Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 7 March 2007

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

Wednesday, 07 March 2007



National Media Reports

State Is Not Implementing Dictatorship

MPs Josefa Pereira (Fretilin) and Rui Menezes (PD) believe that the means the State is applying to stop the violence in the country does not mean the beginning of dictatorship as Timor-Leste is an independent and democratic State. They said the country is heading towards anarchism and should not be tolerated. Pereira said that since the statement was made the situation is starting to settle and people are gaining their consciousness and respect for each citizen's right to live.

Deputy Speaker of the House, Jacob Fernandes reportedly said the statement of the President of the Republic to use force to stop the violence is constitutional as it would enable the country to return to normal conditions and put an end to the violence which has been increasing. (DN)

State's Decision To Use Force Follows The Condition

The decision taken by the State to use force against violent actions is based on the ongoing conditions and the existing penal code and it must be implemented professionally in the field, said Timorese human rights advocate, Aderito de Jesus Soares. According to de Jesus, the State's decision was clear and correct as some groups have not respected the State and continue to engage in public disturbances. Aderito is referring to President Xanana Gusmao's official address to the nation on Monday noting that the State would use force to put an end to violence in the country. (TP)

Major Alfredo Is In Good Condition

According to reports, the raid by the Australian-led international forces of the hideout of the Military Police Commander, Major Alfredo Reinado Alves in the southern town of Same has not affected Alfredo's psychical condition, said Alfredo's follower, Amaro da Costa alias 'Susar'. When questioned why he is not with Alfredo, Susar reportedly said that they separated during the attack. Another member who asked to remain anonymous also affirmed that Alfredo is in good condition and that they are in regular contact.

Susar has further stressed that as a smaller group than International Security Forces they managed to escape but that they are not afraid of ISF because they want to fight for the rights of the people. (TP)

Australia Rejects Support

An ISF officer in Dili rejects reports that Australia has sent one hundred SAS to Timor-Leste before the operation to apprehend Alfredo and his groups. "Not SAS but replacements," he said. Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Forces on Monday (05/3) refused to comment on whether SAS had been sent to Timor-Leste. However, The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday (05/3) reported that SAS had been sent to Timor-Leste.

ISF Arrest Galucho In Ermera

Nelson Galucho, one of UIR Officers who has been involved in Major Alfredo's group was arrested while on duty in the District of Ermera, Wednesday (28/2) in the afternoon in his residence in Gleno. Galucho was taken to Dili by ISP helicopter. However, due to pressure from the people and youth of Gleno, Galucho was taken back to Fatukero, Gleno, (01/3) at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Galucho's arrest followed information that he had weapons and fire arms which he gave to the petitioners. Galucho rejects such allegations. The detention of Galucho has been considered illegal by his supporters as the ISF did not have an arrest warrant to detain him. According to STL, ISF have apologized for the mistake and promised not to further arrest members of the petitioners or Alfredo's group. (STL)

5 Members Of Alfredo Died

ISF has reportedly found one more dead body of Alfredo's group in Same on Tuesday (06/3) raising the number to five people killed during Sunday's operation to apprehend Reinado on Sunday (4/3) morning. According to Timor Post, ISF Spokesperson reportedly said via mobile phone in Dili that the dead body has been identified as one of Alfredo's member killed during the operation based upon the authorities of Timor-Leste. He underlined that no ISF soldiers were wounded during the operation contrary to reports by some local media.

In the meantime, Antonio Caleres Junior, the Director of the National Hospital said that all the dead bodies have been autopsied and are waiting identification from the families. The five people killed are: Calistro Tilman, Deolindo Barros, Henrique Marques, Natalino Fereira alias Meta Kiak, and Quintao Tilman. (TP)

Local Government Activities Disrupted

The local government activities have been disrupted for about two weeks as the buildings were first occupied by Major Alfredo and his men then by the ISF, Timor Post correspondent in Same reported. TP correspondent in Same said that the situation is under control even though many government activities have not fully returned to normal. Brigadier General Mal Rerden said that the ISF priority is to help and assist Timor-Leste and the UN to stabilize a good environment in preparations for the election process in Timor-Leste. (TP)

Oecussi Court Not Functioning

Sebastiana Pereira, coordinator of Oecussi Women's Centre said the population of Oecussi has been unhappy about the court process, as it has not been functioning since January this year. According to Pereira, some of the court cases have been pending for the last 10 months. She said she does not want to blame the authorities in charge of the judicial system but there can be many factors contributing to the situation such as lack of accommodation, clean water and electricity which are keeping the prosecutors and judges from working in Oecussi. She said the population tends to approach the police, the head of village and the community’s elderly to resolve their problems nowadays, as they no longer trust the judicial system. (STL)

Court Verdict On Lobato's Case

According to schedule, the Court of Appeal and the Prosecutor's Office will announce the verdict on Lobato's case today (Wednesday). The verdict should have been announced on February 15, but it has been delayed, as the court required further time for an in-depth analysis of the statements by eyewitness on alleged distribution of guns by the former Minister of Interior to civilians. Based on UNTAET Regulations 5/2001, Lobato could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty. (DN)

Fretilin Mudansa Will Hold National Convention

Fretilin Mudansa will hold a national convention on March 17 to break away from Fretilin group of Lu-Olo and Alkatiri. Members of the group, Victor da Costa, Minister Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Luis Guterres and former Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia, Jorge Teme met with President Gusmao Tuesday to present their support to Ramos-Horta candidacy as well as the convention. Da Costa said the group would also discuss about Alfredo's case during the convention but would not reveal anything further about it. (DN)

CPD RDTL Must Register With STAE

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta has requested CPD RDTL members to register with STAE and not to use the ones they have in their possession now if they want to participate in the 2007 elections. Ramos-Horta told the group not to dispose of their cards but also not to use them. A few days ago it was reported in the media that Prime Minister Ramos-Horta had authorized CPD RDTL members to use their own registration cards to participate in the elections. (DN)

Rice Distribution In Baucau District

The Ministry of Development decided to increase the distribution of rice for sale in Baucau District to 35 tones as the first 15 tones was insufficient to cover the areas in need of food. The same amount of rice was also distributed to the district of Liquica. In Ermera, the government increased 20 tones of rice on Friday, making a total of 50 tones of rice distributed in that area. According to Timor Post, a 62-year-old man died as a result of food shortage in Trilolo, Baucau district. The man had been eating only palm flour and aidak fruit. Two babies also died as result of food shortages. They were dependant on only their mother's milk for over 40 days. (DN)

Government's Policy Will Not Normalize Food Shortages In Market

MP, Jose Nominando from Democratic Party said yesterday in the Parliament House that the government is trying to deceive the people by using ways of manipulating documents of imported rice.

He said such policy would not help normalize the rice shortages in the markets, adding that the government should be allocating imported rice to the stores in the capital Dili in order to sell them to the people.

Timor-Leste is facing rice shortages and the government has made efforts to distribute rice to sell in the capital and the districts. (STL)

International Media Reports

Calm in East Timor

Sky News, March 7, 2007

Calm has returned to Dili after riots rocked the East Timorese capital and resulted in more than a dozen aid workers leaving and foreigners being warned to leave the region as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has warned Australians they could be targeted after an Australian-led search for rebel leader Alfredo Reinado failed.

Four people were killed in the raid which then sparked violent protests from Reinado supporters.

A massive man hunt continues for the rebel leader.

East Timor's Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta blames his country's soft laws for the difficulty in quelling the protestors.

He says police are forced the release detainees after three days.

Reinado has been implicated in the violence last year which left 37 people dead and made 150,000 flee.

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