Subject: UNMIT's Daily Media Review, 12 February 2007

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]

Tuesday, 12 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

Alfredo's group shoots the President: President José Ramos-Horta received gunshot wounds during an attack led by Alfredo Reinado's group yesterday morning at 6.15am in the President's home in Metiaut, Dili. The President was evacuated to the International Stabilisation Forces' (ISF) clinic to receive medical treatment. During a Press Conference held at the Government Palace on Monday (11/2), Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão confirmed that the President was in a stable condition despite his serious injuries. "The President was wounded in his arm and stomach. He is in a stable condition, but is still unconscious. He will have further treatment in Darwin, Australia after he returns to consciousness." PM Xanana also said that the incident happened when the President went back to his home after hearing shots being fired. Alfredo Reinado and one of his men were fatally shot during the attack and have since been evacuated to the moratorium in the national hospital.

In another attack occurring at 7.30am the same day, the convoy of PM Xanana was ambushed by armed groups while he was on his way to the office. Two members of the PM's convoy received minor injuries and the PM's car was damaged. Later that morning, at approximately 9am, the PM's family was evacuated to the UN Portuguese Formed Police Unit (FPU) headquarters. "We consider this incident as a serious attempt against the State," said PM Xanana at the press conference. PM Xanana has appealed for all citizens to remain calm in order to ensure security and stability in the capital.

The press conference was also attended by the Acting President, Vicente Guterres, General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro, F-FDTL Commander Brigadier Gen Taur Matan Ruak, PNTL Commander-Designated Afonso de Jesus and ISF Commander James Baker.

RTL News Coverage Guterres appeals for calm: The Acting President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, is appealing for all people to remain calm and not to panic in the wake of attacks made against the President on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili. Attacks are against the State: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the attacks on President Ramos-Horta and himself are tantamount to an attack against the nation. "We consider this incident as a great attempt against the State. But the State will not permit this to happen," said PM Xanana.

PM Xanana also said that the Government would take any steps necessary to ensure that citizens' rights are protected and people are secure. He added that security would be provided in vulnerable areas.

F-FDTL, ISF, UNPol and PNTL provide maximum security in Metiaut: The F-FDTL, ISF, UNPol and PNTL are to provide maximum security in the President's residence in Metiaut, Dili, in the wake of attacks led by Alfredo Reinado on Monday (11/2). The attacks resulted in injuries to the President and in the death of Alfredo and one of his men. ISF and UNPol are not allowing local villagers, including the media, to move around in the area.

Operational Commander of PNTL appeals for calm: The PNTL Operational Commander is appealing to all people to be calm in the wake of attacks against President Ramos-Horta on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut Dili.

* * *

Print News converge

Horta injured, Alfredo dead: The President of the Republic and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta has received gunshot wounds to his arm and stomach during a violent showdown with Alfredo Reinado yesterday morning at the President's house. Alfredo and one of his group members, Leopoldino, were killed during the cross fire with F-FDTL members. One F-FDTL member, Tanente Celestinho Gama, also received injuries.

Alfredo's group also attacked Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao as he was driving with his convoy to the office. One shot was fired at a tire of one of the cars. There were no injuries to the PM or any member of his convoy.

In a Press Conference held yesterday at Obrigado Barracks, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said that investigations into the shooting incidents were ongoing. He did however confirm that Alfredo was dead.

Concerning the attack on the PM, Mr Reske-Nielsen said that it was still unclear who had orchestrated the attack. However, according to Timor Post sources, the person behind the attack was the Petitioner's Spokesperson Salsinha Gastao.

The Prime Minister has appealed to the population to remain calm and given assurances that the situation is under control. (TP)

Dom Alberto and Xanana appeal for calm: The Bishop of Dili, Alberto Ricardo, has joined Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao in appealing to the general population to remain calm after yesterday's attacks. The Bishop has asked that people not engage in activities which may exacerbate the situation. ‘‘Ì appeal to all people in the country to remain calm, and not contribute to the problems or to provoke the population,'’ said the Bishop.

In a Press Conference held yesterday at Obrigado Barracks, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, also appealed for calm: ‘‘I appeal to all people to work towards peace and would ask that the media ensure that all reports are accurate,'’ said Mr Reske-Nielsen.

Also at the Press Conference was the Deputy UNPol Commissioner Hermanprit Singh. In response to a question concerning the possible link between the shooting incident and the recent handover of responsibility from the Untied Nations Police to the PNTL, Mr Singh responded that he did not believe there to be any link.

