Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 16 August 2005


Daily Media Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Tuesday 16 August 2005

National Media Reports

PM Alkatiri comments at “Open Governance” programme

Responding to concerns raised during the opening governance programme in relation to companies that bring in their own foreign employees, Prime Minister Alkatiri reportedly said there should be careful thought about such anti-foreigner sentiment as the Timorese still need to learn from foreigners as “we cannot say that we know everything”.

During the meeting, Alkatiri also said that in order to find reconciliation one must speak the truth and recognise the mistakes of the past and not just forget the past. He reminded the public that before Timor-Leste became independent many Timorese believed that the country was not viable to be independent and would be better off integrated with Indonesia. The Minister continued that such statements have been written in books by those people who are today talking about development and defending themselves without recognising their past mistakes. He stressed that he is not against those people who supported autonomy with Indonesia but all Timorese should have the courage to recognise their past mistakes as the best way to reconcile.

During the open governance in Comoro, Dili last Friday, PM Alkatiri also reportedly said that should Fretilin lose the election that he would step down but not die [survive], whereas many Timorese would die [not survive]. He added that people should vote according to their conscience and that if the present government does not address the problems of the people then do not believe that another government would be able to better address those problems.

In the open government dialogue on the island of Atauro, the Chief of Beloi village said that Atauro is constantly visited by Indonesian illegal boats such as the police boat No. 401 “Ovalangga” whose captain was a former military officer stationed in Timor-Leste for 7 years during the Indonesian occupation. Another community representative, Cezar Aleixo requested more police posts and radios to communicate with Dili about the entry of illegal boats from Indonesia. (Diario, TP, STL, TP)

PM Unhappy with Road Project

On Saturday, Prime Minister Alkatiri also inaugurated a road in Bikeli, Atauro island as part of the Public Works construction programme. According to the Timor Post, the Prime Minister was reportedly disappointed with the condition of the road he was due to inaugurate. He reportedly said that he would ask the person in charge of the project to take responsibility and those who supervised the construction to explain why so much money was wasted. He said that he had already requested the Minister of Public Works to investigate. MP Rui Menezes (PD) also is reported as saying that corruption is on the increase due to the weak state administration. He added that to enforce zero tolerance of corruption, the Parliament must urgently ratify the UN anti-corruption convention. (TP)

Money Is Not The Motive for My Involvement with CTF: President Gusmão

On his arrival in Dili from Vietnam and Bali, President Gusmão reportedly said that money and the hope for the Nobel Peace prize are not the motives for his involvement with the Commission for Truth and Friendship. Gusmão said the political situation in Indonesia has changed from that of the Suharto era which is why Gusmao and Foreign Minister Ramos-Horta together visited Jakarta in 1999 to tell the Indonesians that the past should be put aside in order to focus on the future. He told the media that the CTF will also look into the work of CAVR, the Serious Crimes Unit and the Jakarta Ad Hoc tribunal. He also added that President Yudhoyono will raise the experience of Timor-Leste and Indonesia during his talks in Palestine and Israel as those two countries have not yet reached a peace agreement. It was reported that Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayjuda and Timor-Leste Minister of the Council of Ministers, Antoninho Branco, signed the MOU.

Diario today also reported MP Rui Menezes as saying that the CTF is unconstitutional as it has not been approved by the National Parliament, adding that the CTF is not illegal but that according to the system of State Administration in Timor-Leste any agreement to be valid must be ratified by the National Parliament. (Diario, Diario Tempo, TP, STL, Lusa)

