|Subject: East Timor press headlines/27
1. Bishop Belo: Planned and Democratic Economic Development Needed (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)
The Bishop of Dili Diocese, Mgr Carlos Filipie Ximenes Belo said adequate planning must be in the economy of Timor Lorosae and also the process of developing the economy must be democratic. He said the development of the economy must include all sectors of society right from the planning and implementation stage to the control of it.
Speaking at the opening of the Economic Forum of Timor Lorosae yesterday, the 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate said mismanagement of the economy resulted in hunger, poverty, joblessness and social instability.
“Hunger is the result of a lack of food, which is essential in a developing economy,” said Bishop Belo at the forum organized by the East Timor Study Group.
Bishop Belo said that in order to overcome hunger it was essential that political economic policies be based on the principles of solidarity with mankind.
Bishop Belo reminded the forum that the East Timorese society was an agrarian one and subsistence farming had been practiced for generations. Because of this, Bishop Belo said, there had to be proper agricultural planning for the country.
2. April 6, Peace Campaign To Be Launched In Dili (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)
Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos Horta contacted Ricardo da Costa, the Executive Coordinator of the Joventude Loriku Asuwain Timor Leste Presidum, to spearhead a steering committee for a peace campaign in the period leading up to the August 30 election.
According to Ricardo da Costa, Horta contacted him not in the capacity as the Transitional Foreign Minister but as a Nobel Peace Laureate.
“We are to set up a team to study what needs to be done to instill peace in the run-up to the [August 30] election,” said Ricardo da Costa.
The peace and tolerance campaign will be launched on April 6, said Ricardo. The campaign will start with an appeal to all political parties that their campaigns be based on the principles of peace and tolerance.
3. Political Situation In Timor Lorosae Not Yet Normal (Suara Timor Lorosae, Page 2 Lead)
Joao Mariano Saldanha, Executive Director of the East Timor Study Group, said the economic development was still in its infancy because this was the first time the United Nations was involved in building up a country from zero.
Joao was speaking to reporters at the Economic Forum of Timor Lorosae currently being held at the CNRT Auditorium.
“They [the UN] might have experience in other countries, but for Timor Lorosae it is a first time that they have undertaken such a big task. So they are facing a lot of problems and the time for overcoming them is too short,” he said.
Because of this, Joao said, the country’s political situation had yet to return to normalcy.
He also added that serious efforts needed to be made to bring in more investors to the country to jump-start the economy.
“They [investors] must not be scared off. On the contrary, they must be encouraged to have good local partners,” he said.
4. KOTA Party Supports Timor Lorosae’s Entry Into ASEAN (Timor Post, Front Page third lead)
The Vice President of the Klibur Oan Timor Asswain (KOTA), Clementino Amaral, said he favored Timor Lorosae gaining entry into ASEAN because of the country’s geographical proximity with the regional grouping.
“It’s good for Timtim to enter ASEAN and entry into the regional grouping would certainly augur well for our development. It had always been my ambition that when we are independent country we would gain entry into ASEAN,” said Clementino Amaral, speaking to reporters at the National Council Hall.
Clementino also said Timor Lorosae stood to gain politically by gaining entry into ASEAN.
“WE would be given free visa entry to all ASEAN states. Besides that we would be in a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality no neighboring country would invade us,” said the KOTA deputy head.
5. The Fate Of The People In A Political Arena (Suara Timor Lorosae, Editorial Page 5)
The Timorese people hope that politicians learn the lessons of 1975 and 1999. The bitter experiences in those two years and the subsequent consequences must serve as examples.
The appropriate political action, now, should be to build bridges of peace both in the districts and the cities.
But politics could rear its ugly head in the form of struggle for power. And the hunger for power affects all levels of society.
The political elite are more pre-occupied with conducting activities to consolidate their power. They often seem busy issuing statements to justify their hold on power. The ones in power seem to want more power. While those who are hunger for power are busy trying to create situations of chaos so that they can seize the moment.
Ironically that seem to be the state of affairs in our country. Politicians are more concerned about their private interests rather than that of the people.
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