Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 August 2007

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


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National Media Reports

5 PNTL members involved in Viqueque and Uatolari case

The Public Ministry has indicated that there are five members of PNTL among the suspects allegedly involved in arson in Uatolari, Viqueque district.

Speaking to the journalists on Tuesday (28/8), the Attorney-general, Longuinhos Monteiro said that the five members of the PNTL are on duty in Uatolari, Viqueque district.

"The Public Ministry will ask police in Viqueque to investigate, and if PNTL members are involved in this action, then a new team should be established for the purposes of further investigation," said Mr. Monteiro. (STL)

Ramos Horta: need to see the human factor in Alfredo's case

Within the meeting of High Level Committee, President Jose Ramos-Horta officially presented the case of Alfredo Reinado and petitioners to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão in order to find solutions.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting on Tuesday (28/8) in Presidential Palace Caicoli, Dili, President Horta said that the human issue should not be forgotten when dealing with Reinado and the petitioners, since they are all human beings. (STL and TP)

Atul Khare: groups organized the violence in Viqueque and Baucau

The SRSG in Timor Leste, Atul Khare stated that the violence in Viqueque and Baucau districts was not spontaneous, but organized by some groups.

"It happened due to the lack of knowledge on constitutional interpretation from the political leaders," said Mr. Khare in a meeting with the political leaders in Baucau district on Thursday (23/8).

He explained that the role of the leaders is to ensure the democratic process continue in the country.

Mr. Khare also called on the political leaders to cooperate with each other to contribute to the country’s development. (STL)

Jailed police will not be activated

The PNTL Interim Commander, Afonso de Jesus, stated that based on the law governing the PNTL, the members of PNTL who are in jail due to violence will not be activated.

"It is obviously that in the discipline law governing PNTL there is an article that allows PNTL officer to be on duty after fulfilling a sentence of more than about three years," said Mr. Afonso on Tuesday (28/8) in Caicoli, Dili.

Currently the secretary of state for defence affairs is looking at revising the law. (STL)

Autonomist and nationalist jargon kills the reconciliation

The member of national parliament from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Mario Viegas Carrascalao said that the autonomist and nationalist jargon used by political leaders could ruin and kill the spirit of reconciliation.

"Mr. Xanana himself raised reconciliation and peace for all Timorese, so whoever uses these words wants to separate people," said MR. Mario. (STL)

30 August, some ministries and state secretaries sworn in

The empty seats in the Alliance government will be filled on 30 August.

According to the schedule, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao will swear in the Minister and secretary of state on 30 august in Nobre Palace Lahane, Dili.

"The swearing in will be held on 30 August, in the afternoon," said Mr. Gusmao after the meeting of the High Level Committee in the Presidential Palace Caicoli, Dili. (STL)

UNPol seizes weapons document

The joint team comprising the Attorney-general, Longuinhos Monteiro, UNPol and PNTL over the last two weeks seized secret documentation registering the purchase of weapons in Bazartete, Liquica district.

"This document has been directly seized by Mr. Longuinhos, UNPol and PNTL" said an unknown source in last few days.

According to the source there are also other goods together with the document such as three passports with one name from Mozambique, one pistol, a uniform of the URP and some other unidentified articles.

Speaking to journalists on Friday (24/8) the Attorney-general Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro acknowledged that evidence had been seized and that they will conduct further investigation. (TP)

Alfredo's status will be determined after the dialogue

The secretary of the State of Defence affairs, Julio Thomas Pinto affirmed that Alfredo's status will be determined after having dialogue.

"Alfredo's status will discussed after dialogue, but talking about status it is the competency of the commander based on the law, not politicians," said Mr. Pinto on Tuesday (28/8) in Memorial Hall Farol, Dili.

According to Mr. Julio, the president's position on Alfredo and the petitioners is to create a task force along with the national parliament. (TP)

Prosecutor identifies suspects of violence in Baucau and Viqueque

The Prosecutor-general has identified 11 suspects in Viqueque and 57 in Baucau following the violence that broke out in the eastern part of the country, resulting in many victims.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday (28/8) in Caicoli, Dili the Attorney-general, Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro stated that the prosecutor general has established a team for one week to conduct such activities.

