Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 12 August 2005


Daily Media Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 12 August 2005

National Media Reports

Media on PM Alkatiri’s Statements During “Open Governance” Programme

The lead story in Timor Post reported on PM Alkatiri’s statements during the fourth day of the “Open Governance” programme in Dili’s Vera Cruz subdistrict. PM Alkatiri was quoted as saying that, “the Government wants to remove those people who are currently leaving in the Farol area because of the need to have dignity for the government. He added that according to the plans of the Timor-Leste government, those residents who are supposed to live in that neighbourhood are government ministers and the President of the National Parliament as well as those with high positions within the government structure.

In answer to questions, PM Alkatiri explained that the enlargement of the current government structure would certainly increase the budget but would also assist the development of the country in anticipation of the type of future government everybody wants with the prospect establishment of regional s governance. He said that Timor-Leste is an independent state and no longer “Timor Timur (Indonesian) or a Portuguese colony, therefore, the Timorese people should start thinking about how to construct a unique national structure that would be most efficient. When asked about the separation of certain ministries, PM Alkatiri that changes occurred in order to prevent confusion as to who is in command with reference to the Ministry of Transport, Telecommunications and Public Works as a large ministry.

Timor Post also quoted PM Alkatiri responding to accusations of opposition parties that “Open Governance” was political campaigning by saying that “if a political party does not have ambitions to win the forthcoming election then it is not a political party but more like a small “kiosk” (shop). (TP)

Media on President Gusmão and the Installation of the CTF Members

The lead STL article reported on the installation of the CTF members by President Gusmão and his Indonesian counterpart, SBY. President Yudhoyono was quoted as saying that, “through the signing of this accord, Indonesia and Timor-Leste are closing “the tragedy of 1999” and will reconcile and promote friendship. President Gusmão was also quoted as agreeing with comments of President Yudhoyono that it was a historical day for both Timor-Leste and Indonesia. He added that it would not be easy for both countries to leave behind the past but that he was also confident that all would be able to realise their agreements. (TP, DT, STL)

Benjamin: CTF Will Investigate Wiranto

The Indonesian Chief Commissioner, Benjamin Mangkoedilaga is confident that former Indonesian General Wiranto and other high ranking military officers would volunteer to be be interviewed by the Commission of Truth and Friendship to reveal the truth regarding human rights violations that took place in the aftermath of the 1999 popular consultation, STL reported. Benjamin M. was further quoted as saying, “the process will be transparent and with moral standards as the high ranking officers with the spirit of knights, being brave and honest would cooperate with the CTF “ When asked what would happen if Wiranto and others refused to be interviewed by the CTF, Benjamin explained that the CTF would try to find appropriate mechanisms to deal with such a situation. He added that the CTF would also play a role as a fact-finding team to investigate the actual conditions, including the facts of what happened, where and who was involved in the violations of human rights in the aftermath of the 1999 popular consultation. According to Benjamin, there are 11, 000 documents in Timor-Leste including those from the Serious Crimes Unit, which would be examined according to selected and agreed priorities. Benjamin further explained that cases that took place between January and October 1999 would be investigated as representative of the periods before, during and after the popular consultation. He then mentioned that one of the CTF tasks would be to recommend amnesties for those perpetrators involved in 1999 human rights violations who are willing to admit their crimes and ask for forgiveness. (TP, Antara, Jakarta Post)

Saldanha: Mari Alkatiri Divides Timorese

In response to Prime Minister Alkatiri's reported statement during the “Open Governance” programme in Cristo Rei sub-district regarding those Timorese who opted for autonomy with Indonesia being a big mistake, Executive Director of Timor Institute for Development Studies João Saldanha argued that such statements would only destroy the unity of the Timorese people and disrupt the reconciliation process. "If Prime Minister Alkatiri continues to open up the past by mentioning the idea of autonomy or integration, how can it be possible for us to persuade our fellow Timorese who are still in West Timor to come back to Timor-Leste? On one hand, the Government, along with the Indonesian Government, are establishing the Truth and Friendship Commission, this statement demonstrates the inconsistency of Prime Minister Alkatiri" Mariano said.

