Subject: Daily Media Review 25 September 2003


Dili, September 25 2003

Daily Media Review

Hornai: Border Shooting Will Not Affect Ties With Indonesia

Interim PNTL Commissioner Julio Hornai told Timor Post on Wednesday that the shooting incident last Friday on the border, which left one person death, will not affect ties with Indonesia. Hornai said both countries are still conducting investigations about the shooting. He confirmed that the body of Vegas Bili Atu had been returned to his family in Indonesia on Monday, having been transported by a helicopter of the United Nations. West Timor Police Chief Edward Aritonang told The Jakarta Post that former militiaman Vegas Bili Atu was shot dead by BPU inside Timor-Leste and not in a neutral zone. According to the newspaper, former pro-Jakarta militia leaders and other pro-integration East Timorese currently living in East Nusa Tenggara have condemned Friday's killing of Vegas. Aritonang said NTT Police would not intervene in the investigation of the incident, despite the fact the deceased was a former East Timorese militiaman who became an Indonesian citizen. (Jakarta Post, TP)

Bobonaro Residents Concerned with Rumors of Militia Attack

Abilio de Carvalho, the commander of Border Patrol Unit (BPU) in Bobonaro District told Suara Timor Lorosae that there are rumors circulating in the district about the possibility of an attack by former militias currently living in West Timor. He said that the rumors are a consequence of the death of "their leader' Francisco Viegas Bili Atu last Friday. Carvalho added that he had alerted BPU, PNTL, and PKF, as well as TNI and POLRI, and that "measures have been taken in the border areas". (STL)

PKF Will Transport Medicine to Rural Areas

Suara Timor Lorosae reported on Thursday that PKF will assist in the transportation of medicine to remote areas of the country, following a meeting held at Dili's National Hospital by representatives from various organizations involved in the organization of an immunization campaign against polio. The coordinator of the immunization campaign, Carlos Tilman Boavida, told the newspaper that besides transporting vaccines, PKF would also take school materials to the interior of the country. (STL)

Gusmão: The World Should Learn Lessons from Timor-Leste

The international community should draw on experience gained in Timor-Leste to help guide Iraq to democracy with the help of the UN, President Gusmão said on Wednesday. In an interview with AP, President Gusmão said he supported swiftly handing over sovereignty to an Iraqi governing council: "The UN role ... should be that of a mediator, helping the interim government fulfill the wishes of the Iraqi people". And he added, "Involvement in decision-making must be quickly assured to the Iraqi people". Gusmão noted that when the UN arrived in Timor-Leste, the mission had a wide mandate from the UN Security Council, allowing it to govern without any input from local political leaders. "But Sergio (Vieira de Mello) proved very flexible and quickly realized that he had to create a partnership with the Timorese if he wanted to succeed. He brought us in and allowed us a much greater role than envisioned by the Security Council". Gusmão pointed out that Timor-Leste and Iraq are different in many ways: "We had never been a sovereign state, a nation. Iraq is, and has been for a long time," he told AP. "Our people were poor and illiterate, and needed more help from the world community, but the Iraqis are already capable of taking responsibility". Gusmão said his priority now is to educate his people to involve themselves in civil society and the governing process. "They must understand that what this country becomes will depend upon them. Others can advise us, but we are the ones who will choose our own future. The Iraqis have that same right." "To be successful in Iraq, the UN must adapt", Gusmão added. " My advice now is listen to the people on the ground, like Sergio did". (AP, LUSA)

TL Encouraged to Look for Diverse Economic Partners

The Portuguese academic Barbedo de Magalhães, who has been following closely the process of Timor-Leste for the past thirty years, pleaded the new nation to proceed with a "subtle" politic of diverse economic relations. Speaking at a conference in Aveiro, Portugal on Wednesday, Magalhães said that only with subtle economic ties, Timor-Leste could achieve half of what is needed to affirm as an independent nation. Lusa reported that although he had subscribed to the appeals made by the Portuguese Prime Minister Durão Barroso on Tuesday at the UN for the international community not to abandon Timor-Leste, Magalhães said that it is inevitable that the major world powers would look somewhere as other "serious problems" have arisen. Magalhães made these remarks in Aveiro, North of Portugal, at a conference organized by the European Association of Australian Studies. (LUSA)

UN Bodies Working to Solve Refugee Problems

United Nations bodies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), are working to speed up the solution the problems of former East Timorese refugees in East Nusa Tenggara province, reported the Indonesian news agency ANTARA on Thursday. "Former East Timore refugees who wish to return to their homeland must follow official procedures set by the UNHCR", Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang, chief of the East Nusa Tenggara police headquarters, said on Wednesday in Kupang. According to the news agency, Aritonang added that he hoped if the former refugees intended to return voluntarily, they should not use easier but illegal ways. (ANTARA)

Timor-Leste Should Continue Reconciliation

The Timorese government should continue the process of reconciliation if the country is expected to remain peaceful and sovereign, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission IX, Marthin Bria, said in Atambua on Wednesday, according to ANTARA. "The government of Timor-Leste should not stop the process of reconciliation as it constitutes an important condition for peace in East Timor," Bria said. According to him, refugees from Timor-Leste "have a strong impression that Prime- Minister Mari Alkatiri's Government did not care for reconciliation". (ANTARA)

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