Jun 23, 2014

East Timor elites try to muzzle media

East Timor's authorities want to restrict the media -- making a mockery of freedom of speech in the country. Jose Belo, East Timorese journalist and director of Tempo Semanal, explains.

The tale of East Timor’s controversial proposed media law is a story of insiders versus outsiders, of the rich versus the poor. Those inside the elite classes are seeking to implement a restrictive new media law so as to limit and control the information available to Timorese outside the elite group, as well as all those outside of East Timor.

The proposed media law is anti-democratic and unconstitutional and in clear breach of articles 40 and 41 in East Timor’s constitution, which uphold and protect the rights of the media, and citizens’ freedom of expression. The new law will, if passed, require that all journalists be certified by a government-controlled media council. Foreign journalists will require permits to report from East Timor, and citizen journalists using Facebook, blogs or Twitter will also need to have permission to report and express opinions.

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5 thoughts on “East Timor elites try to muzzle media

  1. Vincent O'Donnell

    For another look at the Timor Leste story, check out Beatriz’s War opening at Melbourne’s Cinema Nova, July 10th.

  2. CML

    The East Timorese have learnt well from the ‘first’ world countries. What you have described about the rich ripping off the poor, Jose, sounds a lot like situation normal to Australians, Americans and others.
    As for the impending new media laws in East Timor – the media here don’t need them, as they rarely inform the public of the facts in any situation. What’s more, they nearly always get away with it, Scot free! That includes our public broadcaster, ‘their ABC’!
    Corporations, big business and the super rich rule the world. The ordinary people do not matter. Welcome to the real world – the revolution is not far off!!

  3. klewso

    “Elites muzzling media”?
    They do it here too, editorially.

  4. AR

    Now I understand the meaning of “..mehhhh..” – sorta wot else is nu + waddya ‘spect?

  5. Andrew McIntosh

    When there are power voids, every rent-seeker and reptile comes wanting to fill it. But, as Mr. Belo points out, it wasn’t they who freed the nation. The people of East Timor aren’t the kind to just lie down and take it, and their nouveau riche may find that out to their cost.

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