Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 05.06.07

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

Tuesday, 05 June 2007


National Media Reports

The UN strengthens electoral security after two fatal shootings in Viqueque

The acting chief of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) Eric Tan, said today that security in Viqueque is being revised following the death of two people in the district on Sunday (3/6).

The first incident occurred one hour after the completion of a National Congress for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) campaign rally in Viqueque town when a man from the nearby town of Ossu was fatally shot in a marketplace at 15.45, following an altercation between CNRT supporters and opponents. UNPol responded quickly and brought the situation under control with the use of tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowd.

The man was believed to have been shot by an off-duty PNTL officer and a search is underway to apprehend the suspect.

The second incident occurred when a group of CNRT supporters, accompanied by Mr Gusmao, returned the body of the deceased man to Ossu. Initial reports indicate that PNTL fired shots to control a crowd at a roadblock near Ossu. A 24-year old man was fatally shot and a second 16-year old youth was injured.

The CNRT political party is headed by the former President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao.

"We are treating both shootings seriously," said Eric Tan, the acting head of UNMIT.

"Initial investigations show that the first shooting happened an hour after the rally had concluded. Security was provided for the rally itself. The motivation of the killing is at this stage unknown," he said.

"Neither incident suggests an attempt on Mr Gusmão's life," Mr Tan said.

UNMIT's senior leadership attended a meeting convened by President José Ramos-Horta, with Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva, Minister of the Interior Alcino Barris, the International Stabilization Forces and the F-FDTL in Dili this morning.

The ISF has also deployed a platoon to the region. The United Nations will reinforce its security plan ahead of the June 30 election.

Timor-Leste's most senior leadership also insisted in today's meeting that retaliation for yesterday's event will not be tolerated and have again urged political supporters to remain calm and abide by democratic principles to ensure a free and fair election process, said Mr Tan. (STL)

The law of amnesty approved

At a plenary section of national parliament on Monday (04/6) presided over by vice president of national parliament, Jacob Fernandes and the permanent secretary, Francisco Carlos, approved law No. 30/I/5a regarding truth and measurement of clemency for diverse infractions.

A DN journalist observed that the members of national parliament from PD, PNT and PST who participated left the plenary before national parliament approved the law.

In response to the approved law, the member of national parliament from the Democratic Party (PD), Jose Nominando said that PD's principle has been clear that PD disagrees with a law of clemency or amnesty. (STL)

PNTL action considered barbarian after the Viqueque incidents

The president of PST, Nelson Tomas stated on Monday (4/6) at a press conference held in PST office Balide Dili related to the two fatal shooting in Viqueque, that four political parties namely, National Congress of Reconstruction Timor (CNRT), Democratic Party (PD), East Timor Socialist party (PST) and Coalition of PSD/ASDT considered that the action of the PNTL in Viqueque district as barbarian. (STL)

East Timor President accuses police over shootings

East Timor President José Ramos-Horta said it was police personnel who shot dead two activists during the campaign rallies for a new party headed by former East Timor President Xanana Gusmao.

A group of five armed men opened fire on Alfonso "Kuda Lay" Guterres at the rally by the National Congress of Reconstruction of Timor (CNRT) party in the eastern town of Viqueque on Sunday, he said.

Later in the evening, gunmen also killed another CNRT activist identified as Domingos in Ossu, also in Viqueque district. Another man was wounded in the attack, Mr Ramos-Horta said.

"They were CNRT elements who were shot dead by members of the PNTL (the national police)," Mr Ramos-Horta told journalists at the presidential palace.

He said the shooting incidents were "saddening" but were also "major crimes which should receive severe punishment."

"There is no impunity in this country," Mr Ramos-Horta said.

He said the incident had embarrassed the nation and the country since the police, who should be trusted by the people and able to safeguard the elections, had failed in their duty.

"Several members of the PNTL have engaged in crime ... We see that indiscipline is still very strong within the PNTL," the President said.

He said UN police had begun an investigation into the incident.

Campaigning kicked off last week for the crucial June 30 elections to choose a new prime minister and parliament.

The polls are expected to be a tough contest between the CNRT and Fretilin, which has dominated parliament since East Timor officially gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.

Several people were reportedly injured on Thursday when violence erupted between CNRT and Fretilin supporters at a campaign rally in the eastern city of Baucau, in the district of the same name.

Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem districts were strongholds of Fretilin, the former resistance movement. (STL)

CNE calls on public ministry investigating Viqueque case

The CNE spokesperson, Fr. Martinho Gusmão reportedly said that CNE considered the incident between Fretilin's supporters and CNRT's supporters in Viqueque district, Ossu on Sunday (3/6) as a crime.

CNE observes that a fatal crime occurred during the campaign and the public ministry should investigate this case because it has ruined the electoral campaign for the parliamentary election, said Fr. Gusmão. (STL)

Fatal shooting supporter of CNRT, police scape goat

The president of republic, José Ramos-Horta acknowledged that the PNTL will lose credibility as a result ofthe member of PNTL who shot the militant of CRNT to death in Viqueque district on Sunday (3/6).

