Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 February 2007
[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (email@example.com) have been removed.]
Daily Media Review
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS
National Media Reports
State Empowers ISF to Capture Alfredo
Timor-Leste government, President of the Republic and the National Parliament have empowered the ISF Forces to urgently capture Major Alfredo and his group in relation to the attack and the removal of weapons at the border police posts of Maliana and Suai on Sunday. Addressing the nation on Monday evening, the President of the Republic who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said there is no other way to resolve Alfredo’s problem since he has clearly shown that he does not respect the State or its institution by dismantling the Police Force. The President appealed to the population to sit quietly and cooperate in order for the operation to proceed smoothly. The President said everything had been done to resolve the problem of Alfredo through passive means in an attempt to avoid a military solution. He said that Alfredo has manipulated the situation by being inconsistent with what he says.
In relation to the attack, Minister of Interior Alcino Barris said an investigation will be carried out on the commander of the Border Patrol Unit (BPU) and his elements regarding the ransacked weapons. He said that he wants to know why the police didn’t react to the attack. Barris said, according to information he received, 18 men carried out the attack, which resulted in the loss of 25 weapons from the posts of Maliana and Lolotoe. He refused to further comment on the issue.
In the meantime, contacted by phone on Monday, Major Alfredo Reinado said that he did not steal weapons. He said he asked nicely for them from BPU officers to defend the population and that this can be confirmed with the police officers at the border. Alfredo said he has 16 weapons and not 18 as has been claimed by the Minister of Interior.
According to Timor Post, a source that refused to give a name, confirmed that three weapons from Salele-Suai were taken in an amicable way and not stolen. The source said that when Major Alfredo and his group arrived at the Salele post there were six BPU officers. Upon Alfredo’s request for the weapons to defend the population, three of the officers left their posts and guns behind which were then confiscated by Major Alfredo and the remaining three ran away from their post with their guns, the anonymous source said. (DN, TP, STL)
CNRT Party to Deceive the People: Alkatiri
Speaking in Oecussi during the swearing-in of Fretilin Special Region Monitoring Electoral Commission for Oecussi enclave, the party’s Secretary General Mari Alkatiri stated the he doesn’t want the party to sleep and take for granted that they’ve won the elections because some people who want to put down Fretilin are working on strategies to create a new party called the Timorese National Resistance Council (CNRT) which would also be a party to deceive the people. Alkatiri further said that right from the start the war against Timor-Leste was to make Fretilin disappear by killing Nicolau Lobato and his colleagues but despite that Fretilin continued to grow. He also underscored that the party no longer supports independent candidates for the presidential elections as they have their own. (STL)
Fretilin Gave Me a Three Leg Chair: Ramos-Horta
Ramos-Horta described his power in office since taken over the Premiership position as a three legged chair given to him by Fretilin to sit on. He asked how can one sit on a three-legged chair trying to balance without falling and with hot coal beneath the chair. He said that he had accepted the responsibility as Prime Minister due to the crisis and because the President of the Republic, Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) and the two Bishops had bestowed their trust in him. Speaking during a gathering in Laga to announce his decision to run for the Presidential elections Ramos-Horta told the people present in Laga, in Baucau District, that following the crisis of 28 April 2006, he alone traveled along the roads to see the situation, that he traveled to the airport to meet with the IDPs at different times of night, he persuaded people on the streets to return to their residents, visited the wounded from both UIR, PNTL and F-FDTL in the hospital and traveled to all the districts to reassure the presence of the State not seeking power or a seat. Ramos-Horta said some people have asked him to be accountable for his work as Foreign Minister and Cooperation to which he replied that the whole government must be accountable for the people. He said that under his leadership he had established good cooperation with Asia, Africa, Europe and North America and diplomatic ties in 101 nations. The Minister also praised the people in the districts for their maturity for not getting involved in the crisis that had only affected Dili. (STL)
Japan Government Financial Assistance For Elections
The government of Japan has decided to donate a total of US$723,000 to the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections through UNDP. According to a press communiqué received by Diario Nacional the financial assistant would help the implementation of the elections to proceed successfully. (TP)
RTTL News Headlines
Monday, 26 February 2007
Timor-Leste Asks International Forces To Capture Reinado
Prime Minister Ramos-Horta has asked the International Forces to capture Major Reinado and stated that the government has cancelled the negotiations with him. Ramos-Horta said the President of the Republic, the National Parliament, the Government and the international community would not tolerate someone destabilizing the nation, noting that he personally contacted the Indonesian President to tighten security at the border to stop Alfredo from crossing into Indonesia. The Prime Minister also said the international forces are ready to detain Alfredo. TVTL tried to contact Alfredo but did not succeed.
Peaceful Funeral Convoy
Plans to carry the bodies of the deceased men involved in the shooting incidents by the Australian Forces on Monday through some areas of capital Dili was not authorized by security. The bodies of the two people were taken back to their districts of Ossu/Viqueque and Baucau. About two thousand people participated in the march, chanting words against the Australian Forces
ISF Investigates Incident
Australian Forces commander Mal Rerden said the forces are carrying out their own investigation into the shooting incident and are also fully supporting UNPOL and the government investigations.
Republican Party Conference
The Republican Party held its first conference in the Manufahi on the weekend with the aim to elect members for its structures and prepare for the up-coming legislative elections.
International Media Reports
Australia to examine Timor shooting
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2007
19:12 MECCA TIME, 16:12 GMT
Australia has said there will be a full investigation into the shooting dead of two East Timorese nationals by Australian soldiers.
The two men died in a clash on Friday morning at a refugee camp near Comoro airport at Dili, the country's capital, and were buried on Monday.
The Australian Defence Force said its soldiers were attacked with steel arrows when they attended a disturbance at the camp.
Al Jazeera's Hamish MacDonald, reporting from Dili, said those living inside the camp deny any responsibility for escalating the situation.
The incident was the first confirmed fatal shooting by foreign peacekeepers since they arrived in the East Timor last June.
There has been a recent surge in violence ahead of presidential elections in April.
Peter Lindsay, Australia's defence secretary, told ABC's Radio Australia on Monday: "Frustrations were clearly boiling over at the airport and we've seen this unfortunate two deaths now.
"Our troops operate on very strict rules of engagement. They will never fire unless they're operating under those rules and unless they're physically and personally threatened.
"There will be a full investigation, we'll get to the bottom of that with a view to try to make sure that circumstances are such that we can mitigate that in the future."
At one point, Monday's funeral procession headed along Dili's main road towards the heavily fortified Australian embassy.
Portuguese police, here under the UN peacekeeping mission, diverted the march, managing to avoid any clashes.
MacDonald said: "The anger being displayed here today is symptomatic not just the anger over the shooting incident, but also growing resentment towards the international security presence here in East Timor."
Agosta Dacosta Soares, one of the victim's brother, told Al Jazeera: "You can ask everyone here, we all want the Australian troops out."
Lindsay said there were no plans to withdraw soldiers from East Timor.
He said: "My understanding is we're going to be in Timor for a long time trying to help that very poor country establish itself and be a successful country."
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
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]
UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org
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