MP Rui Menezes of the Democratic Party noted that the Prime Minister's “defamatory” statements against opposition parties and civil society which do not accept the Government's decisions were childish. In addition, Menezes said that the Prime Minister's statements had no substance which would improve the lives of people and bring them prosperity, and therefore his party was not concerned by such comments. (STL)

From Us: The Indonesian Generals are Safe, Imprisonment for Militia

The STL Editorial said that the Timorese community has never known the reason for forming the CTF which has a “weird name”. We all know that the conflict which resulted in destruction and many deaths will be addressed only through discussion, while neglecting the international tribunal that everyone dreams of. The 1999 mayhem does not just involve the Government of Indonesia and the pro-independence group that is currently leading Timor-Leste but it also involves the Timorese community who were pro-Indonesian and currently residing in Indonesian territory as well as those who are residing in TL and others who are currently serving prison sentences due to their involvement in 1999 human rights violence. The Timorese and Indonesian communities know that the creation of CTF is like a “lipstick” which can beautify the exterior but not touch the interior. Therefore, the CTF has been established only to benefit the Indonesian military which previously carried out the destruction in 1999, and sacrificed the Timorese community both those who were pro-independence and those pro-integration. While those pro-independence groups will not receive real justice, the pro-Indonesian supporters will be sacrificed for the sake of both countries. The CTF will save the Indonesian Generals behind the 1999 violence but will not provide justice for the victims and will not stop militia who carried out the orders of the Generals being brought to the courts. This is precisely where the CTF has an unjust role. (STL)

Editorial: CTF Has Cut Our Feet Off

The Timor Post Editoral reports that the CTF has started and those people with pro and contra opinions in Timor-Leste should wait to hear the final results of the CTF. Many who disagree with the establishment of the CTF would describe the process as cutting off our own feet by closing the door to the international community to find a solution to heal the wounds of the victims. The fact is that Timor-Leste has agreed to the CTF at a time when Indonesia is being pressured by the UN, through the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan’s Commission of Experts to establish an international tribunal. However, the argument by the national authorities that the CTF is a retreat in order to advance ­ is akin to the Indonesian expression “day-dream”. It is best for us to wait and see what CTF can do and what the CTF can do in the future. Let’s wait!!!!! (Timor Post)

Regional and International Media Reports

How Dili Horror Turned a Soldier Against Australia

PRIVATE Mathew Stewart was patrolling the streets of Dili, East Timor, in 2002 when he was confronted with the full horror of live combat. The quiet soldier and keen surfer from Queensland's Sunshine Coast stumbled upon the almost unrecognisable body of a Dutch journalist killed by militia. Financial Times reporter Sander Thoenes, 30, had been shot in the chest and badly beaten. According to his comrades, Stewart was deeply traumatised by the discovery, his first encounter with death on the front line. He was discharged from the army's 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment for psychological reasons a short time later, sending him into a spiral of depression and self-doubt. While other East Timor veterans looked for a change of lifestyle back home, Stewart began fixing his sights on the war unravelling in Afghanistan in the wake of the attacks on New York the previous year.

Furious at his perceived mistreatment in the Australian army, Stewart began making plans to fight for the other side. Stewart left for Iran around August 8, 2002 and moved into Afghanistan. Authorities believe he joined Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and resolved to fight against the way of life he once served to protect.

When news of Stewart's defection to Afghanistan was made public three years ago, friends and family came forward to describe an easily-led young man who showed no tendencies towards Islamic extremism. "I don't think he's a terrorist. I don't believe that for a second," said Anna Degotardi, who was Stewart's classmate at Immanuel Lutheran College in Mooloolaba in 1992. "He wasn't a leader, he was a bit of a follower but not through anything malicious. I feel really sorry for him. He's a nice guy who had some problems."

Australian Federal Police officers came to Vicki Stewart's home on Wednesday night with a series of still photographs they believed showed her long-missing son brandishing an automatic rifle. Mrs Stewart flatly denied the balaclava-clad man was her son, but this was not enough to convince authorities their interest was misplaced. One of Stewart's oldest friends, Adam Miechel, told The Daily Telegraph he instantly recognised the heavily armed man when his image flashed up on the television news this week. (The Daily Telegraph)

Under-20s outplay East Timor with 6-2 Victory

The Vietnamese under-20 football team outclassed East Timor with a 6-2 victory in their third match of the Southeast Asian championship in Indonesia, on August 10, reported the Sports Daily. The Vietnamese team scored three goals in the first 21 minutes after kick off. Phuc Hiep opened the scoring o 12th minute. Five minutes later, Van Khai extended the lead before Thai Duong made it 3-0. East Timor narrowed the gap to 3-1 before halftime. After the break, Van Khai and Ngoc Dieu scored three more goals for the Vietnamese under-20s with East Timor adding a consolation goal. The Vietnamese under-20 team gained a total five points after three matches. Earlier, they drew 1-1 with Laos and 0-0 with Singapore. (Nhan Dan)

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