Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring April 7, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media monitoring April 7, 2004

Timor Post

I will not face the court, says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that he will not face the Colombo court in the United States because he's not a witness but a citizen being alleged of bribery by Oceanic Exploration and Petrotimor. The Prime Minister said that the petrol company doesn't have concrete facts to accuse him, and people inside Timor-Leste are trying to demonstrate otherwise.

Frustrated because they are not in government, says Mari

The Prime minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that he has no doubt that the opposition parties are frustrated, shouting and crying because they are not in Government, and are trying to read the constitution but don’t know how. The Prime Minister said that what the opposition wants is a National Unity Government. But the opposition has not succeeded as they tried a Constitutional coud d’etat on December 4 without success. Dr Alkatiri said that because of their failure they formed the National Platform for Unity which has died, and now the opposition is trying again to take political immunity. The Prime Minister said it is best for the opposition to sit quietly, not to get frustrated and stop talking nonsense.

Shortage of doctors in National Hospital, says Lobato

The Vice-Minister of Health, Luis Lobato, said people need to understand the Dili Hospital situation because the hospital has only five doctors. He said that the doctors cannot to attend everyone, as working there each day doctors have over 500 patients seeking medical treatment.

Investigation to find the root of the problem, says Xanana

As part of the continuing investigation on the Lospalos incident the President, Xanana Gusmao, visited TL's Defence Force Headquarters in Dili and held a meeting with Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak and other F-FDTL members. The President said that the purpose of the investigation is to find out the root of the problem within the defense force and not to point fingers at who's wrong or right. The President said that part of the report of the investigation will be made available to the public and the rest would be handed to the government. Meanwhile the Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak, said that so far 59 members of the defense force had been investigated. He added that it would take 60 days to conclude the investigation and prepare the report.

Oe-Cussi without a Judge

The Minister of Justice, Domingos Maria Sarmento, said that the court procedures in Oe-Cussi are not currently operating because the Investigating Judge had to go to Portugal for training. He said that because of this a panel of judges has not been set up in Oe-Cussi.

International monitors praise Indonesian elections

Despite sporadic delays and mix-ups at the polls, international monitors praised Indonesia Tuesday for holding parliamentary elections that were peaceful and proceeded with few serious problems. The vote on Monday was Indonesia’s second free election since the fall of longtime dictator Soeharto in 1998, and foreign monitors said they had not observed any irregularities that could affect the outcome.

Certificates for 32 new managers

After the ceremony for new managers the Vice-minister of Development and Environment, Abel Ximenes, said that managers is not only for the private sector but importantly is for them to be able to secure the national economy. He said that for this reason the Government has paid attention to the private sector, because they are the spinal cord for the economy of this country.

STL

I don't believe Xanana is behind PD, says Lu Olo

The President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres (Lu Olo), said that I does not believe that the President, Xanana Gusmao, has given guidance to the Democratic Party (PD) to campaign against the Prime Minister Dr Mari Alkatiri. He said that the initiative was taken by PD to use the President's name.

Why is Australia stealing Timor oil, asks Xanana

During a Presidential visit to the pre-secondary school in the Sub-District of Laulara, District of Aileu, the President, Xanana Gusmao, asked the students why was it that Australia has stolen USD$1 billion worth of oil from the Timor Sea? The President said that the oil in the Timor Sea is causing a problem and the students need to study, because in future they will have to deal with the Timor resources. President Gusmao said to the students that the Government of Australia is stealing the Timor resources (oil) but the people of Australia and Timor-Leste are great friends, and that the leadership will continue to build the relationship for the future.

One more with "Feelings" for the singing general

The retired Indonesian general ­ and indirected war criminal ­ took the microphones and his audience of family, friends and campaigners broke into expectant applause. Without hesitation, General Wiranto launched into "Feelings". He hit all the high notes with some assurance, and hogged the stage to sing a couple of local favorites. No one objected. It was his 57th birthday party, held on Sunday night , the day before a parliamentary election that could set the stage for him to win the presidency. But the career of the singing general, also a Suharto protege, is marked by one very big wrong note: East Timor. A warrant for his arrest is expected soon, although East Timor may not wish to antagonize its giant neighbor by pursuing it. But if the warrant were issued, he could not leave the country for fear of arrest. East Timor matters little to Indonesians and to many the four-star general, who served as General Suharto's defense minister, is a reminder of the strong leadership of old. To others, his candidacy underlines the poverty of choice on offer and the enduring power of the old elite.

Indonesia, let me save you, says a war crimes suspect

Hawk-faced, gravel-voiced and utterly sure of himself, general Wiranto, the retired military chief and indicted war crimes suspect who says he can save Indonesia, is counting on voters to send him the call. "The key word here is that it is a calling," said Wiranto. "Duty? Oh yes. I think you've heard the saying that old soldiers never die, they just fade away. Well, when my country's deteriorating, I have to act." Just do not ask about East Timor, human rights abuses, or the deaths of journalists and their helpers at the hands of men in the uniform Wiranto was proud to wear. "This is a political commodity which people are trying to use against my presidential campaign," he said angrily during an interview at his campaign headquarters. Visibly irritated to be pressed on the subject, Wiranto blamed "indiscipline" and "criminal activity that could happen in any army in the world" for atrocities committed by Indonesian troops and militias in East Timor during its violence secession in 1999. "I regret the fact there were riots in East Timor at the time, but this is not something that I planned or just let happen," he complained.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office


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