Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 15 April 2008


(Extracts from national media and international news reports - UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports.)

Police and military parade to welcome PR Horta – >Radio Timor-Leste A military parade, held under tight internal security, will be held to welcome PR José Ramos-Horta on his return on Thursday (17/4).

Deputy Commander of Apprehension Operation, Mateus Fernandes said that the police and military have identified critical areas of conflict in order to anticipate disturbances in the future.

"He is as the Supreme Commander for both institutions of PNTL and F-FDTL and as the president of the country. We will welcome him with a military parade and accompany him along the route or to his residence," said Commander Fernandes.

PR Horta: no amnesty for Salsinha – Televisão Tiimor-Leste PR José Ramos-Horta said the State will not give amnesty to Salsinha and others who have been carrying weapons since 2006 as they did not follow the State's orders.

PR Horta said that Salsinha should submit himself to justice and not to wait for him to return to Timor-Leste, as people of the country need calm to develop the country.

"I am ready to welcome him, he should submit himself to the Joint Operation Command, F-FDTL, PNTL, or the two Bishops," said PR Horta said during a friendship party with the Timorese community in Darwin last Sunday. "He should go to Dili to face justice in court for his actions on February 11." (13/4).

Alfredo made many telephone calls before his death – Timor Post >Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said that before Alfredo Reinado was shot to death, he had numerous conversations with many people in Timor-Leste and made 47 calls to Australia.

"The numbers show calls to and from Alfredo's mobile," said PGR Monteiro in his report to the National Parliament on Monday (14/4) in Dili.

Mr. Monteiro has asked for the identities of those people who called Alfredo, and will ask Australia to give assistance in investigating the case.

"I have still not informed the country's leaders who was behind the attacks. We will consider everyone as individuals regardless of their position," added PGR Monteiro.

'Ninja' kidnapping children, people traumatized – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

People in Timor-Leste fear that 'Ninja' or 'masked men' are abducting their children to be used for human sacrifice.

According to reports, during Indonesian rule owners of bridges or road works across the country paid 'Ninja' to abduct children for sacrifice in order to bring good luck or prosperity to the project.

Last week, one local newspaper said that two children were abducted in Liquiça and the parents allege that 'Ninja' have abducted them. There was another report in a newspaper today that villagers in Taibisse (Dili) captured a 'Ninja' who was trying to abduct one child in their village. The residents saw 'Ninja' using money to try to kidnap the youngster. The 'Ninja' was captured and taken to the Police. The case is under the investigation.

Interim President Fernando de Araujo Lasama has appealed to all people to remain calm and not believe rumours.

Mateus: armed civilians hand over traditional weapons– Suara Timor Lorosa'e The Vice Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Mateus Fernandes has confirmed that four armed civilians in Ermera district have voluntarily handed over their traditional weapons and ammunition to the PNTL in Lete-Foho station on Friday (11/4).

The civilians were taken to Dili for questioning in order to uncover their involvement with the rebels. On behalf of the Apprehension Operation, Mr. Fernandes repeatedly appealed to the rebels led by Gastão Salsinha to surrender.

PG: call numbers listed with Alfredo-Salsinha – Suara Timor Loorosa'e Prosecutor–General (PG) Longuinhos Monteiro has uncovvered 127 registered phone numbers connected directly to phones held by rebels associated with Alfredo and Salsinha before and after the assassination attempts on February 11.

From 8-13 February, Alfredo and Salsinha had contacts with 47 people from Australia, 31 people from Indonesia and others from Timor-Leste. However, the identities of the owners of the phones remain unknown as the devices are switched off and SIMM cards are often sold without proper registration.

Remedios demands UNMIT discipline two UNPOL officers – Timor Post PR Ramos-Horta's Principal Advisor, Dr. Paulo do Remedios, has demanded that UNMIT discipline two UNPOL officers who refused to provide an immediate respond on 11 February to the attack at the resident of PR Ramos-Horta.

Dr. Remedios said that at 6:55 am he received a telephone call from President Ramos-Horta who said he was in trouble. Dr. Remedios immediately asked for help from two UNPOL officers who were front of his house nearby their vehicles. Dr. Remedios said the two UNPOL officers refused to offer assistance as requested.

