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East Timor Legal New now on East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

East Timor legal news continues on in the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. ETLJB covers the period from 2008 to the present. The archive and ETLB span almost a decade. It is by no means a comprehensive archive of legal news from East Timor but does cover many subjects and sources that have been of critical importance in the development of East Timor's legal culture since the catastrophic disintegration of the rule of law in 2006. Relates sources are East Timor Law Journal, East Timor Land Studies and United Nations Police in East Timor Security Reports for the period 2006-2008.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Timor-Leste Legal News May 2006

UNOTIL United Nations Office in Timor-Leste Public Information Office Press Release

Two UN Police Officers Wounded, while 9 Timorese Police Officers Die in Gun Shots in Timor-Leste

25 May 2006, Dili - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa stated that “I am outraged with the violent attack on PNTL police headquarters that took place earlier today and resulted in the death of nine persons and the injury of nearly 30 persons including two UN police officers.” He made a strong protest to the Government of Timor-Leste for failing to stop this kind of violence and asked for full accountability for the atrocity. These sudden and tragic events shook the people of Timor-Leste, the international community and the staff of UNOTIL.

SRSG Hasegawa emphasized that the recent series of violence reflected the difficult times the people of Timor-Leste were going through and the need for our continued international understanding and support. He praised the Security Council for having acted immediately in supporting the request from the leaders of Timor-Leste for international assistance, assuring us that it would take the appropriate measures.  This demonstrates the solidarity between the people of Timor-Leste and the international community. With the imminent arrival of international troops from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Malaysia, SRSG Hasegawa hoped it would be possible to see a gradual, if not immediate, return to law and order and to a more safe and secure environment.

UNOTIL also wishes to express our most heartfelt sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones and our desire for the swiftest recoveries for those who have been wounded.

ETLIS Editor's Note: See also 25th of May 2006 Massacre & War Crimes in Timor-Leste on the East Timor Law Journal

23 MAY 2006 JSMP Report on Sexual Assault Case in Dili District Court - East Timor's leading justice sector NGO, the Judicial System Monitoring Program, reports that 3 defendants were acquitted on 11 April 2006 on sexual assault charges. The assault allegedly occurred on 9 October 2005 at Leogore-Suai, in the District of Cova Lima, against a 17 year old victim (V). The three defendants were charged under Article 285 of the Indonesian Penal Code which is the applicable law in East Timor. The indictment stated that the three defendants had raped V after threatening her with a knife. The Dili District Court stated in its decision that the first and second defendants (D1 and D2) did in fact have sexual intercourse with V. However, the Prosecutor’s recommendation to the Court noted that V had not told the truth and had changed her evidence during the trial.

JSMP’s Women’s’ Justice Unit (WJU) questions whether there had been sufficient communications between the Prosecutor and the victim that may have lead to the Prosecutor’s conclusion that V had lied. According to WJU, the prosecutor appearing for the State did not conduct any interview with V before the trial commenced and had failed to cross examine the victim to establish why she had changed her evidence.

The Court, composed of a Panel of Judges adopted the Prosecutor’s recommendation and found the 3 D’s not guilty be reason of lack of convincing evidence. The Court relied on the fact that there had been no force, coercion or threats against V and that V had changed her evidence; claiming that she did not know the defendants but later admitting that she did know them and that they lived near each other. After the alleged sexual assault, V had also made no report to her family or the police.

JSMP notes that while courts often deliberate upon such factors, “a decision that relied solely on one of these factors would be a risky one”. According to JSMP’s WJU, an appraisal of the victim's attitude is “a subjective and most unreliable way to assess a person's credibility” because of “cultural and gender nuances” nuances that influence the attitude of a young girl in Timor Leste when giving evidence about a very personal and shameful, which may not be clear to a judge. The WJU of JSMP believes that behavior labeled as "considered and reflective" could be attributed to a range of emotional states and not merely to indicate that the victim was lying.

The Court’s rationale is understandable, as any doubt in a case should result in
an acquittal. But JSMP goes on to note that the majority of rape victims experience trauma and fear and that there could be numerous reasons why a young female sexual assault victim might not want to talk the assault because of feelings of shame and fear. JSMP believes that this “very well may have occurred in this case”.

