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Lao Hamutuk Annual Report
Calendar Year 2004

PDF Format: English | Bahasa Indonesia (coming soon)

Table of Contents


La’o Hamutuk (“Walking Together” in English) is a four-year old Timor-Leste non-governmental organization that monitors, analyzes, and reports on the principal international institutions present in Timor-Leste as they relate to the physical, economic, and social reconstruction and development of the country. La’o Hamutuk believes that the people of Timor-Leste must be the ultimate decision-makers in this process, which should be democratic and transparent. La’o Hamutuk tries to follow a model of equitable cooperation between Timor-Leste and foreign activists, and both Timor-Leste and international staff have equal responsibilities and receive equal pay and benefits.

La’o Hamutuk is an independent organization and works to facilitate effective participation for Timor-Leste people in the reconstruction and development of the country. In addition, La’o Hamutuk works to improve communication between the international community and Timor-Leste’s society. Finally, La’o Hamutuk is a resource center, providing literature on development models, experiences, and practices, as well as facilitating solidarity links between Timor-Leste 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 Timor-Leste – 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 endeavors to involve interested individuals and organizations from throughout the world in its activities. 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 (www.laohamutuk.org) includes materials in English, Indonesian, Tetum, Portuguese and Japanese, and is used as a reference for people both in Timor-Leste and around the world.

Situational Background

Timor-Leste, 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. The United Nations protested but did nothing, and the Indonesian military occupation, continued for 24 years, taking 200,000 lives, one-third of the pre-invasion population. Nevertheless, a small guerrilla resistance persisted, and almost all civilians resisted nonviolently. After the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998, Indonesia allowed the United Nations to conduct a referendum in Timor-Leste. Undeterred by a campaign of terror organized by the Indonesian military, 98% of Timor-Leste’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 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 Timor-Leste (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 Gusmăo was elected President in April 2002, and the Constituent Assembly, with a Fretilin absolute majority, became Timor-Leste’s Parliament. Although UNTAET made some progress in reconstruction, economic development, creating administrative procedures, and inventing democratic structures, huge tasks were left to the new government, as described in the May 2002 La’o Hamutuk Bulletin.

Timor-Leste became the first new independent nation of the millennium on 20 May 2002, with sovereignty passing from the United Nations to Timor-Leste’s elected government and parliament under the new constitution. Foreign governments, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations continue to play a major role in Timor-Leste. International advisors continue to be pervasive in government. The current UN mission (UNMISET) is due to end in May 2005, although some form of UN presence will continue.

With a reduced United Nations mission of support, questions remain about completing the prosecution of crimes against humanity. As the new Timor-Leste government consolidates itself, international financial institutions, foreign governments, foreign companies, international agencies and advisors continue to have powerful roles. They are particularly involved in key areas like extracting Timor-Leste’s natural resources, managing petroleum revenues, filtering donor contributions to Timor-Leste and advocating borrowing to cover Timor-Leste’s projected budget deficit.

La’o Hamutuk’s work remains crucial in helping international agencies and Timor-Leste’s citizens better understand each other as this 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

Program Activities

La’o Hamutuk’s principal aims are to monitor and evaluate the activities of international agencies operating in Timor-Leste. Information on our activities is outlined below.

During 2004, we continued to monitor the activities of the international financial institutions. This research focused on the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in constructing Timor-Leste’s central bank, the Banking and Payments Authority (BPA). Timor-Leste faces a budget deficit, and we have monitored the activities of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the government considers whether to borrow money from them. Together with other NGOs, La’o Hamutuk has advocated that our new nation not go into debt.

We monitored the bilateral donors’ responses to the Timor-Leste government’s efforts to coordinate external funds and projects through the Sector Investment Program. We also researched the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) community development program RESPECT, which is funded by the Government of Japan.

As the United Nations downsizes we continue to monitor the activities of the extended mission of support (UNMISET). We researched the processes and future of the Special Panels for Serious Crimes, raising concerns about its effectiveness and about future avenues for justice, and monitored the progress of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR).

A major focus of our work continues to be investigating, reporting and advocating on petroleum issues, both as regards the maritime boundary negotiations with Australia and the future management of petroleum industry and revenues for Timor-Leste. This is discussed in detail below. In addition, Pertamina, the Indonesian oil company, is importing and distributing petroleum into Timor-Leste, and we investigated their monopoly.

In January 2004, La’o Hamutuk sent seven Timor-Leste NGO representatives to visit Nigeria to learn about the negative consequences of natural resource exploitation. The Nigeria exchange (‘Intercambio’) has been crucial in highlighting the importance of transparency and accountability, environmental protection, and local community involvement. In the same month, two staff members participated in the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. In February a La’o Hamutuk staff member also participated in an Oilwatch conference in Thailand. In December La’o Hamutuk organized eight Timor-Leste NGO workers and community organizers to visit the Philippines to learn about agrarian and land reform issues.

On 20 March, the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, La’o Hamutuk and other local NGOs organized a peaceful march to the United States Embassy in Dili. We published the statement from this event in our Bulletin later that month, and participated in other activities against war and for international justice throughout the year.

Our staff have written for publications by other organizations and local newspapers (See Appendix V). La’o Hamutuk staff also appeared on Timor-Leste television and radio programs discussing the boundary negotiations in the Timor Sea, gender issues, and justice for Timor-Leste.

Over the last four years, La’o Hamutuk has developed substantial expertise in the issues we work on, and our work has become known worldwide. We are frequently consulted by international researchers, journalists, academics and activists, as well as by many evaluators contracted by various agencies that have worked in Timor-Leste. In addition, international advocacy institutions and network often seek our advice as they consider whether or how to work on issues confronting the people of Timor-Leste.


