Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 11 July 2008

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

UNMIT

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

Railos to have medical treatment abroad – Timor Post and Diario Nacional

Prisoner and former commander of illegal arms, as he is known in Tetun, Vicente Railos is to receive medical treatment abroad. Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that based on his medical report, her Ministry has found that Railos is need of medical treatment that cannot be administered in country. Minister Lobato said that Railos' medical treatment will be paid for by the Government of Timor-Leste.

The Minister also said that prisoner and former Spokesperson of the Petitioners Gastão Salsinha was also quite sick, but has since recovered.

Alkatiri demands Xanana to explain US$7M rice deal – Timor Post

Responding to accusations of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão that the previous government was badly administered, former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has demanded an explanation from PM Xanana regarding the allocation of US$7M out of US$11.089M for the humanitarian support program.

“I can say that Xanana’s statement is a big lie. His explanation is very wrong, starting from when he compared the situation of 2006 crisis with the situation of 2008. We all know that we faced an immediate crisis and that the government responded to this by providing humanitarian support to the displaced people, including the purchase of rice,” said Mr. Alkatiri on Thursday (10/7) at Fretilin’s bench room in the National Parliament, Dili.

Today, TL-UN celebrate World Population Day – Timor Post

The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Health, is working together with the UN to celebrate World Population Day with the theme: Family Planning is a right, let’s make it real.”

The theme focuses on family planning and how to reduce the mortality of mothers and children.

“Family planning enables women and couples to space their children and to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Along with skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care, family planning is a proven intervention to achieve Millennium Development Goal number five to improve maternal health as world leaders have agreed.

Second, family planning is essential to women’s empowerment and gender equality. When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life,” said UNFPA Representative Jose Hernando Agudelo at the UNMIT press briefing held on Thursday (10/7) in Obrigado Barrack, Dili.

Information and services for family planning allows individuals and couples to realize their right to determine the number, spacing and timing of their children. The right to sexual and reproductive health is fundamental to women’s empowerment and equality.

Mr. Agudelo also said that family planning saves lives life and allows individuals and couples to realize their right to determine the number, spacing and timing of their children. The right to sexual and reproductive health is fundamental to women’s empowerment and equality.

Lu-Olo: I want an earlier election – Suarra Timor Lorosa’e

Fretilin President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo stated that he wants to have an early election to crack down on the Government for its wrong doing; away from people’s needs.

“I am quite serious about having an early election as we see that everything is not going well,” said Lu-Olo in the Fretilin’s bench room in the National Parliament on Thursday (10/7).

Lu-Olo said that Fretilin really needs an early election to put everything on the right place; the current government has no legitimacy as it lost in the last election.

Lu-Olo: Only Timor-Leste’s MPs get cars – Diario Nacional

Former President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said that only the National Parliament of Timor-Leste MPs has allowed for cars for each MP.

“I have never seen it in other countries where the State buys cars for each MP. It is only legal here,” said Lu-Olo.

He said that given the status of MPs, each MP has right to buy car with his/her own money without paying taxes, but the National Parliament should not be allowed to use State money to buy cars.

Indonesia backed East Timor atrocities: report- ABC News, 11 July

By Geoff Thompson- Two Timorese men light candles to honour those who died in the Santa Cruz massacre in 1999.

A leaked report reveals that Indonesia is set to acknowledge that its Government, military and police supported militia violence in East Timor in 1999.

Next week, the final report of the Commission for Truth and Friendship is due to be handed to the presidents of Indonesia and East Timor in Bali.

In it, for the first time, Indonesia accepts the institutional responsibility of the Indonesian military and police and civilian Government for funding, arming, supporting and cooperating with militias' "gross human rights violations in the form of crimes against humanity," before and after East Timor's independence referendum in 1999.

The commission concludes that institutional responsibility follows "persistent patterns of organised, institutional involvement in gross human rights violations".

Give poor women birth control, education: World Bank – AFP, 11 July

Giving women in poor nation’s better access to birth control and education would help to slash millions of unwanted births in the developing world, the World Bank said Thursday.

"Fifty-one million unintended pregnancies in developing countries occur every year to women not using contraception," the World Bank said in a statement released on the eve of World Population Day.

Although birth rates have fallen in the past 30 years, in 35 countries -- 31 in sub-Saharan Africa and East Timor, Afghanistan, Djibouti, and Yemen -- birth rates are more than five children per mother.

A global approach, encompassing not only contraception but also better access to education, is needed to bring down the fertility rate in countries where it is still too high and puts the lives of women at risk, said Sadia Chowdhury, senior reproductive and child health specialist at the World Bank.

"Girls' and women's education is just as important in reducing birth rates as supplying contraception," said Chowdhury, who is also a pediatrician.

"Women's education provides life-saving knowledge, builds job skills that allow her to join the workforce and marry later in life, gives her the power to say how many children she wants and when.

"And these are enduring qualities she will hand down to her daughters as well," said Chowdhury, co-author of a World Bank report on contraception and unintended pregnancies in Africa, eastern Europe and central Asia.

Countries with a high birth rate also tend to have high maternal mortality, infant mortality and poverty, and poor education, health care, and nutrition, Chowdhury said.

"It all adds up. When you see one thing not happening, you see other development aspects not happening," she said.

Women who have poor access to contraception often turn to abortion as a means of birth control, the report said.

But according to the report, around half the 42 million abortions performed annually are unsafe, and some 68,000 women die each year as a result of abortion.

Another 5.3 million suffer temporary or permanent disability.

Abortion is also more costly than contraceptive services, the report says.

"Findings from ... Nigeria suggest that the annual cost of post-abortion care (estimated at 19 million dollars) is approximately four times the cost of contraceptive services (estimated at 4.5 million dollars) to prevent induced abortions; and it consumes about 3.4 percent of total health expenditures," the report says.

"If contraception were provided to the 137 million women who lack access, maternal mortality would decline by 25-35 percent," it says.

The World Bank called for better and expanded information to be made available to a broad range of society -- both men and women -- as well as easier access to quality contraceptive services.

Among the benefits to be had from readily available contraceptive methods and correctly practiced birth control would be fewer maternal and infant deaths, as well as a reduction in the transmission rate of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, it said.

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org 


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