|Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 15 June
[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (firstname.lastname@example.org) have been removed.]
Friday, 15 June 2007
UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS
National Media Reports
Government will not buy missiles
Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva reportedly denied reports in the international media that the Government of Timor-Leste is buying missiles and jets for the Timorese Armed Forces.
"It is impossible for Timor-Leste to buy missiles and jets. Timor-Leste is a tiny nation and does not need these," Mr. da Silva said after meeting with President José Ramos-Horta on Thursday (14/6). (STL)
Estanislau: avoid insults during campaigning
Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva called on all political parties not to insult each other during the campaigning period and to avoid creating political tensions in the country. (STL)
Fugitive Alfredo is ready to surrender the weapons
Former military police commander, Alfredo Reinado Alves, is prepared to surrender the weapons and submit himself to the justice system once the state decides to have a dialogue.
"Alfredo has been ready to cooperate since the letter from the state was sent announcing to halt the operation and requesting a dialogue," said Alfredo's lawyer, Mr. Benevides Correia Barros, after meeting with President José Ramos-Horta on Thursday (14/6) in Dili. (STL)
Atul Khare: Media should avoid politicizing cases
At a press conference held by UNMIT on Thursday (14/6) SRSG Atul Khare encouraged the media not to politicize cases when reporting on incidents that occur throughout the country.
In response to the incident that took place in Manufahi, the SRSG said that UNPol will track down the suspect through the normal process of investigation. (TP)
2020 Plan is ambitious
Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva reassured that the government's new military plan would not be a threat to other countries.
Military and Political Observer Julio Tomas Pinto said that this plan is somewhat ambitious. (TP)
US$28 Thousand lost during Xanana's term
Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri, revealed on Thursday (14/6) that US$28 thousand was lost during Xanana's term as President of the Republic.
Mr. Alkatiri said that he is ready to talk about the corruption issue with Xanana on TV, radio or through the newspapers in order to clearly explain the problem to the Timorese people. (TP)
Atul Khare: "Avoid consuming alcohol near the polling centres"
At a press conference held by UNMIT on Thursday (14/6) the SRSG, Atul Khare, stated that alcohol consumption on election day will not be allowed within or near the polling centers. (DN)
Ballistics machine to arrive from Australia
At a press conference held by UNMIT on Thursday (14/6), SRSG Atul Khare informed that the Australian Federal Police will send a ballistics machine in order to identify the bullet recovered from the Viqueque incident that occurred last week.
Mr. Khare added that Luis da Silva has been imprisoned while awaiting trial. (DN)
UNPol's action needed to stop violence in Ermera
Fretilin representative Francisco Soares has condemned the recent violence targeting Fretilin supporters in Ermera district during the past few days. He called on UNPol to take immediate action to stop the violence and intimidation in the district. (DN)
International Media Reports
EAST TIMOR: EU DEPLOYS OBSERVERS TO MONITOR POLLS
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Brussels, 14 June (AKI) - The European Commission is deploying observers to East Timor to monitor parliamentary polls scheduled for 30 June at the invitation of the country's government. "This mission confirms our continuous strong support to Timor Leste (East Timor). The recent presidential elections, which were held peacefully and were conducted reasonably well by the national authorities, mark a major step towards the stabilization of this young country," said EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner in a statement. "We are confident that the next parliamentary elections will further confirm this trend," she added.
The EU mission comprises seven core team members and will be joined shortly by 28 long-term observers, who will follow the campaign and the organisation of the elections throughout the country. A delegation of Euro MPs will join the mission over Election Day.
Ferrero-Waldner said she was pleased the Timorese authorities had implemented some of the EU's recommendations in its electoral law governing the parliamentary elections. "This demonstrates their commitment to move forward on the path of democracy," she said.
The EU is also supporting the electoral process through a 1.5 million euros contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
So far, only four of the more than 150 campaign activities held across East Timor, by the 16 political parties have been marred by violent incidents, according to the UN Integrated Mission there (UNMIT).
UNMIT was deployed following an outbreak of deadly ethnic violence last year that forced 150,000 Timorese to abandon their homes. It is supporting aspects of the 2007 electoral processes, including technical and logistical support, electoral policy advice and verification.
The 30 June vote is considered more important than the presidential election won last month by Nobel Peace laureate and independence war hero Jose Ramos-Horta. In the Timorese political system, power resides with the prime minister, the majority party member given the job of forming the government. (Ajd/Aki)
Charge Wiranto or lose military funding: US
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jakarta correspondent
June 15, 2007
Source: The Australian
INDONESIA faces a return of US military aid restrictions unless it prosecutes the general responsible for Jakarta's bloody withdrawal from East Timor and drastically reforms its armed forces' business arrangements, its parliament have heard.
Washington in 2005 lifted military sanctions imposed after the 1999 withdrawal from East Timor when thousands died at the hands of Indonesian military-trained gangs, even though there has only ever been one successful prosecution in relation to that matter.
Now new curbs are being urged by groups concerned that Jakarta has done far too little to address the culture of impunity in its vast military and the sprawling business empire with which it supplements its 32.6 trillion rupiah ($4billion) official budget - and from which parliament has ordered it to completely withdraw by 2009.
US Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice has argued against the 25 per cent restriction in military aid being considered by Congress that would try to force Jakarta's hand.
Instead, Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono has told parliament Dr Rice suggested three conditions that should be met in order for the full $US8 million ($9.5 million) funding bill - a small part of Washington's proposed $US34.2 billion 2008 foreign aid budget - to pass.
These included the prosecution of former military chief General Wiranto, who presided over the 1999 bloodletting, total reform of Indonesia's military structure, and the reining in of its private business arrangements, which include illegal logging, fishing, sand mining and weapons trading. But a cocky Mr Sudarsono told parliament he was not concerned that the proposal to withhold $US2 million of the $US8 million in aid would succeed.
"There are many US Congress members sympathetic to the TNI (Indonesian military)," Mr Sudarsono said. "We don't need to worry."
TNI spokesman Sagom Tamboen was just as sanguine yesterday, telling The Australian: "If in fact the restrictions are put in place, we believe that the Government will have other options ... anyway, we're accustomed to limitations."
As for any prosecutions against General Wiranto, the Indonesia-East Timor Truth and Friendship Commission - on which hopes for effective reconciliation are pinned - has the power to grant complete amnesty to anyone it finds guilty of human rights breaches.
Indonesia's military continues to find itself squirming in the human rights spotlight, with current chief Djoko Suyanto fronting a parliamentary committee this week to answer allegations that the recent shooting deaths of four civilians and an unborn child at the hands of Navy marines were murder. The dead, including a woman hiding in her kitchen, were killed during a land rights dispute in East Java by what the military has claimed were bullets ricocheting upwards after being fired into soft earth.
"I think calling it murder is completely inappropriate," General Suyanto objected.
Thirteen marines are to face trial over the shootings in a military tribunal, but there will be no criminal proceedings.
NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional (DN) Semanario Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)