Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring May 3, 2004 - newly appointed Dili Bishop

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

Timor Post

Excerpts from the newly appointed Bishop for the Diocese of Dili

During the ceremony for the newly appointed Bishop for the Diocese of Dili, D. Alberto Ricardo da Silva, he announced guidelines of the future pastoral action in the Diocese of Dili, that will be read out to the whole Catholic Community next Sunday.

The Bishop pointed out that a large percentage of the Timorese population is young, and that he is concerned about the violence in the ambit of families, fruits of undesirable situations that are not entirely unsolved in the framework of Christian faith and solidarity. The Bishop said that the Church is committed in helping to address the issues that affect the women, our sisters and mothers of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Unfortunately, he said, domestic violence, which is common in our Christian families, requires serious and profound reflection and a new attitude towards life. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our families live in an environment of peace, tranquillity and love. Due to this it is the intention of the Church to raise the standards of education, with special emphasis and attention to women. Better educated people are in a better position to assess their options and to defend their human dignity.

The Bishop said that the statistics in the health sector describe an alarming situation. The unbearable poverty, malnutrition, and the high rate of infant mortality preoccupy the Church greatly. With a high fertility rate, the scarce family resources can hardly assure proper nutrition and health care for both mother and the child. Many women suffer from chronic energy depletion, a great number of children under five are stunted or underweight or wasted.

The Church maintains small health clinics throughout the country and the diocese under the good care of nuns from various congregations and their colleagues who provide a dedicated and generous service. Part of this effort shall be the implementation of a project Maternity-Nursing School to be launched soon in Dili, in collaboration with the Patriarchate of Lisbon. The Holy Father himself has donated a substantial financial contribution to this project.

The Bishop not only focused on the high mortality rate which he hopes to reduce of infant mortality of unborn and newly born children but also infectious diseases. With great sadness, he has discovered that our beloved people are also confronting many infectious diseases, in particular Tuberculosis and the deadly Aids virus. It is a situation that greatly concerns the church because our capacities and limitations in the health sector will not be sufficient to provide effective treatment.

The Church is committed to continue its work related to TB treatment and the highly dangerous HIV-AIDS virus. The newly appointed Bishop also said that since independence, our country has undergone many new influences and experiences, some good, others bad. We now begin to see the negative social impact of some of these external influences, in particular the growing trend of prostitutions in our society. As parents, we have the responsibility to lead by example and to protect our children from becoming unhappy victims of moral degradation.

Good choice by the Vatican, says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the Vatican had made a good choice in appointing D. Alberto Ricardo da Silva as the new Bishop for the Diocese of Dili. Dr Alkatiri congratulated D. Ricardo da Silva and the all catholic community. Dr Alkatiri said that for the first time in history a Bishop is ordained in Timor-Leste, a move that he sees is another chapter to strengthen and complete the independence of Timor-Leste. Meanwhile the President, Xanana Gusmão, said that finally the Timor-Leste Church has achieved also its independence like the country. The President said that was the best choice ever for the Diocese of Dili, and congratulates D. Alberto Ricardo da Silva.

Government has to create factories before reduction imports

A Member of the National parliament, Rui Menezes, said that the Government to reduce imports the Government has to create first factories to maintain the high demand of the consumer. He said that he understands peoples demands but Government has to put in place a plan to help growth in the local economy.

Timor to cooperate with Wiranto

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, said his country would cooperate with former general Wiranto, indicted for crimes against humanity in the territory, if he was elected Indonesian president. "We will support anyone who is elected democratically in the July presidential election (in Indonesia), including Wiranto," Gusmão told a news conference. The President said good relations between Indonesia and Timor-Leste would not be affected if Wiranto came to power.

STL

US Senator says Wiranto wrong choice for Indonesian President

A US lawmaker who authored a bill freezing military ties with Indonesia following violence in Timor-Leste in 1999 said an indicted general running for president should be brought to justice for his alleged role in that conflict. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, also said a victory by General Wiranto in the July 5 presidential election would be "highly unfortunate" and that Indonesia needed a leader "who respects democratic values, human rights and the rule of law." "General Wiranto was in command when the Indonesian Army orchestrated the atrocities in Timor-Leste, he was indicted for those crimes, and he should be brought to justice," Leahy said in a statement from Washington. "It would be highly unfortunate if someone of his background were to become Indonesia's president."

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


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