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Lao Hamutuk Annual Report

Calendar Year 2003

PDF Format: English | Bahasa Indonesia (coming soon)

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Overview of our work

III. Program Activities during 2003

IV. Plans for 2004

Appendix I: Financial Information

Appendix II: Bulletin Articles

Appendix III: Radio Programs

Appendix IV: Public Meetings and Presentations

Appendix V: Contributions to Other Publications

Appendix VI: Staff and Executive Board Biographies

I. Introduction


La’o Hamutuk (“Walking Together” in English) is a hybrid East Timorese-international organization that monitors, analyzes, and reports on the principal international institutions present in Timor Lorosa’e (East Timor) as they relate to the physical, economic, and social reconstruction and development of the country. La’o Hamutuk believes that the people of East Timor must be the ultimate decision-makers in this process, which should be democratic and transparent. La’o Hamutuk is an independent organization and works to facilitate effective East Timorese participation in the reconstruction and development of the country. In addition, La’o Hamutuk works to improve communication between the international community and East Timorese society. Finally, La’o Hamutuk is a resource center, providing literature on development models, experiences, and practices, as well as facilitating solidarity links between East Timorese groups and groups abroad with the aim of creating alternative development models.

La’o Hamutuk does not accept financial or other support from the principal institutions with interests in East Timor – United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, major donor governments, international businesses operating here. This is essential to our role of providing objective analysis and criticism of those institutions. We rely on funding from private foundations, NGOs, governments of small countries, and individuals.

La’o Hamutuk was initiated by East Timorese activists asking for help in understanding and interacting with the multitude of international institutions which arrived in East Timor after the Indonesian military and militia violence of 1999. Working together, East Timorese activists and international solidarity activists started the organization in mid-2000.

From the beginning, La’o Hamutuk has tried to follow a model of equitable cooperation between East Timorese and foreign activists, setting an example not often seen in the United Nations or the foreign governments, international NGOs, or multilateral agencies operating here. Our collective staff structure, with everyone sharing responsibility equally, is virtually unknown here.

We are both a national (East Timorese) and international Non-Governmental Organization, participating in coalitions and networks with both types of NGOs – a role unique in this country. Most of our materials are published both in English and Indonesian in order to be accessible to various constituencies; our radio program and popular education materials are in Tetum.

La’o Hamutuk’s six East Timorese and four international staff have equal responsibilities, and receive equal pay and benefits. We are committed to gender balance and capacity-building among our staff, which currently includes five women and five men. Our Executive Board comprises two East Timorese, active in different sectors of East Timorese civil society, and two internationals who maintain very close links with East Timor.

La’o Hamutuk endeavors to involve interested individuals and organizations from throughout the world in its activities, and to draw on a variety of funding sources. We have dozens of experts -- development practitioners, human rights advocates, academics, and solidarity activists -- as an unofficial, global advisory board through an internet discussion group. Our website includes materials in English, Indonesian, Tetum, Portuguese and Japanese, and is used as a reference for people both in East Timor and around the world.

Situational Background

East Timor, a small half-island between Indonesia and Australia, was colonized by Portugal from the 1500s until 1975, except for three years of devastating Japanese military occupation during World War II. In 1975, as Portugal prepared to withdraw, Indonesia invaded with support from Australia and the United States. A then-impotent United Nations protested but did nothing, and the Indonesian military occupation, with guerrilla resistance from a few and civilian resistance from almost everyone continued for 24 years, taking 200,000 lives, one-third of the pre-invasion population. After the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998, Indonesia allowed the United Nations to conduct a referendum in East Timor. Undeterred by a campaign of terror organized by the Indonesian military, 98% of East Timor’s voters went to the polls on August 30, 1999, voting 78% for independence from Indonesia. In the three weeks before international forces arrived, Indonesia’s military and their East Timorese militia proxies devastated the country, destroying 75% of the building and infrastructure, and displacing about 75% of the people to the mountains or to Indonesian West Timor.

From the end of 1999 until mid-2002, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) ruled as a benevolent dictatorship, headed by Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello. More than two billion U.S. dollars was spent to rebuild the territory and prepare it for independence, although most of that money didn’t stay here. In 2001, elections were held for a Constituent Assembly, which wrote a constitution. Resistance leader Xanana Gusmão was elected President in April 2002, and the Constituent Assembly, with an absolute Fretilin majority, became East Timor’s Parliament. Although some progress was made in reconstruction, economic development, creating administrative procedures, and inventing democratic structures during UNTAET, huge tasks were left to the new government, as described in the May 2002 La’o Hamutuk Bulletin.

East Timor became the first new independent nation of the millennium on 20 May 2002, with sovereignty passing from the United Nations to East Timor’s elected government and parliament under the newly-written constitution. Foreign governments, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations continue to play a major role in East Timor. International advisors and trainers continue to be pervasive in government. The current UN mission (UNMISET) is due to end in May although some form of UN presence is likely to continue past this date. The debate about the size and responsibilities of that presence is currently being decided. p> Thus far, the international community achieved many successes in trying to reconstruct East Timor as it struggles to recover from almost 24 years of terror. Despite glaring failures by the international community to achieve accountability for the architects of East Timor’s devastation, most people are getting on with their lives. However, East Timor still faces many problems as a new nation trying to assume ownership of the institutions and systems constructed by the UN. Unemployment still stands at more than 75%; water and electricity systems destroyed in 1999 still need to be rebuilt and serious questions are being raised about the police and judicial system.

Despite the enormous amount of money provided for the World Bank controlled trust fund, in addition to bilateral and multilateral projects East Timor faces a budget shortfall in the immediate future until oil revenues from the Timor Sea increase. East Timor is currently debating how to deal with the shortfall including the possibility of World Bank loan. Foreign companies control the electronic media, the oil industry (which is key to East Timor’s economic independence), telecommunications and are likely to become involved in the power and water sectors in the very near future.

Powerful international forces will continue to pressure East Timor for the indefinite future, and that the East Timorese people continue to need and want the information and monitoring we provide. Our radio program reaches the entire nation; our Bulletin has a circulation as large as any publication here; our global connections have no parallel in East Timor. La’o Hamutuk’s work remains crucial in helping international agencies and East Timorese better understand each other as this new country enters a new phase in its history and continues to define and evolve its own internal systems and its position in the international arena.

Goals and Objectives

In our most recent strategic planning meeting in May 2003 La’o Hamutuk staff, board members and colleagues met to evaluate our work and reaffirm our goals and objectives for the next twelve months:

II. Overview of Our Work

La'o Hamutuk investigates, primarily through interviews and documents, the activities, histories, and priorities of the international agencies active here, and reports on them in ways accessible to the East Timorese public. Through our Bulletin (a periodic publication with in-depth analytical articles and editorials), Surat Popular (popular education-oriented, illustrated pamphlets for those with less formal education), radio programs and public meetings, we provide information to the East Timorese people. At the same time, the English edition of our Bulletin, together with our web site, email list and other media, help internationals in East Timor and around the world better understand what their colleagues are doing here, and how the East Timorese people perceive them.

La'o Hamutuk also helps the people of East Timor hold international institutions accountable. This involves advocating for transparency and clarity about their activities, as well as creating channels for grassroots people to communicate with these institutions. Every Bulletin includes editorials which represent East Timorese civil society perspectives. We also hold frequent public meetings, where decision-makers in international institutions meet with East Timorese activists to explain what they do, answer questions, and listen to concerns. La'o Hamutuk is an active participant in many Working Groups and coalitions of East Timorese Church and civil society organizations, which do research and advocacy on subjects such as justice, women's rights and constitution-building. We facilitate exchanges and study tours between East Timorese activists and their counterparts in other countries.

Throughout our work, our staff shares skills and expertise. The East Timorese and the internationals who work at La'o Hamutuk learn from each other, increasing our capacities for the future. Since the internationals have had more opportunities for formal education, research and above-ground activism, the East Timorese can increase their effectiveness as advocates and citizens in this phase of their history. The internationals also learn from their East Timorese colleagues about East Timor's history and culture, and about how to adapt foreign styles of working and communicating to be more effective in East Timor and elsewhere.

Accomplishments during 2003

Facilitating discussion between East Timorese civil society and international agencies continues to be the mainstay of our work. We have continued to strive to disseminate objective and accurate information and analysis as widely as possible, and to bring pertinent issues into the public arena and provoke debate.

Early on in the year we expanded our office space to provide adequate office space and to improve our Resource Centre. We purchased two desktop computers, one laptop and a new printer to replace defunct equipment. In addition, we have purchased two more desks and a cabinet to increase storage space. Two new motorbikes have greatly helped us meet our appointments and reach further out of Dili.

As well as our program activities which are outlined below, we have increased our means of disseminating information with two CD-ROMs. The first is an archive of information compiled between 1991 until 2002 by the International Federation of East Timor. The second CD-ROM contains hundreds of documents and analyses, as well as audiovisual resources, collected as part of our research into developments in the Timor Sea.

We view our position in working groups and coalitions as a fundamental part of our work where our staff continue to take a leading role. We are also part of the network of international NGOs working in East Timor, participating in their meetings and discussions. Our perspective often reflects that of the East Timorese we work with. For example, we often differ from the larger international NGOs in our consistent advocacy for the need to respect East Timorese NGO decision-making and on whether internationals working here should pay wage tax. La’o Hamutuk has extended and consolidated our ties with experts, activists and coalitions outside East Timor particularly the Oilwatch network and Focus on the Global South.

During this year La’o Hamutuk staff represented the NGO community in the following international conferences:

  • Adriano de Nascimento attended the UNDP organized conference on Millennium Development Goals in February in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  • Tomas Freitas represented East Timorese NGOs at the Asian Development Bank’s Second Regional Workshop on Good Governance in October in Fiji.

  • Tomas Freitas attended the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Millennium Development Goals and the Eradication of Extreme Hunger and Poverty in October in Bangkok, Thailand.

Unfortunately, we were not able to do as much investigating and monitoring as we had hoped during this period, and published five Bulletins (we had hoped to do eight). This has also impacted on our Surat Popular (we published three when we had planned four).

