Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 17 June - 19 June 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Saturday, 17 June, Monday 19 June 2006

National Media Reports

Majors Alfredo and Salsinha Hands Over Weapons

Groups affiliated with Major Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners handed over their weapons to the intervention forces on Friday in Maubisse and Gleno. “I understand that the President of the Republic has already had negotiations with these groups to turn over their guns and we have been working in the past week to gain the confidence of these groups,” Slater reportedly told the media Friday. According to Timor Post, the Commander of the intervention forces said that the weapons would be handed over within the next week following negotiations between the groups and President Gusmão. He stressed that the forces will guarantee their security. “Australian forces will remain in Maubisse, Aileu and Gleno-Ermera, to provide security,” Mick Slater said.

In a separate article, Major Alfredo Reinado said he is obeying orders of the nation by handing in the guns as a step to normalize the situation but the process needs the cooperation of all parties involved. Asked about the sound of shots still being heard in Dili, Alfredo says he is not to blame and the questions should be put to some of the leaders. (TP)

Suara Timor Lorosae, reported Minister of Defence Ramos-Horta as appealing to Rai Los group to hand in their guns to the international forces, adding Alfredo and his group have shown good collaboration with the President and responsibility by doing so. Ramos-Horta added that he has also requested others such as Tara and Major Marcus to hand in their weapons.

Speaking on the visit to President’s Gusmão’s visit to Indonesia to meet with President Susilo Yudhoyono, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence said that the purpose of the meeting was to explain the security situation in Timor-Leste and ask Indonesia to support the UN mission in Timor-Leste. (STL)

International Forces Detains 140 People

The intervention forces have detained about 140 people suspecting of burning and destroying properties in Dili, reported Timor Post Saturday, quoting Australian Brigadier Mick Slater. Slater reportedly said some of the people are now in Becora prison but some have been released awaiting their hearing in a court. He has appealed to members of the communities to collaborate with them to improve the security situation and provide evidence to fully achieve justice He also said the forces will continue to detain all those people still committing violence like burning and destroying houses. According to Timor Post, on Thursday, (15/6) a group burned the houses of Reverend Francisco Vasconcelos and his family in Fatumeta as well as vandalized an orphanage. According to TP, there were no casualties because the owners were not in the house. The Reverend reportedly said, “ I’m really sad because the international forces are already here, especially the Australians, in high numbers and still there’s not enough security,” adding that it will take time for the situation to settle down. So far the international forces have confiscated a total of 1000 weapons including light weapons. (TP)

Dialogue Must Respect Law and Constitution: Alkatiri

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri reportedly said he fully supports the initiative of the President of the Republic to hold a national dialogue based on the rules and Constitution of Timor-Leste. Alkatiri said the dialogue in relation to the conflict between F-FDTL and PNTL continues to have the support of the Government as long as the rules are observed, noting those F-FDTL that left the headquarters to go the Districts in possession of guns, must first resolve the problem with F-FDTL, before engaging in politics. He noted that for the dialogue to be a success, the Constitution and laws must be respected. The PM said added that respect for the democratic life is also necessary as well as defense of national unity which means the language ‘east and west’ must be dismissed, TP reported on Saturday. On the international investigation team, Alkatiri said he personally requested it, noting that the team would determine who is speaking the truth, who has been launching rumors and who is using propaganda to bring him and his party down. “ I personally asked for an international investigation to investigate who has been distributing guns, and who has been killing the people. Some people are saying the team has been requested by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President but it’s clearly I who has requested it. They will not investigate me but rather the whole situation. Some are saying the team will investigate the Prime Minister, but it is not me that have guns to kill the people. The situation must be investigated to determine the responsibility of each persons,” Prime Minister Alkatiri reportedly said. (TP)

Ministry of Health Holds Extraordinary Meeting

The Ministry of Health held an extraordinary meeting last Thursday (15/6) to look into the work of the last six months and how to respond to the present demands. Minister of Health, Rui Araujo reportedly said, one of the problems raised by the participants is the current state of the crisis situation which includes poor communications with the Districts hospital and health centers citing as an example that the delegate from Oecussi was not able to participate in the conference due to the absence of transport which, in turn, affects the logistics such as the delivery of medicines and fuel to areas outside Dili. Araújo stressed that doctors, nurses and midwives continue to carry on their profession with the aid of the Cuban doctors in the districts but those who are fearful of the whole situation have quit their jobs. In terms of medicine stocks, the Health Minister said the Government has enough to attend to population’s demand for up to one year.

