Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 2-4 Sept 2006

Daily Media Review Saturday 02 Sept, Monday 04 Sept 2006

National Media Reports

Prisoners Fled Due Injustice Process

Aniceto Neves the Program Manager of local NGO HAK said Major Alfredo’s escape is likely due to constant threats and attempts on his life, as confirmed by his lawyers. According to Neves the situation faced by Alfredo and his members in Becora jail showed that the security management is not safe for any citizen and that is precisely why the former Interior Minister Rogério Lobato and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri are under house arrest. Therefore, the government should not have detained Alfredo and his members in Becora jail. He further said, based on the monitoring from his organization, HAK, that there were various threats by the prisoners and guards alike to kill Alfredo and his members. For instance, a guard from the eastern part tried to kill him but a guard from the west intervened to stop the killing. The head of HAK said these are the reasons Lobato and Alkatiri are not in jail so why should Alfredo and his members be subject to it, adding everybody, from government officials to MPs have blamed the police and international forces for the prisoners getaway but have not looked at their own mistake. Aniceto Neves stressed that the international forces are doing their work based on the politics of the government not the forces’ politics. He further said he totally disagrees with the accusations by some MPs who express concerns with the international forces work but who, themselves, are not learning the legal process of the country created by them because all they do is sit and raise their hands without understanding the substances. The escape of Alfredo and his members, said Aniceto Neves, is the responsibility of the government of Prime Minister Ramos-Horta because it has failed to establish a politics that guarantees justice, security and freedom of the prisoners, and the escape of the prisoners is an accumulation of protest to the problem of injustice that the people of Timor-Leste are currently facing. In an interview aired by the national radio and television, Alfredo Reinado appealed to the youth to stop the current actions and maintain calm and understand each other because the country now needs peace. He said he fled the jail because the trial detention had expired but he has not fled justice and is prepared to appear in court when the system is implemented impartially. (STL, TP)

Interference From Some Leaders on Justice Process: Mario Carrascalão

PSD President, Mario Carrascalão said the justice process to the former Minister of Interior and Prime Minister is in an impasse due to interference from some components in the country. On the getaway of the prisoners from Becora jail, Mario Carrascalão said Alfredo fled with the support of the population because if he did not have the support the population they would have announced his whereabouts. He said there has been lots of injustice therefore it is time for drastic measures to solve the problems and see what is best for the public. He further said the national dialogue proposed by the government is not enough, the important thing is to take measures, adding that no solution to the problem of kaladi (west) and firaku (east) has materialized. The president of PST stressed that one of the problems faced in Timor-Leste is the IDPs, and how to bring the people from the east and west to live together as there has been so much hatred created.

In a separate article, Aderito de Jesus, Timorese human rights advocate and lawyer said that the escape of Alfredo and his members are still under the judiciary system therefore the issue has become more complex and it needs political will to resolve it.

PNTL Must Establish Unity Among The Population: Hasegawa

Speaking at PNTL parade in Dili headquarters on Friday, Acting UNPOL Police Commissioner, Antero Lopes said PNTL must show its professionalism because PNTL has good capacity, respects human rights and can be part of other missions under the United Nations, noting the current PNTL officers working in Kosovo. He reminded PNTL officers to be happy, as there are many good PNTL officers. He stressed his sadness for the circumstances leading to his return but hopes to reorganize and develop PNTL capacity, loyalty and honesty to better the services and show greater professionalism. He appealed to PNTL to have faith in the UN police and asked for unity and cooperation to work together. He said the evaluation team is continuing to screen each PNTL officer’s availability, integrity and loyalty within the institution, in order for them to carry out their duty better, adding that the UN police will work together with PNTL. On the same occasion, SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa said PNTL must create unity among the population avoid past mistakes. He said many PNTL were involved in the crisis and appealed to them to reflect and to try to find an answer to the solution to end the violence that emerged in the country. (DN)

