Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 04 June 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)

NZ forces to stay- RTL

The New Zealand Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Ms Ruth Nutall, confirmed that the NZ Government would not be withdrawing their forces, including 200 police, from Timor-Leste. The Ambassador explained that the NZ Forces' presence in Timor-Leste is to maintain, support and strengthen the PNTL and forces of Timor-Leste.

State Secretary for Defence visits international meeting in Singapore- RTL

The State Secretary for Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, said via telephone yesterday that the objective of attending the international meeting in Singapore is to discuss regional and national security defence with the Ministers' for Defence of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and to encourage Timor-Leste to cooperate well with these nations.

Mr Pinto also reaffirmed the statement made by the New Zealand Minister of Defence that the NZ government would still support Timor-Leste in the security and defence sectors.

Timor-Leste's plan to join ASEAN not rhetoric – SSuara Timor Lorosa'e
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zacarias Albano da Costa, has confirmed that Timor-Leste's plan to join ASEAN in 2012 is not mere rhetoric.

The Minister explained that currently Timor-Leste has only four embassies in the ASEAN member countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and The Philippines. These four embassies could ask for accreditation from other ASEAN members. He also said that opening embassies is a strategic objective of Timor-Leste.

Pardon to Rogerio against justice – Suaara Timor Lorosa'e

The Vice Director of the HAK Association, Aniceto Guro Berteni Neves, has said that he considers that President Horta's pardon to the former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato has created discrimination and injustice.

"We could say that President Horta's pardon to Rogerio is discrimination and an injustice given that Rogerio is the alleged principle actor of 2006 crisis," said Mr. Neves. Mr. Neves said that while constitutionally all citizens have the rights to receive a pardon this should not apply to Rogerio.

Salsinha and Horta held secret meeting – Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosa'e and Diario Nacional

President José Ramos-Horta held a secret meeting with Gastão Salsinha in his office on Saturday (31/5) in Farol, Dili. The meeting, which lasted for two hours, was closed to public.

The National Director of Social Services, Helena Madalena Gomes, confirmed that Gastao Salsinha went from Becora Prison to meet PR Horta in Farol and that this was authorized by the Dili District Court.

"I know about the meeting, but I do not know what PR Horta and Salsinha talked about. What I know is on Thursday, the President asked Minister Lobato to authorize Salsinha to meet with him," said Ms. Gomes. 

Ed: F-FDTL Withdraw from Ermera – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Since the establishment of F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Command Operation (JOC), many criticisms have been levelled against the F-FDTL. However, many people do not realise that the JOC allowed many fearful people to sleep well.

The two institutions act in good faith to protect the population from irresponsible people even though some members of the F-FDTL and PNTL fail in their role.

The issue raised by MP Joao Maia in the National Parliament is not intended to improve the institution - it was only a statement with a political agenda.

We cannot withdraw the F-FDTL from Ermera. Let's see whether Ermera is an independent nation or Timor-Leste's territory; if Ermera is the territory of Timor-Leste then there is no reason to withdraw F-FDTL from the area as the institution belongs to Timor-Leste.

We need to improve the attitudes of the members of F-FDTL – they have an obligation to protect nott to intimidate.

We are worried if someday the MPs will withdraw F-FDTL from Timor-Leste. It is bad if this MP compares the F-FDTL with the National Army of Indonesia (TNI) – thhe TNI were here to occupy while the F-FDTL belongs to Timor-Leste.

Francisco Branco: "Pardon to Rogerio was based on his attitude" – Diario Nacional

The Fretilin MP Francisco Branco said that the decision of President Ramos-Horta to pardon Rogerio Tiago Lobato was based on Lobato's attitude and cooperation with the justice system.

According to Mr. Branco, public comments are not balanced and tend to discriminate against people who they dislike. "I am concerned about the reactions from the community over the decision of the President to pardon Lobato," said Mr. Branco.

Horta promises all IDP camps to close in July. Diario Tempo

President Jose Ramos Horta promised yesterday during his visit to IDPs in the Motael camp that all IDP camps would be closed by July.

"I promise to IDPs that from June to July, all IDPs will be returned to their residence. We know that the Government has a strong commitment to do this… but we need to have a dialogue with tthe communities to make sure the IDPs return with dignity," said the President.



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