Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 30 May 2008

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]


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

UNMIT celebrates International Peacekeepers Day – Timor Post, Diario Nacional and Televisaun Timor-Leste

The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) celebrated the 60th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping on Thursday (29/5) in Dili.

The celebration was attended by PR José Ramos-Horta, PM Xanana Gusmão, Timor-Leste Independence Proclamator Francisco Xavier do Amaral, the Special Representative of Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare, other senior leaders of Timor-Leste and the diplomatic corps.

During his speech, SRSG Atul Khare paid homage to those lost their life in keeping the peace.

"It is always difficult to come to terms with the loss of a beloved one. But when the families mourn for a spouse, father, brother, or son who died in a far off land that many of them never visited, it is simply unimaginable. I pray for peace to all those who died in the service of the United Nations for the cause of peace and stability of Timor-Leste and for courage to their bereaved families and friends," stated SRSG Khare.

President José Ramos-Horta told the gathering he was happy to join the ceremony to celebrate the 60th Peacekeepers Day in Timor-Leste.

"It is 60 years since the United Nations began sending men and women, the blue berets, to many nations.

Today is the day to give tribute to all the peacekeepers in the world, especially those who are in Timor-Leste, along with civilian staff and Timorese staff who, during the popular consultation, died and suffered as UN peacekeepers," said PR Ramos-Horta.

The ceremony included songs and performances by school children and local musicians, and the reciting of poetry. Prayers were offered by representatives of the main religious groups.

Mario Carrascalão: asking the Government to cancel MAF-Indonesian MOU – Televisaun Timor-Leste

PSD Member of Parliament Mario Carrascalão is asking the Government to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests-Fishery (MAF) and the Indonesian Government.

Last Monday in National Parliament Mario said the MOU was a secret agreement that will not be beneficial for the population.

"We ask this MOU to be cancelled because they signed it in secret. There should not be a law that is created only for the interest of the Government. We do not agree at all with them to sell the land to Indonesia, as stated in the MOU that TL will give a concession to Indonesia for two years to use 100,000 hectares of land," Mr. Carrascalão said.

In response to this, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture said the agreement was not secret because at that time journalists were invited to the signing.

"This agreement is not secret. We just want to say that on 15 January 2008 when we signed the MOU, it was witnessed by many journalists as well broadcast on TVTL that the Ministry of Agriculture had signed an MOU with a company named "GT. Leste Birotec," explained Lourenço Borges Fontes.

He added that this agreement may be cancelled if there has been no activity from the time of the signature up to now.

PM Xanana: the Government has no authority to regulate international market prices – Diario Nacional Televisaaun Timor-Leste After attending the weekly meeting with President Horta in Farol on Thursday (29/5), Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the Government has no authority to regulate prices because they depends on the international market.

"Suppose the price in the world is regulated, the price of rice in the nations which produce the rice is marked down, the price of petrol is regulated, and you do not need to ask me because everything will decrease by itself. Timor Leste a small country which is dependent on the fluctuations of foreign countries. If the price increases in the foreign countries, we will suffer the same thing in our country. So it is not for Timor Leste government to normalize the price because this crisis is affecting all nations in the world", said PM Xanana.

TL pays homage to UN Peacekeepers – Radio Timor-Leste TL gives homage to UN Peacekeepers who sacrifice their lives for UN missions in conflict nations including TL (Horta).

We give our homage to all UN members who had sacrifice their lives in the service of peace in conflict nations around the world. Sergio Vieira de Mello and his compatriots died in Baghdad (Iraq), because of UN efforts to maintain peace and stability in the world," said PR Horta during a briefing after the celebration of the 60th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping in Balide, Dili on Thursday (29/5).

Government: to take 3% of petroleum funds as social subsidiary – Radio Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana said that the government will take 3% of petroleum funds to give subsidize social programs.

"The food crisis is an issue around the world, not only in TL. The government should allocate funds to respond to needs of society," said PM Xanana during ameeting with President Horta in the government palace yesterday (29/5).

