Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 23 November 2006

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]

Thursday, 23 November 2006



National Media Reports

F-FDTL Plans to Dialogue with Alfredo

Prime Minister Ramos-Horta reportedly told the media on Wednesday that F-FDTL is planning to hold a dialogue with Major Alfredo and his colleagues to resolve pending problems within the institution. Ramos-Horta said the planned meeting is a proposal from Brigadier General Tara Matan Ruak who also intends to meet with Majors Tara and Marcos to ask them to return to F-FDTL Headquarters. Tara also wants to establish a military commission to carefully define the meetings, without putting aside the justice process, said the Prime Minister. He said he would personally contact Majors Tara and Marcos and that Salsinha Gastao's case is a different one, which would also be resolved. Horta said time is up for Alfredo and his colleagues, including some members of UIR to hand in their guns and meet the President of the Republic and whoever else they wish to meet and to present themselves at headquarters to wait for the justice process. Timor Post reported on the proposed two-day seminar scheduled to start on Friday in Suai with the theme 'Peace And Justice'. Major Alfredo is expected to participate in the event as well as Minister of Labour and Community Reinsertion, Arsenio Bano, Dr. Lucas da Costa, Director of Peace and Justice of Baucau Diocese, Augusto Trindade and Benevides Correia Barros. The participants each will speak on various topics ranging from establishment of the National Forum for Justice and Peace for Reformation in Timor-Leste. Major Alfredo will focus on Resolving the Problem, Reformation and Revolution. (TP, DN)

Commission Presents Report

Commission A of the National Parliament has presented the proposed projects on the electoral law for the National Parliament and the National Independent Commission to the plenary but was not debated as per the agenda due to other matters under discussion.

According to MP Vicente Faria, the proposed project laws were delayed due to the lack of advisors and a quorum to approve the document. With the help of a legal advisor supported by UNDP, however, the commission achieved its aim and is happy that the work is done.

Opposition MPs were not happy with the Fretilin bench for re-tabling the Project Law 12/I4 on the Status of Former Honoraries of the Sovereign Bodies for discussion and approval. Some of the opposition MPs walked out during the discussion saying that the approval of the document would be to safeguard the former Prime Minister and some ministers of the first constitutional government. (TP, STL)

Police Detains 8 People

Australian Forces together with UNPOL have detained 8 suspects in Ermera District. Minister of Interior Alcino Barris said there are strong indications these 8 people were responsible for the deaths of 5 people, thee burning of more than 100 houses and the population fleeing to other locations. Barris said the population, the elders, youth and the Colimau 2000 group were also holding a dialogue on Wednesday to try and resolve the problem. He said in Maubisse, Ainaro there were some incidents involving the population and Colimau 2000 group leaving one death and some injuries. It is reported that some groups have forced the population to join Colimau 2000 and their refusal resulting in fighting. He also said police tried to detain members of the group but they all fled after attacking the police, one of whom is now receiving medical treatment, at the national hospital. Minister Barris has requested the support of UNPOL and the Australian forces to work together with PNTL in Ainaro to try and detain those responsible for the violence in that area.

In a separate article, Mike Stone, the Australian Forces spokesperson said they would continue to work with UNPOL to detain the people responsible for the ongoing violence. Stone further said the Australian forces are providing security to the people of Timor-Leste and expatriates working in the country because they have the right to live in peace. He said there have been changes in Dili because the majority of the population want to carry on with their lives despite the many challenges they face and said it is imperative for the community to work together to provide information about the problems and help the justice process. (DN, STL, TP)

President Chairs High Level Dialogue

President Gusmao chaired a high level dialogue in Dili Wednesday with the participation of the heads of government, parliament, defence forces, national police, religious institutions, political parties, national and international NGOs. According to information, obtained by Dario Nacional, one of the main discussions of the agenda was the reconciliation and coordination between the two security institutions as well as security for the population. The dialogue was organized by the Commission for Dialogue and Community Reinsertion and closed to the media. STL reported that the motto of the dialogue was "causes, consequences and lessons learned during the crises. President Xanana appealed for reconciliation saying "we must all be honest and acknowledge our mistakes and be humble to forgive others. We must start with dialogue because we know that reconciliation is a process to search for peace within each one of us before we speak to all the community and for us to respect each other'. (STL, DN)

International Media Reports

First graduates from ACU Timor teachers course 23 November 2006

A teacher training program in East Timor accredited by the Australian Catholic University has graduated its first group of 48 teachers as the country struggles to meet a need for 200 new teachers a year. Bacau Teachers College, founded by the Marist Brothers in 2001 is the only dedicated, internationally organised provider of primary teacher education in East Timor. According to ACU Professor Tony D'Arbon, students come from all 13 districts of East Timor and the college encourages them to return to their district and carry out teaching duties upon graduation. "These beginning teachers are highly motivated and well skilled to share the learning of the three-year program they have completed at the college," he said. But Professor D'Arbon says East Timor is still struggling to meet the demand for teachers. "East Timor continues to struggle with teacher education as it is needing 200 teachers each year just for the primary sector. The current Ministry of Education is struggling to organise itself," he said. Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan who was on hand to present students with their new qualifications at a ceremony last weekend in Baucau, 120km from Dili, said that "education is at the heart of nation-building and will lay the foundations for the future peace and prosperity of East Timor." "Support for the Bachelor of Teaching program is a contribution from ACU National to Australia's aid program which focuses on building the capacity of the people of East Timor to run an effective, democratic government and administration," he said. In addition to the 48 graduates, five other students received Certificates of Teaching and Learning, while another received a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Leadership. The three-year Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) course is coordinated by Margie Beck, a seconded senior lecturer from ACU National's School of Educational Leadership at the Strathfield Campus. Bacau Teachers College, founded in 2001 at the request of the Bishop of Bacau, now hosts about 150 students across three years of the primary teaching course. (Catholic News - Australia)

PM wants more Portuguese GNR police for UN security force

Dili, Nov. 22 (Lusa) - Prime Minister José Ramos Horta said Wednesday that he will ask the United Nations and Lisbon to send a second company of Portuguese GNR paramilitary police to reinforce the UN's international police force being assembled in the new nation.

Ramos Horta told Lusa he had already raised the question of more GNR officers being sent to Timor with senior UN officials and Portuguese Internal Administration Minister Antonio Costa.

The Timorese government will now formalize its request for more Portuguese GNR officers, said Ramos Horta, "taking into account general elections in 2007".

The comments of Timor's prime minister on the reinforcement of Lisbon's GNR force in the new nation came a few hours before the departure of 108 officers from the force to replace the 140-strong GNR contingent in Timor since June.

The rotation GNR force was scheduled to leave Lisbon Wednesday evening to join a 20-nation UN police force in Timor, expected to number around 1,600 officers by early 2007.

Portugal's contribution to the international police force is presently 188 GNR officers and 63 agents from the Public Security Police (PSP), a total 251 police.

An additional eight officers from the PSP's elite Special Operations Group are working outside the UN security remit on diplomatic protection duties in Timor.


Back to November menu
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu