12 July 2009

Timor-Leste Land Network: Manatuto District: Population 34,000 gets only 59 minutes to speak on draft Land Law

9 July 2009 Rede ba Rai Press Release Manatuto District: Population 34,000 gets only 59 minutes to speak on draft Land Law

On Monday, the Minister of Justice led a public consultation on the draft Land Law (Lei de Terras) in Manatuto. The Land Law is a historic piece of legislation that lays out criteria for deciding who owns, and who does not own land in Timor-Leste.

The Land Network, who monitored the meeting, found that participants in Manatuto had only 59 minutes to voice questions or comments on the law. (This is equivalent to 0.01 seconds for each person in Manatuto).

“The Minister complained several times that questions were all the same.” Land Network member, Pedro Viera from Fundasaun Haburas explained that “this is because people do not understand the law. Communities in Manatuto did not even have time to read the draft law before they were expected to provide comment.”

Rather than the legal experts who helped write the law, it was the Minister for Justice who answered questions. “Some of the Minister’s responses are clearly incorrect. For example, the public consultation is only 11 weeks (from 12 June until 31 August), not the 4 months suggested by the Minister.”

Several people commented that they did not understand the law as it was presented in the meeting and many others added that the consultation needed to be brought to the community level.

“The government has not allowed enough time for an effective consultation” continued Pedro, “other countries, take up to a year to consult on laws of such importance. The government knows this and tries to scapegoat civil society by saying that public consultation is our responsibility. But we cannot do the government’s job.”

Before the draft Land Law was launched, the civil society Land Network outlined the measures needed to ensure good public participation on the law. Very few of these measures have been met. “How can we help to develop a good Land Law if the government isn’t serious about public consultation?”

“There are important questions to be discussed - Who will get compensation, and how much? Who will be in a position to make key political decisions about land allocation? Why has the state been given strong rights over community lands? Who receives the money from projects run on community land? Who will help vulnerable people to claim their land rights?”

For further information and public comment please contact Meabh Cryan from the Rede ba Rai at +670 730 7800 , Ines Martins at +670 3325013 or email meabhcryan@gmail.com.
Distritu Manatuto: Populasaun hamutuk nain 34,000 simu minutus 59 de’it atu koalia kona-ba esbosu Lei ba Rai 9 Julhu, 2009 Loron 6 Segunda, Ministra Justisa halo enkontru públiku kona-ba esbosu Lei ba Rai (Lei de Terras) iha Manatuto. Lei ba Rai mak legislasaun historikú atu harii estrutura atu deside sé mak rai-nain no sé mak la iha rai duni iha Timor-Leste.

Membru Rede ba Rai ne’ebé halo monitor ba enkontru ne’e hetan katak total partisipantes hetan de’it minutes 59 atu husu perguntas ka fó komentariú. (Iha ema nain 34,000 iha distritu Manatuto – tan ne’e atu hateten katak ba ema ida so hetan de’it 0.01 detik iha distritu Manatuto atu fo sira-nia opinaun kona-ba esbosu lei).

“Ministra dehan dala barak katak perguntas husi komunidade sira hotu hanesan.” Membru Rede ba Rai husi Fundasaun Haburas Pedro Viera dehan katak, “ne’e tanba ema seidauk komprende lei ne’e. Partisipantes seidauk hetan tempu atu le’e Lei de Terras, antes sira tenke fó sira-nia komentariú”

Ema mak responde ba perguntas la’os ema tékniku ne’ebé hakerek lei, maibe Ministra Justisa rasik. “Dala ruma Ministra halo sala ne’ebé klaro. Hanesan, konsultasaun públiku so iha semana 11 de’it (husi loron 12 Junhu to’o loron 31 Agosto), la’os fulan 4.”

Ema barak dehan katak sira ladun komprende apresentasaun kona-ba esbosu lei. No sira dehan katak presiza lori konsultasaun ba nivel Sub-distritu no Suco atu lori ema nian hanoin husi baze.

“Tempu la to’o atu halo konsultasaun ida ne’e” kontinua Pedro, “iha nasaun seluk, hanesan Mozambique, presiza tinan ida atu halo konsultasaun ba lei ne’ebé importante hanesan ne’e. Governu hatene ida ne’e entaun sira koko atu fó responsibilidade ba sosiedade sivíl atu halo sira-nia konsultasaun. Maibe sosiedade sivíl la bele halo governu-nia serbisu iha tempu badak ne’e”.

Molok lansamentu esbosu Lei ba Rai, Rede ba Rai identifika aktividades-sira ne’ebé governu tenke tuir atu asegura partisipasaun públiku ne’ebé diak kona ba Lei. Aktividades barak husi lista ne’e governu seidauk halo. “Oinsa ami bele ajuda dezenvolve Lei ba Rai ne’ebé diak se governu la prontu atu fó komitmentu atu halo konsultasaun públiku ne’ebé luhan.”

“Sé mak hetan osan nu’udar kompensasaun no hetan osan ne hira? Lei ne’e fo ba se kbiit bo’ot atu halo desizaun kona-ba kazu rai ne’ebe disputa? Tanba-sa Lei ne’e fo ba estado kbiit bo’ot atu administra rai lisan? Sé mak simu osan husi projeitu iha rai komunidade? Sé mak atu ajuda ema kbit laek atu hetan sira nia direitu ba rai? Tenke koalia kona-ba perguntas ne’e tanba lei se fó impaktu maka’as ba ema hotu.”

Atu hetan informasaun tan ka halo intrevista bele kontaktu ba Pedro Viera husi Rede ba Rai ho numerú kontaktu +67... ka email redebarai@gmail.com

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