28 October 2014

Council of Ministers approves decree law for the transfer of rights of ownership of community or private property to the State for Suai Supply Base

From Extraordinary Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 22 August 2014 Decree Law approving the transmission of property rights of community and private property to the State, relating to the Suai Supply Base Project

This diploma sets the special framework applicable to the temporary transfer of rights of ownership of community or private property, to the State, for the implementation of the Suai Supply Base Project.

28 August 2014

Report on land dispute case heard in Baucau District Court in May 2014

17.  Land dispute, Case No.20/Civ.2008.TDB

Composition of judges            : Panel
Judge                                       : Jose Gonçalves, Antonio Fonseca, Afonso Carmona
Lawyer for the plaintiff          : Mujariah Amaral
Lawyers for the respondent    : Grigorio de Lima and Juvinal Yanes
Conclusion                              :Ongoing

On 15 May 2014 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing to examine the testimony of the respondent. This case involved the plaintiff Francisco de Oliveira and the respondent Aderito de Carvalho. The land in dispute is located in Uatukarbau Sub-District, Viqueque District.

The witnesses Sebastião Pinto, aged 70, and Bernardo da Costa, aged 92, testified that their father and the plaintiff have been managing the rice field on the land in dispute and the father of the plaintiff has been using the rice field since Indonesian times. The two witnesses added that ever since the plaintiff has been occupying the land no one has claimed to be the owner of the land. The witness heard that in 1999 the respondent stopped the plaintiff from using the land. The witnesses did not know when the Department of Land measured the land because the two witnesses were not there. The witness Sebastião Pinto was traveling (back to his village) and the witness Bernardo da Costa was in Dili.

After hearing testimony from the two witnesses, the court scheduled a date to continue the trial on 22 May 2014 to hear testimony from the respondent.

The witness Jeremias Quintão, aged 68, and the witness Agapito Pinto testified that they knew the respondent’s father and in Portuguese times the respondent’s father had managed the rice field on the land in dispute and channeled water into the rice field. The witnesses added that they helped to channel the water. At that time the witness Agapito was assigned to look after the buffalo belonging to the father of the respondent. At that time they managed the rice field with the use of the buffaloes. In 1983 the respondent and his brother were still young so the plaintiff took the opportunity to manage the rice field belonging to the respondent until 1999. On the last occasion the witnesses heard from the respondent himself that he had been managing the rice field until now.

After hearing testimony from the two witnesses summoned by the respondent, the court adjourned the trial to 5 June 2014 at 10am to hear further testimony from the plaintiff and respondent.

See the full report of cases heard in the Baucau District Court in May 2014 on the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

28 July 2014

World Bank and Government of Timor-Leste Presents Dili-Ainaro Road Project to the community

Connecting people to the market and other critical services along the Dili-Ainaro corridor Dili, July 14th, 2014 – Today the Government of Timor-Leste presented the Dili – Ainaro road rehabilitation project to the community. Through this project, the World Bank is supporting the Government to rehabilitate a 110 km road corridor that will link the District of Dili to the District of Ainaro.

The presentation ceremony was conducted by Mr. Gastão de Sousa, Minister of Public Works and was witnessed by Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands outside of Dili.

The road from Dili to Ainaro is a vital link between the north and the south of the country and connects three districts—Dili, Aileu and Ainaro—which jointly account for a third of the country’s population, including thousands of small farmers.

“Improving the road access will bring a social and economic benefit to the State and to the people, as a good road makes it easier for the community to connect and sell its produce to the market”,  said Minister of Public Works Eng. Gastão. “It will also provide access for tourism, boost  the economic development  and increase the quality of life for people through better access to  health and education.”

“The need for robust road infrastructure that directly helps the population living along this Dili-Ainaro corridor is real and must be attended to in a swift manner, therefore we are pleased to see this project moving forward,” said Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands. “The World Bank’s support will continue after this groundbreaking ceremony and we will help ensure that a high quality road is delivered to the people,” he continued.

This road project is part of the Timor-Leste Road Climate Resilience Project, launched in 2011, which delivered emergency repairs along key sections of the road, where road closures were frequent due to flooding or damage caused by heavy rainfall.

