Subject: Timor-Lester Local Media Monitoring Update 27 Jan 03

Dili, Timor-Lester Local Media Monitoring Update 27 Jan 03

Dili, Timor-Lester Local Media Monitoring Update 27 Jan 03

STL:National Dialogue A Success

Two hundred and fifty people including members of the government, political leaders, UNMISET, Civil Society and Diplomats Corps, attended Saturday's National Dialogue, facilitated by President Xanana Gusmão.The meeting was called at the request of CPD-RDTL Group to debate various themes. Organizers of the dialogue claimed that the meeting aimed at "clarifying, reinforcing and strengthening the spirit of the independence" and seen as a constructive and element and not a forum to "discredit any institutions" of the State, reported Lusa. On the conclusion of the dialogue, Xanana Gusmão said " It served to overcome a climate of confrontation to a climate of dialogue". The President's Chief of Staff, Agio Pereira was of similar opinion, recalling that apart from pretending to "alter positions", the the objective of the meeting was to "clarify the substance of various questions in depth" among them the role of UNMISET, the Timorese Defense Forces and the Constitution. He said " The objective was achieved. This is an information process for the people who have felt the difficulties of media and logistics". Prime Minister Alkatiri confirmed at the end of the meeting that the government is engaged to unleash a process of "open cooperation" which will see a large number of government members dislocate "to the bases/grassroots" to communicate with the population. STL reported that even after the meeting, many people were still confused with different views about Timor Leste's Constitution and Falintil-FDTL's role. But it claimed that the event between UNMISET and CPD-RDTL was a success. It reported that Saturday's dialogue was different from the last one. Antonio Aitahan Matak, Cristiano da Costa and Egas da Costa, represented CPD-RDTL. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and Speaker of the House, Francisco Guterres, represented the government. Kamalesh Sharma and a delegation represented UNMISET. Moderators of the meeting were President Xanana Gusmão and Dili Diocese Vicar General, José Antonio da Costa. Present at the event were ambassadors from various countries. One of the first issues raised by CPD-RDTL was the handover of the country's sovereignty.

TP: Government Rejects 1975 Constitution

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri rejected CPD-RDTL's proposal on the re-adjustment of 1975 Constitution due to its lack of basic legality and clear reasons. He added that the government would review the constitution in five years time. Alkatiri said that claims by CPD-RDTL that the government and the parliament do not have credibility are a challenge for him to see in four and half years time which party the people will elect. The Minister said the dialogue had the political and material support of the government because it is important for those people who were unable to attend the meeting to judge what has and has not been done correctly. Alkatiri was happy that the local radio, television and newspapers were present to cover the event in order to pass the information to the people "out there" who due to lack of information have been misinformed reported TP.

TP, STL:Lu'Olo: FDTL Does Not Hold Dual Functions, TL Is Not An Associated State

National Parliament President Francisco "Lu'Olo" Guterres "Lu-Olo" said that the constitution clearly states that Falintil-FDTL mission is to defend the independence and sovereign of the country. He said, "They do not have dual functions and not a member of the armed forces have opposed the government or the parliament about on this issue" said Lu'Olo. He said there is only one defense force in Timor-Leste and that is Falintil-FDTL reported STL. He also said that the constitution of Timor-Leste does not have an article, which refers to the state as associated state with a country. Guterres said the constitution was put together in consultation with the people, which Cristiano [CPD-RDTL] presented his views in a session of the parliament. He said that therefore it is pointless to debate about the re-adjustment of the constitution.

TP: Paulo Martins: Police Still Needs Further Training

Timor-Leste Police Commissioner Paulo Martins said that when President Gusmão asked him whether TLPS was ready to take over the responsibility from UNPOL he said, " yes we are ready to take on the responsibilities but we still need more training, equipment and infrastructure in order for the police to carry on its duties". Regarding information that UNPOL planned to shorten its mission in the country, Martins said that it was up to Timor-Leste government to make a decision about it. He added that UNPOL would be handing over full responsibilities to TLPS by December 2003.

