Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 04 August 2005


Daily Media Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Thursday 04 August 2005

Justice Can Be Achieved Through Truth: Gusmão

Speaking to the media upon his arrival from South Korea on Wednesday, President Gusmão affirmed that justice cannot be found alone through tribunals but through truth. In response to the criticism from civil society of the Truth and Friendship Commission as a means of preventing the establishment of an International Tribunal in Timor-Leste. Gusmão added that the state is always concerned with the future of the nation. Therefore the civil society has the right to criticize the state but should not forget that the leaders too once belonged to the past, pointed out President Gusmão. He added that justice cannot be achieved through courts alone, but by way of truth as well taking into account the situation of Timor-Leste, which is complex, and when considering victims, remember that the whole population are victims of war. (TP, DN)

TFC Would Not Prevent International Tribunal: Menezes

Member of Parliament, Rui Menezes (PD) said the establishment of the Truth and Friendship Commission would not prevent the establishment of an international tribunal by the United Nations. Menezes said the crimes committed in 1999 are under the responsibility of the UN. He added that the Timorese people are not against the establishment of an international tribunal as long it is not a political manoeuvre. " The UN alone must convince the Security Council to establish an international tribunal" added the Member of Parliament. In a separate article in Diario newspaper, the President of Partido Klibur Timor Oan (KOTA) Manuel Tilman said his party disagrees with the TFC as it ignores justice and the dignity of those who have passed away. " KOTA respects those in charge of this nation, but the road to find peace with Indonesia is not through TFC and ignoring the rights of those that have died," Tilman said. (TP, DN)

PM Alkatiri; Timor-Leste has responded to the Australian government proposal

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told media on Wednesday, that the Timor-Leste government has recently replied to the Australian government proposal regarding the Timor Gap and particularly about oil field "Greater Sunrise," which both countries have not yet reached a final agreement reported Timor Post. He hoped that the Australian government would consider the proposal of Timor-Leste government in its response. The articles also mentions that PM Alkatiri refused to provide details of the proposals by both countries when asked. (TP)

Kowa Border Murder Defendant Sentenced to 20 Years Jail

Dili District Court International judge, Sandra Silvestre, sentenced the defendant charged with murders in Kowa village in Balibo on 29 of January 2005, Lourenco Lakobili to 20 years imprisonment, Timor Post reported. The newspaper reported further described that following the court proceedings, the accused was found guilty of the murders of Domingos, Agusta and Yanti (the three victims). Based on Article 338 the suspect could receive a maximum imprisonment of 15 years or 45 years for all the three killings. (TP)

Government Bans Sale of Spirit

Timor-Leste Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro on Wednesday called for a ban on the sale of locally-produced alcohol following test results in Darwin. According to Longuinhos the alcoholic drink contains methanol and ethanol, which are considered poisonous substances. He appealed to all shops including street vendors to hand over the drink to the police, adding that the government together with the police will begin an operation starting from the eastern part of the country to collect the this type of alcoholic drink. The Prosecutor General warned that anyone who continued to sell the drink would face criminal consequences and those companies producing the drink would be fined up to US$5,000. (TP)

UN Security Council Will Not Discuss Commission of Expert's Recommendation

The Indonesian news agency, Antara quoted the President of UN Security Council, Kenzo Oshima, who confirmed that during its forthcoming meeting on 29 August, that the UN Security Council would discuss the report of UNOTIL and not the recommendations of the Commission of Experts regarding the post-referendum human rights violations which United Nations Secretary General had presented earlier in June. Mr Oshima added further that the discussion would focus only on the progress of UNOTIL's work while the results of Commission of Experts' report remains a technical issue. (Diario Tempo)

Indonesian NGOs Reject the Formation of TFC

Jakarta: A number of Indonesian NGOs such as Human Rights Working Group, Kontras, Elsam, Community of Human Rights and others rejected formation of the Commission of Truth and Friendship (TFC). According to the coordinator of Human Right Watch, Rafendi Djamin, the establishment of the TFC would not have any positive impact for either Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The NGOs further stated that it is impossible to understand how the TFC could guarantee justice and not contradict the principles of international law. Rafendi went further by saying that the TFC is just a political mechanism to run away from responsibilities as well as a political bargaining tool for Indonesia to support Tmor-Leste's economy. Therefore, based on the above analysis, HRWG, Kontras, Elsam and the global human rights community reject the establishment of the TFC which President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Gusmão had signed. (TP)

Editorial: COE vs. TFC

The Timor Post editorial today focussed on the Commission of Experts (CoE) recommendations to the UN Secretary General and the establishment of the Truth and Friendship Commission. The editorial asks whether the COE proposals would be a way of avoiding the TFC agenda to give amnesties as well as demands to establish a justice process in a third or neutral country. The editorial says the dissemination of the COE report by the international media this week changed the situation for the TFC and the commencment of its work and the announcement of the members.

According to the editorial, the COE was welcomed by the international community and, especially human rights activists and families of the victims who want credible justice. On the other hand, the establishment of the TFC has become 'cold' in Timor-Leste with President Gusmão having to respond constantly to the critics from the civil society. The NGO critics are responded with reactive criticism by Xanana Gusmão and Ramos-Horta who became allergic to the sound of the term international tribunal.

It says that, after all, the two figures, Xanana Gusmão and Ramos-Horta were the ones who mobilised people for independence-but after independence- when the families of the victims demanded justice, they are faced with counterproductive reactions from the two big brothers Xanana Gusmão and Ramos-Horta. We hope that the TFC will produce results to help the families of victims and not satisfy some group who wants status through the suffering of the people. We hope! (TP)

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