Subject: east timor headlines/26June2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Tuesday 26 June 2001

1. 777,989 Timorese registered 
2. Apodeti Party will not launch campaign 
3. NC against proposal to levy fees on students 
4. Aids can be prevented by cooperation between administration and society

1. 777,989 Timorese registered (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The civil registration process has been a success. Since the start of it on 24 February till its closing on 22 June, 777,989 Timorese have been registered at the various centers in the country. The total population of Timor Lorosae has been estimated at 812,000 people.

This was stated by Piter Rimmeli, the head of the Civil Registry Unit. Out of the 777,989 that had been registered, 370,000 would be eligible to vote in the 30 August election.

“Civil registration is still open for those who haven’t registered and want to be citizens. There is no deadline for registration,” said Rimmeli.

He emphasized, however, that the cut-off date for taking part in the August 30 election was 22 June.

“Those who were registered on 23 June cannot take part in the election,” he stressed.

Rimmeli said 1,200 foreigners had been registered as Timorese citizens and, now, had the right to vote in the 30 August election. He said the foreigners were married to East Timorese citizens.

Rimmeli said that the registration process was not problem-free.

“During the four months, we encountered various difficulties. There were computer problems; the generators failed because we were using them full-time; and there were certain people who were just not familiar with the procedures,” said Rimmeli.

2. Apodeti Party will not launch campaign (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

The Apodeti Party will not take part in political campaigns in the period leading up to the 30 August election. This is because it appears non-partisan.

This was stated by Laurentino Gusmao, a National Council member from the Apodeti party.

He said in order to fully participate in the election, the party would have to change its name in order to give greater freedom to its members.

“Because the party name had not been changed, party members could not carry out their political activities,” said Laurentino.

Laurentino said there were many in the country who associated the party’s name with integration with Indonesia.

“I had anticipated these difficulties and we planned in April to change the party’s name. But we encountered certain problems and we unable to do so in time,” said Laurentino.

3. NC against proposal to levy fees on students (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page third lead)

The National Council is currently debating a regulation to iron out problems in the country’s education system. The regulation will prevent the collection of school fees and payments for uniforms.

According to NC members, paying fees and other school payments were inappropriate because most families were still poor in Timor Lorosae.

NC President Manuel Carrascalao is chairing the debate and present yesterday at the National Council Hall were the Chief of UNTAET’s Education Division Francisco Osler and Dili District’s Education Head Marcos dos Santos. Also present were representatives from schools and higher-teaching centres.

Avelino Coelho, NC member from the Socialist Party of Timor (PST) said any form of fee payment, from primary schools to high schools, should be abolished because these schools were receiving full subsidies from the Transitional Administration.

“Because of this, teachers cannot collect fees,” said Avelino.

Avelino also said in his understanding UNTAET did not make any decision to collect fees from students.

4. Aids can be prevented by cooperation between administration and society (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page fourth lead)

Though there are no definite figures on the number of HIV/Aids cases in Timor Lorosae, UNTAET, however, is serious in trying to prevent the disease from reaching ugly proportions in the country.

“The economic performance of a country will fall if HIV/Aids is rife in the country,” said the UNTAET/ETTA information.

“With the cooperation of society in Timor Lorosae, the disease can be prevented in Timor Lorosae,” said the three-page UNTAET/ETTA information booklet.

The information booklet also said that the Department of Health was also giving high priority to the prevention of the spread of HIV/Aids.

The Catholic Chruch has set up a program to inform the population about the HIV/Aids virus through clinics all over Timor Lorosae. The program is run by the Catholic NGO Caritas.

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