Subject: Re: Government forbids IDP's return to houses

Paulino Amaral: "We don't want to be refugees any more"

DILI -Although the refugees in the Kolmera Jardin are ready to leave the camp, some of the refugees still object because the government has forbidden them from living in their houses because there is a new project to be undertaken.

"Our house is not far from the Rapid Response Unit Headquarters in Fatuhada. Now, the government has forbidden us from living in that house. Where will my family go?" said Paulino in a community dialogue in Bairo Pite with the President of the Repubic, Jose Ramos Horta on Thursday (15/5).

He asked this question to the President because he is confused after the government forbade him from returning to his original house. "I don't want to go from place to place. I am tired of being a refugee" he said.

He added that he does not want to meet the same fate as refugees from the Guido Valadares National Hospital. When they went to return home to the former Police training centre in Kaikoli, they were refused by the police.

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes de Deus, said that refugees whose houses were noted in a government program for other development, were not permitted to return to those houses.

But they can stay at a temporary place to wait for the government program to build a new suburb.

While those whose houses are not yet the subject of government intervention, they can go back to their original homes.

State Secretary Jacinto also announced to the whole community that previously lived in the old police training centres such as Kaikoli (next to the central office of the East Timor Electricity) or the one next to the old Mayor's office in Belarmino Lobo street, it is better if they find another place because these two locations are the subject of development by the government.

gec translation  17/05/08 by ww2008

At 07:25 PM 5/16/2008, you wrote: > Translation of an article in Suara Timor Lorosae on 16 May 2008 about some IDP's being forbidden to return to their homes because the government has marked them for future development. The translation, from the original Indonesian text entitled "We don't want to be refugees any more", may be read at > > <> The properties mentioned in this article (the old police training centres) have long been occcupied by desperate people since 1999 when the country was destroyed and many lost their homes. These properties are formally state properties. The former Fretilin government made the occupation of state properties a criminal offence and subject to summary executive evictions under the Law on Immovable Properties (Law No 1 of 2003 - a law developed in the USAID-funded Land Law Program implemented in conjunction with the Association for Rural Development) so even if these refugees defied the government and re-occupied these properties, they would then face the prospect of being criminalised and evicted by the police - with no effective judicial review of the eviction - and no viable plan for their relocation. According to this report, these refugees must go to "another place" to wait for the construction of a new residential area by the government. But how long will these properties remain vacant pending their redevelopment, when will the new suburb be built, and where will these refugees go in the meantime? Where are the budget and plans for both the redevelopment of these properties and the new housing estate? > > One of the legacies of the Indonesian occupation was the resumption of many thousands of land parcels and buildings for its monolithic state presence in East Timor. Under the Law on Immovable Properties, these became assets of the East Timor state. It beggars belief why some of these lands can't be allocated for cheap housing programs to accommodate the homeless in East Timor. It is even more appalling that these refugees who have languished for so long in the camp and under intense pressure to leave the camp sites are now the subject of such treatment from the government. > > > Sincerely, > > Warren L. Wright BA LLB > <>East Timor Legal Information Site > > -- > CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE > This email message and any attachments are for the exclusive use of the intended recipient/s and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message along with any attachments. > > [This message was distributed via the east-timor news list. For info on how to subscribe send a blank e-mail to To support ETAN see ]

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