Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 21 March 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Monday (sic), 21 March 2006

National Media Reports

Alkatiri And Hasegawa Discusses UN Assistance For 2007

Speaking to the media following his meeting with Prime Minister Alkatiri, SRSG Hasegawa reportedly said one of the topics discussed during the meeting was UN technical assistance to STAE and CNE for 2007 elections. Hasegawa also said that based on the recent UNDP report, Ainaro is considered one of the poorest districts of Timor-Leste and the two discussed possible means of alleviating poverty in that area. With this in mind, the Prime Minister will visit Ainaro on April 12. In relation to the problem within F-FDTL, the SRSG is quoted as saying that although the dismissal involves around 500 members of the armed forces, The decision to dismiss them is based on the institutional regulations. SRSG said that according to information received from Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, the leader of the soldiers who signed the petition was previously involved in illegal activities but that the SRSG is not aware of what type of illegal activity and has, therefore, requested an explanation from Brigadier General Taur. (TP, DN)

Mari Is The One Destroying Fretilin: Menezes and Lobato

MPs from Partido Democratico (PD) and Partido Social Democrata (PSD) rejects the statements made by Fretilin Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri, that "people from the opposition, outside Fretilin are trying to destroy Fretilin". In response, representatives of these two major opposition parties in the National Parliament said Alkatiri's statements should not be directed at their parties but at the opposition within Fretilin that are against Alkatiri as a Prime Minister, claiming he does not have the capacity to govern a country which continues to rank among the poorest in the Asia Pacific region and the world. In the meantime, Fretilin MP Francisco Branco said the whole process of pros and cons within the party shows that the party is 'robust', and can provide a new dynamic for the future. Branco stressed that, after all, that's how a normal democratic society operates. (TP)

Priests Entitled To Criticize Government: Lobato and Tilman

MP Lucia Lobato (PSD) and Manuel Tilman (KOTA) are of the opinion that priests are entitled to criticize the Government if they are not performing well as they are the voice of the people. Lucia Lobato (PSD) said the Prime Minister must accept criticism of the Government as it is meant to better the Government and not to denigrate it. Lobato remarked that the Government will be stronger when the critics rally against activities that are not correct. " If the Government is strong, our nation will be a success. Development will prosper as will democracy and that will make us all very happy," Lobato said, adding that one must praise Timorese intelligence for expressing their opinion and if the Prime Minister disagrees with the opinion of the priests he should do so through a letter rather than speaking through the media. She also said that the Prime Minister's statement disregards the role nuns and priests played during the resistance period for the liberation of Timor-Leste. Tilman is also of the opinion that in a true democracy, priests and nuns are national citizens and therefore entitled to speak on politics. He pointed out that the church is closely allied with the people in the villages and sucos and are therefore speaking on their behalf. But Jacinto from Fretilin said some priests are constantly criticizing the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Alkatiri. Jacinto also reportedly said that some of the priest are providing or withholding support to the people based on their political party affiliations. He appealed to the priests to avoid exploiting their title and the church for such activities, as they will loose followers in the future.

Youth Must Prepare For New Recruitment: Rauk

F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak appealed to the youth to prepare themselves if they want to join the military to serve the nation and the people. Ruak said new recruitment will take place soon and those wishing to be part of the Armed Forces must keep in mind that their mission will be to serve the nation and the people just as those before them who have served for 30 years into old age

In a separate article, Joao Mariano Saldanha, political analyses reportedly said that the Government must establish a specific development program for the 591 dismissed from the Armed Force. Saldanda said the Government must assist these former soldiers in this transition period from military to civilian. He is of the opinion that the Ministry of Defence together with the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity must work on this transition. (TP)

Regional Media Reports

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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