Subject: Visao: a year of pragmatism

Portuguese Press Coverage of East Timor Compiled by UNIC Lisbon, 15 May 2003

Visão carries a story headlined "a year of pragmatism.". Under a subhead "trial of crimes of war", it says there is an overall dissatisfaction with the incapacity of the UN prosecutors to bring to trial at least of the Indonesian officials responsible for the crimes committed in 1999.

The magazine mentions that according to a communiqué released yesterday by the Head of UNMISET, Kamalesh Sharma, it was the responsibility of the Timorese Government to present the accusations.

President Xanana Gusmão and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Ramos Horta, during a visit to Indonesia expressed that it was not the wish of their country to proceed with the accusations in order to preserve harmony between both countries.

Even though Mari Alkatiri, the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, did not contest what was said at that time, he told Visão that the declarations made by the President did not represent the policies of the Government and showed indignation at the UN's tentative to "wash its hands" of this matter.

He added that UNMISET's position in 2002 was that they would control the areas of defense, internal security and prosecution of serious crimes.

"When the tribunal was created by the UN Security Council, UNTAET was not Timorese … now it says the tribunal is Timorese ­ but the defense and security are still not Timorese ­ what it means is that when it is convenient, the UN says the tribunal is not Timorese, and when it is not convenient it says it is."

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