Subject: East Timor Press Review, 23 October 2002

East Timor Press Review 23 October 2002

· Suara Timor Lorosae's front page reported on Bishop Belo's interview with Lusa news agency on Sunday in which Bishop Belo criticized the Timorese leaders for spending too much travelling abroad. The bishop said that the people in rural areas are complaining that government officials are not visiting them in order to hear their needs. The people in those areas are saying only Bishop Belo has been travelling through the districts to listen to their needs. The Bishop added that transport to the rural areas is very difficult and the roads need to repair. In response Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said the religious leader has become involved in the politics of Timor-Leste. Mr. Alkatiri stressed that the Council of Ministers plan to visit the districts and they are aware of the difficulties faced by the communities throughout the country.

· It is reported that referring to the new university ? Timor-Leste Investment Development University, President Gusmão has admired the Timorese people in prioritizing education rather than development.

· In a separate article STL quoted President Gusmão as saying that tax in Timor-Leste is higher than other nations, making it difficult for investors to invest in the country.

· STL reported that Bishop Belo was presented with a donation of $5000.00 Euro to build a women and men college in Ermera District.

· It is reported that in the past three weeks, Dili District Tribunal received 56 cases with 29 on land and property issue and 27 on criminal.

· East Timor Study Group Executive Director, João Mariano Saldanha, said that Timor-Leste has a lots of products to sell but the country lacks experts on how to export it to other countries.

· Dili District Tribunal yesterday sentenced two men 6 months and 11 days imprisonment for using violence against two Police officers in Ainaro District.

· It is reported that sexual harassment has increased in Timor-Leste. Two weeks ago in Oecussi, a 60-year old man sexually abused a 12-year girl, a judge in that district said.

· Timor Post quoted President Xanana Gusmão as saying that there is a need to change the mentality, and not waiting some one to resolve our problems. This oration was given by President Xanana during the ceremony of the beginning of school year in front of Government's palace.

· President of Asset Lorosae, Oscar Lima is sad with the fact that the office of Timor-Leste's President is not in a good condition, and the President does not even have an appropriate car, Timor Post reported. Mr. Lima added that all other ministers have nice cars with prices ranging from US$40,000-50,000, but not the President.

· It is reported that Kolimau Group 2000 blockaded a road and assaulted one car in Ainaro District, stealing everything. One of the passengers said, "we know that the people who did this are from the Kolimau Group 2000. They did not kill us but took everything." TLPS Commissioner Paulo Martins said the incident occurred on Saturday.

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