Subject: UNMIT's Daily Media Review, 1 February 2008

Friday, 1 February 2008


"UNMIT assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the articles or for the accuracy of their translations. The selection of the articles and their content do not indicate support or endorsement by UNMIT express or implied whatsoever. UNMIT shall not be responsible for any conseque6nce resulting from the publication of, or from the reliance on, such articles and translations."

National Media Reports

TVTL news coverage Government asks importers to stabilize rice prices: The Government of Timor-Leste has held discussions with importers concerning the current instability of rice prices, asking them to find a solution to this instability.

Ministry of Education prepares education law: In a few weeks time, the Ministry of Education will present the new education laws to the Council of Ministers to be discussed before getting approval from the National Parliament.

ASDT representatives ask Ministers Alves and Lima to step down: The representatives of the Democratic Association of Timorense (ASDT) from 13 districts have asked the Minister of Tourism Gil Alves and the State Secretary of Environment Abilio Lima to step down, claiming that corrupt practices by the Ministers are giving a bad image to the ASDT.

RTL news coverage

UN Police will officially transfer responsibility to Timorese National Police (PNTL): The Spokesperson for the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Alison Cooper, said in a press conference held yesterday that UN Police will officially transfer responsibility to Timorese National Police (PNTL) in Dili next Monday.

Ms Cooper said that this transfer was based on an assessment held by the UN on the capacity of the PNTL. Ms Cooper expected that the PNTL would cooperate with the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) and generate confidence from the population.

Ms Cooper added that the UN Police would still monitor PNTL's work, and gradually hand over full security powers to them.

* * *

UNPol to provide security during food distributions: The United Nation's Spokesperson Allison Cooper stated that the United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste have decided to reduce food rations to IDPs based on an agreement made in September 2007. The Spokesperson explained that the policy of food reduction was made in acknowledgement that there are many non-IDPs who also require assistance.

"We have reduced humanitarian support in order to look after those people who are facing natural disasters and other such problems within the country," said Ms Cooper in a press conference yesterday. "Reducing food aid to the IDPs will allow the Government to focus on the other vulnerable people in Timor-Leste and the overall food security situation."

Food rations will be reduced to 4kg per each person or family per month. The United Nations Police and the PNTL will provide security during food distributions. (DN)

Government Commission to solve food reduction problem: The State Secretary for Natural Disaster Support, Jacinto Rigoberto, stated that the Government will form a commission to resolve the problems caused by the food reduction policy in a meeting held with IDPs in the airport camp yesterday.

Mr Rigoberto said that he alone could not resolve the grievances of the IDPs and that he would have to consult with other ministers. The IDPs will join the commission so that they their concerns can be properly considered. (DN)

Australian Government gives 40 cars to PNTL: The United Nations Police Spokesperson, Benjamin Osuji, stated in a press conference held yesterday that the Australian Government will provide 40 cars to the PNTL in order to help the PNTL with their operations. (DN)

IDPs won't back down from position: IDPs in Dili have claimed that they will continue to ask the Government not to reduce food aid as if the Government reduces the food by 50 per cent, it will not be enough for people to survive.

"We regret the Government's decision to reduce food," said Esmiranda Ribeiro Afonso, an IDP in the Farol Camp, Dili. "If the Government insists on reducing the rations, they will have problems again."

The United Nation's Spokesperson Allison Cooper stated that the United Nations Police will provide security if there are any problems during food distributions as a result of the food reductions. (DN)

LDP asks Government to reform Task Force: In an attempt to resolve Alfredo and the petitioner's case, the Democratic Progressive League (LPD) has asked the Government to reform the Task Force as they claim the Task Force has not had any success. LPD's Spokesperson, Hermenegildo Cupa, said that the Government has to find a resolution to the problems of Alfredo, petitioners and the IDPs as this is affecting the development of the country.

"Instability in the country affects democracy," said Mr Cupa. "We will never be able to develop as such instability creates unemployment and hampers the development of education." (DN)

Reduce food for IDPS, Help other vulnerable people: The Government policy to reduce food aid to IDP camps will begin in February. The Government's intention is to provide greater assistance for vulnerable communities in rural areas.

The Minister for Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Alves, stated that the food reduction has been made upon as assessment made by the Government in IDP camps in Dili. "Donors have made an assessment on the situation of IDPs in Dili camps and on the general food security situation in all suburbs," said the Minister. (STL)

Case of abused Journalist under investigation: A PNTL member of the Transition Unit who beat and used his pistol to threaten an AFP journalist, Nelson da Cruz, is under investigation. The United Nations Police Spokesperson, Benjamin Osuji, stated in a press conference held yesterday that the case was under investigation. (STL)

UNMIT mandate to end: The mandate of the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) will end on 26 February. The United Nations Security Council will decide whether to extend the mandate after the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare visits the UN to present his report to the Security Council. The Report will be presented during the second week of February and will detail UNMIT's work to date. (TP)

UNPol passes power to PNTL: The United Nations Police will begin to pass responsibility to the PNTL in order for the PNTL to become more independent. The transfer of responsibility was made based on four criteria: PNTL officers must be screened; adequate support must be provided by UNPol to the PNTL; there must be cooperation between PNTL and F-FDTL; the public must have confidence in the PTNL. The decision to transfer responsibility was made in consultation with the Government. (TP)

NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Televizaun Timor-Leste (TVTL) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Timor Post (TP) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional (DN) Semanário Nacional (SN) Tempo Semanal (TS)


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