Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 18 July 2006
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Tuesday, 18 July 2006
National Media Reports
Portuguese Government Supports Alkatiri’s Lawyers
The Portuguese government is strongly supporting the team of lawyers defending the former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, reported STL Tuesday. According to this daily correspondent’s investigation in Lisbon, the team supported by the government of Portugal is aimed to stopping Mari from being imprisoned on allegations of guns distribution to civilians, adding each lawyer would cost around 1500-2000 euros per interview. Five lawyers would cost around 7000-10,000 euros without including accommodation, transport and other expenses.The cost would not be paid by Fretilin but by the Portuguese government, financing the law firms João Galvão Telles, João Soares and Associates, Jose Antonio Barreiros and Associates. The lawyers defending Alkatiri arrived in Dili on Monday. (STL)
Approval of Budget Depends on Plans
The President of the National Parliament, Francisco Lu’Olo Guterres said the budget will only be approved when the Parliament receives plans from the new government on how to implement it. Guterres said the dismissed government already had a proposed budget to be implemented but he has no idea what the new government budget is like.
In a separate article he said he disagrees with the extraordinary congress as proposed by Grupu Mudansa Fretilin/ Fretilin Group for Change, saying that he was elected in the recent party congress using the voting system of show of hands.
Cristo Rei Residents Complain Against Forces)
A group of Cristo Rei population, which covers the area of Becusi, Becora reportedly said they paid a visit to President Gusmão to present their complaints about the search operation by the intervention forces in Becora. According Ermelinda Pinto, the group’s spokesperson, on 14 July the intervention forces did a search operation on information received about guns, a grenade, pistols and other light weapons hidden in that area. She said they searched the house including inside the grounded maize but did not find anything, but 11 people were detained including her son who had arrived on the same day from the sub-district of Lakloho. They continue under detention and only one person has been released. (STL)
Prosecutor General and Deputy Sworn-in
Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro and his deputy, Ivo Valente were sworn-in on Monday in the Palace of Ashes despite efforts by the majority party MPs to restructure the Republic Prosecutor’s General reported Timor Post. According to this newspaper the efforts indicated the MPs wanted to get rid of the Prosecutor General in relation to the crime accusations involving Fretilin leaders namely Rogério Lobato and Mari Alkatiri. Speaking at the ceremony President Gusmão said the necessity for the courts to function with capacity, liberty and independence is fundamental for the survival of democracy of a sovereign state. President Gusmão stressed no one should be above the law, noting “we have been verifying in the last year, the law is greatly applicable to the common citizen, poor citizen, to the citizen who that lacks knowledge of the laws we produce”. On his part, Longuinhos Monteiro said he would act independently.
On the same occasion, President Gusmão asked the government to reform the PNTL with the aim to develop it into a professional institution, reported STL. The Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris also told the media, the Public Ministry must be supported therefore the restructure of PNTL would be crucial to develop a strong and professional police force to fully support the Public ministry. (STL, TP)
Population is Not Planning To Protest
The spokesperson for the National Forum for Unity and Justice, Eduardo de Deus Barreto, alias Dusae, said the population of Ermera does not have plans to hold a demonstration in Dili to dissolve the Parliament, reported Timor Post. Barreto said they have put their trust and are giving time to the President of the Republic and the new Prime Minister and to other members of the government to carry their work for the nation. They would like the government to pay attention to the people affected by recent crisis. He said they do not want the dissolution of the Parliament out of respect of RDTL Constitution which has been written with the blood and bones and any process must be followed according to law and order. Eduardo Barreto further said there are civilians in Ermera District still in possession of guns and using it to terrorize the population in that area. (TP)
Summary of RTTL news 17-07-06
Swearing-in Ceremony of Prosecutor General
President Xanana Gusmão presided over the swearing-in ceremony of Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro and Vice Prosecutor General, Ivo Jorge Valente for four year terms. . In his speech President Xanana asked the Prosecutor General to change the mentality of civil servant to become servants for all peoples. The President also added that the Prosecutors General must help those problems that people are facing right now.
