Subject: Local Media Monitoring - June 27, 2003



June 27, 2003



1. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said in his report to the Parliament on Wednesday that the Government had decided in the Council of Ministers meeting to give priority to the education and health sectors in the budget allocation for the fiscal year 2003-2004.

2. The Chancellor of the University of Dili, Dr Lucas da Costa, said after examining the budget for the fiscal year of 2003-2004 which is still to be approved by the Parliament, he does not feel it reflects the Government's commitment to develop this country. Dr Lucas, commenting yesterday from his office, said that the US$79 million budget only allocates US$7 million for development. Dr Lucas said "This is a concerning issue, because many developing countries allocate their capital expenditure higher than the fixed expenditure".

3. Major Maubuti, a member of the Falintil-FDTL and the Veterans and Ex-Combatants Commission told reporters that he came down to the Falintil-FDTL headquarters with the intention to meet with Col Lere Anan Timor. Major Maubuti said that he was accompanied by Captains Haksolok and Sadia in order to get first hand information regarding Col Lere's threat to resign which they heard from the media. Major Maubuti said that if Col. Lere resigns, all of the former combatants in the Falintil-FDTL 1st battalion will resign simultaneously. Major Maubuti said that they share the same concerns regarding veterans' and ex-combatants' living conditions.

4. The Minister of Health, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, yesterday said that the meeting between the Department of Health and the World Bank with professional associations such as Nurses' Association, Midwives' Association and Doctors' Association was aimed at getting input from these associations regarding health sector policy. Dr Araujo said that his department and the World Bank will carry out an analytical study on the health issues.


1. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday told reporters that the US State Department's warning to American citizens traveling to East Timor to "exercise extreme caution" in public places is irrational. Mr Alkatiri said that the situation in Timor-Leste is stable. Mr Alkatiri made this objection after delivering his budget report to the National Parliament.

2. The Head of the Socialist Democratic Party Faction in the National Parliament, Mrs Maria Paixao, yesterday said that the Government could fail to overcome the problems of the community. Mrs Paixao said that the US$79 m budget for the fiscal year of 2003-2004 only benefits the Government rather than grass roots society. Mrs Paixao told the plenary session of the National Parliament that the Government is widening and strengthening its structure by putting aside the people's interest.

3. The Vice President of the National Parliament, Mr Jacob Fernandes, said in the ceremony offering flowers for the victims of torture at the Dili Port that the Government and the National Parliament are doing their best to combat torture. Mr Fernades said that torture and violence never solve problems. (Yesterday was the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture).

4. The Deputy Commander of the 1st Falintil-FDTL Battalion, Major Maubuti, said that he will not accept the creation of a new National Police Anti-Guerrilla Special Force Unit. Major Maubuti told reporters at the Falintil-FDTL Headquarter that only the F-FDTL should combat guerrillas and not the PNTL. (Timor Post also covered the same story regarding Col Lere's resignation as reported in the STL).

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