Subject: East Timor headlines/3Sept2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 3 September 2001

1. Xanana Gusmao: The people are fed-up of fighting

2. Over 36,000 registered voters did not take part in election

3. Bishop Belo invites refugees to return because of peaceful election

4. Xavier Amaral: Political awareness of people high

1. Xanana Gusmao: The people are fed-up of fighting (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

Timor Lorosae presidential candidate Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao said the peace and calm that prevailed during the election proved to the outside world that the Timorese had enough of fighting.

“Our people are fed-up of fighting. When I met them in the districts, they said they were willing to accept whatever results that emerged,” Xanana told a press conference on Saturday.

But Xanana said the people also asked him whether the leaders of the political parties, too, were willing to accept the results.

“The people have realized that in order to be free they must not repeat the bitter past which was full of suffering,” said Xanana.

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2. Over 36,000 registered voters did not take part in election (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

The Independent Electoral Commission said there was a 91 per cent turnout for the 30 August election.

Though the percentage voter turnout was high, nevertheless the actual numbers of those who did not vote was at 36,812.

The IEC came up with this figure based on the difference between those who were registered to vote and those who actually turned up at the polling stations.

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3. Bishop Belo invites refugees to return because of peaceful election (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page third lead)

Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo urged all those Timorese still in refugee camps in Indonesia-controlled West Timor to return home soon in order to develop the new nation.

“You have all seen the way the 30 August election was conducted. It was peaceful and calm. Because of that, I appeal to all of you to return home to your country of birth so that you can live peacefully with all of us,” said Bishop Belo.

Bishop Belo said everyone was waiting for the elections results with a calm and peacerful attitude.

“We will congratulate which party that gets the most votes. Those parties that do not get enough votes must not be disappointed because they will have an opportunity again in four or five years time,” added Bishop Belo.

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4. Political awareness of people high (Suara Timor Lorosae, Page 2 lead)

The success of the 30 August election indicates that the political awareness of the people is high. This was stated by ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral in an interview with STL at his residence in Lecidere.

“The peaceful elections just shows that the people understand democracy and the meaning of it,” said Xavier Amaral.

He said the high turnout contradicted earlier claims that many would not turn out to vote because they did not understand what the elections we all about.

“The Timorese people are not stupid. There’s just a lack of information ­ that’s all,” he added.

Xavier Amaral criticized UNTAET for the technical hitches in the election and underestimating the capabilities of the political parties.

“We had to attend all kinds of meetings organized by UNTAET. We had to make a decision of whether to just attend meetings or to go to the districts to campaign. UNTAET thinks the Timorese people are stupid and have to be educated. Does UNTAET know what the people really want?" asked the ASDT leader.

He also criticized the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who he said lacked professionalism.

“Why? The polling centres were supposed to be opened at 7:30 in the morning, but in many places they were opened after 8:00 am. Hundreds of people were waiting since dawn for the polling stations to be opened but the IEC staff came only after 8:00,” said Xavier Amaral.

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