Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 31 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

Tuesday, 31 October 2006


National Media Reports

We Will Not Capture Commander Ruak: Rerden

The Australian Stabilisation Forces Commander, General Rerden has denied information that his men had detained F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak. Rerden said there was a checkpoint where Brigadier General Taur had to wait for 10-15 minutes because the Australian forces at the checkpoint are not aware of or do not know him. The Australian Commander continued to state that the hold up was also due to the number of cars in front of the vehicle of the Head of Timor-Leste’s Defence Force. But as soon as he was identified as the Chief of the country’s forces he was allowed to continue on his trip. Rerden said he would meet with F-FDTL Brigadier General to discuss the concerns the Timorese armed forces are facing. He further said he rejects the quest for an investigation into Australian forces services, adding it is unnecessary because it is not a military procedure. If the population or government receives any information in relation to any illegal action, the Australian commander said it should be directed to UNPOL to investigate with the army’s full support. Malcolm Rerden pointed out that his men have been working professionally and impartially, stressing the Australian and New Zealand forces were in the country at the request of the Timor-Leste government to bring peace to the people. Despite the crimes, Rerden said everybody detained by the Australian Forces are treated equally and anyone detained by them has never been dropped in the middle of the road or late at night. Except in zones considered neutral, the detainees are likely to be taken to detention centres under the responsibility of UNPOL.

During the press conference held on Monday at the Australian forces headquarters, Malcom Rerden said they would continue to search for Alfredo Reinado and those who escaped from jail on August 30. He said his forces would defend themselves if Alfredo shot at them as stated earlier, adding that the forces are already located in the area where Alfredo Reinado is hiding. Malcolm Rerden is replacing commander Mick Slater who has left the country. (STL, TP)

Major Alfredo Must Contribute To Peace: Ruak

F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has appealed for Alfredo Reinado to cooperate and contribute to the peace of the nation through justice. Ruak said he has not been in touch with Alfredo but he is aware that Australian Forces commander Mick Slater and Bishop Belo met with Alfredo, which is a step forward. In the meantime, Alfredo stated he is ready to appear in court when the time comes, stressing there should be no short cuts to the cases and that the incident of 28 April should be resolved before proceeding to the cases of May 3. Reinado further said he would take full responsibility for any action of his members. Two prisoners who fled with Reinado have reportedly returned to prison.

MP Clementino Amara (KOTA) said Taur Matan Ruak’s appeal may help decrease the violence between youths since he is well known among youths from the resistance period. (STL, TP)

Reactivation Of F-FDTL

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ramos-Horta said he cannot comment on the demands of F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak in relation to the behaviour of the Australian Forces services in the country. Ramos-Horta said in order to improve the security situation he would need to first consult with all members of the government including the F-FDTL commander and the President of the Republic to reactivate the national armed forces. He said F-FDTL already has the political conditions to reactivate following the report of the COI, which indicates that the accusation against F-FDTL about carrying out a massacre is false.

In relation to allegations of discrimination within the national army, Lieutenant Colonel, Falur Rate Laek told the Notable Commission that he used the words ‘loromonu did not participate in the war’ sometimes when he was angry. Falur said even to the veterans he used to say ‘how much did you fight in the jungle?’ And these terms were also used when they joked with each other. A press communiqué issued by the Commission noted that when Lieutenant Colonel Falur speaks, sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop and this could be a problem when people who do not know him but despite this he has a good heart and good intentions.

Lere stated that the selection process in Aileu did not look into age or education. They focused mainly on the state of health and the veterans who did not participate in the selection process did so of their own accord because they wanted to retire and rest. The Commission will further meet with other members of the defence forces to cross check the data received. (STL, TP)

President of Parliament Appeal to Population to Trust Police

Francisco Guterres ‘Lu-Olo’, President of the National Parliament said following the crisis and six-month halt of PNTL, the institution began to focus on law and order. Lu-Olo said the Ministry of Interior had already set up permanent posts in the area of Comoro and Becora as a first phase. He said in the second phase, there would be more posts established around Dili, adding it is important to note that PNTL has been reactivated following a screening process. The President of the National Parliament pointed out that there are already enough police to work with UNPOL and their services are crucial since they know the ground better and can assist the international police in operations. He appealed to the people to trust and cooperate with the national police. (TP)

RTTL news headlines 30-10-06

PM Horta affirms that Pope pray for Timor Leste

PM Horta returned to Dili after an official visit to Rome to meet with Pope Bento XVI. Speaking at a press conference, PM Horta said that Pope Bento cannot visit Timor Leste as requested because the Pope has already plans, but the Pope said that he prayed for peace to be established in Timor Leste again.

Bishop Belo returns to Mozambique

Bishop Belo returned to Mozambique after a two-week stay in the country. Before leaving Timor Leste, Bishop Belo gave a message to all people of Timor Leste to end violence and to respect each other. People of Timor Leste must live in peace so that the Timorese can get back the culture of peace.

