Subject: Daily Media Review 22 October 2003


Dili, 22 October 2003

Daily Media Review

Malaysia's Prime Minister in Dili

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad will be arriving today (Wednesday) in Dili for a three-day official visit to Timor-Leste. Mahatir will be accompanied by a delegation of about one hundred people, among them Ministers and business executives from sectors as primary industries, defense, security, economic planning, customs and rural development. He is the first Primer-Minister to visit Timor-Leste since the restoration of the independence, recalls a press release issued by Mari Alkatiri's office. Ahead of the arrival of Malaysia's Prime Minister, the Malaysian Government has offered 32 military trucks to F-FDTL, as part of the bilateral agreement signed by the two countries, reported the media. (STL, TP, RTL)

Dili 'Realistic' but Hopeful of Continued European Aid

Returning home from an European tour, President Gusmão expressed on Tuesday optimism about continued European Union aid but said Dili's expectations should be "realistic". Acknowledging that crises like Iraq were siphoning "billions" from aid budgets, he said he was convinced that European governments "accompany our difficulties, know our difficulties and want to continue helping us to be a success story". Gusmão, who was speaking at a news conference on his return from Europe, underlined that Dili's expectations must be "realistic". He added, however, that his talks in Italy and Britain convinced him that Timor-Leste remained on Europe's agenda. Also participating in the news conference, Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta noted that Timor-Leste had enjoyed a "disproportionate" amount of European aid in the last few years. "In per capita terms, Timor-Leste has received more aid from the EU than any other country" in Southeast Asia, Ramos Horta said. (Lusa)

Border Issues will be Solved "Traditionally"

An Indonesian Parliamentary delegation headed by Soetardjo Soejogoeritno met President Xanana Gusmão on Tuesday, to discuss border issues, assets and refugees in West Timor. Soejogoeritno told the media that most of the issues have been handled "fine" for the moment and that during his conversation with the President different data about refugees were compared. On October 28 President Xanana Gusmão will be travelling to the district of Kefa [in West Timor] and Oecussi [Timor-Leste], where the Indonesian MPs will join him. In Kefa, they will try to solve the border issues "traditionally", according to the local custom by chewing beetle nuts (mengunya sirih-pinang), reported the Dili media on Wednesday. On October 27 and 28, President Xanana will be holding an open dialogue on reconciliation with the Pasabe community from Oecussi District and Kefa community in the border of Pasabe. (TP, STL)

Ex-East Timorese Refugees Families to Leave the Camps

As many as 850 families of Timorese refugees are expected to leave their camps soon to live at new resettlement areas in East Nusa Tengara province's district of Belu, reported the Indonesian News Agency ANTARA, quoting a military service. "By the end of December 2003, most of the former East Timorese refugees are expected to have dwelled at houses worth resettling," Chief of Belu district Military Commander Lt. Col. Ganip Warsito said. He further pointed out that the ex-refugees resettlement program in Belu has got financial support from European Union (EU) and UNHCR. (Antara)

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