Subject: East Timor headlines/ 24 Feb 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Saturday 24 February 2001

  1. UNTAET Urges Indonesian Parliament To Seriously Debate Timor Lorosae Problems
  2. Sergio de Mello: FDTL Recruitment Not Only Limited to Ex-Falintil
  3. National Council Supports The Shifting Of Traders in Mercado Lama

1. UNTAET Urges Indonesian Parliament To Seriously Debate Timor Lorosae Problems (Timor Post, Front Page headline)

The UN Transitional Administrator in Timor Lorosae, Sergio Vieira de Mello, yesterday, urged the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) to be more serious over issues concerning East Timor. He also urged the DPR to frequently promote dialogue with the Indonesian government, UNTAET and the ETTA.

Sergio de Mello made this appeal when he spoke to House Speaker Akbar Tandjung in Jakarta.

“Now I see little dialogue for reconciliation. Because of that I hope there will be more intensive efforts for it,” said de Mello who was accompanied by Timor Lorosae Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta.

Sergio de Mello also invited members of the Indonesian Parliament to visit Timor Lorosae to see the current progress being made there.

Akbar Tandjung replied that Parliament was still not able to debate issues concerning Timor Lorosae. The House Speaker said he hoped UNTAET could help refugees in West Timor return back home. This, he said, was important, as the country prepares for the general election.

“So [if the refugees don’t return] how are they going to take part in the general election? This also includes those who want to start new political parties,” said Akbar Tandjung.

Sergio de Mello also told the House Speaker that UNTAET was making efforts to prepare Timor Lorosae for full independence. He urged cooperation from Indonesia particularly in building up a pool of human resources, especially among the younger generation of East Timorese.

He said many young East Timorese had studied in Indonesia and he hoped Jakarta would pave the way for them to finish their university studies in Indonesia, so that they could return to Timor Lorosae fully qualified.

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2. Sergio de Mello: FDTL Recruitment Not Only Limited to Ex-Falintil (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The House of Representatives’ Commission I member Djoko Susilo, who accompanied House Speaker Akbar Tandjung in the meeting with UNTAET Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello, said that House members were questioning about the armed forces UNTAET established in East Timor.

In regard to this, de Mello said that the armed forces is led by Brig. Gen. Taur Matan Ruak, a member of Forças Armadas Libertação Independencia de Timor Leste (Falintil), the military wing of the East Timor’s National Resistance Council (CNRT). A battalion in the armed forces even entirely consists of ex-Falintil members.

Sergio de Mello, also said the current recruitment from the ex-Falintils was only temporary.

“After all the people have returned to the country, those abroad and those in the refugee camps, then the recruitment for the FDTL will be from all sectors of society,” added de Mello.

Sergio de Mello was replying to Djoko who said: “I regret that UNTAET appointed anti-Indonesia people. Why couldn’t they pick neutral figures?” According to Djoko, UNTAET was intentionally creating hostility between Indonesians and East Timorese as well as between Falintil and pro-integration followers.

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3. National Council Supports The Shifting Of Traders in Mercado Lama (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The Internal Affairs Commission of the National Council, on Friday, supported the motion to shift the Mercado Lama market in Caicoli to Komoro and Becora. The motion was carried at a sitting of the National Council.

The motion was proposed by NC member Maria Odete P. Vieira. The Internal Affairs Commission, led by Clementino dos Reis Amaral, on the invitation of Dili District Administration, visited the Mercado Lama market on 15 February. They also visited the Komoro and Becora locations.

In moving the motion, Maria Odete said Mercado Lama had exceeded its capacity and now stalls were spilling over the kerbs of the main road. This, she said, caused serious hygiene problems and was also an eyesore for Dili. She said, at times, garbage was not collected for days and this could spread disease to those in the market vicinity.

A heated debate ensued after the motion was proposed.

NC member Aniceto Guterres said, while he agreed that Mercado Lama should be shifted he disagreed that it was an eyesore (sic!) in terms of cleanliness and aesthetic beauty.

“Why am I saying this? It’s not only Mercado Lama that is dirty in Dili. The whole of Dili is!” he said.

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