Subject: East Timor headlines/7May2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Monday 7 May 2001

1. 15 Militia commanders accept referendum result 
2. Timor Gap meeting fails to reach consensus 
3. Bishop Belo: Church must work hard 
4. Gari-Uai Case: Warring Party Agrees To Peace Talks

1. 15 Militia Commanders Accept Referendum Result (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

Fifteen militia commanders on Saturday accepted the 30 August 1999 referendum result, because it was, as they said, the decision of the majority.

The decision by the militia leaders was made at a tripartite meeting between CNRT, the Defense Forces of Timor Lorosae (FDTL) and PPI (the militia grouping), in Denpasar, Bali.

At the meeting PPI stated it wanted the following points adhered to:

a) All communication channels to be maintained without any breakdown; b) Reconciliation dialogue to be maintained till there is some form of agreement among nthe Timorese people of differing political opinions.

“What’s most important is that they [the militia commanders] have accepted the results of the referendum, because for them it was the unanimous choice of the Timorese people,” said a CNRT participant who was contacted by STL.

According to the CNRT source, the militia commanders also accepted that they and their followers could be brought before the courts to answer criminal charges.

“What’s clear is that the judicial process will go on. It doesn’t mean that when reconciliation is talked about, all crimes will be forgotten,” said the source.

The militia leaders present at the tripartite meeting were: Joanico Belo, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho, Nemecio de Carvalho and other commanders.

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2. Timor Gap Meeting Fails To Reach Consensus (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)

Secret meetings on Friday night to discuss the prospects of oil and gas exploration in the Timor Gap failed to achieve any consensus. The failure of the Brisbane talks tends to jeopardize the multi-million dollar oil and gas industry, where revenue would be important for Timor Lorosae’s development.

The Minister of the Economy Mari Alkatari, who was present at the meeting, said pressure from the Northern Territory government and Philips Petroleum was instrumental in scuttling the talks.

“I appeal to Philips Petroleum and other parties to stop pressuring us because this is our national problem,” said Mari.

First, the talks were due to be held in Darwin. Later the venue was changed to Brisbane. The Australian government has been pushing for a quick solution to the negotiations in order not to experience huge losses in the delay of the project.

Philips Petroleum, based in Oklahoma, said further delay in the oil and gas exploration could cause them to suffer heavy losses.

Also, the Bayu-Undan gas-filed in the Timor Sea ­ worth about US$2.6 million ­ is under threat if no suitable agreement is reached between Timor Lorosae and Australia.

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3. Bishop Belo: Church Must Work Hard (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page, third lead)

The Catholic Church yesterday was urged to work harder to care for orphans.

The Bishop of Dili Diocese, Carlos Ximenes Belo made this appeal at the Vila Verde Catholic Church.

“The Church must work harder to look into the welfare of orphans, especially those who cannot afford to go to school. These orphans must be given every opportunity so that they can be useful members of society,” said Bishop Belo.

“The Good Shepherd Jesus always loved children and in that spirit the young generation must be guided so that they would be able to contribute to this country,” added Bishop Belo.

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4. Gari-Uai Case: Warring Party Agrees To Peace Talks (Timor Post, front page second lead)

One of the warring parties in Maukale village in Gari-Uai sub-district Baucau has agreed to peace talks. They also were willing to pay for the damages caused to the villagers.

However, the villagers of Maukale want the matter settled in the courts.

But the Chruch is still going ahead with the mediation talks with Father Marcos, Father Padila and Father Andrew Wong leading them.

Besides the Church, former Falintil commander L-7 or Foho Rai Boot has also been involved in negotiations. But L-7 presence is under suspicion because he is viewed as having connections with political parties.

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