Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 13 July 2005

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

UNOTIL

Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Budget Generally Approved

The budget for the fiscal year 2005/6 was generally approved on Tuesday with 72 votes in favor and 12 against. MP Manuel Tilman (KOTA) stated the position of his party as against the budget due to there being no new mechanisms or political programmes to implement the budget. MP João Gonçalves (PSD) reportedly said that his party sees the budget as not responding to the needs and economic reality of Timor-Leste, adding that the budget benefits only the state and the government structures. Members of Parliament for the Democratic Party did not comment in the Parliament on the approval of the budget and their vote against it.

Many issues were raised during the discussions in Parliament including Prime Minister Alkatiri response on the electricity issue that the government would intervene to ensure the proper functioning of the electricity system. On the question of poverty reduction and economic growth raised by MP Rui Menezes (PD), Alkatiri said that he wanted to reduce poverty not by begging […] but with what “we have” indicating that it would be wrong to use the oil revenues for the budget. Regarding the jurists and lawyers who have recently failed their evaluations the Prime Minister said that it was the responsibility of the Superior Council of the Judiciary to provide information to Finance Ministry. He added that should he (Alkatiri) have to make a decision, that those who failed evaluations would not be entitled to salaries, telephones or cars. (TP, STL)

Timor Sea Negotiations 90% Resolved

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta reportedly said that almost 90% of the Timor Sea negotiations were concluded. Ramos-Horta said that in two or three weeks time the agreement will be signed. He added that in the meantime if an agreement is not reached between the two countries then there must be a creative solution such as commercial exploration rather than border negotiation. Such creative solutions apply to the Greater Sunrise and not the whole Timor Sea. (TP)

National Electoral Commission Informs Parliament

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has formally written to the Parliament with notification that two members have left the Commission and asking whether the Parliament has any plans to replace them.

Meanwhile José Luis Oliveira, of NEC said STAE has not been able to mobilise the population to participate in the local elections due to a lack of enthusiasm. Oliveira pointed out that some members of the community are more concerned with cock-fighting than voting. According to members of the commission the overall process of the recent elections were better than the first phase, Despite some miscommunications between the Ministry of State Administration and STAE, it was reported that many electoral officials still lack the capacity to perform their work leading to problems such as violation of voter secrecy by helping voters to decide on who to vote. The interference of some government officials during the election process was also due to a lack of understanding by officials as to their functions in supporting STAE without political interference. (TP, DT)

TL’s New Website

Timor-Leste has now its own website with Internet domain “tl” as the newest in the world. The Government information technology section together with Sydney operations center put together the website. It has servers in Australia, New Zealand, USA and APNIC. (TP, DT)

Xanana and Susilo Are Not Looking for “Nobel Peace”

Timor-Leste’s Foreign Affairs Minister, José Ramos-Horta has reportedly said that the initiative by President Gusmão and President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to establish the Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC) is not a bid for the “Nobel Peace”. Ramos-Horta pointed out that the two Presidents are not concerned with being awarded the “Nobel Peace Prize” but are concerned with how relations between the two nations can move forward.

“Timor-Leste still requires Indonesia help to find peace and stability in our borders as well as within Timor-Leste. He added that the two Presidents want to find ways to resolve the problems of 1999”. According to Ramos-Horta, the establishment of an international tribunal will not be a viable as Indonesia has stated that it will not accept an International Tribunal neither does the UN Security Council as there too many problems around the world. Ramos-Horta stressed that the government of Timor-Leste has not forgotten 1999 but intelligence is required in order to find justice for the 1999 cases. Timor-Leste has already chosen five people to be part of the TFC. (TP, STL)

PNTL Investigation into Homemade Spirits

The Health ministry is working together with PNTL to investigate the sale of locally-produced spirits, which have allegedly killed several people in recent months, reported the media today. The Health ministry has appealed to the community not to consume locally-produced spirits until the results of the investigation are made public. The Head of PNTL investigation unit, Marcos Neves said families of the victims who allegedly died from consumption of the spirits had not allowed an autopsy which had caused difficulties for the investigation. (TVTL, TP, STL)

Prison Guards Detained for Failing to Meet MPs

It is reported that two prison guards by the name of Rui Gonçalves and Ismael da Cruz were detained in Caicoli Police Station for 72 hours for failing to meet a team of Parliamentarians on 7 July. According to the media, a group of MPs visited a house in relation to a land and property issue which belonged to one of the guards. Two guards arrived at the house and were reportedly drunk when they asked whether the gathered group were anti or pro government. It is reported that an MP called the Police to have them arrested. (TP, STL, DT)

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