Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 19 May 2008


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

234 petitioners return to civilian life: recruitment mechanism not helpful – Timor Post

A meeting held in Dili few days ago between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and 600 petitioners made good progress regarding the petitioners who decided to return to F-FDTL, the institution they abandoned during the 2006 crisis.

According to the questionnaires filled out the petitioners, 339 petitioners chose to return to the military. However, 234 of them withdraw their decision to rejoin the military as they thought that the recruitment mechanism would not help to solve their problems.

The coordinator of the petitioners, Augusto de Jesus [Major Tara], said that the 234 petitioners have re-registered themselves to become civilians.

"Two hundred and thirty-four petitioners have registered and declared that they wanted to change their decision. In two or three days they all will prepare declarations that they want to return to civilian life," said Major Tara on Friday (16/5) in Aitarak-Laran, Dili.

Cesar Valente de Jesus, one of the petitioners who chose to return to military, said he had questions regarding the mechanism, management and the rules of the recruitment.

"We had meetings with the Government but we were never informed whether we would be accepted back along with the new young recruits," said Mr. de Jesus.

Xavier accuses CNRT, PD and PSD of trying to break ASDT – Timor Post

ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral said that his party decided to sign an accord with Fretilin as CNRT, PD and PSD are trying to break the party.

Mr. Xavier do Amaral is questioning how power is apportioned in the Government, which is dominated by CNRT, PD and PSD. He also said that the three parties are going to have to engage in dirty politics in order to catch the attention of ASDT followers and recruit them.

"They went to the rural areas to get people's attention with money. They may succeed in attracting people.

During the elections, CNRT stole many of our supporters, as well as those from PSD and PD. We have good cooperation on the surface but inside something is bad and it makes us sad," said Mr. Xavier on Friday (16/5) in his residence in Lecidere, Dili.

Mr Xavier do Amaral said that before forming the AMP Government, the leaders of ASDT, CNRT, PD and PSD agreed that whoever will become the Prime Minister should consult within AMP. Sadly, PM Xanana Gusmão never consulted with them.

Mr. Xavier also said that even though AMP has a lot of programs, ASDT is questioning how they are being implemented.

Furthermore, Mr. Xavier do Amaral said although that he never agreed to an early election, he would welcome it if it happened.

Pardon to Rogerio: will be a strongly rejected by Timorese people – Timor Post<

President José Ramos-Horta's pardon of former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato on 20 May 2008 will be strongly rejected by the East Timorese people.

According to the Government, civil society and the National Parliament, prisoner Lobato does not deserve to a pardon as he has not fulfilled the requirements specified by the legal code.

Based upon the judicial criteria, a prisoner should fulfill one-third of his/her sentence and demonstrate a good attitude during this period. Mr. Rogerio, however, was imprisoned for just one month in Becora prison. He then went to Malaysia for medical treatment where he is now.

Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato stated last week that it was too early to pardon to Mr. Rogerio as he had only served one month of his prison sentence.

According to Minister Lobato, at present the Government is making efforts to bring Rogerio Lobato back to Timor-Leste to continue medical treatment in Dili National Hospital.

National Parliament MP Vital dos Santos said that as a representative of the people he does not question the competence of the president. However, the president must not give a pardon but instead should shorten Mr. Rogerio's sentence.

On the part of civil society, the Director of Yayasan Hak José Luis de Oliveira, said that there are important points that the State, including the Government, need to be studied before make a decision.

Xanana: it is time to embrace peace – Timor Post

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that it is time for Timor-Leste to embrace peace for the future. PM Gusmão is asking all Timorese people to commemorate Restoration Day, 20 May, as a day for all people to go ahead to develop the nation.

PM Gusmão also said that it was not time to create violence, but to contribute to the nation's future.

"Young people want peace. It is time to prepare yourself to develop because you are the future of the nation," said PM Gusmão on Saturday night (17/5) on an Indonesian band concert in Dili.

Horta: Australia and Portugal support Timor Leste – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

President José Ramos Horta said that Australia and Portugal CPLP strongly support Timor Leste in the defence area. The two nations have agreed to provide advisory training for Timor Leste's military (F-FDTL).

"In the next five or ten years, we still need the help of Portugal and Australia to provide military training and advice to Timor Leste. These two nations have strongly supported Timor Leste in many aspects including defence," said the President Jose Ramos Horta on Sunday (18/05) at Hotel Timor in Dili.

Ramos Horta said that he had spoken to the Portuguese Defence Minister Nuno Severino Teixeira who had also agreed that Portugal will continue to support Timor Leste in the defence area.

"Portugal will provide technical, human resource, financial and resource facility support to Timor Leste's defence force," he added.

The president also said that the Portugal's door was always opened for any request for assistance from Timor Leste in the area of defence.

In terms of overall reform of defence forces, the President Ramos Horta said that Timor Leste still needs support from Portugal, Australia and UNMIT as well.

F-FDTL and PNTL will be deployed across the region –“ Suara Timor Lorosa'e

In order to ensure the security situation within the Bairos, especially to ensure the safety of IDPs returning to their communities, both F-FDTL and PNTL will be deployed across the region including the Bairos in order to ensure the security situation in the country and the return of the IDPs.

"If you have decided to return home, it is your decision and the government cannot do anything without your own consent. It is important to be aware that we are Timorese are all responsible for finding solutions to our own problems. Therefore, it is now a time to resolve our problems," said the President of the National Parliament Fernando de Araujo Lasama to the IDPs after a farewell mass on Thursday (15/5) at Jardin IDPs camp in Colmera, Dili.

The President of the National Parliament said that he has asked the leader of PNTL Afonso de Jesus and F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak to continue to work together to reinforce the security in the country after Salsinha and his men handed themselves over to justice. People need stability and peace and none of the groups should disturb the people anymore.

Fernando Lasama asked all the IDPs to return home spontaneously to their communities in order to create peace and love among each other, and to forget the past. If some people still felt pain or animosity in their heart, then it must be solved through a dispute resolution process like the traditional nahe biti boot where people sit together to discuss their problems and find solutions.

A group band from Jakarta appeals to Timorese people to create peace – Suaara Timor Lorosa'e

A group band from Jakarta known as SLANK appealed to the Timorese people to create peace and remain calm after a concert that held on Saturday (17/05) at Dili Stadium

"We would like to ask all the Timorese people who have attended this concert to return home peacefully, said Kaka, the band's vocalist.

The SLANK group was invited by the Government of Timor Leste led by the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão in order to entertain Timorese people as part of its 6th anniversary celebration of independence that will be held on 20 May this year.

Vocalist Kaka said that his group was totally happy to participate this kind of event. "We are kindly happy to participate this kind of event as we have never been here before. We have dreamt before of jump to this kind of country. We are bringing a message of peace to the Timorese people under the peace mission. Hopefully this kind of peace will be widely spread throughout this country," said SLANK vocalist Kaka during his performance at the concert.

Marketing specialist: there is need to launch the local products – Diario Nacional

A marketing specialist from the Development of Private Sector organization said that it is important to launch locally-produced products through the main shops in Dili such as Lita Store, Dili Mart, Dili Cold Storage, Eastern Dragon, Senior Shop, Jacinto, Acam and Leader.

The launch was aimed at promoting local products through the main shops in order to show people from all the outside countries that Timorese people also have their own high quality local products.

"We have chosen Saturday, 17 May to promote local products because this is a holiday for most people who can go shopping at the main shops and see the local products that we are promoting now," said Marketing Specialist Nina Sarmento.


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