From Tim Aderson:

On behalf of Timor Leste's eighteen new doctors, Dr Ercia gave a speech that shook the Timorese audience, on graduation day. Here is my English translation (from a Spanish version!) - the original Tetun is below.


Ercia’s speech

National University of Timor Lorosae, 3 September

Distinguished President … excellencies … colleagues …

This day, September 3, 2010, is a very special day in the important history of the National University of Timor Lorosae, where our dear Timorese are trained in the path of intelligence and intellectuality and which today provides for our graduation, as the first doctors trained in Cuba and Timor Leste, and which tomorrow will continue to graduate those from other colleges, to further build human resources in the development process of our country, Timor Leste.

In the reality we face today, many people still cannot read or write; many of them are then used by some leaders to achieve their goals without them knowing it. To escape from this path requires building high quality education, because if all Timorese are intelligent nobody can manipulate us, no-one can defeat us and this nation will be strong and will never fall into the hands of others.

Intelligence or education does not stand alone but rather has contributions from other sectors such as health and the economy. Today, tomorrow and into the future there will be many challenges and problems we will have to face, but we will struggle fearlessly with intelligence and realism.

One slogan says “health is in our hands”, but how can we strengthen this idea? To have good health we must eradicate all the most common diseases in our country, especially infectious diseases such as: dengue, malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, leprosy – that is, the diseases of poverty. Unfortunately our country is included as one of the poorest in the world. Malnutrition is also a major health problem in our country and to eradicate this requires a strong conscience and the will of a people with big hearts in solidarity and humanism, to serve and resolve the country’s health problems.

In our time abroad in Cuba, the main objective was for us to study medicine, and the point of that study was to return to our country to serve our beloved people. We know that during our study in Cuba the previous government received much criticism from many institutions, including the Catholic Church. In spite of all this we were motivated to learn and study more and more to reach our goal of becoming doctors to serve our country, Timor Leste.

When we arrived in Cuba, we received all training in theory and practice and we dedicated ourselves as Timorese looking for experience and intelligence in Cuba, but to return and live as Timorese.

Through the academic training we received and the professionalism that we have achieved, we are ready to dedicate ourselves to serving the government and the peoples of this country, without personal or private interest. We do not seek wealth for ourselves but rather to serve the people with dedication and a spirit of humanism that does not see race, locality, religion, gender or political parties, but which serves all people according to the teaching of God.

In the process of development which the government wants to achieve, we who trained as doctors are ready to work with the government to help the Timorese peoples live in good health and to have a long life, wherever they may be.

In the profession we have, serving the people, we are human beings who will always make mistakes. We need support and collaboration from all parties so we can serve in the spirit of patriotism for the good of the government and the people of the country, and so once more we as doctors declare that we are ready to receive orders and work in any part of the country.

On behalf of all my companions I want to thank His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao as former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, who lobbied the Government of Cuba - led by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, who in turn gave us the opportunity to study in Cuba - and who now as Prime Minister still supports us, since we have returned to Timor Leste.

We also thank Dr. Mari Alkatiri (former Prime Minister of the first constitutional government), Dr. Rui Maria De Araujo (former Minister of Health) and all those who have helped build a good relationship between the two countries: Timor Leste and Cuba. This good relationship built by the previous government has provided the result we have today, that we 18 can graduate as doctors in this very special place, to serve the people and the country.

We also thank the fourth constitutional government for its continuous support and assistance, not only for us but for our other colleagues who are still studying in Cuba.

We thank Health Minister Dr. Nelson Martins and all his staff, the Ministry of Education and the National University of Timor Leste, the Catholic Church, families, civil society and all the Timorese people who, from the beginning, were directly and indirectly involved in our process of study, right to the end.

Today we also thank the Cuban government, especially Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, Raul Castro Ruz and other members of government, Cuba’s people and health professionals, its revolution and its generosity in hosting us, and training us to become worthy health professionals. Thank you very much Cuba. You are the best, nobody is like you in this modern world. We don’t know how we are going to thank and repay you. Once again MANY THANKS CUBA.

