Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 6 September 2006

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 06 September 2006

National Media Reports

STAE Launches Pilot Program

Secretariadu Tekniku Administrasaun Eleitoral (STAE) launched its electoral census pilot program on Monday with the aim of distributing voter photo ID cards. Director of STAE, Tomas Cabral said the pilot program will run until October 5 in Dili District and the cards are free. He further said the new card would replace the UNTAET voter registration cards thus making it also a legitimate ID card, as well as an official registration card as both are required in Timor-Leste. (TP)

Two Members of AFP Attacked

Two AFP members were hit by rocks while trying to stop attacks of rock throwing between two groups in Lurumata, next to the American Embassy in Dili. Two youths were injured including two Australian police and their car seriously damaged. According to Timor Post, youths staged the attack due to their discontentment with the way the Australian police have acted in arbitrary detention. One youth, who refused to give his name, told TP his friends attacked the police because instead of detaining the attackers at the scene they detain those defending themselves. He said they have been observing the international police and they are not performing their duties correctly, especially in stopping group fights.

In a separate article, it is reported that attacks of stone-throwing in the area of Balide resulted in the damage of 8 houses and one burning. The fight was between the youths from Mascarenhas Aldeia 1 Balide and Caicoli beginning on Sunday (3/9) night and lasting until Tuesday. Marcelino Martins, the head of the youth from Caicoli said the root of the problem started in Casossa Balide on Sunday following stone throwing at the IDP compound while they were praying.

In the meantime, the IDPs in Colmera, opposite Hotel Timor claim they have not received food from the government and NGOs for over a month. According to Celestino da Costa, camp coordinator, the stopping of assistance is not a concern for the people as all they want is for the government to focus on security in order to enable them to return home. (TP)

Judges Accused Of Influencing Court Decision

The debate on the court of appeal decision, ruling in favor of the result of Fretilin second congress continues to be an issue of debate in the Parliament. MP João Gonçalves (PSD) has accused two judges of influencing the decision of the court recently. Gonçalves said judges Maria Natercia Gusmão and Jacinta Correia were part of the panel that influenced the decision of the court, because their spouses are members of Fretilin Central Committee. Meanwhile, President of the Parliament, Francisco Lu’Olo Guterres said the accusation of Gonçalves must be presented with facts on how the court was influenced and whether the process was constitutional or not. Guterres also asked MPs not to meddle into areas not of their competence. (TP)

Lu’Olo Inconsistent With Statements

MP Leandro Isac said the President of the Parliament has been inconsistent with his statement adding that he says something on one day and the following day he says something different. In relation to the guns in Mari Alkatiri’s house, he first said it was false but later acknowledged during the Parliament’s plenary session on Tuesday that there were guns stored in Alkatiri’s house but the Minister of Interior has not had the time to collect them. In a separate article, Francisco Guterres said the pistols still in the former Prime Minister’s house belonged to his personal protection security and that Alkatiri himself did not want the guns stored there. The President of the Parliament said people should stop creating propaganda about international forces collecting weapons at Mari Alkatiri’s house and should provide the correct information. STL reported MP Juliao Mausiri (PD) as saying the Parliament is the root cause of the problem because on April 10, a resolution project was presented to the plenary to help resolve the issue of the petitioners. It was put on the agenda as the last issue but was ignored and never debated, he said. (STL)

RTTL news headlines

Trilateral Meeting is the good opportunity to thank the Australian and Indonesian Government in assisting the East Timor to solve the ongoing problem: Dr. Horta

After the trilateral meeting between Australian, Indonesia, and East Timor, the Prime Minister of East Timor, Dr. Horta told the media that “this meeting is an opportunity for us (East Timor) to thank Australian and Indonesian Governments for their support”. He thanked the Australian Government for prompt response to ET’s request to provide security forces to restore the stability in ET. and the Indonesian Government for good cooperation particularly for the humanitarian support, good security and stability at the border between East Timor and West Timor. Then Dr. Horta used the opportunity to brief both Foreign Ministers on the security issues, ET crisis, investment, and 2007 General Election.

In addition, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirayudha reportedly told the media that “Indonesia is ready to help East Timor to sort out the ET crisis by maintaining the security and stability at the border between the two countries and we will encourage other members of the Asian countries to provide some troops and polices to join the UNMIT”. He also confirmed that through the trilateral meeting, the three countries have good cooperation on security, politics and economics.

