Timor. Jos谷 Ramos-Horta, who received the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1996 and was President of East Timor in 2007-12,
was named UN Special Envoy in Guinea-Bissau in January. Like
the East Timor, the African country is a former Portuguese
colony and the UN participates in peace promotion there.
Countryaah, Australian Radio reported in May that East Timor's
Foreign Minister Alfredo Pires has accused the Australian
intelligence service ASIS of bugging the East Timorese
government's premises during the sensitive negotiations on
how oil and gas revenues from fields in the Timor Sea would
be distributed between the two countries. East Timor tried
to invalidate a 2006 agreement, which it felt had been
In February 2002, Parliament formally adopted a new
constitution to come into force on independence. The
Constitution operates with a traditional three-part power of
executive, legislative and judicial. It operates
simultaneously with the creation of a politically neutral
military. Although the country is predominantly Catholic,
the constitution does not operate with any state religion.
It also guarantees freedom of the press. After a lengthy
debate, Portuguese and Tetum were approved as official
languages, while English and Bahasa Indonesia are used as
In the same month, Indonesia and UNTAET signed two
agreements aimed at easing the relationship between
Indonesia and the future independent East Timor. The
agreements were concluded during a conference on the
Indonesian island of Bali. provisions on the regulation of
the flow of personnel across the border between East Timor
and West Timor.
As expected, the April presidential election was won by
Xanana Gusmão with 82.7% of the vote. His only counterpart,
Francisco Xavier do Amaral got 17.3%. The turnout was 86.3%.
Gusmão assumed the post of the country's first elected
president on May 20, and met briefly with Indonesian
President Megawati Sukarnoputri to invite her to the
celebration of independence in East Timor.
In early May, the UNDP released a report showing that
East Timor would, by its independence, be Asia's poorest
country and one of the world's 20 poorest countries. The
majority of the country's population depended on subsistence
farming and fishing. The country has no industry and almost
no products to export. Per capita GDP at the beginning of
May was US $ 478 annually, and the majority of the
population earned under US $ 55 a day. According to the
report, the way the country uses the profits from the sale
of gas from the Timor Sea will be crucial to its economic
development. From 2006, gas production could bring the
country 180 million. US $ annually.
In the same month, East Timor presented a development
plan for international financial institutions to raise funds
for development during the first years of independence.
Similar meetings had already been held with these
institutions in 1999 in Tokyo, in 2000 in Lisbon and
Brussels and in 2001 in Canberra and Oslo. East Timor wanted
financial institutions to cover a deficit of DKK 90 million.
US $ over the following 3 years. The request for assistance
was presented at a conference in Dili, attended by the World
Bank, the UN and representatives of 27 countries and
multilateral organizations. Both Gusmão, Alkatiri and
Foreign Minister Ramos Horta spoke at the conference.
In August 2002, Abilio Soares was sentenced to 3 years in
prison. He was governor of the Indonesian province during
the events leading up to and after the 1999 referendum. He
was found guilty of serious human rights violations.
On December 4, authorities introduced an alarm condition
and curfew after 7 p.m. 19, after two days of violent
demonstrations that had cost at least one life. The
demonstrations had started when hundreds of people were
walking in the street to protest the arrest of a student.
On August 5, 2003, former East Timor military commander,
General Adam Damiri, was sentenced to 3 years in prison at
the Human Rights Court in Jakarta. Damiri was one of the 18
officers charged with participating in the assaults during
the 1999 referendum. He was the most senior officer to date
sentenced in court.