To serve this young country, we need the contribution of all parties. Today I represent all my companions and we ask all our older brothers and sisters to give us your hands so that we feel like children of the same parents and the same family, to walk together in unity so that we can resolve the health problems of our beloved country, Timor Leste.

Before concluding, allow me to say: if during our studies in Cuba and our postings in Timor Leste we did something wrong or against the wishes of our teachers, doctors, nurses, patients, friends, families, we ask for your forgiveness and hope that you forgive us. We always look forward to the contribution of all to be able to correct our faults, refine our skills as professionals and serve with greater quality our government and our beloved people of Timor Leste.

Thank you very much

Dili, September 3, 2010


Ercia Maria Da Conceicao Sequeira

President Ramos Horta's scars from February 11 2008 attacked.

A mysterious man shot him!


Portal SAPO to´o iha Timor - Leste

15 de Setembro de 2010, 10:21

Ohin, inaugura tia ona Portal SAPO bá Timor-Leste ne’ebe fó notisias nasionais, foto, vídeo, blogs, e-mail, previzaun tempu, nó funsiona hanesan fatin halibur informasaun kona bá rai ida ne’e. SAPO TL (Timor Leste) espasu ida iha internet hó lian tétum nó portugues hamutuk hó Jornal Nacional Diario, CJITL (Centru Jornalista Investigativu Timor Leste) nó Jornal Semanário.

Hamosu iha Portugal, iha Universidade Aveiro, S.A.P.O. ( Servidor de Apontadores Portugueses On-line ), mosu hosi vizaun nó inovasaun estudante informatika lubun ida hosi Universidade Aveiro, neneik-neneik, hó sira nia portal nó site tematiku, sira manan ema barak nia hakarak atu promove nó fó relevansia bá inisiativa lokal nó informasaun nasional.

Portal Sapo sei hetan biban dahuluk hó versaun Portugues hamutuk hó Tetum, atu bele promove nó hamoris nafatin lian rua ne’e iha mundu internet, atu kontribui nó fó forsa bá hanorin nó promove lian portugues iha timor oan sira nia moris, nune’e bele fó garantia liu hosi Sapo Timor Leste, dalan ida bá mundu, la’os bá timor oan sira deit, bá sira nia rain nó sira nia komunidade, maibé hanesan dalan ida atu hetan asesu bá rai seluk ne’ebe dok hosi Timor Leste, nó liu hosi Sapo, bele to’o bá neba.

Portal Sapo Timor Leste sei iha notisias nasionais, foto, video, blog, e-mail, previzaun tempu, nó konteúdu hirak ne’ebe diak nó entretenimentu, nudar fatin tau hamutuk informasaun kona bá rai ida ne’e. Sapo TL (Timor-Leste) hanesan espasu internet ne’ebe dezenvolvidu iha lian Tetum nó lian Portugues, sura hó parseiru komunikasaun lokal iha rai laran hanesan Jornal Nacional Diario, Jornal Semanario nó CJITL. Sei konta mós hó notisias Lusa nian iha Timor Leste.

Portal Sapo TL ninia objetivu la’os promove deit ema atu uza internet nó dinamiza Banda Larga iha Timor Leste, maibé hakarak mós atu dezenvolve konteúdu multimedia lokal, hamoris ekipa timor oan sira ne’ebe servisu bá produsaun konteúdu sira bá porta foun ne’e.

Hahú ohin bá oin, disponibiliza plataforma dahuluk bá internet grátis hó kaixa 5GB ne’ebe fó asesu bá ema hotu ne’ebe utiliza internet hó domíniu Timor-Leste,, atu nune’e sira bele kria e-mail ne’ebe sira hakarak iha plataforma hirak ne’ebe iha tia ona (ex. Iha mós áreas espesifikas bá peskiza, Video, Foto, Blog, kriasaun site, Direktoriu, Messenger nó inkorporasaun direktoriu Pájinas Amarelas nó Servisu Peskiza

East Timor centre will take time: Bowen

September 14, 2010

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Setting up a regional refugee processing centre at East Timor will take time, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says.

