Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 02 June 2008

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

UNMIT

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

ASDT bench in NP to have dialogue with Xavier – Timor Postt 

ASDT members of the National Parliament have made efforts to conduct a dialogue with ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral and ASDT Acting Secretary-General Francisco Gomes.

ASDT's bench chief in the NP José Manuel Carrascalão said that there has been a small confrontation between the party [ASDT] and its MPs on decision making processes. "We do not want the confrontation getting any bigger, so we are finding a way to talk with the President," said Mr. Carrascalão.

TL Government gives opportunity to telecommunication operators – Timor Post

The Minister of Finance Emilia Pires said that in order to reduce the price of Timor Telecom (TT) and to create competition, the Government is providing opportunities to new telecommunication operators. Minister Pires said that to establish the new telecommunication in Timor-Leste, the Government has to remove the existed monopoly. The Minister also said that the Government announced the resolution on the new telecommunication's policy to TT on 19 March 2008.

Ramos-Horta: judges to decide Rogerio's sentence – Timor Post and Diario Nacional

President José Ramos-Horta said that it is the judge's responsibility to decide whether prisoner Rogerio Tiago Lobato will continue to fulfil his sentence in Becora Prison.


PR Horta said that before granting pardons to the prisoners, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, he had informed the judges. He added that he didn't know how long the sentence of Rogerio would be reduced.

"I do not know until now. The judges will make the decision over whether his time in Malaysia will be included or not. If not, then he should go to Becora Prison to fulfil his sentence as required," said PR Horta.


PR Horta furthermore said the he welcomed criticisms over his decision to pardon the prisoners.

"I welcome the critics when we make a decision like this. This is the President's burden. I did what my conscience dictated," PR Horta added.

Lu-Olo: Rogerio deserves to be pardoned – Diario Nacional

Fretilin President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said that former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato deserves to be pardoned. "Rogerio deserves to be pardoned. PR Horta pardoned Rogerio not because they are friends or because his family died during the war, but because of his good attitude during his detention in Becora Prison," said Mr Lu-Olo.

Answering the National Parliament's concerns that the pardon to Rogerio will create a culture of impunity, Mr. Lu-Olo said that the pardon will not create impunity as it is a normal process based on the Constitution of the nation.

Pardon to Rogerio: creating a culture of impunity culture – Suara Timor Lorosa'e


The Director of the Commission of Peace and Justice of Dili Diocese, Fr. Cyrus V. Banque, said that a pardon for a big criminal like for Rogerio Tiago Lobato creates a culture of impunity and kills justice in this nation.

"We feel that President Horta's pardon is against the good interests of many people…Even though he [Lobato] received a sentence, he diid not fulfil it…" said Fr. Banque on Saturday (31/5) in the Dili Cathedral.

According to Fr. Banque, the pardon was given the chance to be publicly debated, but was published immediately as a presidential decree. He further said that the pardon negatively impacts on people's rights and it could create an atmosphere where the Government loses its credibility.

"As the church we demand justice to be granted through the proper legal channels so as to promote the interests of Timorese people," added Fr. Banque.

F-FDTL/PNTL Command: ready to discharge their members involved in violence – Timor Post

The General Commander of the F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak said on 29/5 in Memorial Hall that the F-FDTL and PNTL institutions would tolerate officers or soldiers who displayed bad attitudes against the communities. He also said such officers/soldiers would be dismissed.

"As a democratic state, none of us is above the law. We are all under the rule of law, that is why our officers will not run away from the law", said the Commander.

International Coalition Urges UN to Be Active for Justice for East Timorese

Westender, 2 June 

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, more than 90 human rights and other organizations urged the UN "to fulfil their long-standing commitment to see that justice is done for crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste" during Indonesia

The letter comes as the bi-lateral Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) prepares to hand its report over to the presidents of Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
 

The letter said the CTF report "must not stand as the last word on these issues .... The right to know (the truth) and the right to justice are inalienable, and are a bulwark against the culture of impunity represented by [Indonesia's] Ad Hoc Court and the CTF."
 
The letter noted the April release of Eurico Guterres, the last remaining defendant of Ad Hoc Court. All those tried by the court have now been acquitted bringing that "farcical process to an end."
 
The letter urged the Secretary-General "to work towards the creation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for those who bear greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1975 onwards, not just in 1999," as recommended by The independent Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the UN's own Commission of Experts.
 
The organizational signers were joined by more than 30 academic and other concerned individuals.
 
