Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 October 2006

[Poster's note: International and other articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed from below.]

UNMIT

United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste

Public Information Unit

Daily Media Review

Friday, 27 October 2006

UNMIT ­ MEDIA MONITORING

THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS

National Media Reports

Request For One Command

In an extraordinary plenary session on Thursday, the National Parliament discussed a Resolution concerning “The Security System in Timor-Leste” which recommends that the international forces presently in the country should be under a unique/one command. MP Francisco Carlos (Fretilin) said the aim of the resolution is to bring all the international forces in the country under the command of the United Nations, noting that despite the number of forces, violence continues. Carlos pointed to the recent problem in Comoro where GNR did not participate because they do not cover that area. He also said the Australian Commander, Mick Slater assured that the situation would be under control following the release of the COI report. But in the past three days, violence has increased. The resolution passed with 43 votes in favour and 6 abstentions.

In the plenary session the Parliament also approved a Resolution concerning “The strengthening and Guarantee of court Independence”. This document passed with 42 votes in favour, 2 against and 4 abstaining. The President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres ‘Lu-Olo’ said a Commission composed of 7 MPs has been established to listen to the opinions and analyse the COI report and its recommendations. Guterres said he heard information about F-FDTL proposals for a Parliamentary Commission but has not formally received a letter from the head of the Defence Force.

MP Manuel Tilman (KOTA) said violence in the capital Dili, especially in Comoro on 24-26 October is a strategy of some nations for sending more troops from Australia. Tilman said on Tuesday, 24/10 the UN Security Council re-evaluated the situation in Timor-Leste which remained calm until two days before discussion. Other reasons he said, were that some local leaders are receiving the support of an NGO, that martial arts groups are taking advantage of the situation to put on a show of importance, and that violence might be aimed at killing all the leaders. So those who are not in the government can have the opportunity to be in charge of the nation. He is of the opinion that to resolve the problem he proposes to first identify those involved in fighting in the IDP camp in the Jardim, opposite Hotel Timor, Airport, Obrigado Barracks and Comoro, adding a leader is managing the youths for rock throwing. (TP, STL)

‘Fretilin Mudança’ Rejects Dialogue

Fretilin ‘Grupu Mudansa’ has rejected the proposed dialogue by Fretilin Central Committee due to the conditions presented to them. According to a press statement signed by Vitor da Costa, of ‘Grupu Mudansa’ the conditions can only be achieved during the dialogue and not before as proposed by Fretilin Status Quo. The three points proposed to the ‘Grupu Mudansa’ demand acceptance of the Court of Appeal decision, acceptance of the results of the COI report, and that ‘Grupu Mudansa’ must cease their activities. Therefore, Vitor said his group would focus on moving ahead and concentrate on the extraordinary congress as planned. (STL)

Australian Aid To Prosecutor General’s Office

The Australian government through its aid agency AusAid has donated office equipment to the Prosecutor’s General office worth US$25 thousand dollars. Robin Scott, AusAid advisor for the development and cooperation in Timor-Leste, said the donation would help the Public Ministry to continue its work since some of the equipment was stolen and damaged during the recent violence. (TP, STL)

Combined Team To Investigate Escapees

The Ministry of Justice has established a Commission to investigate the 57 prisoners who escaped Becora jail on August 30. The Vice-Minister of Justice, Isabel Ferreira, heads the team, which is composed of members from HAK Association, UNPOL, and UNMIT human rights unit. The Commission was established following a dispatch by the Ministry of Justice to investigate if prison guards were involved in the escape of the prisoners. To fulfil the recommendations of the COI report, the Ministry of Justice has requested UNDP to recruit more international judges, prosecutors, defenders and interpreters. The Ministry has also established a team to look into equipment needed by the court and the jail.

Acting SRSG Finn Reske-Nielsen said UNMIT and the International Community would continue to support Timor-Leste’s judicial system. According to Reske-Nielsen the country’s court is still fragile as per the recommendations of COI, hence the international community must provide assistance.

Domingos Sarmento, Minister of Justice said some recommendations of the COI report in relation to the judicial system that it still is weak, are not in pursuance with the RDTL Constitution and are based on rumours (STL, TP)

RTTL news headlines

RTTL news headlines 27 October 2006

The Commission of the Investigation for the case of the fugitive of 57 prisoners officially submitted their report to the Ministry of Justice

Yesterday, the Commission of Investigation that has been established to investigate the involvement of the prison guards in the escape of the 57 prisoners reportedly submitted their findings to the Ministry of Justice. One of the findings stated that the commission did not find any direct involvement of the prison guards in the escape plan, but it was found that the prison guards did not follow the regulation applied in that prison. However, in response to these minor infraction findings, the Minister of Justice reportedly promised to take the recommendations into consideration to improve the whole judiciary system including the quality of management, administration, training, and security.

Ministry of Justice and UNDP held a three-day conference to discuss the process of Penal Code of Timor-Leste

In conjunction with UNDP, Ministry of Justice reportedly hosted a three-day seminar to discuss the East Timor Penal Code. Among the issues discussed were the roles of Prosecutor General, Judges, Private and Public Defense Lawyers. Speaking to the journalists after the first day seminar, Claudio Ximenes explained that East Timor would start to use its own Penal Code soon. Hence, we divulged the matters for the judiciary actors, including judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers particularly those who have just finished their training.

International Media Reports

Dili clashes claim more lives

Friday, October 27, 2006. 2:11pm (AEST)

Another two people have been killed in gang-related clashes in East Timor, but the latest violence has now been brought under control. Two men died this morning in clashes between rival gangs in Dili. Their bodies were left lying not far from the US Embassy. Up to six people have now been killed in various incidents in Dili since last Sunday as sporadic fighting continues to plague the city. Many more people have been injured. There is noticeable presence of foreign police and soldiers on the street, particularly around the airport and refugee camps where violence is common. Flights have resumed in and out of Dili but passenger numbers have been lower than normal to conserve fuel for fear that fuel supplies could be cut off in the city because of the violence. (ABC)

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East Timor riot victim killed by dart

October 27, 2006 - 1:14PM -

One of two people killed in unrest in East Timor this week died after being hit by a dart, the commander of Australian forces in Dili says. Brigadier Rerden said both incidents were being investigated by the UN police. More than 1,000 Australian troops and police are now in East Timor, patrolling the streets and maintaining order. The current situation has been described as peaceful following a week of violence, in which an Australian contractor was injured. The renewed unrest is thought to have been prompted by the release of a UN report on the causes of a deadly conflict earlier this year. Brigadier Rerden said he would not say there had been a resurgence of gang warfare. "The nature of some of the activity here in Dili is that the gangs do get worked up at different times and do attack each other. What we have seen this week has been significant for the size of some of those," he told ABC radio. "On one night we had a group of about 400 fighting each other. It is one of those spikes that can happen from time to time." Brigadier Rerden he did not believe this had been a particularly difficult period. He said UN police and the international security forces had sufficient personnel to retain control and to allow the East Timorese to get on with life. Brigadier Rerden said he did not believe the absence overseas of Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta had contributed to the instability. East Timor's government was functioning and he had attended meetings with government officials over recent days, he said. (The Age)

Nobel prize Bishop meets Timor rebels and ex-PM

In a bid to end East Timor tensions and violence, former Dili Bishop Carlos Belo, on a ten-day visit to his homeland, has met with rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and also with ousted Prime Minister Mari Alkitiri. "It's time to end the violence and crisis," said Bishop Belo during a visit with Timorese refugees, according to an Associated Press press report quoted by the Catholic News Agency. "It is very easy for us to kill our East Timorese brothers and sisters ... our culture is a culture of war and not a culture of peace." Bishop Belo flew in a United Nations helicopter to meet rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who has been in hiding since August, when he and more than 50 other inmates escaped from a prison in Dili, ABC News added. He was greeted by Reinado, who was wearing combat fatigues, and the two then held private discussions, a source quoted by the Australian added. Bishop Belo was the apostolic administrator in East Timor during the independence movement, but resigned in 2002 due to health problems. After recovering in Europe, the bishop returned to service with his Salesian order and has been doing missionary work in Mozambique. Bishop Belo also met yesterday with former prime minister Mari Alkatiri and former interior affairs minister Rogerio Lobato. A UN report into the violence in East Timor called for both politicians to be criminally investigated in relation to the violence that broke out in East Timor in April. There has been ongoing unrest in the small country since the April-May gang warfare, which left 33 dead and forced 155,000 people into overcrowded displacement camps. It was reportedly triggered in part by Alkatiri’s dismissal of more than one-third of the armed forces. A UN report, issued last week, largely blamed Alkatiri's government for the April-May violence and recommended that Alkatiri and his former ministers for defense and interior be investigated for allegedly being aware of, or involved in, the arming of civilians, reported The Associated Press. While much of the violence has ended in recent months since the arrival of international troops, a violent incident Sunday led to two fatal stabbings outside a Catholic church. Four others were reportedly injured in fighting between rival gangs. (Catholic News)

Kogas to Begin Exploration in East Timor Sea Next Month Asia Pulse Pte Ltd 10/26/2006

South Korea's state-run energy developer said Thursday that it will search for gas at the East Timor-Australia joint petroleum development area starting next month. The Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) said it has a 30 percent stake in the prospective gas block, while LG International and Samsung Corp each hold 10 percent. The remainder is owned by Petronas Carigali, the operator of the block located between East Timor and Australia. KOGAS said that once initial tests are completed next year, exploratory drilling will begin in the first half of 2008. Development of any natural gas and condensate found is expected to begin in 2009. The exact size of the gas the block may contain has not been announced. South Korea has been pushing to develop new overseas gas and oil fields to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy supplies. South Korea produces only very small quantities of oil and gas but wants to raise its self sufficiency levels past 10 percent in the coming years from 4 percent at present. (Rigzone.com)

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING


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