JSMP notes finally that to avoid such circumstances, the Court is obliged to provide protection to witnesses and victims during the trial process; namely:

1. Appropriate steps to protect the physical and psychological (mental) health, dignity, and confidentiality of the victims and witnesses taking into account “age, gender, the nature of the crime, whether or not the crime involves sexual assault or gender based violence or assault of a minor”; and

2. The use of electronic means to give evidence in Court, such as video link or other means particularly in cases that involve sexual assault or where a child is required to appear as a victim or witness. JSMP http://www.jsmp.minihub.org/justiceupdate.htm 23 May 2006 JUSTICE UPDATE May Issue: 6/2006

17 May 2006 East Timor's Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Report: Administrative Problems Hamper Functioning of the Suai District Court - According to the leading justice sector monitoring civil society organisation in East Timor, administrative issues continue to hamper the ability of the Suai District Court, which only operates once a week, to process cases on time. The report covers the month of March 2006 during which there were 9 criminal and civil cases listed, 4 of which had to be adjourned until April 2006.

JSMP reports 4 procedural issues that are delaying the trial process; namely: (1) Failure of witnesses and victims to attend listed hearings, (2) Insufficient court staff; (3) Lack of appropriate office facilities and equipment; and (4) Lack of funding for court activities, resulting in judges bearing the costs of court activities from personal funds.

JSMP concludes that there is inadequate supervision of administrative matters in the Suai and that it is the Ministry of Justice that has responsibility for maintaining adequate facilities in district courts and for the supervision of these facilities. These administrative problems, according to JSMP, reduce the capacity of the Court to administer justice and that  responsibility for addressing and resolving the issues outlined in the report remains with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior and the national court administration.

"Issues such as these will continue to impede the development of the judicial system in Timor Leste  and make it difficult for the community to access the formal justice sector to solve civil and criminal disputes. JSMP is confident that the competent authorities can solve these problems quickly and ensure they do not reoccur in the future", the report concludes. For the full report see JSMP at http://www.jsmp.minihub.org

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 12 May 2006

Alkatiri: Situation is normal + 400 petitioners have contacted the government - After meeting with the President at Palacio das Cinzas, Prime Minister Alkatiri told the media that the situation is back to normal. “In our meeting we always exchange information about the current situation especially in Ermera, Aileu, Covalima and Bobonaro but now all is back to normal and many refugees are returning to Dili,” said Alkatiri.

In response to the Gleno incident, Alkatiri said that the F-FDTL petitioners were not involved though other demonstrators were. In other areas, the police are working together with the FRETILIN members to calm down the situation. On the same occasion, Alkatiri pointed out that 400 F-FDTL petitioners have contacted the Government through the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity to help bring them home so that they would be provided with Government assistance as they wait for the investigation process.

“Government is always trying to maintain contact with the petitioners to solve their problems because their objective is not to use violence to achieve their goals” Alkatiri, further added that “For those who feel this land belongs to them and love this land, there will be no war, but those who want to destroy this country have no love or responsibility for this country.” (STL, TP)

Paulo Martins: “The attitudes of youth in Ermera are like terrorists” - Commander of PNTL Paul Martins said that the youth who carried out the demonstration in Gleno and killed UIR member Palmiro Laserda and destroyed cars were acting like terrorists. “The police have captured 92 suspects who were involved in the Gleno incident and 6 suspects who were directly involved in Dili riots and they are now in the Gleno prison” said Martins. In relation to the rumours that F-FDTL petitioners were behind the Gleno incident, Martins said that until today police have not identified any of the petitioners, but after a full investigation it will be known who was involved in the incident. “We know who killed the member of UIR and the Police are now searching for the suspect,” Matins told the DN reporter. (DN)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 11 May 2006

Ambassador Jose Luis Appeals For Unity - Timor-Leste Ambassador to the UN and the USA, José Luis Guterres, reportedly told the media on Wednesday he is holding meetings with various leaders including church representatives and the Defence Force to try to help the Government and the President to find a path to enable the Timorese people to live in peace. Guterres said the recent situation in Dili has left the international community concerned and therefore it is imperative to work together to restore unity

According to Timor Post, Ramos-Horta reportedly said the Government is to blame for the situation that emerged. “The Government did not address the issue in a timely manner giving rise to the current situation. Therefore, the Government must also bow a little with humility to speak with everybody,” said Ramos-Horta. The Foreign Affairs Minister said he is trying to contact the petitioners’ spokesperson to explain the status of their petition. He emphasized that it is important that the group hears directly from the State on their request rather than rumours, adding he will guarantee them that PNTL and F-FDTL will not do anything against them. “It is my initiative. The Prime Minister is aware of it. I’m prepared to travel to the mountain to speak to them or they can come to my house,” said Ramos-Horta.

