Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 25 Oct 2005
Daily Press Review
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
National Media Reports
PM Alkatiri meets President Xanana and Lu-Olo to discuss border situation
It is reported that, a little concerned with the border situation, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday met with President Xanana Gusmao and President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres 'Lu-Olo' to discuss the issue before leaving on an official visit to Cape Verde. Alkatiri is reported to have said that he requested the meeting as he feels it is important that all government elements are kept up to date with the situation. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Alkatiri reportedly explained that he is particularly concerned with the situation at Motaain, where the local population on the Indonesian side of the border have closed off access to the mutually shared river to the population on the Timor-Leste side of the border. He said that as this is a shared border, this is not a fair thing to do. Alkatiri said that the government will be taking a new approach to this matter, whereby all Ambassadors as well as the United Nations will be constantly updated on the situation. He asked the people not to become alarmed or panicked by the situation. However he said that as Timor-Leste is a sovereign nation it must take appropriate action, as cases of border violations must always be taken seriously. Asked whether it may be necessary to request the United Nations to deal with the border situation if it becomes prolonged, Alkatiri is reported to have replied that the UNis very expensive, and thus the government has not considered such a measure. He alluded to the possibility that the current tense border situation could affect the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (TP, DT)
Lobato and Martins: Oecussi situation under control , New recruits for PNTL
It is reported that Minister of Interior and PNTL General Commander Paulo Martins have assured the people of Dili that the current border situation in Passabe, Oecussi, is under control, and peaceful. After meeting with the President and other officials on Monday, Lobato and Martins told journalists that the people of Dili have been receiving worrying information regarding attacks and arson on border posts in the border areas, and therefore they are keen to allay the fears of the capital city population, that everything is under control. Lobato said that the PNTL will recruit more police this coming January, with the intention of increasing security along the border, but that the new recruits will also be used for the marine and immigration units. When asked whether the border problems will require an increase in F-FDTL personnel, the Minister of Interior said that this is a political decision in the hands of the government. The government position has always been that the border is a non-militarized border, and therefore it must be patrolled by police and not military. (TP, STL)
Commander Martins comments on Bidau shooting incident
It is reported that the population of Bidau Mota Klaran, Dili, were panicked on Saturday evening when faced with alleged violent police behaviour, where the police fired shots and threatened the local population. The incident was related to a conflict between two groups of young men, which resulted in the police coming to the area, where they fired shots and screamed at the local population. The police action resulted in seven people injured and five arrested, who are currently being detained at Dili District police station. It is reported that some of the victims still have bullets lodged in their bodies. Responding to the incident, PNTL General Commander Paulo Martins said that when the Police Task Force went in to calm the situation, the local population began throwing rocks at the police. He said that no members of the Dili District Police fired shots, and therefore they are currently checking with the Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) to find out which police officers were involved with the alleged shooting.
It is reported that a member of the local population and a victim of the attack, Maria Lucia, said that the Indonesian police are better than Timorese police, as Indonesian police would ask permission before entering someone's house, whereas Timorese police barge into peoples' houses without any ethics, like thieves. She said that the local population are still traumatized by the brutal police action, and that the professionalism of the police is in question, as the police did not arrest those people who were causing trouble, but instead engaged in alleged brutality and threats. (TP, STL)
Police Taking Measures to Arrest Attacker of US Citizen: Lobato
It is reported that Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato said that PNTL is taking all measures to arrest the person responsible in attacking a US citizen called Nadine Heukman (42) in Taibessi on Sunday. Lobato said that he personally went to Dili National Hospital to see the victim but she was having an X-Ray at the time. He stressed that the case is very serious because there are some people who are trying to create instability and this gives a bad image which may stop visitors coming to Timor-Leste. (Diario)
PNTL Detained Six Indonesians
It is reported that PNTL officers have detained six Indonesian citizens for allegedly entering Timor-Leste illegally, reported Diario newspapers on Tuesday. According to the Immigration Coordinator for Oecussi Border, Oracio de Sousa, the six are from Sulawesi on the way to the island of Flores but mistakenly entered Oecussi area. De Sousa said the problem has been brought to the attention of the Indonesian Ambassador in Timor-Leste but in the meantime they would have to pay for their visas as well as a fine according to Timor-Leste constitution article 118. He added that the boat was carrying around 1400 kg of rice, which the immigration has the right to detain if the fine is not paid. (Diaro)
Suspect Faces 20 Years Imprisonment For Attempted Purchase of Weapons at Border
It is reported that International Judge Sandra Silvestre currently working at Oecusse District Court told the media last Friday that a government security guard with the initials MA could face 20 years imprisonment [if found guilty] of his alleged involvement in meetings with Indonesian military members to purchase illegal weapons in Indonesia, and involvement in alleged plans to launch attacks against communities in Passabe and Oesilo Sub-districts of Oecusse District, Diario reported. Judge Silvestre also reportedly informed the media that during the recent attacks in the Oecusse border area, MA did not meet local community members or PNTL BPU officers to assist in their assessment of the situation which, it is reported, indicated that he denied Timor-Leste to be a sovereign country. It was reported that in June 2005, MA along with a friend called Anuco allegedly met with former militia commander Laurentino Soares aka Moko with the aim of purchasing weapons in Indonesia to be allegedly smuggled into Timor-Leste, and also allegedly attempted to liaise with Indonesian Police to provide information on the border situation. (Diario).
TVTL News Monitoring
1. A member of PNTL threatens population in Bidau Mota Klaran: TVTL reported yesterday that a PNTL member called Lino Amaral reportedly captured and kicked some youths in the Village of Bidau Mota Klaran, the Sub District of Cristo Rei, Dili. One of the victims, Anselmo reportedly told journalistics that the case had been reported to the Commander of PNTL but there was no response. The incident reportedly happened on 22 October at 11.00pm
2. Community representative fasting at the Anuar Mosque: Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was reported to have appealed to the Muslim community to establish good relations with other religions. Alkatiri was reportedly making this appeal during the break-fast ceremony at Anuar Mosque in Kampung Alor.
3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri: I request the population of Timor Leste, not to be panicked by the situation in the border. Alkatiri stated that as a Independent state, whatever problems occur in this country, the government will solve those problems. Alkatiri also said that, he was confident that President Xanana on 5 November will speak to the President of Indonesia about the border issue during his upcoming visit to Indonesia. Alkatiri also said that the border issue would be reported to the United Nations.
4. PNTL Liquica District: It is reported that PNTL arrested two government officials from the Entrepreneur Development Centre, on 21 October. According to Raimundo de Araujo PNTL Liquisa, the reason for the arrest was the two persons used government cars to go to Motaain to buy private equipment to sell in Dili. Araujo said that both people now remain under investigation.
Regional Media Reports
Chinese president accepts credentials from new ambassadors
Beijing - Chinese President Hu Jintao accepted the credentials presented by the new ambassadors to China from Egypt, Mongolia, East Timor, Belgium and Poland here on Oct. 24. The new ambassadors include Mahmoud Allam, ambassador of Egypt arriving on Sept. 4 this year; Galsangiin Batsukh, ambassador of Mongolia arriving on Sept. 7; Olimpio Maria Alves Gomes Miranda Branco, Ambassador of East Timor arriving on Sept. 8, Bernard Pierre, ambassador of Belgium arriving on Sept. 11, and Krzysztof Szumski, ambassador of Poland arriving on Sept. 14. (Xinhua Economic News)
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]