Subject: Local Media Monitoring - June 13, 2003

From UNMISET

LOCAL MEDIA MONITORING

June 13, 2003

TIMOR POST

1. During a meeting between Timor-Leste's Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Mandarin Hotel-Jakarta Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that Timor-Leste opens its door for foreign investment, including Indonesian investors. The Prime Minister said that his Government is preparing a set of regulations in order to guarantee foreign investment in Timor-Leste, for the benefit of all parts concerned.

2. The President of the Indonesian Parliament, Mr Amien Rais, said that the relationship between Timor-Leste and Indonesia will be more productive in future. He cited progress that had been achieved by Timor-Leste in these last years. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri made a courtesy call to the President of Indonesian Parliament, Mr Amien Rais, yesterday at the Parliament house in Jakarta.

3. A Parliament member from the District of Oecusse, Mr Antonio da Costa Lelan, told Timor Post that the border agreement between Timor-Leste and Indonesia will benefit the people of Timor-Leste, and in particular the community in the enclave of Oecusse. Mr Lelan said that he welcomed the agreement of free entry visas for West Timorese visiting East Timor and East Timorese visiting West Timor. This applies to communities near the border only. Mr Lelan thanked both the Government of Timor ?Leste and Indonesia for fulfilling their wishes.

4. The Deputy Commissioner of the National Police (PNTL), Mr Ismael Babo, has told Timor Post that the police did not have any list of persons at large with a connection to the attack on a police post in Suai. Mr Babo said this in response to the Timor Post article on June 12 that said 80 clandestine and "Kolimau 2000" group members were still hiding in the bush. The story said their position right now is in Suai Loro's Suco, Village of Akar Laran. Timor Post had reported that about 80 people were at large in Suai Loro. Their information source was a member of Parliament from Suai District, Mr Gervacio da Silva.

STL

1. Three members of the Parliament, Mr Clementino Amaral from Kota Party, Mr Rui Menezes from Democratic Party and Mrs Cipriana Pereira from Fretilin have suggested that the Government involve civil society in the preparation of the national annual budget report. Their suggestion came up during an open session entitled "Financial analyses of the State". The proposal was supported by the Asia Foundation and the University of San Francisco. Mr Amaral said that this request is not something brand new. It is similar to ideas implemented in many countries, where national and international NGOs offered input into budget matters. Mr Menezes from Democratic Party added that the Government's unwillingness to involve the civil society showed that the Government is not yet transparent in their accountability to the people. Mr Menezes said that without the involvement of civil society in the preparation of the national budget, there are no "checks and balances".

2. The President of the Economy Commission in the Parliament, Mr Manuel Tilman, said he predicts the total revenue from Timor Gap for fiscal year 2003 will be US$51 million. According to Mr Tilman, the 2003 profit sharing from Timor Gap is US$25 million, while tax revenues from the Timor Gap area for Timor-Leste in 2003 is about US$26 million. Mr Tilman said that Timor-Leste's economy will face a great challenge ahead in 2004-2005, where many businesses will face bankruptcy if the handover of the national security from UNMISET to the local authorities was not handled well.

3. STL also reported on the border agreement and the free visa for the border communities of East and West Timor.


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