Subject: East Timor Press Review, 27 November 2002

East Timor Press Review Dili, 27 November 2002

FDTL does not have the competence to intervene Interviewed by Timor Post, FDTL Colonel Lere Anan said that his forces do not have the competence to intervene in incidents like the Baucau. He said the responsibilities falls solely under police. He added that it’s sad to see “the bad legacy” left by the Indonesian occupation in Timor-Leste is re-surfacing. (TP 27/11)

28 November Commemoration ­ Police Guarantee Security Suara Timor Lorosae on Wednesday reported TLPS Superintendent Martins guaranteed security for groups celebrating 28 November at the Dili Democracy Field. Some groups have requested permission to celebrate and also have asked police to provide security. In relation to the issue of massive demonstrations, the superintendent has not received any notification of such. Truckloads of people have poured into Dili, escorted by police said STL. Regardless of the outcome, police will continue to guarantee safety, however if a large group of people wish to congregate, in accordance with the law they must provide notification so that police can provide security. Police have only received notification from a group wishing to celebrate 28 November, however there is more than one group who want to conduct commemorations tomorrow added the newspaper (STL 27/11)

Violence occurs because government policy is confusing Aniceto Neves, the Head of Human Rights Association told STL that violence is occurring in the country because the population has not been informed about the government policies. People are getting unclear information. The government must sit with people discuss government decision, he told STL (STL 27/11)

Bishop Belo Resigns Bishop Ximenes Belo resigned from the position of Administrator in Dili Diocese due to health reasons, reported the media. According to the Bishop, his resignation is due to health concerns, which have been preventing him from fully perform his duties. On Tuesday, Bishop Belo issued the following communiqué:

For reasons of ill health, I wrote a letter to the Holy Father tendering my resignation as Apostolic Administrator of the Dili Diocese.

As I have been suffering from exhaustion, physical and psychological tiredness, I am in need of a long period of rest with a view to a total recovery of my health.

The Holy Father has accepted my resignation as Apostolic Administrator of the Dili Diocese. My letter was written in accordance with canon 401, par. 2, of the Canonic Law Code, which reads:

“It is impressed upon any diocesan bishop who, on the grounds of precarious health, is less than able to perform his duties, that he should tender his resignation”.

I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank His Holiness for the trust put in me during the 19 years I have been the head of the Dili Diocese. I thank the Clergy, the Faithful and the Lay People for their collaboration and generosity along these nearly twenty years of service to the Church in Timor-Leste.

I pray for you all and dedicate my suffering and illness for the development of the Dili Diocese.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, in comments to LUSA, expressed his regrets for Bishop Belo’s resignation and said the people and government of East Timor would continue to count on Belo's counsel. Bishop Ximenes Belo has had a positive role in this country and we hope that, even outside the Dili diocese, he will continue to contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability with his opinions and criticism because we think Timor continues to need him", Alkatiri said.

Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize with Belo, said the bishop's resignation came as a "surprise", despite recent rumors to the effect. "His resignation takes us by surprise and saddens us", Ramos Horta said, describing Belo as one who had "personified" East Timor's struggle for freedom along with President Xanana Gusmão. Belo, he added, left a "strong Catholic Church" and a "solid legacy", permitting a "normal" ecclesiastical transition.

A church source told LUSA that Belo departed Tuesday on a visit to the eastern city of Baucau, wracked in recent days by mob violence, and would only return to Dili on Thursday.

PM reveals facts on Timor Gap PM Mari Alkatiri stated that one clause that supports the Timor Gap treaty is Section III of the constitution and subsection A that determines the Joint Petroleum Development Area. Clause IV states that ET has the rights to 90 % of oil proceeds from aforementioned area. PM also states that the aforementioned 90 % of the oil and gas is covered under that region. PM states that the legal basis for negotiating the Timor Gap issue is the region that is directly related to the Timor Sea agreement, which is located between the boundaries, reported STL. (STL 27/11)

CPD-RDTL Rejects Federation In an interview with Timor Post, CPD-RSTL coordinator, Antonio Aitan Matak said his group rejects federation because the independence of Timor-Leste is like a federation. Antonio Aitan Matak said CPR-RDTL has not accepted the current government because it is an associated one. (TP 27/11)

Yayasan HAK changes Name The local human rights and justice NGO, Yayasan Hak changed its name last Friday to Human Rights and Justice Association. (STL/P2)

New Magistrate candidate The majority Members of Parliament voted against the proposal of Rui Pereira dos Santos as the Head of Timor-Leste magistrate reported STL. The proposal put forward by KOTA, the PSD and PD were voted against by 40, 20 in favor and 5 abstain. Fretilin will present next candidate name. (STL 27/11)

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