Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) warmly welcomes all of you present in this important occasion; your participation today reflects your moral support to the commitment of LABEH in promoting the culture of transparency and accountability in the state administration through advocacy and in leading the civil society’s role in the fight against corruption in Timor-Leste.
Today’s Anniversary is very special one because we are celebrating the eight year anniversary with a national seminar on the “Strengthening the Active Participation of the Citizens in Public and Private Sectors to Fight against Corruption and in Promoting Good-Governance” and celebrating anniversary of LABEH as an organization, celebrating one year of LABEH Radio FM 91.2 MHz, launching of LABEH Strategic Plan for 2011-2015, graduation of LABEH-VS students on Good-Governance Administration, Investigative Journalism and English Language and farewell party to LABEH Good-Governance Administration Students.
The progress and the achievements made so far in LABEH-VS objective are significant. We are graduating today 71 students from Good-Governance Administration, Investigative Journalism and English Language making it a total of 2, 200 students since April 2004 which we considered a significant achievement and our contribution to human capacity development in the country and LABEH’s contribution to the nation in the area of human resource capacity development sector.
Celebration comes with happiness and joy, but LABEH is celebrating with courage of the huge challenges ahead of us, the fight against corruption. The work is plenty but the laborers are few, the vision and mission has been defined but lack of human and financial resources to carry on our activities to our people has remained a troubling concern.
Since its founding in August 25, 2003, LABEH has focused attention and emphasis on initiatives that intensify the engagement and capabilities of the civil society in effective governance and promote transparency, accountability and fight against corruption. Effective democratic forms of governance rely on public participation, accountability and transparency. Improving integrity, or developing and implementing strategies for prevention or control of corruption, is an integral part of ensuring accountability.
LALENOK BA EMA HOTU (LABEH) is the testimony of our conscience with a pure motive and sincerity of heart of the condition of our people to a better standard of living, which every citizen has right to, and in relation of their own involvement in the process. The poverty experienced by our people motivated the need to establish this organization, which aims to give cause for reflection on the condition of our people. Thus there is a great motivation in our hearts for LABEH to serve the purpose of encouraging full participation of the civil society and the people towards transparency, accountability and Anti-Corruption. The vision and motivation in our hearts are the aspirations of our people towards a better standard of life and the eradication of poverty and illiteracy.
The fundamental motivating force behind all the activities of Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it pertains to the alleviation of human suffering, the development of people and the fostering of love, human dignity, economic and social justice, transparency and accountability, fighting corruption, and promoting economic justice.
LABEH is an expanding non-profit, non-political and non-governmental organization. LABEH is the acronym name of “Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu”. Which is translated in English as (The Mirror of the People) is a National-based non-governmental organization, which tries to raise awareness on issues of transparency, accountability, good-governance, economic justice and anti-corruption. Our main objective rests on Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption.
We at LABEH acknowledge that values cannot be legislated they must be lived. No document can substitute for attitudes, decisions, and actions that constitute the fabric of our life and work. LABEH speaks and acts honestly, open and factual in dealings with donors, project communities, government, the public at large, and with each other, and endeavors to convey a public image of conformity with these principles, always striving for consistency between what it said and what it does.
Therefore, we covenant with each other before God the Most High to do our utmost individually and as cooperative entities within LABEH, to uphold transparency and accountability as a core values to our activities, to honor them in our decisions, to express them in our relationships, and to act consistently with it whenever and wherever LABEH is at work.
LABEH pursues its mission and objective through an integrated commitment to four fundamental programs:
(1) Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption
(2) Budget Monitoring,
(3) Advocacy and Monitoring,
(4) Education, Training and Capacity Development
We considered that our objectives would be better served by committing to only 4 programs. Thus, we concentrated all our efforts towards raising awareness about the issues of corruption, Budget Transparency, Advocacy on the issues that LABEH is engaged in and Capacity Development for our students and the general public. Our challenge, therefore, is to ensure that our activities growth accelerates steadily. We will have to devote the years to come to laying the ground for this process to continue to blossom.
