Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review, December 16 2005

UNOTIL

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Friday, 16 December 2005

National Media Reports

Gusmão disagrees with certain articles on Former Combatants Law

RDTL President Xanana Gusmao has said that he does not agree in principle with some of the draft articles in the law on former combatants, but it is not significant enough for the issue to become heated, just that it is necessary to make some changes. Speaking to journalists after expressing his opinion to the Members of Parliament on Thursday, the President said that it will be necessary for him to sit down together with the members to make some changes, however, he would not clarify to journalists which articles in particular he found problematic.

Speaking to journalists on the same issue, President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres/Lu-Olo said that discussions on the veterans and combatants law is not easy, but very difficult and complex. He said that the Parliament would discuss on a case-by-case basis, with the aim of establishing different levels of commitment to the Resistance cause. He confirmed that the law deals with cases of people who surrendered voluntarily, and that the aim of the law is to accord the appropriate dignity to those that deserve it. (STL, DT)

Interim Japanese Ambassador inaugurates Library

Interim Japanese Ambassador Takashi Koizumi on Thursday inaugurated the Library and Documentation Centre of the Timor Tatoli Naroman Foundation (TTNF) in Fatumeta. The Library will receive financial assistance from Japan in the amount of US $80,800. Koizumi said in his speech at the inauguration that libraries are important public places for people to access information, in particular in Timor-Leste where people have difficulty obtaining study materials, and that he hopes the library will be used by many people. President of the TTNF Salvador Januario Ximenes Soares told journalists that the library would be particularly useful for students, even though at this stage it is only 80% filled. (STL, TP)

Pressures on Timorese Workers in Bayu Undan

In the almost three years that they have been on site, the Timorese workers in the Bayu Undan oil rig in the Timor Sea have been under a lot of pressure from the oil companies Conoco Phillips and PEA, with a range of discriminatory measures such as no insurance, no work contracts, and salaries that are not the same as foreigners working there. One of the Bayu Undan workers, Joao Paulo Adito Pereira, told TP that he and his colleagues are not satisfied with the system used at Bayu Undan because they have faced many problems and discrimination since 2003. He thus requested that the government implement a law to protect the Bayu Undan workers. (TP)

Gusmão: No orientation to kill children; Many children living on the streets

Speaking during a discussion with Members of Parliament on Veterans bill on Thursday, President Xanana Gusmão is reported as saying that as a Supreme Commander of Falintil during the last 24 years in the jungle; he neither heard nor issued any instructions to Falintil soldiers and officials to kill children, adding that that was not their policy. On the occasion of the discussion, President of the Commission for Resistance Cadres Affairs, Vasco Gama a.k.a Criado reinforced President Gusmão’s statement that Falintil guerrillas did not kill the children. However, the two explained that there were indeed some incidents where kids’ mouths were shut when they cried so that the enemies would not know the whereabouts of the guerrillas or when they were going to attack the enemy military posts. Meanwhile, during the launching of UNICEF’s report on children’s situation on Thursday, President Gusmão urged all components of the State, including the civil societies to try and debate on children’s problems in Timor-Leste itself, where most of them live on the street, and live in extreme poverty. President Gusmão recognised that it was neither easy to solve the children’s problems in Timor-Leste nor elsewhere. In addition, he said all components of the State and civil societies should have the courage to push for the participation of children in debates regarding their situations. (TP, P1 DT p1)

Fr. Martinho: No war during 24 years

Referring to the declaration made by President Gusmão that “the report of CAVR is imaginary,” the director of Justice and Peace of Baucau diocese, Fr. Martinho said it implies that the suffering of the Timorese people during the 24-year war is only imaginary. “That is Timor-Leste is imaginary, there is no Timor-Leste. If we want to follow the President’s logic that the CAVR report is imaginary, then the problem of Timor was also imaginary. The 2-year (CAVR commissioners) investigations is also imaginary, fantasy and the data they collected are fictitious. There is nothing,” said Martinho. He added that the word “imaginary” should not be used because CAVR’s commissioners documented exactly what happened in the country.

