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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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Timor-Leste Legal News January 2008 (Part 1)

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 10 January 2008

Police keep three women in detention for the sale of drugs: The Interim General Commander of PNTL, Alfonso de Jesus, announced that the three women from Indonesia who were captured at the border as they brought illegal drugs into Timor-Leste are still in detention. Commander Afonso de Jesus said that the case of the three detained women will be investigated. Mr. de Jesus said that the investigation will attempt to identify the type of drug that they brought into Timor-Leste. The drugs will be sent to Australia for analysis.

ISF setting up transmitters on Matebian: The International Security Forces (ISF) have been setting up transmitters on Matebian mountain to facilitate their communication needs in Timor-Leste. With regards to the worries expressed about the presence of the ISF in Matebian by a FRETILIN member of parliament, the Commander of the ISF, John Hutcheson, said that the ISF has communication difficulties, especially where there are hills, so it needs transmitters to improve transmission of communications. "We sent some of our people to Matebian to set up transmitters to facilitate communication between Baucau and Viqueque, because there are no Timor Telecom transmitters placed there," said Commander Hutcheson.

PR Ramos-Horta: "There's only one army" - Answering the concerns of many people about the military uniforms used by Alfredo and his movement, President (PR) Jose Ramos-Horta said on his official visit to Quelicai sub-district, Baucau, that there is only one army in Timor-Leste: the Defence of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) under the leadership of Brigadier Taur Matan-Ruak, which is respected by the world. "There is only one army in this country and it is based in Tasi Tolu, Metinaro and Baucau, led by Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, with the Chief-of-Staff Lere Anan Timur and Deputy Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant Falur," said the president on Tuesday (8/1) in Quelicai, Baucau. (DN)

"Xanana is the author of crisis": evidence needed - The Member of the National Parliament (NP) from CNRT, Eduardo Barreto, said that people should not accuse Xanana Gusmao of being the author of the crisis when there is no evidence; just claims made by Alfredo. Mr. Barreto said that if Prime Minister Xanana is the author of the crisis, he should submit himself to justice. "If there were no Xanana, then there would have been no independence for Timor-Leste. We do reject claims that Xanana is a liar. We, the resistance, will stand behind Xanana to defend everyone's dignity," said Mr. Barreto in the NP, Dili. (DN and TP)

Rogerio Lobato: needs 8 more months for medical treatment - Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that Rogerio Lobato will have eight more months for his medical treatment in Malaysia. (DN and TP)

Ramos-Horta: strong opposition important when executing the state budget - PR Jose Ramos-Horta said that Fretilin makes for a strong opposition in the NP with its fiscal policy experience, and this will help the Alliance government execute the state budget appropriately. "Fretilin makes the Alliance government sweat, because its NP members have experience of fiscal policy and state budgets and that is important to the nation and democracy," said PR Ramos-Horta in his official visit to Quelicai, Baucau. (DN)

MUNJ resignation from the Task Force: has impact on the process of dialogue - Adriano Nascimento, a member of the NP from the Democratic Party (PD), said that the resignation of the Youth Movement of National Unity (MUNJ) from the Task Force will effect the process of dialogue between the government, Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners. "I think this resignation is very dangerous for the Task Force and the process of dialogue. The current government may have good intentions, but if the problems are not solved then there will be instability in the country," said Mr. Nascimento on Wednesday (9/1) in NP, Dili. According to Mr. Nascimento, it is time for the younger generations to lead the nation, as the old leaders are no longer capable of solving the nation's problems, as demonstrated by MUNJ's withdrawal. (TP and DN)

PNTL Task Force reactivated: Dili in calm - The NP member from CNRT, Aderito Hugo, said that the reactivation of the PNTL Task Force has pleased people in Dili as they can now live more peacefully. All people are proud of the Commander of the Task Force in Dili District for his leadership in providing security to people in Dili 24 hours a day. "I offer my gratitude to Commander Pedro Belo for his leadership. He has made Dili peaceful" said Albertino in Dili Seaport.  (DN)

AFP to provide 50 vehicles to the PNTL - PR Ramos-Horta said that the 50 vehicles which are used by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Timor-Leste will be handed over to the PNTL to facilitate its work. PR Ramos-Horta said that on Sunday (6/1) he held a meeting with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, to ask that the vehicles of the AFP be transferred to the PNTL. "On Sunday I had a meeting with SRSG Atul Khare to see how UNPol could help build the capacity of the PNTL, by methods such as transferring the 50 vehicles of the AFP to the PNTL," said the president in his official visit to Baguia, Baucau, on Monday (7/1). (DN)

