30 April 2010

Sunrise to Float? Debate continues

Yesterday, Woodside and its partners announced that they have chosen a floating LNG plant in the middle of the Timor Sea as their preferred development option for the Greater Sunrise gas and oil field. Timor-Leste's government denounced Woodside's "unacceptable level of arrogance" and reiterated that Timor-Leste "will not accept or endorse this concept and it’s associated plan now or in the future."

Over the last few months, the discussion over Greater Sunrise has intensified, and  Timor-Leste media have been filled with misinformation regarding the Greater Sunrise project.

La'o Hamutuk, as a Timorese organization which has followed this issue for many years, hopes that this project will give maximum benefit to the Timorese people. We are concerned that many commentators misrepresent the reality of the situation, which has economic, legal, technical and environmental aspects, not only politics.

Therefore, La'o Hamutuk has launched a web page to provide background, documents, analysis and information to help people understand the issue. We welcome your comments and information.

23 April 2010

ANP approves Kitan development plan

The Kitan oil field, in the Joint Petroleum Development Area, is the first new oil find since Timor-Leste restored its independence in 2002. In June 2006, the Timor Sea Designated Authority signed production-sharing contract JPDA 06-105 with Woodside (40%), Inpex (35%) and Talisman (25%). Woodside sold their share to the Italian company Eni in September 2007, and Eni took over operation of the project. Test wells found oil in March 2008, and Eni submitted a development plan to the Timor-Leste National Petroleum Authority (ANP) in 2009, which was approved on 22 April 2010.

Earlier this week, La'o Hamutuk made a submission on the Kitan Environmental Impact Statement. We were not able to analyze the 200-page plan in detail, but highlighted poor access to information, flaring associated gas, and the underestimates of the probability and consequences of a serious spill.

Although the National Directorate on Environment had told La'o Hamutuk we could make our submission up to 22 April, apparently the ANP decided not to wait for the public consultation before approving Eni's Field Development Plan.

La'o Hamutuk has created a web page with information on the Kitan project, including revenue estimates, production-sharing contracts, history, press releases and other documents.

20 April 2010

TL Strategic Development Plan summary online

At the 2010 Timor-Leste and Development Partners meeting two weeks ago, the government distributed a 24-page, English-language summary of their vision of Timor-Leste in twenty years. Entitled From Conflict to Prosperity: Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030, Summary, the document outlines an enticing vision of the future, albeit without a realistic path of how to get there.

Although this document has not yet been posted to a Government website or made available in other languages, La'o Hamutuk has posted it to our web page on TLDPM 2010, from which it can be downloaded. We will post analysis and commentary in the future.

13 April 2010

Transitional Land Law web page

La'o Hamutuk has posted a new web page on the transitional Land Law at:  http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/land/10TransitionalLandLawEn.htm.

On 10 March 2010 the Council of Ministers approved the transitional Land Law, which is now before Parliament, where Committee A will hold hearings in late May. The draft Land Law aims to resolve current confusion over land ownership. It will decide who does and does not own land, and who has the right to compensation. Such a law could reduce land-based conflict by clearly defining land ownership, but it could also create new problems if people do not understand it or feel they lost their land unfairly. More secure land rights will also bring new challenges: increasing land values, land demand and competition, and borrowing with land as collateral.

The web page includes documents on different drafts of the law, the public consultation process and submissions to government. There is a brief summary of two related draft laws currently before Parliament: a Real Estate Finance Fund law and a Law on Expropriation. This page is in English but links to many documents in Tetum, Portuguese and English.

09 April 2010

NGO presentation to donors conference

On 7 April, Ministers, Donors and others gathered in Dili's new convention center for the annual Timor-Leste and Development Partners’ Meeting. The following is and English version of the statement presented by NGO Forum Director Granadeiro. For the full statement, Tetum version, and links to other statements, go to http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/10TLDPM/10TLDPMindex.htm.

We thank the Ministry of Finance for allowing NGOs to participate at this forum and in the national priorities process. We encourage you to read our complete statement. With no opportunity for bilateral meetings this week, we hope to meet with individual agencies, ministries and donors over the coming months. Today, I will just read a brief synopsis of our statement.

