|Subject: East Timor Press Review Thursday 6
East Timor Press Review
Thursday 6 June 2002
A front page story in the Timor Post reported East Timor Defence Force (ETDF) Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak as saying that there is no need to deploy members of the ETDF to the border areas. “What is the point of having the military presence there? There is no war. Civilians are moving freely in the area and everything is OK. So what would the soldiers do? Hang up their guns and sit with their full tummies and their feet up?”
A Timor Post editorial focuses on Timorese refugees remaining in Australia, saying people in East Timor are sad that these refugees do not want to return to their country.
Suara Timor Loro Sae reports that East Timorese are not happy with decision of UNTAET to adopt the US dollar as the national currency. The paper cites the complaints of people who say that only those working within the Government can afford to use the dollar, and that imported goods are preventing local products from being produced and sold.
Judges, prosecutors and public defenders currently attending a training course in Dili are reportedly happy. Deolindo dos Santos, a judge from the Baucau District Tribunal, is quoted as saying that “the training is good for us because it strengthens our capacity and thus enables us to perform better.”
STL ran a complicated story on two CPD-RDTL members, Rosalino Cardoso and Antonio Aitahan Matak, who deny accusations of collecting money from people in Bobonaro district to raise the CPD-RDTL flag. However, a number of CPD-RDTL members in Bobonaro are in turn accusing a FRETILIN MP, José Andrade, of collecting US$5 from families in the area to raise East Timor’s new flag on the night of 19 May. Andrade was quoted as saying he had coordinated the fund-raising activities with the CPD-RDTL members, a charge that both Cardoso and Aitahan Matak deny. STL also reported that Andrade had allegedly promised local residents jobs in the new UNMISET mission.
About 1,000 residents of the Bucoli village in Baucau district on Monday reportedly held a rally to protest against the UN and ETPS police for releasing known criminals from custody. The paper quoted one of the protesters, Aderito Domin Vertual, as saying, “People that have committed crimes should be in prison. Last week we detained two people who had light weapons with them. We brought them to police and they were later released.”
STL ran a story on two former Falintil fighters meeting with a priest in Aileu to inform him that they want to re-establish their headquarters in the area. The priest, Hermenegildo Almeida, told them that they should raise the matter with the Government instead.
A Jakarta tribunal is reportedly requesting that all Timorese refugees wanting to remain in Indonesia adopt Indonesia citizenship. The order comes in response to a legal suit filed by Eurico Guterres, the leader of the former Aitarak militia group.
STL reports on a speech by José Ramos-Horta in Barcelona in which East Timor’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said “ The Timorese would not be free if it wasn’t for the dignified intervention of Portuguese diplomacy in the past twenty years.” Ramos-Horta added, “the success of East Timor proves that the UN has an important role to play and that the United States and a few other nations are wrong to oppose multilateralism.”
STL reported that the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs has declared that Portugal will continue to provide budgetary support to East Timor. In a separate article, STL reported that 25 percent of the Timorese community living in Portugal does not want to return to East Timor. Many of them have reportedly visited East Timor but decided to remain in Portugal.
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