Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 25 April 2008


(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)

Salsinha promises to submit himself within April – Diario Nacional

The Deputy Commander of the Joint Operation Command Mateus Fernandes said that Salsinha and his members have promised to submit themselves within this month even though the operation is still continuing. "He did not nominate an exact date, but he did promise that in short time he will submit himself to the church. That is what he said … we will see the reality,” said Commander FFernandes on Wednesday (23/4) in Dili.

Ed: Pardon for Rogerio Lobato– Diario Nacional

When President Ramos-Horta said that he would pardon prisoners on 20 May, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato, many people were surprised as Mr. Lobato was imprisoned for a short time before he went to Malaysia for medical treatment.

We know that Mr. Lobato is a political leader who has political maturity, obeys the law and with humility accepted the decision of the court sentence. We may reject the decision of President Ramos-Horta, but the Constitution gives him the right to do so. As citizens of this country, we should bow our heads to the constitution made by our representatives in the National Parliament.

Pardon for Rogerio: Horta attacks the Constitution – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

CNRT MP Aderito Hugo said that the decision made by the president to pardon Rogerio Lobato is an attack on Timor Leste's constitution. "The way that the President has handled this is an attempted attack on our constitution," said Aderito Hugo on Thursday (24/4) at the National Parliament.

Mr Hugo added that the man imprisoned for his part in the weapons distribution of 2006, Rogerio Lobato, has not yet earned the right to be pardoned. Separately, National Director of Prison, Helena Gomes said that it is right for President Ramos Horta to pardon Rogerio Lobato as he had shown a good attitude and had collaborated with the justice system before receiving a medical treatment in Malaysia.

PR holds a meeting with AMP leaders – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmăo said that PR Ramos-Horta held a meeting with the leaders of AMP Government on Thursday (24/4) at the President's new office in Farol, Dili. The meeting aimed at informing the President on the strategies already implemented by the AMP government during his absence. President Ramos Horta also suggested the all political parties work to strengthen national unity.

Carrascalao: it is normal to form a shadow cabinet – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

MP PSD Mario Viegas Carrascalăo said that its normal if the President invites all former leaders to from a shadow cabinet in the manner of other countries. He added that a shadow cabinet has the right to provide constructive criticism to the Government.

PGR Longuinhos goes to Indonesia to bring back captured rebels – Timor Post

Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro is today (25/4) going to Jakarta to bring back the three rebels arrested by the National Police of Indonesia (POLRI). Prosecutor Longuinhos said that the rebels will be brought back to Timor-Leste before the Prime Minister's visit to Indonesia. He also said that he would be accompanied by court police and the military. The rebels will be transferred from Jakarta to Bali, then to Timor-Leste.

PR Horta interrogated by Public Ministry for more than four hours –“ Televisăo Timor-Leste

The Public Ministry has interrogated President Ramos-Horta as a victim of February 11 for more than four hours. Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said that the interrogation was conducted well and helped clarify the investigation. "Everything went normally. He provided a chronology of events for February 11," said Mr. Longuinhos on Thursday (24/4). Mr. Longuinhos said that the case is very complex, so it needs cooperation from every part, including from Indonesia and Australia.

Pardon for Rogerio may impact the judgment of 2006 crisis – Timor Post

The Director of HAK Association Jose Luis Oliveira said that the decision of President Ramos-Horta to pardon Rogerio Lobato will impact the process for the unresolved cases of the 2006 crisis. "Because some people have still not been investigated, if the President has decided to pardon Rogerio Lobato this indicates that other cases of 2006 crisis may be closed. The suspects will think this whether they are right or wrong,” said Mr. Oliveira. According to Mr. Oliveira, Rogerio Lobato should at least fulfil his sentence in the prison for half a year. He added that the decision of the President sets a bad example for society.

Ed: all political parties should have dialogue – Timor Post

On Wednesday (23/4), President Ramos-Horta appealed to all political parties to have a dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in the country.

It is clear that there should be a dialogue, especially between the AMP Government and the opposition party of Fretilin.

We can all see that AMP is facing great challenges by Fretilin who won the2007 elections but lost the opportunity to rule the country.

Fretilin used to claim that the AMP is illegal based on the results of the 2007 elections. At the same time, AMP used to say that they were legal based on the parliamentary chairs they had and the decision of President Horta to form the government.

So who follows who?

We need collaboration and reconciliation from the highest levels. We do not need early elections as proposed by Fretilin

We are still questioning whether the dialogue is for collaboration and reconciliation or to decide on early elections?


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