Subject: Local Media Monitoring - APRIL 25, 2003




1. President, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao yesterday received credentials letters from the new Ambassadors of the Republic of Cuba , Mr Pedro Monzon Barata and Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina, Mr Jose Mignet. The Cuban ambassador was present at the first meeting between the President and the Cuban President at the Non-Alligned Movement meeting in Malaysia last February. This was where the first steps towards a bilateral relationship between the two countries were made.

Ambassador Barata said to reporters: "We have expressed interest in supporting Timor-Leste with assistance and training in priority areas such as health and education. In the health sector the Government of Cuba has decided to send fifty docters to East Timor and establish a medical scholarship programme."

The new Ambassador from Argentina said that Argentina is the second largest country in South America has contributed to the peace-keeping and stability of Timor-Leste with its provision of military and police personnel to the United Nations Transitionnal Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

2. The " Recovery Employment and Stability Programme for Ex-Combatants and Community in East Timor - Respect " aid from the Government of Japan was discussed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ana Pessoa, the Deputy SRSG, Sukehiro Hasegawa, and District Administrators yesterday in the Government meeting room. During the meeting they discussed the allocation of the Japanese Government's aid of $3.65 m to Ex-Combatants and vulnerables groups in the community. The funds will be given to recipient groups under the supervision of district and sub district administrators.

3. In the open ceremony of the "Tourism and Fisheries Workshop" yesterday, Prime Minister, Mr Mari Alkatiri said that the tourism and fisheries sector will be the economic basis for the nation into the future. The oil and gas revenues from Timor Sea will be used to invest into tourism and fisheries.


1. Answering reporters questions about the alleged entrepreneur who detained the Secretary of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr Arlindo Rangel, Prime Minister Mr Mari Alkatiri said that those responsible for illegal exports will be taken to the court by the Government. Mr Rangel was detained last Saturday by a entrepreneur in the entrepreneur's warehouse in Dili. Mr Rangel and his staff had gone to the warehouse for a spot inspection where it was alleged that iron scrap was been exported without the legal documentation.

2. After receiving complaints from the community regarding Timor Telecom's tariffs, President Xanana Gusmao met yesterday with the Prime Minister, Mr Mari Alkatiri to address the issue. Following their meeting, the Prime Minister met with the Minister of Telecommunications, Transport and Public Works. The Prime Minister concluded that the Timor Telecom tariffs are expensive. According to Mr Mari Alkatiri, Timor Telecom's presence in Timor-Leste is based on a contract which means any decision taken by Timor Telecom should be in line with the contract.

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