Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 24 January 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Monday, 24 January 2005

Australia open to "sensible" Timor solutions

Australia is confident Timor-Leste will accept its invitation in the next week or two to return to the negotiating table to settle ownership of vast oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea. Australia's chief negotiator in the protracted maritime border dispute, Doug Chester, also said that the Federal Government is open to any "sensible" solution Dili might have in the wake of Woodside Petroleum's decision to stop its US$5 million Sunrise natural gas project. "If Dili wants to look at a so-called creative solution that could see an interim arrangement, something that may have an immediate impact, we are happy to talk. We will listen to any sensible proposal," said Mr Chester.

Timor-Leste has accused Australia of issuing an ultimatum to accept a permanent maritime border on its terms while lowering its offer of compensation to an extra US$3 billion over 30 years, down from US$4.3 billion. Mr Chester rejected this claim, adding that Dili's team had rejected Australia's proposal and then took its own offer off the table. "What we were discussing was an East Timorese proposal that we'd got very close to agreeing to. We asked them whether they still wanted to proceed on the basis of their proposal and they said no. They pulled their proposal off the table and they'd already rejected our proposal," he added. (Dow Jones)

Opposition calls for Timor memorandum

The Northern Territory Opposition party has called on the Government to enter a memorandum of understanding with Timor-Leste in a bid to resume Greater Sunrise gas fields. The Country Liberal Party's Dennis Burke says the memorandum would demonstrate to all parties that the Territory and Timor-Leste want the project to go ahead. "It's not a matter of working against the Commonwealth or for or against Timor-Leste. It's a matter of demonstrating that we want this resource developed," said Mr Burke. (ABC)

Former pro-Indonesian militia slipping back into Timor-Leste

Military sources in Timor-Leste claim former pro-Indonesian militiamen are gradually slipping back into the country and resorting to banditry. A military officer told Lusa news agency that the latest evidence of the infiltration from West Timor came from a militiaman captured by police after a firefight last Tuesday. According to the officer, the captive, Daniel Mendes, told interrogators he was part of a six-man gang that had crossed the border planning to damage vehicles and rob villages. Mendes admitted that he had joined an armed group that crossed the border in November. The firefight with the gang and Mendes' subsequent capture by police was the first concrete evidence of activities by former militiamen in Timor-Leste in more than a year. (Lusa)

Xavier Do Amaral: Independence Does Not Quite Bring Happiness to People

The President of ASDT, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, said that even though Timor-Leste has been independent for three years, independence has not brought happiness to all, in particular, those living in rural areas. Amaral added these people continue to live in poor conditions, often with not enough food to eat and inadequate shelter. "Funds from oil revenue should be used to assist those who continue to suffer, such as orphans and widows," said Amaral.

Amaral added that it is all due to the fact that the party, which is now in power, does not function in a proper manner. Therefore, Amaral appealed to all people to elect the representatives of parties who will indeed serve them by paying attention to their sufferings in the upcoming elections in 2007. (Timor Post)

Paulo Martins: Police officer did not use government cars for personal activities

PNTL's General Commander, Paulo Fatima Martins, has rejected allegations by some Parliamentarians that police officers in Baucau used Government cars for personal activities. Martins told the press that he had received a letter from the President of National Parliament Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo" regarding the matter. He added that he had contacted Baucau District's PNTL office to obtain more information on the issue, but the office reaffirmed that such allegation was not true. (Timor Post)

Lu-Olo Participated in CPLP meeting in Brazil

The President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo", and his delegation left for Brazil yesterday to participate in parliamentary meetings of Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (CPLP). Prior to his departure, Lu-Olo said Timor-Leste's delegation will present an overview on the situation of the country in general and the work of Parliament in particular. "Another topic to be covered by Timor-Leste's delegation will be on the cooperation between CPLP's Parliaments and the role of Portuguese language in Timor-Leste," said Lu-Olo. (STL)

Valentim Ximenes: Timor-Leste's Electoral Process Is More Democratic Than Other Countries

A political observer from Timor-Leste's National University (UNTL), Valentim Ximenes, said the local electoral process that is currently taking place in districts is more democratic compared to other countries. Ximenes said that even though Timor-Leste is a small and poor country, and it has been only independent for the last three years, it shows to the world that democracy is flourishing. (STL)

Mari Alkatiri: There Will Be No Justice If There Is Corruption in The Office of Prosecutor

Commenting on the allegation of abuse of power by a prosecutor from the Dili District Prosecutor's Office, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said if activities of corruption have taken place in this particular office, justice will not function properly. "When an institution such as the Office of Prosecutor General practices corruption, our justice system will not work. Therefore, we need to change the situation and it is the responsibility of the Government," said Alkatiri. (STL)

Timor's Fijian rugby team trounces Darwin

Timor-Leste's rugby team, made up of Fijian troops serving in the country, thrashed a Darwin Selection side 47-0 in Darwin yesterday. The toast of East Timor Barbarians side was Mosese Duilomaloa, who scored three tries. A spokesperson for the Barbarians said people were enthusiastic about watching the first ever team from Timor-Leste take part in a rugby tournament. (Fiji Times)

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