The La’o Hamutuk Bulletin is one of our primary media tools. We publish in English (1500) and Indonesian (3000) and often reprint back issues due to high demand. We distribute our Bulletin free of charge to schools, universities, government offices, and international and national organizations throughout Timor-Leste with help from different community-based organizations. Within Dili we distribute the Bulletin to foreign embassies, The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund, UN agencies, hotels, restaurants, libraries, and other public locations.

The Bulletin is also circulated via email and posted on our website. See Appendix II for a list of Bulletin articles published during 2004.

Radio Program

Radio is an important tool for distributing information, and is the only form of media that reaches all regions of Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk produces a weekly radio program in Tetun called Igualidade, in which La’o Hamutuk staff interview experts and activists, sharing their knowledge of important issues with the wider community. Igualidade increases the awareness and participation of communities outside of Dili in important issues and processes that affect them. Research undertaken for the Bulletin provides much of the information disseminated in the programs.

During the first five months of 2004 we worked together with Radio Timor Kmanek (RTK) to broadcast Igualidade every Saturday. From May onwards we recorded and edited the program ourselves before distributing it for broadcast on Radio Timor-Leste (RTL). We also distribute copies to community radio broadcasters. See Appendix III for a list of our 2004 radio programs.

We have nearly completed construction of an in house radio studio, which will greatly increase the quality of our programming and scope of our work.

Surat Popular

La’o Hamutuk’s Surat Popular (People’s Page) is published in Tetum and distributed widely (1500 copies) throughout Timor-Leste through La’o Hamutuk’s own networks and Dai Popular (Timor-Leste Popular Educator’s network).

After 2003, La’o Hamutuk decided to work with grassroots and community groups in the Surat Popular. Therefore in May 2004 La’o Hamutuk held a meeting in the community of Bucoli (Baucau district) to refine the use of Surat Popular as a discussion tool, to demonstrate this use to local community organizers, and to discuss how the communities can produce their own Surat Popular, reflecting the issues important to themselves.

The result of this “capacity building” meeting was the first Surat Popular by a community group, Tali Fukun Naroman, from Bucoli, on “Education”. The community participated in the whole process of producing the Surat Popular, from deciding the topic, making the drawings and writing the words. La’o Hamutuk helped with layout, publishing and distribution. Around 40 small farmers from the community of Bucoli took part in the launching discussion, giving their views and opinions on bank projects. The group will use the Surat Popular to promote debates within the community as well as in their adult literacy program.

During the reporting period La’o Hamutuk published and distributed one additional Surat Popular ourselves concerning the Oil dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia (Ita nia Minarai, Ita nia Futuru - Our Oil, Our Future).

Globalization and the International Financial Institutions

In early 2004, the government of Timor-Leste announced an expected budget deficit, and the World Bank and Asian Development Bank hastened to offer loans. La’o Hamutuk raised awareness and debate amongst local NGOs and civil society groups about the possibility and risks of borrowing and its impact on Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk was a leading participant in the ‘rolling think tank’ a joint government/NGO discussion group on the issue of borrowing money.

We are currently investigating how the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are involved in designing Timor-Leste’s oil revenue management system.

In January, two members of La’o Hamutuk staff and one member of the IFI study group attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. We gave presentations at a panel organized by Focus on the Global South on post conflict reconstruction. The WSF was an opportunity to strengthen links with Focus on the Global South as well as to develop new links with other like-minded organizations. We attended many meetings, seminars and conferences relevant to our work and spoke about issues pertinent to Timor-Leste at a variety of forums. We were also part of a preliminary planning meeting for a regional social forum to be held in Indonesia.

La’o Hamutuk has closely followed World Bank activities in Timor-Leste. In July, La’o Hamutuk coordinated a joint analysis, by different civil society groups of the World Bank’s “Good Governance Paper”, which was used as a base for the elaboration of the 2004 TSP Matrix. The Transitional Support Program (TSP) Matrix is a World Bank mechanism for managing Timor-Leste’s government budget and activities. La’o Hamutuk provided copies of the WB’s paper to several local NGOs and organized discussion meetings about the document. This resulted in a collective “Comments on the World Bank Governance Paper”, which was presented to World Bank offices in Dili and Washington.

In August, LH staff member Tomas Freitas attended a Conference on the International Development Association Leadership in Hanoi, Vietnam, in which he gave a presentation about the current political and economic situation in Timor-Leste and the civil society perspectives on IFI strategies to reduce poverty. A report of this conference was published in our December Bulletin, along with an editorial on the IDA.

We also monitored the designing of the Financial Capacity Building Mechanism, a project coordinated by the World Bank, and continue to monitor its implementation. La’o Hamutuk has closely followed the December TSP Mission, taking part in all meetings held with civil society and monitoring the implementation of the TSP Matrix.

In October, our staff members Yasinta Lujina and Cassia Bechara went to an Anti-War and Anti-Globalization Conference in Beirut, discussing and sharing information with many groups from various countries concerning the relationship between war and globalization and the negative impacts that international financial institutions have in post-war reconstruction processes. During the three day meeting La’o Hamutuk worked on coalition and solidarity building with other grassroots groups, advocating for an international tribunal for crimes against humanity during the Indonesian occupation in Timor-Leste, and for a fair maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Australia.

La’o Hamutuk also wrote an article about the World Bank in Timor-Leste for a book published by the 50 Years is Enough Network.

In the last two months of 2004, we analyzed the design of Timor-Leste’s petroleum fund and other aspects of oil revenue management, that were heavily influenced by an IMF international advisor. We participated in the public consultation and made a detailed submission to the drafting committee analyzing the proposed model and presenting some alternatives. La’o Hamutuk also organized a public meeting on this issue. We summarized the main points in La’o Hamutuk’s submission in our December Bulletin.

