Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 13 June 2007

Tuesday, 13 June 2007


National Media Reports

Gambling is not allowed by the government

The Government of East Timor has never issued licenses for private businesses to operate casinos in the country.

The issue of illegal gambling was raised after some companies misused their business licenses for gambling purposes.

"Some businesses misused their licenses to operate illegal gambling activities. These businesses should respect the country's laws," said the Chief of the Business Registration Department at the Ministry of Development, Domingas da Costa Guterres, on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (STL and TP)

51 Australian Police are awarded with UN peacekeeping medals

The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) headed by Atul Khare awarded 51 members of the Australian UNPol contingent with UN peacekeeping medals.

The SRSG and UNPol Commissioner Tor presided over the ceremony held at the Hotel Timor in Dili on 12 June. (STL)

Claudio Ximenes reappointed to Head Court of Appeals

President Jose Ramos-Horta officially swore in Claudio de Jesus Ximenes as President of the Court of Appeals for the period 2007-2012.

Ximenes said that during the next term he will look into the human rights programme which started in 2004. (STL, TP and TVTL)

Horta: "Alfredo confuses me"

President Jose Ramos-Horta said that the recent demands made by the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado, and the petitioner's Spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha, for the state to hold a dialogue with him soon have confused him and the two Bishops.

Horta said that a dialogue would require collaboration between Alfredo's group and the state.

"The state wants to organize a meeting but now Alfredo and his men want to do something else," said Mr. Horta on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (TP)

Illegal Gambling, SRSG, Atul Khare congratulated the Police

Last Saturday afternoon, Timorese police officers led a successful operation to quash illegal gambling rings in Dili, with the support of United Nations police and the International Stabilisation Force (ISF).

The operation began at 1745hrs, with police and ISF cordoning off several roads in Dili and raiding three illegal gambling venues in central Dili.

Each gambling hall was found to have more than 50 gambling machines. In total, police seized 259 machines and US$20,000 in cash. Ninety people were arrested for identification, and a further four were detained and are facing charges. Police also seized a pen gun, 9mm ammunition and a glock magazine from one owner's residence.

Atul Khare, the head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), congratulated the police for their work over the past couple of weeks:

"The success of this operation demonstrates the excellent cooperation between UNPol and the PNTL, supported by the ISF. To arrest 94 people so soon after apprehending the person responsible for the killing in Viqueque last week demonstrates the growing strength of the security sector of Timor-Leste. These sorts of operations will continue."

PNTL took the lead for planning Operation 'Elliot Ness', which began over two months ago. It involved 20 PNTL officers and 24 UNPol Officers. Four platoons of ISF were also present to provide a security cordon and logistics support.

Gambling is illegal in Timor-Leste.

International Media Reports

ASIA/EAST TIMOR ­ Returnee refugee crisis continues: local Church appeals to civil authorities

Dili, 13 June 2007(Agenzia Fides) - The crisis of returnee refugees in East Timor seems nowhere near a solution.

"Some 30,000 displaced persons are living in 51 camps in the capital Dili and another 70,000 have moved to districts where they live in extended families or in small camps. Although the total number has been reduced the situation still weighs heavily on the infrastructures of the young nation," said director of JRS Jesuit Refugee Service Australia, Fr. David Holdcroft SJ.

The situation degenerated in March 2006 when members of the armed forces were involved in episodes of violence endangering law and order. In May last year 2,000 Australian, New Zealand and Portuguese policemen and a contingent of peacekeepers were deployed in East Timor. They were eventually replaced by UN peacekeepers.

"With the political crisis solved it was hoped the displaced persons would return home. But now the government and NGOs realise that the causes of the exodus were more complex and profound: intergenerational land disputes, poverty and high unemployment rate," Fr. Holdcroft added.

Many returning families have neither home nor land and they need to be resettled. Evacuation to outlying areas put enormous pressure on smaller communities and there is a danger of new conflict and exodus.

The Church in East Timor has urged the civil authorities to take adequate measures to solve the refugee crisis. Since 1999 JRS is very active in assisting the affected people together with Salesians and local NGOs.

(PA) (Agenzia Fides 8/6/2006 righe 25 parole 258)

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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