Subject: east timor headlines/20Aug2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 20 August 2001

1. Mari Alkatari: If Fretilin wins, 10 Cabinet members will be enough 
2. Xanana Gusmao: Relations between Timor Lorosae and Indonesia should be good 
3. The withdrawal of the rupiah and the socialization of the US dollar

1. Mari Alkatari: If Fretilin wins, 10 Cabinet members will be enough (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

The Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatari, said on Saturday that the party was not ambitious in creating departments for the sake of filling Cabinet positions in the new administration. But if the people wanted those departments, Fretilin would fill them with ministers, he said.

“Ten Cabinet ministers would be enough in the new government,” said Mari at Fretilin’s campaign at Dili’s Bairo Pite suburb.

“If there are more than 10, we would not be able to afford to pay them,” he added.

Mari said those who wanted to be Cabinet ministers had to leave their political duties behind so that they could concentrate on serving the people.

2. Xanana Gusmao: Relations between Timor Lorosae and Indonesia should be good (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

The former CNRT president Xanana Gusmao said in the next few months, after Timor Lorosae attains full independence, good relations with Indonesia must be top priority.

Xanana said this in an interview with STL after the Indonesia’s Republic Day celebrations, on Friday night, at the Central Maritime Hotel.

“The Indonesian struggle for independence is also an inspiration to us in Timor Lorosae,” he said.

“Though in the transition period we are still consolidating many things, we need to bear in mind that bilateral ties with Indonesia, our immediate neighbour, are important. We hope the ties will be good,” said Xanana.

The independence leader said there were positive changes in Indonesia with Megawati Sukarnoputri as president.

“I believe that under the leadership of Megawati, things would be good in the future between Timor Lorosae and Indonesia. We must, together, forget the past and let’s build on the future,” said Xanana.

3. The withdrawal of the rupiah and the socialization of the US dollar (Suara Timor Lorosae, editorial page 5)

Today, 20 August, is the deadline for withdrawing Indonesian rupiahs from the country. The offcial currency from today onwards will be the US dollar.

The Central Payments Office (CPO), in order to quicken the switchover to US dollars, is currently exchanging all rupiahs and Australian dollars to the American currency.

From today onwards, we hope all transactions, both in the city and the small markets, will be in US dollars. The same goes for all the 13 districts.

But we hope the Transitional Administration, together with the relevant authorities, will socialize the use of the American currency amongst the people. We are 100 per cent certain that people in the remote sub-districts do not know anything about Timor Lorosae’s official currency and how to use the American coins.

For the Indonesian government, the withdrawal of rupiahs from Timor Lorosae is a final decision. There is no turning back now. Because of that all official transactions must be in US dollars ­ even the payment of salaries to workers.


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