Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 6 May 2008


(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)

Fretilin-ASDT sign agreement to form Government – Timor Post

One of the AMP members, ASDT has signed an accord with Fretilin which constitutes an agreement and commitment between the two parties to form a new government on May 1, 2008.

In the accord the two parties stated they have a strong coalition to rule the country in the interests of the nation.

"ASDT and Fretilin were created to stand for total liberation, the nation, and the Timorese people," declared the two parties in their accord, entitled Accord of 1 May.

ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral said that the coalition does not mean that his party, ASDT is out of the AMP. Rather the coalition was formed to prepare for the future.

"We are not saying that we are leaving AMP. When the time comes, we will tell you [the aim of] this policy," said Mr. Amaral.

Separately, the Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri said that there are still substantial subjects of the accord to be discussed within the two parties.

Mr. Alkatiri also said that as ASDT has made a coalition with Fretilin, the AMP should be prepared to face early elections.

"I told Prime Minister Xanana before that if you form a government with pieces of cloth, then it will fall apart," said Mr. Alkatiri.

Other AMP members of Parliament said that up until now, they have not received any information about the accord between ASDT and Fretilin.

The President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama de Araujo, also a leader of AMP, said that at the moment the nation's Constitution does not allow for the conduct of early elections when the activities of the National Parliament are routinely going on. He appealed to the people and political leaders to live as a nation as regulated by law, and not create confusion among the different factions in society.

Ed: A high price of rice, a challenge for the AMP – Timor Post

Since the end of 2007 the price of rice has been getting higher and has become the preoccupation of the poor people who are feeling threatened.

Many comments have been made on the subject. Some MPs and Government members of AMP have said that the higher price of rice is influenced by international market prices, which have been affected by poor rice crops in Thailand and Vietnam. This means that the Government has not made any mistakes resulting in the higher price of rice in the country.

This reasoning that "this is not the Government mistake" might be acceptable. But on the other hand, we cannot ignore that this also the Government's mistake as it has responsibility to save the people of this country, especially those who are at the mercy of the economy.

Those who have power may not be careless with the situation because the price of rice might be considered as "small change" or the price of a cigarette.

AMP should know that to rule the nation is not depend only on other nations' policy. We should be able to face our own internal problems. If not, there will be statements like this: "They are not capable of governing but want to rule." During the campaign they promised: "If we are elected, the price of all goods will decrease." The minister responsible for this situation must step down.

The Government should do something like it did when it provided rice to public servants who have a regular monthly salary.

Why provide a quick solution for public servants but have difficulty in paying attention to the poor people? If not now, then when?

If the rice problem is a global problem, the Government should recommend to people to consume their traditional food.

PSD, CNRT and PD AMP – Timor Post

The Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP) will be strengthened by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Democratic Party (PD) and CNRT, as ASDT is going to have coalition with Fretilin [the strongest opposition in the National Parliament].

PSD representative Fernando Dias Ximenes said that up until now, the reason why ASDT coalition with Fretilin is unknown.

Mr. Ximenes said that even though ASDT is leaving AMP, AMP still has 32 seats and needs one more seat to hold an absolute majority in the Parliament.

"It is normal if ASDT leaves the AMP, because differences are always cropping up among the members, and even in a single party," said Mr. Ximenes.

Bishop Basilio: justice should be equal to all people – Diario Nacional

Commenting about the pardon given by President Jose Ramos-Horta to Rogerio Lobato, the Bishop of Baucau Diocese Basilio do Nascimento said that to live in peace in this country, justice should be applied equally to all people.

According to Bishop Basilio, even though all the people did not agree with the President's pardon given to Mr. Lobato, the President has the power to grant it.

Bishop Nascimento also said that the President's pardon is not setting him free but will minimize Mr. Lobato and other prisoners' period of punishment.

Bishop Basilio: Salsinha has to present evidence in Court - Diario Nacional

Bishop of Baucau Diocese Basilio do Nascimento is asking Salsinha to present evidence when giving his statement in Court.

Bishop Basilio said that Salsinha is an important key to understanding the 2006 crisis and the attempt of February 11 against PR Horta and PM Xanana. His contribution to the judicial process is very important for development of the nation.

