Subject: Daily Media Review 19 March 08

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

UNMIT – MEDIA MONITORING

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National Media Reports TVTL News Coverage

NGOs demand Govt to stop TFC: Twenty four NGOs have sent a petition letter to the National Parliament to stop the Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC) of Indonesia/Timor-Leste because they believe it has proved ineffective in bringing the criminals to justice or for providing reparations to the victims.

The petition of the NGOs also said that the international community is aware that over 180,000 people were killed by the Indonesian army. The NGOs stated that they will not tolerate anyone who wants to eliminate justice in Timor-Leste.

"We believe that the TFC is a political tool for leaders to create impunity for the criminals," said the petition. The NGOs are also demanding that the National Parliament and Government reject the recommendations of the TFC report as it does not reflect the judicial principles of Timor-Leste.

Govt asks President to change "State of Siege": The Government has asked the Acting President of the Republic to change the "State of Siege" to a "State of emergency". They have asked this as Easter is approaching.

RTL News Coverage Joint Operation to change tactics: The Commander of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão, said that Joint Operation Command is recommending the Government to change the modality and tactics of the operation. Commander Paixão said that the new modality and tactics of the operation will be used to force Salsinha and his group members to surrender. "We suggest the Government change the tactics of the operation with new tactics to be implemented in the field. This is a military activity," said Commander Paixão on Tuesday (18/3) at a press conference held in Memorial Hall in Dili. Commander Paixão also suggested the Government extend the 'State of Siege' as it has impacted positively on the security of the nation.

Print Coverage PGR lost legitimacy in rebel case: Fretilin has strongly criticized the Prosecutor General of the Republic Longuinhos Monteiro for losing his legitimacy to bring Salsinha to court as he has violated the nation's constitution by negotiating with Salsinha.

Fretilin member, Joaquim dos Santos, said that PGR has dishonoured the constitution through his negotiations with the rebels. Separately, Democratic Party (PSD) member of NP Adriano Nascimento said that each of competent organs in this country has its own interpretation about the current situation, and about Salsinha in particular.

"I would like to say that each organ of the country has its own concept and interpretation of how to solve the problems of Timor-Leste," said Mr, Nascimento on Tuesday (18/3) in NP, Dili. PUN member of NP, Fernanda Borges, said that she does not know the role of the PGR and has asked him to come and give a statement to clarify this in the NP.

"I don't know what the PGR is thinking about what to do, but as far as I know, everything has failed. Salsinha has not yet surrendered. We need to know whether he [Salsinha] wants to surrender or negotiate," said Ms Borges. Ms Borges also said that in other nations, the Prosecutor General would not take on such a role. The PG's role would be to deal with the suspects only when they had been submitted to the justice. (STL)

Joint Operation continues hunting Salsinha: Under the Command of F-FDTL Major Neves, the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation is continuing to hunt Salsinha and his group after their escape from their stronghold in Estadu village, Ermera District.

"We will continue to chase Salsinha and his group anywhere in Timor-Leste. The best way for them is to surrender rather than suffer," said Major Neves on Saturday (15/3) in Lete-Foho. (STL)

Govt to meet UN delegation: PM Xanana Gusmão held a meeting with the United Nations delegation from the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) on Tuesday (18/3) in the Government Palace in Dili.

The Vice Prime Minister, José Luis Guterres, said that the meeting did not discuss the events of February 11, but focused on assessing the coordination between the UN Police (UNPol) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL).

The meeting also analysed the current situation of the police and proposed ideas and plans for the future.

"It's time for the Timorese to take responsibility in leading their country properly," said Mr. Guterres after the meeting.

During the meeting, the UN delegation asked and answered many questions on how to continue working with the Government of Timor-Leste and how to strengthen the institutions of the F-FDTL and PNTL. (STL)

NP questions preventive prison in Colmera: PUN member of NP, João Maia da Conceição, has questioned the legitimacy of the preventive prison in Colmera, Dili claiming that there are only three prisons in the country.

"The nation has only Becora, Gleno and Baucau prisons. Those who commit crimes are imprisoned in these, not in a secure 'prison' in Colmera. This has created a lot of confusion," said Mr. da Conceição on Tuesday (18/3) in the NP, Dili.

Mr. da Conceição also questioned why Susar is the only person imprisoned in Colmera with security provided by the F-FDTL and PNTL, while Alfredo's group members are imprisoned in Becora. According to Mr. da Conceição, the idea of a preventive prison may prevent Salsinha and his group from surrendering. (STL)

673 petitioners answer questionnaires: Six hundred and seventy three members of the petitioners gathered in Aitarak Laran have filled the questionnaires provided by the Government from 17-18 March. One of the petitioners said that some of the items of the questionnaires are concerned with learning what the petitioners have done since leaving the military. 'We have to follow the content of the questionnaires," said one of the petitioners on Tuesday (18/3) in GMT, Dili. (STL)

Nelson Correia: Joint Operation is ineffective: The Secretary General of the Progressive Democratic League (LDP), Nelson Correia, has said that he considers the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation to be ineffective as they have failed to captured Salsinha and his group.

"If we are not ready to conduct a Joint Operation, then let's try an intelligence operation. An intelligence operation would be smaller, would not create panic in the public and would be more effective. Given that this is a new nation, we must try every method," said Mr. Correia on Monday (17/3).

Related to the statement of the Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro, that some leaders are impeding Salsinha's surrender, Mr. Correia said that PGR should make public the names of the people he suspects are involved. (DN)

Most of the petitioners decide to return to F-FDTL: Former F-FDTL Major Augusto de Araujo Tara said that most of the 672 petitioners who have so far filled the questionnaires, have decided to return to the military. "Upon what they have said, it is clear that most of them have decided to return to the military," said Major Tara. "TMR agrees that the petitioners can return to the military, but there will be some people who reject this." (DN)

ISF maintains its cooperation with Joint Operation: The Commander of the International Stabilization Forces (ISF), Brigadier General James Baker, said that the ISF has maintained its relationship with the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation during the operation in the districts. "ISF maintains its close relations with the F-FDTL and PNTL in the operations outside of Dili. The ISF, Joint Operation and the United Nations Police will continue to coordinate their activities to arrest those involved in February 11 as this is the objective of the Joint Operation," said Brigadier General Baker on Tuesday (18/3)," (TP)

PGR will conclude investigations when Salsinha surrenders: The Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro said that the investigations into the events of February 11 will end when Salsinha and his group surrender. PGR also said that he has held hearings for 17 suspects for February 11, including 27 eyewitnesses. "I have provided a statement to the Acting President about the progress of the investigation. We have heard from 17 suspects and 27 eye witnesses of the case of February 11," said PGR Monteiro after briefing the Acting President of the Republic Fernando Lasama. (TP)

National News Sources: Televizaun Timor-Leste (TVTL) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Timor Post (TP) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Nacional (DN)

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