In a separate article, Minister Ramos-Horta was reported as saying that the UN Security Council is keeping an eye on Timor-Leste and will establish another mission when UNOTIL concludes its mandate. He said the Security Council is likely to extend UNOTIL mandate for one month to enable time for members of the Council to make a decision on the composition of the follow up mission. (TP, DN)

Prime Minister Ordered Intervention of F-FDTL - Political observer, Julio Tomas Pinto, reportedly said that based on the decree law of the military, F-FDTL is composed of President of the Republic, the Parliament and the Government. Pinto said on 28 April Prime Minister gave the order for the Armed Forces to act because PNTL were not prepared to anticipate the violence that occurred in the Government Palace. He said the decree law creates confusion because it is contrary to the Constitution which says only the President is entitled to give orders for F-FDTL to provide security. In regards to those people killed by members of F-FDTL, Pinto is of the opinion that the responsibility rests on those who gave the orders. He added that it is correct for the armed force to act if the police cannot respond to the crisis but in the case involving the 595 petitioners, the involvement of F-FDTL created more confusion.

Tomas Pinto added that the inability of the police could depend on the police or rest with the politician responsible for the Minister of Interior also noting that the Minister of Defence and the security did not carry out their respective functions properly to attend to the F-FDTL case hoping this is an example for those working as Ministers to demonstrate their capacity. (TP)

Agent Buried With Gun Shots Salutes - The member of the Unidade Intervenção Rapida (UIR) killed during Gleno riots was buried in his hometown with a gun salute. Representatives of the Government, PNTL, F-FDTL, National Parliament and the Diplomatic Corps attended the funeral in the village of Kairui, Baucau District. Agent Palmiro Laserda da Costa was 26 years old. (TP)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 10 May 2006

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)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 9 May 2006

Gleno riots: one member of UIR killed, one injured - According to media reports, one member of the Unidade Intervenção Rapida (UIR) was killed and one remains in critical condition following attacks by a group of 2,000 people in Gleno, Ermera District. Six members of UIR accompanied the Secretary of State for Region III, Egidio de Jesus Amaral, to Gleno, Ermera Sub-District, to check on government work activities when, a group of around 2,000 people besieged Amaral and police officers who took refuge in his office. Attempts by former Falintil Commander for Region IV Ernesto Dudu and a local priest failed to calm the protesters who demanded the shut down of the local government institutions. According to Timor Post, during negotiations with PNTL officers, alleged supporters of the “petitioners” wanted the six UIR members to be killed, accusing them of shooting their supporters on April 28 and assuming them to be from the Eastern part of the country. The crowd also demanded that they be disarmed.

After not being able to calm the crowd down, the Operational Commander Ismail Babo together with Dudu and the local priest left the scene but returned later at which point Babo decided it was best to disarm the UIR officers as demanded. Soon after that, they were escorted out of the building into a waiting car which was stoned by the crowd. Two officers were stabbed when they fell out of the vehicle. According to the media, PNTL officers fired warning shots in the air to disperse the crowd and took one of the officers to the national hospital and the other to Gleno hospital where he died on arrival. Government buildings and three cars were damaged by the crowd, reported the media Tuesday.

In a separate article, STL reported the former Falintil commander for region IV from the South, Domingos Agusto, alias Deker, appealed to the people of Bobonaro District not to be vindictive and harbour hatred against the people of the Districts of Baucau, Viqueque and Lospalos because of recent rumours going around. Deker said the people of Timor-Leste could never be divided into two, adding that the problem raised by the ‘petitioners’ is within the F-FDTL institution and not between the people.

STL reported that F-FDTL Battalion I began cleaning Tasi-Tolu terminal area, affected by 28 April incidents. (TP, STL, DN)

Joint Declaration from 10 Districts - Timor Post reported on the establishment of a joint declaration from 10 Districts in which the population have decided to boycott the local government authorities as of Monday. The document, released on Monday, said the claim of regionalism, “east” and “west”, is not a social reality but is being fabricated by people hungry for power.

The statement said that crimes committed in the name of regionalism have claimed the lives of young and old and that the State of Timor-Leste has yet to detain those responsible for the deaths of these people and who continue to provoke the situation. The declaration demands that the President of the Republic use his Constitutional power to disarm those still carrying guns to stop the killing of their own people and enable the Timorese to live in peace together with the State. They also demand justice and are asking for humanitarian assistance from the national and international communities to those that have fled to the mountains.