Petroleum development and the Timor Sea

The oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea are crucial to the economic independence of Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk has continued to campaign for the quick negotiation of a fair maritime boundary with Australia, so that Timor-Leste will receive its rightful share of the oil and gas under the Timor Sea. In addition, we participated in and widened the debate on how Timor-Leste should manage the petroleum industry as well as the revenues it expects to receive from oil and gas. Throughout the year, we worked closely with the Timor Sea Justice Campaign in Australia, sharing information, campaign ideas, and analysis.

As this was a major part of our work during 2004, we circulated information about oil and gas issues using our Bulletin, Surat Popular, Radio Program and public meetings. In addition, we nurtured and informed international solidarity groups in Australia (Timor Sea Justice Campaign) and the U.S. (ETAN) to encourage their work on these issues, and developed new relations with organizations working on resource and revenue management, including CAFOD, Global Witness, Revenue Watch (Open Society Institute), and the Earth Institute (Columbia University, New York). Partly in response to our requests, all of these groups are now trying to help Timor-Leste utilize its petroleum reserves more safely and wisely.

In January we organized an exchange trip to Nigeria, which was hosted by Environmental Rights Action/Oilwatch Nigeria. This allowed people from Timor-Leste to learn more about the dangers of natural resource exploitation. Following the return of the participants we have used our Bulletin, radio program and public meetings to socialize the findings amongst local NGOs, journalists and others. The report from this exchange is in Appendix VII.

La’o Hamutuk’s call for actions worldwide on Australia Day (26 January) resulted in demonstrations and campaigning in Thailand, the U.S., Britain and elsewhere, much of which continued throughout the year. La’o Hamutuk further consolidated our relationship with the global Oilwatch network by participating in the regional Oilwatch meeting in Bangkok in February.

In April we helped form the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) to call on Australia to recognize Timor-Leste’s maritime sovereignty. We shared our resources and publications with this coalition, and helped organize demonstrations in front of the Australian embassy in Dili, drawing many hundreds of people and bringing this issue to the forefront of national awareness. Australian Green Party Senator Bob Brown came to Timor-Leste during the April negotiations, and we facilitated a public meeting and other events during his visit.

We also worked closely with many journalists covering these issues, resulting in numerous print and radio reports, and two Australian television documentaries.

We repeatedly updated our OilWeb CD-ROM with hundreds of documents and analyses, including audio-visual resources. We continue to distribute the CD-ROM to NGOs, government officials, activists, journalists and researchers in Timor-Leste and around the world. Our work has become a primary reference for those trying to understand this complex issue. As the development of petroleum resources nears in Timor-Leste’s territory, La’o Hamutuk is working to raise civil society awareness about transparency, accountability, good revenue management, community involvement and environmental protection -- essential elements if this country is to avoid the “resource curse” that afflicts so many others.

In March, La’o Hamutuk presented a paper Can Timor-Leste Avoid the Resource Curse? at a USAID-sponsored Dili seminar organized by the Democracy Council, and we continued to develop these ideas throughout the year, including in an editorial in our November Bulletin.

In July, La’o Hamutuk researched and wrote The Case for Saving Sunrise, an advocacy and information paper that argues that it is in Timor-Leste’s best interests not to rush to sign a compromise agreement with Australia to develop the Sunrise oil and gas field. The paper was initially circulated privately to government, and later used to provide important background to officials, journalists and activists.

Timor-Leste’s government conducted a bidding round and awarded the first contract for offshore seismic exploration in Timor-Leste territory. La’o Hamutuk monitored this process, and raised some questions about the companies which were awarded the bid.

During the latter part of 2004, Timor-Leste began to write legislation and develop policies for managing its petroleum resources. La’o Hamutuk participated in an August public consultation on five documents comprising the “petroleum regime” which defines the relationship between Timor-Leste and petroleum companies. We submitted a detailed 93-page analysis of these bills to the drafting committee, pointing out that draft laws were grossly inadequate in several areas, including transparency, democracy, legal protection, community consultation and environmental protection, and proposing alternatives. The Petroleum Regime was approved by the Council of Ministers in December and is now pending before Parliament, but few of our suggestions were incorporated .

In October, the Ministry of Planning and Finance circulated a discussion paper on petroleum revenue management (the Petroleum Fund) for public comment. La’o Hamutuk participated in the public consultation, and submitted a 37-page analysis. We pointed out major flaws in the government’s proposed “Norway Plus” model, and suggested that Săo Tome’s new legislation might be a more appropriate model. We also found shortcomings or omissions in transparency, safeguards on overspending, ethical investing, oversight and public information. La’o Hamutuk engaged other experts and organizations on this issue, resulting in submissions from Harvard Law Students Advocates for Human Rights and the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Earth Institute (Columbia University).


La’o Hamutuk continued with its work in monitoring and advocating for justice for international crimes committed in Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1999. We actively participate in the National Alliance for an International Tribunal, helping organize publicity and advocacy to support the creation of an International Tribunal. In January, we prepared a submission from the Alliance to a “Technical Assessment Mission” from UN Headquarters.

Additionally, we campaigned and raised awareness regarding President Xanana Gusmăo’s secret February meeting with indicted war criminal General Wiranto in Bali. Our radio program discussed the implications of their two meetings in February and May. La’o Hamutuk also explored the possibility of a public indictment campaign with other organizations including Initiatives for International Dialogue, through the APCET Forum.

In November, a double issue of La’o Hamutuk’s Bulletin examined the work of the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in achieving justice for Timor-Leste. The same Bulletin carried an article about the myriad problems with Indonesia’s ad-hoc court in Jakarta.

