Subject: Daily Media Review 11 September 2003


Dili, September 11 2003 Daily Media Review

Alkatiri: Illegal Groups will be Disciplined

On Wednesday, at an open governance meeting in Ainaro District, Prime Minister Alkatiri said that the government will officially ask the national police to "discipline" individuals belonging to illegal groups or organizations reported "Suara Timor Lorosae" on Thursday. The Minister made the statement in response to complaints by residents of Hatubuiliko concerning the activities of members of CPD-RDTL group, said the newspaper. It s reported that members of this group have been using the national flag and the name of the late President of Fretilin, Nicolau Lobato, to ask the population fto finance and support their activities. Apart from CPD-RDTL, it is also reported that another group is campaigning against the present political process, "which is leaving the people of that area confused," said STL. According to the daily, Alkatiri said that "if necessary the government will request the assistance of F-FDTL and the UN to discipline members of these groups who are considered illegal, if the national police cannot do it". (STL)

Belo Scuttles Gusmão's Bid to Woo Indonesia

A bid by Timor-Leste's President Xanana Gusmão to further his campaign for reconciliation with Indonesia came apart on Wednesday when Jakarta's former foreign minister, Ali Alatas, was criticized during a visit to Dili by Bishop Carlos Belo and subjected to hostile questioning by the local press, reported the Australian media on Thursday. According to the article by Australian journalists Jill Jolliffe, Alatas's first visit to independent Timor-Leste "began triumphantly: he was embraced by both Gusmão and the Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, while dodging questions on human rights violations during Indonesia's occupation from 1975 until 1999. There was mutual agreement the subject would not be raised, though, in an interview with the Herald, he admitted there had been violations," adding "It was a nasty little war . . . There were acts committed by either side". Commenting the former Foreign Minister's visit, Bishop Belo, said he disagreed with efforts to avoid discussion of the past "For all his merits, he [Alatas] was a mouthpiece for the Soeharto regime. We cannot forget that our people are demanding justice and reparations," Bishop Belo said. At Dili airport, Alatas faced a determined group of Timor-Leste journalists. In answer to a question about whether he regretted the suffering caused while he was foreign minister, he sought to portray himself as a human rights dissident. "You don't have to ask me the question now because, during all the years, I was publicly on record, whenever something happened, that I regretted it, that I didn't agree with it, and that I wanted to have the people brought to justice," he said. (SMH, The Age)

New French Ambassador Presents Credentials

The new French ambassador to Timor-Leste Renaud Vignal, presented his credentials to President Gusmão in Dili on Thursday. Ambassador Vignal takes over from Ambassador Herve Ladsous. He is currently the Ambassador of France to the Republic of Indonesia, where he resides, and his accreditation will include Timor-Leste. On Friday, Ambassador Vignal will accompany President Gusmão to the island of Ataúro with a personal letter of appreciation from President Jacques Chirac, to be delivered to the Village Chief of Makili village. It was their offer of a pair of fifty-year-old exquisite wooden statues that President Gusmão offered to President Chirac on his visit to Paris in June.

Indonesia and TL Have to Determine Borderline

The governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste still have to determine the borderline between the two countries and this matter is very important to the security of their respective territory, reported the Indonesian news agency ANTARA on Wednesday, citing the Deputy Governor of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, Frans Lebu Raya, in his capacity as chairman of the Indonesia-Timor-Leste border liaison office. After having a close look at the two countries` border areas, Frans said until now the governments of the two countries had yet to determine their borderline, which is an urgent matter that would require an immediate solution to avoid land ownership conflicts between the population living close to the borderline. (Antara)

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