|Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review, 1 and 3
[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (firstname.lastname@example.org) have been removed.]
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Saturday, 01 and Monday, 03 October 2005
National Media Reports
PM Alkatiri: Longuinhos should resign if allegations proven
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that if the corruption allegations against Prosecutor General Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro are proven, then he will have to resign from his post. “As the Prosecutor-General and as an ordinary citizen, it is possible for him to make mistakes”, said Alkatiri speaking to journalists last Friday. He said that the evidence of such corruption must be presented to the Court. Relating his own experience, Alkatiri said that he has also been accused of corruption in the past, and thus he is careful to guard himself against such allegations. He asked the responsible persons in this case to ensure that the allegations are processed through the correct channels, as it is important that the dignity of those involved is preserved, and that the Prosecutor has the right to clear his name of the allegations. (DT)
Three militia members appear in Court of Appeal
Three ex-members of the militia group Hametin Merah Putih recently captured by the Border Patrol Unit in Tunubibi village, Bobonaro District, last Wednesday appeared before the Court of Appeal on charges related to their involvement in the militia group. The Prosecutor requested that the Court of Appeal maintain the decision of the Dili District Court, and that the three suspects be placed in preventative detention for 30 days to allow time for an investigation. The Lawyer for the accused stated that his three clients had entered Timor-Leste territory to look for firewood, and not for any criminal purpose. He added that, as stated upon their previous appearance in the Dili District Court, their involvement in the militia group had not been according to their own will, but because they were forced by the Indonesian military to participate. Additionally, according to their lawyer, the three were not involved in any killings at that time, but that their participation had been limited to burning of houses. (DT)
MP Menezes: Timor-Leste confronts global oil crisis
The fuel crisis, currently being experienced by Indonesia, is also affecting Timor-Leste with the price of fuel rising significantly due to global market effects and world oil prices. Member of Parliament from the Democrat Party Rui Menezes explained to journalists that the current global oil crisis is occurring because oil production in the oil-producing countries has declined, while the needs of the oil-consuming countries have risen. He explained further that to confront the crisis the oil-producing countries need to raise oil production, and that “whether we like it or not Timor-Leste will always be affected by global dynamics”, because Timor-Leste does not have a program of subsidies, and Timor-Leste is dependent on the ‘law of supply and demand”. (DT, STL)
PM Alkatiri: Win or lose, democracy is imperative
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that winning or losing in the village elections held last Friday is not so important for the government that he heads, but that more imperative is popular participation in the elections. Speaking to journalists after casting his vote in the elections held last Friday, Alkatiri said that democracy is not just voting in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, but that the real essence of democracy is grassroots participation. The Fretilin Secretary General said that as the government is committed to democracy, it is important to follow democracy’s rules, whether this means that Fretilin will win or lose. (TP)
Director of STAE, Cabral: Fretilin won in Dili Liquica
Speaking to the Timor Post last Saturday, Director of Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), Tomas Cabral, stated that the temporary results for the counting of votes for “Suco” Elections in both Dili and Liquica districts until 10 PM last Friday evening revealed that FRETILIN party won 49% out of the total available votes. TP also reported that the elections in both districts went well without any incidents. Meanwhile, President of FRETILIN Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” stated last Friday that he hoped that FRETILIN would win in the Suco Elections in both Dili and Liquica districts. This, he said, was due to the fact that during the elections of “Aldeia” Chiefs in the two mentioned districts, held on 20 September, the result revealed that FRETILIN obtained the higher percentage of votes. (TP)
MP Branco: The Closure of British Embassy has got no political motive
Fretilin MP Branco told STL that the decision taken by the United Kingdom government to close its’ embassy in Timor-Leste has no political motive and because it is not the first time to happen in Timor-Leste, STL reported. MP Branco stated that if the continuation of UK Embassy in Timor-Leste is only increasing the expenditure, it could be closed and that it is not something that only happened now in Timor-Leste and that Timor-Leste should understand it since it is the decision of the United Kingdom people. MP Branco confirmed further that it won’t be only the British Embassy that is going to be closed but other diplomatic mission would also close in the future. (TP)
President Gusmão: The Elected Chefé Sucos should serve everyone regardless of their political affiliations
Speaking after casting his ballot on Friday, Sept 30th, President Gusmão stated that he hoped that the elected Chefé de Suco from whichever political party should not discriminate against the population who did not vote for them, reported STL. President Gusmão was reported by the media of voting at the voting centre in the secondary school of Balibar. President Gusmão also stated that he was not prepared to make any statement on the issue of prisoners’ participation in the Chefe de suco election. When asked to compare the election process with the previous year election process, President Gusmão referred to the positive side where the Timorese directly handle technical aspects/responsibility while the negative impact is that protest(s) by many people will always occur. (TP, TVTL)
Regional Media Reports
Annan dismayed that Bali once again hit by 'terrorist outrage'
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Saturday he was dismayed that Bali had once again been struck by terrorists as he condemned deadly bombings on the Indonesian island. "The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali," a statement issued by his spokesman said, after explosions at three packed tourist restaurants killed at least 26 and injured more than 100. "He is dismayed that Bali has yet again been the scene of terrorist outrage almost three years after the attacks of October 2002," the statement said. "He sends his deepest sympathy to the injured and the bereaved of many nationalities as well as to the Indonesian government. He urges the Indonesian authorities to act promptly in identifying and bringing the perpetrators of this cowardly attack to justice."