Following the announcement of the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia’s intentions to establish a commission for Truth and Friendship in December 2004, La’o Hamutuk began raising the problems with a binational commission aimed at preventing accountability and blocking justice.

Resource Centre

The Resource Centre is an important part of our work and continues to provide information to students, national and international NGO workers, activists, journalists and researchers.

The La’o Hamutuk library and resource centre provides books, videos and documents in English, Indonesian, Portuguese and Tetun on topics including international development theory and practice, international aid, globalization, Timor-Leste history and culture, and case studies from other countries in relation to these topics. The Resource Centre also includes national newspapers and magazines. We cooperate with other resource centers and libraries in Timor-Leste and have joined the Timor-Leste Library Association.

During 2004, La’o Hamutuk bought more books in Indonesian. We updated our internal website (intranet), making it available to visitors as part of the Resource Centre. The intranet site includes reference documents and downloaded websites relevant to Timor-Leste.

We published a book, Memoria Intercambio Nicaragua (Memories from the Nicaragua Exchange), a production from our 2002 exchange on gender-based discrimination.

In Canada, Between the Lines published the book East Timor: Testimony, which includes three chapters written by La’o Hamutuk staff and photographs by Elaine Bričre.

La’o Hamutuk’s planned resource centre expansion was put on hold during 2004 because, at year end, it remained unclear whether the lease on our office premises would be continued by the government. The government would like to develop the Farol area for embassies and ministers’ housing, and neighboring NGO’s have already been told that they must leave. We expect this issue to be resolved during 2005, when we will decide whether to enlarge or move our office.

NGO coalitions

La’o Hamutuk continues to be active in coalitions with other NGOs, both international and within Timor-Leste. Globally, we are part of OilWatch, the Global Peace Movement, and work closely with the Timor Sea Justice Campaign (Australia), Focus on the Global South (Thailand) the International Federation for East Timor (IFET), and the East Timor Action Network (ETAN, USA).

In recognition of our expertise and effectiveness, La’o Hamutuk staff are often chosen to represent the NGO community in international conferences and training activities.

We actively participate in various local coalitions, including:

The Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea

La’o Hamutuk helped found the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) in April 2004 to campaign for a just boundary negotiation between Australia and Timor-Leste and a fair share of the natural resources in the Timor Sea.

IFI Study Group (Kelompok Kajian)

La’o Hamutuk continues to play a leading role in raising awareness of the international financial institutions in Timor-Leste.

AMKV (Association of Men Against Violence)

Before 2002, only women were involved in discussions and campaigns about gender issues in Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk believes that it is essential for men to analyze their role in gender relations and to work to improve the situation for the benefit of all people in Timor-Leste. The Association, which grew out of La’o Hamutuk’s 2002 exchange with gender activists from Nicaragua, is a national organization of Timor-Leste men that works with others to end gender-based violence, through holding workshops in rural areas.

MNKV (National Movement Against Violence)

La’o Hamutuk plays an important role in the National Movement Against Violence, which includes women and men and campaigns against gender-based violence.

Dai Popular (Timor-Leste Popular Educators’ Network)

Dai Popular was formed in 2001 by participants in the Timor-Leste-Brazil exchange organized by La’o Hamutuk. The network has grown to include 36 civil society organizations committed to “a collective process to strengthen popular education methods as a tool for social transformation in Timor-Leste.” La’o Hamutuk’s is a key member of Dai Popular’s Central Committee, providing guidance and facilitating contact with popular educators in other countries. In April 2004, La’o Hamutuk helped organize the fourth General Meeting of Dai Popular in Tutuala (Lautem district) which was attended by more then 100 activists and community organizers. This meeting re-elected La’o Hamutuk to the Central Committee, with responsibility to coordinate the working group on popular economy.

National Alliance for an International Tribunal

La’o Hamutuk is a key member of the Alliance for an International Tribunal, that campaigns for justice for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1999, inside and outside Timor-Leste. In addition to consulting with the general population, the Alliance provides testimony and advocacy to government and international bodies and for the past years, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

La’o Hamutuk contributes by drafting statements and press releases, research, writing articles and organizing workshops, radio programs, international networking and public meetings.

Public meetings

La’o Hamutuk organizes discussions on critical issues facing Timor-Leste for NGOs, journalists, government and other interested parties nationally and internationally, often bringing heads of international institutions (which included UNMISET and the World Bank during 2004) into dialogue with civil society. Appendix IV lists the public meetings we organized and presentations we gave during 2004.

Intercambios (International Exchanges)

As a joint Timor-Leste–international organization with strong ties to Timor-Leste’s international solidarity network and other NGOs around the world, La’o Hamutuk is well positioned to coordinate exchanges between Timor-Leste activists and development workers, educators, and activists from other countries. International exchanges are critical in deepening discussions, envisioning more equitable development alternatives and strengthening international networks between grassroots organizations. These topics from the exchange are developed in collaboration with other Timor-Leste organizations who share our commitment to a just and democratic development process.

La’o Hamutuk not only analyzes international institutions in Timor-Leste, but we also support alternative development models. La’o Hamutuk’s past Intercambios have involved Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba. Often activists from Timor-Leste travel abroad, but in 2001 La’o Hamutuk brought two Brazilian activists on popular education to give workshops throughout Timor-Leste, and in 2002 two Nicaraguan gender activists ran workshops in Baucau, Dili and Oecussi.

During 2004 we organized two groups of Timor-Leste civil society to visit other countries:

Nigeria Exchange

In January, we conducted the Nigeria exchange we began to organize in 2003. Seven participants from a range of organizations traveled to Nigeria to learn about the negative impact of oil and gas exploitation and the links with poverty, repression, environmental destruction and militarization. The delegation also learned how Nigerian NGOs are dealing with the practices of oil companies and the social, economic and environmental impacts of petroleum activities.

