Subject: Daily Media Review 5 August 2003

From UNMISET

Date: 08/06/2003 03:42PM

Dili, August 06 2003

Daily Media Review

Ramos Horta: Government Should Hold Dialogue with Opposition

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta said the Government should hold a dialogue with the opposition to review what the government has achieved and what contribution the opposition has made. Ramos-Horta spoke to the media prior to his departure to Thailand with Prime Minister Alkatiri. In a separate article in Suara Timor Lorosae, the President's Chief of Staff Agio Pereira said members of political parties and of the government should not include their personal politics in their criticisms. Pereira said that Members of Parliament are entitled to make critical remarks, and that they enjoy political immunity. He said this kind of problems began to emerge when the government tried to enforce new laws which affected politicians, as was the case with the eviction of Mario Carrascalão from a house considered to be state property. He added that miscommunication between the government, the opposition and Parliament on the implementation of new laws had led to misunderstandings. The Chief of Staff said the democratic process has allowed people to criticize each other but they are not using it to focus on the needs of the Timorese people. (TP, STL)

PM Alkatiri Visits Thailand

Before departing for Thailand on Tuesday, Prime Minister Alkatiri told journalist that his visit to that country follows a special invitation from the Thai government. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramos Horta, Minister of Finance, Madalena Boavida, and Minister of Agriculture Estanislau da Silva accompanied him. STL says that the details of the agenda are not known. The Secretary of State, Gregório de Sousa, also told the media that he did not have any information on whether any agreements would be signed between the two governments. (STL)

Lu Olo: Fretilin Is Not Expecting A 'Coup d'Etat'

In its front page, Suara Timor Lorosae reported on a press conference held by the President of Fretilin, Francisco Guterres, in which he said that Fretilin is not expecting a coup d'Etat. Guterres said there are certain individuals, 'ambitious adventurers', who are trying to bring down the government at all costs. He said some of these 'de-stabilizing agents' were involved in the 1975 coup, which led the country into a civil war and the 'beginning of a long period of suffering for the Timorese people'. The Fretilin leader reiterated that his party will continue to 'fight using every available means' to defend the independence of Timor-Leste, the Constitution and the [democratically-] established order '. (STL, Lusa)

Ordinary Citizens Cannot Afford Prepaid Electricity System

Many Timorese are not happy with the introduction of pre-paid electricity systems because not all Timorese can afford to have one. A Timorese called Abilio Mendes Pereira said that the government should not introduce the western system because people's means do not allow them to afford the prepaid card to have access to electricity. Pereira said it would benefit those who have money but would not benefit ordinary people or street vendors whose income is only US$40 ­ US$60 a month. (STL)

US Disappointed with Trials of Timor-Leste Crimes

The United States says it is disappointed with the work of the Indonesian Ad Hoc Tribunal on the atrocities in East Timor, after it jailed a convicted General for just three years. Major General Adam Damiri was the last and most senior of 18 defendants to appear before the court over violence against East Timorese independence supporters in 1999. An American State Department spokesman, Philip Reeker, says Washington believes the overall process of the tribunal has been flawed and lacks credibility. Mr. Reeker says although US officials are pleased General Damiri was convicted, the three-year sentence does not meet the minimum term recommended under Indonesian law. General Damiri has branded the verdict as political and says he will appeal. (ABC)

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