Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 6 April 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 6 April 2005

Protestors call for UN commission to investigate abuses in Timor-Leste

About 100 students and activists rallied at the airport in Dili yesterday calling on the visiting United Nations Commission of Experts to seriously investigate abuses in Timor-Leste in 1999. As the legal experts landed, the demonstrators, wearing black gags emblazoned with the words “we need justice” across their mouths, claim the joint Truth and Friendship Commission planned by the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia would not deliver justice to the victims of Indonesian backed militia. The demonstrators also carried banners calling for the UN Commission to bring the perpetrators of crimes against humanity to an international tribunal and for the United Nations not to wash its hands of the serious crimes process in the country.

The three-member commission, appointed by the UN Secretary-General in February, met with President Xanana Gusmão shortly after arrival in Dili at the start of their two-nation mission. Composed of representatives from India, Japan and Fiji, the Commission is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri today. It’s not immediately clear how long the UN team would remain in Timor-Leste. The Commission’s main mandate is to assess the progress made by Timor-Leste and Indonesia in trying those responsible for crimes against humanity in 1999. It will also assess if and how the UN should aid the Truth and Friendship Commission planned by Dili and Jakarta.

Keen to improve relations with Indonesia, Timor-Leste’s government has rejected the establishment of an international court to try those convicted of crimes against humanity following the referendum in August 1999. Timor-Leste’s government has promised to cooperate with the UN Commission of Experts, but Jakarta has kept its distance, arguing the UN mission is useless given the bilateral agreement to set up the Truth and Friendship Commission. (Reuters, Kyodo, Lusa)

SRSG Hasegawa meets President Xanana on a range of issues

During a meeting with the President, SRSG Hasegawa said they discussed a range of issues, including the visit of the UN Commission of Experts and the possibility of a smaller UN mission in Timor-Leste.

Meanwhile, several Members of Timor-Leste’s Parliament have publicly expressed their support to the possibility of the UN extending its presence in the country because of the positive impact on the people and the Government. MP João Gonsalves from PSD claimed the extension of UNMISET would be very good because the reality shows that Timor-Leste is still in need of UN assistance not just in areas of security but also public administration and legal affairs. (Timor Post, STL)

Minister Maia to Represent Timor-Leste in Vatican’s Funeral

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday confirmed that the Minister of Education, Armindo Maia, will represent Timor-Leste at the funeral of John Paul II in the Vatican. The Prime Minister said that he, President Gusmão and Minister Ramos-Horta could not attend the funeral due to the official visit by the Indonesian President on Friday. A number of Members of Parliament will also accompany Minister Maia. (Timor Post, STL)

Land and maritime border office to be established

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Ramos-Horta, announced that the government of Timor-Leste is expecting to establish a new office to deal specifically with land and maritime borders. The minister also said that funding to establish the office will be provided by USAID as well as the Portuguese government.

Meantime, STL has quoted Ramos-Horta as saying that the Indonesian President will sign a provisional agreement on land border between Timor-Leste and Indonesia during his visit to Dili. (Timor Post, STL)

Minister Lobato on Interpol centre and PNTL’s role during visit of Indonesian President

The Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato, confirmed that his ministry is expecting to operate the facilities at Timor-Leste’s Interpol centre in order to detect any illegal activities.

Meanwhile, the Minister also announced that a battalion of PNTL officers would be involved in the provision of security during the visit of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday. (Timor Post, STL)

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