This is primarily due to the following factors. Although these activities take time away from our investigation and monitoring work, we believe they are important for the future of the nation and the development of our capacity.

  • Civil society in East Timor is increasingly active, and La’o Hamutuk is increasingly asked to provide information and leadership for other organizations and coalitions.

  • We have also been invited to send several of our staff to give presentations at international conferences, and one member was selected to attend a human rights training.

  • One staff member has been on long-term medical leave, resulting in our investigations on militarization and security being delayed or deferred.

In addition, the nature of our investigations have become more complex and time consuming to research and reflects the changing nature of the reconstruction process currently taking place in East Timor. In some areas, such our research on international companies and markets, it has not been possible to get hold of critical information.

This year has also been a reflective one. We have evaluated our work and internal organization over the year and examined our strengths and areas where we could be more inefficient, principally be reaffirming our individual areas of responsibility. As a result, we have rejuvenated our internal administrative systems and reviewed how we share responsibilities with a view to consolidating our internal structures and strengthening our organization.

As part of our plans to continuously augment our capacity we have continued our in house training programs. Computer skills classes have continued with an emphasis on network maintenance and using Adobe Pagemaker software. During the year La’o Hamutuk engaged the services of Radio Rakambia to train our radio team in the use of Cooledit software. The radio team currently edits its own high quality, weekly radio program for distribution throughout East Timor. Our in-house English language classes have stopped as staff now attend more regular class out of the office. In an effort to transfer research and writing skills the editorial team, through regular meetings with the writing teams, plays a guiding and mentoring role. The Cuba exchange allowed La’o Hamutuk staff understand more about popular education which has led to a reevaluation of how we use our Surat Popular (People’s Paper).

III. Program Activities

The foundation of La’o Hamutuk’s work is monitoring and investigating the activities of international institutions working in East Timor. The information we learn and publish has helped us and other organizations advocate for more equitable processes and for economic and social justice, and informs journalists and government officials in East Timor and around the world. The information produced from our research is disseminated through a number of activities which are described below.

During 2003 we investigated and analyzed the activities of the international finance institutes with reference to the economic models they promote. We have reported on the major financial players in East Timor and where the money for the budget and other activities taking place in East Timor comes from. We monitored the bilateral aid programs of the United States, the European Union and Brazil. We were part of the NGO delegation to the Dili Development Partners’ (Donors’) conference held in June and in December, presenting recommendations to the meeting (together with other NGOs) and reporting on the conference.

We have prioritized investigating the role of UNMISET particularly its responsibility for internal security and analysis of the current situation in East Timor with respect to UNMISET’s mandate finishing in May. We have monitored and reported on developments in the exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in the Timor Sea. The campaign for justice for East Timor and gender equality continue to be core elements of our work.

Through the information we disseminated during the first half of 2003 we have raised awareness of the activities of actors like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This is particularly important as debates about loans and the ‘no debt’ policy are becoming more present in the public arena with the increasing likelihood that East Timor may have to seek external financing to cover a budget shortfall. It will become critical should East Timor consider entering into a Poverty Reduction Strategy agreement with the World Bank.

Information about UNMISET has served to provide East Timorese individuals and organizations with an objective analysis of UNMISET’s responsibilities and obligations which need to be met when its mandate finishes next year, and to increase the level of public debate about whether the mandate should or should not be extended. Our objective reports on the Timor Sea are crucial in providing information concerning negotiations over the maritime border with Australia.

In addition to our investigations, we often work in coalition with other East Timorese NGOs on current issues. On 15 February, we were one of the main organizers of a demonstration in Dili against the impending war in Iraq. As part of the international day of mobilization for peace, more than 100 East Timorese were joined by some international supporters in walking to the U.S., British and Australian Embassies in Dili, and in speaking with the Ambassadors of the U.S. and U.K. In May, two of our staff represented East Timor at the Global Peace Movement conference in Jakarta, and we facilitated the visit of Phyllis Bennis, one of the keynote speakers at that conference, to East Timor immediately afterwards.

In March and April, we researched, protested and analyzed an immigration law being considered by East Timor’s parliament which would have violated the constitutional rights of foreigners and severely limited the ability of East Timor to benefit from international visitors, tourists, investors and volunteers. The law was passed by Parliament, but parts of it were ruled unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal, and the President vetoed it. At this writing, the issue is not yet resolved.

La’o Hamutuk staff authored three chapters for a forthcoming book edited by David Webster with photographs by Elaine Brière. Our contributions on “The Next Luta: Developing an Independent East Timor,” “Timor Gap: Incomplete Independence,” and “Culture and Resistance” will be published in Canada in 2004. In addition, we wrote many articles for local newspapers and other publications, which are listed in Appendix V.


The La’o Hamutuk Bulletin is one of our primary media tools. We aimed to publish the Bulletin every six weeks and we have increased our circulation in both English (1,500) and Indonesian (3,000) to meet the growing demand. We distribute the Bulletin free to schools, churches, government offices, and international and local NGOs throughout East Timor, with help from district-based organizations. Within Dili, we deliver the Bulletin to foreign embassies, the offices of the World Bank, ADB and IMF, government offices, hotels, restaurants, libraries, and other public places as well as key decision-makers in United Nations Headquarters, foreign embassies and East Timor’s donor governments. The Bulletin is also circulated by email and posted on the Internet. See Appendix II for a list of the Bulletin articles published during the reporting period.

We have undertaken an extensive evaluation of the Bulletin with questionnaires distributed by hand and through email in Indonesian and English. The evaluation showed that our wide readership finds the Bulletin’s articles, drawings and diagrams informative and useful. We also learned that our readers wanted a glossary of the more difficult vocabulary.

Radio Programs and Public Meetings

Radio remains a critical tool in disseminating information, and is the only medium which reaches all of East Timor. La’o Hamutuk produces a weekly radio program in Tetum in which experts and activists, interviewed by La’o Hamutuk staff, share their diverse knowledge with the larger community in every district in East Timor.

At the beginning of the year we continued our weekly radio programs with Radio Timor Leste but we stopped in February as broadcast quality and editing were poor. We began working with community radio producers at Radio Rakambia who also agreed to train La’o Hamutuk staff in the radio editing software. As a result we are currently able to pre-record and edit our own program, improving its quality.

We currently use Radio Timor Kmanek for our weekly radio program because of its superior broadcast quality. We record the live shows which we edit and produce our own radio programs. These are distribute to Radio Timor Leste, Radio Rakambia and community radio stations outside of Dili.

We had plans to commission radio dramas about areas that LH had researched as we thought we would better be able to explain more complex issues in the form of a radio drama. We engaged a local theatre to produce our first drama on the history of the Timor sea negotiations which was aired throughout East Timor. Although we felt this program was successful we did not engage further radio dramas as it engaged too much staff time.

As planned, we increased both the production quality and the number of stations airing our weekly radio program. We are now able to edit our own professional quality radio programs which greatly increases our ability to expand our audience and distribute information on important issues. It has been critical in penetrating rural audiences in areas our Bulletin does not reach.

The radio programs are listed in Appendix III.

La’o Hamutuk organized a number of meetings on critical issues facing East Timor for NGOs, journalists, government and other interested East Timorese and international people. Appendix IV lists the public meetings we organized and presentations we gave during 2003.

Popular Education

Surat Popular

La’o Hamutuk publishes a ‘People’s Page,’ the Surat Popular, a four- to eight-page illustrated Tetum publication which aims to bring our work to the grassroots of the country with language and concepts accessible to people without much formal education. During the reporting period we published and distributed three issues:

During this period La’o Hamutuk staff visited several rural communities to refine the use of the Surat Popular as a discussion tool, and to demonstrate this use to local community organizers: Dare (Dili District), Ulmera (Liquisa District), Behau (Manatuto District) Iliomar (Lautem District), Uatucarbau (Viqueque District), Maubisse (Aileu District) and Maukatai and Suai Kota (Suai District). Combined with the radio program the Surat Popular has proved vital for bringing issues such as negotiations over the Timor Sea resources to rural communities as well as providing people with objective information about microfinance.

La’o Hamutuk is improving the use of Surat Popular in the districts, training other local organizations on how to use Surat Popular, including Naroman Bukoli, the Sa’he Institute for Liberation, Fokupers, Perkumpulan HAK, Haburas, Dai Popular and Asosiasaun Mane Kontra Violensia.

Intercambios (Exchanges)

As a joint East Timorese-international organization with strong ties with East Timor’s international solidarity network, La’o Hamutuk is well positioned to coordinate international exchanges between East Timorese activists and development workers, educators, and activists from other countries. These south-to-south exchanges help to build and strengthen solidarity relationships and broaden discussions of development models.

During 2003 La’o Hamutuk organized an exchange visit with the Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther Jr.(CMLK) in Havana, Cuba in October and a second exchange with Oilwatch/Africa in Nigeria.

The Cuba exchange aimed to deepen participants understanding and practice of popular education in the areas of health, agriculture, economy and education. Consequently, it aimed to develop popular tools and alternatives for sustainable social and economic development at the grassroots, empowering popular participation in East Timorese society. The CMLK in Cuba is deeply committed to the principles and methodology of popular education, and has vast experience in training and promoting study sessions for community organizing and social activism. These trainings and study sessions aim to enable grassroots community organizers to be better able to effectively encourage popular participation and, in the people from the most oppressed sectors of society, a strong awareness of themselves and their capacities to become actors in social transformation.

Since the participants returned from Cuba they have carried out a series of discussions and organized two workshops together with Dai Popular, the East Timorese popular educators network, to share their experiences. The participants are also currently writing up their individual experiences which they will compile in a memorial book which is due to be published in May 2004.

As East Timor begins to extract oil and gas from the Timor Sea, the new nation must avoid repeating the mistakes of other countries, where oil development often brings war, corruption, repression and poverty. One of the worst examples of this is in Nigeria, and La’o Hamutuk sent a delegation to Ogoniland, Nigeria to help the East Timorese people better understand the effects of oil and gas development on the environment, local communities, and national politics. In this exchange East Timorese activists who have been working with the Timor Gap issue visited sites of oil and gas extraction in Nigeria and talked with the communities which suffered from this development, as well as exchanging strategies, experiences and ideas with African Oilwatch activists.