The letter with a list of signers is available in English, Bahasa Indonesia and Tetum at http://www.etan.org/news/2008/056moon.htm.
 
In April, 34 members of the U.S. Congress urged the U.S. administration to "take a leadership role" in bringing those responsible for human rights violations perpetrated against the people of Timor-Leste during and immediately following the Indonesian occupation to justice.

"If credible trials and appropriate punishments of those responsible for major human rights violations are to occur, an international effort is needed," they wrote.

 
The congressional letter specifically urged the U.S. to respond to the CAVR report. A number of its recommendations and findings concern the U.S., the UN, and the broader international community.
 

Human rights talk based on mutual respect: diplomat – Vietnam Net, 30 May

An US diplomat said on May 30 that the 13th round of dialogue on human rights between Vietnam and the US took place in a friendly, sincere and mutual respect atmosphere.

The aide to the US Secretary of State on human rights, democracy and labour, David Kramer, told the press that the dialogue, held in Hanoi on May 29, was an annual activity in bilateral ties that have seen progresses and improvements in recent years.

Answering a correspondent's question about the human rights issue in Vietnam, Kramer said there were progresses. The May 29 dialogue and the previous ones have brought about specific results, he said.

Regarding the Agent Orange/dioxin issue in Vietnam as part of the May 29 dialogue, Kramer said the US has made clear that it will assist the disabled in Vietnam regardless the cause of their disabilities. He added that the US had provided an aid of 43 million USD for Vietnam's disabled people.

He also said because of his full schedule in Vietnam, he could not arrange any meeting with representatives from the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin.

US Ambassador Michael Michalak said the US had held active dialogues on Agent Orange and disabled people issues with the Vietnamese Government. The US is planning a 3-million-USD programme to assist Vietnam in health care and environmental improvement.
 
Vietnam hails UN Mission in East Timor
Vietnam applauds the efforts of the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) to restore and maintain security in the newest independent Southeast Asian nation.

Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN Ambassador Bui the Giang made the statement at a debate of the Security Council on the report of the UN Mission visit to East Timor from March 17-27 that provided training to national police.

UNMIT should continue its close coordination with the East Timorese government and national police to raise the efficiency of its assistance activities, said Ambassador Giang.

The Vietnamese representative voiced his support to the UN's continued assistance to East Timor in poverty reduction, which is considered a root cause of instability and insecurity.

Ambassador Giang said the visit by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to East Timor was good start to the implementation of UN Secretary General's Initiative and Security Council's Resolution 1802 to help East Timor improve its national police.

"Vietnam supports proactive efforts by the Government of East Timor to draft a National Police Policy which could serve a basis to further streamline and improve the National Police of East Timor," the Vietnamese diplomat said.

Lam Dong talks trade, tourism with Cambodia
Vice Chairman of the Central Highlands Lam Dong Provincial People's Committee Hoang Sy Son has made a five-day tour to Cambodia to promote economic, trade and tourism cooperation between his province and Cambodian localities.

During the visit from May 26-30, Vice Chairman Son held separate working sessions with Vice Governor of Phnom Penh municipality Map Sarin and Governor of Siem Reap province Sou Phirin on May 26 and 29.

The two sides spoke of their own socio-economic and tourism strengths and discussed future cooperation in the fields.

Both sides signed a memorandum of understanding that agreed to support favorable conditions for their businesses to increase the exchange of market information between one another.

Under the MOU, the two sides have agreed to facilitate the opening of branches and business offices in their provinces to organise fairs and exhibitions that promote economic, investment and tourism cooperation.

They also agreed to exchange cultural researcher and sports delegations as well as boost bilateral cooperation in personnel training in tourism and flower and bonsai cultivation.

Both the Lam Dong and Cambodian officials voiced their common support to their governments' proposal to open a Da Lat-Siem Reap direct air route and Da Lat-Phnom Penh and Da Lat-Siem Reap tours.

On May 27, Vice Chairman Son held a working session with Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon where they agreed to promote tourism cooperation between the Cambodian Tourism Ministry and provinces and Lam Dong provincial tourism sector.

Both host and guest committed to supporting the two countries' tourism businesses to open representative offices to promote tourism or open tours connecting Da Lat and Cambodian localities.

While in Cambodia, the Lam Dong provincial delegation also met with 40 Cambodian businesses at the headquarters of the Cambodian Chamber of Trade and Industry and conducted market surveys in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province.


 

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