Subject: Daily Media Review 7 October 2003


Dili, 07 October 2003 Daily Media Review

Australian Unionist Arrested in Dili

UNPOL have arrested an Australian union official in Timor-Leste in what international unions describe as "unprecedented and unjustified interference in industrial issues" reported the Australian media on Tuesday. Sydney union official Mick Killick was arrested and detained in Dili on Sunday after taking part in a community protest at the Dili Airport, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) said. Killick had traveled to Timor-Leste to help establish a Maritime and Transport Union. "It was a sit-in protest at the airport to protest against the loss of jobs from an Australian-based company, Timor Aviation Services, and on the second day the United Nations police came through and only arrested Mick Killick", ITF Australian coordinator Dean Summers said. "It would seem they targeted him. They took him to the Dili lock up where he has been ever since, he added. Summers said the ITF and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) were baffled as to why the UN would become involved in an industrial dispute. "It's crazy - we don't understand the situation there", he said. "It was a legal dispute, the relevant Timor government department knew about it, they (the protesters) had fulfilled all their obligations under East Timorese law". Workers meeting at the ILO Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday condemned the arrest. "The use of UN police to arrest and detain union officials who were involved in normal union work protected by the conventions of the ILO is unprecedented and is to be condemned as unwarranted and unjustified interference in industrial issues", stated a document issued by the Conference. ITF general secretary David Cockroft has written to the UN to request an explanation and "make it clear that it should respect basic workers' rights". (The Age, AAP, ABC)

Belo: Cooperation Between F-FDTL and TNI Should Be Postponed

The former Bishop of Dili Diocese Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo is of the opinion that any cooperation between F-FDTL and TNI should be postponed, reported the media. Belo stated that the Timorese defence forces strategy should not be shared, as this might affect future military strategy. Nevertheless, the Bishop strongly agrees in cooperation between Timor-Leste and Indonesia in areas such as economy and education. (STL, TP)

President Gusmão and Prime Minister Evaluate Issues of National Concern

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri met with President Xanana Gusmão on Monday in order to evaluate issues of national concern, reported the Timorese media. Among other issues discussed were security, economy, and their recent visit to different countries. Timor Post reported Prime Minister Alkatiri as saying that the Timorese people is beginning to understand the development process of Timor-Leste and the meeting with President Gusmão was positive because both agreed that the security situation in the country "is heading towards stabilization". Alkatiri also said that they discussed UNMISET's mandate. (STL, TP)

Maritime Boundaries Negotiations Will Begin in November

Representatives from Timor-Leste and Australia governments will begin the negotiations on maritime boundaries between the governments of the two countries in November, reported the Portuguese news agency, Lusa. This is the first round of negotiations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia. According to Lusa the Timorese government has welcomed Canberra's efforts in solving the question The negotiation is crucial to determine Timor-Leste's zone because it'll define the rights for the exploration of the Timor Sea resources, states the news agency. (Lusa)

Child Protection Agency Welcomed Detention of Australian

The International Child Protection Agency, Child Wise has welcomed the detention of a convicted Australian paedophile in Timor-Leste. Wilfred Mentink, 56 has been put under detention and remanded in custody after being found with pornographic images of Timorese children. Child Wise director Bernadetter McMenamin says that hopefully Australian Federal Police will provide support and technical training to prosecute Mentik. "It's a very, very serious case. What we don't want is East Timor to become another Cambodia where every paedophile in the world has it on its radar because they know the difficulty of mounting cases in these countries," she said. "We should be helping them put in place systems that will deter visiting sex offenders." Mentik was jailed for six years in Queensland, Australia in 1993 after pleading guilty to child sex abuse charges (ABC) ILO Welcomes Timor-Leste and, Vanuatu Into the Fold

The International Labour Organization (ILO) on Tuesday formally welcomed new member States Timor-Leste and Vanuatu into the fold during an opening ceremony for the first South-East Asia and Pacific Sub-Regional Tripartite Forum on Decent Work in Auckland. The Regional Director for ILO's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Yasuyuki Nodera, said during an opening speech that the memberships of Timor-Leste and Vanuatu demonstrated growing strength in the Sub-Region in the efforts to achieve the goal of Decent Work. "The ILO will provide all possible avenues to enable these countries to fully benefit from the services offered by membership," Nodera said. Vanuatu became the 176th member of the ILO effective 22 May 2003, while Timor Leste became the 177th and latest member effective 19 August 2003. (ILO News)

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