Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 7 April 2005

[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list have been removed.]

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 7 April 2005

PM Alkatiri on dialogue between Government and Church on school curriculum

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri is keen to meet with Church leaders on the controversial issue of whether religion should be a compulsory subject in schools. The Prime Minister made the remarks after signing a condolence book for Pope John Paul II in Dili yesterday. He reportedly told a journalist from Timor Post that the best solution is to sit down with the Catholic Church and for each party to present its arguments. The Catholic Church is pressing for religion to remain a mandatory subject in school curriculum. (STL)

Commission of Experts meet local NGOs

The members of the UN Commission of Experts yesterday held a meeting with local human rights groups at UNMISET's headquarters in Obrigado Barracks. The meeting was attended by Yayasan Hak (Right Foundation), Fokupers, Rede Feto (Women's Network), Forum Tau Matan (Watch Forum), the International Alliance for an International Tribunal and the NGO Forum. Rosentino Amado from Yayasan Hak told the media that the whole objective of the meeting was to find out the experiences and views of non-governmental organizations regarding the crimes against humanity committed in 1999. It was further clarified that the victims' families are still in the same position of demanding justice for the events of 1999 as well as compensation for the destruction caused and a follow-up on the process.

According to newspaper reports, the main demand by the NGO communication was the continuation of justice process, while Yayasan Hak pushed for the establishment of an international tribunal. (Timor Post, STL)

President SBY to be questioned on the rights of former Indonesian civil servants

Local newspapers report that former Indonesian civil servants have prepared a statement regarding their rights as former Indonesian government employees, unconstitutionally removed by the Indonesian government following the referendum in 1999. The reports mention that Vital dos Santos, who has been appointed as the legal attorney to solve the concerns of the former Indonesian civil servants, has prepared a statement to be presented to the Indonesian President during his visit to Timor-Leste tomorrow. (Timor Post, STL)

ADB on Timor-Leste's economy post UNMISET

The Representative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Dr Charles Andrew, believes that Timor-Leste's economy will experience a decline or have a negative impact on economic activity post UNMISET. Dr Andrew told a press conference that the short-term negative economic activity is due to the reduction of financial support by the international community. He also added that although Timor-Leste's government could replace the current existing donor grant with revenue from Timor Gap exploration, he said the funding had to be managed adequately by the government because of certain trends in the Asia region, which were recently highlighted by ADB. (Timor Post)

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