Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 22 December 2006

[Poster's note: International and other articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed from below.]


United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste

Public Information Unit

Daily Media Review

Friday, 22 December 2006


National Media Reports

Taur Matan Ruak and Somocho meet Alfredo Reinado

Defense Force Commander, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, and the Vice Minister for Interior, Agostinho Sequera Somocho, yesterday met with AWOL F-FDTL Major Alfredo Reinado at the F-FDTL National Headquarters in Tacitolu. Speaking to journalists at the conclusion of the meeting, Major Reinado stated that the meeting aimed to find a good solution to end the crisis, but it would be up to the government to decide. He added, “…but an important thing is a freedom of access for me.” Meanwhile, Brigadier Matan Ruak stated that he was mandated by the TL Head of State to hold the meeting with Major Reinado. On the question of Major Reinado’s status, however, Brigadier Matan Ruak declined to comment saying “it is beyond our competency; it is a question that involves the judicial system or the State.” Alfredo Reinado was flown to Tacitolu from his hideout by an Australian helicopter accompanied by two bodyguards, one of which was a UIR agent. (DN, STL &TP)

PM Horta: UN agrees to accelerate the reactivation of UIR

Speaking to journalists after the meeting of the Superior Council for Security and Defense at the Office of the President yesterday, Prime Minister Horta stated that the United Nations had agreed with the proposal of the government to accelerate the reactivation of the PNTL Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR). Likewise, the Superior Council for Security and Defense had also agreed that UNPol should work with the unit to assist the UN Police. Meanwhile, PM Horta stated that his government was about to prepare a decree law to prohibit the illegal importation of alcohol from Atambua and Kupang in Indonesia. (DN)

Reactions to Alkatiri’s case being archived

The Portuguese news agency, LUSA, reported on 20 December that the case of weapons allegations against former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri would have to be archived due to lack of evidence. Confirmed via telephone for his comment, Alkatiri stated that he had not been officially notified and hence he would refrain from making any comment. The Deputy Secretary General of Fretilin, Jose Maria dos Reis congratulated his comrade Alkatiri for what he called “never escape from justice” and that it should serve as an example to every Timorese. Meanwhile, President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Mario Carrascalao stated yesterday that Alkatiri could be set free if he is innocent but that should be based on an investigation as recommended in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry. Echoing PM Horta’s doubts on Alkatiri distributing weapons, Carrascalao said that, “personally, I too do not believe that Dr Alkatiri distributed weapons, but as Prime Minister at the time, he should be responsible for what members of cabinet were doing. (DN & STL)

TL-RI Land border demarcation only 1% left: FM Guterres

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Luis Guterres told journalists at the F-FDTL and PNTL joint Christmas party in Tacitolu on Wednesday that the land border demarcation between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is almost complete and only 1% remains. “Efforts are continued to be undertaken with our neighbour to finish the land border,” FM Guterres said. Commenting on the crisis, meanwhile, the Foreign Minister stated that the recent crisis has indeed affected the image of Timor-Leste internationally but the International Community will continue to support Timor-Leste. (STL & TP)

Government will hold dialogue with leaders of Martial Arts Groups

Prime Minister José Ramos Horta yesterday stated that the Government would try to hold a dialogue with all leaders of martial arts groups, taking into account that the two martial art groups: PSHT and 77 still continue to create problems in Dili. PM Horta also said that in order to stop the fighting between the two groups, there would be a strong reinforcement of international police forces, such as the Formed Police Units from Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as PNTL’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR). Moreover, PM Horta said that the Government would take some measures next week in order to accelerate the process of collecting illegal weapons, and would take measures in regard to martial arts groups. (STL, DN)

Radio and TV News

President Xanana meets Superior Council of State at the Palace of Ashes

Yesterday President Xanana Gusmao met with members of the Superior Council of State to discuss the security situation as well as to decide on the date for the coming parliamentary and presidential elections. As far as the security situation is concerned, all members of the State Council have agreed to re-activate UIR in order to help UNPol and the International Forces to restore peace and stability in the country. On the topic of the dates for the national elections, President Gusmao has proposed several options but no consensus has been reached. The meeting will continue on 26 December 2006. The decision for the dates for the elections is the responsibility of the President of the Republic but consulting with others is also considerably important.

