Subject: Timor-Leste International Monitoring June 4, 2004

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Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring June 4, 2004

Timor Post

Xanana can talk to whoever he wishes, says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the meeting the President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, recently had with Wiranto was done privately, and not officially. The Prime Minister said that as a human being the President has the right to talk to anyone he wishes.

Health Minister Meets with Commission F at the Parliament

The Health Minister, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, said that the meeting held recently with Members of the Commission F from the National Parliament was to discuss the Health Law approved by the Government. The Minister said that Commission F will hold a public seminar with the Church and civil society to discuss and give their contribution to the law. The Minister said that the Law contains 27 articles and basic principles for Health, and the need to establish the National Health Council.

Immigration officers cancelled visa

According to the newspaper Immigration Officers have cancelled the visa permit of a Chinese citizen accused of producing counterfeit goods like washing detergent and mineral water. The newspaper reports that the director of the Immigration, Carlos Jeronimo, said the visa for the accused, identified with the initials XJC, would be valid until 14 August 2004. Mr Jeronimo said the accused (XJC) is awaiting for the court decision on his case, and it is likely that he will be deported.

An evaluation on education

The Minister For Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, Dr Armindo Maia, said that a meeting with the Commission E at the National Parliament was only for an evaluation of the education in FY03 and FY04. The Minister said it was to report about the plans for FY04, and the finance support available and how much his Ministry has already spent on Education.

Council of Ministers approved budget for FY04 and 05

Today's edition of the newspaper reports that the Council of Ministers has approved the proposed budget presented by the Minister of Planning and Finance, Madalena Boavida, for FY04 and FY05 for an amount of USD$ 75.1 million. The newspaper says that the approved budget by the Council of Ministers will be submitted to the National Parliament for their appreciation and approval.

Lorico Airlines waiting for license to operate in Timor-Leste

The President of Lorico (Lorikeets) Airlines, Aleixo Cobra, said that the Government has approved the operation of the Airline, but the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications have not yet issued the license. Mr Cobra said that the Ministry of Transport have told him that there is a minor technical problem that will be solved in two weeks.

General Wiranto should be tried in Indonesia, says Alatas

The Former Foreign Minister for Indonesia, Ali Alatas, said that the general, a leading candidate in Indonesia's upcoming presidential election, would have "to resolve his problem", but should only "answer before internal justice" in Indonesia. The former Foreign Minister said he had no "personal opinion" on last weekend's meeting between East Timorese President Xanana Gusmão and Wiranto in Bali.

STL

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. Tomas do Rosario Cabral, Director of the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), said voter registration for the nationwide local poll had begun on May 31 and would conclude July 31. Timor?s first local election 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.

Lusa

East Timor: FM pledges Dili will have balanced budget by 2007 East Timor will achieve balanced state spending and expenditure in 2007 and after this date will cease to depend on foreign donor aid, Dili`s foreign minister, José Ramos Horta, said Thursday. Speaking at a Lisbon conference on ASEAN relations with the European Union, Ramos Horta underscored the importance of donor aid to his country in 2003. Dili is facing a budget deficit of USD 10 million in the 2004- 2005 tax year, but "is not seeking international financial aid" and instead resorting to "special" measures to generate tax revenue. The world`s newest nation will continue to need donor aid until 2007 to underwrite its development, noted Ramos Horta. The Dili government is currently preparing new legislation to attract foreign investment, said Ramos Horta, and Chinese involvement in developing Timor's offshore oil resources is a key goal of this initiative. Similarly, Timor is seeking participation of Thailand`s fishing sector to develop its potentially rich fisheries resources, he said. German investment in the food sector and Kuwaiti cooperation in infrastructure and professional training are other potential foreign investment projects the new laws will encourage, Ramos Horta added. Timor's main economic and political bugbear is generally considered to be its ongoing dispute with Australia over the two nations` common maritime frontier and the consequent division of petroleum revenues. Australia is pressing Timor to accept sea borders that Canberra agreed with Indonesia before Dili`s independence, a division of the two nations` shared offshore oil resources that is considered unjust by the Timorese government and in breach of international law. Ramos Horta said his government would continue to seek "creative ways of finding a solution" to the contested Timor Sea oil receipt carve-up.

East Timor: Ex-Jakarta FM says Indonesia vote will not impair Dili, Lisbon ties Indonesia`s diplomatic relations with East Timor and Portugal will continue to develop, irrespective of the result of Jakarta`s presidential elections next month, former Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas said Thursday. Alatas, speaking on the margins of a Lisbon conference on Europe- Southeast Asia relations, said Jakarta's ties with Timor and Portugal "will not change", whoever becomes Indonesia's leader. Former Indonesian armed forces commander General Wiranto is running for president. He is allegedly responsible for war crimes committed in Timor around the time of its 1999 breakaway from Jakarta. Indonesia's relations with Timor, which it annexed and occupied after Portugal`s pullout from its former colony in 1975, "are very good and improving", noted Alatas. "Our relation is strong and based on historic, geographic and cultural reality and cannot change", he said of his country`s ties with its tiny neighbor. Earlier, Alatas said Jakarta authorities were investigating Gen. Wiranto's alleged responsibilities in atrocities committed in Timor and the former defense minister will likely face trial at home. Alatas, who negotiated Timor`s independence ballot with Portugal and the United Nations, said he had no "personal opinion" on last weekend's meeting between East Timorese President Xanana Gusmão and Wiranto in Bali. The controversial encounter, where Gusmão and Wiranto embraced for photographers, took place less than three weeks after a special UN-backed court in East Timor issued an arrest warrant against Wiranto on charges of crimes against humanity. Dili authorities make normalized relations with Indonesia a priority and indicate they do not plan to act on the arrest warrant internationally. East Timor's foreign minister, José Ramos Horta, who was also in Lisbon, repeated criticism Wednesday of Gusmão's initiative in meeting Wiranto. He described the Bali encounter as "imprudent" and badly timed, coming so soon ahead of Indonesia's July 5 presidential vote in which Wiranto is a candidate. Both Alatas and Ramos Horta were in the Portuguese capital on private visits and to participate in the Europe-Southeast Asia conference.

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


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