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East Timor

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June 27, 2020

Eurasia Review - June 27, 2020

Binoy Kampmark – This week has not been a good one for the Australian legal system. For those who feel that an open justice process requires abuses of power to be exposed and held to account, it was particularly awful.

June 23, 2020

Reporters Without Boarders (RSF) News Release - June 23, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate withdrawal of a bill that would criminalize defamation in Timor-Leste again, six years after a similar law inherited from the Portuguese colonial era was removed from the criminal code as a result of the adoption of a new press code.

June 21, 2020

Forbes - June 21, 2020

Andrew Wight – Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, has seen more than 50 days without new COVID-19 cases and has yet to report a single death, thanks in part to water initiatives designed to increase resilience to outside shocks.

June 20, 2020

Global Voices - June 20, 2020

Media and civil society leaders in Timor-Leste have expressed concern about the possible reintroduction of a criminal defamation law in the country.

June 18, 2020

The Interpreter - June 18, 2020

Jim Nolan – The coronavirus pandemic has provided just the latest cover for a variety of authoritarian moves criminalising journalism across Southeast Asia.

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, visited the Indonesia-Timor Leste cross-country border post (PLBN) in Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday, June 18. Mahfud came with Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian.

June 16, 2020

ABC Pacific Beat - June 16, 2020

Catherine Graue – June in Timor-Leste would usually mean the end of the wet season and a drop in cases of dengue fever.

But changing weather patterns have seen the rains continue across the country and cases of the mosquito-borne disease are double last year's total.

June 15, 2020

World Socialist Website - June 15, 2020

Patrick O'Connor – The East Timorese government has widened the multi-party coalition on which it is based, securing the support of 41 out of the 65 parliamentarians.

June 11, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - June 11, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Timor-Leste's Minister of Justice plans to present to the Council of Ministers a proposal to include criminal defamation in the country's penal code.

International Federation of Journalists Media Release - June 11, 2020

The Minister of Justice in Timor-Leste plans to present to the Council of Ministers a proposal to include criminal defamation in the country's penal code. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Timor-Leste Press Union (TLPU) protest the move that would undermine press freedom and public interest journalism.

June 9, 2020

Tempo Timor - June 9, 2020

Jose Antonio Belo – Timor-Leste just celebrated its 18th year of independence. The celebration was muted partly due to Covid19 but even more so due to the political crisis.

Various parties have blamed each other as being the root of the political crisis. The question to consider is whether there is a deeper root to the crisis that has gone unnoticed?

Asia Pacific Report - June 9, 2020

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Former East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta says it is not opportune for the government to be debating the possible criminalisation of defamation, with the risk of jeopardizing citizens' rights.

Instead, he says, the Timor-Leste government should concentrate on issues like the economy.

June 8, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has sent the Timor Leste Red Cross (CVTL) medical supplies for COVID-19 mitigation measures as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the spirit of collaboration between the two cross-border institutions.

June 4, 2020

Eurasia Review - June 4, 2020

Loro Horta – On March 21, 2020 Timor Leste reported its first case of COVID-19, a Dutch national arriving from Europe. Many expected the small Southeast Asian state to face a severe crisis and necessitate urgent international assistance.

June 3, 2020

Presidential Power - June 3, 2020

Rui Feijo – Francisco Guterres Lu Olo seems to have won the long tug of war that began soon after he was elected in May 2017, involving directly the president and the charismatic nationalist leader Xanana Gusmao, and has asserted a vigorous interpretation of the president's role in the delicate semi-presidential balance of powers in Timor-Leste.

June 2, 2020

ABC Inside Story - June 2, 2020

Michael Leach – As Timor-Leste continues to perform very well in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially compared to neighbouring Indonesia, the political dramas of the past few weeks have formed a striking counterpoint.

May 31, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 31, 2020

Dili – President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo swore in eight new cabinet members on Friday. For the first time a woman has become deputy prime minister in Timor-Leste. After the ceremony the president held a speech focussing on the struggle against the corona-virus.

