Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 27 July 2006
Daily Media Review
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review
Thursday, 27 July 2006
National Media Reports
International Forces Detain Alfredo
Today the first page of the main newspapers focus on the detention of Major Alfredo Reinado and his group and the handover of weapons by another group claiming to have been armed by the former Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato. According to the media the international forces detained Alfredo and 21 of his elements after they were caught with weapons in a house in Bairro Pitê in Dili. Military spokesperson James Baker said 9 pistols, 16 magazines and various ammunition were found in the residence. Baker said the troops continue to observe the direction from Brigadier Slater that anyone found with guns in Dili would be detained and investigated, as was the case of Major Alfredo and his elements who are now under the international forces detention.
In the meantime a group called Labadain turned in 2 HK33 to the President of the Republic in his residence who, in turn, handed them over to the Prosecutor General on Wednesday. Labadain allegedly claims the Minister of Interior gave guns to his group in the presence of an official from the Ministry of Interior code named ES, a member of PN (National Parliament) code named JM accompanied by a member of Unidade Intervenção Rapida (UIR) with the initial N. Labadain said after receiving the guns they hurriedly left to Nuntali in Railko area with a total of 32 guns, saying the rest of the guns continue to be in the hands of other members of the group. He further said the weapons had not yet been handed in due to lack of information, adding the rest, 30 can be organized to turn them into the international police following the authorization from a Member of Parliament with the initials JM. Timor Post reported Major James Baker as saying Alfredo and his group were detained as per the orders of international forces commander, Brigadier Slater because they are now considered as illegal military adding if the group still considers itself as part of the military they should remain in the armed forces headquarters and not live among the population. In relation to the detention, Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro said both he and the President of the Republic did not impede in the capture of Alfredo and his elements.
MP Pedro da Costa (PST) said the detention of Alfredo and his group will not put an end to the problems but it is a start to resolve the crisis.
Media and Political Conspiracy: Branco
MP Francisco Branco said as a citizen and politician he is concerned with the reality situation of Timor-Leste which is full of hypocrisy, starting from the media, politicians and the civil society. No one is lifting a finger to point out that something is not right in the country.
Speaking on Wednesday in the plenary session of the National Parliament, about the intervention of the supreme organ on the current situation especially by the Prosecutor General, Branco said “people we classified as criminal, carrying armed assault rifles and, have caused death …()…are free to go to parties, dance, and busily host visitors. But those on the same condition are treated differently. Therefore I see there is big discrimination in terms of justice for the citizens, for those we consider practiced crimes in our nation. That’s why as a politician I’m really concerned. Our society, politicians and the media are not denouncing these things. It shows that we are hypocrites or scared of what? I do not know.” Branco said people should not be scared to speak, as Timor-Leste is a new democratic society with freedom of media and expression. (DN, TP, STL)
President Must Explain Alfredo Arrest: Amaral
Vice-President of the National Parliament, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, said the President must explain in the Parliament why he gave the orders for the international forces to detain Alfredo. MP Pedro da Costa said the measures taken by the international forces have been good in order to identify the guns currently in Timor-Leste and determine the one’s used by PNTL and F-FDTL including those of the reserve units and whether civilians are also using guns including some internationals who might have manipulated the Timorese to enter into a conflict against each other. He said the court must call Alfredo to answer why he had not handed in all the guns as he had claimed adding if he did not hand in the guns with good will it would only show that it was a cosmetic show creating an environment of mistrust within the communities. (DN)
RTTL News Monitoring 27 07 2006
Labadain surrenders weapons to President:
RTTL stated that Labadain, from Railako Ermera District one of civilian people that had guns, on 18/7/06 came to Father Herminio in Aileu District and asked the priest to accompany him to handover the illegal guns that he was received from ex-Minister Interior Rogerio Lobato on 8 of May 06. RTTL stated that the following date on 19/7, Labadain, s accompanied by the priest and two PNTL from Aileu, came to President in Balibar (president house) to handover two guns to President Xanana. The model of the guns was HK33 with 3 magazines. In the handover guns, Labadain stated, the group had received guns from Lobato in his house at Farol-Dili on 8/5/06. The total of guns that they received was 8 guns with 7 sacks of rice. He said that those guns were distributed: 2 guns with him (Labadain), 3 guns with Antonio da Cruz and 3 guns with Du-rae. Labadain also declared to the Prosecutor General and the President that in Ermera District there are 32 guns held by civilians.
