Subject: East Timor headlines/ 15 Feb 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Thursday 15 February 2001

Xanana to Singapore for Medical ‘Checkup’
De Mello Visits Civil Registry Office
A Question of Citizenship
Violence: A Reflection of Dissatisfaction

1. Xanana to Singapore for Medical ‘Checkup’ (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, the President of CNRT and the National Council was flown yesterday to Singapore, via Darwin, on board a United Nations flight.

The spokesperson for the President, Ines Almeida, said Xanana was undergoing medical treatment in Singapore for a week.

Ines said the President had been suffering for a long time from kidney pains, and this had been exacerbated by his continuous heavy schedule.

“But we hope the President recovers fast to carry out his duties for the country,” said Ines.

Vice-President of the CNRT Jose Ramos-Horta said Xanana’s visit to Singapore was planned well ahead.

“He’s only going for a check-up. He had this kidney problem when he was in Cipinang Jail,” said Ramos-Horta.

According to sources, Xanana had kidney pains when, on 1 Feb, he officiated the change of the Falintil guard to the National Defense Forces. Nevertheless, the President still carried out his duties under close observation by doctors.

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2. De Mello Visits Civil Registry Office (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page top-box )

The Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello yesterday visited the civil registry office in Dili. The visit was to give moral support to the staff there.

The head of the Civil Registry Unit, Fernando Diaz Gusmao said Sergio’s visit was intended to gauge the progress made in civil registration and the pilot project for the registration of residents on Atauro Island. The pilot project runs from 26 February till 3 March.

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3. A Question of Citizenship (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page top-box)

While some members of the National Council question the citizenship status of those residing in East Timor, they themselves ,however, are behaving like foreigners.

For that reason, it is necessary to have a national census as soon as possible to know the number of people in the country, said the Socialist Party’s Secretary-General Avelino Coelho yesterday.

“With that [census] the administration will know the number of people in Timor Lorosae and the data, too, could be used for voter registration in the coming general election,” said Avelino.

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4. Violence: A Reflection of Dissatisfaction (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The use of the Portuguese National Republican Guards (GNR) to solve every act of violence does not make sense.

“The root causes of violence must be dealt with and they range from the dissatisfaction of the people because of their economic, political and social conditions,” said Aderito de Jesus Soares, the Coordinator of the Sahe Institute of Liberation.

He said there has to be a comprehensive approach to solving the problem of violence.

But he said in comparison to Third World countries in the transitional phase to democracy, East Timor’s problem was not that great.

“For example in Africa, in a similar transitional phase that we are experiencing, there was no end to violence. Everyday bodies would be piled along the roadside. But In East Timor there are only one or two groups creating violence,” said Aderito.

“The question now is how can we tackle the problem in a comprehensive manner, instead of using the GNR,” he asked.

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