Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 15 August 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)

PM asks public servants to use scholarship well – TVTL

The Prime Minister has said that public servants who were awarded with scholarship must study hard and return to their post successfully. The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government has sent fifty four public servants to study in Indonesia to help build their capacity to serve and develop the country. The Minister of Economics and Development João Gonçalves said that the training is very important for all public servants and wish the scholarship participants well.

Illegal weapons handed over to PNTL in Viqueque – TVTL

The population of Viqueque District have voluntarily handed over their illegal weapons to the PNTL District Commander Justino Menezes. The weapons included bullets, ammunition, hand grenades and riffles. Mr Menezes said that such traditional weapons were voluntarily handed over by people in each sub-district of the Viqueque. It is planned that all collected weapons will be destroyed on the anniversary of the Popular Consultation Day celebrated on 30 August.

400 more IDP families return home – >TVTL

More than four hundred IDP families of the Minor Seminary of Balide IDP Camp have returned to their communities. The Minister of Social Solidarity Domingas Alves said that the decision of the IDPs to return home has contributed to the country’s future development. Separately, Camp Manager Antoninho dos Santos said that they are happy with the reintegration program of the Government but are still concerned about the safety of the IDPs once they return to their communities.

Salvador Martins: ready to pay gambling tax – TVTL

Salvador Martins ‘Mauhoka’, a gambler in Dili, said that he would be ready to pay a gambling tax. Mauhoka, responsible for running the gambling game bola guling, said that he would agree to pay a gambling tax if a gambling law was passed in the country. He said that as a result of the Government clamp down on gambling, the 3000 people he employs will lose their jobs. Mauhoka is currently preparing a petition to ask the Government to reactivate gambling in Dili.

Weapons Collection Campaign ends– Timor Post and Diario Nacional

The Operational Commander of PNTL Mateus Fernandes said that during the weapon’s collection campaign, the public had voluntarily handed over traditional weapons to the operation team in every district. Separately, the State Secretary for the Council of Ministers Agio Pereira said that the Council of Ministers will have a congress with the Prime Minister to announce the result of this campaign and whether there is a possibility for extending the campaign.

Elections cancelled for Chefe Sucos, Chefe Aldeias and Conselho do Sucos- RTL, Timor Post and Suara Timor Lorosa’e

The President of CNE Faustino Cardoso said that the National Commission of Electoral (CNE) will not be holding elections this year for Chefe Sucos, Chefe Aldeias and Conselho do Sucos. Mr Cardoso said that the elections were being stalled by a lack of time, funding and preparation.

Well-being focuses of Muslim meet – The Jakarta Poost, 15 August

Leaders of Islamic nongovernmental organizations from across Southeast Asia met in Jakarta on Wednesday to discuss ways to promote the well-being of Muslims in the region through democracy.

The two-day meeting of the Southeast Asia Forum for Islam and Democracy (SEAFID) is drafting a charter that would give it a stronger footing in promoting its programs and causes.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla met with the delegates from Indonesia, Timor Leste, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

"Democracy is one of the means of achieving development," Kalla acknowledged in his keynote speech.

Muslims in the region face different challenges, particularly where they are the minority.

In Myanmar, for instance, they are regarded as non-citizens, said one participant; while Muslim minorities in southern Thailand and in the Philippines remain locked in conflict, at times violent, with their governments.

Where Muslims are the majority, as in the case of Indonesia and Malaysia, the greater challenge is to prevent the rise of Islamic radicalism.

Despite the gamut of challenges facing SEAFID members, they were united in renouncing the use of force and violence. Rather, they advocated democracy, and all the values it represented, as a means to help improve the lot of Muslims in the region.

SEAFID, founded in Manila last December, is an offshoot of a series of roundtable discussions held in 2005 and 2006 by activists from Muslim NGOs in the region, including the International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) in Jakarta, the Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies in Singapore, Jamaah Islah Malaysia, the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy, as well as individuals connected with these organizations and other prominent Islamic activists.



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