Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 19-21 November 2005
[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (email@example.com) have been removed.]
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
19-21 November 2005
National Media Reports
Lawyer comments on Minister Lobato's case
It is reported that Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato has violated human rights and abused his position, according to HAK Association lawyer Natercia de Deus Barbosa. As the lawyer for two of the victims recently assaulted at Delta Osindu, Barbosa told STL in an interview that the assault case involving Lobato, his bodyguard and a member of the UIR is currently being investigated by HAK Association. She said that they will be submitting a report on the case to the Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General and the Police, as well as accompanying their clients in filing a case with the Prosecution. HAK Association Program Manager Aniceto Neves confirmed that the report will be submitted on behalf of the victims Octavio Magalhaes, Manuel Soares, Carlito de Deus and some family members of the victims. He said that there should be no discrimination in the application of the law, and that the law must apply to all citizens of the country, no matter what their position. The assault occurred at the site of a traffic accident resulting in one loss of life. According to the Minister himself, his actions were a result of anger related to the accident. (STL, TP)
Coverage on veterans issue
The process of acknowledgement of the veterans and ex-Falintil is a complex one, as it may result in determinations on subsidies for the veterans. If the law that is currently being worked on makes provision for subsidies, it will put financial pressure on the state. In Timor-Leste's current financial situation, subsidies are something that must be considered very carefully, but at the same time an acknowledgement of the sacrifice of the veterans is also believed to be very important. The two-day public hearing on the veteran's issue held last week in the National Parliament involved almost all of the ex-Falintil commanders and leaders of political parties in 1975, who discussed the subsidy issue, with a division of opinion over whether all veterans should receive the subsidy, or only some.
On a related matter, Minister for Labour and Community Reintegration Arsenio Paixão Bano has told journalists that, assisted by consultations with the F-FDTL, his Ministry has identified approximately 100 ex-Falintil to be recognized by the government. Bano said that this act of solidarity from the government will be funded by the solidarity fund, a part of the 2005/6 budget. He confirmed that the priority veterans are those who were members of Falintil, and who remained in the mountains for 24 years without any interruptions. (STL, DT)
Fretilin does not recognise Amaral as sole proclaimer of independence
Fretilin President Francisco Guterres (Lu-Olo) has said that while Fretilin recognizes Xavier do Amaral as the first Fretilin president, they do not acknowledge him as the unilateral proclaimer of independence in 1975. Speaking to reporters after the parliamentary benches session on Friday to decide on the symbol for the National Parliament, Lu-Olo said that it was the Fretilin Central Committee that declared independence, while Amaral only read out the declaration. Reading the declaration does not mean that he was the unilateral proclaimer of independence, according to Lu-Olo. (DT, STL)
Bomb Threatens Life of Two PNTL Officers in Vemasse
A bomb was reportedly thrown at a police vehicle in Vemasse, Baucau District, last Thursday evening, threatening the lives of the two police officers in the vehicle. According to information received by STL, a homemade bomb was thrown at the vehicle that the two were travelling in on their way home, in Kampung Baru, Vemasse. The officers were travelling at high speed and therefore the bomb did not hit its target. It is reported that one of the suspects has been caught and is in police custody in Baucau, while another two are still being sought. Police Commander Paulo Martins, when contacted by journalists last Friday, informed them that he knew nothing about the case. (STL)
Santos: Timor-Leste's Internal Situation Does Not Threaten Investors
Speaking to the media last week, Director of Expedition Agency, Jaime dos Santos had been reportedly quoted as saying that the current security situation of Timor-Leste such as fighting among the youth, the recent explosion of the home-made bomb in Baucau's PNTL station and many other cases, does not threaten the investors. Santos appealed to the public not to worry about the security situation, adding that compared to many other countries, which have gained the independence for many years, the situation of Timor-Leste is very conducive for investment.(STL)
CPD-RDTL Demands Justice for Uaibobo-Nahareka(Viqueque) Case
It is reported that General Coordinator of CPD-RDTL, Antonio Aitahan Matak has demanded that the Prosecutor General and the Court quickly bring the police officers, who were involved in the act of terror and intimidation towards members of CPD-RDTL in Uaibobo and Nahareka of Viqueque district, to justice. Speaking at the press conference held in Dili last Friday as the representative of the victims, accompanied by his lawyer, Gregorio Hendrique, Matak stated that the demands presented, were based on the declaration of universal human rights, international conventions and laws that deal with human rights, adding that such intimidation and terror took place almost throughout the country. Moreover, Matak reportedly said that around 400 cases had been brought to his attention, and the violent acts committed by the police officers towards his followers were torture, hitting, kicking, punching, smashing the arms, confiscation of the belongings, hitting with long-barelled rifles and arbitrary shooting. Matak appealed to the authorities not to, on one hand, make laws to recognize [former] resistance members, but on the other hand, create a police force to undermine them through carrying out violence for the last six years, particularly from July until October 2005. (TP)