Alfredo's lawyer: asking that the head of the Task Force be replaced - The lawyer of Alfredo Reinado, Benevides Correia Barros, is insisting that the government replace the Head of the Task Force for Alfredo's case, Secretary State for Security Francisco Guterres, to move the process forward. "I think he should be replaced to allow the process to move forward," said Mr. Barros on Wednesday (9/1) in the Palacio da Cinzas-Caicoli, Dili. According to Mr. Barros, the Head of the Task Force is the one who is impeding the process of solving the petitioners' and Alfredo Reinado's problem. (STL)
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Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 9 January 2008

PM Xanana instructs Justice Ministry to see Rogerio Lobato - PM Xanana Gusmão has instructed the Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato to witness first-hand the condition of former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, who is now under medical treatment in Malaysia. Minister Lucia Lobato said she would represent the government and visit Mr. Rogerio in Malaysia, since it is important for people's faith in the justice system that he completes his sentence. Minister Lobato also said that she was informed by the Timorese Ambassador in Malaysia that Mr. Rogerio needs more time to complete his treatment - and the government will give more time to Mr. Rogerio for this reason. (TP)

Law needed to combat prostitution - The government needs a law to combat prostitution in Timor-Leste. The Member of NP from the Democratic Party, Vital dos Santos, said that the government has the power to immediately create a law to regulate prostitution and avoid its negative impact upon society and future generations. "To combat prostitution in Timor-leste, no law is needed since there is no nation in the world that makes it legal to be involved in this kind of profession. However, the reality shows that there is prostitution in the countries that are predominantly Christian, because it is a normal thing†said Mr. dos Santos. (TP and DN)

IDPs: asking the government to provide security for them to return home - The government has planned to help the IDPs return home, but IDPs are still insisting that the Government provide security in their communities. "They need to ensure our security otherwise it will all take place again: stoning and killing each other," said Jose Soares, Coordinator of IDPs in Cathedral Camp, Dili, on Tuesday (8/1). Mr. Soares also said that IDPs fled to avoid violence and confrontation and do not want it to happen again. The IDPs agree with the plan of the government, but need security assistance in the communities that they will be returning to. (DN)
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Group of youths assault IDPs in Uato-Carbau sub-district, Viqueque: A group of youths assaulted IDPs in the public market of Uato-Carbau sub-district on Monday night. Some of the IDPs had been looking for temporary shelter. PNTL Operational Commander of Viqueque District, Gaspar Pinto said that approximately twenty young people threatened the IDPs with gasoline and stones. The police arrested four young men who were suspected of being involved. The four suspects have been detained in the police station of Uato-Carbau pending investigations.
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Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 8 January 2008

ISF is "going around" Mount Matebian - The Member of the National Parliament (MP) for Fretilin, Inacio Moreira, claimed that members of the International Security Forces (ISF) have illegally been going around the Mountain of Matebian, Quelicai sub-district, Baucau district. "I am worried, because the government needs to know about this. Upon the agreement that sets out the parameters of the ISF presence, they only need to control the western part of the country, but reality shows they control anywhere they want," said Mr. Moreira in the National Parliament (NP), Dili. (TP and DN)

Suspects of Suai arson brought to court - police have no arrest warrants - The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) of Covalima District arrested fourteen people suspected of arson in Matai village, sub-district of Maukatar, Covalima on Friday (4/1). The fourteen suspects were registered at the Dili District Court to undergo an investigation process, excluding two suspects that were released. One of the suspects, Laurentino de Jesus - also the head of Matai village - said that he is not satisfied with the arrests as police only took potentially inaccurate information from witnesses and captured the suspects without arrest warrants. "I will describe all these wrongdoings in court, so that it will not happen again to other suspects," said Mr. de Jesus on Monday (7/1) in Dili.

