Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 22 April 2008


(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)

PM to pay emergency visit to Ermera – Radio Timor-Leste

Local authorities in Ermera are preparing today (22/4) to welcome Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and the F-FDTL Commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak in their emergency visit to the district. The visit is aimed at meeting with local leaders, political leaders and the population of Ermera, including Gastão Salsinha's wife. Security has been provided and prepared around the capital of Ermera, Gleno.

Bishop Ricardo: Salsinha should surrender – Televizaun Timor-Leste

The Bishop of Dili Diocese, Mgr. Alberto Ricardo, has called on Gastão Salsinha and his men to surrender. "I pray for them and ask God to help them think positively and to do the right thing." said Bishop Ricardo on Sunday (20/4) after holding a ceremonial mass upon the return of President José Ramos-Horta.

PR Horta should clarify the involvement of Indonesia in Alfredo's case – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Social Democratic Party (PSD) MP Mario Viegas Carrascalão is asking President José Ramos-Horta to provide a clarification to the Indonesian Government regarding his public statements that some Indonesian people were involved in Alfredo Reinado's case. According to Carrascalão, PR Horta should give this clarification in order to maintain good diplomatic relations between the two nations.

"This should be explained as we are friends. The two nations have good relations after May 2002," said Mr. Carrascalão.

On his return, PR Horta said that the Prosecutor General and Australian Federal Police had indicated the involvement of some Indonesian people involved in Alfredo's case.

Indonesia arrests 19 rebels –Timor Post

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Timor-Leste, Dr Zacarias Da Costa, said that the Government has received information through the East Timor Embassy in Jakarta that the Indonesian National Republic Police (POLRI) have arrested 19 rebels who fled to Jakarta, Indonesia.

"I know the previous information said that three of Alfredo's man were arrested. They are Ismael S.M Soares known as (Asanku), Jose Gomes and Ijidio Lay Carvalho. They all are former members of the F-FDTL. The latest information on Sunday (20/4) stated that, 19 other rebels were also arrested in Jakarta, Indonesia," said Mr Da Costa to the journalists on Monday (21/4) at Palacio do Governu, Dili.

"Now we and the Prosecutor-General are working together with the Indonesian authorities to bring those rebels into East Timor in order to face justice," said the Foreign Affairs Minister.

President postpones speech at National Parliament–Timor PPost

The Chief of the President's Office, Natalia Carrascalao, said that the President postponed his speech at the National Parliament yesterday because his condition did not yet permit him to do so. "As we all aware, there were a lot of programs during his return and he has been visited by many people. So, the President decided to postpone his long speech at the National Parliament yesterday," said Ms Carrascalao.

Alkatiri to forward proposal –Timor Post

The Secretary-General of Fretilin, Dr Marii Alkatiri, said that the Fretilin party will move forward with a proposal to establish an International Commission of Inquiry into the events of February 11 and is planning to discuss this with President Jose Ramos Horta.

Alkatiri added that in order to ensure the independence of the inquiry, the countries currently involved in maintaining security in Timor Leste should not be involved in the inquiry.

"We say that we should trust in our institutions, but the reality is that we do not trust each other yet. So we really need an international investigation," said Mr Alkatiri.

Timor Leste opposes Tibet's Independence, China is happy –Timor Post

The Ambassador of China to Timor Lestre, Su Jian, said that his country is happy with the position of Timor Leste on the issue of Tibet. "As with all other friendly communities, the Timor Leste Government adheres to the One China position and opposes Tibetan Independence," he said.

PSD MP asks Ramos Horta for explanation –Diario Nasional

PSD MP Mario Viegas Carrascalao has asked President Jose Ramos Horta to explain to Indonesian President Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono his comments that some Indonesians had supported the February 11 attacks.

MPs say no need to prolong Sate of Siege –Diario Nasional

MPs from CNRT, ASDT and Fretilin have said that there is no need to prolong the State of Siege as the current situation does not warrant an extension, even though Salsinha and his men are still at large.

CNRT MP Pedro da Costa said that the State of Siege should not be prolonged because it is not suitable for the current country's situation, but added that it depends on the President whether he wants to continue or not.

Fretilin MP Francisco Miranda Branco said that the State of Siege has shown a bad image for this government, so it does not need to be prolonged. But he added that the State of Siege can be applied at places where the rebels are though to be hiding rather than all through the country.

ASD MP Jose Manuel Carrascalao said that the State of Siege has to be stopped given that there have been a lot of abuses committed by the forces during the implementation of the State of Siege.

Government needs to address border security –Diario Nasional

CNRT MP Natalino Dos Santos has said that government need to address the Border Patrol Unit in order to strengthen border security. "I may say that our security at the border is still weak, so it has to be strengthened. Therefore, we have to find out what kind of difficulties are currently faced by our Border Patrol Unit (BPU) in order to provide them with the facilities to carry out their duties," said Mr Dos Santos on Monday (21/04) at the National Parliament.

No fingerprints on dead soldier's gun- Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 22

No fingerprints were found on a rifle caught under the arm of an Australian soldier who died from a gunshot wound to the head in his Dili barracks last year, a military inquiry has heard.

The body of Private Ashley Baker, from Tannum Sands in central Queensland, was found in a pool of blood inside a locked toilet cubicle at a defence base in the East Timor capital on November 5, three days after his 19th birthday.

A Steyr rifle which had discharged three rounds was between his legs. No suicide note was found.

An inquiry into his death in Brisbane on Tuesday heard that Queensland police found no useable fingerprints on the weapon, magazines and live rounds found at the scene.

Queensland police fingerprint expert Sergeant Eduardo Siasat told the inquiry there was a general misconception, reinforced by Hollywood movies, that people left fingerprints on everything they touched.

"But in reality latent fingerprint (is) very fragile in nature," he said. Sgt Siasat said dry hands and porous, sticky, wet and dusty surfaces reduced the chances of fingerprints being left.

Heat and humidity, the storage of an item, and the length of time it took the item to reach a testing lab also contributed.

Sgt Siasat said the 16 to 17-day delay in testing while the weaponry was sent from East Timor to Brisbane could have obliterated the fingerprints, but he could not be sure as he had successfully recorded fingerprints from older specimens in the past.

The inquiry, which began last month in Darwin, has heard Pte Baker had a history of depression and his company had feared he could commit suicide.

Pte Baker was posted to the second battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) in November 2006 and was serving with the Timor-Leste battle group when he died.

The inquiry continues.


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