Deserters – Here we go again

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

UNMIT – MEDIA MONITORING

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National Media Reports
TVTL News Coverage

Monteiro: no more bargaining with Salsinha: The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro said that the Government and the General Prosecutor will not bargain with Salsinha. “As the Government’s representative in this case, I tell you that we will not bargain with Salsinha. For us this is an urgent case to be solved immediately,” said Mr. Monteiro on Tuesday (11/3) in Caicoli, Dili. According to Mr. Monteiro, Salsinha asked on Monday (10/3) to extend his time for surrendering, but then broke his own promise by sending a letter to the General Prosecutor explaining that he would not be surrendering.

“Now Salsinha says that he wants to surrender to PR Ramos-Horta when the President returns from Australia; this is his own statement. If something happens, don’t blame the Government” said Mr. Monteiro.

Xanana: Salsinha, don’t waste this time: At the plenary session of the National Parliament on Tuesday (11/3) PM Xanana Gusmão appealed to all people who have connections with Salsinha and his group to persuade them to surrender, rather than to die. With regards to the Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro’s relationship with Salsinha, the Prime Minister said that the Prosecutor General’s interaction with Salsinha was only to confirm whether Salsinha would surrender or not.

RTL News Coverage
Monteiro: Salsinha influenced to not surrender: The General Prosecutor of the Republic Longuinhos Monteiro has claimed that there is an important person in this country who is influencing Salsinha not to surrender to the old leadership, but instead to surrender to the new leaders- the Prosecutor General declined to reveal who the new leaders are.

Separately, Mr. Monteiro also said that some people outside the country are attempting to supply Salsinha with weapons. “I have new information that a person has tried to get between 5-10 weapons to support Salsinha,” said Mr. Monteiro on Tuesday (11/3) in Dili. However, Mr. Monteiro believes that the weapons will not reach Timor-Leste as the country has taken action to prevent this kind of weapons’ distribution.

Mateus Fernandes: The operation against rebels may create victims: Related to the unsuccessful attempts to get Salsinha to surrender to the state, the Deputy Commander of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Inspector Mateus Fernandes, said that the operation against the rebel leader may create victims if the rebels do not follow the state’s instruction and open fire against the operation in Ermera. Inspector Fernandes said that the Joint Operation will attempt to avoid using physical confrontation against the rebels, instead looking for peaceful ways to get them to surrender. “We really don’t want this operation to create victims. So we are asking Salsinha not to listen to rumours,” said Inspector Fernandes. The F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation continues in the districts, while in Ermera district the operation is approaching the stronghold of Salsinha and his group.

Print Coverage
Monteiro: no more bargaining with Salsinha: The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro said that the Government and the General Prosecutor will not bargain with Salsinha. “As the Government’s representative in this case, I tell you that we will not bargain with Salsinha. For us this is an urgent case to be solved immediately,” said Mr. Monteiro on Tuesday (11/3) in Caicoli, Dili. According to Mr. Monteiro, Salsinha asked to extend his time for surrendering on Monday (10/3) but then broke his own promise by sending a letter to the General Prosecutor explaining why he would not be surrendering.

“Now Salsinha says that he wants to surrender to PR Ramos-Horta when the president returns from Australia; this is his own statement. If something happens, don’t blame the Government” said Mr. Monteiro.
(STL)

Xanana: Salsinha, don’t waste your time: PM Xanana Gusmão appealed to Salsinha and his group to not waste time by waiting for PR Ramos-Horta’s return in order to surrender.

“Salsinha is waiting for the President to surrender, but this will not help. This is not an option that the Joint Operation Command will consider,” said PM Xanana at the plenary session of the National Parliament on Tuesday (11/3) when the Prime Minister presented the report of the 48 hours of the ‘State of Siege’ to the National Parliament.

