Thursday, 8 November 2012


Vicente Maubocy 
OOPINION By Vicente Maubocy

Sister and brother Emilia and Alfredo Pires are trying to inscribe their names in the history of Timor-Leste through G7 or Taci Mane-like projects. They are very good at using opportunities (opportunists) and also at using other people’s sweat and effort (parasites). They sit in in their air conditioned offices and homes, did not spend any time campaigning, and suddenly they have the good fortune of becoming Finance Minister and Minister of Petroleum, their fate arising from Xanana’s big name, according to the “law of the least effort”.

The Melbourne Mafia is very smart when building their structure and putting together their people, and they dominate the Vth Constitutional Government for their own long term self- interest. In this case, the strategic positions are Finance Minister to manage the Government funds, Petroleum Minister, as petroleum is where the government gets all its money, the President of the Council of Ministers, this being the place where important agendas are elaborated and discussed and decisions at high level made, in a way totally controlled by the Melbourne Club Mafia. The Melbourne Club Mafia is aware of our Older Brother’s weaknesses, which helps them achieve their objectives. Facts and evidence will expose their maneuvers and manipulations.

Let’s analyze the trajectories of the Melbourne Club Mafia

Emilia Pires, as the Finance Ministry from 2007 onwards, tried to appropriate the G7 group for her personal projects, showing her performance inside Timor-Leste as well as outside. Inside Timor-Leste, she tried to convince Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to trust her so that she could impose her personal self-interested views as well as her cronies’ of the Melbourne Club. In that view, she tried to manipulate and dominate economic strategic sectors such as Finance and Petroleum and to manage the Petroleum Fund.

She attempted to convince the International Community through the World Bank Financial Institution. Her strategy for obtaining the trust of the World Bank is to use the flag of the fight against poverty through the institution of G7 so that in the end she could one day become a World Bank manager. She wants to emulate Sri Mulyani, a former Finance Minister from Indonesia, who became a World Bank manager. Emilia is confident that she could use G7 as a springboard to get acquainted with Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, and get nominated to the world class United Nations Millennium Development Goals Panel. AgioPereira, as the spokesman of Government, releases communiques in praise of Emilia Pires while other members of Government that do not belong to their group do not receive any attention despite their achievements.

In the worst cases of manipulation of the decisions of the Council of Ministers, the final version sent to the President of the Republic for publication in the Journal of the Republic is contrary to the decision. There are many examples, such as when the Government decided to lease the SAPT building to ENSUL for 99 years and the then Minister of Justice expressed his desire to re- examine the issue, which was not authorized by Agio Pereira. The same thing happened about the appointment of the temporary Chairman of the Board of RTTL, Esposito Ximenes, whose mandate was supposed to be for the duration of the Government only and a new Chairman should have been appointed by the new Government: in reality, it was learned later that the appointment of Mr. Esposito Ximenes had been recorded in the Journal of the Republic for a four year mandate.

Manipulations by Emilia Pires

Emilia Pire’s actions have demonstrated her ambition: to add the Foreign Affairs Minister’s portfolio to her own Finance Minister portfolio. According to the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the mission of the Foreign Affairs Minister is to execute the external affairs policies. A few years ago the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Zacarias Albano da Costa had a confrontation with Emilia Pires and big boss Agio Pereira of the Melbourne Club, involving Xanana. Emilia Pires had lobbied an Indian IT Training Institute to accept students from Timor. It appeared later that the Institute had no international recognition. More seriously, Emilia Pires sent her Director General for Cooperatives to sign an agreement, in violation of state protocol: in the case of a treaty between nations, in absence of the Minister, only the Vice-Minister is entitled to sign. Director General Santina Cardose was made Vice Minister and the decision was forced on old man Xanana.

In this Vth Constitutional Government, Jose Luis Guterres doesn’t have any power as foreign Affairs Minister, he doesn’t execute any foreign affairs policies, he just attends to meetings and establishes agendas according to Amelia’s strategic interests. Amelia Pires grasped the role of Foreign Minister so that she could solve the problems of the world and implement her ambitions with regards to the G7. Inside the country, Emilia Pires and Agio Pereira use Xanana’s influence to fulfill their own economic objectives. For all things, the final decision is theirs. For example, recently, before the formation of the Vth Government, they were not part to the electoral campaign efforts, but although the CNRT Party Structure was the one to really work hard, in the end it was not involved in the decision making to form the Government. The ones who decided were Agio Pereira, Emilia Pires, and the Melbourne Club.

Dionisio Babo is nominally the Secretary General of CNRT, but in reality the Secretary General is Agio Babo, advised by Emilia Pires. The list of cabinet candidates that was presented to Xanana was elaborated by Agio Pereira and Emilia Pires of the Melbourne Club. 

The list of candidates

prepared by the Executive Structure of CNRT did not even reach Xanana. This shows that the Melbourne Club tries hard to isolate Xanana from the structure of CNRT.

