Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring April 23, 2004

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Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring April 23, 2004

Timor Post

Australian Senator Met PM Alkatiri

During a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri and the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Olimpio Branco, the leader of the Green s Senator, Bob Brown, conveyed the Australian people's regret over their government's negotiations on the Timor Sea oil and gas exploration. The Senator said that Australia is rich in oil and gas, which provides enough revenues for the country and should not take TL's wealth. Senator Brown said that if his party wins the majority of the seats in the coming elections in Australia he would like to ratify the policy on the Timor Gap. The Senator said that although his country has been supporting Timor-Leste, at the same time it has been stealing it's resources.

Food complaints by RRU

The Minister of Interior, Rogerio Lobato, paid a visit to the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) headquarters due to the complaints from members of the unit regarding food. The Minister said that he did not see anything wrong with the food, and met the catering company to ensure the continued quality standards of food and encourage the purchase of local produces because it was much cheaper. Meanwhile the Rapid Response Unit carried out a raid (last week), which ended with the confiscation of 26 homemade bombs and one person was injured when police shot in self-defense. According to the Minister of Interior the man had in his possession a machete and tried to attack the police.

PM makes an Official visit to Kuwait

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, left Timor-Leste on an official visit to Kuwait with a delegation comprised of 25 people. The Prime Minister and the delegation will fly from Denpasar, Bali, to Kuwait in the private jet of the King of Kuwait. In Kuwait the delegation will meet with various identities and business people.

Nurses from three Districts receive certificates

During a ceremony for the graduation of 16 nurses from 3 Districts, the Minister of Health, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, said to the nurses that the responsibility is in their hands to attend and care for the patients. The Minister said that the nurses need to be humble, so to be able to learn and guide their fellow workers who have not done the course. Dr Araujo said that the main virtue for any of us is to have patience and achieve good results.

Workshop for 154 civil servants in Baucau

The District Administrator of Baucau, Micaela Ximenes, said that the aim of the workshop is to make the civil servants understand better the rules and regulations of public servants. She said that it s important for the public servants to understand that during working hours they cannot participate in public or political campaigns.

STL

Sandalwood smuggling from Timor-Leste to Atambua

According to (yesterday's) edition of the newspaper, smuggling of sandalwood from Timor-Leste to Atambua is on the rise due to the involvement of the Indonesian Maritime and Air Police Unit. The paper says that a local resident who does not want to be identified said a member of the Maritime and Air Police Unit with the initials Brada AB helped in the smuggle of 3.8-ton of sandalwood. The paper says that the same person had been involved in helping people crossing to and from Timor-Leste. The smuggling of sandalwood and people to and from Timor-Leste is done through Atapupu Harbor and has been noticed by the local population for some time now.

PNTL ready to guarantee security, says Lobato

The Minister of Interior, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, said that with the end of UNMISET mission on May 20 the National Police Force will be ready to give and maintain security. The Minister made an appeal to the population not to be afraid and not listen to rumors. Mr Lobato said that the National Police Force is more than ready to act in any emergency.

JICA to repair road to Suai

The Vice-District Administrator of Ainaro, Manuel Pereira, said that the Government of Japan will support the Government of Timor-Leste in the rehabilitation of the main road that leads to the District of Suai, which also includes the District of Ainaro. He said that a team from Japan and the Philippines surveyed for 3 months and drew a plan for the roads, which will be presented to the Government of Timor-Leste. Mr Pereira said that the information he received says that the roads will start being rehabilitated in July or August this year.

UN blasts Wiranto on Timor

Damning testimony and documentary evidence against Indonesia's former armed forces commander Wiranto has for the first time been released by the Un-funded Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor. The 92-page evidence summary squarely blames former general Wiranto and his subordinates for the carnage in East Timor in 1999. Wiranto's de facto or effective control over the militia is demonstrated by evidence that the militias were formed, funded, armed and controlled by the Indonesian army with the knowledge of the accused, says the summary, released this week (Monday night). Citing overwhelming evidence , the summary adds that the military often either assisted in the militia violence or stood by and let it happen . It notes that military and government documents from 1998 and 1999 proved some militia members were in fact enlisted Indonesian soldiers. These militias, controlled by the military, wreaked havoc in East Timor in the months before and after the 1999 independence referendum, killing as many as 1500 East Timorese. The UN mission chief in East Timor at the time, Ian Martin, is quoted regarding a meeting with Wiranto in 1999. I clearly recall General Wiranto telling me that if Falintil (the independence guerrillas) was ready to surrender its weapons to the Indonesian police, he could guarantee that the militia would be disarmed in two days, Mr Martin said.

Council of Ministers debate the Investment Law

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Gregorio de Sousa, said that the Council of Ministers (this week) debated the Investment Law which is divided in two: internal investment and another for the external investment. He said that the Council of Ministers agreed with the Investment Law but it needs some adjustments before it is brought back to the CM in two or three weeks.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office Ph: 723 0554 Tel: 332 4649 Email: ffilipe@worldbank.org


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