August 25, 2003 was Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu’s birthday. This day marked the birth of “The Mirror of the People”. August 25 each year is a day when we stopped and looked back with pride at what we have achieved and some of the challenges that we will face in the future. “LALENOK” means “MIRROR” what you see in the mirror is what you get, like it or not! The mirror does not lie to you or to me. Mirrors are the friends of magicians and the enemy of aging movie stars. There are round mirrors, square mirrors, big mirrors, small mirrors, compact mirrors, bathroom mirrors, rearview mirrors, and all kinds of mirrors.
Who is the fairest of us all? What greater vanity can be expressed than that of the wicked witch in the white snow? The witch was obsessed with the desire to be the most beautiful woman in the world. She loved her mirror; she spoke to it in terms of endearment until one day the mirror gave her an answer and she did not know which she hated more, snow white or the mirror that refused to lie.
If a dog is a man’s best friend, perhaps his worst enemy is his mirror. Well, maybe his mirror is not really his worst enemy; it merely reflects the image of his most formidable opponent. Now, “Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) comes along and intends to reflect on everything of interest to the people. LABEH’s mirror is gentle and kind. It tells the truth, which is scary enough, but it does it with encouragement and wisdom.
Timor-Leste has emerged from a period of some 500 years of colonial rule, where our communities had little control over their resources. Independence should bring a unique opportunity for developing governmental structures that are appropriate, transparent, sustainable, effective and efficient. Our people in the districts seems to have been forgotten and abandoned, many are still eating rice without vegetables, and most do not have access to clean water and public health facilities. Most of our children are still out of school, and most parents cannot afford their children’s school fees. Yet, there are corrupt practices within government administration due to favors and patronage rather than promotion by merit and adherence to the rule of law.
OUR VISION, MISSION, OBEJECTIVE, VALUES AND MANDATE
The prosperity of the nation through a clean government
LABEH’s mission is to work with people to promote transparency, integrity and accountability; and monitor the public officials to deliver services against the indicators of transparency, accountability, good-governance and economic justice. To hold the government to carry out to its promises on transparency and accountability; to encourage the government to eliminate economic disparity and to combat corruption and poverty, to be active in the struggle to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability; to coordinate, facilitate research and publish the results.
To provide quality information to the people by empowering them to be active in the struggle to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability and to protect the fundamental rights of the people to a better life; Promote the maximum welfare of the people, and monitor and report all instances of corrupt practices or abuse of power by any individual or institution.
Persisting on non violence, non discrimination, Promoting Civil Society Organization participation, independence, non partisan and voluntarism; promoting team spirit based on transparency and accountability
To be active in articulating transparency and accountability on behalf of the people and to act and speak on behalf of the voice of the voiceless;
LABEH is on the process of becoming a national chapter of Transparency International, an international NGO whose solo mission is to fight against corruption in the whole world. LABEH is a member of UNCAC Coalition, (United Nations Convention Against Corruption), LABEH is partner with International Budget Partnership (IBP), LABEH is a member of Publish What You Pay and Publish What You Fund.
This expands LABEH’s scope of work into the global community where corruption has pervaded almost every sectors of the public life, with a system of patronage well entrenched in our societies. All these activities provided great opportunities for LABEH to deepen the knowledge about corruption issues and to expand network with other anti-corruption advocates and practitioners both within and outside Timor-Leste.
LABEH accepts its obligation of joint partnership, shared goals and mutual accountability that true partnership requires while affirming its independence and willingness to yield autonomy as necessary for the common good. LABEH is a partner with those it serves and those who contribute to its shared vision to maintain a cooperative stance and a spirit of openness towards other humanitarian organizations, willing to receive and consider honest opinions from others about its work.
LABEH is Responsive
LABEH is responsive to new and unusual opportunities, encourages innovations and creativity, and maintains an attitude of learning, reflection and discovery in order to grow in understanding and skill.
LABEH is Responsible
The resources at LABEH’s disposal are not its own. They are a sacred trust from God through individual contributions and donors on behalf of the people. LABEH is faithful to the purpose for which those resources are given, and manages them in a manner that brings maximum benefit to those concerned. LABEH gives priority to people before money, structure, systems and other institutional mechanisms; always acts in ways that respect the dignity and uniqueness of every person.