Police are working in the proper manner - To counter rumours spread in Dili that police have been illegally entering the houses of people to arrest suspects who have been involved in crimes, Interim General Commander of the PNTL, Afonso de Jesus, said that the rumors are true: the police can identify suspects who are involved criminal activities and then search for and arrest them within one day based upon the law of this country. Commander de Jesus also said that if the police find the suspects in a house they should be arrested to make sure that they do not destroy any evidence that incriminates them. (TP)

Longuinhos Monteiro: Rogerio Lobato will not flee to another nation - The Director of Interpol for Timor-Leste and Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro made assurances that former Minister of the Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato - who is now under medical treatment in Malaysia - will not be able to flee to another country since he is under observation by Malaysia and Timor-Leste Interpol. "On behalf of Interpol, I would like to say that Interpol branches maintain professional contact with one another to guarantee that the prisoner will not flee to another country without the authorization of the government of Timor-leste."

Rumor that Fretilin will demonstrate; PNTL has not received any letter requesting permission - Rumors about Fretilin's Peace March taking place next week have been spreading around Dili, although no letter requesting permission has been sent to the PNTL as yet. "We have the information about the peace march, but we have still not received a formal letter from the party notifying us of the action," said Inspector Fernandes. Inspector Fernandes said according to the law, any groups or political parties who want to express their rights democratically in a march or demonstration must apply for permission from the PNTL and the other security institutions. (STL)

Suai case, 3 PNTL members detained - Three PNTL members of Covalima district suspected of being involved in the cases of arson and violence in Ukun Nain village, Suai, in Covalima district on Thursday (3/1) have been detained for 72 hours.
Inspector Mateus Fernandes, Deputy Operational Commander of PNTL said that police have arrested eight suspects, including three PNTL members. (STL)
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FRETILIN PRESS CONFERENCE By Francisco Guterres LuOlo, President of FRETILIN Dili, 8th January 2008

ALFREDO ACCUSES XANANA AS AUTHOR OF CRISIS: FRETILIN DEMANDS ANSWERS

FRETILIN has called this press conference today to make public to the People of Timor-Leste, the Maubere people, that on the 31st of December 2007, we wrote to the President of the Republic and other institutions of our State regarding the allegations made by Mr. Alfredo Reinado in a video recording that came into our possession last week, which has serious ramifications for our nation's stability and peace, and which will impact on our public institutions.

In that video recording that has been widely distributed by unidentified persons, Mr. Alfredo Reinado accuses Mr. Xanana Gusmão as the person responsible for the crisis that engulfed our nation in 2006. I am sure that all of us here today have heard or seen the said video recording, or have perhaps read about it in a newspaper.

When we viewed a copy of this recording that we obtained from the media, FRETILIN became extremely concerned with the impact that it would have on peace and stability in our country, as the statements made by Mr. Alfredo Reinado may well lead to further public panic amongst our people already traumatized by similar statements from last year's crisis, and there may well be a surge in the number of currently internally displaced persons.  We are concerned that the statements by Mr. Reinado are aimed at continuing to divide our people and create further serious instability in our country.

I remind you all that in May and June 2006, former President of the Republic, Mr. Xanana Gusmão accused former FRETILIN government Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri of bring involved in the distribution of weapons and demanded his resignation as Prime Minister.  Mr. Gusmão based his demands on allegations made by Mr. Vicente da Conceicao, alias Railos that Dr. Alkatiri had authorized the distribution of weapons to he and his group.  Railos made these allegations on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's "Four Corners" program. Despite no other evidence whatsoever existing, Mr. Gusmão sent a copy of a video recording of the Four Corners Program to Dr. Alkatiri demanding his resignation.

As we all know Dr. Alkatiri resigned in order to avoid further blood shed in our country and because of his desire to end the political crisis that engulfed it. Some were saying that his resignation would end the crisis.  However 18 months have passed since his resignation and the crisis continued for us all.  We also know that the Prosecutor General of the Republic undertook a full investigation but was unable to find evidence to support Railos' allegations against Dr. Alkatiri and the investigation was closed for want of evidence.  However we can all see that such unfounded allegations resulted in an immediate investigation against Dr. Alkatiri.

Despite the investigation having been closed, Dr. Alkatiri's accusers continued their smear campaign against him and have never acknowledged their false allegations.  Mr. Gusmão and his allies continued to wrongly accuse FRETILIN of arms distribution and to accuse FRETILIN as being the authors of the crisis.

