Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 23 February 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Thursday, 23 February 2006

National Media Reports

Members of F-FDTL Dismissed

F-FDTL Commander Taur Matan Ruak yesterday signified his dismissal of the 404 F-FDTL personnel who do not want to return to their barracks via the words "Thank you". When he received the soldiers at his office on 8 February, President Xanana requested that they return to their barracks to solve the problem. However, this request, to date, has not been honoured. "For this reason, all I have to say to them is thank you", said Ruak when speaking to the press at Metinaro on Tuesday. He said that the next step would be to present them with an acknowledgement of the service that they have provided in the F-FDTL, to the community and to the nation, however brief. According to policy, the soldiers must remain at the Military Training Centre at Metinaro in order to participate in an investigation by the F-FDTL Investigating Team formed by President Xanana. Coordinator of the protest action, Gastao Salsinha, said that originally the soldiers had thought that once they had undergone investigation procedures, they would return as normal within the F-FDTL institution. However, he said that this had not been the case, with many protest participants continuing to feel threatened at the Metinaro Academy. "We feel like prisoners at Metinaro, and we also don't feel that Metinaro is the appropriate place to be conducting an investigation", stated Salsinha. He affirmed that for these reasons the soldiers have decided to remain in Dili. (STL)

Law Has No Basis: Lasama

Democratic Party President Fernando Lasama de Araujo has said that the defamation law that will be used as the basis for his prosecution no longer has a legal basis, as it is an UNTAET law. For this reason, he said that there is no need to take him to court. He explained that the law violates principles of human rights and democracy, and that he will continue to defend his position against the law. (STL)

Parties Established in 1975 Must Be Dissolved: Carrascalao

PSD President Mario Carrascalao has said that in order to allow democracy to flourish, the "1975" political parties must be dissolved. Participating in a meeting between political party leaders and the Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio yesterday, Carrascalao explained that the 1975 parties were established to fight for an independent state, while the post-independence parties were established to bring development to the people. For this reason he said, it is time for the old parties to dissolve themselves, giving the specific example of the Fretilin party. In his opinion, Fretilin thinks that because it brought independence to Timor, it has more legitimacy. On the contrary, he believes that this party should dissolve to create a new atmosphere among democratic society in this country. (STL)

President Sampaio's Visit

In relation to the President of Portugal's visit, the media reported the following:

Timor Post reported Mario Carrascalao as saying during a meeting between opposition parties in Timor-Leste with President Sampaio that in the case of Timor-Leste, although the rights of opposition parties are enshrined in the Constitution, they have never been given this right in practice. In a separate article in Diario Nacional, President Sampaio reportedly said during the meeting that democracy does not only occur during elections but it is a pedagogy exercise.

President Sampaio also said during a lecture on Wednesday that one of the challenges for Timor-Leste is Democracy, development, security and peace. Sampaio pointed that in order to better democracy, there must be efforts to defend the fundamental rights of everyone, the rights of the State should be defended and there should be no corruption, injustice or violence.

The Rector of the National University, Benjamin Corte-Real, reportedly said the special visit of Portugal's President to the university will help with the education development of the country. On Wednesday President Sampaio gave a lecture on political science.

President Sampaio has also bestowed President Gusmao and Prime Minister Alkatiri with the Grand Collar and the Grand Cross of the Order of D. Infante Henrique on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. (STL,DN,TP)

National Congress on HIV/AIDS

The Ministry of Health is holding a two-day national congress on HIV/AIDS starting today in Dili. Prime Minister Alkatiri was scheduled to officially open the congress. According to the media, the First Lady of Portugal, SRSG Dr. Hasegawa, Minister of Education, Armindo Maia, Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak and other invitees are scheduled to participate in the event. This is the second congress. The first was held last December. (DN, TP)

RTTL News Monitoring

TL and Portugal signed agreement

RTTL reportedly stated that both Antonino Biancho, President of Council of Ministers from Timor Leste and Joao Gravinho, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs from Portugal have signed an agreement on "social communication" yesterday in Hotel Dili. After he signed the agreement, Antonino Bianco said that the funding that would support the social communication amounts to 1.2 million euros.

CTF visit victims in Liquisa district

RTTL reported that the CTF group went to District Liquica to listen directly to the voices of victims and witnesses of the threats and killings by militia Besi Mera Putih in April 1999. In the meeting Benjamin Mangkuedilaga, Chief of CTF from Indonesia, said that now that CTF groups have listened to the victims and witnesses, it is important for both countries to work on truth and reconciliation.

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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