Globalization and International Financial Institutions

La’o Hamutuk continues to monitor the activities of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank in East Timor with particular reference to the economic independence of East Timor.

During 2003, as East Timor continued to explore political independence, serious issues arose over its future economic independence. Delays in oil revenues from the Bayu Undan oil field, the gradual withdrawal of donor budget support and the fledgling state of the domestic economy means that East Timor currently faces a budget shortfall of US$134 million over the period from 2003 until 2007.

The East Timorese government is currently exploring all available options in order to reduce the shortfall however current estimates indicate that it will be unable to finance its own budget until oil revenues come on line. This makes the option of engaging in a loan from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank very likely in the short term future. In the past the work of La’o Hamutuk has been critical in raising awareness about IFIs and their policies amongst civil society. This is even more important now particularly in engendering public debate about the options East Timor faces, and in particular how a World Bank/Asian Development Bank loan would be used. This work has also built a strong foundation for broad public participation in developing and critiquing a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper should East Timor’s government enter into such an agreement.

La’o Hamutuk has continued to work closely with the government and other civil society organizations. Early on in the year La’o Hamutuk staff participated in an internal evaluation of the World Bank’s Community Empowerment Program as part of government initiative. La’o Hamutuk played a key role in raising government awareness of the need to undertake policy research independent from international organizations. La’o Hamutuk is currently playing a leading role in the follow up government/civil society initiative which will focus on analyzing the impact of borrowing. This remains of crucial importance particularly as the only evaluation currently being undertaken is by the World Bank.

La’o Hamutuk continues to work closely with outside organizations outside of East Timor where we share information and ideas. La’o Hamutuk has maintained a close relationship with Bangkok-based NGO Focus on the Global South and has more recently linked with UK based NGO the Bretton Woods Project. These links remain very important for La’o Hamutuk particularly in terms of gaining technical expertise and experience.

East Timor’s position in the global economy remains disadvantageous. It is a small economy heavily reliant on imports and up against powerful economic competitors. A key issue for the government and people of East Timor involves addressing the need for equitable economic growth. La’o Hamutuk’s role is vital, particularly as the discussion of the pros and cons of foreign direct investment becomes more audible, in monitoring and analyzing the impact of current and future investment and foreign companies looking to begin operations here.

Throughout 2003 La’o Hamutuk staff have taken a leading role in the Dili-based Study Group on the World Bank and the IMF (Kelompok Kajian Bank Dunia/IMF). Through the Study Group which continues to meet regularly to share information and decide on activities we are able to raise awareness amongst other organizations working in East Timor on the impact of international finance institutes. In the first half of the year the Study Group focused on education and advocacy holding discussions with local organizations interested in learning more about how globalization and the international finance institutions affect their work. The Study Group plans to increase its campaign advocacy work using radio, monthly papers and holding discussions.

Petroleum Development and East Timor's Future

The oil and gas resources under the Timor Sea are essential to the economic independence and development of East Timor. With the ratification of the Timor Sea treaty in March 2003, East Timor and Australia have agreed to share revenues within the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA). The Sunrise International Unitization Agreement (IUA) defining resources outside the JPDA, has been signed but will not come into effect until ratified by both parliaments. Both of these are temporary agreements, to be replaced by a permanent maritime boundary once Australia and East Timor have agreed.

The most immediate critical issue is that boundary. Under the interim arrangements (and considering areas not covered by them), Australia will receive revenues from about 60% of the Timor Sea petroleum resources that should belong to East Timor if the boundary were drawn in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) principles. According to La’o Hamutuk’s analysis, which we presented to East Timor’s development partners (donors) in December 2003, East Timor is by far the largest foreign contributor to Australia’s government budget. This new, impoverished country has unwillingly given its rich neighbor more than one billion U.S. dollars in petroleum revenues since 1999.

Our work has been a valuable resource and reference for others trying to learn about this complex issue as it continues to develop. We have increased the involvement of East Timorese civil society in the maritime boundary process and campaigned for the participation of East Timorese in employment opportunities and transparency in the decision making process.

During 2003, the Independent Information Center on the Timor Sea (CIITT), an East Timorese NGO coalition which La’o Hamutuk helped start in 2002, consolidated its structure. This has increased the effectiveness of groups and individuals advocating for social, economic and environmental justice relating to these resources, and involved a wider range of East Timorese civil society.

Throughout the year, we educated and mobilized people about the boundary question and related issues. Our Tetum-language radio drama on these issues has been broadcast on radio stations across East Timor. We published the “La’o Hamutuk OilWeb” CD-ROM with hundreds of documents and analyses, as well as audiovisual resources, and have updated it several times. More than 150 copies of the CD-ROM have been distributed to government officials, activists, journalists and academics in East Timor and around the world. To reach a different audience, La’o Hamutuk published an illustrated, Tetum-language Surat Popular explaining the boundary history and controversy. We also wrote three chapters for a forthcoming Canadian book on East Timor, including one on oil issues. Our August 2003 Bulletin, with 12 pages (14 in Bahasa Indonesia) of comprehensive information on East Timor’s oil and gas developments, was written in collaboration with a range of experts from international civil society, East Timor’s government, and the bi-national Timor Sea Designated Authority. It continues to serve as an introduction and reference for people around the world supporting East Timor’s rights.

In March, Adriano de Nascimento and Charles Scheiner participated in a government-sponsored international Oil and Mining conference in Dili, challenging Woodside Petroleum for their participation in Australia’s theft of East Timor resources. We arranged for maritime law expert Jeffrey Smith to discuss issues with NGOs and other interested individuals and groups. In June, La’o Hamutuk wrote a detailed submission to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties regarding the International Unitization Agreement for the Greater Sunrise gas field.

We believe it will take a variety of tactics to change Australia’s position on boundaries -- private negotiations, public campaigning, use of civil society in East Timor, Australia and other countries, invoking pressure from other governments, etc. Together with activists in Australia and the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) in the United States, we broke through the media and disinformation blockade on many occasions, and persuaded some in the U.S. Congress to support East Timor. In October, the Guardian newspaper (London, UK) published La’o Hamutuk’s letter “Australia the oil bully”, raising the issue with a larger international audience. The following month, just before the first round of Australia-East Timor boundary negotiations, ETAN and La’o Hamutuk wrote and organized a letter to Australian Prime Minister John Howard from more than 100 NGOs in 18 countries. Those groups are the foundation of an international network we are building to pressure Australia to follow international law on boundaries. We are also working closely with a new and re-energized network of Australian activists to form the Timor Sea Justice Campaign there.

The first Dili-Canberra “talks about talks” about maritime boundaries took place in mid-November, with frustrating results from East Timor. It became clear to all that Australia is resisting settling the boundary for decades, while it profitably depletes resources from disputed territory. Partly as a result, East Timor’s government now supports the multi-faceted approach long practiced by La’o Hamutuk, and is working in parallel with us to wage a comprehensive, international public campaign to change Canberra’s position.

During 2003, it became clear that revenues from Bayu-Undan, East Timor’s largest oil field currently under development, will come in about a year later than projected, resulting in a $126 million government deficit (“Financing Gap”) for the 2005-2007 period. La’o Hamutuk helped to explain the reasons for this “gap,” which relate to poor planning and the failure of international consultants to provide for predictable technical delays. We continue to analyze the options for closing the “gap,” and to use it to illustrate the vulnerability of an economy which relies on a small number of oil fields.

All over the world, newly-independent, impoverished or developing countries have suffered severe negative environmental, social, economic and political consequences as a result of exploiting their petroleum and mineral resources. In an effort to make East Timor an exception to the pattern, La’o Hamutuk has been researching and distributing information about their problems and possible solutions. We have shared information with and about such initiatives as Transparency International, the Open Society Institute, and Publish What You Pay to examine if it is relevant to East Timor’s situation, and we have encouraged the oil companies and East Timor’s government to be more transparent about oil developments and about how the revenues will be saved and spent. As a result of our inquiries, the government decided to release the contracts between the oil companies and the Timor Sea Designated Authority to the public.

La’o Hamutuk has deepened its relationship with Oilwatch, an international activist network resisting the negative effects of petroleum development in tropical forest countries. In August, Charles Scheiner visited the international secretariat of Oilwatch in Quito, Ecuador, and he participated in Oilwatch’s biannual general meeting in Cartagena, Colombia in September. Together with Oilwatch’s Nigerian affiliate Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, La’o Hamutuk organized an intercambio (exchange), and we are sending seven East Timorese NGO representatives to the Niger Delta in January 2004. Building and consolidating ties with people campaigning on similar issues globally and in Southeast Asia continues to be an integral part of our work.

La’o Hamutuk’s work in this area during 2003 surpassed all our goals, with one exception. We had hoped to complete the exchange with Nigeria during this year, but delays in fund-raising, logistical problems, and holidays delayed it until January 2004.


The East Timorese people continue to pursue both justice and reconciliation as the new nation grapples with its history. Since international actors -- Portugal, Japan, and Indonesia (supported by many other governments) -- have committed the great majority of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor, the international community has an ongoing responsibility to support East Timorese victims’ right to hold perpetrators accountable.

Much of La’o Hamutuk’s justice work is done in coordination with the East Timor National Alliance for an International Tribunal, a civil society coalition of which we are one of the most active members. Among the activities we participated in during 2003 were:

  • Consultation with victims in districts around the country about their wishes for justice, disseminating information about legal processes and collecting feedback to inform our advocacy.

  • Advocacy with visiting UN and foreign officials about the continuing unfilled need for accountability, as well as interviews and articles in local and international media, sometimes in response to comments from East Timor or other government officials.

  • Seminars at universities in Dili about alternatives for resolving serious crimes.

  • A peaceful demonstration and leafleting on 4 July at the party at the residence of the United States ambassador.

