Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 16 January 2007

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


National Media Reports

Swearing-In Of Members of Commission

Members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) were sworn-in yesterday in a ceremony held at the National Parliament. Dr. Faustino Cardoso Gomes, who was elected as the President of the Commission, told the media that the team is composed of people with elevated capacity that can carry the work effectively. One of the topics the commission would discuss, is its own budget, said Gomes. Addressing the ceremony, Speaker of the House, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo" reminded members of the commission that the role of the NEC is to also assure equal treatment of the citizens in the census and electoral process as well as equal opportunities and the freedom for the candidates to campaign during the elections. A total of 27 people, 15 effectives and 12 substitutes are part of NEC. Bishop Basilio do Nascimento said the swearing-in of the NEC members is a positive step towards the democracy process in Timor-Leste. (DN, TP)

KOTA Doubts Fretilin's Win

The Statement of Fretilin's Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri affirming that his party will win the 2007 elections with absolute majority has been rejected by opposition parties like PSD, KOTA and UDT. Clementino do Amaral of KOTA said he doubts Fretilin will win with the majority of the voting, noting that politically, members of the parties can make such statement provided that they do not distribute guns to destroy their own people. Amaral further said the Timorese people have woken up and are aware of the developments of the government in the country in the past five years. (DN)

MPs Rejects CVA Recommendations

The recommendation of Comissao Verdade e Acolhimento, (CVA) for amnesty to the authors of human rights violations in Timor-Leste has been rejected by MPs Cipriana Pereira (Fretilin) and Maria Paixao (PSD). Both are of the opinion that the sufferings of the victims should be considered and that the authors must face justice. Pereira stated that the last decision would be from the Parliament following consultation with the Timorese people on the recommendation. Paixao said the justice process is the solution to identify who had been right or wrong. (DN)

Court Proceedings

The presence of armed F-FDTL members in the court can be interpreted that militarism is on the rise, said MP Clementino Amaral of KOTA. He said solidarity shown to the three members of F-FDTL on their preliminary court hearings by their colleagues in uniforms and armed, would give a bad image to the country, hence appealed to Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak and other officials of the Defence Force not to allow the same attitude to be repeated.

Fr. Martinho Gusmao said the presence of armed members of the Timorese Defence Forces in the court has violated the public services ethics. Jose Luis Oliveira, Director of Hak Association is of the opinion that the presence of some members of F-FDTL in the court last Friday in uniform and armed, gives a negative impact to the country.

Three members of F-FDTL who had been on preventive detention requested the Deputy Minister of Justice, Isabel Ferreira to speed up their case and not to delay it like the case of Oan Kiak and Abilio Mausoko, following a visiting meeting with them.

The three have expressed that their detention would serve as an example to better the justice system in the country and want to seek the truth. Following the meeting with the three military members, Isabel Ferreira informed them that Brigadier General Ruak have asked two layers, Sanches and Jose Guterres to take overt and focus on their case since lawyer Paulo Remedios has a very tight agenda.

Timor Post reported that the court would call all the people whose name has been mentioned during the trial in relation to allegations of distribution of guns. Paulo Martins and police agent Pascoal Ximenes are some of the people scheduled to appear in court. (TP, DN, STL)

Alfredo Schedule To Meet PM

Major Reinado Alfredo told Timor Post that he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Ramos-Horta on Tuesday as a continuation to previous meeting to try and resolve the current crisis. He did not reveal the agenda of the meeting, saying he was still waiting confirmation from the Prime Minister's office. Questions have also been raised on the bazooka in Alfredo's possession. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 14/1, the Australian Defence Force has lost a similar type of weapon from its security centre and there are doubts it might have falling into the hands of the terrorists. (TP)

Majority Of IDP's Are From The East

Based on the data from the Public Works Ministry, the majority of a total of 3000 IDPs who have decided to return to the districts, are from the eastern part of the territory, said Deputy Minister of Public Works, Raul Mousaco. He said those who have returned included public servants who hold jobs in the capital, adding the reason for their return is due to the security situation. He said the government is working to strengthen security in the neighborhoods.