Vice Minister of Health returns from his official visit to Cuba

Vice Minister of Health, Luis Lobato returned to the country after a visit with the medical students in Cuba. Speaking to journalists at the airport, Vice Minister Lobato said that the objective of the visit was to see the development of the Timorese medical students in Cuba and also to make a comparative study on the health system in Cuba.

EU delegation visit National Parliament

A delegation from the EU visited the National Parliament and held meetings with the speaker of the National Parliament. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the head of the EU delegation, Ana Gomes, said that they have concerns about the security situation and about the IDPs returning to their homes. Meanwhile, the speaker of National Parliament, Lu-Olo, said that the EU continues to cooperate with the National Parliament.

Security Post not established yet

Minister of Interior said that the permanent security posts that have been identified are not yet functioning because of the insufficient number of UN Police. The Minister of Interior also mentioned that PNTL was supposed to be reactivated from the UIR unit but the representative of UNPol did not attend the meeting of the screening test commission so they decided to hold the discussion at another time.

Government socialize the CoI report to districts

Minister in the presidency of the Council of Ministers, Anotoninho Bianco, on behalf of the Government visited the districts for explaining the CoI report to the population. Other issues that the Government also explained to the population in the districts included the security situation in Timor Leste and the upcoming general elections. RTTL reported that the population responded enthusiastically to the visit.

Fretilin inaugurate new office

On 28 October, the vice Secretary General of Fretilin, Jose Manuel Fernandez inaugurated a new office in Cassa village/Ainaro.

UNDERTIM held consolidation meeting

On 28-29 UNDERTIM held a consolidation meeting with cadres from all districts to discuss the criteria of members of parliament and also the upcoming general elections in 2007. President of UNDERTIM, Cornelio Gama a.k.a. L7 said that UNDERTIM had the possibility to win a majority in the upcoming general election because UNDERTIM has strong links with the former resistance from Lospalos to Oecusse. Meanwhile, the Vice Secretary General of UNDERTIM said that if UNDERTIM gains election majority than UNDERTIM will amend the current RDTL constitution.

International Media Reports

Alcohol behind violence in E Timor 31oct06 Alcohol behind violence in E Timor 31 October

ALCOHOL more than the drug ice was helping fuel gang violence in East Timor, the commander of Australian police in Dili says.

Clashes between rival gangs armed with guns, rocks and knives have killed up to eight people and injured 50 in the past week. While violence in the capital has calmed in recent days, a frenzy of anti-Australian sentiment is being whipped up with unfounded rumours of Australian bias and killings swirling around Dili. Reuters reported East Timorese prime ministerial adviser Jose Sousa-Santos as saying that much of last week's fighting in the capital Dili was due to the use by youth gangs of locally-made methamphetamine, or "ice," which can trigger uncontrolled rages. But Australian Federal Police Commander Steve Lancaster said there was no clear evidence "ice" was to blame. "We haven't seen any clear evidence of that, it might be part to blame," he told ABC radio. "I think there's more to blame, (it) is the availability of palm wine and there's no regulation of the alcohol either. I think that is a major contributing factor, probably much more major than the drug." Another factor was boredom and the gangs' willingness to believe the "scurrilous" rumours about foreign forces. "A lot of the people don't seem to need the drugs to believe this, or just want to get involved and that's through boredom or other reasons," Mr Lancaster said. "The recent problems have been a frustration to the Australian peacekeepers. "It unstitches a lot of good work that the Australian military and the Australian police have done up here," he said. "We go two steps and we seem to get this one step backward. "We all know this is a long-term scenario and anyone who comes here thinking they're going to see change in three months or six months is just not in reality. "We're looking at generational change here and conflict management and resolution really." (The Australian)

Petronas, 3 Korean partners get Timor Leste PSC By Jimmy Yeow Petronas and three Korean partners have been awarded a production sharing contract (PSC) for an offshore exploration Block 06-102 in the joint petroleum development area between Timor Leste and Australia. The Korean partners are Korea Gas, Samsung and LG International. The PSC, which was signed in Dili on Oct 30, is the first block to have been awarded by the Timor Leste Designated Authority (TSDA). Petronas via its subsidiary and operator of the block PC (Timor Sea 06-102) Ltd holds a 50% stake in the PSC, Korea Gas 30% while Samsung and LG International has 10% each. In a statement yesterday, Petronas said the PSC marked its entry in the Timor Leste/Australia’s upstream sector. “Petronas and partners are optimistic of the commerciality of the block’s hydrocarbon accumulation.” It said the minimum investment for the exploration activities was US$40.5 million (RM147.87 million). Block 06-102 covers 4,125 sq km and is located 450 km from Darwin and about 250 km off the shore of Timor Leste. Under the PSC terms, the contractors are committed to acquire, process and interpret 300 sq km of 3D seismic data, undertake geological and geophysical studies and drill three exploration wells during the first three years of the block’s exploration phase. (The Edge Daily)


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