LABEH is Committed
LABEH promotes engagement of local community to create stronger demand for good governance and accountability. LABEH is called to serve the people to relieve their sufferings caused by corruption, and to promote justice, peace, unity, love, and rule of law in the country. LABEH stands in solidarity with those who seek justice. LABEH speaks and acts honestly, open and factual in dealings with donor communities, governments, the public at large, and with each other, and endeavors to convey a public image of conformity with these principles, always striving for consistency between what is said and what is does.
We take great pleasure in celebrating LABEH’s Eight year of existence. Despite the challenges, we faced since August 2003. We have made some significant achievements in this eight year of our anniversary, of particular mention are:
· LABEH Strategic Plan 2011-2015
· Parallel Review of the UNCAC for Timor-Leste
· Open Budget Transparency Initiative
· National Consultation on Draft Anti-Corruption Law
· National March Against Corruption on UNCAC DAY
· Participation of LABEH in International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok
· Participation of LABEH in TI Regional Program Meeting in Malaysia
· The establishment of the 13 district networking on the fight against corruption.
· The National Consultation on the Government option to Establish the Anti-Corruption Commission for Timor-Leste
· National Campaign against Corruption
· Community Based Monitoring System
· One District one Village Initiative
· National Socialization in Promoting Transparency and Good-Governance in distribution of Government Rice Subsides
· Socialization of Procedures for Local Products
· Establishment of LABEH Vocational School of Languages and Humanities (LABEH-VS)
· Signing of MoU with Dili Institute of Theology (DIT)
· Signing of MoU with Timor-Leste Press Club (TLPC)
· LABEH School of Investigative Journalism
· LABEH School of Good-Governance Office Administration
· LABEH School of Basic English Language
· Establishment of LABEH Radio FM 91.2 Mz
· Establishment of LABEH Website: www.labeh.org
· Production of LABEH Magazine: Voice of LABEH
· Rehabilitation of LABEH main office
· Graduation of over 2,200 students of LABEH-VS
In the last eight years, LABEH have been able to accompany the growth of our country and especially in supporting the development process on transparency and accountability and demonstrating solidarity with our government in promoting good-governance and in establishing the Anti-Corruption Commission for Timor-Leste. We have also participated in networks of NGOs working together to promote transparency, accountability, and economic justice in perfect harmony with the government.
Therefore, we will continue our work and provide support to all efforts towards sustainable development for our organization and contribute to government initiatives of transparency wherever we are needed. As we have so effectively demonstrated to our people, our capacity to provide critical information on the political and social development in our country and the pursuit of transparency and accountability in government proceedings are beyond reproach. Therefore, we will continue our work and provide support to all efforts to combat corruption and towards sustainable development and economic justice.
LABEH existence has not been an easy road to travel. We have worked in the street of mockery. Those who were before us have humiliated us. We have been predicted to fall apart by those who do not understand our mission and vision, some told us that our mirror has been broken, some told us that we are sleeping, some told us to close down, and some told us that we are not going to be successful, some ask us how many corruptors have gone to prison in Timor-Leste, some also told us that we have worked for 1000 days but the result of our work is zero.
Some also take pride in our work and encourages us to continue our work and activities for the betterment of our country and strive for a free corruption nation but our unwavering commitment to participate in the development process of our country and promote the participation of the civil society in the fight against corruption has led to our dedication and work.
If in the past we had so much to look forward to despite the odds, there is every reason for everyone in LABEH to be happy and be pleased with the present, and to be optimistic about the future.
Therefore as we look toward the future, we can feel that the Timorese government has now shown an encouraging development and environment for the civil society organizations (CSOs) to work in the anti-corruption efforts than ever before. These recent developments can be seen in the engagement of the civil society organizations especially Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) who conducted the civil society public consultation on the policy of the government to establish anti-corruption commission in Timor-Leste shows the wider political environment and space for better engagement and collaboration between the state and the non-state actors to tackle corruption issues in the country.
