Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 20 January 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 20 January 2005

Alleged pro-Indonesia militiaman arrested

Police in Timor-Leste have detained a man after an exchange of gunfire between security forces and an armed group near the border with West Timor. According to Lusa news agency, six armed men opened fire on a police patrol two days ago after being spotted by officers in the district of Ermera, about 50-kilometres southwest of Dili. Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Mendes was arrested by police. Mendes allegedly told police he was a resident in Atambua in West Timor and had entered Timor-Leste on Sunday to join five other members of a group who have been in the country since November 2004.

Residents of the village of Atudara in the district of Cailaco, about 30-kilometres southwest of Dili, said the group were part of a former pro-Indonesian militia gang that operated in the during Timor’s bloody breakaway from Jakarta’s rule. (Lusa)

Parliament Member Supports PRU’s Action on Unindentified Group

The Vice President of the National Parliament’s Commission B in charge of Foreign and Security Affairs, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, has come out in support of the work of PNTL’s Reserve Unit (PRU) in dealing with the recent actions of an unidentified group in Cailaco, Bobonaro district. “Police officers were engaged in the crossfire with the unidentified group in order to defend themselves as well as to defend the population who live in the area,” said Amaral. In addition, Amaral said the action of the police was correct and based on the applicable laws since the group entered the country illegally as militia. (Timor Post)

Alcino Barris: Timor-Leste’s Government Has Not Issued Any Gambling Permits

The Vice Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris, stressed that the Government has yet to issue any permits for any form of gambling and therefore it is illegal for a person to be undertaking such activities.

Meanwhile, on the recruitment of new PNTL officers for 2005, due to be held next March, Barris announced that priority will be given to young single women. He also said that PNTL estimates that some 250 people will be recruited during the process. (Timor Post)

Government Distributed Rice To Hungry Population

The Secretary of State for Labour and Solidarity, Arsenio Paixão Bano, told the media on yesterday that his department has distributed four tons of rice to Baucau district in order to tackle the famine situation, which is having a great impact on people in the eastern part of the country. Mr Bano also said that the Government will be distributing rice to the needy in other districts. “The assistance provided is not only for the population of Baucau, but also for the population of Manatuto, Lautem and Viqueque. We still have 400 tons of rice in the warehouse. The stock we have is strictly to help these people during this time of famine,” said Bano. (STL)

National Parliament Is Concerned With Dili City’s Image

During a plenary session yesterday, National Parliament members raised concern about the image of Dili as the capital of Timor-Leste. Members were most concerned with the image of Dili as being an “unclean” capital. “Dili is like a garbage city with animals as well as a city with no owner,” said one parliamentarian.

Fretilin representative Flavio Guterres da Silva said the aim to make Dili a clean, safe, beautiful, and orderly city should not only be the responsibility of the Government and the related institutions, but also the responsibility of all of its residents. (STL).

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