Subject: East Timor Press Review, 29 November 2002

East Timor Press Review

Dili, 29 November 2002

President’s speech will not decide on ministers’ dismissal “ As head of the government I will see who has and has not the capacity to be ministers. I will be the one to dismiss those incapable of doing their duties. It doesn’t have to come from the President’s speech”, with this statement Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri commented President Gusmão’s demand for the dismissal of the Minister of Internal Administration, Rogério Lobato. Alkatiri added: “ I don’t bring internal government problems to the public. As the head I know the departments that are operating”. According to the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão’s critical speech during the celebrations of November 28 was “positive” to strengthen his government to perform better. He said the Xanana Gusmao’s request to dismiss MIA, Rogério Lobato shows that the President is willing to change the government for the best of the country. The Minister told the media that Gusmão’s speech was not an attack to the government but a warning for the government to create good governance against corruption and to better serve the needs of the people. “I want a government against corruption and a government to serve the people and the nation: because I myself will give an example for everybody to follow”, said Prime Minister Alkatiri.

Referring to the incidents in Baucau Alkatiri said “the government is considering two options to resolve the problem: development of the economy in the long term or the use of force for the short term.” The Minister added: “ We are avoiding using force because during 24 years Indonesia military used force and this is the result”. The Minister said it is more important to inform the people about what the government has achieved, reported STL.

Timor Post reported CPD-RDTL coordinator, Antonio Aitahan Matak as saying that his group will only sit with the government to commemorate the 28 November, when the country’s sovereignty is totally handed to the Timorese people by the UN. He added there must be reforms within the government cabinet and in the parliament in order to overcome the problems currently faced by the nation. Speaking to Timor Post on Wednesday, Falintil-FDTL Chief of Staff, Colonel Lere Anan said that the 28 of November 1985 “was the most important date for the armed forces because the first communication to the international community was done through Agio Pereira. He said 28 November is not Fretilin’s day alone. The armed forces and the people have been commemorating this date, therefore we must respect it, said Lere Anan.

MP Francisco Xavier do Amaral said the text of Timor-Leste independence proclamation was written by Fretilin’s leader in 1975 in one day. He said the text was written in a rush because the Indonesia military was preparing to launch the invasion.

Timorese Justice Minister, Ana Pessoa considered the dismissal of Minister of Internal Administration, Rogério Lobato’s as “surprise”. “I did not expect the request was going to take place, especially when we are not aware of what is happening”, said Pessoa commenting the President’s speech on Thursday. These comments caused some ill feeling among the Timorese executive, with members of the government admitting that they did not expect Xanana Gusmão’s intervention ‘this way”, reported Lusa. Xanana Gusmão’s comment on the recent incidents in Timor-Leste was launched with a “political bomb” when he requests the government to dismiss the Minister of Internal Administration. The attack in Baucau has confirmed in a more direct way, that the credibility of Timor-Leste is “low” and the situation “requires urgent measures,” said a senior staff of the Timorese security to Lusa. The same source added, “the police do not have the legitimate, it’s being discredited, it seems not to have the support of the government and has to struggle against antagonism of the population sectors”. And added “ we are fighting facing a very serious situation where the police officers see themselves weaken among the people”. (STL, TP, Lusa 29/11)

Government is concerned about state of the nation STL reported on Friday that Members of Parliament have recently expressed their concern about the situation in the country. They also questioned why the modus operandi of the clashes between youths and police in Liquica, Baucau and Same were the same. All incidents began with an exchange of insults, revolving around dissatisfaction with the recruitment process for the police force, and then escalated into physical confrontation. However, many other issues that have not been resolved by the government were also involved, including government administration. Rui Menezes (PD) said that the government should re-evaluate its policy in relation to the recruitment process. Leandro Izaac and Maria Paixao also expressed the same sentiments said the newspaper.(STL 29/11)

Government must provide a guarantee of security MP Eusebio Guterres, MP, said that PM Mari Alkatiri’s statement that due to inadequate security in East Timor the Timor Gap pipeline could not be connected to East Timor was most regrettable reported STL on Friday. “The Prime Minister must guarantee that the country is stable. If the head of the government says that the country is not stable, then investors will not be able to come to East Timor,” said the MP, according to the newspaper. (STL 29/11)

Those working in Timor Gap will not be dismissed RDTL State Secretary for Mining and Minerals, Egidio de Jesus said that the three East Timorese working in the Timor Gap will not be dismissed, but only “suspended to prevent unforeseen events”, reported STL on Friday. Although information had been received that these three workers had violated rules while working on the rig, they were not to be fired but given the opportunity to read and understand the rules and regulations governing their job. (STL 29/11)

Electricity will be on constantly from December 21 Egidio de Jesus, Secretary of State for Mining, Oil and Gas, guaranteed on Thursday that on 21 December electricity in the capital will return to normal (STL 29/11)

‘Saka Team’ Case Begins The trial of ‘Saka Team’ members accused of extortion and robbery in Bobonaro and Suai Districts in 2001-2002 began on Wednesday 27/11 at the Dili District Court. (STL 29/11)

Belo’s replacement Timor Post on Friday reported that it is going to be difficulty replace a Bishop like Dom Carlos Ximenes Belo and the news of the resignation has created sadness among the people. Members of parliament were also sad with the bishop resignation due to ill health, said Suara Timor Lorosae on its Friday edition (TP, STL)

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