Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 06 July 2005


Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 06 July 2005

Xanana Welcomed by Demonstration

A crowd of demonstrators in Melbourne on Tuesday welcomed President Xanana Gusmão, reported STL. About 20,000 demonstrators reportedly composed of veterans of Interfet troops, the Timor Sea Justice Committee and the Melbourne Stop the War Coalition, held demonstrations against the government of Australia. According to the demonstrators, Australia has annexed and stolen the wealth of Timor referring to the oil and gas in the Timor Sea. Speaking to the media on Monday, President Xanana said that, as President, in accordance with the constitution of RDTL, he was not involved in the negotiation process regarding the Timor Sea boundaries but hoped that the two countries can reach an agreement as the best solution for both. (STL)

Workers Without Visas In Timor-Leste

The Secretary of State for Labor and Solidarity, Arsenio Bano said his department has been working with the Timor-Leste immigration authorities in the last three weeks to identify around 200 foreigners in the country without working visas. Bano said his department has annulled the visas for many people including those with working visas because they were not working. (TP)

Fate of Former Indonesian Employees Should Be Resolved: Paixão

Speaking at the National plenary session on Tuesday, MP Maria Paixão (PSD) urged the Government to tackle the pending problems of former Indonesian employees. She added that the payment of pensions for former employees has stopped for the time being because the Indonesian government has not received reports of previous payments. She suggested that the Government of Timor-Leste should provide the reports so that pension payments will resume. (STL, DN, TVTL)

TFC Disadvantages the People

The Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC) has received lots of criticism from local and international NGOs as well as other institutions, reported Timor Post on Wednesday. Timor Post quoted Manuel Tilman MP (KOTA) as saying that the establishment of the TFCis a disadvantage to the Timorese people, especially as the victims will see no justice at all according to its terms of reference as received by the Parliament. "I am not criticising but I would like to comment that to "Re-establish the Truth" would not achieve anything. It would mean that criminals would be given amnesty and criminals such as former Indonesian military General Wiranto, if they are falsely accused, we would have to apologise," said Tilman. He added that the terms of reference do not include the word "justice," therefore 90% of the TFC is in the interest of Indonesia and 10% for the people of Timor-Leste. The MP also said the agreement on the TFC should have been made public through the Government Gazette. (TP, DT, TVTL)

Amaral Protests the Decision on the CAVR Extension

Member of Parliament Clementino dos Reis Amaral (KOTA) has protested that the extension of CAVR mandate is only for another six months, saying it would not be long enough to translate the 10,000 or more documents. Amaral said initially the Parliament had foreseen the work to be concluded in 8 months but decided for 6 months instead. (TP)

Cuban Scholarships For F-FDTL Members

The Ministry of Heath, Rui Araujo said some of the 200 students selected to study in Cuba applied for the scholarships in 2004 and the interviews will soon commence. Araujo said his Ministry still does not know the final result of the number of applicants last year.

Timor Post also reported on Wednesday that about 30 members of F-FDTL will sit tests for the scholarships to Cuba. The Head of F-FDTL Marine, Antonio Sargento said all the candidates come from different units within the defence force. (TP)

F-FDTL Military Police Face Problems

In a separate article, Timor Post reported F-FDTL Defence Force Military Police commander, Captain Alfredo Alves Reinaldo as saying that one of the problems faced by the Military Police is the constant break down of equipment and a lack of transport, pointing that the vehicles currently used by the Military Police are too old and cannot travel outside Dili.

According to reports some members of the Defence Force are planning to quit their jobs with F-FDTL Chief of Staff Lere Anan Timor commenting that the institution is waiting for the decree law on this issue. Anan Timor said that he is looking into the cases of officials that will soon be expelled due to undisciplined actions and some for their participation in the recent protests organized by the church. (TP)

Defence Lawyer Claims Illegal Detention of Client

PNTL National Police detained a man for 24 hours for allegedly stealing 10 bags of cement. According to Timor Post, the detainee's lawyer, Mario Santos Lay, argued that the Police did not have a detention warrant from the court and also referred to the time gap between the event and the complaint saying "Arifin (the complainant) should have filed a complaint at the time of the event on 24 June instead of 2 July".(TP, TVTL)

Rising Intimidation and Terror Due to Lack of Democractic Values

The lack of understanding of democracy leads to terror and intimidation as recently experienced by some political party during the Village elections, election observer Zacarias da Costa told STL. Da Costa said these kind of problems arise because the party members receive little information from their leaders regarding democracy and how far can democracy go. He added that voters participating in the election still lack political education.

In a separate article Timor Post reported Francisco Soares, a lecturer in Political Science at the National University as saying that the intimidation and terror that occurred during the village election will continue in the 2007 elections. Soares said the intimidation and terror that arose during the elections at the grass-roots level came from Political Party leaderships. He appealed to all political party leaders to provide better political education for the people to avoid confusion. He added that most of the conflict occurred as a result of statements made by political leaders which instead of calming, aggravated the situation. (STL,TP)

Debate Mechanism in Parliament Not Transparent

Member of Parliament Maria Paixão (PSD) said the debate mechanism in the National Parliament regarding the budget is not transparent, reported STL. Paixão said there is no transparency because the debate is not following the legal procedures currently in place. (STL)

Timor-Post Editorial America-Australia the Same

The TP editorial today says the history of Timor-Leste to independence against the Indonesian invaders has left damaged memories and scars which are difficult to cure. It says that on 4 July each year, the USA commemorates its independence. In Timor-Leste the commemoration was held at the USA Ambassador's residence. Like previous commemorations, last Monday commemorations coincided with a demonstrations by the Timorese civil society demanding US to be responsible for the suffering of Timorese people during the Indonesian occupation, noting that there are strong indications that the USA backed the Indonesian troops and strongly supported Suharto regime in invading Timor-Leste which has left sadness and suffering of the Timorese people who continue to demand for justice. The US sold many weapons from tanks to warplanes and also provided diplomatic support and media propaganda through the radio programme, the Voice of America, which in turn made the Indonesians more courageous by telling the resistance people that the idea of the independence was a mere dream.

In regard to the Australian government the editorial says that when the political map in Indonesian changed, Australia also changed its political foreign policy by saying that Jakarta should give the rights for independence to the Timorese people. [...] What the Timorese want is that these learning processes which the Timorese are now undertaking can move forward in the eyes of the international community without submitting itself to the influence of other countries, like USA and Australia. What the Timorese demand is that both USA and Australia recognizes that they have contributed to the dark pages of the history of Timor-Leste. What is now needed is to compensate the dark history of the past with good behavior in future.

Indonesian Rights Commission to Investigate Past Violations

One of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission members, Zoemrotin K Soesilo told the Indonesian media on Tuesday that the commission can investigate past human rights violations. "Until now the Reconciliation Commission has not functioned properly. In order to fill the gap, the human rights commission has demanded to investigate past violations, if not the suspects, particularly as the victims will be forgotten," said Soesilo. He cited examples of human rights violations such as East Timor and Tanjung Priok cases and cases of missing persons. (Antara in STL)

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