Australia's existing immigration detention centres, including the Christmas Island facility, are reportedly beyond capacity.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised before the election that Australia would seek to have a regional centre built at East Timor to house the influx of asylum seekers.

But when pressed on the issue, Mr Bowen declined to commit to a specific deadline.

"I'm happy to say this will be one of my key and early priorities. However, I'm not in a position to put a timeframe on it," he told ABC Television on Tuesday.

Asked about the political ramifications of the asylum seeker issue, Mr Bowen said voters would understand the importance of pursuing discussions with Australia's regional neighbours.

"I understand the importance of this issue in people's minds," he said.

"I understand that people want to see progress on this issue and I think people also understand that whenever you enter into a set of discussions which are international in their focus, which are complex, then that will take some time."

source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Dili identifies site for refugee centre

Daniel Flitton

September 14, 2010

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Julia Gillard's plan to turn East Timor into a regional hub to process refugee claims has been boosted after the government in Dili identified a possible site in the country's south to house asylum seekers.

In an early sign that the Prime Minister's ''Timor solution'' is being taken seriously in Dili, it is believed the township of Suai in the south has been singled out for consideration.

Ms Gillard laid out what was dubbed the ''Timor solution'' in June before the election in a bid to stymie relentless opposition criticism of Labor's border protection policies.

Despite widespread scepticism about the plan in East Timor and Australia, official talks on the proposal are about to start.

The Timorese Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, is expected to speak with Ms Gillard by phone this week to congratulate her on forming government and discuss the next steps.

The talks come at a delicate time for Mr Gusmao's coalition government after the resignation of his deputy last week.

While it has been stressed that Suai is just a possible site for asylum seeker processing, an airstrip to the east of the town is said to have potential for expansion and there are hopes to construct a port. It is also the region where East Timor's government is proposing to build a refinement plant to pipe gas from offshore fields.

Dili is in dispute with the resources giant Woodside over the development of the Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea.

Woodside wants to build a floating refinery and deliver gas south to Darwin. Dili is insisting on an onshore refinery.

The Timorese President, Jose Ramos-Horta, who will lead the negotiations with Australia on the asylum centre, reacted indignantly in July to suggestions the two issues might be linked.

source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd forced to back down on Timor

Phillip Coorey

September 13, 2010

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One of Kevin Rudd's first tasks as Foreign Minister will be to negotiate with East Timor to establish a processing centre for asylum seekers there - a policy about which he had deep misgivings when prime minister.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, affirmed yesterday that while she and Mr Rudd would work together on foreign policy, along with cabinet, she would be the ultimate authority.

''Ultimately, of course, I'm the leader,'' she said.

The internal push for the East Timor solution began about six months before Mr Rudd was ousted and was driven by concern among ministers that asylum seekers would soon become a big political problem.

It would need a policy response, but to the frustration of his colleagues, Mr Rudd would not sanction the idea. His refusal to confront the issue contributed to his downfall. Ms Gillard cited border protection as one area in which the government under Mr Rudd had ''lost its way''.

Mr Rudd was confirmed as the Foreign Minister in the reshuffle Ms Gillard announced on Saturday. Stephen Smith, who held the portfolio for three years, moved to Defence.

His ministerial colleague, Anthony Albanese, said yesterday that Mr Smith ''did the right thing by the team'', all but confirming Mr Rudd had demanded the portfolio.

Ms Gillard told the ABC that one of Mr Rudd's tasks would be to work with East Timor and other countries in the region to establish the processing centre that she announced just days after replacing Mr Rudd on June 24.

The centre, flagged as a long-term solution to people smuggling, would operate under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Asylum seekers who arrived in the region would be sent there for processing and, if successful, farmed out to signatory nations for resettlement.

About six months before the centre was flagged, the then immigration minister, Chris Evans, raised it with the UNHCR and made indirect approaches to East Timor.

