Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Feb 17, 2004
Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Feb 17, 2004
Press Release from Government
Timor-Leste's "Ssus 2004" officially launched
The first national census of Timor-Leste, "Census 2004", was officially launched in Dili on Saturday, at a ceremony attended by President Gusmão, SRSG Kamalesh Sharma, Prime-Minister Alkatiri and the diplomatic corps. "Census 2004", which will be conducted by the National Statistics Directorate with financial and technical assistance from UNFPA, will count with the collaboration of a team of over 3,200 managers, district supervisors and enumerators, most of them presently being recruited and trained. They will visit approximately 180,000 households over a period of two weeks, in July. UNMISET has handed over to the government 30 vehicles, which will be utilized in the operation. "Census 2004" will be using state of the art technology, such as aerial photomaps showing every building of Timor-Leste; combining this with GPS coding, it will be possible to create spatial images of census data, which has never been possible before. "Census 2004" will give a statistical picture of life in Timor-Leste, providing the first full population counts after 1999 and the high birth rate following Independence. It will also review the nation's housing stock and the conditions in which people live, producing a socio-economic profile of the country's health, education, income, livestock and fertility, giving demographic data on age, sex ratios, ethnic origin and population density.
Gas production has started at Bayu-Undan
The Production of gas has started at an offshore gas field, which is expected to earn Timor-Leste more than US$ 100 million a year. The Timor Sea Office, said a regular flow of "wet gas" from the wells of the Bayu-Undan field in the Timor Sea. "The start of production is an historic milestone in Timor-Leste's struggle for economic independence," said the Prime Minister Dr Mari Alkatiri. A treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste created the Joint Petroleum Development Area in part of the Timor Sea, within which Bayu-Undan is located. Timor-Leste earns 90 per cent of the tax and royalty revenues from companies working in the area. The Bayu-Undan field contains an estimated recoverable reserves of 400 million barrels of condensate (light oil) and liquefied petroleum gas, and 102 billion cubic meters of natural gas. It is about 250 kilometers south of Timor-Leste and 500 kilometers northwest of Darwin. Australia and Timor-Leste are still in dispute about exploiting a larger gas field called Greater Sunrise.
TL still needs advisors, says PM
During a seminar on capacity building in the institution the Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that Timor-Leste will still needs about 60 advisors after the end of UNMISET mission in May 2004. He said that the Ministry of Finance is the department that needs most of the support from the advisors.
Tight control over Government's cars
The Vice-minister of Transport, Telecommunications and Public Works, Cesar Vital Moreira, said that the Government has set up a plan to reduce costs in maintenance of government vehicles. He said that the Police have been advised to stop any government vehicle that circulates on the weekends. Mr Moreira said that many government cars have been detained by the police for unauthorized use of government cars on the weekend.
Dual nationality status should be negotiated with Lisbon
The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that Timor-Leste and Portugal should negotiate a dual nationality status in the interests of both countries. Dr Alkatiri said that he had respect for Portugal's prerogatives on the issue. He said that limiting access to dual nationality could also be in Dili's interest given that many Timorese students were taking advantage of Portuguese generosity.
Action taken after PM surprised visit
After surprise visits to five pre-secondary schools by Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, action has been taken by the Ministry of Education in locating chairs, tables and books for the children. The Vice-Minister of Education, Rosalia Corte Real, said that the Prime Minister was sad to see students attending class while sitting on floor. She said that an order has been given to start a tender process for local carpenters as soon as possible to make chairs and tables.
F-FDTL and PNTL should have "spirit of institution"
The Minister for the Internal Administration, Rogerio Lobato said that F-FDTL and PNTL should have discipline and "spirit of constitution". He said the incident between F-FDTL and PNTL showed that certain individuals who joined the two institutions do not serve the people and the country. Mr Lobato said that the President's speech last Friday as a call to remind each member of F-FDTL and the Police to take their responsibilities seriously in order to maintain good relation.
Timor Sea justice campaign launched
More than 40 people attended the inaugural meeting of the Timor Sea Justice Campaign on January 21. The article says that many others, they were concerned with the Australian government's exploitation of Timorese oil. The campaign was set up to support efforts by Timorese organizations to pressure the Australian government for a fairer maritime boundary. The Melbourne-based campaign group is demanding that Australia returns to the negotiating table and the jurisdiction of international law in arbitrating the dispute.
East Timor leaders must not interfere with justice
East Timor Alliance for an International Tribunal was reportedly shocked to learn of a secret meeting between high officials from East Timor and an accused perpetrator of crimes against humanity according to this article in STL. The article says this meeting compounds the many problems the East Timorese face in obtaining justice, and raises uncomfortable questions about the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and whether the governments hears the victims' cry for justice. The article states that the Alliance has received reliable information that on 31 January or 1 February 2004, President Xanana Gusmão, Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta and General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro held secret talks with Indonesian former general Wiranto at the luxury Oberoi Hotel in Seminyak, Bali. According to the New York based Wall Street Journal, this is the second time Xanana and Wiranto have met "to discuss reconciliation".
US judge aids the ET Justice Sector
A Senior US judge visited East Timor government officials and members of the judiciary recently to help them understand the challenges and opportunities facing the country's emerging justice sector. Judge J. Clifford Wallace serves on the US Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit and acts as a senior advisor on legal systems and judicial administration to the Asia Foundation. Among the issues discussed during Judge Wallace's visit were how to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and how to develop means to enforce high standards of judicial performance.
Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office Ph: 723 0554 Tel: 332 4649 Email: email@example.com
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