However as we have all read, heard and viewed with our own eyes, former F/FDTL Military Police Major Alfredo Reinado has provided details that he is a witness to Mr. Gusmao's conduct as the author of the crisis which emerged in our country.  We have heard these statements from a person who became the focal point, the central and active participant in the 2006 crisis.  We have heard Mr. Reinado also say that Mr. Gusmão was the author for the issue of the petitioners which emerged as the match to light the crisis.

On the 31st of December 2007, as the President of FRETILIN, the majority party in the National Parliament and the historic party who struggled for the liberation of this nation and its people, I wrote to the President, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, with copies of the letter sent to the de facto Prime Minister, the President of the National Parliament, the Prosecutor General of the Republic, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Brigadier General of the F/FDTL.  We informed the President of the Republic of our concerns of the ramification this video may have in damaging peace and stability in our country.  FRETILIN also informed the President of the Republic that unidentified persons were distributing this video throughout the country and that Mr. Reinado's message may well cause a situation of panic which may create further civil instability and worsen the problem if internally displaced persons.

FRETILIN requested his Excellency, the President of the Republic, to carefully analyze this video recording and take necessary measures in accordance with justice, the law and the constitution, to ensure future national security, peace and stability in our country.

After having delivered this letter to his Excellency, the President of the Republic, information has come to us that this video is being distributed and publicized throughout the country, its contents published in newspapers and broadcast on the radio.  This information has also appeared on the World Wide Web.

However, until now FRETILIN has not received any response from his Excellency the President of the Republic, on this issue.  Neither have we heard any response from his Excellency, Mr. Xanana Gusmão, regarding the allegations made against him by Mr. Alfredo Reinado.  This issue warrants a prompt and clear response from the leaders of this state and the public institutions who have notice of this video recording's contents, especially those who have responsibility to promote and defend the constitution and the law.

The people deserve a clear and serious institutional response in accordance with the constitution and the law, and a response that seeks to secure and strengthen peace and stability in our country.

When the crisis emerged in 2006, FRETILIN immediately demanded that our public institutions and state leaders strive to seek the truth and justice in keeping with our nation as a democracy and a state under the rule of law, as the only path to attain lasting peace and stability.  Today FRETILIN continues to demand this.

We continue to demand this because our people continue to demand this.  FRETILIN's only aspiration is to realize the people's aspiration and that which will result in the welfare of our people and this country.

Recently some leaders have said, "It is better for us to forget the 2006 crisis and to look only to the future".  FRETILIN urges all the citizens of this nation to work towards peace and stability for the future of this country but the wrongs of the past have to be remedied in accordance with the constitution and the law, because all Timorese should always respect Timor-Leste as a democratic state and as a state under the rule of law.  There is no other path for us.

FRETILIN appeals to all people not to allow themselves to fall into the manipulations of those seeking to divide our people though the conflict that they created in 2006.  Our people have already suffered too much and do not deserve to constantly live with fear and without knowing their destiny.  FRETILIN appeals to everyone to seek a path to resolve all questions in accordance with the constitution and the law as the only guarantees of a future with peace and stability.
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Houses Torched In East Timorese Village: UN Police - AFP 4 January 2008 DILI (AFP)--Eight houses were torched early Friday in southern East Timor where international peacekeepers and UN police are on national patrol following a 2006 unrest, UN police said here.

The attacks came a day after a brawl on the capital Dili's streets between hundreds of gang members was dispersed by police firing warning shots. The arson, which occurred in the village of Kunain in Covalima district, and the gang fights highlight the ongoing fragile security situation in the tiny, impoverished nation.

"Police arrived and dispersed the crowds, arresting four people. A total of eight houses had been burnt," the UN police said in a statement. "A police taskforce has been set up to identify suspects, and UN police and Border Patrol Units remain in the village to prevent further trouble."

Speaking in Dili, senior policeman Mateus Fernandes earlier told reporters that the incident involved two rival youth gangs and was
being investigated. He had said seven houses had been torched in Suai, the capital of Covalima district, about 90 kilometers from Dili.

East Timor initially collapsed into chaos in April and May 2006, when security force factions waged battle on the streets, leaving at least 37 people dead and forcing about 155,000 people to flee their homes.

International peacekeepers and UN police were dispatched to maintain security but, according to the UN mission here, about 100,000 people are still in camps, either with no homes or too afraid to return to them.

