Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 9 May 2008

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


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

Paulo Martins to give statement in Court on moving weapons during 2006 crisis – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Former General Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Paulo Martins (currently a CNRT MP in Parliament) said that he is ready to give a statement in Court on Fretilin's accusation that PNTL weapons that moved from Dili to Liquiça and Aileu UPF Headquarters during the 2006 crisis.

"As the commander of PNTL, I can say that if moving weapons from Dili to Liquiça and Aileu UPF Headquarter is a criminal offence, I am ready to make a statement on that in Court.

At that time, everything went before the Minister of Interior. Moving weapons to Rai Los is a real crime. But moving weapons from a weapon store to another store is a different matter," said Mr. Martins on Thursday (8/5).

Mr. Martins said that the weapons were moved to Liquica and Aileu UPF to avoid violence during the crisis as the security situation in Dili was fragile.

Ramos-Horta: coalition is not like going and out from a party – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

President José Ramos-Horta has asked parties who have made a coalition to act conscientiously and responsibly, and not enter into a coalition and then leave it [again and again].

"I do not know why Uncle Xavier stays away from AMP. Maybe there is a lack of dialogue. In the democracy there are coalitions and the members should be engaged in permanent dialogue," said PR Horta after participating in the anniversary ceremony of the Red Cross on Thursday (8/5) in Dili.

According to PR Horta the problem of ASDT leaving the AMP has no impact on AMP's ability to rule the country.

"In a democracy it [coalition] is normal, but ASDT-Fretilin should be responsible.

Recently I see that AMP continues to work and has not rocked the nation's stability. Fretilin is an historical party and is committed to the nation's stability," said PR Horta.

Separately, the Minister of Commerce and Tourism [former Secretary-General of ASDT] Gil da Costa said he was disheartened by the accusation of ASDT President Francisco Xavier that there is corruption in the ministry led by ASDT member.

"We have an internal inspector and all the projects done have been reported. If there is corruption, evidence should be presented to prove these allegations," said Minister Gil.

Francisco Guterres: security and national stability are important subjects in Timor-Leste – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

At the opening ceremony of the training of National Civilian Security Guards (DNSEA) held in Matadouro on Thursday (8/5), the State Secretary for Security Francisco Guterres said that security and national stability have become the important subjects in this country, as the Government is trying hard to create better basic conditions for the country's institutions.

According to Mr. Guterres the objective of DNSEA, especially in the area of operations, is to provide security to protect government offices and State institutions. DNSEA needs training to strengthen its ability to effectively carry out its duties.

Ed: Need a special mechanism to control the market – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The problem of lack of food and the high price of oil during the last two months is a global problem that is also facing other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

As the biggest rice-producing nation in the world, Thailand has failed to produce a big harvest due to climate change and global warming. Besides rice, other agricultural commodities have not increased in production.

Timor-Leste's farmers who planted with corn are also facing bad crops this year. Most of the farms were destroyed by heavy rain fall.

In the oil sector, the high price of oil is impacting the price of food and construction materials. If the oil price goes up, then automatically the price of food or other goods increase.

If we do not pay serious attention to this issue, then people will always be shouting and blaming the Government because of hunger. This scenario may make the political situation unstable.

The Government should not be in quiet and calm or watching – or let the market be controlled by market forces. The Government has to anticipate developments or if needed, create a mechanism to control market prices to avoid price speculation.

The Government should also lower import taxes to help decrease the price of imported goods. Finally, since the time that PR Ramos Horta was in Darwin [for medical treatment], he said that he told the Government to allocate funds to buy rice for the hungry people in the country.

We all hope that this will happen to help the people.

Government has no money to solve the rice crisis – Timor Post

The rice crisis facing Timor-Leste is part of a global crisis which the Government of Alliance Majority in Parliament (AMP) has no possibility of solving as there are no funds in the 2008 annual budget allotted to deal with the problem.

"It is clear this is a serious problem for the people and is a global problem. We could not expect that this would happen. According to the 2008 annual budget, we have no available funds to use to intervene in such a problem," said Adriano Nascimento, a PD member of MP of the National Parliament.

