National Media Reports
Gambling is not allowed by the government
The Government of East Timor has never issued licenses for private businesses to operate casinos in the country.
The issue of illegal gambling was raised after some companies misused their business licenses for gambling purposes.
“Some businesses misused their licenses to operate illegal gambling activities. These businesses should respect the country’s laws,” said the Chief of the Business Registration Department at the Ministry of Development, Domingas da Costa Guterres, on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (STL and TP)
51 Australian Police are awarded with UN peacekeeping medals
The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) headed by Atul Khare awarded 51 members of the Australian UNPol contingent with UN peacekeeping medals.
The SRSG and UNPol Commissioner Tor presided over the ceremony held at the Hotel Timor in Dili on 12 June. (STL)
Claudio Ximenes reappointed to Head Court of Appeals
President José Ramos-Horta officially swore in Claudio de Jesus Ximenes as President of the Court of Appeals for the period 2007-2012.
Ximenes said that during the next term he will look into the human rights programme which started in 2004. (STL, TP and TVTL)
Horta: “Alfredo confuses me”
President José Ramos-Horta said that the recent demands made by the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado, and the petitioner’s Spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha, for the state to hold a dialogue with him soon have confused him and the two Bishops.
Horta said that a dialogue would require collaboration between Alfredo’s group and the state.
“The state wants to organize a meeting but now Alfredo and his men want to do something else,” said Mr. Horta on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (TP)
Illegal Gambling, SRSG, Atul Khare congratulated the Police
Last Saturday afternoon, Timorese police officers led a successful operation to quash illegal gambling rings in Dili, with the support of United Nations police and the International Stabilisation Force (ISF).
The operation began at 1745hrs, with police and ISF cordoning off several roads in Dili and raiding three illegal gambling venues in central Dili.
Each gambling hall was found to have more than 50 gambling machines. In total, police seized 259 machines and US$20,000 in cash. Ninety people were arrested for identification, and a further four were detained and are facing charges. Police also seized a pen gun, 9mm ammunition and a glock magazine from one owner’s residence.
Atul Khare, the head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), congratulated the police for their work over the past couple of weeks:
“The success of this operation demonstrates the excellent cooperation between UNPol and the PNTL, supported by the ISF. To arrest 94 people so soon after apprehending the person responsible for the killing in Viqueque last week demonstrates the growing strength of the security sector of Timor-Leste. These sorts of operations will continue.”
PNTL took the lead for planning Operation ‘Elliot Ness’, which began over two months ago. It involved 20 PNTL officers and 24 UNPol Officers. Four platoons of ISF were also present to provide a security cordon and logistics support.
Gambling is illegal in Timor-Leste.
International Media Reports
East Timor army rebel threatens revolt
June 13, 2007 - 10:09PM
An East Timor fugitive army rebel said he would personally seek out those behind last year's violence if the government refuses to negotiate with him immediately.
Alfredo Reinado escaped last August along with 50 other inmates from a prison where he was being held on charges of involvement in a wave of violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes earlier that year.
"I insist East Timor authorities must hold dialogue as soon as possible, so that we can resolve the problems," Reinado told Reuters by telephone from his hideout.
"We have been very patient but if they delay the dialogue we will lose our patience. We will come down to the town to capture the perpetrators of the crisis," the former military police chief said, referring to last year's violence.
Reinado said he and his followers would not lay down arms.
"I am not a thief but I am still an active member of East Timor's defence force. We are defending the dignity of the military and are serving the nation," he said.
Reinado, East Timor's former military police chief, has been accused of raiding a police post and making off with 25 automatic weapons while on the run.
He managed to evade a raid by Australian-led troops in March, which caused thousands of his supporters to protest in the capital.
Reinado said he would only turn himself in once the ruling Fretilin party is no longer in power and foreign troops sent into East Timor after last year's violence are out of the country.
President Jose Ramos-Horta said he believed Reinado should face justice. "I told you, Alfredo Reinado's case is complicated because it is about justice, but the negotiation continues," he told reporters.
"I have given the opportunity to prosecutors and bishops to negotiate with Alfredo Reinado, so that he can face justice because we only get justice from a court, not through a political compromise," Ramos-Horta said.