Sources said Mr Rudd was at best lukewarm because he had doubts about how it would be received in East Timor, especially by the Fretilin party and the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, who has since criticised it.

On June 23, Mr Rudd pointedly made no mention of it during a bilateral meeting with the visiting East Timorese President, Jose Ramos-Horta.

That night, after Ms Gillard had challenged him, Mr Rudd said he would not ''lurch to the right'' on boat people as a condition of keeping his job.

Yesterday, Ms Gillard said neither she nor Mr Rudd wanted asylum seekers risking their lives at sea and neither supported people smuggling. ''It's the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective,'' she said.

Ms Gillard's reshuffle saw Penny Wong shift from Climate Change to Finance, while Greg Combet was promoted to cabinet and inherited Climate Change. The other promotion, Craig Emerson, became Trade Minister.

The Opposition accused Ms Gillard of rewarding those who engineered Mr Rudd's downfall despite her promise during the election campaign not to.

The parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten entered the outer ministry as Assistant Treasurer, while senators David Feeney and Don Farrell became parliamentary secretaries.

Mark Arbib remained in the outer ministry but with boosted portfolio responsibilities. Ms Gillard also promoted young turks including Jason Clare, David Bradbury, and Mark Dreyfus.

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, will reshuffle his frontbench this week, with growing Coalition calls for him to move on veterans of the Howard era and elevate young talent.

source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Waikato University wins aid funding for East Timor technological leap

Dili - A linguistics team from the University of Waikato has won more than $10,000 in aid funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Seriously Asia programme which will allow the team to create a technological leap in an English language curriculum project designed for East Timor.

The Waikato University team, led by Dr James McLellan and Dr Roger Barnard, started working with the University of East Timor, Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL), in 2006 to develop an English language programme for teachers in training.

The new funding will allow the team to develop computer-based teaching materials using flexible language acquisition (FLAX) software available through Waikato University’s internationally-acclaimed Greenstone Digital Library suite of programs.

Drs McLellan and Barnard say the English language curriculum project is contributing towards rebuilding a newly-independent nation that is still deeply affected by the consequences of 30 years of occupation and administration by Indonesia.

East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the world. School and university text books are in short supply, and even though its official languages are Portuguese and Tetun, most of its teaching materials are in Indonesian, with an increasing number in Portuguese.

Unfortunately, few teachers and students speak Portuguese, and there are no written materials or teaching programmes in the native Tetun language. That makes English a vital lingua franca, says Dr Barnard. “English is a working language in East Timor,” he says. “A recognised English language qualification is seen as vital for East Timorese to move into employment with international agencies and businesses operating in their own country, or to higher education overseas.”

Dr Barnard says the technological leap to computer-based teaching materials for English has some big advantages for a country like East Timor. “It overcomes the lack of money for books, and the need to maintain a low carbon footprint,” he says. “It also provides experience in using a suite of software programs that could be extended to providing teaching materials for other parts of East Timor’s curriculum.”

Dr Barnard says New Zealand’s experience in revitalising the Maori language through K hanga Reo might also prove valuable for assisting East Timor to revitalise Tetun and 20 other indigenous languages.

Dr McLellan is in East Timor this month to work with lecturers at UNTL undertaking projects to support the development of computer-based teaching materials.

The English language curriculum project was originally established with funding from the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and supported by the University of Waikato.

The new Seriously Asia funding also enables the Waikato University team to continue work required to gain international accreditation for the curriculum through the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). (SMH/TE)

Via: timorexpose

Timorese force takes over policing duties from UN in eighth district

Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) on parade in celebration of its tenth anniversary

11 September 2010 – The Timorese national police force on Friday resumed primary policing responsibilities in Ermera, the eighth district to be handed over from the United Nations since the gradual transfer of security functions began in May 2009.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General noted that some challenges will still need to be overcome and pledged that the UN will step up its support, including mentoring members of the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL).