However, we know that there are still great challenges ahead in the fight against corruption as we learned that eliminating corruption is never an easy job. It takes time, evolves great risks and demands unrelenting commitments. It might be very hard to measure the impact and demonstrate the results of work we are going to achieve.
But as corruption continues to negatively impact all sectors in Timor-Leste and especially the poor and vulnerable; distorts fair distribution of the national wealth and divert public resources intended for the poor and vulnerable in the hands of the few; and undermines development efforts which resulted in further victimizing those that are already socially and economically disadvantaged, we know we cannot ignore and turn our back on the issues. Instead we must do something as individual, as groups and as an organization for the sake of us all, especially for our future generations.
Highlights of LABEH Radio FM 91.2 MHz
There is no doubt that radio plays an essential role in the Timor-Leste’s development process as an instrument for peace-building, literacy, information pluralism, among other significant improvements. The researched international experience on radio information broadcasting shows that this service represents a genuine promoter of socioeconomic progress and has a great potential for generating social change in a democratic setting.
Radio is a medium, which combines the benefits of low cost with wide range and access in a community context; it is known to offer limitless opportunities for attaining development objectives. The main key in this process is to have clear norms that guarantee a plurality of voices and opinions. Given the high illiteracy rate and limited access to printed media, most of our people in Dili and districts rely on radio to obtain information as many cannot afford to buy television.
LABEH initiated Radio Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu to provide critical information to a broad cross-section of our society on our Vision and Mission to promote Transparency, Accountability, Good-Governance and Anti-Corruption. The principal objective of LABEH Radio is to increase the Timorese people’s level of knowledge about and effective participation in, the reconstruction and development of our country through providing information on good governance, transparency, accountability and combating corruption including economic justice and civic education.
Radio LABEH aims to raise greater public awareness about corruption, transparency and accountability. LABEH radio raises the awareness on the important issues of corruption and implementation of transparency as the only foundation for good governance.
Radio Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) draws on existing information on important topics, such as, Transparency, Accountability, Good-Governance and Anti-Corruption, Political Development, Economic Justice, Rule of Law, , Cultural and Social Rights, respect and enforcement of property rights and land ownership, etc.
LABEH has explored means of ensuring that our information is appropriately packaged and reaches broad audiences as the most effective medium for conveying information to our people. Radio Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) programs features local specialist speaking and answering questions about their areas of expertise. The discussion between members of civil society and people with knowledge usually accessible only to experts or those inside the system would help to break down the cultural and information barriers that separate our people from their leaders.
Radio Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) programs also feature LABEH staff and renowned commentators from different backgrounds interviewing knowledgeable guests, the speakers come from various backgrounds of our society and speak on various topics of public interest.
Radio Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) also features some special radio packages such as:
a) Radio Magazine
b) Voice of Transparency
c) LABEH Talk-Show
d) Exclusive Interview
e) Talk to LABEH
f) Voice of the People
g) LABEH News
h) LABEH Drama and Poems
All these Programs are broadcast weekly with guest on different topics and issues with regular weekly news analysis, and three monthly live public discussion dialogues on special issues by government officials and civil society. Drama/poetry weekly radio package entertainment programs are prepared by LABEH Drama Group, accompanies most of the radio programs that would help our people to understand more of the topics being discussed.
LABEH Radio has taken the lead in the history of Timor-Leste as the best City radio. The radio program take the form of an informative radio magazine, with coverage of the actual events and corruption cases, emphasizing the principles of good governance, and publicizing efforts being made to curb corruption in Timor-Leste.
Our promotion sport and jingle for LABEH radio. Is “Transparencia nudar lalenok ba ema hotu, Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu LABEH lian ba transparencia” which is translated in English to be “Transparency is like a Mirror of the People, Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu LABEH is the voice for transparency”. Jingle: Radio LABEH your Transparency Channel. “Hakarak hatene konaba transparncia rona radio LABEH FM 91.2 MHz” which is translated in English to be “if you want to know about transparency listen to radio LABEH FM 91.2 MHz was produced by our President Dr. Jose Ramos Horta on the inauguration of the radio on 25 August 2010.