  • A commemoration statement and event on 7 December, the 28th anniversary of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor.

  • Planning and discussion for a “People’s Indictment” where legal experts from Asia would evaluate the evidence for bringing some of the Indonesian and other masterminds to trial. Originally planned for December 2003, this has been rescheduled for May 2004.

La’o Hamutuk took the lead in educating and disseminating information about the Immigration and Asylum Law which was discussed in parliament between March and May. The law, which violates East Timor’s Constitution as well as international human rights conventions East Timor has ratified, was written in secret by the Council of Ministers and passed virtually unchanged by Parliament after extensive debate. La’o Hamutuk, both individually and as part of the NGO Working Group to Study the Immigration and Asylum Bill, analyzed the bill’s legal aspects as well as its impact on foreigners and on East Timor’s economy, conveying our findings in newspaper articles, public meetings, and letters to officials. At the request of President Xanana Gusmão, the Court of Appeal ruled that at least two of the bill’s articles are unconstitutional, and the President vetoed the bill in July. Parliament overrode the veto and the bill became law in October, although it has not yet been enforced. Some of its provisions could be interpreted to outlaw the work of non-Timorese in La’o Hamutuk (such as bans on participating “in demonstrations, parades, rallies and meetings of a political nature”, committing “acts against national security, public order or good morals,” or “activities in the National Territory [which] constitute a threat to the interests and dignity of the RDTL or its citizens”, or joining an association with purposes other than culture, religion, recreation, sports or charity). La’o Hamutuk has decided to continue with internationals and Timorese working openly together in peaceful, nonpartisan, nonviolent activities, overtly disobeying some sections of this law.

Our most extensive justice investigation during 2003 explored the purpose and operations of East Timor’s Commission for Truth, Reception and Reconciliation (CAVR). La’o Hamutuk interviewed many CAVR staff, experts and others, and wrote an extensive report in our November Bulletin, pointing out the contradiction of promoting reconciliation among East Timorese low-level perpetrators and their victims, while little priority is given to holding high-level perpetrators accountable. Throughout the year, we attended CAVR events. Together with the International Federation for East Timor (IFET), we prepared and distributed a searchable archive CD-ROM of articles and reports relating to East Timor’s history from 1991 through 2002, which we provided to CAVR and others as a research tool.

La’o Hamutuk closely followed developments in the hybrid UN/East Timor Serious Crimes Unit and Special Panel courts which are investigating, indicting and attempting to try those who committed crimes against humanity and other serious crimes in East Timor up to 1999. When the SCU indicted former Indonesian Army Chief General Wiranto and other high-ranking officials in February, we prepared a memo on the legal and political steps in the process which should have ensued, and expressed our opposition to efforts by the UN and East Timor’s government to distance themselves from it. Throughout 2003, we continued to dialog with officials, local and international media, and NGOs about the lack of success in obtaining Indonesian and international cooperation for justice, and about the sham “ad hoc human rights court” trials in Jakarta.

Also in the justice area, we had a number of less significant activities:

  • Monitored the process of East Timor signing, ratifying, and acceding to various human rights and other international conventions.

  • Analyzed and commented on the implications of East Timor’s Appellate Court overruling basic law here by replacing Indonesian law with Portuguese law in the absence of UNTAET or RDTL statutes (this was later reversed by parliament).

  • Published an article about the “Impunity Agreement” between RDTL and United States government, in which RDTL agrees not to turn over U.S. staffers to the International Criminal Court. This was quietly approved by the Council of Ministers in September, breaking earlier government promises to send it to Parliament.

  • Published a report on UNMISET and internal security, focusing on the relations between international and local police officers.

  • One of our staffers, Mericio Juvenal, was selected to attend the three-week International Human Rights Training Program in Montreal by the Canadian Human Rights Foundation.

  • Throughout the year, we continued to ask the RDTL government and the United Nations to be more forthcoming with information about responsibility for the civil unrest on 4 December 2002.

We accomplished the tasks we had intended to carry out during 2003, helping to inform and mobilize both East Timorese and internationals to support justice and human rights for East Timor, and to encourage the government here to keep its commitments. Unfortunately, due to political realities, our ultimate goal -- an international tribunal or other effective mechanism to hold criminal masterminds accountable for what they did in East Timor, were not realized. We were also disappointed by the readiness of East Timor’s government to ignore its constitutional and other commitments to human rights, and had to undertake several unplanned projects in response to legislative initiatives.


La’o Hamutuk has greatly increased the level of involvement with coalitions with other East Timorese NGOs, where our involvement is usually pivotal in providing drive and direction. Our staff participates in various local coalitions, including the East Timorese Association of Men Against Violence and National Movement Against Violence that work to end gender-based violence, the Global Peace Movement, the popular educator’s network (Dai Popular), CIITT (see above), and projects relating to justice, human rights, international conferences and training. In recognition of our expertise and leadership, La’o Hamutuk staffers are often chosen to represent the NGO community in international conferences and training activities.

Kelompok Kajian Bank Dunia/IMF (Study group on the World Bank and IMF)

La’o Hamutuk staff in the study group have been leading discussions on the World Bank and IMF with local NGOs working in a range of areas to raise awareness of international finance institutes and their impact on grass roots work.


La’o Hamutuk plays a key role in the East Timorese Association of Men Against Violence (AMKV), a national organization of East Timorese men working to end gender-based violence. La’o Hamutuk staff have played a crucial role in raising AMKV’s profile and organizing workshops at the grassroots level to discuss gender issues as part of national campaign against gender-based violence.


La’o Hamutuk staff hold pivotal positions in National Movement Against Violence (MNKV), a national network of East Timorese NGOs working to end gender-based violence. Two La’o Hamutuk staff have been crucial in organizing MNKV campaigns and grassroots workshops against violence, as well as radio and television talkshows and theatre shows against violence.

Global Peace Movement

La’o Hamutuk staff consolidated links with other groups working to promote peace, justice and solidarity against war and violence at the International Peace Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in May.

Dai Popular (East Timorese Popular Educators’ Network)

Dai Popular was formed in August 2001 by nine civil society organizations who had participated in the East Timor-Brazil international exchange organized by La’o Hamutuk. Since its formation, the network has grown to include 36 different organizations committed to “a collective process to strengthen popular education methods as a tool for social transformation in East Timor.” La’o Hamutuk’s involvement in Dai Popular as a member of the Secretariat remains critical, particularly in providing guidance and facilitating contact with popular educators working in other countries. La’o Hamutuk led a Dai Popular meeting on popular methods of literacy in the Baucau district in January. La’o Hamutuk staff organized and participated in an exchange trip to Cuba in November.

Resource Center and Library

Since January 2003 La’o Hamutuk has worked hard to develop the library which has been moved to a separate part of our building. La’o Hamutuk has purchased several Indonesian books to add to the collection covering international institutions, bilateral and multilateral aid, and development in general as well as reference books, videos and computer media. Further books have been donated by La’o Hamutuk staff and activists. We have also added to our resources through our exchange trips and participation in international events and conferences particularly in terms of resources on gender, popular education, poverty reduction strategies and extractive industries. Throughout 2003 La’o Hamutuk staff have been active in an initiative from National University of Timor Leste to increase links with NGOs with resource centers to share expertise and resources. Through our investigations, files and documents are added to the filing cabinets which document much of the involvement of international institutions in East Timor since 1999.

La’o Hamutuk’s resource center and library carries books and documents in English, Indonesian, Portuguese and Tetum on topics including international development theory and practice, international aid, globalization, East Timorese history and culture, and case studies from other countries relating to these topics. Our resource center also includes locally published newspapers and magazines such as the Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosa’e, Talitakum, Verde, and Cidadaun. We have made links with other resource centers and libraries in East Timor and are often visited by students, national and international NGO workers, activists, journalists and researchers looking for information on current issues and international actors in East Timor. La’o Hamutuk also continues to sell books on East Timor and international development issues, with the goal of getting good information out to interested internationals. Most of the books we carry come from the Australia-East Timor Association in Melbourne.

Strategic Assessment

In May 2000, La’o Hamutuk held a two-day strategic planning workshop, involving our staff, Executive Board, and people we work closely with. We reviewed the strategic plan we had made in 2002 and through open and productive discussion evaluated our activities and programs. We also discussed adjustments to our programs and internal structure, and set priorities and staff assignments for the next six months. There was consensus about continuing La’o Hamutuk’s mission and fundamental principles, as well as our major program areas. We also decided to undertake an assessment of our readership and listenership to make our materials more useful, and to improve the accessibility of our publications and radio program.

In November La’o Hamutuk held a second six month strategic planning workshop. We critically reviewed the strategic plan formulated in May and recognized fundamental issues that we needed to resolve in order to achieve our objectives. These included reviewing our editorial process; reaffirming investigations and monitoring as the core of La’o Hamutuk’s work particularly as we realized that we were increasing taking on more work not explicitly part of La’o Hamutuk’s priorities; reaffirming our commitment to mutual transfer of skills and capacity within in the organization.

Our discussions also focused on our internal administration and the need for awareness of our individual administrative responsibilities and the importance of inter staff communication. Of particular importance was the realization of the increased diversity of our activities and responsibilities and the impact these have on our work. We confirmed the importance of an active Executive Board in our work and decided to replace board members who were unable to participate due to outside commitments. We also recognized that our previous strategic plan was too ambitious. During the open and inclusive planning session we focused on creating a solid, realistic plan and rigorously reaffirmed our commitment to achieving our goals.

III. Plans for 2004

During 2003 we have reflected on our staff capabilities, programs and internal administration. Through 2004 we aim to consolidate and refine our internal systems and basic programs, which work well and will continue.

Our personnel will remain around 10. As we have realized the importance of a well functioning and sound financial system we are currently looking to employ a new member of staff to focus on finances. We also hope to attract experienced volunteers both in East Timor and around the world. We also hope to replace a member of our governing board. Appendix VI profiles our staff and board.

As recognized in our strategic planning the continuing need for increased capacity in our staff will result in continuing in house training as well as courses, such as English classes, if necessary and available. We also hope to refine the use of the editorial team as means for providing guidance and instruction in writing and research skills.