Moreover, the declaration demands that human rights organisations, national and international, investigate the crimes that have been committed in relation to the recent turn of events. Secretary of State for Region III, Egidio de Jesus reportedly said the only point of the document he rejects is the boycott of the local government. RTTL reported de Jesus as saying the declaration is from a small group and does not represent the 10 Districts. (TP)

NP officially supports the investigation commission - Representatives in the National Parliament voted in favour of the establishment of the Commissão Notavel or a “High Level Commission” formed by the State to look into discrimination allegations within Timor-Leste Defence Force. Francisco ‘Lu’Olo’ Guterres, President of the Parliament, said the vote is a way of reaffirming the Parliament’s will to the State and contributes to other sovereign bodies to help resolve the “petitioners” problem. (TP)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 06-08 May 2006

Investigation commission established to look into problem - Members of the Investigation Commission established to look into F-FDTL case, were sworn-in on Friday by Prime Minister Alkatiri, reported the media Saturday. The Commission is composed of: Minister of State, Ana Pessoa Pinto and Vice-Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris as members of the government, MPs Francisco Branco (Fretilin) and Pedro Costa (PST) representing the Parliament, Longuinhos Monteiro and Sebastião Ximenes representing the Office of the President of the Republic, Fr. Antonio Gonçalves representing the Catholic Church, Aniceto das Neves and Tiago Sarmento representing the Civil Society and Maria Natercia representing the Court of Appeal.

According to Timor Post, the latter was not present at the ceremony. The Commission’s coordinator is Minister Ana Pessoa Pinto. The Commission held their first working meeting soon after the swearing-in and is scheduled to present the investigation conclusion and recommendations on the “petitioners” documents after 90 days including the investigation on the Lospalos and Becora incidents, reported the media Saturday.

In a separate article, STL reported Aniceto Neves, a member of the Commission, as saying “as a representative of the civil society, I would like to stress that the Commission established by the government will carry out its task independently and faster. It will carry out the investigation according to the mandate to resolve the problem within F-FDTL as a State institution because it is a matter of concern to civil society.” (STL, TP)

F-FDTL cannot intervene - MP Clementino do Amaral (KOTA) says he is of the opinion that the Armed Forces should never have intervened in the internal security of the country as the population feels threatened by them. Amaral told the media on Friday that only PNTL must be in charge of the State security noting that both institutions have different instructions and structures. He says he also rejects police carrying heavy weapons adding that any decision on military intervention must come from the President of the Republic. (STL)

Don’t use violence to solve problems: Taur - F-FDTL Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak appeals to members of the “petitioners” not to use violence to resolve the problem reported STL Monday. Ruak reportedly asked members of the ‘petitioners’ to resolve the problem through dialogue since it is a matter “between us”. He appealed for the group to rethink and contribute to a peaceful solution as violence can have many consequences to the nation and the people. According to STL, Brigadier General Ruak contacted Salsinha Gastão and asked him why the situation happened the way it did. Salsinha replied “there is no other solution but to return to the jungle to resist,” reported STL.

The General was quoted as saying that if there is no clear vision on what the petitioners are defending, the best solution is to speak. Brigadier General Ruak said the problems started with un-disciplinary issued but it turned into a political character according to the documents in a form of pamphlet he obtained when the “petitioners” asked the President of the Republic to dissolve the National Parliament and call for early elections. The Head of F-FDTL claims there is no discrimination within the Armed Forces but he would like the Commission to carry out the investigation to find the truth. He appealed to everybody to fully cooperate in the investigation. (STL)

28 April incident 48 houses burnt and 116 destroyed - After meeting with the President Xanana Gusmão at Palacio das Cinzas, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told the reporters that since 28 April the incidents take took place included 54 burnt houses and 116 destroyed including Taibesi market. Alkatiri informed that the government would provide assistance to the people who lost their properties and will rebuild Taibesi market as well. On the same occasion, Alkatiri appealed to the public servants to return to work because the situation is normal again. By Monday, the government will not tolerate those people who do not turn up for work, he said. (TP)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 4 May 2006

Rogerio & Dudu meet PM + Petitioners to revolt a rumour - It is reported that Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, ex-FALINTIL Commander "Dudu" and Ermera District Chief of Police, Arnaldo Araujo held an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Lobato told reporters that they discussed the current situation. "The situation is normal, but there are many rumours", said Lobato.

In response to the rumours that F-FDTL petitioners are now in Ermera District preparing to attack Dili, Araujo stated that the situation in Ermera is under control.

An MP from Ermera District, Jacinto Maia, told reporters at the National Parliament that the rumour alleging that the petitioners who are now in Ermera wish to attack Dili is a lie. "They all went to Ermera because they all come from Ermera", said Maia. He pointed out that most of the petitioners want to come to Dili to resolve the problem, but that they feel insecure unless the Government can guarantee their security. (DN, TP)

DPHJ could not access site: F-FDTL Commander must explain - In relation to the statement of the Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice, Silveiro Pinto, that his organization was prevented by the F-FDTL from accessing the site where it is rumored that people have been killed, PSD MP Lucia Lobato said that the F-FDTL Commander should explain why the DPHJ was prevented from doing his job. Previously the Government stated that five people were killed in last week's violence, however spokesperson for the petitioners Gastao Salsinha has claimed that that number has increased to 60 dead. "Let the Ombudsman's office do their job so that we can ascertain whether these rumors are true or false, said MP Lobato.

