Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring March 11, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring March 11, 2004

Timor Post

The OE accusation was not against the Govt, says Xanana

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, said that the allegations made by Oceanic Exploration and Petrotimor was not against the Government of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste, but was personally against Mari Alkatiri. The President said that the bribe accusation against the Prime Minister is false, and the process filed in the court is also wrong.

Semanario

Political "hand" in the accusation against PM, says Horta

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Ramos Horta, said that he knows that there is a Timorese politician behind this process who has been supplying false information. He said that he will not mention the politician's name, but he has to respond the accusation made against the Prime Minister. Dr Horta said that this unnamed politician will sooner or later have to explain to the Timorese people why he got himself involved in this dirty and defamatory campaign against a fellow-countryman, in favour of an opportunistic American oil company.

I have no obligation to run for second term, says Xanana

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, said that he has no obligation to run for his second term or to fulfill two consecutive terms as President. The newspaper said that due to chronic illness (back and neck pains) the President had considered resigning in 2003. The Newspaper says that the President feels much healthier this year and will stay until the end of his term.

STL

I stand by Mari Alkatiri, says Xanana

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, said that he stands by the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, because of the false accusation made by Petrotimor against the Prime Minister. The President said that he cannot accept the allegation against the Prime Minister that he took bribes to sign the Timor Sea treaty with ConocoPhillips. The President said that if the Prime Minister wants a statement than he will give it.

Woodside studies East Timor pipeline for Sunrise Gas

Potentially giving an economic boost to one of the world's newest and poorest nations, Woodside Petroleum (WPLAU) said Wednesday that it may build a 150 kilometer pipeline to East Timor as part of its multibillion dollar Sunrise gas project. The new plan, an alternative to two existing proposals, could bolster East Timor as it seeks a radical readjustment of maritime boundaries with its neighbour Australia. A Woodside spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires that the company is looking at three alternatives for Sunrise consisting of a floating liquiefied natural gas (LNG) facility, piping gas to an LNG facility in East Timor, or a pipeline to a Darwin based plant. "We aim to take one of these options into the basis of design phase for the project by the end of the year," he said. Sunrise partners Royal Dutch /Shell Group (RD) and Woodside have previously backed floating LNG for Sunrise, while US partner ConocoPhillips (COP) has argued in favor of a pipeline to Darwin. ConocoPhillips is separately building a US$1.5 billion LNG plant at Darwin as part of its Bayu Undan project. Woodside has said previously that there are "possibilities for sharing infrastructure on-shore" if Sunrise gas is landed at Darwin. East Timor is only around 150km from Sunrise, much closer than the 450km-500km distance to Darwin. But East Timor lacks supporting infrastructure and skilled labor, and is viewed by analysts as a higher-risk site for a major LNG facility. Whichever option is chosen, the design phase will likely take around 14 months, leading to a potencial go-ahead for construction in 2006. LNG exports could start in 2009/10. Any move to pipe sunrise gas to East Timor could bolster the country's claim that current seabed boundaries are invalid.

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


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