Thematic Issues in the Security Sector 2015
Mahein’s Voice no. 115 on thematic issues in security sector for 2015 contain a variety of important issues for Fundasaun Mahein (FM) to monitor, particularly with regards to the socio-political performance of military and police institutions, joint operation policy, the implementation of community policing, and veteran’s pensions, all of which have become concerns for the state to solve.
In order to strengthen the performance of military and police institutions, the state has made efforts to increase accountability. However, FM’s monitoring has shown that many challenges persist with a negative impact on defense and security institutions, particularly members of the police and military. Most police and military have continued participation in martial arts groups, beating civilians and participating in conflicts between police and military members.
FM continues to be concerned with the joint operational policies employed by the State against armed civilian groups, with the intention of maintaining internal stability. FM believes that the joint operational policy is not the only method available to resolve the internal issues. The State invests heavily in combat-related training and equipment, and comparatively little in approaches that will facilitate peace and justice in Timor-Leste as a democratic nation.
FM also remains concerned over the sensitive issue of veteran’s pensions, which to date have not been resolved, although the government has made some efforts through the ratification of new laws and commissions. However, FM’s monitors believe that new legislations and commissions addressing veteran’s pensions to date serve only to bolster and solidify the “elite class” in Timor-Leste. The lack of protections against discrimination and social imbalance within the current legislation suggest that, in implementation, they may serve as a catalyst for internal instability.
On a separate note, FM also reports on the level of progress and challenges faced in the implementation of community policing. FM’s monitors note positive progress in the implementation of community policing (OPS) and the deployment of the associated supporting institutions. However, OPS continues to face some challenges in the acquisition of facilities, equipment, and infrastructure needed to facilitate a fully-active service.
1. That the Ministry of the Interior and the PNTL General Command continue to invest heavily in the development of the community police service through financial support, facility development, equipment outfitting, and infrastructural support, which will enable OPS to fully realize the objectives of the VIP.
2. That the government quickly establish a council of veterans to partner with the state in pursuit of an equitable and just policy solution to the pension program, which, in its current state, may create threats to national stability. In addition, the state must increase capacity to monitor and investigate pension fraud.
For more details on this issue, please contact:
Executive Director of FM
Phone: +670 78316075 or 7756 1184