Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 22, 2003




1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Jose Ramos Horta, told the press yesterday that Timor-Leste respect Indonesia's integrity and sovereignty. This means Timor-Leste will not support any separatist movements in Ache and West Papua.

2. The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1480, in which it recognized the need for UNMISET to continue its support of East Timor's government before the mission completely withdraws from the country. According to a report issued last month by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, international assistance to Timor-Leste is essential to confront serious political, practical and security challenges in the future. Annan said UNMISET's military component should be reduced and government troops increased. He said the military should seek the trust and confidence of the East Timorese people through public information activities.

3. Bishop Belo has voiced concern about the increasing of the use of Indonesian language among the youth. He said that Timor-Leste has decided to adopt Portuguese and Tetum as its official and national language, however the youth tends to use Indonesian language rather than Portuguese. He urged the Portuguese Government to launch a Portuguese language campaign.

4. The Chancellor of the Dili University, Dr Lucas da Costa said that it is quite difficult to make an evaluation of the economic development performance of Timor-Leste, because of the lack of official standardized measures or economic indicators.


1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Jose Ramos Horta said that the Government will not allowed refugees to hold or to take part in demonstrations. Dr Ramos Horta said this yesterday, in relation to the demonstration held by two Acehnese activists under the umbrella of the Ache Independence Movement and an East Timor solidarity group called Timor-Leste pro Ache Independence. The demonstration took place at the Government Palace during the commemoration of Independence. According to Dr Ramos Horta Timor-Leste recognizes Ache and West Papua as integral part of Indonesia, therefore it will not support separatist movements to destabilize Indonesia.

2. The Association of Timor-Leste' s victims, an umbrella of the former Indonesian civil servants, held a demonstration yesterday at the Government Palace to demand the Government and UNMISET to solve their problems. The former Indonesian civil servants claimed their severance pay and pension from the Government of Indonesia in line with the 5th of May Agreement between the Government of Portugal and Indonesia. They urged the United Nations to pressure the Government of Indonesia to fulfill its obligations.

3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that Timor-Leste will adopt its own new coin currency on October this year. Mr. Mari said that the Deputy Director of Banking and Payment Authority, Mr. Abrao Fernandes, has signed the agreement for the production of Timor-Leste's own currency with Portuguese Authorities (casa de moedas) in Portugal. The coins will be available in 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents.

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