Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 21 December 2006

[Poster's note: International and other articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed from below.]

UNMIT

United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste

Public Information Unit

Daily Media Review

Thursday, 21 December 2006

UNMIT ­ MEDIA MONITORING THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS

National Media Reports

PNTL and F-FDTL host Christmas Celebration

The Defense and security institutions, F-FDTL and PNTL, held a Christmas gathering yesterday at the Headquarters of F-FDTL in Tacitolu, at the initiative of President Xanana Gusmao. Speaking at the function, President Gusmao called on everyone to seize the opportunity of Christmas to reflect deeply and to stop violence as the people need to live in peace. Also speaking at the function, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak echoed the President’s message to reflect on the past but also to asked the people to look forward. He pledged that the two institutions will cooperate to serve the people better. Meanwhile, a former FALINTIL Commander, and President of UNMDERTIM Party, Cornelio L-7 stated that he was not satisfied with the Christmas gathering with absences of Majors Alfredo Reinado, Agusto Tara and Lieutenant Gastao Salsinha. Present at the function were among others, President Gusmao, PM Horta, Speaker of NP Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, SRSG Atul Khare, the self-suspended PNTL Commissioner Paulo Martins and members of parliament. (DN, STL &TP)

Some PNTL Inspectors are involved in illegal groups

Speaking at a public meeting held at the National University on Tuesday, the Coordinator of the Technical Team of PNTL Screening process, Jose Antonio acknowledged that some PNTL senior officers are involved in illegal groups and political parties. According to Jose Antonio, in addition to the other factors such as lack of training, recruitment of former Indonesian policemen, salary ranges, and others, PNTL became disintegrated because some members of PNTL, including some Inspectors, have their own political interests and are involved in the activities of illegal groups and political parties that degrades the image of PNTL and destabilizes the institution. (DN)

PM Horta: Customs should eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy

In a press statement released by the office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, PM Horta has called for the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy in the customs service. Referring to a more than two-year delay of a container full of donations from Australia to those in need in Timor-Leste, the Prime Minister stated that “the delay should not have taken place. Many goods such as cooking oil, sugar and others have now become unusable.” The container was addressed to Joao Carrascalao (President of UDT) by some donors in Australia in October 2004 consisting of food and clothing. A few attempts by the then Foreign Minister did not result in the release of the container. PM Horta apologized for the delay to Mr. Carrascalao and the donors from Australia. (DN, STL &TP)

Determine our status before the subsidy: Salsinha

Spokesperson of the F-FDTL Petitioners’ group, former Lieutenant Gastao Salsinha has called on the government to determine the petitioners’ status first before any subsidy is given to them, as suggested. Salsinha further stated that the Petitioners reject the cash to be provided to them as the government refers to the award as a subsidy rather than a salary. “We cannot receive the subsidy yet because we remain confused as to whether or not we are still military personnel,” Salsinha said, adding that if they were to accept the money as a subsidy, then they were no longer military personnel as the money received by members of the defense force is referred to as a salary. Salsinha has sent a letter to the government to explain the matter. Speaking to journalists yesterday at the sidelines of the F-FDTL­PNTL Christmas gathering, a member of the Commission of Notables, Pedro da Costa MP, said that the commission’s report would be submitted soon. Meanwhile, the Minister for Solidarity and Community Reinsertion, Arsenio Bano stated that cash for the Petitioners is only a subsidy and as such will only serve as assistance. (TP)

Tilman: Every Citizen should comply with the CoI report

Parliamentarian from KOTA bench, Manuel Tilman, calls on every Timorese, including the four sovereign organs to accept the report of the International Commission of Inquiry. Commenting on the discussion at the parliament about the report of its commission on CoI’s report, Tilman stated that the Speaker of the House should choose a specific day for the discussion, arguing that “the report is too specific.” Reacting to the insistence that the parliament should accelerate the follow-up process to the CoI’s report, Manuel Tilman said that there are many aspects to be taken into consideration, one of which is the lack of capacity at the courts to process the cases rapidly. (DN)

Radio and TV News

The National Parliament approves general law of the presidential election

The National Parliament yesterday approved the general law of the presidential election. The approved text is the alternative proposed law which substituted the original text submitted by the majority party. Members of the National Party from Fretilin bench have also withdrawn the original text. This alternative proposed law was studied and analysed by Commission A before onward submission to the final session for approval.

Election should be free, fair, transparent, independent and free of violence and fear

After meeting with the speaker of the Parliament, SRSG Atul Khare said that both have agreed on proceeding with having elections next year and that the elections should free, fair, transparent, free of violence and fear. Elections are the democratic way for the people to elect their leaders. This was the first meeting of the new SRSG with the Speaker of the National Parliament since his arrival in Timor-Leste as Head of the UN Mission - UNMIT

Security is still the preoccupation of the people in the country

NGO LABEH held a one day seminar in Comoro to discuss the present security situation in the country. At the seminar, one of the participants expressed that despite the increase in number of UNPol in the country, the Security situation is still a major concern of the people. In response, Vice Minister of Interior Agustino explained that the Government is working alongside UNPol and the International Security Forces to address the security issues in the country. They have been trying to address the security issues in the country and in a due time the peace and security will restore in the nation, added Mr. Agustino Sequira.

International News

Xanana auction raises Rp 1 billion 21 December 2006 JAKARTA:

The personal collection of Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao earned more that Rp 1 billion at a recent charity auction and gala dinner in Jakarta. Under the hammer were 12 items of his collection including a Rolex watch a friend of his had given him as a gift. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was present at the auction at Morocco House, Central Jakarta, on Saturday. Several ambassadors were also in attendance, including Kuwaiti Ambassador M. Mohammad Fadel Khalaf, who donated Rp 22 million for a photo by Xanana titled Suai -- If there is a party, there is a joy and if there is a joy, there is always dancing. Ausencia, an oil-on-canvas painting that depicts empty chairs at a table full of food, painted during Xanana's incarceration in Cipinang prison in 1996, went for Rp 400 million. The money will be channeled to the ALOLA Foundation, which works in the field of social and education activities for the benefit of Timor Leste people. (The Jakarta Post)

International Media Reports

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org 


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