Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 6 April 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 06 April 2006

National Media Reports

Government Is Not Denying Church Participation

Minister for the Council of Ministers and Government spokesperson, Antoninho Bianco, strongly disagrees with the statement made by Fr. Martinho Gusmão as reported by the media on Wednesday that a dialogue between the Government and the church is a joke. Bianco said that the Government has never denied the participation of the Catholic Church during the struggle for liberation and suggests that the priests educate the people with truth rather than making things it up. He added that Minister Ramos-Horta is of the opinion that the Government should hold a dialogue with the church and especially with Bishop Basilio do Nascimiento to discuss issues of national interest. He said that the Government has received information from the working group--composed of representatives from the Government, church and other religious groups-- that Catholic Schools in Timor-Leste, especially in Baucau are facing difficulties with their activities. The MP said the State budget, which is Timor-Leste money, is meant to be allocated to areas in need and since the church has more experience in the area of education the Government wants to support it.

Diario Nacional newspaper reported MP Francisco Branco (Fretilin) as saying that the initiative of the Government is good and it is its obligation to support the Catholic Church Institution as a development partner in the education area. He said some church leaders should not see this act in a negative way. Branco added that the Government is committed to building the nation during this reconstruction phase with continued technical assistance from development partners and added that it is not the Government’s strategy to seek votes for the 2007 elections. In the meantime, MP Rui Menezes (PD) said the Government’s commitment is a dream due to the proximity of the elections and the prospect to win votes based on this measure. MP Clementino Amaral (KOTA) is of the opinion that the Government and the church must renew their bond, which was damaged following the 19 days of protest in April last year. Amaral notes that the people of Timor-Leste trust more the church than the Government therefore it is important for the Government to restore that bond. (DN, TP, STL)

President To Hold National Dialogue

President Gusmao is holding a dialogue with national and international NGOs with the theme of, “How Can We All Strengthen Our Commitment To Better Serve The People And Carry Timor-Leste Forward With Stability And Prosperity?” The dialogue is scheduled for 7th and 8th April. According to Timor Post, the meeting is open to any discussion on the topic relating to one’s day-to-day work. Belun NGO, NGO Forum and UNDP are supporting the event. (TP)

Some Members of Petitioners Wants To Return

MP Antonio Lelan (Independent) reportedly said that two members of F-FDTL Petition from Oecussi enclave have asked him for assistance to return to the Armed Force Headquarters. Lelan stressed that the decision must come from Brigadier General Ruak and that all he can do is organize transport for those wishing to return to the Headquarters. To date, however, no one has approached him again. He added that the two F-FDTL members who wished to return have also asked for assistance with money and provisions to hold meeting which he refused to give saying he would only provide for the benefit and stability of the country.

Timor Post reported Salsinha Gastao, the spokesperson for the group as saying they are all concentrated in the former UNHCR quarantine compound in Rai Kotuk to avoid being accused of creating problems. Gastao said the purpose of them to remaining in that area is to await a solution from the leaders regarding their problem. He also said the group sent a letter to the PNTL Commissioner informing him of their decision to remain in Rai Kotuk, adding that their families are their sole support. (DN, TP)

WFP Starts Food Program in Schools

World Food Program, WFP is now providing food to schools in five districts. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by WFP and the Government of Timor-Leste, WFP will provide lunch and supplemental food for schools. The program started two months ago in the districts of Covalima, Bobonaro, Oecussi, Ainaro and Liquiça. The program will soon start in Dili District focusing first on the island of Ataúro. The School Director of Maumeta, Liquiça, Rozinha de Jesus said, since the program began the students are much more eager to attend classes and the numbers continue to increase. De Jesus said that before this, not many students could attend class up to twelve thirty because they could not bear being hungry and the long distance they had to walk back. She hopes that the food provided will strengthen their learning capacity, but it is too soon to tell. Food supplements (ground maize) are also being distributed to pregnant mothers. Each pregnant mother is entitled to 9 kilogram of the maize and oil. Breastfeeding mothers are entitled to15 kilogram of maize (9 for mother and 6 child). A total of 72 pregnant mothers and 104 breastfeeding mothers have benefited from the program. (TP)

RTTL news Headlines


President received New Ambassadors

The President of Republic, Xanana Gusmão received the letter of credentials from the new Ambassadors from South Korean Republic, Moon Ho-Joon and the Popular Republic of China, Mr. Su Jian on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists after the ceremony, Ambassador Joon reportedly stated that his country is interested in transferring technology to the people of Timor Leste. Since 1999, the South Korean Government has pledged over 6 million USD to the Government of Timor-Leste

PNTL destroyed pornography VCDs

PNTL destroyed pornography VCDs, reportedly to demonstrate to the public that they aware of the problem, RTTL reported on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists, PNTL General Commander, Paulo Fatima Martins reportedly stated that the VCDs were destroyed as an example for the people to stay away from these devices and to encourage parents to keep their children away from pornography.

Thai Businessmen wish to invest in TL

Following the conclusion of the Timor-Leste and Development Partners’ meeting, a group of Thai Businessmen held a meeting with the Government and Civil Society groups of Timor-Leste to express their interests on investing in this country. During the meeting, at Hotel Timor, they reportedly presented a proposal about producing electricity using Bio Mass energy, the area in which they wish to invest.

Want changes? Government must listen to the people: Jose Luis Guterres

Want to make changes? Government must listen to critics and opinion from the church, civil society, opposition parties, political leaders and traditional leaders/authorities. Because criticism can be golden when it improves a situation.

Therefore if the Government wants to govern this nation properly, it must listen to the people, and the politicians who thinks that Timor is the property of the people must work together. Fretilin Central Committee (CCF) member Jose Luis Guterres told this to Timor Post on 4 April after participating in the bilateral meeting between development partners and the government in Hotel Timor.

According to Timor Post, Jose Luis Guterres­a figure likely to become a candidate for Fretilin’s Secretary-General in the up coming congress­appealed to Fretilin leaders especially those in the Government to not only pay attention to those who speak nicely about the Government but also to listen to the critics as well to improve governance.

He also asked Fretilin political leaders to make changes if they want to see the party stronger in future, adding that the party does not belong to one person but to the militants and the population and therefore, the political structure must be defined and implemented by the leaders, Jose Luis Guterres said.

“I believe the economic social development and political changes yearly. Whichever party wants continued efforts, must make changes and Fretilin also wants to continue to better serve the people of Timor-Leste and it must respect the statute of the situation in the coming congress,” said Timor-Leste Ambassador to the UN. (TP)

National News Sources Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL]

These Items Do Not Reflect the Position or Views of the United Nations. UNOTIL Public Information Office

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