Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 10 & 11 January 2006

Daily Media Review Tuesday & Wednesday, 10 & 11 January 2006

National Media Reports

Wirajuda: President SBY asks that three deaths not obstruct TL/Indonesia reconciliation process

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda said that President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has asked that the investigation process on the three recent border deaths be constructive and not emotional, which could affect the reconciliation process. "This is an incident, and clearly not a policy of the Timor-Leste government. The perpetrators will be legally processed after the investigation is concluded", said Wirajuda on Monday. According to Wirajuda, the joint investigation team will involve Indonesian police and military, in their role as border security personnel, and that there is a possibility that the Timor-Leste side will include some UN peacekeeping elements, even though the matter is a bilateral one. (STL)

Eurico Guterres criticizes border incident

Former Militia Commander Eurico Guterres has strongly criticized the fatal shooting of three former Timorese refugees by the Timor-Leste Border Patrol Unit last Friday. "Speaking on behalf of the thousands of former Timorese refugees, we strongly criticize this brutal inhumane act that has resulted in three deaths", said Guterres. He emphasized that the incident violates human rights, and must be processed according to the law. He added that the incident goes against the spirit of cooperation embodied in the joint Truth and Friendship Commission. (STL)

Timor-Leste agrees to establish joint investigation team

Timor-Leste Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Ramos Horta has said that Timor-Leste has agreed to establish a joint investigation team on the recent fatal border-shooting incident. Speaking to STL on Monday after the monthly Ambassadors meeting, Horta said that the government has received the formal protest letter from the Indonesian Embassy in Dili that demands that a joint investigation be held, which will be directly monitored by UNPOL and UNMO. He voiced his annoyance with the incident, but continued to defend the BPU officers, saying that their actions were professional and in accordance with international standards of using a weapon as a last resort, in the event of threat to their own lives. (STL)

MP Buras urges T-L to send a protest letter if Motaain BPU post was attacked

Speaking to STL on Tuesday, MP José Buras of Democratic Party (PD) was quoted as saying that Timor-Leste's Government should send a letter of protest to the Government of Indonesian Republic if Timor-Leste-born Indonesian citizens attacked PNTL's Border Patrol Unit post in Mota Ain. "If it is true as reported by Metro TV (Indonesian TV channel) that the Indonesian citizens attacked BPU post, it is necessary for Timor-Leste's Government to call upon Indonesian ambassador to ask for the clarification because such action is considered as the violation of Timor-Leste's sovereignty," Buras said. Moreover, Buras said Timor-Leste always tries to find solutions for every border problem through diplomatic channels and not through guns. Buras suspects that former militia groups still receive support from certain individuals who did not want Timor-Leste to become independent, but received promotion in ranks and position within the Indonesian government structure. Therefore, he said, they always try to support former militias to disrupt Timorese people's tranquillity of life. (STL)

Coverage demonstration former members of Pro-Integration Group at Timor-Leste Consulate in West Timor and

It is reported that former members of Pro-Integration Group (PPI) demonstrated in front of Timor-Leste's General Consulate office in Kupang, West Timor on Monday to express their concerns related to the recent shooting incidents of former militia members in Maliabaka River. During the peaceful demonstration and the dialogue between the demonstrators and Timor-Leste's General Consul Caetano S. Guterres, former militia commander, Joanico Belo questioned Timor-Leste's Government position towards the incident. When talking to the demonstrators, Guterres said that he could not explain in detail about the measures taken by Timor-Leste's Government in regards to the matter, since he himself has not received official notice from Dili. Belo expressed five points, which strongly condemned the incidents, and demanded those who were involved in the shootings to be brought to justice as proof that Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also is the defender of human rights. (STL)

CAQR final report presented to President of the Republic

The final report data on former combatants and Falintil veterans has been presented to the President of the Republic. Information on a total of around 39,000 former combatants, Falintil veterans and clandestine networks was collected by the Commission of Former Cadres of the Resistance (CAQR) and officially presented to President Gusmão in a ceremony on Monday. According to reports, around 10,000 former Falintil members have not yet registered and President Gusmão urged the Commissioners, who are volunteers to urgently register them as well as identify former Falintil participation in resistance. The President also wants the former Falintil to present a structure of the armed forces from 1975-1979. Xanana Gusmao also wants members of the Commission to explain to the public the high number of people registered. (TP)

SRSG Hasegawa on UN's commission experts on transparency and accountability to visit Timor-Leste & new mission after UNOTIL

Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa was reported by media saying that the UN will send a commission of experts on transparency and accountability to Timor-Leste soon for two weeks to assess public administration. This has been at the request of Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, Timor Post reported. The report denied recent reports that the commission of experts would be in Timor-Leste in relation to the 2007 General Elections. The commission of experts would comprise representatives from the World Bank, Finland, a country known for high standards of transparency. The daily also reported that SRSG Dr Hasegawa informed the media on recommendations by the recent UN mission, which was in Timor-Leste to evaluate preparation for 2007 General Elections. According to the paper, the mission recommended that Timor-Leste hold Presidential and Parliamentary Elections before May 20 2007. The SRSG added that Constitution of Timor-Leste urges the establishment of an independent commission to supervise the voters' registration and voting. He said that Timor-Leste will need a lot of resources, particularly financial and human resources to facilitate it in a manner similar to last year's Chefe de Suco and Aldeia's election. SRSG Hasegawa also said that he is in support of proportional representation but it is up to the political parties, the National Parliament and Timor-Leste Government to discuss to make policy decisions and that all political parties should be given access to media. When asked whether there will be another mission after UNOTIL ends in May 20 2006, SRSG Hasegawa replied that there could be a possibility of establishing a political office up-to 2007 General Elections, but it will all depend on the recommendation of Timor-Leste Government and the decision by UN Security Council. (TP, STL)

Regional Media Reports

Press groups fear criminal defamation law in East Timor

Jan 10, 2006 Journalists and freedom of expression advocates in East Timor are calling for international opposition to a new law that would punish defamation with jail time and unspecified fines.

The country's prime minister recently approved an executive decree that would criminalize defamation. Gill Silva Guterres, head of the Timor-Lorosa'e Journalists' Association (TLJA), told IJNet that it's now in the hands of East Timor President Xanana Gusmao.

The president must either veto the decree or sign it into law. Guterres called upon colleagues at home and abroad to write to Gusmao's office and urge him to veto the decree.

The law would add criminal penalties for defamation, rather than treating it as a civil offense. It would allow courts to imprison convicted journalists for up to three years and fine them unspecified amounts.

Guterres said the law favors public officials and religious leaders and protects them from criticism. It offers little protection for reporting facts that may be construed as defamation, he said, adding that the sanctions would be a setback for the dream of a democratic East Timor.

"The chilling effect of this law will prevent people, particularly journalists to pursue the truth because of the three year's imprisonment as stipulated in this decree law," Guterres said.

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) said the law would stifle the freedom of expression that the East Timorese people need to participate in their hard-won democracy. "The new laws will dissuade journalists from speaking up on good governance and transparency in the conduct of state affairs," SEAPA said in an alert. (IJet)

SEAPA: (http:// www.seapabkk.org/newdesign/alertsdetail.php?No=421. IFEX: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/fu)

UPI Intelligence Watch on Security and Terror

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- While the straits of Malacca remains of prime concern for its littoral states due to the 60,000 vessels that transit the passage annually, the Indonesian navy is expanding its operations to include the country's East Nusa Tenggara Timur province, several miles from Bali. East Nusa Tenggara Timur province shares a land frontier with Timor Leste.

In December, the Indonesian Navy opened the Kupang (Lantamal) 9th Naval Main Base in East Nusa Tenggara Timur. The new facility is part of a broader force build-up in Indonesia's eastern region. Kupang is the existing regular Lanal naval base, close to major maritime transit routes bordering Australia and Timor-Leste. The new base is intended to provide logistical support to Indonesian navy in the waters around West Timor. The area is also rich in natural resources that require protection.

Neighboring Timor-Leste is developing the $6 billion offshore Greater Sunrise natural gas field development, but is disputing the terms of the May 2002 Timor Sea Treaty it signed with Australia, seeking a new boundary that would greatly increase its revenue stream from the development project.

Antara news agency reported that Navy spokesman Commodore Abdul Malik Yusuf said that Jakarta has sent KRI Wiratno-879 and KRI Warakas-816 warships to the region for a yearlong deployment in the province's territorial waters.

Yusuf commented, "In connection with it, the navy has sent two warships and plans to send another one as well as a Nomad aircraft. The combat forces would be put under the control of the 9th Naval Main Base in Kupang. The deployment of the two ships is aimed at anticipating possible territorial violations by foreign parties in the region."

Kupang Commodore Syahrin Abdurrahman added, "The navy will soon send a Nomad aircraft to support the operation and another warship. The Nomad will be used to monitor the area from the air to help smooth the operation." (United Press International)

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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