Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review, 14 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, 14 October 2005

National Media Reports

Alkatiri and UNDERTIM comment on UNDERTIM case

Responding to criticisms from UNDERTIM regarding the actions of Fretilin members toward the UNDERTIM office in Bucoli, Baucau, Fretilin Secretary General and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that such a reaction from the people is normal. Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Alkatiri said that if the local people do want to accept a particular political party flag, the police should support them. He said that anyone who wants to open a political party office in a certain area should first work to get to know the local people, rather than utilizing the police to provide security for their flag. According to UNDERTIM spokesperson Cristiano da Costa, the Bucoli village chief Terezinha dos Reis, who ordered Fretilin elements to bring down the flag, has violated the political party law of 2004. Speaking at an UNDERTIM press conference yesterday, da Costa said that this behaviour is undemocratic, and ‘regionalist’, and compromises democratic process. (TP)

PM Alkatiri will fire the staff of EDTL

It is reported that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri stated that the constant power-cuts are not due to the technical concerns that the experts are trying to address but the power-cuts continue to occur due to the reluctance of EDTL staff (National Electicity Department) to do the job, STL reported. He added that if power-cuts occur due to the staff’s reluctance then foreigners would be brought in to solve the problem. When asked about conducting an inspection of the management of EDTL, PM Alkatiri said that the Inspector-General could not do everything and that it will be complicated. He then assured that an inspection would be conducted into EDTL operations. (STL)

Hasegawa: TL a success

SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa has said that Timor-Leste is a success story, as it strives to attain proper democratic processes. Speaking to the National Parliament yesterday, after handing over car keys and other equipment to the various permanent Parliamentary Commissions, Hasegawa said that there is an expectation from the international community that Timor-Leste will be able to demonstrate a great level of success in democratization, when compared to other post-conflict countries. (TP)

Court Order evicts Gui Campos

It is reported that Dili District Court officers on Thursday performed an eviction at the home of Gui Campos in the Mandarin area, Dili, on order from the Dili District Court and with the assistance of the PNTL. The eviction was met with some resistance from Campos, with him protesting that the eviction of his belongings into a container should have been preceded with a letter explaining the procedure to him, and that the executors should be Timorese, and not foreigners. Benevides Correia Barros, lawyer for claimant Mario de Jesus Pires, explained that the case was decided in the Dili District Court in April, and was then appealed, but the Appeals Court maintained the decision of the District Court. It is also reported that a TP journalist’s camera was taken from him by the officer whilst filming the eviction yesterday. (STL)

Appeal Court Staff Confiscates Journalist’s Camera

Diario Tempo reports that the people of Timor-Leste have put their full faith in international staff as pioneers of peace and freedom for this country, but instead they are the ones violating what they preach. They are trying to prevent the freedom of the press, which the people believe is a bridge between the population and the government. They have said that the media must be fair, impartial, credible and proportional but they are the one who are disproportional.

It is alleged that an International Staff of the Appeal Court, on Thursday, (13/10 around 10:00hrs) in Avenida Martires da Patria, Mandarin, she confiscated a Sony camera, Diario Tempo journalists and correspondent of Agencia de Noticias International APTN, Jose Antonio Belo. It is alleged that the incident occurred when the court decided that the house occupied by Guy Campus, should be vacated. It is reported that while filming the event, Alda Pereira approached the journalist in trying to stop the eviction and without saying anything she grabbed the journalists’ camera and allegedly tried to erase the film already recorded by the journalist. It is further reported that the journalist tried to ask for an explanation and who authorized for the confiscation of the camera, but without any answer, he returned to his office.

MP Clementino Amaral (KOTA) said those people who reject journalists from covering this type of story show that they are not professional, and more likely does not know the legislation and should get further education. MP Manuel Tilman (KOTA) said Alda Pereira made a big mistake, and that the tribunal does not have the competence to look into all these problems. “According to article 42-47 of the constitution on the freedom of the press, the journalists have the right to inform the community. Therefore the staff of the Court of Appeal does not have the right to stop a journalist from reporting,” said Tilman. (Diario Tempo)

Regional Media Reports

Indonesia to help crackdown on fishing

Indonesian officials may help customs officers trawl Australian waters as part of a plan by the two nations to crack down on the growing illegal fishing trade. Customs Minister Chris Ellison, back in Australia after two days of meetings in Indonesia, said the initiative could involve the exchange of customs officers between the two countries as part of a more coordinated approach to the problem.

The number of illegal fishers heading into Australian waters had jumped significantly over the past two years, with 11 boats apprehended off northern Australia last weekend alone. The joint approach was prompted by the security implications of the fishers being found within Australia's maritime borders.

The government was attacked for not providing sufficient resources to guard Australian waters, which critics said left the nation open to attack or an influx of disease. "It's not just a fishing question as much as a border control issue," Senator Ellison told AAP.