PM Xanana Gusmão also appealed to all people who have connections with Salsinha and his group to persuade them to surrender, rather than to die. With regards to the Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro’s relationship with Salsinha, the Prime Minister said that the Prosecutor General’s interaction with Salsinha was only to confirm whether Salsinha would surrender or not. (STL)

Tara-Tilman meet Lasama: Petitioners, not to return to the military: Former Major Augusto ‘Tara’ and Marcos ‘Pilotu’, together with four other petitioners, officially met the Acting President of the Republic, Fernando ‘Lasama’ to discuss the future for the petitioners gathered in Aitarak Laran, Dili.

Major Tara said that the position of the Acting President is also the same as the Governments: that the petitioners cannot return to the military and must remain as civilians.

“We are asking Prime Minister Xanana to clarify that the petitioners are to indeed remain as civilians, so that we have a clear answer,” said Tara on Tuesday (11/3) after meeting the Acting President. (STL)

Joint Operation overacts: NP asks Xanana to quit: Member of the National Parliament are asking PM Xanana to quit from his position as the Minister of Security and Defence as he is unable to control PNTL and F-FDTL officers who acted inappropriately during the ‘State of Siege.’ During the NP plenary session, the Prime Minister offered no comment on this, but said that the Joint Operation Command would make efforts to improve their attitudes. The Prime Minister has also appealed for community members to report what they see, hear and feel to the Provedor of Human Rights. (STL)

People try to support weapons to Salsinha: The General Prosecutor of Republic Longuinhos Monteiro said that some people outside the country are attempting to supply Salsinha with weapons. “I have new information that a person has tried to get between 5-10 weapons to support Salsinha,” said Mr. Monteiro on Tuesday (11/3) in Dili. However, Mr. Monteiro believes that the weapons will not reach Timor-Leste as the country has taken action to prevent this kind of weapons’ distribution. (TP)

Op/Ed: Horta asks Salsinha to surrender: PM Xanana Gusmao has reaffirmed PR Horta’s message that the deadline for Salsinha to surrender is Tuesday (11/3), and that military action would follow if he did not surrender. This message is very important to Salsinha and his group and should make them think about what they have done. This message may have come as a response to Salsinha’s letter stating that he would only surrender when PR Horta returned to Timor-Leste.

Will Salsinha obey the call to surrender, or will he wait some more time? Let’s see who follows who: will the state follow Salsinha’s whims? Or will Salsinha follow the State’s demands. On the one hand, each party has a right to self-defence, but it is also important that each party contribute to the nation’s stability. Let’s wait for the implementation of the state’s decision to see what the intentions are: to kill, or to listen to each other? (TP)

Riak Leman: ‘State of Siege’ benefits community: The Social Democratic Party (PSD) member of NP, Riak Leman said that the ‘State of Siege’ should be extended as the situation is still unstable given that Salsinha has not as yet surrendered and that weapons distributed in 2006 are still at large. Mr. Leman also said that the ‘State of Siege’ does not discriminate against anyone but instead benefits all members of the community. (TP)

Ana Pessoa: “State of Siege” should not become ‘State of Normal’: Fretilin member of National Parliament, Ana Pessoa said that the ‘State of Siege’ should not become a ‘State of Normal’. “The ‘State of Siege’ is implemented only when the nation is being threatened or in grave danger, this is why PR Ramos-Horta accepted the ‘State of Siege’ for a period of 48 hours,” said Ms. Pessoa in NP, Dili when PM Xanana presented the report of the 48 hours of the ‘State of Siege’.

Ms Pessoa also said that there is something wrong with the country if people can only live in peace during a ‘State of Siege’. “If all the petitioners are calm, why are we continuing with the ‘State of Siege’? Because of Salsinha? In the 2006 crisis, PM Alkatiri did not authorize a demonstration, but PR Xanana said that to demonstrate is a right. Why didn’t he implement the ‘State of Siege’ at that time when people were burning houses — we have be honest, if there is threat to the nation, we [the government] should inform the people so that they can know the truth and not listen to rumours.” (DN)

National News Sources:
Televizaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)
Radio Timor-Leste (RTL)
Timor Post (TP)
Suara Timor Lorosae (STL)
Diario Tempo (DT)
Diario Nacional (DN)
Semanário Nacional (SN)
Tempo Semanal (TS)

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