Subject: East Timor Press Review Wednesday 12 June 2002

East Timor Press Review Wednesday 12 June 2002

· Suara Timor Loro Sae (STL) reported on SRSG Kamalesh Sharma’s presentation yesterday of medals to 32 Portuguese UN Police. The medals were presented in recognition of their services in East Timor since December 1999. The paper quoted the SRSG as saying they have contributed greatly to the Timorese community. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Minister of Internal Administration Rogerio Tiago Lobato, Portugal’s Ambassador to East Timor, Rui Quartim dos Santos, East Timor Police Commissioner Paulo Fatima Martins, East Timor University Director, Dr. Benjamin Corte-Real and other members of Government also reportedly attended the ceremony.

· STL reported Minister of Internal Affairs Rogerio Tiago Lobato as saying that the issue of former FALINTIL fighters has to be solved once and for all. Lobato reportedly said, “any support has to be organized properly. Because there has been support in terms of finance and materials but no one knows where this support has gone.”

· STL reported on former pro-Indonesia militia commander Joao Tavares da Silva who has stated that he and some 3,000 of his followers wish to return to East Timor. The paper quoted Aniceto Guterres, head of the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, as saying that, “if they have committed any crimes they must be held responsible for their wrongdoings, as justice needs to be done.” However, Guterres said the refugees are “more than welcome to come back to their country.”

· STL quoted East Timor Police Commissioner Paulo Martins as saying that theft, intimidation, terror, traffic accidents and crime have increased in Dili. Martins said many crimes are still not being reported, and said that he would like police to patrol the capital 24 hours a day.

· Two East Timorese University students, identified as Jose Pereira and Joao, told STL that they are unhappy with the government and that things remain the same in East Timor as they did under UNTAET. Both said the government is taking too long to make decisions.

· Dili District Administrator Ruben Braz de Carvalho is reported as saying that all street sellers must use the three market facilities in the capital in order to sell their goods.

· STL reported that many drivers would like to see traffic lights installed in order to reduce the rate of accidents.

· A former militia member was reportedly arrested by police in Maliana on 4 June when returned to East Timor to pay respects to his dead aunt.

· Helder da Costa, the Director of National Scientific Investigation Centre, is reported as saying East Timor’s economy must be based on free market principles.

· José da Silva, a coffee farmer from Maubisse, told STL he hopes the government will help farmers transport their crop in order to speed the sale of coffee from the villages in the area.

· Domingas Alves, the Government’s advisor on Gender and Equality, told STL that woman also participated in the struggle for independence and therefore their participation in the development of the country is very important.

· STL reported that a group called CDP-RDTL/FRETILIN MOVIMENTO would like to meet with the Government, President Xanana Gusmão, members of parliament and FALINTIL commanders to discuss the historical date that should mark East Timor’s independence in order to avoid any further misunderstandings. The group has reportedly called on UNMISET and its peacekeeping and police components, along with the Government and members of parliament, to stop applying threats and pressure on CDP-RDTL/FRETILIN MOVIMENTO members.

· In an opinion piece, a writer named Francisco da Costa Guterres states how East Timor should create close relations with other countries.

· STL reported on an invitation from the Philippine Foreign Minister to his East Timorese counterpart, Jose Ramos-Horta, to send East Timorese to participate in a Human Rights workshop in the Philippines.

· The paper also ran a story on a reconciliation meeting held recently in Oecussi district between Oecussi residents and refugees still living in West Timor. STL reported that the agenda also included discussions of pension payments for former Indonesian government civil servants.

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