Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 16 March 2007

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

Friday, 16 March 2007



National Media Reports

Mal Rerden: “People Who Support Alfredo, Against Law and Order”

The Commander of International Stabilisation Forces (ISF) Mal Rerden said that the people who join, support or cooperate with Major Alfredo Reinado will be working against the laws of Timor Leste.

Rerden said that Alfredo Reinado is a fugitive and people who join or cooperate with him will be breaking the law. He said Alfredo’s attitude is complicating ISF’s operation. Rerden appealed to all Timorese to cooperate with the ISF to apprehend Reinado and his group of supporters. (DN)

Atul Khare: “Alfredo Reinado Has to Choose 2 Options”

The Special Representative for the Secretary General (SRSG) Atul Khare has said that Alfredo Reinado can choose two options which have been presented by the Government of Timor Leste, the United Nations and the ISF. He said the first is for him to submit himself peacefully to the judicial process and the second is to be arrested by the ISF.

According to Khare the UN mission in Timor Leste will not waiver from these two options as the mandate of UNMIT does not permit the UN to create the impunity in this country. (DN)

UE Send 32 Observers to Timor Leste

The Ministry of Cooperation and Foreign Affairs reportedly held a Ceremony to sign an Intendment Accord it and the European Union regarding electoral observers for the 2007 elections. The Accord was signed by Minister Jose Luis Gutteres and the Representative of European Union n Timor Leste Gugliemo Colombo.

Minister Guterres said that the Accord will ensure international observers may observe the Presidential and Parliamentary elections and to ensure that the election will be free, fair and transparent. Mr Colombo said that EU will send 32 observers for the Presidential Election and 60 for Parliamentary election across all 13 districts including Dili. The members are from 27 nations within the European Union with experience as independent observers. (DN)

State Demands Alfredo to Surrender

The Government of Timor Leste is maintaining its position demanding that Alfredo Reinado disarm and submit himself to justice. The Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta made the comments at a press conference on yesterday at the Government Palace.

Horta declared that the decision of Government has been clear and that there is no dialogue. He said that the position of Government is clear which is that Alfredo has to disarm and submit himself to justice. (TP)

F-FDTL Will Be Allocated to All Unsafe Places in Dili

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence and Security Jose Ramos Horta has announced that the decision of State, which is supported by the President of Republic Xanana Gusmão, to deploy the F-FDTL to provide security in Dili has been taken in consultation with the United Nations. Horta said the F-FDTL is able to provide security.

According to Horta, the F-FDTL will be allocated to trouble spots and prevent those who are indulging in violence to create daily disturbances in the Capital. Horta said maintained that the F-FDTL can perform security tasks despite some organisations expressing their concern. Horta said the State will find the way how to ensure cooperation between the F-FDTL and PNTL and the ISF and UNPOL. (TP)

If the State accepts the conditions, Alfredo Reinado will surrender

The Lawyer for Alfredo Reinado has guaranteed that if State accepts the proposal for surrender without reservation, his client will disarm and submit himself to the justice. Benevides Correia Barros made the comments at the Hotel Timor yesterday.

Benevides said that if State doesn’t agree this client will not surrender. Benevides added that under the proposal, Reinado wants home detention, akin to Rogerio Lobatoand Mari Alkatiri and State has to maintain security for him. (TP)

Alfredo Prefer to Die than To Be Imprisoned

The lawyer for Reinado Benevides has told local media, that his client wants a peaceful resolution. He said that without a thorough investigation, his client would prefer than go to prison. Reinado is insisting upon house arrest. (STL)

Major Rerden: Alfredo Is No More a Threat for Security

Commander of the Australian-led international forces, Brigadier Mal Rerden declared that Alfredo is not a significant threat for security. He said that Alfredo supporters are becoming weaker and less able to seek support. The ISF is continuing their operation to apprehend Alfredo and his members. In order to accomplish the mission, Major Rerden, has asked for community support by providing information about where Alfredo Reinado and his supporters may be hiding. (STL)

Bishop Alberto: Honest Figure Able to be President

Dili Diocese Bishop’s said that the next East Timor president will be an honest figure. Among those eight registered for the upcoming Presidential Election, he said the winner should be a person of honesty if the people are to trust that person to represent them. He said such candidates should be be honest and seek unity. (STL)

International Media Reports

Reinado fired on Aussie troops first: Brigadier


March 16, 2007

East Timor's fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado fired on Australian troops before they shot back, killing five of his supporters, Australia's military commander in the country says. Brigadier Mal Rerden yesterday said Australian troops, who had Reinado surrounded at his mountain base earlier this month, did everything they could to convince him to surrender. But when the rebels began firing their weapons, the Australians had to make a snap decision, and that was to return fire, Rerden said.

"Reinado's group had used their weapons and were threatening," said the brigadier, who also heads the International Security Forces in East Timor. "In these life and death situations, split second decisions are to be made," he said when asked if his elite troops had any choice but to return fire. “Even with night vision we can't distinguish an arm and a leg at 50 meters, it's not realistic.” A separate source said one of four Black Hawk helicopters used in the raid at the south-coast town of Same was hit by small arms fire and had to land prematurely. Rerden said his troops had acted entirely within their rules of engagement, and had given Reinado, who escaped, every chance to surrender. Troops had even used a loud-hailer calling on the rebel and his supporters to surrender.

Rerden described the March 4 raid, which involved four helicopter gun ships, armored cars and scores of heavily-armed SAS troops, as one of "minimal force necessary in the circumstances". He said the Australian force would co-operate fully with a United Nations police investigation into the Same deaths and had already submitted its own report to the UN and the Timorese government. Dubbed Operation Astute, the Australian hunt for Reinado is ongoing, with "wanted" posters issued on Thursday for the rebel leader and five other men.

Rerden, eager to limit any negative fallout from the Same deaths, has been dedicating some of his time to local press briefings aimed at dispelling what he said were false claims about the Australian operation. Those false claims included that an unarmed civilian was killed. Rerden described Reinado's interview this week on the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program as showing "exactly the images I expect of a fugitive - worn, gaunt, lacking food, under stress". He said there would be no compromises where Reinado was concerned, and that a proposal by his lawyers for his surrender under certain conditions was unacceptable. The proposal has also been rejected by East Timor's government. Reinado had only one option, surrender and be jailed, Rerden and UN mission chief Atul Khare told Timorese journalists when they asked if they would take up an offer of mediation by the Catholic Church. Reinado's lawyers have proposed surrender based on several conditions. Under their proposal, the rebel leader would face a reduced number of charges, including attempted murder and revolt against the state, but excluding illegal arms possession and desertion from the army. Reinado was a leader in last year's factional fighting among the military and police, which spilled into Dili's streets in violence that killed at least 37 people and sent about 155,000 fleeing to refugee camps. AAP


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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