|Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 22 June
Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources
Daily Media Review Thursday, 22 June 2006
National Media Reports
UN maintains impartiality in justice
STL reported that the Head of UNOTIL, SRSG Hasegawa at press conference said, “The people of the nation of Timor-Leste are entitled to human and civic rights, and the right to assemble and hold demonstrations.” He said all citizens of Timor-Leste have the right to be protected against accusations that are incorrect and that the United Nations will maintain its impartiality and independence to achieve justice and the truth.
According to STL, reporting on the protest by some youth groups calling for the resignation of PM Alkatiri, SRSG reportedly said that to heal the nation, there must be a sustainable government and development. He said now is the time for justice for all and the time to prepare for free and fair elections. .
STL also reported that SRSG Hasegawa said during the press conference on Wednesday, that the Australian Federal Police felt uneasy in detaining the Vice-President of Fretilin, Rogério Lobato, out of respect for the sovereign state. Hasegawa stressed that unlike 1999, Timor-Leste is a sovereign state and is carrying its responsibilities as a State He said that the nation is a temporarily broken state, not a failed one.
In a separate article, SRSG reportedly said UNOTIL’s mandate had been extended by two months until August 20, 2006 (STL)
“International Police ask Alkatiri to step aside to follow investigation”
Mari Alkatiri has been given a 46-hour deadline, starting today, 22/6 to step aside from his current position as Prime Minister and to follow the investigation process regarding allegations of the distribution of guns to civilians, reported Suara Timor Lorosae (STL). According to the report, citing a reliable source, the accusation is in relation to the distribution of guns to the civilians with the aim to kill his enemies. The International Police gave two days to Alkatiri to step down and wait for the United Nations investigation commission, STL reported. (STL)
Railos and Paulo Martins attend state council meeting
Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) reported that the leader of the ‘death squad’ Vicente da Conceição Rai Los and Commander of PNTL Paulo Martins attended the State Council meeting yesterday at the Palacio das Cinzas. STL further reported that Rai Los' accusations that the former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato and Prime Minister Alkatiri allegedly armed civilians. According to the report, Rai Los accused Prime Minister Alkatiri of ordering his former Minister of Interior to arm civilians. Alkatiri denied all accusations and said that such accusation is "trying to weaken FRETILIN party and the government before the upcoming election," (STL)
International Media Reports
Associated Press WorldStream via NewsEdge Corporation :
DILI, East Timor_A protest leader said Wednesday that the arrest warrant issued for a former interior minister accused of supplying weapons to a hit squad could help ease tensions in East Timor.
The country's top prosecutor on Tuesday issued the arrest warrant for former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato, who resigned on June 1 under pressure over violent unrest that has terrorized the capital.
The indictment accuses Lobato of giving guns to rebel leader Vincente "Railos" da Concecao on at least three occasions in May, according to a U.N. statement. Concecao is the the self-proclaimed chief of a hit squad allegedly commissioned by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to silence his opponents.
Security forces on Wednesday blocked off the street leading to the house where Lobato has been detained, witnesses said.
On Tuesday, more than 300 protesters gathered in front of government headquarters to demand Alkatiri's ouster. Many East Timorese say that Alkatiri's decision to fire 600 disgruntled soldiers in March was to blame for the subsequent clashes and gang warfare that has left at least 30 people dead.
Protest leader Augusto Junior Tridade vowed on Wednesday to keep up the protest until Alkatiri steps down.
"What the justice system is doing to capture Lobato is good news," Tridade said at the protest site on the downtown waterfront.
"It eases the tensions that action is being taken against those responsible for the violence, but we still say Alkatiri must go now," he added.
More protesters were expected to come from outside the capital to join the rally on Wednesday, Tridade said.
The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. office in East Timor for two months on Tuesday and urged all parties in the beleaguered nation to refrain from violence and take part in the democratic process.
A resolution adopted unanimously by the council expressed deep concern at "the volatile security situation" in East Timor and the serious humanitarian repercussions.
After Alkatiri fired 600 of the country's 1,400 soldiers in March, some of the dismissed troops clashed with rival groups in the security forces, and in on incident soldiers gunned down 10 unarmed police officers.
The fighting gave way last month to widespread street violence, and almost 150,000 others fled their homes. The fighting has ebbed since an Australian-led peacekeeping force arrived in the country but most of those who fled remain in camps, scared to return to their houses.
These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office