Subject: Local Media Monitoring - June 4, 2003

From UNMISET

June 4, 2003

LOCAL MEDIA MONITORING

LOCAL MEDIA

STL

1. Nine NGOs have formed an umbrella called "Ukun Rasik A'an". Under the "Ukun Rasik A'an" umbrella the group presented a statement to the Government regarding the assistance support from donors. They are: Yayasan Hak, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, Sahe Institute for Liberation, Haburas Foundation, Judicial System Monitoring, Kdalak Sulimutu Institute, Dai Popular and Hasatil. In their statement they described the long period of colonization and military occupation and finalized with points to the Government:

- After 1999 referendum and the total destruction of Timor-Leste, donors under the leadership of the World Bank made an assessment to the catastrophe destruction and came to a conclusion that it would take five years to recover and called for an immediate response to start with the recovery process.

- The NGOs appreciated the recent review of the Transitional Support Program, but they urged the Development Partners and the World Bank not to use the TSP to put pressure on the Government.

- They said the Government needs to have flexibility in decision making on how to spend the budget.

- International experts paid by international agencies or institutions should work in accordance with the Government guidelines and for the interests of Timor-Leste, not for the interests of the agencies or institutions.

- They urged the Australian Government to start maritime boundaries discussions and settlement with the Government of Timor-Leste.

- They urged the Development Partners and the United Nations to set an International Tribunal for crimes against humanity.

- They urged Development Partners to support democracy in Timor-Leste.

- They recognized that each donor has its own agenda and priorities. According to them, all bilateral assistance funds given to Timor-Leste go back to their source. They explained this point by saying that they urged Development Partners to reduce capital flight from Timor-Leste by reducing the number of international consultants, methods of procurement especially external services and goods to international companies/contractors.

2. The Government of Timor-Leste will present its performance of one year governance to the development partners meeting said Vice Minister of Finance and Planing, Aicha Bassarewan. According to Mrs Bassarewan, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri will present his government's performance during the two days meeting at Hotel Timor.

3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said yesterday that the Government agreed to create a (Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste) PNTL's special force unit to combat armed bands in the country. Mr Alkatiri said that Government's decision was based on the events of December 4, 2002; Atsabe incident on January 4, 2003; and the Atabae incident on February 24, 2003. In his statement, the Prime Minister said that the special units are underresourced and cannot carry out their tasks efficiently without support from the development partners and UN member states. Stressing the close link between security and development, Mari Alkatiri said that Timor-Leste looks forward to continued assistance on a bilateral basis and through the contributions of the UN agencies and international organizations in strengthening PNTL's capacities and capabilities.

TIMOR POST

1. Secretary of State for Labor and Solidarity, Mr Arsenio Bano said that Timor-Leste faces high unemployment of 18%. According to Mr Bano the main reason for this unemployment is to the increasing number of high school students that did not attend universities or colleges and not enough job creation. He said that currently his department is managing the RESPECT fund provided by the Government of Japan. Another alternative is sending abroad to work, said Mr Bano.

2. Timor Post reported on the NGOs statement linked to the Development Partners' meeting.

3. The Prime Minister has commented on the creation of the (Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste) PNTL's new special force unit, as per the report in the STL.


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