Australia and Indonesia were even considering co-opting East Timor into the proposal in a bid to safeguard the vast expanse of the Timor Sea. East Timor was an important element because it needed to give permission for surveillance in the region known as the Joint Petroleum Development Area. "They're not against us doing that, they're very supportive," Senator Ellison said. "We really need to streamline our cooperation." The idea centred on a more coordinated approach between the participating countries but would not necessarily involve joint patrols. Senator Ellison saw the possibility of Australian customs officers being sent to work with their Indonesian counterparts and vice versa. "There's no reason we couldn't have officers exchanged to work from both sides," he said.

This week the government announced plans to inject $88 million into the battle against illegal fishing. The money would go toward extra customs and fisheries officers, as well as new tactical response vessels. The government expected additional funds would help with detection and seizures and speed up the process once they were found. "It will make the process much smoother and free us up to get our boats out again," Senator Ellison said. (ABC RADIO -AUSTRALIA)

After the bombings, Bali reflects on conflict

UBUD, Bali I went to Bali to escape violence. I stayed in Ubud because the clear burbling streams and deep green glades where the spirits live have a calming effect few other places in this world can offer so accessibly. From a distance, friends and family urged caution. A second bombing, they all said; surely this was a sign of worse to come.

I went because not to go is to give in to the terrorists.

No one else who gathered in the artistic heart of Bali for a festival of reading and writing, barely a week after the Oct. 1 bombing that killed two dozen people in nearby Kuta and Jimbaran wanted to give in either. "I came in a spirit of solidarity in the face of these suicide bombings," declared East Timor's president, Xanana Gusmão, a former guerrilla leader himself and once branded a terrorist by the Indonesian state.

As the world's media ruminated on the attacks that hit this island's most fashionable beach spots, it was heartening to see leading literary figures like Michael Ondaatje and Amitav Ghosh mingling with local writers and an ample supply of foreign guests and residents barely an hour's drive from Kuta. Reports of the demise of Bali's tourist industry were greatly exaggerated.

All the same it was an opportunity to reflect on conflict. Ondaatje, who was born in Sri Lanka, spoke of the clichés that distort and confuse coverage of wars in marginal places. "I want equality of consideration," he declared about the long-running war in Sri Lanka that has all but faded from the headlines. Amitav Ghosh, who is from Calcutta but lives in New York, argued that fiction paves the way for greater understanding of the uncertainties of today's world. "Only a fiction writer can show you how to inhabit the world in these conflicted times," he said.

My Indonesian friends felt uncomfortable in the face of such literary candor. "People expect us to address the issue of terrorism, so we should," said Nasir Tamara a veteran journalist and Muslim intellectual.

A Balinese writer, I Gusti Raka Panji Tisna, gave voice to some of the anxiety masked by this Hindu island's serenity. "There is already animosity towards the Muslim Javanese who come here, now there is a suspicion that the Muslims are jealous of the Balinese." Yet instead of laying blame, Panji took refuge in karmic guilt; that somehow the violence was punishment for all the decadence that tourism has brought to the island.

Most Indonesians are still in denial about the roots of terrorism. It is hard for Muslims like Nasir Tamara to condemn the violence without blaming some other, more menacing source of global injustice, mostly meaning the United States. "There is no justice in law if the law is created by dominant countries," argued another leading Indonesian thinker, Arief Budiman.

Absent from the discourse was a frank admission of the country's long history of violence, usually missed amid the outrage expressed over the targeting of foreigners in Bali. And yet it was here in the shadows of the balmy Bali night some 40 years ago that thousands of Balinese were slaughtered for being suspected Communists.

Many Balinese turned to Communism in the struggle against Dutch colonial rule in the early 20th century, just as many Javanese have turned to militant Islam in the face of grinding poverty and social alienation.

Each conflict in Indonesia's cycles of violence - from the Muslim radicals who launched futile rebellions in the 1940s to the Communists clubbed to death in the 1960s - has produced widows and aggrieved children. They nurse feelings of vengeance and become easy targets for those who want to plough new furrows of conflict.

In Balinese the word Ubud means medicine, and this gentle town filled with beautiful art and the sound of gongs and cymbals is an ideal place to promote healing in the wake of a terrorist attack. Death is never far away, though. At the cremation of a young man who died after falling off the back of a motorcycle, friends and neighbors gathered to watch the corpse consumed by flames ignited by a man in a sarong and white head band and wielding a giant gas torch. He looked so casual he might have been burning leaves.

Meanwhile, Balinese say that an old lady went into a trance at a temple somewhere in the south of the island and gave the names and addresses of three men responsible for planning the Oct. 1 bombing, including details of the vehicle they were driving. It's not clear if the police are investigating. (International Herald Tribune)

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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