For the PM's mate it's ok to criticise but not for the media

April 14, 2016


By Ted McDonnell

IN January 2013, former Fretilin Parliamentarian Jose Teixeira gave me a lengthy interview on the government of Xanana Gusmao. He was highly critical of Gusmao's government; mis-handling of the economy and the petroleum fund.

Teixeira agreed because of the poor policies of the Gusmao government Timor Leste may very soon become a basket case like Nauru. Teixeira was highly critical of Gusmao's government in this interview.

He also states in the interview he would never want to trample over of human rights and the rule of law of his fellow Timorese.

Fast forward to 2016.

Teixeira is a long-time personal friend and confidante of Prime Minister Rui de Arjuao, who is considered a puppet of former PM Xanana Gusmao.

Today, Teixeira's company Da Silva Teixeira is a key legal advisor to the Government of Timor Leste.

Teixeira's friend Dr. Rui has entered into legal proceedings of defamation against Raimundos Oki. The action could see Oki jailed.

I wonder whether Dr. Rui sought advice from his lawyer friends at Da Silva Teixeira on his silencing action against the media.

Teixeira is one who has always spoken about freedom of speech and freedom of the media, but one must ask two things:

(1) Is Teixeira advising Dr. Rui on his shutting down of freedom of speech in the media; and

(2) Should Teixiera himself face legal action by the government due to the criticisms in his interview in 2013?

Surely, there are clear double standards in Timor Leste today given the pressure being put on the media and journalists such as Raimundos Oki and Teixeira's own comments in 2013.

There is lots of hypocrisy today in Dr. Rui's government...

Since this interview the political elite has further prospered.

Corruption has prospered.

Teixeira himself has prospered through his well connected legal practice.

His friend Dr. Rui has prospered.

But the wealth of Timor Leste has been squandered.

Journalists are being victimised for doing their duty as reporters, and at the same time the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

And, the final insult is that nepotism well and truly exists in Timor Leste all the way to the Courts. Public Prosecutor in the defamation case against Oki is Lydia Soares... a relative of the Prime Minister's family... 

Well, I suppose one has to keep the family in work!

In the meantime, Dr. Rui, PM, is running a defamation case that would lose in any court in the western world in a bid to protect embedded corruption in Timor Leste!