The composition of the Vth Government clearly shows that the Melbourne Club Mafia is consolidating its power through enhanced portfolios: Agio Pereira, Minister of State, President of the Council of Ministers, Emilia Pires, Finance Minister with a portfolio reinforced by that of the former Economy and Development Minister, Joao Goncalves, and Alfredo Pires, promoted from Secretary of State to Minister, thus gathering the power to make all the decisions for the big projects of Taci Mane, Greater Sunrise, etc. The Melbourne Club Mafia installed their people in all the key positions of the economy: Petroleum Fund Manager at the Finance Ministry, ANP, Timor GAP, FCDH, CNA, etc. The Melbourne Club also tried to obtain $200 million more for the budget by using the Petroleum Fund and financial operations on the international market. Emilia Pires with her Melbourne Club Mafia has also installed her agents in all Ministries and more importantly in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister where a strategy was elaborated to ensure that their messages reach the Prime Minister at the appropriate time. Before meeting with the Prime Minister to impose their plans, Emilia Pires, Alfredo Pires and Agio Pereira first call Elizabeth Esposto to inquire whether “the Prime Minister is in a good mood or not”. If Elizabeth says “the Prime Minister is in a god mood”, then they go and see Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao. A concrete result is the Hera port and there are many more.

Emilia Pires, Alfredo Pires, Agio Pereira and their Melbourne Club Mafia enjoy a special treatment: for example, only just recently, before the Budget Ratification, all members of government had to stay in Timor to discuss the issue. However, the Melbourne Club could enjoy their holiday abroad, instead of staying home to discuss the Budget Ratification.

The Budget Ratification wasn’t obtained yet that Agio Pereira went overseas, and Alfredo Pires and his Melbourne Club spent the holidays in Bali, at Nusa Dua, while other Members of Government were in Parliament, responding to Parliamentarian criticism.
Emilia Pires manages to impose her desires and ambition to appropriate G7 in order to promote herself so that one day she can obtain a position of responsibility within some international financial institution. She takes advantage of Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao and other available resources, technical and financial, at her office to promote her activities at G7 level. Helder da Costa is the intellectual PhD and the Master of Ceremonies to promote Emilia Pires’ image, prestige and name within international financial institutions, so that one day she can develop some career at the World Bank.

Evidence of these self-promotional efforts is to be found in the “Four Corners” program of Australian ABC on October 1st, 2012. She showed herself on television, discussing tax matters related to Bayu Undan, claiming that ConocoPhillips owed $3 billion in back taxes. I have the feeling that this is some big absurdity. Why did she not wake up until now? Five years in the job and Emilia Pires’ and Alfredo Pires’ teams were not interested in the matter until now? Didn’t the tax teams of the Ministry of Finance and the accounting team of ANP monitor the production quantities weekly, monthly and yearly? More ironically, upon inquiring ourselves with ANP in the past, we found the data there were absolutely inconsistent. When we inquired about the correct data from the Australian Resource Department, we were told that ANP was in charge of all that information (big confusion).

Later on, a lady from the Australian Resource Department came to visit Emilia Pires and when she inquired about production quantities, Emilia said: “I don’t know!” (big absurdity). She should have said: “I don’t know the exact quantities but however I will let you know after I consult with the relevant division”. This shows Emilia Pires is a “dimwit”.

Alfredo flew to Suai in a UN helicopter with the ABC reporter to make propaganda for his mega project, Taci Mane. They then went to Hera to show the Power Plant and he said that the pipeline from Sunrise would supply the gas for the Power Station. More ridiculously, Alfredo promoted the Hera Power Plant as his own project, within his portfolio. According to regulation, he should have invited Januario Pereira, the Secretary of State for Electricity, to accompany him, as this project belongs to Januario’s Department.
I asked Januario about the visit and he said: “Brother, I didn’t know”. I told Januario: “you must be careful with the Melbourne Club Mafia, we will end up like headless chicken”. Also, “we cleared the land, sowed the seeds, harvested the crop, took the crop to the house and cooked, after which the Melbourne Club Mafia stole all the food from us. They eat and are satisfied, but we only have air to fill our bellies and by the end of the day we will be sick”.

I have no idea how Alfredo will bring the gas from Beaco to Hera. Which means of transportation will he use? Pipeline? Ships? Trucks? From the way it looks his concept is not very clear. How can Alfredo achieve success? I have a lot of doubt about Alfredo’s capacity to carry out his Taci Mane project. In the next article, I will describe in detail all the reasons why the Taci Mane Project will not succeed, so that readers can appreciate the issues and make their own assessments.

Practice is the criterion of truth, acts derive from thinking. From their behavior, I am convinced that the Melbourne Mafia now in the Vth Government dominates the strategic sectors of Finance, Petroleum and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, with their own agenda about all the important national issues. I can see that some members of the Vth Government are clever, but they don’t have the courage to counter the Melbourne Club Mafia.

How can we fight the manipulations of the Melbourne Club Mafia?

This is the responsibility of all, Parliamentarians, Politicians, Academics, Businesspeople: all together we have the strength to destroy it.

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