Subject: East Timor headlines/14May2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 14 May 2001

1. Yayasan Hak discussion: “We must awaken the people” 
2. Thousands of Catholics remember the Virgin Mary 
3. Bishop Belo: Don’t use university for politics

1. Yayasan Hak Discussion: “We Must Awaken The People” (Timor Post, Front Page second lead)

Participants at a weekend discussion seminar, organized by the human rights NGO Yayasan Hak, expressed their frustration at UNTAET. Many said they did not understand the Transitional Administration’s work-plan and added the people were confused about the 30 August election and the civic education program.

Yaysan HAK activist Nuhgroho said UNTAET’s civic education program was a bit too late. He said the program should have been implemented in October 1999.

“Now we have a situation where USAid and UNDP are copying the civic education program ­ trying to implement it like the time before the Indonesian general elections [after the fall of Suharto],"”said Nuhgroho.

The Yayasan Hak activist also hit out at the reconciliation program.

“The reconciliation program is aimed at militia leaders so that the refugees would be able to return soon to take part in the 30 August election. But the militia leaders themselves are taking the upper hand. What should be done is to give them a deadline. If the militia leaders fail to return by 30 August, then the door of reconciliation will be closed,” added Nuhgroho.

Aderito de Jesus, director of the Sahe Institute of Liberation hit out at local NGOs for not forwarding proposals to international NGOs for funding to carry out civic education programs.

“Many local NGOs are reluctant to ask for funds to carry out civic education ­ so that they can be better equipped to educate the people on democracy. The UNTAET-led civic education program tends to make the people docile. They [UNTAET] are more interested in the elections being peaceful and where the UN is able to tell the world that it [the Transitional Administration] was a success,” said Aderito.

The Sahe Director also criticized political parties saying they lacked a proper political program.

“At this moment there isn’t a single political party that is talking about bringing back the thousands of refugees across the border with West Timor. These refugees have a right to vote at the 30 August election,” said Aderito.

“All I can see is that political parties are more concerned about symbols, than the people,” he said in an obvious swipe at Fretilin.

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2. Thousands of Catholics Remember the Virgin Mary (Timor Post, front page third lead)

Thousands of Catholics in Dili remembered, yesterday, the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children ­ Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco ­ on 13 May 1917 ­ in Fatima, Portugal.

Dili Bishop Carlos Filipie Ximenes Belo used the occasion to thank the Portuguese contingent, who took the initiative to place the statue of the Lady of Fatima at the “praca de triste memoria” park.

Bishop Belo said the placing of the statue was significant because Timor Lorosae, was again, going through a trying moment with the 30 August Constituent Assembly election due soon.

“As the elections are near, we pray for peace. All the Timorese people can now see the statue of Our Lady. Let’s pray to her for understanding, respect, love for one another and peace,” said Bishop Belo.

The procession, carrying the statute of Our Lady of Fatima, started from Becora and ended at the “praca de triste memoria” park.

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3. Bishop Belo: Don’t Use University Campus For Politics (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The leader of the Catholic Church in Dili, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo urged academics at the National University of Timor Lorosae to use the campus grounds solely for the pursuit of higher edcuation and not for political activities.

“Use the university campus to increase the knowledge of students so that they become quality intellectuals,” said Bishop Belo.

Bishop Belo also reminded students not to use the National University for political activism as how they used, during the time of the Indonesians, the University of Timur Timor.

“Don’t use the university as a place to transform poltical ideologies. Use the campus to increase your knowledge and create good human beings for the development of the country,” added Bishop Belo.

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