Lao Hamutuk Annual Report
Calendar Year 2006
La’o Hamutuk (“Walking Together” in English) is a seven-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 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, etc. Although this makes it more difficult for us to finance our work, it is essential to providing objective analysis and monitoring of those institutions. We rely on funding from foundations, NGOs, and governments of small countries, as well as individual donations.
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. We are committed to positive representation for women and capacity-building among our staff, which at the end of 2006 included three full-time women and one full-time man, in addition to two part-time men.
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.
Indonesia’s 24-year occupation of Timor-Leste was horrific, causing the deaths of more than 100,000 Timor-Leste people. In 1999, the Indonesian military and their militia proxies launched a wave of terror and devastation before and after the vote for independence. In response, the international community established the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
During the subsequent eight-month “emergency period,” many international organizations came to Timor-Leste. These multilateral, governmental and non-governmental agencies provided desperately needed resources and expertise, but coordination was often poor, and many international workers were insensitive toward local needs and capabilities. Combined with errors and systemic weaknesses of UNTAET, the World Bank and other organizations, these factors led to numerous problems. Some decisions taken during that time, particularly regarding the military, police and justice, were poorly thought through and returned to haunt the people of Timor-Leste this during 2006.
On 20 May 2002, sovereignty passed from the UN to Timor-Leste’s elected government. Foreign governments, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations continue to play major roles. The third UN mission (UNMISET) ended in May 2005, although the UN maintained a smaller presence in the form of the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), which had been scheduled to be reduced again in mid-2006.
Billions of dollars have been spent on aid projects, and international advisors are throughout the government, but much remains unreconstructed and widespread skills shortages remain. The international community has not met its commitment to end impunity for crimes committed during the Indonesian occupation. As the current crisis vividly demonstrates, policies advocated by international financial institutions, foreign governments, foreign companies, international agencies and advisors have often not worked for this country. These agencies 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.
Since April 2006, Timor-Leste has experienced a security crisis starting in Dili and spreading throughout the country. Hundreds of thousand of people are displaced, with tens of thousands living in IDP camps. More than a thousand houses were burned or destroyed, and widespread fear has interrupted normal activities. Since May, more than one thousand international soldiers and police have been in Timor-Leste attempting to restore order. In August the United Nations reversed its withdrawal, with a larger mission (UNMIT) which hopes to provide security, restore order, and create a safe environment for the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections and beyond. In addition, UNMIT hopes to improve on past UN performance in Timor-Leste, and the many reports published by La’o Hamutuk over the past seven years provide important input to help them “learn lessons.”
The current crisis grows out of unemployment, impunity, widespread trauma, and a legacy of disempowerment and resistance, compounded by limited perspectives and inexperience in both the Timor-Leste government and international institutions. 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.
Much international money spent in Timor-Leste continues to bypass local government processes. Foreign companies dominate telecommunications, the oil industry and other key sectors. International financial institutions remain influential. Although Timor-Leste and Australia have reached an interim compromise on maritime resources, long term economic independence remains precarious, relying on petroleum under the Timor Sea outside of Timor-Leste’s control.
Powerful international forces will continue to buffet this small, new nation for the indefinite future, and the people of Timor-Leste continue to need and want the information, research and monitoring La’o Hamutuk provides. Our radio program reaches the entire nation; our Bulletin has a circulation larger than any Timor-Leste newspaper (in addition to its large readership via email and the web); our global connections have no parallel in Timor-Leste. People in Timor-Leste civil society, government, and international agencies tell us that La’o Hamutuk’s work is still essential, and we expect to continue for a long time.
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.
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 1,500) and Indonesian (circulation 2,500 - larger than any of Timor-Leste’s daily newspapers). The Bulletin is distributed at no charge 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 interested people in Dili and around the world.
Since 2000, we have published 36 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.
During 2006, we published one Bulletin in April analyzing the CMATS treaty signed by Australia and Timor-Leste. The 20-page issue also included a chronology, glossary and timeline about Timor Sea boundary negotiations, a report from a Cuba Solidarity Conference in India, an article by then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri (responding to previous La’o Hamutuk articles about oil dependency), our response to the Prime Minister, some other reports, and an editorial on the recommendations by the CAVR (Commission for Truth, Reception and Reconciliation).
La’o Hamutuk redesigned and enhanced our web site www.laohamutuk.org in 2005, and we continue to add many La’o Hamutuk reports, statements, analysis and press releases. A topic index makes it easy for researchers to find material on specific issues. About 400 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. As the UN debated expanding its mission in Timor-Leste in 2006, we added a comprehensive list and index of UN documents relating to Timor-Leste.
During 2006, the number of visitors to the site increased from an average of 200 per day to more than 500/day (see graph). Our website and mailing list continue provide significant information to people around the world, especially those who are looking for ways to support Timor-Leste.
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 contained in our broadcasts. The program features La’o Hamutuk staff interviewing and discussing contemporary issues with knowledgeable guests.
From March to May 2006, we collaborated with the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP, a national NGO), allocating one program each month to discuss their monitoring of the Timor-Leste judicial system. During the crisis, our broadcasts focused on relevant issues, interviewing different people to share their points of view and analyses. The crisis prevented us from broadcasting during May and June, although we resumed weekly programming for the rest of the year. There were about five times when speakers were unable to come to our studio, and we re-broadcast previously recorded programs.
