Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 19 July 2006


Daily Media Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

National Media Reports

Australia Prime Minister’s Visit To TL

The Australian Prime Minister on Tuesday paid a 6 hour visit to Timor-Leste where he was welcomed by his Timorese counterpart José Ramos-Horta at the airport. Prime Minister Howard then visited the troops stationed at Dili Port where there were a small friction or discrimination as claimed by STL, between the media and the forces for not allowing some journalists into the port upsetting some national and international reporters. In relation to the incident an Australian police said only journalists part of the Prime Minister’s delegation from the airport were allowed in as part of security measures. Prime Minister Howard then proceed to meet Minister Ramos-Horta. The meeting lasted around 1 hour. He then proceeded to meet President Xanana Gusmão Speaking to the media following the meeting President Gusmão said they discussed the current situation of Timor-Leste, the presence of the Australian troops and their role and the steps the country is taking to overcome the current crisis. Mr. Howard then proceeded to UNOTIL to meet DSRSG Anis Bajwa and some members of the UN. Mr. Howard had lunch with the troops in Caicoli before return to Australia at around 15hrs local time.

Diario Nacional reported that President Gusmão was happy following the visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard saying it was a visit of solidarity and friendship and they discussed the current situation and what is required to further assist the presence of the international troops effectively. The President refused to comment on allegations that some Australian sectors were responsible for the fall of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri saying “We Timorese are conscious of our own situation”. According to this daily, upon his arrival at Dili airport, where he was welcomed by his Timorese counterpart John Howard guaranteed that Timor-Leste can continue to count on the support and friendship of Australia. In the meantime Brigadier General Mick Slater said the situation in Dili is getting better thanks to the joint efforts between the international forces on the ground. On the visit of the Australian Prime Minister, Mick Slater said it was an important occasion as it would boost the troops’ morale. (TP, DN)

Opposition Parties Present Electoral Law Project

The opposition parties, PSD, PD, ASDT and other small parties presented an electoral law project to the National Parliament on Tuesday (18/7) and according to Maria Paixão (PSD) the aim of the document is to establish a law favourable to the majority bench as well as small parties. Paixão said according to her in the past year the majority of the party in the Parliament have been doing everything even though certain things are not correct. MP Rui Menezes (PD) said the project law would establish a law with quality to secure a democratic election and guarantee liberty for all citizens and guarantee political and democratic legitimacy nationally and internationally. He said the document is not a competition with document already presented by the majority bench hoping the two documents can be joined to produce an electoral law with quality. (TP)

World Bank Prepared To Continue Support For New Government

The World Bank is prepared to coordinate with donors on their contribution for the second government of Timor-Leste, Acting Country Manager, Laura Bailey told Timor Post on Tuesday (18/7). The World Bank is prepared to continue to support the new government due to the difficulties the population is currently facing and which requires time to overcome the problems. Bailey said she is happy with the new government because it has plans for many changes. The bank will continue to support the National Parliament, civil society and the President’s office. She hopes the government would call the donors included the World Bank to sit together to discuss and listen to the needs of Timor-Leste current government, adding all the donors countries are willing to contribute to the government. (TP)

Summary of RTTL news 18-07-06

Australian PM, John Howard visits Timor Leste

Australian PM, Howard visited Timor Leste for six hours. During his visit in Timor Leste Mr. Howard met with Timorese PM, Ramos Horta, President Xanana Gusmão and also head of UNOTIL. President Xanana Gusmão after his meeting with Australian PM, speaking to journalist, said that the main aim of PM Howard visit to Timor Leste is see the actual situation in Timor Leste. President Xanana thanked Howard for sending his military to Timor Leste when Timor Leste was in political crises. President Xanana also said the Timorese must be proactive to overcome the crises. Xanana also added that during their meeting Xanana also mentioned how to re-integrate the IDPs to the community. The senior marathon athlete, Agida Amaral also present in President Office to thank to Australian PM who have help funding for his organization.

GNR contingent (Guarda Nacional Republicana) commemorate 10th anniversary of CPLP in Dili.

The GNR contingent that was on duty in Dili on 17 July commemorated the 10th anniversary of CPLP in Dili. The ceremony was attended by the Special envoy of European Commission, Miguel Amado, the Portuguese Ambassador to Timor Leste, Vice Minister for Foreign Minister, Adalgisa Magno and other representatives of CPLP in Timor Leste.


International News

First Australian troops leave East Timor

The first Australian troops have started packing up in East Timor as security in the nation continues to improve. The navy transport ship Kanimbla set sail today with about 250 troops on board. In the next few days four of Australia's eight Black Hawk helicopters will also leave, but there will still be more than 2,000 Australian troops and police on the ground in Dili and many are expected to stay until next year.

The commander of Australian troops in East Timor, Brig Michael Slater, says that within two weeks police will take full control of security patrols in the country, instead of soldiers. (Radio Australia)

Portuguese-speaking countries back new East Timor government

19 July ­ Xinhua

Heads of state and government from the world's Portuguese-speaking nations on Tuesday reiterated their support for the new East Timor government and called for dialogue among rival parties in the southeast Asian country to find a solution to the current crisis. The eight-nation Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), meeting in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau, said it backed a call for a new UN mission "with political, military and civil components" to help quell the simmering violence in East Timor. Participants also said that the bloc had decided to send a ministerial mission to East Timor in the near future to evaluate what aid was needed for the country to survive the current crisis and develop into a democratic nation. East Timor became a fully-fledged state in 2002 after a transitional period of UN administration. It has suffered weeks of turmoil which has killed at least 20 people and displaced 100,000. UN special envoy Ian Martin last month recommended the return of UN peacekeeping forces, a year after they had been withdrawn. The CPLP, founded in 1996, groups Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe. (Xinhua)

Howard arrives for talks with Ramos Horta

From correspondents in Dili July 18, 2006

PRIME Minister John Howard has arrived in Dili for a whirlwind visit to East Timor.

Accompanied by Defence Force chief Angus Houston, Mr Howard was greeted by Timorese Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta and a pack of local media. Mr Howard will hold separate meetings with Mr Ramos Horta and President Xanana Gusmao. He will also meet some of Australia's 1300 soldiers serving as part of a 2600 international peacekeeping force in the fledgling nation. Mr Howard said earlier he wanted to throw Australian support behind the new prime minister. "I want to talk to him in his next capacity. I know him well from earlier meetings and earlier responsibilities but I want to talk to him as the newly installed prime minister," he said on ABC radio.

Mr Ramos Horta was sworn in as prime minister of the troubled nation last week after months of violence in the capital Dili. He has asked for Australian troops, who were sent there to quell the violence, to stay until the end of 2007. Mr Howard has so far refused to outline either the number of troops or a timeline for withdrawal of Australian forces. "I'm not going to hazard a prediction in either department except to say they will be needed for some time, not as in large numbers as are there now," Mr Howard said. "I see it necessary for international forces to remain in East Timor for some time, not in the same numbers as are there now. "It will be some time before it would be prudent for all of them to go."

Mr Howard said if there was a UN peacekeeping force, the question of who would lead it would be answered by the UN. "However, we're running ahead of ourselves," he said. "At the moment we have an international force, the bulk of which is comprised by Australians and we'll deal with those matters in the future." (The Australian)

Australian PM visits East Timor 18 July 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has paid a one-day visit to East Timor, where his country's soldiers are deployed on a peacekeeping mission.

Mr Howard held talks with the new prime minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, and met Australian troops in the capital, Dili. He told reporters that Australia would not withdraw peacekeepers prematurely. But he warned that the troops could not remain indefinitely, and said it was up to the East Timorese to solve their country's problems. Mr Howard held separate meetings with Mr Ramos-Horta and President Xanana Gusmao, and afterwards said that while Australian troops would continue to provide security, the deployment could be scaled back. "It's important that the impression not be given that we are here indefinitely and that therefore it doesn't really matter what happens within the political processes of the country," Mr Howard said. "I have made the point to both Dr Ramos-Horta and to the president that the future of East Timor is in the hands of the East Timorese. It is not in Australian hands," Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

'Profound crisis'

Australian troops form the bulk of a peacekeeping contingent sent to East Timor in May to help end weeks of gang violence in which at least 21 people died. The unrest led to the resignation of the former prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, whose decision to sack 600 soldiers sparked the violence. On Friday, Mr Ramos-Horta's new Cabinet was sworn in. President Xanana Gusmao said he hoped the ceremony "closed a cycle of profound crisis" that had threatened the nation. After meeting Mr Howard, Mr Gusmao warned that a "difficult process of searching for reconciliation" lay ahead for the newly-independent nation. "We hope that Australia will continue to help us because we haven't solved our crisis yet," the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying. (BBC News)

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

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