Subject: Daily Media Review 17 July 2003


Dili, July 17 2003 Daily Media Review

Lu-Olo: Only F-FDTL Can Celebrate Falintil Day

Officially only F-FDTL can celebrate FALINTIL Day on August 20th as underlined in the Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament Francisco Guterres told Suara Timor Lorosae on Wednesday. Guterres said he disapproves of any organization or group celebrating this day, and that all Timorese should come together to lend their moral support to the remembrance of those heroes that have passed away. (STL

UNHCR Did not Kidnap Timorese Children

The Representative of the UNHCR in Timor-Leste, Kai Nielsen, on Wednesday stated that his organisation did not abduct any Timorese children in South Sulawesi to bring them to Timor-Leste. STL reported on Monday [14 July] that a group of Timor-Leste refugees is accusing UNHCR, and the Social and Public Security of Sulawesi of taking children by force and repatriating them to Timor-Leste. Nielsen said the article misinterpreted UNHCR's mission in Timor-Leste, and explained that, contrary to what has been written, its mission is to seek possible solutions to the refugees currently living in Indonesia, as well as local reconciliation and resettlement. With regard to the children separated from their parents in 1999, the Head of the UNHCR in Dili said his organization is working with the Indonesian government to find a solution acceptable by the foster and biological parents as well as the children. It is reported that many parents left their children in Indonesia for various reasons when they decided to return to Timor-Leste. According to Kai Nielsen, his organisation is working so that the parents and the children can communicate. (STL)

Investment on Timor Sea Could Be Target For Terrorists

Australian experts have predicted that the investment project for the exploration of the oil and natural gas resources in the Timor Sea could be easy targets for supporters of radical movements in the region. Analysts of "Sea Power Centre Australia," an organization connected to the Australian navy, have identified special groups with links with Abu Sayaf of the Liberation for Moro Islamic Front in the Philippines. The Abu Sayaf group reportedly maintains ties with groups like Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah and is seen as a potential threat to ships and infrastructure in the Timor Sea region, especially due to the lack of security in the area. The "Sea Power Centre Australia" analysts said that the investments already in place in the area, jointly administered by Timor-Leste and Australia, are vulnerable. The analysts recommend an increase in naval patrols and greater control of the movement of ships in the area. (Lusa)

Court jails Two Ex-Militia Leaders

An East Timor court on Wednesday jailed two former militia leaders for crimes against humanity during the territory's bloody breakaway from Indonesia in 1999. The Special Panel for Serious Crimes jailed Benjamin Sarmento for 12 years and Romeriro Tilman for eight, the United Nations-funded Serious Crimes Unit said in a statement. The two former leaders of the pro-Indonesia Tim Sasurat Ablai militia were arrested along with several other former militiamen who had infiltrated East Timor from Indonesian West Timor in September 2000. Sarmento was convicted on five counts of crimes against humanity. He had admitted killing five independence supporters in four separate incidents in Same district in 1999. Tilman, convicted of two counts of crime against humanity, had pleaded guilty to ordering the killing of two independence supporters in the same area. The two also admitted forced transportation of civilians from villages in Same to West Timor after East Timor voted overwhelmingly in August 1999 to break from Indonesia. (AFP)

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