Subject: East Timor Press Review 17 September 2002

East Timor Press Review

17 September 2002

Suara Timor Lorosae’s front page carried a picture of the opening ceremony of a new bridge in Ermera last Saturday. The photo shows the Vice-Minister of Telecommunication, Transport and Public Works, Cesar Moreira, PKF Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier Justin Kelly, PKF Assistance Chief of Staff Support, Colonel David Welch and Japanese Engineer Group Commander, Colonel Shoichi Ogawa. The event was also reported in a separate article quoting the Mr. Moreira as saying that the new bridge would improve the living standard of the community in that area.

The National Parliament President, Francisco Guterres has stressed that PKF and FDTL must work closely on the issue of security. It is reported that PKF and UN are not sharing information with East Timor’s Armed Forces. Mr. Guterres added that East Timorese people are worried with all the security enforced by the Australian and the US troops. He said UN must inform the people on the increased security. The President of the Assembly stated that the issued has been raised with the Prime Minster and in the Parliament.

In a separate article, STL reported that President Xanana Gusmão is upset with the increased security in East Timor in the last few days. “As President, I feel very ashamed with the attitude of the Australian embassy over their concern of the terrorist threat even though East Timor’s security has been under UN PKF. And I am also upset over the action taken by the Australian Government,” the President said.

President Xanana Gusmão has sworn in members of two national dialog commissions in order to look into the problems faced by former underground resistance fighters and Falintil.

STL reported that hundreds of job seekers have gathered in front of the US embassy in the last few days seeking employment.

STL reported that an Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday ran a story informing that the Australian embassy evacuated most of its personnel from East Timor due to the threat made by a terrorist group related to Al Qaeda.

Silvero Pinto Baptista of the local human rights NGO, Yayasan Hak, has doubted the appointment of Sergio Vieira de Mello as the High Commissioner of UN Human Rights. In another article, Baptista also said that if there is no judicial system in place in East Timor, the jungle law would reign. Mr. Baptista made this comment in response to the recent statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta regarding East Timor’s judicial system.

A former militia member has been sentenced to eleven months imprisonment by Dili District court. He has been accused of being indirectly involved in the killing of an Aileu District civilian resident in 1999.

The Rector of Dili University Lucas da Costa said that the seizure of illegal sandalwood trading by the police is considered as a positive action.

Dili University plans to honor Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Ramos Horta as the Emeritus Professor on 12 October.

In its editorial, STL observed that East Timorese have put their hope on Sergio Vieira de Mello as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in pushing for the establishment of an International Tribunal in order to try those involved in crimes against humanity committed in 1999. Mr. De Mello is considered, as a person who is fully aware of East Timorese’s wishes in regards to the matter during his three-year in office as the UN Transitional Administrator.

One thousand new students of Dili University began their orientation day yesterday. The orientation will take three days.

STL reported that the President of National Parliament, Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres has been specifically concerned with the establishment of new tertiary education institutions without following a legal procedure.

Timor Post front page carried a big photo of 4 Australian PKF members and an army car guarding the Australian embassy in Dili.

President Xanana Gusmão said the Australians should coordinate the security measure with East Timorese Government in response to the terrorist threat.

In the swearing in ceremony of the16 Joint Commission members who will be collecting data on former Falintil including those that have passed away, President Gusmão said, “ This ceremony has not taken place for media purposes. Each one must know their duties according to their functions.”

An East Timorese refugee’ coordinator, Hukman Reni said that the refugees should establish a friendly atmosphere with the locals in Noelbaki, West Timor in order to avoid potential social tension.

It is reported that the head of Indonesian Mission in East Timor, Kristiyo Wahyono was very upset with the increased security measure present at foreign embassies in Dili.

After a meeting with President Xanana Gusmão yesterday, the head of Indonesian Mission, Kristiyo Wahyono said that soon East Timor and the Indonesian government would organize a seminar on security.

ETPS Commissioner, Paulo Martins informed TP that new recruitment is underway for more police officers. Mr. Martins hope that 3330 police officers will be recruited by the year 2003. The force currently has 2830 East Timorese officers, says the Commissioner.

East Timor Fuel is ready to continue supplying gas and diesel to fulfill the needs of East Timorese population reported TP.

[Drafted by UNMISET Spokesperson’s Office]

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