Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 11 Sept 2006

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

Daily Media Review

Saturday 09 Sept, Monday 11 Sept 2006

National Media Reports

Mari Accuses Horta of Coup D’Etat

Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has accused Ramos-Horta of staging a coup d’etat against Fretilin. In response to Horta’s statement that Fretilin needs leadership changes, Alkatiri said the current Prime Minister made every possible move to force him out of government and then pretended to present the names of candidates for the premiership knowing he was the one who would become Prime Minister. Speaking during a gathering with Fretilin’s Central Committee from the 13 districts on Saturday, Alkatiri clarified to members of his party that the reason he stepped down as Prime Minister was due to the manipulation by the current Prime Minister. Alkatiri further said Horta knew that Jose Luis Guterres did not have a chance to become Fretilin’s secretary general but used a way of dividing Fretilin by siding with the ‘Fretilin Group for Changes’. The Secretary General of Fretilin said all members of CCF have agreed to hold a dialogue with ‘Fretilin Group for Changes’ or suspend the group for no longer obeying the party’s rules. (TP, STL)

Commissioners Should Not Be Scared To Meet Us: Salsinha

Salsinha Gastão, the petitioner’s spokesperson asked members of the Notable Commission not to be scared of the petitioners stationed in Aileu and Ermera. Gastão said the petitioners would not harm anyone visiting them to carry out the investigation. He said since the establishment of the commission, no one has met with them and stressed that the petitioners are prepared to cooperate with the commissioners in order to settle the problem in a fair manner. Due to past experience with Alfredo, Salsinha said the group is concerned about traveling to Dili to participate in the investigation process and is happy that Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has authorized investigation within the F-FDTL institution. In the meantime, the Commission’s spokesperson, Pedro da Costa has requested F-FDTL and the International Forces not to impede those petitioners wishing to travel to Dili to participate in the process. (TP)

AFP And GNR Beats Child And PNTL Member

Timor Post today reports that AFP and GNR forces have beaten a youth and one PNTL member in the area of Bidau Masau. According to Tomas Silva Pereira, the PNTL officer, the incident occurred on Saturday, around 22:00hrs when he woke up to knocks on his door and was then punched in the face with a torch by an Australian police officer when he opened the door. Angered by the behaviour of the Malaysian and Australian police, Pereira showed them his PNTL card. Upon seeing the card, the police stopped beating him and apologized but Pereira said the apologies were not welcome and warned that he would present his complaints to PNTL National Commanders, the Human Rights Commission, Commission for Social Affairs and Administrator of Dili Sub-District. He said when he presented his complaint to the human rights commission, they suggested that he process the case in court but he says he prefers to speak to the police commissioner and the international forces first regarding the incident. The PNTL officer said the police beat him based on information which is unfounded - that he was involved in the conflict between Bidau Masau community and the IDPs. Another case involves 16-year old, Januario Pereira Soares whom GNR accused of being involved in the conflict between the IDPs and the community of Bidau Masau. According to Timor Post, Januario was not aware of the conflict when GNR went to his house and beat him.

Special Mass For Major Alfredo

The National Front for Justice and Peace is organizing a special mass for Major Alfredo Reinado in Gleno on Tuesday aiming to pray for his protection and courage to continue the fight against injustice in the country. An advisory notice sent to the media on Friday said the mass would be held on Tuesday at 2:00pm. Meanwhile, MP Manuel Tilman (KOTA) said according to juridical consciousness he disagrees with the population that wants to conceal Alfredo and his members because justice has not been processed. On the other hand, Tilman says in terms of politically consciousness he agrees with the pro-Alfredo, as usually the small people are the one’s that suffer the consequences. He cited as an example the cases of allegations involving Mari Alkatiri and Rogerio Lobato. Tilman said guns were found in the former Prime Minister’s house but he was not detained. But in the case of Alfredo, he came to Dili on the orders of President Gusmão and was arrested when police found guns in his house, adding that the whole situation has confused the people. He said the problem is not within the judiciary but with the political process which has not been going well. (TP)

International Media Reports

Two Timorese refugees hospitalised

Monday, September 11, 2006. 7:32am (AEST)

