Subject: Local Media Monitoring - July 10, 2003

From UNMISET

LOCAL MEDIA MONITORING

July 10, 2003

STL

1. Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda arrived in Portugal on Wednesday for a two day official visit. The main focus will be on the development of bilateral ties. He will be meeting his Portuguese counterpart and among other issues, they will discuss the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, trade and the situation in Timor-Leste.

2. The Inspector General, Mr Mariano Lopes da Cruz, yesterday said that his office is willing to undertake an investigation into the allegations of nepotism in the selection of the Cuban Medicine Scholarship candidates. He requests that the institution in charge presents an official report to his office in order to do so. (See July 8, Media Monitoring for the full story).

3. STL has sought opinions regarding President Xanana Gusmao's comments that Timor-Leste's Constitution was a copy of the Portuguese Constitution. Members of the National Parliament, Mr Francisco Branco, the spokesperson for the Fretilin party and Mr Carlos Sarmento, the spokesperson for the Liberal Party said that President's comments are against his own appeal few months ago for the political leaders to avoid destructive criticism.

TIMOR POST

1. The spokesperson for the Fretilin Party in the Parliament, Mr Francisco Branco, yesterday told reporters that his faction has not yet decided their position regarding the Immigration and Asylum Bill. The Bill was vetoed by President Xanana after the Appeals Court ruled that the draft of the Immigration and Asylum bill was "unconstitutional". Mr Branco said that his faction will present their views in due time.

2. The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, yesterday met with President Xanana Gusmao at the Palace of Ashes-Dili. After the meeting, Mr Sharma told reporters that it was a regular meeting to report about his visit to the Districts of Bobonaro and Covalima. Mr Sharma said that his visit was aimed at assisting and assessing the destruction caused by the catastrophic flood in these areas. Mr Sharma said that they also talked about the Director General of UNESCO's visit to Timor-Leste and how UNESCO can assist Timor-Leste in the areas of education and culture. At another opportunity, the Vice President of the National Parliament, Mr Jacob Fernandes, also met with President Xanana to discuss the President's letter of notice to the National Parliament regarding his 17 day holiday. However, the Parliament suggested that the President reduce his holiday to 15 days in order to avoid a formal authorization from the Parliament as stipulated in the Constitution. Mr Fernandes said that if the President asks for less than 15 days, the parliament just needs a letter of notice from the President. If the President wants to take more than 15 days, he needs authorization from the National Parliament.


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