Minister Maia: Many Graduates from Indonesia with Fake Degrees
Speaking to the media after participating in the celebration ceremony of fifth anniversary of National University of Timor-Lorosa'e (UNTL) last Thursday, Minister of Education and Culture, Armindo Maia was quoted as saying that many final year UNTL students who were transferred to Indonesian universities, were able to finish their studies because they could easily obtain fake certificates by buying them. Maia further said that he himself had no exact data on how many final year UNTL students who had been transferred to Indonesian universities. Moreover, Minister Maia stated since his Ministry has good relations with the Indonesian Ministry of Education, particularly the General Directorate of Tertiary Education, it would be easy for the Ministry to deal with the matter. (STL)
Police shot at people in Uaibobo-Viqueque
TVTL reported that the PNTL shot at community members in the Village of Uaibobo, Ossu Sub-District of Viqueque on 19 September. The shootings forced some community members to run away from their homes. It was reported that of those escapees, more than ten people are still hiding and yet to return. It was further reported that these people are members of the group CPD-RDTL. The General Coordinator of the group, Antonio Aitahan Matak, reportedly stated that the case will be brought to the court.
First report of trimester petroleum funds
General Director of the BPA, Mr. Abrão de Vasconcelos reportedly stated that the revenues received by Timor Leste from the Petroleum fund amounts to a total of US$ 247 million. He further announced that the government has transferred a sum of US$ 205 million on 9 September to the BPA.
One Year PNTL Traffic Training
The Vice Minister for Interior, Alcino Barris de Araujo was reported to have said that some 40 members of PNTL have completed traffic training. The training has reportedly taken place in Dili in the past one year, with the objective of empowering members of PNTL to understand the internal regulations of PNTL, especially traffic regulations. De Araujo further stated that in the last one year period, the officers have learned theory through training and that in the coming four months they will implement the theory by in traffic management at both National and District levels. Meanwhile, Domingos Barros, one of the trainees reportedly stated that they are happy with the training because the training enables members of PNTL to understand the function of the Police and that in carrying out their duties, the police should respect the human right and dignity of the people.
Regional Media Reports
De-worming project frees children from parasitic worms
In Timor-Leste, a high proportion of the country's children are malnourished: More than 40 per cent are below normal weight, and nearly half are stunted in growth. Parasitic worms are one of the reasons why so many Timorese children are suffering from poor health. "Worms interfere with the digestion and absorption of food. Children with heavy worm loads suffer from bloated stomachs, pain, and diarrhoea, and are unable to focus at school," explained UNICEF Assistant Project Officer in Water and Sanitation, Rodolfo Pereira.
De-worming is an affordable and cost-effective intervention. UNICEF recently launched a pilot de-worming programme to help thousands of schoolchildren get rid of the worms in their body. At each participating school, the children were given de-worming tablets. UNICEF-trained health workers also taught children and parents about intestinal parasites, explained the importance of basic hygiene practices like washing hands, and collected stool samples to determine the proportion of children infected by worms.
Cristina, 6, is one of the children who benefited from the de-worming programme. After taking the tablets, she and all of her siblings had worms flushed out of their bodies. Cristina was at first frightened when she saw the worms in her stool, but then she remembered her teacher's instruction to count the worms. The first time Cristina counted six worms, and by the third round, she had excreted 17 altogether. "Sometimes they were afraid of the tablet," said educator Paulo Soares. "But I would always take one first to show that it's safe. I have eaten five so far." Agostinho, 13, had a bad stomach ache four days after taking the medication. "There were eight worms in my stools," he said. "I used to feel hungry all the time, but not anymore. I feel lighter too." The programme began in October. By its conclusion, some 2,000 Timorese children were able to say goodbye to worms.
Worm infestations can be prevented by giving children access to clean water, adequate sanitation facilities, and educating them in good hygiene habits, like washing hands after each latrine use. In Timor-Leste, less than half of the rural population have access to safe drinking water, and only 10 per cent have latrines. Poor sanitation has made the country's children especially susceptible to worms. This is why UNICEF is working with rural communities and village entrepreneurs to build low-cost latrines. The organization also works with the Government to provide safe drinking water by installing wells. (UNICEF)
National News Sources
Timor Post (TP)
These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office