Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 27 April 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday 27 April 2006

National Media Reports

Rees: United States in not behind the petitioners

United States’ Envoy in Timor-Leste, Grover Joseph Rees, responding to an allegation that the United States is behind the 591 petitioners, said that “this information is false. He also said that last year some people said that the United States supported the demonstration that was held by the church, and pointing out the similarity of the two rumours. Ambassador Rees emphasized the falsification of these reports and stated that there are liars and honest people in every country.” (STL, TP)

Lu-Olo: War has passed and there will not be bloodshed

President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, reportedly said that in the past, people were at war because of their intention to take over Timor-Leste and added that now it is the Timorese who are at war with each other (referring to the petitioners). He said “In my opinion, no one can leave the place where he/she has been born and come to occupy this nation”.

The media also reported that on Wednesday, two delegations of the petitioners re-presented their demands to the national parliament. This information was obtained from an urgent press conference that was held in Parliament saying that the letter submitted on the first day of the demonstration did not address their demands but it was related to Maubere Democratic Party (PDM).

STL reported that the 591 petitioners have given a sovereign body a deadline of Friday to resolve the matter with a positive outcome.

Diario National quotes one protester as saying that they “also protest against the people who are from Lorosae (East) who dominate the selling of goods in the three markets of Becora, Taibessi and Comoro”. If a solution is not reached, then people from the West will boycott all goods imported into Timor-Leste. (STL, DN)

TL’s Government exports coconut and candle nut oil to the US

STL reported that for the first time in Timor-Leste history, the government will export coconut and candle oil. It is reported that this information was released directly by the Minister of Agriculture, Estanislau Alexio da Silva, while witnessing the loading of these products for export overseas. Silva also added that this programme is supported by USAID as well as other agencies. (STL)

Horta meets informally with Salsinha

Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister, José Ramos Horta, on Tuesday night met informally with the 591 petitioners’ spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha. It is reported that during the meeting Horta stated that the government will establish a new investigation commission to address the concerns of the petitioners. In response to this, it is reported that Salsina did not accept this proposal and said that such a decision should have been taken before the demonstrations started, so that a solution is proposed.

Diario National Reported that the president of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, clarified his declaration to journalists on Wednesday in which he referred to the involvement of embassies and some political parties being behind the petitioners. Lu-Olo said he meant that the problem of the 591 petitioners is an internal one for the government and people of TL; therefore the Timorese State should find a solution, and not the United Nations (UN) or other countries. (TP, DN)

Alkatiri/Lu-Olo convene urgent meeting to find solution for Petitioners

President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri on Wednesday convened an urgent meeting with the aim of finding a solution to the current problem with the petitioners. Speaking to journalists, Lu-Olo said that the Prime Minister would then convey the opinions that they formed together to the President. He said that there are several steps that can be taken to resolve the problem, and that he is confident that a solution will be found. (DN, STL)

Destruction at Taibessi Market; one wounded

The Taibessi Market became a scene of destruction yesterday, with people running chaotically resulting in one trader injured and one police officer remanded for firing shots without a command to do so. Trading areas and kiosks in the market were pulled down, and in other areas of Dili three houses were stoned. The destruction and rioting are related to the current “594” demonstrations. Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato confirmed that the police have arrested some people involved in the violence, while Police Commander Paulo Martins denied rumours that police had shot a child in the Taibessi Market in the midst of the rioting, and confirmed only that one officer had fired a warning shot. However, one young person was shot by an unknown person in the market and is currently undergoing treatment at the National Hospital for an injury to his eye. (STL, DN)

Claudio Ximenes: Come to the Tribunal; a decision must be made (STL)

The president of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste's Court of Appeal, Claudio Ximenes declared that with regards to the decision taken by military authorities to expel some members of the F-FDTL, he will not be making any opinion.

However, should the case be taken to the Court, then a decision will be made accordingly. Claudio Ximenes gave this remark to the journalist at the Court of Appeal building in Caicoli on Tuesday (25/4) when asked his opinion.

Claudio, who is also the President of the Superior Council of the Magistrate, was quoted as saying "first of all, I am not familiar with the decision, and therefore I cannot give an opinion; and secondly, even if I am aware of it, I am unable to given an opinion over the decision." When asked for further explanation, he clarified that as a Judge, he cannot give his opinion (at this stage). According to Claudio, the F-FDTL problem is more of an administrative and military problem, so only military authorities are competent to resolve it.

Having said that, he added that it may also need a political solution, but even so, the ability to do so rests with those with whom the military administration function rests, and those who have the political function and authority in relation to this matter. The President of the Court of Appeal confirmed that he has received a copy of the petition from the F-FDTL members but that he is unable to publicize its contents as he does not have the authority to disclose it.

Demonstrators Assaulted Houses and Shops in Lecidere

STL reported that some of the demonstrators involved in the rally of F-FDTL’s petitioners assaulted three houses and three kiosks in Lecidere, Dili on Wednesday. From the assault, it total losses were estimated worth US$ 3,500.

Aside from assaulting the houses, the demonstrators also damaged one car, two tricycles of street vendors and killed one pig in the area.

We do not know anything. But, all of the sudden the demonstrators in military uniform came and destroyed our house and the car,” said Jenoveva Soares, a Lecidere resident.

Soares appealed to Timorese authorities, especially President of Republic, Prime Minister and President of National Parliament to quickly find the solution for the problem, adding that as an ordinary citizen she was innocent of what went on, and said that in the era of independence what she very much wants is to live in peace and carry out a normal life.

In response to the incident, the spokesperson for the petitioners, Gastão Salsinha stated that he did not have confirmation on all of the incidents reported except that of the damaged tricycles, adding that what had happened was considered to be a technical mistake, therefore they would try correct this wrong behaviour.

Moreover, Salsinha said that once all of the damages done by the demonstrators were confirmed, he would be responsible for it. (STL, 27 April 2006)

RTTL news headlines


PD held its first District Congresses

The Democratic Party, PD, held its first District Congress in Oecusse on Saturday last week, RTTL reported. Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the congress, PD President, Fernando “Lasama” de Araujo reportedly stated that the congress was an effort to prepare the party for the general elections. Lasama added that over 230 district delegates were appointed to attend PD’s National Congress scheduled to take place in June this year.

A one day seminar by GEM

The Grupo Estudo Maubere, GEM (Maubere Study Group) held a one day seminar at FRETILIN’s CCF office last week with the theme, Reflection on the FRETILIN governance, Mauberism and social justice. The seminar was reportedly aimed at discussing potential challenges facing the FRETILIN Government.

Regional Media Reports

National News Sources Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL]

These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office - END ­

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