Minister of Defense and Security’s Policy from 2007 – 2012

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Fundasaun Mahein, 06 August 2012

Press Release

Minister of Defense and Security’s Policy from 2007 – 2012

Mahein’s Thoughts number 02, (English version.pdf), regarding the Politics of the Ministry of Defense and Security over the period from 2007 – 2012.

This report focuses upon the performance of the State Secretary for Defense (SED) and the State Secretary for Security (SES). The objective of Fundasaun Mahein (FM) in this report is to propose recommendations to the new government for the upcoming 2012 – 2017 term.

Five years has passed since, in 2007, the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior were combined to form the Ministry of Defense and Security (MDS) within the context of the 2006 crisis. The MDS combination is a good idea until the AMP mandate is accomplished. The combination has also reconciled the factions in the PNTL and the F-FDTL through the 2008 Joint Operation and other past operations. This combination, however, is not in line with ASEAN and international best practice.

The SES has not managed PNTL guns and equipment well. The leadership of the PNTL and the leadership of SES have not established meaningful relationships with one another, sometimes to the detriment of their respective institutions. The SES and SED have not transparently audited PNTL and F-FDTL weapons for the public, despite continued questioning from the public about the weapons.

FM identified in this report that the SED’s focus during the last five years was on infrastructure, legislation, recruitment, and international cooperation. Forca 2020 was not completely implemented because its plan was not in line with actual conditions in Timor-Leste and required revisions.

FM also discovered that over the last five years, the SES had focused exclusively on the PNTL. The institutions of DNPC and DNSEP, however, had been abandoned.

According to the slogan of FALINTIL-Forsa Defeza Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), “Dezenvolve Forsa Ki’ik ba Nasaun Ki’ik ne’ebé neneik ba bebeik,” some aspects of the military have been developed and some aspects have been identified for future SED progress. On the other hand SES’ philosophy, “neneik maibé la para ba dezenvolvimentu,” demands that the PNTL continue modernizing the police’s para-military style while moving father away from the principles of community policing.

FM concluded the report with some recommendations to both institutions and the future government “Bloku Governu Koligasaun” (BGK), which need to focus on:

Fundasaun Mahein Recommendations to the Secretary of State for Defense (SED):

1) The Minister of Defense of SED need to continue sustaining
international cooperation on defense to develop F-FDTL.

2) The government needs to conduct a survey or study to define the best way to construct the port for the Navy before purchasing additional ships for the Navy.

3) The government needs to establish a mechanism to manage the maintenance of PNTL equipment.

4) The government needs to audit PNTL equipment transparently.

Fundasaun Mahein Recommendation to Secretary State Security (SES):

1) The new SES needs to pay attention to DNPCC/DNPKK.

2) The SES needs to institutionalize the Community Police to be more crime-prevention oriented.

3) The SES needs conduct studies as a guideline, like “white paper” for police development.

5) The SES needs to hand over the promotion of PNTL to the PNTL, as well as open up the process to civilian oversight such as with Parliament Committee B and other organizations.

6) The leadership of the SES and the leadership of the General Command of the PNTL need to develop and maintain good relationships with one another

7) The SES also needs to manage the weapons and audit them transparently

For further information regarding this article please contact
Nélson Belo,
Director of Fundasaun Mahein
Tlp +670 737 4222

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