Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 16, 2003





1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Jose Ramos Horta held a press conference yesterday at Government Palace regarding his visit to the United States. In a press briefing Mr Horta explained that his visit to the United States had been successful. He met with the Secretary of State, Mr Collin Powel and a number of Congress members. During the meeting with Mr Powel, Mr Horta asked the United States for continuing support for his new and poor nation. According to Mr Horta the Secretary of State, Mr Powel listened sympathetically and said he will take Mr Ramos Hosta comments to the Congress for review. Actually the US Government has signaled a reduction in aid to Timor-Leste by 40%. The current level of finance assistance is $25 million.

2.The United Nations Peace Keeping Forces and the Indonesian Armed Forces have met in Atambua to discuss the land border between West Timor-Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The team will examine official documents such as the 1904 Treaty between Portugal and Dutch, the Indonesian map of 1992/93 and the Portuguese map of 1936/38 as reference to establish an agreed border.

3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri urged civil servants to do the best for their country. In a meeting with all public servants last Friday Mr Alkatiri said " what have you done for your country ? ". The Prime Minister also said that the Government does not demand anything except self discipline in the conduct of their duties.

4. The General Manager of the Micro Finance Institution of East Timor, Sergio M. Espirito Santo, told STL at his office at Colmera that during one year's operation, they had disbursed US$219,173.37 for small businesses channelled through their three branches in Dili, Ermera and Maliana.


1. In the front page, Timor Post reported the same story as described in the STL about Dr Ramos Horta's visit to the United States.

2. Timor-Leste's independent economic's observer, Dr Lucas da Costa, and the Executive Director of the East Timor Study Group, Dr Joao M. Saldanha, have said that the economy of Timor-Leste will benefit from the new trading relationship as part of the African Carribean and Pacific Group of nations.

3.The FDTL Commander Mr Taur Matan Ruak said that within a year, the FDTL has made progress in terms of capacity building. According to Mr. Ruak the institution's policy underlined the quality of the soldiers not its quantity.

4. In response to the protest letter from the CPD-RDTL Secretary, Mr Ivo de Jesus Sequeira, the General Coordinator of the CAAC-CAAV Commission, Mr Duarte Viana, said that the time limit which has been given for the registration of the veterans was not designed to offend anybody. He said it was a reminder to all former combatants to register and fill out the form provided. He said if the elegible people do not register in time they can not blame the Commission.

5. Timor Telecom has announced that they will be providing free national calls on mobile phones and landlines from midnight on May 19 until midnight on May 20. This to celebrate the first anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

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