Nine Injured During Attack At IDPs Camp

Nine people were reported injured on Friday following rock attacks and shots at the IDP camp opposite Hotel Timor in Dili. According to Timor Post, a 12 year-old was seriously injured with gun shoots. According to an eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, an unknown group including some members of PNTL, one of them from Baucau, went to attack the camp with two big guns and pistols. The eyewitness said they recognized two of the attackers and PNTL officers. SRSG Hasegawa said the international police are investigating the case and the people involved in order to process them in the court. (STL)

CVA Not Transparent: Aderito de Jesus Soares

Aderito de Jesus, human rights lawyer, said the public is concerned with the transparency of the Comissão Verdade e Acolhemento (CVA) [Truth and Friendship Commission] that has been extended for another year to complete the work. De Jesus said the public must know the budget of CVA and the result of the work. He said right from the start CVA’s mandate has not been clear and transparent and its significance is unknown in Timor-Leste. He said relations can be implemented through other means and that money should not be wasted to establish negotiations for justice, adding he is also confused with the extension of the mandate because there has not been a public debate about it. (TP)

PD Wants Ian Martin Or Hasegawa To Lead New Mission

The Democratic Party (PD) disagrees with the notion that of new representative leading the new United Nations mission in Timor-Leste. MP Rui Menezes said information that the new SRSG would come from a CPLP country would not be appropriate due to lack of experience and knowledge which could lead to new problems. Menezes said the person following Timor-Leste process has been former United Nations Representative to Timor-Leste, Ian Martin, but his party would recommend to UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan to maintain the current SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa to lead UNMIT. In a separate article, MP Quiteria da Costa (UDT) said whoever is replacing the current SRSG must have the conviction to bring the people of Timor-Leste together. She is of the opinion the current representative of the United Nations in the country should continue to hold the same position with the new mission. (DN)

International Media Reports

Indonesia on alert over Timor escapees

September 4, 2006 - 2:24PM

The Indonesian army is on alert to prevent East Timorese rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and more than 50 other prison escapees from crossing into West Timor. The alert came as officials from Australia, Indonesia and East Timor met in Dili, amid renewed concerns over security in the former Indonesian province. "We are anticipating the possibility of the escapees crossing the border, but we are not putting in additional personnel," Indonesian military spokesman Rear Admiral Soenarto Sjoekronoputro said on Monday. He said 2,000 soldiers already on patrol were sufficient to secure the frontier. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirajuda and East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao and Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta are expected to discuss various issues including transnational crime, terrorism and trade during Monday's talks. Concern about the fragility of security in East Timor grew after more than 50 prisoners, including Reinado, escaped from Becora jail near the country's capital, Dili, on Wednesday. Reinado was one of the figureheads of a revolt that plunged East Timor into chaos in May, prompting Australia to lead an international peacekeeping force to restore order. His escape prompted bickering among the different nations involved in East Timor's security over who bore responsibility. The rebel leader, who is currently being hunted by security forces, urged his supporters in a video obtained by Reuters Television last week not to resort to violence. Five people suffered gunshot wounds in a camp in Dili on Friday and a sixth was wounded in a machete attack, an Australian Federal Police spokesman has said. There have been sporadic flare-ups since May involving gangs burning houses, or fighting one another with stones and homemade weapons. The United Nations agreed last week to send a new mission to East Timor, made up of some 1,600 police, despite a dispute over whether Australian-led troops already there should remain independent or be part of a UN force. (The Age)

Australia tells East Timor to grow up

Sydney (dpa) - East Timor must find its own way in the world and not look to others to sort out its problems, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Sunday on the eve of flying to Dili for meetings with the tiny country's leaders. "They have to learn to find solutions to their own problems, not just expect the international community indefinitely to solve all those problems for them," Downer told reporters in Adelaide. "We have been, as a people, enormously generous to the East Timorese and will continue to provide them with support, but the East Timorese have to accept responsibility now, because they're an independent country, for their own affairs," he said, clearly frustrated by the barrage of criticism from Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta and other East Timor leaders.

Downer was commenting on claims that foreign peacekeepers didn't stop a mass jailbreak that saw the country's most wanted man, renegade soldier Alfredo Reinado, and 56 other prisoners walk out of the front gate of Dili's Becora Jail - a jail guarded by East Timor prison officers. Reinado, who was in jail awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder, led an insurrection in May that sent 100,000 people to makeshift refugee camps. It was the worst civil unrest since independence from Indonesia in 2002 and led to the deployment of a 2,500-strong peacekeeping force made up of Australian, New Zealand, Malaysian and Portuguese soldiers and police officers. "You cannot blame Australia or New Zealand or Portugal or Malaysia or the Secretary General of the United Nations for all the problems of East Timor," an irritated Downer said. "No country has been more supportive of East Timor than Australia and to blame Australia for everything that goes wrong in East Timor - that's part of the problem."

The UN Security Council has approved a resolution for at least 1,600 international police to be stationed in East Timor as part of a peacekeeping force led by Australia. The current round of troubles began in March when soldiers went on strike complaining of ethnic discrimination within the ranks. In the power vacuum, ethnic gangs took over the streets. It was a reprise of the violence that followed the UN-supervised independence referendum in 1999 that ended 24 years of Indonesian occupation. East Timor was a Portuguese colony for 400 years before Jakarta sent in troops in 1975 and declared the impoverished half island part of its territory. (Bangkok Post)

Jakarta Increases Security At Its Border With Timor-Leste

September 3, 2006 11:00 a.m. EST

Komfie Manalo - All Headline News Foreign Correspondent

Jakarta, Indonesia (AHN) - Indonesian security officials on Sunday ordered an intensified alertness along its border with East Timor following the escape of Timor-Leste rebel leader, Major Alfredo Reinado. The rebel escaped from the Becora Penitentiary together with 56 prisoners on Wednesday. Indonesian Military headquarters spokesman Rear Admiral Sunarto Sjoekronoputro said, "The alertness was aimed to prevent the entrance of Reinado and the 56 prisoners to Indonesia. According to the state's Antara news service, the government has raised the alert to prevent speculation Indonesia will give aid to Reinado should the rebel entered the country. He adds, "The government has affirmed that Indonesia does not interfere in the internal problem of Timor-Leste. We, therefore, should increase our alertness to prevent the rebels from entering Indonesian area." Indonesia's chief of the Military Task Force at the Indonesia-Timor-Leste border Col. Ediwian Prabowo earlier said he was under order to prevent the escaped rebel-leader and his men from entering Indonesia. Reinado led a failed uprising in May with the help of some 600 loyal troops. He is believed to be responsible for sparking civil unrest, including violence among different military factions and gang wars. (All Headline News)

Violence flares in East Timor after jailbreak

Deutsche Presse Agentur

Published: Friday September 1, 2006

Sydney- East Timor's capital braced for more violence Saturday after a night of gang warfare in which shots were fired and four people injured. The outbreak of street fighting in Dili on Friday came as security forces recaptured several of the 57 prisoners that broke out of the city's jail last week. Major Alfredo Reinado, who is suspected of organizing the mass break-out, was on the run and even appeared on state television to taunt the government of Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta. "The current crisis occurs because the government has no capacity to lead and has no good politics," Reinado said in an interview. The renegade former military policeman urged an end to gang warare that has pitted those from the tiny country's east against westerners. Reinado, who was awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder and on firearms offences, led an insurrection in May that led to dozens of deaths and sent 100,000 people to makeshift refugee camps in the seaside capital. The worst civil unrest since independence from Indonesia in 2002 prompted the deployment of a 2,500-strong peacekeeping force made up of Australian, New Zealand, Malaysian and Portuguese soldiers and police officers. East Timor turned chaotic in March when soldiers went on strike complaining of ethnic discrimination within the ranks. In the power vacuum, ethnic gangs took over the streets in violence that mirrored the mayhem that followed the United Nations-supervised independence referendum in 1999, which ended 24 years of Indonesian occupation. The trouble prompted the resignation of Mari Alkatiri as prime minister and the installation of Ramos Horta as caretaker premier until elections next year. East Timor was a Portuguese colony for 400 years before Jakarta took over in 1975. (The Raw Story)

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 - END ­


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