MSS: plan to have department to protect children rights – Radio Timor-Leste < Minister of Social and Solidarity Maria Domingas Alves said on Thursday (29/5) in Delta Nova, Comoro that the Ministry of Social and Solidarity will create a new program and plan to establish a department to protect child rights. The department will focus on runaways, children who need protection from abuse within the home, and those who are facing violence.

Fr. Martinho: Peace stops violence – Diario Nacional

The Director of Peace and Justice of Baucau Diocese, Fr. Martinho Gusmão said that only peace could stop the violence in the world, especially in Timor-Leste. The observance of the 60th Anniversary of UN Peacekeeping was important to build unity and peace in the world, as UN missions to Timor-Leste have shown over the last few years.

"With this kind of ceremony we could work hard to build peace. Peace can not stand alone – it is always side by side with justice and unity to determine the destiny of the people and this country," said Fr. Martinho at the ceremony of UN Peacekeepers Day in Balide, Dili on Thursday (29/5)

Pardon to Rogerio: MPs ask PR Horta retract his statement - Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Members of the National Parliament are asking President José Ramos-Horta to withdraw his statement concerning the pardon of former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato in which he said that many of the Rogerio's family died in the fight for the country's liberation.

"The president should give a pardon based on his authority and not because someone's family died during the struggle," said CNRT MP Natalino dos Santos on Thursday (29/5) in the National Parliament.

The big impact [of the president's pardon] is setting a bad precedent to the nation – therre is no legal basis on which to give a pardon based on family members who died during the war.

President Ramos-Horta did not comment on the request even though journalists have been questioning him about the pardon and his recent statements

The 60th anniversary of UN peacekeeping – The Maniila Times, 29 May

By Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

(For more than 50 years, the Philippines has sent hundreds of troops overseas for peacekeeping in fulfillment of its international obligations. From South Korea in the 1950s to Timor Leste in the '00' decade, Filipino soldiers and police officers, under the auspices of the United Nations, have taken part in humanitarian missions to keep the peace and to help rebuild in formerly war-torn countries. We pay them tribute on this day, the 60th year of UN peacekeeping.)

This year, the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers also marks the 60th anniversary of UN peacekeeping. Six decades ago today, the Security Council established our first peacekeeping mission. Most of the peacekeepers came from a handful of European and American countries and they were mostly unarmed military men observing and monitoring cease-fire lines.

Since then, peacekeeping has developed into a flagship enterprise of our Organization. Today, we have more than 110,000 men and women deployed in conflict zones around the world. They come from nearly 120 countries—an alll-time high, reflecting confidence in United Nations peacekeeping. They come from nations large and small, rich and poor—some of them countries recently afflicted by waar themselves. They bring different cultures and experiences to the job, but they are united in their determination to foster peace. Some are in uniform but many are civilians and their activities go far beyond monitoring.

They train police, disarm ex-combatants, support elections and help build State institutions. They build bridges, repair schools, assist flood victims and protect women from sexual violence. They uphold human rights and promote gender equality. Thanks to their efforts, life-saving humanitarian assistance can be delivered and economic development can begin.

In the past year, I have visited peacekeepers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. I have seen refugees returning home, children heading back to school, citizens once again secure under the rule of law. I have seen whole societies moving, with the help of the peacekeepers, from devastation to rejuvenation. In Haiti, in Liberia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo the blue helmets have provided breathing space for a fragile peace to take hold.

We could not do this job without our partners in regional organizations. The African Union and the UN are deploying our first hybrid force in Darfur. And we are working with the European Union in neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic.

More than half of all our Member States contribute troops and police to peacekeeping operations. We are grateful to every one of them. Our special thanks go to the top contributors: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Nepal. Together, these nations of the south contribute nearly half of the UN's peacekeepers.

This anniversary is an occasion to celebrate, but also to mourn our fallen colleagues. Over these six decades, more than two thousand and four hundred men and women have died serving the cause of peace. Just last year alone, we lost 87 brave individuals.

Each one is a hero. Today, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten, and the vital work of the blue helmets continues as long as they are needed.

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