Fretilin’s Delegation Meets Bishop Ricardo

On Saturday, a Fretilin delegation headed by Estanislao da Silva and Vice-Secretary General Jose Reis, MP Francisco Branco, CCF member Francisco Bianco and OPMT coordinator Merita Alves met with the Bishop of Dili Diocese, Dom Alberto Ricardo Silva, reported Suara Timor Lorosae According to STL, the meeting was to inform Bishop Ricardo Silva about the outcome of Fretilin’s congress last May. “The meeting was based on our promise that when the congress was finalized, we would present the results to the leaders of the church,” said, Da Silva, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries who was also the President of the table during the congress. According to Da Silva, the initiative is to establish good ties with the Church, and pledge that the party will continue to meet with leaders of the Church as part of their program. He added that they would also meet leaders of the opposition parties in the short term. Speaking to the media following the meeting, Bishop Ricardo da Silva said the Catholic Church’s door is open to everybody who wants to cooperate, wants the best for the Timorese people, loves Timor and its people and who want to try and find a solution. “ I told them today (Fretilin’s delegation) that we must recognize our limitations, we must put together out intellectual capacity and creative initiatives to better the lives of the population,” said the Bishop Da Silva. He appealed to Fretilin to recognize their mistake to improve the independence administration of the nation, as many things are not working, reported STL on Monday. (STL)

Funeral for victms of May 25

Tomas Alfredo de Araújo, one of the victims of May 25 shooting was buried on Sunday (18/6) in Gleno, STL reported on Monday. The funeral was held with a gunfire salute followed by a mass lead by Fr. Adriano Ola-Duli. Police Commissioner, Paulo Martins and a few members of Unidade Intervenção Rapida (UIR) attended the Funeral. Eduardo Barreto said after the funeral that Tomas Alfredo was one of the bravest men who would never stop defending the Timorese population, adding he should be respected as a hero.

International Media Reports

No Peace In Timor Leste Yet

From Azeman Ariffin

DILI, June 18 (Bernama) -- Peace has not returned to Timor Leste yet even after rebel soldiers led by Major Alfredo Reinado laid down arms on Thursday.

The 130,000 people who fled their homes in fear when street violence erupted last month were still refusing to go home.

Last night, the international peacekeeping troops found more than 300 rounds of ammunition and several M-16 magazines hidden in a house in Don Bosco district here.

According to Commander of the Malaysian peacekeeping troops, Colonel Ismet Nayan Ismail, the house belongs to a member of the rebel group.

"He escaped before the international troops arrived. The peacekeepers went there after receiving a public tip-off," he said.

Ismet said the international troops also detected unwelcome infiltration of Timor Leste from the sea.

However, he said, it could not be immediately determined if the infiltrators were from the rebel group or gangsters out to take advantage of the chaos in the country.

"Undesired activities are still happening ... security is being tightened around Dili, so the infiltrators are using the sea," he said.

He added that he had information that a mass demonstration would be staged in Dili in the next few days, probably by the opposition parties demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.


ABC Australia: More state police bound for E Timor

A new contingent of Victorian and Tasmanian police are being sent to East Timor. Victorian Assistant Commissioner Bob Hastings says 22 officers from the state will spend 100 days in the troubled country.

He says most of the officers have served in East Timor before, as part of the former UN peacekeeping mission.

"They bring with them a wealth of experience and exposure in that environment," he said. "But really, their main purpose there will be, like they do here, working with the community, working with other agencies in providing a safe and secure environment."

A party of Tasmanian police officers left Hobart this morning also bound for East Timor. First they will go to Canberra for briefings and further training before leaving for Dili on Thursday.

Sergeant Robert Batge says, while there will be obvious dangers, it was an easy decision to return to the country.

"[We] officially found out last Wednesday and we were given an opportunity back in 2001 to serve internationally and I guess it's a matter of putting back something that we took the first time," he said. Australian military authorities are investigating an email sent from a soldier in East Timor that reveals details of the peacekeeping operation.

An artillery officer who called himself "Gilly from Timor" sent the email to friends, using a Defence email account.

It has since been widely circulated in the Defence community.

It is understood to contain details of his platoon's work in the United Nations multi-national force in East Timor, and criticises defence colleagues, UN officials and Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) officers.

A spokesman for the Defence department says it is a private email that expresses an individual view, but the department is looking at the email trail to see where the information has been sent.

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

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