Subject: Local Media Monitoring Update, 24 January 2002

Local Media Monitoring Update

Dili, 24 January 2002

Rafael dos Santos Testified That He Saw 2 Dead People

Father Rafael dos Santos, an East Timorese catholic priest, said on Thursday that Indonesian Military soldiers and policemen were among the attackers of his refugee-packed church in the town of Liquica in April 1999. Father dos Santos was testifying by teleconference from Dili at Indonesia's human rights tribunal here. "I saw it myself, that the attackers were soldiers, police and militia members," Dos Santos told the trial of Major Gen. Adam Damiri, who headed the military command overseeing East Timor and other provinces at the time of the attack, as quoted by AFP. Timor Post says that according to his testimonies, in 1999, Father Rafaelstated that the Indonesian military troops went to Liquiça parish in April 5 and 6 when the massacre took place. He said he saw two dead persons at the church. Father Rafael said that after the gun firing, the militias threatened the people who had taken refuge in the church. He said the militias had the strong support of the military. After the massacre the situation had subsided, and the priest said he was standing in front of the church when he saw the militias leader, Eurico Guterres who then approached him to resolve the problem. The priest said Guterres became the mediator between the church and the Besi Merah Puti leader Manuel Sousa who had agreed to settle the problem. When questioned by the tribunal if he saw who killed the two people, Father Rafael said he only heard gunshots reported TP. Adam Damiri has rejected the testimony of the pastor as false. Eighteen people were killed in the attack. (TP, AFP, LUSA)

Lu'Olo: FDTL Defends Human Rights

FDTL has not violated Human Rights in Atsabe, said Fretilin's President,Lu'Olo and President of the National Parliament, on Thursday in Dili. According to TP, Lu'Olo said that FDTL was only acting because several people had been killed in 3 villages of that area. Lu'Olo said according to the constitution of Timor-Leste Falintil-FDTL is the one to defend and provide security for the new independent country. He said how could FDTL violate human rights when they were asked by the people to defend them from being killed by armed people. He added that FDTL went to Atsabe to defend human rights. He pointed out that when FDTL detained those people they were not beating, tied or insulted. They detained them as suspects in connection with former militias involved in the killings and for further investigations, he said, according to the newspaper.(TP)

Lu'Olo: Democracy of '75 No Longer Valid

Francisco Lu'Olo Guterres, President of Fretilin and speaker of the National Parliament said that in Saturday's "National Dialogue" there will be only one representation of Fretilin which no longer holds the same structures as 1975 but keeps the same idealism. He said he had received an invitation by the President to participate in the Dialogue but he is not sure whether he would be present because he does not know who will be the moderators and the program of the event. He added that if this Dialogue is going to be similar to the one held last year than he would rather do something else, because CPD-RDTL made all the people that attended the meeting feel like puppets. (STL)

Communities in Fear after Atsabe Incident

The Administrator of Atsabe District, José Gonçalves da Silva stated that intimidation, threats and the theft of animals has left the lives of residents of Atsabe sub-districts in fear. It is reportedly that the people are more concerned now than during the militias activities in 1999 wrote TP on Friday. According to the newspaper, José da Silva said members of Kolimau 2000 have been in touch with former pro-Indonesia militias many of whom are currently living in the refugees camps but have been travelling in and out of that district. He added that members of this group constantly ask him details of his plan whenever he leaves the village. (TP)

JSMP: We Shall All Contribute to the Democracy Process

The media coordinator for Justice System Monitoring Program (JSMP), Nelson de Sousa Carvalho Belo said it's important to have different views to strengthen the democracy of the newly independent country. Nelson Belo made this statement to answer to the critics made to JSMP by various Timorese leaders including the President of the Republic and Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, following a communiqué issued by the organisation on the detention of people subjected of having participated in the attacks of January 4th. (STL)

Timor-Leste Welcomes First Book Fair

The first "Portuguese Language Fair Book" which will exhibit 100.000 from the Portuguese Speaking Communities Nations (CPLP) will be held in Timor-Leste from the 1-12 of March this year, announced Lusa newsagency. Instituto Camões has promoted the fair with the support of over 100 institutions, among them Lisbon Municipal Council and the Brazilian Academy of Literature. It is the first book fair for Timor-Leste, which still does not have a bookshop. Around 20.000 titles will be on sale with prices ranging from two dollars. During the event, an edition of Xanana Gusmão's poem book titled "Meu Mar/My Sea will be launched. (STL)

Rehabilitation of Small Power Stations in Rural Areas

Two memoranda of agreements were reached on Thursday between the Government of Japan and UNDP for the benefit of the Government of Timor-Leste, in connection with the urgent rehabilitation of small power stations in rural areas and with maintaining the output capacity of Comoro Power Station. Project funds and its accrued savings amount to US$ 360,000 in total. The small power stations are located in Atabae, Atsabe, Beco Iliomar and Loes. The generators of Comoro Station will be provided with spare parts, following the terms of the memoranda. (UNMISET)

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