Subject: East Timor Press Review Saturday 9 November 2002

East Timor Press Review Saturday 9 November 2002

· Police arrested 8 former Falintil members allegedly for causing disturbances. When questioned about this issue Commissioner Paulo Martins said he was not aware of the cause for their detention. Reported Suara Timor Lorosae. But Mr. Martins stressed that those detained are not former Falintil members

· Attorney General, Longuinhos Monteiro believes that former head of pro-integration group João Tavares will be consistence with his plan to return to Timor-Leste

· Member of Parliament integrated in Uatu-Lari delegation, Christina Alves da Silva said the commission could not meet with suspects during the two-day investigation. Christina da Silva said this conflict generated many years ago and is going to take time to settle it.

· Minister of Internal Administration, Rogerio Lobato said Minister of Justice approved the nomination of Alcino Barros. Therefore lawyers and members of parliament should not kick a big fuss about it.

· The Timor Post front page reported on the clash between members of FDTL and police on Friday saying the problem started when two members of the Defense Force on a motorbike did not obey the orders of traffic police and so they were told off by the police officers. The FDTL member who was seated on the back of the motor bike proceeded to throw a punch at the police officer. Then other police officers and the public bystanders went to support the police. That’s when the clash escalated.

· In a separate article this daily reported that when two members of FDTL travelling in a car [above article mentioned travelling in a motorbike} stopped by one of the transit police officer to warn one of the FDTL members not to hang out of the vehicle. Than someone in the vehicle said “ don’t you know I am an FDTL member?” Words were exchange and suddenly a FDTL member got out of the vehicle and started punching the officer by the name of Joaquim Lopes. Another officer, Rui Lobato who was also attacked by FDTL members said he had just returned from Uatu-lari and was carrying on his duties. Both said they are not aware of the circumstances that led to this attack.

· University of Timor Leste economy lecturer, Antonia Erna Setiawati said the travelling budget of US $300,00 for the government is lot of money considering how it is managed. Ms Setiawati was commenting on the PM’s Alkatiri statement that the budget is small.

· Antonia Setiawati also said that the government must explain to the people about the tax cuts. It is reported that workers are being taxed about US$10 dollars monthly.

· Timor Post’s editorial focuses on Friday’s clash. It said the clash between Fatintil/FDTL and the Police on Friday at the old market place have brought shame to the Timorese leadership because such incident could have been anticipated. Or is the national political condition a sensitive issue for the Timorese authorities? Rumors within the communities, that Friday’s incident has been a culmination of conflicts between the two institutions. There is also another aspect into it. The historic founding of the two institutions emerged from a management without a strategic view. The formation of Falintil/FDTL started with internal conflicts among the former guerrilla fighters who separated/divided after the selection process with the participation of Australia, Portugal and New Zealand military. The conflicts got worse with the incident of separation in Aileu District-nobody took the initiative to resolve the problem. The same applied to ETPS institution during the recruitment process through the Police Academy with the support and management of the international police (CIVPOL). They started the recruitment with poor planning. The recruitment process was done with ‘blindly’ regardless the concern presented to them by many people. The creation of both institutions raised a huge ‘polemic’ especially among many Timorese who are part of the struggle history-who also wanted to get higher positions in these areas. Another aspect regarding the legislation which have been established, states that FDTL/Falintil structure will be under the President while ETPS and future Police of Timor-Leste affiliation up-to date is yet not clear. If we compare both institutions, only Falintil/FDTL is clear but the future of Timor-Leste’s police it is not yet clear.

The history of both institutions will lead us to the conclusion that the authorities must resolve the conflict and polemic as soon as possible in order to create harmonious and conducive conditions between the two important institution for the people, the nation and the stability.


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