Subject: East Timor press headlines/2April 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 2 April, 2001

1. Ramos Horta Replaces Xanana 
2. Fijian PKF Troops And GNR In Bar Clash 
3. Timor Gap Negotiations To Start 
4. Xavier Has No Right To Give Ultimatums 
5. Xanana’s Withdrawal And The Pressing Problems In Timor Lorosae

1. Ramos Horta Replaces Xanana (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The UN Transitional Administration, on Saturday, proposed Jose Ramos Horta as the replacement for Xanana Gusmao as president of the National Council.

As understood, Horta will hold the post of NC President, which was vacated by Xanana. As a formality, the appointment of Ramos Horta will be ratified by the National Council today.

UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello in presenting Ramos Horta as the new NC president, at a press conference on Saturday said he believed Horta capabilities would be very much needed at the National Council.

“After discussions with CNRT President Xanana Gusmao and taking into account opinions from Permenant Council of CNRT, I appoint Dr Jose Ramos as a member of the National Council, as from now,” said Sergio de Mello.

Sergio de Mello also pointed out that in accordance with UNTAET Regulation (section 3.5 of the Regulation to Create the National Council), a National Council member cannot be a member of the Transitional Cabinet.

“Dr Ramos Horta has indicated his decision to withdraw from the Cabinet, and I have already accepted his decision. But I plan to appoint Dr Ramos Horta back to the Cabinet, in the Foreign Affairs portfolio, on 15 July ­ the day the National Council is dissolved,” said Sergio.

Meanwhile, a source indicated to STL that Ana Pessoa, the current Minister for Internal Affairs, will be filling in a Foreign Affairs Minister.

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2. Fijian PKF Troops And GNR In Bar Clash (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

UN Fijian troops and Portuguese Republican Guards (GNR) of Civpol were involved in a fight in a bar in Dili on Friday night.

Three GNRs were injured and three others arrested.

The three GNR members tried to keep the peace at the Delicious Blue Bar but were attacked by Fijian troops having a night out in the bar.

One of the injured was taken to the military hospital for treatment. His condition is reported to be stable.

Meanwhile Civpol spokesperson Luis Carilho said the brawl happened at 2:30 in the morning. There was also a stone-throwing incident and Civpol had to fire a warning shot. He said on Radio UNTAET that three people had been arrested.

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3. Timor Gap Negotiations To Start Again (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page top-box story)

The second round of formal negotiations between Timor Lorosae and Australia with regard to oil and gas explorations in the Timor Sea will take place this month in Australia.

UNTAET spokesperson Barbara Reis confirmed that the talks would take place between 4 to 6 April in Melbourne. The Timor Lorosae delagation will be led by the Minister of Political Affairs and the Timor Gap, Peter Galbraith and the Minister for the Economy Mari Alkatari.

Negotiations between the two countries started last October, although there had been several informal meetings.

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4. Xavier Has No Right To Give Ultimatums (Suara Timur Lorosae, Front Page side-bar)

The Vice-President of Fretilin, Mari Alkatari said the former president of the party, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, had no right to give ultimatums to anyone. Also, said Mari, Xavier had no right to form the Fretilin ASDT Party.

“Xavier was not the person who initially started the Fretilin party. Xavier is not the founding father of Fretilin. When we formed Fretilin, as a party, that was when we invited Xavier,” said Mari in an interview with STL.

Mari said the original founders of Fretilin were Jose Ramos Horta, Nicolao Lobato, Sino Mota and himself.

“As far as I know, there is only one Fretilin. There is no Fretilin ASDT, Fretilin CPD-RDTL,” he said firmly.

He said Fretilin had the right to take part in the forthcoming elections.

“The party has the right because for the past 24 years it was defended by the President Lu-Olo who was fighting in the jungle,” said Mari.

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5. Xanana’s Withdrawal And The Pressing Problems In Timor Lorosae (Suara Timor Lorosae, editorial, Page 5)

The President of CNRT Xanana Gusmao officially has resigned as president of the National Council. He has also indicated that he had no intentions of becoming a presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections.

Every individual has his or her own rights and that should be respected. But at the present moment, Timor Lorosae needs a person who is credible and capable to carry through the political process towards full independence. Without that credible person, the political process will be in difficulty and as a result the people will suffer.

We need a person who will champion the needs of the people and at the same time bargain for their political rights. We do not need a person who only takes into account group interests.

Xanana is the best person for this country because he has lived with the people and understands fully their hopes and aspirations. But his withdrawal as President of the National Council has brought forth a new set of problems. These problems could delay the whole political process.

There is only seat for the president and because of that we must be ready to give it to to the person who is most qualified to hold it. For this period it is only Xanana.

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