Longuinhos Monteiro, General Prosecutor said to RTTL that 6 guns from Ermera have been handed over and 26 guns are still not handed over yet. Longuinhos said that he has the names of the civilians who still hold guns, but he said that he didn’t want to mention each of names.
Maj. Alfredo surrenders guns:
RTTL said that on Tuesday 25/7 Maj. Alfredo handed over 3767 rounds of ammunition and pistols to Australian Forces. Commander of GNR Portugal stated that because the large number of Maj. Alfredo Reinaldo’s people (21) the group needs to live in two houses because a house that provided was small. Longuinhos Monteiro, General Prosecutor told RTTL that Maj. Alfredo and his group must be detained in connection with the guns that he used.
International Media Reports
East Timor seeks support for international police force 27 July 2006 East Timor wants more than 800 international police for up to five years. The East Timor Prime Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, says the police request will be considered by the United Nations Security Council in the next two weeks. Mr Ramos Horta says the UN has to learn from its past mistakes in setting up a new mission for East Timor. Speaking in Kuala Lumpur at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting, Mr Ramos Horta said East Timor wants the international community to stay as long as possible and help to rebuild and train police. Mr Ramos Horta says he has cautioned Australia not to be hasty in withdrawing the forces it deployed in May to restore order. (ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia)
Timor Leste needs at least 5 years before it can join ASEAN: PM
Posted: 27 July 2006 1238 hrs
Timor Leste's new Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, who is in Kuala Lumpur to shore up support for his country's development from ASEAN member countries and their dialogue partners, believes that it would take five or more years before his country can become a full ASEAN member. Timor Leste is currently an observer at ASEAN's meetings. Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the Post Ministerial conference, Mr Ramos-Horta noted that Timor Leste became a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum last year. The country also has strong endorsement from most ASEAN countries to join the ten member grouping. Mr Ramos Horta says embassies will be established in several ASEAN countries shortly. Turning to the security situation in his country, Mr Ramos Horta says he has requested for an international police force of over 800 from the United Nations Security Council as well as peacekeeping forces. He said: "There is a consensus in the Security Council to authorise a deployment of a strong police force including many civilian advisors for a wide range of sectors. There is no agreement yet in the security council with regards peace keeping." The ASEAN Regional Forum will take place on Friday and the Timor Leste situation is expected to be one of the topics of discussion on the table. (Channel News Asia)
East Timor Rebels Arrested
By Phil Mercer
Sydney 26 July 2006 Australian peacekeepers in East Timor have arrested a leader of rebel troops for illegal weapons possession, following the expiration of a gun amnesty. Alfredo Reinado, a former army major, headed a group that includes renegade soldiers whose dismissal from the army in March sparked unrest in East Timor.
Australian soldiers detained Alfredo Reinado and 21 of his supporters in the East Timorese capital, Dili, on Tuesday night, a day after the expiration of a gun amnesty designed to contain recent violence. Australian army Brigadier Gus Gilmore confirmed the arrest to reporters in Canberra Wednesday. "Major Reinado and the 21 that he was apprehended with were apprehended in accordance with the status of forces agreement," he said. Gilmore also said unauthorized handguns and ammunition were confiscated. He said the rebels now will be dealt with by the East Timorese authorities. Canberra is leading an international force of 2500 troops, which also includes troops from Malaysia, New Zealand and Portugal. It was deployed in May to restore peace after fighting broke out between rival factions of the East Timorese military. The troubled flared when former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri dismissed 600 soldiers who had gone on strike complaining of discrimination. Violence between rebel soldiers and government forces escalated into a complete collapse of law and order and eventually forced the resignation of Mr. Alkatiri. Fighting between rival ethnic and regional gangs left more than 20 people dead and forced tens of thousands of terrified residents in Dili to flee their homes. The arrest indicates that the government of new Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta is slowly reclaiming control of the troubled country. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Wednesday that Australia expects to significantly reduce its troop level in East Timor - now at 1300 - by the end of the year. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said he hopes a U.N. force will eventually take over the peacekeeping operation in East Timor. Australia has yet to decide whether to deploy policemen under a U.N. mandate in East Timor. (Voice of America)
Richmond RAAF nurse talks Timor Eamon Hamilton
Wednesday, 26 July 2006
