Subject: east timor headlines/16July2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 16 July 2001

1. National Council officially dissolved 
2. Xanana inaugurates Hotel Audian 
3. West Timor ­ Timor Lorosae border traffic stopped temporarily as elections approach 
4. Refugees support Xanana as Timor Lorosae President 
5. The election campaign

1. National Council Officially Dissolved (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

The Transitional UN Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello on Saturday officially dissolved the National Council.

In his closing speech to the NC, he said the decision to set up the National Council was taken at the Tibar Conference last year.

Sergio de Mello said many sectors of Timor Lorosae society thought it was a positive move to involve the Timorese in the decision-making process of the country ­ both from a legislative and executive viewpoint.

“Although this body is supported by UNTAET, it, however, is viewed as a representative of the people,” stressed Sergio de Mello.

“The National Council was established on 23 October 2000 and was recognized quickly as a credible body by UNTAET and ETTA.”

Sergio de Mello said the National Council passed 28 regulations, out of which 12 were passed four weeks ago.

Sergo de Mello admitted that such a thing was yet to be done by any parliament.

“I thank you for your dedication to the country and you took double the intiiative to consider these regulations,” he told the National Council members.

2. Xanana inaugurates Hotel Audian (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

Hotel Audian, which previously was used as a CNRT office during the Indonesian occupation, was inaugurated by Xanana Gusmao yesterday.

In his short sppech, the former CNRT president said the hotel played an important role in helping revive the economy of the country.

Xanana said the hotel could attract tourists who wanted to visit Timor Lorosae.

Hotel owner Americo Thomas said, who spent a year in and Indonesian jail, said when CNRT was using the building they were not afraid to fly the CNRT flag ­even there were Indonesian troops all around.

After the announcement of the 30 August referendum results, the building was burnt to the ground by the militias.

3. West Timor ­ Timor Lorosae border traffic stopped temporarily as elections approach (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page, third lead)

Border traffic between West Timor and Timor Lorosae has been stopped temporarily because of the approaching 30 August election.

“It was the same during the registration of the refugees in West Timor. The border was closed for a few days to enable us to carry out our work,” said the Satgas Commander Lt.Colonel Inf Agung Risdhianto in the West Timor town of Belu.

According to Lt.Colonel Risdhianto, the border will be closed a week before the elections and only re-opened a week after the 30 August ballot.

But the Indonesian commander said discussions were still going on with UNTAET on the number of days the border will be shut.

4. Refugees support Xanana as Timor Lorosae President (Timor Post, front page second lead)

Independence leader and ex-CNRT President Xanana Gusmao is still the most popular choice to the Timor Lorosae’s first president.

This was reiterated by the Carvalho brothers ­ Francisco Lopes de Carvalho, Cancio Lopes de Carvalho and Nemecio Lopes de Carvalho in Kupang last week. The Carvalho brothers are ex-militia leaders.

According to Nemecio, Xanana was a statesman and not a politician.

“As a statesman, Xanana must accept the position as Timor Lorosae’s first president,” he said.

“Xanana’s position has been tested and without doubt he is the person that could help Timor Lorosae overcome its problems,” added Nemecio.

“Xanana does not only think of himself. He always takes into account the well-being of the people.”

According to Cancio, the ex-leader of the Mahidi militias, if Xanana becomes the country’s first president he [Cancio] would bring back 3,000 of his Ainaro supporters who are now in refugee camps in Indonesia-controlled West Timor.

5. The election campaign (Suara Timor Lorosae, editorial Page5)

After we took the first step in registration, we now take the second step towards the election campaign. Political party campaigning for the 30 August vote opened yesterday. All parties have been given the opportunity by the Independent Electoral Commission to reach out to the public. This has attracted coverage from both the national and international press.

As the campaign starts, we hope the leaders of political parties have put suitable candidates in the districts and sub-districts. We hope these candidates just don’t make empty promises to the people.

All parties need to work together under the democracy umbrella to create unity and national stability in the country we love. All parties must work to strengthen democracy; gain the trust of the people; not make empty promises to the people; give freedom to the people to choose what parties they want to represent them; refrain from any violent acts and obey all electoral laws laid out by UNTAET.

All parties must remember that they are signatories to the National Unity Pact. Make the Pact the basis of the campaign so that these elections will be successful and violence-free.

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