We welcome the Government’s upcoming unveiling of the Strategic Development Plan - bringing a longer term vision to post-crisis Timor-Leste. We urge the government to make this truly a national plan, with input from a variety of people and sectors before it is implemented, and we hope that a timetable and process for consultation and Parliamentary approval will be made available soon.

Pakote Referendum We hope that the 2009 Pakote Referendum will be used as a learning experience – that unplanned, off-budget, unspecified, poorly-overseen small projects cannot substitute for a plan which identifies priority infrastructure needs and projects and integrates them into Timor-Leste’s national requirements.

Food security and nutrition are linked. Food security should be achieved with more attention to nutrition.  This is not automatic, and often nutritious food is sold to obtain money to purchase less healthy food such as noodles, candy, rice and non food items.  Linking nutrition to food security programs would ensure that children are eating locally-produced, quality food.

Early Childhood Development is critical. Most of the few pre-primary schools in Timor-Leste are concentrated in cities, and children more remote areas rarely have access. This affects their retention and repetition of grades when they enter basic schools. We urge the Government to work proactively with the Church and NGOs to give rural children the best start by allocating sufficient human and financial resources to pre-primary education.

Justice for past human rights violations. We are very concerned about accountability for past human rights. When Timor Leste surrendered to pressure from Indonesia and released Maternus Bere, it signaled that our government accepts impunity for serious crimes. Executive interference in this case undermined Timor-Leste’s national sovereignty, constitutional separation of powers and the rule of law. We urge development partners, especially the United Nations, to implement the often-repeated promise that impunity can never be tolerated for crimes against humanity.

08 April 2010

Timor Post: Tamba Sa TL Tenki Deve

Iha loron 8 April 2010, jornal Timor Post publika La'o Hamutuk nia komunikadu Imprensa, ho textu tuir mai:

Hafoin hetan ukun an iha 2002, too ohin loron Governu Timor-Leste hahu prosesu dezenvolvimentu nasional no finansiamentu ba atividade estadu nian lahoo deve husi nasaun estranjeiru ida no instituisaun finanseiru internasional ruma.

Dadauk ne’e, Timor-Leste finansia nia aktividade estadu nian tinan-tinan husi reseitas mina-rai. Besik 98% rendimentu Timor-Leste nian mai husi reseita minarai no dadauk ne’e mos Timor-Leste tau reseita husi minarai nian ba iha nia Fundu Minarai ne’ebe iha Banku Reserva Federal Estadus Unidus. Aktualmente, Governu Timor-Leste hahu ona halo lejislasaun, aprosimasaun diplomatiku no asaun finanseira balun atu sai baze legal hodi halo deve osan husi rai liur.

Timor-Leste rasik iha rekursu minarai ne’ebe limitadu, kampu minarai Bayu Undan, ne’ebe durante ne’e fo rendimentu ba Timor-Leste nia ekonomia sei maran iha tinan 2023, karik Timor-Leste halo deve osan ohin loron nian, oinsa Timor-Leste bele selu fali iha futuru ida ne’ebe ita laiha ona reseitas husi minarai?. Nudar nasaun ida ne’ebe depende makaas ba rendimentu minarai iha mundu, Timor-Leste rasik iha perigu boot ida nia laran ne’ebe sei dudu Timor-Leste ba iha “malisan rekursu”. Deve sei dudu liu tan Timor-Leste ba iha “malisan rekursu” wainhira deve ida ne’e uza deit atu benefisia ema elites deit duke povo kiik sira. Wainhira ita laiha disiplina fiskal ida no jestaun finanseiru ne’ebe diak, dependensia ba importasaun ka la dezenvolve seitor naun petroleum ida ne’ebe produtivu, Timor-Leste sei monu lalais liu tan iha “Malisan rekursu” no ikus mai, osan husi minarai la konsege hadiak povo nia moris, maibe, lori Timor-Leste ba iha estadu ida ne’ebe sai falha liu tan.

