Subject: UNMIT's Daily Media Review 21 November 2006

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

Tuesday, 21 November 2006


National Media Reports

Timor's Name Stained: Ramos-Horta

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta said the killing of a Brazilian by a youth is a serious crime and it has put a stain on Timor-Leste in the eyes of the world. On the continued violence, Ramos-Horta said the government will continue with its program of 'simu malu', appealing to the people not to lose hope and courage, and for the youths to get rid of their sharp objects, hatred and stop accusing the leaders as being the dividers. He stressed that the leaders, namely F-FDTL and PNTL, have reconciled but some youths and martial arts groups have not done the same. The Prime Minister said the accusations that some leaders are behind this violence is false, pointing to the problems in Ermera between the Kolimau 2000 group and the martial arts group, that it was the actions of the youth and not ordered by the leaders.

President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo" said the actor of the crime against the Brazilian citizen must be detained and processed in court. Guterres is of the opinion that the peace process initiated by the youth must continue and the violence that has been occurring is likely caused by small groups of people who can be easily identified. Meanwhile, Lu-Olo also said he received information from victims of human rights violations, from the hamlet of Gulolo, a sub-district of Letefoho, allegedly accusing PNTL Police Reserve Unit (URP) for the violations. He said the case has been brought to the attention of the Deputy Minister of Interior, the Prime Minister and his two deputies. (STL, TP)

Incident Not Related To Peace Actions: DSRG Eric Tan Gim

UNMIT DSRSG Eric Tan Huck Gim told the media on Monday that the incidents at the National Hospital and Obrigado camp are not related to the peace actions initiated by youths. On the murder of the Brazilian citizen, Tan Huck Gim said that an investigation is underway and law and order would be reinforced but it is important to detain those involved in the conflict. He praised the initiative of the youth to create a peaceful environment, adding the initiative is important for the future of Timor-Leste and it must be continued. The DSRSG further said Timor-Leste has overcome the difficult period and must now prepare for the 2007 elections and, based on the UN mandate, UNMIT is committed to providing support to ensure that elections are just and free. On the same occasion Acting Police Commissioner, Emir Bilget said UNPOL has established permanent police posts in some neighbourhoods and are operating 24 hrs, 7 days a week. The areas that now have static police presence starting this week are the airport, seaport (operational during daytime only, during business hours) and Hera. Bilget also said that soon posts will be established in Fatuhada, Bebonuk, Manleuana, Matadour and Tasi Tolu. But while reconstruction is in progress UNPOL will try to make its presence visible through patrolling. He said in order to increase the police presence at the National Hospital police numbers would be increased in Aikadiruhun as well as the number of patrolling vehicles.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of youth for peace, Joao da Silva "Choque" said violence would not stop if the justice sector continues to be weak to charge those responsible for crimes. Da Silva said the youth peace initiative must be supported with security and it is time the UN police work seriously to detain the groups or individuals that continue to create violence. He said the peace action alone would not guarantee an end to the violence, adding community dialogue, security and justice must work hand in hand to identify those creating violence. Joao da Silva said small groups and individuals are the ones creating disturbances hence the police must act and the judicial system must be strong otherwise face having the youths blaming each other without substance. According to Timor Post, more peace actions have been planned but dates have not been confirmed.

Diario Nacional reported that rock throwing between youths of Bidau Massau and Bidau Toko Baro, or the IDPs at the National Hospital, left two people seriously injured. A total of four people were injured during the fight. (TP, DN)

F-FDTL and PNTL Will Take IDPs Home: Bano

Minister for Labor and Community Reintegration, Arsenio Bano said F-FDTL and PNTL would be involved in the repatriation of IDPs therefore he asked the community to collaborate with the two institutions. To better prepare for the 'simu malu' programme, a first meeting was called on Monday with the participation of Lino Saldanha, representing PNTL, Major Koliati, representing F-FDTL and government officials from the Ministry of Public Works, the State Ministry and youth representatives. Minister Bano said plans have already been drawn and said the involvement of F-FDTL and PNTL is under the humanitarian assistance aspect to help the communities. Bano said a meeting is scheduled for November 25 for 30 members each of both institutions to further grasp the program so they can better contribute to the relocation of IDPs. (DN, TP)

President Stops MPs Visit

MPs from UDT and PSD have expressed disappointment with the attitude of the President of the National Parliament for impeding the Parliament Delegation from visiting IDPs together with youths. The decision for the visit was agreed upon by the party benches but it has not been implemented. MP Alexandre Corte-Real (UDT) said the President of the Parliament must explain to the public the delay of the visit, adding the President himself promised to send a delegation to visit the IDPs. MP Joao Gonçalves (PSD) agreed with Corte-Real, further saying the President of the Parliament met with the parties' benches to organize a delegation with the aim for the visit. (TP, DN)

International Media Reports

Australia mulls partial Timor withdrawal November 21, 2006 - 3:25PM - © 2006 AAP Australia is considering withdrawing some troops from East Timor as the security situation improves after the violence and political unrest early this year. Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, in Timor to meet the soldiers ahead of Christmas and to review the force, said he would discuss its size and composition with defence force head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and Prime Minister John Howard on his return. "If we were to reduce our numbers here it would not be by any substantial amount," he told reporters. "As I say repeatedly in relation to all our deployments it is day to day, week to week, month to month." He said one of the purposes of his visit was to get "a real feel" for the situation which would also be discussed at the cabinet's national security committee. There are currently 950 Australian and 120 New Zealand troops in East Timor. As well there are some 1000 multi-national police under UN command. Commander of the Australian forces in East Timor, Brigadier Mal Rerden, said the security situation had improved although there remained some gang activity. Two murders in East Timor this week, one of a Brazilian missionary, were attributed to street gangs. "We have got more than sufficient troops for the nature of the mission but also for the nature of the security environment as it is," he said. "We have been able to demonstrate time and time again that we are capable of dealing with the threats when they emerge." Brig Rerden said UN police were reaching a good capability and that was having an impact on the streets. "We are able to let the police take primacy in day to day law enforcement. We provide the back up and the response force in event of something big happening," he said. Dr Nelson met East Timor's Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta, emphasising Australia's ongoing deep commitment to the nation, its stability and good governance. He said he had gone through a series of issues for the Timor government to progress in discharge of its own responsibilities. Dr Nelson said that was not said in any sense other than a cooperative tone. "Australian goodwill is enormous, the depth of goodwill towards East Timor is enormous but we cannot afford to see popular will in Australia exhausted by political failure in any of those countries we are helping," he said. Dr Nelson's scheduled meeting with President Xanana Gusmao was cancelled because of the East Timor leader's ill health. (The Age, SBS)


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