Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 7 February 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Monday, 7 February 2005

Talks on commission of friendship

Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister and his Indonesian counterpart are set to meet in Bali today to discuss the planned commission for truth and friendship. The commission has been agreed by both countries as a settlement of dispute over alleged human rights abuses by Indonesian officers in Timor-Leste in 1999. The two-day meeting is aimed at achieving an agreement on the terms of reference for the establishment of the commission.

Meanwhile, the Timor Post reports that the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, will form a commission comprising a number of experts to visit Timor-Leste and Indonesia to carry out an evaluation of the justice and human rights. (Xinhua, Timor Post)

Ramos-Horta calls on Germany to support further UN presence in Timor-Leste

Germany’s Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, met with Timor-Leste’s President, Xanana Gusmão, and Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta on Saturday in Dili. Mr Fischer also met with representatives of the United Nations and aid organizations.

Dr Ramos-Horta praised Germany’s role in Timor-Leste and said it would support Germany’s goal of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Foreign Minister added that he supports Germany’s ambition but he hopes a reform of the Security Council will also include at least four permanent members from Asia, including Indonesia. He said Timor-Leste also needs Germany’s support in extending part of the United Nations’ mission in the country, due to end in May. “Any sudden departure of everybody in May could seriously disrupt the normal functioning of some of these institutions of the state. I am confident that the permanent members of the Security Council and others will agree to continue a UN presence,” he said.

Mr Fischer, who is on a nine-day tour of the region to assess Germany’s tsunami relief efforts as well as promote Berlin’s bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council, said Germany will “seriously consider” voting for the extension of the UN mission, despite the $40-million price tag. “If it can contribute to the development of the economy and the democracy of your country, I think it would be an excellent investment,” said Mr Fischer. (AFP, AP)

PM Requests UN to Continue Timor-Leste Presence

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has sent a letter via Timor-Leste’s Ambassador in New York, to the President of the Security Council, requesting the United Nations to continue its mission in the country. The Security Council will meet on 24 February to examine the situation in Timor-Leste and to consider whether to extend the mission here. (Timor Post)

Xanana Requests Aid from Germany

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao, has requested the German government to assist the people of Oecussi in the provision of clean water and transport services. The request was made to Germany’s visiting Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, who said his government would agree to assist the population in Oecussi.

President Gusmão also thanked Germany for its commitment towards the construction of the new steamship that will be completed in January or February 2006. This passenger ship will not only be used for travel to Oecussi but also throughout the country, as well as to Australia and Indonesia. Apart from funding the construction of the boat, Germany will also train Timorese to work on the ship. (Timor Post)

Security increased on border

Timor-Leste’s police have increased security on the border with West Timor amid signs of armed groups making incursions into the country. Police Commander Paulo Martins told reports that the police are establishing security posts in rural and isolated areas close to the border. “There are signs of armed groups entering the country. So we are going to establish posts in rural zones in order to provide security for people who live around the border areas,” he said. Martins believes the incursions came from West Timor through zones out of the reach of the police. “They are illegally entering here but also with arms. It means that their intention is to disturb the stability of the country,” he added. The Police Commander declined to say whether the groups are pro-Indonesian militiamen.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s embassy in Timor-Leste has been asked to provide legal assistance to Daniel Mendes, an Indonesian citizen who was arrested in Dili last month for his alleged involvement in an exchange of gunfire with Timorese police. (Kyodo, Jakarta Post)

Timor-Leste and Mozambique Develop Their Relationship

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that he has no doubt that if the Frelimo party continues to govern Mozambique, Timor-Leste and Mozambique relations will continue to develop fruitfully. Prime Minister Alkatiri, together with the Minister for Justice, the Secretary of State for Labour and Solidarity, and the Head of the Prime Ministers Cabinet returned yesterday from a visit to Mozambique to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the President, Armando E.M. (Timor Post)

Three Perpetrators of Kowa Murder Deported Back to Timor-Leste

The three perpetrators of the Kowa murder, who fled to Indonesia were deported back to Timor-Leste by Indonesian police on Saturday. The three were captured by Indonesian police in Motain. Timorese investigation police have gone to Maliana to carry out an investigation on the case in which three citizens of Kowa were murdered. (Timor Post)

53 People of Hatubuiliko Starve to Death

Since October, at least 53 people of Hatubuiliko, Ainaro, have died due to a lack of food. The secretary of the sub-district administration, Domingos de Araujo, explained that a number of people died of starvation two years ago, but that this number of deaths was the worst ever due to the long drought. With existing food stocks depleted, De Araujo said that there is absolutely nothing to eat. He said that most people have resorted to looking for wild potatoes in the forest. (STL)

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