Appendix II lists the 26 programs La’o Hamutuk produced and broadcast during 2006.
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.
During 2006, La’o Hamutuk organized five public meetings, fewer than we had planned due to the difficulties of organizing speakers. Although we found it very challenging, we are confident that our public meetings played an important role, discussing important issues from a variety of perspectives, helping to inform both the community and the speakers.
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 2006 is in Appendix III.
Our resource center continues to provide books and audiovisual materials in several languages which visitors to our office can use, as well as to inform our own research. We provide information to Timorese students and visitors to Timor-Leste. In 2006 our staffer Guteriano visited the United States, and ETAN gave him many books for La’o Hamutuk’s library. In addition, he bought some books which are not otherwise available in Timor-Leste.
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 by 2009. Since 2001, 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 January 2006, we met with George Soros and Joseph Bell of the Open Society Institute, who worked on developing the Petroleum Fund law in São Tomé e Príncipe. Throughout the year, we monitored operation of Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund, providing information and stimulating activity for the Core Group on Transparency (see below) and other students and NGO activists through our radio program, public meetings and other discussions. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri wrote to La’o Hamutuk criticizing our analysis of the petroleum regime and petroleum dependency in Timor-Leste, and we published his article and our response in our April Bulletin.
The Norwegian government invited two representatives from Timor-Leste civil society to Oslo for the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative conference in October. Timor-Leste NGOs chose La’o Hamutuk staffer Santina Soares and Luta Hamutuk’s Thomas Freitas, and they presented a paper “Timor-Leste and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: An Overview from Civil Society.”
After six years of difficult negotiations, the governments of Timor-Leste and Australia signed the CMATS (Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea) Treaty in January 2006, to share equally the upstream proceeds of the biggest reserve of natural gas in the contested seabed area, Greater Sunrise. In return, Timor-Leste agreed to cede other contested oil fields to Australia and to suspend its maritime boundary claim for half a century. La’o Hamutuk analyzed the agreement, sharing our findings through our Bulletin, meetings in Dili, and with national and international media and solidarity networks. We also sent a letter to Timor-Leste’s Parliament, urging them to send the treaty back for more negotiation. La’o Hamutuk wrote an article on CMATS for Multinational Monitor and provided most of the information for several others, including one in Dollars and Sense.
For a few years, Timor-Leste and Australia, as well as the oil companies, have been discussing whether the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant to process Sunrise gas would be built in Timor-Leste or in Darwin, Australia. Woodside Petroleum did study on the cost to the oil companies of bringing the LNG to Timor-Leste, but the study was rejected as biased by the Timor-Leste Government’s independent experts. La’o Hamutuk is conducting our own research: if the LNG Plant is built here, how can we minimize the risks and maximize the benefits for the people of Timor-Leste? In addition to local and national economic development, we are looking into social, environmental, political and human rights impacts of the project. To guide our year-long research project, we formed an advisory committee from local civil society organizations. Our research involved interviews with people in Government, oil companies and NGOs, as well as independent experts, community leaders and grassroots people. We also brought two international experts on economics and engineering to Timor-Leste for two weeks in May, joining La’o Hamutuk staff on a research trip to Baucau, Lautem (Com, Los Palos and Lore) and Viqueque (our plan to go to Beaco was prevented by road conditions). We will publish the report in 2007 in several formats and languages.
In August, La’o Hamutuk staffers Guteriano Nicolau and Charlie Scheiner visited New York and Washington, meeting with and informing a number of officials and environmental, alternative development and other organizations about petroleum issues in Timor-Leste.
La’o Hamutuk staffer Santina Soares was invited to the International Forum on Oil, Human Rights and Environmental Reparation in Coca and Quito, Ecuador, organized by the Oilwatch Network. At this October conference, she presented a paper about the development of oil and gas in Timor-Leste. After returning home, she wrote Return Our Natural Resources, describing what has she learned from other countries’ experiences and what Timor-Leste needs to learn.
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. We monitored the first bidding rounds since independence for offshore oil and gas acreage, both in Timor-Leste’s undisputed maritime area and in the Joint Petroleum Development Area. We followed ongoing developments in the U.S. lawsuit Oceanic Exploration v. ConocoPhillips et. al, and explained them to journalists and others.
In response to the escalating crisis in 2006, La’o Hamutuk began to research issues related to security and international military forces in Timor-Leste. We are monitoring the performance of Joint Task Force (JTF) which evolved into the International Security Forces (ISF), in terms of their mandate to prevent violence and to re-establish security. We shared our findings through meetings and discussions with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and with others during the second half of 2006. We also analyzed the Status of Forces Agreements which specify the mandates and privileges of the JTF, and posted them on our website.
La’o Hamutuk experienced the crisis as well as monitoring it. During the peak between May and July, none of La’o Hamutuk’s staff were able to sleep in their homes. Two stayed in the office for weeks, while other slept there occasionally. Two spent months living in IDP camps, and two others relocated to live with relatives. At year’s end, three of our staff are still unable to return to their houses, two of which were burned and vandalized.
