Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 08 August 2008

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


(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)

PNTL to work for peace and stability- RTL

PNTL Interim Commander Afonso de Jesus said the role of the PNTL was to maintain law and law and to cooperate with community members in order to develop the nation. Mr de Jesus added that both the PNTL and F-FDTL should have unity to guarantee peace and stability.

Buried corpses remain hidden- RTL

The Australian and Argentinian Foreign Seek Team have excavated some sites in Tibar believed to hold corpses of massacre victims. The team, composed of members from Victoria University, Argentina and CFDT, have been assisting the families of victims of the 1991 Santa Cruz mascara. The families had long believed that a number of the people who had died in the massacre were buried in Tibar. No evidence of the murdered victims were found.

UNPol will not reduce strength- Suara Timor Lorosae

UNMIT Spokesperson Alison Cooper said yesterday during a press conference that the UN mission in Timor-Leste was not planning to reduce the size of the UN Police over the next six months. Ms Cooper added that this was a decision made by the UN Security Council in New York.

PNTL reformed on Timor-style model- Suara Timor Lorosae

The State Secretary for Security said that the PNTL will be reformed on a model appropriate for the Timor context. He suggested that the model would be one that would instill a strong sense of community in the PTNL, emphasizing a discipline for PNTL members and respect and cooperation with the community.

Fernando Gusmão: the government may execute the Economic Stabilization Fund- Diario Nacional

PSD MP Fernando Dias Gusmão said yesterday that whilst the opposition parties of Fretilin, AD and PUN consider the Economic Stabilization Fund(ESF) as an illegal budget, the Government has a legal base to execute it given that it has already been promulgated by the President of the Republic.

According to Mr Gusmao, the petition of illegality presented by the opposition parties to the Courts of Appeal was about the decree law of the establishment of the ESF, not the rectifying budget. As such, even if the Court of Appeals recognized the ESF as unconstitutional, it will not implicate the rectifying budget approved by the Parliament as the Parliament has the competence to approve any draft budget.

UN urges East Timor to pursue violence perpetrators- ABC Radio Australia, 08 August The United Nations has urged East Timor not to let people responsible for the bloodshed surrounding the 1999 independence vote from Indonesia go free.

Alison Cooper, the UN mission spokeswoman in Dili, says the UN continues to support prosecutions through the Serious Crime Unit, its body set up to assist East Timor's prosecutor's office.

She was speaking after recent expressions of regret by the leaders of East Timor and Indonesia at the findings of a joint truth commission, which blamed Indonesian security and civilian forces for "gross human rights violations".

The two governments said last month the case was closed.

Ms Cooper says Serious Crime Unit officials will visit Dili shortly for talks on the issue with the prosecutor general.

Chinese president meets 11 foreign leaders on eve of Beijing Olympics – China View, 8 August BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Just one day ahead of the grand opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, Chinese President Hu Jintao had a very tight diplomatic schedule on Thursday, meeting separately with leaders from 11 foreign countries in the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.

The eleven included Laotian President Choummaly Saygnasone, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, DPRK top legislator KimYong Nam, Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Serbian President Boris Tadic, Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic, and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta.

All the foreign leaders have come to the Chinese capital to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, scheduled for Friday evening in the National Stadium, popularly known as the Bird's Nest, in north Beijing.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, President Hu extended a warm welcome to all the leaders, and thanked them for supporting the Beijing Olympic Games.

Meeting with his Laotian counterpart, Hu said that the two countries can achieve a win-win outcome through tapping economic complementarities, as China is encouraging its enterprises to invest overseas and Laos is trying to make a better use of its rich resources.

The Laotian president thanked China for all the past support and assistance, and expressed the hope that the two sides further strengthen their friendly cooperation. While exchanging views on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern with the Brazilian president, Hu said that it is of great significance for China and Brazil, two major developing countries, to enhance bilateral cooperation and improve coordination in international affairs.

"China welcomes Brazil's recent initiatives to promote economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The Chinese market is open to Brazilian products," Hu added.

The Brazilian president responded that Brazil is committed to deepening its strategic partnership with China.

The two leaders also agreed that the two countries should make efforts to push for the early resumption of the Doha round negotiations.

While meeting with his Algerian counterpart, Hu said that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Sino-Algerian diplomatic relations, and China is ready to work with Algeria to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and give an all-round push to the strategic cooperation between the two sides.

President Bouteflika said that the friendly relationship between China and Algeria has a long history, and has never gone astray ever since the two countries forged diplomatic ties.

Algeria welcomes more investment from Chinese businesses and hopes to see bilateral relations reach a new high, he added.

Meeting with the Kazakhstan leader, Hu said that China highly appreciated the president's firm support for the Beijing Olympics, as the president served as the first torchbearer for the Olympic torch relay in Alma-Ata in April, the first leg of the torch's global journey. China has always attached strategic importance to its relations with Kazakhstan, and has regarded the development of such relations as a diplomatic priority, said the Chinese president.

Nazarbayev said that the consensus reached between the two leaders during their meeting last August is being effectively implemented, and the two countries have witnessed a rapid growth of bilateral trade and smooth progress of cooperation in the energy sector.

Kazakhstan supports China's stand on Taiwan and Tibet, and advocates joint efforts to strike the three forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism, the president stressed.

