Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 26-29 November 2005
[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (email@example.com) have been removed.]
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, 26, 28 & 29 November 2005
National Media Reports
PNTL Police Reserve Unit injured by ex-militia
It is reported that a conflict erupted between a group of ex-militia and a member of the Police Reserve Unit (URP) in Atabae sub-district, Bobonaro. The conflict resulted in injury to URP member Berlai de Jesus, who is currently undergoing treatment at the National Hospital. Three of the ex-militia involved have been reportedly arrested. (TVTL, STL)
Horta: Independence Is The Sacrifice of the People
Timor-Leste's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta was reported as saying that 28 November reminded him of the first independence declaration 30 years ago. "At that moment, Timor was alone. There were no international people, many of them had deserted and turned their backs. It makes me very sad when I think about it, because a large ship was close to the shores of Ataúro, after Batugadé, Maliana and Atabae had fallen," Ramos-Horta told the media following the independence celebrations in Dili. He added that 30 years have passed and the Timorese people are proud and the uneducated barefooted people are the heroes because they were the courageous ones who held the flag and resisted up until today. "When I think of this date, it is not only of Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) and those known leaders but of the barefooted people and those without education that have held onto CCF, Falintil and diplomacy."
The Minister said that now that independence is here the same people have not demanded for anything and continue to live poor with patience, dignity and proud without protest. "The proclaimer was not only one person, it was the Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) The proclaimer was not Francisco Xavier do Amaral. CCF handed it to him because he was Fretilin's President, like the document Lu'Olo read today". According to Ramos-Horta the text of the declaration was debated by CCF during a meeting on whether to declare it or not because at the time the Indonesians were already in Maliana, and Atabae and the ships were all lined up along the seacoast. He reminded that the text of the declaration read 'in the name of the Fretilin Central Committee,' which Francisco do Amaral read.
Meanwhile Francisco do Amaral said he was happy that he has been recognized as the proclaimer of independence and he also recognizes Nicolau Lobato as President of the Republic of Timor-Leste when he stepped down. Amaral also said he is happy that the international airport is named after Nicolau Lobato adding, "I appeal to the new generation and the population to hold tight to their history and should not forget it because this is the national identity". (TVTL, STL)
Guterres: CAVR Report has positive impact
The President of Commission A, Vicente Aparicio Guterres told media that the submission of CAVR report to the National Parliament by the President of the Republic, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, has had a positive impact reported Timor Post. "CAVR's report also presents many new facts that provide a possibility of improving the political process", he added. He admitted that though all the facts have not been collected, most of the facts related to the past are included. It was also mentioned that the National Parliament will still have to have a further meeting before any decision is made. (DT)
Parliament to invite Minister Lobato for Clarification on Alleged Assault case
President of Commission B in the National Parliament, Faustino Godinho, has reportedly said that the Commission will invite Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato to explain the Delta assault case, allegedly involving the Minister himself, to the Members of Parliament. He said that this issue could be discussed in one of the regular parliamentary meetings held with the Minister. (STL)
Xavier: Take Fretilin to the International Court
ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral has reportedly said that the Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) is not humane, as during the resistance period many Fretilin leaders and members killed people "like animals", because they suspected them of being double agents. Thus he said that the International Court should not just focus on Indonesia but also Timor-Leste, so that members of the CCF may also receive the justice that they deserve. (DT)
Manek: Border issues to be discussed at East Java meeting
It is reported that the Administrator for Central/North West Timor region (TTU), Gabriel Manek, has said that the issue of border conflict in the Oecussi area will be on the agenda for the bilateral Indonesia-RDTL meeting to be held in Malang, East Java, at the end of this month, and that the local TTU government has already forwarded a report on the issue to Jakarta. Manek said that the local TTU government has already taken measures to prevent the conflict from escalating, including a range of joint meetings in the past few months. (DT)
Carlos: Three International Electoral Experts Visit Timor-Leste
Speaking to the media last Friday, permanent secretary of National Parliament, MP Francisco Carlos has reportedly informed that three international delegates are currently in Timor-Leste to assess the situation prior to the 2007 general elections. Carlos also informed that the delegates had met with the President of the Parliament, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo" last Wednesday, adding that they would also visit other institutions. Carlos further informed that the delegates will recommend for the provision of financial assistance, electoral experts and other source of information in order to draft a good electoral law based on the experience of other countries, and particularly relevant to the concrete reality of Timor-Leste. (STL)
TVTL News Monitoring
Chinese Government's Aid to Timor-Leste: The Government of the People's Republic of China provided US$ 6.2m to the people of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The Vice-Minister officially received the aid for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ms. Adalgiza Magno. After signing the agreement to receive the aid, Ms. Magno reportedly told journalists that the support was development aid, the usage of which will be decided by the Government of Timor-Leste.
