Subject: East Timor Press Review Wednesday 3 July 2002

East Timor Press Review

Wednesday 3 July 2002

· The Timor Post today reported that Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and East Timor President Xanana Gusmão held a one-hour meeting in Jakarta yesterday before witnessing the signing of a joint agreement on diplomatic relations. East Timor’s delegation included Minister of Transport Ovidio de Jesus Amaral, Minister of Internal Affairs Rogerio Lobato, Minister of Education Armindo Maia and Minister of Health Rui Maria de Araujo.

· The Timor Post ran a full page article in which Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was quoted as saying that many critics of the government are telling lies regarding the Timor Sea issue. Alkatiri said that media should provide space for the government to present their views on the issue.

· A Timor Post editorial said that now that an agreement of cooperation has been signed, East Timor and Indonesia should open their borders to allow people to circulate freely between the two countries.

· MP Eusebio Guterres (PD) has reportedly rejected Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri’s invitation to attend a briefing on the Timor Sea issue, arguing that the Prime Minister does not respect the National Parliament. Guterres said that if he attends the briefing is like putting into practice KKN (korrupsi, koluisi and nepotism).

· The 88 MP’s in the National Parliament have raised the issue of payment for former Indonesian civil servants. Mariano Sabino Lopes was quoted as saying there is no transparent and clear explanation as to what the payments represent.

· The paper also ran a story reporting that the 234 refugees ­ including 11 former milita members ­ that returned to East Timor last Thursday brought along the remains of 21 people who passed away while in West Timor refugee camps.

· Many students attending their last year of high school in Maliana are reportedly refusing to pay an annual US$15 school fee.

· Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) ran a story reporting that President Xanana Gusmão and the rest of the East Timorese delegation were warmly welcomed upon their arrival in Jakarta.

· MP Mariano Sabino said the next meeting between representatives of East Timor’s government and former militia leader Joao Tavares will take place in Batugade on 6 July and will focus on serious crimes.

· A member of the Assosiação National Makaer Fukun Timor Lorosae, a local NGO, is quoted as saying that amnesty will be effective if both criminals and victims get along, but should not eliminate the need for a formal tribunal process.

· Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was quoted as saying that predictions of 80,000 East Timorese earning salaries of US$4,000 a month working on future Timor Gap-related projects are simply unrealistic. The Prime Minister also denied having been manipulated by Australian Prime Minister John Howard during negotiations on the Timor Sea Treaty.

· Vendors at the tais textile market in Dili are complaining that sales are down since the imposition of a new sales tax.

· The Centro Dezenvolvimento Economia Popular (CDEP) reportedly began a training session on civic diversification for farmers and women’s organization (OMT) in Maliana on Monday.

· The head of Associação Medica Internacional (AMI) clinic center in Dili, Olga Marçal, said tuberculosis, chronic malaria and diahorrea are the most common ailments treated by the center.

[Drafted by: Ceu Brites UNMISET Spokesperson’s office]

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