Our radio program will increase with plans to construct an in-house radio studio. We have become increasingly aware of the importance of radio as a medium for relaying information particularly in areas outside Dili. The studio will increase our capacity to provide professional quality programs quickly and efficiently. It will obviate the need to use facilities outside of the office which have sometimes produced poor quality programs. We hope to increase the number of programs we produce using the articles published in our Bulletin. Crucially, it will also allow us to interview experts on the issues we concerned with live and direct. We will make copies of all radio programs to distribute to community radio stations outside of Dili.

We also have plans to increase the size of our resource centre. We plan to further extend our office space to make a separate room for a new resource centre. This will also make room for the increased number of Bulletin issues as well as books, and archives collected as part of our research. The new resource centre will also make use of a new television and video which were donated to us. With a computer we hope to provide access to the considerable electronic data we have available including our own intranet and resources on our Oilweb CD-ROM. We hope to combine our resources with other organizations and provide a space for a more central library.

During 2004 we will continue to be a driving and motivating presence in our coalitions in order to reach a larger audience. We will also be aware of the time we spend as part of these coalitions. We aim to publish at least eight Bulletins and five Surat Populars. We plan to hold at least 10 public meetings and broadcast more than 40 radio programs.

For 2004, our highest priorities for investigation and monitoring are as follows. In each of these areas, we will analyze impacts on gender and power relations. In a change from the last year we have given all our priorities equal importance. We have discontinued monitoring of relations between Australia and Indonesia separately as it overlaps with our work on natural resources (Timor Sea oil) and justice.

International Finance Institutes

Although Trust Fund for East Timor projects are drawing to a close the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund continue to have a strong influence on government policies and directing East Timor’s development process. In the near future it is very possible that East Timor will take out a development loan. Our first Bulletin focuses on the IMF involvement in East Timor’s finance institutes and throughout the rest of the year we will be looking at the impact of borrowing with a focus on the electricity sector. We will continue to participate in the IFI study group. Our constructive relationship with Focus on the Global South will continue and we hope to consolidate and extend our contact with other groups working for sustainable, people-centered development.

Bilateral Aid to East Timor

East Timor continues to rely on international donors for budgetry support, and will do so for the near future. We will continually monitor the programs and projects on international donors and advocate for more accountability and relevancy to the needs of East Timorese people.

International companies and markets

East Timor remains heavily import dependent, with export earnings limited to coffee. As this area was neglected during 2003 we have prioritized this for 2004. A large number of international companies operate in East Timor, and opportunities in East Timor’s public sector look likely to be exploited. East Timor’s investment laws have not yet been established, and regulation of transnational corporations will be difficult, requiring civil society awareness and vigilance. Other issues like cheap imports substituting for locally made products, trafficking in illegal migrant workers, and protection of workers from exploitation will also require attention.

United Nations

The United Nations will continue to maintain a strong presence in East Timor and most probable continue after UNMISET’s mandate ends in May. We will review the role of the Peace Keeping Forces, UN police and the Serious Crime Unit. We will continue to monitor the role of international advisors and the activities of the UN agencies.


During the coming year, we will continue to investigate and advocate on areas we worked on during 2003, with priority given to the Alliance for an International Tribunal, the Serious Crimes Process, and CAVR. With the Alliance, we will advocate for meaningful processes of justice, as well helping to organize the Public Indictment international event in May. Our first major investigation will be about the Serious Crimes Unit and the Special Panels, and the many problems preventing effective implementation of justice, as well as exposing actions from officials which undermine it. Our CAVR work builds on research done last year, with special attention on influences on CAVR’s final report in October 2004, as well as on the content of that report. We also hope to do more on human rights, including follow process (or the lack thereof) of accountability for the December 2002 unrest, East Timor’s participation in international human rights conventions, the activities of East Timor’s police, and laws such as the Internal Security Act and the Immigration and Asylum law which contradict basic human rights. Throughout the year, we expect to work closely with other justice-focused local NGOs, especially Perkumpulan HAK and the Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme.

Natural Resources (oil and gas)

We will continue to strengthen campaigns to change Australia’s position on boundaries, working closely with people from Australia and around the world as well as in East Timor, and building East Timor’s involvement and profile in Oilwatch and other international networks. We will continue to monitor and explain development of the Timor Sea projects, with an increased focus on their environmental and social impacts.

We will also intensify our research and advocacy on the use of East Timor’s oil revenues, to make the process transparent, to ensure that they benefit the people, and to safeguard East Timor’s most significant resource birthright for future generations. We will monitor the legislative and regulatory process for defining East Timor’s petroleum fund and taxation rules, utilizing outside expertise and resources when appropriate. As the Sunrise gas project (largest in the Timor Sea) moves closer to implementation, we will analyze the options for its development, which include pipelines to East Timor or Australia, or the world’s first floating natural gas liquification plant.

We also plan to begin to look at East Timor’s on-shore oil and other mineral resources, and the companies involved in their exploration.


International influences on the role and purpose of the East Timorese defense forces are considerable. We will monitor the impact of international assistance in the training and equipping of East Timorese military forces and the creation of the organic law for the military forces.

East Timor’s relations with Portuguese-speaking countries

East Timor has a close relationship with Portugal and other Portuguese speaking countries, who provide significant aid, training and people to East Timor. We also assess the cultural impact on East Timorese society and how the Community of Portuguese speaking countries impacts on political developments in East Timor.

We hope to organize two international exchanges during 2004. We hope to bring activists from the Brazilian landless movement (MST) to East Timor during the first half of the year. The second exchange has not been finalized.


Appendix I: Financial Information

All amounts are specified in United States dollars. La’o Hamutuk’s fiscal year is the calendar year. By mid-2004, we will have an audited financial statement for 2003.

To maintain our independence and objectivity, La’o Hamutuk does not accept funding from institutions with major involvement in East Timor – the UN and its agencies, the World Bank, ADB, IMF, the governments of the largest donors, or multinational corporations doing business here.

La’o Hamutuk works hard to keep our expenses down. Our international staff are paid the same as our East Timorese staff ($400/month), a high local wage, but extraordinarily low compared to what the UN or international agencies pay foreign staff and “volunteers.” Although La’o Hamutuk pays for one round trip airfare to East Timor for each of our international staff, other international travel is covered by inviting organizations or other donors. International staff accrue a “readjustment” payment of $400 for each month worked up to the end of the first year, which is payable after they finish working with La’o Hamutuk and return to their home country.

Balance at start and close of year

 Cash on handMoney restricted for specific purposesUnrestricted funds
SponsorReadjustment reserve1Health Reserve2Committed funds for 20043
Balance4, 31 December 200298,480(1,990)(12,500)0 83,990
Income during 2003198,6651,66210,10012,449 222,876
Expenditures during 2003144,3275(1,600)(9,600)(449) 132,678
Balance, 31 December 2003156,817(1,928)6(13,000)(12,000)(33,922)91,967
Reserve fund obligations, 31 December 2002 12,5000 
Expenditures from reserve funds(9,600)(449)
New commitments to reserve funds10,100449
Reserve fund obligations, 31 December 200313,00012,000

1 La’o Hamutuk reserves money for the readjustment payment for international staff members. This is accrued at one month’s pay per month for the first year the person works, payable when they return home but set aside into a reserve fund as it is accrued. Two staff members finished their contracts in 2003, and their readjustment was paid in 2003.

2 During 2003 La’o Hamutuk established a health fund for local and international staff. Since there is no health insurance available in East Timor, this is enables both East Timorese and international staff to feel secure that unexpected medical expenses will be covered. Each staff member has the option of purchasing commercial health insurance from abroad (La’o Hamutuk will pay up to $100 a month) or relying on La’o Hamutuk’s ‘self insurance’. We have put $12,000 into this fund and will replenish each year to replace money paid for medical costs.

3 This is money received during 2003 that has already been allocated for specific La’o Hamutuk activities in 2004. See projected 2004 budget.

4 Includes all cash and bank account assets and debts as of the end of 2002.

5 This figure differs from expenses in the expenditures table below as it includes expenditures from restricted funds but does not include transfers from unrestricted funds to reserve funds.

6 This is money in La’o Hamutuk’s accounts which is allocated to a project of the Sa’he Institute for Liberation which La’o Hamutuk manages the funds for. (see “Sponsored Projects” below).



Planning for the future

La’o Hamutuk has now been in operation for four years. Thanks to the generous support of donors, and to economical use of funds we have received, we are in sound financial position. Our size is stable, and we do not want to further expand our staff or activities at a faster rate than current plans indicate. It is time to consider the long-term sustainability of La’o Hamutuk.

At the end of 2003, La’o Hamutuk’s total assets in cash and in banks were $156,817. Of this amount, $33,992 was received early for activities which will take place during 2004. An additional $25,000 is allocated to reserve funds, to be used for unpredictable staff medical costs (in lieu of health insurance) and for the readjustment allowance international staff receive after returning home.

The $97,825 remaining was accumulated approximately equally over the last four years. Although we had planned to spend $20,000 of it on operating expenses during 2003, we had higher income (due to exchange rate variations) and lower expenses (due to staff leaves and vacancies), and finished 2003 with a surplus of approximately $6,000, even without including the $20,000 from previous years.

We now intend to spend $30,000 of this $97,825 to support our operating budget over the next three years, applying $10,000 toward each year’s expenses, and reducing our requests to donors by that amount. We are allocating the remainder into two new reserve funds:

  1. A general operational reserve, with money equal to three months of our average operating budget ($30,000). This is to help us avoid cash flow problems or major unexpected expenses, and is standard for many non-governmental organizations.

  2. A sustainability/capacity reserve, to be used to replace capital equipment (computers, motor bikes, other equipment) as they wear out, and to enhance the capacity of our staff and office, such as for trainings, scholarships or expanding our resource center. Our annual budget includes some funding for these activities, but this reserve will allow us to ensure that La’o Hamutuk is able to maintain our activities and increase our capacity over the long term.

