Subject: east timor headlines/22Aug2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Wednesday 22 August, 2001

1. UNTAET ready to hold elections in Timor Lorosae 
2. Civpol officer stoned by Timorese 
3. Few using American coins

1. UNTAET ready to hold elections in Timor Lorosae (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

The UN Transitional Administration, UNTAET, is ready to hold Timor Lorosae’s first general election on 30 August. From neighbouring Darwin, 603,250 ballot cards had already arrived in Dili.

“These ballot cards will be used by the people of Timor Lorosae on the 30 August election to choose the parties that would represent them at the Constituent Assembly,” said Independent Electoral Commission chief Carlos Valenzuela at a press conference on Monday.

Valenzuela said all the ballot cards would be transferred to secure areas in the districts before being distributed to the various polling stations.

The IEC Chief said 10 per cent more ballot cards had been printed in anticipation of more voters turning up than that registered.

2. Civpol officer stoned by Timorese (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

An American Civpol officer stationed in Bobonaro District was stoned by a group of Timorese at the border area.

The Indonesian Commander of the Border Security Task Force in West Timor, Lieutenant Colonel (Infantary) Magna Candra confirmed the incident.

“It’s true that an American Civpol was found bleeding as a result of being stoned by a group of Timorese. He tried to intervene in some illegal smuggling business carried out by the group ofv Timorese,” he said.

He said the Indonesian Task Force had already received a report from Indonesian troops stationed at the West Timor ­ Timor Lorosae border.

LtCol Magna Candra said between 100 to 200 Timorese were heading towards the border post at the banks of Malibaka river, which was commonly used as an illegal trading point, when they were stopped by the American Civpol.

3. Few using American coins (Suara Timor Lorosae, Page 4 headline)

Although the Indonesian rupiah was officially withdrawn from the country on 20 August, many market traders are still reluctant to use US coins. In market transactions in places like Comoro, Becora and Taibesi many stall-holders are still using Indonesian rupiahs.

Falmira Fernandes, a vegetable-seller in Comoro market said only a few of her customers used the American currency.

“Whatever it is, we are still using rupiahs because it is not certain [after independence] that the US dollar will be the country’s official currency,” she said.

But she said she would accept US currency if anyone paid her in that.

“If I get US dollars, I will compare the rate with rupiahs and give change in the Indonesian currency,” she added.

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