Dr. Remedios said he then proceeded to the President's s residence at 7:15 and discovered that the President was wounded. Dr. Remedios said he tried to use his private car to take the President to the hospital when suddenly one ambulance arrived at the scene. The ambulance then transported the President to the ISF Medical Centre at the Heliport.

He said only the Portuguese FPU were present at the President's residence and no one from ISF or UNPOL.

Dr. Remedios demanded that UNMIT discipline the two UNPOL officers who "only know how to receive plenty of money but did not want to maintain order." He called on UNMIT to use "international law" against those UNPOL members who had "completely failed" to provide immediate assistance to the President. "UNMIT should take action against those UNPOL members by terminating their contracts or through disciplinary measures."

He also called on UNMIT to clearly explain why those officers had refused to act. "I will continue to demand both disciplinary and criminal inquiries into this matter", he said, adding that he was able to recommend the matter to the Office of the Prosecutor-General without authorization from the President.

MPs unhappy with SMS invitation to workshop – Timor Postt CNRT MP Gertrudes Moniz has said that some of the members of Government are not happy with the way they were invited to a workshop held in Obrigado Barracks by UNMIT and the Government of Timor-Leste on the separation of power in Government as the invitation was extended through short message services (SMS).

MP Moniz raised the issue in the National Parliament, saying an SMS was not the proper method of inviting Government officials.

In the same occasion, Fernanda Lay said that when a commission is going to call a minister, it should be sent through the national parliament by letter and then forwarded to the Prime Minister.

"As an MP, I would not invite officials through SMS. Even though they are our friends, we should show respect to their office," said Ms. Fernanda, a CNRT MP.

Hugo: TL has to continue control imported goods – Timor Post MP CNRT, Hugo da Costa said that Timor-Leste's Government should take control the importation of goods such as food into the country because prices remain very high.

"I insist the Government help control the food prices in the country, otherwise this country will be threatened by food shortage," he said.

Timor Leader Says Rebels Had Support – Associated Press (AP) SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — East Timor's preesident said he believed "external elements" were supporting the rebels who tried to assassinate him in the hope his country would be plunged into chaos and be declared a failed state.

In an interview with CNN on Monday, Jose Ramos-Horta did not identify the outsiders he believed were trying to destabilize his country or elaborate on what help he thought they had been doing to support such efforts.

Ramos-Horta, 58, has been recuperating in the northern Australian city of Darwin since February, when mutinous soldiers shot him outside his home in East Timor's capital, Dili. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão escaped an ambush on his motorcade the same day.

The motive for the attacks, which followed more than a year of political turmoil and violence, remained unclear.

"An investigation has been ongoing, and there is increasing evidence pointing a finger at external elements that were supporting the renegade Alfredo Reinado," Ramos-Horta said, referring to the rebel leader who was killed during the Feb. 11 attack. "These are elements interested in destabilizing East Timor, plunging it into an endless civil war so it could be declared a failed state."

East Timor broke from decades of often-brutal Indonesian rule in 1999 in a U.N.-sponsored referendum. Three years later, it became Asia's newest nation, but the euphoria quickly evaporated amid the challenges of governing a divided, impoverished people.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday that investigators found that Reinado was involved in 47 telephone calls to and from Australia in the hours before the February attacks. It said Timorese authorities have asked Australian agencies to provide the names of the telephone subscribers and to release any recorded conversations.

In the days following the attacks, a number of people were detained in Dili, including an Australian-Timorese woman who authorities said had hosted Reinado and his accomplices at her house the night before the attacks.

Reinado and another rebel were killed in a clash with Ramos-Horta's guards during the attack. An unknown number of rebels escaped.

In his interview with CNN, Ramos-Horta said it was imperative that the assassination attempt was properly investigated.

"Our country will need to get to the bottom of these events to heal from them," Ramos-Horta said. The Nobel Peace Prize winner also said the attempt on his life had made him more resolved to help improve the lives of the impoverished Timorese.

"I would say that it has, primarily, reaffirmed my personal conviction and my ambition to lift people out of extreme poverty," he said. "Today, I have no other goal or ambition. The recent events have only served to reaffirm my lifelong commitment to helping the poor."

Ramos-Horta plans to return to East Timor on Thursday.


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