"Now we all know that all the problems" keys are in Salsinha's hand," said Bishop Basilio.

According to Bishop Basilio, whoever was involved in the process should admit their mistakes to avoid accusation and live in peace. Bishop Basilio wants Salsinha to make a full disclosure about everything he knows, as he has responsibility to do so.

Four former East Timorese rebels deported from Indonesia to Dili – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The four extradited four rebel soldiers from East Timor are wanted for alleged involvement in attacks on East Timor President and Prime Minister in February. The four rebels are Tito Tilman, Ismail San Sao Moniz Soares, Egidio Lay Carvalho and Jose Gomes. They arrived at Nicolao Lobato airport on Monday (5/5) under heavy security provided by Indonesian anti-terror police, two weeks after they were apprehended in Indonesia's West Timor and the capital Jakarta.

After arriving at the airport, Indonesian anti-terror police handed over the four rebels to Timorese authorities. The four rebels were directly received by East Timor's Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro who was accompanied by the Rapid Intervention Unit Commander Armando Monteiro, Dili District's Police Commander Pedro Belo and other PNTL officers at the airport VIP lounge. After an official hand-over ceremony, the four rebels were brought to the HQ of the Joint Operation Command in Dili, under heavy security of PNTL Rapid Intervention Unit and Task Force.

During an official hand-over ceremony, Indonesian chief of anti-terror operations Petrus Galose said that four rebel soldiers were caught by the Indonesian authorities because they crossed the border illegally after the February 11 attacks on East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão in Dili.

"Before we deported them to here, we gave them a medical check up in Indonesia and to make sure they all are in stable condition. These four rebels are brought to here today based on the law enforcement cooperation between to two nations," said Colonel Petrus Galose in a press conference at Dili's airport on Monday (5/5).

People in Hudi Laran area unhappy with the attitudes of the PNTL's Task Force – Suara Timmor Lorosa'e

People in Hudi Laran, Bairo Pite, are unhappy with the attitudes of PNTL's Task Force members as their actions are not bringing the situation under control. Instead of defending one of the martial arts groups fighting among themselves, they also capture people arbitrarily or recklessly. Therefore, the people in Hudi-Laran ask police to maintain their position as a defender of the people to not defend any of the martial art groups during fighting.

"Police have to have their eyes and ears opened in order to capture people who usually create problems and to not act recklessly," said one of resident in Hudi Laran, Bairo Pite.

Paixão: A residence in Liquiça hands over a long rifle Mauser to the Joint Operation Command – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The Commander of the Joint Operation Command Filomeno Paixão said that one residence in Liquiça handed over a long rifle Mauser to the Joint Operation Command on Thursday (01/5). Separately in Ermera district, people handed over 268 AR-16 bullets, one air gun, and 2 traditional weapons.

On the 3rd of May, the residents in Fatubesi voluntarily handed over 19 traditional weapons, 39 traditional pistols, 1 rocket propelled grenade launcher, 2 hand grenades and many others traditional weapons to the Joint Operation Command.

One member of the Joint Operation Command injures a lady in Haupu, sub-district Hatolia, Ermera –“ Suara Timor Lorosa'e

A lady in Ermera was injured by a member of the Joint Operation Command on Monday (5/5). The victim was taken to the National Hospital in Dili for treatment and is in stable condition now. The member of the Joint Operation Command in question has been taken to Dili for further investigation.

The Joint Operation Command has been criticized by the community for holding a party on the night after Salsinha and his men surrendered. The Commander of the Joint Operation Command Lieutenant Colonel Paixão said that he did not give any order to the members in Ermera to mark any celebration or party regarding Salsinha's surrender.

"I have never told the Joint Operation Command forces in Ermera to celebrate with any party regarding the Salsinha's surrender. If there was one, it took place spontaneously because the forces have just wanted to celebrate as the hunt for Salsinha and his men has been going on for two months. But there was no order for them to hold a party regarding Salsinha's surrender. I hope the communities in Ermera will feel free to contribute to and cooperate with the forces in achieving stability and national security," said Commander Paixão.


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