Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 6 November 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

Monday, 06 November 2006


National Media Reports

I Resigned For The Sake Of The Country: Alkatiri

In a lengthy interview with STL, published today, former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri speaks about his activities since his resignation as head of the government, the allegations on guns distribution and the COI report. He said during the interview that if he had not resigned the country would have been torn in pieces and many people would have died. He stressed that he did not want to continue governing at the cost of the death. Alkatiri also said he resigned because he did not want a sudden vacuum in the state institutions like the resignation of the President of the Republic or the dissolution of Parliament which would have further contributed to the deterioration of the country.

Following his resignation, Alkatiri said together with Fretilin leaders and President Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo", they appealed to the members of Fretilin to continue to be tolerant and patient which stopped Timor-Leste from a civil war. The former Prime Minister insists that since the beginning, he considered the crisis a constitutional coup d'etat. Alkatiri said the accusation that the F-FDTL massacred 60 people has been proven false by the Commission of Inquiry report as has the allegation of the distribution of guns by Fretilin to its members. He says there was a conspiracy of a coup d'etat against the government, which did not involve the use of guns. He is also not accusing either President Xanana Gusmao or other leaders for the attempted coup, which resulted in the leadership falling into the trap.

Mari Alkatiri said the attempts to bring down his government started in 2002. He said he never distributed any guns nor did Fretilin use or distribute any guns. On the issue of controlling the situation, the former Prime Minister said he and the President of the National Parliament requested the assistance of the international forces. He thanked them and appealed to them to work effectively for the people to live in peace. Alkatiri says he continues to work to contribute to peace for the country and welcomes anyone who wishes his seek his advice as many ministers, including Ramos-Horta, very often ask for his advice on government related matters. He is now writing a book and drafting strategies to strengthen his party, Fretilin. (STL)

UN Peace Keepers Needed in More Troubled Areas of the World

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta has said that the UN Security Council may not have the determination to send peacekeepers to Timor-Leste due to the many bigger problems around the world that require blue beret troops. Ramos-Horta said the UN is facing difficulties to mobilize troops to Lebanon and other parts of the world that are in a worse situation than Timor-Leste, even though many countries in the region have shown their interest in helping the country. He said members of the Security Council opposing the peacekeepers in Timor-Leste are Japan, the UK and USA. In the report to the SC, the Secretary General proposed 350 peacekeepers with 150 to provide security for the UN staff at Obrigado Barracks and the 200 to provide security for the population. (STL)

Press Releases

EU Parliamentary Commission Visits IOM Community Development Projects in Baucau

Dili, November 3, 2006. Yesterday 3 Members of the European Parliament made a special visit to the district of Baucau to view IOM community development projects funded by the European Commission.

During the visit, the EU Parliamentarians toured a gravity water system and latrines constructed in the Bahamori suco in the sub-district of Venilale. The newly-constructed system viewed by the Parliamentarians now provides a community water fountain for 916 villagers, who previously lived 1 km away from the nearest water source.

The project is part of IOM's European Commission Assistance to Community Stabilization Project (ECACS), which has received a total of €2,715,502 from the European Commission to implement nearly 73 similar rural development projects within the districts of Baucau, Lautem, and Viqueque. Involving 47 sucos from these districts, almost 78 percent of the projects have focused on providing easier access to water for some of the most remote villages in Timor-Leste.

The European delegation lauded the considerable progress made by the project over the last 32 months since it began in 2004, particularly highlighting IOM’s unique approach in involving communities in the planning and implementation of community projects through voluntary time and labour. They favourably viewed IOM initiatives to strengthen this approach through linking communities, suco councils, sub-district and district governments in guiding development strategies for rural communities.

The Parliamentarians additionally noted the project's successes in enhancing community ownership over community assets through technical training on the management and maintenance of completed projects. As part of the overall effort to help communities seek sustainable means in improving their livelihoods, the ECACS project also provides training to suco councils to assist them in identifying and prioritizing community needs.

Communities involved in the ECACS water supply projects have praised the impact of the projects on their daily lives, noting vast improvements made in family health and hygiene, as well as the increase in leisure time available to women and children. One villager from Laisorulai commented on these changes by saying: "Now that water is closer we can wash, bathe, and drink more. The children are never late to school because they can quickly finish their tasks, such as fetching water, and bathe much easier than ever before."


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