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.
According to 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 negotiated unfairly.
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 working languages.
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.