Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 14 & 16 January 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Saturday & Monday, 14 & 16 January 2006

National Media Reports

PM Alkatiri Taking Court Action Against Opposition

Speaking to the media upon his arrival in Dili from Sydney Australia, on Friday, Prime Minister Alkatiri said " I will take the President of Partido Democrático (PD) Fernando Lasama de Araújo to the tribunal in relation to the statements accusing me of receiving bribes from the Australian Government, and because of that I signed the agreement on the exploration of Greater Sunrise in a hurry. The PM said that he would process the case in a Dili court giving the PD President time to provide evidence of his accusation. He added that it is called "defamation," something that a few people oppose becoming a criminal act in this nation so that they can speak as they please but " I think the President of the Republic will ratify the penal code because there are no reasons not to."

In the meantime, the President of PD, Fernando Lasama confirmed by telephone that as a citizen he must obey the laws therefore " if the Prime Minister wants to take the case to the court, I'm prepared to respond," adding that the sooner the better.

In relation to the penal code, Prime Minister Alkatiri said that many overseas institutions have requested him not to ratify it but he is of the opinion that they should be concerned with their own country rather than with Timor-Leste. The Minister suggests the ratification of the proposed penal code since punishments are only lighter compared to the Indonesian penal code which calls for longer years imprisonment. "If we don't ratify this penal code then we will continue to use the Indonesian one and the penal code which Sergio de Mello decided upon will not have any power. Therefore PD's President must present the proof to the court.

Suara Timor Lorosa'e reported MP Francisco Branco (Fretilin) as saying that he does not believe that Prime Minister Alkatiri received any bribery in relation to the negotiations of the Greater Sunrise. "I believe Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri did not receive any bribe as leader of Fretilin," noting that his party never received any bribe from anywhere and this has been proved during the 24 years struggle. Branco said that if there are facts involving bribery in the negotiations of the Greater Sunrise, it should be proven rather than left up to speculation. He added that Fernando Lasama is creating political speculation as a way to win people over now that the elections 2007 are nearing, adding that people will make their voting decision on the political party that they see as defending the truth. (TP, DN, STL)

Joint Team Re-Examine The Scene of Border Shooting

Diario Noticia and Timor Post newspapers reported on Saturday that a team composed of Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro, UN Representative in Timor-Leste Sukehiro Hasegawa, PNTL commander Paulo Martins, Indonesian Ambassador TL Bey Sofwan travelled to the scene of the shootings on Friday to determine exactly what had happened, according to the two dailies, the four police officers re-enacted the event that led to the shooting of three former militia members. Timor Post reported Nelson Santos, the Secretary General of Foreign Ministry, as saying that the TL government is ready to start a joint investigation in order to find the truth but Indonesia has not yet replied when they want to commence with the investigation. Meanwhile ASDT has appealed for the establishment of a joint team to investigate the incident at the border in "Malibaka" because following this incident there has been lots of misinformation, leaving the population confused. (TP, DN)

NP Cannot Ratify Without Pipeline Agreement

Christopher Henry, Director of LABEH NGO, said if Woodside Oil company has not given any signs of bringing the gas pipeline to Timor-Leste, the National Parliament should refrain from ratifying the Greater Sunrise agreement. Henry said the organization is not concerned with the signing of the agreement, as it has to be ratified by the National Parliament, but most important is that the gas pipeline comes to Timor as it would provide a new generation with employment and reduce poverty in Timor-Leste. On Monday edition, Timor reported Prime Minister Alkatiri as saying that the opposition parties like PD, PSD and ASDT can start preparing to vote against the Greater Sunrise agreement because he is certain that the majority of the seats in the Parliament will vote in favour of the agreement. (TP)

Jose Luis Guterres: "T-L is ready to explain the border shooting to UN" & MPs express support on the Extension of UN Mission in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste Ambassador to UN, Jose Luis Guterres said," T-L will be transparent on the explanation of the shooting of the three Indonesians in the border, reported STL. According to Ambassador Guterres, the incident that relates to security and bilateral ties between T-L and Indonesia has come to the attention of UN Representatives in Timor-Leste. He added, "There is probability of the inclusion of the incident in the UNOTIL report that will be presented during the UN Security Council meeting on January 23," where UNOTIL mission will also be discussed. It was noted that it was not the intention of T-L to deteriorate the bilateral ties with Indonesia. STL also quoted Members of the National Parliament from Fretilin and PD of expressing their support to further the mission of the UN in Timor-Leste due to additional assistance required by Timor-Leste in technical areas, particularly in the administration, finance, judicial sectors as well as capacity building of PNTL and Armed Forces, F-FDTL. (STL)

Former Militia presence in West Timor causes concern in the border

Member of the National Parliament from ASDT, Feliciano Fatima Alves, told the media on Friday, Jan 13 that "the best solution will be to remove former militia members to the other provinces of Indonesia from West Timor, otherwise, the border of T-L and Indonesia will always be fragile." A separate headline by STL reported that two Timorese students, Lino Ximenes and Egidio Thomas Goncalves were beaten by Indonesian Timorese born in Yogya in relation with the death of three former militia members who were shot by BPU on January 06 in Malibaka River. (STL)

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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