Subject: East Timor Press Review, 2 December 2002

East Timor Press Review

Dili, 2 December 2002

Xanana Gusmão Dismissed Crowd Timorese President Xanana Gusmão dismissed on Friday a rally organized in front of the Government palace in Dili. It took the President twenty minutes of dialogue with the radical crowd of about 200 people before it dispersed, reported the media on Saturday. The demonstration, which was being staged for more than eight hours, had been organized by CPD ? RDTL (Conselho Popular de Defesa ? República Democratica de Timor-Leste ? Popular Council for Defense ? Popular Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste). The crowd demanded the trial of all political crimes committed since November 1975 and the answer to a series of questions submitted to the political authorities in August. According to the media, President Xanana Gusmão promised that he would start a process of "national dialogue" in January, and that the crowd's demands would be answered within the framework of such dialogue. The participants in the rally distributed once more a leaflet dated 22 of August in which they protested the fact of police forces being coordinated by the UN, or in "foreign hands", as they said. They also demanded the recognition of FALINTIL, the former armed wing of the resistance movement. As a new demand, they asked for the dismissal of Prime-Minister Mari Alkatiri and changes in the Government and in the Parliament. In its report about the events, the Portuguese news agency LUSA said that the leaders of CPD-RDTL, who also signed the document, have always been absent from the demonstrations they organize. The rally was staged one day after the country commemorated the 27th anniversary of the unilateral proclamation of independence by FRETILIN. (Lusa, TP, STL)

Followers Packed Dili Cathedral to Hear Bishop On Sunday Bishop Belo held a mass at Dili Cathedral to explain to Dili Diocese followers the reasons for quitting as head of the church. Dom Ximenes appealed to churchgoers not to be saddened by his resignation and welcome the Bishop of Baucau, Basilio do Nascimento and his replacement. Thousands of followers participated on Sunday's service celebrated with Bishop of Baucau and many other priests. STL reported that PM, Mari Alkatiri, the Minister of Finance, Maria Boavida and Minister of Justice, Ana Pessoa also attended the mass but could not get in the cathedral for arriving late. They joined the rest of the crowd outside the cathedral said the newspaper. Timor Post reported the Bishop as saying, "if I die, grave my site in front of the Cathedral." (STL, TP)

Government Structure Remains the Same, Says Alkatiri PM Mari Alkatiri stated that he didn't want to be forced to change the composition of the government reported STL. He said as head of the government he has the competence to make changes based on the Constitution but nothing can force him. Alkatiri made this statement in response to the demands of CPD-RDTL which were conveyed through a demonstration at the GPA on Friday Ministers will work cohesively to defend the government. Upon his arrival at Dili airport on Saturday, PM Mari Alkatiri reaffirmed that the first Timorese government will stand in cohesion and solidarity in rejecting the dismissal for Minister of Internal Administration, Rogério Lobato. Speaking to Lusa news agency the Minister said, "Our, is a government of solidarity and cohesive principals. If a member is being criticized we will stand by and defend." Alkatiri noted: "The government was formed for a five year mandate and not six months. If minister shows lack of incompetence, it will be the Council of Ministers to do an evaluation and in the final decision will be mine as head of the government", said the Minister. Alkatiri confirmed there will not be any change to the government structure and said, " I have not spoken to (him) because I am not concern about it. I assume he has not contacted me either because he is also not concern about it", Alkatiri told Lusa news agency. (STL, Lusa)

Timorese Community Needs to Protect Itself from HIV/AIDS STL reported that on Saturday the Head of World Health Organisation (WHO) in Timor-Leste, Alex Andjaparidze told participants of a seminar on HIV/AIDs in Dili that the community needs to protect itself from HIV/AIDS He said that it is the best type of prevention. Alex Andjaparidze added that other steps taken by WHO are promoting and educating the community about how to protect themselves from being infected. Andjaparidze stated that the seminar was intended to provide information about HIV/AIDS to the wider community and how it is spread as well as how to protect and prevent HIV/AIDS from being spread. Timor Post reported that Minister of Health, Dr. Rui Araujo noted that HIV/AIDS was first named in Timor-Leste as the "malae [foreigner] disease" but it has been spread in the country. The Minister added the AIDS was first diagnosed in Timor-Leste in 1996 during the Indonesian occupation. Back in that period one person was found HIV positive but the information was kept secret said the newspaper. (STL)

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