This project will now focus on rehabilitating the entire 110km road corridor across the three districts. Construction works will stabilize slope structures, improve drainage and repair pavements. The project will also support feasibility studies and detailed designs for possible future road improvements linked to the Dili-Ainaro corridor.

An emergency maintenance and response system will also help the Government plan for managing extreme weather events, such as landslides and heavy rain.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and is being financed with US$60 million from the World Bank—an IDA grant of US$20, an IDA Credit of US$25 million and an IBRD loan of US$15 million. The Government of Timor-Leste will contribute US$53 million to the project. #End# Source: World Bank Press Release 14 July 2014

01 July 2014

Contract for the Establishment of National Registry and of the Registry of Land Parcels in Timor-Leste

01/07/2014 Extract from Extraordinary Meeting of the TImor-Leste Council of Ministers of 30 November 2013 - Following the approval, on last October 7th, of the Resolution approving the Procurement Process for the project of Establishment of the National Registry, the Council of Ministers approved, at this extraordinary meeting, the terms for the contract to be signed with Grupo Media Nacional’s consortium – GMN, Holding and Arm Apprize. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government Dili, November 30th 2013 Press Release 

28 November 2013

We don't want to be refugees any more

Note: This is a report from 2008 but has been republished here for archive purposes.

DILI -ALthough the refugees in the Kolmera Jardin are ready to leave the camp, some of the refugees still object because the government has forbidden them from living in their houses because there is a new project to be undertaken.

“Our house is not far from the Rapid Response Unit Headquarters in Fatuhada. Now, the government has forbidden us from living in that house. Where will my family go?" said Paulino Amaral in a community dialogue in Bairo Pite with the President of the Repubic, Jose Ramos Horta on Thursday (15/5).

He asked this question to the President because he is confused after the government forbade him from returning to his original house. “I don't want to go from place to place. I am tired of being a refugee" he said.

He added that he does not want to meet the same fate as refugees from the Guido Valadares National Hospital. When they went to return home to the former Police training centre in Kaikoli, they were refused by the police.

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes de Deus, said that refugees whose houses were noted in a government program for other development, were not permitted to return to those houses.

But they can stay at a temporary place to wait for the government program to build a new suburb.

While those whose houses are not yet the subject of government intervention, they can go back to their original homes.

State Secretary Jacinto also announced to the whole community that previously lived in the old police training centres such as Kaikoli (next to the central office of the East Timor Electricity) or the one next to the old Mayor's office in Belarmino Lobo street, it is better if they find another place because these two locations are the subject of development by the government.

gec http://www.suaratimorlorosae.com/details.php?id=12792&now=2008-05-16 translation 17/05/08 by ww2008

East Timor Government’s Resolution which approves the Procurement Procedure for the project for the Establishment of the National Registry

28/11/2013 TLLS - At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 7 October 2013, the Government gathered extraordinarily in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved, amongst other things, the following Government’s Resolution which approves the Procurement Procedure for the project for the Establishment of the National Registry:

This diploma authorises the Ministry of Justice to request, by invitation, a technical and financial proposal for the establishment of the National Registry of Timor-Leste, following the adopted specifications.

The development of the National Registry – which includes the survey and cadastral mapping of the territory, the establishment of a computerized database and the establishment of an asset evaluation’s system for taxation purposes – assumes a strategic relevance for national security, to the extent that deals with classified information.

This project also assumes greater relevance to the economic and social development of the country, since it depends upon the attribution of property titles in Timor-Leste which will allow the planning and development of important economy sectors, such as agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as planning of greater national projects, such as Suai’s Logistics Base, the International Airport, the International Port, amongst others.

Source: Government of East Timor Council of Ministers Press Release 07/10/2013

MoU between GoTL and GTLeste Biotech on Sugar Cane Project

NOTE: This is an old report from 2008 but has been archived here for historical purposes.



The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to set forth the understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and hereinafter referred to as Government, and GTLESTE BIOTECH, hereinafter, (the Parties), to cooperate in the pursuit of profitable investment opportunities in the Integrated Sugar Cane sector in Timor-Leste, according to the general terms set forth below:

A. The Government of Timor Leste is desirous of seeing the establishment and operation of profitable ventures in the Agro industry sector, including the set up of Sugar Cane Plant and Ethanol Plant;

B. GTLESTE BIOTECH, being a foreign investment company, has identified that an integrated Sugar Cane Industry are investment opportunities wherein it is willing to create the conditions to set up the implementation of said project, putting together the right professionals & experts in order to secure the necessary experience, technical and commercial expertise, financing and market.