From April on we gave numerous interviews to international media about the confusing, evolving situation. In late May and early June, La’o Hamutuk staffer Charlie Scheiner was a guest on a half-dozen radio talk shows all over the United States.
La’o Hamutuk is an active member of the Human Rights Monitoring Network (RMDH) which works together with the office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice to monitor human rights violations. For two weeks after the 23-25 May crises we focused on the humanitarian situation, security, and living conditions for people displaced to IDP camps and relocated to other communities. We provided recommendations and suggestion to Site Liaison Support (SLS) and interagency groups which interface between the international community and the IDPs, and also to the Government.
Our joint monitoring group has met with various agencies, including the military Joint Task Force and International Police, to discuss security and to give suggestions to improve their effectiveness and relations with the local community. We helped inform community people and assisted them in making contact with leaders of the security forces. When the security crisis prevented people from getting food, we contacted IOM and the Ministry of Labor who provided necessary aid.
We helped facilitate family reintegration. In the joint monitoring, our staff focused on gender-based violence, referring cases to FOKUPERS, Rede Feto and PRADET. We also conducted public meetings about the current security situation to hear about the UN plan for restoring security; to facilitate communication between community people, the Government and the UN; and to understand how the Timorese police force was involved in the crisis.
We organized several activities jointly with other organizations and community organizers to promote discussion at the grassroots level. We began with Asosiasaun HAK and youth leaders about promoting community reintegration in Bairo Markoni through sports and community dialogue. This idea was endorsed by the Joint Task Force.
In August, Gute and Charlie participated in many meetings with international organizations and networks in the United States, sharing information on the escalating crisis in Timor-Leste. They also participated in the national conference of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) in Washington, helping to inform ETAN about Timor-Leste’s situation and shape ETAN’s plans for the future.
As the crisis escalated, in June La’o Hamutuk submitted extensive recommendations to the United Nations Security Council and Secretary-General. As the UN wrestled with what to do, we drew lessons from our six years of research to suggest how they can avoid repeating the same mistakes. We made several interventions in New York and Dili, meeting with key UN staff and Security Council representatives, including Ian Martin (the special envoy of Secretary-General Kofi Annan), and the Independent Commission of Inquiry sent to Timor-Leste by the UN to investigate violence in April and May.
In July and August, the Security Council reached an impasse over whether international military forces in Timor-Leste should be under UN command or separately led by Australia, as had been the case since they arrived at the end of May. La’o Hamutuk provoked global discussion and action on this issue, especially in Australia and Japan, two key countries in making the decision. We supported the Timor-Leste Government’s position that all foreign soldiers here should be under UN command, but the Government was pressured to back down, and Australia prevailed – initially for only two months but later for the mission’s duration. This controversy helped to remind international solidarity activists that Timor-Leste still needs their advocacy.
Throughout the year, we encouraged the UN and other international agencies to publish documents concerning their arrangements regarding security in Timor-Leste. To support the transparency of such institutions, La’o Hamutuk made such documents – sometimes public and sometimes leaked – available on our website.
In October, La’o Hamutuk staffer Charles Scheiner was invited to The Hague, Netherlands to present a paper “Self-Determination Requires More than Political Independence: Recent developments in Timor-Leste” at a conference on International Law and the Question of Western Sahara. The paper has been translated and published in Indonesian by Progressio, and also used in various forms by ETAN and other solidarity organizations.
We organized a few meetings with the Country Manager of the World Bank to discuss their policies for poverty reduction. We also met with World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz when he visited Timor-Leste, and gave some suggestions about the World Bank’s programs here. La’o Hamutuk staffer Guteriano Nicolau was invited to several Dili meetings organized by the World Bank to give his evaluation of World Bank programs in Timor-Leste. In Washington, Guteriano Nicolau and Charles Scheiner met with several World Bank officials and with policy organizations who follow the activities of International Financial Institutions.
We researched the World Bank-administered Agricultural Rehabilitation Project in Manufahi, Liquiça, Bobonaro and Dili, but have not yet completed the work, because the crisis diverted attention and resources to other issues.
We provided information and briefings to numerous journalists and visitors to Timor-Leste, including a Just Coffee fair trade delegation from the USA. In addition, Victoria University Professor Helen Hill led our staff through a valuable discussion on broader concepts of development than simply increasing cash income. When the UNDP issued its annual Human Development Index, we analyzed and circulated the statistics for Timor-Leste.
During 2006, we have been researching the Centro Formaçao Professional in Tibar and Becora, a vocational education projected funded by Brazil and Portugal. We interviewed representatives from the two donors, the International Labor Organization, the Ministry of Labor and Community Reinsertion, and students and teachers in the program. However, the crisis delayed completion of our report until 2007.
In July, staffer Guteriano Nicolau gave a presentation “The Paradox of Aid in Timor-Leste” at a seminar on Cooperação Internacional e a Construção do Estado no Timor-Leste at the University of Brasilia.
