Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review, 09 August 2005

Daily Media Review

Tuesday, 09 August 2005

National Media Reports

Open Governance and PM Alkatiri on Village Elections

The lead story in STL quotedg PM Alkatiri during the “Open Governance” meeting in Metinaro on 8 August as saying that “being the elected village chief does not mean “begging” but how to organize and mobilise the population to assist in the implementation of national development. Another STL lead article reported that the people of Metinaro subdistrict demanded that PM Alkatiri’s government bring development programmes to their subdistrict to help improve their lives. Diario Tempo reported that education, health, agriculture and legal status of elected village chiefs have become the preoccupation of the people of Metinaro. Timor Post also quoted PM Alkatiri as saying that Open Governance visits are not organised because of the village elections. He also appealed to the people of Metinaro to carefully choose who they elect. MP João Gonsalves from the PSD opposition party was quoted on the front page of Diario as saying that the “Open Governance” programme is, in fact, a Fretilin party political campaign. (STL, Diario Tempo, Diario)

Questions Raised Regarding the Case of Secretary of State Virgilio Smith

STL reports that residents from Metinaro made an appeal to the Prime Minister to carefully monitor the legal system of Timor-Leste following the judicial decision in the case of the former Secretary of State for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Virgilio Smith, which they said was wrong. According to Domingos Tilman, with reference to the Smith case, those who are guilty are being freed while those who are not guity are being convicted. He reportedly said that following the death of Franky Ama Hoya, in a traffic accident more than two years ago, that Secretary of State, Virgilio Smith has not been punished.

In response to the concerns of Domingos Tilmas, PM Alkatiri said that it was true that the action was against the law. He added that Secretary of State, Virgilio Smith has faced trial and his case has been brought to the Court of Appeal where he was given a two-year suspended sentence and fined $1500. PM Alkatiri also reportedly said that before the court decision he had consulted with the President of the Court of Appeal in order to know what would happen to Virgilio Smith. (STL)

Provedor Cannot Yet Perform Normal Functions

The front-page story in Diario Tempo today focussed on the Office of the Provedor reporting that although the Office of the Provedor was established two months ago, the Office of the Provedor is as yet unable to carry out regular functions due to problems with the process of staff recruitment. The Provedor, Sebastião Ximenes, who is described by Diario Tempo as the former Secretary-General of the FPDK pro-autonomy group, is reported to appeal to those who are qualified to apply for vacant positions. In the report, he stressed that his office is not just a place for job-seekers but an office which will recruit those with the required technical knowledge through a transparent recruitment process. It is also reported that the Office of the Provedor also requires budget support in order to carry out work whenever complaints from the community are received. (Diario Tempo)

TMR: F-FDTL Not Stationed at the Border

Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak reportedly told media on Sunday that Timor-Leste has not stationed any of Defence Force at the border even though Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jóse Ramos Horta has repeatedly called for F-FDTL to be stationed at the border. Brigadier Ruak further commented that there should be discussions regarding stationing F-FDTL at the border and that Minister Horta would not be the person to decide on the matter. (TP)

Police Accuse Journalist of Hiding CPD-RDTL Members

Baucau: Diario Tempo reports that members of Police Rapid Response Unit (UIR) accused a local journalist (writing under the code-name K-01) of hiding members of CPD-RDTL in his house. According to the statement of K-01 to Diario Tempo, UIR members forced open his door as he slept before arresting him and accused him of hiding CPD-RDTL members and a firearm in his house. It was reported that he was punished together with the CPD-RDTL members by being made to stand under the sun for an unspecified time before he was sent home by a PNTL commander. (Diario Tempo)

Paulo Martins: Five BPU Officers Suspended Due to Working As Motorbike Riders

PNTL General Commander Paulo Fatima Martins told media reporters that five PNTL Border Police officers including a Station Commander were suspended by Superior Council of PNTL in relation to the burning of the Salele Security Post on 2 August. Martins explained that the suspension of the five officers was due to the fact that when the incident took place they were not at the security post, but moonlighting by riding motorbikes with paying passengers. The five officers, he said, had no interest in working for the nation but only for their own private interest, therefore they were suspended. (STL)

MP Menezes: UN Should be Responsible for Justice for 1975 and 1999 Violations

MP Rui Menezes reportedly told journalists there should be comprehensive justice to satisfy the interests of the people of Timor-Leste and not justice that serves only the interests of a certain group. MP Menezes also said “we know that it is UN which is responsible for the Timor-Leste resistance starting from 1975 until 1999” arguing that the UN has released more than ten resolutions on Timor-Leste during the 24 years of resistance. Therefore, he continued, it is wrong to say that the United Nations is only responsible for 1999 human rights violations “who should be responsible for human rights violations that took place during the previous period,” MP Menezes asked.

