Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Update, 23 January 03

Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Update, 23 January 03

President Gusmão Prepared to Stand in Court

President Gusmão, Supreme Commander of FDTL stated that he is prepared to stand in court had the defence armed forces committed something wrong. "I am their commander, I am ready to take any responsibility and I am ready to resign", he said.. Xanana Gusmão said the reason for FDTL members to be engaged in the operation that lead to the detention of dozens of people was the death of several people. The President added that FDTL is stationed in areas formerly under PKF control and that they have received various complaints from local residents about threats and assaults. He said these informations have all been passed to the police but it seems that nobody is doing anything about it. Gusmão said that after Atsabe attack hopefully PFK and FDTL would coordinate the work better and help to find a security solution for the country. (TP, STL)

Parliament Denies Peter Miller Accusations

Members of Parliament leveled a strong accusation against UNPOL police commissioner Peter Miller and the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) over the arrest and detentions of members of Colimau Group 2000 by FDTL during a military operation in Atsabe reported the local media. Antonio Ximenes said such accusation confirms how slow the UN police have been working all this time. Three members of the parliament (Antonio Ximenes from PDC, Vicente Soares Faria, Fretilin and Clementino dos Reis Amaral from KOTA) told the media on Wednesday that as Timorese who wants peace and security rejects accusations made by JSMP and UNPOL Commissioner Peter Miller, that members of the Falintil-FDTL violated Human Right in Atsabe. Ximenes said the question that needs to be asked should be " did members of Falintil-FDTL kill someone in Atsabe? He added that UN peacekeeping forces failed to track down the former militias and Colimau 2000 gang leading to the death of local residents. Falintil-FDTL was sent there to help UNPKF and UNPOL to maintain security, therefore such accusation about FDTL breaking human rights is not acceptable, said Ximenes. Antonio Ximenes said it is better for Peter Miller not to talk about Human Right because he himself gave the gangs opportunity to violate Human Rights. (TP, STL)

Hatolia Community Unhappy with UNPOL Letter to FDTL

Residents of Hatolia, Ermera sub-district yesterday (22/01) presented a letter to Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro underlining their dissatisfaction on UNPOL Commissioner, Peter Miller's letter, reported Timor Post. The letter signed by the sub-district coordinator Bonifacio M. dos Reis and ten head of villages, appealed to human rights organizations, UNPOL Commissioner Peter Miller and authorities to go and see the peoples'situation. The people of Hatolia stated that they do not want to go through the suffering and death of Atsabe residents. The letter also says that prior to Falintil/FDTL operation in that area on 8 January, Colimau 2000 Group killed two buffaloes and stole a horse from the village of Samara. They said that during the operation FDTL fired shots to the air when members of Colimau Group circled them. (TP)

Police Commissioners Disregard Responsibilities

Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro said accusations made by the Timorese Police and UNPOL Commissioners on FDTL should look into their responsibilities instead of blaming somebody. Longuinhos said had he been the head of UNMISET he would have recommend another person to replace the police commissioners. He added that FDTL was only providing security to these people before handing them over to the police. He also mentioned the letter received from the people of Hatolia and Atsabe expressing their dissatisfaction about the justice sentenced to members of Colimau 2000 who are now out of jail. Longuinhos said the people are the witness to the suffering inflicted to them by Kolimau 2000. He added that living in Dili one can not feel the suffering of the people in the villages. (STL)

Alkatiri: Human Rights Not To Defend Only Bandits

PM Alkatri said human rights do not only applies to bandits but to all people. Speaking to journalist after the Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday Alkatiri said the Judicial Monitoring System Program and Peter Miller should not preach about human rights because they themselves do not understand human rights concepts. He added one should not look into the one's who became the victims and died in the incident. Therefore one must take into considerations both sides. He added that Falintil-FDTL is still awaiting negotiations with UN referring to its institutionalization. Alkatiri said the government would pass its recommendations/suggestions to the SG Koffi Annan through its representative in Dili Kamalesh Sharma after it has been carefully studied. He said the Special UN Representative in Timor-Leste fully understands the situation the country is facing. Alkatiri added that the meeting could lead into a better. (STL)

Singapore Minister Visits Timor-Leste

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Dr, Tony Tan on Wednesday arrived in Dili to visit his country peace keeping forces as well as government officials. On his one-day visit Dr. Tan met with Prime Minister Alkatiri, PKF Commander, Major Tan Huck Gim and the SRSG, Kamalesh Sharma. He stressed that his forces will continue in Timor-Leste to provide security. (STL)

Xanana: I have not Requested the Extension of UNMISET

President Gusmão said he has not asked for the extension of UNMISET. He had pointed out that security disturbances in the country had increased and he is concerned with the total withdraw of PKF by July 2004 because FDTL still needs further assistance in order to take over from PKF. Gusmão stated that this issue was raised during a meeting with ambassador Kamalesh Sharma, General Tan, Prime Minister Alkatiri, Minister of Justice, Ana Pessoa Brigadier General Ruak prior to their departure to Atsabe after the attack on that village. (TP)

"Ninjas" Active in Gariwai

Reports of groups wearing masks in the form of "Ninjas" have been seen around Gariwai, Wailili, Fatumaca and Baucau armed with hand made weapons, machetes and arrows, reported STL on Thursday. These groups have been stealing animals from the local residents. The case has been reported to the authorities but the residents are complaining that the matter is getting worst day by day. UNPOL Commander for Gariwai area, Reupena Faali confirmed last Sunday that he has received complaints from local residents about the ninjas groups activities but has not identified anyone yet. It is reported that the groups strike around midnight at a time where there is no police patrolling, said Reupena Faali. The police officer added that the head of Gariwai village, Jorge Gusmão who lives nearby the police station had his animals and belonging stolen by these groups. (STL)

Kamalesh Met President

Head of UNMISET, Kamalesh Sharma, yesterday met President Gusmão in the Presidential's office, reported the media.After the meeting, Kamalesh Sharma told the media that they discuss human rights problems, which has increased lately in the country. Sharma said they did not discussed about Peter Miller accusations on Falintil-FDTL. " We discussed matters relating to human rights. Our presence in Timor-Leste does not only focus on security but also on other areas. Human Rights is one of them, social, economy and other problems," he said. When questioned about the incapability of UNPOL to maintain security in Timor-Leste the UN Special Representative said UNMISET task is to follow the UN mandate. (TP)

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