Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring June 3, 2004

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Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring June 3, 2004

Timor Post

Women's network protest against Police officers

The hearing process on nine officers of the National Police Force (PNTL) allegedly accused of raping an 18 year-old girl was closed (yesterday) after the judge decided to free the nine police officers. According to the newspaper report, the judge responding to complaints by a member of the victim?s family over the courts decision, argued that justice was powerless since the government kept intervening in the process. The newspaper says that about 100 members of the police and their families attended the hearing process, including twenty one women's organizations held a protest in front of the court demanding the dismissal of the nine officers and respect for all women in Timor-Leste. Meanwhile, a member of the National Parliament from the Commission B, responsible for Internal Security and Foreign Affairs, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, said that people cannot blame the entire police Institution for this rape case. What it needs is discipline within the police institution, otherwise people will lose their trust in the police force.

Australia, East Timor dispute could hurt gas project

A long-running territorial dispute between Australia and East Timor over the huge Sunrise undersea gas fields has unsettled customers and threatens to delay the multibillion dollar project, according to a key backer. Shell Australia Chairman, Tim Warren, conceded the project wasn''t "moving forward as fast as we' all like"while the two nations are at loggerheads over the maritime boundary that separates them. As market efforts continue, management of the project "would move more easily if the customers were absolutely sure there were no obstacles in the way," Warren told reporters. His comments come as East Timor's Prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, is expected to step up criticism of Australia at a regional energy conference in Darwin next week.

Minister elected as Vice-President of World Health Assembly

Today's edition of the newspaper says that the Health Minister of Timor-Leste, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, was elected as the vice-president of the World Health Assembly during the conference in Geneva.

Census with late start in four villages

A staff member for the National Census in the District of Baucau, Carlos Braz, said that the slow process and the delay to reach four villages was due the resignation of the local representative. He said that they will start the census a little late until the vacant post is filled.

People just want to get along with their lives

A Member of Fretilin at the National Parliament, representing the District of Baucau, Elias Freitas, said that the people in the District and Sub-District of Baucau just want to get along with their lives while waiting for better days. He said that the main preoccupation from the people in Baguia is whether the roads are going to be fixed or not so they can sell their products at the local markets. Mr Freitas said, for example, in the village of Samagia, in the Sub-District of Laga, there?s no nurse to take care of the sick or to administer medicine for those who seek assistance.


Xanana is playing a dangerous game, says TAPOL

Today's edition of the newspaper reports that TAPOL, the Indonesian Human Rights organization (Campaigning to expose human rights violations in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh) says that the President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, is playing a dangerous game not only for the people of Timor-Leste but also Indonesia. According to the newspaper the President could be accused by his own people and others for trying to interfere in Indonesian politics, when he met Wiranto for a reconciliation meeting in Bali.

20 cooperatives operating in Timor-Leste

The Orient Foundation held a seminar entitled "The Development of the Economy for Cooperatives and Private Sectors" this week where the Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, attended and said that the Government of Timor-Leste helped established 20 cooperatives in the country. The Prime Minister said that is now needed is for the cooperatives to gain experience while learning from others and share amongst themselves. The government cannot do miracles, but is trying hard to help the population by establishing the conditions.

8523 pre-paid electricity meters installed

The Commercial Manager for the Electricity of Timor-Leste, Jose Fernandes, said that 8523 pre-paid electrical meters have been installed in Dili. He said that his Department is expecting the arrival of more pre-paid meters this month before they can continue with their installations.


East Timor: Voter registration underway for first local ballot

East Timor has begun the process of holding its first ever local elections and some community leaders will be elected by the end of the year, an official source said Wednesday. Tomás do Rosário Cabral, director of the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), said voter registration for the nationwide local poll had begun May 31 and would conclude July 31. Timor's first local elections will elect 433 "chefes de suco", community leaders, and about 2,300 village chiefs. The STAE chief said voter registration was being funded entirely by Timor, although donor countries such as Portugal and Australia had contributed "specific" material. Separately, a helicopter chartered by the United Nations crashed Wednesday in central Timor, causing "light injuries" to two of the five people on board, a UN source told Lusa. The helicopter was travelling to collect a pregnant woman and take her to a Dili hospital and came down in the district of Same. The reason for the crash was not immediately known, said the source.

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