In a separate article, Diario Tempo quoted MP Rui Menezes as saying that the victims and families of human rights violations victims should demand an international tribunal and should know that it is the responsibility of international community particularly the UN to establish an international tribunal and not Timor-Leste. He also demanded that the UN not use an international tribunal as a political maneouvre to save face and continue to make Timor-Leste the victim with reference to the May 5 agreement in 1999 between the UN, Portugal and Indonesia. (Diario Tempo)

MP Ximenes: World War II Victims Demand Their Rights

MP Antonio Ximenes from Parliamentary Commission F for Social and Solidarity Affairs said that nine victims of World War II representing more than 100 victims have put forward demands for compensation from the Japanese government, Timor Post reported. When asked about certificates that the Japanese government has given them, Ximenes said that the complaint of the group is that the certificate would not provide any help and are thus unnecessary. He commented further that the group of victims would present their complaints to the Secretary of State for Labour and Solidarity, who is then expected to forward their complaints to the Japanese Ambassador for Timor-Leste. Ximenes also referred to other victims of war during Portuguese colonization and Indonesian occupation that have received compensation such as ‘pensions’ to former civil servants during Portuguese and Indonesian time. Ximenes said that he hopes that the Japanese government would consider their demands. (STL)

Children at the Age of Six Should Go to School

During the launch of the music CD and sticker for primary schools with the title " Hakarak Ba To'o Fitun" ( Wanting to Reach the Stars) on Monday, UNICEF Representative for Timor-Leste, Shui Meng stated that the Ministry of Education and UNICEF appealed to parents to send their children to school when they reach the age of six. Meng also explained that for this school year, primary school children will start with the new curriculum that has been put in place. (STL)

Five National Hospital Staff To Be Sent For Training in Thailand

Director of Guido Valadares National Hospital, Antonio Caleres told the media on Monday that the National Hospital in collaboration with World Health Organization will send five staff; three medical doctors and two nurses to Thailand to learn more about dengue fever and influenza. Caleres explained that the five-person medical team are expected to increase their skills and capacity in order to help increase the prevention of the two diseases during the rainy season which will start in October. (STL)

Regional and International Media Reports

Reconciliation Process Already Final

Jakarta: The reconciliation process between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is already final with the setting up of the Commission for Truth and Friendship. The East Timorese government only wishes to receive apologies from those who committed acts of violence in Timor-Leste.

According to Foreign Minister Nur Hassan Wirajuda, all cases related to alleged human rights violations before and after the 1999 ballot in Timor-Leste will be discussed by the commission and not taken to trial. However, Wirajuda continued, this does not mean that clemency would be given to those accused during any trials.

However, both Indonesia and Timor-Leste have agreed to conduct the reconciliation process through the Commission of Truth and Friendship.“Regarding compensation or clemency, there will be a package containing this,” Wirajuda said after holding a press conference together with East Timorese Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta. As it was formed by sovereign countries, the commission will be responsible to the Indonesian and East Timorese Presidents. Therefore, Wirajuda and Horta said they wished for support from the international community. (Tempo Interactive)

BC-TEPCO-Tokyo Gas TEPCO, Tokyo Gas sign 17-yr contract with Darwin LNG

Tokyo: Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Gas Co. signed a contract with Darwin LNG Pty Ltd. Monday to purchase a combined 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year from a gas field off Timor-Leste for 17 years beginning next January, the two utility firms said. Japan's largest electric power and gas firms said they have reached an accord with Darwin LNG on the details of a basic purchase agreement signed in March 2002.

Among the terms of the contract newly agreed on is allowing TEPCO and Tokyo Gas to ship LNG to locations other than their own facilities under certain conditions, which is intended to better reflect the ongoing deregulation of Japan's energy market, the companies said. TEPCO and Tokyo Gas have been involved in the project to develop the Bayu-Undan offshore natural gas field 250 kilometers south of Timor-Leste since March 2002. Under the contract, TEPCO will buy 2 million tons of LNG a year with the remainder going to Tokyo Gas. (Tokyo: Kyodo)

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