The Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR - the Portuguese acronym) - was set up in 2001 and functioned from 2002 until its dissolution in December 2005. It was an independent, statutory authority led by seven East Timorese Commissioners and mandated by UNTAET Regulation 2001/10 to undertake truth seeking for the period 1974-1999, facilitate community reconciliation for less serious crimes, and report on its work and findings and make recommendations. Its 2,800 page report entitled 'Chega!' was presented to the President, Parliament and Government of Timor-Leste following its completion in October 2005.
POST-CAVR TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT
Following the dissolution of CAVR in December 2005, President Xanana Gusmao inaugurated a Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat to complete unfinished CAVR projects. The Secretariat occupies the same historic prison site in Dili as CAVR and has four principal responsibilities. These are (a) to disseminate the CAVR report and other products, (b) to complete CAVR's publishing program, (b) to care for the CAVR archives and (d) to care for the Comarca heritage site. The Secretariat has no research or reconciliation mandate.
Parliament and Government to address Chega!
The new Timor-Leste Parliament, elected in 2007, has asked the Parliament's Committee A to address the CAVR Report Chega! in 2008. Committee A, which is also responsible for human rights and justice, will focus on the recommendations in the report. The Committee, which is chaired by Fernanda Borges MP and comprises 11 other MPs from a cross-section of political parties, is currently preparing a work plan and is expected to begin its deliberations when the current state of siege is lifted. The Government has included implementation of the CAVR recommendations in its National Priority Program for 2008 and provided funding to the Post-CAVR Secretariat (see below).
Post-CAVR Secretariat assists Parliamentary process
The Timor-Leste Parliament's Committee A has requested the Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat to back it up with technical support during its discussion of the CAVR report in 2008. To date, the Secretariat has briefed the Committee on its work, printed 7-volume sets of the full CAVR report for every Member of Parliament, drafted and contributed to strategic briefings, and distributed other CAVR material including the Chega! Executive Summary.
The Dili office of Irish Aid has provided 3 months of funding to enable the Post-CAVR Secretariat to employ a human rights lawyer. Unlike CAVR, the Post-CAVR Secretariat has not had any lawyers on staff since its establishment in December 2005. The lawyer will commence work at the Secretariat on 28 April 2008 and will specialize in advising the Parliament's Committee A and other stakeholders on the legal complexities of the CAVR report. More