Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 19, 2003




1. In an exclusive interview with STL, President Xanana Gusmao said that there are a lot of priorities on the agenda, but there is a need to emphasize the economy. He said that community products have to have an access to the local market in order to obtain cash money to improve their life. According to the President, to some extent we have a number of laws and regulations published electronically, unfortunately the illiterate people in the rural areas really don't know about that. He said that the Parliament should be taking the initiative to draw up new laws. Instead he said that all draft regulations come from the Government and the legislators in the Parliament are simply waiting to put up their hands to vote.The President also said that the judiciary system has already been established, however, is not yet performing well. Mr. Xanana Gusmao appealed to the Judges to put the national interest above their personal interest in serving this country.

2. The Executive Director of the East Timor Study Group, Mr. Joao Mariano Saldanha, said that one year after independence, the Government of Timor-Leste is trying to stem the downturn in economic growth. He said it was negative 2% last year and is expected to shrink to approximately negative 2.5% this year . Mr. Saldanha posed the question: Why, when there has been $2,3 billion in donors' aid between fiscal years of 1999 and 2003, why did this not off-set the negative economic growth.

3. Under a misleading headline that said "The World Bank has limited the Government's movements", there is an interview with Mario Carrascalao. Mr Carrascalao said that the World Bank was the coordinator of the donors assistance fund, but the Government was responsible for its own programmes. Mr Carrascalao criticized the Government for the lack of transparance and accountability.


1. President Xanana Gusmao told Timor Post in an exclusive interview that Timor-Leste's Political Party leaders must be conscientious and mature in their behavior, especially when making comments in the media. According to the President the political party leaders are the ones that the people need to rely upon to serve the nation.

2. The Secretary General of the Democratic Party, Mr Mariano Sabino said that this year's independence commemoration will have an atmosphere of greater freedom now that we are an independent and democratic nation. In an exclusive interview Mr Sabino reminisced about the past when the young generation sought political asylum at embassies in Jakarta and held demonstrations calling for independence.

3. Six ladies have fled home from starvation. The six ladies from the Taiboko's Village, Sub-District of Pante Makasar, District of Oecusse now are struggling for their survival in Dili. They are looking for assistance at the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation office in Balide.

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