Subject: Local Media Monitoring - Sep 30, 2003

From World Bank

LOCAL MEDIA MONITORING

Sep 30, 2003

Local Media

STL

Lao Hamutuk comments on World Bank and IMF loans.

In response to Mr. Oscar Lima from ATL ( Organization for Entrepreneurs), Rui Menezes ( Democrat Party) and Clementino's ( KOTA ) appeals to the government to borrow from the World Bank and IMF, Mr. Tomas Freitas from NGO Lao Hamutuk said that the problem is not about debt but about the conditions that would govern the loans.

Mr. Freitas said if government borrows from the World Bank and IMF, East Timorese people would become slaves for international companies. As an example he cited the case in Indonesian and Argentina.

[Comment from Lao Hamutuk (posted October 6):

Actually, we did not say that, and neither did STL. Rather, STL wrote about 50 column-cm detailing La'o Hamutuk's critiques of specific TFET programs: CEP, PASC, EIRP-2, WSSRP1-2 and Microfinance. In general, our concern is that many of the programs have produced some benefits up to now, but that they have thus far failed to deliver on the principal promises and goals of each program. These findings were based on our investigations into those programs as published in many articles in the La'o Hamutuk Bulletin over the past three years (readable at www.laohamutuk.org).

The article stemmed from a meeting discussing whether East Timor's government should take out loans from the WB, ADB, and/or IMF. La'o Hamutuk's point was that, given the record of these institutions in East Timor up to now, East Timor's government and people should be wary about relying on their promises and priorities, and about putting the East Timorese people into debt for projects which are unlikely to benefit the population.

If the World Bank's media monitors interpret this to mean that all of their programs are failures, perhaps they're right (they know more about them than we do) - but it's not what La'o Hamutuk said and not what STL wrote.

-- Charlie Scheiner, La'o Hamutuk]

Immigration Law: Veto from the President

President Xanana Gusmao said that he did not wish to create controversy with the National Parliament over the immigration law.

The President said that the immigration law doesn't meet peoples needs and doesn't provide opportunity for people to act or theer own behalf. (This is not explained futher). The majority in Parliament( Fretilin Party ) says that The President Xanana wants to create controversy in the National Parliament.

Government comment on Timor Sea Exploration

The Government wants to use income from the Timor Sea to build school, health facilitates, and roads for the people, said the Assistant for the East Timor sea Communication Department Mr. Manuel Mendonca.

Total income during fiscal years 2002/2003 was US$26 million. Mr Mendonca said the future potential from Bayu Undan could be as much as US$ 100 million. Mr Mendonca also said that the government would also use the income to save some money for East Timor's future needs.

TIMOR POST

PD party says no point in debating an already approved Law

Mr. Rui Menezes from PD party said he does not understand why he should be in Parliament to further debate the Immigration Law as it has already been passed as a law by the Parliament.

Mr Menezes also said that Mr Alcino Barris, Vice Minister for Internal Affairs, from the Government , should not have been present at a plenary session where articles 11 & 12 from the Immigration Act were being discussed. He said it should have been a forum just for Parliamentarians, not for the Government.

Other Articles on the Timor Sea also appeared on Timor Post. The story from yesterday's media monitoring about President Xanana's visit to Singapore were also in today's Timor Post.


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