Subject: Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring September 30 2004

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Timor - Leste International and Local Media Monitoring for September 30, 2004

Legal action taken over rights abuses in East Timor

Timor Post

NEW YORK (Antara): The Indonesian government, under President Megawati Soekarnoputri, has taken legal action against the alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses in East Timor in 1999, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda said here on Tuesday. "Indonesia's Mutual Cooperation Cabinet has already taken legal action. I do not know how the next government will see this case after Oct. 20," he said after his meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the sidelines of the UN's59th general assembly. A number of UN member countries have continued to question rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Indonesian troops during the self-determination ballot in East Timor five years ago.

The Megawati government, whose term ends on Oct. 20, has punished two people, including former East Timor governor Abilio Osorio Soares, for allegedly violating human rights in the former Indonesian province. New Zealand and the United States, as well as the European Union, have expressed concern over the decision of the ad hoc court on rights abuses in East Timor to acquit several Indonesian Military officers. Hassan said the government had rejected a UN commission set up last March to deal with rights abuses in East Timor. "We want the cases to be settled by Indonesia, together with East Timor," he said.

East Timorese Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos Horta said recently his country does not support foreign intervention, such as the setting up of an international court to try the rights abuses. He said his country is giving priority to good ties and mutual cooperation with Indonesia. In the meeting with Annan, Hassan conveyed Megawati's gratitude to the UN secretary-general for UN assistance, including that channeled for the holding of this year's elections in Indonesia.

Traffic discipline is on discussion

Timor Post

In order to apply the traffic discipline and recognize the use of legal documents for everyone who uses motor vehicles, the government (the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Ovidio de Jesus, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Rogerio Lobato and the commandant of Timor ? Leste National Police , Mr. Paul de Fatima Martins) has planned to arrange a meeting to discuss this issue in October.

In the first phase, there will be a publication of information in order to increase awareness of holding legal documents and traffic enforcement, said Mr. Paul de Fatima Martins.

Respect support a capacity building training for 300 veterans and ex combatants

Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

A capacity building training program led by the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity will focus on veterans and ex-combatants, said the Prime Minister, Mr. Mari Alkatiri. The project will be funded by Respect program and is entitled 'RESPECT Veterans and Ex-Combatants Capacity Building (REVE-CaB) Program'. Mr. Alkatiri added that this program is to respond to the proposal of Veterans and ex-combatants in the National Dialogue conducted on August 21 2004.

Viqueque rice production face market difficulty

Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL)

Luis Martins, a farmer from Viqueque said farmers are now facing marketing problems as they have no acces to markets to sell their rice production. And therefore rice production is used solely for family consumption.

Mr. Luis Martins asked the government (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery) to seek companies or businessmen to buy their production to enable them to educate their children and for their family needs. He also proposed the government provide agricultural training to improve the quality of the rice.

World Bank tells Indonesia to return $10m fund for textbook procurement project

The Jakarta Post

The World Bank has asked the Indonesian government to return $10 million in loans which it extended for a project to procure school textbooks after it discovered that much of the money had been misappropriated. In an article published in its website (http://web.worldbank.org), the bank said it had also debarred 10 individuals and 26 book publishing companies for fraudulent and corrupt practices in the World Bank-financed ?Book and Reading Development Project? (BRDP) in Indonesia.

These firms and individuals will be ineligible to receive any new World Bank-financed contracts for the periods of their debarments. The World Bank also announced the issuance of four letters of reprimand in connection with the same project. These actions are part of the World Bank?s broad anticorruption efforts launched in 1996. World Bank Country Director Andrew Steer welcomed the ruling, saying that, ?the funds we lend must go to help the people of Indonesia reduce poverty.

In this case, getting textbooks into the hands of Indonesian school children was an urgent need and donors responded to meet that need. The World Bank has worked closely with the Government of Indonesia to uncover and correct the diversion of funds from this project through corrupt practices.? Following an investigation by the World Bank?s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT), the World Bank declared missprocurement, and requested the Government of Indonesia to repay $10 million from the disbursed proceeds of the loan and to prepare and implement an acceptable action plan to improve the procurement process in the education sector.

The Book and Reading Development Project-related debarments mark the culmination of an investigation launched by the World Bank in late 2000 following an article in Tempo newsweekly in which allegations of fraud and corruption in the implementation of the BRDP were made. The period of debarment varied between two years, for those individuals and firms which participated in the scheme but not as principal organizers, to 15 years for those individuals and firms which played a central role in the scheme and were its primary beneficiaries through the size and/or number of contracts they won under the project. One firm and three individuals received public letters of reprimand from the World Bank, but remain eligible for World Bank-financed contracts.

The BRDP, which commenced in October 1995, was implemented by the Ministry of Education and Culture and sought to improve the quality of basic education in Indonesia through the supply of and demand for textbooks. The BRDP was funded in part from an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan valued at $132.5 million, which funded the purchase of textbooks for Indonesia?s junior secondary schools. The project envisioned four rounds of textbook procurement over the years 1996-2000. For a number of reasons, the fourth procurement round was cancelled and the project closed on December 31, 2001, having disbursed only $53, 232,000 of the loan amount. Among publishers debarred for two years were big names like PT Penerbit Erlangga, PT Grasindo, PT Ganeca Exact, PT Mitra Gama Widya, PT Mizan, of Jakarta, PT Trigenda Karya, PT Pabelan, PT Surya Angkasa, PT Edumedia and PT Tiga Serangkai. Those debarred for 15 years include PT Pribumi Mekar, Ikip Malang/Yayasan Penerbit Ikip Malang, PT Indah Jaya Adipratama, PT Mapan, PT Multi Adiwiyata, PT Remaja Rosda Karya and PT Balai Pustaka. PT Kanisius was one of four firms/individuals who received letters of reprimand from the World Bank.

Dr. Ramos Horta addressed the 59th Session of the UN General assembly

Press Release

New York - Wednesday 29 September 2004, the Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta addressed the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

His Excellency Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs addressed the Assembly for the first time after his 24 years struggling for the Independence of Timor-Leste.

The speech emphasized the current political and economic development of Timor-Leste, the needs to reform the United Nations and international issues of common concern such as appealing on the United States to lift its economic embargo on Cuba as well as calling upon the rich countries to contribute 0.7 per cent of their national GDP to subsidize the agriculture development in developing countries.

On the United Nations reform, Timor-Leste strongly supports the Franco-Germany initiative and equally support German, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Japan and one or two African countries.

Timor-Leste has addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the third time since it became 191 member of the United Nations. The first Timorese representative to address the United Nations General Assembly was His Excellency Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. The second leader who addressed the UN General Assembly was H.E. Prime Minister, Dr. Mari Alkatiri.

Like other speakers, the Senior Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta's speech was inspiring and challenging.

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


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