I have had a discussion with the minister of interior, Alcino Barris, acting special representative of UN, Eric Tan, Commander of F-FDTL, Taur Matan Ruak, commander of the ISF, Brigadier Mal Rerden and the Prime Minister, Estanislau Aleixo da Silva on how to reinforce the security in electoral campaign since the police have lost the people's confidence," said Mr. Horta before departing to Indonesia on Monday (4/6) in Palacio da Cinzas Caicoli Dili. (TP)

Fatal shooting supporter of CNRT, Fretilin demands investigation

Ruling party Fretilin reportedly demanded that CNRT conduct an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of the CNRT supporter in Viqueque district on Sunday (3/6). (DN)

F-FDTL instructed, deploying in three eastern districts

In response to the conflict which happened on Sunday (3/6) after the rally of CNRT in Viqueque resulting in two fatal shootings, the president José Ramos Horta said on Monday (4/6) that he has ordered the commander of F-FDTL, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, to coordinate with International Stabilization Forces (ISF) to deploy F-FDTL in three districts namely Baucau, Lospalos and Viqueque in assuring security for such high risk places. (DN)

International Media Reports

Timor-Leste: UN bolsters electoral security after deadly shootings

UN News Center

4 June 2007 ? The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste is stepping up electoral security in the eastern city of Viqueque after two people were fatally shot over the weekend.

The first incident took place one hour after a campaign rally for the National Congress for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) concluded. Following altercations between CNRT supporters and their opponents, one man was shot dead in a marketplace. UN Police (UNPOL) responded quickly and used tear gas and fired warning shots to disperse the crowd.

According to the UN mission, known as UNMIT, the man is believed to have been shot by an off-duty officer of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and a search is under way to apprehend the person responsible.

The second deadly shooting occurred when a group of CNRT supporters, accompanied by former President Xanana Gusmão who heads the party, returned the body of the deceased man to his hometown of Ossu. Initial reports said that PNTL members fired shots to control a crowd and a 24-year-old man was killed while a 16-year-old was injured.

"We are treating both shootings seriously," said Eric Tan, UNMIT's acting head, adding that the motivation for the first killing is unknown. Neither incident appears to have targeted Mr. Gusmão, he noted.

Yesterday, UNMIT representatives were present at a meeting convened by President José Ramos-Horta, with Government authorities, the International Stabilization Force (ISF) and the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL).

The ISF has deployed a platoon to Viqueque while the UN will reinforce its security plan ahead of parliamentary elections later this month.

The Government also stressed that it will not tolerate retaliation for the shootings, and have reiterated their call for political supporters to remain calm, Mr. Tan said.

All 16 parties participating in this month?s election have signed a code of conduct that aims to foster a free and fair electoral process.

Mr. Ramos-Horta was sworn in late last month following two rounds of elections in April and May, beating out seven other candidates vying to lead the country, which the UN ushered to independence in 2002.

What's Next for Kurdistan? A question every American politician needs to address

By Christopher Hitchens

Posted Monday, June 4, 2007, at 11:19 AM ET

Source: Slate

I chanced last week to run into a senior staff member of UNAMI, which is the little-known (and somehow not very reassuring) acronym for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. You could read acres of news from that country as it undergoes everything that the death squads of the parties of God can inflict on a society, without ever being reminded that coalition forces are applying a U.N. mandate for the reconstruction and democratization of Iraq. The assaults by the Baathists and the Bin Ladenists on the U.N. presence have been especially vicious: The U.N. headquarters in Baghdad were utterly demolished by military-grade explosives three years ago, murdering among others the heroic Sergio Vieira de Mello, a senior U.N. peacemaker who was explicitly targeted by the Islamists for his role in overseeing the independence of "Christian" East Timor from "Muslim" Indonesia.

East Timor is not the only place where U.N.-mandated missions, backed by American force, have run into grave difficulty and seen expectations disappointed by local vandalism and tribalism, sometimes but not always abetted by outside powers. Things are not going very well in Haiti, either, or in Lebanon, where the U.N. tribunal on the assassination of the country's former elected leader has got off to a very poor start. The opposition of Hezbollah and the Syrian dictatorship to the idea is seconded by the votes of China and Russia?on the laughable grounds that the U.N. investigation, rather than the original murder and destabilization, would constitute an intervention in Lebanon's "internal affairs." (Syria does not even recognize Lebanon as an independent state, and meanwhile lends overt and covert help to the suicide gangs in Iraq, as does its Iranian senior partner, so it doesn't believe that the Lebanese people have any "internal affairs" in the first place.) Meanwhile, in the Palestinian territories, gang warfare and chaos and kidnapping and mayhem are more and more the rule and constitute a mockery of the huge and costly efforts of the European Union, the United Nations, and the wider multi power supervision of the United States and Russia.

Yet in only one of these cases is the clamour simply for withdrawal and capitulation. Even my friend in UNAMI essentially took the prevailing view that Iraq, and the Iraqis, should now be abandoned. His was a more tender-minded restatement of what I had read a few days before, when Rep. John Murtha?that highly sophisticated spokesman of the new Democratic majority?was asked his reaction to the possibility of a hellish post-withdrawal Baghdad. "They'd better get used to the idea" was the gist of his response.

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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