President Jose Ramos-Horta has said he wants Australian-led peacekeepers to stay at least until the end of this year and the UN,
with its 1,700 police, to remain until 2011.
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UNMIT Weekly United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste Issue No 23  4 January 2008

Voter Registration On-going in 2008 - Some 100,000 voters have been registered for the 2008 local elections. A voter registration campaign, which began in November and ended 31December 2007, was carried out by STAE, the Secretariado Tecnico da Administracao Eleitoral with support from UNMIT and UNDP. Some 5,000 people registered for the first time, according to STAE. A new campaign begins at the end of January.

While voters in Timor-Leste have voter ID cards from previous elections, according to STAE director Tomas Cabral, they will need to update them. “The reason we are changing is because people change their residences. We are also changing the people’s cards that have already been punched. We are registering people who are at least 17 years old. After that, we will prepare for the village chiefs election in 2008 and 2009.” He says the chefe de suco elections are scheduled to take place in several stages in sucos and aldeias across the country, starting with Oecussi and Bobonaro in December 2008. STAE’s goal is to register 600,000 voters. While 17 is the legal voting age, all people 16 and over are encouraged to register. Like a passport, the voter registration card serves as a photo identification for the cardholder.

According to Mr. Cabral, it is easy to register. “Whoever still has their old electoral cards should bring them to the district administration center in each district where STAE is located so that their punched cards can be changed,” he says. “The people who have lost their electoral cards should report it to the police to obtain a lost declaration statement in order to apply for a new card. In order to register for the first time, anyone who is 17 or older should bring some form of personal identification, such as a Timor Leste Passport, a Catholic or other religious Baptism certificate, or an RDTL certificate from the Ministry of Justice to the STAE office and then he or she will be able to register.”
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Improvement in Security Leads to Handover of Responsibilities: UNPol - Gang-related violence has been significantly reduced in Timor Leste, says Hermanprit Singh, Acting Police Commissioner of UNPol. Mr. Singh, who was interviewed by UNMIT Weekly, attributes the decline to the creation of a gang task force which has identified and reduced gang violence, the posting of UNMIT police in the districts and the strengthening of the national justice system. He also cites the carrying out of elections as a positive factor in reducing tension. “Once the elections were done and the new Government was in place, after some initial hiccups, some violence that came with the change of Government, the security situation has shown gradual but sure improvement.”

Mr. Singh says that while UNPol will continue its mentoring responsibilities, PNTL can take credit for the restoration of peace and security in the country as well. But he says while crime has been reduced, the problem has to be tackled at other levels besides policing. He cites employment opportunities and economic development as two areas where improvement can lead to lasting peace. A significant step will be taken at the end of January when UNPol hands over the executive policing responsibilities of three posts in Dili to PNTL. “The first and foremost examples will be Bidau, Merkadu Lama and Bairro Pite. I think this will be the first major step.”
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New Year’s Police Operation Finds Illegal Activities at Mona Lisa and Moon Bars - On the evening of Wednesday 2 January, the UN Police (UNPol) Drug Taskforce, Dili District Police, and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) raided two bars in Dili as part of a successful operation to crack down on activities related to illegal immigration, the sale of drugs, and possible human trafficking.

At the Mona Lisa Bar, police found evidence of drug usage and identified eight females who were suspected of involvement in prostitution. All eight were arrested for identification purposes, in connection with investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking. At the Moon Bar, 13 women and seven men, all foreign nationals, were arrested for identification purposes related to investigations into the trafficking of women. The managers of both bars were among those arrested.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Dr. Atul Khare, congratulated UNPol and the PNTL for the operation. “A crucial part of UNMIT’s mandate is to ensure public security and support the Government in the consolidation of stability and the enhancement of a culture of democratic governance,” SRSG Khare said. “Accordingly, we will not allow such activities to flourish.”

Many of the arrested women are thought to have entered the country illegally and police recovered evidence of forged or altered identification documents. Police teams are working in close collaboration with the Immigration Service to process the detainees through the criminal justice system.
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UNMIT Daily Media Review - 4 January 2008

TVTL news coverage

ALFREDO: Xanana is the author of the Crisis and investors should not trust him - Alfredo stated: "…there is no guarantee from the government to resolve my issue this year. This crisis will get worse because of stupid government leaders who speak without any morals". Alfredo advised international investors not to invest in Timor-Leste because the crisis remains unresolved. He asked how this crisis could possibly be resolved if those people who should be seeking solutions are the authors of the crisis, and added that if they (the government) are not able to resolve this crisis, they do not have capacity to govern.

