Subject: East Timor press headlines/20April 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Friday April 20, 2001

1. If Xanana is not president, Indonesia will be disappointed 
2. Timor Lorosae’s sovereignty must be respected 
3. Election campaign for six weeks 
4. Colin Stewart: Civic Education training launched 
5. Ex-Brimob snipers to be future bodyguards of Xanana

1. If Xanana Is Not President, Indonesia Will Be Disappointed (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The government and people of Indonesia hope Xanana Gusmao, who is now a central figure in Timor Lorosae, will honor the wishes of the Timorese and offer himself as a presidential candidate.

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid said this when he met Xanana Gusmao at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta yesterday.

Wahid, also known as Gus Dur, said he was disappointed to hear that Xanana had no intentions to run as the country’s first president and had resigned as head of the National Council.

“If Pak Xanana is not president, not only will the people of Timor Lorosae be disappointed but also the Indonesian people and the Government of Indonesia,” said Gus Dur.

“We feel this way because Pak Xanana is a central figure in efforts to normalize ties between the two countries [Timor Lorosae and Indonesia],” added Gus Dur.

Xanana is in Jakarta attending a conference titled “Indonesia Next: Emerging From the Crisis”. Together with Xanana, in Jakarta, is his wife Kirsty Sword, Yayasan Hak head Aniceto Guterres, Impetu leader Mariano Sabino Lopes and Juvencio Martins ­ a diplomatic candidate for the Timor Lorosae mission in Indonesia.

Today, Xanana is scheduled to meet General Wiranto and former president Suharto’s son-in-law Prabowo Subianto.

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2. Timor Lorosae’s Sovereignty Must Be Respected (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The head of TNI’s Information Center, Air Marshall Graito Usodo said yesterday there was an elite group that was trying to revive nationalistic sentiments in order to “seize back” Timor Lorosae and “annex” it as part of Indonesia.

Air Marshall Graito said this elite group was trying to seek popularity for their cause.

But he warned they would not succeed.

“Let me assure you this thing to seize back Timor Lorosae and bring it into Indonesia will not happen,” Air Marshall Graito told journalists at the El Tari Airport in Kupang, West Timor.

Air Marshall Graito said TNI will not tolerate any group that is against the Indonesian people in recognizing independence for Timor Lorosae.

“We must accept Timor Lorosae’s independence sincerely, because it [independence] has been accepted by the international community,” he added.

Air Marsahll Gaito told journalists the elite group, comprising veterans, were trying to regroup in West Timor’s border with Timor Lorosae.

“They call themselves the Veterans’ Brigade,” he added.

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3. Election Campaign For Six Weeks (Timor Post, Front Page)

The Independent Election Commission yesterday announced July 15 as the start of the campaign date for the August 30 Constituent Assembly election. This means political parties have six weeks for campaigning.

Chief Electoral Officer Carlos Valenzwela said the date had been fixed in the regulation for the registration of political parties and the constituent assembly elections, which was passed by the National Council on March 14.

In order to participate in the August 30 election, Carlos said all political parties had to become legal bodies.

“Political parties have to be established first and then registered. Right now all established political parties have received the official registration form the Election Commission,” said the chief election officer.

Carlos said no political parties were yet registered because the final appointments to the Board of Commissioners had not been finalized.

“We hope to have the full board by the first week of May,” said Carlos.

The board comprises of five commissioners ­ three internationals and two Timorese.

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4. Colin Stewart: Civic Education Training Launched

Today a civic education training program will be launched simultaneously in all 13 districts in Timor Lorosae. The training program will be for a week.

This was stated by Colin Stewart from UNTAET’s Civic Education section.

Colin said UNTAET’s Civic Education Section was printing brochures and pamphlets on the election process and the democratic system.

Colin also acknowledged the importance of NGOs and local civil society groups.

“We are now working together with organizations like NGO Forum, the Church, CNRT, student groups, Dewan Solidaritas in order for a civic education program to be developed by the people themselves," said Colin.

He said the program was based on the train-the-trainer concept and involved 52 people in all the districts.

Colin said he believed the program will be successful because the trainers themselves are Timorese people who have the requisite experience. The trainers, said Colin, are from seven organizations in the Civic Education National Steering Committee.

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4. Ex-Brimob Snipers To Be Future Bodyguards of Xanana (Suara Timor Lorosae, Back page lead)

The Brazilian bodyguards who had been guarding CNRT president Xanana Gusmao will soon be replaced by Timorese.

This was confirmed by the Chief Police Officer of Timor Lorosae Superintendent Paulo de Fatima Martins.

Paulo said the Timor Lorosae police will give protection to civilians who are deemed VIPs. He said there was already a team of police officers from Britain who were already in the country to train the East Timorese officers.

Paulo said the first team of bodyguards would comprise of the six best Timor Lorosae police officers. He said they were already undergoing training at the Civpol headquarters in Caicoli.

“They are all 100 per cent fit and up to the job. They also have experience, having served as police officers during the Indonesian rule,” said Paulo.

“The six were former Brimob offciers and ex-Brimob snipers who were initially trained in Jakarta,” added the Chief Police Officer.

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