quinta-feira, março 27, 2008

Portugal e Austrália celebram acordo de parceria


Infomação Imprensa

No seguimento da Declaração Conjunta assinada em Agosto último, o Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento – IPAD - e a Agência Australiana de Desenvolvimento Internacional – AusAID - dão mais um passo em frente na concertação em matéria de cooperação, através da celebração, hoje dia 27 de Março, de um Memorando de Entendimento que estabelece os princípios de uma parceria entre ambas as agências.

A parceria IPAD/AusAID basea-se no interesse partilhado em coordenar as respectivas cooperações no que toca ao desenvolvimento sustentável, à consolidação do Estado de Direito e ao respeito pelos Direitos Humanos em Timor-Leste.

Reconhecendo as vantagens comparativas que cada uma das instituições detém no âmbito da ajuda pública ao desenvolvimento, proceder-se-á à definição conjunta de áreas de actuação.

O documento é assinado pelo Presidente do IPAD, Prof. Doutor Manuel Correia e pelo Vice Director-Geral da AusAID Richard Moore.

3 comentários:

Ken Westmoreland disse...

Time to become amigos
Ken Westmoreland

In the light of Suharto's death, Paul Keating peddled out the 'Jakarta Lobby' canard about how some Australians saw Indonesia through the 'prism' of East Timor. Yet many commentators in Australia have taken an even more negative and distorted view of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries, simply because of East Timor.

It seems the Portuguese are easy game. Unlike the Indonesians' colonial master, the Dutch, the Portuguese are, ahem, "wogs", but unlike the Italians and the Greeks, they are not as well represented in Australia, or have as high a profile. Portugal-baiting has almost become the new Pom-bashing. If it's Portuguese, the conventional wisdom goes, it must be corrupt and incompetent, suspect, or sinister. It has overtones of black legend and blood libel. While Fairfax editors deferred to Paul Keating's quaint insistence on spelling Suharto's name as "Soeharto", rather than "Suharto", they, along with other media outlets, routinely misspell or mispronounce Portuguese names, usually turning them into Spanish ones.

Of course, it works the other way: as a Portuguese speaker, I have the advantage of being able to follow discussions about East Timor in that language, and can attest that English speakers do not have a monopoly on cultural arrogance, ignorance or prejudice. Many contributors seem to have a chip on their shoulder about the "Anglo-Saxons". Portuguese colonialism is absurdly romanticised, and while it is true that the Portuguese did not behave in East Timor like the British did in Australia, the notion that the Portugal's legacy is one of racial harmony and coexistence would be news indeed to the indigenous peoples of Brazil.

Some Portuguese-speaking contributors make the bizarre claim that having Portuguese as East Timor's language of government and courts is no more an anomaly than Australia having the British monarch as head of state, but not even the staunchest monarchist in Britain, never mind Australia, would suggest that affairs of state be conducted in Norman French. True, Tetum may be influenced by Portuguese, but that does not make it a form of Portuguese any more than the influence of English on French, make it a form of French.

The problem is not that Portugal has some sinister secret agenda in East Timor, but that it has no agenda at all. It is simply a façade, or to use the Portuguese expression para o inglês ver (for the English to see) in other words, for show. The truth is that the Portuguese are not really interested in Asia, and have not been for centuries. Portugal is probably the only country in Western Europe that has fewer ties with Asia now than it did in the sixteenth century. Rather like Australians and New Zealanders who "did" Europe when they were younger, it is as if the Portuguese went to Asia just to say that they did it once, they didn't like it, and they don't want to do it again.

Helping East Timor and promoting the Portuguese language are both laudable, but it is not necessary to do one in order to do the other. In fact, it's actually counterproductive. By confining their efforts to promote Portuguese to East Timor (or Macau and Goa) the Portuguese give the impression that it is a language of the past, and that they are only interested in preserving the past, rather than building the future, and confines a language of 200 million speakers to a ghetto.

If it is not unreasonable to ask "does East Timor need the Portuguese language?" it should not be unreasonable either to ask "does the Portuguese language need East Timor?" Even if nobody in East Timor wants to learn Portuguese, that doesn't mean that nobody else should want to, or that the language has no value. After all, few people in the Philippines speak Spanish, and few in Eritrea speak Italian, but this hardly deters Australians from studying either language.

