Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 18 April 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Tuesday 18 April 2006

National Media Reports

Discrimination within F-FDTL must be solved immediately

Salsinha Gastão, the spokesperson for the ‘petitioners group’ has affirmed that the group has no intention of holding a protest but will continue to demand that the government to solve the problem of discrimination within the Armed Forces institution, as reported by the media on Tuesday. On the same issue, MP Clementino Amaral (KOTA) requested the President of the Parliament to seriously consider the case of F-FDTL as it can affect the stability of the nation, adding that up to now the issue has not been tabled for discussion in Parliament. But Francisco Guterres, ‘Lu’Olo’, President of the National Parliament reportedly said, “I see the petitioners group case is directly involved with the executive [government?]. Therefore we feel it is not yet possible for the Parliament to decide on the issue”.

STL reported Salsinha as saying the group would not surrender until the issue is resolved, stressing that “unless all of us, the 591, perish. If not the problem will continue”. Gastão underlined, all the leaders must have the will to resolve the problem and if they do not wish to do so they should say so and relocate the ‘petitioners’ elsewhere to avoid burdening the government. The newspaper also reported him as saying that although the group was willing to participate in Easter Sunday mass, they did not do so because neither has their problem been solved nor did they receive an invitation. Responding to the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Ramos-Horta that the ‘petitioners’ can apply to work in PNTL, Gastão said it would be difficult because on 17 February F-FDTL Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Lere Anan Timur threatened the group by saying if they joined the police force, disruption can emerge in Timor-Leste. He added that for this reason they do not intend to work as police. He underscored that the reason for the ‘petitioners’ demand is not to quit the defence force and join the police or return to F-FDTL Headquarters, but to change the mentality and the unjust practices in the institution to avoid discrimination against those from the west in the future. Salsinha also appealed to the population in Dili not to panic, as they would not create disturbances because the majority of the ‘petitioners’ are unarmed. Gastão affirmed the population the group is mobilizing those who volunteered to fight for national liberation, stressing a peaceful protest will be held if the problem is not solved.

In the meantime, Police Commander, Paulo Martins appealed to the population not to panic because of rumours of a protest by the 591 ‘petitioners group’ as the police has not yet received information about the action. He asked the people to contact and confirm with the police about any rumours by publishing the telephone numbers of PNTL and assuring the public that the police is providing 24-hour security. Martins said police received information about some political party congress and the university students congress in Dili. He pointed that is the reason for increased movement of people in Dili. (STL, TP, DN)

PNTL inspector selected to attend the National FBI Academy in USA

It is reported that the USA Ambassador to Timor-Leste Grover Joseph Rees said PNTL Inspector Hermenegildo G. da Cruz was selected to attend the 226 session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, USA. In a press statement released on Monday, Ambassador Rees stated that the Academic session will start in July until September and it will be good experience for the police officer to share his experiences with other countries. Da Cruz is the first PNTL officer to take part in the training. (TP)

STAE not to be confused with Chief Suco election law

STL reports that MP Jose Nominando (PD) said “STAE should not be confused with the Chief of Suco election legislation” as to-date the National Parliament has not yet received any proposed bill from the government on the general elections. Nominando asked STAE “not to run without a legal base as the implementation of any national activities needs a legal base” He further explained that STAE should not speak about national and international observers for the upcoming general election because it is CNE’s work. (STL)

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]

These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office

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