Subject: UNOTIL's Daily Media Review 08 March 2006


Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Wednesday, 08 March 2006

National Media Reports

Better To Resign If Mari Doesn't Want To Resolve F-FDTL Problem: Amaral

ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral has recommended that Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resign if he does not want to assist in resolving the F-FDTL problem. He stated that he does not agree with the PM's statement that he (the PM) does not want to be involved with resolving the problem because his name was not included on the petition presented by the F-FDTL soldiers. "If this is the case, then he should not be in the position of Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister, it is necessary to become involved with such matters, and not use the excuse of not having been informed", said Amaral, speaking to journalists after leading the plenary session of the National Parliament on Tuesday. He stated that it is not important whether the PM was informed of the matter or not, as the role of the PM should be to take a role, by working with the President and the military in identifying a solution to the problem. MP Leandro Isaac also expressed his opinion that Alkatiri should not have made such a statement, because as head of the Government, he should become involved whether the petition was directed to him or not. (STL, TP)

Women's Day Comments + Issue of Women's Quota

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has stated that International Women's Day, celebrated today, is important for all of us to join in solidarity with women. He said that there should be no competition between women and men, but that men should also join in solidarity with women in supporting their rights. He extended his congratulations to women on this day, both Timorese women and women the world over. He also guaranteed that the struggle for women's rights in Timor-Leste will continue to progress. Also relaying his message on the occasion, President Xanana Gusmao said that the Government has become stronger in discussing women's issues in Timor-Leste.

To commemorate the day, the women's organization Rede Feto will be carrying out some special activities, including an exhibition which will be held at the Memorial Hall Farol, with the objective of promoting women's participation in their respective sectors including design, photography, infrastructure, construction and hospitality.

PSD and KOTA have supported the establishment of quotas for women in gaining parliamentary seats, while PDC and Fretilin have rejected the idea. Speaking yesterday at the National Parliament, PDC MP Antonio Ximenes said that assigning quotas for women would be a form of discrimination. He stated that he believes that individual capacity must be taken into account, and that women should not be given an advantage just because they are women. MP Manuel Tilman affirmed that KOTA will set a minimum number so that women can gain representation in Parliament. However, he doubted that this would be possible in the end, because Fretilin will not be accepting any quotas. He said that it would therefore be necessary for women's organizations to lobby Fretilin MP's so that the law will be passed. PSD MP Fernando Diaz Gusmao also confirmed PSD's position that it is necessary to set quotas to ensure women's participation in politics, because even though women have the capacity, their numbers in politics are still few compared to men. He said that if in the future, women's capacity increases, then it will then no longer be necessary to have quotas. (STL, TP, DN)

STAE Not Independent: Joaquim + UNDERTIM Request Urgently Approval Of Electoral Law

The Members of Parliament for Partido Democratico Cristao (PDC) and Partido Social Democratico (PSD) are of the opinion that a new independent commission must be established for the 2007 elections. Antonio Ximenes of PDC said "I would prefer and it would be better, a body that is independent like a court because the court makes decisions based on facts and the on the Constitution. Therefore, another commission should be created without the current structures of CNE". He underscored that the CNE and STAE have performed a good job with the recent elections of the chiefs and head of villages but claims that there were failures and manipulation within these bodies as they were established by the Government. Fernando Diaz Gusmao of PSD said the structures of the two organizations must be clearly defined. According to Diaz Gusmao, apart from being responsible to the State Ministry, STAE is also responsible for CNE and that's where the problem lies. He added that whether or not another commission should be established depends on the electoral law which is still unavailable. Meanwhile, MP Joaquin dos Santos from Fretilin said the STAE is not an independent body as it is an instrument of the Government designed to provide technical assistance to the recent election process of chief and council villages. Santos pointed out that even if the law says that another national electorate commission must be established, STAE would continue to function as it is the Government administration and technical support to the national electoral commission. He added that both STAE and CNE are not the same as one is technical and the other is political. Diario Nacional reported that the Secretary General, Francisco Guterres of the political party, UNDERTIM requested the State to urgently approve the electoral bill before the month of August. This, said Guterres, would allow the parties to study the law and stop the problems presently in the country. Guterres is of the opinion that the elections should be during the dry season, like the month of August and September to facilitate the activities of the small parties.

Japanese Government Assist Timor-Leste's Health Sector

The Government of Japan donated another over 1.7 million USD to Timor-Leste's health sector which would be facilitated by UNICEF for the women and children health programs for 2007. UNICEF representative Vathinee Jitjaturunt and the Japanese Ambassador for Timor-Leste, Kenji Shimizu, signed the agreement on Tuesday in Dili for According to Diario Nacional, in 2003 Japan also donated 4.5million USD for the health sector. Therefore a total of 6.2 million USD has been donated to Timor-Leste Health sector. (STL, TP, DN)

President Gusmao Participates In The Swearing-In of New Portuguese President

Speaking to the media before departing for Portugal on Tuesday, President Gusmao said that Timor-Leste would maintain external political ties with Portugal and the new Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva. President Gusmao is heading the Timorese delegation that integrates the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta to the swearing in ceremony of Cavaco Silva scheduled for March 9. He will then proceed to Switzerland where he will participate in the 60th session of the UN Human Rights Commission. From Switzerland, the President of Timor-Leste will continue to Angola and Guinea-Bissau and will return to Dili on March 28. (Lusa)

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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