The following table summarizes the information above:

LH end-of-year assetsAmountExplanation
Total cash on hand and in banks156,817 
Grant received early for 200418,172Received from HIVOS and intended for 2004
Intercambios (exchanges)15,750This includes expenses from the Nigeria and Cuba intercambios spent in 2004.
Readjustment reserve13,000La'o Hamutuk sets aside readjustment allowances for international staff on their return home.
Health insurance reserve12,000For staff health expenses, which we will replenish to this level each year.
Spend on activities during next 3 years30,000La'o Hamutuk will allocate $10,000/year to our operating budget over the next three years.
Operational reserve30,000To avoid cash-flow problems, La'o Hamutuk plans to keep approximately three months' worth of expenses in reserve.
Sustainable/capacity reserve32,000To replace motorcycles, computers and other assets as they wear out.
Balance remaining6,323 



Income during 2003

Income2003 projected72003 actualVariation
General support grants for 2003886,400110,20423,8049
Grants designated for specific campaigns103,0001,937-1,063
Grants for sponsored projects112,0001,662-338
Grants for intercambios1240,00065,34525,34513
Donations from individuals1,00015-985
Miscellaneous income147501,326576
Total income133,150180,48947,339
General support grant for 200415 (not included in 2003 budget or graph below)  18,172

7 Projected income for 2003, from the estimated 2003 budget included in our 2002 Annual Report and funding proposals submitted in early 2003.

8 La’o Hamutuk received the following general support grants during the reporting period:

Hivos Foundation (Netherlands)$43,823
Development and Peace (Canada)$20,543
Trocaire (Ireland) $19,929
Handleman Foundation $26,000
Total grants received in 2003 $110,204

9 Part of the reason that grant income exceeded our projections is because the Euro rose significantly relative to the U.S. dollar during the course of 2003. In addition, every proposal we submitted was funded fully, which we had not expected. We are asking our donors if we can apply this surplus to several reserve funds, as described above.

10 La’o Hamutuk received three such grants during 2003:

Oxfam Great Britain$700to attend the Global Peace Movement Conference in Jakarta against the war in Iraq
Focus on the Global South$460to attend the Global Peace Movement Conference
Focus on the Global South $777to attend the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Millenium Development Goals and the Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger

11 La’o Hamutuk is managing the funds for translation and publication by the Sa’he Institute for Liberation of Geoffrey Gunn’s book “East Timor: 500 Years.”

12 La’o Hamutuk received the following grants during 2003 for intercambios (international exchanges):

HIVOS Foundation (Netherlands)$29,087for Nigeria intercambio
Oxfam America$13,380for Cuba intercambio
Oxfam Great Britain $8,185for Cuba intercambio
Development and Peace (Canada) $14,693for Cuba intercambio

13 This is higher than projected because when we made detailed budgets for each intercambio, the expenses were higher, and funding was raised to cover the expenses projected at that time. $15,750 received for intercambios during 2003 is being carried over to 2004, as many of the expenses will be paid in 2004 (the group went to Nigeria in January 2004).

14 Bank interest and sales of books, CD-ROMs and other resources. Some of what was budgeted as donations was actually received as sales of La’o Hamutuk’s publications.

15 The HIVOS Foundation sent $18,172 extra to La’o Hamutuk during 2003 as a result of problems with international banking transfers, resulting in a payment being transferred twice. This is being applied against grants promised by HIVOS to La’o Hamutuk during 2004.

Expenditures durng 2003

This table shows La’o Hamutuk’s expenditure, which were lower than projected. Immediately below the table is an explanation of the variation from the projected budget. See below for a breakdown of expenditure by project.

ExpenseProjected budget for 20032003 actualVariation
Equipment (computers, furniture and motorcycles)11,2008,204-2,99619
Financial (audit and fiscal sponsor fees)202,7002,908208
Office supplies and services6,9004,879-2,02121
Communications (telephone and internet)7,2004,852-2,34822
Popular Education1,600693-908
Issue campaigns4,0004,414414
Resource Center450315-135
Intercambios (exchanges)40,00046,0246,02424
Sponsored projects3,9901,600-2,390
Office expansion and rent8,0003,823-4,17725


16 Includes wages ($42,070), wage tax ($3,080), health insurance ($1,164), La’o Hamutuk ‘self’ health insurance reserve fund ($12,000) housing allowance ($2,900) and readjustment set-aside for international staff ($10,100).

17 This figure includes $12,000 set aside for La’o Hamutuk’s ‘self’ health insurance reserve which was established in 2003.

18 Printing costs were reduced as the number of Bulletins published was five instead of the projected eight. Diminished staff numbers during the year due to illness and participation in exchange/training trips outside of East Timor as well as staff time being occupied by participation in outside coalitions have also been factors which we have addressed. We have also revised our editorial process to make it more time efficient.

19 Our purchases during 2003 included three motorbikes, two desktop computers and one laptop as well as new desks and a filing cabinet. By carefully selecting our supplies we ensured that our expenditure remained low.

20 To enable U.S. tax-deductibility for grants and donations within the United States, La’o Hamutuk pays a 5% fiscal sponsorship fee on these grants to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, (339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012-2725 USA. +1(212)533-4335 ajmusteinst@igc.org).

21 Prices in East Timor have become more stable due to the UN withdrawal. Costs of general office supplies like stationary were lower than expected.

22 At the time of writing the 2003 budget we were uncertain about the new tariffs for internet access and telephone calls. The new company Timor Telecom introduced tariffs which were significantly lower than Telstra which previously operated in East Timor.

23 Projected spending on radio included commissioning a local drama group to produce radio plays. One play was commissioned but further plays were discontinued due to constraints on staff time. La’o Hamutuk began editing programs in-house reducing the need to out-source editing services.

24 La’o Hamutuk organized two international exchanges during 2003 with significant budgets.

25 The costs of La’o Hamutuk’s office extension was much lower than projected. The total costs of the office extension, rewiring and decorating amounted to $3,817. Our projected expenditure for rent was an estimate since we had not secured a lease for our office. We have secured a five year lease and will pay $120 for 2003.

This table and graph shows our expenses according to the program area and project they were used for. Personnel, supplies and operations costs have been allocated to each program.


Issue campaigns13,140
Popular Education11,601
General Support Grants7,634
Resource Center6,129
Sponsored projects2,545


26 La’o Hamutuk organized two major intercambios during the reporting period (see footnote 12 above for a breakdown of the grants received). As both intercambios were field trips outside East Timor more staff time was spent on this activity than in 2002.

27 Down from 2002 reflecting the increased work involved in the Cuba and Nigeria intercambios.

28 Increased from 2002 as we now edit our own radio programs.



Projected Budget for 2004

The tables below show our planned income and expenditures for 2004. The figures are explained below.


Carry on from 20032910,000
Committed funds from Cuba and Nigeria intercambios15,750
Exchange grants45,20030
Campaign support031
Bank interest800


Misc. incomes200
Grants already provided3295,100
New grants needed


Surat Popular720
Resource center9,78036
Intercambios (international exchanges)60,95037
Issue campaigns4,000
Funds for visiting experts1,79038
Campaign support5,60039
Financial audit1,400
Misc expenses560


29 See table above for an explanation.

30 For international exchanges for 2004 we plan to raise project-specific grants to cover these expenses.

31 La’o Hamutuk has not budgeted for campaign support income. Previously we looked for funds outside to participate in international events as we learned of them. This year we have set aside funds from La’o Hamutuk’s existing budget for travel and accommodation.

32 La’o Hamutuk has received or received the commitments for grant support in 2004:
Government of Finland
HIVOS Foundation (Netherlands) €40,000
($18,172 received in 2003)


33 Operations include office rent as our expenditure in this area is only $120 per year.

34 As we now have the capability to produce our own broadcast quality radio program we plan to build and equip a small radio studio in La’o Hamutuk’s office.

35 Are for editing and recording of La’o Hamutuk video footage.

36 Funds to expand the Resource Center into a separate building and employ a curator/archivist.

37 Includes $15,327 from the Nigeria intercambio and $513 from the Cuba intercambio.

38 To pay travel expenses for experts to participate in public meetings in East Timor.

39 Travel expenses for La’o Hamutuk staff to participate in international events.



Appendix II: Bulletin Focus and Major Articles

Volume 4, 2003

Issue 1 (February)

Issue 2 (March)

Double Issue 3-4 (August) (research for this issue was done during the reporting period)

Issue 5 (November)


Appendix III: Radio Programs


  • Portuguese aid with a focus on their involvement in the East Timorese education sector (Inês Martins, Andrew de Sousa and Joao Sarmento La’o Hamutuk)
  • Australian aid to East Timor (Inês Martins and Joao Sarmento La’o Hamutuk)
  • A chronology of the Timor sea negotiations (Adrian de Nascimento and Inês Martin La’o Hamutuk)
  • The East Timorese Men’s Association against Violence (Tito de Aquino, Men’s Association against Violence)


  • The World Bank’s Transition Support Program (Andrew de Sousa La’o Hamutuk; Julinho Ximenes, Perkumpulan HAK; Mateus Goncalves, Sa’he Institute)
  • Ratification of the Timor Gap treaty (Cecilio Caminho, NGO forum; Avelino Coelho, PST; Adriano de Nascimento La’o Hamutuk)
  • Higher education in East Timor (Cancio Freitas, Director of the Dili Institute of Technology; Justino Aparicio, Director of Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education; Nuno Rodrigues, Sa’he Institute; Agosto, IOB)
  • Literacy (Zelia Fernandes, Gomotil, Diamentino da Cruz, Dai Popular)


  • International Women’s Day (Mericio Juvinal, La’o Hamutuk; Laura Pina, International Rescue Commission)
  • The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (Department of Planning and Finance, Adriano de Nascimento, La’o Hamutuk)
  • Health (Joanna Dias, Clinic PAS)
  • How the health sector can reach the poorest (Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, Ministry of Health; Mericio Juvinal, La’o Hamutuk)


  • NGO Annual General Meeting (José de Costa, Director KSI; Adriano de Nascimento La’o Hamutuk)
  • Immigration Law (Jose Luis Oliveira, Director Perkumpulan HAK)


