Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 24 August 2006

Daily Media Review Thursday, 24 August 2006

National Media Reports

National Hospital Insecure

The national hospital is becoming vulnerable due to the constant stone fighting and the presence of unknown faces, said Antonio Caleres Junior, Director of the hospital. According to Caleres there have been a few incidents where people seeking medical treatment could not proceed to the hospital. He pointed out that many pregnant women came to the hospital to give birth but could not proceed into the compound and had to have their babies delivered at a private clinic. Antonio Caleres further said the facilities of the hospital cannot be used by patients as it is being used by other people. He said he has observed a few people carrying light weapons such as machetes, walking into the hospital. He believes some of people currently in the hospital have moved from Obrigado Barrack and Jardim (opposite port) camps. The Director of the national hospital asked the international police to set up a police post at the hospital so that the public can seek medical treatment safely. (STL)

Permanent Police Posts

At Wednesdayís plenary session of the National Parliament, Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris told the MPs that the International and National police will establish six permanent police posts around Dili, in areas where conflict still arises. Barris said PNTL will work with the International Forces in these posts.

Vice-Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araķjo said the government is carrying out an evaluation process on the commanders and agents of PNTL, adding that those involved in crimes would be handed over to the courts, while the ones who are found not guilty of any crime must resume their duties and work with the international police. He said the Evaluation Commission comes under the Minister of Interior and will work with the evaluation panel, which is composed of the Vice-Minister of Interior, UN Police Commissioner, a representative from the Prosecutor Generalís Office, Superior Council of Defence and religious leaders.

On the issue of security, Nicol„o Freitas, a 31-year-old-man from Manumeta Raihun said around 11p.m. on Monday night while he was sitting on the street outside his house with four of his friends, international forces dressed in GNR uniforms with their faces covered and speaking in Portuguese beat him up. He said they suddenly appeared out of the dark and went straight for him. They picked him up and beat him with iron bars and gun butts. According to Freitas, as he was hand cuffed and taken away as he yelled to the neighbor to inform his wife that he was being taken away by the international forces. Upon hearing this they punched him a few times and then let him go. Nicolao Freitas was taken to the hospital by a priest from the Cathedral Parish who decided to visit the neighborhood following the shootings on Monday night. He appealed to the international forces to inform the communities of their patrols and to act in a way so as to avoid further violence. (TP, STL)

Civil Society Supports UN Presence

The civil society welcomed the UN presence, as it continues to provide better support in the area of security for the population, said Director NGO Forum, Angelina Sarmento. According to Sarmento, the conflict in the past months has affected many people. She said the forces in Timor-Leste should be under the command of the United Nations. Angelina Sarmento also said the NGO Forum is promoting dialogue in the suburbs and targeting the youths as many of them have chosen the wrong path and they must be encouraged to resort to dialogue and learn to listen to each rather than following those that want to create problems. (STL)

Indonesian President Sent Plane For PM To Participate In Meeting (TPp1)

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta flew out of Dili on Wednesday morning in a special plane sent by the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono to participate in a meeting in Jakarta. The meeting of the ASEAN leaders took place in Jakarta on Wednesday. According to the Vice-Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo, the head of the government was not scheduled to participate in the meeting but the Indonesian President wanted Ramos-Horta to be present, therefore he sent a plane specifically to pick him up. The meeting was about bilateral ties and security in the region. The Prime Minister is due to fly back to Dili on Thursday morning.

On the issue of security, Vice-Minister Araujo said the government is sad as violence continues in the capital Dili, referring to the attacks in Comoro on Tuesday night, which left an international vehicle totally destroyed. (TP)

RTTL news headlines

23-08-2006

NPís extraordinary meeting on Wednesday

The National Parliament held an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to listen to the Minister for Interior, Alcino Barris and the Vice Minister, Jose Agustinho Sequera. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Minister Barris said that the Council of Ministers had approved a resolution on Tuesday to establish an evaluation commission tasked with screening PNTL officers. The Commission, Barris added, will consist of Vice Minister for Interior, a Commissioner from UN Police, one representative each from the General prosecutorís office and religious groups. The commission is scheduled to commence its work soon.

Government socializes IDP reintegration plan

The Deputy Prime Minister, Rui Maria Araujo and the Minister for Labor and Community Reinsertion, Arsenio Bano, met with the IDPs in the National hospital on Wednesday to discuss the plan for IDPs reintegration. During the meeting, the IDPs reportedly expressed their concerns about security, to which the DPM remarked that it was important for the state to ensure minimum security conditions by providing security posts in the suburbs and regular patrols to ensure that the people can safely sit together and talk.