LABEH radio FM 91.2 MHz aimed at increasing public awareness on important issues of public interest in Timor-Leste as it relates to economic justice, human rights, judiciary and corruption, promote transparency and accountability and actions which may be taken to strengthen the country’s integrity system and to raise awareness to critical information on public issues. Provide information about our work and the work of others in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has been greatly achieved.
LABEH radio now reaches part of 4 districts of Timor-Leste meanly Liquisa, Ermera, Manatuto and Dili broadcasting daily beginning from 6.00AM to 12.00PM. It aims to raise greater public awareness about corruption, transparency and accountability. The radio program takes the form of an informative radio magazine, with coverage of the actual events and corruption cases, emphasizing the principles of good governance, and publicizing efforts being made to curb corruption in Timor-Leste.
Each episode has Terms of Reference (TOR) and a topic for discussion. The topic helps to hold the attention of the listeners for the whole program. Special music and reports on the efforts of the government and individuals to curb corruption and related editorials in the national newspapers are used for most of our references.
Our interactive radio talk show where our listeners call in to ask questions or to air their opinions on the topic being discussed is a testament that we are now reaching broader audience. People in Timorese civil society, government, Parliament and NGOs have benefited from our radio talk show as they tell us that LABEH Radio becomes the only reliable sources to get information on the actual political development in the country and continues to be very important. Men and women including youth and children have also benefited from the radio, during the 12 months of its operation. Men and Women called in on our interactive radio talk shows including youths and children to air their opinions and ask questions these shows how they have benefited from LABEH Radio and we now expect that LABEH radio would continue for many years.
Our objective to reach a wider audience has been met in principle as people from outside Dili are now listening to our radio programs. We have also been able to invite the four organs of sovereignty in Timor-Leste to participate in our radio talk show (Government, Parliament, Presidency, and the Court) others who have participated in our radio talk show are Academics, Heads of NGOs, Pastors, local authorities, Students and ordinary people. Our listeners also suggest topics of public interest and send to us to include in the radio talk show.
Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) reiterates its commitment to raising awareness on the critical information on public issues and to provide information on political development in Timor-Leste to hold the government to honor its commitment no transparency and accountability in State affairs, to combat corruption and renew efforts towards a drastic and continuous reduction of poverty in our country.
We believe that LABEH will continue to pioneer a media campaign that will eventually be expanded to the 13 districts; we hope that you would continue to support LABEH’s dedication in promoting civil society’s role in fighting corruption through its radio and other activities related to our vision and mission.
Highlights of LABEH strategic plan 2011-2015
Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) strategic plan 2011-2015 intends to develop a results-based accountability system to our organization. It is our roadmap. Strategic planning to help us keep on our course to fight against corruption and promote transparency and accountability in our country, this strategic plan is a roadmap to tell us, where we are, where we want to go, and how we want to get there, like the saying says “Any road will do as long as you don't know where you are going.”
LABEH strategic plan 2011-2015 will help us to decide if there are new opportunities and the choices we encounter will get us closer to our goals or are detours to be avoided. It is critical that we review this strategic plan at least annually to accommodate new developments in technology, client requests, the economy, emerging trends, and our own organizational interests.
The strategic plan will reinforce already existing state and government institutions including the civil society advocating for transparency and anti-corruption to make them more efficient and effective, urging the government of creating mechanism of coordination that will enable minimization of the pernicious effects of duplication of efforts, creating other institutions at the various levels of the public services as justified, as well as reinforce and /or create appropriate mechanism of audit and inspections that will ensure that all decisions are taking responsibly and all established procedures and processes are complied with.
The purpose of LABEH Strategic Plan 2011-2015 is to guide our efforts, inspiration and cohesion to fight corruption in Timor-Leste. Learning from the experience of other organizations who have already been engaged in various anti-corruption activities and building on successes of similar efforts in other countries, we believe we can significantly make contribution to alleviate corruption in Timorese society. Our work is very important and we need support so that we can make a difference.
