Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 Aug 2006

Daily Media Review

Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006


25 Homes Burnt in Wailili

MP Norberto Esperito Santo told the media on Monday that violence between two sub-villages resulted in the burning of 25 houses in Wailili, Baucau sub-district. According to Esperito Santo the grave of former Falintil commander, Rubliki was also destroyed in the fire as well as some coconut, breadfruit and Kami trees. He said that the Baucau PNTL detained a suspect and also found ammunition, which includes a pistol, a magazine and a heavy weapon. The people whose homes were affected by the fire have received assistance from the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion of Baucau, although life has returned to normality the population is too traumatized with the events to resume their daily routine, Norberto Esperito Santo said. According to Diario Nacional, the information could neither be confirmed with Baucau PNTL commander nor the District Administrator via telephone. (DN)

MPs Question The Actions Of Australian Police

Various MPs spoke out strongly during the Parliament plenary session on Monday against the behaviour of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for ordering the PNTL members to strip off their uniforms in public in Comoro on Saturday (26/8). The MPs said that the behaviour of the AFP was a serious disregard to the sovereign state of Timor-Leste, and wanted the Parliament to ask those responsible to clarify the issue. MP Francisco Branco (Fretilin) said that apart from the attitude which not only violated human rights and the dignity of each person but also that of the state institution, adding that the order by AFP to PNTL to remove their uniforms, was not a dignified attitude and that the Parliament must strongly protest against it. Others MPs that spoke against Saturday’s incidents were from PSD, UDT, KOTA, UDC.

In a separate article in Diario Nacional, MPs, Jooquim dos Santos (Fretilin) and Maria Paixão (PSD) said that the bilateral forces, commanded by Australian forces were not stopping the violence but creating it as shown by the reality amongst the youths. Joaquim said that the international forces restoring order must follow the country’s law and order as per the agreement ratified by the National Parliament. The agreement Timor-Leste signed was to provide security and not to provoke conflict, adding that the international forces had been handing over youths detained by them to others youths to beat them up. These actions, Santos said, showed that the forces were creating conflict in the country. He added that if the forces wished to create conflict it would be better for them to leave the country. MP Maria Paixão (PSD) said that if the international forces were neutral they should not have ordered a member of PNTL to remove his police uniform in the public as the Timorese culture is different from the international forces. She said that the Parliament must speak to the Australian commanders and take action against the members of the international forces who acted in that manner, which was not well received by the population and was against the Timorese culture. (DN, STL, TP)

New Mission Must Provide Good Advisors

The American Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Joseph Grover Rees told the Timor Post on Monday that the new UN mission must provide good advisors to Timor-Leste in order to quickly help resolve the problems the people were currently facing. The Ambassador gave the example of the absence of an investigator in the Prosecutor General’s office, adding that an international investigator must be employed to train a Timorese to take over the job. On the judicial system Joseph Rees said the international prosecutors and judges must reinforce the judicial system in Timor-Leste to help the Timorese judges, prosecutors, and public defendants to perform their duties in a better manner in order for the judiciary to serve with capacity. According to him the judicial system must perform better following the crisis and that could be achieved with the mutual cooperation between the international and national police. The US Ambassador said that back in 2004 he was sad when the Timorese judges and prosecutors stopped their judicial training, leaving a few expatriates to take care of the system, but was overwhelmed when he participated in a ceremony in June for Timorese who became judges, prosecutors, public defenders and legal officers.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday held at the UN compound in Dili, SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa said that the new United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste would restore justice and continue to investigate the crimes against humanity in 1999. SRSG further said that the UN Security Council encouraged Timor-Leste to put into use the available electoral legislation packet for the 2007 elections. Hasegawa explained that the adoption of resolution 1704, to establish UNMIT, which would be composed of an appropriate police contingent of 1608 and an initial component of 34 military liaison officials. UNMIT would assist the government of Timor-Leste in all aspects ranging from institutional to election support said the Head of the UN in Timor-Leste.

On the same occasion the UN Acting Police Commissioner, Antero Lopez told the participants that the UN could not provide better training for the PNTL because the Timorese State kept on asking the UN to transfer the powers to the Timorese police. Lopez said that Timor-Leste like any new country required time to perform their duties and that maturity could only be achieved step by step. He said that the mistake was the lacking of a strong culture in the training area which could not sustain the existing police service. The Acting UN Police Commissioner said that mechanisms must be put in place in order to have a system for the police that would not to be under political pressure in order to avoid crisis in the rule of law.

MPs Branco (Fretilin) and Ximenes (UDC) said that Timor-Leste at the moment only required international police under the auspices of the United Nations to maintain law and order and restore PNTL. They are of the opinion that the country did not yet require a peace keeping force. (TP, DN)

UN Security Council Commend People And Government Of TL

Timor-Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Luis Guterres said that the United Nations Security Council had praised the people and the government of Timor-Leste for putting in the efforts to improve the situation in the country. The Council had also praised the work of the international forces currently in Timor-Leste such as the Australian, Portuguese GNR, Malaysian, New Zealand and has asked the forces to work together with the United Nations to protect the UN personnel and the installations throughout the country, said the former Timor-Leste Ambassador to the UN. He added that the negotiations for the new mission, UNMIT were not easy due the problems in other part of the world like the Middle East and Africa, therefore he reminded the Timorese people that although the international community still sympathized with the Timorese people, it was up to them to be conscious of the problems around the world and to put in efforts to resolve their problems and not wait for the international community. The new Foreign Minister further said that the international community voted unanimously in support of the new mission and that the Security Council was concerned about the IDPs especially women and children. He added that due to the many global problems, the Timorese must try and resolve their political problems or face not having any help if similar problem arose. On the new Special Representative, he said that it was not yet known who would be heading the new mission. (DN)

It is better to wait for the results of the investigation of PNTL members: Freitas

The chairperson of National NGO East Timor People’s Action (ETPA), Cicilio Caminho Freitas thought that it was better for the Ministry of Interior to wait for the result of the investigation from the UN Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for East Timor before reactivating the PNTL. The members of the PNTL should be vetted on their involvement in the crisis. In addition, in relation to the government’s plan to promote the reconciliation, Mr. Freitas said that the reconciliation planned by the government should start from the political elites, particularly those who were from the 1975’s era. (TP)

Re-structuring of the F-FDTL and PNTL should depended on recommendations: Amaral

Vice President of Commission C, National Parliament, Clementino dos Reis Amaral told the journalists that before re-structuring the institution of both PNTL and F-FDTL, it was better to wait for the result of the Assessment Team. (STL)

Reconciliation will not resolve all problems: Bishop Basilio

Bishop of Baucau, Dom Basilio do Nacimento told the journalists that the reconciliation promoted by the government should be implemented step by step. They had to separate the problems according to political, ethnical and judicial grounds. So that both political and judicial decisions must be carried out separately. (TP)

Prime Minister and Bishop Nacimento meet to discuss the government budget for the Catholic Church

On Friday, 25 August 2006 Dr. Horta and the Bishop of Baucau, discussed the government’s support of the church projects. Apart from this discussion, Dr. Horta also asked for the advice of Dom Nacimento in relation to the crisis and a reunion plan meeting that would be held in Dili on August 29th 2006. (STL & TP)

RTTL news headlines


National Parliament to protest over PNTL undressing case

The National Parliament is to send a note of protest to the Australian Parliament over an alleged stripping-off case of PNTL officers by the AFP. During the plenary session on Monday, many of the MPs reportedly stated that the act by AFP violated the dignity of PNTL and the sovereignty of TL as well as human rights.

UNPOL’s responsibility: Barris

Meanwhile, the Minister for Interior, Alcino Barris stated that the UN Police should be responsible for the incident as it was UNPOL who asked the Minister to invite the police officers to attend the function on Saturday. Barris reportedly stated his regret saying the act violated the dignity of PNTL. Meanwhile, the Acting UN Police Commissioner, Antero Lopes, stated that it was important to hear both parties before making any judgment.

UN SC establishes UNMIT

The SRSG, Sukehiro Hasegawa, held a press conference on Monday to inform the Timorese that the UN Security Council had decided to establish a new UN mission in TL called UNMIT. Speaking in a different press conference at the airport, FM Jose Luis Guterres reportedly stated that it was not easy to negotiate a UN mission for TL and hence he called on the Timorese to take advantage of the mission to create peace.


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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