The majority of people of Timor-Leste live in rural areas and rely on subsistence agriculture. Many bilateral and multilateral aid projects try to support these people, increasing their income through developing agriculture and encouraging women’s participation in economic development. In 2006 La’o Hamutuk began research on the Oecusse Ambeno Community Activation Program (OCAP) program, reading documents and conducting interviews with officials in Dili. This program is sponsored by the European Commission, which provides funding support through UNDP and UNOPS who implement the project. We plan to publish this report in 2007.
La’o Hamutuk continued to monitor and advocate on 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 Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI).
In 2006, La’o Hamutuk jointly with ANTI, urged public release of the report of the Commission on Truth, Reception and Reconciliation (CAVR). We did some campaigning, public meetings, radio programs and analysis on the final report of CAVR. We also had several national and international media interviews about this issue. As inadequate justice is a major factor in the current crisis, we expect to continue researching these relationships.
In May 2006, ANTI asked La’o Hamutuk staffer Bella Galhos to represent Timorese NGOs at the meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. However, as the UN was restructuring its human rights mechanisms, our issues were not on the agenda and Bella did not go. We also talked with SRSG Hasegawa and UN Headquarters officials about the unfulfilled promise of justice for Indonesian-era crimes in Timor-Leste.
La’o Hamutuk, Unidade Juventude (a youth survivors’ group), and ANTI organized campaigns and published statements to mark the anniversaries of the 7 December 1975 invasion and the 12 November 1991 massacre at Santa Cruz cemetery.
Members of La’o Hamutuk staff and ANTI continued to give interviews and provide information to local and international media, researchers, activists 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. La’o Hamutuk participated in many telephone and email discussions with international human rights and justice groups, sharing information and perspectives on ways to avert permanent impunity.
La’o Hamutuk lobbied against the government's proposal to criminalize defamation, including writing a letter to the President asking him to veto the law. President Xanana Gusmão vetoed the law, and a new one has not been passed. Unfortunately, the Alkatiri government has used the Indonesian defamation law against political opponents.
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.
This network was created in April 2006, and involves organizations which monitor human rights and justice, including Asosiasaun HAK, JSMP, Fokupers, Forum Tau Matan, student groups, Protestant church organizations, Rede Feto and La’o Hamutuk. RMDH has been monitoring the violence, producing non-partisan reports which attempt to reject rumors and describe what actually happened. As a member of this network, La’o Hamutuk began by gathering information about the violence on 28 April and related events, as is detailed under The Crisis and Security above.
Since August, La’o Hamutuk has not had enough human resources to participate in the monitoring, and RMDH has recruited student volunteers to continue the monitoring work.
La’o Hamutuk continues as an active member of the Popular Educators’ Network, Dai Popular. At the beginning of 2006, we tried to stimulate more activity for Dai Popular, including sharing information from our 2003 exchange with Cuba. Unfortunately, Dai Popular has not been able to follow up because members of the network are busy with their own programs. However, La’o Hamutuk did provide organizational and fund-raising support to send a Dai Popular representative to a Cuba Solidarity conference in India in January, and published his report in our Bulletin.
Core Group on Transparency
The Core Group on Transparency (CGT) was formed in 2005 to monitor the RDTL national budget, including oil and gas revenue. Its includes La’o Hamutuk, Luta Hamutuk, NGO Forum, Oxfam Australia, Asosiasaun HAK, Verupupuk (a grass roots organization in Lospalos), ETADEP, Mata Dalan Institute (MDI) and student groups. In September 2006, the Core Group developed its strategic plan, to define its vision and mission. In order to get more grassroots organizations involve in the network, the Core Group is expanding its network to the district level.
The CGT has conducted discussions with community people in Aileu, Suai, Same and Dili, at which La’o Hamutuk gave presentations on the Timor Sea negotiations.
The CGT also monitors some Government departments’ budget execution. We had several meetings with the Director of the National Budget to discuss the execution of the 2005-6 Government budget and the proposed budget for 2006-7. To raise community awareness, the Core Croup organized two press conferences on budget execution in the Department of Public Works and the Truth and Friendship Commission.
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. Our work in this coalition is described under Justice above.
This is a new project, in coordination with groups in other Southeast Asian countries. We set up a program for community level dialogue in the Becora, Bebonuk and Comoro neighborhoods of Dili. GPPAC continues to work on sustained dialogue in the community as approach to the conflict resolution.
This network, supported by the Finnish NGO KATU, was established in February 2006 to bring together organizations which have programs to prevent conflict. After defining the structure and appointing two people to work in the secretariat, the network began organizing workshops at the community level which involve various people with different perspectives to explore how to prevent conflict and manage conflict. La’o Hamutuk is a member of the Steering Committee, providing advice, comments and recommendations to improve the work of this network.
Coalition to Save Money of the People and the Nation (Koligasaun ba Salvasaun Orsamentu Estado/Povo)
In November 2006, the Timor-Leste National Parliament passed two laws which established very generous pensions for former Parliamentarians and the former officials including the President of Republic, Ministers, and President of Parliament. La’o Hamutuk and Asosiasaun HAK initiated a meeting of Fokupers, Rede Feto, Haburas and others local NGOs to discuss the proposed laws. The meeting decided to mobilize activities to raise community awareness and facilitate grass roots organization to petition the President.