Ramos-Horta, a Nobel peace prize winner who spent years abroad as a spokesman for East Timor's struggle for independence from Indonesian occupation, was installed as president last month.
His victory has raised hopes of greater stability in a nation still struggling to heal divisions five years after it won independence from Indonesia.
ASIA/EAST TIMOR – Returnee refugee crisis continues: local Church appeals to civil authorities
Dili, 13 June 2007(Agenzia Fides) - The crisis of returnee refugees in East Timor seems nowhere near a solution.
“Some 30,000 displaced persons are living in 51 camps in the capital Dili and another 70,000 have moved to districts where they live in extended families or in small camps. Although the total number has been reduced the situation still weighs heavily on the infrastructures of the young nation,” said director of JRS Jesuit Refugee Service Australia, Fr. David Holdcroft SJ.
The situation degenerated in March 2006 when members of the armed forces were involved in episodes of violence endangering law and order. In May last year 2,000 Australian, New Zealand and Portuguese policemen and a contingent of peacekeepers were deployed in East Timor. They were eventually replaced by UN peacekeepers.
“With the political crisis solved it was hoped the displaced persons would return home. But now the government and NGOs realise that the causes of the exodus were more complex and profound: intergenerational land disputes, poverty and high unemployment rate,” Fr. Holdcroft added.
Many returning families have neither home nor land and they need to be resettled. Evacuation to outlying areas put enormous pressure on smaller communities and there is a danger of new conflict and exodus.
The Church in East Timor has urged the civil authorities to take adequate measures to solve the refugee crisis. Since 1999 JRS is very active in assisting the affected people together with Salesians and local NGOs.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 8/6/2006 righe 25 parole 258)
East Timor: Deaths mark election campaign’s start
13 June 2007
The start of the official campaign period for East Timor’s June 30 parliamentary elections has been marred by violence, including killings. The most serious incidents took place in Viqueque district, where two men were shot dead on June 3. An investigation by the Major Crime Investigation Unit and the National Investigation Unit is underway, focusing on a number of East Timorese police officers (PNTL).
The two slain men were both supporters of the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), a new party formation headed by former president Xanana Gusmao. A June 3 CNRT media release stated that Afonso da Silva, a CNRT civil security officer, was shot in Viqueque town while riding his motorbike after participating in an election rally. The media release claimed that da Silva was shot five times by a PNTL officer who supported Fretilin. The officer, Luis de Silva, had been sighted in civilian dress near the rally. Other reports suggest more than one off-duty police officer was involved in the incident.
Later in the day, as CNRT supporters took the body of the deceased man to his family in the nearby town of Ossu, another man was shot and a youth wounded at a roadblock, again allegedly by PNTL officers. The ruling Fretilin party issued statements condemning the killings and protesting the claim that its supporters were involved. A June 3 Fretilin media release also claimed that da Silva (also known as Kudalai) was armed with a gun and that there “needs to be an inquiry to explain why a campaign team member of a political party was armed with a gun and to determine the person that provided him with that weapon”.
On June 6 the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste deputy head, Eric Tan, confirmed that UN and East Timorese police were looking for officers involved in the shooting incidents and those PNTL officers in “Ossu, Uatolari and Viqueque Town have been placed on desk duties until the investigations are concluded and UNPol is patrolling the area in the meantime”. Following negotiations, de Silva turned himself in to police on June 7 and he has been charged with homicide.
Prior to the shootings, CNRT campaign vehicles had been stoned while traveling through Viqueque district. There was also a clash between CNRT and Fretilin supporters in the city of Baucau on May 31. On June 5, a campaign cavalcade for the Timorese Social Democratic Association/Social Democratic Party (ASDT/PSD) coalition was attacked at the village of Luro in Lautem district. PSD spokesperson Joao Goncalves told the Lusa news service that “the attack was led by a group of radicals from Fretilin, which had raised barriers in the road and had mounted an ambush”.
Viqueque, Baucau and Lautem are the three districts where Fretilin polled best in the April-May presidential election. They are of vital importance for Fretilin if the party is to retain a parliamentary majority and prevent an electoral rout on June 30. The CNRT and PSD/ASDT, along with the Democratic Party, pose the biggest threat to Fretilin’s electoral base in these districts. The situation is further complicated by campaigning in support of CNRT by the Fretilin Mudanca group (sometimes referred to as the Fretilin reform group), a faction opposed to Fretilin’s current leadership. The Fretilin leadership claims the group is violating the electoral laws by campaigning in support of CNRT.
