Popular, coordinates La’o Hamutuk’s radio program, and serves on our Coordination Team.
Santi was born in Beaco, Viqueque district. She graduated from the Social Welfare University in Bandung. On returning to Timor-Leste in 2002 she first volunteered at the Denore foundation before working at the Peace and Democracy Foundation where she became a Program Manager. Santi speaks Tetum, Indonesian, English, Noeti, Makassae and some Portuguese. At La’o Hamutuk, she works on Natural Resources, Bilateral Assistance and conflict resolution.
Guteriano Nicolau Soares Neves
Guteriano joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004, having previously worked for the Dili-based current affairs magazine, Talitakum. He is completing a degree at the University of Timor Leste in International Relations. At La’o Hamutuk, Gute has worked on Bilateral Assistance, Militarization, the United Nations and Natural Resources and regularly contributes articles to the local press and gives interviews to the domestic and foreign media on these issues. Gute speaks Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia, English and Mambai.
During parts of 2005, La’o Hamutuk staff also included:
Cassia Bechara arrived in Timor Leste from Brazil in November 2002 to work with La’o Hamutuk. She graduated in Social Communication and worked in India with Tibetan refugees, and later with indigenous communities and grassroots organizations in Brazil. She speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Tetum. At La’o Hamutuk Cassia focused on popular education, international exchanges, and investigations of UNMISET and Timor Leste’s relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries. Cassia finished her contract in March 2005.
Tomas Sebastião Rosario Freitas
Born in Dili, Thomas studied at Udayana University (Bali) from 1996 until 1999, where he involved with the Indonesian People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the Timorese clandestine resistance, Maubere Youth Alliance. He coordinated the return of over a thousand Timor Leste refugees from Bali after the referendum. Thomas joined La’o Hamutuk in April 2001, and his work included Natural Resources, organizing public meetings and La’o Hamutuk’s weekly radio program, as well as illustrating the Bulletin and Surat Popular, and maintaining close communications with other NGOs. He speaks Tetum, Indonesian and English.
Mericio “Akara” Juvenal
Born in Lospalos, Timor Leste, Mericio completed an anthropology degree at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta in August 2001. He joined La’o Hamutuk that November, after working with World Vision International and the International Rescue Committee. He founded Centro Cultural Maubere, which promotes Timor Leste culture, and Fundasaun Lero, a foundation that builds local skills in education and agriculture. At La’o Hamutuk, Mericio focused on popular education, international exchanges, and gender. He speaks Tetum, Fatulucu, Indonesian and English.
Amy arrived at La’o Hamutuk in February 2005 to work on International Financial Institutions. For personal reasons, she had to return to Canada after only five weeks.
A long-time Timor-Leste solidarity activist, Charlie worked at La’o Hamutuk in Dili from August 2001 until April 2004. His work during that time was on the Bulletin, finances, justice, the UN, oil and gas, international activist networks, and foreign governments’ roles in Timor-Leste. During 2005, Charlie worked part-time for La’o Hamutuk from New York for most of the year, and in Dili in August, October and November. His main foci were Natural Resources and Justice, as well as organizational issues.
Joãozito joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004 having previously worked at the Timor-Leste Cultural Centre and teaching taught sociology at Continental University in Timor Leste. At La’o Hamutuk, Zito worked on Natural Resources and was a facilitator for the Timor-Leste Association of Men Against Violence. Joãozito speaks Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia and Fataluku.
Joseph is the international coordinator of La’o Hamutuk. During 1999, he served in Dili as one of the coordinators of the IFET Observer Project, and had visited Timor-Leste three times previously. He volunteered as La’o Hamutuk staff in Dili during the summers of 2000, 2001 and 2005. Joe has written three books and numerous articles on Timor-Leste, including A Not-So Distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor, published by Cornell University Press in 2005. After teaching at the University of California in Los Angeles and Berkeley, Joe became a professor of geography at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA in 2003.
Director of Sah’e Institute for Liberation, Nuno has worked closely with La’o Hamutuk since it began. He attended University of Indonesia in Jakarta, where he studied communications and was active in the Timorese resistance and led a study group on Marxism with Indonesian activists. Nuno returned to Timor-Leste in 1999, and began doing popular education work. Having participated in La’o Hamutuk’s exchange with Brazilian popular educators, Nuno is a leader of the Timor-Leste Popular Educators’ Network.
From the USA, Pamela has extensive experience in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Pam lived in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for two years and speaks Indonesian fluently, as well as Tetum and Spanish. In 1999, she was U.S. coordinator for the IFET Observer Project, and observed the referendum in Suai. In May 2000, Pam helped set up La’o Hamutuk, and she served on our staff from 2000-2002, focusing on popular education, gender issues, and international exchanges. Pam returned to California in November 2002, from where she continues to support our work as a volunteer and a member of our board.
Aderito de Jesus Soares
Aderito is a lawyer and human rights advocate. He is former Director of Sah’e Institute for Liberation, and founder and Vice-Chairman of the Timor-Leste National Jurists Association. Born in Maliana, Timor-Leste, Aderito lived in Indonesia for many years where he served as director for ELSAM, a Jakarta-based human rights organization. As such, he defended political prisoners throughout Indonesia, most notably in West Papua. Aderito is the co-author of a book on West Papua, and has written numerous articles on international law and human rights in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. In August 2001, Aderito was elected to Timor-Leste’s Constituent Assembly, where he chaired the committee dealing with the basic structure of government and helped write the Constitution. He resigned from Parliament and did graduate legal studies at New York University for two years. Since his return to Dili in 2003, he has been involved in a number of legal and human rights projects and written for numerous publications worldwide.
 As the result of La’o Hamutuk’s 2003 budget surplus, we allocated 10,000 per year to our operating budget over the next three years (2004-6)
 La’o Hamutuk has managed the finances for the Sah’e Institute of Liberation’s translation of Geoffrey Gunn’s book: East Timor: 500 Years. This project was completed during 2005 and the remaining balance was transferred to the Sah’e Institute.
 This reserve is to replace and repair computers, motorcycles and other capital assets as they wear out. None of this money was needed during 2005.
 This fund includes approximately one month worth of expenses, used to avoid cash flow problems.
 This is not actual income, but an allocation from La’o Hamutuk’s reserves.
 We had originally planned to conduct an intercambio during 2005, but this was not done. The intercambio income was a grant from Frontier Internship Mission in partial payment for expenses of the Philippines Intercambio conducted in 2004.
 La’o Hamutuk managed a grant of $4,197 from Development and Peace (Canada) to pay for participation of members of the Timor-Leste National Alliance for an international tribunal in a conference in Jakarta. The expenses for this project are listed as “supported campaigns” below.
 The bulk of this is a one-time corporate donation for consulting work done by former La’o Hamutuk staffer Charles Scheiner.
 Includes $29,360 from Hivos (Netherlands) and $25,116 from Development and Peace (Canada). Because of reduced activity in 2005, we did not solicit or receive as many grants as we had projected.
 Includes health insurance, house rent, salaries, visa fees, wage tax and transport for international staff.
 We planned new construction for our resource center, but this is pending clarification of how long we can stay in our building.
 Expenditures are negative because money advanced in 2004 for the Philippines intercambio was returned to La’o Hamutuk.
 The audit of our 2004 accounting was delayed until 2006.
 During 2006, we hope to raise specific funding for projects relating to a study of an onshore LNG facility in Timor-Leste, an exchange tour in the United States, and a research trip in Indonesia or Southeast Asia.
 Our ability to remain in our building is uncertain; this is budgeted in case the government forces us to move during 2006.
The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)