Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review, 18 February 2008

Monday, 18 February 2008


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National Media Reports

TVTL News Coverage

No TVTL coverage.

RTL News Coverage

PNTL operation in Baucau: The National Police (PNTL) of Baucau District are conducting an investigation into the arson attempt on the Baucau Cathedral which took place at 10pm last Thursday night. The suspects have not as yet been identified. One of the victims, Filomeno da Costa, said that the incident caused no injuries.

F-FDTL launches military operation: The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan, has launched a military operation against the 17 people suspected to be involved in the assassination attempts against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili.

Commander Taur Matan Ruak said in a press conference on Friday (15/2) in Hera, Dili that he believes people in the area of Camea to be hiding the suspects. As such, a checkpoint will be established in this area.

Commander Taur Matan Ruak is also asking political leaders to put the nation's interest first in order to solve the existing problems. He further appealed to youths not to hide members of the armed group as this would pose risk to themselves and to the nation.

The F-FDTL military operation has been sanctioned by the State to arrest suspects involved in the attacks against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana.

Print Coverage TMR appeals to Salsinha: The Commander of Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, has made an appeal to Gastão Salsinha and his group to contribute towards establishing peace and stability in the nation.

"Some people have been hiding and protecting them. This is not a good solution and poses a risk to them and for the country," said the Brigadier General in a press conference on Saturday (15/2). I am not asking them to surrender, but to contribute to creating peace and stability."

Separately, Salsinha said that his wished every person in Timor-Leste to live in peace. "We want every person in Timor-Leste to live in peace and to have justice with no fear. This is what we are hoping for," said Salsinha. (TP)

10 identified in Alfredo's group: The General Prosecutor of the Republic (PGR), Longuinhos Monteiro, said that based upon the investigation conducted to date, ten suspects have been identified as having been involved in the attack on PR José Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili.

PGR Monteiro said that when the investigation process ends, the suspects will be called to partake in the judicial process as civilians. (TP)

Australia rejects Stratford's opinion: The Australian Government has rejected the opinion of an American analyst who said that the February 11 incident provided an opportunity for Australia to prevent Timor-Leste from achieving full self determination.

The Australian Ambassador in Timor-Leste, Peter Heyward, rejected the statement on behalf of the Australian Government. "I would like to explain that Stratford's group is a private group that does not represent the Government of America," said Ambassador Heyward.

Ambassador Heyward also said that Australia is a long-time partner and friend of Timor-Leste and will continue be so in the future. At present, Australian assistance to Timor-Leste focuses on the security sector, justice, basic works and technical, vocational and financial management. (TP)

Fretilin: will not use opportunity to bring AMP down: The Secretary General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatirid stated that Fretilin does not want to take advantage of the current situation to try and weaken the Government of the Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP).

"The assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana are acts against the state. We are standing together with the state as the historical party who struggled for the people and for this country," said Mr. Alkatiri.

Mr. Alkatiri also said that even though some people attempted to bring down the Government during the 2006 crisis, he would not take the same path. (TP)

F-FDTL involved in capturing Salsinha's group: The Government has requested the that F-FDTL and the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) work with the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and United Nations Police (UNPol) in operations to pursue and capture the men involved in the assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana.

The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, said in a press conference on Friday (15/2) in Hera, Dili that this was the first time the Government had involved F-FDTL in the operation.

"This is the first time the State is allowing F-FDTL to carry out the operation. This could be conducted alone or with others," said Commander Matan Ruak.

Commander Matan Ruak also appealed to Salsinha's group to join their friends in the gathering place of Ai-Tarak Laran to start a new phase in gaining the public's trust.

"Today, I give my support to those who have been in the gathering place… AAll should go to Ai-Tarak Laran to join their friends," said Commander Matan Ruak. (STL)

Horta and Alfredo trapped: During the past week, new facts have emerged regarding the assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana. One such fact has been the revelation that a Peace Agreement between PR Ramos-Horta and Alfredo was held Maubisse in January 13, 2007 in an old Portuguese castle.

The Minister of Economy, João Gonçalves, who was a participant at the meeting, said the meeting lasted three hours.

Minister Gonçalves said that the meeting was convened by The Swiss Humanitarian Centre of Dialogue and that the agreement reached was that Alfredo would be under house arrest and that New Zealand troops would provide security for him.

However, on Monday morning (11/2) Alfredo and his men attacked the residence of the president.

"The only explanation I have is that Alfredo was being influenced by a third party. Both Ramos and Alfredo were trapped," said Mr. Gonçalves. (STL)

Horta starts speaking: The Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo confirmed that that PR Ramos-Horta has started to speak a little and has tried to contact his family in Timor-Leste. "This may bring hope to all Timorese that our President has been saved by God," said Acting President Lasama. (DN)

Rudd: Australia to strengthen East Timor's democracy: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Ruud said that the assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana have reaffirmed the commitment of the International Stabilisation Forces to strengthen democracy in Timor-Leste.

"You all know that we in Australia stand with you and that we will remain a good friend to Timor-Leste in every situation," said PM Ruud.

PM Rudd also said that the Australian Government wants to be a long-term partner of Timor-Leste in the security sector, economic sector and development amongst others. (DN)

Lasama: good for Salsinha to submit weapons: The Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that he has asked Gastão Salsinha and his armed group to submit their weapons and themselves to justice.

"Currently, there is no other way to solve the problems. We have tried to start a dialogue, but that ended with the incidents of February 11. So, we are asking Gastão Salsinha and his armed group who are in the mountains to submit their weapons and themselves to the justice," said President Lasama. (DN)

* * *

International Media Reports

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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