We sent our position paper to the President of Republic asking him not to promulgate the laws, and also circulated it through our website and mailing list. Together with groups of students, we organized a campaign in front of the Parliament. As the year ended, this network continued organizing debates to bring awareness to the districts. The law was vetoed by the President of Republic in December and sent back to the Parliament to review, although it was passed over his veto in 2007.
KOMEG was established in January 2006 by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church, Asosiasaun HAK, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Women’s CAUCUS, La’o Hamutuk, Rede Feto, Progressio, Luta Hamutuk, the Protestant Church and the Muslim Community. This network will monitor the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. This network has two focal points in each district and hopes to have two people in every polling station on Election Day. La’o Hamutuk is on KOMEG’s board and will participate in its election monitoring.
SEACA (South East Asia Committee for Advocacy)
The South East Asia Committee for Advocacy, formed in 1999, focuses on advocacy capacity building of civil society organizations (CSOs) in South East Asia. SEACA is sponsored by the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) and supported by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID). SEACA visited Timor-Leste in 2005 and talked to local NGOs including La’o Hamutuk, about how SEACA can support NGOs capacity building particularly in advocacy strategy. In December 2006, La’o Hamutuk (together with NGO Forum, Forum Tau Matan and Kadalak Sulimutuk) was invited to attend the Regional Conference on Civil Society Engagement in the ASEAN countries. Timor-Leste’s Government plans to become a member of ASEAN, and these first Timor-Leste participants were warmly welcomed by SEACA members.
Oilwatch, an international network founded in 1996 in Ecuador, includes organizations in tropical forest countries who are resisting oil industry activities and the underdevelopment, environmental damage and social degradation which often results when companies exploit people’s natural resources. La’o Hamutuk has been a member of Oilwatch since 2002, and we are active in the region and globally. In October 2006, La’o Hamutuk staffer Santina Soares attended the third Oilwatch Assembly in Coca, Ecuador.
Publish What You Pay Coalition (PWYP)
Since 2005, La’o Hamutuk has cooperated with the Publish What You Pay Coalition (PWYP) which has around 300 members around the world. This coalition urges oil and mining companies to publish their payments to governments, as a way of preventing corruption in countries rich in natural resources. In October, our staffer Santina Soares attended the Publish What You Pay Conference in Oslo just before the EITI conference. La’o Hamutuk met other organizations which work to promote transparency in natural resource development. This strengthened our relationships with networks in other countries whose experience and movements are similar to Timor-Leste’s, and helped improve our effectiveness in advocating for Timor-Leste’s government to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
This section describes activities which La’o Hamutuk planned to do in 2006, and where we changed or were unable to fulfill our plans.
Beginning in April, violence and fear escalated in Timor-Leste, especially in Dili, as discussed above. In addition to Dili’s entire population being unable to carry out activities for several months, many La’o Hamutuk staff members were displaced and some had their homes destroyed. This was a very difficult situation for them personally and for the organization, making it impossible for us to carry out all our planned activities. At the same time, as a civil society organization which conducts monitoring and independent analysis, we shifted some of our work to monitor international security forces and humanitarian relief.
In late 2005, we planned to increase the capacity of La’o Hamutuk staff in research and writing skills during 2006. For several months during the first half of this year, we hired two Indonesian activists to work with La’o Hamutuk, helping with organizational issues and providing in house training. Together with our trainers, we set up research and writing guidelines. We also held discussions among staff on issues that we research, sharing information and analysis.
Three of our staffers are fluent in English; the other two, Ines Martins and Yasinta Lujina have been attending an English course to build their capacity. To help improve internal staff cohesion and communication, we met with Justine Davis from Australian Relationships, who has long experience in conflict resolution and mediation.
During 2006 we actively developed our work on gender issues, in collaboration with national and international women's organizations, including UNIFEM, Fokupers and Rede Feto. La’o Hamutuk was involved in discussions and workshops which resulted in recommendations to improve the election law, such as a 30% minimum for women on party slates for Parliament to increase women’s participation in political parties. (The Parliamentary election law was promulgated in December, with a 25% quota for women.)
Although we did not attend the Asia-Pacific Congress for Women in Politics in Manila as expected, Yasinta Lujina from our staff participated in a Gender Analysis training in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in January to help us integrate gender issues better with the rest of our program.
We had planned to expand our resource center in 2006 when we moved to a new office, and we hoped to recruit a student volunteer to manage the center. This would provide more space for the center, and make it easier for researchers to work there. However, due to the crisis and to uncertainty about the Government’s plans to take over our building, we have not moved. Our current location in Farol is in a safe neighborhood.
La’o Hamutuk had planned to publish six Bulletins in 2006. We published one Bulletin about the CMATS agreement between Timor-Leste and Australian government. However, due to the crisis, we were not able to complete all the monitoring we had planned, and many leaders were not interested on talking about non-crisis issues. We also had planned to publish four Surats Popular but were not able to do any.
We produced 26 radio programs in 2006, above our goal of 20.
We organized only five Public Meetings instead of the planned ten, because of the crisis.
Although the crisis made it more difficult to do our work inside Timor-Leste, La’o Hamutuk staffers attended meetings and conferences in nine other countries during 2006, networking with activists and others, helping their renewed attention to Timor-Leste be well-grounded in reality.
