Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 26, 2003




1. President Xanana Gusmao said that the decentralization of government should start from the bottom (local power for example sucos, aldeias) as stipulated in the Constitution. He said, however, that what is actually happening is centralised governance with a tendency to diminish the local power. President Xanana Gusmao said this on Saturday, in a workshop with the topic "Local Power". The workshop was undertaken with the President's initiative to consult the people in 13 districts regarding local empowerment.

2. The Speaker of the National Parliament, Mr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo told the press on Saturday at the National Dialogue that the National Dialogue Commission's input is highly appreciated by both the Parliament and the Government. According to Mr Lu-Olo, the community aspirations collected by the Commission in 13 districts will be considered and reflected in the Draft Law for the local governance.

3. The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has named the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, as his special representative for Iraq. The choice clears the way for the world body to begin fleshing out its role in Iraq's reconstruction. Mr Annan announced his choice of the veteran UN diplomat for the newly created post in a letter to the UN Security Council.

4. An AP report by Michael Casey in the STL English column reports : "Poverty, economy trouble East Timor". Mr Casey describes Timor-Leste's situation before and after independence. He interviewed a variety of people including diplomats, the business sector and ordinary people. The article covers a range of issues from militia at the border to the Judicial System, the Timor Telecom, and the country's economy, etc.


1. President Xanana Gusmao said that the situation during the struggle for independence is very different to the situation today. He said: " Now people want to work with a full stomach" In response to the community demand to form Timor-Leste into 3 or 4 regions, the Minister for State Administration, Mrs Ana Pessoa, said that community demand can not fulfiled because it would need a lot of money and qualified human resources to carry this out. Both, President Xanana Gusmao and Minister Ana Pessoa made their comments during Saturday's Workshop on "Local Power" held by the National Dialogue Commission.

2. President Xanana Gusmao told in the workshop that the CPD-RDTL has no rights to claim the 1975 Constitution be restored because the proclaimers of the 1975 Independence are still alive and the 1975 Constitution is not appropriate for 2002. This statement was made by the President in response to the CPD-RDTL objections regarding this second national dialogue. (The first national dialogue talked about the CPD-RDTL claims for the restoration of the 1975 Constitution).

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