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BDnews: International Commentary regarding East Timor Crisis (7 July 2006)

From: "Back Door e-news on Timor Loro Sa'e"
Date: 7 July 2006

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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor /
Boletin Lia foun konaba Timor Lorosae:

2006 Crisis in East Timor / Susar iha Timor-Leste:

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Newsletter Title:

International Commentary regarding East Timor Crisis
Ema Mundu sira Hateten konaba Susar iha Timor Lorosae
Komunidade Internasional Koalia konaba Krize iha TL

Date: 7 July 2006

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* Back Door seeks articles from International Community
* Current Urgent Actions
* International Analysis and Commentary

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* Back Door seeks articles from the International

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of
Back Door Newsletter. Back Door seeks to provide a
range of opinions on the East Timor crisis for the
information of readers.

Priority is given to East Timorese and solidarity
voices denied accurate, if any, coverage in the
"mainstream" public media.

Back Door welcomes submission of writings for
publication that raise searching questions, analyse
carefully and report accurately.

Send writings regarding the 2006 Crisis in Timor-Leste
to Back Door: <>

Articles by Internationals may be written in any of
the following languages:

* Tetun * Bahasa Melayu * Bahasa Indonesia * Portuguese
* English * Spanish * Italian * French * Dutch * German

A translation into English is highly desirable but not

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* Current Urgent Actions

Theme: 2006 Crisis in Timor-Leste (East Timor):

ETAN - East Timor and Indonesia Action Network:

* ETAN/US Urgent Actions Menu:

* U.S. Must Support Strong UN Mission in Timor-Leste:

* Sample Letters to the Editor:

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* International Analysis and Commentary

In reverse chronological order:

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26 June 2006 La’o Hamutuk, East Timor Institute:
Suggestions for next UN Mission in Timor-Leste
"The Dili-based Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring
and Analysis is proposing an expanded and extended
United Nations mission in Timor-Leste (East Timor),
beginning shortly and lasting several years. In a
detailed memorandum to UN staff and Security Council
members, the Institute (known in Tetum as La’o Hamutuk)
draws on six years experience monitoring UN activities
in Timor-Leste to urge “that both the quality as well
as the duration of the international presence there be
evaluated and improved.“
The 11-page paper, appended below, recommends that all
UN activities in Timor-Leste be in cooperation with
the sovereign Timor-Leste government. The memo was
sent prior to the resignation of the Prime Minister,
but it addresses longer-term concerns:
* Foreign security forces in Timor-Leste, including
  Australian military and police, must be under
  coordinated UN command.
* Previous UN missions were too short and inadequately
  consulted Timorese officials and civil society. The
  new mission should last at least five years, learn
  from past UN mistakes, and overcome UN structural
  and institutional constraints.
* This mission should address the deep-seated causes
  of the current crisis: massive unemployment, limited
  popular confidence in democratic processes and the
  rule of law, traumatization, and inadequate skills
  and experience in state institutions and personnel.
* Prevailing impunity for crimes against humanity
  committed during the Indonesian occupation adds to
  the current crisis because new perpetrators expect
  to evade accountability and victims take justice
  into their own hands. The UN must renew efforts to
  end impunity, restore effectiveness to and
  confidence in the Timorese judicial system, and
  exemplify accountability and transparency in its
  own operations in Timor-Leste.
* The role of the Timor-Leste military (F-FDTL) was
  poorly thought through during the transitional
  government, and ill-conceived international training
  and arms supplies have exacerbated current problems.
  The upcoming UN investigation of violent incidents
  of April 28 and May 25 should be comprehensive and
  its report made public. In addition, the UN should
  encourage a broad-based, national discussion to help
  Timor-Leste determine what local security forces are
  appropriate. In the meantime, the UN and other
  international supporters must train police and
  military forces in human rights, the rule of law,
  command structures, and how to interact with the
  civilian population.
* The “bubble economy” created by UNTAET should have
  done more to jump-start local economic development
  by hiring more Timorese staff and purchasing
  locally-produced supplies and services. The next UN
  Mission must give attention to the consequences of
  unemployment and alienation, and work with the
  Timorese government to expand public-sector
  employment and effectively train Timorese managers.
* The next mission should involve more women at every
  level, as required by UN resolutions. Nearly all of
  those directly responsible for the current crisis in
  Timor-Leste are male, but women and children suffer
  the burden of displacement from their homes.
* The UN’s responsibility does not end with the 2007
  elections, and its civic education programs should
  involve more than training in election procedures.
  The next UN mission should help expand awareness
  that healthy, informed political debate, focused on
  issues and conducted respectfully and nonviolently,
  is an essential part of democracy. ... "
Charles Scheiner,
La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction
Monitoring and Analysis

