Subject: Daily Media Review 1 August 2003

From UNMISET on 08/01/2003 06:02PM -----

Dili, August 01 2003

Daily Media Review

The Extension of UN Mandate Not Related to Economy and Security Reasons

The Director of East Timor Study Group (ETSG) João Mario Saldanha, told the media on Thursday that economy and security are not the reasons for UN (UNMISET) to extend its mission in Timor-Leste. Instead UN sees Timor-Leste as its main project because it is the first time that UN is involved in a nation building, which started from scratches. Saldanha is of the opinion that UN would like to extend its mandate because the 1-year old Timorese government still faces difficulty governing the country and it's policies are not accommodating enough. He said the development of Timor-Leste so far is going well but there are small things that have not gone as the Timorese wished. He said the fact that there are international judges including Portuguese judges in the judiciary did not contribute to a better system. He said another area of concern is police and good governance. One of the examples given is the interference of the government in the judicial system. The Executive Director of ETSG is concerned that the extension of UNMISET will not stop the chaotic development in public policy unless the UN agencies are able to point out to the Prime Minister the shortcomings of being implemented by the government. (TP)

Ambassador Guterres: Timorese Leaders Should Be Careful With Statements

On his departure to the United States on Wednesday, Timor-Leste's Ambassador to the UN, Jose Luis Guterres, said the Timorese leadership should be more careful with their political statements especially aon the stability of the country because it can have an impact on world opinion about the situation in Timor-Leste. (TP)

President Gusmão: CPD-RDTL Is Not A Legitimate Organization

During his meeting with the population of Leolubu, Vemase sub-district, President Gusmão said that CPD-RDTL is not a legitimate organisation therefore its members should not speak out of behalf of the people and respect the political process. Gusmão said the people representing this organization should stop being stubborn and register the organization. The President made this remarks when a person from the audience identified himself as a CPD-RDTL member and asked Gusmão to request the UN to hand over total sovereignty to Timor-Leste. (TP)

TL Prioritizes Bilateral Ties with Indonesia

Timor-Leste government is currently more preoccupied with bilateral ties with Indonesia than to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against humanity during 1999, said Tiago Sarmento a Timorese lawyer. He said that although justice has been pushed aside by the government to safeguard diplomatic relation with Indonesia, these issues will continue to be raised in the next 20 to 50 year. Tiago Sarmento was commenting on Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister José Ramos-Horta's statement earlier this week when he said that the Timor-Leste government did not see justice for crimes against humanity committed in 1999 as a priority for Timor-Leste had achieved justice by becoming independent. (TP)

Timor-Leste's Legal System Faces Chaos

Radio Australia on its Friday AM program reported that Timor-Leste most senior judge, Claudio Ximenes has ruled that the new nation's legal system should be based on Portuguese law, not Indonesian law. The statement was made during his verdict on an appeal by a Timorese militiaman convicted of involvement in murders and a massacre during the 1999 vote for independence. Claudio Ximenes said the decision was based on legal argument and said past cases will not be re-tried unless there were appeals. Meanwhile Dionisio Soares from East Timor's Jurist Association said the UNTAET regulation did not clarify which existing law should be adopted as organic law but it clearly defines which Indonesia law should not be followed. He is concerned that Ximenes's decisions will have social implications in areas such as land and property claims under Indonesia law which could now not be recognized by the current government. Meanwhile the Special Panel on Serious Crimes Unit had issued a statement indicating it'll continue to abide by Indonesian law. The Director of Asian Law Centre and Associate professor of Law at Melbourne University, Tim Lindsay said a political decision needs to be made now in order for the judicial system to move forward.

Indonesian Occupation Likened to Cambodian Genocide

An expert on the genocide in Cambodia has drawn parallels with Indonesia's policies in Timor-Leste. History Professor Ben Kiernan says both Cambodia and Timor-Leste suffered civil war- - then genocidal policies from 1975 to 1980 - - and ultimately intervention by the United Nations.

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