Alfredo also strongly condemned PM Gusmão and the work of the Task Force which has achieved no concrete results, and stated that Xanana is a big liar, and has been since 1975. Alfredo added that he has never been afraid of anyone, and that Xanana will go to prison for longer than anyone else because he is the author of the crisis. Alfredo and Salsinha are ready to act as witnesses. Alfredo also requested for a public audience with PM Gusmão on Television so that all people can see the reality. (TS)

Fighting in Ermera, 1 injured - The United Nations Police (UNPol) Daily Security Briefing said that a fight took place between two groups in Ermera district on Wednesday morning which resulted in a 30-year-old man sustaining injuries to his arm, and several windows of a UN Police vehicle being smashed. Police brought the situation under control, but later the next morning, the same groups gathered and threw stones at the police station. The situation has again been brought under control by the police, but remains tense. Many bridges and roads throughout the country have been damaged by the heavy rain in the past few days. Ermera district is among the worst affected areas: Hatolia sub-district is virtually inaccessible as the bridge one kilometre east of Hatolia has been damaged by rainfall. The bridge connecting Ermera and Gleno has also been damaged and is unsafe to cross. In Liquica district, police have managed to clear debris from several roads, and most remain open, if damaged. However, the road to Bazartete has been blocked by falling debris at several points. Police are working to clear this debris, but until they are successful Fatumasi is effectively cut off.

The security situation in Timor-Leste as a whole has been calm, although there was a large police operation in Dili on Wednesday evening. On Wednesday evening, the UN Police (UNPol) Drug Taskforce, Dili District Police, and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) raided two bars in Dili as part of a successful operation to crackdown on activities related to illegal immigration, the sale of drugs, and possible human trafficking.  A total of 21 women and seven men were arrested for identification purposes in connection with investigations into these activities. Despite the damaged roads, police are able to reach all districts by helicopter in case of emergency. (TP)

Police Conduct Operation against Drugs and the Trafficking of Women in Dili - On the evening of Wednesday 2 January, the UN Police (UNPol) Drug Taskforce, Dili District Police, and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) raided two bars in Dili as part of a successful operation to crackdown on activities related to illegal immigration, the sale of drugs, and possible human trafficking.

At the Mona Lisa Bar, police found evidence of drug usage and identified eight females who were suspected of involvement in prostitution. All eight were arrested for identification purposes, in connection with investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking.

At the Moon Bar, 13 women and seven men, all foreign nationals, were arrested for identification purposes related to investigations into the trafficking of women. The managers of both bars were among the arrested.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Dr. Atul Khare, congratulated UNPol and the PNTL for the operation:

"A crucial part of UNMIT's mandate is to ensure public security and support the Government in the consolidation of stability and the enhancement of a culture of democratic governance," SRSG Khare said. "Accordingly, we will not allow such activities to flourish."

Many of the arrested women are thought to have entered the country illegally and police recovered evidence of forged or altered identification documents. Police teams are working in close collaboration with the Immigration Service to process the detainees through the criminal justice system. (TP and STL)

Fretilin to give back Christmas envelope to the National Parliament (NP) - Ana Pessoa, a member of the National Parliament (NP) from Fretilin, said that Fretilin will give back all the envelopes containing US$120.00 as Christmas subsidy that were given to the members and staff of the NP. Ms. Pessoa said that the money belongs to the people, who are suffering. (STL)

Police have not released two women accused of selling illegal drugs - The Interim General Commander of the PNTL, Afonso de Jesus, said that two women from Indonesia who were captured at the border as they brought illegal drugs into Timor-Leste are still in detention. Commander Afonso de Jesus said that the two detained women will be investigated.  Mr. de Jesus said that the investigation will seek to identify the exact nature of the drugs, which will be taken to Australia for this purpose. (DN)

Veterans are asking the government to give an immediate response to the IDPs - Faustino dos Santos, a member of the NP from UNDERTIM, said that the government should view the IDPs' problems as the most urgent of all the problems in the country.
"Right now IDPs are living under tents in heavy rain. But the US$15 million that has been approved by NP could be used to accelerate the process of helping the IDPs to get home," said Mr. dos Santos on Thursday (3/1) in the NP, Dili. (DN)
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UNMIT Press Release 3 January 2007 Police Conduct Operation Against Drugs and Trafficking of Women in Dili - Dili, Timor-Leste – On the evening of Wednesday 2 January, the UN Police (UNPol) Drug Taskforce, Dili District Police, and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) raided two bars in Dili as part of a successful operation to crackdown on activities  related to illegal immigration, the sale of drugs, and possible human trafficking.

