Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 14 March 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Monday, 14 March 2005

Xanana: Granting of amnesty not automatic

Xanana Gusmao said that while the Terms of Reference for the Truth and Friendship Commission do provide for amnesty for human rights violators in the 1999 violence, it does not mean that the amnesty will be granted automatically. He said the Constitution states that individual cases for amnesty must be referred to the National Parliament, and it is up to the Parliament to decide. Speaking to journalists during an interval of the Lake Toba Summit in Sumatra on Thursday, Xanana explained that amnesty may be offered to those who are cooperative and are prepared to state the truth. Xanana reiterated that in Timor-Leste those Timorese wishing to be granted amnesty would have to appear before the Parliament, while adding that he did not know what the process would be for Indonesians in the same position. When questioned regarding the UN Commission of Experts, Xanana said that Timor-Leste would welcome the Commission to Timor-Leste, even if Indonesia has refused to do so.

Meanwhile, President Gusmão said any MP who is critical of the establishment of the Truth and Friendship Commission, should state their objections clearly. (STL, Timor Post)

Corruption not cultural

The Director of HAK Association, Jose Luis Oliveira, said that corruption is not part of Timorese culture and that it is a regrettable attitude. As one of the speakers at the Workshop on Integrity of State last Friday, Oliveira said that corruption is something to be fought, as is domestic violence, and that neither of these behaviours are aspects of Timorese culture as some people claim.

Meanwhile, the head of the Fretilin faction in the National Parliament, Francisco Branco, said that the eradication of corruption demands the will from all components of society, and that it would be ineffective to just rely on the anti-corruption law alone.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that any minister who is involved in the act of corruption would be dismissed from his or her post. However, the Prime Minister stressed that concrete evidence against any individual accused of corruption is vital.

Moreover, Alkatiri said that media can play a significant role in combating corruption, but the press should be responsible and not use sensational reporting. (STL, Timor Post)

Xavier do Amaral resigns

Francisco Xavier do Amaral has resigned from his position in the National Parliament, citing the ineffectiveness of the Parliament in voicing the aspirations of the people. Do Amaral said that he had submitted his resignation letter to the President of the Parliament but that the President still has three months to consider the letter. He said that during the two years as a Member of Parliament he had never seen the Parliament do anything for the people, but instead MPs were intent on using their positions as spokespeople for the Alkatiri government. He said that he was prepared to give up his monthly salary to join with the people in their suffering. (STL)

Overtime pay not forthcoming, staff strike

Several staff members of the Maritime floating hotel held a strike on Saturday protesting against not being awarded overtime pay. The head of the Employee Committee Almerio Vila Nova said that 71 employees were unhappy with the payment system set by the hotel. According to Almerio, there is no system of overtime payments at the hotel for those who work over 48 hours per week. (STL)

Inspector General Finds Corruption Within Public Service

Inspector General Mariano Lopes announced last Friday that his office has detected a case of corruption involving a public servant, but has refused to reveal the name of the person and the institution. However, he did say that once the investigation process has been completed, details would be released. (Timor Post)

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