Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 20 April 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 20 April 2006

National Media Reports

Police Can Use Gun To Defend: Lobato

Minister of Interior, Rogério Lobato told the media in a press conference Wednesday, that the police have given authorization for the ‘petitioners group’ to hold their protest. Lobato said his department received a notification from the group, informing him of their plans to hold a demonstration starting on Monday until Thursday. He reiterated that as a democratic nation, citizens of Timor-Leste have the right to protest, but added that ‘if the protesters commit a crime, police will shoot’. The Minister of Interior said the work of the police is to provide security to the protesters as well as the community therefore PNTL will be in control of the security to prevent any crimes that can affect the stability of the nation. According to media reports, Lobato also stated during the conference, that he has already received information that some political parties, embassies and priests are supporting the ‘petitioners group’ noting that police have also identified some people who are providing food to the ‘petitioners’. Lobato said police would patrol the airport and the borders to detain anyone contributing to the destabilization, from fleeing the country. He also appealed to the community not to panic as police would provide security 24 hours and he asked the heads and chiefs of villages to work together with the police in identifying new faces within their community and to question the purpose of their stay as many youths are now travelling to Dili to participate in the protest. He said police will identify the venue where the group plans to demonstrate and that participants will be searched to guarantee that they are not carrying any weapons. He asked all to maintain law and order.

The media also reported that the spokesperson of the ‘petition group’, Salsinha Gastao, as saying that the scheduled protest is to demand the sovereign state to speed up a solution to the problem adding, “if it is not resolved within the fours days, we don’t know what will happen to this country. It is not we who are destroying the nation but the sovereign bodies for not wanting to resolve it,” he said, adding “We have been too patient during the last three months and we have exhausted our patience. We were once slaves and we don’t want to be forever slaves, therefore the leaders must give attention to this problem.” Gastão said the people planning to participate in the demonstration include the group and their families and asked police not to be in dismay as it will be a peaceful action. He stated that the group is only receiving support from their families and people from 10 Districts and not from embassies and political parties as reported. According to the media, Salsinha Gastao believes that the demonstration will run smoothly but emphasized there must be a solution. He questions the functioning ability of the established commission and asks why they are investigating the victims and not the suspects. He also appealed to the commission to act impartially.

Suara Timor Lorosa’e (STL) reported Salsinha as saying that in order to resolve the matter, a comprehensive step should be taken to first investigate all F-FDTL members considered to be the actors of discrimination. The newspaper also reported that during a phone interview with the commander of F-FDTL’s 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Falur Rate Laek, he said that he is always ready for any interview by anyone: the devil, God or the Timorese authorities in relation to the expulsion. However, he said F-FDTL Commander, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has banned anyone within the institution from commenting further on the matter. (TP, STL, DN)

Majority of Congresses Will Not Vote For Alkatiri and Lu’Olo: Vicente Maubuti

A member of Fretilin Central Committee (CCF), Vicente Maubuti, said around 80 percent of the congresses would not select Franciso Guterres, Lu’Olo and Mari Alkatiri as Secretary-General and President of the party. “If their behaviour was good toward the cadres and militants during the last four years, they will be selected. But that will be difficult. The congresses are not blind and deaf,” Maubuti reportedly told Timor Post. Maubuti said one of the reasons they would not be selected is because the structures of the party is paralysed, adding that a few people worked very hard for the re-structuring of the party and in the end were paid no attention and promises that those that took part in the clandestine would join PNTL and F-FDTL did not materialise. He added that the recent statement in Baucau from region I and II claiming total support for Mari and Lu’Olo, is only a formality noting, the correct results will be seen in the congress in May. (TP)

RTTL News headlines


President receives Turkish Ambassador to TL

President Xanana Gusmao received the credential letter of the Turkish Ambassador to Timor-Leste on Wednesday, RTTL reported. Speaking to the media following his meeting with the President, the Turkish Ambassador, Aydin Evirigin stated that he wanted to further strengthen the bilateral relation between his country and Timor-Leste and broaden cooperation.

Petitioners reject continue remuneration

The 591 F-FDTL petitioners have reportedly rejected the decision to continue remuneration to them. Speaking to journalists in Taci Tolu Dili, the group’s spokesperson, Gastao Salsinha stated that based on the decision of General Taur Matan Ruak who has considered them civilians since 1 March, they no longer have the right to claim any money from the state. Instead, he urged the State Institutions to address the issue stating that they were prepared to undergo investigation as long as those who had discriminated against them were investigated as well. If the “perpetrators” refuse to submit to investigation, “then they are the ones who want to destroy the nation,” said Salsinha.

Ineligible for external means ineligible for internal: Lobato

Commenting on the statements that the 591 petitioners could join other state institutions such as PNTL, the Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato reportedly stated that this would not happen. Speaking to journalists at the PNTL headquarters on Wednesday, the Minister said whoever is ineligible to be in external security is considered ineligible to be in the internal state security institution. “Our principle is clear right from the beginning,” Lobato said.

FRETILIN’s auction

Political party FRETILIN held an auction on Tuesday at Hotel Timor to sell T-shirts and hats used during the party’s political campaigns for the 2001 elections. The T-shirts and books entitled, Timor-Leste: the Path to Development, were sold at $1500 each. Money collected amounted to over $8700, which will be put into the party’s cash fund. Some FRETILIN leaders and entrepreneurs, RTTL reported, attended the auction.

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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