At the Mona Lisa Bar, police found evidence of drug usage and identified eight females who were suspected of involvement in prostitution. All eight were arrested for identification purposes, in connection with investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking.

At the Moon Bar, 13 women and seven men, all foreign nationals, were arrested for identification purposes related to investigations into the trafficking of women. The managers of both bars were among the arrested.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Dr. Atul Khare, congratulated UNPol and the PNTL for the operation: "A crucial part of UNMIT's mandate is to ensure public security and support the Government in the consolidation of stability and the enhancement of a culture of democratic governance," SRSG Khare said. "Accordingly, we will not allow such activities to flourish."

Many of the arrested women are thought to have entered the country illegally and police recovered evidence of forged or altered identification documents. Police teams are working in close collaboration with the Immigration Service to process the detainees through the criminal justice system.
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UN, ETimor police arrest 28 over possible human trafficking - DILI, Jan. 3 (AFP) - UN and East Timorese police have arrested 28 foreign nationals as part of investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking, the UN mission here said Thursday. Officers raided two bars in the East Timorese capital Dili on Wednesday, the mission said in a statement.

At one bar, eight females suspected of involvement in sex work were arrested "for identification purposes, in connection with investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking," it said. At a second bar, 13 women and seven men, all foreign nationals, were arrested "for identification purposes related to investigations into the trafficking of women."

A UN official said the mission was not at liberty to say where the 28 were from as police were still trying to confirm all of their identities. A US State Department 2007 report said that the half-island nation was a destination country for women trafficked from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

East Timor is one of the world's poorest nations. International peacekeepers are on patrol here following unrest triggered by factional fighting among security forces in 2006. UN police are also assisting in providing security.
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Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 3 January 2008

PNTL find hand-made pistol - The Interim General Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Inspector Afonso de Jesus, said that the PNTL has found a hand-made pistol. "The pistol was found when our officials were informed that weapons were being distributed. When the officers approached the place in question, the suspects ran away and we only got this pistol," said Inspector de Jesus on Wednesday (2/1) in his office. Inspector de Jesus said that the search for the owner of the pistol is ongoing. (STL)

The PNTL is ready to manage stations handed over by UNPol - The PNTL is preparing to take over three police stations and their corresponding security responsibilities which will be handed over by the UN Police (UNPol) in the near future. The General Commander of the PNTL, Inspector Afonso de Jesus, said that the PNTL will have discussions with UNPol concerning the handover. The three police stations in question are Bairo Pite, Bidau and Mercado Lama, all of which are in Dili district. Acting UNPol Commissioner Hermanprit Singh said that UNPol will hand over the three stations to the PNTL as planned, and the same will happen for some stations in other districts. The Acting Commissioner also said that the handover of security responsibility is based upon the success of the certification process and the readiness of the police in question to take over policing duties in each district. (STL)

The 2008 state budget is promulgated, and people await its implementation -PR José Ramos-Horta said that he promulgated the state budget for 2008 on December 31, 2007, because people are waiting for its immediate implementation. The President is satisfied that the state budget of US$348.1 was approved after a productive discussion and debate in the National Parliament. The President also said that the recent government has shown its maturity by incorporating some of the ideas of the strong opposition in implementing the state budget. (DN)

Ramos-Horta: F-FDTL and PNTL should strengthen their unity in 2008 - PR José Ramos-Horta is asking the PNTL and the F-FDTL to maintain unity both internally and externally with each other for the sake of the security of the country. The President also said that if these two institutions do not maintain harmony between one another, then the people and the nation will suffer. On behalf of the Timorese people, PR Ramos-Horta also gave his gratitude to the UN Mission in Timor-Leste for its assistance during the military crisis in 2006. (DN)

