Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Four Corners on Timor Leste

Four Corners story on the near collapse of Timor Leste last night, Monday 19 June, was one of the best pieces of investigative journalism I've seen in years.

At the heart of this story is a dispute between Prime Minister Alkatiri and the President Gusmao. Gusmao clearly wants to sack Alkatiri for his failure to curb growing civil unrest but is constitutionally restrained from doing so without first going to parliament, a parliament controlled by Alkatiri. However, Jackson alleges that Alkatiri has been "stoking the fires" by arming civilians and inciting them to violence. If these allegations are proven, Gusmao will be able to act.

Jackson was able to interview all the main players, including Alkatiri, Gusmao, and Foriegn Minister Horta. She also tracked down eye witnesses who claim to have documentary evidence that Alkatiri provided civilians with weapons - this frequently meant trekking into the mountains surrounding Dili.

The full transcript of the show is online and it will be repeated this Wednesday evening at 11.35pm (and also on ABC2 on Wednesday at 7pm and 9.30pm). ABC and Jackson must be odds on for a Walkley for this piece.

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