Meanwhile Bishop Basilio asked why there continues to be the lack of capacity to maintain law and order in Dili, despite the increasing number of international forces and PNTL officers. Basilio said that in the districts it has been peaceful but in Dili only four or five neighborhoods has kept the capital awake. He added that many people have questioned that if there are so many numbers of police including PNTL why can't they contain the situation in Dili. (TP)

RTTL news headlines

Prime Minister returns to Timor-Leste from ASEAN meeting

Prime Minister Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta returned from ASEAN meeting in Cebu Philippines. Speaking to journalists yesterday Ramos-Horta said that Timor-Leste received a special invitation from the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers of ASEAN to participate in the meeting. "The presence of Timor-Leste was important to prepare ourselves to be member of ASEAN in the near future," said Horta. He also stressed that security is an issued considered extremely important for any country to be part of the ASEAN membership. Therefore he invites everyone in the country to fill in the security requirement before joining the forum. During his visit, he added that he met with 10 heads of States including both Presidents and Prime Ministers and held a separate bilateral meeting with the President of the Philippines to sign the cooperation agreement in the area of education.

Two witnesses present their testimony in the court

Rogerio Lobato, the former Minister of Interior cour proceedings continued with statements from two members of PNTL namely Carlos da Costa and Afonso do Santos as new witnesses. According to TVTL, Da Costa was asked by Lobato to distribute the uniform and cars to the group of Railos. Do Santos was questioned by the judge on how he handled the petitioners during the demonstration and the incident in front of the office of Minister of Justice on 25 May 2006. At the time, Carlos da Costa was serving as the messenger of Rogerio Lobato while Afonso do Santos was responsible for PNTL Operational Command in handling the demonstration held by the petitioners in front of the Palace of Government from 23 - 28 October 2006.

Preventive Prison for Lobato

The National Movement for Peace and Justice, expressed their discontentment on how the court is handling the trial of Rogerio Lobato. They lamented that why can't the court change the status of Lobato from suspect to accused. The Movement spokesperson, wants the court to change the status of Lobato from suspect to accused and put him in a preventive prison in order to avoid manipulations of facts and other maneuvers as well as protecting the evidence for truth and justice. They also demand the court to immediately bring in the new witnesses like Mr. Mari Alkatiri and Paulo Martins. The same movement suggested to the court to have a professional translator in order to ensure clear translation message to the victims, the accused, witnesses and those presence in the court proceeding room.


Jakarta, 15 Jan. (AKI) - Indonesian soldiers and militia accused of atrocities in the former province of East Timor in 1999, could receive an amnesty if they only admit their guilt and ask for forgiveness. Launching the proposal is the "Commission for Truth and Friendship", an organisation created by the two countries at the beginning of 2005 to help them heal the wounds of the past through reconciliation.

According to reports in the Australian media, in the next six months, the Commission is expected to invite 70 people to discuss what happed in Dili, the East Timorese capital soon after the former Indonesian province voted for independence in an United Nations sponsored referendum in 1999.

Reports said that civilian militia supported by Indonesian soldiers killed at least 1,200 people and destroyed a large part of the infrastructure in the small country.

Among the people expected to be invited include the former Indonesian president B. J. Habibie, the East Timorese leader Xanana Gusmao, and the former head of the Indonesian armed forces, General Wiranto.

Experts have said that the Commmission does not have the power to guarantee the amnesty but only to suggest it.

In any case, both Indonesia and East Timor have tried to remember the past and look to the future and many believe that the requests have been agreed to by both governments.

Indonesia invaded East Timor - now also known as Timor Leste ­ in 1975, with the tacit approval of the United States, Australia and Britain.

According to a report published by the Commission for Truth and Friendship in October 2006, during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation, 183,000 Timorese were either killed, or disappeared or even died of hunger following the operations by the Indonesian troops. (ADNKRONOSInternational)

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]


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