CIITT and LABEH conducted a conference: Two local NGOs, Centro Informasaun Independente Tasi Timor (CIITT) and Lalenok ba Ema Hotu (LABEH), held a one-day conference on Friday at LABEH Secretariat, Kampung Baru, Comoro. The conference was held to discuss the perception of Civil Society on the Maritime Border, especially with Australia. After the opening ceremony, the Director of LABEH, Mr. Christopher Samson reportedly told journalists that it was important to know about the maritime boundary of Timor-Leste and inform the people about the border negotiations with Australia.
LUTA HAMUTUK on Electricity: The NGO Luta Hamutuk, asked the Ministry of Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy to evaluate the work of the Electricity Company Macau, in regard to the power irregularities in the capital Dili. According to the study conducted by the NGO, it was found that the company has allegedly failed to fulfil its full responsibility and that it was unlikely that the power will run normally during the holidays in Christmas and New year, as planned. The NGO further asked that the Government should issue a new tender as the result.
Commander Martins Visits Dili District Police HQ: The General Commander of PNTL, Mr. Paulo Fatima Martins visited the Dili District Headquarter of PNTL on Friday, to inspect the work of the District Police. The visit, according to Martins, was also due to the complaints by the population in the media and the National Parliament, as well as in letters sent to the Interior Minister, the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, about the actions of the Police. Martins announced also that a Police Team was being established to monitor and control the actions of police agents. Meanwhile, from the District of Manufahi, TVTL reported that the District Police has not been able to identify the 'unknown' group reportedly intimidating the population at night.
Regional Media Reports
Need for Electoral Law and International Assistance for National Elections
For the conduct of free and fair national elections in Timor-Leste international assistance is required in areas including the preparation of electoral law, voter education and registration as well as the provision of international observers, Vice Minister of State Administration Mr. Valentim Ximenes and other participants pointed out at an UNOTIL Policy Review Meeting held on 25 November.
Vice Minister Valentim Ximenes indicated that the Government of Timor-Leste had already requested the provision of United Nations electoral experts to assist in the process of drafting the national electoral law and continued electoral programme assistance from UNDP and other international development partners. Further assistance would also be required for the Ministry of State Administration to train electoral officers and polling staff in preparation for the future national elections, he added.
Commissioners Ms. Carmelita Muniz and Mr. Marito Reis from the National Electoral Commission (CNE) recommended that the electoral law provide the CNE with effective oversight powers and more clearly define the roles of STAE and CNE with CNE Commissioners requiring appointment at least six months prior to elections. It was also pointed out that the State should provide more human and material resources to the CNE and STAE. The CNE Commissioners requested that political party representatives be properly educated about electoral regulations to facilitate organised political campaigning and to prevent baseless allegations or criticisms in the forthcoming national elections.
US Ambassador Rees indicated that the CNE should continue to be independent and should be well-funded with the authority to address any allegations in the conduct of future elections. Legal Adviser to the President Mr. Rui Feijo suggested that broad consensus would be desirable from political parties and agreement by the National Parliament on the national electoral law to maximise the legitimacy of the elections.
The Director of UNIFEM in Timor-Leste, Ms. Milena Pires commended the results of the recent local elections for the positive promotion of women's representation with 7 female village chiefs and 27 female hamlet chiefs being democratically elected across the country. Ms Pires advocated the nomination of a high number of female candidates by political parties for the national elections, with a suggestion that a special reservation of seats for women in the electoral law would ensure positive female representation at the parliamentary level.
SRSG Hasegawa concluded the meeting by recognising the need for good coordination of international support to the national elections. The urgency of proper preparation and enactment of the relevant national electoral laws was also emphasized by SRSG Hasegawa in order for the international community to plan and expeditiously implement electoral support and thereby assist in ensuring free and fair national elections in Timor-Leste.
An Electoral Needs Assessment Mission from the UN Department of Political Affairs is currently interviewing officials and politicians in Timor-Leste to identify the requirements of Timor-Leste for the National Elections, which are expected to be held in 2007. (UNOTIL Press Release)
National News Sources
Timor Post (TP)
These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office