Subject: Profile of ET Crisis Reflection Network
EAST TIMOR CRISIS REFLECTION NETWORK
On 24 June 2006 five Timorese and two internationals met at the former offices of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation or CAVR in Balide, Dili to talk about the emergency crisis. It was suggested that since the situation was very complex, it would be good to come together to share their thoughts and experiences, to reflect on what has happened, to analyze, and to write so as to understand why this has happened in order to enable the nation to move forward.
The participants also felt that it was very important to create an environment where people with divergent views could come together for focused discussion and debate in a non-confrontational way. They then decided to organize forums on specific topics related to the current political crisis. Without analysis and understanding, it was felt that viable solutions could not be found.
After sharing their reflections on the current situation, those present decided to form themselves into a group called the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network and ask a few other persons to join. Everyone made a commitment to meet on a regular basis and develop a plan of action.
II. Guiding Principles
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network affirms the following general principles:
Ø Function in accordance with democratic principles. Ø Listen attentively to the opinions of others. Ø Offer constructive criticisms to each other and to the broader society. Ø Encourage critical thinking among the Network members and the broader society. Ø Challenge social institutions when appropriate through writing and forums. Ø Encourage the participation of women in all aspects of our work. Ø Commit to active participation within the Network. Ø Build relationships of friendship and cooperation with people in other countries.
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network affirms the following writing principles:
Ø Write in a critically constructive way. Ø Write with a balanced perspective. Ø Write in a non-inflammatory manner. Ø When appropriate, state opinions and perspectives strongly but always in a respectful manner.
A. Membership Body
The main body of the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network shall be the members who presently number 16 (see Appendix 1). Other persons, who share the vision, agree to the principles, and commit to being actively involved in the Programs of the Network can join by invitation. They must submit a written request to the Coordinating Committee (see below) that will approve or disapprove their request.
A.1. Criteria for Membership
Members must exhibit these qualities: * A spirit of voluntarism * A commitment to be an active member * The desire to promote peace and reconciliation and foster mutual understanding * An interest in social activism * The ability to work in a team * A critical and analytical mind * Good communication skills
B. Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee shall be the policy-making body of the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network and be accountable to the membership body. It shall be composed of four persons that will be selected from the membership. The Coordinating Committee shall select its Coordinator and assign portfolios to the other members. Decisions shall be made by consensus through a democratic process.
Coordinating Committee members are volunteers and shall not receive a salary. Only expenses related to their work as Coordinating Committee members shall be covered by the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network.
The Coordinating Committee shall meet four times a year (once in every three months) and its members will serve for one year. At the end of the year, the Coordinating Committee shall present a report to the membership, donors, and partners.
The Secretariat shall implement the programs of the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network, and serve and motivate the members to be actively engaged in the Network’s activities. The Secretariat staff shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee and receive a salary for full-time work. The staff shall be responsible for doing all the technical work related to publishing the writings of the Network and making all the preparations for the Forums. The staff shall also be responsible for running the office and handling the finances. The Secretariat staff shall be accountable to the Coordinating Committee.
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network shall have one advisor/mentor that shall be responsible for transferring her/his skills in office management, finances, fund raising, etc. to the Secretariat staff and the Coordinating Committee. He/she shall be accountable to the Coordinating Committee.
A. Writing and Publication Program
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network will have two programs. The first will be the Writing and Publication Program in which Network members will come together, reflect on specific topics related to the current political crisis, analyze, and then write the results of one’s own reflections and input from the group into articles, essays, and/or short messages or flyers.
The writings will be disseminated as widely as possible in the country; articles and essays will be published in newspapers and short messages and flyers will be distributed to the refugee camps and given to the Catholic Church for dissemination in the parishes. It is recognized that the majority population in East Timor are not readers and the communications network is not developed. Thus there will be an attempt to find appropriate forms for disseminating the perspectives and findings of the Reflection Network to the majority population. Selected writings will be translated into English for circulation internationally.
The general objectives of this Program are:
Ø Through a process of reflection, analysis and writing, the group will come to an understanding of what has happened in the country and why. This will enable the members to move forward out of this morass and into the future with clear ideas as to how the country can be rebuilt as one nation and relationships restored.
Ø To share these writings with the wider society as a means to assist them to understand what has happened and why with the hope that attitudes will be changed and relationships restored.
Ø To disseminate selected writings internationally to enable friends and colleagues overseas to understand the current political crisis from the perspective of Timorese intellectuals, professionals, and others.
A.2. Activities and Process
Network members will be encouraged to write their reflections and share these with the others for comments and fine-tuning. The writing can be in any form an article, an essay, a message, an editorial, etc. Once a member has written his/her piece and received feedback, he/she will finalize it for publication. The Secretariat staff will be responsible for handling all the technical work and arranging translation if it is decided that the piece should be disseminated outside the country.
B. Forum Program
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network will organize regular forums on specific topics related to the current political crisis, record the proceedings, and publish them. These forums will bring together persons representing diverse views to facilitate discussions and reflection among them.
The general objectives of this Program are:
Ø To air divergent views in the country and provide space for debate. Ø To be one of the voices of civil society that offers ideas and opinions to the public to foster informed participation among citizens and develop the basic requirements of a democracy. Ø To publish the proceedings of the Forums for dissemination nationally and internationally
The specific objectives are as follows: Ø To encourage participation of all those attending. Ø To encourage discussion, debate and dialogue in a focused manner. Ø To stimulate the participants to be pro-active in their response to the presentations. Ø To create a dynamic atmosphere for interactive exchanges.
B.2 Dates and Themes of Forums
The East Timor Crisis Reflection Network will organize two Forums in Dili during the latter part of 2006 on topics of public interest. The first Forum will be on 23 September 2006 on the theme of National Unity: Seeking Solutions to the Current Crisis. The second will be held on 28 October 2006 on the general theme of Justice and Reconciliation. Expected number of participants will be 100.
These Forums will be for one day and will use two kinds of formats presentation of keynote speeches followed by a question and answer period for the morning session and small group facilitated discussions for the afternoon session. The Reflection Network will prepare terms of reference for the forums that will include names of possible speakers and guidelines for the speeches, the topics for the small group discussions, the names of possible facilitators, and the guide questions for the group discussions and guidelines for the group reports.
The proceedings of these two Forums will be recorded and published. To promote this publication, the Reflection Network will organize a book launching in Dili on 10 December 2006, Human Rights Day.
In December 2006, the East Timor Crisis Reflection Network will undertake planning for the Forum Program for 2007, setting dates and themes for the Forums that will be held in the First Quarter of 2007.
B.3 Program Schedule of Forums
This shall be the general program schedule for all Forums organized by the Network:
8:30-9:00 Welcome and Introduction 9:00-10:00 First Keynote Address 10:00-10:15 Break 10:15-10:45 Question and Answer Period 10:45-11:45 Second Keynote Address 11:45-12:15 Question and Answer Period 12:15-1:30 Lunch 1:30-1:45 Presentation of Main Points of the Keynote Addresses & Q&A Period 1:45-3:30 Small Group Discussions 3:30-3:45 Break 3:45-4:45 Group Reports 4:45-5:45 Plenary Discussion 5:45-6:00 Closing: Summary and Expressions of Gratitude
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