Opposition parties and election observers have raised concerns over police involvement in intimidation and bias towards Fretilin in Viqueque. The European Union Election Observer Mission noted in its report on the second presidential round that “it is regrettable that the district police commander Gaspar da Costa remained active in the district during his voluntary leave, given the strong suspicions of intimidation against the opposition made against him in the first round”.
From: International News, Green Left Weekly issue #713, 13 June 2007.
Online 10 June 2007
East Timorese socialists set out campaign platform
13 June 2007
The Socialist Party of Timor (PST) is fielding 65 candidates in the June 30 parliamentary elections, and also has 25 candidates on the supplementary list (which comes into operation if candidates withdraw or die, or vacate their position after the election). Fourteen parties are contesting the elections. Topping the PST’s list of candidates is party secretary-general Avelino Coelho da Silva. PST president Nelson Correia is second on the list; two well-known women activists, Angela Fraga and Maria de Carvalho, are the third and fourth candidates.
I spoke to Coelho over the phone while he was campaigning in the area of Ossu. “First, we call on the solidarity movement to send their protests to the East Timorese prime minister and the president about the [June 3] shooting deaths of two political activists in Viqueque, both shot by police”, he said. “This must be met by protest now; we cannot let this practice become a precedent — the state apparatus shooting the people.”
“We actually need a new kind of government”, Coelho explained, “a popular worker-farmer government, which will mean that the people solve their problems through their own power. We have had a government of the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie, now for five years and it has failed to meet the people’s needs. There can be no lesser goal than 100% independence and 100% achievement of justice and prosperity.
“Apart from the two parties campaigning for a return to the system of hereditary rule, of royalty, the other 11 parties are all parties of the bourgeoisie, including [CNRT, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction — a new party launched by former president Xanana Gusmao] and Fretilin. Among other things it is reflected in the abstract character of the platforms they have announced. We are not interested in abstract policies, but concrete measures, and measures that help the people solve their problems.”
The PST’s platform has 26 points. “We are emphasizing the need for all of these policies, they all must be implemented.” Coelho said that “job creation is crucial … This means we have to stop importing our basic consumer goods and establish factories to process what we can produce here in East Timor. The government will need also to provide transportation to get farm produce and other products to the markets and to processing centres.” East Timor needs a “people’s bank” to provide cheap and accessible credit, he said.
Coelho explained that a Marxist analysis was crucial to working out the policies that are needed. “Everybody is talking about the need to end unemployment. This is crucial but it will be meaningless in the end if it just delivers workers into a system of exploitation. We also need policies that can encourage processes whereby the workers themselves start to own and, most importantly, control their enterprises. This can guarantee they benefit properly from their work and also ensure no arbitrary sackings.
“We are campaigning for legislation that will facilitate workers buying shares and exercising control in the enterprises where they work, either through any cooperatives they set up, or through unions or even in their individual capacity. The legislation must be guided by the cooperative ideal; it must ensure participation of the workers in controlling the enterprises. This should be facilitated on both Timorese as well as foreign companies.”
The PST’s platform also contains number points on improving welfare, such as the provision of free water and electricity, and making available cheap credit for the purchase of housing. The platform also includes the demand for a 100% increase in the salaries of lower-ranked civil servants, police and soldiers.
“We are also campaigning for a series of direct benefit payments”, he said. “This includes a US$100 per month benefit for household heads who have no employment while the government finds work for them. Also we want a $100 per month benefit for three months for new mothers and similar amount for an old age pension and a $200 a month pension for former guerrilla fighters. Very important too is $50 a month [benefit] for students studying overseas, especially in Indonesia. They should also be free of visa fees, coming in and out of Timor.”
Coelho emphasized the need for building up the people’s organization at the village level. “The government must build community centres in all villages. At the national level, the people must have their own languages. Tetum must be the official national language [it is currently Portuguese] and Indonesian the official working language. We should throw Portuguese back into the sea and let it float back to Portugal.”