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 3 May 2006

President Xanana: Together we restore our national unity + Intervention of F-FDTL is legal - In relation to the violence last Friday, President Xanana Gusmão appealed to all the people of East Timor who had previously come together as a force to gain independence from the Indonesian occupation to restore national unity. “Together we will restore our national unity and everyone must hold on to it tightly,” President Gusmão said.

He also appealed to the petitioners to return home saying that he guarantees their security. “I understand that you feel insecure but the Government has guaranteed your security to bring you home so you can go on with your daily life to help your own family”.

In response to the rumors that PNTL and F-FDTL would fight against each other, Xanana told the reporters that PNTL and F-DTL will always work together to maintain security, so the rumors are false.

After meeting with the Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday, the President said that the situation was under control, so PNTL and FDTL will go back to their barracks.

In response to the comment from MP Jose Nomiado from PD party that the intervention of F-FDTL was illegal and unconstitutional, a spokesperson from the Fretilin party MP, Francisco Miranda, told the reporters at National Parliament that the intervention is legal as F-FDTL will cooperate with PNTL in a crisis situation based on decree law from the Government. “After what happened in Dili, we were in a crisis situation so F-FDTL had to intervene to maintain security in this country” said Miranda. (DN, TP, STL)

Salsinha: “Government Only Knows to Kill” - Spokesperson of the Petitioners of F-FDTL, Gastão Salsinha, said that Mari Alkatiri’s Administration has no good political will to solve their problems, adding that the Administration only knows how to kill and destroy, STL reported.

Speaking to STL from his secret hiding place during a phone interview on Tuesday, Salsinha said, “Frankly speaking, we are upset with Mari Alkatiri’s Administration. They only know how to escalate problems, therefore we do not trust PM Alkatiri.” It was reported that since last Friday’s incidents, the whereabouts of Salsinha are unknown. “My whereabouts are secret. There is no need for you to know where I am at the moment,” he said.

Moreover, Salsinha said that the incidents in front of the Government’s Palace would not have happened if Mari Alkatiri had the good will and readiness to cooperate with the Parliament, President of Republic and the Court of Appeal to respond to petitioners’ demands.

Salsinha stated that during the demonstrations there was no Government authority willing to come and talk to demonstrators to explain the measures to be taken with regards to their problems. Because of this, he said, it triggered the anger of the demonstrators and they lost control which in the end, resulted in incidents [on Friday, 28 April]. “We, the petitioners have no desire whatsoever to overthrow the Government. We only want our problems to be solved. We only want justice, “ Salsinha added. (STL)

Investigation of dead bodies in Tasi Tolu + To identify the victims of Friday incident, the government creates new commission - In relation to the rumors that many people have been killed in Rai Kotuk, Comoro and other places, President Xanana held a meeting on Sunday with the Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, Commander of F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak and Commander of PNTL Paulo Fatima Martins to agree to allow access to the Ombudsman of Human Rights Timor-Leste to the places where the incidents occurred.

Vice President of Ombudsman of East Timorese Human Rights Silveiro Pinto Batista told a TP reporter that even though the leaders have agreed, they could not access the place where incidents have happened because the F-FDTL did not allow them to do so. “As a human rights organization, we want to investigate whether the issue of killing is true or false”, Pinto said.

Spokesperson of Council Ministers, Antonio Bianco, said that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has created a new Commission to identify how many people were killed and injured and also identify the victims of the Friday incident. The Commission will include two representatives from East Timor Red Cross, two from the Ministry of Health and two from PNTL and the District Administrator of Dili. It is reported that the Commission will also work together with the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity to identify people who will need assistance from the Government. “ The Government will provide new places for those people who lost their houses” Bianco added. (TP, STL)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review 2 May 2006

Police asked petitioners for responsibility Salsinha: We are still in the jungle + Police asked petitioners for responsibility + Mari appealed to petitioners to return + If Xanana is still quiet, I will not surrender - In relation to the violence last Friday, the Commander of PNTL Mr. Paulo Martins asked the 594 petitioners to take responsibility for what has taken place in Dili. Mr. Martins told the reporters that he went to meet the petitioners to ask them to stay calm but they became violent and began burning cars at the Government Palace. “They burnt a motorbike right in front of me which I saw with my own eyes.” Mr. Martins said. “We had an agreement with the petitioners last week that there would be no violence but they broke their promise so they have to be responsible for what they did”. In response to Mr. Paul’s statement, Spokesperson for the petitioners, Mr. Gastao Salsinha, told a TP reporter via telephone that he blames the leaders because they were not willing to solve their problems. “I just want to say that we are in the jungle because no one can find a solution anymore” Mr. Salsinha said.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has appealed via the media to the petitioners to return to Dili to solve their problem. Mr. Alkatiri said, “On behalf of the Government, I appealed to the petitioners to return especially the leaders of petitioners. I’ve asked them to come back so we can find the best solution together and maintain our national unity.” Diario National quotes Mr. Salsinha as saying, “If Xanana is still quiet, I won’t surrender because I only trust President Xanana since he is our Supreme Commander” he said. (DN TP, STL))