On return the participants gave a press conference and organized public meetings to discuss their experiences in Nigeria. The report is included as Appendix VII.

Philippines Exchange

In November 2004, La’o Hamutuk sent eight Timor-Leste activists to the Philippines for a month of learning and exchanging information with Filipino activists and farmers involved in agrarian reform. We organized this exchange with fifteen other civil society groups from Timor-Leste, and with the Philippine Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and the Partnership Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Service (PARRDS).

In follow up activities from the exchange, Exchange participants organized a workshop at the University of Dili to present some of their findings, attended by over 100 people. La’o Hamutuk also held a public meeting at Perkumpulan HAK.

The report is included as Appendix VIII.

Strengthening La’o Hamutuk

During 2004 we reviewed and modified our financial management system, making changes to prevent future problems like those we experienced at the beginning of the year (see next section). The new system follows sound financial management principles and allows us to manage our finances more efficiently. We have also developed an organizational finance policy that requires that three members of staff check all financial transactions. We have improved our system of bookkeeping and provided financial training to staff, and then hired a staff member with specific experience in finances.

During 2004 we underwent our second independent financial audit, for fiscal year 2003. The Indonesian firm of Maksum, Suyamto, Hirdjan & Rekan carried out the audit and the report is available upon request.

Our fixed assets have increased this year. We purchased a new Honda motorbike to add to our existing motorbike pool. We also purchased two more computers. In addition, in order to minimize the damage to computers from frequent power cuts we have purchased five UPS units, which allow orderly shutdown of our computers when the electricity fails.

Our computer support team now has a weekly schedule for computer maintenance, including updating virus definitions, backing up files, and ensuring that the network runs efficiently.

On completion, our in-house radio studio will greatly enhance our ability to produce high quality programs and disseminate information widely throughout Timor-Leste.

In December 2004, La’o Hamutuk underwent an external evaluation facilitated by Hilmar Farid and Lia Kent, which was requested by Hivos, one of our donors. Based on their findings, we are implementing changes to our structure, including expanding the decision-making role of the Executive Board.

Three new Timor-Leste national members and one international member joined La’o Hamutuk during 2004, replacing Charles Scheiner, Jesuina Soares Cabral, Simon Foster, Joao Sarmento and Selma Hayati who finished their contracts. We are now comprised of four women and five men: Cassia Bechara, Maria Afonso de Jesus, Yasinta Lujina, Inęs Martins, Tomas (Ató) Freitas, Mericio (Akara) Juvinal, Joăozito Viana, Alex Grainger and Guteriano Nicolau. See Appendix VI for brief biographies of our staff.

Evaluation of our work during 2004

In our 2003 annual report and in funding proposals in the beginning of 2004, we outlined plans for our activities for the year 2004. We were on track to fulfilling these activities in a number of areas. At year’s end we are under budget in certain areas such as media. We did not carry out all our plans in this regard during 2004, notably building a new resource centre. (see Resource Centre). The other area where La’o Hamutuk was significantly under budget was in Intercambios, largely due to carrying out two, rather than three of these.

We have carried out some plans for capital investment. We began building and equipping our own, high quality radio studio, as we had planned during 2003. This means we are able to maintain our current work levels and increase the quality of our radio program production to disseminate information more effectively in rural Timor-Leste.

We had planned to organize two new intercambios this year, in addition to completing the Nigeria-Timor-Leste intercambio in January due to the amount of staff time expended in organizing such a project, we conducted only one more, and plan to commence with another during 2006, with time being devoted toward internal restructuring in 2005.

La’o Hamutuk planned to conduct in-house training during 2004 . We realized some of our objectives, with international staff giving English lessons as well as on-the-job training in research and computing. We increased our understanding of the difficulties in doing this, and will find alternative ways to carry out our capacity development objectives (see relevant section in ‘Plans for 2005’).

We consolidated regional coalitions and were supported in our monitoring work from organizations such as Focus on the Global South. Two staff members attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai with financial assistance from Focus as well as attending a meeting organized by Focus in Beirut in October. (Please see ‘Plans for 2005’ on augmenting our regional coalitions) We planned to provide commentary on the issue of on-shore oil and gas development during 2004. However, since the government will not develop these resources until 2006, we deferred our analysis until their plans are more concrete.

La’o Hamutuk continues to enjoy the support of volunteers working with us in both the short and longer term. In particular, we have attracted volunteers during 2004 whose expertise matched our research areas. La’o Hamutuk has also greatly benefited from former staff who have provided support in research and administration, especially helpful given their familiarity with the organization’s internal workings and culture.

Our plan was to publish eight Bulletins during 2004. We published six (two single and two double issues). The research and investigation process took longer, resulting in publication delays, largely because of the staff turnover.

Although we had hoped to produce five issues of Surat Popular during 2004, we published one and provided technical support for production of another. We had planned to have 10 public meetings during 2004, and had seven.

We conducted three internal evaluation meetings during the year. In December 2004 we completed the first external evaluation of our programs, activities, administration, as well as our overall strategy plan and the continuing relevance of our mission and vision. Following the external evaluation’s recommendations, La’o Hamutuk is examining how to consolidate internally, and exploring possibilities of restructuring.

During early 2004 we discovered discrepancies in our financial records, and then performed a rigorous internal audit. The audit verified that some financial records had not been entered correctly and some receipts had been falsified. We realized that we needed to tighten our financial system and make some personnel changes. We terminated the staff member involved and increased the number of checks on our system of approving expenditures, cash advances and dispersing funds. Our filing system is now much clearer. We have made our finance practices more transparent and accountable. We have now hired a new person with specific responsibilities for financial management.