“The long-term stability of the country depends to a large extent on the development of an effective and professional police service in which the community can have confidence,” Shigeru Mochida said at the handover ceremony, which was also presided over by Vice Prime Minister José Luís Guterres.

“This is a big responsibility for all police officers, and we are all grateful to you for taking on this responsibility,” he added.

The PNTL was established in March 2000 by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), which was set up to assist the country during its transition to independence, which it attained in 2002.

In the aftermath of the violence that erupted in 2006, a UN police force was established to maintain law and order in the country until the national police could be reorganized and restructured. The UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) was set up to oversee the process.

UN Police will maintain their presence in the districts where the PNTL have resumed responsibilities to monitor, advise and support the national police, including in the area of human rights protection.

The resumption process is being implemented jointly by the Government and UNMIT on a district-by-district basis following an assessment of the PNTL's readiness to assume primary policing responsibilities.

In addition to the districts that have been handed over since the process began last year, the PNTL has assumed responsibility for the administration and management of the Police Training Centre, the Maritime Police Unit and the Police Intelligence Service.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Building trust in police is outstanding challenge in Timor-Leste – UN official

Japan to send 2 defense force members to U.N. mission in E. Timor

TOKYO, Sept. 10 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The Japanese government decided Friday to dispatch two unarmed members of the Self-Defense Forces as liaison staff to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor to monitor the halt of armed conflicts in the country.

The SDF personnel will be sent to the U.N. Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste at the request of the United Nations. Even after achieving independence from Indonesia in 2002, the Southeast Asian country has been struggling to achieve stability with the help of the U.N. peacekeeping mission.

Japan last dispatched a large peacekeeper contingent for operations in East Timor from 2002 to 2004.Tokyo has also provided Dili with civilian police officers, election monitors and more than 25 billion yen in financial aid, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.


source: The Canberra Times
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Govt sets up new obstacle in Balibo case

By Philip Dorling National Affairs Correspondent

The Federal Government has stepped up its legal fight to prevent the
release of secret intelligence papers that would shed new light on the
deaths of the Balibo Five journalists in East Timor in 1975.

In one of the new Government's first decisions, Attorney-General
Robert McClelland this week signed a ''public interest certificate''
to prevent a direct challenge to Defence claims that the release of
intelligence reports written in the lead-up to Indonesia's December
1975 invasion of East Timor would ''prejudice the security, defence or
international relations of Australia''.

The department earlier this year signalled it would oppose an
application by Australian Defence Force Academy lecturer Clinton
Fernandes for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to overturn a
decision not to release 41 ''current intelligence reports''.

Defence deputy secretary Peter Jennings told a Senate estimates
committee in June that Dr Fernandes's application for access to the
reports had been determined within the department's ''new culture'' of
openness and that a decision had been taken to withhold the material
from public access on national security grounds.

Defence subsequently submitted to the tribunal two secret affidavits
sworn by the director of the Defence Signals Directorate, Ian
McKenzie, and the deputy director of the Defence Intelligence
Organisation, Stephen McFarlane. Mr McClelland wrote to DrFernandes on
Monday to give notice of his intention to sign a public interest
certificate that would prevent DrFernandes or his legal
representatives from being present when the department's classified
evidence was considered by the tribunal.

A former Australian Army intelligence officer, Dr Fernandes said he
had continuing obligations to maintain the confidentiality of
classified information more recent and much more sensitive than the
1975 reports under review by the tribunal. However despite Dr
Fernandes's offer to enter into specific confidentiality arrangements,
Mr McClelland replied on Thursday that Defence's arguments for
opposing the release of the reports were very sensitive and must be
given the highest level of protection.

Accordingly Dr Fernandes would be denied access to Defence's
classified submissions. The reports are understood to confirm former
Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam's knowledge of Indonesia's
preparations to invade East Timor and cross-border incursions that
included the raid that resulted in the deaths of the five
Australia-based journalists at Balibo.

Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste

Dili/Brussels | 9 Sep 2010

This media release is also available in Tetum.

