Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 17 April 2008


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

Salsinha asks for the Operation to stop - Lasama: criminals lose the right to instruct the State – Televisão Timor-Leste

Salsinha is asking the State to stop the Apprehension Operation which has been hunting for him and his men, and to allow all of the petitioners to rejoin the military. Interim President Fernando Lasama, however, said that a criminal is not entitled to give instructions to the State.

"A criminal has no right expect the State to follow their requests. The Operation will continue to pursue Salsinha to bring him to justice," said Acting President Lasama on Wednesday (16/4) at Palacio das Cinzas in Caicoli, Dili.

Fretilin: Prosecutor-General should report to NP – Suara Timor Lorosa'e Fretilin asks the Prosecutor–Generaal to appear before the National Parliament to give a report on the process of facilitating and negotiation with rebels conducted by the Public Ministry.

"The National Parliament as the representative of people asks the Prosecutor-General to provide accurate information about the process of negotiation between the Prosecutor General and the rebels over the past two years in order to avoid negative perceptions among the Timorese communities," said Fretilin MP Francisco Miranda Branco on Wednesday (16/4) in the National Parliament, Dili.

Mr. Branco also said the clarification of his actions already presented by the Prosecutor-General was not complete.

Separately, Democratic Party MP Vital dos Santos said that the Prosecutor-General is not able to provide detailed information to the MPs because of a judicial requirement for confidentiality.

Meanwhile, CNRT MP Eduardo Barreto said the Prosecutor-General has already clarified his competence, and all information will be presented to the court.

Indonesian Supreme Court: has no power to judge 1999 actors –“ Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The National Alliance for the International Tribunal (ANTI) said the Supreme Court of Indonesia has no authority to judge the actors involved in political genocide of 1999 in Timor-Leste.

Based on the investigation from the high level commission the human rights, the cases that took place in Timor-Leste are human rights violations. The perpetrators should be judged by a court operating on international standards as recommended by the Indonesian human rights report.

A report prepared by United Nations experts said that the Indonesian Ad-Hoc Tribunal is not of an international standard. The experts gave Indonesia six months to correct its procedures, followed by a trial in an international tribunal.

"We ask the UN to not its hands of the serious crimes that took place in Timor-Leste. Security Council resolution 1272 guarantees that there will be no impunity for the crimes against humanity in Timor-Leste," said ANTI's press release.

Horta returns: PM Xanana allows public servants to welcome him – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

PM Xanana Gusmão has given permission to all the public servants to welcome the President who has been recovering from medical surgery for the past two and a half months. Public servants have been granted time off to attend the President's arrival from 8:00 to 10:30 AM. They are expected to return to their offices to continue their work as usual.

Minister of State Arcanjo Leite appealed all Timorese, especially in Dili, to come out to welcome President Horta on his return. "We would like to appeal all the community to show their solidarity with the President on his return," said Minister Leite.

Ar̩valo: investigation into February 11 incidents not formalized yet РDiario Nacional

Deputy Police Commissioner of UNPol Juan Carlos Arévalo said that an International Commission of Inquiry (ICI) proposed by many people to investigate the incidents of 11 February has not yet been officially requested.

"We are aware of various requests from Timorese people to establish an ICI for the February 11 incidents. However, the request has not been formalized," he said.

PM Xanana: some sovereignty organs utilize media – Diario Nacional>

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that some sovereignty organs are recently utilizing media to make comments that are critical of the way that the Joint Operation is working and of the Government itself.

In his presentation of the State of Siege report to the National Parliament, PM Xanana said that the negative comments of certain MPs might jeopardize the activities of the Joint Operation Command.

According to PM Xanana, the objective of the Joint Operation Command is to intimidate and lower the morale of the enemy, isolate the rebels from logistic assistance, chase and gather the rebels and the petitioners who want to submit themselves to justice, and prevent the rebels from spreading out the areas where they are hiding.

PDHJ: Government should assist Salsinha's family – Diario Nacional <

The Provedor of the Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ), after monitoring in Ermera District, is recommending that the Ministry of Social and Solidarity give assistance to Salsinha's family.

The PDHJ monitoring team recommended to the National Parliament that "the Ministry of Social and Solidarity provide social assistance to Ms. Joaquina [Salsinha's wife] and her 4 children who are now under psychological pressure."

Most people happy to welcome the President – Timor Post< Most people were happy to welcome the return of President Ramos-Horta to his homeland and see it as a victory for the people of Timor- Leste. Most people thank God that their President has survived his wounds after he was attacked by the rebels on February 11 at his residence.

Abril Soares de Jesus, a student, said he was very happy to welcome the President's return to Timor Leste. "He has just recovered, and we have been expecting him to come to solve our problems," said de Jesus.

Another young person, Eugenio, said that he was also very happy to welcome President Ramos-Horta. "I am very happy to welcome the President because he has recovered and returns to Timor-Leste. Many thanks to God as He has helped the President," Eugenio said.

Generally, most Timorese people are happy to welcome the President, as they believe that only the President will be able to solve the problems facing the Timorese people.

Rebels leader Gastão Salsinha sends a letter to the State – Timor Post

Salsinha sent a letter to the State on Friday (11/04). In the letter Salsinha stated that he wanted to collaborate with justice and demanded the State to stop its military operation, 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency' as well as permit all of the petitioners to rejoin the East-Timor Defense Forces or F-FDTL. The letter was directed to all organs of sovereignty and the American Ambassador.

In another development, Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama said Salsinha's demand was not relevant because he only wanted to make demands of the State but not want to obey the State's orders.

"I think Salsinha's demand is not relevant because if Salsinha himself would act responsibly, as a spokesperson of the Petitioners he would come down to Dili where the all petitioners are now concentrated now in order to solve their problems," said the Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama.

Furthermore, Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama added that Salsinha and his men should surrender first then the State will stop the military operation following by the 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency'.

300 hundred families of IDPs registered to return home – Timor Post>

Minister of Solidarity Social, Maria Domingas Alves said that since March approximately 300 families have registered to return home.

"This week or next week, IDPs families from the National Hospital and Seminário Minor camps will return to their homes," she said.

Meanwhile, Minister Alves said that food assistance to the IDP families has been reduced because WFP is no longer providing food to the Ministry. "We all know rice prices around the world are now more expensive, and we no longer have a donor providing rice to WFP," she explained.


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