"We have identified 11 suspects in Viqueque and 57 in Baucau. The 23 suspects in Baucau have been put in preventive prison to enable the case to proceed promptly," said Mr. Monteiro. (TP)

Downer to participate in the Timorese Popular Consultation Day

The Australian Minister of Cooperation and Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer will visit Timor-Leste for Timor-Leste's 8th Popular Consultation Day on 30 August, according to the Prime Minster of RDTL's secretary on Tuesday (28/8).

The secretary also said that Mr. Downer will visit Timor-Leste to participate in Timor-Leste's historical day to gain independence.

Mr. Downer will also hold a meeting with all political leaders of the country to discuss the current security situation in Timor-Leste, after participating in a ceremony of popular consultation day, Mr. Downer reportedly will visit Australian soldiers in Caicoli, Dili. (TP and STL)

OJETIL: using force never solves conflicts

The Youth and Student Organisation of Timor-Leste (OJETIL/Organizasaun Juventude Estudantes Timor Leste) reportedly called on President José Ramos-Horta not to use international forces as the instrument to solve the current conflict and disturbances in Timor-Leste.

Speaking to journalists in a press conference on Tuesday (28/8) in Dili, Vice president of OJETIL, Liurai Tasi, affirmed that president should focus on dialogue to find a solution for such conflicts.

Mr. Liurai Tasi added that President should immediately take measures against the Aussie soldiers that did not respect the Fretilin flag. (TP)

International Media Reports

Army chiefs insist 'faulty' weapons are fine 5:00AM Wednesday August 29, 2007 By Greg Ansley The New Zealand Herald

CANBERRA - Australian and New Zealand Army chiefs have rejected claims they are putting troops in the way of danger armed with unreliable weapons.

Using documents obtained under freedom of information laws, Channel Seven reported that the Steyr rifles used by both armies were subject to locking, jamming and misfiring in the harsh conditions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Austrian-designed, Australian-made Steyr is the two armies' standard infantry weapon and the backbone of combat forces deployed on operations from Timor Leste to the Middle East.

It equips many of the 3500 Australian troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Timor Leste and the Solomons, and most of the more than 300 New Zealanders serving in similar deployments. Channel Seven said the Australian Army was further plagued by problems with pistols used by its special forces and with heavy 50 calibre machine guns.

The network said up to 20 per cent of Steyr rifles on operational duty with Australian troops were rated "unsatisfactory", that there were 44 serious failures of war stocks of ammunition - including hand grenades, bullets and rockets - in the two years to last March, and that SAS soldiers had been sent to war with faulty equipment. This included main weapon mounts on patrol vehicles, eight 50 calibre machine guns with key parts missing, and unreliable handguns.

Steyr rifles have previously come under fire, when former Australian Army Lt Colonel Kevan Wolfe, then editor of Asia Pacific Defence Reporter, claimed there were 78 accidental firings during the first deployment to Timor Leste after the former Indonesian province voted for independence.

But Wolfe said the fault lay with poor training rather than the rifle itself, which he described as a good weapon.

The Australian Army yesterday rebutted the report, which it said had been based entirely on selective and exaggerated use of information taken from reports on defective on unsatisfactory material submitted by soldiers after checking their weapons.

It said the weapons mounts on SAS vehicles had been modified and were operating effectively in Afghanistan, and that 44 faults had been reported from more than 10 million items of explosives ordnance issued this year.

The army said only three reports had been submitted on the Steyr rifle since 2005, each relating to minor faults.

The unit which had submitted one of the reports in December last had used 400 weapons over four months but had replaced spring kits in only 14 guns.

"This is not excessive and is considered part of the normal maintenance and repair regime," the Army said.

New Zealand Land Component Commander Brigadier Rhys Jones said Kiwi troops used the Steyr in operations from the tropics to Afghanistan but had not encountered any significant problems.

NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional (DN) Semanario Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)


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