Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Monitoring: 26 June 2007

Tuesday, 26 June 2007



National Media Report

F-FDTL and ISF exchange fire

The International Stabilization Forces (ISF) and F-FDTL exchanged fire near the Timor Telecom compound in Dili last Sunday (24/6) evening. There were no related injures reported.

SRSG Atul Khare confirmed that the incident involved both the ISF and the FFDTL.

"The shots heard on Sunday night were warning shots that came from ISF and F-FDTL weapons," said Mr. Khare at an UNMIT press conference on Monday (25/6). (STL)

Timor-Leste will face food crisis

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that East Timor is on the brink of a major food crisis. They said that urgent action must be taken to avert a potentially disastrous situation.

WFP Director in Timor-Leste, Tarek Alguidi, said on Monday (25/6) that these people will face a food crisis at a particularly difficult time. The next six months (October 2007 and March 2008), also known as ‘lean season" is the period just before the next harvest.

"Apart from the 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid, the country will have to import some 70,000 tons commercially and some 16,000 tons will have to be taken from strategic food reserves," said Simon Pluess, WFP Spokesperson. "What we also have to know is that the poorest people live mostly in rural and more remote districts."

This report on East Timor's food crisis is based on a joint assessment carried out last March and April by WFP and FAO. (TP)

SRSG: "UNMIT respects the state's decision to stop the operation on Reinado"

At an UNMIT press briefing on Monday (25/6) SRSG Atul Khare stated that UNMIT respects the state's decision to stop the operation to capture the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado Alves and his followers.

According to Mr. Khare the state also emphasized the importance of justice in this democratic country. The SRSG said that justice is a precondition for reconciliation. (TP)

Ballot papers were distributed today

STAE Director Tomas Cabral on Monday (25/6) said that the distribution of sensitive materials for the Parliamentary elections would begin today (26/6).

Mr. Cabral mentioned that the 652,000 ballot papers will be distributed to 720 polling stations across the country. (TP)

Electoral Violence

The First Report on Electoral Violence issued by the EVER Program, covering the period 28 May- 12 June 2007, reported a total of 34 elections-related incidents of violence. These were verified by the Election Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) monitors.

Over half of the 34 reported incidents took place during the first week following the start of the campaigning period and the signing of the Code of Conduct.

The highest numbers of election-related incidents were reported in Baucau. Between 4 and 5 incidents were reported in Oecusse, Ermera, Viqueque and Bobonaro. The incidents took place in 9 of the 13 districts.

Another report will be released today (26/6) at a press conference in Hotel Timor, Dili. (TP)

Counting votes in districts is not a transparent process

After meeting with President José Ramos-Horta on Tuesday (25/6), SOMET Coordinator, Jill Sterberg, said that the process of counting votes at the district level will loose its transparency. (DN)

Police will not tolerate the sale or consumption of alcohol near polling stations

At an UNMIT press briefing held on Monday (25/6), SRSG Atul Khare informed that the police will not tolerate the sale or consumption of alcohol in or near the polling stations on Election Day.

"I also want to say that the prisoners and patients in the hospitals should have the opportunity to participate in the elections; they have the right to cast their votes on 30 June," said Mr. Khare. (DN)

International Media Reports

East Timor Preparing For Elections 12:29 pm, 26 Jun 2007 © NewsRoom 2007

New Zealand defence personnel are on stand-by in East Timor to assist in this weekend's elections.

Just over 180 members of the Defence Force are in East Timor, and they will have a role in promoting stability and security during the election process.

Defence Minister Phil Goff says the latest reports are that the situation is reasonably peaceful, though it could change at any time.

At present, he says defence personnel are on a normal state of alert.

Campaigning started earlier this month for the elections to choose a new prime minister and parliament.

U.S. House of Representatives Calls for Human Rights Accountability and Military Reform in Indonesia

Geelong man to help monitor East Timor election 26Jun07 Chris Maddock

CHRISTIAN College's Chris Maddock is one of 60 volunteers travelling to East Timor this week to participate in a world first.

Mr Maddock will be monitoring the country's first parliamentary elections on June 30, as part of the Victorian Local Governance Association's Election Observer Delegation (VLGA).

The volunteers will be checking that polling in the southeast district of Viqueque is free and fair.

``It's pretty exciting to be experiencing a part of this new nation's history,'' Mr Maddock said.

Mr Maddock is the company secretary at Christian College and its representative on the Geelong-East Timor Friendship Committee, which is made up of local council and community groups.

VGLA chief executive Rae Perry said there were 45 councils in Australia who had been working closely with communities in East Timor for the past eight years. ``This is another chapter in the ongoing success story of those friendship groups,'' Mr Perry said.

Mr Maddock has already visited East Timor four times to work on different projects and says he is always glad to return.

In 2004, he took a group of Christian College students to the country as part of the school's Our World program, which aims to increase students' understanding of developing countries. East Timor achieved independence in 2002 and, while the population voted on a temporary assembly to write the constitution, it has not yet voted in parliamentary elections. - GEORGIA RIDE

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)

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