Mr. Nascimento said that in the coming annual budget the Government may use the state funds to buy rice in order to resell it to the community everywhere in the country in an effort to control the price of rice during the global crisis.

"The price of rice is higher due to international prices. We know that nations like Vietnam and Thailand who produce rice are also decreasing their rice exports to avoid hunger in their own countries," said Mr. Nascimento on Wednesday (7/5) in the National Parliament, Dili.

Separately, the Minister of Commerce and Tourism Gil da Costa said that the Government is ready to intervene in the market price in the country to make it possible for poor people to buy rice.

"The Government has obligation to intervene in order to stabilize the price of food which is delivered by the government [through MSS]," said Minister Gil.

PR Horta: end the State of Siege in Ermera – Timor Post

President Jose Ramos-Horta on Thursday (8/5) ended the State of Siege in Ermera District based on an improved security situation in the country, especially in the district.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão was also informed that the president has ended the State of Siege in Ermera District.

"President is also telling us that he has ended the State of Siege in Ermera," said PM Xanana on Thursday (8/5) after a high level meeting which focused on security, the high price of goods, IDPs, and the petitioners.

Xanana Gusmão: the government is committed to good governance – Diario Nacional

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the government is always committed to good governance in order to implement good programs. Xanana Gusmão said this during his speech to the Administrative Conference on Thursday (8/5) at the Office of the Foreign Ministry in Dili.

Xanana added it was previously announced in the past year that 2008 would be the Year of Administrative Reform, in order to improve the government's accountability and strengthen public functions.

"When we hold this government, we are committed to establishing a good institutional system to carry out good governance," said Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.

Xanana said there is a need to establish an effective institutional system in order to achieve effective governance. He said his government would continue to develop the nation, the society, and democracy. He promised to protect democracy via strong and independent organs of government. He said he wanted to form a public function commission to give more power to the Cabinet's Inspector-General so that it could become more independent, and form an Anti Corruption Commission.

"I can say that this government is brave to prioritize the establishment of strong and independent institutions," he said.

PD MP says AMP suspects Fretilin of influencing ASDT – Diario Nacional

PD MP Vital dos Santos said that the AMP government suspected that the Fretilin party had influenced ASDT to agree to an accord and establish a strategic alliance.

"We all know that when we formed AMP, Fretilin approached other parties such as the PD party, but they (Fretilin) did not succeed. Fretilin again has approached another party with an objective of winning power," said MP PD Vital dos Santos on Thursday (8/5) at the National parliament.

Angola: Peace Benefit for Country's Development Highlighted –, 8 May (Angola Presss Agency)

National Authorizing Officers from the African Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (PALOP), East Timor and representatives of the European Community on Wednesday here manifested their satisfaction at the Angolan government's efforts towards the development of the country, in six years of peace, ANGOP has learnt.

This was expressed by Mozambique's authorizing officer, Henrique Banze, while speaking to the press after an audience with the Angolan Prime Minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos.

Henrique Banze, also Mozambique's deputy Foreign Affairs minister, said "it was a courtesy and friendly meeting between brother countries, during which we congratulated and thanked the Premier, the Angolan people and government for the work done throughout the six years of peace".

The PALOP authorizing officers also discussed with the Angolan Premier about the boosting of bilateral and multilateral co-operation, as well as the challenges that will face the member countries, mainly Angola, a country that is to hold legislative elections in September.

In the ambit of the national authorizing officers, he said, member countries have been working to boost co-operation in the areas of justice and economy, due to the benefits of peace and stability.

The team that was received in audience by the Angolan Premier also comprised the authorizing officers of Angola, Ana Dias Lourenço, Guinea Bissau and East Timor.

The meeting is part of the programme of the 6th Conference of the African Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (PALOP)'s Authorizing Officers, held in Luanda on May 04-06.

The conference of national authorizing officers analyzed the accomplishment of the decisions and recommendations from the meeting held in 2007, in Lisbon (Portugal), the programming of the co-operation within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for the 2008/2013 period, and the evaluation of the situation of projects underway within the framework of the 9th EDF.

Created in 1958 with the purpose of implementing the dispositions of the Rome Treaty, the EDF is funded by the member countries and is meant for a financial assistance to the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries with which the European Union has relations within the framework of the Lome Convention.


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