Portugal and Brazil should be less worried about whether or not the East Timorese want to learn Portuguese, and more worried about the fact that their language is not more widely taught in universities in Australia and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region. Even in Western Europe and North America, Portuguese lags behind other European languages in the popularity stakes, with children in the UK more likely to learn Latin and (ancient) Greek. While Spain's international cultural organisation, the Instituto Cervantes, concentrates its activities on countries where Spanish is not spoken, Portugal's equivalent, the Instituto Camões wastes its limited funds and resources by promoting Portuguese in Brazil. It should be represented in Sydney, not São Paulo.

Or in Canberra. Perhaps, as a way of atoning for the 'Jakarta Lobby' and its rabidly anti-Portuguese comments over the years, the ANU could start teaching Portuguese, in addition to the many other European languages already taught there. A surprising move by DFAT has been the appointment of Peter Heyward, formerly Ambassador to Brazil, as Ambassador to East Timor, rather than some Indonesianist or Dick Woolcott clone.

Of course, it is tempting for people in Australia and Portuguese-speaking countries to dismiss the other as being too "poor" and/or "far away" to be of importance. Yet if Brazil is "poor", then why are Australian regional airlines buying Embraer aircraft from Brazil, and if Australia is "far away", then why does Brazil import left hand drive Holden Commodores from Australia? Of course a mutual interest in East Timor has brought Australia and Portuguese-speaking countries together, but to allow it to be a stumbling block to forming good relations between them is short-sighted, and a squandering of opportunities.

Anónimo disse...

i won't disagree with the arrogance and prejudice of the general portuguese community against the "anglo-saxons" and the blind romanticism of portuguese colonialism in timor (and even in other places).
however, there seems to be a fact constantly, and i would add comfortably, forgotten by most of the malai community (be it australians, portuguese, americans, whatever): it was the timorese people who chose the portuguese as one of the official languages of RDTL. upon the elections for the constituent assembly, the timorese chose their representatives to write the constitution of their nation. whether we malai like it, understand it, approve of it, or not. it was a timorese choice.
to worry about others worrying about their native language being well taught and well spoken is in my view a rather fruitless debate. portuguese language should be well taught and learnt accross the nation for it is one of its official languages. the same way english should be well taught and well learnt by all timorese for it is one of the working languages of the country. it is up to all of us, the cooperation for the development agents (consultants, ngo...), to assure that the timorese do have the tools they've chosen to have for their own self-rule.
instead of being appalled about portuguese concerns or agenda regarding the language, i believe all english speakers should be worried about their own native language being well spoken in timor. although it is frequently, and again i would add comfortably, forgotten, the fact remains that as far as it has been possible to witness most of the timorese do not speak english. they can somehow communicate, but im afraid they do not speak the language.
above all, what is sad to see, is the total inaction to correctly teach and learn the tetum language. the national institute of linguistic has developed in the last few years a remarkable work in establishing gramatical and lexicon rules for the language. it has been wasted up to this day. it is an obligation of the state, and then again of all of us cooperation agents, to assure that the tools for self-determination and self-rule as an independent nation are available to the entire population. language is definetly one of the most important among those.

Anónimo disse...

Ken Westmoreland raises some questions which are more than pertinent and which discussion would be though time consuming but rather interesting for the linguists, different social scientists and economists, not only of the portuguese speaking countries but also with their australian and indonesian collegues, and perhaps of some other asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, etc...

This probably might help to better understanding and approaching of different communities in which there are still lots of prejudices on the people of other cultures. In the present circumstances with Australia and Portugal fighting over Timor-Leste, the first one not only for the economic and strategic dominance but also cultural, and the second one for the cultural and preserving its historical memory preconceived ideas are common.

About the question raised as to which importance of having portuguese as one of the official languages in Timor, as the country of such small dimensions, it seems to me that it is competely different to have a language which is tought as one of foreign languages or being that language itself the official one.
Imagine that English has become the official language of Timor, and lots of foreign languages such as Indonesian, Chinese, Spanish, French, Greek, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, etc... are tought at schools. Which identity prevails?
Now imagine the situation which still is, with the Portuguese as one of the official languages of Timor with language schools teaching Indonesian, Chinese, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Latin, Dutch, German, English, Swahili, etc? Reflexion in a mirror seems different. It does not matter which the size of a country unless a country has its own identity.


Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!

Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006

"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.