Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 20-22 August 2005


Daily Media Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Monday 20-22 August 2005

National Media Reports

Prime Minister Alkatiri: F-FDTL Needs to be Stronger to Carry Out Duties

Speaking on the 30th anniversary of Falintil, Prime Minister Alkatiri said that apart from reminding the people that Falintil has been together with people long ago in the jungles, the Timorese people must think how they wish the Armed Forces to become stronger in order to continue to have the respect of the people. Alkatiri stressed again that the government together with the President of the Republic are working hard in order to resolve the issue of recognition for all those who sacrificed their lives by 2006. He added that the government decided to celebrate Falintil's 30th anniversary in Oecussi as during the 24-year struggle, Falintil was not active in Oecussi but the people of Oecussi have the right to celebrate this date with Falintil which is now called F-FDTL. Prime Minister Alkatiri also said that the 20th August should be a National Commemoration Day and not a national public holiday because Falintil was established on this date 30 years ago. [Timor Post, Diario]

Minister Maia: Universities Not Accredited and The Education Policy

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Armindo Maia clarified that all existing private universities currently functioning in Timor-Leste have not been accredited by the Department of Education, Youth and Sport as the on-going policy formulation regarding private universities has not been presented to the Council of Ministers. Minister Maia added that as soon as the policy on private universities is finished, it would then be presented and discussed in the Council of Ministers. The Education Department would then visit and observe the conditions at existing universities and assess whether the requirements for accreditation are fulfilled. [Suara Timor Lorosa'e]

OMT Insists to be Included in the Veterans' Commission: Paixão

The National Secretary of the Timorese Women's Organisation OMT, (Organisação Mulher Timor) Maria Paixão said that women are not represented in the veteran's commission. During a meeting with President Gusmão in which district reports were submitted, Paixão reportedly requested the President to include women in the commission to recognise those women who fought for independence. Maria Paixao denied questions regarding rumours that OMT no longer exists, she said that the organisation continue to be active "this organisation would only die when all the veterans pass away". [Suara Timor Lorosa'e, Diario Tempo]

Lobato: PM Alkatiri is Responsible for Corruption

Member of Parliament and the Secretary General of Partido Social Democratico (PSD) Lucia Lobato reportedly said Prime Minister Alkatiri has a tremendous responsibility with regard to corrupt practices which are already deeply rooted within the government. "When we talk of corruption, that means those people in power that deviate and embezzle money. Therefore the Prime Minister as the head of the national government has the responsibility to make decisions," Lobato said. She added that the announcement of zero tolerance on corruption by Minister Alkatiri is good but must be followed with concrete actions in order to show that the government is concerned with combating corruption. The MP stressed that so far there have only been words but recognised the good intentions of the Prime Minister to resolve cases of corruption. She also noted that 50 cases [sic] were presented to the Inspector General though none of the cases have thusfar been prosecuted in court. MP Francisco of Fretilin reportedly said that the steps taken by the Prime Minister are correct with reference to the public announcement of cases of corruption. [Suara Timor Lorosa'e]

Saldanha: To Combat Corruption, Civil Servants Need Better Salaries

The director of the Timor Institute of Development Studies, João Mariano Saldanha recently told media that in order to combat corruption within the government structure, the salaries of Timor-Leste government civil servants has to be increased instead of enlarging the government structure. He added that laws need to be in place in order to protect those people who work in NGOs or within the government structure to release reports on corruption. As there is no protective mechanisms to support such reporting, people remain scared to talk about such issues he said. Saldanha added that sometimes when talking about combating corruption, the welfare of civil servants also needs to be considered. Therefore, government employees need to perform better so that the government would need only a small number of employees but with improved salaries. Saldanha said that there is no need to create an external commission to combat corruption but a law is required to protect "whistle-blowers". He continued that the Office of the Provedor could work with the Office of the Inspector-General, which would present reports to the Office of the Prime Minister and the General Prosecutor. He reiterated that such a system could could be simply worked out. Finally, he hoped that the Office of the Provedor would successfully work as an independent institution that it does not have to rely on the government, the National Parliament, the Prosecutor General or other institutions. [ Timor Post]

CPD-RDTL's Statement On Military Uniforms and Conflict with PNTL

The two lead stories of Diario Tempo covered problems between PNTL with CPD-RDTL in Baucau on 18 August in which PNTL reportedly committed violent acts against CPD-RDTL members. It was also reported that during a search in Maukali, Gariuai sub-district of Baucau District Baucau on 26 July 2005, Herculano da Costa claims that UIR, URP and PNTL officers pointed their guns at people while others reportedly beat and kicked their comrades. He added that around 200 people were victims of PNTL violence. Diario also reported that the coordinator of CPD-RDTL Antonio Aitahan Matak told journalists after his meeting with President Gusmão that CPD-RDTL would only take off their military uniforms if the government creates reasonable conditions for former resistance members. It was also reported that CPD-RDTL members are still wearing military uniforms for historical reasons.

The Minister of Interior, Rogério Lobato responded by confirming that he is ready to respond should CPD-RDTL take the cases against PNTL to court. Minister Lobato also added that the police cannot just stand and watch members of CPD-RDTL carry guns and threaten and rob the citizens. PNTL Commissioner, Paulo Martins supported Minister Rogério Lobato's statement by explaining that the police will go to the places that have not yet been reached to close CPD-RDTL offices. Superintendent, Paulo Martins also stated that the Police does not beat people but would take away military uniforms otherwise this would discredit F-FDTL due to the possible confusion with F-FDTL. [Diario Tempo]

PNTL Told Members of UNOTIL and NGO to Leave Market

Diario Tempo reports that PNTL officers asked UNOTIL and NGO human rights officers to leave the area of the old market in Baucau during the relocation of market sellers. The human rights officers (who did not want their names published) said that they were observing the relocation of the market sellers and the dismantling of their tents as there had been complaints of police violence during the operation. According to reports, the two human rights officers were telling the sellers vendors not to use the roads to sell their goods or face violence from the police which upset the sellers who demanded to see their identification. The police used the opportunity to ask both human rights officers to leave the area. It was reported that as they telephoned the Baucau District Administrator to resolve the problem, PNTL officers told them to report to PNTL Headquarters in Baucau and that they would probably face 72 hours detention. As the two human rights officers drove to the District Administrator's Office to discuss the problem, PNTL officers reportedly followed them and when they identified themselves as human rights officers PNTL officers accused them of protecting criminals who steals from the people. The PNTL Commander for Baucau District, Inspector Pedro Belo, said that the two human rights officers were not expelled from the area by PNTL officers but by the sellers for various actions against them. [Diario Tempo]

Immigration Police Conduct Operations Against Illegal Workers

Diario Tempo reported that immigration police officers conducted an operation against illegal immigrant workers currently in Timor-Leste who were without proper working visas. The report also mentioned that, during the operation, the police arrested a Thai woman who tried to escape due to not having valid documents. Diario Tempo also quoted members of the local population as saying that they hoped police would continue to conduct such operations on a regular basis. [Diario Tempo]

Publications and Media

Timor Post (TP) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL] Radio Timor-Leste [RTL]

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