Subject: East Timor Press headlines/16April2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines -- Monday 16 April 2001

1. Ramos Horta: No Political Agenda Behind Cancellation Of Reconciliation Talks 
2. Refugees An Impediment To Indonesian Diplomacy 
3. Xanana: I Left NC Because I Felt Hurt Politically
4. Civil Registration Clumsy, Say Liurais

1. Ramos Horta: No Political Agenda Behind Cancellation Of Reconciliation Talks (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

Deputy President of CNRT/CN Jose Ramos Horta stressed that there was no political agenda in the cancellation of reconciliation talks that were scheduled to be held in Baucau between 16 ­ 18 April. According to Ramos Horta the talks were cancelled because many of the people who were to take part in it did not have documents to travel to Timor Lorosae.

“There were no political problems. Many of the people who were due to ravel from Jakarta, did not have international travel documents,” said Ramos Horta.

On the choice of Baucau for the reconciliation talks, Ramos Horta said it was an opportunity to allow the people of the district to participate in the peace and reconciliation process.

“Many events have been held in Dili and now it’s high time that we allow the districts to be hosts of such things,” added Ramos Horta.

Meanwhile two members of CNRT’s National Reconciliation Commission ­ Paulo “Funumata” de Fatima Assis and Francisco Soares, who returned from Indonesia, said they were disappointed that the reconciliation talks had been postponed.

But they said that was to be expected because there was poor communication between the pro-autonomy leaders.

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2. Refugees An Impediment To Indonesian Diplomacy (Suara Timor Lorosae, second lead Front Page)

Director-General of Indonesia’s Political Affairs Department, Hasan Wirayudah, said Indonesian diplomacy in the international community would be affected if reconciliation talks between the East Timorese people and Timorese refugees in Jakarta-controlled West Timor fail.

Hasan Wirayudah said this at an informal meeting in Jakarta Thursday with members of CNRT’s National Reconciliation Commission.

“The [East Timorese] refugees in Indonesia are a mill-stone around Indonesia’s neck at the moment. This affects our diplomatic ties with the international community and also with Timor Lorosae,” added the director-general.

Because of the importance of the reconciliation talks and its bearing on Indonesian diplomacy, Jakarta will support all efforts to bring the parties together, said Hasan Wirayudah.

“Indonesia will be the facilitator in all reconciliation meetings. And Indonesia will also give whatever material aid to ensure that reconciliation goes on smoothly.”

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3. Xanana: “I Left NC Because I Felt Hurt Politically”

President of CNRT/CN Xanana Gusmao said he did not resign as both Head and National Council member in order to create political dramas, but rather he did so in response to his conscience and principles.

Xanana said he made the decision because he was hurt politically.

“I support all political parties that are here. I feel that my resignation must not be dramatized. I left the NC not because I did not value the NC or because of political differences. I left because I had been hurt politically,” said Xanana, when he met the new National Council members at the CNRT headquarters.

The National Council delegation was led by the new NC President Manuel Carrascalao, which also included Jose Ramos Horta.

Xanana told the delegation that he resigned as NC President because he did not intend to slow down the current political process.

“The National Council is deemed to be a legislative body though it does not make laws. But this body will give recommendations to the administration,” said Xanana when he explained the differences between the NC and CNRT.

On the agenda of the National Council, Xanana said two issues were deemed very important. Firstly, he said, there the budget [when UNTAET leaves] had to be discussed. Secondly he wanted the administrative structure for an independent Timor Lorosae to be taken up by the NC.

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4. Civil Registration Clumsy, Say Liurais (Timor Post, third lead front page)

Liurais (chiefs) complained about the civil registration process in a meeting with CNRT/CN President Xanana Gusmao on Thursday at the CNRT headquarters.

The Liurais said the enthusiasm of the people was not as great as the popular consultation in 1999. They said one factor was because there were not enough civil registration officers helping the people understand the process.

“Many of the people have to travel far in order to register at the designated centers. But when they arrive there, the service is disappointing. In many cases, the people arrived late and they were just asked to go back home and come back later. Where are they going to go back to?"”asked the Liurais.

The chief of Bidau Lecidere Jose Joanico said before the civil registration process began, all the suco chiefs met with the district administrators. In the first meeting, they were promised that the responsibility for getting people to register would be with the suco chiefs.

“Probably funds have been exhausted and that now is not possible,” said Jose Joanico.

Xanana agreed that the civil registration process was confusing to many people.

“When they registered, the people were given a registration card indicating that they had to take part in the elections. This is confusing because it sort of indicated that the people were forced to vote,” said Xanana.

Xanana said he would bring up the matter with UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello.

The CNRT President also said he would use the mass media, including Radio UNTAET and TVTL to give better information to the people with regard to civil registration.

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