In another statement, Fretilin's Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri has condemned the attacks on the President and the Prime Minister. "Fretilin is shocked at the attacks," said Mr Alkatiri. "We are also surprised that the shooting happened at a time when the President had almost reached political consensus on how to deal with the problems peacefully." (TP)

Australians to increase troops in TL: Australia will send extra troops and police to Timor-Leste in the wake of the recent attacks on the President and Prime Minister. The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has expressed deep shock at the attacks. He said that the decision to send more troops was based on the results of meetings held yesterday between the Government and the national security council. Prime Minister Rudd is also planning to visit Timor-Leste in the near future. (TP)

Bodyguards save Xanana: The six bodyguards of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao saved the PM from receiving any injuries in yesterday's attack on the PM by Alfredo Reinado's group. One of the bodyguards, Jose Soares, said that "when Aflredo's group attacked the PM's car, four of the bodyguards removed the PM from the line of attack."

Alfredo's group is blaming the attack on Salsinha Gastao, the Petitioner's Spokesperson. (TP)

Vicente Guterres takes on President's role: The Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, has become the interim Prime Minister, following yesterday's attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta. Following the constitution, the President of the National Parliament becomes acting President if required to do so. However, as the President of the NP is currently away, the position goes to the Vice President. (TP)

America condemns attack on PR and PM: The Untied States Government has strongly condemned yesterday's violent attacks on the President and the Prime Minster. The US Ambassador to Timor-Leste said: "We give our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday's attack and wish the President a speedy recovery. We have confidence that the Government of Timor-Leste will continue working together with UNMIT and the IFS to establish and maintain stability and security in the nation." (TP)

Horta injured, Xanana attacked, Alfredo dead: An attack was launched yesterday on the President's house by Major Alfredo Reinado Alves and his group. The attack resulted in injuries to President Jose Ramos-Horta. Sources who wish to remain unnamed claim they saw two cars enter the President's compound at 6.15am. Approximately five minutes after the cars entered, the shootings began. The President was at the time exercising outside his compound, but returned immediately upon hearing the gunshots. A cross-fire ensued between Alfredo's group and the President's security. The President was shot in his arm and stomach and Major Alfredo was killed.

Shortly after, Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao was also attacked. The PM's convoy was ambushed at a road block by Commander Salsinha and his group. The PM's car was shot at, but no injuries were sustained by the PM or any member of his convoy. (DN)

Xanana: We will not tolerate groups who want to destroy our nation: Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao declared during a press conference held yesterday that the State would not tolerate groups who were acting to destroy Timor-Leste. "You all know that I called the petitioners here so that we could come to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. But some members have chosen to respond to my call with bullets," said the PM. (DN)

Alfredo's body placed in the moratorium: The bodies of Major Alfredo Reinado and one his group, Leopoldo, have been taken to the moratorium in the Dili National Hospital. Alfredo and Leopoldo were shot during the attacks yesterday on the President's residence. The bodies were carried to the hospital under maximum security provided by the Guarda Nacional Republika (GNR).

The President's Security Guard, Commander Celestino Filipe Gama, was also shot by Alfredo's group and is now receiving intensive medical attention. (DN)

Fretilin condemns attack on PR and PM: Freilin has strongly condemned the attacks yesterday on President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minster Xanana Gusmao as Fretilin has supported the nation's security forces to bring peace and stability to the nation.

Fretilin's Secretary-General Dr Mari Bin Amudi Alkatiri said in a statement to the National Parliament that the attacks on the nation's leaders had shocked him. "The attacks were a big surprise as they happened at a time when we were all trying to find solutions for the major issues facing this nation," said Mr Alkatiri. Mr Alkatiri also expressed concern about the security that had been the responsibility of UNMIT and the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF).

Mr Alkateri is demanding that UNMIT and the ISF provide an explanation as to how this situation could have happened. (DN)

President in a critical state: Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao has said that President Jose Ramos-Horta remains in a critical state after receiving medial attention from the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF) clinic. "The President is a long way from full recovery," said Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao during a press conference held yesterday. "He is however in a stable, but critical, condition."