“There must be a regeneration of national political leadership”, he said. “We can start with repealing the law giving the current parliamentarians a pension for life. The labour laws should also be repealed. All the corruptors must be brought to court and real investigation into who was responsible for the military/political crisis last year. Exploiting racial, primordial and fascist tendencies must be criminalised. The army and police have to be restructured.”
“We need new laws on political parties too”, he said. “we have to bring to an end this situation where business can put money into a political party as an investment, making it their instrument. Parties must belong to and be instruments of the people, not capital.”
There was more to talk about, especially on agriculture, but the phone line was weakening. We switched quickly to get an idea of the PST’s campaigning. “At the moment we have four teams operating in different regions … we are concentrating on community meetings at the village level, consolidating our support. If we can, in the next phase we will try to organise rallies or other events at the district level. We are aiming to increase our vote by a third up to 3%, which will guarantee us representation in parliament, and a better base for the next stage of our struggle.
Although the PST is not campaigning at all for CNRT — we are focusing on our own campaign — we also have five members on the CNRT list. If the PST wins 3% of the vote, and CNRT also gets a big vote, it means we will have around eight MPs in the next parliament. We are Marxists, and Marxists never accept defeat, never tire of the struggle; we are preparing for the next stage.”
From: International News, Green Left Weekly issue #713 13 June 2007.
quarta-feira, junho 13, 2007
National Media Reports
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 02:27
12 de Junho de 2007
Ramos-Horta lembrou «poder do bahasa» aos indonésios
O Presidente da República timorense, José Ramos Horta, veio recordar aos indonésios "o poder da língua bahasa", escreve hoje em editorial o diário Jakarta Post.
"O líder do nosso vizinho mais jovem, Timor-Leste, acabou de nos recordar o poder da língua", diz o editorial do Jakarta Post, um dos jornais de referência da capital indonésia.
"A Indonésia tem uma grande tarefa pela frente para preservar e desenvolver esta riqueza incalculável", adiantou o jornal.
"Apesar da sua independência, a influência da língua da sua antiga potência colonial continuará muito forte" em Timor-Leste, explica o jornal referindo-se ao bahasa, "porque o tétum é mais uma língua oral e o português é apenas falado por uma pequena parte da população".
Tétum e português são, segundo a Constituição da República timorense, as duas línguas oficiais.
José Ramos Horta, que há uma semana visitou a Indonésia, na sua primeira viagem oficial ao estrangeiro como chefe de Estado, recordou, durante uma conferência de imprensa conjunta dia 5 de Maio, que o bahasa indonésio é largamente usado em Timor-Leste.
O Presidente da República timorense fez parte do seu discurso de tomada de posse no Parlamento Nacional, a 20 de Maio, em bahasa, para gáudio dos jornalistas indonésios presentes na cerimónia - que comentaram na ocasião o seu "sotaque ocidental" e o "bom domínio" da língua indonésia.
O Presidente Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, respondendo a José Ramos Horta em Jacarta, declarou a intenção de haver em breve um departamento de bahasa indonésio na Universidade Nacional timorense.
No mesmo dia, durante o jantar de gala em honra de José Ramos Horta, o Presidente timorense fez parte do discurso aos anfitriões na Istana Negara, no complexo presidencial, em bahasa.
"O bahasa indonésio ocupa um lugar especial na nossa vida diária como língua de aprendizagem e de comunicação", afirmou José Ramos Horta.
"Tenho uma intenção autêntica de continuar a promover o bahasa indonésio e o inglês em Timor-Leste porque estes dois idiomas foram inscritos na nossa Constituição como línguas de trabalho diário", acrescentou o Presidente.
"Os comentários do recém-eleito Presidente Ramos Horta sobre o poder do bahasa indonésio receberam talvez pouca atenção aqui, apesar do profundo significado da sua mensagem", escreve o editorialista do Jakarta Post.
"A nossa ignorƒncia das declarações de Ramos Horta, no entanto, reflecte também provavelmente a nossa reduzida percepção e baixa valorização desta riqueza preciosa que tanto tem contribuído para a unidade a integridade da nação", acrescenta o jornal de língua inglesa da capital indonésia.
"Apesar de o tétum e do português serem as línguas oficiais do jovem Estado, o bahasa indonésio tornou-se na prática a língua de trabalho no país", nota o editorial.
