Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 12 May 2008
[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (firstname.lastname@example.org) have been removed.]
(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)
Horta: it's not time for ISF to return home – Diario Nacional
Regarding the security situation in Timor-Leste, the International Security Forces (ISF) are still needed to provide security for the country.
"I myself see that we still need the presence of ISF to give us security support until our forces can guarantee the security situation of the country," said President JosÃ© Ramos-Horta on Friday (9/5) at a community dialogue held in Fatuhada, Dili.
According to PR Horta, the State has an obligation to guarantee the security of the people and continues to need the presence of the international forces and police in the country.
"As the President, I do say that I am only asking the international forces and police to return [home] when we know that our forces, F-FDTL and PNTL, are 100% well functioning, that dialogue is going well, and violence has ended," said PR Horta.
Horta: Australia's doors opened for TL – Diario Nacional
PR Ramos-Horta said that the Australian Government has recently opened the door for Timorese people to work in Australia as temporary workers.
"For three or four years while I was the Foreign Minister of this country, I had important consultations with an Australian Minister. I lobbied frequently with Australia to open its door for Timorese to work in Australia. The Howard Government rejected this, but the recent Government has accepted it," said PR Horta on Friday (9/5) in Fatuhada, Dili.
PR Horta said the Government of Timor-Leste and Australia had to negotiate the criteria and conditions for the Timorese workers working in Australia in order to bring the arrangement to fruition.
According to PR Horta, unemployment is one of the biggest problems facing the country and one of the causes of poverty.
Senator Mullin meets Alkatiri – Diario Nacional
The Permanent Secretary of International Development, Senator Bob Mullin met former Prime Minister [Secretary-General of Fretilin] Mari Alkatiri to talk about the recent political situation and Fretilin's demands for an early election, which being is debated publicly.
"We talked about the actual political situation and the early election," said Secretary-General Fretilin Mari Alkatiri.
Mr. Alkatiri explained that Senator Bob Mullin is an important member of the Australian Parliament, as he follows Australia's development cooperation with other countries, including Timor-Leste. He was delegated to come to Timor-Leste to see the real situation of the country," said Mr. Alkatiri in Farol, Dili.
"They sent him to meet me as a former Prime Minister and also as the Secretary-General of Fretilin. I welcome him gladly. I also informed him about my visit to Australia to talk about relations between Fretilin and Australia, not Timor-Leste with Australia," added Mr. Alkatiri.
Xanana: I'm ready to give statement about weapons allegation in 2006 - Diario Nacional
Based on Fretilin's accusation about weapons in the 2006 crisis, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that he is ready to give his statement to the Public Ministry. As the President at that time, he is ready to give a statement as needed.
"Sure. I will go and am ready whenever the Public Ministry needs me to go," said PM Xanana.
The case of weapons allegation is under investigation by the International Prosecutor.
Pardon to the prisoners: Government has no comment on the President's decision – Diario Nacional
Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the Government will not comment upon the decision of President Horta to pardon 80 prisoners on May 20 The prisoners include the former Minister of Interior who allegedly distributed weapons to civilians in 2006 crisis.
"The Government will give complete information to the President, as he is the only one to decide. It is clear that the decision of the President may have certain ramifications. From the government side, we have no comment.
The public should have known that the decision of the President was not made by the government. I think it needs to think about creating rules and establishing criteria to follow, and then see about giving pardon to prisoners," said Minister Lobato on TVTL last few days in Dili.
About the President's controversial decision, Ms. Lobato said that everyone has to respect the Constitution and the Constitution gives the right to the President to pardon prisoners.
Minister: It is time for Timorese people to give a hand each other – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
The Minister of Solidarity Social Maria Domingas Alves "Micato" said that there is no need for people to retaliate against each other as it is now time to give a hand to each other and develop the nation.
The community dialogue that held in Fatuhada village (Dili) aimed at opening a free dialogue among the people to disclose what they have been thinking about and what they have been expecting, as the dialogue is an opportunity for both IDPs and community to talk each other frankly and openly.
"The dialogue in Fatuhada was slightly different then the previous one, as it was postponed because the situation did not permit us to carry out the dialogue in this community. But today the environment has changed. Therefore our presence here is a positive step so that we can clarify what we need to fix and improve," said Minister of Solidarity Social Maria Domingas Alves "Micato" during a dialogue meeting with the community on Friday (09/5) at Fatuhada village in Dili.
