Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 28 March 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Police arrest two F-FDTL petitioners + NP to call Taur Matan Ruak

Police have arrested two F-FDTL petitioners due to their involvement in an assault in which two people were gravely injured. PNTL General Commander Paulo de Fatima Martins told reporters that the petitioners were arrested in relation to an assault in the Matadouro (Dili) area on Sunday evening. Police have made several other arrests also related to a number of assaults that occurred over the weekend. Martins said that the general situation in Dili is still tense, and he requested the people of Dili to remain calm, particularly appealing to Dili youth to refrain from violence. He said that all people should be viewed as members of the general population, and not differentiated on a racial basis.

PSD MP Lucia Lobato has told reporters that the National Parliament is currently debating whether to call F-FDTL General Commander Taur Matan Ruak to Parliament to clarify the current situation. She said that there is some contradiction between what Ruak has said compared to the President's appeal, and therefore it is necessary for Ruak to clarify to the people's representatives. She praised the patience demonstrated by the general public and their willingness to maintain a situation of calm, but said that this does not mean that the leaders should be complacent. (STL)

61 people evacuate to Comoro Parish because of rumours

61 people from Comoro evacuated to the Comoro Parish facility to avoid assault from groups of youths who are using rumours of East/West conflict to break down the unity of the population. The Comoro village chief Eurico da Costa told STL that in order to quell the panic in his village, he requests all village chiefs and church leaders to make a recommendation to the government to resolve the problem, so that the situation can return to normal. He said that the only ones who become victims of the rumours are the people themselves, when actually the matter is one of elite politics. (STL)

Maria Paixao on PNTL's sixth anniversary

In the context of the PNTL's sixth anniversary yesterday, some Members of Parliament have requested the PNTL to further improve their performance. PSD MP Maria Paixao told journalists that there remain many deficiencies within the PNTL including limitations of capacity, and for this reason she congratulated them on their work to date. She appealed to their maturity in handling the problem that the nation is currently facing, as well as any other matters that become a threat to the nation's stability. (DN)

PM Alkatiri: We will never give an opportunity to those who create instability

STL reports that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri stated in his speech during the 6th anniversary of PNTL in Liquica district yesterday, that the government will never give an opportunity to those who create instability and destroy peace in this country. "In April 2005, when demonstrations were held by the Catholic Church for 19 days, PNTL co-operated with the Military Police and did a really good job and at the end everyone was happy", added Alkatiri. PNTL has demonstrated to the international community that they have the ability to control the situation so people can feel confident to work and develop this country, Mr. Alkatiri further stated. (STL)

Regional News

Sacked E Timorese soldiers to protest in Dili

Hundreds of former East Timorese soldiers, who were sacked recently for deserting their barracks, will hold a demonstration in Dili today. Almost 600 of east Timor's troops were sacked recently after they deserted their barracks in protest against alleged nepotism and poor conditions.

Sonny Inbaraj, who works in Dili for the non-profit media organisation Internews, says the soldiers will demonstrate in front of President Xanana Gusmao's office and call for him to officially hand them their dismissal letters. "They're not taking their dismissal verbally from the chief of the armed forces, General Taur Matan Ruak," he said.

"They want their supreme commander, President Xanana, to officially dismiss them." Mr Inbaraj says the protest follows disturbances and looting throughout the capital over the weekend. "If President Xanana doesn't dissipate the situation in the next few days, there's a very strong likelihood that this whole incident could blow up," he said. At least two soldiers were among those arrested during the disturbances. (ABC NewsOnline)

Valley schools donate to East Timor

Tuesday, 28 March 2006 - LOCAL schools have rallied to the cause of the Timorese children donating materials for the schools in Natarbora, Timor-Leste. In March Candelo Public School, Cobargo Public School and Bega High School donated paint, brushes, books, crayons, paper, chalk and money to assist the pupils and students at Natarbora. Some of these materials are now in a container on its way to Darwin by rail. At Cobargo Public School the pupils listened to a presentation from David Gallan from the Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste and asked many questions about life in Timor. Many students from schools in the Bega Valley are preparing messages and gifts to send to Natarbora's children. The Bega Valley Advocates is planning another shipment of materials this year and is looking for manual typewriters, spirit duplicator stencils, soccer balls, stationery, chalk and sports shirts. (Bega District News)

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