In the past, La’o Hamutuk had problems with bookkeeping and financial reporting. During 2006 we changed our finance personnel, and Yasinta Lujina is now handling this area until we hire a more experienced finances staff. Our record-keeping and fiscal management is already significantly more effective and accountable.
We had planned to increase our staff, but at the end of the year we had only four full-time and two part-time staff. One international staff who came during the year decided not to stay, and another finished his contract after two years. One Timorese staff member resigned to pursue political activities, and one was asked to resign because her work was unsatisfactory. Because of the crisis, we were not able to attract new staff to La’o Hamutuk during 2006, but we have a solid core of experienced people to build on for the future.
In 2007, La’o Hamutuk hopes to recruit two new Timorese staff and one or two new international staff to replace staff who finished in 2006, increasing our staff to approximately nine.
Nugroho Katcasungkana will continue to help build our staff’s capacity in research and writing, and Titi Irawati will mentor us to strengthen internal systems within our organization. In addition, an experienced financial administrator from another NGO will mentor our new financial staff member to enable us to continue to improve in this area. We also plan to enroll our staff in English and Portuguese classes.
During 2007, we will produce and broadcast four radio programs each month. We have restructured our radio responsibilities so that each issue team is responsible for producing programs related to its area.
We hope to publish at least five Bulletins and three Surat Populars in 2007.
Depending on the resolution of the “crisis” and the outcome of the elections, we hope to negotiate a long-term lease for our building with the new Government. If this is achieved, we plan to arrange for additional space for our Resource Center with the Institute for Popular Education, which shares the building.
We will continue to monitor petroleum revenues and operations, through analyzing the Petroleum Fund’s quarterly and annual reports, participating in the Core Group, and paying close attention to the Government’s evolving process for managing petroleum development in Timor-Leste. During 2006, we conducted research for an in-depth report on the social, economic and environmental impacts of a natural gas liquefaction (LNG) facility in Timor-Leste, and we will publish and socialize this report in 2007, in several languages and media. Our natural resources team hopes to visit an LNG facility in Indonesia or elsewhere to learn more about the benefits and problems of these projects.
We will finish articles on the vocational education and the Oecusse Community Activation Program begun in 2006. We also plan to investigate Cuban aid to health care in Timor-Leste, and the effectiveness of UNDP’s efforts to encourage women’s participation in development.
We will research and publish an article on the UN process of screening Timorese police before they are allowed to return to service, as well as the UN mandate to provide security in Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste will hold its first Presidential and Parliamentary elections as an independent nation in 2007, and we will work with domestic and international coalitions to monitor and report on the election processes, with a particular focus on the role of international institutions in the elections.
The crisis which emerged in April 2006 was unexpected, and it is far from over. Underlying causes have scarcely been addressed, and sporadic violence continues, with more than 100 killings since international military forces arrived at the end of May, on top of 37 up to that time. Although our experience in 2006 has taught us how to work better in this situation, it has also taught us that nothing is predictable or certain in this new state, which has embarked on a voyage of nation-building which will take decades to complete.
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. Staff members who must rent housing in Dili receive $100/month toward those costs.
This table indicates our total cash and bank account balances at the start and end of 2006, amounts of money set aside for specific purposes, and unrestricted money available for general operations.
Income during 2006
The following table compares our actual income with what we had projected for 2006.
Expenditures during 2006
The following table compares our actual expenditures with what we had projected for 2006.
Projected budget for 2007
Projected Income for 2007
Already received for LNG Study
Received during 2006 which will be spent in 2007 on project support.
General support grants
Includes $12,900 committed from Hivos for organizational support.
Campaign and project support
Includes $25,800 committed from Hivos for Natural Resources work, plus $3,000 to be raised to publish and socialize the LNG report and $6,000 to be raised for the SE Asia LNG study tour.
Projected Expenditures for 2007
Includes supplies, photocopying, local transport, electricity and computer maintenance.
Telephone, internet and web hosting. Reduced by using Skype.
To audit reports from both 2005 and 2006.
Training for staff
Language classes and mentors in financial and organizational management and writing.
Furniture & computer equipment
For new staff and to replace worn-out computers
For one overseas LH Board member to travel to Timor-Leste.
Excluding sponsored projects.
Research travel within Timor-Leste.
Radio equipment and supplies
Includes fuel for community radio station generators.
Primarily to support ANTI work on justice.
During 2007, this includes publication and socialization of our study of an onshore LNG facility in Timor-Leste, a research trip to Southeast Asia, and publication of a book about petroleum in Timor-Leste.
