Subject: Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring June 1, 2004

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Timor-Leste International and Localk Media Monitoring June 1, 2004

SEMANARIO (Weekly Portuguese Newspaper)

The state of the Nation

An special edition of the newspaper to commemorate the restoration of independence contained lengthy interviews about the state of the Nation with the Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Jose Ramos Horta. The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, spoke about the challenges his Government is facing (after two years of independence) and the economy that needs to be solved. The Prime Minister spoke about the opposition parties and hoe they are always critical but without presenting an alternative to the Government. What the Government needs is the real opposition that this country lacks. Questioned about transparency within the Government, the Prime Minister said that the Government doesn't need lessons about transparency. Because if the government was not transparent nobody would have known about the state of the nation. The Government was first to inform the development partners about the financing gap, and did everything to close the gap, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the Government does not need lessons, and he made it clear that the Government does not like being pressured because the executive knows what they want and where they are going. About corruption within the Government the Prime Minister said that people talk a lot about the investigation made by the Inspector General without his interference. The Prime Minister said that four criminal cases of corruption were sent to the Prosecutor General for the courts to decide. The alleged corruption involves three different districts and a case related to the Port.

Absolute trust, says Horta

In a lengthy interview for the weekly newspaper the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Ramos Horta, said that he has absolute trust in the Government, and is very proud of the achievements. The Minister said that the country has affirmed itself internationally, and strategically Timor-Leste is aiming to become an ASEAN member within five years. Questioned about transparency needed in the Government, the Minister for Foreign Affairs replied that Timor-Leste is one of the most transparent countries in the world. The Minister said UN, World Bank, IMF and NGO's all speak aloud and too much but we know that within their institutions there's no transparency. The UN made lots of investigations about corruption that many of the international staff were involved. The Minister said that the World Bank and IMF don't have answers for everything, but they don't give us lessons of transparency and democracy because they were responsible for many cases of bad management, bad planning and corruption in many countries. The Minister said that the Government has good relations with these two institutions, and they have help the Government a lot, but they should speak the truth when their record shows that it is not that clean.

Timor Post

If I lied then I step will down, says Xanana

On his arrival from Bali after a meeting with Wiranto, the President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, confronted a group protesting against his meeting with the ex-general. The President emotionally said that he's ready to step down if the entire population shows that he has lied to them. (The newspaper does not say what kind of lie). Meanwhile the President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres (Lu Olo), said that the President, Xanana Gusmão, is a man with integrity and the civil society needs to think first before saying anything against the President of Timor-Leste. Questioned by the media about his views on the meeting between Wiranto and the President, the President of the National Parliament said that he would not add any comment because he was informed by the President about the meeting.

Baucau and Lospalos without electricity

A Member of the National Parliament, Rui Menezes, said that it has been very difficult for the people in the Districts of Baucau and Lospalos without electricity. He said that the Distrcit of Lospalos alone has been without electricity for a year, and the Government has done nothing to help solve the problem, and fix the broken generator. Mr Menezes said that apart from the generator, poles have fallen down and the electricians employed have no capacity to repair them. The electricians are still being paid without doing anything. Meanwhile a Member of the National Parliament, Pedro da Costa, said that for the last five months people in the District of Baucau have been sitting in the dark, without electricity, because the generator has broken down. He said people are sad with the situation and are waiting for answers from the Government.

Village of Railaco wants school and health clinic

A Member of the National Parliament, Maria Valadares, visited the suco of Mau Hudu in Railaco in the District of Ermera. She said that people want a new school for their children so they don?t have to walk far everyday, and a clinic to attend the necessities of those without any means to buy medicine.

3885 students to sit for exams

The Head of the Education Department in the District of Baucau, Rodolfo H. Aparicio, said that 3885 students from primary, secondary and technical schools in the District of Baucau will sit for final exams in June.

Cooperative has to be ready to join the globalization era

The Vice-Minister of Development and Environment, Abel Ximenes, said that the cooperative sector has to be ready and be prepared to face the challenges in the globalisation era. He said for this reason the NGO Fundasaun Klibur Matadalam is preparing human resources in private sector and cooperatives to face the challenges.

40 tons of sandalwood detained by Police

Forty tons of sandalwood detained by police in raids over the Districts of Aileu, Manatuto, Baucau, Lospalos, Liquica and Suai were handed over to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, Eng Estanislau da Silva. The Head of the Investigation Unit, Jorge Monteiro, said that he will make available to the public a report about the illegal cutting and smuggling of sandalwood.

Better conditions before sending the army to the border

The Chief of Staff for the Falintil - Defense Force of Timor-Leste, Colonel Lere Anan Timor, said that infrastructure conditions should be fulfilled before allocating police force or military to the border region between Timor-Leste and Indonesia. Colonel Lere said that since the infrastructure is not in place, the second battalion of F-FDTL would be temporarily stationed in Lospalos. Questioned by the media about the future cooperation with PKF, Colonel Lere said that the two forces need to have good coordination, in order to "avoid confusion". Meanwhile the National Police Commissioner, Paulo de Fatima Martins, said that so far the border area between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is calm and under control.

Suara Timor Loro Sa'e (STL)

Don't always be negative about Police

A Member of the National Parliament, Norberto Espirito Santo, has requested during a plenary session that Members of the Parliament should be less negative about the National Police Force actions in the country. He said that no-one seems to talk about the good things that the police are doing, they are just critical of the police actions.

Government should have answered people's worries

The District Administrator from the Sub-District of Ainaro, Agapito Fatima Martins, said that the Government has not been able to answer people?s worries about agriculture, health and electricity. He said that people have requested tractors for agriculture, ambulances for the District and electricity but so far they have no answers. Mr Martins said that people in the District and Sub-District of Ainaro are still using the old method of agriculture, and they have requested a tractor but are still waiting for it.

Baucau without electricity for five months

A Member of the National Parliament for the Timorese Socialist Party (PST), Pedro da Costa, said that it has been five months since the District of Baucau has had access to electricity due to a generator problem. He said that people have started using the old method of burning candlenut just to have light at night.

PST behind protesters action in Laleia

The Sub-District Administrator of Laleia, Gregorio Sebastião Gusmão, said that people from the village of Kairui, in the Sub-District of Laleia, staged a peaceful protest demanding better road conditions. Mr Gusmão said that the Timorese Socialist Party (PST) was behind the protesters demanding new roads and buildings for the Administrator in Kairui.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office

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