Measures to resolve land disputes in Timor-Leste must go beyond a draft law on land titling if they are to comprehensively reduce the risks posed, otherwise the law could bring more problems than solutions.

Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste , the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the country’s current tangle of land ownership claims, and recommends that the government and its partners act now to supplement titling with clear public information, clarify protections for those who will be evicted or resettled, and strengthen support to local mediation.

The need to balance land rights inherited from previous Portuguese and Indonesian colonial administrations with the reality of customary law, as well as the implications of a history of population displacements, have delayed the creation of a land administration system. Confusion over the present and future basis of property claims is widespread.

“Establishing legally enforceable property rights will inevitably create winners and losers,” says Cillian Nolan, Crisis Group South East Asia Analyst. “Unless the implications of this law are clearly understood, and protections developed for those who will be negatively affected, it risks being ignored or, even worse, becoming unenforceable”.

The current draft land law, approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2010 and awaiting parliamentary debate and approval, would establish the country’s first property ownership rights. Both the technicalities and the implications of the complex law are poorly understood. Sensitive issues include the fate of those Timorese who occupied empty properties in the violence following the 1999 referendum, the rights of Timorese living abroad to re-claim old property, and the holdings of the political elite. While passage of the draft law will help resolve many land disputes, further public information and debate should be a prerequisite for approval. Previous attempts to enforce laws on state property have often failed due to local resistance.

Though most disputes have to date been either resolved or frozen without recourse to violence, and many people are happy with the status quo, the issue will take on new urgency in light of ambitious new plans for government-driven development. Clarification of basic protections and resettlement plans for illegal or displaced occupants should be a priority, as should continued support to informal dispute mediation processes. The government should take initial steps now towards developing a comprehensive land use and housing policy, as well as to engage communities on sustainable ways of managing customary tenure systems.

“Timor-Leste cannot afford to wait much longer to establish a working mechanism for resolving property disputes as this is a key building block of the rule of law”, says Jim Della-Giacoma, Crisis Group’s South East Asia Project Director. “Failing to do so could instead plant new seeds for future disputes.”

source: International Crisis Group

Miss New Zealand Visits Community Policing Project In Timor-Leste

Cody Yerkovich
Cody Yerkovich

Miss World New Zealand 2010, Cody Yerkovich, is in Timor-Leste to show support for the country's development. Miss Yerkovich visited Suai, Covalima District, where a Community Policing Pilot Project is being led by United Nations Police officers from New Zealand.

There she met National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Officer Amelia Amaral of the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU), who explained the importance and activities of the VPU. Suai's VPU office was built with support from the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Miss New Zealand also visited the Suai Early Childhood Centre, which is supported by ChildFund. During her visit, she met Timorese children sponsored by families in New Zealand. Among the children she met was Flavia, a young girl who is sponsored by Ms Yerkovich's grandparents.

Community policing engages communities in preventing and solving crime. UN Police in Timor-Leste work with their PNTL colleagues to develop more community-friendly approaches to policing. These efforts include intensive training on how police and communities can work together to solve issues contributing to crime.


Minister's departure may complicate Timor solution

The resignation yesterday of the nation's deputy prime minister Mario Carrascalao could complicate the plan for a refugee processing centre

A SENIOR member of East Timor's parliament, Fretilin Party vice-president Arsenio Bano, said there appeared to have been no progression of the Prime Minister's idea, which was announced in one of her first major speeches as leader.

"I think it is forgotten already," Mr Bano told The Australian.

"I don't hear any further discussion has been taking place between officials from Australia and Timor."

Mr Bano said the dispute between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Mr Carrascalao could make it harder for Mr Gusmao to push the idea, should he be inclined to do so.

"I don't think he's willing to take another problem against the parliament of Timor-Leste," he said. "He is governing a chaotic coalition."

Australia's own complicated government may also prove a hurdle. Although an offshore processing centre would not require new legislation, Labor's reliance on the independents and the Greens, all of whom either have reservations about the idea or are outright opposed to it, may make Ms Gillard reluctant to proceed for fear that it could cost her their support on other bills.