Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 October 2007

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

Monday, 29 October 2007 UNMIT – MEDIA MONITORING

"UNMIT assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the articles or for the accuracy of their translations. The selection of the articles and their content do not indicate support or endorsement by UNMIT express or implied whatsoever. UNMIT shall not be responsible for any consequence resulting from the publication of, or from the reliance on, such articles and translations."

National Media Reports

Ramos-Horta calls for political leaders to respect common interests

The President José Ramos-Horta has asked all political leaders to support the interests of national development, rather than individual or group interests.

However the meeting was not attended by Fretilin leaders due to their retreat in Same.

“The ruling party should also have contact with the people. Sometimes we are busy then forget those who cast their votes for us,” said the president.

The President also pledged to dedicate time to meeting with political leaders to ensure consistency in developing national priorities. (STL)

Fretilin to mobilize peaceful protest in Dili

The Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri, said that in 2008 Fretilin will mobilize its supporters from 13 districts to hold a peaceful action highlighting the defence of democratic rights, justice, liberty and national integrity.

Mr. Alkatiri said all supporters of Fretilin have a right to peaceful protest, and it is the responsibility of the police and state to control any violence.

Furthermore, Mr. Alkatiri said that Fretilin does recognize the state as constitutional, but continues to believe that the government is not and will continue to vote against it in the national parliament. (DN)

Longuinhos: telephone conversation, an investigation-not proposed by parliament

The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro has proposed an investigation to the President of the Court of Appeal, Claudio Ximenes, about his alleged involvement in a taped telephone conversation. His statement follows calls for Mr Monteiro to provide evidence to the national parliament about any alleged involvement.

“There is no law stating I must make a declaration to the national parliament.

As a prosecutor, I can have conversations with any people,” said Mr. Monteiro. (DN)

HASATIL disagrees with the policy of the Alliance government

The non government organization, Strengthen Sustainable Agriculture of Timor-Leste (HASATIL), said it is against a proposed policy to give rice subsidies to public servants, and members of the PNTL and F-FDTL.

“We do not agree with this policy because it seems that the policy gives no advantage to local product of local people,” said Arsenio Pereira, the coordinator of HASATIL Secretariat. (DN)

The future of Timor Telecom investment

The administrator of Timor Telecom, José Brandão Sousa said the telecommunications company will fulfill its contract with the Government over the agreed five year period, despite debate about a new telecommunications company entering the market.

“I guarantee that we will honour our contract with the state and we are not worried about any other than what is written in the contract,” said Mr. Sousa. (DN)

Timor-Lost lost MCC fund from USA

The Government says that Timor-Leste will not get assistance from the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) from United States of America because the country’s corruption rating.

The minister of Economy and Development, Joao Mendes Goncalves said that the crisis in Timor-Leste has made the corruption rating higher.

He said this means Timor-Leste will lose its opportunity to get assistance in infrastructure development from the fund. (TP)

International Media Reports

Tributes flow for a man of courage By Ian McPhedran October 27, 2007 06:00am Article from: []

Sergeant Matthew "Locky" Locke was best mates with Sgt Craig "Crackers" Linacre, who died with two other elite soldiers in a car crash in April.

The SAS veterans shared a Long Range Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan during the 2006 tour, when "Locky" won his Medal for Gallantry.

Sgt Locke's death at the hands of Taliban extremists shocked his comrades.

According to those who served with him, he was "a terrific and absolutely switched-on soldier and a methodical and precise leader who always placed the safety of his men first".

A devoted husband to Lee, and father to their 13-year-old son, he was one of the Special Air Service Regiment's best - serving in every major operation since East Timor in 2000.

According to several SAS comrades who spoke to The Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, "Locky" was a real "Mr Nice Guy". "His attention to detail was incredible," one trooper said.

"Matty was one of those blokes that everyone in the army seemed to know - he was one of those blokes who got on with everyone."

Matthew Locke joined the army in 1992 and was posted to the 5/7th Battalion before completing the harrowing SAS selection course in 1997.

He became patrol commander in 2 Squadron when he was a corporal and was leading 3 Squadron on patrol in the Chora Valley north of Tarin Kowt when he was killed in action on Thursday.

That was near the spot at Chora Pass where, on June 2, 2006 as second-in-command of a 3 Squadron patrol, he won one of Australia's highest awards for courage under fire - the Medal for Gallantry.

During that action Sgt Locke, under sustained heavy fire and showing total disregard for his own safety, ventured out of the relative security of his observation post to neutralize the advance of the enemy.

"Whilst deliberately exposing himself to intense rifle and machine gun fire from the anti-coalition militia, he neutralized the lead assaulting elements whilst suppressing other militia until the arrival of offensive air support," the citation stated.

"Sergeant Locke's actions of gallantry whilst under enemy fire in extremely hazardous circumstances displayed courage of the highest order."

And that's what Sgt Locke was all about, according to one of his comrades who served with him in East Timor and Afghanistan and providing security at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"Locky was an outstanding soldier," his mate said.

"He was a quiet achiever, a good team player and a very smart bloke."

Major-General Mark Evans, the commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, said the thoughts of all members of the force were with Sgt Locke's family, friends, and colleagues in the Special Operations Task Group and the SAS Regiment.

"Sergeant Locke's sacrifice and legacy will endure and he will not be forgotten," he said.

