Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 20 January 2006

UNOTIL

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Friday, 20 January 2006

National Media Reports

New Coordination Office Following UNOTIL Mission: Minister Horta

A Coordination Office will succeed UNOTIL following the conclusion of the mission, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Ramos-Horta told Lusa Thursday. Ramos-Horta said that the Timorese authorities continue to be interested in the presence of the United Nations for the "continuation of support to public administration and preparation for the 2007 elections". "We would prefer that [the continuation of work performed by UNOTIL] is done through a parallel office," he said noting that assistance from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is in place in collaboration with international agencies. He added that the government of Timor-Leste is not asking for another peace mission and agrees that UNOTIL's mandate should end. According to Lusa, Prime Minister Alkatiri has already written a letter to Kofi Annan expressing Dili's position. Adding to Minister Horta's statement, the Vice President of the National Parliament, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, was quoted as saying that the UN presence in Timor-Leste is still needed due to concerns the country is currently facing. (TP, Lusa, STL)

Nelson Santos: Indonesia's Foreign Minister Expresses his delight over Indonesian and T-L joint investigation

Director-General of T-L Minister of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirahjuda expressed Indonesia's satisfaction with Timor-Leste's decision to form a joint investigation with Indonesia regarding the 6th January border shooting incident, Timor Post reported. Speaking before his departure to attend UN Security Council's meeting and handover CAVR's report to UN, President Xanana Gusmão was quoted as saying, "Timor-Leste and Indonesia's bilateral ties will not be disturbed by the 6th January border incident shooting". President Gusmão further confirmed the formation of the joint investigation team by both Timor-Leste and Indonesia. (TP)

PM Alkatiri: All citizen have rights to be nominate as Timorese Ambassador for Malaysia

Responding to rumors circulating alleging that the President of Muslim Community, Arif Abdulla Sagran, is a candidate for Timor-Leste's Ambassador to Malaysia, PM Alkatiri said, "All the citizens of Timor-Leste have a right to be a candidate for Timor-Leste's Ambassadorial position in other countries, but all will depend on the final decision of Timor-Leste Government on whether the person is capable of upholding the task or not". When asked about his thoughts on the potential candidate, the PM remarked," If T-L Government has nominated Arif A. Sagran then he will be the Timorese diplomat to be stationed in Malaysia." Some members of Timor-Leste National Parliament also backed the nomination of Arif Abdullah Sagran. (TP, STL)

East Timor: Tropical storm destroys homes, crops

Tropical cyclone "Daryl" has battered East Timor for the past week and already destroyed 200 houses and corn crops in several districts of the new nation, a Dili official said Thursday.

A source in Timor's Natural Disasters Bureau told Lusa that the worst affected region was Atauro Island, about 25 km north of Dili, and an official on the island said one village had been without electricity for four days due to storm-damaged power lines.

The category 2 storm is currently off the north coast of Australia and is expected to ease as it moves south over the weekend. (Lusa)

TVTL News Monitoring 19-01-2006

Opposition Parties demanded UNOTIL's Extension: Reacting to a statement made by Foreign Minister Ramos Horta who has reportedly sanctioned UNOTIL's impending departure, leaders of some opposition parties stated that the presence of the UN is still needed in Timor-Leste. Head of KOTA bench at the Parliament, Clementino Amaral said that the UN is still needed until the 2007 elections to guarantee democratic and peaceful elections. Meanwhile, the leader of ASDT, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, said that the situation is still not favourable for the UN to leave.

First Battalion of F-FDTL moves to Baucau: From Lospalos, TVTL reported on a ceremony marking the farewell of the First Battalion of F-FDTL from the District to Baucau as well as the inauguration of a resistance monument built by the soldiers. Speaking to journalists after the ceremony, the Commander of the First Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Falur Rate Laek, stated that the Battalion was moving because its barracks in Baucau had been renovated and ready to be used. The ceremony was reportedly attended by the State Secretary for Coordination in Region I, Jose Maria dos Reis and the District Administrators of Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem Districts.

Regional Media Reports

Australia: Treat West Papuans like East Timorese

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today called on the Federal Government to treat the newly arrived West Papuan asylum seekers in the same way as the East Timorese who fled Indonesian repression in the 1990s by letting them live in the community, not mandatory detention.

"Australia should treat the West Papuan asylum seekers like we treated the East Timorese in the 1990s, claims for asylum should be assessed while they live in the community rather than locking them up in detention," said Senator Nettle.

"These people are our neighbours and we owe a historical debt to treat them with respect and dignity. They assisted our diggers in World War II and General Douglas MacArthur had his headquarters in the West Papuan capital Jayapura during the war.

"The Government has a chance to show it has learned from recent scandals and should now implement a better approach to asylum seekers by not putting them in a detention centre. They should not be sent to Christmas Island.

"Australia has accepted West Papuan asylum seekers in the recent past and with the escalation of repression of the West Papuan independence movement by Indonesia, there is a clear case that these people need our protection.

"They've trekked across the jungle and made a dangerous sea voyage. It is clear they are activists in the West Papuan struggle for freedom and independence. The Government should recognise this and treat these people with dignity and compassion. (www.scoop.conz - Press Release: Green Party)

*****

National News Sources Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional


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