Subject: East Timor press headlines/9April2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 9 April 2001

1. NC members ask Sergio Mello to clarify Ramos Horta’s position 
2. David Ximenes: Don’t forget the struggle of the past 
3. FDTL on US$80 a month salary

1. National Council Members Ask Sergio Mello To Clarify Ramos Horta’s Position (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The National Council has sought a clarification from UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello on the position of Dr Jose Ramos Horta, named as a replacement for Xanana Gusmao who resigned as NC President last week.

The National Council motion was moved by Manuel Carrascalao last Friday. In the motion, Manuel wanted an explanation from Sergio on the criteria of Ramos Horta’s selection.

Manuel said the explanation was necessary as Ramos Horta is currently the Foreign Affairs Minister in the Transitional Cabinet.

“This is an important portfolio and there is no doubt that foreign affairs is important for the country’s future,” said Manuel.

Manuel said the Timorese people had to agree on Ramos Horta’s position.

But NC member Clementino dos Reis Amaral said Sergio de Mello was not in the country.

“So who is going to do the explanation? Jean Christian-Cady? Does Cady know the issue?” asked Clementino.

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2. David Ximenes: Don’t Forget The Struggle Of The Past (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

The Security Coordinator of CNRT/CN David Dias Ximenes made an appeal to the younger generation, in particular to the youth associated with Fitun (Frete Iha Timor Unidos Nafatin), not to forget the struggle of the past and those that died for it.

“Do not forget those who fought for your freedom and died as a result of it. They are a generation of people who fought for us so that we could enjoy freedom now,” said David at Fitun’s mini conference in Culuhun on Saturday.

“Don’t think that the freedom we are enjoying now is because of the sacrifices of the present generation. That’s not true. We were actually advancing the struggle from the previous generation. We must learn to respect the past fighters and also those old fighters,” he added.

“Don’t forget the struggles of fighters like Abel Laresinha, Nicolao Lobato, Rogerio Lobato and Jose Ramos Horta,” stressed David Ximenes.

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3. FDTL On US$80 A Month Salary (Suara Timor Lorosae, editorial Page 5) 

Their salary is only US$80 a month ­ an amount not enough for a decent life in the present Timor Lorosae. The Timor Lorosae Defense Forces (FDTL) are leading a life below normal standards.

If we want the FDTL to defend our country, then they have to be treated as professionals. They cannot be professional soldiers if all they can afford to eat at home is tapioca and instant noodles.

We cannot afford to allow the FDTL to be slack in their duties. Timor Lorosae has a contiguous border and we are facing all kinds of security threats. We need a vigilant FDTL to be the backbone of our security. Because of that, they need to be morally and materially secure.

The FDTL troops need to feel that they can build a career in the military. The FDTL badly needs a regulation, from the administration, that takes into account their welfare and well-being. They are the stabilizing force in an independent Timor Lorosae.

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