Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 23 February 2005

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

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 23 February 2005

PNTL Commander of Lautem allegedly involved in murder of officer

The PNTL Commander of Lautem District, Sub-Inspector AFDC, together with five of his agents, are believed to have been involved in the murder of police officer Thomas da Costa, who died in Baucau Hospital on 4 February 2005. PNTL Commander, Superintendent Paulo de Fatima Martins, said in a press conference yesterday that based on investigations, the judge will be issuing an arrest warrant for the suspects.

In early December, da Costa and his wife tried to locate a nurse to assist their sick child, who was spending the night in Los Palos Hospital. When no nurse arrived, Thomas stood on a chair to look into the nurse’s quarters, to see if there was a nurse available to come and assist. Da Costa was accused of spying on the nurses and later that evening several PNTL officers arrived at the hospital and severely beat him, allegedly on an order from their Commander. Not long after that da Costa fell sick and died. Autopsy results showed that he had died from malaria and head injuries. The final outcome of the case will now rest with the courts. (STL)

PNTL officers involved in smuggling activities arrested

The Minister of Interior Rogério Tiago Lobato yesterday announced that some members of PNTL’s Border Patrol Unit, involved in smuggling activities, have been arrested. Lobato said that PNTL’s Superior Council for Disciplinary Actions will take appropriate disciplinary measures, with the mostly likely action being the dismissal of the officers found guilty. “Such crimes are the most serious abuse of power. Police should protect the community, but instead these officers were found to abuse power and protect smugglers,” Lobato said. (Timor Post)

Ramos Horta: “Parties not agreeing with establishment of Truth Commission can dismantle foreign Policy if they win 2007 elections”

In response to criticism levelled at the Government’s decision to establish the Truth and Friendship Commission by some political parties, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Ramos-Horta, stated yesterday that if they are successful in their bid to win power in the 2007 election, they can then dismantle current foreign policies. Ramos-Horta said those parties who may win in the upcoming elections can also go to New York and address the Security Council by demanding the establishment of International Tribunal, but they should bear in mind that they should also accept the consequences of their demands.

Ramos-Horta further argued that the Commission will have a positive impact because the UN has called for its body, the Commission of Experts, to assist the Truth and Friendship Commission. (Timor Post)

Agitators to be chased by police

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, stressed that Timor-Leste’s national police will continue to pursue groups who disturb the community. In order to maintain calm and peace in the community, Rogerio said all PNTL’s resources, including reserve and other units would be deployed to locate armed groups currently in Timor-Leste. (STL)

Bad management, power continues to go out

A Member of Parliament from the Social Democrat Party, Joao Goncalves, said that the consistent cuts in power occurring in Dili and some other parts of the country are a result of bad management within the electricity company. Apart from management issues, he also added that the system used to control fuel supplies is also inefficient, resulting in the illegal trading of fuel. Additionally, Goncalves accused the company, which sells fuel to Electricity East Timor (EDTL), of selling it at a much higher price than the current market price. (STL)

Plea for expired medicines to be acted upon by DOH

Several residents of Taibessi, Dili, have requested the Department of Health to take action against those selling expired medicine in the Taibessi market and kiosks in the area. The residents are concerned that in a time when many people are falling ill, the expired medication will only aggravate their sickness even further. Although the Department of Health has investigated this issue several times before, the residents have requested them to once again issue a firm warning to those selling out-of-date medicines. (STL)

Clean water sourced from solar power in Atabae

The Secretary of State for Electricity and Water, Egidio de Jesus, yesterday inaugurated two new solar power water sources in Atabae, Bobonaro District. The new water sources are located in two different villages and it is hoped that the infrastructure used to build the new water facility will remain in good condition for at least 20 years. (STL)

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