Subject: East Timor Press Review 21 August, 2002

East Timor Press Review

21 August, 2002

· In his speech at during FALINTIL Day Celebrations’, East Timor’s President Xanana Gusmão, called all Timorese not to be arrogant and to stop saying that they are the heroes of East Timor’s liberation. The President stated the struggle of East Timor involved all Timorese people, from children to the elderly, reported Timor Post.

· Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak, yesterday requested that the government build a military cemetery for East Timor’s war-heroes.

· In his speech, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, stated that the government would build a national monument in remembrance of the fallen heroes of East Timor.

· The Bishop of the Diocese of Dili, Dom. Carlos Ximenes Belo has been quoted as saying that FALINTIL has already accomplished its mission in liberating the people of East Timor after 24 years of war. The bishop said that the time is now for all the Timorese to free themselves from hatred and revenge and live as one in the new nation. In yesterday’s homily the bishop added. “In this celebration, the government, parliament, President, the church and the civil society must sit together and talk in order to prevent more division amongst us.”

· It has been reported that some nurses at the national hospital’s operations theatre are traumatized by allegations of the sexual abuse of a female patient by a on-duty nurse 2 weeks ago.

· Twenty-one Baucau residents have reportedly passed the police recruitment test. Among them, 7 are women.

· It is reported that the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation has not yet gathered information on human rights violations in Lospalos, Baucau, Manatuto and Viqueque.

· Suara Timor Lorosa’e reported on Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak’s, call on the government to build a national monument in East Timor for those who died during the 24-years of resistance war. Mr. Ruak said the construction of a monument in memory of those who died during the resistance struggle and the identity of those who belonged to FALINTIL must be treated by the government as a matter of urgency. In the same article Taur said that national security depends on the government as well as on all Timorese citizens.

· STL reported on President Xanana message in which he said, “I appeal to all East Timorese in all walks of life. If we all love this country we cannot measure the suffering we all faced during the struggle. Because we cannot be arrogant and claim to be heroes because the true heroes are the common people of this country.”

· Minister for Internal Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Ramos-Horta, stated at a separate event in Dili at the Democracy Park that, CPD-RDTL and the government need to dialog about the fate of FALINTIL Veterans and also on past ideologies. In the same article Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, congratulated CPD-RDTL members in accepting a dialog.

· In yesterday’s homily STL reported the Bishop of Dili as saying that there are big challenges ahead now that East Timor has been liberated. Dom Carlos Filipe Belo said, “No more foreigners are going to come and dictate East Timor’s destiny. We all know that East Timor is a poor small country. Therefore we cannot continue speaking about ideologies and liberation theory when what the people need is daily food, health, education, and development.” The bishop added that many Timorese died resisting the struggle. But also the civil population from the villages (men, women, children and the elders) all contributed with the armed forces for the liberation of East Timor during 24 years until independence.

· A former FALINTIL commander was very critical of the UN, the international community and the government during a speech of more than an hour at the Democracy Park in Dili. Ologari Asuain recalled his version of history of the last 25-year, especially during the transition period, reported STL. Ologari Asuwain said that there are many problems inherited from the former UN mission, UNTAET, headed by the creation of national armed forces of East Timor (FALINTIL/FDTL) and the police.

For Olgari Asuain, FDTL is an ‘organization imposed by foreigners’ and a ‘new colonizing force’. The police force ‘has a colonizer attitude and repressive’ nothing more than foreigners collaborators’. He said UNTAET and CNRT (now extinct) are responsible for the instability, not CPD-RDTL -- referring to problems inherited during the transition, reported STL.

· Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri announced that Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Mahhatir Muhammad, has planned to visit East Timor and signed an agreement between two-countries on various issues including the support for young Timorese students to continue their studies at Malaysia University.

[Drafted by the UNMISET Spokesperson’s Office]

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