Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 10 May 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 10 May 2006

National Media Reports

UN will send Police: Ramos Horta + Population wants UN to extend mandate

Speaking to the media after returning from New York, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Ramos-Horta said that if the situation in Timor-Leste does not improve, the UN would send police to maintain security. “In my speech at UN Security Council I asked the UN to stay in Timor-Leste and, especially, to send a police force to maintain security for the general elections in 2007” Horta said. He added that the mission of UNOTIL, which is scheduled to close on 20 May, will be extended for one month until 20 June. After 20 May, the Security Council will decide what type of mission will replace UNOTIL.

In response to the incident in Ermera, Horta said that incidents have occurred several times among martial arts groups and a few people have been killed. Confusion has been created over the petitioners’ case and these groups have used this opportunity to act. “The Ermera youth have no right to inquire about the number of deaths that occurred as a result of the incidents on 28 April because the commission which has been established will investigate the petitioners’ case so we just have to wait for the final result,” Horta said.

In a separate article, Timor Post reported that the population wants the UN to extend its mandate due to the current situation. Comoro resident Francisco de Jesus told the media that looking at the current situation, it’s clear that the people of Timor-Leste still need a UN presence. “Even while the UN is still here, there are riots everywhere. It will be worse if the UN leaves this country” De Jesus said. (STL, TP)

Police Showing Good Example: Alkatiri

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri reportedly said the death of a police officer by a crowd of people in Gleno, Ermera District is a good example of how police sacrifice their lives for the sake of security. Speaking during a press conference in Dili on Tuesday, Alkatiri emphasized that the incident of Gleno, must not be repeated and violence is not the path for individuals to achieve their objective, noting that the problem that occurred in that District was not created by the petitioners but by some people using the petitioners’ case to create new problems.

Prime Minister Alkatiri, Secretary-of-State for the Council of Ministers Gregorio Sousa and PNTL Commissioner Paulo Martins attended the requiem mass for deceased police officer Palmiro da Costa Laserda. According to STL, some youths started shouting “militia, traitors, liars” as the body of Laserda was moved to the morgue lounge room for Prime Minister and PNTL Commissioner to view. The youths became upset when police stopped one youth from entering the room. They started making loud noises and a woman demanded to know why the people from the East are being killed and injured when the East does not govern the nation and therefore there should be no ill feelings against them. The youths also shouted, demanding PNTL Commissioner and his Vice Commander, Ismael Babo, take responsibility for the death of the UIR officer. As the situation became a little agitated, Alkatiri, De Sousa and Paulo Martins left the morgue room but were chased to their cars by the youths expressing their sentiments in relation to the stabbing of the police, reported STL Wednesday. The newspaper reported that the youths only wanted to express their feeling and had no plans of hurting anyone.

In a separate article, STL reported that the official local government of Aileu District, Abilio Alves as saying “the population is not thinking of returning to their homes until the government resolves the petitioners’ problem.” Alves reportedly said that some people spent a lot of money hiring cars to transport them to their respective villages and they can not afford to hire again should similar events occur. He added that the population will only feel at peace when the problem is resolved.

Timor Post reported the Director of HAK Association, Jose Luis de Oliveira as saying that the present situation in Timor-Leste which started with claims of discrimination from F-FDTL and the emergence of human rights violations is due to the government’s incapability to resolve the problem. Oliveira said the death of the police officer adds to the number of victims, the result of a small problem, underlining, that the police officer became a victim of the riots because at times the commanders do not take the appropriate effective measures to deal with the situation. He is of the opinion that the Timorese leadership must be honest and resolve the problem with sincerity either politically or legally rather than blame somebody else, reported Timor Post. The Director of HAK Association also said that the weakness of the government is evidenced by their establishment of the Commission to look into the petitioners’ problem without an investigation into those killed and the perpetrators of the killings. .

In a separate article, it is reported that some members of PNTL have questioned the death of their colleagues and asked why the police were disarmed in a crisis situation. According to Timor Post, these police officers want an explanation from the leaders especially PNTL commander Paulo Martins.

Speaking to the media during a press conference on Tuesday, PNTL Commissioner Paulo Martins said the disarmament of the UIR officers was a tactic to enable them to leave the premises as per information received from his Vice-Operational Commander Ismael Babo. Martins said Babo informed him that the crowd had demanded the disarmament of police officers or they would all be killed inside the building. Paulo Martins added that around 90 people are now detained in Gleno police allegedly for their involvement in the riots. The police are still searching for the mastermind behind the crowd that destroyed the Secretary of State’s Office, vehicles and set up roadblocks reported Timor Post. (STL, TP, DN)

PD President and spouse involved in “petitioners’ case”: Alkatiri

Speaking at a media conference at Palacio do Governo yesterday, (Tuesday) Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that the President of Democratic Party (PD), Fernando Araujo “Lasama” and his spouse are involved in the petitioners’ case. “If the PD party is not behind this, then why are the President of PD and his spouse involved?” Alkatiri asked. “In regards to the 28 April incident some people said that 60 people were killed. The PD president Lasama and his spouse claimed that 100 people have been killed. Their objective is to bring down this government because they want to imply that many people were killed,” Alkatiri added. (STL)

Population have suffered a lot already: Bishop Basilio

Bishop Diocese Baucau, Mgr Basilio Nasimento told STL reporter that after the F-FDTL petitioners’ demonstration, many people fled to districts to find a safe place. “ People have evacuated because they are scared and they want a peaceful life. Many people have come to Dili to generate income but now they have nothing left,” said the Bishop. (STL)

Regional Media Reports

Canberra Warns Against Travel To Timor Leste

MELBOURNE, May 10 (Bernama) -- The Australian government has renewed its warning to Australians planning to travel to Timor Leste, after a police officer was killed in further violent unrest

.The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says there is a high level of tension and a potential for politically motivated violence in Timor Leste.

"The situation could change quickly and without notice and Australians could be caught up in any violence directed at others," DFAT warns on its website.

"Disturbances could also occur in western districts and provincial centres, including Ermera, Aileu and Liquiça. We advise against any unnecessary travel outside of Dili."

Five people died in rioting that broke out in Dili on April 28.

In further unrest on Monday, one police officer was killed and about 100 people arrested after a stone-throwing mob attacked a government office in a town southwest of Dili. (

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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