Saturday's attacks came less than two weeks ahead of the third anniversary of blasts on Oct. 12, 2002 that left 202 people dead, mostly foreign tourists. Police said two explosions ripped through beachside seafood restaurants 100 meters (yards) apart in the fishing village of Jimbaran during the evening meal. Minutes later witnesses said at least one blast tore through the Raja restaurant 30 kilometres (18 miles) away in the shopping district of Kuta, the scene of the 2002 bombings. Those attacks on crowded nightspots were blamed on the militant Islamic group Jamaah Islamiyah. (The Jakarta Post, AFP)
$90m fuel deal: Timor link to region's biggest bio-diesel refinery
Engineering firm MPI Group will build the biggest bio-diesel refinery in the Asia-Pacific region in a deal with Timor-Leste that will create up to 20,000 jobs.Under the 20-year exclusive deal, Timorese farmers will supply feedstock to a $13 million oil-extraction plant the largest in the region to be built by MPI in Cairabela. The $80 million, 250 million litre-a-year bio-diesel refinery is planned for Darwin, but MPI is also looking at sites in Asia. Timorese farmers have been contracted to grow jatropha curcas trees, closely related to the castor tree, to supply the vegetable oil plant in Cairabela. The raw oil will be exported to the refinery in Darwin or Asia, or sold on the open market.
The deal was signed between Timor-Leste’s company Daba Loqui Energy, which will contract farmers and help run the oil-extraction plant, and MPI's development arm, Enviroenergy Developments Australia. President Xanana Gusmão witnessed the signing in the capital, Dili. The initial deal was struck in July, but was announced by MPI and EDA this week. The companies are based in Gordon, New South Wales. "Within eight to 10 years, Timor-Leste will become the largest regional bio-diesel oil producer in the Asia-Pacific region," said EDA director Ed Krsevan. He said EDA planned to list on the ASX next year on the back of the project.
MPI managing director Jim Ferretti said the oil contract with Timor-Leste was for 100 million litres of raw vegetable oil, which would increase to 250 million litres. "We're taking a different approach to everyone else," Mr Ferretti said. "It's called a feedstock strategy. We're building up the raw material first because that's where all bio-energy projects come unstuck in the supply of materials. "The plantations have started physically, and it will take three years for them to be under full production, so effectively there will be about 25% (oil-extraction) capacity in 18 months, and then 50% in the second year and 100% in the third year. "The bio-diesel production will effectively be about 12 months behind that."
Howard praises Yudhoyono for stance against extreme Islam
John Howard, Australia's prime minister, yesterday praised Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia's president, as a bulwark against extremist Islam, underlining the emerging bond between the two leaders. Both leaders have strived to improve a tense relationship, which hit a low when Canberra backed Timor-Leste’s independence in 1999 and has recently suffered from populist anger over an Australian woman convicted for drug smuggling in Bali. But Mr Howard has used the latest bombings in Bali, which killed at least three Australians and injured dozens more, to re-affirm his confidence in Mr Yudhoyono and Indonesian authorities in their fight against terrorism.
"This is an attack on democratic Indonesia," Mr Howard said. "We should understand that just as Australians, as westerners, are targets of terrorism, so is moderate, stable, democratic Indonesia, led by a moderate, outward-looking Islamic leader who's trying very hard to bring progress and security to his country." He added: "There is nothing the terrorists want more than to destabilise Indonesia, because Indonesia represents, as a moderate Islamic country, a bulwark against the perverted, obscene version of Islam that is represented by these terrorist attacks."
Mr Howard has offered police assistance to Indonesian authorities and said both countries would rely on the "close and intimate" networks established after last year's tsunamis and the 2002 bombings in Bali in which 88 Australians died. The Australian embassy in Jakarta was bombed last September. Canberra estimates that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 Australians holidaying in Bali at present - a number that may have risen because of school holidays in several Australian states.
Both countries have pledged to negotiate a security pact, first announced when Mr Yudhoyono made a visit to Australia in April this year, though no details have been made public. Australia has told its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Indonesia because of the risk of terrorist bombings. But Mr Howard said he had received no specific warnings of the attack. (Financial Times USA)
22 UN staffers detained since mid-2004: Annan
Twenty-two UN staff members have been detained since mid-2004 despite an international treaty guaranteeing the safety of UN personnel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Friday.
The total comprised seven in Eritrea, four in Afghanistan, two in Ethiopia, two in Serbia's Kosovo province and one each in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mozambique, Russia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, Annan said in a report to the 191-nation UN General Assembly. He said one UN employee who worked for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development was listed as missing in Sri Lanka following last December's Indian Ocean tsunami.
The seven held in Eritrea were all Eritrean nationals in custody after being charged with failure to fulfil their national military service obligations, a UN official said. "The United Nations is concerned about its staff and feels strongly against the detention of its staff members," UN spokesman Brenden Varma said.
The General Assembly asked Annan to monitor threats to UN staff around the world after two 2003 bombings of UN offices in Baghdad, including one that killed 22 people. His report covered the period from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005. While the world body did not suffer another catastrophic attack during the period, it was marked by "significant threats and risk" to staff, Annan said, citing the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Lebanon, among others. There was a sharp increase in hostage-takings and kidnappings, and "recent events of international terrorism, while sparing United Nations facilities, presage a further widening of risks that spares no country or activity," he said. (Reuters, the Jakarta Post)
National News Sources Timor Post (TP) Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL]
RTL Radio Timor-Leste [RTL)
Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario
These items do not reflect the positions or views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office