The President assured the population that the State would take the necessary action to ensure security and stability throughout the nation. He also appealed to the population to remain calm, and not to engage in activities which would de-stabilize the situation. He made a further appeal to youths not to take any rash action. "You don't have to follow the armed groups, as they just want to kill people and to destroy this nation" the PM said. "Young people must also make an effort to partake in the struggle for peace." (DN)

PM guarantees that situation is normal: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has guaranteed that the situation in Timor-Leste, and particularly in Dili, is under control. The PM has urged all people to remain calm. In a press conference held yesterday, the PM said that "International Stabilization forces, UNPol, F-FDTL and PNTL have the security situation under control. Because of this, I am appealing to all members of the public to remain calm, not to panic and not to engage in any activates that would contribute to destabilizing the security situation." (DN)

PM appeals for calm among Alfredo's supporters: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has appealed to all people, and especially the youth, who have previously supported Alfredo Reinado in Dili to remain calm. "We had begun to start a process of dialogue with Alfredo," said the PM. "Why then did he come to attack the President?" The PM made a particular appeal to Alfredo's supporters in the Dili suburbs of Becora, Taibesi, Manumeta Rai Hun, Matadoru, Bidau, Beto, Bairo Pite and Manleuana to stay calm.

"What has happened serves as an important lesson for all of us," said the PM. "So, I would ask those youths in Ermera, Ainaro, Alieu, Same, Bobonaro and Liquica to take this time to reflect on what has happened and to assess our roles and responsibilities in establishing stability in the nation." (DN)

Horta shot, Xanana saved, Alfredo dead: President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot yesterday morning at 6am in his residence by Alfredo Reinado's group. The President received one shot to his stomach and one in his arm. A security guard of the President was also shot. Neighbours of the President were panicked by the shootings. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao was also attacked at 7.45am while he was on his way to the office. The PM however escaped receiving any injuries. The PM's car was severely damaged during the attack.

A bodyguard of the First Lady, Kirsty Sword, said that after the attack, the armed group under the command of Salsinha came to the PM's home. "Salsinha came to me and asked me for the weapons I was carrying," said the bodyguard. "I refused to hand over the weapons." At about 9.58am yesterday, the PM's family was evacuated from their home and taken to the Government Palace.

Fretilin's Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri said on the Portuguese television, that he believed the attacks to have been planned by people in the military. "There is a conspiracy involving some military members to bring down this nation's political leaders," said Mr Alkatiri. (STL)

Additional international troops to come to TL: The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, has committed additional troops to join the International Stabilisation Force in Timor-Leste. This has been in response to the attacks yesterday on the President and Prime Minister. The additional troops should arrive today. The additional troops will bring the total number of Australian troops on the ground to 1000. Australia will also send 70 police personnel to help provide stability and security to Timor-Leste. (STL)

Guterres becomes interim PM- Lasama laments work of UNPol: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has announced that the Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, will become the interim Prime Minister following yesterday's attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta. Following the constitution, the President of the National Parliament becomes acting President if there is any impediment to the President discharging his duties. However, as the President of the NP is currently away, the position goes to the Vice President.

The President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama, has strongly criticized the work of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, and in particular the United Nations Police in not providing adequate security for President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. "I really lament the work of UNPol because their assistance to the President came one hour late," said Lasama in a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, in Lisbon. (STL)

Xanana- Horta shot, Fretilin condemns attacks, L-7 sad: Fretilin has strongly condemned the acts of Alfredo's group and Salsinha Gastao. The President of UNDERTIM political party, Cornelio Gama, alias 'L7', has expressed sadness over the attacks. "We are shocked at these events. This is a big surprise as it is happening at a time when there are positive moves being made towards reaching a national political consensus," said Fretilin's Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri. (STL)

NP asks for additional security forces: The National Parliament asked for additional international security forces in Timor-Leste during an extra-ordinary meeting convened yesterday. Fretilin has asked that the additional forces come not only from Australia, but from other nations such as Malaysia. However, the acting President, Vicente Guterres, accepted to have additional troops to strengthen the ISF in Timor-Leste, a decision heavily criticised by Fretilin. (STL)

PM Xanana saved: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao was saved yesterday from an attack by an armed group suspected to be led by Salsinha Gastao. This attack damaged the PM's car, but caused no injury to the PM himself. (STL)

Horta flown to Darwin: President Jose Ramos-Horta was flown to Darwin to receive further medical attention after being shot by Alfredo's group in Dili yesterday. The President was flown on a special flight. One of the President's bodyguards was also injured by a gunshot wound during yesterday's shooting incident. (STL)

International Media Reports

Ramos-Horta facing more surgery: doctor February 12, 2008 ABC online

East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta will have more surgery tomorrow to repair a gunshot wound to his lung.

Mr Ramos-Horta was shot during what is thought to be a botched coup attempt at his home in the capital Dili yesterday morning.

