Subject: East Timor Headlines/ 16-17 Feb 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Fri- Sat 16-17 February, 2001

Friday 16 February 2001

  1. Timor Lorosae Asks For More GNR (Portuguese Nat'l Guards)
  2. Political Parties Must Have A Constitution
  3. Civil Registration Only In Timor Lorosae

Saturday 17 February 2001

  1. Accused Killers of Priest and Nun Tried
  2. Milena: GNR to Strengthen Security
  3. Baucau District Administrator: The DA Is Just A Robot
  4. CNRT Will Dissolve After General Election

Friday 16 February 2001

1. Timor Lorosae Asks For More GNR (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page Headline)

Because of the increasing violence in the form of terror and intimidation, the country needs extra security forces who are specially trained to handle such cases. The Portuguese National Republican Guards (GNR) are most suitable for this purpose.

The Transitional Minister for Interior, Ana Pessoa, made this request in her meeting yesterday, in Lisbon, with Portuguese Interior Minister Severiano Teixeira. She asked the Portuguese government to increase the number of GNR here.

“We want more GNR, particularly in the period leading to the declaration of independence ­ which we hope will happen at the end of the year,” said Ana Pessoa.

In reply, the Portuguese minister said his country was ever willing to help East Timor if the need was urgent.

Severiano said Portugal had sent more than 300 police personnel to serve as CivPol officers here, and this was a big contribution.

[back to top]

2. Political Parties Must Have A Constitution (Timor Post, Front Page Headine)

Political parties that wish to contest in the 2001 general election must have and internal constitution. A party constitution must be a stipulation in the rules covering election candidates.

This was the opinion put forward by a group of National Council members when debating the rules for political parties at the NC Hall, with UNTAET’s Director of Political Affairs Peter Galbraith.

The NC members stated their views after Peter Galbraith commented that political parties fielding candidates for the general election did not need to have a constitution.

Jose Estevao Soares said political parties needed a constitution so that they were clear on their rights, responsibilities and ethical codes. Estevao also said that there had to be a restriction on the registration of political parties that wanted integration with Indonesia.

Aniceto Guterres and Clementino dos Reis Amaral also had similar views.

“This (political parties) is an institution. So every political party must have its own constitution to ensure the members know their responsibilities in a structural manner,” said Aniceto Guterres.

Clementino Amaral said a constitution made clear a political party’s mission and future vision.

“We have to start now. Let’s not wait till there are problems before realizing it’s too late,” said Clementino.

[back to top]

3. Civil Registration Only In Timor Lorosae (Timor Post, Front Page second lead)

Civil registration which will start at the end of the month is only for those in the country. Because of that, all those East Timorese who are still overseas, and want to be registered, must come back to Timor Lorosae.

This was stated in the regulation for the setting of the Civil Registry, which was debated in the National Council on Wednesday.

UNTAET has stated that the civil registration process does not mean that citizens will be automatically registered to vote in the general election. This is because the data obtained from the registration is only to determine the number of residents in the country.

[back to top]

Saturday 17 February 2001 

1. Accused Killers of Priest and Nun Tried (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline) 

Ten militia members who are accused of crimes against humanity, in the violence related to the popular consultation, were tried at the Dili District Court yesterday.

The militia members were from Team Alpha in Los Palos. They have been accused of being involved in the murders and arson in Los Palo district. They have also been accused of killing nine people in a Church team ­ comprising of priests and nuns ­ on 25 September 1999.

The 10 Team Alpha members, were believed to have been trained by the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus), before the 30 August popular consultation.

The preliminary hearing to determine the length of detention of the 10, for further investigations, was before Luca Ferreira, the Chief Judge of the Special Panel. Luca Ferreira was assisted by two other judges ­ Silver Ntukamanzina and Maria Natercia Gusmao Pereira.

The three public prosecutors in the case, all from the Serious Crimes Unit, are Stuart Alford, Antonino Goncalves and Leenar Liew.

Counsel for the accused are Cancio Xavier, Sergio de Jesus Hornai, Marcia MF Saramento, Lisete Quintao and Manuel Sarmento ­ all from the Public Defender’s Office in Dili.

[back to top]

2. Milena: GNR to Strengthen Security (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The Deputy Head of the National Council Milena Pires supported the Transitional Minister of Interior, Ana Pessoa’s request for more National Republican Guards (GNR) from Portugal.

According to her, the country will face numerous problems in the run-up to the elections and because of that more GNRs are needed to beef-up the country’s security.

“When our security is guaranteed, then certainly the elections will be carried out peacefully,” she said.

‘The presence of the GNR will ensure that (security). We will be criticized if violence breaks out during the election,” said Milena Pires.

[back to top]

3. Baucau District Administrator: The DA Is Just A Robot (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page Third Lead)

The District Administrator (DA) of Baucau, Mario Nicolau Dos Reis ­ popularly known as Mario Reis ­ said the bulk of the problems he is facing in the district stems from three factors.

He named the three factors as centralization of decisions in Dili, funds and authority.

“Practically all decisions are made in Dili and we Das are just robots to carry them out,” said Mario Reis.

Residents from the village of Seical, in Baucau’s Laga sub-district, appealed to Mario for help because they had to flee flood waters and seek refuge in the mountains. And the pleas have not fallen on deaf ears.

According to Xanana Gusmao, the President of CNRT/NC, a DA has autonomous authority to lobby and negotiate directly with countries like Portugal and Australia to develop sectors like tourism in the districts.

Taking Xanana’s advice, Mario Reis plans to make Baucau a tourism and cultural centre in the eastern sector of Timor Lorosae.

On 21 February, Mario Reis flies to Melbourne to sign an MOU with two Australian industries ­ AIARA and Dare Bean ­ to invest in Baucau.

[back to top]

4. CNRT Will Dissolve After General Election (Suara Timor Lorosae, Back Page Lead)

The President of CNRT/CN, Xanana Gusmao said after the general election, CNRT will officially be dissolved because there will be an executive and legislature.

“After CNRT is dissolved, we will be at a new phase. There will be a legislature and an executive which will be elected by the people in the general election,” said Xanana.

He said after the general election, it will be known which political parties will be in Parliament. Because of that, Xanana said, CNRT, was making all necessary preparations for the general election.

According to Xanana, UNTAET’s mandate was to prepare the people of Timor Lorosae for full independence.

Commenting on the future of CNRT members, after it was dissolved, he said he was studying the matter and had three meetings on it. He said he had sent a directive on the dissolution to all CNRT members.

[back to top]

January Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from