Dismissal of Members of the F-FDTL and PNTL: Part of a Reformation of Discipline?

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Fundasaun Mahein, 19 August 2014

Press Release

Dismissal of Members of the F-FDTL and PNTL: Part of a Reformation of Discipline?

In Mahein’s Voice No. 83, Fundasaun Mahein conducts a discussion concerning the policy of dismissal inside the institution of Falintil- Defense Force Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL). This policy aims to transform and professionalize the military and police institutions addressing the attitudes of some military and police members that have violated the laws and disciplinary rules of the institution.

Since the establishment of the F-FDTL and PNTL institutions, the government has made many of efforts to develop these two important institutions. These efforts include fortification of human resource, improvement of infrastructure, modernization of equipment, and the production of laws and disciplinary rules for the military and police. However, disciplinary issues of F-FDTL and PNTL members present a challenge to the establishment of professional military and police institutions.

As part of the government’s initiative to professionalize the F-FDTL and PNTL, the Superior Commanders of F-FDTL and PNTL have made the decision to dismiss many times. This dismissal has been issued to undisciplined members who have violated the organic laws and disciplinary rules of the military and police. In some cases, these individuals have abandoned their duties and even committed crimes.

An example of such a dismissal case occurred in the beginning of 2014, when the F-FDTL superior commander dismissed 19 soldiers on disciplinary grounds. Another case involved the PNTL commander dismissing a PNTL member, who had committed crimes during the 2006 crisis and hidden the weapon in question. The dismissal issued by the F-FDTL and PNTL superiors have made a positive impact upon disciplinary reformation in these two institutions.

However, Fundasaun Mahein expresses concern regarding the intent of these dismissals. One must ask whether these dismissals represent serious efforts by F-FDTL and PNTL superiors to reform military and police discipline, or whether they simply serve to execute disciplinary penalties for members? Fundasaun Mahein continues to urge the government to fortify human resources, improve administration, and improve management of certain services, such as the minimum work and equipment conditions necessary to motivate members of F-FDTL and PNTL to effectively serve the nation and people.

FM’s Recommendations:

1. FM recommends that the F-FDTL and PNTL institutions to continue fortifying the institutions based on the laws and rules of the institution. Leadership should continue applying penalties to members of F-FDTL and PNTL who do not obey the law and regulations of the institution, as well as continue improving human resource inside the institution in order to further professionalize the military and police institutions.

2. FM recommends that communities, as part of their public responsibility, share information with the commanders of the F-FDTL and PNTL regarding any instances of disciplinary violations or criminal actions by F-FDTL or PNTL members against the communities.

To learn more about this issue, please see the following:


Nélson Belo
Executive Director of FM
Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org
E-mail: direktor.mahein@gmail.com
Phone (+670) 7737-4222 or (+670) 77561184

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