He was flown to Darwin yesterday by Careflight, then rushed to Darwin Royal Hospital.

Hospital medical superintendent Dr Len Notaras says bullet fragments and shrapnel have been removed from Mr Ramos-Horta and given to the Australian Federal Police.

Dr Notaras says Mr Ramos-Horta will stay on a ventilator until at least Thursday.

"At this stage we are quietly confident that the clinical progress to this time has been satisfactory," he said.

"[His] condition should not be underestimated, it is a serious event. The assassination attempt has been one that has inflicted serious gun shot wounds on the President."

UN condemns 'unspeakable act' The Age- February 12, 2008 - 8:45AM Ian Munro, New York

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday's attack on East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta as a "brutal and unspeakable act".

The UN's general assembly broke into a smattering of applause after Mr Ban acknowledged Australia's decision to send extra troops to help deal with the renewed unrest.

Rebel soldiers shot and critically wounded Mr Ramos Horta and opened fire on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who was not hurt, in a failed coup attempt early today local time in the tiny Pacific nation.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed when guards returned fire at Mr Ramos Horta's home.

The President was injured in the stomach and chest and flown under sedation to a hospital in Darwin, where doctors are hopeful he would make a "very good recovery".

Meanwhile, the UN's special representative to East Timor, Atul Khare, has left the US for Dili on learning of the attacks, a UN spokeswoman said.

Mr Ban interrupted the opening of the UN's thematic debate on global warming to affirm the international peace organisation's support for the government of East Timor and to thank Australia for its willingness send extra troops to supplement international peacekeepers.

"Allow me to begin by adding my voice to all who pray for the full and speedy recovery of Timor Leste's president Mr Jose Ramos Horta after the brutal and unspeakable attack he suffered yesterday," Mr Ban said.

"We stand in solidarity with the people and Government of Timor Leste in the hope that peace and stability will prevail, and thank Australia for its contribution to this end.

At the start of his speech, Ban said: "Allow me to begin by adding my voice to all who pray for the full and speedy recovery of East Timor's president, Mr Jose Ramos Horta, after the brutal and unspeakable attack he suffered yesterday."

UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said in an earlier statement Ban "calls on the Timorese people to remain calm and refrain from all violent acts".

Ms Montas said UN police in East Timor were "on a high state of alert" and coordinating with the International Security Forces and Timorese authorities.

The former Portuguese colony gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 after voting to break free from more than two decades of brutal Indonesian occupation in a UN-sponsored ballot.

with AP

In Timor Leste, UN Police "Refused" to Help Horta, Decline to Answer Questions Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, February 11 -- In the aftermath of a daring double-assassination attempt in Timor Leste, there were questions concerning the UN that no one, it seemed, wanted to answer. After President Jose Ramos Horta was shot, UN police secured the area but <>did not move to help or transport him, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Inner City Press raised this very report at the noon briefing at UN headquarters on Monday, and was told that the UN had not been in charge of Ramos Horta's security. Fine -- but why, once he was shot, didn't they help?

After the Security Council adopted a somewhat fill-in-the-blanks Presidential Statement, deploring the shooting and calling for calm, Inner City Press asked the statement's proponent, South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, about the ABC's report. Amb. Kumalo replied that it was not helpful to be assessing blame.

But will the shooting cause any changes in the security mandate of the UN Mission in Timor Leste, UNMIT? Amb. Kumalo said he didn't think so. When the shootings took place, the head of UNMIT, <>Atul Khare, had been in New York to briefing the Council on Thursday. He set off flying for Dili, but it "takes time" to get there, Amb. Kumalo said.

The injunction not to blame anyone is not followed by Ramos-Horta's brother in law Joao Carrascalao, who is also the leader of the Timorese Democratic Union and a member of the State Council. Carrascalao told ABC that "we advised the United Nations Police who went to the scene but 300 meters before reaching there, they refused to proceed and the President was lying on the road... more than half an hour bleeding and losing a lot of blood. The United Nations Police didn't take action until the Portuguese General got there. That's one of the worst things that could happen to this country; have police from everywhere, everyone within one system and mostly looking after themselves than looking after the situation here."

In a press conference Dili, in the Obrigado Barracks, Khare's fill-in Finn Feske-Nielsen was asked why "UN Pol[ice] attended the incident where the President was shot this morning, yet didn't approach him to give him medical assistance." Feske-Nielsen said "we shall obviously look into it to see." Watch this site.

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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