Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 24 February 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Friday, 24 February 2006

National Media Reports

Reactions to F-FDTL Problem

PSD MP Riak Leman has said that the Commission currently investigating the F-FDTL case is not following the instructions that they were assigned. Speaking to TP at the National Parliament yesterday, Leman said that the Commission failed to meet with the F-FDTL Commanders before the investigation began, to request them to maintain a peaceful situation, and that this is why some of the protesting soldiers feel threatened. Meanwhile, President Xanana has asked the population not to blow the issue out of proportion because the more than 400 soldiers involved continue to maintain excellent discipline. He said that when the case first occurred, he handed it to the Ministry of Defense and the F-FDTL institution to deal with, as he believes that it will be best resolved by the concerned institutions.

Chief of Staff of the F-FDTL Colonel Lere Anan Timor has countered claims that the soldiers involved in the protest action are experiencing intimidation at the Metinaro Academy while undergoing the investigation, stating also that he is disappointed with the attitude of the majority of soldiers who refuse to cooperate with the investigation. A member of the investigation team Paul Azis has confirmed that the team has suspended its investigation for now, as the concerned soldiers are not available. He said that it is practically not possible for the team to carry out their investigation tasks while the soldiers are not in the barracks.

Ex-Falintil Commander for Region IV Ernesto Fernando alias "Dudu" has commented that the Timorese are one people, and should not be divided into "East" and "West", and that the struggle for independence was a struggle fought together, not by any particular region alone. President of the National Parliament Lu-Olo has also stated that he regrets the current situation regarding this case, because as yet there is not sign of a clear solution to the problem. (STL, TP)

CVA Meets With Human Rights NGOs

The Commissioners of the Truth and Friendship Commission (CVA) yesterday met with a number of Human Rights NGOs. Director of Yayasan HAK Jose Luis Guterres told TP that the Commissioners were interested to discuss the NGOs' position on not agreeing with the Commission. He said that they explained to the Commissioners that what the NGOs want is not a further attempt to uncover the truth, which is already evident, but the follow-up action to that truth. Commenting on the "friendship" aspect, Guterres stated that there has been friendship between the Indonesian and Timorese people for a long time now, realized through a range of means including during the period of struggle for independence when many Indonesians worked with the Timorese clandestine. He affirmed that this friendship is continuing even now, and that the issue therefore is not one of "Indonesians as perpetrators and Timorese as victims". He expressed his opinion that the real issue is that the perpetrators of crimes have violated the public interest of both Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and stated that it is pointless meeting with the victims if the aim is to collect more data, as this has been done many times before. Referring to the fact that the Terms of Reference of the Commission do not include providing justice for the victims, Guterres affirmed his view that the CVA has been set up to deceive the people.

Also participating in the meeting with the CVA Commissioners, Director of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Baucau Diocese Father Martinho da Silva Gusmao told TP that the final report of the CVA should not be trivialised as the CAVR report was. (TP)

HIV/AIDS Increase in TL

Speaking at the second National Congress on HIV/AIDS, Vice-Minister of Health Luis Lobato said informed that presently in Timor-Leste 33 people have been identified as positive with HIV/AIDS and 200 others are suspected to have been infected with the virus. Lobato said as steps have been taken to prevent HIV/AIDS and to decrease the negative attitude towards people infected with the virus. According to Timor Post, participants from education and health sector, international and national NGO's, the Armed and Police Forces, religious organisation all participated in the Congress. (TP)

Bishops concerned with military crisis and Tetum Continues To Be Church's Official Language

Dom Albert da Silva, Bishop of Dili and Dom Basilio do Nascimento, Bishop of Baucau told the media that they are concerned with the military crises The Bishop of Dili defended that "it is necessary to try to avoid" the continued military crisis and that "there must be dialogue, mutual understanding and a solution for the sake of everybody. It is urgent". In a separate article, Fr. Leao da Costa reportedly said that the Tetun language continues to be the church's official language and in terms of developing it, it is up to the Government. He added that reason the Tetum language is still up and down is due to the lack of human resources and orthographic materials. But the Priest is of the opinion that in a five years time the Tetun language will be better developed and children will be able to speak it properly. (TP, STL, Lusa)

President Samapio's Visit

Portugal's President, Jorge Sampaio completed on Thursday evening a three-day official visit to Timor-Leste where he was wished farewell by his Timorese counterpart Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister Alkatiri and other members of the Government, the media reported. According to the media, Sampaio invited business people from Macau, among them Stanley Ho, to be part of his delegation and encourage other internationals to invest in Timor-Leste to help create employment. During his visit, the Portuguese President also requested the United Nations to continue its support of Timor-Leste following the completion of UNOTIL's mission in May 2006. While visiting, Sampaio learned of the many difficulties the Timorese are facing and appealed for their patience. The Prime Minister Alkatiri said "I feel that the visit was important before the President ends his mandate. This is a good example of how democracy works. You complete your mandate and leave". Alkatiri added that choosing Timor-Leste as his last visit is an important sign for his successor. This is the President's third visit to Timor-Leste. He will step down as President of Portugal on March 9 after 10 years in power. The newly elected President, Cavao Silva who won the elections in January this year will take over the position. (DN, TP, 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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