May 28, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 28, 2020

Dili – Timor-Leste tightens security in its Western border areas to make sure nobody crosses the frontiers, which are closed to stop the corona-virus from spreading. This decision was made because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Indonesia.

Tempo Timor - May 28, 2020

Dili – Six members of the government of Timor-Leste resign from their posts. They follow the decision of the CNRT president to withdraw the party from the eighth constitutional government. Three cabinet members who are not CNRT-members but had been proposed by the party decided to remain part of the government.

May 27, 2020

ABC Pacific Beat - May 27, 2020

Sophie Raynor – During the coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest concerns for health officials has been the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 – especially via social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Xinhua - May 27, 2020

Dili – The medical supplies jointly donated by Jack Ma Foundation & Alibaba Foundation to Timor-Leste arrived at the Dili airport by a cargo plane on Tuesday.

Tempo Timor - May 27, 2020

Dili – The Council of Ministers has approved the request from the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (Sentru Integradu Jestaun Krize – SIJK) for the extension of the state of emergency with 30 more days.

May 26, 2020

Devpolicy Blog - May 26, 2020

Akito Ximenes and Michael Rose – Timor-Leste is an agricultural nation. At least 70% of the population relies on some sort of farming to survive and virtually everyone has relatives that live on some type of farm.

May 24, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 24, 2020

Dili – The president of the CNRT (Congresu Nasional Rekonstrusaun Timor, National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction), Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, said that his party will join the political opposition to the eighth government and awaits to compete again in the elections that will take place in 2023.

May 19, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - May 19, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Following yesterday's parliamentary row in the national chamber of Timor-Leste, chaotic scenes were streamed live on social media today for more than half an hour live as police were called.

Media consultant Bob Howarth reports that the police were called into the Parliament with rival politicians screaming insults and makng threatening gestures.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 19, 2020

Lia Timson – East-Timor's Prime Minister has asked the Timorese people to "maintain calm" and allow the country's leaders to restore order, after Parliament devolved into pushing and shoving for a second consecutive day.

May 16, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - May 16, 2020

Robert Baird, Dili – Timor-Leste has no active cases of covid-19 for the first time since its first confirmed case on March 21, say health authorities.

The Integrated Crisis Management Centre (CIGC) confirmed yesterday a 24th patient had recovered from the virus.

May 5, 2020

Inside Story - May 5, 2020

Michael Leach – Just two months after it was announced by Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste's majority parliamentary coalition has collapsed.

May 4, 2020

The Diplomat - May 4, 2020

Fidelis Magalhaes – The Timorese people and their government are about to combat a historic shock to our struggling health care system and emerging economy.

May 1, 2020

Tempo Timor - May 1, 2020

Dili – The political party Kmanek Haburas Unidade Nasional Timor Oan (KHUNTO) has withdrawn from the new coalition led by CNRT's president, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao. The reason for leaving the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (Aliansa Maioria Parlamentar, AMP) is because KHUNTO is not certain this alliance will be the solution to the political crisis in Timor-Leste.

April 30, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - April 30, 2020

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Xanana Gusmao, president of the second largest Timorese party, has criticised the decision to extend Timor-Leste's state of emergency, considering that it is not justified at the present time and can bring increased risks to the economy of families and the country.

April 28, 2020

The Interpreter - April 28, 2020

Joao da Cruz Cardoso – The economic impact of coronavirus has been made even more severe in oil-producing countries due to the consequences of Covid-19 itself and a collapse in oil prices. Crude has fallen below US$20 per barrel as demand for oil has plummeted. This dual shock has made it harder for oil producing countries to fight the virus.

April 27, 2020

The Diplomat - April 27, 2020

Li-Li Chen – Many Southeast Asian countries adopted a state of emergency to combat COVID-19. Likewise, Timor-Leste, with 24 confirmed cases and zero deaths to date, also declared a state of emergency, in force from March 28 until April 26 (later extended).

April 24, 2020

Reuters - April 24, 2020

Dili – East Timor announced on Friday that a nurse at a centre caring for patients with COVID-19 had been infected by the coronavirus, the first medical worker in the tiny Southeast Asian country to contract the disease.