2008: the problems of the IDPs, Alfredo and the petitioners should be solved - PR José Ramos-Horta said that in 2008, all constituent parts of the country - president, parliament, judiciary and civil society - should make immediate efforts to solve the problems of the petitioners, Alfredo and the IDPs. The President also said that as part of the priority to reconstruct the PNTL and the defence forces, the security and defence sectors will be a target of reform in 2008. (DN)
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Shots fired to disperse brawling gangs - From correspondents in Dili January 03, 2008 08:33pm Agence France-Presse - EAST Timorese and UN police fired warning shots into the air to disperse hundreds of brawling gang members in the capital. The fight was apparently triggered by the murders of two young gang members during New Year's celebrations earlier this week.

About 300 people took to the streets for the fight, which resulted in the deployment of a helicopter crewed by international peacekeepers, according to a correspondent for press agency AFP.

"We had no choice but to launch warning shots as they refused to disperse," an East Timor policeman said.There were no reported casualties.

Meanwhile, UN police said that a fight in the country's western-central district Ermera on Wednesday led to the windows of a UN police vehicle being smashed and one man injured. Two fighting groups were dispersed but later gathered again and threw stones at a police station.

Tiny East Timor remains in a fragile state after it descended into chaos in April and May 2006, when security force factions waged battle on the streets, leaving at least 37 people dead. International peacekeepers and UN police were despatched to maintain security. President Jose Ramos-Horta has said he wants Australian-led peacekeepers to stay until the end of this year at least and the UN, with its 1700 police, should remain until 2011.
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Gusmao gives rebel [another] chance to surrender The Australian  Mark Dodd | January 03, 2008 - EAST Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao will offer renegade army major Alfredo Reinado one more chance to surrender or face arrest, an option diplomats warn could carry considerable risk for Australia.

Diplomatic sources in Dili told The Australian a final peace offer by Mr Gusmao would be conveyed to the former military police commander within weeks. But Major Reinado, wanted on charges of fomenting civil unrest and possession of firearms, has a new ally in former soldiers who have formed a protest group known as "petitioners".

Sources close to Mr Gusmao say his patience has run out with Major Reinado after he spurned two other peace offers in November and last month. "Don't play with me, because sooner or later I will get angry," Mr Gusmao warned Major Reinado just before Christmas.

A 1000-strong Australian and New Zealand International Stabilisation Force has responsibility for the military in East Timor.
However, any request by the East Timor Government for their help would have to be carefully considered after last year's failed effort, which cost five Timorese lives and resulted in a community backlash against the Australian peacekeepers.

The East Timor Defence Force (F-FDTL) is understood to be reluctant to take on an enforcement role against Major Reinado.

"Politically, he's a much tougher egg to crack now he's got the petitioners," said one senor Western intelligence analyst based in Dili. "He now has several hundred (570) petitioners thinking he's the man, and those petitioners have very strong support in the western districts." The petitioners, almost all western-born Loromonu people, comprise soldiers who mutinied in 2006 over claims they were unfairly treated by ethnic eastern-born commanders.
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Timor leste to sign several MoUs with Indonesia Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara, Jan 1 Indonesia-MoU-Timor - ANTARA -- Timor Leste Foreign Affairs Minister Zacarias Albano da Costa said his government would sign several memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Indonesia to improve the people's life.

"We will sign several MoUs on the two countries' boundaries," he said in a meeting with East Nusa Tenggara Vice Governor Frans Lebu Raya and chief of the local Police and Indonesian Military officers on Monday.

He made the statement in response to a request made by the East Nusa Tenggara vice governor who asked the Timor Leste government to involve the people living in the border areas in marking borderline, preventing the one made by the Timor Leste government not to harm the interest of the peoples of both countries.

Lt Col Yulius Widjanarko of the Wirasakti Military Command said some problems often came up in the border area due to the marking of the borderline which did not involve the local population. He said some Indonesians living in the border area raised objection as their land were included in the territory of Timor Leste whereas they were the owners of the land for many years.

He also expressed concern that the marking of four points of the borderline may trigger a communal conflict in the region. Minister Zacarias said all the problems would be discussed in detail in a coordinating meeting to be held in Dili next month. The preliminary discussion would take place in Jakarta during the visit of the Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to Jakarta for  the signing of a memorandum of understanding on food and medical supplies for the border regions.

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