She added that everyone, together, needs to find a solution to better their lives as most of the IDPs are trying to reintegrate themselves into the community. Therefore, the people in the community should accept one another and live peacefully together to carry out government's program for the development of our villages and nation.
Separately, Father Agostinho Sampaio da Costa who acted as a moderator during the dialogue said that people should love each other although sometimes they didn't live up to this ideal. The people in this Fatuhada village should welcome each other and give a helping hand to each other in order to develop the nation.
Fretilin MP: some of the former IDPs present their demands at the National Parliament – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Fretilin MP Domingos Sarmento said that some of the former IDPs from Fatumeta camp came to the National Parliament to demand what has been promised to them by the AMP government.
The presence of the former IDPs at the National Parliament concerned promises made by the Government but not yet fulfilled. The Government had promised each will receive amount of US$200.00 and 16 kg of rice. So far, the Government has not kept its promise.
"They were IDPs, but at that moment they did not receive money but the others did. So, government had promised them that they will be given money because they were livining in tents, said MP Fretilin Domingos Sarmento on (8/05) at National Parliament.
The MP added that government should not discriminate among IDPs. All IDPs have to be treated equally. So MP Fretilin said that he is going raise this issue in his 'Committee A' to discuss this policy.
Minister of Agriculture says there is a need to free people from poverty – Suara Timor Lorosa'e The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Mariano Sabino Asanami said that government led by the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão has a strong commitment to free its people from poverty.
He asked all those working in agricultural sector to join with the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, to continue to gradually to develop the country in order to strengthen freedom and democracy. He called on all of the farmers to work diligently.
"The freedom does not only mean to have a flag or a nation. Freedom also means to change ourselves, to free ourselves from our oppressors, to free ourselves from laziness to become diligent, to free ourselves from the mentality of handouts. Let our ten fingers develop our fertilized soils in order to promote our national production," said Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Mariano Sabino Asanami during his official visit to Maliana on Saturday (10/5).
He added that Timorese people should not let the earth remain uncultivated. Plantation lands should be cultivated in order to increase output, as some investors intend to invest in East Timor, in order to improve its agricultural sector.
People in Ermera district hand over weapons to the Joint Operation Command – Suara Timoor Lorosa'e People in Riheu Village, Antigo Sub district in Ermera, voluntarily handed over illegal weaponries to the Joint Operation Command on Wednesday (7/5).
The illegal weapons including 84 darts 'Ambon Arrow' or Rama Ambon, one rakitan (traditional weapon), 10 iron sticks, and one Motorola HT radio. The weapons were handed over directly to the F-FDTL Lieutenant Armindo Soares.
Lieutenant Soares said that if all the illegal weapons were handed over to the Join Operation Command, the people will be free, unified, and stabile to carry out their activities.
Riheu Village Chief, Ildefonso das Neves Soares told his people to hand over their illegal weapons as soon as possible to the Joint Operation Command, before the approaching deadline on 10 May.
Xanana: Fretilin pushing Xavier to break the AMP – Timor Post
PM Xanana Gusmão said that the Government of the Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP) does not accept the accord signed between Fretilin and ASDT last week as it is believes that Fretilin wanted to push President of ASDT Francisco Xavier do Amaral to break up the AMP.
In saving the AMP coalition, PM Xanana said that AMP will call ASDT Mr. Xavier do Amaral on Tuesday (13/5) to talk about how to strengthen political stability within the AMP block.
"We may be accepting the '1 May Accord,' but we will not accept the '7 May Accord.' We feel that Fretilin wants to push Uncle Xavier to break AMP.
We will call the ASDT President on Tuesday to try to find solutions for the political stability of the AMP," said PM Xanana after meeting with the representatives from ASDT, PD and CNRT on Friday (9/5).
Separately, Xanana said that AMP was not concerned about the platform of ASDT-Fretilin because most of the ASDT members in the National Parliament will continue support the AMP.
In the '7 May Accord,' ASDT-Fretilin said it wanted to establish a grand inclusive government led by Fretilin, as party that received the most votes in the 2007 elections.
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