Subject: East Timor press Headlines/25April2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Wednesday 25 April 2001

1. Xanana Gusmao’s wife stabbed by unknown assailants 
2. 50 die from diarrhea in Oecussi village 
3. Horta returns to foreign ministry after resigning from NC 
4. Francisco Xavier: UN must acknowledge RDTL existence

1. Xanana Gusmao’s Wife Stabbed By Unknown Assailants (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

Kirsty Sword, the wife of CNRT President Xanana Gusmao was stabbed yesterday by a group of unknown men. The assailants also stole her hand-bag and mobile phone.

According to sources interviewed by STL, a blue sedan with seven men approached the pick-up driven by Kirsty, while she was about to drive off from a beach in Hera ­ about 15 kilometres east of Dili. In the pick-up with Kirsty was her baby and mother together with a close friend.

“There was a scuffle with a lot of pushing and shoving. The men wanted to take away the keys to the pick-up. Kirsty put up a fight and then she was punched in the face and stabbed twice in her leg with a sharp screwdriver. They only managed to get her handbag and mobile phone,” said the trusted source.

Kirsty was in Hera compiling data on militia violence against women, as part of her research on the topic.

After she was stabbed, she was rushed to the ICRC hospital in Bidau for treatment. She later was sent home in a Land Rover.

In the family home in Audian area, Kirsty did not give any interviews.

When questioned by Associated Press, Xanana confirmed that the stabbing took place.

“I myself took her to the hospital. But I really don’t know what the motive was,” said Xanana.

Meanwhile CivPol also confirmed that the incident took place in Hera.

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2. 50 Die From Diarrhea in Naimeco Village, Oecussi (Timor Post, Front Page second lead)

At least 50 people have died from diarrhea, between March to April this year, in Naimeco village in Pantai Makasar sub-district in Oecussi.

This was made known to the Timor Post, recently, by a resident in the village. The villager, Jeremias Fernandes, said the deaths were due to the lack of medicine to treat the disease and poor medical services in the district.

He said the majority of diarrhea patients who died were young children.

“There is no medical help in the villages and we have to travel long distances to seek treatment,” said Jeremias.

He said the village head and the local CNRT representative were aware of the diarrhea deaths. But he said they, too, were in a quandary of what to do.

“We want a regular medical team from Oecussi Hospital to visit the villages,” said Jeremias.

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3. Horta Returns to Foreign Ministry After Resigning From NC (Timor Post, Front Page third lead)

Dr Jose Ramos Horta who resigned from the National Council on Monday, yesterday returned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Transitional Cabinet. This was because many NC members felt the 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate was still the best person to be the country’s foreign minister.

“All the members of the National Council feel that I should return to my previous portfolio. They are of the opinion that the post of Foreign Minister is very important to Timor Lorosae. For that reason I resigned and went back to the Foreign Affairs Ministry,” said Horta.

The position of NC president fell vacant after the resignation of Xanana Gusmao in late March. Xanana cited political differences as his reason for leaving. On 9 April, the National Council voted in Manuel Carrascalao as its new president. Manuel defeated Ramos Horta who was nominated by UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello.

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4. Francisco Xavier: UN Must Acknowledge RDTL Existence (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The President of ASDT-Fretilin Francisco Xavier do Amaral said East Timorese from 12 districts were in Dili to deliver their aspirations to UNTAET that the Republic of Democratic Timor Leste was already proclaimed on 28 November 1975.

“Because of that, as one of the persons who proclaimed RDTL, I have a responsibility to the Maubere people. The future of Timor Lorosae as a country is tied up to the wishes of the ‘majority’ of the people,” he told reporters who gathered at his residence in Dili’s Lecidere suburb.

Xavier also promised to help the people, who suffered 24 years of Indonesian occupation, force the United Nations ­ through UNTAET ­ to acknowledge the existence of the independence flag that was used in the proclamation of the republic.

“One of the missions of UNTAET in Timor Lorosae is to hear the voices of the people. Our struggle all this while has been for the Republic of Democratic Timor Leste,” he said.

When asked by reporters on his comments on the 30 August elections, Xavier said the people of Timor Lorosae had to be consulted on the issue.

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