Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 28-30 October 2006

[Poster's note: International and other articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed from below.]


United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste

Public Information Unit

Daily Media Review

Saturday 28 Oct, Monday 30 October 2006


National Media Reports

Ministers Must Explain Absence Of Police

Francisco Guterres ‘Lu-Olo’ said the National Parliament will request Prime Minister Ramos-Horta and Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris, to respond to the continued absence of Police Posts in the neighbourhoods. Lu-Olo said the government had promised the establishment of these posts, which is not evolving, leading to loss of lives almost on a daily basis. The President of the Parliament said the people have asked for the reactivation of PNTL and F-FDTL because they do not trust the international forces. He further said the NP is not planning to ask for F-FDTL intervention. Therefore, the UN forces should be under one command.

A 50-year old man by the name of Antonio Morais has allegedly told the National Parliament that he and the two people that died in Pantai Kelapa, Dili, last Thursday night, were captured by the Australian police during the fighting between the youths of Aimutin and Comoro Market. Morais said they were taken in separate cars and while in the car he remembers the Australian military rubbing some kind of medicine smelling like petrol on his face which made him lose consciousness/ not allowing him to think clearly and he could not speak. He said the forces dropped him near the ocean, by Comoro riverbed. Morais continued to state that he woke up the next day (Friday) in shock but after sitting for a while realized what had happened and starting walking towards Comoro Pertamina. As he was nearing Pertamina he saw the mutilated bodies of his two colleagues. And he stated that he doesn’t know who killed them but he remembers the three were taken in separate cars by the Australian forces from Mercado market. (STL, TP)

Brigadier Taur Request Investigation Into Forces

F-FDTL Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak wants the government to establish an investigation into the behaviour of some Australian soldiers during the security operations in Dili in the past months. Ruak said he would not like to point out the mistakes and rather leave it to a commission of inquiry to release the results. He further said, soon he would send another proposal for consideration even though the government has not responded to his earlier proposal on the establishment of a commission to investigate the behaviour of Australian troops in Timor-Leste. He said the proposal is not to ask the Australian to leave the country but to help or improve their behaviour. The General said F-FDTL has been marginalized for committing errors therefore he doesn’t want the population to have bad feelings towards the Australian forces. He also said he is not happy that the security situation in Dili cannot be overcome with the presence of many UN police, turning Dili into a “Cowboy City”. And detaining those not involved in the violence. According to Timor Post, many people have expressed ill feeling towards the Australian forces. This daily gave an example of a youth who refused to give his name that he was detained by the Australian forces in front of his house late at night, taken and dropped in Caicoli. (TP, STL)

Nobel Laureates To Participate in Peace Discussions

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta has given his trust for the National Events Commission to organize the national program with the theme ‘Peace Gathering,’ scheduled to commence on November 12 and conclude on December 10. There will be many events such as ritual and traditional ceremonies at the district and national level. The program of 10 December would culminate in Tasi Tolu with the participation of representatives of all organizations and the government. Seven Nobel Laureates would also be invited to participate in the event. (TP)

International Media Reports

Diggers banned from Dili refugee camp

Monday, October 30, 2006. 1:20pm (AEDT)

Australian troops have been banned from a refugee camp in the East Timorese capital Dili after being blamed for killing two men during last week's gang violence. The sign on the fence at the camp says 'Australian military - keep out'. The ban came after ADF boss Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston denied that Australian soldiers were responsible for the deaths. Newspapers in Dili are reporting the claims as fact. In a further sign of eroding relations with Australia, rocks were thrown at the Australian Embassy a few nights ago. At least five people have died in recent gang violence, which closed Dili's international airport last week. (ABC)

New team leaves for East Timor

Monday, October 30, 2006. 1:00pm (AEDT)

About 100 soldiers from Adelaide will leave Townsville later this morning to join the Australian security forces in East Timor. The troops from the 111th Air Defence Battery have been training at Lavarack Barracks for the last fortnight. The deployment is part of a normal rotation of troops. Almost 1,000 soldiers remain in East Timor. (ABC)

Singapore to send police officers to East Timor

dpa German Press Agency - © 2006 dpa German Press Agency

Published: Saturday October 28, 2006

Singapore- The Singapore Police Force will send a contingent to East Timor on Thursday as part of a United Nations mission aimed at beefing up security in the troubled country, officials said Saturday. Presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held next year in the Pacific nation, which has been unstable since March and has suffered continued waves of violence. The Singapore team of 18 men and three women will be led by Superintendent Francis Tan, the contingent commander, police said on Saturday. During their 12-month stint, the group's peacekeeping tasks will include helping to relocate displaced residents. Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has been blamed for much of the violence, which began in March when he sacked a third of the army after soldiers went on strike complaining of ethnic discrimination within the ranks. Scores of people have been killed and 150,000 driven from their homes. Peacekeepers from Australia and New Zealand were brought in to restore order after fighting broke out between rebel soldiers and those loyal to the government. (The Raw Story, Singapore)

E Timorese general seeks inquiry into Aust soldiers' conduct

Saturday, October 28, 2006. 6:00 am (AEST)

The head of East Timor's armed forces has called for a full inquiry into the conduct of Australian soldiers in Dili. Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has effectively blamed Australia for the worsening violence in the country, questioning why the crisis continues six months after Australian troops arrived in East Timor. Gen Ruak has also effectively accused Australia of taking sides in the political crisis that began in April. He has also attacked Australia for refusing to operate under the United Nations (UN) command and says Australia's military presence has failed to resolve the crisis in Dili. Gang violence has continued to plague the capital, with up to 10 people killed in the past week. In the latest violence, between two and four people were killed yesterday when rival groups clashed on Dili's waterfront. The commander of Australian troops, Brigadier Mal Rerden, denies his soldiers support either side, saying they have approached the job with total impartiality. (ABC)

East Timor Leader Gets Papal Audience

Date: 2006-10-27

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 27, 2006 (<> Benedict XVI received in audience the José Ramos Horta, prime minister of East Timor and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize. The Vatican press office confirmed the prime minister's visit today, but gave no details of the conversation. Before his trip to Europe, Ramos Horta said that intended to invite the Pope to visit Dili, the capital of the Asian island nation, as he believes the visit might be a sign of peace, hope and reconciliation for the country. In statements published by the Fides agency prior to the meeting, Ramos Horta explained that the Catholic Church is "the only solid institution which has absorbed the island's cultural fabric," and that it has a decisive role to play in overcoming the present crisis. The situation in East Timor degenerated in April when riots broke out after then Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri expelled some 600 soldiers from the army. The confrontations displaced nearly 20,000 people. Ramos Horta was named prime minister in July after the resignation of Muslim Alkatiri. East Timor, a former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia, was recognized as an independent nation in 2002. About 90% of the nation's 1 million inhabitants are Catholic. (Zenit News Agency ­ Rome, Italy)


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