Although this has been a difficult experience, it has greatly strengthened our internal organization.

We also terminated the employment of a security guard who consistently failed to carry out his duties. Repercussions from these firings caused serious and prolonged disruptions to our work. Unfortunately, our office and staff were physically threatened and assaulted. The police were called on two occasions that resulted in the arrest of La’o Hamutuk’s former security guard. The trauma and time spent dealing with these issues were significant.

Plans for 2005

During 2004, La’o Hamutuk carefully considered its priorities for research, staff capacity and our systems of management. Following staff and board and external evaluation recommendations in early 2005, we are reviewing our structure as well.

We intend to recruit new international and local staff during 2005, and in light of this are considering revising our staff number downwards to 8-9. We will look at ways to recruit one and possibly two further female Board members, at least one of who will be a Timor-Leste national.

We have decided to look at alternatives to the ‘flat structure’ management model currently used, during 2005. While we intend to keep a consensus-based model, we want our Executive Board to participate more actively in decision-making, with greater involvement in a new structure from a coordinating team. We have used our external evaluation as a basis for this, and this includes plans for one person who conducted the external evaluation to return to Dili during April 2005 to help facilitate this process. These sessions will involve discussion of a constitution that will clearly set out new and consolidate existing structures, La’o Hamutuk’s core principles and priorities for monitoring and research.

In strengthening staff capacity, we hope to recruit staff who will focus on developing writing and research skills and improving the organization’s structure. We also plan to augment the English language capacity of our existing staff. Our aim is that all La’o Hamutuk staff will be able to read basic to intermediate English language documents for research purposes.

In 2005 we will continue to monitor the activities and influence of the three international financial institutions present in Timor-Leste, focusing on their role in the Petroleum Fund and the new Consolidation Support Program (CSP I), in which the World Bank will play a major role in designing and monitoring the matrix; and the implementation of the Public Finance Management Project coordinated by the World Bank.

La’o Hamutuk will monitor the legislative process on the Petroleum Regime and Petroleum Fund, continuing from its reports on these issues during 2004. Following these issues closely will be extremely important given that the vast majority of the national budget will derive from oil revenues. Bringing a detailed understanding of the administration of oil development and oil funds to Timor-Leste citizens and further afield is crucial in delineating broader questions of national development.

To better focus our research to Timor-Leste’s current needs, La’o Hamutuk will stop focused investigations of the Conference of Lusophone Countries (CPLP), publishing one report and merging that into our work on Bilateral Assistance. Our focus on militarization will also be put into bilateral assistance. Work on justice is being taken up by many other organizations, so La’o Hamutuk’s attention to this area will be on a case-by-case basis, including the CAVR report and the Truth and Friendship Commission.

In follow up to the Philippines Intercambio, we are carrying through a tactical plan, involving disseminating information through workshops in three regions as well as a public opinion campaign and grassroots discussions; and a strategic plan, focusing on the country’s longer term priorities in agriculture and land reform. The first year will focus on disseminating information, by holding workshops in three regions, public opinion campaign (using radio, television, pamphlets, posters and organizing demonstrations), conducting grassroots discussions in areas facing conflict and publishing an Intercambio Handbook. Over the longer term, we will focus on the interests of farmers, workers, fisher folk and indigenous people; building legal capacity; correlating agricultural benefits with intended functions; building pressure on the parliament and government to implement democratic and just agrarian reform for all the people of Timor-Leste.

La’o Hamutuk plans to produce six Bulletins in 2005, in anticipation of its commitments to restructure and other activities. In the future, we hope to return to eight Bulletins a year. We plan to carry out 10 public meetings, which will be coordinated with research activities and radio programs.

Once we know whether we can remain in our current building, we will continue to improve the resource centre, buying more new books in Bahasa Indonesia, subscribing to new magazines, producing a computer catalogue of materials and a reference guide for past Bulletins organized by article topic, to help members of the public find what they need.

In 2005 La’o Hamutuk intends to focus on community capacity building so that community groups will take the lead in producing Surat Popular, with La’o Hamutuk facilitating the process. This builds on our work in 2004, where we published one issue of Surat Popular and provided technical support to a district-based NGO in the production of another. We will publish three Surat Populars in 2005.

At the end of 2004, a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Aceh, at the other end of the Indonesian archipelago from Timor-Leste. We expect La’o Hamutuk’s experience with the inundation of international agencies that arrived in Timor-Leste after 1999 will be of use to the Acehnese people as they emerge from catastrophe, aided by many of the same agencies. Our past research has been used in a comparative context by civil society organizations working in Indonesia and Aceh and we hope to build on this to expand relations with organization in the region.

Appendix I: Financial information

All amounts are specified in United States Dollars. La’o Hamutuk’s fiscal year is the 2004 calendar year.

La’o Hamutuk maintains our policy of not accepting contributions from the UN and its agencies, the World Bank, the ADB, IMF, the governments of the largest donors and transnational corporations operating in Timor-Leste, to preserve the organization’s independence in carrying out its activities.

The organization has maintained a flat wage structure with both local and international staff receiving a salary of $400 U.S. dollars per month. All staff continue to receive benefits that include health insurance, some of which is self-insurance funded from the ‘Health Reserve’ account in the balance sheet below. International staff receive one return airfare from their home country, as well as a ‘readjustment allowance’ of $400 for each month worked up to the end of the first year, payable after they finish working with La’o Hamutuk. La’o Hamutuk has attempted this year to simplify its financial reporting in order that it is more easily understandable, as well as easier to use for future authors of financial reports.

Balance Sheet

This table indicates our total cash and bank account balances at the start and end of 2004, amounts of money set aside for specific purposes, and unrestricted money available for general operations.


