Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 18 - 20 February 2006

Daily Media Review

Saturday & Monday, 18 - 20 February 2006

National Media Reports

TFC reviewing Indonesian HR Commission & Ad Hoc Tribunal docs

The Commissioners of the Truth and Friendship Commission have begun reviewing documents from the Indonesian Human Rights Commission's Investigating Commission, and the Jakarta Ad Hoc Tribunal. Speaking to journalists last Thursday, President of the Timor-Leste component of the Commission Dionisio Babo said that the Commission recently received some documents from the CAVR, and is still in the process of obtaining documents from the Serious Crimes Unit. He explained that the work of the Commission has been delayed somewhat due to the late release of some of these documents and has also been influenced by the strong reaction from Indonesia regarding the handover of the CAVR final report to the United Nations. Due to these factors, the planned meeting with the Indonesian TFC for 20 January has been postponed to a later date. (TP)

Fretilin allegedly lower PD flag

Fretilin MP Norberto Espirito Santo has defended the alleged actions of Fretilin militants in lowering the Democratic Party (PD) flag in Laisorulai village, Quelikai, Baucau two weeks ago, saying that they did so because PD militants were exhibiting undisciplined behaviour. He said that the PD militants had tried to raise the flag at the home of a Fretilin militant and, therefore, Fretilin militants sent them away. He emphasized that Fretilin understands democracy and supports the right of everyone to carry out political activities in the community.

Meanwhile, PD MP Rui Menezes said that this information is incorrect and that it is irresponsible of people to spread such rumours. He said that no one lowered the PD flag in the said village and that PD is not prepared to become preoccupied with rumours and political manipulations, as this only impedes progress. (STL)

Government to establish veterans' suburb

Head of the Fretilin Bench in the National Parliament Francisco Branco has said that the veterans suburb being established by the government is an excellent idea, but it is important that the houses are looked after properly. He said that the government together with the veterans and former combatants should sign an accord to the effect that at no stage may the houses be allowed to become animal pens. Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Branco said that some veterans do not agree with the government's plan to establish a "veteran's suburb" but, in his opinion, it would make it easy for the veterans to access medical or other assistance if they are grouped together. He explained, however, that the suburb has not yet begun to be established, although the government has been planning it for some time already. (STL)

CAVR Report Not a Problem to Indonesia: Gusmão

Speaking to the media upon his return from Bali following a meeting with his Indonesian counter-part, President Gusmão said the CAVR report presented to President Yudhoyono is not a problem. Gusmão said Timor-Leste is not seeking Indonesia to recognize the report. He said, instead they focused more on the Comissão Verdade e Amizade/Truth and Friendship Commission, because it is Timor-Leste's problem and it needs to be in the public eye. The President pointed out that the CVA also speaks about truth as does the CAVR , but since the CVA has been established by Indonesia and Timor-Leste it really needs to be the centre of attention. Because of this, members of CVA from Indonesia were scheduled to begin their activities, on Sunday in Dili, Xanana Gusmão told the media. Gusmão also said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised to support the Commission and will meet with individuals while in Jakarta, adding that the two nations want the work of the CVA to be credible, responsible and transparent enough to satisfy the national and international community. Apart from the Commission's work, Gusmão said the two countries are scheduled to meet in two or three months to look into issues of common interest.

In a separate article, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Ramos-Horta said he believes that the two nations have shown maturity in their ties and when trust between leaders is standing on solid ground, any problems that arise will not shake the relationship. Therefore, Ramos-Horta said, Indonesia and Timor-Leste will resolve the problems, referring to the border incident on January, the Oecussi sexual abuse case and the CAVR report. He pointed out that during the visit to Bali, President Gusmão raised the latest incidents with his Indonesian counterpart who has assured him that he would personally keep an eye on the investigation of the alleged Oecussi sexual abuse incident. (TP)

Police Ordered Detention of Land Owner

Police allegedly detained members of a community illegally for refusing to hand over their land to a police commander in Liquiça District. According to Diario Nacional, the police commander shot in the air and threatened members of the community for disagreeing with the police. The issued was raised in Parliament in a letter addressed to the Parliament President of the Republic and PNTL commander, Francisco "Lu'Olu" Guterres, who said he considered this bad behaviour on the part of the police. "Attention must be given to members of the police so that they learn to behave properly and to protect the interest of the people." In another letter to the Parliament, members of the police force have been accused of taking sides and allegedly involved in a fight between martial arts groups.

In a separate article, the Ministry of Interior has ordered the suspension of two police officers in Oecussi District. One, for transporting an Indonesian Police officer (BRIMOB to and from the border into Oecussi and allowing an overnight stay. The other police officer was suspended for divorcing his wife and remarrying somebody else. (DN)

PST Held First Dialogue in Aileu

Partido Social Timorense (PST) held its first dialogue in Aileu District with the participation of representatives from other political parties such as ASDT, PSD, PD KOTA, PPT and Fretilin. The dialogue focused on the position that PST disagrees with the National Parliament's ratification of the agreement between the governments of Timor-Leste and Australia regarding the exploration of the Greater Sunrise, PST Secretary General, Avelino Coelho reportedly said during his speech. Coelho said his party position is based on the fundamental facts that National Parliament has not yet defined the legislation on the maritime borders as per RDTL Constitution Article 95, adding that the revenue from the Timor Sea exploration is still to be used for the development of the people of Timor-Leste. He was also quoted as saying that PST rejects the defamation law because it kills freedom of expression. This same law, he said, was previously used by Portugal and Indonesia to incarcerate nationalists, noting that many young Timorese were put in jail during the Indonesian occupation for allegedly breaking this law while fighting for independence. (DN)

Regional Media Reports

Indonesia, Timor Leste leaders meet on past problems

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Timor Leste President Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao called on the international community to support the Commission of Truth and Friendship (KKP) to settle problems between the two countries.

They made the call following a meeting on Friday at the Presidential Palace in Tampaksiring in Bali island, where the two leaders heard a presentation from the joint chiefs of the KKP, Antara news agency reported on Saturday.

President Susilo said President Xanana's decision to submit a report detailing alleged human rights abuses by the Indonesian military in the former Indonesian province to the UN was a domestic matter.

Xanana submitted the report to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in January. The report was made by the UN sanctioned Commission for reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR).

The CAVR report provided a chronological detailing of the alleged abuses from 1975, when Indonesia invaded East Timor, through 1999, when the Timorese voted for independence. The report alleged that the military used starvation and sexual violence as weapons to control the territory. It also accused soldiers of using napalm and chemical weapons to poison food and drinking water.

The CAVR report mentioned the massacre of 102,000 East Timorese when East Timor was still part of Indonesia between 1974 to 1999. Jakarta has rejected the findings, and legislators have said Indonesia should sever ties with East Timor.

In the speech, Xanana clearly stated that he would continue with the settlement of past problems between the two countries through the KKP.

"What is important for me is we will stick to the commitment and agreement that we have made. Problems end with justice, truth and reconciliation but we will not sacrifice the two countries' hopes and interests to build better relations in the future," he said. The two leaders also discussed the need for cooperation in the border regions of the two countries and agreed to meet again to realize their cooperation especially in the fields of investment and economy. (Xinhua)


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

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