Subject: East Timor Press Review, 22 November 2002

East Timor Press Review

Dili, 22 November 2002


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Ramos Horta was critical of local newspaper, Suara Timor Lorosae saying that it was operating in a manner similar to that of Indonesian elite troop ‘Kopassus’. Dr. Horta added that STL as a newspaper was backed by the militia, Kopassus, TNI and by BAIS (Indonesian Intelligent body). “This comments comes as a surprise to us. These comments are not democratic, especially since is coming from someone with such an international diplomatic calibre and during the time of Indonesia was a person that was highly regarded by all the staff in STL. Now however we have to receive such blame and shall reflect upon your statement”, said the Deputy of STL, Domingos Saldanha.

The Minister was apparently referring to the article in STL on 19 November which threw reference to the lack of discipline in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Dr. Horta noted that this paper has not been reporting stories accurately especially when it relates to government matters. He stressed that not only him but also his colleague like the Prime Minister have been misquoted by this daily. (STL)

· In a related article Suara Timor Lorosae reported that during Indonesian occupation this newspaper was accused of having the supported of Ramos-Horta. STL reported that staff at the ministry of Foreign Affairs lacked discipline and after 6 months of the country’s independence the quality of services within this department have dropped. The paper also reported that few staff members were busy dating during working hours, their dress coats was not suitable and their arrogant behavior did not set a good example for the country.

· Vicente Fernandes Brito will replace Alcino Barros as the head of Dili District Court based on a statement by the Attorney General, Longuinhos Monteiro.

· Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri told STL that IMF has not yet provided funds to Timor-Leste. The country has been receiving funds from donors’ countries. Mr. Alkatiri added that IMF would provide funds to the development of the country through the Central Bank and the Finance Department.

· This daily reported that of the 15 suspects detained by police in relation to Liquiça disturbance last Friday, 4 have been released and 11 remains in prison awaiting further investigation after a court hearing in Dili on Tuesday.

· TIMOR POST front page carried a title which read: PM Mari Alkatiri: Comoro Airport will be renamed “Nicolau Lobato”. The renaming of the airport will take place on 28 November as part of the celebrations for the country’s independence proclamation. The Prime Minister also said that the government will observed this day with visits to various districts in order to re-assess the work established by the second transitional government and that carried out following 6 months of independence. He also plans to visit Wailili village following the incident when local police were attacked and robbed of their pistols.

· Timor Leste Police Commissioner, Paulo Martins informed that about 11 representatives of former combatants members yesterday met him to discuss the recruitment process. Mr. Martins said that during the meeting he requested them to cooperate and support ETPS as well as Civpol and to avoid violence if they are not recruited to join the police force.

· In its editorial Timor Post writes “Bandits Group Exist” Nowadays people are concerned travelling in the remote areas like Maliana, Bobonaro, Ainaro, Same all the way to Baucau and Viqueque because cars and people are being attacked and robbed by groups. These groups are also robbing and beating up the residents in these local areas. The editorial says the motive behind the activities of these groups can be derived from lack of food, unhappiness in the recruitment process for the Defense and Police Force, the government, unemployment or simple because they are organized bandits. It is not clear the motive of the groups. The editorial says the government and the police must act now to stop these groups.

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