Xanana asked population to return home - President Xanana Gusmão appealed to the population seeking refuge at Don Bosco College in Comoro and the USA embassy to return home because the situation is under control. “I hope there will be no East and West issue because we all struggled for independence and everyone participated. The East and West issue is only dividing us,” the President said.

He also appealed to the youth to help build peace in this country. “I understand how you feel because we are all traumatized by the conflict of the last 24 years especially the 1999 rampage and I am asking you to return home”. On the same occasion, people asked the President, “You have asked us to return home but who will guarantee our security because F-FDTL are still shooting around Dili. Before, TNI killed us and now Police and F-FDTL want to kill us again. When will they stop shooting?” “There will be no shooting anymore,” Mr. Xanana responded to their questions. It was also reported that the Government will provide assistance to those who lost their property. (STL)

45 members of petitioners under security of PNTL - The commander of PNTL, Mr. Paulo Martins, told the reporters that 45 members of the petitioners are now under the security of PNTL for further investigation. In relation to the rumors that many people have been killed by unknown people, Mr. Martins said that since last Friday until today, four people have been killed and 77 injured but the perpetrators have not yet been identified. (STL)

04 MAY 2006 Human Rights and Justice Deputy Ombudsman Could Not Access Site: F-FDTL Commander Must Explain - In relation to the statement of the Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice, Silveiro Pinto, that his organization was prevented by the F-FDTL from accessing the site where it is rumored that people have been killed, PSD MP Lucia Lobato said that the F-FDTL Commander should explain why the DPHJ was prevented from doing his job. Previously the Government stated that five people were killed in last week's violence, however spokesperson for the petitioners Gastao Salsinha has claimed that that number has increased to 60 dead. "Let the Ombudsman's office do their job so that we can ascertain whether these rumors are true or false, said MP Lobato.

03 MAY 2006 Intervention of F-FDTL is Legal - In response to the comment from MP Jose Nomiado from PD party that the intervention of F-FDTL was illegal and unconstitutional, a spokesperson from the Fretilin party MP, Francisco Miranda, told the reporters at National Parliament that the intervention is legal as F-FDTL will cooperate with PNTL in a crisis situation based on decree law from the Government. “After what happened in Dili, we were in a crisis situation so F-FDTL had to intervene to maintain security in this country” said Miranda. (DN, TP, STL)

Investigation of Dead Bodies in Tasi Tolu and Government Creates New Commission to Identify Victims of Friday's Incident - In relation to the rumors that many people have been killed in Rai Kotuk, Comoro and other places, President Xanana held a meeting on Sunday with the Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, Commander of F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak and Commander of PNTL Paulo Fatima Martins to agree to allow access to the Ombudsman of Human Rights Timor-Leste to the places where the incidents occurred.

Vice President of Ombudsman of East Timorese Human Rights Silveiro Pinto Batista told a TP reporter that even though the leaders have agreed, they could not access the place where incidents have happened because the F-FDTL did not allow them to do so. “As a human rights organization, we want to investigate whether the issue of killing is true or false”, Pinto said.

Spokesperson of Council Ministers, Antonio Bianco, said that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has created a new Commission to identify how many people were killed and injured and also identify the victims of the Friday incident. The Commission will include two representatives from East Timor Red Cross, two from the Ministry of Health and two from PNTL and the District Administrator of Dili. It is reported that the Commission will also work together with the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity to identify people who will need assistance from the Government. “ The Government will provide new places for those people who lost their houses” Bianco added. (TP, STL)

02 MAY 2006

45 Petitioners under Police Secuity  - The commander of PNTL, Mr. Paulo Martins, told the reporters that 45 members of the petitioners are now under the security of PNTL for further investigation. In relation to the rumors that many people have been killed by unknown people, Mr. Martins said that since last Friday until today, four people have been killed and 77 injured but the perpetrators have not yet been identified. (STL)
Ramos Horta says soldiers did not shoot at Dili protesters - Australian Broadcasting Corporation V PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT LOCATION: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2006/s1629120.htm Broadcast: 02/05/2006 Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES: Well, as we heard, East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta is in Australia. Earlier today Dr Ramos-Horta said soldiers did not shoot at protesters during the weekend's demonstrations. Instead, he blamed the violence on thugs and hooligans. Well, he joins us now in our studio. Josa Ramos Horta, thanks for being here.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA, EAST TIMOR FOREIGN MINISTER: It's a pleasure.

