Dili, July 10th, 2020: His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, expressed his sadness, because, in his words, the Timorese society don’t understand what the democracy is, and do not distinguish democracy, on one hand, and insults, on the other hand, whereas, seeming to think that insults are part of the democracy. `
“You know that in our tradition, in our culture, it is forbidden to insult anyone, insult other is forbidden by God. However, because we live in democracy, we could hurt and insult other people…what kind of democracy is this? If i knew it was going to be like this, that people would be able to insult at will, i wouldn’t had fought. Instead of being a civilized society , we are a badly educated society, with no respect for others. A society is only strong, if there is mutual respect”, said the Chief Executive, in response to questions from journalists regarding society concerns about the draft law amending the Penal Code, which includes the issue of criminalizing defamation, after the meeting with the President of Republic, this Thursday at the Presidential Palace.
In addition, the Former Chief of Staff of FALINTIL said that democracy teaches us good things, but people often use it badly.
Democracy teaches us good things. But sometimes we use it badly. Our nation is now approaching 20 years, so, sometimes we use this freedom in the wrong way, we threat each other badly, we insult people … Our Constitution defends people’s fundamental right to their good name, need to have it”, said the Head of Government.
Even so, the Head of Government wants society to give its opinion on the draft amendment of the Penal Code, so that a consensus can be reached between the Government and society in this matter.
The draft amendment of the Penal Code, which includes the issue of criminalizing defamation, is currently under consultations by the Ministry of Justice, so the Civil Society, the Church and the Media can give their opinions on this matter. Although we are still at the beginning of the consultation phase, an active discussion has already started, within society and on social network, with arguments for and against this change. END/PMO