On the same occasion, the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer reportedly affirmed that “Australian always standby East Timor no matter what the circumstances are”. He then proposed to have back-up military forces on top of the 1600 UN Police Forces who are going to join UNMIT soon. But, in relation to rumours and SBS news that saying the ET Prime Minister, Dr. Ramos Horta has accused Australian Forces for being behind the escape of Major Alfredo and the 56 inmates from the Becora Prison, Downer said that “we do not have a particular interest in helping ET in overcoming that crisis. In fact, we came here to simply help ET to overcome the ongoing crisis as geographically and historically Australia is the best country to help ET”.

Therefore, in response to the rumors and SBS News, Dr. Horta reportedly said that the SBS news is fiction. He said that, the news is just a conspiracy theory and that the East Timorese must take responsibility for their own mistakes.

In other news, before departing, Mr. Wirayudha left ET on Monday, he met with the President Xanana Gusmao to discuss finalizing the border negotiation, simplification of border crossing--there will be no passport needed in the future but there will be an official card issued here only to cross the border--and reinforcement of the border security control by the two countries.

Some of the PMs agreed with the statement of Alfredo Reinaldo saying ‘Justice is not well-implemented in this country’, but disagreed with his escape with 56 other inmates from the Becora-Prison

MPs including Osorio Florindo, Jacob Fernandes, and Lucia Lobato, agreed with the statement of Major Alfredo Reinaldo on the televised coverage saying the ‘justice in ET is not impartial and it is not well-implemented’. But they disagreed with his escape. In a separate interview, Ms. Lucia Lubato reportedly stated that he agreed with Major Alfredo’s statement noting that some main actors such as Rogerio Lobato, Mari Alkatiri, Railos, etc are not in the Becora Prison. Manuel Tilman also agreed with the statement but emphasized that the problem which caused this crisis was supposed to be resolved internally within the F-FDTL institution under the command of the President of RDTL.

In hunting the 57 escapees, from 5 September, UN Polices and International Polices will distribute pictures of escaped inmates on posters: Lancaster

Police Commissioner of AFP, Steve Lancaster said that UN and International Police will use the pictures of 57 escapees including Major Alfredo Reinaldo in their efforts to recapture the inmates. In relation to the recent shooting incident in the port IDP camp in Jardim-Colmera, he said that the Police Investigation Unit conducting an investigation on the incident which included a search for two members of PNTL who were armed and allegedly involved in the incident. One suspect has been arrested and is now under the investigation.

The Escape of Alfredo Reinaldo and 56 inmates will not have any significant impact on the security and stability of East Timor: Neves

Aniceto das Neves, the representative from the Association of Human Rights reportedly said that the escape of the 56 inmates will not have any significant impact on the security and stability of East Timor. However the cases of Mari Alkatiri and Rogerio Lobato will have significant impact on the security and stability of this country if it is not sorted out now, Mr. Neves said.

The Fretilin Reformist Group held a meeting in Liquica, seeking supports to have an extraordinary congress: da Costa

Victor da Costa, Coordinator of the Fretilin Reformists Group reportedly stated that if, Fretilin does not have an extraordinary congress, it will lose its supports and the 2007 General Election. Hence, they are very much looking forward to running an extraordinary congress before the General Elections next year.

Council of the National Alliance is questioning the result and report of the CAVR work during the last two years. [This is not correct. Xisto dos Santos was talking about the bilateral Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC), not the Timor-Leste CAVR.]

The representative of Council of the National Alliance, Xisto dos Santos reportedly disagreed with the plan to extend the mission of CAVR for another year. He was of the opinion that there is no result and report from CAVR and no trial for the perpetrators and actors involved in the 1999 incidents making it just a waste of time and money.

The number of patients of Dili National Hospital was decreased due to instability: Junior

The Director of the Dili National Hospital, Antonio C. Junior reportedly told the media that many patients now prefer to go to Lanuk and Motael Clinics because there is no longer any security around the National Hospital. But, he hoped that with the government’s plan to relocate the IDPs from that area the place will return to normal.

International Media Reports

AM - East Timor legal aid worker says Reinado threatened by prison guards

AM - Wednesday, 6 September, 2006 08:24:00

Reporter: Anne Barker

PETER CAVE: As police in East Timor continue the hunt for 57 escaped prisoners, it's been revealed that prison guards had threatened to kill the former rebel leader Alfredo Reinado in jail. A non-government organisation in Dili says that Reinado was forced to escape by repeated threats and intimidation from guards and other inmates. The organisation Yayasan Hak, which monitors justice in the country, has blamed East Timor's government for the breakout by denying prisoners adequate protection. Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER: As a justice worker with a legal aid organisation, Aniceto Neves is a regular visitor to Dili's Becora jail, and lately he's paid several visits to one of the jail's highest profile prisoners - the former rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who's charged with attempted murder. But last Wednesday Major Reinado staged a daring escape with 56 other prisoners, all of whom are still on the run. Aniceto Neves says Reinado was driven to escape by constant threats against his life.

