Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 09 March 2006

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Thursday, 09 March 2006

National Media Reports

International Women's Day Comments

SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa has recommended that Timorese women nominate themselves for President of the Republic, as many women possess the necessary intellectual capacity. Speaking on International Women's Day yesterday in a ceremony held for the occasion at the Memorial Hall in Farol, Hasegawa relayed the UN Secretary General's message that the theme for this year's Women's Day is "Increasing Women's Decision-Making Capacity". He said that this is essential for the advancement of all women, as well as humanity's progress in general. "Full participation of women, including participation in decision making and access to power are fundamental to the development of equality and peace", stated Hasegawa.

Also speaking on the occasion of Women's Day 2006, Head of the Women's Network Maria Olandina Cairo said that many women are victims of prostitution through no fault of their own, as they are being sold for the benefit of others. She said that it is therefore necessary for the state to create mechanisms to deal with such people, and that it is also the responsibility of the state to create the conditions whereby all citizens, including women, can participate in all sectors.

Meanwhile, PSD MP Fernando Gusmao confirmed his party's support for the establishment of quotas to increase women's still minimum participation in politics. He said that current female MP's in Timor-Leste have demonstrated their political capacity with many of them becoming Heads of Factions, and Presidents and Secretaries of the Commissions. However, according to Gusmao, it is still necessary to bring many other women into the system.

Two women MP's have also conveyed their opinion on International Women's Day. Josefa Soares Pereira and Quiteria da Costa have asked Timorese women's organizations to focus their efforts on women at the grassroots level of society. Pereira told journalists that she feels a little sad that only women in Dili are involved in the commemorations, while women at the district and village level are completely unaware of the significance of the day. UDT MP da Costa expressed her opinion that it would be useful to hold a workshop or seminar at that level and not just in Dili, to enable village women to also be involved. (DN, STL, TP)

Shortage of Fretilin Leadership: Rogerio

Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato has said that Fretilin is currently suffering a shortage of leaders, as many of its leaders died in the war. Speaking to journalists outside the International Women's Day celebrations at the Memorial Hall in Farol yesterday, Lobato explained that these days it is difficult to find leaders of the calibre of party President Lu-Olo or Secretary General Mari Alkatiri. He said that it has now become necessary to begin preparing some of the youth members to take over, but that this would take time. He explained that such preparations are not just in the professional field but that moral integrity and behaviour are also very important. Lobato will not nominate himself for President of the party at the upcoming National Congress, as he said that he still believes in the continuing capabilities of Lu-Olo and Alkatiri. (TP)

Immigration Will Deport NGO Director if Not a Timorese Citizen

Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato has said that the Department of Immigration will deport the Director of the NGO LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson, if it turns out that he is not a Timorese citizen. Lobato said that as far as the Government understands, Samson is a citizen of Angola and not Timor-Leste. For this reason the Government is making efforts to confirm this with the Angolan Government. He stated that the Baptism Certificate that Samson has from the Bobonaro Parish could be a fake. Responding to questions from journalists, Samson said that before investigating him, the government should investigate Minister Ana Pessoa, as during UNTAET it was the Minister herself in her role as Minister of Justice who gave him his registration card and birth certificate. He stated that he is suspicious that there is a game of dirty politics being played regarding his case, and that he is not worried because he has all the relevant documents. Samson claims that his mother is from Bobonaro and his father from Angola. Even though he grew up in Angola, he was born in Timor-Leste. He also claims that Minister Ana Pessoa is his cousin, due to familial relations between his mother and the Minister. (DN)

MPs Speaking Foolishness: Alkatiri

Responding to MP Xavier do Amaral's declaration (ASDT) that as head of state, the Prime Minister should resign if he doesn't want to resolve the problem of F-FDTL, the PM said, " some MPs speak foolishness". Amaral believes that although Alkatiri did not receive copy of the petition from members of F-FDTL, as Prime Minister, he must follow what is happening and try to resolve the problem. MP Isac (Independent) says he disagrees with the Prime Minister's decision as the problem involves hundreds of people and the Prime Minister has the power to make a decision. Isac added that if the Government cannot find a solution to the problem, it could be accused later of incompetence. MP Branco (Fretilin) said the armed forces institution is legally under the competence of the President and the problem should be resolved within F-FDTL structures and it is not a good idea to have interventions from every institution. (STL)

Xanana Has Forgotten Victim's Family

Edio Saldanha, of Human Rights and Justice Association (Yayasan Hak) reportedly said the CAVR report should be made available now in Timor-Leste, since this is the locale of the eyewitness and the victims. Saldanha said that the fact that the report has not yet been published in Timor-Leste, shows that President Gusmao has forgotten and does not value the victims' families by prioritising the publications in other countries. "It is not fair that the report has been distributed to the rest of the world except for Timor-Leste and it's not fair especially to the families of the victims who have given their testimonies,' Edio Saldanha added.

Referring to concerns that many NGOs only criticizes Prime Minister Alkatiri, Timor Post reported that the Director of the Yayasan Hak, Jose Luis Oliveira as saying that NGO's are not frightened to criticize leaders of Timor-Leste including President Gusmao. Oliveira pointed out that many times NGOs have held demonstrations against President Gusmao one of them being his return from Jakarta following his meeting with Wiranto. He added that they have also written the President letters regarding the International Tribunal. The Director of Yayasan Hak said that it is important to know the politics that Xanana is using and any political decision that does not follow the rules and principles of human rights, the NGO must take a stand on and be critical according to facts and ethics. He noted that some politicians makes political critiques without substance and that it is more of a personal critique but he hopes that things will slowly change. (TP, DN)

Regional Media Reports

US backs Ramos-Horta as next UN chief

East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta, says several US senators have backed his possible bid to succeed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan next year. The unnamed senators expressed their support during his visit to Washington and New York last week, Ramos Horta told reporters in Lisbon following talks with his Portuguese counterpart Diogo Freitas do Amaral.

"I was touched by the very enthusiastic support from some friends in the US Senate," he said today, adding he had still not decided whether to seek the position.

"As for the permanent members of the Security Council, I must say that none has declared their support for any candidate," he said.

Last month Freitas do Amaral said Ramos Hortas was on a shortlist of candidates to succeed Annan, who ends his second five-year term as UN head on December 31.

The UN Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly at the recommendation of the 15-nation Security Council.

By tradition the next Secretary-General should hail from Asia, although the rotation principle is not always respected.

The last Asian to hold the post was U Thant of Burma who served from 1961 to 1971.

South Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, a former Ambassador to the UN, said last month he would seek the post.

Among other likely candidates are former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Ramos Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 along with East Timor Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo for their non-violent resistance to Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.

East Timor gained full independence in May 2002, becoming the world's newest nation, after more than two years of UN stewardship.

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

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