Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 17-19 September 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

Saturday, 17 ­ Monday, 19 September 2005

National Media Reports

Lu Olo: No Other Party Can Govern Like Fretilin

President of Fretilin Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” has reportedly said that this country will not be peaceful if Fretilin is not governing. Speaking at Becora on Friday during the final campaigning for the village elections, Guterres reportedly said that today we are swimming, but tomorrow we could drown. He asserted that even though the opposition criticises the government, only Fretilin can maintain a government, as only Fretilin holds political ideals suitable for the people. (TP, STL, DT)

Menezes: Don’t Be Afraid of Political Intimidation

Speaking at the last day of the campaign for village elections last Friday, General Coordinator of the Democratic Party (PD) for the election, Rui Menezes reportedly appealed to PD supporters followers not to be afraid of political intimidation. According to Menezes, the political intimidation launched [by certain political opponents] was merely an attempt to mislead the people, and it would not bring any benefit to the development of Timor-Leste, adding that the consequence of such intimidation was that it would be the people who would continue to suffer. Menezes appealed to PD supporters to have trust in the candidates from the party who run for the elections. Moreover Menezes assured party supporters, that PD has the legal basis to run activities as PD has been registered at the Court of Appeal. (Timor Post)

Corte Real: Government is Trying to Create Conflicts

Member of National Parliament’s Commission on Land and Property, Alexandre Corte Real was reported to have stated that the decision of the Government to evict people out of state-owned houses was an indication that the Government was trying to create conflicts. Corte Real argued that the Government should not take any decision to evict people out of state-owned houses because such action is a violation of human rights. “If the Government wants to evict people, it should be based on a complete [package] of the development plan. However, [I find that] the objective for this is not clear, ”Corte Real added. (Timor Post)

Aderito Soares: No Amnesty for Crimes Against Humanity

The Timor Post lead story concentrated on comments of lawyer and former Director of the Sahe Institute for Liberation Aderito de Jesus Soares has reportedly said that, according to international law, persons who commit crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes can never be granted amnesty. Thus, according to Soares, the terms of reference of the joint Truth and Reconciliation are problematic because they allow the granting of amnesty to suspects of the 1999 crimes who admit their guilt. Speaking at a public meeting about justice at HAK Association last Friday, Soares said that speaking as someone who understands the law, amnesty can be recommended from a range of parties including the Presidents of the two countries or their national parliaments, but never for crimes against humanity. Soares acknowledged the good intentions of the Timorese government in establishing the Commission, in the context of the development of democracy in Indonesia and the need for good relations with its neighbour, but feels that the strategy is mistaken. (TP)

Government, CTF and NGOs Discuss Justice

NGO La’o Hamutuk on Friday organized a small public meeting at HAK Association to discuss “the road to truth and justice”, in particular related to the 1999 crimes. Speakers at the meeting included Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nelson Santos, one of the members of the Timor-Leste delegation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Felicidade Guterres, and Director of HAK Association, Jose Luis de Oliveira. Government representative Santos told the meeting that the justice that the Timorese were seeking for 24 years is liberation, and this they have already achieved. He reminded the audience of a range of factors relevant to Timor-Leste’s relationship with Indonesia. He reportedly said that it is remiss to “put a full stop” at 1999, as there were also human rights problems in the Portuguese period, that Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of Timor-Leste was a consequence of the Cold War, and that the weapons and aircraft used to launch the invasion and maintain the occupation were not made by Indonesia itself but by the United States. He asked the audience whether they really believed that Timorese didn’t kill anyone during the war, and reminded them that the Indonesian people also suffered as a consequence of Indonesian policies at the time, not just the Timorese.

Santos acknowledged the value of the ideal of an International Tribunal to try the perpetrators of crimes in Timor-Leste, but explained the difficulty in gaining approval of such a move from the UN Security Council. He said that Russia would have difficulty in approving the Tribunal considering the issue of Chechnya, and questioned also China’s acceptance in the face of the Tibetan issue. He reiterated that the view of the Ministry is that it is important for this nation to move forward now. CVA representative Guterres explained the mandate and the tasks given to the Commission including truth seeking, the cementing of reconciliation and friendship, and how to secure the two nations from similar problems in the future. NGO representative de Oliveira told the meeting that in his opinion the Commission is unconstitutional as it is not based on the principles of the Constitution, and that an International Tribunal is still the right path, as the crimes committed here in 1999 are international crimes, and, according to Timor-Leste’s Constitution, crimes must be tried in a court. He ended by asserting that Timor-Leste’s independence means nothing without justice. (TP)

Conditional Sentence for PNTL Member and Assault of PTL Officer in Ermera

A member of the Timor-Leste National Police Force has been sentenced to an eight-month conditional sentence on an assault charge. The defendant will serve the sentence outside prison on the condition that he does not commit or become involved in any further crimes. The international judge granted the light sentence on the basis of the family responsibilities of the defendant. In separate news, four citizens appeared in Dili District Court on Friday afternoon charged with the assault of a police officer. According to the Prosecutor the assault committed in November 2002 in Ermera was the result of a family problem. (TP)

National News Sources

Timor Post (TP) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL] RTL Radio Timor-Leste [RTL]

These items do not reflect the positions or views of the United Nations.

UNOTIL Public Information Office


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