Subject: Local Media Monitoring Update

Dili, Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring, 31 January 2003

Aircrash at Baucau

A Russian IL 76, carrying equipment for Timor Telecom, crashed on Friday, around 03.30 pm, while trying to land at the airport of Baucau, on the North coast of Timor-Leste. It is believed that the aircraft had a Russian crew of six and no passengers. The accident occurred in foggy conditions, approximately five kms from the airfield. UNMISET has dispatched an aircraft with emergency medical personnel to the site. PKF elements are already present. The SRSG Kamalesh Sharma has expressed his sympathy to the Portuguese Ambassador in Dili and to Prime-Minister Alkatiri. The SRSG's concerns and condolences are also being conveyed to the Russian Ambassador in Jakarta. UNMISET is in close touch with the Government of Timor-Leste to coordinate relief and investigation efforts. (UNMISET)

Mari and Xanana Discuss State of the Country

Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri and President Gusmão held a meeting on Thursday to analyze the current state of the nation and the implementation of government programs. Alkatiri said that the government must visit the grassroots people in order to learn the difficulties encountered by them. The Administrative Council for the National Radio and Television was one of the topics discussed by the two officials, reported Timor Post. (TP)

Government Will Not Dialogue With "Bandits": PM

After meeting with President Gusmão, Prime Minister Alkatiri told the media that the government would not be dialogue with "bandits who are members of Kolimau 2000".Alkatiri said that to abolish the group would not necessarily mean to kill them, but to sentence those involved in crimes, reported Timor Post. He said any citizen has the right to be part of Kolimau 2000 if they choose to, provide it is not to commit crimes. The Prime Minister added that the government would not hold any more dialogue and would instead focus on drawing plans based on the necessity of the people. Referring to the release of the investigation report on the events of 4th December 2002 and 4th January, Alkatiri said "many political leaders are demanding the government to quickly release the result of the investigation which is good because the government has not forgotten about it". He added " it is taken longer for the commission to release their report because it needs to be investigated carefully to avoid any future isunderstanding". He stressed that eyewitness is needed to testify against those suspected of involvement in the incidents. The Minister said he has given a mandate for the commission to investigate in dept the problems that led to Baucau incident on the 18th of November thereafter. He said the government notified the President of more time needed to have a comprehensive report. (TP, STL)

Xanana Supports Training for CAAC-CAVF

Speaking at the opening workshop for the commission to look into former combatants and veterans, President Xanana Gusmão said on Thursday that his office supported the establishment of the commissions but warned: " we must be patience because we have just gained our independence and there are lots of difficulties and problems which can not be solved in one day," He thanked UNDP, USAID and the World Bank and other organizations for their support to help kick start the process. He added that the Secretariat of the State created a section to deal with the veterans' issues and as enshrined in the constitution of TL the state and all institutions must work together to deal with matters of concern. (TP, STL)

Hasegawa: FDTL to Act Throughout TL

The Deputy Special Representative of UN in Timor-Leste, Hasegawa said "there are plans for Timor-Leste Armed Forces to perform their duties from East to West", reported Timor Post. The newspaper said that the UN Representative made this statement during a visit to Hatolia, Ermera sub-district on Thursday. Hasegawa said his visit there was to personally listen to the aspiration and the concerns of the people and as well their requests. During the meeting the residents requested DSRSG to allow the permanent presence of F-FDTL because they fear for their lives and their livestock have robbed "by the group Kolimau 2000," reported Timor Post. They stressed that if the government and UNMISET refuse to act then they have two alternatives: to come down to Dili and protest or create groups to act against Kolimau 2000. The newspaper reported Hasegawa as saying that he would pass their concerns to the government. Three representatives from that district traveled back with him to Dili to meet Government representatives, among them Prime Minister Alkatiri. (TP)

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