Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 21 Dec 2005

[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed.]

UNOTIL

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

National Media Reports

Protest against dissolving clandestine network

The signing of an Accord by the Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) to dissolve the clandestine network has provoked strong protest from representatives of the Baucau District network. When the representatives from each district were called to the front of the meeting held at CCF headquarters on Tuesday, to sign the Accord which would formally hand over the network to the CCF and dissolve the clandestine organization, the Baucau District representative refused to sign, with the reason that the clandestine network, which participated strongly in the movement for national liberation, has not received any formal acknowledgement of its contribution from the Fretilin leadership. The Baucau representative threatened to withdraw from his position as Vice-President of the Veterans Association, if the Fretilin leadership do not respond to this concern. Fretilin Secretary General Mari Alkatiri and Fretilin President Francisco Guterres eventually accepted two of the demands put forward, that is to formally recognize the clandestine network affiliated to Fretilin, and to create a mechanism to collect remnants of the war that some members of the network are still storing at home. (STL)

President Gusmão plans 2006 workshop with victims

President Xanana Gusmão has said that in 2006 he will hold a workshop with victims to discuss the CAVR report, as well as related government policy. At a symbolic ceremony to hand over the CAVR keys to the CAVR Technical Administration on Tuesday, the President stated that the government is very pleased with the work of CAVR, and that its recommendations will be considered for implementation. He emphasized that the government is abiding by its policy that the CAVR report be transparent, and that nothing in the report be covered up. (STL)

Barros: Goodbye to democracy and human rights if Penal Code applied

Once the new Penal Code is applied, it will be goodbye to democracy and human rights due to the large impact that the Code will have on the media, according to President of the Lawyers Association of Timor-Leste, Benevides Correia Barros. Barros is concerned that Articles 172-175 that relate to defamation will impact negatively on press freedom, as journalists will feel that they must exercise caution in reporting. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the process of the drafting and approval of the law, which did not involve any kind of public hearing, and of which the final version is written in Portuguese with no translation. He questioned whether the law was developed by and in the interests of Timor-Leste itself, or whether it has been copied from elsewhere. (STL)

Jacob Xavier: Many MP's want justice

Many Timorese, including Members of Parliament, want to see justice applied to Indonesian generals, according to PPT MP Jacob Xavier. In PPT's policy declaration in Tuesday's plenary session in Parliament, Xavier said that either Timor-Leste or the United Nations must make efforts to have these generals arrested. (STL)

PM Alkatiri: First Justify history then former combatants

Speaking during a public audience on the proposed bill for former combatants of national liberation at the Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was quoted as saying that there is a need to have the courage to provide justice first to history before providing it to the combatants. Moreover, Alkatiri said that people should know well who started the national liberation struggle and how it was started, and that was considered as history, then there would be a clear identification and criteria for those who should actually be recognized for his or her contribution for the nation by the State.

In addition, Alkatiri argued that when FRETILIN turned into a political party, some people started saying that it was not FRETILIN that started the resistance. Responding to the Alkatiri's statement, MP Clementino Amaral of KOTA party stated that in order to write the history on the combatants, it is better for the young generation to do so, adding that it will not be so good if it is written by the current generation because of political interests [in the whole matter]. Besides, Prime Minister Alkatiri stated that if the law on combatants of national liberation is not clearly clarified, it will be the government that will have problems in implementing it. Therefore, he said, some articles of the proposed bill should be well worded before it is approved. (Timor Post)

Castro: Suspicion of illegal trading of Sandalwood

Cases of bribery involving trading of sandalwood raised by businessman Pedro Lay can have a bad impact for investors wishing to invest in Timor-Leste. Rui Castro said concerns of indications of corruption within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries pointed out by Lay will have a negative impact of Timor-Leste from other countries. Castro who is the President of Timor-Leste Trading Centre said if Pedro Lay passed this information on to other businessmen it could stop them from coming and investing in Timor-Leste. Castro pointed that in order to identify bribery, the Ministry of Forest and Fisheries has the competency to hold a clear investigation in order to clear its bad image as accused by Pedro Lay in the Australian media. He said the investigation must look into why Pedro Lay's contract to buy sandalwood was cancelled and to whom the contract was given as the sandalwood Pedro Lay bought is the result of illegal cutting by farmers and is being stored in the warehouse as State resources. (Timor Post)

Former Militia presence aggravate border situation

MP Clementino Amaral (KOTA) told the media on Monday, that according to the Parliament's Commission B, (in charge of foreign affairs and security) observance during a visit to the border that former militia currently living in West Timor are responsible for aggravating the situation. Amaral who is the vice-president of the commission noted the overall situation in Oecussi remains normal apart from problems from some militia still living in West Timor. He reportedly told the media that F-FDTL is required on the borders in order to guarantee security to the population, as they still do not fully trust the police. The MP added that the commission's report had been presented and that by January 2006 they will meet with the Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs and present their proposal to allocate the defence force on the borders.

In the meantime MP Francisco Branco (FRETILIN) is of the opinion that the presence of PNTL on the borders is sufficient. According to Diario Tempo the people on the borders of Oecussi, Suai and Maliana constantly demand that the State station F-FDTL officers to provide security because they feel that PNTL's BPU and URP do not have the capacity to act upon former militia infiltration from Indonesia who carry automatic weapons, citing the incident in Atabae where the police units acted too late. (DT)

President Gusmão to implement CAVR's recommendations

Speaking at the dissolution of CAVR, President Gusmão confirmed to media that he would implement CAVR's recommendations in a transparent manner and that nothing from the report would be closed. He stressed that people should be curious about the report since the commission itself is now officially closed. TP mentioned that President Gusmão shed a tear when making an appeal to the youth of Timor-Leste to ensure that the dark and bloody history would not be repeated in the future. He further expressed his sincere appreciation of the work CAVR has completed, and particularly thanked those who worked in CAVR. President Gusmão stated that after 20 December 2005, it is his responsibility to further the work that CAVR had presented to him/CAVR's recommendations or requests. (Timor Post)

National News Sources

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


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