Subject: Daily Media Review 24 March 2008

Monday, 24 March 2008

UNMIT – MEDIA MONITORING

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National Media Report

TVTL News Coverage

No TVTL news coverage.

RTL News Coverage

Lasama announces extension of 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency': Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo has officially declared that a State of Siege is to be extended to the Districts of Aileu, Ainaro, Manufahi, Covalima, Bobonaro, Liquica and Ermera. PR Lasama said that the decision was taken upon the request of the Government and with the authorization of the National Parliament.

President Lasama said that after consulting with the Defence and Security Council, the decision was taken to extend the State of Siege to the districts for 30 days. "During the State of Siege, the right of people to gather and hold meetings is temporarily suspended," said PR Lasama.

PR Lasama has also decided to implement State of Emergency in the districts of Baucau, Dili, Lospalos, Viqueque, Manatuto for a period of 30 days. Oecusse and the Dili sub-district of Atauro will have neither a State of Siege nor State of Emergency as they are not considered security risks. The State of Siege and State of Emergency will be implemented from March 23 to April 22, 2008.

The Democratic Party MP, Adriano de Nascimento, has accepted the implementation of the State of Siege and Emergency in support of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation. However, Fretilin member of NP, Francisco Brancos said that the State of Siege has taken too long and is exposing the weaknesses of the State. He even suggested that this may put the nation on the path to dictatorship. However, Fretilin is continuing to support the Joint Operation.

On this, ASDT has asked the Government to give extra attention to the actions of the Joint Operation as they fear some members may take advantage of their position to settle personal grievances.

Rebels surrender with their weapons in Maubisse: Four rebels have surrendered themselves and their weapons to the Chief of the State [PM Gusmao] along with their weapons on Saturday (22/3) in Maubisse, Ainaro District. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that this action by the rebels is very positive and will go a long way to resolving the problems faced in the country. One of the rebels, Paulo Neno, said that he feels that he has contributed to the justice process by surrendering.

PM: Joint Operation slow to get results in attempt to avoid death and trauma: In answer to the criticisms levelled at PM Gusmao by MPs that the Joint Operation has not produced any results, the PM has responded that the Joint Operation has been slow to obtain results as they have attempted to avoid unnecessary deaths or cause trauma to the public. However, the PM confirmed that the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation would be in full military force after Easter to capture outstanding rebels.

Related to accusations that Joint Operation members have conducted themselves irresponsibly, the Prime Minister said that people should report such actions to the authorities in order for them to be investigated.

Print Coverage

Lasama: Attempts against State greatest crime: In a dialogue with the population of Lete-Foho, Ermera, Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that the attempts against the State made by the rebel groups of Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha can be considered as the greatest crime and should be resolved through the court system. President Lasama has appealed to the public to help convince Salsinha and other rebels to surrender.

Related to the rumours that Alfredo's death was the result of a foreign-led conspiracy, PR Lasama said that the only people responsible were Timorese. "Never falsify and blame others. All the mistakes are ours and it's time to solve these problems," said PR. Lasama. (TP)

Ed: Four rebels surrender: The positive impacts of PR Ramos-Horta's appeal on Wednesday (19/3) to Salsinha and his group were felt on Saturday (22/3) with the surrender of four rebels and their weapons to the state through the Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro. The surrenders were a good step towards resolving the issue and it a step that Salsinha should also take. Salsinha once said that he will only surrender once PR Horta returns to Timor-Leste- this is Salsinha's right, but as PR Horta may still need to be in Darwin for a long time, Salsinha may need to rethink his decision. We cannot know his mind. The whole matter rests on Salsinha. As the PM once said, it is Salsinha's decision whether to surrender, or die. (TP)

Lasama asks public to convince Salsinha to surrender: The Acting PR, Fernando de Araujo 'Lasama,' has asked the people of Lete-Foho to convince Salsinha to surrender, if they know where he is currently hiding. (DN)

TMR to pay close attention to soldiers who torture people: The Apprehension Operation's General-Commander, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, has asked the public to report any cases of violations or torture from soldiers under the Joint Command. "Any of the victims who receive such treatment from the soldiers should report their case to the police so that the cases can be investigated and not just publicized thorough the Media," said TMR on Wednesday (19/3) at Palacio da Cinzas, Dili. (DN and STL)

Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixao says Apprehension Operation will not kill Salsinha: Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão has said that the Apprehension Operation currently operating in Lete-Foho, Ermera, is not out to kill Salsinha and his men, but to convince them to surrender. "The Apprehension Operation forces consider Salsinha and his men as brothers and not enemies, because they also contributed to the independence of this nation. Therefore we are here to call Salsinha and his men to surrender and submit themselves to justice," he said. (DN)

Four of Salsinha's men surrender: Four of Gastao Salsinha's men have surrendered themselves along with one machine gun and two AK33 rifles. The men were received by the Prosecutor-General, Longuinhos Monteiro in Maubesse sub district on Saturday (16/3). The men were also presented to the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, and Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak at the Government Palace. (DN)

Government and Timor Energy work together to build houses for IDPs: The Secretary of State for Solidarity and Natural Disasters, Rigoberto Gomes, said that the Government is currently working together with Timor Energy to provide 416 transitional houses for IDPs currently living at the compound of the National Hospital. "These houses are now ready for the IDPs. This is a temporary solution until their problems can be resolved," he said. (DN)

'Lasama' visits Lete-foho sub-district, Ermera: The Acting PR, Fernando de Araujo 'Lasama' has visited the Apprehension Operation forces in Lete-foho sub-district, Ermera on Saturday (22/3). The visit was aimed at seeing directly the conditions of the Apprehension Operation forces based in Lete-foho and to also listen to the community about the Apprehension Operation. "My objective here is to listen and see directly what people think about the Apprehension Operation during this time. It seems that there has been good collaboration and good cooperation among the operation and the community," he said. (STL)

Justice Minister and State Secretary of Defence sign Accord to establish military prison: The Minister of Justice, Lucia Lobato, and the State Secretary of Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, have signed an Accord regarding the establishment of a military prison in Timor-Leste.

"I would like to inform the public that starting from now if our military commits crimes they will be imprisoned in the military prison. The military prison is established following the cases of violence committed by the F-FDTL in 2006," said Minister Lobato.

The State Secretary of Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, said that the military prison is currently based in the F-FDTL HQ in Tasi Tolu, Dili and that four F-FDTL members are imprisoned there. "According to the mandate of the constitution, we do need to establish the military prison in our country," said Mr Pinto. (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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