Subject: Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoirng December 03 2004

The content of this email does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank.

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring for December 3, 2004

Debarred companies were right to be punished, says Inspector General Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

The World Bank has announced the debarment for up to three years of four individuals and four companies for fraudulent practices in relation to the Bank-administered Emergency School Readiness Project (ERSP) in Timor-Leste.

Inspector General Mariano Lopes da Cruz stated that if found guilty the four companies - Arafura Projects and Consultancy, UD Sinar Gunung Nona, PT Amazonas and CV Uaimori ? were right to be punished.

Mariano explained that the WB-administered ERSP tender was conducted during the UNTAET administration in September 2000. Five companies participated in the tender meeting but only four (Arafura Projects and Consultancy, UD Sinar Gunung Nona, PT Amazonas and CV Uaimori) submitted their bids.

He also stated that in the tender process, they conducted a meeting with Rob Foster, director of APAC, and discussed the prices for school equipments such as chairs and desks. The four companies reached an agreement about prices for the items. Foster got the tender and did not share it with the other three companies. Later, one of the companies reported corruption in the tender process.

A World Bank team conducted an investigation and confirmed that the four companies were implicated in the case, which led to the cancellation of the tender process. The Bank restarted the tender process in cooperation with the Coordinator for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Fr. Filomeno, and awarded it to Timorese carpentries in every district to produce the items. João Alves, who currently is the Secretary of State for Water and Sanitation, led the project.

Mariano finally stated that companies should not be corrupt, as this attitude will destroy their image. He also declared that the Office of the Inspector General had also conducted an investigation.

MOH announces 24 AIDS cases in Timor-Leste, with five deaths Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

The Ministry of Health (MoH) released the total number of HIV/AIDS cases to the public based on data collected, which indicates that 5 out of the 24 HIV/AIDS cases in Timor-Leste have resulted in death, said Mr. Feliciano Pinto, an official in the Ministry.

Mr. Pinto noted that to help prevent the spreading of the virus, the Ministry is cooperating with both international and local NGOs to distribute information on HIV/AIDS and its dangers.

Government establishes water bill regulations Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

The government has established a regulation which was promulgated on November 2nd, to regulate water billing in the country, said Mr. Egidio de Jesus, the State Secretary of Electricity and Water.

Mr. Egidio said that the regulation was not added to raise government revenues, but to educate the communities on how to use water in the most economical ways.

He added that the regulation states prices for domestic, public and group usage of water. For domestic use the price is $0.20/1000 liters, for group use it is $0.10/1000 liters and for restaurants it is $0.50/1000 liters.

Falintil Commander optimistic about national security in light of pullout Timor Post

The Falintil Commander of Timor-Leste Defense Force, General Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak said that he is optimistic about the security system in Timor-Leste after UNMISET withdraws on May 20, 2005.

He was responding to concerns from the church leader, Bishop Alberto Ricardo who said that Timor-Leste is not ready to stand alone without UNMISET assistance.

Mr. Taur said that it is the time for the country to learn both to be independent and not depend on outside support.

He also said that the nation will remain secure as long as people cooperate and understand each other.

Parliamentarians voice concerns over demonstration law Timor Post

The Minister of State Administration, Ms. Ana Pessoa and the State Secretary of Parliamentary Issue, Mr. Antoninho Bianco presented a demonstration law to the National Parliament, December 2nd to be approved as a permanent law.

The law limits the distance of demonstrators to approach any important buildings to 500 meters away.

Certain parties complained that the above article limited the population from expressing their opinions and may lead to future instability in Timor-Leste.

Workshop on Pre-Trial Detention Information Release

On the 3rd of December 2004, at 9.00 am, the Prime Minister and The President of the Court of Appeal in coordination with the Prosecutor General, are promoting a clarification session on Rules of Detention and Pretrial Detention in the Judicial Training Center. All judicial operators (national and internationals) have been invited to attend.

The objective of this session, is to discuss and to improve coordination amongst all actors that play a role and intervene in the process of initiating, deciding and executing measures of detention and pre trial detention, in order to ensure that these decisions are made in agreement to the law and the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

The need to strengthen the capacity of the justice sector to handle pretrial detention was identified already during the joint evaluation mission (MoJ/UNDP) of the justice sector that was held in 2002. This coordinated national initiative will promote the effective handling of pre-trial detention cases. Rules of detention and pre-trial detention have already been identified as vital subjects to be included in the training curriculum for magistrates and public defenders in 2005 being supported by UNDP and other partners under the project "Strengthening the Justice System in Timor-Leste"

The World Bank welcomes comments and suggestions, as well as information about errors that call for correction. Messages may be sent to Sildonia Sarmento who can be reached through e-mail at ssarmento@worldbank.org or telephoned at 332 4649, extension 304.

David de Araujo Receptionist World Bank, Dili Office Tel: 332 4649 Email: ddearaujo@worldbank.org


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