RTTL to broaden its transmission

The Head of Radio and Television Timor-Leste, RTTLís Administrative Council, Expedito Dias Ximenes, outlined the plan for budget execution of the institution. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Ximenes said that the $2.8 m. of the approved budget allocated to RTTL for the 2006/07 financial year would be used to recruit new journalists and technical staff. He said RTTL will broaden its transmission in six districts namely Baucau, Covalima, Dili, Lautem, Maliana and Oecusse before the next general elections.

TL needs UN presence: Sarmento

The Executive Director of FONGTIL NGO, Angelina Sarmento stated that Timor-Leste is in need for the presence of a UN force. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Sarmento stated that the Civil Society organizations supported the decision by the state to invite the UN and urged the UN Security Council to immediately decide on a mission in TL. Sarmento further stated that the bilateral forces already on the ground do not sometimes act impartially. Meanwhile, Santina Soares of Lao Hamutuk stressed that it was important for all forces in Timor-Leste to be under a UN command.

International Media Reports

PM to announce lift in troop numbers

Thursday, 24 August 2006

The Australian army is to receive its biggest boost in decades, with the Prime Minister about to announce a 20 per cent increase in frontline troops. With large numbers of Australian soldiers stationed at hot spots around the world, the Prime Minister says our military is being stretched thin. "I believe for some time that we've needed a larger army," he said. Mr Howard is now on his way to Canberra to announce a massive 20 per cent boost in frontline troops to deal with regional flashpoints such as East Timor. Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says it's long overdue. "The army is hopelessly overstretched," he said. He says the federal government must offer pay increases and address other problems if it's going to stop people leaving the armed forces. (www.2gb.com)

Malaysian and Aussie Officers injured in Timor-Leste gang attack

MELBOURNE, Aug 23 (Bernama) ≠

A Malaysian army officer and seven Australian police officers were injured in East Timor when gangs of rock throwers attacked a patrol on the outskirts of the capital Dili, Tuesday night. The patrol was forced to fire shots to disperse a crowd of about 200 youths after being pelted with rocks, an Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokeswoman told Australia's news agency AAP. The eight officers received minor injuries such as grazed elbows and legs and a number of police vehicles were badly damaged, she said. None of them were hurt badly enough to warrant evacuation back to their homeland. The AFP said the incident took place on Dili's airport road, where the Australians were patrolling after reports of rioting gangs. The police attempted to break up the crowd of about 200 youths who were throwing stones at each other, but the gang turned on the Australians instead. The incident follows a similar incident last week in which another Australian officer was assaulted. Meanwhile a spokesman of the Malaysian Embassy in Dili when contacted by Bernama today confirmed the incident, but refused to elaborate. Foreign news agencies reported that Australian police fired live rounds into the air and called in Portuguese police reinforcements who fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Portuguese police commander Goncalo Carvalho told Portugal's Lusa news agency that three patrol cars that the Australian police were travelling in were practically destroyed in the attack. Australian police were reported to have later arrested three of the youths who allegedly attacked them and closed the road leading from the centre of Dili to the international airport for two hours. "The Government of Timor Leste expressed regret over the injuries to the police. "We are also very saddened that violence is still ongoing," second Deputy Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo said in Dili. (Bernama)

Australians fire shots in East Timor clash

August 23, 2006 - AUSTRALIAN police fired warning shots to help disperse rock-throwing youths during a clash in East Timor's capital which left seven officers injured. Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers were forced to call in reinforcements during last night's trouble in Dili. Seven officers received minor injuries such as grazed elbows and legs, while windows were smashed and panels dented on at least three police vehicles. A Malaysian officer and a locally engaged East Timorese staff member were also injured. None of the Australians were hurt badly enough to warrant evacuation back to Australia. The AFP said the incident took place on Dili's airport road, where the Australians were patrolling after reports of rioting gangs. The police attempted to break up the crowd of about 200 youths who were throwing stones at each other, but the gang turned on the Australians instead. The incident follows a similar incident last week in which another Australian officer was assaulted.

Foreign news agencies reported that Australian police fired live rounds into the air and called in Portuguese police reinforcements who fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Portuguese police commander Goncalo Carvalho told Portugal's Lusa news agency that three patrol cars that the Australian police were travelling in "were practically destroyed" in the attack. Australian police were reported to have later arrested three of the youths who allegedly attacked them and closed the road leading from the centre of Dili to the international airport for two hours. The government of East Timor expressed regret over the injuries to the police. "The government is very saddened that violence is still ongoing," second deputy prime minister Rui Maria de Araujo told a press conference in Dili. He confirmed that three youths had been arrested by international police over the attack. Some 82,000 people are living at four camps set up in Dili for people displaced by a wave of gang violence that swept East Timor in April and May, killing at least 21 people. East Timor invited an Australian-led international peacekeeping force to the country in the wake of the unrest, which was sparked by infighting among factions in the military and police. (The Australian)

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

- END ≠


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