Reciprocal gratitude, without 'thank you' 29 October 2007 George Junus Aditjondro, Yogyakarta The Jakarta Post

"Lentora rahi kai ompi' ompo' omea dipo tahi", or, "I greatly miss all my siblings across the sea." In this long sentence, Loraine V. Aragon, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, U.S., tried to express her gratitude to the Tobaku people in the Kulawi highlands of Central Sulawesi, south of Palu, where she did her fieldwork.

That was her way of saying "thank you" to an indigenous people who do not have an indigenous word for "thank you".

As is the case of many indigenous peoples in eastern Indonesia and Timor Leste, the absence of indigenous words in their ethnic languages for "thank you" has surprised many outsiders, Indonesians and westerners alike.

Therefore, many ethno-linguistic groups in eastern Indonesia have indigenized either the Dutch expression, dank je wel, or the Indonesian terima kasih, into their ethnic vocabulary. The Ambonese and Menadonese simply say danke, and the peoples of Poso and Palu in Central Sulawesi say tarima kase. Similarly, in Timor Leste, the Portuguese words obrigado (for men) and obrigada (for women) have been adopted by Tetum, the lingua franca of the newborn (or, rather, reborn) country.

Then, to say "thank you very much", the Tetum word barak (many, much, a lot) is added, to become obrigada barak.

My current fieldwork in North Sumatra and Aceh also shows that several ethno-linguistic groups in this northern part of Sumatra originally did not have indigenous equivalents for the expression “thank you”, but has adopted and "indigenized" the Indonesian expression terima kasih into their ethnic language.

For instance, the Acehnese expression terimong geunasih shows where it comes from. For the Mandailing people of Southern Tapanuli in North Sumatra, one has simply to say terimo kasih. The Angkola people, also from Southern Tapanuli, also say, tarimokasi.

What about the other Batak languages? The Toba people say mauliate. The Karo people say bujur, the Simalungun people say diatei tupa, which literally means, "double luck" (diatei means luckily, while tupa also means lucky). Meanwhile, the Pakpak people say lias ate.

The Gayo people of the Central Aceh highlands, the indigenous people of Aceh who are closely related with the Karo people of North Sumatra, have a different way of saying "thank you" then the lowland, coastal Acehnese people, namely be ri jin. Just as the Batak, the Gayo people of Aceh belong to the Proto-Malay race, while the lowland Acehnese belong to the Deutero-Malay race.

Unlike the Karo and Gayo languages, all the words for "thank you" in the Toba, Simalungun and Pakpak languages contain the word ate, or heart, and the meaning of the words is "coming from my deepest heart".

For instance, in the Toba language, mauliate can be deconstructed as ma-uli-ate, or literally, "feeling good (uli) in one's heart". This can be made even more polite by saying, mauliate godang (godang = great), just like obrigado barak in Tetum.

In Simalungun, probably due to the strong Indonesianization process among the educated elite, the expression tarima kasih has become much more popular at the moment than diatei tupa. For instance, in the very polite expression, tarima kasih bani nasiam haganupan, or "thanks to all of you".

The absence of the expression "thank you" in so many ethnic languages in this archipelago does not mean that the speakers of those languages do not have a sense of gratitude.

As Loraine V. Aragon states in the "Acknowledgments" of her book, Fields of the Lord: Animism, Christian Minorities, and State Development in Indonesia (University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 2000): "Debts of significance cannot be released with a few fluffy words floated for a moment in the air. Gifts require continuation of the exchange process, not its cessation through attempted compensation. Obligations are a state of being and a means to create relations anew."

Different forms of gratitude are known and practiced by these peoples, different from the Western, or, for that matter, Indonesian forms of gratitude. Basically, material and non-material forms of gifts develop a sense of gratitude among the receivers of the gifts. Or, probably, a sense or feeling of indebtedness. Utang budi, we say in Indonesian. Utang na loob, in Tagalog in the Philippines.

One can only be relieved from this feeling once one has responded in kind or after providing a service for the person from whom one has received the material or non-material gifts. In other words, underlying the absence of words for "thank you" is the need to maintain reciprocity, or, reciprocal ways of returning the favors we have received by providing services or goods needed by the initial givers of gifts.

Reciprocity, is the key word. This reciprocity is a form of exchange, prior to the Western or Malay way of trading, which maintains the internal relations within the ethno-linguistic groups, or between the ethno-linguistic groups.

In a wider and increasingly global world where people are more and more separated by time and space, far-away relations often have to be maintained by verbal ways of expressing gratitude, because the absence of those equivalents of "thank you" may leave some unfilled communication gaps. And it is better to borrow words from other cultures to express instant gratitude than to maintain more and more empty communication gaps.

However, as we may have learned from Loraine V. Aragon's warning on not underestimating people without the equivalent words for "thank you", we need more than words to maintain our social networks, both locally, nationally, as well as globally.

We need more exchange of goods and services, which are not simply based on short-term, greedy, economic interests, but more on long-term, humanist and social interests. We need more exchange of goods and services to express obrigado or terimong geunaseh, based on mauliate indeed, to make our hearts feel good.

The writer studied applied anthropology at Cornell University and is interested in cross-cultural studies of ethnic languages in Indonesia and Timor Leste. He can be reached at georgejunusaditjondro@gmail.com.

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)

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org 


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