Subject: east timor headlines/18July2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Wednesday 18 July 2001

1. Sergio de Mello: National Unity Pact necessary to avert conflict 
2. Timor Lorosae Police to be armed as election approaches 
3. Trouble in Aiturilaran 
4. Don’t believe rumors

1. Sergio de Mello: National Unity Pact necessary to avert conflict (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

The National Unity Pact which was signed by 14 of the 16 parties in Timor Lorosae is aimed to prevent any kind of conflict between the supporters of the political parties. Also parties which are signatories to the pact are obliged to create a safe and conducive environment for the Timor Lorosae people to participate in the 30 August election.

This was stated yesterday by the UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello when he traveled to Viqueque and Los Palos for a face-to-face meeting with the people in the districts.

“Fourteen political parties have already stated their commitment, in front of 12,000 people in Dili, to refrain from any kind of violence during the election campaign period. They swore to uphold the peace and be tolerant and respectful of one another. This is proof that the political parties really want peace,” said Sergio de Mello.

Sergio de Mello reminded the people that the 30 August election was to choose members of the Constituent Assembly.

“The Constituent Assembly will draft the Constitution,” said the Transitional Administrator.

“It’s only in the second general election that the people will get to choose the President of Timor Lorosae,” he added.

Sergio de Mello said after the Constituent Assembly was formed, Timor Lorosae would enter into the second phase of the transition with UNTAET.

“In the second transition, the Cabinet will be increased by 12 Cabinet members and all of them will be East Timorese. These Cabinet members will be from a wide range of civil society groups in Timor Lorosae,” he added.

2. Timor Lorosae Police to be armed as election approaches (Suara Timor Lorosae, third lead)

As the 30 August election approaches, members of the Timor Lorosae Police Services will be carrying pistols when carrying out their duties.

“I really don’t know the precise date when they will be getting the guns, but it is certain they will receive them. The pistols have been bought by UNTAET from Austria,” said Sergio de Mello when interviewed by STL.

The Transitional Administrator stressed that the weapons were not part of a bilateral aid package from Austria.

“It has been paid for by cash by the UN administration in Timor Lorosae,” added Sergio de Mello.

The Transitional Administrator said the Police Academy will be responsible for distributing the pistols to members of the Timor Lorosae Police Services.

“The pistols won’t be just distributed to anyone. The Police Academy will take into account graduates with the best performance and their performance during probation,” said the Transitional Administrator.

3. Trouble in Aiturilaran (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page side-bar)

At least three people were injured in an incident in Aiturilaran in Dili’s Taibessi suburb around midnight Tuesday. Also, two motorcycles were burnt in the area.

In a press conference yesterday, Civpol spokesperson Luis Carrilho said the incident started when 25 people went on a rampage in Aiturilaran.

Carrilho said Civpol did not know the motive for the rampage. However, he said, the attackers had been identified and Civpol was combing the area for them.

“Tuesday’s incident is under investigation and we hope to make arrests soon,” said Carrilho.

The Civpol spokesperson said between 10 to 16 July there were 51 such cases throughout the country.

4. Don’t believe rumors (Suara Timor Lorosae, editorial Page 5)

It’s the third day of campaigning in Timor Lorosae and so far it has been peaceful without any incident. But let’s not make the assumption that it will a straight road for the political parties, despite having signed the National Unity Pact. There will be bends in the road and all political parties will have to be ready for them.

The Timorese people now are more critical of the political parties ­ having been through the Portuguese and Indonesian colonialists. But again, let’s not dwell in the past and repeat the same mistakes.

Politics is a dirty game. Politics causes splits in the family; it makes people kill; and it makes people curse one another. But things are different for the 30 August election. We are at gates of independence and parties cannot afford to play dirty politics.

But the irresponsible are still around. As evidenced two days ago, they were some politicians who were spreading rumors that there was a group of armed Indonesians heading towards Timor Lorosae. All these rumors are meant to scare people.

FDTL Commander Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak had to intervene to calm the people. He asked the people not to believe rumors and not to believe those who said an armed group of Indonesian was out to disrupt the 30 August election.

On another front, there is a rumor circulating in Dili that the former Fretilin president Nicolau Lobato is alive. We repeat the call of Bishop Belo to the people: “Please do not believe in the absurd!”

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