Subject: Local Media Monitoring - April 17, 2003




STL A meeting was held between President Xanana Gusmao and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr Francisco Guterres. During the meeting President Xanana Gusmao urged the Speaker of the Parliament to ratify the Appeal Court President candidate that was nominated by President Xanana.

To discuss the present political tension, the East Timor Study Group held another monthly workshop which was attended by all political parties except Fretilin. The final points presented as alternative choices to cool down the situation are; a) Fretilin's goodwill to ask Mari Alkatiri to stepdown as Prime Minister. b) Early elections.

TIMOR POST As a result of the drought in the District of Baucau, two Sucos (Wailili and Samalari) got into a fight and burned houses in Samalari. The two sides have been trying to control the main irrigation channel in order to get water to their respective paddy fields. Police arrested four people involved in the clash.

In answering the Timor Post question "why did US attack Iraq without approval from the United Nations Security Council?", the Ambassador of United States of America for Timor-Leste asked "Is it a sin if someone wants to rescue people under oppression for decades and give them freedom? This exclusive interview talked specifically about the war in Iraq.

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