Highlights of LABEH Vocational School of Languages and Humanities (LABEH-VS)
As a new Nation, Timor-Leste is working to develop in several sectors, and the professional formation education has been identified as a top priority by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. According to Article 59, section 3 of the Constitution, the Government, “recognizes and supervises private and cooperative education” allowing private investment in the entire sector from kindergarten to higher education. It enables private initiatives to participate in the education sector to help in reducing illiteracy and poverty and to promote a set of life and learning skills that promote a continuing ability and desire to learn, and a set of technical and professional skills that permits a range of career choices.
The principal objective of LABEH-VS is to develop a set of life and learning skills that promote a continuing ability and desire to learn, and a set of technical and professional skills that permit a range of career choices and increase the Timorese people’s level of capacity to effectively participate in, the reconstruction and development of our country through providing training on English Language Courses, Investigative Journalism, Information Technology, Good-Governance Office Administration and Languages and Humanities.
The preparation programs are designed to improve students’ capacity and skills. It has been developed for today’s sophisticated professional formation students. It is an academically oriented, especially designed for Timorese job seekers students.
LABEH-VS program is valuable introduction to business, preparation for employment and preparation for further studies. It provides a foundation for democratic discourse through capacity development and literacy, it helps increase productivity, and it provides skills and abilities for an increased formal workforce. Capacity in all fields is fundamental to our country’s developments; English Language, good-governance office administration and other skill capacity developments are unquestionably part of the nation building.
Timorese civil society, government, Parliament and NGOs have benefited from LABEH-VS as they told us that LABEH training program becomes the only reliable English language training center and office administration for students to study and a very positive contribution to the nation.
Men and women including housewives, youths and children, have also benefited from the training program during these eight years. For example; some of our students are now in Cuba, England, South Korea, some in India, Malaysia, America, Macau, Philippians, Liberia and Indonesia to mention but a few.
Some members of our National Parliament has participated in our English language course, others include the PNTL (police), F-FDTL, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, university students, senior and junior high school, NGOs and the public at large.
We also initiated four programs titled “LABEH Reading Day, LABEH English Speaking Tour and Talent Night, and a special on the job training for our good-governance administration and investigative journalism” for students of all levels of LABEH-VS to increase their skills and capacities.
I wish to extend my great appreciation and my Congratulations to all the students who participated in LABEH-VS and made it through to the end. We have been like a family and friends during your studies and I have learnt a lot from you. I am sad that you are leaving LABEH but I am happy that you are going to implement what you have studied in LABEH-VS into practice and face the realities of practicing your new English language.
Finally, we want to thank all those who have shown interest in the activities and have contributed financial or materials to assist LABEH in its activities and programs, our heartfelt thanks goes to the Australian Government through AusAID, United States of America, USA Embassy, Caritas Australia, Finland Government, Transparency International, President of the Republic, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, Dr. Jorge Lynch for providing financial and material assistance to support LABEH. Your support and grants has enabled our organization to do things that would otherwise not have been possible for LABEH to do and added a real value to our organization.
I will never forget the Australian Activist who donated the first ever old laptop to LABEH, it is this old laptop that LABEH started its program activities with, in fact there is a miracle in this laptop, your gift of a laptop has changed the face of our organization, God bless you wherever you maybe today, I have donated the laptop to another NGO as you said. We all in LABEH are grateful to you and owe you our respect.
May this eight year of LABEH’s birthday bring about the beginning of a strong partnership and cooperation between LABEH and other organizations, let this year inspire us all to continue supporting with greater fervor the activities of LABEH and its quest for good-governance and the promotion of transparency, accountability and economic justice.
My thanks and gratitude goes to all the former and current staff of LABEH, it is you that laid the foundation of this organization, it is you that need to be praised and it is you that needs to be happy to what you have achieved during this eight years, to the Board of Advisors, you have showed support and guidance to LABEH, many thanks to all of you, for all your contribution in building this organization, it is you that deserve to be congratulated in this eight year anniversary of LABEH, I pay special tribute to all LABEH staff in your efforts to stand with me when standing was not possible, you stand with me during ups and downs in the organization your efforts and understanding are greatly appreciated.
On behalf of LABEH and staff, we thank you all and looking forward for your continuing support on the activities of LABEH.
Thank you! And may God bless us all.
Dr. Christopher Henry Samson
Executive Director Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH)