Subject: Local Daily Media Review 20 August 2003


Dili, August 20 2003

Daily Media Review

President Xanana on Sergio Vieira de Mello's Death: "Our nation mourns the death of a unique and unforgettable friend".

It is with shock and great sadness that I received the news of the tragic killing of Sergio Vieira de Mello in a bomb blast in Baghdad, at the United Nations Headquarters in Iraq on 19 August.

Sergio Vieira de Mello was not only Transitional Administrator of East Timor for 2 and a half years, but was also a very close personal friend. As Transitional Administrator in East Timor from December 1999 to the Independence of East Timor on 20 May 2002, Sergio Vieira de Mello endeared himself to the people of East Timor with his common touch, sensitivity, sense of humour and charisma. As a leader he fought tirelessly for democracy, human rights and sustainable justice for the people of Timor-Leste and represents the men and women of the international community who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of peace and the service of humanity.

The news of his death, in particular under horrific circumstances, has stunned me and shocked the entire nation of Timor-Leste and I cannot find words strong enough to express my deep regret at the loss of this courageous friend and great leader.

The death of Sergio Vieira de Mello stands as a firm indication that the world must come together in a genuine way to build long lasting peace.

The people of Timor-Leste have lost an extraordinary friend. His death is a devastating blow to humanity, to all the peace-loving people in the world and the international community as a whole.

"Our nation mourns the death of a unique and unforgettable friend".

President Xanana Gusmão in Uai-Mori, Initiates Reconciliation Border Meeting

President Xanana marked his presence in Uai-Mori today to attend the commemoration of the 28th Anniversary of Falintil as well as paying tribute to the fallen Timorese heroes. Uai-Mori was one of the four Falintil cantonment sites established in 1999 in the lead of to the referendum. It was under the commandant of Commander Taur Matan Ruak, and Uai-Mori cantonment protected and sheltered 35,000 people fleeing the violence by the Indonesian military backed militia groups. President Gusmão presided the ceremony and bestowed military honors, and delivered a speech, in which he focused on the importance of holding steadfast to the fundamental principle of Falintil: to serve the people in a non-partisan way. After the ceremony, the President travelled to Suai as part of Open Presidency Program. He also will travel to the border towns of Lepo and Lour in Bobonaro to meet the local population and ex Falintil to hear their concerns and to work together to find solutions. On Friday, August 22, President will initiate a border meeting between refugee in Covalima district, where reconciliation will also be facilitated. Due to the commemoration of Falintil's day today, Lieutenant Colonel Falur Rate Laek said on Monday that the government of RDTL turns its back completely to their exhumation efforts of the remains of the fallen heroes for a proper burial. Meantime, Lu Olo said, on Tuesday, August 19 that Falintil was created out of Freitilin, because Fretilin who restored and named it Falintil in the year 1975. (STL/Press Release of Office)

Alkatiri: New Zealand Will Continue to Support TL

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told the media on Tuesday (19/8) on his return from New Zealand that Timor-Leste has asked the New Zealand support in areas of environment, education, and health. It was reported that both governments have also signed an agreement on Timor Gap, but explained that the agreement signed by both countries will be implemented after other agreements are signed. He further explained that asia pacific bilateral tie was also discussed during his visit to New Zealand. (STL)

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