THIS week marks two months since Australian troops were sent to East Timor to quell tensions within the military. Flying Officer Tess Wyllie of Richmond RAAF Base is there as a nursing officer with the Australian Military Hospital in Dili. Her 12-hour shifts with the hospital can include preparing patients for evacuation out of Dili by air, and treating injured Australian troops. Medical personnel from Richmond RAAF Base have been some of the busiest troops in the Australian Defence Force, deployed to disasters zones in Pakistan, Aceh, and the Solomon Islands. "I finished Officer Training in June of last year, so unfortunately was not involved with Bali or Sumatra," FLGOFF Wyllie said. "I was, however, in the Solomons for a week a few months back with the task of working in an Evacuation Handling Centre."  No sooner was she back from the Solomon Islands, than she was called up to go to Darwin and prepare for duty in East Timor. It meant packing medical equipment as well as being briefed on issues such as the laws of armed conflict and East Timorese culture. That included getting a basic grasp of Tetum, the local language of the Timorese. "The contractors here are very friendly and try to practise their English with us, much to our dismay because we want to practice our Tetum," she said. "There are many reports of interesting conversations in a halting mixture of English and Tetum; for example, one of the guys here accidentally managed to buy a goat from a group of children." (Hawkesbury Gazette)
‘UN can help when they know what they want’
BY TILAK P. POKHAREL KATHMANDU, July 26 Ian Martin, head of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal said the UN can assist in Nepal's peace process only if the government and the Maoists are "absolutely" clear on what assistance they need and want to seek from the world body. In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, the second day after his return from a special UN assignment in politically unstable Timor- Leste (East Timor), Martin said the high-level assessment team arriving here on Thursday would seek clarification on this aspect. "UN can only be [of] assistance if it's absolutely clear of what it has been asked to do and has to rest on a common understanding between the government and Maoists," Martin said, adding, "in relation to what's going to happen in relation to management of arms and armies, constituent assembly elections before the UN can define the role that it can offer to play."
When asked what kind of assurances and clarifications this mission would seek from both the sides, Martin said, "I think discussion about the mission should happen when the mission is here." He also said Maoist Chairman Prachanda's letter to the Secretary-General objecting to the government's letter sent early this month, wouldn't affect the agenda of the high-level mission. Martin is also the Senior Advisor to the mission to be led by senior UN diplomat Staffan De Mistura. The OHCHR head in Nepal added that even when there is a full UN presence here it won't have enforcing authority. "The UN doesn't have enforcement authority, except in very limited cases, usually where the Security Council acts under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter," he said. "Nobody is talking about that in the case of Nepal." The UN Security Council hasn't yet taken up Nepal's case. He also said OHCHR has recommended that the government review the Army Act so as to ensure that "members of security forces who have committed serious human rights violations are brought before civilian courts in accordance with international standards". "Review of the army act will open up civilian jurisdiction… than just cases of murder and rape outside military operations." The Cabinet decision on Monday made necessary changes in the act to this effect.
At the end, he made it absolutely clear that he is not leaving Nepal before his two-year tenure expires in May 2007, except going to New York in August in connection with Timor-Leste. "I promise that I will only go to New York with a return ticket," he said. "But otherwise, I am 100 percent devoted to Nepal." He also said that OHCHR has recommended the government to review the Army Act so as to ensure that "members of the security forces who have committed serious human rights violations are brought before civilian courts in accordance with international standards". "Review of the army act will open up civilian jurisdiction… widely than just cases of murder and rape outside military operations." The Cabinet decision yesterday made necessary changes in the act to this effect.
‘Disappointed over inaction on Bhairavnath abuses’
"I am disappointed to come back after two months and find that there is not yet an effective investigation, into all disappearances, not just the Bhairavnath cases," he said, referring to no action taken by the government over an OHCHR report made public in May that accused the army of disappearing at least 49 persons from Bhairavnath Battalion. He also objected to an army probe into it saying, "These cases are too serious to be investigated within the army or by the Home Ministry… There needs to be a much more independent and serious form of investigation, and we [OHCHR] must act responsibly in relation to the families who have given us information." (Kantipur Online, Nepal)
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