|Subject: UN: Daily Media Review 28 February
Daily Media Review
Tuesday, 28 February 2006
National Media Reports
Alkatiri Declaration Not Something New
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri’s comment last week that the Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party are like frogs is not new, according to PSD MP Lucia Lobato. She said that PSD has become “immune” to such statements, though she believes that a leader should not say such things. She said that Alkatiri should try to lose that attitude, but her party will not become preoccupied with the remark and will focus on their preparations for the 2007 General Elections. PD MP Jose Nominando or “Buras” also expressed similar sentiments, remarking that he regrets that such statements do not contribute to educating the people. He said that as “frogs”, the opposition will continue to crawl forward to compete with the “buffalo” in the upcoming elections. (STL)
UNDP Donates US$1.25 million to Support President’s Office
Head of UNDP Sukehiro Hasegawa signed a project document budgeted at $1.3 million to support the President’s office After the signing, Hasegawa stated that as the leader of a new nation, President Xanana has an important role in encouraging a viable democracy here. For this reason, the assistance from UNDP will play an important role in the democratisation process here. He said that the funds will be used to, among other things, improve on the policy analysis skills and the capacity of the President’s advisors, and enhance communication capabilities and managerial performance in the Office of the President. (STL)
Australian Police Donates Speed Readers to PNTL
The Australian Federal Police led by Coordinator Mick Duthte on Monday officially donated six speed readers to the Transit Section of the PNTL. The handover ceremony for the new equipment began with speeches from the Police Transit Commander Sub-Inspector Antonio Soares, Coordinator of the Timor-Leste Police Development Program Mick Duthte, and Vice-Minister of Interior Alcino Barris. The equipment was handed over to the interim PNTL General Commander Inspector Ismael da Costa Babo. Speaking after the ceremony, Barris said that the new speed readers would benefit the transit police in detecting vehicles travelling over maximum speed. (STL)
Lack of Subsidy Would Not Affect Parties
The leaders of the opposition parties, PSD, PD and ASDT are of the opinion that if there are no subsidies for the 2007 elections it will not affect them. On the contrary, they feel that they will be stronger and have the trust of the population to vote for them. According to Timor Post, leaders of the three parties stated on Monday that political parties that emerged during the UNTAET period without a subsidy are now represented in the National Parliament. Joao Gonçalves of PSD cited as an example the general campaign elections in 2001 when PSD managed to get six seats in the Parliament without any subsidy from UNTAET. ASDT President Francisco do Amaral agrees that the lack of subsidy will not affect his party. PD representative in the Parliament, Rui Menezes, said that his party came in second with seven seats in 2001 elections and that political party legislation made no mention of subsidies. He is, however, of the opinion that parties with representatives in the National Parliament should be entitled to an annual subsidy as well as one granted for general election campaigns.
In a separate article, the head of Fretilin in Parliament, Francisco Branco, reportedly said that the use of state-owned equipment such as cars to carry out political party activities at grass roots level is not a mortal sin. In response to public concerns regarding this issue, Branco said that the political party in power must use state assets to better their activities. He added that these activities draw on plans that work for the nation and the people. Fretilin’s President, Francisco Guterres said that some people are using the state-owned equipment for political activities because they have been invited by the party.
The media also reported that the chefe suco/head of head of village in Fatubessi does not want the flag of the political party KOTA hoisted in that area because he considers it to be illegal. The head of the village reportedly threatened to smash the car, take the flag pole and chop it into pieces because only Fretilin members are entitled to go there. Those who are not Fretilin should get a machete and clear the grass, he said. Regarding this issue, the majority of the MPs suggested a team look into this case but Parliament’s President disagreed saying it was up to each political party to educate their militants. (TP)
According to media reports, some of the F-FDTL members involved in the protest against discrimination within the institution have left the headquarters without taking part in the investigation process. On Monday, Lieutenant Colonel Salsinha reportedly said that the investigation process is not transparent because those officials that condemned the petition are also part of the investigation team. Salsinha said the number of the protesters had increased from 404 to 581. He added that they would only take part in the process if three F-FDTL officials, one lieutenant-colonel and two majors, are removed from the investigation team. He claims that the investigation must follow the demands of the petition, pointing out that the team is not focusing on the actual problem that led the soldiers to abandon their headquarters and that it does not involve military police. In the meantime, members of the Superior Council for Defence and Security met with President Gusmão to try and find a solution to the problem. (TP, STL)
RTTL News Monitoring
Xanana Gusmão awarded Doctorate Honoris Causa
President Xanana Gusmão was awarded the Title of Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Takushoku, from Japan. The award ceremony was held at the Dili Gymnasium on Saturday, presided over by the Rector of Takushoku University, Professor Dr Toshio Watanabe. After the ceremony, President Xanana reportedly said that democratic rights must be strong and that the State has a responsibility to guarantee political democracy.
Fretilin district congress in Ermera
Speaking at the District Congress in Ermera FRETILIN Secretary General Mari Alkatiri said that his party does not influence members of other political parties. Instead, he argued, that people decided to affiliate themselves with FRETILIN because they distrust the leaders of other parties. Alkatiri also said that 2007 General elections were more important to FRETILIN than his candidacy for the Secretary -General’s post.
Sub-District Conference of PD
The President of the Democratic Party, PD, Fernando La Sama Araujo was in Metinaro, Dili, attending his party’s Sub-District Congress. Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Congress, La Sama reportedly stated he was confident PD would win the general elections in 2007 because the party’s structure at the National level through to the Aldeia level is very strong. In addition, he said, PD has a good program to develop Timor-Leste. During the Conference, the party’s Sub-District Coordinators of Metinaro were sworn in.
CTF Commissioners met with SRSG
CTF Commissioners from Indonesia and Timor-Leste held a meeting with SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Indonesian Co-Chairman Benjamin Mangkudilaga stated that the SRSG was very appreciative and that the International Community awaits the Commission’s results. Meanwhile SRSG Hasegawa told journalists that UNOTIL is very much interested in how the CTF carries out their work and, of course, like the rest of the International Community, is also very interested in their outcomes. “At this point,” he said, “we’d like to know how the teams will go about meeting and upholding international standards. This is the nature of the discussion we had. Of course, we insist that no amnesty is granted to those who have committed crimes against humanity and/or genocide. These principle must be maintained, but at the same time it is very important that this ‘truth-seeking’ exercise be carried out”. The SRSG said that dialogue will continue with CTF.