Subject: East Timor Press Review 22 October 2002

East Timor Press Review 22 October 2002

· Suara Timor Lorosae’s front page reported on President Gusmão’s office move to Caicoli yesterday. The new office is located opposite the UN military hospital, and will be open to the public next week.

· The paper’s front page also reported yesterday the President’s message to all Timorese about UN Day. Mr. Gusmão said, “ on this day I think it is important to give a message about the crucial role UN played to enable us to achieve our independence.” “ Our liberation day and our independence began on 30 August 1999 for which we paid a high price for it. But we survived to work together with UNTAET and to ascertain the stability and democracy process”. The President added, “ today we are working with UNMISET, requesting their support in order to fortify the democratic process, the administration and the security. We will celebrate UN Day by reflecting the role played by UN in the important history of our country and for the future.”

· On it’s front page STL reported on the European Commission donation of 46 Euro million to Timor-Leste yesterday. It is reported that the money will be used in the area of health and rural development and poverty reduction. European Commission Ambassador, Sabato Della Monica and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jorge Teme signed the agreement, witnessed by President Gusmão in his office.

· Member of Parliament Leandro Isa’ac of Social Democratic Party (PSD) said the government must reduce the oil price in order to avoid fare increase by taxi and bus owners. Mr. Isa’ac said the parliament is now discussing 10 important issues and one of them is the oil price.

· It is reported that Timor-Leste’s sandalwood has been sold illegally in West Timor. “ The practice of stealing the country’s sandalwood and selling it through West Timor has been taking place for the past two years,” said President of Parliament’s Commission D, Flavio da Silva.

· The Director of AMI, Olga Marçal is appalled with accusations that her organisation clinic has been charging 10 cent per patient for consultation. Ms. Marçal denies such allegation and says patients are getting free consultation and medicine, reported STL.

· “The special commission really needs to make ratification on the Timor Gap agreement between the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste,” said Member of Parliament Eusebio Guterres of Democratic Party (PD).

· Member of Parliament Cipriana da Costa Pereira of Fretilin stressed that the government should focus more on the economy of the country rather than on the assets because they belong to the state.

· STL quoted Parliament President, Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” as saying “ we have to ensure that the President has a good working condition.” On Monday President Xanana Gusmão moved to his new office in Caikoli, opposite the UN hospital.

· A FDTL member, Damasio Maria Sarmento said that 10 members of the Timorese Defense Force are currently receiving training in Australia. He said who would ever think that one day Timor Leste’s military members would be trained overseas.

· MP Maria Paixão of PSD said the law on immobile assets is for foreigners. “ The immobile assets law have not been made by Timorese people but foreigners therefore it cannot be adapted in Timor-Leste.”

· STL reported that the demonstration held by Timor-Leste Judges Association, AATL did not get any response from the parliamentarians yesterday. Parliament President, Francisco Guterres said Members of Parliament will have an audience with them on Friday.

· Timor Post’s front also reported on the European Commission donation to Timor-Leste.

· The paper also reported that President Gusmão’s new office is in Caicoli. Mr. Gusmão said he is ready to work under any condition even during the office rehabilitation process.

· Timor Post’s front reported that TNI Commander of Belu, West Timor, Brigadier Kav Tjuk Agus Minahasa as saying that Bobonaro residents are not attending the Mota Ain border market because they fear that the business are run by former militia members.

· Timor Post carried a headline story that reads, “ Paulo Martins: Former Police Indonesian Republic is ready to quit”. Timor-Leste’s Police Commissioner, Paul Martins said, “ if Timor-Leste’s residents do not accept former Indonesian Police as members of the police force, they are ready to leave their duties and seek employment somewhere else. Mr. Martins said the purpose of the police is to secure the nation.

· Timor Post reported that UNHCR coordinator, Alberto Santos paid a two-day visit on the weekend to Timor-Leste refugees camps in Sulawesi to see their condition and encourage them to return before 31 December. Around 500 refugees live in the camps in South Sulawesi.

· It is reported that the bomb explosion in Bali last week did not affect Timorese students in Bali, said the Assistant Coordinator of the Education Department Scholarship, James Roger.

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