Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 May 2007

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

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

UNMIT ­ MEDIA MONITORING

THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS

National Media Reports

Nothing alternative, president of republic promulgate alteration law

The president of republic, Jose Manuel Ramos Horta has approved the alteration of electoral legislative, which was amended by the national parliament from ruling party Fretilin.

According to Mr. Horta, prior to making the decision he onsulted with UNMIT, political parties, civil societies and church about the advantages and disadvantages of the changes.

Mr. Horta said there was no alternative. (STL, TP and STL)

529.198 voters will vote in parliamentary election

According to the information gained by DN from STAE on Monday (28/5), there are 529,198 total voters who will vote in parliamentary election on June 30. Of those, 271,671 voters are men and 257,527 are women.

There are also 3% of new registration (3426 voters) and the majority from the members of CPD-RDTL. (DN)

Eric Tan-Alcino Barris: “Police will guarantee security in parliamentary campaign”

The DSRSG, Mr. Eric Tan said on Friday (25/5) while attending the inauguration monument of PNTL in front of ministry of justice, that UNPol and PNTL is ready to assure security in parliamentary election across the country.

In the mean time minister interior, Alcino Barris said that UNPol and PNTL will also guarantee security in during the legislative campaigning period. (DN)

UNMIT will renovate PNTL

The DSRSG, Mr Eric Tan declared that on Friday (25/5) while attending the inauguration monument of PNTL in front of ministry of justice, that UNMIT will renovate PNTL to be the pride for all Timorese in the future. (DN)

UNMIT welcomes political parties’ commitment to a free and fair June 30 election

The head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has welcomed the signing of a document that harnesses the collective will of all political parties to a free and fair June 30 election.

Importantly, the Political Party Accord also covers basic principles of governance after the elections. It commits all parties to a constructive and inclusive democratic process for the new government and opposition.

The Accord has the agreement of all 16 political parties in Timor-Leste.

The head of UNMIT, Mr Atul Khare congratulated all parties for their participation and willingness to reach an agreement.

“The Accord commits the winning party to representing the voices of the majority while listening to and accommodating the needs of the minority. It will also ensure that the minority will adopt a constructive role as a dynamic opposition capable of providing democratic checks and balances.

The new parliament will need a strong and vibrant opposition to ensure that democracy continues to mature in Timor-Leste,” Mr Khare said.

“In the Accord, the pasties commit themselves to ensure that this takes place.”

Also in Dili on Friday, the political parties signed a “Code of Conduct” that commits all parties, their candidates, their representatives and supporters to accept the results, or to challenge them only in competent courts; and to campaign positively through programmes of action not personal criticism of other candidates.

The Code of Conduct was drafted and approved by the national authorities charged with running the parliamentary election.

“Today’s signings demonstrate clearly the agreement of all political parties to play their role freely, fairly and transparently not just during the campaign and voting period, but in the formation of the new parliament and the opposition,” Mr Khare said. (STL)

PDC campaigns in Ainaro

The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) held its first campaign in Ainaro today specially in Rau Husar Suco Aituto; sub-district Maubisse.

The location was chosen for the because Ainaro is the center of “ancient” Timor-Leste and also the home of the party’s parliamentary leader Euclides G da Silva. (STL)

Branco: “nothing facts of Leaders’ communists ideology implementation”

In response to accusations from Alfredo Reinado Alves that communists ideology is being implemented in Timor Leste, the KOTA member of national parliament, Clementino dos Reis Amaral has said that some leaders’ attitudes seem like the doctrine of communists.

However the member of the national parliament from the ruling party Fretilin, Francisco Miranda Branco, said that there aren’t facts or evidence related to such an accusation. (STL)

International Media Reports

Goff to go on night patrol while in East Timor

5:05PM Monday May 28, 2007

Phil Goff

New Zealand Herald

Defence Minister Phil Goff will go on a night patrol with the army while in East Timor.

Mr Goff heads to East Timor tonight to visit New Zealand Defence Force personnel and police working there, as well as East Timorese officials.

Mr Goff said he would visit Defence Force troops and police officers who had been working to achieve security and stability in East Timor.

"While with the New Zealanders I will accompany New Zealand army personnel on a night patrol in Dili."

Mr Goff will meet with newly-elected President Jose Ramos-Horta, whom he has known for almost 20 years, care-taker Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva and senior military and United Nations officials.

This will be Mr Goff's second visit to East Timor in his role as defence minister. "... I am looking forward to returning and getting a first hand understanding of the current political and security situation."

He will be in East Timor from May 29-31.

Mr Goff will then go to Singapore for the 6th Asian Security Summit, commonly known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, from June 1-3.

