Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 17 & 19 December 2005


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Saturday & Monday, 17 & 19 December 2005

National Media Reports

International Tribunal issue: Timorese chasing each other like cat and mouse

The issue of an International Tribunal could give rise to instability, with the pursuit of justice causing Timorese to chase each other like cat and mouse. Speaking to STL on Friday in relation to the conflicting views of civil society, the Church and the Government on the Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC), President of the Socialist Party of Timor Pedro da Costa said that even though the demand for an International Tribunal is reasonable, the reality for Timor-Leste is that it is not financially capable of funding such a Tribunal at the current time. He said that the government policy on the TFC aims to contribute to the creation of regional and national stability. He said that even though he is defending the government's policy, it does not mean that he has forgotten the importance of justice, but just that it is national stability that is important for the future. He added that sooner or later justice would eventually be realised. (STL)

Police confiscate journalist's camera

There has been another case of camera confiscation, in which a Timor Post journalist filming the arrest of lawyer Angelo Neves had his digital camera confiscated by Dili District Police Commander Inspector Eugenio Pereira. It is reported that after seizing the camera, the Commander requested the journalist's identification card, and then ordered him to leave the site, the Timor Block Building Industry in Comoro. It is as yet not known when the camera will be returned. (STL)

PM Alkatiri: Criticise me and not just Xanana

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has asked civil society and the Church to not just criticize President Xanana, as he (PM) also signed the TFC Accord, and if he had not signed, then the Commission would not be going ahead. Speaking at a press conference at the International Airport on Saturday upon return from his visit to Cuba, the Prime Minister emphasized his involvement in the establishment of the Commission, saying that if the President had been the only signatory then it would not have been possible for the Commission to be established. He also told civil society and the Church that if they do not properly understand the work of the Commission, he is prepared to hold a discussion with them. (STL, JND)

NTT Regional Police and PNTL Cooperate in the Fight of Terrorism

It is reported that Director of Police Intelligence for NTT Region (Indonesia), Mohammad Irawan arrived in Dili yesterday to discuss cooperation with PNTL in the fight against terrorism. Speaking to the press upon the arrival of his Indonesian guest, PNTL's General Commander Paulo Fatima Martins reportedly explained that it was true that the visit of Commander Irawan to Timor-Leste is to establish coordination and cooperation in facing the threat of terrorism. "NTT Police finds it important and necessary to establish relations with PNTL because currently Indonesian becomes the target of terrorists groups", Martins said. Moreover, Martins said that as a new institution in a newly independent country, it is very necessary for PNTL to establish cooperation with Indonesian Police in order to tackle the terrorist groups, adding that through such cooperation, PNTL will have the chance to enhance its capacity. For this purpose, Martins said, PNTL has sent a number of its officers to Indonesia for training in the area of terrorism. (STL)

PM Alkatiri and MP on TL Bilateral Ties with Cuba

Speaking to the media upon his return to Dili from an official visit to Cuba Prime Minister Alkatiri said the visit was positive. The Prime Minister visited the Timorese currently studying in Cuba and reportedly said that by 2010 or 2012 Timor-Leste would have around 800 to 1,000 doctors and hopefully another 170 more Timorese would leave this month to join the others in that country. Mari Alkatiri said that during the visit Timor-Leste officials also learned the system used in Cuba to develop its education sector and before the end of December a delegation from Cuba on illiteracy would visit the country. On remarks that the Prime Minister was making propaganda on Cuba and whether the visit would have an impact on ties between Timor-Leste and the United States of America, the Prime Minister said he was speaking the truth and stressed that Timor-Leste does not have enemies rather only friends and that "because we want to develop faster the two areas [medicine and education], the USA would better understand that than anyone else". He added that currently the United States is facing shortages with doctors therefore it would be hard for America to send 300 doctors to Timor-Leste and on top who would be responsible for their salaries, noting that the salary of one USA doctor can pay 30 Cuban doctors.

In Saturday's edition, Timor Post reported MP Rui Menezes (PD) as reportedly stating that by sending Timorese to study in Cuba, Prime Minister Alkatiri is trying to turn Timor-Leste into a Cuba in the Asian region. "The politics which the government is choosing, in sending Timorese to Cuba with the aim of transforming Timor into Cuba, with the argument that Cuba is one of the most important foreign countries to the government," Menezes reportedly said.

MP Riak Leman (PSD) said Timor-Leste must be open to other nations that want to provide support to Timorese to study in their countries and not concentrate mainly in Cuba. "Every year Timorese are sent to Cuba. This can create a negative impact from other nations that have committed themselves to the liberation of Timor-Leste's struggle. I think Timor-Leste must be open to other nations that want to support us, we should not incline only to one nation," Leman stressed. (STL, TP)

150 Timorese Student Are Likely Illegally in West Timor

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Ramos-Horta informed TP that in 2004 about 150 Timorese students in Kupang, West Timor did not have student visas. Ramos-Horta said in August 2004 he personally met with the students and learned that they were using tourist visas to be able to study there. "Many of our students are illegal in Kupang. Ask them what visa they are using in Kupang. I met some of them in Kupang, and they went with a tourist visa, about 150 of them," he told the media last week, noting that the procedures does not comply with Timor-Leste and Indonesia legislation saying it would make it harder for them to try and get a new student visa in Indonesia. The Foreign Minister has instructed Timor-Leste's embassy and consulate not to support these students in case they have problems. They can only provide support to those who have visas. "My instructions are to not support them. If they want they should return to Timor-Leste and follow the right procedures. The embassy should not be concerned with those not abiding by the laws in TL and Indonesia, and then question and pester the embassy," Ramos-Horta said adding, "those with correct student visas, the embassy will try and help according to its competencies. The embassy's competencies are according to their legal situation and if there were any problems the embassy and consul would try and help them and not those who are entering Indonesia illegally. (TP)

MP Ximenes: T-L Government should pay attention to Timorese at Bayu Udan

Deputy Chief of Commission F of the National Parliament, Antonio Ximenes appealed to the government of Timor-Leste to take measures to protect Timorese workers, who are experiencing discrimination by Conoco Philips and PEA on Bayu Undan, Timor Sea exploration, reported Timor Post. MP Ximenes made the above appeal in relation to the statement by a Timorese worker, João Paulo Adito Perreira, who expressed his dissatisfaction related to the working system that put a lot of pressure and discrimination against Timorese workers at Bayu Undan. He added that he is concerned with the few Timorese workers who are currently working in Timor Sea exploration since there are currently many workers from Indonesia, America and other countries, such as, the Philippines. He also expects that MP Jose Lobato, who will be visiting the site of exploration, would be able to address any existing concerns. He also stated that if the discrimination takes place due to laziness, then it would be better to replace those Timorese with others who are capable. In response to this, the Prime Minister reports in DT that the salaries offered to the Timorese is based on the national salary scale, and this indicates why there is a difference in their salaries. (TP, DT)

Regional Media Reports

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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