Subject: East Timor press/17 March 2001

East Timor press/17 March 2001

tetun and bahasa headlines and editorial 17 March 2001

  1. The Dynamic Of 'Quota Politic' (Timor Post Editorial) 
  2. Elimination Of 30% In Constituent Assembly. Women Protest. UNTAET Reject (TP/17/3/01)
  3. Cipriana: We defend at the national level (TP/17/3/01)
  4. NC Did Not Maneuver To Destroy Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri Was Wrong (Suara Timor Lorosae/17/3/01)
  5. Sergio De Mello: The Riots Are Not From East Timor's Past, 30 GNR Sent To Viqueque (STL/17/3/01)
  6. Xanana Gusmao: People Should Not Carry Sharp Weapons (STL/17/3/01)

The Dynamic Of 'Quota Politic' (Timor Post Editorial/17/3/01)

At the end of this week, we are still speaking of the UN quota for women in East Timor to be successful in politics. We observe the positive political phenomenon to create a dynamics of dialogue and discussion in the interest of democracy and the law. This phenomenon must be promoted now before it is too late. People should be able to come forward and raise arguments without resorting to physical actions, destruction and violence.

We have spoken many times on women's demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion.

We, the Timorese people, are still traumatized by physical violence such as those of late, even though it is better that they occurred now than later. Nevertheless we cannot condone them. Thus, REDE has shown the correct political path for our country. We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country.

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Elimination Of 30% In Constituent Assembly. Women Protest. UNTAET Rejects (TP/17/3/01)

Following the decision of the NC to eliminate section 38 of the Constituent Assembly Election Regulation of East Timor, tens of women of East Timor demonstrated in UNTAET on Friday (16/3) demanding that the Transitional Administrator, Dr. Sergio de Mellor, not to promulgate the law. In spite of this, the Transitional Administrator went ahead and promulgated the law as the law was considered to have gone through a mature democratic process.

The women who were coordinated under REDE - an umbrella organization - began sitting in the UNTAET offices at 8.00 a.m. They gave speeches. Some banners read: Who says women are not capable; There is no democracy when there is no respect; You know we are capable; National Council is not representative, dissolve it.

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Cipriana: We defend at the national level (TP/17/3/01)

Ciprianan Perreira, NC representative of Fretilin, said to TP on Friday (16/3) that members of the NC will not defend a group or an interest. It will defend at the national level the rights of man, women, children, leaders, aged, wise, less wise and even the insane. She said activist groups defending only women's rights dictate their ideas. "If there are groups that fight only for their interest, this is not democracy. Although I have to defend REDE's position in women's interest, upon re-analysis, I think this is not democracy.

Why do we reject the quota? I see the 30% in the regulation as discriminating small parties. I am Fretilin's representative to REDE. We are very lucky. But we want all parties to participate in the general election. If a party does not have 30% women candidate, it is not free to participate in this general election. Thus, the 30% is discriminatory and negative. To put women candidate just to get financial support is to hold women in contempt. Such a bait is contempt for women.

As to fears that if there were no 30% quota, political parties would not involve women? I feel we should be optimistic. Before we had the Portuguese and the Indonesian. Now we are entering the phase of liberation, where men and women must all participate. ¡K parties must recruit male and female candidates. Those who understand democracy will always give opportunities to women. Therefore I am optimist that although we did not put the 30% in the regulation, there will be women in the Constituent Assembly, said Ciprianan said.

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NC Did Not Maneuver To Destroy Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri Was Wrong (Suara Timor Lorosae/17/3/01)

The National Council has never worked to bring down any party, Fretilin or another. The NC is democratic and transparent. This is the response of the NC through its Permanent Commission on Political Matters on the statement of Mr. Mari Alkatiri that the NC was maneuvering to destroy Fretilin, carried in STL on 13/3/01's headlines. The letter was signed by Mr. Ago Perriera

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Sergio De Mello: The Riots Are Not From East Timor's Past. 30 GNR Sent To Viqueque (STL/17/3/01)

Sergio de Mello, Transitional Administrator of UNTAET said that the recent violence, especially those in Baucau and Viqueque, is not part of the murky East Timor's past. They stem from Timorese society now. Sergio made this observation after inspecting the districts of Baucau and Viqueque after the riots. "I conclude that the violence in these two districts has it roots not in the past but in the present Timorese society," said Barbara Reis, spoke-woman of UNTAET, quoting the Transitional Administrator, in a press conference on Friday (16/3)

Sergio said that UNTAET should learn from the experience to improve the level of coordination among all elements for the good of the people of East Timor, who had fought injustice in the past. And to create democratic guidelines that are beneficial and responsible among the leaders of UNTAET, and the political leaders and people of East Timor. In the inspection of Thursday (15/3) in the two districts, Sergio said that political leaders, the society and all family members together with the Catholic Church have a fundamental responsibility to unite all persons who want good and to prevent violent actions.

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Xanana Gusmao: People Should Not Carry Sharp Weapons (STL/17/3/01)

Xanana Gusmao, President of CNRT/NC urged the people of Viqueque not to carry sharp weapons, because at this moment, GNR and the Jordanian RRU are carrying out identification check for the perpetrators of the riots. Xanana Gusmao said this on his visit, together with Matan Ruak, leader of the TLDF, to Olobai and Boramatan to see at first hand, the conditions of the people after the riots. Xanana asked the people to remain calm, not to engage in violence and to bring peace to the town of Viqueque. He urged the people not to carry sharp weapon when out on the road. "If known, they would be immediately arrested by GNR," Xanana Gusmao said.

When inspecting the hamlet of Boramatan - a large part of the inhabitants' houses was burned - Xanana said that he himself would try to quickly secure humanitarian aid for the riots' victims. The perpetrators of the riots have not been arrested and Civpol is still giving them time to surrender. Thereafter, the police will act promptly. Yesterday morning, refugees started coming back. Those who have lost their homes are being put up in the Viqueque Catholic primary school. Help form UNHCR and the WFP is arriving.

It is also reported that yesterday morning there were meetings between the local leaders, youth leaders and the Luirai (traditional chief) as well as the church to discuss the immediate need to have peace among the quarreling factions. But the time to bring the two factions together has not been fixed. "Up to now, the perpetrators of violence have not surrendered themselves. Although last night, representative from Warga SH met with the Deputy District Administrator of Viqueque and Civpol," said a source of STL. At the meantime, Kera Sakti Institution said that it was not responsible for the victims in Boramatan because the problem between SH and itself had been resolved.

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