SRSG Khare meets Prime Minister Horta

SRSG Atul Khare yesterday met with Prime Minister Horta at the Palacio do Governo. This was the first official meeting between the two, and they met to discuss the security situation and the preparation for the forth coming elections. After the meeting SRSG Khare told media that UNMIT has been deploying UNPols to the districts to secure the situation for the future elections, and he also appealed to the public to not be afraid, and stressed that UNPol will strive to ensure that the National Elections are held without violence and fear.

Alfredo meets Brigadier Matan Ruak at the HQ of F-FDTL in Tasitolu

The Commander of F-FDTL, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, yesterday met with Alfredo Reinado at the Headquarters of F-FDTL in Tasitolu. This was the first meeting between the two after Alfredo deserted from the Police Military. After a 40-minute meeting, Alfredo told the media, without disclosing details, that the meeting aimed to find a solution to the problem. Brigadier-General Taur said that the meeting was very positive. Mr. Taur also stressed that it was a good sign; everybody expressed interest to solve the crisis faced by the country and the willingness to continue engaging in dialogue.

Apply criminal law against gangsters and criminals

Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta said that the Government will continue to work with UIR and UNPol to control the security situation. Prime Minister Horta added that the members of martial arts groups who continue to engage in fighting and killing will be considered as gangsters and criminals and will no longer be seen, in the eyes of the government, as martial arts groups. So, the government will apply the criminal law against such individuals and groups, but will continue to maintain an open door policy to dialogue with the leaders of these martial arts groups.

International Media Reports

Hope at last for truth RICK BAYNE December 22, 2006 FOR 31 years Hamilton man Reg Boulter has despaired that the truth about the deaths of his television colleagues in East Timor has never emerged. He hopes fresh evidence to be presented at an inquest will uncover how and why five Australian-based newsmen were murdered in 1975 - but he doubts it. If it wasn't for a serious illness Mr Boulter would have been in East Timor as part of the Channel Seven team that was murdered. “It was my assignment but I went into hospital the week before and Gary (Cunningham) replaced me,'' he said yesterday. “I read about the murders when I was still in hospital after an operation. It still leaves a cold chill in me - how lucky was I, how unlucky was Gary, would it have been any different if I was there?'' Killed were Greg Shackleton, 27, Tony Stewart, 21, and Mr Cunningham, 27, all from Channel Seven in Melbourne, and Malcolm Rennie, 28, and Brian Peters, 29, from Channel Nine in Sydney. A Sydney inquest into the killings is set to hear previously suppressed testimony from two former Australian Government lawyers. They said they were shown a secret intercept of Indonesian military communications which suggested the killings were ordered by generals in Jakarta. Their evidence is likely to further discredit official claims the five were killed in crossfire between Indonesian and East Timorese forces in the town of Balibo on October 16, 1975. It will call into question the findings of official Australian Government inquiries into the deaths. Mr Boulter describes the official finding as “bullshit''. The new evidence comes from George Brownbill and Ian Cunliffe who were on the staff of the Hope Royal Commission into intelligence services which visited the secret Defence Signals Directorate listening station near Darwin in 1977. They were approached by a young DSD officer who showed them the text of an Indonesian military signal sent from Balibo to Jakarta on the day of the killings. Mr Boulter, who runs the Hamilton cinema, has no doubt the Indonesian military was responsible for the deaths. “Definitely no two ways about it. But the Australian Government didn't want to know anything about it. Our government knew about it and that's what stinks.'' The inquest will sit for three weeks in February but Mr Boulter describes it as “too little too late''. (The Warrnambool Standard - Australia)

Timor aid arrives three years late Friday December 22, 03:48 PM A shipment of emergency clothing, food and wheelchairs intended for impoverished residents of East Timor was unloaded from a port in Dili, three years after being sent by Australian donors. A statement issued by the government apologised for the hold up, apparently caused by excessive bureaucracy, saying "only the intervention of Prime Minister Ramos Horta led to the 'liberation"' of the shipment. "It is a totally unacceptable delay," Ramos Horta said. "Many of the goods, including cooking oil, sugar ... have now deteriorated." Unrest in East Timor earlier this year killed dozens and drove 155,000 people from their homes, just seven years after gaining independence from 24-years of bloody Indonesian rule. Tens of thousands remain in overcrowded tent camps and shelters in one of the world's poorest nations even as conditions worsen due to the start of the rainy season. (AAP)


Back to December menu
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu