Subject: Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Jan 26, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Jan 26, 2004


Rebels threaten Timor peace

There is a palpable fear in the town of Bobonaro, which sits on the Timorese side of the border with Indonesia. It is not apprehension at the possibility of invasion, but rather a brewing conflict between the Timorese authorities and a band of locals set on creating their own field of influence. The stress has triggered violent police actions against the rebel Committee to Defend the Democratic Republic of East Timor (CPD). Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri confirmed his commitment to repressing the group this week, saying:" They have been told to stop their activities but this hasn't work, so they will be capture by the police". He has pledged to neutralise CPD by March, ordering police to seize identity cards the group has issued in competition with government cards. But the ferment created by the campaign may create the instability the Government seeks to prevent. (This story was written by an Australian Journalist Jill Jollife)

Around the clock security in Ainaro

The Vice-commander of the National Police Force in Ainaro, Adriano Pereira, said that after receiving various reports from the community about Ninja activities at night in Ainaro, the Police have set up around the clock security to try and catch those involved. Mr Pereira said that there are no real "Ninjas" in Ainaro, but he said people who desperately in need are stealing and robbing people's houses dressed as Ninjas.

Independence for journalism says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that journalists needs to be learn how to be independent and not act as if they are the Government Opposition. He said that journalists have a tendency to follow rumours without checking with sources.

Dr Alkatiri said that journalists need to have facts before any story can be published and they should not follow rumours which could create instability in the country.

Timor Post

Confrontation between FDTL soldiers and youth in Lospalos

The FDTL Lieutenant Colonel, Mau Nana, said that the confrontation on Saturday between a group of youth's and FDTL soldiers in Lospalos was provoked by Juvenal da Costa, a former Portuguese army soldier. He said that a report was presented to the Police about the provocation, but no action was being taken. Lt Colonel Nana said that the incident resulted in several injures amongst the youth group and FDTL due to the misunderstanding that occurred between the two groups. He added that he regrets the FDTL action in firing their guns in front of the Police station and agreed it was a form of intimidation towards the population of Lospalos. Lt Colonel Nana said that a report has been presented to the Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak, about the incident and a team has left to go to Lospalos to try to calm the situation.

CPD hand over their registry cards to Government

The district Administrator of Bobonaro, Leonel de Jesus Carvalho, said that members of the CPD-RDTL who in the past did not accept the Government's registry cards, and instead created their own, have started handing over their alternative cards to the local government. Mr Carvalho said that members of the population involved in the CPD-RDTL activities has been very cooperative and returned all the cards.

January declared as month of tree planting

The Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cesar Jose da Cruz, said that his Ministry has decided to establish the month of January 2004 as the National Month for Tree Planting. He said that an information campaign will start to educate people that when you cut down a tree you should plant one on his place. Mr Cesar said that the initiative is supported by an International NGO and trees will be planted in every district to rejuvenate the dying forests in Timor-Leste. Mr da Cruz said that he has requested the drafting of a law which would ban the cutting of trees and burning the fields.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office Ph: 723 3110 Tel: 332 4649 Email: Email:

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