• Note of repudiation of Timor-Leste’s vote on the draft UN Resolution on the crisis in Myanmar

    The PDHJ has been following closely and with great concern the rapid escalation of the violation of human rights that is taking place in Myanmar, perpetrated by the military that took over the power of this country by means of a military coup d’état that took place last February 2021.

    The killing of peaceful protesters, arbitrary arrests, harassment and attacks against members of civil society and journalists, as well as restricting citizens’ access to information, limiting freedom of expression and demonstration, through the imposition of limits and restrictions in access to telecommunications and the Internet, they constitute clear violations of human rights, totally incompatible with the fundamental rights, duties, freedoms and guarantees associated with a free and democratic State governed by the rule of law.

    In line with the responsibilities and obligations listed by the affiliation of the State of Timor-Leste, through the PDHJ, to the South East Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF), which is a Regional Forum of National Human Rights Institutions of six countries from southeast Asia, and which includes important members of ASEAN such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar, the PDHJ carried out several actions with the competent bodies, to find out what actions were taken by the State of Timor-Leste in order to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the current situation in Myanmar, in order to ensure a prompt restoration of individual guarantees and respect for human rights by the military authorities that assumed power in that country, and at the same time find a way to restore the democracy.

    The people of Timor-Leste, an independent and sovereign nation after 24 years of occupation, know what it is to live under violent subjugation and without the full enjoyment of their fundamental rights, duties, freedoms and guarantees. For this same reason, it becomes a moral imperative for our Government to be the first to support other brotherly peoples in their struggle for the same rights that we ourselves have pursued, suffered and conquered for so many years and with such sacrifice, regardless of the political position that other nations may have on the same subject, no matter what they may be.

    It was with great pride that we witness the issuance of Resolution 17/2021 of June 2, 2021 by the National Parliament of Timor-Leste on the issue of Myanmar and the intervention carried out on March 12, 2021, by the representative of the Permanent Mission of Timor-Leste at the United Nations in which he expressed Timor-Leste’s concern regarding the current situation in Myanmar, focusing in particular on the human rights violations that occurred in that country, and calling for an ongoing dialogue between the parties involved to find peaceful solutions to this issue, calling for the release of all arbitrarily detained persons and political prisoners.

    We also highlight the international diplomatic effort made by the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. José Ramos-Horta, in the search for effective peaceful solutions to resolve the Myanmar crisis.

    Therefore, and looking at all these efforts already made by our country, it was with great sadness and incomprehension that we now witness Timor-Leste’s abstention from voting on the draft resolution on the situation in Myanmar, especially when important ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam voted in favor of this same resolution.

    We hope that the State of Timor-Leste will find some means that can somehow mitigate the lack of unequivocal support that it showed in this vote, in the international repudiation and lack of solidarity for the situation experienced by the brother people of Myanmar.