ANICETO NEVES: I got the testimony from him before he left that some people tried to kill him during the time in the jail. This is the main reason. If there is no intent to kill him, why did Alfredo Reinado escape from the jail?

ANNE BARKER: How did they try to kill him?

ANICETO NEVES: Based on the information that some warden, prison warden was... tried to (inaudible) with himself, and they tried to beat him, and did many beatings to him and said that they want to kill him and so on.

ANNE BARKER: And Alfredo told you this himself?

ANICETO NEVES: Yes, that is true.

ANNE BARKER: Aniceto Neves alleges guards and prisoners alike had made repeated threats to Alfredo Reinado because of his role in East Timor's recent unrest. The military policeman and about 20 supporters spent weeks holed up in the mountains behind Dili, agitating for a change of government. The attempted murder charge goes back to a fierce gunfight in May between warring factions of East Timor's police and armed forces, who remain bitterly divided on ethnic lines.

ANICETO NEVES: It's because of the conflict based on the… on west and east in Timor Leste conflict. It is the main reason why some of the wardens were trying to attack him in the prison.

ANNE BARKER: At one stage Aniceto Neves claims a prison guard from the country's east tried to kill Alfredo Reinado, until a guard from the west intervened. He says security at the jail is so bad it's unsafe for any prisoner, and if East Timor's former Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato, can be kept under house arrest until he faces trial, so too should others. And while the Prime Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, has pointed the finger at international forces for not properly guarding the prison, Aniceto Neves says the blame lies squarely with East Timor's government.

ANICETO NEVES: Should be asking to the government, why the condition was… make Alfredo Reinado escape from the jail? What happened, that Alfredo escaped from the jail, is responsibility of the Government. This is not responsibility of the warden, this is not responsibility of the community. Why is the Government not creating the good mechanism, good protection system in the prison so Alfredo and others cannot escape?

PETER CAVE: Aniceto Neves. No one in East Timor's Government was available for comment. (ABC AM Radio Programme)

Indonesian minister says border dispute with East Timor nearly over

Sep 5, 2006, 14:53 GMT - © 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Jakarta - Indonesia has resolved '97 per cent' of its border dispute with East Timor, its former province, and a normal system of cross-border activity will begin next year, Indonesia's foreign minister said Tuesday. 'The discussions of the borderline issues have been completed up to 97 percent,' Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda told reporters, according to the state-run Antara news agency. He said Indonesia wanted to boost cooperation along the border that separates the island of Timor, enabling Indonesians and East Timorese to cross at will for visits and commerce. Wirayuda said the governments needed to immediately demarcate their border to avoid arguments and incidents. Earlier this year, Indonesia filed a protest after East Timorese soldiers shot dead three Indonesians believed to have illegally crossed the border. East Timor is a former Portuguese colony that Indonesia invaded in 1975 and annexed the following year. More than 200,000 people were believed to have died in the 24-year military occupation and guerrilla resistance movement that followed. The territory finally broke away after a United Nations-sponsored referendum in 1999, after which Indonesian soldiers and pro-Indonesia militias killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed entire villages in an angry rampage. East Timor was declared an independent nation in May 2002. Indonesia, East Timor and Australia on Monday held joint security talks in Dili to discuss ways to maintain security along the border, as well as in other areas of the tiny nation, where Australian peacekeepers were deployed following weeks of social unrest in May and June. (monstersandcritics.com)

USNS Mercy Finishes 72 Days of Humanitarian Aid

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) Joseph Caballero, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Navy Newstand 2006-09-05

TIMOR SEA (NNS) -- The last of USNS Mercy’s (T-AH 20) patients returned to shore Sept. 1 as the ship prepared to make its journey home after completing 72 days of humanitarian aid to Southeast Asia. The U.S. Naval hospital ship Mercy began its five-month humanitarian and civic assistance deployment more than four months ago and has since reached thousands of people in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and East Timor. Mercy’s crew not only treated an unprecedented number of patients during a single deployment, but it also brought medical education, civil engineering, culture exchange, and most of all friendship to the people of the region, according to Capt. Bradley Martin, Mercy’s mission commander. “We’ve achieved a tremendous amount,” said Martin. “We’ve delivered care to almost 200,000 people. We’ve done lifesaving surgeries for people, and we’ve altered people’s lives in a lot of positive ways.” “Another thing that has been very important with this mission is that we have achieved a high level of interoperability with the NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and allied militaries,” continued Martin. “We’ve gotten a lot done, and I hope to foster and continue relationships with all these countries and their people.”