Jungun Ianfu: Asosiasaun HAK’s research on sexual abuse by Japanese military in Timor-Leste during World War II. Guests: Amado Hei (Asosiasaun HAK human rights lawyer) and Eriko (Japanese activist)
The CMATS Treaty with Australia. Guests: Manuel Tilman (National Parliament) and Justino da Silva (NGO Forum)
Agriculture Rehabilitation Program. Interviews with community people in Carau Ulun village where the program has been carried out
NGO representation on the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council. Guests: Justino da Silva (NGO Forum) on how NGOs representatives were selected, and NGO PFCC representatives Thomas Freitas and Maria Dias
International Women’s Day: Sexual violations on the Indonesian border. Guests: Maria Barretto (Fokupers) and Isabel Ferreira (Prime Minister’s advisor on Human Rights)
CAVR Report. Guest: Edio Saldanha (ANTI and Asosiasaun HAK)
Civil society demonstration against sexual violence by Indonesian military in Passabe (Oecusse). Guests: Isabel Ferreira (Adviser for Human Rights to the Prime Minister) and representatives of Fokupers who organized the demonstration
The statute for lawyers, in conjunction with the Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme
Transformation of Falintil into F-FDTL. Guests: Aniceto Neves (Asosiasaun HAK) and Justino da Silva (NGO Forum)
Development Partners (Donors) Meeting. Guest: Maria Angelina Sarmento (NGO Forum)
Opening of the Institute for Popular Education training center in Bucoli. Speech by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and interviews with local people
Why did the crisis arise in Timor-Leste? The voice of local authorities. Interview with Mr. Andre do Santos Fernandes (Chefe Suco of Vila Verde)
People’s perspectives on actions of Australian military and police. Interview with Chefe Suco of Akadiruhun and Youth Group of Bambola
The rule of civil society during the crisis. Interview with Justino da Silva (NGO Forum Advocacy Team Leader)
How to improve the effectiveness of the International Security Force. Interview with Mr. Alariku, (Chefe Aldeia of Laloran Fatuhada)
The experiences of international forces in the Solomon Islands. Guest: João Sarmento (former La’o Hamutuk staff now studying in Hawaii)
International Commission of Inquiry mandate from the perspective of civil society. Guest: Aniceto Guro das Neves (Manager for Human Rights and Security at HAK Association, RMDH Coordinator and member of Notables Commission)
Why the crisis arose? Interview with Euriko Soares (Chefe Suco of Comoro)
The role of Chefe do Suco during the crises. Interview with Mr. Antonio (Chefe Suco of Becora)
The Report of International Commission of Inquiry. Interviews with Aniceto Guro das Neves, (Asosiasaun HAK, RMDH, Notables Commission) and Mr. Salvador, (Chefe Aldeia of Akadiruhun)
Behavior of Malaysian and Australian Police in Luro Mata, Dili. Guest: Pedro Aparicio, Lawyer of the victim.
International security force should be impartial. Interview with Mr. Mateus (Youth Coordinator in Luromata)
The commemoration of the 12 November Santa Cruz Massacre in relation to the justice process. Guest: Tiago Sarmento (Director of Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP))
Timor-Leste’s National Budget. Guest: Antonio Freitas (Director of National Budget)
How is security provided by International Police and Joint Task Force? Guests: Mr. Alariku Gusmão, (Chefe Aldeia of Surikmas) and Youth Representative of Surikmas
Police and the UNMIT Mission. Guests: Mr. Agustino Siquiera (Vice Minister of Interior), Ms. Donna Cusumano (UNMIT Public information) and Mr. Jose Antonio (member of Technical Team for PNTL Evaluation)
January: Truth and Friendship Commission. Felicidade Guterres (Truth and Friendship Commissioner), Nelson dos Santos (Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and Jose Luis Oliveira (Director, Asosiasaun HAK). Moderator: Tiago Sarmento (Judicial System Monitoring Program).
March: Final report of CAVR. José Estevão (CAVR Commissioner and member of TFC staff), Adérito Soares (human rights attorney). Moderator: Guteriano Nicolau (La’o Hamutuk).
September: Current security under a new UN mission. Colonel Don Roach (Deputy Commander Joint Task Force), Commander New Zealand Force, Alcino Barris (Minister of Interior), Silverio Pinto Baptista (Deputy Provedor representing Joint Monitoring from Provedor Office and NGO Human Right Monitoring Network) and Emir Bilget (UN Police).
September: Timor-Leste State Budget for July 2006-June 2007. Antonio Freitas (Director of National Budget), Tobias Rasmussen (International Monetary Fund). Moderator: Thomas Freitas (Luta Hamutuk). Organized in collaboration with the Core Group.
December: Screening Process for PNTL. Agustino Siquera, (Vice Minister of Interior), Jose Antonio da Costa (Member of PNTL Evaluation Committee), Allison Cooper and Donna Cusumano (UNMIT Public Information officer). Moderator: Justino da Silva (NGO Forum).
Petroleum revenue and Timor-Leste’s Economy.
By Guteriano Neves, organized by the Saint Joseph Sr. High School Student Council, January.
The Petroleum Fund Law.
By Guteriano Neves for the Clerical community in Becora, organized by Justice and Peace Commission, January.
The history of negotiations with Australia about the Timor Sea.
By Santina Soares and Guteriano Neves, Justice and Peace Commission conference, Becora, February.
The Maritime Boundary issue.
By Guteriano Neves, for conference at Saint Joseph Senior High School on Oil Fields in the Timor Sea, organized by the Student Council, February.
Maritime Boundaries and the CMATS Treaty.
By Guteriano Neves at the Petroleum Development Workshop in Aileu, organized by the Core Group on Transparency and Mata Dalan Institute, April.
East Timor in Crisis - An Update and Discussion.
