Subject: Local Media Monitoring - July 9, 2003



July 9, 2003


1. The Speaker of the National Parliament, Mr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, has spoken out in response to the criticism made by President Xanana Gusmao describing Timor-Leste's Constitution as a copy of the Portuguese Constitution. Speaking to Timor Post from his office yesterday, Mr Lu-Olo said that Timor-Leste did not copy any country's constitution. Timor-Leste simply used the Portuguese Constitution as a reference to create its own constitution.

2. The spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party, Mr Joao Goncalves and Mr Mariano Sabino for the Democratic Party, said that the statement from the National Parliament's Speaker, Mr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, regarding President Xanana Gusmao's veto was an emotional statement. Mr Lu-Olo gave three options in regard to the veto undertaken by RDTL's President on the Immigration and Asylum Law. Mr Lu-Olo said that the one of the options is that the National Parliament could review the bill and it needs 2/3 in the final vote. Another option is that the National Parliament stays quiet and does nothing and lets the foreigners come in and do whatever they want and we will accept the consequences. (Mr Goncalves and Mr Sabino stressed the last option, which they described as an emotional statement).

3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday held a meeting with the community of the Mouro Sub-district. During the meeting Mr Alkatiri said that the District of Lautem could become a model for tourism development in Timor-Leste. Mr Alkatiri said that the Government has already planned to set up a tourism pilot project for the next year in the District of Lautem.


1. President Xanana Gusmao yesterday received the credentials of the new Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Mr Biorn Blokhus at the Palace of Ashes. During the ceremony President Xanana said "I am very satisfied with the long relationship between the two nations. Norway has supported Timor-Leste providing electricity and now it will open its Embassy in Timor-Leste. I hope that this relationship will be even better in the future. I also wants to thank the former Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Mr Sjur Torgensen". Ambassador Blokhus said that he will continue to strengthen the existing relationship and cooperation in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation.

2. The Speaker of the National Parliament, Mr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, yesterday said that even though the Appeals Court ruled the draft of the Immigration and Asylum bill "unconstitutional", he pledged that "not a comma will be changed in the bill" once approved by the National Parliament. Mr Lu-Olo said that the bill was created to serve the people of Timor-Leste not the foreigners.

3. President Xanana Gusmao today plans to visit Fatumaka Technical School in Baucau District in order to see the learning process. According to information provided by the President's secretariat yesterday, the President's delegation will stay in Baucau for two days.

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