Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 11 February 2005

UNMISET

Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 11 February 2005

PM Alkatiri: "Might As Well Return to Golkar and Soeharto Era"

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that food distribution by the government is not the way to handle the problems that this country is facing. He said that if the people think that the government is just going to distribute food every year then they may as well return to the Golkar and Soeharto era. Now that Timor-Leste is independent, there should be no careless food distribution, said Alkatiri in response to questions from journalists about the hunger crisis in some parts of Timor-Leste.

The Prime Minister said that the government is aware of those parts of the country, which are suffering food shortages. In response, he said the government is beginning to set up conditions whereby the people will not be subjected to such hunger in the future. For example, in Manatuto, special irrigation systems are being set up whereby farmers can farm their rice fields three times per year, rather than just once, which is the current situation. (STL)

No Result from Meeting in Indonesia

There has been no result from the recent meeting between the Timor-Leste and Indonesian Foreign Ministers in Bali regarding the Truth and Friendship Commission. Timor-Leste's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, said yesterday that the two parties would be meeting again in another couple of weeks and would then come to a resolution. Although there was no immediate result from the recent meeting, Ramos-Horta was positive about the impending Commission as he said that Indonesia has the courage, authority and will to manage the processes of the Commission with transparency and integrity.

Meanwhile, Ramos-Horta, stated the Commission will be based on international standards. According to Ramos-Horta, the Government and President believe that the terms of reference of the Commission should at least meet the international standard, citing examples of countries, which created similar commissions such as in South Africa, El Salvador and others. "I know that the Government of Indonesia is making a big effort to strengthen relations with Timor-Leste. Indonesia has taken note that Timor-Leste does not want to scalp old wounds, but wants to bury the past. However, it should be done with truth in order to foster better relations in the future," Ramos-Horta added. (STL, Timor Post)

Border Problems Not Due to Poor Security

The Minister of Interior, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, said that illegal entries into Timor-Leste are not due to poor security, but because Timor-Leste's border is so wide and that there are insufficient numbers of police, as well as incomplete facilities. He said that even though this may be the case, the police are currently looking for ways that they may solve this problem. Police are also conducting more patrols so that they may evict illegal entrants or those that enter via shortcuts. He added that the police do not always use vehicles, but sometimes carry out foot patrols with dogs along the border regions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that in order to anticipate the illegal infiltration of unidentified groups, PNTL's Reserve Unit (RPU) has been asked to back up the Border Patrol Unity (BPU) in patrolling the border area. According to Alkatiri, aside from backing up BPU, RPU can also apprehend those who illegally enter the country through 'small pathways'. "These are the measures taken in order to make those who illegally come [to the country] think twice before taking any illegal actions", said Alkatiri. (STL, Timor Post)

Mari Alkatiri: " I Do Not Interfere In the Investigation Case of Prosecutor EG"

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri claimed he refused to get involved in the investigation of the alleged abuse of power involving a prosecutor with the initial EG from Dili District Prosecutor's Office." I did meet with Prosecutor EG based on his request. I welcomed him as a citizen as he has the right to explain his version of events. I told him that I will not interfere in the case", said Alkatiri. Moreover, he said, that he has also appealed to others not to politicise the matter. (Timor Post)

General elections will be held in 2007 and not in 2006

In response to the concerns raised by the political parties and the public saying that the next general election should be held on 30 August 2006, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri stated that it will not be held until 2007. He said this has to do with the fact the current Government started its mandate on 20 May 2002 and not in 2001. "Now all people seem to speak with no basis at all, saying that the next general elections will be in 2006. It is wrong," Alkatiri said. The Prime Minister also argued that the 2001 general election was for Constituent Assembly, adding that in that year the Constitution had not entered into force. (Timor Post)


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