Meeting President Lukashenko, Hu said that China and Belarus have treated each other with candor and sincerity in the past 16years since the two countries established diplomatic ties, and have supported each other on major issues concerning national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The Chinese side is ready to further deepen the comprehensive friendly cooperation between the two countries on an equal and mutually-beneficial basis, and will continue to encourage Chinese businesses to go to Belarus for investment and trade," he added.

Lukashenko agreed that the two countries are "sincere friends," and expressed the hope that the two sides would further deepen friendly and mutually-beneficial cooperation in all areas.

In his meeting with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Hu said that in recent years the China-DPRK relations have developed in depth, and the two countries will name the next year "Year of China-DPRK Friendship" to mark the 60thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

"It is a strategic principle unswervingly followed by the Chinese Communist Party and government to continuously consolidate and develop the friendly and cooperative relationship between China and the DPRK," Hu told Kim.

Kim, who first conveyed DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il's best wishes for the Beijing Olympics, said that the China-DPRK friendship will always be a precious asset for the people of both countries.

During the meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Hu said that the Chinese Communist Party and government want to work with the Vietnamese Communist Party and government to "well steer the development of the relations" on the basis of a "strategic overview."

The Vietnamese president responded that Vietnam attaches great importance to the development of friendly relations with China, and is ready to work with the Chinese side to actively implement the important consensus reached between leaders of both countries.

On the South China Sea issue, Hu pointed out that both sides should keep in mind the overall development of bilateral relations and the fundamental interests of the two peoples, work hard to maintain stability in the South China Sea region, actively discuss ways of joint exploration, and push for pragmatic cooperation.

The Vietnamese leader expressed the hope that both sides could work together to maintain peace and friendship between the two countries.

Meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Hu said that China and Sri Lanka have set a good example for friendly cooperation between the two countries with different national conditions and different social systems.

Sri Lanka thanks China for its long-time support and assistance, and hopes that the two sides could further enhance cooperation in trade and economic fields as well as in personnel training, said President Rajapakse.

In his meeting with President Tadic, Hu pointed out that it is the common aspiration of the Chinese and Serbian peoples to consolidate and deepen friendly cooperation between the two countries, which will also serve the fundamental interests of both peoples.

"China would like to strengthen political dialogue and promote pragmatic cooperation with Serbia, and will encourage and support domestic enterprises to invest in Serbia," said Hu.

China also understands and supports Serbia's efforts to integrate with the rest of Europe, he added.

Pledging that Serbia will always be China's friend, Tadic said that the Serbian government and people appreciate China's precious support for Serbia's efforts to safeguard state sovereignty. He expressed the hope that the two sides would continuously enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation in all areas.

In their meeting, the Chinese and Montenegro presidents agreed that the China-Montenegro relationship has progressed smoothly since the two countries established diplomatic ties more than two years ago.

"China appreciates Montenegro's active efforts for maintaining stability in the West Balkan region, and hopes that all countries in the region can properly solve problems left over by history through dialogues," Hu said.

President Vujanovic said that Montenegro and China have broad areas of cooperation, while his country hopes to see more mutually-beneficial cooperation with China and more investment from Chinese businesses.

Meeting with Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta, Hu said that China was the first country to establish diplomatic ties with Timor-Leste upon its independence in May 2002, and that bilateral ties have developed smoothly over the past six years.

China hopes to maintain high-level exchanges with Timor-Leste, and would like to see more cooperation and coordination between the two sides in United Nations affairs, said the Chinese president.

Horta said that Timor-Leste appreciates the important assistance from China in such fields as infrastructure construction, health and personnel training, and hopes that the two sides will further strengthen economic and trade cooperation.

The president stressed that Timor-Leste supports China's efforts to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Chinese president is expecting another busy day on Friday, as more than 80 heads of state and government and royals are expected to attend the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

East Timor plant ruled out- Gas World, 07 August

Woodside Petroleum is believed to have ruled out a $15bn East Timor LNG export plant to process output from its Greater Sunrise fields, citing the disadvantages of a commercially unattractive project.

A Woodside spokeswoman said recently that the Perth company had told East Timorese authorities a local plant was not commercially attractive and it would instead focus on piping gas to Darwin, or building a floating LNG plant.

East Timor’s Natural Resource Secretary of State, Alfredo Pires, is reported to have said the decision would be a ‘major problem’ for the Government.

Pires noted that he had not been informed of the decision and the Government, which had to approve the Sunrise project, would still push hard to for an East Timor plant. Pires said he was more than hopeful an LNG plant would be built in East Timor.

After delaying the project since 2004 until fiscal and legal certainty could be obtained, Woodside re-staffed the project late last year.

The Greater Sunrise fields straddle the boundary of the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the Timor Sea and while Woodside had previously said the East Timor plant was the least preferred of three options, it has now revealed that it is no longer being considered.

“Floating LNG is the most attractive in-field option and Darwin is the most commercially attractive onshore option for Sunrise,” a Woodside spokeswoman is quoted as saying.

While both the Timorese and Australian governments need to approve the project, Woodside is pointing to treaty arrangements that specify the reservoir needs to be developed to the best commercial advantage in accordance with best oilfield practice.

The company indicated it planned to make a final decision on the best way to develop the field in the first half of next year, with a view to a final investment decision later in the year.

Woodside has not said how much the project is expected to cost but Pires said developing the project with an East Timor plant would cost around $15bn.

The Darwin option, which would require a 530km pipeline, would hook up to a plant next to the ConocoPhillips LNG plant at Wickham Point.


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