Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 15 June 2005

UNOTIL Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Tohumeta case an overreaction

A member of the Democrat Party Eusebio Guterres said that the Tohumeta case has been unnecessarily politicised. Some Members of Parliament yesterday complained in Parliaments Plenary Session that some young people in Tohumeta, Laulara sub-district, recently insulted the Fretilin flag. The five youths along with the Tohumeta Village Chief have since been arrested, but according to Guterres, their actions did not warrant an arrest and their arrest was not been carried out according to proper procedures. (Timor Post, STL)

Pipeline to TL a possibility

There is a possibility that the pipeline from the Greater Sunrise oil field can come to Timor-Leste, according to the Advisor of Natural Resources in the President’s Cabinet, Francisco da Costa Monteiro. Speaking to journalists, Monteiro explained that previously experts had believed that the sea trench immediately preceding Timor-Leste is too deep to build a pipeline in the absence of the appropriate technology. However, the right technology now exists according to Monteiro, and he said that a company called INTEC in 2002 carried out a survey on the trench, which showed that it is possible to bring the pipeline here. Monteiro said that Woodside Petroleum has also recently carried out a survey on the economic viability of the matter, which he said the government has not yet seen. (STL)

President Castro may visit TL

Cuban President Fidel Castro may visit Timor-Leste in the future if he comes to this region, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Ramos-Horta. Upon his return from a trip to Europe and Cuba yesterday, Ramos-Horta said that President Castro expressed his great admiration for the Timorese people, President Xanana Gusmao and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and thus he received the invitation to visit with pleasure.

Ramos-Horta said that his visit to Cuba had been a success in terms of strengthening ties between Timor-Leste and Cuba. He explained that Cuba and Timor-Leste have different political systems,­ for example Timor-Leste has a multiparty system and press freedom, whereas Cuba has just one party, the Communist party, which has been in power for almost 50 years. But he said that Cuba also has policies, which very much benefit its people with the result that there is no hunger, access to health services is very high, and the literacy rate is 100 per cent.

Ramos-Horta took the same opportunity to announce that President Castro also offered to accept another 200 Timorese medical students to study there. There are currently 30 Timorese medical students studying in Cuba, and this number will rise to 50 later this year. He added that with Cuba’s help, Timor-Leste may gain up to 500 Cuban-trained Timorese doctors in the next five to ten years. (Timor Post)

Pensions can help in combating corruption

Member of Parliament from the Social Democrat Party, Maria Paixao, said that pension allowances are one way of combating corruption and thus the government should consider this means. Speaking in Tuesday’s Plenary Session, Paixao said that if pensions are not introduced for public servants in Timor-Leste, corruption will continue to flourish as public servants are concerned about guaranteeing income for their retirement. (Timor Post)

Opposition parties demand to see Truth Commission draft TOR

The opposition parties in the National Parliament have demanded that the government present the draft Terms of Reference for the joint Truth and Friendship Commission between Indonesia and Timor-Leste. MP Joao Goncalves from the Social Democrat Party said that even though prospective candidates to sit on the Commission have been chosen by both countries, the Parliament has not yet seen the draft Terms of Reference for analysis and then approval. Goncalves said that in principle, the Parliament does not intend to block or delay the Terms of Reference, but that as the people’s representatives the Parliament has the right to see them. (STL)

Kowa residents request new BPU post

Residents of Kowa village in Balibo sub-district have requested that the recently abolished Border Patrol Unit post in their village be reinstated. According to head of the Liberal Party faction in the National Parliament, Armando da Silva, the local population have been frightened since the post was removed. There have been a spate of recent cases in Kowa village that may be contributing to the local population’s fear, including the defection of 26 Kowa resident to Indonesia, the murder of three Indonesian citizens in their village, and the arrest of a group of militia there who were attempting an illegal entry from Indonesia to Timor-Leste. According to da Silva, the post is a strategic and important one for guaranteeing the security and safety of border communities. (STL)

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