TONY JONES: As we just heard it's being reported that some 100 rebel soldiers are in the mountains. Our reporter has made contact with the self-styled spokesman, Lieutenant Salsinha. Do you know him?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes, I know him personally. I had conversations with him. He had agreed with a proposal offered by the Government to settle the demonstration by Friday afternoon and they would disperse. The proposal was the Government would set up a commission of the investigation with credible people. I conversed with him, consulted with him about who he would accept to be there. I floated some names and he was very enthusiastic and welcomed some of the fames and then I arranged for him to see the Prime Minister in person. I involved Bishop Ricardo, also met with him. But the reality was that Mr Gustao Salsinha had lost control of the demonstration two days earlier...

TONY JONES: But he was a ringleader, wasn't he?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: He was the ringleader and also the ringleader two years ago involved in sandalwood smuggling and it was for that reason, that reason alone, that he was demoted, not for any ethnic reasons.

TONY JONES: Are you accusing him of corruption?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, this is an official report and his leader is a man of extraordinary integrity and very caring about his soldiers. When the general fired these soldiers, he cried, he hesitated to do it. So it was not a lightly thought decision.

TONY JONES: Is this corrupt lieutenant capable of leading an insurgency in the mountains?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, I do not think he will do that because in spite of his background, I do not think he wants violence. I think I believe that he will not, but at the same time, let me say one thing - to fight an insurgency in that country, in the rugged mountains, you need profound motivating convictions. If you are motivated only by certain short-term gains, you will not survive there.

TONY JONES: Is he a former guerrilla himself?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: He was a former guerrilla, but the rest who followed him were not. They were young soldiers recruited in 2001, 2002.

TONY JONES: He said he only trusts the President, Xanana Gusmao. I mean, is it time for him to personally intervene in this?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, the President has been intervening on that. On Saturday morning or Sunday, I do not recall, some emissaries of Mr Salsinha had gone to petition on his private residence up in the hills to make contact and offer for him to surrender. So he might surrender in the next few days and if he does so no-one will be arrested. They will be briefly detained for identification purposes and then will be released until they are called by the commission of the investigation to hear their allegations.

TONY JONES: Now, it's been reported that at the heart of this dispute within the military ethnic divisions and jealousies that certain ethnic groups do better than others in the distribution of leadership roles.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, the reality is that, yes, the majority of the leaders in the Defence Force are from a particular region, but there are also others from the central region of...

TONY JONES: Why is that, by the way? It's from the east, is it?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes, from the east. The people from the east, they always historically led the fight, like it happened in many countries around the world. You get people from a particular region who are very suitable, very inclined for a certain role, and others and also participated in the resistance. People from the centre and elsewhere were very active in the underground movement in support of the fighters, not necessarily directly involved in the armed resistance, but they also contributed. So there is - there was a national purpose at the time and there are obviously rivalries, but the rivalries are not ones that has been described by the media that would lead to ethnic conflict because never in East Timor history there was an ethnic war, as such. There have been violence, but the violence occurred within the same ethnic community and not people from the east travelling all the way to the west to look for enemies and vice versa. This never happened.

TONY JONES: 600 people sacked from the military, though, is nearly a third of the overall force.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes.

TONY JONES: I mean, what was their problem if it wasn't, as they say, an ethnic dispute?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: A vast majority of them actually were frustrated in being in the army. There was a problem of leadership in the army that did not look into their living conditions, their status, issues of promotion or retirement, all of that. Until five years almost since the establishment of the Defence Force we do not have a discipline code, laws governing the Defence Force and many had gone into the army volunteering 2001, 2002 for a two-year service and they were already well past the time and they wanted to go home and so the majority who were dismissed, they were even in the demonstration. The demonstration that lasted until 28 April in the morning, on average no more than 200 or 300 of the soldiers participated and a big number of them had gone already to their villages.

TONY JONES: Right. But you have described an ambush. You say an army patrol was ambushed by a group of these rebels. Evidently they had automatic weapons and hand grenades. Where did they get the weapons from? Were these originally army members and did they raid military supplies?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: No, apparently when they left several weeks ago, they were able to take along some weapons, but very, very few when the loyal army, the defence force took control of the shelter where they were, they followed and found a computer and weapons that they left behind as they dispersed. But I have to say that the vast majority of the almost 600 soldiers, they had already gone to the villages. Right now they are contacting the authorities in their villages because the Government have sent ministers down to their district area to collect information on their names, with their names, in order to pay what we have promised - back salaries at least until June, from March to June - and then tell them to be available for interview by the commissioner of the investigation. We have made contact was many of them already in (Inaudible), Maliana, so the notion that several hundred are in the hills are ready to wage a war is absolutely nonsense.

