Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 9 February 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 9 February 2005

Rights groups urge US not to lift ban on Indonesia

Human rights groups are urging the United States to maintain restrictions on ties with Indonesia's military, saying it continues to commit brutal rights violations. The US Congress cut military ties in 1999 when Indonesian troops devastated Timor-Leste after the former province voted for independence.

In recent weeks, the two countries' militaries have worked closely together in tsunami relief efforts, prompting officials in the Bush administration to renew calls for restoring military ties with the world's most populous Muslim nation. However, human rights organizations claim Indonesia's military isn't likely to reform its brutal ways. "The argument is that restoring ties would improve their behaviour. But we think just the opposite would happen," said John Miller from the East Timor Action Network.

Critics also accuse Washington of seeking to counterbalance China's growing economic and strategic clout in Southeast Asia. The Bush Administration says it needs the cooperation of the Indonesian armed forces in its global war on terrorism. (Associated Press)

Two corpses returned to Atambua

The demands of Timorese refugees in Atambua were met when the corpses of the two women who were murdered at Kowa were yesterday returned to their families at the Batugade border. The women were murdered together with one man at Kowa, Balibo sub-district, late in January. The murder suspects have already appeared in court and have admitted to the murder. (STL)

Troubled Bobonaro region

The number of murders that have occurred in the Bobonaro region in the first few months of 2005 indicates that the situation in this border region is troubled, according to a Member of Parliament. Jose Andrade, the Member of Parliament from Bobonaro District told STL that he believes that some people, possibly former militia, are trying to create a bad situation because they don't like to see an independent Timor-Leste.

Since the beginning of this year, four people have lost their lives - one in Lolotoe sub-district and three in Kowa, Balibo sub-district. He believes that some refugees in West Timor are involved in the murders and have the assistance of Timorese living in Timor-Leste side of the border. (STL)

Timor-Leste sends five to Malaysia for peace course

The government of Timor-Leste is sending five people to Malaysia to take part in a course on the 'Consolidation of Peace for Post-Conflict Countries'. Representatives from Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sri Lanka will also participate in the course. The five Timor-Leste participants were yesterday given their plane tickets by the Malaysian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Abdullah Faiz Zain, at the Malaysian Embassy in Dili. The course is being organized by Malaya University and JICA. According to Abdullah, the course has been organized in order to increase the knowledge of participants about the development experience of Malaysia and Japan. (STL)

Portuguese an obstacle for Timor-Leste students

Difficulty in learning Portuguese is one of the main obstacles faced by Timor-Leste students in Portugal, forcing many to leave their studies and seek in Ireland and England. Timor-Leste's Ambassador to Portugal said that Portuguese is a difficult language for Timorese students to master. Ms Pasquela said that they may have come to Portugal knowing how to make simple requests in Portuguese but studying university subjects in Portuguese is a different matter. She added that only some have succeeded.

Statistically, she said that the original number of students who had been awarded scholarships was 333. From that amount, 39 have completed their studies and of those 19 have returned to Timor-Leste to work. Another 134, who did not complete their studies, are working in Ireland and England. There are another 160 who have since been granted scholarships and are studying in Portugal.

Ms Pasquela said she was disappointed with the broken promises of some of the students, who had been given the opportunity to study in Portugal but who had then left their studies to find jobs. It had been hoped that they would return from their studies to work in and serve their country Timor-Leste. However she acknowledged that some of the students were committed to studying and then returning to Timor-Leste. (STL)

'Jardim da Paz' becomes memorial park

The Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro, announced that the Government has offered the Jardim da Paz (Peace Park) in Lecidere, Dili, to be used as a memorial park for victims killed in 1999. According to the Prosecutor-General, of the 105 sets of unidentified human remains in the possession of SCU, 33 of those unidentified sets of human remains are currently stored at SCU while the remainder are buried in the InterFET cemetery in Dili (Timor Post)

Vicente Faria: "There is a need to detect corruption and nepotism in public service"

Speaking during a plenary session on Tuesday, Member of Parliament from Fretilin, Vicente Faria, stated that there is a need to assess public servants who are suspected of practising corruption and nepotism. According to Faria, some public servants, who occupy standard posts in public administration, seem to be rich even though they earn a low salary. "There is a need to have transparency in the civil service. Therefore, it is necessary to establish the Provedor of Justice and Human Rights in order to guarantee the complaints of the public are heard" (Timor Post)


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