Meanwhile Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro has asked all peoples to understand the function of prosecutors. Mr. Monteiro also added that in short time the Prosecutor General office will call more people in regarding of the distribution of illegal weapons.
MP Leandro Isac comment on Monteiro’s sworn-in
Speaking to journalists MP Leandro Isaac reportedly said that he believes that Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro will do his task as a professional; he will change the mentality of civil servant to serve peoples of Timor Leste. Meanwhile at the Presidential office there are several people who protest the international forces because the international forces have captured their relativities.
Fretilin reformist makes consolidation party
Vicente Maubossi a member of Fretilin reformist reportedly told journalists that Fretilin as bigger party must follow the law not violate law. Fretilin reformist would like to rebuild the party not destroy it. Meanwhile Railos also was asking a national defender to defend him while he has to go to tribunal to testify about his accusation of Alkatiri. Member of Fretilin reformist, Aderito de Jesus is ready to assist Railos at Tribunal.
Minister of Justice on foreign defenders
Minister of Justice, Domingos Sarmento reportedly told journalists that there will four foreign defenders who already in country to defend Alkatiri. Mr. Sarmento continues that the foreign defenders will cooperate with national defenders.
MP Manuel Tilman on new Fiscal Year
MP Manuel Tilman reportedly told journalist that the new Government must prepare their program and planning to execute the budget. The priority is to return the IDPs to their home not stay at Soccer Stadium.
International Media Reports
Australian Troops Should Stay: Opposition
AUSTRALIAN troops should stay in East Timor at least until the fledgling nation's general election next year, the Opposition said today.
Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd made the call today as Prime Minister John Howard arrived in Dili on a whistle-stop visit to meet Timorese Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta and President Xanana Gusmao.
Mr Ramos Horta has asked that Australian troops stay in their current numbers until the end of this year and at least one battalion until the end of next year.
Mr Howard has so far declined to outline either the number of troops or a timeline for their withdrawal.
Mr Rudd said Australia must not turn its back on its northern neighbour this time.
"Australia must not repeat the mistakes it made before 2006 by withdrawing too early," Mr Rudd said in Brisbane.
"We need to convey a clear-cut message to Prime Minister Horta that we will not be turning our backs on their security needs now."
Mr Rudd said troops should remain in Timor at least until its national elections, due sometime next year.
"I think Australia would have to look long and hard about whether in fact there was a case to withdraw any of its troops, in terms of the size of its commitment, prior to those elections next year," Mr Rudd said.
"But it is very important that we continue to provide the ballast of East Timor security at this very difficult and dangerous time."
Greens leader Bob Brown said Mr Howard should commit to keeping Australian troops in East Timor for as long as they were needed.
The Prime Minister should assure Mr Ramos Horta that Australian troops and police would stay for as long as needed to maintain peace, democracy and stability, he said.
"Mr Howard has said Australian troops are in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and to help Iraq achieve stability and democracy," Senator Brown said.
"Australia's neighbour, East Timor, deserves no less than the same commitment from the Prime Minister."
M'sian Soldiers In Timor Leste To Return In Stages
July 17, 2006 18:10 PM
MELAKA, July 17 (Bernama)
Malaysian soldiers who are on duty in Timor Leste will be recalled in stages, Army Chief Jen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal said. The withdrawal date, however, would be decided by the government later, he said. The soldiers were originally required to be on duty there for three months, that is, up to the end of this month. "If conditions permit, we will withdraw them but it will be in stages," he told reporters after launching the Army Shooting Competition 2006 at Terendak Camp, Sungai Udang, near here. Malaysia had sent 500 soldiers to Timor Leste since May 26, to help restore peace in the country which was facing political conflict since last April, following the expulsion of 600 soldiers by its former Prime Minister Dr Mari Alkatiri. However, the Malaysian soldiers might be retained for a longer time if the situation in that country warranted it, he said. Other countries which sent peacekeeping troops to Timor Leste were Australia, Portugal, and New Zealand. (Bernama)