Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Nov 17, 2003

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Nov 17, 2003

Timor Post

PM requests UNMISET December 4 results The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that he will seek an explanation from UNMISET about the outcome of the UNMISET investigation into 4th of December, 2002. He added that he doesn't know why it has taken almost a year. The head of UNMISET in Timor-Leste, Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma, said that the report will be released next week. According to the paper, the Prime Minister said that the head of UNMISET Kamalesh Sharma had requested an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister on this matter.

China gives full support to Department of Agriculture The Vice-Minister of Development and Environment, Abel Ximenes, said that the Government of China has given financial support and assistance to the Department of Agriculture and Fishery. He added that the Government of China has contributed a lot in terms of technical training and development of Timor-Leste.

Law needed to combat corruption During a seminar entitled Transparency and Responsibility in Public Administration, the Investigative Judge for Dili District Court, Cerilio Jose Cristovao SH, said that law has to be promulgated to allow for the establishment of an instrument to fight corruption and nepotism.

STL

People need to change their mentality The President, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, said that he'll be the happiest man in Timor-Leste if the Government fulfills its promise to fight corruption and nepotism in Timor-Leste. Mr Gusmao said that people also have a responsibility to give up the mentality that they acquired during the Indonesian time.

East Timorese losing confidence Post-independence confidence in East Timor has declined, with nearly 40 per cent of East timorese saying they feel worse off now than under Indonesian rule. Less than half are optimistic about the future, according to the survey done by International Republican Institute. According to the article, the poll comes as East Timor is wrestling with a stagnant economy and doubts over the Government's ability to run the country after the United Nations departs next year.

Corruption report handed to Prime Minister The Inspector General, Mariano Lopes da Cruz, said that the report resultant from the investigation into the Department of Public Works about the misuse of money has been delivered to the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri. Mr Lopes said that the investigation team had only five days to complete the investigation before getting the report to the Prime Minister.

Honesty and integrity within Government staff The Inspector General, Mariano Lopes da Cruz, said that public servants need to have honesty and integrity if corruption is to be eradicated. He added that Government public servants need to be apolitical.

Indonesians detained for illegal logging The Border Patrol Unit Commander in the District of CovaLima, Quintino do Carmo, said that four Indonesian citizens have been arrested for trespassing and illegal wood cutting in Mota-Ain, Maliana. Mr Quintino said that the four men will be handed over to the Indonesian Police at the border after the investigation.

Maritime Boundary Talks between Timor-Leste and Australia

The governments of East Timor (Timor-Leste) and Australia yesterday held preliminary talks in Darwin on establishing permanent maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. The Government of Timor-Leste hopes and expects that the Australian Government will approach upcoming maritime boundary talks in a manner consistent with Prime Minister John Howard's pledge to negotiate "in good faith". This is Australia's legal obligation. Given that Australia has so far refused to exercise the restraint required at international law pending delimitation, Timor-Leste has urged Australia to commit to a rigorous schedule of talks in order to resolve the boundary quickly. Timor-Leste inherited no maritime boundaries from Portugal, Indonesia or UNTAET. The Timor Sea Treaty and related agreements between Timor-Leste and Australia are interim measures that will terminate upon the delimitation of permanent maritime boundaries. Timor-Leste Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri said the start of talks marks an important first step towards resolving Australia and Timor-Leste's competing claims and recognizing Timor-Leste's right to determine its maritime boundaries. Timor-Leste's claim in the Timor Sea is based squarely on its entitlement at international law. It extends to all of the Timor Sea Treaty area (which includes the Bayu-Undan field), the Greater Sunrise field, and the Laminaria, Corallina and Buffalo fields. All of these fields are closer to Timor-Leste than to Australia. Australia has an international legal obligation to exercise restraint in regard to the exploitation of resources in disputed maritime areas. Despite this, Australia is unilaterally exploiting the Laminaria, Corallina and Buffalo fields. Timor-Leste has not received one penny of the approximately U.S.$2 billion that Australia is estimated to collect from these fields.

Further, on April 22 of this year, Australia awarded a new permit in an area adjacent to the Sunrise field (Permit NT/P65). This was only weeks after the Sunrise unitisation agreement was signed, and months after Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri had written to the Australian Prime Minister asking that Australia exercise restraint in relation to areas of overlapping claims in accordance with its obligations under international law. Resolution of the maritime boundary dispute is all the more pressing, as Timor-Leste is one of the poorest nations in the world and requires substantial resources for national reconstruction and development. Timor-Leste would prefer to have access to its own resources to accomplish this, rather than depend on foreign aid.

Press Release from the Office of the Prime Minister Timor-Leste Government.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office


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