Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 16 March 2006

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed.]

UNOTIL

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 16 March 2006

National Media Reports

UNDP Report Contradictory and Government Already Identified Weaknesses:

Alkatiri Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that the recent UNDP report on Timor-Leste is contradictory because it states that poverty has both been reduced and increased in this country. Speaking at a press conference outside the Government Palace on Wednesday, Alkatiri said that the IMF provided data for 2005, while UNDP supplied the 2004 data, thereby arriving at different conclusions. In particular he criticized the fact that the UNDP report does not explain the claimed increase in the incidence of poverty. He expressed his appreciation, however, for the IMF’s positive take on the current situation in Timor-Leste, with the institution welcoming the steps that the Government has taken toward increasing capacity in areas such as infrastructure.

Alkatiri explained that the Government has already identified the weaknesses in the economic development process that has been implemented so far, and will therefore implement a new program in the 2006/7 fiscal year. He said that one of the aspects of this new program is massive public investment in the realm of US $70 million, with the objective of increasing national income by seven to eight percent, which according to the PM, will be instrumental in the creation of new job opportunities. The Government is taking these measures because it cannot rely on the still weak private sector, Alkatiri asserted, adding that he expects these measures will significantly reduce poverty in Timor-Leste by 2015. (DN, TP)

Portuguese Labour Minister Arrives In TL

The Portuguese Minister for Labour Dr. Jose Antonio Vieira da Silva has accepted an invitation extended by the Timor-Leste Minister for Labour and Reinsertion Arsenio Paixăo Bano, officially arriving in Timor-Leste on Wednesday for a six-day visit. According to Bano, the objective of da Silva’s visit is to witness examples of the cooperation between Portugal and Timor-Leste in the area of Labour and Solidarity. The Minister will visit projects in a number of districts, and will also hold meetings with various community figures and political leaders, including the Dili Diocese Bishop, the Prime Minister, and President of the National Parliament. He will also pay a visit to the National Employment and Training Centre at Tibar. (TP)

Brigadier General Taur To Present F-FDTL Case in Parliament

F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak reportedly told the media on Wednesday that he is scheduled to meet Members of the Parliament on Thursday to brief them on the ongoing problem within the institution. Ruak said time is up for “F-FDTL Petition” soldiers who have refused to participate in the investigation, as they do not want to resolve the problem and have left the Armed Forces Headquarters. He underlined that a team was established to listen to their problems but they do not want to participate in the process. “ They have been outside a long time now, for one month already. Militaries must remain in headquarters but they are outside,” F-FDTL said.

In the meantime, Vice-President of the Parliament Francisco Xavier do Amaral said that if the problem is not resolved, it could lead to instability in the country, adding that discrimination is slowly dividing the Timorese and no one can do anything now.

In a separate article, Member of Parliament, Leandro Isac (Independent) reportedly asked that the Minister of Defence, Roque Rodrigues, to resign because he cannot discipline the soldiers and this is the reason for the problems. Isac added that his resignation would be a way to guarantee moral politics and hope for the soldiers that, after all, this is a democratic country. (TP, STL)

Former Militia Leader Asks Supporters ‘Not To Panic

In the Indonesian media, Eurico Guterres is quoted as having reportedly told supporters in Kupang and Atambua not to 'panic' over his confirmed sentence - he is ready to face justice though it is unjust as he did not 'create' the conflict and that it his will not end the ET issue.

He is understood to have traveled from Kupang to Atambua yesterday to meet with supporters and also the Bishop of Atambua for spiritual guidance. It is reported he will return to Jakarta to be arrested as it is the wish of the State. Former PPI (national umbrella militia group) militia, however, are reportedly rejecting his return to Jakarta according to the Indonesian media. (TP/Indonesia Media) CTF Commissioners from Indonesian 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 for Commission’s results. Meanwhile SRSG Hasegawa told journalists that “UNOTIL is very much interested in how they carry out, and of course the International Community is also very much interested in their outcomes. Now, they’d like to know how they’ll go about, which will meet the International standard. And this is the discussion we had. Of course, we’d like to ensure that no amnesty is given to those who have committed crimes against humanity and genocide. Of course, this principle should be maintained, but at the same time it is very important that ‘truth seeking’ exercise be carried out. So we are very much interested in that and we will continue to have dialogue with them.”CTF Commissioners from Indonesian 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 for Commission’s results. Meanwhile SRSG Hasegawa told journalists that “UNOTIL is very much interested in how they carry out, and of course the International Community is also very much interested in their outcomes. Now, they’d like to know how they’ll go about, which will meet the International standard. And this is the discussion we had. Of course, we’d like to ensure that no amnesty is given to those who have committed crimes against humanity and genocide. Of course, this principle should be maintained, but at the same time it is very important that ‘truth seeking’ exercise be carried out. So we are very much interested in that and we will continue to have dialogue with them.” CTF Commissioners from Indonesian 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 for Commission’s results. Meanwhile SRSG Hasegawa told journalists that “UNOTIL is very much interested in how they carry out, and of course the International Community is also very much interested in their outcomes. Now, they’d like to know how they’ll go about, which will meet the International standard. And this is the discussion we had. Of course, we’d like to ensure that no amnesty is given to those who have committed crimes against humanity and genocide. Of course, this principle should be maintained, but at the same time it is very important that ‘truth seeking’ exercise be carried out. So we are very much interested in that and we will continue to have dialogue with them.”

Regional Media Reports

President of Timor-Leste meets with UN rights chief

Far from encouraging impunity with a policy of forgiveness for past crimes, Timor-Leste is trying to establish conditions for its people to build their future, the young country’s President Xanana Gusmăo, said today in Geneva after meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights Louis Arbour.

At a press conference at UN Headquarters there, President Gusmăo said that he had met with Ms. Arbour to request aid in the consolidation of democratic values in his country, to help with issues of gender and domestic violence, and to help civil society disseminate human rights values.

He acknowledged that National Commission of Truth and Reconciliation of Timor-Leste did not satisfy everybody, adding that the Commission of Truth and Friendship has been established together with Indonesia to strengthen efforts to heal the wounds of the past.

He said an office of Ombudsman had also been established and while in Geneva he had asked UN agencies to help provide it with training programmes and financial assistance.

Last year, the UN created an independent Commission of Experts to review the prosecution of serious human rights violations committed in 1999 in Timor-Leste, then known as East Timor, after the former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia in 1974 voted for independence. (UN News)

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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