STL: PM Alkatiri Scheduled to Meet Megawati

STL reported that the head of Indonesia mission in Timor-Leste, Kristio Wahyono announced that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri is scheduled to travel to Jakarta to meet Indonesian President Megawati Sukarno-Putri. Wahyono told journalists last Thursday that the dates have not yet been confirmed and that " it is true that Prime Minister Alkatiri is visiting Jakarta because we are organizing the trip and the meeting between him and President Megawati" said Kristio Wahyono.

STL: Willem or Tallo to become Indonesia Ambassador to TL

STL reported that the government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (RDTL) has rejected the two names presented by the Indonesian government to be their Ambassadors in TL. The government rejected Francisco Xavier Lopes da Cruz and Tito Dos Santos Baptist as Indonesian ambassador to TL. The government suggested other two names like Piet Alexander Tallo who is currently the governor of NTT or former Commander of Udayana IX Major William da Ccsta because of their knowledge of Timor-Leste culture. STL reported that the government rejected Lopes da Cruz and Tito Baptista due to their political hardiness in Timor-Leste and if chosen as Ambassadors to the new country it could lead to the destruction of the relationship between the two countries. Four names had been presented to the government as nominees of Indonesian ambassador to TL; Francisco Lopez da Cruz, Tito Baptista, Piet Tallo and Willem da Costa. The head of Indonesian mission in TL told the media that President Gusmão and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramos-Horta rejected the first two names and agreed on either Tallo or da Costa to be ambassador, wrote the newspaper.

STL: Military Sent to Gariwai

President of National Parliament, Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres said that the same joint military operation sent to Atsabe might be sent to Gariwai, Baucau sub-district to detain "Ninjas" groups claimed by the local residents of killing and stealing their animals. "Lu'Olo said, "the issues was debated in the Council of Minister's meeting a few days ago. He said the Council will decide on a mandate for Falintil-FDTL and TLPS/UNPOL to launch an operation," Lu-Olo told the media on Saturday. These "Ninjas" groups have been operating in Gariwai, Wailili and Fatumaca villages.

STL: UNPOL Mission Should Be Extended

President of Partido Social Democrata (PSD), Mario Viegas Carrascalão said that to maintain the national security in the country, UNPOL mission in Timor-Leste should be extended. He pointed that the security in the border between Timor-Leste and Indonesia still needs the International presence because it is neutral. Carrascalão stressed that this is not undermining TLPS role. He said to secure peace in the border between two countries it has to be from neutral countries while enabling the Timorese police force to get more training and become professional police. Regarding the attack on Atsabe the President of PSD said, " I do not believe that Indonesia government who have recognized Timor-Leste's sovereignty would support the former militias in such action. I also don't think that Indonesia military was involved" reported STL.

Correio de Timor: TL in a "historic moment": Correio de Timor

Timor Leste has been witnessing a "historic moment", since the Timorese politicians have left their differences aside and have adopted a single voice in their criticism against some high UN staff in the country, wrote Correio de Timor in the editorial of last week's edition. The newspaper, published in Portuguese, said that the UN cannot be an imposed instrument, since everyone acknowledges the importance of its role in the development of Timorese life. "But the UN has to acknowledge that they are at somebody else's house, and that the Timorese people has the right to choose their own culture, to keep their traditions, to express their own language and above all to decide on the way they want their country to be". Like any other project - added the newspaper - the UN mission in Timor-Leste relies a lot on those responsible for it. "How many projects have failed because of the negligence or the incapacity of those who head them?", asked the newspaper. According to "Correio de Timor", FDTL's behavior in the most recent situations should be considered a model.

LUSA:Iraq: Ximemes Belo Against War

Peace Nobel Prize Ximenes Belo, former Bishop of Dili, said in Portugal on Saturday that the USA are "eager" to declare war against Iraq and said that dialogue is the only way to solve the problems between the two countries. "I am totally against any military intervention", said Ximenes Belo during a session in his honour organized by the mayor of Vila do Conde, in the North of Portugal. "The war would not bring benefits to anyone. On the countrary, it would make innocent people, children and the poor suffer even more", he said. He added that UN should make a "great diplomatic effort" in order to avoid war and look for a peaceful alternative.

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