Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring March 25, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring March 25, 2004

Timor Post

Government needs to take Australia to court

Political Annalist, Julio Tomas Pinto, said that the Government of Timor-Leste has to clearly define the Government's position on the Timor Sea accord and take the Government of Australia to court because it does not recognize the Greater Sunrise Unitisation Agreement Bill by Timor-Leste and Australia. He said that the Australian Government is doing a lot of maneuvering and the Timor-Leste government needs to be careful. Mr Pinto said that since the beginning, the Australian government had shown interest in the resources from the Timor Sea and it is now making life difficult to the Government of Timor-Leste at the negotiating table. Mr Pinto said that everyone, including the NGOs should be prepared to stand and give full support to the Government of Timor-Leste.

Members of National Parliament do not accept ratification of treaty

A Member of the National Parliament from Timorese Association of Social Democrats (ASDT), Feliciano Alves de Fatima, said that his party will not accept the ratification of the Unitisation Agreement Bill signed between Australia and Timor-Leste. He said that what the Government of Australia wants is to claim the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field to be within the Australia jurisdiction. Mr De Fatima said that from the beginning before ASDT did not agree to have the treaty signed before the definition of the maritime sea boundary was set. A member of Association of Timorese Heroes (KOTA) at the National Parliament, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, said that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste should never have created the accord alone. He said that when something like this happens, no one wants to be part of it. A Member of the Democratic Party (PD at the National Parliament, Mariano Sabino Lopes, said that from the beginning his party was against the accord signed between Australia and Timor-Leste. Mr Sabino said that PD wanted put into the agreement that the pipes carrying the crude oil should be channeled to Timor-Leste, not Australia. Mr Sabino said that what was needed was a clearly defined maritime boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste.

European Commission supports rural development

The European Commission officially announced, in a joint ceremony with UNDP, UN agencies, IOM and the World Bank, the approval of € 25,5 million (euros) for the development of rural areas in Timor-Leste. The objective of this grant is to increase sustainable livelihood, improve access to markets, create employment opportunities, empower communities to improve their local assets, increase women leadership and enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in assisting rural communities.The Ministry of Agriculture will implement the program with the assistance of the World Bank.

Dili District Administrator congratulated

A Member of the Liberal Party (PL) at the National Parliament, Armando da Silva, has congratulated the Dili District Administrator, Ruben Braz, for implementing the "operation animal" and cleaning the city streets of wondered animals. He said that he hopes the operation will continue in the future.

Laleia clinic has shortage of medicines

The Manager of the Health Clinic in the Sub-District of Laleia, Loureiro da Costa Ribeiro, said that the health clinic is facing difficulties with shortages of medicines to administer patients. He said that the doctors are working under difficulty conditions to maintain the clinic, and this has been so since January, 2004. Mr Da Costa said that for the last two months 117 patients have sought treatment for malaria, and other 70 patients have sought treatment for pulmonary and throat infection. He said that a report was sent to the Health Department, but until now the clinic has had no response.

Road cuts between Ainaro-Ermera and Suai-Maliana

The National Police Commissioner, Paulo de Fatima Martins, said that the main road from Dili to the Districts of Ainaro, Suai, Ermera and Maliana has been washed out due to the monsoon weather in the districts. He said that there are alternative roads but people should take extra caution due to landslides in the region.

STL

Youth killed in toilet during President Cup

The National Police Commissioner, Paulo de Fatima Martins, said that an unidentified youth wearing blue jeans and blue T-shirt was found dead by a security guard (yesterday) in the toilet of the National Soccer Stadium in Dili. Mr Martins said that this incident shows that nationally we are still having problems with security in the country. He declined to comment further on the tragic incident.

Tuberculosis is not an incurable disease

During the commemoration of the World Day for Tuberculosis (TBC) the Minister of Health, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, said that tuberculosis is not an incurable sickness if people seek medical treatment on time. He said that 50% of the people in Timor-Leste had contracted tuberculosis, and 10% died because they did not seek medical treatment in time. Dr Araujo said that every year the numbers tend to increase by around 4,000 patients and it affects mainly malnourished and poor people.

Government will solve Baucau power problem

The State Secretary for Water and Electricity, Egidio de Jesus, said that the Government is doing everything within their capacity to solve the generator problem in the District of Baucau. Baucau has been without electricity for the last two months. Mr De Jesus said that the generators in Baucau are really old and had been being used since the Indonesian times, and could not cope anymore. Mr De Jesus said that technicians from Macau are working to see whether they can salvage and replace the parts that are in bad condition.

Senate poised to pass $10 billion Timor project

A $10 billion oil and gas development in the Timor Sea would provide a major boost for jobs and revenue for Australia and East Timor, the federal government of Australia said. The Senate is poised to pass two bills giving effect to an agreement between Australia and East Timor to develop and commercialize oil and gas resources in the Sunrise and Troubadour fields, collectively known as Greater Sunrise. Despite signing the agreement last year, East Timor is disputing its seabed and maritime boundaries with Australia and wants a larger proportion of the revenue, currently set at around 18 per cent. Special Minister of State Eric Abetz said the bills would help assure investors about the future of the development, which would benefit the two nations. "From development will flow investment, exports, employment and revenue," senator Abetz said. Labor said that it would support the bills, but the minor parties accused the government of robbing the newly founded nation. Australian Greens and leader Bob Brown said he felt ashamed at the injustice to East Timor, one of the world's poorest countries.

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


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