Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review, 11 October 2005

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

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Tuesday, 11th of October 2005

National Media Reports

Rice Fields Dry Up Due to Lack of Water + Provocation at the Border

It is reported that 145 hectares of rice-fields in the sub-district of Nitime (Oecussi) have dried up because the river that feeds the paddies, which flows from the Indonesian side of the border, has been closed off by Indonesia. Speaking during Monday's plenary session in Parliament, independent MP Antonio Lelan said that previously both sides of the border had utilized the river for irrigation for their crops, but that now the river has been cut off. The farmers have requested the National Parliament and the Agriculture Commission to communicate the matter to both the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lelan told the session that the Agriculture Commission would visit Oecussi soon to study the situation directly.

In separate news, it is reported that communities living in the border regions on the Indonesian side of the border have been destroying crops on the Timor-Leste side of the border, specifically at Passabe. Responding to journalists questions on the matter yesterday, PNTL Commander General Superintendent Paulo de Fatima Martins said that the Timor-Leste National Police have been communicating with the Indonesian military in the border area in order to resolve this situation, and that the PNTL have also begun to establish security posts in the areas which seem to attract conflict. Martins will today travel to the border areas to see the situation directly. (Diario)

CTF to Interview Military Involved in Crimes

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Ramos Horta has said that the Comimission for Truth and Friendship will begin its substantial work this month, including studying the documents regarding human rights violations that have come from the Serious Crimes Unit, as well as beginning interviews of military officers accused of being involved in crimes. When asked by reporters whether the interviews of military officers would begin with Wiranto, the Minister said that he did not know. Horta reiterated that the funding for the Commission will be provided by the two governments themselves, with a contribution of USD 1 million from Indonesia and USD 500,000 from Timor-Leste. (Diario, STL)

World Bank Donates Computers to Universities and NGOs

The World Bank has donated 20 computers to NGO's and universities in Timor-Leste, with a short handover ceremony for the computers being held at the World Bank office in Lecidere last Friday. The donation is part of the Bank's program to assist NGO's involved in the areas of education, health, social services, governance, vocational training and development programs. Representing the beneficiaries, as director of NGO LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson said that LABEH very much appreciates the donation, which will assist LABEH in its everyday training activities, and will facilitate the effective participation of Timorese in the development process, as well as improve communications between the World Bank and local NGO's in Timor-Leste. LABEH is one of a large number of local NGO's to receive the donation. (Diario)

ASDT Members Injured During Police Actions and PNTL Receives Anti-Terrorism Training

According to the media, members of PNTL officers stationed in Fohorem, Covalima sub-district, detained and beat ASDT members who were organizing their congress in that area. MP Maria Valadares (ASDT) raised the issue during Monday's Parliamentary session, noting that PNTL commander for Fohorem with the initials JC ordered the detention of around 11 ASDT members in the beginning of the month of October. Valadares said that out of the 11, 9 remain in detention in Suai while 2 were brought to Dili with one seeking medical treatment in the national hospital, very sick as a result from the beatings. "I appeal to the police to be neutral and impartial in order to defend the rights of all people," said Maria Valadares, adding that she is not aware of any problems between the police and members of her party that led to their detention. She added that even if there were problems with the police, beatings are not part of procedures for anyone in police detention. In the meantime PNTL commander Paulo Martins said UNPOL has been given anti-terrorism training to PNTL trainers as a step of preparation in case of similar attack terrorism attack in Timor-Leste. (STL, Diario, TP)

Government Shuts Down Dili Hotel 2000

PNTL officers on Monday shut down Dili Hotel 2000 following a decision by the Ministry of Justice and Land and Properties, for not paying taxes in the last five years. According to Land and Properties Director Pedro Xavier, those responsible for the hotel, " since 2000, have not paid any taxes to the state to date". The owner of the hotel reportedly said he disagrees with the decision of the government to evict them without warning notice. "I'm not happy with the government decision. My contract has not expired. It expires on 2006, but the government forced me to move out, but we are waiting on the court's decision," said the manager of Dili Hotel 2000. The manager of the hotel said he cannot continue to pay the 15 Timorese staff employed by the hotel who no longer have jobs and that it is the government's responsibility. (STL, Diario, 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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