  • Brazilian aid to East Timor (Adalfredo, Coordinator Distance Learning Program; Marcelino, SENAI)
  • Asian Development Bank (Zacarias de Costa, Asian Development Bank; Tomas Freitas, La’o Hamutuk; Julinho Ximenes, Perkumpulan HAK)
  • Justice (Natercia Gusmão, Special Panel on Serious Crimes; Helder do Carmo, Judge, Special Panel on Serious Crimes; Amado Hei, Perkumpulan HAK)
  • East Timor, Independent for one year (Olimpio Branco, Vice Minister Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Jose Luis Oliveira, Director Perkumpulan HAK)


  • Development and local production (Rui Menezes, Parliament; Agusto, CDEP; Tomas Freitas, La’o Hamutuk)


  • The national budget (Lucia Lobato, PSD; Antonio Freitas, Ministry of Planning and Finance; Cipriana Pereira, Fretilin; Adriano de Nascimento, La’o Hamutuk)
  • Sanitation and the environment (Jose Mestre, Manager Water Supply and Sanitation dept; Deometrio Amaral, Haburas, Tomas Freitas La’o Hamutuk)
  • Informal education in Brazil (Mahafut Baziher, Ministry of Education; Nuno Rodrigues, Sa’he Institute)
  • Popular health (Representatives from government; Joanna, Klinik PAS)


  • The implementation of law in the future (Dionisio Babo, Assosiasaun Makaer Fukun; Vicente Guterres, UDC/PDC; Adriano de Nascimento, La’o Hamutuk)
  • Post-UNMISET (Tomas Freitas, La’o Hamutuk; Augustus Soares Barreto, government CDCU; Antonio Ai Tahan Matak, CPD-RDTL)
  • Serious Crimes Unit (General Procurator, Longuinhos Monteiro; Gary Gray, UNMISET political affairs)
  • Expo Popular (Ego Lemos, Hasatil)
  • The Community Empowerment Project – an evaluation (Mateus Goncalves and Julino Ximenes from the IFI study group)


  • Public indictments (Amado Hei, Alliance for an International Tribunal)
  • Electricity (Virgilio Guterres, Director of Department of Electricity; Lucas da Costa, Rector of University of Dili; Joaquim Amaral, government planning commission; Miguel Manetelo, Energy Association of Indonesia)
  • Prostitution (Isabella Ferreira, Acessora ba Direitos Humanos, Vicente Guterres from the General Prosecutor’s office, Dili)
  • Literacy (GFFTL, Oxfam)


  • Socialization of public indictments (Sixto de Santos and Ano Ximenes, Lipslipo students association)
  • Borrowing from IFIs (the IFI study group; Filomeno Amado, World Bank Watch)
  • Culture (Diamantino da Cruz, Dai Popular)


  • IMF and the Banking and Payments Authority (Luis Quintaneiro, BPA; Kadhim Al-Ayed, IMF)
  • Cuba exchange (Nuno Rodrigues, Sa’he; Maria Jose Guterres, Fokupers; Pedrito Ortensio, Haburas)
  • Popular education and the environment (Diamantino da Cruz, Dai Popular)


  • Sixteen day campaign against violence (Jesuina Soares Cabral, La’o Hamutuk; Sebastiano da Costa, Oxfam)
  • Youth in development (Miguel Manetelo, President of the Council of Youth, Timor Leste)
  • Donors conference (Gastao de Sousa, Ministry of Planning and Finance; Adalgiza Magno, National Parliament)

Appendix IV: Public meetings and presentations

Organized by La'o Hamutuk in Dili except where noted.

25 JanuaryPublic meeting by John Miller of ETAN/USA on International Support for East Timor: From Resistance to Independence.
23-25 FebruaryAdriano do Nascimento presented an East Timorese civil society perspective on the Millennium Development Goals in a workshop organized for the Asia-Pacific Region, organized by UNDP in Bangladesh
7 March Jeffrey Smith, an international lawyer and expert of sea boundary experts from Canada discussed his research on East Timor’s maritime boundary rights.
22 March
Eric Toussaint, a political scientist and expert on International Finance Institutes and Joy Chavez, a researcher with the Focus on the Global South discussed the work of International Finance Institutes in other developing countries and their involvement in East Timor’s National Development Plan.
28 March Charles Scheiner presented an overview and critique of the U.S. led war against Iraq in a public meeting organized by the Sa’he Institute for Liberation, Perkumpulan HAK and other East Timorese activist NGOs.
6 May Adriano do Nascimento attended a conference on Lessons Learned in Southeast Asia and Pacific Peace Processes, organized by European Center for Conflict Presentation & Indonesian Center for Security and Peace Studies where he presented a paper on the role of civil society in conflict prevention and peace-building in East Timor
16 May Charles Scheiner discussed the East Timorese Immigration Law then being discussed in parliament and the future consequences for East Timor at a forum at the Dili Institute of Technology.
20 May Mericio Juvinal spoke on the United Nations reconstruction in East Timor after the end of the Indonesian Occupation at the Global Peace Movement conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.
23 May Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies, USA presented an overview of current U.S. foreign policy with particular emphasis on what the Iraq war and what will follow.
5 June Charles Scheiner and Mericio Juvinal presented an overview of the international institutions working in East Timor and involved in the negotiations in the Timor Sea to the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers.
12 June Charles Scheiner presented a paper ‘Working together for a better East Timor through research’ at a seminar on participatory research and cooperation organized by a delegation of university researchers and interested academics from Thailand.
13 June As a follow up to the La’o Hamutuk Bulletin on internal security and UNMISET’s obligations La’o Hamutuk invited outgoing acting UNPOL Commissioner Dennis McDermott to discuss UNMISET’s current mandate and response to the inadequate police response to the civil disturbances in Dili, 4 December 2002.
8 August Longuinhos Monteiro, the Prosecutor General discussed the activities of the Serious Crimes Unit with particular reference to the future and the culmination of UNMISET in May 2004. He was joined by a UNMISET political affairs officer.
17 September Tomas Freitas attended the Second Regional Workshop on Gender and Poverty Reduction Strategies, organized by the World Bank, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He gave a presentation on monitoring poverty reduction strategies in East Timor.
2 October Emilia Pires from the Ministry of Planning and Finance discussed East Timor’s poverty reduction strategies as based on the National Development Plan. Hao Ling Xhu from UNDP gave a presentation on the Millennium Development Goals.
5 November Luis Quintaneiro from the Banking and Payments Authority with Kadhim Al-Ayed from the IMF gave a presentation on the creation and purpose of the Banking and Payments Authority and banking regulatory systems in East Timor.
12 November Mericio Juvinal and Inês Martins gave a presentation on the role of popular education in the health and education sectors following the exchange trip to Cuba.



Appendix V: Contributions to other publications

DateAuthor(s)Title or subjectPublication
MarchAdriano do NascimentoTimor Gap is a Mysterious Trap

Suara Timor Lorosa'e


Charles ScheinerEast Timor Puts U.S. Soldiers Above the Law

Direito (Perkumpulan HAK)


Charles ScheinerIf the proposed immigration law passes, I could be deported

Timor Post


AprilCharles ScheinerAccomplishments and Challenges After One Year of Independence

Estafeta (ETAN/U.S.)


Inês Martins, Mericio Juvinal, Adriano do Nascimento, Charles Scheiner, Andrew de SousaThree chapters on East Timorese history and developmentForthcoming book to be published in Canada
JuneAkara JuvinalUN Reconstruction in East Timor after the end of the Indonesian OccupationSuara Timor Lorosa’e
Charles ScheinerRole of International Solidarity in East Timor’s liberation

Liberasaun (Sa'he Institute)


Simon FosterThe ADG in East Timor: New Country, Old Tricks

Focus on Trade (Focus on the Global South)


NovemberCharles ScheinerEast Timor gives US soldiers impunity, Quietly

Suara Timor Lorosa'e




Appendix VI: Staff and Executive Board biographies

La’o Hamutuk staff includes ten professionals, seven from East Timor and three from elsewhere, five women and five men. The staff is non-hierarchical and makes decisions collectively, although 2-3 members serve as rotating coordinators to free the rest from routine administrative tasks. All staff members share administrative and program responsibilities, with conscious effort being made to share skills and increase capacities.

During 2003, we benefited from long-term one long term volunteer (Simon Foster) and we hope to have more volunteers and interns in the coming year. People who intern or volunteer with La’o Hamutuk go through a hiring process similar to our international staff and make similar commitments. John Miller and Eric Piotrowski of the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) in New York provided invaluable support by maintaining La’o Hamutuk’s web site.

The following people are on our staff at the close of 2003:

Cassia Bechara

Cassia Bechara arrived in East Timor from Brazil in November 2002 to work with La'o Hamutuk. She graduated in Social Communication and has worked in India with Tibetan refugees, reporting human rights violations in Tibet. For the past two years, she has been involved with indigenous communities and grassroots organizations in Brazil, developing popular and alternative communication methods and working with indigenous and African-Brazilians rights. She speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Tetum. At La'o Hamutuk Cassia focuses on popular education, international exchanges, and investigations of international finance institutes and East Timor’s relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries.

Simon Foster

Having volunteered part time since October 2002 Simon became a full time member of staff in May 2003. He was active on a number of social and environmental issues in the UK. In 1999 he moved to Cambodia where he worked as a teacher prior to working in the publications department at the Cambodian Development Research Institute where he was responsible for copy editing all working papers and bulletins and also for writing policy briefs. For La’o Hamutuk he has been focusing on the Bulletin and international finance institutes, the United Nations and Bilateral Assistance. He is currently completing a Masters in International Development by correspondence from Deakin University, Australia. He speaks English and Tetum and is active in the Association of Men against Violence.

