Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 4 January2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Tuesday, 4 January2005

Timor-Leste: President unveils campaign to assist tsunami survivors

[Lusa - already sent]

Tsunami fears spark panic in Timor-Leste

January 2, Dili - Scores of residents fled Timor-Leste’s capital Dili late on Sunday after abnormally high waters on the tiny city’s waterfront sparked a panic that a tsunami was approaching. Police appealed for calm in the dilapidated city, still recovering from the violence surrounding its separation from Indonesia in 1999, calling through loudhailers for people to return to their homes. Meteorologists in Dili told AFP they had no evidence of any seismic activity likely to cause a danger to the South-East Asian nation, which lies at the other end of the Indonesian archipelago to disaster-hit Aceh province. (ABC AFP)

Timor-Leste: Hundreds sleep in hills for second night after Dili tsunami panic

January 3, Dili - Several hundred Dili residents spent a second night in high ground after unfounded rumours that a tsunami was heading for the city’s shoreline. Timor’s acting police chief, Inspector Ismael Babo, said about 350 citizens of Dili had not heeded repeated warnings from the authorities that the tsunami rumours were baseless, opting to spend a second night away from their homes. Earlier, tens of thousands of Dili residents began returning home after fears of an imminent tidal wave panicked them into fleeing the Timorese capital Sunday.

Some media reported that the panic was initially caused by an abnormally high tide on the Dili waterfront. Police told Lusa that about half the city’s population of 160,000 fled into neighbouring mountains Sunday evening, leaving Dili ripe for theft and looting. Inspector Babo said that despite reinforced police patrols the city had suffered a rash of overnight burglaries at abandoned homes, shops and warehouses.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told Lusa late Sunday he was convinced whoever launched the rumours was “only interested” in creating an opportunity to “loot”.

Ignoring calls for calm made by police from cars equipped with loudspeakers, panicked residents fled into the hills by foot and in vehicles, carrying whatever belongings they could. Despite the rush, police said only one traffic accident had taken place, slightly injuring one person. Authorities were also seeking to reunite 29 children who were separated from their families in the panic. (LUSA)

President Gusmão and PM Alkatiri on the recent Dili Tsunami panic

President Gusmão made an appeal to the police and the local population to arrest those who were responsible for spreading rumours regarding a Tsunami attack that created panic among the local residents of Dili. PM Alkatiri urged the population to remain calm since the Timor-Leste government has contacted Australia regarding the seismic forecast. He said that the government would make an announcement in the event of any possible danger. (TP)

PM Alkatiri welcomes President Gusmão’s appeal for donations

PM Mari Alkatiri of welcomes President Gusmão’s appeal to the people of Timor-Leste to donate towards victims of the recent Tsunami disaster in Aceh, Thailand and other Asian countries. He reiterated that the people of Timor-Leste needed to participate in the humanitarian donation as President Gusmão urged, because the same natural disaster could hit Timor-Leste in the near future. (STL)

Timor-Leste: State must be more transparent with citizens, says president

[Lusa already posted]

Whitlam denies supporting military action against Timor-Leste

[ABC already posted]

U.S. Groups urge Indonesian Government to put People over Politics Humanitarian Catastrophe adds to Human-Created Destruction in Aceh

WASHINGTON -- December 30 -- U.S.-based groups with a long record of experience in the region today called on the Indonesian government to not let politics override the needs of people in tsunami-stricken Aceh. The groups include the East Timor Action Network (ETAN), International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) and Nonviolence International (NI).

[already posted see]

U.N.: Tsunami death toll expected to increase drastically

January 3, - UNITED NATIONS -- Tens of thousands more bodies were expected to be found in the rainforest and along the western coastline of Sumatra, near the epicentre of the earthquake that produced last week’s tsunami, the chief U.N. relief official said Monday, adding he expected the toll in the region to drastically increase from the present estimated 150,000 dead. “We’ve had outstanding cooperation from many countries”, in getting aid to the survivors, Undersecretary-General Jan Egeland told reporters at U.N. World Headquarters in New York.

Egeland praised the more than $2 billion in aid already pledged and was especially appreciative of “five, maybe six” helicopter carrier ships expected on station by Tuesday. “The international response has been truly overwhelming”, he said. As for the response to the catastrophe, he said, “We have non-traditional donors in a manner, in a way, we have never had them before”, pointing out small impoverished nations such as Nepal and Timor Leste, the former East Timor, stepping forward with offers of assistance. (World Peace Herald)

Police arrested nine members of Colimau 2000

The National Police of Manatuto district was reported to have arrested nine members of Colimau 2000, who recently have transformed themselves into a political party. The nine suspects who are currently detained at Manatuto police station pending further investigation were arrested due to illegal activities of manipulating the local population into believing that Nicolão Lobato and Vicente Sahe Reis were still alive and would appear on New Year’s eve. It was also reported that apart from manipulating the local residents of Kairui, sub-district Laleia, they were also reported of holding illegal contributions in the range of US $2 to US $10 per household. (STL)

Minister Horta: Timor-Leste has made some progress

Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta said that the people of Timor-Leste should be proud of the progress made in terms of development over the past two and a half years after attaining independence from the transitional government UNTAET. Minister Horta was also quoted in a different article of stating the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation had negotiated with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to form the terms of the Commission’s mandate, which would focus more on the 1999 mayhem. (STL)

Back to January menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from