Servisu iha Australia ho Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) la’os fasil maibe programa ne’e nia dezenha hodi koko atu proteje servisu nain sira hotu husi kondisasun ne’ebe susar ka mukit. Liu husi program ne’e ema Timor barak hetan oportunidade diak.

Tempotimor (Dili) – The body of Timor-Leste's first prime minister, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato has never been found. He was killed by the Indonesian military on 31 December 1978. But after 41 years it is still unclear where his remains are.

Life in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) can be tough, but it is designed to prevent the exploitation of workers within it.

In the past three years over 1500 people from Timor-Leste have worked in Australia as part of the (SWP), mostly picking or packing fruit on Australian farms.

Tempo Timor (Dili) -Timorese seasonal workers have been experiencing ‘big problems’ in Australia, said Tim Nelthorpe, lead organiser for the Australian United Workers Union (UWU). The union spoke with Timorese who earned just 20 dollars a week, which was all that was left after costs such as for housing, healthcare and flights had been deducted from their salaries. Workers also reported they experienced ‘racism’ and couldn’t move freely as they were assigned to their accommodation.

By José Belo, editor in chief of Tempo Timor

 If Timor-Leste won its amazing struggle for independence against all odds without foreign advisors BUT based on a well-planned and well-executed strategy, could it be that Timor-Leste can also successfully develop as a nation without unnecessary influence from foreign advisors? After all, many of the same brilliant leaders who strategized and worked together to win independence are all still alive. If anything, these same leaders are even more brilliant today after many more years of experience in trying to build the State. This article is meant to provoke further thought along these lines.

Tempotimor (New York) = Vanuatu firmly condemned during the UN General Assembly the ongoing violations of human rights against the indigenous people of West Papua. The Solomon Islands called in a public session for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to go directly to West Papua, as human rights violations escalated. Vanuatu supported this call on the UN podium.

The calls of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are in accordance with the decision at the fiftieth Pacific Island Forum meeting 13-16 August 2019 in Tuvalu, where 18 Pacific nations unanimously agreed to call for a UN visit to West Papua, to investigate human rights violations in the territory.

Later Vanuatu also called for ‘the right of self-determination for New Caledonia, French Polynesia and West Papua, as well as calling on the United Nations to ensure their rights are implemented,’ Vanuatu’s prime minister Charlot Salwai said at the 74th UN General Assembly on Friday, 27 September 2019. 

Twenty years ago the Indonesian government was accused of committing human rights abuses in Timor-Leste. Today several Melanesian countries are accusing Jakarta of committing atrocities in West Papua and call on the West Papuans to keep fighting for their rights as recognised in international law.

 

Tempo Timor (TT) spoke with Vanuatu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu (RR). 

TT: What is Vanuatu’s position with regard to West Papua?

 RR : ‘We consider that West Papua was never decolonized. It was a colony of The Netherlands and then it was passed on to become a colony of Indonesia. Unlike most people in the world they never had a chance to decide their own future, which is a universal human right. The people of West Papua need to be given the chance to exercise their right to decide their own future.’

TT: Will Vanuatu be able to convince other governments to push for a visit of the UN to West Papua?

RR: ‘The human rights situation is very bad in West Papua. No outside media are allowed in. No UN bodies are allowed in. No human rights NGOs are allowed in. So the first step that needs to be taken is for the UN Human Rights Commissioner to go, to visit, to study and to report to the world what is happening with regard to the human rights situation in West Papua, because that is the most important thing.

Human rights are a basic fundamental principal which the international community has set up to uphold. We believe that Indonesia is not upholding the rights of West Papua, and so the UN needs to address this situation. The first thing the UN has to do is a proper independent and impartial assessment of what is actually happening.’ 

TT: What is Vanuatu’s message to the international community with regard to West Papua?

RR: ‘There are human rights violations being committed in West Papua. Some scholars qualify it as genocide as defined by international law and criteria. So it is a very serious situation. The international community has an obligation to address human right crises anywhere. They can act in some places, but unfortunately they seem to ignore West Papua. So I’m asking to the international community to pay attention to the human rights situation in West Papua as it does in another countries in the world.’

 

 The West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda campaigns at the United Nations for a new referendum for West Papua. Tempo Timor interviewed him in New York.

By Tjitske Lingsma

Retired Australian army soldier Ben Whiley, traumatised during his mission in East Timor, walked in just twenty days from the eastern tip of Timor-Leste to the west. His ‘Debt to Honour Trek’ is to honour Falintil and Australian commandos, to heal and to fundraise for charity.

 Friday 13 September 2019 -- Xanana Gusmão, the independence hero who has been president and prime minister of East Timor, was suddenly angry. With bare hands and helped by police and others, last Tuesday (10 September) he demolished the wooden fence that was installed by Marino Enterprise to protect the land this Timorese business owns in the village of Kaitehu, part of Liquica municipality.

A few days earlier the Court had issued a decision in favor of Marino Enterprise, confirming that the land belonged to Marino Enterprise and that another business, the China Harbour Lda Company had to stop using the land to process gravel (rock fragments). After that, on Monday 9 September, the lawyers of Marino Enterprise, escorted by police, went to the area to set up the fence, which was subsequently taken down by Xanana.

Tibar port

Before his drastic action Xanana had met with Marino Enterprise and requested them not to go to court against China Harbor Company, because the gravel is used for the Tibar Port project, a public-private partnership involving hundreds of millions of dollars to create a new harbor west of the capital Dili. ‘I told them: you cannot bring this matter to the court. The Tibar Port is not for me, but for the whole of Timor-Leste,’ Xanana told the public.

Xanana explained he will not take legal action. ‘I am not going to see the court. I am here to pull down their decision. They can arrest me here. To arrest or jail me in Becora prison. I am ready, in the national interest,’ Xanana said, adding: ‘This port of Tibar is not for me. It is not a hotel for me to live in.’ In the presence of police and local authorities from villages and the district, he looked at the workers of the Chinese company who were standing around him, and said: ‘I’m here ordering you to go back to work.’

Bribes

Xanana also accused Marino Enterprise of bribing the Court and the ministry of Justice to issue a decision in favor of this company. While crying he said: ‘I believe that Marino Enterprise has bribed them. I believe it happened.’

The Minister of Justice, local authorities or the police refused to comment on Xanana's actions. ‘I don't comment, don’t force me to speak,’ Justice Minister Manuel Carceres da Costa told reporters.

Ownership

Xanana stated that Marino Enterprise bought the land from the community for $ 15,000 US dollars. His own foundation tried to buy back the land, but Marino Enterprise refused the offer.

When the Justice Minister Manuel Carceres da Costa recently visited the area he confirmed: ‘This land belongs to Marino Enterprise. Marino Enterprise bought it from a community which owned it. The act of selling and buying this land has been legalised by the notary.’ He added: ‘I have signed a lease agreement with the Chinese company, but this does not include the land that belongs to Marino Enterprise. This is private land.’

The lawyers for Marino Enterprise said that if others ‘want to use this land they have to establish a contract with the owner. But my client is powerless, that’s why we take the case to the court. The court confirms that my client has the right to the land.’

Senator PATRICK» (South Australia) (19:25): I thank Senator Green for making a contribution about the trip we did to PNG. It was, indeed, a great trip. I'm going to move next door to Timor-Leste now and talk about the strategic blunder we are about to make in respect of East Timor. I was in East Timor two weekends ago for the 20th anniversary of their independence, and I managed to witness the president of that country giving a firsthand warning, or indication, to the Prime Minister and the foreign minister that things are not right.
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