Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 21 & 23 January 2006

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed.]

UNOTIL

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Saturday & Monday, 21 & 23 January 2006

National Media Reports

UN Secretary-General, Annan agrees with the action taken by Timorese BPU's

STL reported that, in the most recent report to the Security Council on UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), Secretary General Kofi Annan brought up the 6 January border shooting incident. During the discussion, he referred to the three Indonesians killed as "infiltrators". In another report, the Secretary-General mentioned other border incidents but called this most recent one, currently under the joint investigation of Timor-Leste and Indonesian Governments, "the most serious one". Reacting to the UN Secretary-General's report, Indonesian First Political Secretary to the UN, Muhammad Anshor, described it is as an "exaggeration". Mr. Anshor was also reported as arguing that UNOTIL has drawn a partial conclusion on the incident. (STL)

Minister Horta: Timor-Leste will not recommend international tribunal against Indonesia

Speaking to a number of journalists in New York, T-L Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta confirmed that Timorese still disagree with the idea of the establishing an International Tribunal to try human rights perpetrators in regard to Timor-Leste. Minister Horta explained further that the establishment of international tribunal will not be practical because it will only hinder the bilateral ties of Timor-Leste and Indonesia, and that Timor-Leste is seriously trying to assist its neighbor in transitioning toward a democratic nation. (STL)

Allegations against PM Alkatiri & Lu Olo following the three former militia members' death at the border incident

Fretilin's Secretary-General, Mari Alkatiri has rejected allegations that the shooting incident on the border which led to the death of three former militia, was his and the Party President's initiative to gain popularity. According to media reports, these allegations are also a way of preventing Xanana Gusmão becoming the President of Fretilin. Alkatiri pointed out that Gusmão is the President today because that is where he wanted to be. He said, by now, everyone must have heard that President Gusmão does not want to be a candidate for 2007 Presidential elections. In this case, Fretilin will propose a candidate for President because it has the majority of seats in Parliament and a number of qualified people. If the PM's party wins both elections, he continued, people might tend to make accusations of having a dictator in Timor-Leste. Alkatiri appealed to members of Fretilin before attending the congress to give importance to the decision-making process because the outcome will be critical, as there are national and international predictions that Fretilin will win the 2007 elections.

Timor Post and STL also reported that Fretilin's President, Francisco "Lu'Olo" Guterres appealed to members of Fretilin's Central Committee (CCF) to work and cooperate together as any decision made during the Party's congress will have a political impact not only on the Party but on the nation as well. Guterres argued that the intention of protests that occurred on 4th December 2002 was to shake Fretilin's leadership, but because the Party is based on the principles of democracy and freedom of choice, they did not succeed. He acknowledged that there have been some weakness but with courage, hope and determination, the difficulties can be overcome. Guterres said his party could win with the majority of votes in the next elections. Fretilin's congress is scheduled to take place 27-29 May 2006. Reports claim that the theme of the congress will be " Strengthening Fretilin to Consolidate the Victory". (TP)

Vice Minister, Magno: Domingos Sarmento to be Timorese Ambassador for Japan

The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adalgisa Magno, told media that the Minister of Justice, Domingos Sarmento, has been nominated by the Government of Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste to represent Timor-Leste's Ambassadorial seat in Japan. Vice Minister Magno said, "it's just a matter of time" as to when Ambassador Sarmento occupies his awaiting position in Japan since both the President and the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste have approved his nomination. (STL)

MP da Cruz: Border community activates security system in the border area

Speaking at the National Parliament, MP Jose Andrade da Cruz said that the border community members have activated a security system on the border area to keep an eye out for any infiltration. MP da Cruz said that the local border community members started the initiative in response to the trauma caused over the 6 January incident and that he hopes that both Timor-Leste and Indonesia will resolve the issue soon and neutralize the border. (STL)

TVTL News Monitoring 20-01-2006

JSMP's annual report

The NGO Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) is reportedly concerned about the political decision made by the RDTL Government. Speaking to journalists, the Director of JSMP, Tiago Sarmento, stated that his organization's observation in the past year, and the reality of Timor Leste, show that the Government's political decision can go against justice, citing the establishment of CTF as an example. Mr Sarmento also spoke about the lack of human resources in the judicial area that affects the judicial system and could result in the pending of many court cases.

NGO Luta Hamutuk met with Commission G of NP

Tomas Freitas, director of the local NGO, Luta Hamutuk, met Commission G of the National Parliament on Friday, TVTL reported. During the meeting, Luta Hamutuk presented its findings on the poor quality of roads in Iliomar (Lospalos). Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Freitas said apart from informing the Commission, his organization also urged the Parliamentarians from Commission G to raise the issue at the Parliament's plenary session.

The Establishment of an Investment Committee on petroleum fund

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Director of BPA (Bank Payment Authority) Abrão Vasconselhos, said that an Investment Committee on petroleum was being established to assist the Government in the area of petroleum investment. Mr. Vasconchelos added that the Committee will consist of four members working within the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

Regional Media Reports

Indonesia's President worried by reports on East Timor Deaths

Jakarta, 20 Jan. (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Indonesia's president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has expressed concern about media reports saying that Indonesia's presence in East Timor resulted in the deaths of up to 180,000 civilians, Presidential Spokesman, Dino Pati Djalal, said Friday. "The President is concerned about the news. But he hasn't received any direct explanation from East Timor. We are surprised because the report does not come from the Government but from other parties," he told The Jakarta Post.

A report issued by the East Timor Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says Indonesia's 24-year presence resulted in the deaths of 180,000 civilians in East Timor before after it gained independence from Indonesia in 1999-2002. Indonesia occupied for former Portuguese colony for 25 years.

The report also accused the Indonesian Military of using starvation and sexual violence as weapons to control its former province.

Based on interviews with almost 8,000 witnesses, as well as Indonesian military (TNI) papers and intelligence from international sources, the report detailed thousands of summary executions and the torture of 8,500 people.

Thousands of East Timorese women were also allegedly raped and sexually assaulted.

Dino said the Indonesian government had not received a copy of the original report of the commission.

According to Dino, Indonesia and Timor Leste have closed that "chapter and we are now forward looking".

"We also don't know where the copy will be sent after it is submitted to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today (Friday). Therefore, we cannot comment further on the contents," he said.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's Defence Minister, Juwono Sudarsono, rejected an allegation saying that the military used starvation and sexual violence as weapons to control the country.

When asked whether the military had used napalm bombs during its occupation of East Timor, as the report alleged, he replied that the Administration of former President Soeharto had "no means to import, let alone to produce" them.

According to The Australian newspaper, the report said that soldiers used napalm as well as chemical weapons to poison food and water supplies during their 1975 invasion of the territory. (Aki/Jakarta Post)

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


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