Total cash and bank balances

Spend on activities during 2004-6[1]

Sponsored projects[2]

Readjustment Reserve

Health Reserve

Sustainability Reserve[3]

Operational Reserve[4]

Unrestricted Funds

31 Dec. 2003









Income in 2004









Expenditures in 2004









31 Dec. 2004










The following table compares our actual income with what we had projected for 2004.


2004 projected

2004 actual


Allocation from 2003 surplus [5]




Intercambio grants [6]


19,948 [7]


Campaign support


3,329 [8]






Bank Interest








Misc. income




Grants [9]



-29,467 [10]






The following table compares our actual expenditures with what we had projected for 2004. 


2004 projected

2004 actual














Intercambio [11]








Personnel [12]




Surat Popular




















Other (Contributions, Fundraising and Bank Charges, balance adjustment)




Visiting Expert









Projected budget for 2005

Projected Income for 2005


Allocation from 2003 surplus


Campaign Support




Bank Interest




Miscellaneous income


General Support Grants


Grants for Intercambio





Projected Expenditures for 2005




Communications [13]






Surat Popular


Radio equipment and supplies




Resource Center budget for 2005


Intercambios (international exchanges)




Issue campaigns




Funds for visiting experts [14]


Campaign support




Financial audit


Public Meeting


Misc. expenses




Appendix II: Bulletin Articles

Volume 5 (2004)

Number 1 (January)

Number 2 (March)

Number 3-4 (double issue) (October)

Number 5-6 (double issue) (December)

Appendix III: Radio Programs

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

No radio programs were held in June as the RTK radio station, which hosted La’o Hamutuk’s radio programs, suspended broadcasting in late May.

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

Appendix IV: Public Meetings and Presentations

(All meetings and presentations are organized by La’o Hamutuk in Dili unless noted otherwise.)

Appendix V: La’o Hamutuk staff contributions in other publications






Mericio Juvenal

History and the Process of Revolution in Cuba

Suara Timor Lorosa’e

Joăo  Sarmento

Economic Development in Correlation with Oil Drilling from the Timor Sea

Babadok (Fokupers)

Selma Hayati

Brother Stop the Violence

Vox Populi


Mericio Juvenal

Justice for Victims

Babadok (Fokupers)


Mericio Juvenal

Gender Imbalance: whose responsibility

Suara Timor Lorosa’e


Charles Scheiner

The Case for Saving Sunrise

Circulated privately to government officials first, later in various forms


Cassia Bechara

Doing the Empire’s Dirty Work

Libertasaun (Sah’e)

In addition La’o Hamutuk staff contributed the following chapters to “East Timor: Testimony” with photographs by Elaine Bričre published in 2004 by Between the Lines, Canada.


Chapter title

Mericio Juvenal and Endah Pakaryaningsih

Timor, where the sun rises

Inęs Martins and Andrew Teixeira de Sousa

Building the new East Timor

Adriano do Nascimento and Charles Scheiner

The ‘gap’ in East Timor’s independence

Appendix VI: Staff and Executive Board Biographies

La’o Hamutuk staff includes nine professionals, seven from East Timor and two from elsewhere, four women and five men. The staff is non-hierarchical and makes decisions collectively, although two 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. John Miller 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 2004:

Maria Afonso de Jesus

Born in Dili, Maria joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004, having previously worked at the International NGO Caritas, in Dili. Maria is La’o Hamutuk’s finance officer and monitors the Justice Issue. Maria is a Board member of the Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal, and is a representative of Victims’ Families, as her husband was killed in the April 1999 Liquiça massacre. Maria speaks Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia.

Cassia Bechara

Cassia Bechara arrived in Timor-Leste 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 UNMISET and Timor-Leste’s relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries.

Tomas Sebastiăo Rosario Freitas

Born in Dili, Thomas studied at Udayana University (Bali) from 1996 until 1999, where he involved with the Indonesian People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the East Timorese clandestine resistance, Maubere Youth Alliance . He coordinated the return of over a thousand Timor-Leste 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 other NGOs. He speaks Tetum, Indonesian and English.

Alex Grainger

Alex arrived in Timor-Leste from England in September 2004 to work at La’o Hamutuk, two years after having completed a Masters’ degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in Asian Politics. In the interim period he worked in conflict resolution organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium and helped establish an Aceh civil society solidarity group, Pinto Aceh, in London. At La’o Hamutuk he works on International Financial Institutions and Bilateral Assistance. He speaks English, Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia.

Mericio “Akara” Juvenal

Born in Lospalos, Timor-Leste, 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 Timor-Leste’s 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 some English.

Yasinta Lujina

Yasinta was born and grew up in Oecusse, the enclave of Timor-Leste 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 UNMISET and UN Agencies. She also coordinates our Surat Popular and resource center, and was on La’o Hamutuk’s Coordination Team for much of 2004.

Inęs Martins

Inęs was studying economics at the University of Timor-Leste before the Indonesian military destroyed it in September 1999. Born in Bobonaro, Timor-Leste, she worked with ETWAVE (a local NGO which focuses on human rights of women and children). Inęs is fluent in Tetum, Portuguese and Indonesian. Inęs 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 exchanges to Brazil in 2001 and Cuba in 2003, is active in Dai Popular and coordinates La’o Hamutuk’s radio program.

Guteriano Soares Neves Nicolau

Guteriano joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004 having previously worked for the Dili-based current affairs magazine, Talitakum. He is completing a degree at the University of Timor-Leste in International Relations. Gute has worked on Bilateral Assistance, Militarization, the United Nations and Natural Resources and regularly contributes articles to the local press and gives interviews to the domestic and foreign media on these issues. Gute speaks Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia, English and Mumbai.

Joaozito Viana

Joaozito joined La’o Hamutuk in June 2004 having previously worked at the East Timor Cultural Centre, providing administrative support. In this role he was on the cultural events sub-committee that helped plan the independence night celebrations in May 2002. During this period Joaozito also taught Sociology part-time at the Continental University in Timor-Leste. At La’o Hamutuk, he researches Natural Resources and is a facilitator for the East Timorese Association of Men Against Violence. Joaozito speaks Tetum, Bahasa Indonesia and Fataluku.

During part of 2004, La’o Hamutuk staff also included:

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 Timor-Leste 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, and participated in the Oilwatch Asia conference in Bangkok in February 2004. Selma finished her contract with La’o Hamutuk in October 2004, and continues to assist as a volunteer.

Joăo da Silva Sarmento

Joăo coordinated Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa Timor Timur (Timor-Leste 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 Timor-Leste. His undergraduate thesis is about Timor-Leste’s education system under transition. He also coordinates reporters for Suara Timor Lorosa’e (STL), a local newspaper. He speaks Tetum, Indonesian, English, Portuguese, Makassae and Javanese. At La’o Hamutuk, Joăo works on international financial institutions, justice and reconciliation, and militarization, and coordinates our public meetings. In October 2004, he left Timor-Leste to study at the University of Hawaii, USA.

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 Timor-Leste. He speaks English, French and some Tetum. His work with La’o Hamutuk focuses on the Bulletin, finances, justice, the UN, oil and gas, international activist networks, and foreign governments’ roles in Timor-Leste. He returned to the U.S. in April 2004, and came back to La’o Hamutuk during August and September to work on our submission to the petroleum regime legislation.

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 Timor-Leste while working at La’o Hamutuk. She previously worked at IRC (International Rescue Committee), and was active in Organisasaun Solidaridade Klosan Timor Lorosa’e (the clandestine predecessor of the Timor-Leste 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 Timor-Leste Donors Conferences in Norway in 2001 and in Dili in May and December 2002. She also works on finances and administration, transnational corporations and Timor-Leste’s relations with its neighbors, and cooperates with the National Movement Against (gender-based) Violence NGO coalition. Delly left La’o Hamutuk in April, following problems with our finances.

La’o Hamutuk’s Executive Board

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 Ataůro 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. She currently coordinates the program which enables Timor-Leste medical students to study in Cuba.

Joseph Nevins

Joseph is 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, taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, and researched on the interrelationship between reconstruction, reconciliation, and justice in post-occupation Timor-Leste as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2003, he has been a professor of geography at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, and is finishing a book on Timor-Leste for Cornell University Press.

Nuno Rodrigues

Director of Sah’e 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.

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 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.

Aderito de Jesus Soares

Aderito is a lawyer and human rights advocate. He is former Director of Sah’e Institute for Liberation, and the founder and Vice-Chairman of the East Timor National Jurists Association. Born in Maliana, Timor-Leste, 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. He resigned from Parliament to do graduate legal studies at New York University for two years. Since returning to Dili in 2003, he has been involved in a number of legal and human rights projects and has written for numerous publications worldwide.


[1] As the result of La’o Hamutuk’s 2003 budget surplus, we allocated 10,000 per year to our operating budget over the next three years (2004-6)

[2] La’o Hamutuk continued to manage the finances for the Sah’e Institute of Liberation’s translation of Geoffrey Gunn’s book: East Timor: 500 Years. No income or expenditures for the project were conducted during the reporting period.

[3] This reserve is to replace and repair computers, motorcycles and other capital assets as they wear out.

[4] This fund is made up of approximately three months worth of expenses, used to avoid cash flow problems.

[5] This is not actual income, but an allocation from La’o Hamutuk’s reserves.

[6] Not including funds for the Nigeria Intercambio which were received in 2003.

[7] La’o Hamutuk’s income for International Exchanges in 2004 included $8,990 from CAFOD for the Nigeria Exchange, $9,990 from Frontier Internship Mission for the Philippines Exchange, and $968 from Oxfam GB for Cuba Exchange follow-up activities. It was lower than budgeted because we cancelled one exchange which had been planned for 2004, and because some of the income to pay for the Philippines intercambio will be received in 2005.

[8] La’o Hamutuk received funding from various sources to attend international events as part of its campaigning, including a meeting organized by Oilwatch in Bangkok ($704), a meeting in Beirut organized by Focus on the Global South (1,402) and one of member of La’o Hamutuk’s staff attending the World Social Forum in India (1,223) funded by Hivos.

[9] Includes $17,261 from Trocaire for general support and $45,100 from the Embassy of Finland for Radio and Bulletin activities.

[10] Part of this difference is because HIVOS general support funding promised for 2004 was paid in 2005, so it does not show in the 2004 report

[11] The difference in actual and projected Intercambio expenditure is because some funds were received in 2003 (Nigeria) and others some expected during 2005 (Philippines). Detailed financial reports are available for both Intercambios.

[12] Includes Health Insurance (3,986) House Rent (2,700) Salaries (45,917) Visa Fees ($730) and Wage Tax (3,490).

[13] Increased from 2004 because telephone and internet costs have increased. We plan to change to a faster internet service provider to limit some of these expenditures during 2005.

[14] Including advice on and facilitation of improving La’o Hamutuk’s internal structure and accountability, based on the December 2004 external evaluation.

La'o Hamutuk
The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
Dili office: 1 Rua Mozambique, Farol, Dili, Timor Lorosa'e
Postal address: P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor
Mobile phone: +670-7234330; Land phone: +670-3325013
Email: info@laohamutuk.org

Web: http://www.laohamutuk.org