Subject: Daily Media Review 12 June 2003


Subject: Daily Media Review 12 June

Dili, 12 June 2003

Daily Media Review

Former Militias Tried to Cross Border to Timor-Leste

A Group of around 20 people presumed former Timorese militia members tried to cross the border to Timor-Leste on Wednesday but was stopped by the Indonesian authorities. In a statement to the media in Jakarta Prime Minister Alkatiri who is on an official visit to Indonesia, said that the group is still active group in West Timor, and has been causing trouble in the border area. "It is a group of approximately two dozen people, that tried an incursion, but ended up being controlled by the Indonesia Armed Forces with the support of the Timorese authorities on our side," said Alkatiri. He added, "we must act in coordination with both sides to deal with this problem. The presence of former militias in West Timor is not only a problem for Timor-Leste, but also, and specially, for Indonesia because they act against the law and the politics of Jakarta". (Lusa)

PM Alkatiri: Timor-Leste and Jakarta Talks Positive

Representatives from Timor-Leste and Indonesia signed on Wednesday, in Jakarta on the control of border movements between the two nations. The agreement was signed after two hours of talks led by Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri. Alkatiri told the media that the meeting had been "extraordinarily positive and fruitful", and that the Timorese delegation had been "warmly received". "There was always much frankness and openness from the Indonesians and a willingness to deal with problems. There are pending matters, but we will continue to try and resolve them", Alkatiri said. Dili had reaffirmed its wish to strengthen relations with Jakarta, both because of geographical proximity and bilateral cultural ties. "We will transform the borders into a means for connection and not separation and convert the sea into an ocean of peace and stability in the region", said, Alkatiri adding that both governments were aware they had a duty to bring the two nations even closer. President Megawati said, "we are committed in creating bilateral relations and cooperation. Political and social relations have to be supported so as to achieve friendly future relations". The Indonesian leader said the two delegations had discussed pensions for former Indonesian civil servants, the question of private Indonesian assets in Timor and Jakarta`s war graves in its former province. (Lusa, Jakarta Post, STL, TP)

Justice Will Not Affect Bilateral Ties-Heads of Diplomacy

The Timorese and the Indonesian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, José Ramos-Horta and Hassan Wirajuda, reiterated on Wednesday in a brief meeting with the media that both countries would like to put aside the complex issue of establishing an international court for crimes committed in Timor in 1999. "To try those responsible is a question of the international community, said Horta, adding that Dili "never officially asked for an international tribunal". He said: "Timor-Leste wishes to work in building our relations. This question (of justice) was not even in the agenda (of the bilateral meeting on Wednesday). What is important for us is the effort to establish ties with Indonesia at present and for the future". He recalled that Prime Minister Alkatiri was of the same opinion and had been misquoted by the media on the subject. Horta did not comment on the work of Jakarta's Ad'Hoc Tribunal on Human Right Violation. Minister Hassan Wirajuda supported Horta's statements. (Lusa, STL, TP)

National Parliament Awaiting Official Invitation From Jakarta

Timor-Leste Parliament is waiting for an official invitation from Indonesia Parliament in order to strengthen the relation and cooperation between the two parliaments. "This is a good step to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Timor-Leste and Indonesia in the future," said the Speaker of Parliament, Francisco Guterres adding, that "the information was given by Indonesian representatives in Dili, and we are looking forward to the visit". Guterres said that as a neighboring country, it is important to maintain diplomatic ties (STL)

PM Defends Immigration and Asylum Legislation

The Timorese Prime Minister defended on Wednesday the proposal legislation on immigration and asylum for Timor-Leste, challenging those critics by affirming that any interpretation about its constitutionality must take into account the position of "the legislator". "The document is untouchable and I can challenge the biggest constitutional of the world," Alkatiri told the media in Jakarta. Last week, President Gusmão submitted the legislation to the Court of Appeal for advice. Alkatiri considered "normal" that President Gusmão had asked for the court's advice, especially after many questions had been raised about it. (Lusa)

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