C. The estimated total investment of the project is more than USD.$100.000.000, including the sugar cane plantation, sugar plant, ethanol plant, and power generation facility and residential facilities, which are expected to generate more than 2.000 regular employees and more than 8.000 labor
direct jobs;

D. The Government acknowledges the fact that it would like to have implemented in Timor-Leste such an important project;

E. The Government underlines how crucial it is for the approval and successful implementation of any project of sound supporting financial engineering. Hence, the Government underlines, it is for an Integrated Sugar Cane Project of such a magnitude;

F. GTLESTE BIOTECH will take full responsibility for any loan guarantees required to finance the business venture;

G. The Government will grant the company the exclusive concession of 100.000 hectares of unproductive land and to be utilized for sugar plantation (land site as per attached), sugar plant and ethanol plant. The Government will not have to come up with any capital cost. The entire integrated project’s set up costs in Timor Leste and in other country will be borne by the company or by the cooperation it subsequently set up to run the entire business properly;

H. The Government shall accord the company a 50 (fifty) years contract to land use, operate and cultivate the sugar plantation, sugar plant, ethanol plant and other supporting facilities, and extendable to another 50 (fifty years) contract. The duration of the first 50 (fifty) years contracted awarded will be irrevocable due to the high investment costs incurred by the company;

I. The government will support in providing all necessary incentives, export excess of the company product, licenses, permits for sugar plantation, sugar plant, ethanol plant and its derivative products ;

J. The Government will guarantee the exclusive rights suitable land use for sugar cane plantation for the first 10 (ten) years in Timor Leste due to the high cost of building the supporting infrastructure, training and development of the direct & indirect labors.

K. GTLESTE BIOTECH will be staffed by qualified personnel from Timor Leste and or experienced Indonesian assisted also by other foreign technician it necessary;

L. However, the Government stresses that, at this stage, with the level of information available, this such project are strictly private ventures, with no State participation of any sort, whatsoever;

M. GTLESTE BIOTECH will establish training & development centre for maintenance, mechanics, and agriculture in order to transfer technology.

N. GTLESTE BIOTECH will support Timor Leste total consumption of sugar and ethanol with reasonable prices;

O. GTLESTE BIOTECH will participate the district electricity supplies from the excess of electricity power from the company’s plants;

P. GTLESTE BIOTECH will provide community facilities such as clinics and sporting areas.

Q. Entirety. This MOU constitutes the entire understanding and agreement between the Parties hereto and their affiliate with respect to the subject matter contained herein, and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements, representations, warranties and understandings of such parties (whether oral or written). No promise, inducement, representation or agreement, other than as expressly set forth herein, has been made to or by the
Parties hereto.

R. Construction. This MOU shall be construed according to its fair meaning and not strictly for or against either Party. This letter does not, and is not intended to impose any binding obligations on the Parties beyond the intent and promise herein stated.

S. Confidentiality. All information and documents supplied by one Party to any other pursuant to this MOU shall be treated as confidential by the Parties and shall not be disclosed to any third party without expressed written consent of the Party who supplied the information or document. The restrictions and obligations of this Article shall expire two (2) years after the termination of this Memorandum of Understanding.

T. Extension and Modification. The Parties may extend or modify the content of this MOU by mutual agreement.

U. Duration. This Memorandum of Understanding is valid for two years from the date of its signature below.

V. This MOU is not intended to create any legal obligations by either party. The proposed project is subject to and conditional upon GTLESTE BIOTECH meeting all legal requirements set out by the laws of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste with respect to the proposed project.

If the terms and conditions of this MOU are acceptable, please sign and return to us an original of this letter so that we can proceed with further discussions.

Done and signed in Dili. Timor-Leste, on the 15th January of 2008.

/s/ Mariano ASSANAMI Sabino
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

Accepted and Agreed:
/s/ By Gino Sakiris   Chairman

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