To carry out the medical side of its mission, Mercy tied together the skills of U.S. and foreign military medical specialists with doctors and nurses of nonprofit, charitable medical organizations, most of which operate independently in the region. The organizations working aboard Mercy included Project HOPE, Operation Smile, Aloha Medical Mission, Tzu Chi Foundation, International Relief Teams, the UCSD Pre-Dental Society and a number of host nation NGOs. Mercy’s military medical team consisted of U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army members, along with foreign military medical personnel from Canada, India, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. “We have all learned a lot from each other,” said Project HOPE Volunteer Michele Okamoto, a certified emergency nurse.

“As for Project HOPE, we were the first NGO to work this closely with the Navy, and that’s a real source of pride for all of us. We’re really grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way, because what Mercy has done is a great thing, and there should be a lot more of these (deployments) in the future.”

Mercy conducted a few operations each day at every location where teams conducted medical and dental civil action projects (MEDCAPs) and provided health care at local hospitals. The MEDCAPs, usually set up in remote villages, were used to treat minor illnesses and tooth decay ashore; when serious problems were encountered, the patients would be brought to the ship either by helicopter or small boat for further medical treatment or for surgery in one of Mercy’s operating rooms. Following treatment aboard the ship, patients would be monitored in a recovery room and then be moved to one of the intensive care units aboard. Patients and their escorts would wait to depart the ship in one of Mercy’s wards until they were fully recovered. One of Mercy’s last patients, Melina Barreto, expressed her thanks to those who helped her before she went home.

“It’s very lucky (for us) because you come here, and it’s free treatment for my baby,” said Barreto, an East Timorese who brought her 15-month-old child, Algira, to Mercy for surgery. “It’s very expensive for this surgery (at home). In our hospitals, our equipment is not complete. I would hope this ship could stay for a long time. I hope that you would come back here again.” At each port where the medical teams disembarked to treat the sick, teams of public health workers followed close behind to test each area’s water sanitation and examine the level of insect-borne diseases. In addition, the crew held classes to help improve current sanitation conditions, as well as exchange ideas on topics such as basic life support and neonatal resuscitation. In complement to the health-based services, Mercy’s crew of Seabees also helped out local communities by building and repairing infrastructure and hospital facilities, as well as installing various pieces of equipment. Mercy’s 15 Seabees are from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40, based out of Port Hueneme, Calif.

The Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) civil service mariners (CIVMARs) who operate and navigate the ship worked closely with the Seabees on many community relations projects ashore. According to Chief Construction Electrician Mike Gallagher, the assistant officer in charge of Mercy’s team of Seabees, he and the other Seabees benefited tremendously from the expertise of the CIVMARs. “Together with the CIVMARs, we have built a lot of things here and improved the quality of living for the people in the places we’ve visited,” said Gallagher. “But the most important thing we’ve built was friendship with the people we helped.” The U.S. Navy Showband, which deployed with Mercy, brought music to each of the countries Mercy visited. They played sets that included songs from classic to current to appeal to all ages of the audience. The band also held clinics and master classes for local aspiring musicians.

Mercy’s size made it much too large to moor pierside at many of the locations. In response, Mercy embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HCS) 25, which operated two helicopters that shuttled personnel and patients to and from shore sites. The vast majority of people were transported between ship and shore by two boats, called the ‘Band-Aids,’ run by Mercy’s CIVMARs. These boats transported more than 6,000 patients and personnel plus cargo. Mercy’s crew was also host to numerous guests and distinguished visitors, including the presidents of the Philippines and East Timor, U.S. ambassadors, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Surgeon General of the Navy, the U.S. Pacific Command commander and the Pacific Fleet commander. Mercy will return to her homeport of San Diego in late September where most of its military crew will return to the shore-side hospitals where they worked before the deployment, and the civilian volunteers will return to home. “It has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Hospitalman Melisa Espinosa, who worked in Mercy’s casualty receiving department, which is roughly equivalent to an emergency room. “I feel really lucky to be able to see all these parts of the world and be able to make new friends there. It has been one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’d definitely do this again in a heartbeat.” (Military Family Network)

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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