The dialogue was the key forum for discussing public policy on defence and security in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Goff said. Delegates from 26 countries were taking part and he would meeting with counterparts from Australia, Singapore, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Germany. NZPA

Peacekeeper from Philippines injured in East Timor clash May 28, 2007 | 3:21 pm Davao Today

MANILA ­ The Philippine Mission to the United Nations announced that a female Filipino police officer serving with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Timor Leste was reported injured in a civil disturbance in the capital Dili on 20 May 2007.

In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., identified the injured peacekeeper as Jimeli Valera Acuna, 32, of Taytay, Rizal, and a member of the Philippine police contingent serving with the UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT).

Ambassador Davide said the Philippine Mission learned about the incident from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), which reported on 24 May 2007 that Acuna suffered bruises in the shoulder after she was hit by a rock from a crowd of displaced Timorese who attacked UN peacekeepers in Dili on Sunday, 20 May.

Ambassador Davide said the incident took place shortly after UN peacekeepers responded to reports of fighting and stone throwing between two local groups near the former Chinese Embassy in Dili before 3:00 p.m.

Acuna and another Filipino peacekeeper, Joel Doria, the acting police district commander of Dili, were among the first to respond to the scene and tried to control the crowd. However, one of the groups turned against the UN police officers and began attacking them with rocks.

Quoting the DPKO report, Ambassador Davide said four UN police officers, including Acuna were injured while four UN vehicles were damaged as a result of the incident. He said one civilian died from a head injury, another was hurt, while 50 were arrested.

This is the second violent incident that resulted in an injury to a Filipino peacekeeper serving in Timor Leste. A year ago, Filipino police officer Edgar Layon was wounded when UN peacekeepers were caught in the middle of a gun battle between East Timorese factions also in Dili.

There are 155 Filipino police peacekeepers serving in UNMIT, making it the biggest UN peacekeeping mission where the Philippines is involved. UNMIT’s police component is also led by a Filipino, retired General Rodolfo Tor, who sits as UN police commissioner. END

East Timor Parties Commit to Democracy before Election, UN Says

Last Updated: May 28, 2007 21:04 EDT By Ed Johnson

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- East Timor's political parties agreed to respect the results of next month's parliamentary election and build a strong democratic process in the Southeast Asian nation, the United Nations said.

Candidates in the June 30 poll also signed a code of conduct committing them to positive campaigning and only challenging a disputed result through the courts, the UN said.

“The accord commits the winning party to representing the voices of the majority while listening to and accommodating the needs of the minority,'' Atul Khare, head of the UN mission in the country, said in a statement yesterday. ``It will also ensure that the minority will adopt a constructive role as a dynamic opposition capable of providing democratic checks and balances.''

The former Portuguese colony, also known as Timor-Leste, has been unstable since 37 people were killed a year ago in clashes between groups from the western and eastern regions. The violence drove 150,000 people, or about 15 percent of the population, from their homes. Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta, who was sworn in as president earlier this month, has pledged to heal divisions in the country.

Clashes between political activists in the nation are common, as is violence between martial arts gangs in the capital, Dili. International peacekeepers, led by Australian troops, were deployed last year to restore order.

East Timor borders part of Indonesia on an island about 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of Australia. East Timorese voted in a 1999 referendum for independence, 24 years after Indonesia invaded the territory.

The vote triggered a campaign of violence by militias, backed by the Indonesian military, which left hundreds of civilians dead. The country became independent in May 2002 and Ramos Horta is East Timor's first democratically elected president.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ed Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net .

NZ Defense Minister visits Timor-Leste

Source: Xinhua

New Zealand Defense Minister Phil Goff said Tuesday he expects security in Timor-Leste will be an issue for some time.

According to Radio NZ, Goff is on a three day visit to Timor- Leste involving meetings with New Zealand troops and the country's new president, Jos Ramos-Horta. He will then go to Singapore for a regional security conference.

Goff told the radio violence in Timor-Leste can flare in an instant and New Zealand's presence in Dili is intended to keep it to a minimum.

He said keeping peace in the country is a priority with parliamentary elections due on June 30. "This will be my second visit to Timor-Leste as Defense Minister and I am looking forward to returning and getting a first hand understanding of the current political and security situation," said Goff.

New Zealand has been deploying troops in Timor-Leste. Another contingent of New Zealand troops departed for Timor-Leste last week for a six month tour of duty. The 105 troops are the third rotation to take up peace keeping duties in Timor-Leste in the past year.

Goff said the troops will be there as long as they are wanted and needed to stabilize the situation.

NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Semanario Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org 


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