Subject: Daily Media Review Monday, 23 May 2005

[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list have been removed.]

UNOTIL

Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review
Monday, 23 May 2005

FDTL and PNTL must strive for people's confidence

Timor-Leste's President Xanana Gusmao has asked the FDTL and PNTL to strive even harder so that the people believe in the two security forces, and trust in their protection. Speaking at the Independence Day celebrations at Dili's Municipal Stadium on Friday, President Gusmao requested the two forces establish cooperation and good relations between each other in order to guarantee stability. Gusmao said that only with a guarantee on internal stability can the government focus on economic development. (Timor Post)

20 May celebrations peaceful

Timor-Leste's third anniversary of Independence celebrations ran peacefully. A flag-raising ceremony was held at the Dili Municipal Stadium, followed by parades by the F-FDTL, PNTL and the Fire Service.

Twelve districts also took part in a cultural competition held at the Dili Gymnasium on Thursday and Friday, which was organized by the Ministry for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport. The cultural presentations included traditional dancing, tais (traditional cloth) displays and traditional music.  (Timor Post, STL)

Fretilin's anniversary celebrations draw 100,000

Approximately 100,000 Fretilin sympathizers and party members from all districts of Timor-Leste gathered at the Democracy Field in Dili on Friday afternoon to celebrate Fretilin's 31st anniversary. In a long speech to those gathered, Fretilin President, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo", said that he believes that Fretilin will win the 2007 elections.

During the celebration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Ramos-Horta, appealed to the party to open its doors and assist the poor and vulnerable. He said that Timorese must leave behind their hatred of others in order to move forward.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Socialist Party of Timor, Avelino Coelho, said that the 20 May celebrations this year have caused confusion for much of the population, as they are unsure as to what is being celebrated - the restoration of independence or the formation of a political party. Coelho said that this confusion is not the fault of Fretilin and that in his opinion the decision to hold the transfer of sovereignty in 2002 on 20 May was a bad decision. According to Coelho, a different day would have been more sensible.

ASDT also held their own anniversary celebrations at Becora, with ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral saying that Fretilin's "real" anniversary is on 11 September and not 20 May. (Timor Post, STL)


UN mission ends - security guaranteed

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri says that even though the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission has come to an end, it will not have an impact on national security. Alkatiri said that in the past year, Timor-Leste has been responsible for security and not the UN. He said that Timor-Leste's government requested a one-year extension for a UN peacekeeping mission, but the UN did not grant the extension and as such, Timor-Leste must accept that it must now guarantee its own security.

Speaking at the parade for the completion of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Timor-Leste last Friday, President Xanana Gusmao said that the end of the mission marks an important historical moment for Timor-Leste. He said that the UN peacekeepers have played an important role in the development of this new nation, and that they will always remain in the hearts of Timorese.

During the ceremony Xanana awarded UN service medals to the UN Force Commander from Malaysia, Lieutenant General Khairuddin bin Mat Yusof, and the UNPOL Commander, Saifullah Malik.

At the ceremony, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Timor-Leste, Sukehiro Hasegawa, said that an important page has closed for the UN in Timor-Leste as peacekeeping forces prepare to leave the country. During his speech, Hasegawa congratulated and thanked the men and women who have participated in UN peacekeeping operations for their contribution to the stability and security of Timor-Leste.  (Timor Post, STL)


Children's playground inaugurated

President Xanana Gusmao inaugurated two new children's playgrounds in Dili on Saturday. Speaking to journalists after the inauguration, President Gusmao said that the two playgrounds were built with the assistance of the Union of Lusophone Capital Cities (UCCLA), which is part of Lisbon City Council.

The President said that he has asked the Council to also build seats near the playground so that parents have somewhere to sit and he added that the Council is also looking to provide assistance to Oecussi. President Gusmao took this opportunity to ask parents to give their children the opportunity to take time to play and he planted trees at the two playgrounds as a symbol of their inauguration. (Timor Post, STL)


President regrets TL decision not to participate in games

President Xanana Gusmao has spoken out against the decision of the President of the Timor-Leste National Olympic Committee not to allow Timorese athletes to participate in the Arafura Games. The President of the Timor-Leste National Olympic Committee withdrew the athletes based on the argument that the Prime Minister did not receive an invitation to the Games.

President Gusmao said that the argument that the Prime Minister did not receive an invitation is an excuse and that the real reason is because the Committee was unprepared. He said that preparation for such an event must begin long before the event and not just before the event begins, which is the Committee's current attitude. (Timor Post)

President Xanana Gusmao Gives Amnesty to 18 Prisoners

On the occasion of the third anniversary of the devolution of power to the legitimate organs of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the re-establishment of National Independence, H.E President Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, in exercising his constitutional competencies, has today authorized the reduction of sentences with a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year reduction of the original sentences to 18 prisoners. (Press Release: President's Office)


MP: independence has not brought significant changes

Timor-Leste has been independent now for three years, but with little significant change, according to KOTA Member of Parliament Clementino dos Reis Amaral. He said that in his opinion, the Ministry of Health has made the most positive advancements when compared to the ministries of Education and Agriculture, for example. He said the very centralized system in some departments is restricting the movement and initiative of their Ministers. According to Amaral, there must be changes made to this centralized system otherwise there will still be very little future progress. (Timor Post)

Retreat builds MP capacity

The five-day retreat held by Members of Parliament from Commission C at the Baucau Pousada has built on the capacity of members of the Commission to approve law. President of Commission C for Economy and Finance, Manuel Tilman, said that apart from building capacity, the retreat also helped instil in the MP's the responsibility to approve laws expeditiously. Member of Commission C, Rui Menezes, also said that the retreat has helped members of the Commission to better understand petroleum activities in terms of oil taxes. (Timor Post)



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