Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 31 December 2004

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 31 December 2004

Fretilin lost in local elections in Bobonaro and Oecusse Districts

The Director of Technical Secretariat for Election Administration Tomas do Rosario Cabral said that the Fretilin party lost in the local elections in both Bobonaro and Oecusse districts with a high percentage of votes, adding that the major votes were gained by the independent candidates.

Around 82% of voters, Cabral said, participated in the elections in Bobonaro district. When assessing the situation, Cabral stated that it was due to the distance and the rainy season that many voters did not cast their votes at the polling stations. Cabral added that many people have not understood the election process and therefore did not come out to vote. Moreover, Cabral said, 92% of voters exercised their right to vote in the elections in Oecusse district. (Timor Post)

Transcript of Press Conference by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at UN Headquarters

Excerpt of the Press Conference referring to recent contribution from Timor-Leste:

Question: Mr. Egeland, in answer to my question about the United Nations human resources being stretched thin, perhaps, by this, the Secretary-General referred to the idea of bringing some people in. Can you flesh out what he means by that: what number of people; putting people on contract for a period of time -- what does he have in mind there, or do you have in mind?

Mr. Egeland (UN Emergency Relief Coordinator): We are overstretched. We were overstretched already with Darfur and eastern Congo. Again, also back to my frustration of the funding for good causes -- my good causes -- is in eastern Congo we have surveys saying that 1,000 people die per day from preventable disease and from humanitarian neglect. That is a tsunami every four months -- for years. We do not have enough resources. We do not, either, have enough personnel. However, I think it would be defeatist to say that, no, it is limited what we can do. In this world, everything is possible. And there are additional assets that we can and should bring on. I lie awake at night thinking of new ways we can bring in new partners and new resources. We have a very good opportunity to bring in military and civil defence assets here, and I welcome, really, the offer of the United States and Australia and India and Singapore and many other countries of military and civil defence assets to this response to natural disaster -- because we do not have the capacities that they can bring.

So, that is one additional layer of support. If we also look at the list, it is very encouraging to see: I mean, East Timor gives $50,000. It is one of the poorest countries on the Earth. Eastern European countries are among those who now give us personnel that we sent within the first 24 hours -- the wave of experts that we call the United Nations Disaster Assessment Teams. They were not in the family before. So, yes, we can. Everything is possible if we think creatively and if we are generous as an international community. (UN News Centre)

Timor-Leste: Dili gives USD 50,000 to help quake, tsunami survivors The government of Timor-Leste donated USD 50,000 on Thursday to help victims of the Asian tsunami. The donation by the world’s newest nation, and one of Asia’s poorest, was announced at a press conference by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta. Alkatiri said Dili could not “stand and do nothing” in the face of a “terrible tragedy that has destroyed so many lives and communities”. He said the Timorese themselves had benefited from generosity during and after their bloody breakaway from Indonesian rule five years ago. An official source told Lusa that the Timorese donation was personally given by Alkatiri to the United Nations representative in Dili, Atul Khare. It is the second time in recent months that impoverished Timor has dug deep to assist survivors of natural disasters in neighbouring countries. Dili gave USD 20,000 to the Jakarta authorities in November after an earthquake centred on the Indonesian island of Alor, which killed over 20 people. (Lusa News)

Timor donates $64,000 The impoverished, fledgling state of Timor-Leste will donate USD 50,000 ($64,600) to help the victims of the Asian tsunamis. “As neighbours and friends we cannot stand by and do nothing”, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said in a statement. “This terrible tragedy has shattered so many lives and communities, that this is our way of saying we are here as your friends when you are in need. Our nation is poor but our spirit is strong and our people support the government of Timor-Leste in doing this, even though they have so little”. Mr Alkatiri said the people of Timor-Leste knew what it was like to be the beneficiary of generosity at times of great sufferings. “So the least we can do is to give 50,000 dollars from our small budget”, he said. Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta said the donation would be made through the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Timor-Leste, which separated from Indonesia following a 1999 independence vote and became a sovereign nation in 2002, has a population of about one million people and is one of the poorest nations in Asia. (AFP)

Timor-Leste donates Euro36,700

DILI, Timor-Leste - The tiny nation of Timor-Leste said Thursday it was giving US$50,000 (euro36,700) to help relief efforts in Indonesia, a gesture that showed relations were improving with its former occupier. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said the contribution to relief efforts following Sunday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia’s Aceh province was aimed at helping a “friend”. More than 50,000 have died so far and millions of dollars have been pledged to help the recovery effort.

“As neighbours and friends, we cannot stand by and do nothing”, Alkatiri told reporters. “This terrible tragedy has shattered so many lives and communities, that this is our way of saying we are here as your friend when you are in need”.

East Timorese voted in 1999 to end 24 years of Indonesia rule and become independent. Indonesian troops responded by unleashing a wave of violence on the half island, killing upward of 1,500 Timorese and destroying much of the infrastructure. Ties between the neighboring countries have improved since Timor-Leste became independent in 2002. Economic relations have strengthened and both sides have resisted United Nations efforts to launch an investigation into the 1999 violence.

“I want to say to our fellow governments and our brothers and sisters, that our hearts are with you in these sad and devastating times”, Alkatiri said. (AP)

Timor-Leste is donating US $50,000 to help the victims of the Asian tsunami

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri says despite being one of the poorest nations on Earth, East Timor cannot stand by and do nothing for its neighbours and friends. Mr Alkatiri says the people of East Timor knew what it was like to be the beneficiary of generosity in times of suffering, and the public supports the Government’s donation, even though they have so little. (ABC Radio Australia)

PM Alkatiri: Timor-Leste assists victims of recent Tsunami

The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Dr. Mari Alkatiri announced that the government of Timor-Leste would collaborate closely with President Gusmão’s office, the civil society, and many others who are concerned about humanitarian disasters to voluntarily assist the people of Indonesian Northern Province, Aceh.

In this regard, PM Alkatiri on behalf of the people and Government of Timor-Leste handed over a cheque for US $50,000 to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Atul Khare, as a donation to UN OCHA to help survivors of the devastating tsunami, which struck several Asian countries on 26 December.

When asked in a Press Conference whether the assistance is a symbol of reconciliation between Indonesia and Timor-Leste, PM Alkatiri responded that it is a contribution that reflects the real condition of a poor country like Timor-Leste. He was also quoted as saying “Our nation is poor but our spirit is strong and our people support the government of Timor-Leste in doing this, even though they have so little”. It was further reported that despite all the difficulties in life nowadays, Timor-Leste government has consulted with the President of the Republic and the National Parliament and decided to give its support through the UN OCHA office.

STL reports that the solidarity support does not reflect the border, ethnicity of the countries. But, it aims to assist those who are affected by the natural disaster. The US $50,000 donation marks Timor-Leste’s second assistance to Indonesia after its first assistance where a US $10,000 cheque was given to the population of Alor who experienced a devastating earthquake on November 12, 2004.

The report also quoted the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Ramos Horta saying that Timor-Leste is trying to monitor the assistance by the International community and would try to provide a different form of assistance. (STL, the Herald Sun)

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