"O facto de a Indonésia ter ocupado o território durante cerca de 24 anos (sic) até 1999 desempenhou um papel crucial no desenvolvimento do bahasa".
O editorialista do Jakarta Post acrescenta que "a assistência indonésia na promoção do bahasa em Timor-Leste será benéfico para o seu sistema de educação, e o envolvimento estrangeiro intensivo, especialmente em termos financeiros, ajudará a garantir a sustentabilidade da língua".
O jornal refere que a escolha do malaio, então uma "língua franca", como língua nacional da Indonésia, em 1928, apesar de a maior parte da população falar javanês, teve consequências directas na declaração da independência da ex-colónia holandesa, em 1945.
O Jakarta Post conclui que foram as declarações do Presidente "da nossa ex-colónia" que vieram recordar a importƒncia do bahasa como instrumento de unificação num país com mais de mil grupos e subgrupos étnicos e 706 línguas diferentes, e onde se acentua o fosso entre Java e as outras regiões do grande arquipélago.
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 02:24
12 Junho 2007
O roubo de cabos telefónicos deixou hoje a vila de Liquiçá sem serviço fixo, no mesmo dia em que um roubo semelhante aconteceu na marginal de Díli e uma equipa da Timor Telecom encontrou um esqueleto numa vala.
Segundo fonte oficial da empresa, Liquiçá, a oeste de Díli, "está sem telefones desde a madrugada de hoje e o serviço só poderá ser restabelecido quando houver condições de segurança", adiantou a mesma fonte.
Quase um quilómetro de cabo telefónico foi roubado durante a noite em Liquiçá.
Em Díli, o mesmo tipo de roubo aconteceu, pela segunda vez em menos de uma semana, na Avenida de Portugal, a artéria nobre da capital, de onde foram levados 650 metros de cabo telefónico duplo.
A reposição deste troço de cabos aéreos custará cerca de dez mil dólares, segundo cálculos da empresa.
Os serviços técnicos da Timor Telecom foram também surpreendidos hoje pela descoberta de um esqueleto.
A descoberta aconteceu ao final do dia (final da manhã em Lisboa), quando uma equipa escavava uma vala para colocar um cabo entre os bairros de Vila Verde e Caicoli, no centro da cidade.
A polícia tomou conta destas várias ocorrências.
A maior parte dos cabos na Avenida de Portugal tinha sido colocada há poucos dias, após um roubo anterior de centenas de metros de fio telefónico no mesmo troço, há uma semana.
"O mais incrível é o roubo acontecer numa artéria principal, onde se situam várias embaixadas e residências oficiais", comentou a mesma fonte da Timor Telecom.
"Desde Julho de 2006, roubaram-nos vinte quilómetros de cabos", acrescentou o mesmo responsável.
Uma das áreas afectadas é a saída leste de Díli, na marginal, que conduz ao Cristo-Rei, numa área isolada onde se situa a residência do Presidente timorense, José Ramos-Horta.
O objectivo deste tipo de roubos é a venda do cobre, que é separado dos outros fios queimando o cabo.
"O cobre é depois exportado, em novelo ou, como já aconteceu, derretido para formar lingotes", explicou fonte da polícia das Nações Unidas.
Um técnico da TT considerou "surpreendente que consigam roubar cabos tão pesados, que levam horas a cortar e exigem várias pessoas e um camião de transporte, sem que ninguém seja apanhado".
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 02:21
Michael deixou um novo comentário na sua mensagem "Timor Leste needs Indonesian language more than ot...":
Tive o prazer de me encontrar com dois grupos de Timorenses que vierem á Austrália para curtos cursos de treino. Penso que se lhes podem chamar funcionários públicos de nível médio em TL.
Foram todos educados sob domínio Indonésio e obviamente falavam fluentemente o Indonésio.
Andavam todos a aprender o Português com vários graus de sucesso. A maioria dos seus acompanhantes Australianos falavam-lhes em Indonésio, mas uma falava em Português.
Sentiam-se claramente mais à vontade com esta. Perguntei a alguns deles porquê. "Obviamente que falamos o Indonésio," disseram. "Mas o que os Australianos não entendem é que, na realidade não gostamos disso (de falar o Indonésio)."
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 02:20
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "