|Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 21 June
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Wednesday, 21 June 2006
National Media Reports
Rogério Under House Detention
Rogério Lobato has been under house detention since Tuesday following an international order from the Prosecutor’s Office. “Lobato is under house arrest now” said UNOTIL spokesperson on Tuesday. According to Suara Timor Lorosae, they also received information that Lobato had booked a ticket and was due to fly out of Dili to Australia at 11 am with Air North but was stopped by the international forces who also confiscated his passport as he had been listed as one of the people to be detained. STL reported that members of Fretilin Central Committee, Manuel Fernandes rejected such rumours that the former Minister tried to leave the country. (STL)
Alkatiri must resign as Prime Minister: Dudu
Former Falintil Commander for Region IV, Ernesto Fernandes ‘Dudu’ said that Alkatiri must step down as Prime Minister as there are some factors that show he was involved in the distribution of guns to the civilians. Dudu said that although Alkatiri was not directly involved but he gave instructions to Lobato for the distribution of weapons, adding it is a strong fact to demand Alkatiri to resign from his post. In response to the comments by the Vice-President of the Parliament that ‘if Alkatiri steps down, there will be war,’ Ernesto Fernandes said the decision rests on the people.
Protesters met again in Dili on Tuesday in a peaceful demonstration and according to the spokesperson of the group, Agosto Trindade, he reportedly said the best solution to the latest problem is for Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to step down, reported Timor Post (TP) Wednesday.
In a separate article in Timor Post, Prime Minister Alkatiri reportedly said he totally rejects the declaration of Rai Los and his group that he distributed weapons, adding that Rai Los is making ‘cheap politics’ to demonise him. (STL, TP)
Fretilin does not need guns to strengthen unity: MP Fernandes
Member of Fretilin Central Committee, Manuel Fernandes, reportedly said his party does not need guns to strengthen the unity because good political programs exist that would enable them to win the 2007 elections. Fernandes added that time will tell and that the aim of the delegates that participated in the party’s second congress was to improve Fretilin’s structure to meet future challenges, and both Guterres and Alkatiri were elected democratically during the congress. He further added that Fretilin would continue to support Alkatiri as Prime Minister.
In a separate article, STL reported another member of Fretilin Central Committee and Member of Parliament, Norberto Espirito Santo as saying that in a situation where many people are still suffering, the leaders should not point fingers at each other due to allegations by some armed civilian group. He stressed that one can only point a finger following an investigation which should be established by the UN. He said groups such as that of Rai Los, Lukas AiAta, Mateus Arakat, did not like Alkatiri from the beginning and fled Fretilin’s congress and are now wearing PNTL URP uniforms to condemn Mari Alkatiri and Lobato. In the meantime, MP João Gonçalves said he would like the UN commission to urgently investigate the case and to settle the problem soon. (STL, TP)
Brigadier General Authorizes Notable Commission to investigate F-FDTL
F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has agreed to authorize the Notable Commission to investigate allegations of discrimination within F-FDTL, reported STL on Wednesday. Speaking to the media in a press conference held on Tuesday, the Commission spokesperson Fr. Antonio Gonçalves said Brigadier-General Taur handed a document which details the crisis for members of the commission to study and start their investigation. According to Fr. Antonio Gonçalves, some of the documents are very sensitive and would be handed in to the Minister of State Ana Pessoa, reported TP. (STL, TP)
PNTL Request communities to provide security
PNTL commander of Baucau District, Inspector Belo has appealed to the community to work together with the youth and to organize the security in their area, STL reported on Wednesday. The suggestion was made during a meeting held in communities with leaders in Baucau last Friday. According to Belo, PNTL wants each community to organize the security in their area as there are reports that some groups have been reportedly tried to destabilize the situation in that district. He added that, although PNTL have been un-operational, the PNTL in Baucau continue with their normal activities in providing security to the population. (STL)
Tara appeals to youth to stop sale of stolen goods
Major Agustu de Araujo, also known as Tara, has appealed to the youth from the West in Dili to stop selling stolen goods and occupying houses that do not belong to them, reported STL. Tara said that such behavior is a shame and a humiliation to the values of national unity and will give a bad reputation to the people from the West. He stressed that to improve the current situation he wants the youth in Dili to embrace each other in the name of peace, adding that everybody must trust President Xanana Gusmão. Tara further stressed that those that continue to carry out such activities of looting, burning or occupying homes illegally must be put in jail. (STL)
International Media Reports
East Timor arrests former interior minister
By Shawn Donnan in Jakarta
Published: June 21 2006 01:33 | Last updated: June 21 2006 01:33
East Timor’s former interior minister was put under house arrest yesterday for allegedly distributing weapons to a group whose leader has said he was ordered to assassinate political opponents of the country’s embattled prime minister, Mari Alkatiri.
The move to detain Rogerio Lobato, a senior official in Mr Alkatiri’s ruling Fretilin party, came as John Bolton, US ambassador to the United Nations, said he opposed deploying UN peacekeepers to East Timor because the crisis there appeared to be an internal one.
Mr Lobato and Mr Alkatiri have been accused in recent weeks of arming a civilian group with the aim of eliminating political opponents ahead of elections next year. The allegations have been made most prominently by a former independence fighter Vicente da Conceicao, known as Commander Railos who claims to be the leader of the group.
Mr Alkatiri yesterday denied he had armed anyone and said he had called for independent, international investigations of the allegations. He had urged Commander Railos to hand his group’s weapons to an Australian-led peacekeeping force, he added.
His claims of innocence came as the UN’s office in East Timor announced prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant for Mr Lobato for distributing weapons to Commander Railos’s group in order to “alter the public order and the democratic rule of law”.
Donna Cusumano, a UN spokeswoman in East Timor, said Mr Lobato was under house arrest.
Diplomats have said Mr Alkatiri and Mr Lobato are among those who bear heaviest responsibility for the recent upsurge in violence, largely for failing to resolve a dispute within the army before it escalated.
But Mr Lobato, who like Mr Alkatiri spent most of Indonesia’s 24-year rule of the former Portuguese colony in exile, is a controversial figure in East Timor for creating a series of well-armed paramilitary police units that he controlled closely.
East Timor has asked the UN to send a peacekeeping force to replace the Australian-led contingent and to administer elections next year. But Mr Bolton said he thought UN peacekeepers were “certainly not” needed, since the latest turmoil was unrelated to East Timor's bloody 1999 independence from Indonesia, which led to the previous deployment of UN peacekeepers.
These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office