The Director of the Justice and Peace of Baucau Diocese added, “CAVR asked for public opinions, and looked into eyewitness testimonies; held investigations. Everybody knows that. And if it says that Timor-Leste was at war for 24 years with Indonesia, Indonesia invaded the country, then this is not imaginary”. On the President’s visit to New York to present the report to the UN Secretary General, Martinho said it is only a formal visit, as UNOTIL had not made any statement. (TP)

Fr. Soares, SDB: Catholic community of Timor-Leste would not tolerate impunity

Fr. Agustinho Soares, SDB told participants at a seminar on CTF/TFC’s roles that the Catholic community of Timor-Leste would not tolerate impunity for those who have committed violations of human rights in Timor-Leste from 1975-1999 because justice is an ethic and absolute fundamental principle in democracy for Timor-Leste to progress, Diario Tempo reported. He added that international justice would lose its credibility to bring the perpetrators of human rights to justice and justice to the victims. Therefore, when Timor-Leste and Indonesia signed an agreement to establish the CTF/TFC, it is a wrong way of delivering justice. He then appealed to the UN to monitor Timor-Leste by addressing human rights violations. He further recommended not accepting to replace justice against human rights violators with CTF/TFC, UN and the international community to maintain their positions on the acts of the criminals. Meanwhile, STL runs a headlines stating Timor-Leste’s youth organisation (Ojetil’s) Vice President, Liu Rai Taci, saying that the reconciliation process initiated by President Gusmão is contradicting with the church’s demand for justice. He added that justice will prevail for those people who criticise President Gusmão, and that it seems like the Church and President Gusmão have switched places from being a forgiver and vice versa. (DT)

TVTL News Headlines - 15-12-2005

President Gusmão: I Appreciate Parliament’s initiative: Speaking to journalists after a presentation at the National Parliament on Thursday, President Gusmão reportedly stated that he appreciated the initiative of the Parliament in drafting the veterans’ law. Gusmão further stated that the Presidency and Parliament would work together, with other state institutions, to fulfil what the Constitution requires of them. Meanwhile, Francisco Branco, the Chief of FERTILIN bench told journalists that the Parliament would recommend that the children of the fallen heroes of liberation are taken care of to enable access to scholarships. For this purpose, Branco added, there has been a budget allocated to the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion.

OJETIL Pulls out of National Alliance for International Tribunal: Speaking at a press conference on Thursday at FRETILIN’s CCF office in Dili, the Vice-President of the former Youth resistance organisation, OJETIL, “Liurai Tasi” reportedly said that his organisation regarded the dialogue on CTF as illegal and that the Church should respect the state that was built on so much suffering. He also asked the NGOs not to interfere in the politics of this country because they were not the ones who assumed responsibilities in the National Liberation Struggle. Liurai Tasi further declared that his organisation pulled out of the National Alliance for International Tribunal.

Japanse Government donates over US$80,000: The Japanese Government has reportedly donated over US$80,000 to the Timor Tatoli Naroman Foundation. The donation was granted to build a library and documentation centre to facilitate people in accessing information, and was inaugurated by the Japanese embassy representative, Takashi Koijumi on Thursday. The Director of Tatoli Naroman Foundation, Salvador Januario Ximenes, told journalists after the inauguration ceremony that the facilities were built to enable access to information for the people of Timor-Leste, especially students. Ximenes added that the library would be opened to the public in January 2006.

Timorese should prepare themselves for petroleum jobs: Sooner or later, there will be jobs in the area of petroleum in the south coast of Timor-Leste. Speaking to journalists after participating in a seminar on the challenges of working in the area of petroleum at the Dili Institute of Technology, the Director for Oil, Gas and Energy of Timor-Leste, Amandio Gusmão Soares, reportedly said that the Timorese should start preparing themselves to participate in the process of petroleum development in Timor-Leste.

National News Sources

Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL]-


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