Prensa Latina - April 24, 2020

Dili – Cuba's medical team is still providing attention today to the population of Timor Leste in the face of Covid-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has already caused a high number of deaths around the world.

April 18, 2020

Al Jazeera - April 18, 2020

Ali MC – Domingos Pinto Gabrial, also known as Berliku, was a 19-year-old school teacher in the northeastern city of Baucau when Indonesian forces invaded East Timor in December 1975.

April 16, 2020

ABC Radio Sydney - April 16, 2020

Matt Bamford – Australian doctors have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in a bid to prevent devastation in one of South-East Asia's most vulnerable countries.

Tempo Timor - April 16, 2020

Dili – In just one day East Timor confirmed another ten COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of patients who suffer from the disease to eighteen.

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Statement - April 16, 2020

Journalists in Timor Leste are facing pay cuts amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate the Timor Leste Press Union (TLPU) to call on media company proprietors to reconsider this decision and protect the rights of journalists, who are on the front line in the fight against the Covid-19.

April 15, 2020

Tempo Timor - April 15, 2020

Dili – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Timor-Leste has increased to a total of six cases. On Tuesday (14 April) two new corona-patients were taken to the isolation center in Vera Cruz, stated Rui Maria de Araujo, the spokesperson of the Integrated Crisis Management Center (Sentru Integradu Jestaun Krize – SIJK).

April 14, 2020

The Diplomat - April 14, 2020

Prashanth Parameswaran – Last week, Timor-Leste's premier withdrew his resignation, citing the need for continuity in the country's political leadership to see out the battle against the global coronavirus pandemic. The development spotlighted the issue of how COVID-19 might impact the Southeast Asian country's politics.

Tempo Timor - April 14, 2020

Dili – The government has designated the old hospital Antonio de Carvalho Lahane as medical facility for COVID-19 patients who are suffering from severe symptoms.

April 13, 2020

Tempo Timor - April 13, 2020

Dili – The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in East Timor. Based on information from the Integrated Management Crisis Centre (Sentru Integradu Jestaun Krize – SIJK) there are two new confirmed cases, bringing the total to four.

April 10, 2020

Reuters - April 10, 2020

Dili – East Timor has confirmed another case of coronavirus, health authorities said on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to two.

The infected person had travelled from Indonesia's West Timor region, Integrated Crisis Management Center spokesman, Sergio Lobo, told a news conference.

April 8, 2020

Reuters - April 8, 2020

Nelson Da Cruz, Dili – The prime minister of East Timor withdrew his resignation on Wednesday, saying he would stay in power to oversee the battle against the coronavirus pandemic as the government approved a $250-million (#202.96 million) fund to fight it.

April 3, 2020

The Interpreter - April 3, 2020

Guteriano Neves – As of today, Timor-Leste has one confirmed case of Covid-19. Nonetheless, the feeling of panic among the public has been mounting. There is a valid reason for this: Timor-Leste's public health system is under-resourced to respond to an outbreak of this scale.

Tempo Timor - April 3, 2020

Dili – Vice-minister of health, Elia Antonio dos Reis Amaral, has been sacked from her post. Prime minister Taur Matan Ruak had proposed the dismissal to president Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, who approved the request and discharged her.

March 30, 2020

The Diplomat - March 30, 2020

Prashanth Parameswaran – Since January, Timor-Leste's politics has been shrouded in uncertainty following the collapse of its previous governing coalition after the failure to pass a budget amid coalition infighting. Though a new government looks set to take office soon, it will face a range of formidable challenges that will need addressing.

Tempo Timor - March 30, 2020

Dili – The COVID-19 patient, who is the first and only confirmed case in Timor-Leste, has recovered without taking any medication, the director-general of health services, Odete da Silva Viegas, confirmed in the Dili Convention Center, on Sunday (29 Mar 2020).

March 28, 2020

Tempo Timor - March 28, 2020

Dili – President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo officially declared the state of emergency for the whole territory of Timor-Leste for one month, starting 28 March at 00:00h until 26 April at 23:59h, to protect the country against the corona-virus.