Subject: Timor - Leste International and Local Media Monitoring for October 14, 2004

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Timor - Leste International and Local Media Monitoring for October 13, 2004

Outcome of WB and IMF Annual Meeting 2004
Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

The WB and IMF annual meeting took place in Washington on October 2-3, 2004.

This meeting was attended by high ranking government officials, and private
sector and bank leaders around the globe. At the meeting, the South East Asia Constituency (SEAVG) in two Breton Woods Institutions (BWI) that organized the meeting on October 1, 2004, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of the Rotation Scheme 2004-2007 for the WB  constituency. The signing of this MOU puts an end to the discussion on job allocation in SEAVG started in 2002.

The SEAVG constituency at the WB consists of 11 country members, respectively  Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.

At the IMF this SEAVG constituency has 12 country members including the 11 above mentioned countries, plus Cambodia.

For Indonesia, this annual meeting has a special significance, as their representatives holds key positions in SEAVG both at the World Bank and IMF. Important agendas being discussed at these two institutions are Enhancing Fund Surveillance and Strengthening Crisis Prevention, Role of Fund in Low-Income Countries, Aid Effectiveness and Financing Modalities, Strengthening the Foundations for Growth and Private Sector Development, and Voice and Participation of Developing and Transition Countries.

Meanwhile, after the WB-IMF annual meeting the International Development Association (IDA) Replenishment 14 also conducted its annual meeting in Washington. IDA is one of the international finance institutions at the WB Group, that provides grants and very soft loans to its country members. The Borrowing country is charged only 0.75% per annum with a 20-40 year payback period.

Germany donates Euro 27 Million to TL
Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

The government of the Federal Republic of Germany through its representative in Timor-Leste, Mr. Joachin Broudren Groger and the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Olimpio Branco signed a MOU of Euro 27 Million as an assistance from Germany to the people of Timor-Leste.

This fund will be used for construction of a ferry by an Indonesian company in Surabaya (PT. Pal), providing management training for the staffs and also in the agriculture and water sectors.

The article mentioned that this ferry connects Dili, Atauro and Oecusse.

President Xanana: Chefe de Suco Elections will Strengthen Pillars of Democracy
Timor Post

During the Open Presidency visit to Viqueque, the TL President urged the people of this district to participate in the Chefe de Suco and Conselho de Suco elections in an orderly and successfully manner, as the elections are an important step ahead in the strengthening of democracy pillars.

Xanana Gusmão (XG) who spoke to around 2000 people, stated that the benefits of independence should be enjoyed by the whole population of TL, not just those Dili. He also stated that the development process takes time and people are urged to participate in this process. ?Although it?s slow, we should not lose the vision of the future, and by organizing ourselves we have started the process of nation building, and sometime in the future we may see the changes?.

TL is a small country and big mistakes and problems may arise. Suco authorities elected will work to avoid the worsening of problems. Sub-district administrators are urged to be more pro-active and to make frequent visits to sucos to ensure that all processes run smoothly.

Regarding the CPD/RDTL's claim of the illegal use of an emblem on the electoral card , XG stated that CPD/RDTL together with Abilio Araujo, Christiano, and Indonesian assassin general, Zacky Anwar had met at the Mahkota Hotel in 1998/1999 to establish Partido Nacionalista de Timor. XG noted that the independence process was not started by CPD/RDTL or Christiano but it was started by Xavier and Alkatiri.

CPD/RDTL claimed that TL is yet to be a sovereign state; therefore they could only be arrested by police after the end of the UN mission in TL. XG warned that although the UN mission will end by 2005, police may arrest and beat CPD/RDTL members, even if this is a democratic state.

Regarding widows, the disabled, and orphans, XG stated that it's written in the Constitution that the government will look after this group of people. The Friday Meeting program with all people concerned was stopped due to lack of funds.

Regarding the issue of L7 and the interior minister, XG stated that the individuals concerned will speak out about this issue.

Regarding youth concerns on employment, XG stated that businessmen and companies prefer to use foreign labor because they are diligent, punctual, obedient and disciplined, which is in contrast to TL labourers . XG urged the youth to keep a mentality of self-improvement and transformation.

Joao Mariano: Timor Sea (TS) Negotiations Will Not Change
Timor Post

Dili, Oct 11.- Joao Mariano Saldanha, Director of Timor Institute for Development Studies (TIDS) stated that the reelection of John Howard and some of his previous cabinet members especially foreign affairs minister, Alexander Downer, will not change the TS negotiations. According to Joao, Australia may offer some concessions such as an increase of TL's share in revenue, but in principle will not change its policy on the negotiations.

There are different points of view in TL on the Timor sea issue. Some say its better to negotiate the exploration of mineral resources beneath the sea first, than maritime boundaries next, because it takes a very long time to settle a dispute on boundaries issues. Australian companies keep going on with exploration activities and in a determined space of time all the resources will vanish before an agreement is reach.

Negotiating exploration of mineral resources, instead, will bring revenue benefits in the short to medium term to TL, while negotiating maritime boundaries.

Joao stated that, pragmatically it?s a good idea to negotiate exploration of resources first, but its better to negotiate maritime boundaries first. At this point the Australian position is to negotiate exploration of resources in the first place.

The Alkatiri administration and UNTAET made a mistake when they signed the contract with Australia, due to the shortage of funds at the time.

The Bayu Undan revenues, when managed properly, are enough for TL to meet its budget requirements and foreign aid may be reduced.

Joao stated that exploration of TS resources may be delayed for a later time when TL's economy become more strong. This will be a positive point in the negotiation later.

13 Paramedics Attending Ambulance Training
Timor Post

In order to increase the staff?s capacity to operate an ambulance in serving the community, the Ministry of Health (MoH) organized ambulance training. The training is provided for three days starting on October 12-14, 2004. After the training the paramedics will receive a certificate.

The training was sponsored by Rotary Club Australia in cooperation with the MoH, in this case the SAMES. Rotary Club Australia provided this training voluntarily. The MoH provided transportaion and food for the participants.

The 13 participants were recruited from the 13 districts of TL.

Rumours of corruption at the national parliament must be deeply investigated Timor Post Rumors about corruption at the national parliament must be investigated deeply, otherwise this scandal will decrease the reputation and credibility of this sovereign institution.

Valentim Ximenes, a docent from the TL national university stated that when cases like this are not investigated and clarified, people will lose trust in the organs of sovereignty and will not respect the laws.

In order to clarify if corruption is taking place, an investigation must be undertaken. The national parliament has established a commission to investigate this issue.

IMF: Timor should bank on oil wealth
East Timor News

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday Timor-Leste needs to make full use of oil and gas wealth to boost its economy.

Having gained independence from Indonesia in May 2002, Timor-Leste continues to suffer from serious underemployment, the IMF said in its annual economic assessment of the country. The agency conducts a survey on the state of the economies of each of its member nations on a yearly basis.

The IMF said the country will continue to be dependent on financial aid from the international community as it tries to balance its budget. But it also said Timor-Leste must tap into its oil wealth to ?meet pressing investment needs for infrastructure and human capital development.?

At the same time, however, the IMF said Timor Leste should save at least some of its energy income for future use, while the country attempts to develop non-energy related industries.

Over the long term, the non-oil tax base should be broadened in order to avoid excessive reliance on oil/gas revenue, the IMF said.

David de Araujo
World Bank, Dili Office

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