Subject: UNMIT's Daily Media Review, 4 February 2008

Monday, 4 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 ---

RTL news coverage ---

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PM: Alfredo, Petitioners and IDPs challenge development: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão has stated that the problems caused by the unresolved case of Alfredo, the petitioners and IDPs are challenging the development of the nation. "These three cases are very sensitive," said the PM. "The Government along with civil society are working to find a solution to these problems." (TP)

UN Mission extended to 2009: President Jose Ramos Horta has stated that the UN Mission in Timor-Leste will be extended until 2009. The mandate of the current UN Mission will expire in February 2008. "We have learned from past mistakes and I personally would like the UN to stay 2012," said the President. (TP)

UNMIT must support PNTL and F-FDTL: Mario Viegas Carrascalao, MP from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), is asking UNMIT to continue supporting PNTL and F-FDTL if the UN mandate is extended. "PSD has no problem with UNMIT and will accept an extension of the current mandate," said Mr Carrascalao. (TP)

F-FDTL to recruit 300 soldiers: In 2008, F-FDTL will recruit 300 soldiers based upon a Government-approved budget. The recruitment process will commence shortly and will be done by the Commander of the F-FDTL in conjunction with the relevant Government ministers. (STL)

SRSG: STL theme supports UNMIT: The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Atul Khare, stated on the 15th anniversary of the daily national paper, Suara Timor Lorosai (STL), that the theme of STL's anniversary is in line with UNMIT's mandate. STLs theme for its anniversary had stated that "The role of UNMIT and the media is to consolidate democracy in Timor-Leste." (STL)

HORTA: Brazil asked to establish military tribunal in TL: President Jose Ramos-Horta stated during his visit to Brazil that he had asked the Government of Brazil to establish a military tribunal in Timor-Leste. "My visit to Brazil was to accomplish to missions. One, to enhance the public/media image of Timor-Leste, and two, to strengthen diplomatic relations," said the President. "I have had previous discussions regarding Brazil's help with establishing a militarily tribunal. Before the tribunal can be established, much work will need to be accomplished to prepare the human resources for the tribunal." (STL)

PM: F-FDTL must give hope to people: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has said that in order to face the future, people must have confidence in the F-FDTL. This institution must be the cornerstone for providing faith to the nation and the people in areas of security, stability and development. (STL)

Horta: 2006 crisis blackens Timor-Leste's name: President Jose Ramos-Horta has claimed that the 2006 crisis has internationally blackened the name and reputation of Timor-Leste. The President made these comments upon his return from his trip to Brazil and Italy. During his visit to Brazil, the President had discussed with the Government the need to establish a military tribunal in Timor-Leste. In Italy, the President had asked the Pope to visit Timor-Leste. (DN)

Minister informs of food reduction to district IDPs: The Minister for Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Alves, visited Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem to explain to IDPs the Government's food reduction policy. The Minister explained that the policy to reduce food aid was started under the previous government. (DN)

International Media Reports

NZ Defence Force continuing deployment to East Timor Sun, 03 Feb 2008 04:51p.m. TV3

New Zealand has more defence personnel in East Timor than anywhere else overseas - the most recent addition was a fresh Air force helicopter detachment of 31 crews.

They are joined by nearly a hundred and fifty kiwi soldiers.

Part of their objective is to help local police and military functioned professionally - clashes between the two units contributed to a bloody uprising in 2006 and friction between them remains.

A report from a US think-tank warns that security forces are likely to remain politicised and volatile unless reforms are carried out.

It says that: "The potential for political actors to use the army and police for their own purposes remains high. Shared (security) responsibility between the president and prime minister is confusing lines of authority."

And it is not just a fledgling security force which is a challenge for the New Zealand contingent - a package of nail darts and a slingshot was confiscated during a vehicle checkpoint.

Sgt Major Percy McLaughlin: "Having a Timorese point one of these at you is justification by our rules of engagement to use lethal force."

And those seeking to increase numerical support to make a political point will often exploit the nation's demographic challenges - almost half the population is under the age of 15, and rates of urban unemployment are high.

East Timor gained independence in 1999, but problems with infrastructure, poverty and dislocation remain immense.

While stability is being restored, there is no sign yet New Zealand's commitment here is about to end.

The Timorese have only had a few years to exercise their political freedom and be independent, after centuries of colonial domination. Today, it remains a fledgling and deeply troubled nation - and a nation which will continue to require international assistance for many years to come.

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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