By Charles Scheiner at seminar organized by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), New York, June.
The Paradox of Aid in Timor-Leste.
By Guteriano Neves, presented at the seminar on "Cooperação Internacional e a Construção do Estado no Timor-Leste" University of Brasilia, Brazil, July.
Timor-Leste and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: An Overview from Civil Society.
By Santina Soares to the EITI conference, Oslo, Norway, October.
Petroleum in Timor-Leste.
By Santina Soares to the International Forum on Petroleum, Human Rights and Environmental Reparation, El Coca, Ecuador, October.
Self-determination requires more than political independence: Recent Developments in Timor-Leste.
By Charles Scheiner, for the conference on International Law and the Question of Western Sahara, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, October.
At the close of 2006, La’o Hamutuk staff included four full-time Timorese professionals, three women and one man, although more will be hired in 2007 to make up for departures. One international staff member works alternately from Dili and New York. 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 2006:
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, Dawan and some English. With La’o Hamutuk, Yasinta monitors bilateral assistance, researches rural development research, and works on personnel, finance and Bulletin coordination. In January 2006 she attended the training in Yogyakarta, Indonesia about Gender Development Analysis.
Inês was studying economics at the University of Timor Leste before the Indonesian military destroyed it in September 1999. Born in Bobonaro, Timor Leste, Inês is fluent in Tetum, Portuguese and Indonesian, and is learning English. 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. Inês currently works on rural development research, public meetings, radio program and organizational coordination.
Santi was born in Beaco, Viqueque district. She graduated from the Social Welfare University in Bandung. On returning to Timor-Leste in 2002 she volunteered at the Denore Foundation before working at the Peace and Democracy Foundation where she became a Program Manager. Santi joined La’o Hamutuk in August 2005, where she works on natural resources, bilateral assistance, fundraising and public meetings. Santi speaks Tetum, Indonesian, English, Noeti, Makassae and some Portuguese. During 2006, Santi was invited to present a paper at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative conference in Oslo and also participated in the Oilwatch Conference in Ecuador. She spent a week in the Netherlands networking with activists and organizations.
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. Gute speaks Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia, English, Idate and some Portuguese. At La’o Hamutuk, Gute works on natural resources, budget monitoring and computer support. During 2006, he gave a paper at the University of Brasilia and spent a month in the United States developing contacts with decision-makers in the UN and US government and with activist organizations. In December 2006 Guteriano attended the Conference on Civil Society Engagement in ASEAN in the Philippines.
Nug graduated in Social Sciences from the University of Indonesia in 1989. He is an Indonesian human right activist and researcher. Since 1998, he has worked to support Timor-Leste’s self determination with the Joint Committee for the Defence of East Timorese and Fortilos (Indonesia Timor-Leste Solidarity Organization). He returned to Timor-Leste after 1999 to do research with Asosiasaun HAK and the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR). Nug provided in-house training for La’o Hamutuk on issue development, research and organizational structure during 2006.
An engineer and 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 2006, Charlie worked part-time for La’o Hamutuk from New York, and in Dili from February through May. His main foci were Natural Resources and Justice, as well as organizational support.
Born in Dili, Maria (“Merry”) joined La’o Hamutuk in 2004, having previously worked at Caritas in Dili. Merry worked on finance and justice issues, and is on the Board of the Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal, as her husband was killed in the April 1999 Liquiça massacre. Merry speaks Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia. La’o Hamutuk decided not continue Merry’s contract in June 2006.
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 radio producer. Bella speaks English, Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia. She joined La’o Hamutuk in September 2005, where she worked on multilateral institutions and gender. After eight months with La’o Hamutuk, Bella decided to leave to be active with a political party.
Alex arrived from England in 2004, two years after having completed a Masters degree in Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. At La’o Hamutuk he worked on multilateral and bilateral assistance, personnel, finance, fundraising and organizational coordination. He speaks English, Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia. After two years with La’o Hamutuk, Alex left our staff in October 2006.
Titi Irawati graduated in psychology from Gadja Mada University, Yogyakarta, in 1983. She has been an editor and researcher on women’s and human rights issues. Titi is a member of FORTILOS, Indonesian activists who support Timor-Leste’s struggle for self determination. After 1999 she returned to Timor-Leste and worked closely with Asosiasaun HAK and Fokupers. From January to May 2006, Titi provided in-house training for La’o Hamutuk on writing and editing, as well as organizational issues, and she continues to help La’o Hamutuk as a volunteer. During 2007, she will assist in organizational development.
A long-time Timor-Leste supporter from England, Lidia is active with the Tyneside East Timor Solidarity group and lived for several months in Los Palos in 2002, before returning to England. In late April 2006, she joined La’o Hamutuk in Dili, working on rural development, GPPAC and response to the crisis. Four months later, Lidia decided not to continue work in Timor-Leste due to the security and political situation.
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 the Institute for Popular Education (formerly 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 exchanges with Brazilian popular educators and Cuban health and agriculture specialists, Nuno is a leader of the Timor-Leste Popular Educators’ Network Dai Popular.
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.
Adérito 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, Adérito 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, especially in West Papua. Adérito 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, Adérito 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 later 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.
The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)