|Subject: east timor headlines/22June2001
1. Taur Matan Ruak: FDTL to take part in developing country’s peace (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)
As a national apparatus established for guaranteeing the country’s security, the National Armed Forces (FDTL) will take part in developing Timor Lorosae’s peace.
“This is important for the future of the FDTL because we realize we have to be a stabilizing force in the country,” said FDTL Commander Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak.
Taur Matan Ruak was speaking to reporters at the graduation ceremony of 277 FDTL members from officer training school in Aileu.
Present at that ceremony were UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello, PKF Commander Lt-Gen Boonsrang Niumpradit, ETTA ministers, political leaders and the people of Aileu.
Taur Matan Ruak said the number of FDTL members who completed their training were now equivalent to one battalion-strength.
“They will now undergo another three months of basic military training and another three months of special training,” said Taur Matan Ruak.
2. Xanana Gusmao: One step closer towards independence (Suara Timor, front page second lead)
The conferring of military ranks on to recently graduated FDTL members is an honored recognition and augurs well for Timor Lorosae’s independence.
The former commander of Falintil and founding president of CNRT Xanana Gusmao said this at the FDTL graduation ceremony in Aileu yesterday.
“All officers and soldiers who have received their ranks today must be happy. This is indeed an auspicious day because we finally have an armed forces to defend our country,” said Xanana.
Xanana said for the past 24 years Falintil fought a guerrilla war walking through difficult terrain in the mountains, crossing rivers and undergoing extreme suffering with just one aim to free the country.
But, Xanana said, after the country’s freedom had been attained new problems cropped up.
“FDTL members problems and also personal ones with their families,” said Xanana.
“But let us not just the problems on an individual basis. Lets view it in terms of how it affects the whole country.”
3. Sergio de Mello: No possibility of developing Timor Lorosae in 2 years (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front page, third lead)
The UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello said yesterday the United Nations needed to have an extended presence in all sectors to order to pave the way for Timorese to administer the country themselves.
“It’s quite hard to build an administration, democratic institutions, restore public services, revive the economy in a short time of two years,” said Sergio in an interview with STL at the FDTL graduation ceremony.
“The Security Council has given a colossal task to UNTAET and there are various obstacles before the country achieves full independence,” said Sergio.
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