Two East Timorese refugees have been admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital just hours before they were due to return home to Dili. Forty-two refugees have been living in Darwin and Melbourne on temporary protection visas for the past three months, but are due to return home today. Yesterday, Louis Lobato was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital after threatening to kill himself. Speaking on his behalf, Nabila Nadeem says Mr Lobato fears he will be targeted because he is related to the former interior minister, who is now under house arrest. "Everyone knows we're going to come back on Monday, and people will be waiting for them for sure," he said. "[It does] not matter if police are there, they're all going to fight." Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration has confirmed another East Timorese man, Epifano Faculto has been admitted to the hospital's psychiatric ward. The Immigration Department is awaiting medical advice to see if they are fit for travel. But a former resident of East Timor says a recent flare up in violence at refugee camps in Dili means it is unsafe for a group of refugees to return home. Dulcie Munn is originally from East Timor, but is now an Australian citizen. She is a member of a support group for some of the Timorese living in Darwin. Ms Munn says the Federal Government is being harsh by not letting the refugees stay longer. "If you heard our Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer who's recently visited East Timor, he's publicly stated that he's very disturbed with the level of unrest," she said. "So I think sending these refugees back home is not a good idea, and even if they do, they'll have nowhere to live. "The refugee camps are now being targeted and attacked by groups of youth and these youth are armed with stones, molotov cocktails, slingshots and they also are stoning the cars during the day now and thousands of family are still living in refugee camps." (ABC)

Community fears for E Timorese group being sent home

Monday September 11, 02:50 PM - ABC

Australian East Timor activists say the Federal Government's decision to send a group of 42 refugees back to the country does not make sense because East Timor is still unstable. The 42 East Timorese have been living in Melbourne and Darwin for the last three months on temporary protection visas, after they fled their home to escape civil unrest earlier this year. The Immigration Department informed them on Friday that their visas would run out on Monday. Australians for a Free East Timor activist Rob Wesley-Smith says it is bizarre for the Federal Government to send the group back while the security situation is still unpredictable. "At the same time that John Howard is saying he's got to send extra troops to East Timor, another arm of his Government is saying it is okay for people who are utterly stressed out to rush back with three days' notice," he said. "[We] don't even know if there will be an aircraft available for them." He says the decision to send the 42 East Timorese people back is inconsiderate because some of them are in a poor psychological state and the situation in Dili is still unstable. "A lot of them are very stressed out, I was with one and some crackers [went off] up the street and he was very disturbed," he said. "You have to remember that there is still about half of the Dili population is in refugee camps. "Some of these refugee camps are being attacked by up to 150 people." Jose Gusmao, a member of Darwin's East Timorese community, says many among the group of 42 are scared to return home. "I know that the Government have to make decision, I agree," he said. "But on the other hand, I mean as human being I feel ... we should have given them more time." Mr Gusmao says the families should have been given more time to prepare for their return journey. The Immigration Department says the 42 people were given a two-week extension to their temporary visas and have been notified of their departure date. The Federal Government says it is satisfied they will not be targeted when they return home to East Timor tomorrow. But Epifano Faculto, who is among the group of 42 and has been living in Darwin for the last three months, says he is scared to go home. "The situation is today is better, but maybe tomorrow is not better," he said. He says he and his family respect the decision of the Australian Government to send them back to their homeland, but they are nervous about returning. (ABC)

New Australian Troops head to East Timor Last Updated 08/09/2006, 14:39:43 Another 120 soldiers from the Australian Army's Ready Deployment Force at Townsville in North Queensland will be deployed to East timor shortly. The deployment comes as the government moves to address the security situation in East Timor: The soldiers will reinforce the Australian and New Zealand military force currently supporting the International Police. The government says the escape of Alfredo Reinado and 56 other prisoners from Becora prison has added an unpredictable element to the situation in East Timor. The Townsville based soldiers from the First Batallion will replace 130 other personnel who are returning to Australia in the next week. Almost 1,000 Australian troops will remain in East Timor. (ABC Radio)

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]

These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office

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