Subject: Local Media Monitoring - September 17, 2003

From UNMISET

LOCAL MEDIA MONITORING

September 17, 2003

STL

UN POL HAND OVER POLICING TASK TO PNTL

The Minister of State Administration , Mrs Ana Pessoa, yesterday witnessed the hand-over of policing responsibilities from UN Police to Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) at the Baucau Stadium in Baucau. In her speech Mrs Pessoa said that Timor-Leste wants a police force that is professional, non-partisan and one that has respect for human rights. Mrs Pessoa also thanked the UN and the countries that have helped establish and develop PNTL. Mrs Pessoa reminded the police officers of the challenges they face by saying"we face no easy task, especially when we have as starting point a [public] image that is a legacy from the times under military occupation, when police flaunted and abused their power".

POLITICAL LEADERS' COMMENTS ON THE ISSUE OF COMMUNISM

STL sought opinions from members of the National Parliament in relation to the issue of communism in Timor-Leste raised yesterday by Bishop Nascimento. The President of the Commission B in the National Parliament Fretilin), Mr Jose Manuel Fernandes, said that the issue of communism is mere speculation and it will never become a reality. Meanwhile a member of the Parliament (PSD), Mrs Maria Paixao, predicted that Timor-Leste could become a communist state within two or three years. She said that she had experienced it in 1975 when she was 17 years old. She also said that at that time there were five Timorese students who introduced communist ideology into Timor-Leste and caused the civil war. Mrs Paixao also raised concerns about sending Timorese students to study medicine in Cuba. The Speaker of the National Parliament, Mr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, said that the international political constellation had changed, communist dictatorships had fallen and communism is not a real threat. He said that such talk was internal propaganda.

PM LEADS A DELEGATION FOR OFFICIAL VISIT TO CHINA

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday led a delegation to the People's Republic of China for an official visit. Included in the delegation are the Minister of Finance and Planning, Mrs Madalena Boavida, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Estanislau da Silva, the Minister of Health, Dr Rui de Araujo, State Secretary for Defense, Mr Roque Rodrigues, State Secretary for Tourism and Investment, Mr Jose Teixeira, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Olimpio Branco, the FDTL Chief of Staff, Col Tito Cristovao and the Prime Minister's Chief of Staf, Mr Jose Guterres. The article said that in Beijing, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri will sign agreements with his counterpart Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He said that they will sign seven agreements, relating to the health sector, trade, logistic support for F-FDTL, the construction of RDTL's presidential palace, assistance for Falintil veterans and financial assistance for the Government of Timor-Leste. The article said that the Government of China has guaranteed financial assistance to the Government of Timor-Leste, however, it did not mention the amount of the financial assistance package. The article also said that China's financial assistance will be allocated to finance Government expenditures.

TIMOR POST

PM VISIT TO CHINA

Before his departure to the People's Republic of China for an official visit Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that he will propose to the United Nations Security Council to reduce the number of Peace Keeping Forces and increase the capacity of Timor-Leste's National Police and the National Armed Forces (F-FDTL). He said " the United Nations' role in Timor-Leste will be reduced in 2004, however, politically the UN presence in Timor-Leste is needed". The article said that Prime Minister's delegation will also attend the World Bank Annual Meeting in Dubai and the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York regarding the extension of the UNMISET mission in Timor-Leste.

TL - PORTUGAL COOPERATION ACCORD

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Jose Ramos Horta has approved three cooperation accords with Portugal, including a broad agreement to establish the framework for bilateral relations. Among the accords approved on Monday, one deals with the reciprocal promotion and investment protection, and the other with a three year aid program for Timor-Leste's Defense Force training and technical support. (There is no explanation about the third accord).


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