TONY JONES: Alright, but this group who did the ambush, that staged the ambush, do you believe they were connected to the Lieutenant Salsinha?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes,they are connected to him, but there are extraordinary rumours, some with incredible creativity, detail floating in the country. Some are saying that - the other day I was in Timor and there was a rumour that Mr Salsinha was already inside an embassy and wanted to surrender. Well, he was never in an embassy. And he's not in the mountains. He's not very far from where President Xanana lives.

TONY JONES: And you believe that he's incapable of creating a serious problem for the stability of the country?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: No. I can guarantee you he would not.

TONY JONES: One of the extraordinary things it seems to me, from listening to your account of the days of the rioting, was that you yourself was driving from place to place during the night trying to assess what was going on. It doesn't seem on the face of it, like the sort of job for a Foreign Minister.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes. That's true. But, partly because of my absolute care about truth and because there was not real information circulating, I wanted to see it for myself and also to help people who are panicking.

TONY JONES: Were you by yourself?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: No, I had two security guards was me, but just one vehicle. One security guard was driving and the other one was supposedly protecting me. We went throughout the night and I stopped; for instance, I saw several hundred people, mostly women and children, with some male, around 4:00 in the morning walking towards the American Embassy, I stopped the car and greeted them, they were shocked to have seen me and many were relieved I told them, "Don't go to the embassy." Go back to their homes. It didn't take me three minutes to convince them and they went back to their homes. I visit - I shouted where was about 400 people taking refuge there and I spoke to them. That was about 1 in the morning. When I went back at about 6:00 there were already - it had swollen to 800. And I heard rumours and in some homes many people are phoning me, including some cabinet members with stories about the first shots and I went there and the place would be absolutely dead and there was no-one around. So a lot of these stories are either people's imagination or panic.

TONY JONES: Let me ask you this, you've been here in Australia, you've already spoken today to Alexander Downer and you want Australia's support to make sure that the UN mission doesn't leave East Timor next month, as it is supposed to. First of all, why is it so important to keep them there? Do you think they can help keep lid on this problem?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, the Security Council would initially terminate in May 20. Even until now they have had no longer peacekeepers there. Peacekeepers left in 2003. We had only some 60 UN police officer advisers. But because of the coming election next year and we know - they will be the first elections after independence - that they will be heated elections because many people want power and many people want to oust the current government, and so it is important that we are able to manage the elections in a peaceful manner.

TONY JONES: Very briefly, do you think that Alexander Downer is coming around to your position that they should remain?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Oh, yes, he was quite sympathetic. He couldn't promise, but he promised to talk to the Americans, to the UN to ensure that the UN would have a significant presence on the ground.

TONY JONES: Finally, Josa Ramos-Horta, there are quite reliable reports that you are being canvassed to take over as UN Secretary-General when Kofi Annan steps aside finally. Can you confirm that, first of all?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Well, all I can confirm is that, yes, there are growing support for me to be the next Secretary-General of the UN. I have received expressions of support from many quarters, governments in Europe and so on, so on.

TONY JONES: The United States, they'd be fairly critical in this?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes, absolutely critical. I have met more than once with the ambassador John Bolton and the people in the State Department or at their National Security Council in the US Senate, but the Americans have not told me anything about that. But anyway I have been telling everyone whom I meet that I'm not a candidate, at least not yet. My first and foremost concern is my role, my responsibilities in my own country.

TONY JONES: You could, some would argue, you could achieve an enormous amount not only for your country, but possibly for many other countries if you took that job.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: That's true. I would feel very, very comfortable with the diplomatic, political sides, aspects of the secretary's job, but it's also very, very demanding, seven days a week, almost 24 hours. And I have to think through is that what I would want to do? But most important for me is my most profound commitment to my own people, to my own country who might need me. If they don't, if President Xanana says, well, you are released, you can go elsewhere, then I would feel less constrained to make a decision.

TONY JONES: It's quite possible that he might make that call, isn't it?

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Yes. He has indicated that he doesn't want to run for president next year in Timor Leste. He wants me to run. He has been saying this publicly repeatedly, but we all feel that he is the one should stay on just another five years. He remains very popular in the country, very respected. He's relatively young and people are questioning, why shouldn't he make another 5-year sacrifice?

TONY JONES: Josa Ramos Horta, we await with some interest your political future whether it happens to be in the UN or not remains to be seen. We thank you very much for coming in to join us tonight.

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.

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