Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 7 May 2008

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


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

ASDT to stand for AMP; Horta not thinking of an early election – Televizaun Timor-Leste

Even though ASDT has given signals that it will leave the Alliance Majority in Parliament (AMP), five of its members in Parliament continue to give their support to AMP to govern the country.

"The decision in the Parliament belongs to the bench [of ASDT]. We continue to support AMP. If they [ASDT-Fretilin] have signed an accord outside of the Parliament … that's up to them.

The president of the party said it would leave the AMP. But as MPs we have the right to continue to support AMP," said ASDT MP José Manuel Carrascalão on Tuesday (6/5) in the National Parliament.

Mr. Carrascalão also said that many militants in the party [ASDT] disagreed with the signing the coalition accord.

ASDT has signed an accord with Fretilin as an agreement and commitment between the two parties to form new government on May 1, 2008. In the accord, entitled Accord of 1 May, the two parties agreed to form a strong coalition to rule the country in the national interest.

President José Ramos-Horta said that he is not thinking about early elections which are preoccupying others with now.

PR Horta said that the recent Government led by AMP is a Government with legitimacy, a Government he chose to rule the country.

"An early election gives no opportunity to the legitimate Government which I chose to implement their programs for the people. At the moment I am not preoccupied with early elections but am thinking about holding a dialogue between the Government and the big party, Fretilin," said PR Horta on Tuesday (6/5) in on his visit to the petitioners in Aitarak-Laran, Dili.

Respecting dignity, PR Horta visits the petitioners – Timor Post

For the first time after his return from Darwin, Australia, PR Ramos-Horta visited the petitioners in Aitarak-Laran on Tuesday (6/5), a sign of respecting the dignity and rights of the petitioners.

"I have come here to give a message to my children, [my] young brothers, the petitioners that the First President never forgets.

They are human. We should respect their dignity and rights. That is why I have come to them and I will try to collaborate with the Government to quickly implement the options for you [my] children," said PR Horta.

Salsinha does not provide NID with a list of supporters' names – Timor Post

Rebel leader Gastão Salsinha does not want to provide a list of the names of [rebel] supporters who took part in the attempt against PM Xanana Gusmão in, Balibar, Dili on February 11, to the National Investigation Department (NID) as part of their investigation.

NID official Nuno R. Gomes said that during the investigation, including a hearing process in the court, Salsinha never gave the names of people who supported him in carrying out the attacks on February 11.

"During the investigation we did asked him about the people who supported him, but he did not give any names for the reason that he will do so during his trial in the court," said Mr. Gomes on Tuesday (6/5) Timor Post via telephone.

Horta: coalition of ASDT-Fretilin, a normal process in democracy –> Timor Post

PR Ramos-Horta said that the formation of a coalition between ASDT and Fretilin is a normal process. But he admitted that he had still not talked about this directly with ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral and the AMP side.

"I heard that Uncle Xavier's party had left AMP. I still have had not discussed this with Uncle Xavier and the Prime Minister about the coalition of ASDT and Fretilin and its implications. I am not surprised and preoccupied with this as it is a normal process in democracy," said PR Horta on Tuesday (6/5) in Aitarak-Laran, Dili.

"Mr. Xavier Amaral knows the reasons for forming the new coalition. But I know that they have discussions now -- a big delegation of AMP has talked to Mr. Xavier – it is a normal processs, so never be surprised," added PR Horta.

However, PR Horta said that PM Xanana himself with the Government will have to make efforts to execute public funds appropriately to avoid corruption, collusion, and nepotism within the Government.

"Do not look only for cousins and families in the institution. Do not replace district administrators based on their political backgrounds.

Whether this is happening or not, Fretilin's members are concerned about it. I have talked to the Prime Minister and recommended he pay attention to this issue. We cannot change the political administration based on the party. Public administration should be totally professional," said PR Horta.

Fr. Martinho: ASDT-Fretilin coalition, a suicide for Xavier – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The Commission of Justice and Peace Director of Baucau Diocese, Fr. Martinho Gusmão considers the decision made by ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral to enter into a coalition with Fretilin is equivalent to political suicide.

According to Fr. Martinho, in 2007 Mr. Xavier backed Ramos-Horta in the presidential campaign and appealed to all people not to cast their votes for Lu-Olo (President of Fretilin), as a vote for Lu-Olo equaled a vote for suicide.

Fr. Martinho said Mr. Xavier's recent decision to choose Lu-Olo, means he is on a suicidal path.

"ASDT has brilliant ideas about the people's interest. But from what I read, they talk about the positions provided after they won over the election. This means that they are using people's interest to achieve particular goals," said Fr. Gusmão on Tuesday (6/5).

Ed: ASDT and Fretilin's coalition – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Recently ASDT made a coalition with Fretilin and signed an accord to prepare for the 2012 elections. However, ASDT continues to back AMP by collaborating with Prime Minister Xanana to develop the nation.

The coalition between groups or parties is a normal occurrence as foreseen in our Constitution – the questions is why has ASDT made a coalition with Fretilin, which never recognize the historical leader Francisco Xavier do Amaral as the founder of ASDT/Fretilin and the Proclamator of Independence in Timor-Leste.

We still remember, during the campaign, Uncle Xavier said, "If we vote for Ramos-Horta we will only get a headache. If vote for Lu-Olo we will all die." What we are worried about now is that Uncle Xavier words are coming back to haunt him.

About the May 1 Accord, it is said that Fretilin wants to give eight positions to ASDT, such as Vice President of the National Parliament, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Telecommunications, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Transportation and Commerce, State Secretary of Environment, State Secretary of Solidarity and State Secretary of Administration.

If the ASDT has coalition with Fretilin is based on the positions offered, then we all can see that all parties are ambitious and power hungry.

We may say that the coalition intends to go against and knock Xanana down. It is normal boy … !!!

Fretilin wants Xanana to face the court – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Fretilin MPs in the National Parliament want Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to make a statement to the Court as Horta has done, because he is one of the victims of the attacks on February 11.

"Related to the cases which took place, we still do not hear that Xanana has given his statement to the Court," said Mr. Arsenio Paixão Bano on a press conference held on Tuesday (6/5) in the National Parliament, Dili.

Mr. Bano also said that the work of the Prosecutor-General is sluggish because some cases are still pending, such as Rai Los's case.

However, the Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres said that we should not hamper the work of the judiciary, as the court is an independent body in this country.

Separately, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that he is ready to welcome inquiries from the Prosecutor-General. Previously he had also responded to an inquiry from Provedor of Human Rights-Justice and the Prosecutor-General.

1,137 IDPS return home – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Some 1137 IDPs have decided to return home after occupying the National Hospital since the 2006 crisis.

At a reintegration ceremony of IDPs at the National Hospital, Dili, the Minister of Social Solidarity Maria Domingas Alves said that the IDPs' readiness to return home was a positive step towards a better life.

Among the participants at the ceremony was the President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama, Vice Minister of Health Madalena Hanjam, Dili District PNTL Commander Pedro Belo and other officials from the UN Agencies that worked together on the process of reintegration.

Meanwhile, the PR of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama thanked all the IDPs for their decision to return home.

"Once again, thanks a lot to all of you who have decided to return home, as the decision is in your hands," said PR Lasama on Tuesday (6/5) during the reintegration ceremony.

Public transportation on strike over the price of oil – Diario Nacional

Drivers of public transportation were on strike in front of the Government Palace on Tuesday (6/5) due to dramatic increase in the price of oil in Timor-Leste.

The strike was aimed at demanding the Government to control the problem immediately.

Egas Patrício, one of the drivers, said that the oil prices are being raised without any regulaton. The drivers are demanding the Government to control the price.

"We all are on strike because the oil price is very high. We need the Government to solve the problem as soon as possible," said Egas.


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