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Spanish Original:
18 June 2006 Sin Permiso: Wark & Cabral:
Timor Oriental: detrás de la demonización de Alkatiri
"Los medios de comunicación, especialmente los
australianos (Noticias del Departamento de Asuntos
Exteriores y Comercio) han ofrecido una visión
particularmente distorsionada de la crisis. ... El mal
está representado en la figura de una persona.
Identificar una cabeza de turco sugiere que su
eliminación hará que, mágicamente, las cosas vuelvan a
ir bien de nuevo. Mucha gente piensa hoy que “musulmán”
y “terrorista” son términos afines, si es que no son
sinónimos. El primer ministro musulmán de Timor
Oriental, Mari Alkatiri, aparece en la prensa mediante
“entrevistas al hombre de la calle” como un
“terrorista” (para no mencionar también sus cualidades
de “traidor” y “asesino”), una palabra que vuelve
verificada y fortalecida por la prensa en la calle.
¿Qué hay detrás de estas caricaturas de Alkatiri?"
Estêvão Cabral, doctor en Relaciones Internacionales
y fue un guerrillero del Falantil &
Julie Wark, miembro del Consejo Editorial de sinpermiso

English Original:
24 June 2006 ICH: Cabral & Wark:
Behind The Demonisation Of Mari Alkatiri
"The media, especially the Australian media (News from
the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), has
offered a particularly distorted view of the crisis.
 ... Evil is represented as embodied in the figure of
one person. Identifying a single scapegoat suggests
that his removal will magically make all well again.
Many people today think of “Muslim” and “terrorist” as
related, if not synonymous terms. The Muslim Prime
Minister of Timor-Leste, Mari Alkatiri, appears in the
press through man-in-the-street interviews as a
“terrorist” (not to mention “traitor” and “killer”),
a word that then returns press-verified and reinforced
to the street. What lies behind these depictions of
Estêvão Cabral, long-time member of Fretilin &
Julie Wark, human rights translator and author

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27 May 2006 ETAN East Timor & Indonesia Action Network:
Statement on the Current Violence in Timor-Leste
"Statements by Australian government leaders that
providing security assistance entitles them to
influence over Timor-Leste’s government are
undemocratic, paternalistic, and unhelpful. Who
governs Timor-Leste is a decision to be made by its
people within its constitution. ... Australia bears
special responsibility for Timor’s underdevelopment
by refusing to return revenues, totaling billions of
dollars, from the disputed petroleum fields in the
Timor Sea, including Laminaria-Corallina, and by
bullying Timor-Leste into forsaking revenues that
should rightfully belong to it under current
international law and practice. As in 1999, we must
not forget that the Australian government’s actions
have contributed to the situations their peacekeepers
have now been sent to correct. Australia should not
view its current assistance to Timor-Leste as a favor,
to be repaid, but instead as a partial repayment for
the debt Australia owes the Timorese people for its
help during WW II and for Australia's deep complicity
in Indonesia's invasion and occupation."
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

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9 May 2006 ETAN East Timor & Indonesia Action Network:
Country Fragile, Int'l Assistance, Justice Still Needed
"We urge the international community and the UN,
especially the Security Council, to work with
Timor-Leste to complete the nation-building and
development tasks to which it has already committed.
Security Council members should favorably consider
the Timor-Leste government's request for a special
UN office until after next year's presidential and
parliamentary elections. These national elections,
the first in independent Timor-Leste, will help
determine if democracy has staying power in this new
nation. In addition to electoral assistance, the
Secretary-General has proposed continued human rights
monitoring, military liaisons, police training
advisers, and other assistance to improve the
competence of government institutions. A formal
mission will also increase the East Timorese people's
sense of security over the coming year, whereas a
premature end to the mission could escalate public
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

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