Thomas Sebastião Rosario Freitas

Born in Dili, Thomas studied at Udayana University (Bali) from 1996 until 1999, where he was a member of the then-underground Indonesian People’s Democratic Party (PRD). Thomas was also active in the East Timorese clandestine resistance network, coordinating the Maubere Youth Alliance in Bali. He coordinated the return of over a thousand East Timorese refugees from Bali after the referendum. He was on the Constitutional Working Group Steering Committee, and is a prominent advocate of international justice. Thomas joined La’o Hamutuk in April 2001, and his work includes organizing public meetings and La’o Hamutuk’s weekly radio program, as well as illustrating the Bulletin and Surat Popular, and maintaining close communications with East Timorese NGOs. He speaks Tetum, Indonesian and English. In 2003, Thomas participated in a conferences in Bangkok on civil society attitudes to the Millennium Development Goals; in Siem Reap, Cambodia on gender in poverty reduction strategies; in Fiji on the issue of governance in Asian Development Bank activities.

Selma Hayati

Selma Hayati, an Indonesian activist and human rights attorney, joined La’o Hamutuk in October 2003. Before that, she worked with the Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) in Jakarta from 1994-1998, and then worked with the Asia Monitor Resource Center in Hong Kong until 2000. In East Timor between 2000 and 2002, she worked with Timor Aid, UNTAET, the NGO Forum and Oxfam Australia, before obtaining a masters degree in human rights law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, London). At La’o Hamutuk, she specializes in Natural Resources and justice.

Mericio "Akara" Juvenal

Born in Lospalos, East Timor, Mericio completed an anthropology degree at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta in August 2001. He joined La’o Hamutuk in November 2001. Formerly assistant manager for World Vision International’s shelter program, Mericio also worked with the International Rescue Committee. He founded Centro Cultural Maubere, which promotes East Timorese culture, and Fundasaun Lero, a foundation that builds local skills in education and agriculture. At La’o Hamutuk, Mericio focuses on popular education, international exchanges, and gender. He speaks Tetum, Fatulucu, Indonesian and English. In November 2002, Mericio was invited to a UN conference on Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Hiroshima, Japan. In 2003 Mericio participated in training in human rights with the Canadian human rights foundation, and in the intercambio on popular education in Cuba. He is coordinator of the Men’s Association against Violence.

Yasinta Lujina

Yasinta was born and grew up in Oecusse, the enclave of East Timor surrounded by Indonesia. She studied at the Social Welfare School University in Bandung, Indonesia, and worked at Christian Children’s Fund and Catholic Relief Services before joining La’o Hamutuk in August 2002. She speaks Tetum, Indonesian, and Dawan. With La’o Hamutuk, Yasinta investigates militarization and the impact and influence of international companies and globalization on East Timor. She also coordinates our Bulletin and resource center. In 2003 Yasinta participated in a Global Peace conference in Jakarta.

Inês Martins

Inês was studying economics at the University of East Timor before the Indonesian military destroyed it in September 1999. Born in Bobonaro, East Timor, she worked with ETWAVE (a local NGO which focuses on human rights of women and children). Inês is fluent in Tetum, Portuguese and Indonesian. Inês has been working with La’o Hamutuk since May 2000, and has researched many issues including Portuguese assistance and the coffee sector. She participated in the popular education exchanges to Brazil in July 2001 and Cuba in October 2003, is active in Dai Popular and coordinates La’o Hamutuk’s radio program.

João da Silva Sarmento

João coordinated Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa Timor Timur (East Timor Student Solidarity Council), and was on La’o Hamutuk’s Board, until he joined our staff in August 2002. He studied English at the University of East Timor. His undergraduate thesis is about East Timor’s education system under transition. He also reports for Suara Timor Lorosa’e (STL), a local newspaper. He speaks Tetum, Indonesian, English, Portuguese, Makassae and Javanese. At La’o Hamutuk, João works on natural resources and militarization, and coordinates our public meetings. João is a key member of the radio team, and has been active in campaigning on Timor Sea issues.

Charles Scheiner

A New Yorker, Charlie joined La’o Hamutuk in Dili in August 2001, although he had been supporting the organization from the USA since its inception. A computer engineer by training, Charlie was the National Coordinator of the East Timor Action Network (ETAN/U.S.) and represented the International Federation for East Timor (IFET) at the United Nations since 1992. He was International Coordinator of the IFET Observer project during 1999, and continues to work with IFET in East Timor. He speaks English, French and some Tetum. His work with La’o Hamutuk focuses on the Bulletin, finances, justice, oil and gas, international activist networks, and foreign governments’ roles in East Timor.

Jesuina "Delly" Soares Cabral

Jesuina has been with La’o Hamutuk since July 2001. Delly finished a degree in political science at the University of East Timor while working at La’o Hamutuk. She previously has worked at IRC (International Rescue Committee), and was active in Organisasaun Solidaridade Klosan Timor Lorosa’e (the clandestine predecessor of the East Timor Students Solidarity Council), where she worked on self-determination and gender issues. Delly was spokesperson for the Gender and Constitution Working Group, and represented local NGOs at the East Timor Donors Conference in Norway in 2001 and in Dili in May and December 2002. She also works on administration, transnational corporations and East Timor’s relations with its neighbors, and cooperates with the National Movement Against (gender-based) Violence NGO coalition.

During parts of 2003, La'o Hamutuk staff included:

Adriano do Nascimento

Adriano joined La’o Hamutuk in November 2001. A former English teacher from Suai, Adriano was also very active with the East Timor Student Solidarity Council, KSI (Kdalak Sulimutuk Institute), and other youth groups. Adriano was targeted by militia before the 1999 referendum and forced to leave Suai; he went overseas to campaign for the East Timorese people. He speaks Bunak, Tetum, Indonesian and English. Adriano is a leading organizer of the Independent Center for Timor Sea Information (CIITT), including representing the group in Australia three times in 2002 and in meetings and testimony before the Australian Parliament. He coordinates production of the La’o Hamutuk Bulletin.

Andrew de Sousa

Andrew came to Dili from the USA in September 2001 as La’o Hamutuk’s first intern. Funded by Amnesty International’s Patrick Stewart Scholarship, Andrew volunteered for six months, becoming a regular staff member in April 2002. Andrew was a grassroots activist in the United States and co-founded the Arizona chapter of the East Timor Action Network. Andrew speaks English and has a working knowledge of Portuguese, Indonesian and Tetum. With La’o Hamutuk, he focuses on international financial institutions and international markets. Andrew is also active with the Association of Men Against Violence.

La'o Hamutuk Executive Board

La’o Hamutuk is fortunate to have an Executive Board of leading figures in East Timorese civil society. The Board gives overall guidance and ideas to our program, as well as connecting La’o Hamutuk with broader networks in East Timor. It includes the following people, and we are in the process of adding new members.

Sr. Maria Dias

Maria is a Catholic nun and the director of Pronto Atu Servir (PAS--Ready to Serve), a grassroots health project. Through their clinic in Dili and work on Ataùro Island (one of the most isolated and impoverished areas of East Timor) PAS serves the poorest of the poor. While providing treatment for medical ailments, PAS works to address conditions that lead to illness. PAS puts heavy emphasis on popular education for health helping to train local health facilitators, with the goal of creating a sustainable national health system based on local resources. During the Indonesian occupation, Maria ran a clandestine clinic for FALINTIL members and frequently visited the guerrillas in the mountains to treat the wounded. She represented East Timorese women’s organizations at the December 2001 donors’ conference in Oslo, and has met with others doing similar work in other countries. During 2002, Maria was the link between civil society and the National Planning process.

Joseph Nevins

One of two non-Timorese on the Board, Joseph is also the international coordinator of La’o Hamutuk. From May until August 2000, he volunteered as project staff in Dili, helping to establish La’o Hamutuk, and he returned for the same period in 2001. During 1999, he served in Dili as one of the coordinators of the IFET Observer Project, and had visited East Timor three times previously. Joseph has written two books and numerous articles on East Timor, and is a former instructor in International Development Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, from where he earned his Ph.D. As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, Joe researched the interrelationship between reconstruction, reconciliation, and justice in post-occupation East Timor. In 2003, he became a professor of geography at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA.

Pamela Sexton

From the USA, Pamela has extensive experience in Indonesia and East Timor. Pamela lived in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for two years and speaks Indonesian fluently, as well as Tetum and Spanish. In 1999, she was U.S. coordinator for the IFET Observer Project, and observed the referendum in Suai. In May and June 2000, Pam helped set up La’o Hamutuk, and she served on our staff from September 2000 through November 2002, focusing on popular education, gender issues, and international exchanges. After more than two years with La’o Hamutuk, Pam returned to California, from where she continues to support our work as a volunteer and a member of our board.

Nuno Rodrigues

Director of Sa’he Institute for Liberation, Nuno has worked closely with La’o Hamutuk since it began. He went to University of Indonesia in Jakarta, where he studied communications and was active in the Timorese resistance. In Jakarta he also led a study group on Marxism with Indonesian activists. He returned to East Timor in 1999, and began doing popular education work. Having participated in La’o Hamutuk’s exchange with Brazilian popular educators, Nuno is a leader of the East Timorese Popular Educators’ Network.

Aderito de Jesus Soares

Aderito is a lawyer and human rights advocate. He is former Director of Sa’he Institute for Liberation, and the founder and Vice-Chairman of the East Timor National Jurists Association. Born in Maliana, East Timor, Aderito lived in Indonesia for many years where he served as director for ELSAM, a Jakarta-based human rights organization. As such, he defended political prisoners throughout Indonesia, most notably in West Papua. Aderito is the co-author of a book on West Papua, and has written numerous articles on international law and human rights in Indonesia and East Timor. In August 2001, Aderito was elected to East Timor’s Constituent Assembly, where he chaired the committee dealing with the basic structure of government and helped write the Constitution. In June 2002, he resigned from Parliament in order to pursue graduate legal studies at New York University. Aderito returned to East Timor in late 2003, and is active in a number of legal and human rights projects .

La'o Hamutuk

The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Dili office: 1 Rua Mozambique, Farol, Dili, Timor Lorosae

Postal address: P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)

Mobile phone: +670-7234330; Land phone: +670-3325013
Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org

Web: http://www.laohamutuk.org