06 April 2010

Tamba sa Timor-Leste tenke deve? 15 Abril

Konvite ba Enkontru Publiku
Hafoin Timor-Leste hetan ukun-an iha 2002, to ohin loron Governu haat Timor-Leste halao prosesu dezenvolvimentu lahoo deve osan husi nasaun estrangeiru ka instituisaun finanseira internasional ida. Maibe aktualmente Governu hahú halo lejislasaun, aprosimasaun diplomatika no asaun finanseira balun atu halo deve osan husi governu ka instituisaun estranjeiru sira.

Asuntu deve ne’e sai asuntu ida ne’ebe mak importante tebes, tamba ne’e La’o Hamutuk sei organiza Enkontru Publiku ida ho Topiku “Tamba sa Timor-Leste tenke deve?/why should Timor-Leste go into debt?” ho Orador sira mak hanesan, Sra. Kristin Sundell (nudar peritu ba impaktu deve iha nasaun terseiru mundu), Jose Abel dos Reis (Asesor, RDTL Ministeriu Finansas), Rev. Fransisco Vasconcelhos, (Presidente KKFP - Konseilu Konsultativu Fundu Petrolifeiru) no Juvinal Dias husi La’o Hamutuk.

Enkontru publiku ne’e ho objetivu atu fahe informasaun kona-ba saida mak impaktu deve husi rai liur ba Timor-Leste iha futuru no atu hatene liu tan razaun Estadu Timor Leste nian atu deve, alem ne’e sei halo komparasaun  esperiensia deve nian husi nasaun sira seluk.

Enkontru publiku ne’e sei hala’o iha :
Loron     : Kinta, 15 Abril 2010
Oras       : 09:00-12.30
Fatin       : Auditorium LICEU, FKIP-UNTL

Enkontru publiku ne’e nakloke ba ema hotu no sei halao iha lian tetun maibe ami sei prepara tradutor ba iha lian Ingles.
Atu hatene informasaun liu tan bele kontaktu juvinal@laohamutuk.org,  ka +670 7348703.

La’o Hamutuk nudar organizasaun naun govermental ida ne’ebe halo monitorizasaun no fo análiza ba prosesu dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste nian, iha area Rekursu Naturais, Ekonomia, Agrikultura, ho Governasaun no Demokratizasaun. No La’o Hamutuk disemina informasaun sira ne’e liu husi Buletin, website, Programa Radio no Enkontru Publiku.

"Why should Timor Leste Go Into Debt?" 15 April

Invitation to Public Meeting

Since Timor-Leste achieved independence in 2002 until today, four Timor-Leste governments advanced the development process without borrowing money from a foreign country or an international financial institution. But currently, the Government has enacted legislation, made diplomatic approaches, and taken financial actions to borrow money from foreign governments and institutions. Click for more information.

The question of borrowing has become a very important topic, and therefore La’o Hamutuk will organize a Public Meeting “Tamba sa Timor-Leste tenke deve? / Why should Timor-Leste go into debt?” with the following speakers: Kristin Sundell (expert on the impact of borrowing on third world countries), Jose Abel dos Reis (Advisor, RDTL Ministry of Finance), Rev. Fransisco Vasconcelhos (President of the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council) and Juvinal Dias from La’o Hamutuk.

This public meeting will share information about what the impact of borrowing from overseas will be on Timor-Leste, and to better understand the why the State of Timor Leste plans to borrow, and to compare the experiences of debt in other countries.

Date     : Thursday, 15 April 2010
Time    : 09:00-12.30
Place   : Auditorium Liceu, Science and Education Faculty (FKIP)-UNTL 

The public meeting is open to everyone, and will be in Tetum, with translation into English. For further information, please contact juvinal@laohamutuk.org,  or +670 7348703.

La’o Hamutuk is a non-governmental organization which monitors and analyzes the development process in  Timor-Leste, in the areas of Natural Resources, Economics, Agriculture, Governance and Democracy. La’o Hamutuk distributes information through its Bulletin, radio program, website and public meetings.