CTF, Elite Political Project of TL and Indonesia

An article written by Mericio Akara from NGO Luta Hamutuk [not Lah Hamutuk] said that former human rights defenders such as Minister Ramos-Horta and Aniceto Guterres have established the CTF without consulting the population. Akara wrote that Guterres, who was the former President of CAVR, has already forgotten the pleas of victims who have voiced their opinions during CAVR public hearings. He wrote that truth and friendship is important but through justice otherwise there is potential for future problems as there will be resistance from the population and families of the victims. Mericio Akara also wrote that the Timorese leadership have always argued that the establishment of an international tribunal is the responsibility of the UN but now that one of the UN recommendations is for an international tribunal, the Timorese and the Indonesians established the CTF. Akara writes that such an attitude could be categorised as “elite conspiracy” or “elite hypocrisy” and manipulation of the public through lies. He added that his organisation is pessimistic about the work of the CTF, as it will close the doors for justice such as the establishment of an international tribunal. (TP)

Government Violates RDTL Constitution Lawyer Jose Luis Guterres told the media that based on article 160 of the Constitution, “those who commit crimes against humanity should be presented before the court”. He added that the government is creating confusion among the population which will lead to a negative impact on political education as well as awareness about democratic rights. He also said that based on the international law, it is the obligation of governments or states to cooperate to take responsibility for those who committed human rights violations because they are categorised as international violations. Otherwise, the existing law would only be applied to certain people while not to others. The report also mentioned that the CoE recommendations considered the trial processes in Timor-Leste and Indonesian as not corresponding to international standards of justice therefore both countries should be given another opportunity to review those criminal cases otherwise the CoE recommended the establishment of an international tribunal. (Diario Tempo, Monday)

Sword Gusmão: Prostitution Will Increase If Government Fails to Take Measures

Kristy Sword Gusmão told media recently that, “should the Timor-Leste government not take measures soon the current levels of prostitution will increase. Sooner or later, Dili will be full of prostitutes”. Mrs. Gusmão made the above statement to the media in comments on PM Alkatiri’s recent statement to the National Parliament. “Often we say that we should follow our culture but, in the other areas, the government does give any importance to address such issues,” she added. Diario further reported that being another Timorese woman she is sad that prostitution is increasing rapidly in Timor-Leste. MP Joaquin do Santos also shared the argument of Mrs. Gusmão and argued that the culture forbids prostitution. (Diario Tempo, Monday)

Malaysian Police Visit Timor-Leste

The Deputy Director of the Malaysian Police for training and management, General Dato Noor Bin Hamad arrived in Timor-Leste on Monday for a 3-day visit to learn more on the progress of PNTL, especially the police officers who attended training in Malaysia. General Hamad is scheduled to meet with the head of PNTL Paulo Martins as well as PNTL district commanders reported Diario Tempo. (DT)

TL Ambassador Completes Mandate

Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia, Jorge Teme arrived back in Dili on Monday after completion of his 2-year term. Prior to his departure, Teme had reportedly spent two hours in discussion with the Woodside Petroleum company about the viability of a pipeline to Timor-Leste. (DT)

Data of Over 26, 000 Former Resistance Cadres Collected

The coordinator of the Former Cadres of the Resistance Commission, Vasco da Gama said that the data of over 26,000 former resistance members had been collected ranging from political prisoners to those killed. Gama added that the data had been collected from 900 areas which will be verified. He added that that due to the number of people still not registered the commission has been extended until 17 September. (DT)

Marques: National Hospital Covered with Mosquitoes

Domingos Marques told the media that the National Hospital is covered with mosquitoes and he is afraid that those who are treated will become more sick. Diario also reported that the Minister of Health has made an announcement to clean-up areas where mosquitoes breed. The report also mentioned that two nurses had been taken to the court for stealing (Diario Tempo, Saturday)

PM Greets American Singer Paul Simon

Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri met American singer, Paul Simon on 16 August, 2005. The American singer is visiting Timor-Leste at the invitation of Timor-Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Ramos-Horta, who is also a friend of his. It was also mentioned that, Paul Simon, who has been supporting humanitarian assistance to HIV/AIDS and human rights, for example, to end “apartheid” in South Africa. As there is HIV/AIDS in Timor-Leste there may be Health and Education Projects that could be of assistance. He met Prime Minister at the Palace of the Government at 10.00am. (TL Government Press Release)

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