Subject: NGO Forum Open Letter

received via Fretilin

THE TIMOR-LESTE NGO FORUM Kaikoli Street, Dili-East Timor Mb. 7254912, 732 8620, Email : <mailto:anto_omfongtil@yahoo.com>anto_omfongtil@yahoo.com

"OPEN LETTER TO FONGTIL MEMBERS IN TIMOR-LESTE" MEDIA COMMUNIQUÉ

The NGO Forum (FONGTIL) is an umbrella organization for local, national and international NGOs in Timor-Leste, non profit in nature, non partisan, non sectarian and as a partner of state institutions in the process of constructing the nation and to maintain a position as an independent organization for social advocacy and strengthening civil society in the process of national development, with the dream of liberating the people of Timor-Leste from oppression, from being without power and strength, from exploitation, discrimination from whomever so as to be able to achieve liberation, justice and prosperity through a strong and democratic civil society.

To achieve the above objectives, FONGTIL has always aimed to enable all of its members to think and analyze their individual impact on Timor-Leste society. This includes social problems, the economy and politics in our country. As such, based on the information and concerns expressed by some of its members to the secretariat of FONGTIL regarding the distribution of money by the XANANA FOUNDATION to youth and students at the Government Palace on Sunday 14 December 2008, FONGTIL informs all of its members of the following:

1. FONGTIL accepts no responsibility for the mechanism adopted by Mr. Prime Minister in the name of XANANA FOUNDATION to distribute money at the Government Palace, because based on our information. XANANA FOUNDATION is not registered with FONGTIL's secretariat.

2. As an office representing one of the state institutions of this nation, it should be valued and treated as a place that deserves the respect of all. As such it is not prudent to use such a place as a "Public Bank".

3. We ask the government to rectify this mechanism of distributing money arbitrarily on "BEHALF OF THE STATE FOR EVERYONE", because this type of mechanism of distributing money arbitrarily will kill our people's initiate and creativity, and will stimulate heavy dependence.

4. We ask the government to explain from which budgetary sources the money that was distributed at the Government Palace came from, the amounts involved, who received it, for doing what and why distribute it at the Government Palace.

Thanking you for your attention and cooperation.

Dili: 16 December 2008

Timor-Leste national NGO Forum Secretariat


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